Posts Tagged ‘blogs’
guest post by my friend, author Patricia Snodgrass
What Do Long Tail Keywords Mean?
What is a long tail keyword? Do you pick one up at the rescue shelter? Does it require a cat box, food, water, regular grooming? Does your new long tail keyword require spaying or neutering?
The answer is of course, none of the above. Simply stated, a long tail keyword is a string of specific key words designed to bring better quality hits to your webpage. Long tail keywords are designed to help searchers find your site quicker and easier.
The average keyword could get lots of hits to your website, but that isn’t going to do you any good if those hits are unproductive. When someone uses a long tail keyword, they are able to find your site because you have what the searcher is looking for. You may not get as many hits with long term keywords, as you would with the average garden variety keyword, but what you will get is people who will be more interested in what you have to say, or in what you are trying to sell.
Lets say you’re looking for a book on how to use keywords more efficiently, but you are as clueless as I am when it comes to talking about adwords, rankings and SERPS. So, you go to amazon.com to find a book that’s easy to understand, but once you type in keyword in their books menu, you get far too many hits. You have neither time nor energy to pick through all the books to find the one you want. How do you find the book you’re looking for?
If you were to type in, easy to understand book keywords ad words, you will find the book you’re searching for quickly. For example, I typed in easy to understand keywords and the Book For Dummies was the top hit. Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes
In order for your article to receive a high ranking on SERPS, you need to create long tail keywords to sprinkle into your article, so the search engine can “see” you. For example, you are writing an article about bearded irises, but you wish to write about specific irises, like purple bearded irises. You would sprinkle the long tail keywords ‘purple bearded irises’ into your article along with any other long tail keywords you would like to use. However, you don’t want to overdo it, otherwise your article will sound weird. The author must never dilute the quality of their work by adding too many keywords, be they long or small.
Drawing a blank? Try the free keyword tool, Ubersuggest
We all like learning new things, and in this particular business environment where people are looking for small home business ideas that will generate income, one of the untapped resources is the tutorial website. From crafts to math to … just about anything you can think of, there’s someone out there interested in what you have to teach — and this goes double if you happen to have “mad skillz” in certain kinds of programs (like Photoshop, Excel, Gimp, and others.) I would, however, advise you to NOT make a tutorial involving an MLM product or “how to start in business” — there’s a lot of those out there and you’ll struggle to be seen.
So — you’ve got a glimmer of an idea and you think you might like to start into business as an entrepreneur with a tutorial site. But before you go racing off to build your tutorial website on tinsmithing (one of my interests, actually), there are several things you need to take into consideration.
Starting Up A Tutorial Website For Fun And Profit
That’s the promise of a lot of software on the Internet today. It sounds tempting — the idea that you can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while the hits roll in and you get customers and Adsense revenue. There’s some software that says you can even “autoblog” your way to riches and fortune.
Here’s the deal — I looked up a dozen or so of those sites where people were talking about how to make money blogging, and most of them had fewer hits that this blog does (and since this is a NEW blog, it doesn’t get a lot of hits.) Most of those “blogging for dollars” crew are just selling you ebooks — and the site owner may not actually be making anything in spite of their announced success.
HOWEVER — I did learn one very useful practice in reviewing a lot of their advice — how to set up a hidden RSS feed to your site that gives you interesting things to write about.
Most blogs suffer from the “okay…what do I write about now” syndrome. Writing about your kid is cute but does get old after awhile and limits your audience to people who love to read about cute things kids do and can’t wait to see the next incident. But an RSS feed delivers things you might not have read from blogs and news sources and you can clip out the ones that are just too lame to consider and review the other articles or use them as inspiration.
So if you find your blogs getting a bit stale, set up a hidden RSS feed to an email or as hidden content on a page. It’ll give you something new to write about and your readers will thank you.
There are lots of website links and news headline links that tempt you to click because you’ve just GOT to know what the whole thing is about? Yeah… even skeptical me still gets lured into some places by the “gosh, that strikes me as curious” lure.
And then there are those “Oh there goes that Same Old Stuff again — I think I’ll go check out the Congressional Record instead” type of headlines. The art of making an interesting headline is part of making your website or your blog or your online store (or your artwork or your crafts for that matter) very appealing to others.
While surfing around the Internet this week, I came across a very nice ebook from the Freelance Writing (Free Ebooks section) site about the art of writing headlines. It’s a short read and free to distribute, so I’m including a direct link to it here.
As I read it, I realized that the article could be useful to just about anyone for creating titles and captions for websites, blogs, forum posts, photos — just about any internet activity. Heck, it might even make your diary of your Day at Facebook Farmville Farming sound so intriguing that the most jaded viewer would simply have to click on the thing just to see what it was about. Warning: at the end it gets rather predictable but there’s still good ideas there.
So… fellow bloggers and artists and business people, Google has made a decision that might affect how you’re contacting friends and customers — Google has let their subscription to the Twitter firehose expire. So it’s not going to continue the real-time search on Twitter. In a way, I’m not surprised because the amount of computing processing used to find and process the huge inflow from the TweetStream may not be worth the return. Now that they’ve started up Google+, a lot of questions are rising about what’s going to impact which websites. http://searchengineland.com/as-deal-with-twitter-expires-google-realtime-search-goes-offline-84175
Truthfully, this won’t affect most of us. I don’t look around for recent outrages or gossip to comment on so I can talk about what everyone else is talking about. It does mean, however, that Tweets aren’t going to do a lot to help your website ranking. In the past, Tweets could help search ranking. However, with Google’s latest “Content Is King” mandate, they’ve apparently decided that a zillion tweets from twitter accounts mentioning a website might mean “some marketer is promoting this — ignore this site.”
This WAS a tactic used by some people who wanted to increase their search engine ranking. However, as with most things, the over-eager ones who are only in it for the money hopped in with lots of spam (and they convinced their buddies that this was the Greatest Thing To Do to get your website to come up in the first place every time someone searched on Google.)
And this move actually turns out to be good for the rest of us — the SEE ME SPAMMING THE QUOTE OF THE DAY WITH A LINK TO MY WEBSITE (etc) folks will go off and try something else.
Should you still use Twitter to help direct folks to your website? You betcha. And Facebook and Google+. One of these will eventually come out on top as King of the Social Media, and you’ll be ahead of the game if you’ve already started using it.
There’s been some recent discussions on Internet entrepreneur boards about whether or not writing articles for other blogs (or article directories) that link to your blog is really that effective in the wake of Panda, Google’s latest algorithm. Does it make better sense to write a wide variety of articles (such as “general entrepreneurship topics”) rather than focused articles (like “marketing via email”.)
In fact, does it make a lot of sense to write a gazillion articles or article directories in the first place? Shouldn’t you just focus on your blog?
That really depends on how you view your blog. If you’re selling just one thing, (a marketing course, for instance) then what you really want to do is turn your blog into one giant ad and write articles for article directories that proclaim you’re the Greatest Guru Ever ™ and include links that point to your website.
But suppose we’ve just sat down at a Starbucks with a wildlife photographer who specializes in bird photos (we’ll call her Mimi Polyglo.) It’s a small business and was doing okay from art shows but with the downturn in the economy she wants to get more people to buy her bird pictures — and for that, she needs traffic to her site. Since you’re her bestest buddy ever, she’s come to you for advice… because…
…she’s just stumbled across articles from G.G.Ever ™ telling her she needs to start writing a lot of articles for article directories — that the only way to get crazy traffic is to start writing lots about birds and putting the free articles (for others to use on their websites or blogs) in article directories.
Is it really worth her time?
Well… probably not. People who cruise article directories are USUALLY not looking for a lot of articles about “how to photograph woodpeckers” to use on their sites. She could spend a lot of time writing (instead of photographing) — and that’ll do nothing for her sales. In the mean time, her highly focused blog may attract a cozy circle of friends who need to know all about woodpeckers, but this tightly themed blog is not going to do a lot to promote her work. If she hands out business cards, her site will be visited by once or twice by people who want to see photos — but there’s nothing that’s going to compel them to come back.
But if she expands her topics to include (for example) reviews of “best birding spots” and occasional reviews of cameras and other gear, she has picked something more compelling that will encourage others to check her site and maybe revisit it, hoping they can take a pretty bird picture of their own. They’ll come to find tips about birding hotspots if they’re taking a trip somewhere, though. If she monetizes it with some Amazon books on birding or on cameras, the chances of getting some money (as well as visitors) increases.
What about writing articles for birding blogs and birding sites? Well yes — IF she has something interesting to read (the wider topic) on her website-blog and IF she has the time to spend on creating articles for someone else’s blog as a guest author. But writing articles (in other words, “article marketing”) to place on article directories in hopes they’ll drive traffic to her website– no, that’s a waste of time and effort. You see, Google Adsense doesn’t actually pay you until you get $100 in earnings. You get about a penny for every 100 people who show up (but don’t click on anything.) She’d need about 100,000,000 visitors Desperately Seeking Woodpeckers to see a check from Adsense. She can kill herself writing traffic articles — or she can promote her art in other ways and use the blog to “make friends” with her customers.
So for her, expanding her blog topic to make her website more interesting and keep people coming back even if there’s no new photos, she needs to consider expanding her pictures and bird monologues with other topics that relate to Wonderful Winged Things.
And the same holds true of YOUR blog, too. But word of warning — don’t make it too diverse. If you have something to say in a field very different from your current blog, START ANOTHER BLOG. That’s why I have http://www.scienceweblog.com, among other sites.
Click here to leave questions and comments at our discussion board!
(in-joke alert for the photographer’s name … the state bird of Texas is the Northern Mockingbird — Mimis polyglottis)
The trouble with us is that we’re being trained to be easily fascinated. You know, the “oooh! shiny!” reaction where you’re walking along thinking about one thing and suddenly something bright and interesting (or new) catches your attention. Suddenly, all your well-intentioned plans go out the window as you go over to look at (and play with) your new toy.
This is a REAL problem in doing business on the web. I admit I get frequent cases of “oooh! shinies!” all the time — and the place I get it worst is hanging out on business forums. Someone will have a great idea for an ad or a great suggestion and I get energized and excited and want to run off and maybe explore that niche market, too. I know it’s a really bad idea but the shinies are so compelling I can’t help myself!
For instance, I’ve been toying with the idea of (simultaneously) serializing a steampunk novel I”m writing. But I need to keep this blog updated and keep on working on the Friends In Business site (which needs sprucing up and new articles and all like that… it’s just starting to see results now) AND I need to get some art done… and… and…
It’s all about focus and setting up a schedule. Here’s the strategy, though — if you’re having a really focused day when you’re totally on track and fired up for the task, spend at least 20 minutes on each task — scheduled in chunks of no more than 5 minutes. If you’re having one of those “the kids are yelling every 15 minutes and I have to watch for the refrigerator repair guy and the cat sounds like it’s doing something suspicious on the carpet” then make each five minute block a single task.
If things are really nasty or distracting, move it to 2 minute blocks.
If you start out with a huge list and at the end of the day it’s even bigger, you’ll go to bed unhappy. It’s better to take a short sprint and then attend to other things than sitting there for twenty minutes and spinning your wheels.
So chop each task up into 2-5 minute chunks. If, for instance, I’m going to write and it’s a horribly distractful day, I’ll put down “write FIB blog 2 minutes” and schedule “put away breakfast dishes 2 minutes”… and so on and so forth. You may not accomplish mountainous miracles but you can sure get stuff done.
This is where I use my favorite time management software. In addition to my laptop, I own an HP Ipaq (in this case, I’m synching my laptop, my HP pocket calculator and my Android tablet) and use them to kind of help keep me honest. I use Google Calendar for the main scheduling, but for the tiny stuff I use Essential PIM — I liked the free version so well that I bought the full version. Having had Palmpilots for many years (they do so many things that a phone doesn’t — more detailed calendar, lots of notes, and you can actually compose a long text there as well as keep a secure address book) I was very glad to find a software that worked on the laptop, coordinated with the HP, and could connect with Google Calendar (which synchs with my Android.) Nowadays it just doesn’t get much better.
I find I have to rework it frequently, because an inflexible schedule means I actually don’t get anything done. And yes (sigh) I do leave time for sleep, housework (well… SOME housework) and other stuff as well as writing and art.
I’m friends with a lot of writers and artists and costumers (because I do writing and art but not costuming) and we’ve all been hit by the down economy. It’s tougher when this is your only source of income and the real hassle is that when you’re NOT producing, you’re not really getting money. Meanwhile there’s a zillion other artists/writers/musicians/filmmakers/craftspeople out there slaving away trying to reach the same market you are.
Now, IF you’ve got a business that involves art or cartooning or writing or other things, you may have noticed that a LOT of the “how to get traffic” tips and “how to get sales” just don’t work for you. Yes, I’m positive that many folks get income from list building and “Squeeze pages” and so forth, but you can’t put up a 700 word sales letter to get rid of one piece of art or one simply fabulous Steampunk hat accessory. And it might not be useful for a book, either. And as for starting a newsletter, well, I can either actually WRITE a book and draw my webcomics (did I mention that they’re over here and here?) or I can go out and market.
But I can’t do both. So this edition of my “Fabulous Five” (actually, it’s SIX — more bang for your buck!) is for folks who do creative projects and want a bit more “buzz for their bucks.” One of these times I’ll have to do a Fabulous Five for people who have cats helping them on the Internet (my Siamese is giving his opinion and trying to “love” all over my keyboard)… but that’s a post for another day.
If you’ve somehow missed it, then run READ the first article in the “Three Micahs” series by MCA Hogarth. She’s putting it out as a book on Amazon as well, but you can snag some wonderful advice over at Friends In Business.
First up, let’s deal with one of my own personal “big mistakes” — having a personal website. I don’t have one as an artist. There’s some seriously good advice in this article about setting up websites for artists — and by the way, the advice would apply no matter WHAT you’re doing and what you’re selling.
An oldie but goodie — Start a Fan Page (a.k.a. Business Page) on Facebook. If you’re like me, you’re going “no. Just… no.” But the advantage is that you can put your gossip on one page and your business stuff AND samples on another page. Your friends love you, but sometimes the Facebook algorithm will totally ignore all your posts. And a Fan Page CAN be used in place of a web page for your art.
Another interesting read from Alison at the same blog is “how to choose your Twitter name.” Okay.. I know this doesn’t sound like a thrill a minute, but she makes some good sense in the article. It’s a pity I didn’t read it before getting my own Twitter name (Foxraven — and no, I just picked it because it sounded cool. I have yet to do any serious fox or raven (or foxravens) art. I should, but I’m not right now. The world will just have to deal with this.)
This article seems like it’s several years old, but I know a number of artists who also make part of their living at trade shows, swap meets, craft fairs, and street art shows. The wepage is pretty brief but it does include suggestions and ideas that almost anyone can follow.
And finally, there’s this web page about using “Google insights” to creatively tune up your website to make it easier for your fans (and potential fans) to find you. And yes, this would actually apply to blog posts if you’re setting up your personal artist page in a WordPress format.
I’ve been prowling around the Internet this week wasting time looking for the best advice on how to update the Friends In Business website. There’s a lotta distractions out there, let me tell you — and a lot of information. Sadly, much of it is pure garbage and some of the sites for people interested in finding ways to work from home are really out of date. But I did come across some fabulous stuff, so I thought I’d take some time and blog about it.
This week the focus was all about WordPress blogs. Lemme tell you, that’s a subject that could take YEARS to go through. I’m getting a handle on it now, after setting up and designing one in the past month. There were times when I thought my brain might explode. WordPress is beginning to make more sense now, but it seemed like it took forever to get past the first steps of “Okay… I got the blog installed and just typed hello world. Okay. Now what?”
Luckily there are people around who are writing all sorts of helpful things. So this week’s “Fabulous Five” are pages that I was SO glad to find this week.
First of all, a nod to Lee Dobbins, who owns the site http://www.websitepromotionblueprint.com/ She offers a series of articles called the Website Promotion Blueprint — and it’s free. What’s being discussed is NOT something that requires special skills or even something that gets you out of your comfort zone (like dressing up in a monkey suit and handing out balloons with your web address on them. Or cold calling. Come to think of it, I’d rather dress up in a monkey suit than do cold calling.) And while you’re there, sign up for her newsletter. It’s got nice tips in it, it’s not “in your face” every day, and when she makes a recommendation for something she also includes low cost and free alternatives to it. That’s a real boost for anyone who’s building a home business or thinking about trying to work from home.
Have you joined Google+? I’ve been invited in by friends and am kicking the tires and exploring the options. Right now, there’s a huge fuss over aliases and names (William Shatner got kicked from Google+ for awhile… for using his own name!) One thing they’re also banning is businesses as entities… so I can’t sign up as “Friends in business” — not that I’m interested in doing that… but I couldn’t anyway. I don’t know if it’ll replace Facebook for me but the conversations I’m seeing there are different (and there’s no Farmville update spam!) Someone pointed out http://gplus.to/ — a site where you can get your very own short form Google+ contact name. So I’m http://gplus.to/MelWhite.
Google+ can deliver interesting content, like this article: http://www.therealmikegriffin.com/2938/small-business-ideas-work-home-tips-bring-success/ One of the big gripes I hear from folks with home businesses is that it’s “distraction driven.” In some offices, bosses are the main distraction but they can’t compete with the “OMG! Laundry!” distraction that creeps up on you when you least expect it. Mike Griffin has some useful comments.
The problem with cruising around is that you can get far too involved chasing interesting ideas. Focus Booster (http://www.focusboosterapp.com/) is a pretty darn neat application that works on what’s called the “Pomodoro technique.” It basically is a timer for focusing on activities — set a timer for (for instance) ten minutes and that’s the ONLY time during which you can… ah… oh… chase down URLs about “Luke Skywalker” or “Freakonomics” or “Incredible Brownies” or whatever other thing just happens to grab your fancy. It will alert you when recess comes around.
Yahoo has a competitor … well, sort of… to Google Trends searches called “Yahoo Clues.” http://clues.yahoo.com/ In many ways, I like it better than Trends because it gives a nice picture of the data over time and it also gives you some idea who’s searching this — men, women, over 40, under 40, and so forth. I had entirely too much fun playing with the thing, finding out the demographics of who was searching for what and which terms were better than other terms! I you’re starting a home business or thinking about doing any sort of work at home business, this tool is one you need to bookmark and use!
And that’s the Fabulous Five for this week — stay tuned for something equally fabulous (or created in a chocolate brownie overload haze) next week!
A Blog Commenter wrote:
Hey, I couldn’t find a contact form so I hope you don’t mind me posting here. Wow, I had a great idea for your interesting little blog . I’m an internet marketer and I spend a lot of time making and reading blogs like The FriendsInBusiness Blog: Recommended Reading all day. I used to just waste my energy making a few bucks here and there from google adsense but i found something SO much more powerful and better. I SWEAR ON MY PET’S GRAVE I MADE $351.76 $$CASH$$ yesterday just 3 days after modifying my blogs. Can you imagine how floored I am? Here is where I learned all my tricks: http:(GOSH, IT’S A LINK TO AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM ON ‘RECOMMENDED TRICKS’ FOR MAKING A LOT OF MONEY FROM THEIR BLOGS!) Just giving your site a look I can tell you’ll probably pull in a few hundred bucks a month extra if you modify just a little code. I hope that it serves you well and you have all my blessings. Cheers!
So here’s my “Bulk Reply” comment to ALL FIVE of those folks.
Thank you for your copy-and-pasted comments which are showing up on blogs all over the blogsphere.
Yes, dears, I’m totally surprised you made any money yesterday since you’re all running around and typing the same thing in the comments section to this blog — and probably every other blog you found. And by the way, other affiliates of your program have sent the exact same message to the webmaster’s email. You guys were probably the only people to fall for this.
Here’s a hint for you — any blog where the owner is paying attention will nuke any message with an affiliate link. They know that these comments a) don’t attract traffic, b) only serve the poster’s purpose, and c) detract from the blog’s quality in the eyes of the reader.
So — one of the tactics that people have been trying (for years) is getting traffic to their sites by responding to other blogs. This isn’t evil and can be a good practice IF you follow some rules that the “gurus” seem to have forgotten to tell you (either because they don’t know or because they DO know and they’ve forgotten or they DO know and they want you to come scrambling back when you don’t make any money or get more followers.)
- Pick an APPROPRIATE, RECENT BLOG ENTRY to comment on. If the thing is over a week old (on a site where the blog is updated several times a week), don’t bother. Don’t blather on a blog post that has nothing to do with your site (don’t go “oh gosh, that just reminds me of my scuba diving gear at THIS site” when the blog post is about Ham Radio Equipment.
- Contribute to the discussion. Your site is there because (presumably) it’s one of your interests. Add something to what’s being said (a “loved this, passing it along to my readers” is okay as long as the link you show in your website has something to do with the topic of the blog.
- Be charming. The copy-pasta blog quote up there is amusing… that’s one thing going for it. But it’s also a blatant sales pitch and it’s not linked to YOUR blog. How do we even know you HAVE a blog?
- Make it original. If I get suspicious, I’ll check a sentence or two from your reply. If I see it posted on 500 other blogs, YOUR post will go into the trash.
- And make sure that the guru/affiliate program you’re getting your advice from actually has some sort of track record. For all you know, it’s some 15 year old from Muleshoe (a real place, by the way), rewriting stuff he’s picked up from sales copy and occasional forums and has never actually tested his own advice.
And no more swearing on pets’ graves, eh? That’s just totally in bad taste.