Archive for March, 2010

Submitting Your Sitemap to Google

March 11, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/9bDCq)
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Submitting a sitemap to Google will let them know the instant you add new content to your website.  When there’s new content Google sends the spiders over to index your page which means more potential for more traffic.

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Notify Google About Your New Content Instantly!

Submitting a sitemap to Google will let them know the instant you add new content to your website.  When there’s new content Google sends the spiders over to index your page which means more potential for more traffic.

You’ll want to download and activate the Google XML Sitemaps WordPress plugin to create your sitemap automatically.

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How to Set Up and Install Google Webmaster Tools

March 11, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/pzzHU)
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One of the internet’s best kept secrets!  Google Webmaster Tools tells you exactly what people are typing to search engines to find your website and how you rank for those keywords.  The best way to get Google to come to your site is to integrate your site directly into Google!

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Integrate Your Site Directly Into Google

Google Webmaster Tools tells you exactly what people are typing to search engines to find your website and how you rank for those keywords.  The best way to get Google to come to your site is to integrate your site directly into Google!

Click here to go to Google Webmaster Tools

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How to Create SEO Friendly URL’s in WordPress

March 11, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/9UDPT)
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Make it easy for search engines to find your content

Make it easy for search engines to find your content by creating search engine friendly URL’s.  Learn how to set up your blog properly so you don’t get slapped for keyword stuffing or having URL’s that are too long.

“Must Have” WordPress Plugins For SEO

March 11, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/p4U4V)
[amprotect=nonmember]You want your site to be found by search engines, right?  Well there are a handful of WordPress plugins that are a “must have” to make your blog a search engine magnet.  This video shows you which ones to get (and yes they are all free).[/amprotect]

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Here’s the list of plugins to install:

(PS – You can download them directly through the admin control panel of WordPress now)

  1. Google XML Sitemaps
  2. All In One SEO Pack
  3. Ultimate Google Analytics
  4. Viper’s Video Quicktags
  5. Akismet (should be pre-installed with WordPress install)
  6. FeedWordPress
  7. CBnet Ping Optimizer
  8. WP Database Backup
  9. WP Auto-tagger
  10. (optional) PodPress

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How to Install WordPress

March 11, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/NHX9L)
[flv]http://ping.fm/kweHT[/flv]

Get Up & Running Quickly

Here’s an entry level video that shows you how to get WordPress installed onto your website using the control panel in your web host.  Be sure to watch the other WordPress videos which explain how to install plugins and configure WordPress for SEO.

How to Purchase a Domain Name

March 10, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/3a4ZE)
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Just Getting Started?

If you’re just getting started online the first thing you’ll need to do is get a domain name for your website.  This video shows you how to choose a good domain name that will be found in search engines as well as where to go to buy the domain and how to get it at a discount.

How to Set Up Google Alerts

March 9, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/TBpRA)
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Twitter Marketing For Dummies Author Kyle Lacy

March 9, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/ets9B)
Kyle Lacy is the co-founder and CEO of Brandswag, a social media and marketing consulting company with offices in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City. Kyle and his team have assisted businesses in the development and implementation of social media campaigns and strategies and has worked with companies such as Ruth Chris Steak House, Interactive Intelligence and Make a Wish Foundation.

Brandswag focuses on helping companies achieve results through their web site, blogging and social media strategies, raising the value of their client’s business in the eyes of the customer. Author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies from Wiley Publishing, Kyle is a recognized leader in creating ideas that infect business and producing intentional campaigns and dialogue that move customers to buy.

Kyle joined us live on the Internet Marketing Radio Show on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.

What Do You Do When You Run Out of Knowledge?

March 8, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/NdiHf)

image of a sign saying S-O-T-P

Bloggers have a distinct disadvantage.

When someone hires an expert in — oh, let’s say marketing — that expert can dispense the same information she did for the last client.

And the client before that one. And the one before that.

Not bloggers. Blogging is about breaking down everything you know into bite-sized chunks so that people can learn it all over a period of time. If they look back through the archives, they can often see the entire breadth of your knowledge.

Then one day, your well runs dry.

This is a scary moment for any blogger. It’s not like running out of inspiration or having writer’s block. This is when you’ve said it all. Your blog contains absolutely everything you know.

And let’s be fair — it’s a lot of knowledge. But you simply don’t have anything new to say.

What do you do?

Go get yourself some new knowledge

I’m always amazed by how few people continue to educate themselves on their topic after they’ve become an acknowledged expert in it.

Hey, everyone knows me as the number one guy on naked mole rats! Clearly, I know everything there is to know!

But as an old coach of mine used to say, you’ll never know everything there is to know in your field of expertise, and there’s always something new to learn. People make new discoveries and innovations every day. You have opinions about those innovations. You agree or disagree with them. You try them or manage to take them a step further.

Of course, if you don’t find out what those discoveries and innovations are, you don’t have anything to say about it. No wonder you’re stuck for posts.

Actively pursuing new knowledge about your area of expertise has a side benefit: it provides more value for your clients. You may find the inspiration for a new ebook or web course to help newcomers understand and benefit.

New knowledge could be the next big thing for your business — if you go out and find it.

Doctors are one of the few professions actually required to update their knowledge of their field of expertise continually. If a doctor doesn’t know the latest innovation in surgery, his next patient might die from the lack of that knowledge. That’s a huge incentive for the doctor to always be learning and for the patient — and the medical board — to insist on that continual education.

No one is going to force you to attend conferences or read books or take courses, but you’ll be much more respected as an expert if you continually update your knowledge. Your client’s life may not be on the line, but their business, their financial goals, and their happiness probably is — at least, their happiness with your products and services.

Where can you find new knowledge?

Well, you may not have heard about this gizmo called the internet, but it’s pretty handy for that sort of thing. It seems silly to mention using the internet to upgrade your knowledge on an online blog, but shocking numbers of people don’t use it for this particular purpose — even those who practically live online.

Libraries are an awesome (and free) resource for new knowledge too, and so is your local bookstore. Go pick up some new literature and get someone else’s perspective on what you do.

Magazines and trade journals, of course, are terrific for more recent innovations and information. Find ones that focus on your area of expertise and stay on the lookout for new ideas that sound interesting or innovative. Once an article grabs your attention, go do some independent research on that topic and find new resources to pursue.

Actively pursuing new knowledge won’t just make you a better businessperson — though that’s reason enough right there. It’ll also pretty much guarantee that you’ll never run out of blog topics ever again.

About the Author: For new knowledge that makes you a better businessperson — and that helps you hit the bullseye of success for your freelancing career, check out Men with Pens — or better yet, grab the RSS feed here.


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10 Proven Steps to Snag a Guest Post on an A-List Blog

March 5, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/FZyH5)

image of #10 pool ball

Guest posting is the “in” thing. It’s the newest craze. All the kids are doing it!

You’ve heard it time and time again — guest posting is the best way of promoting your work. So why haven’t you become part of the hip crowd yet?

I know why. You’re scared of rejection. You’re not sure if you have the chops.

I can understand these feelings, but don’t get yourself down just yet.
I’m going to show you a surefire, bulletproof, unshakable, watertight, virtually guaranteed (insert as many hyperboles as you see fit) method of putting together a guest post . . . and it getting accepted.

But wait, there’s more! (Here comes the added bonus sales pitch.)

Not only will it get approved on just any two-bit blog in your niche, but on the most highly subscribed top A-list blogs themselves!

OK, let’s begin.

1. Visit your favorite A-list blog and read their guest posting guidelines

They’re at the top of your RSS reader and you read their posts every day, but did you even know there were guidelines for submissions? It might be a good idea to check them out before you do anything else. You never know what type of obscure archaic rules have been handed down by the high and mighty overlords.

Like proper grammar. Spelling. Having a clue. You know . . . really weird stuff.

Whoa! Let’s back up a small step. Do they even accept guest posts? Oh, good. They do. Let’s move on.

2. Study the focus of their content and the target audience of the blog

Your favorite blog covers the movie industry. You write about ice fishing. It’s a perfect fit, right?

Of course not.

Before you put pen to paper (virtually, of course), figure out the type of reader your favorite blog attracts. Generally, successful blogs try to serve content that’s consistent.

How does that blog fulfill their reader’s needs? Focus your guest post idea on what matters to those readers.

Your favorite blog may or may not be in the same niche you are. If not, what specific expertise do you have that fits in and would be useful? Find a way to bridge this gap between the two worlds.

Has there ever been a movie released about ice fishing? Wait . . . actually, it looks like there has been.

3. Skim through the past 2-3 months of posts

No one likes reading about the same exact thing every day (unless you’re a tech blogger). Writing about a subject that has been handled ad nauseum won’t add much value to the readers at the current time.

See what specific topics the blog has been hitting recently. See which areas in which they’ve been lacking the past few weeks. Read some comments and find out what their readers want to know more about.

Mold your idea by focusing on the blog’s immediate needs. You’ll have a much greater chance of hitting a nerve and having your guest post accepted.

4. Write the guest post. Don’t ask. Just do it

I’m serious here. This is the most important step. Take your idea, sit down and write the post. Yes, in full.

Don’t pitch the idea. Don’t ask for permission. Don’t solicit. Just write the best post you can.

It’s a very fast-paced world of short attention spans. A-list bloggers are extremely busy.

The whole process of submitting your idea, exchanging pleasantries, getting correspondence back, creating the post, submitting that, sucking up a bit, receiving feedback, editing a final draft, submitting again, sucking up some more, having it approved, formatting sub headers, adding links, inserting an image, entering a bio, final suck-up, and scheduling the post . . .

It’s really time-consuming.

Eliminate more than half the chain of events by simply writing the post as if it’s getting published as is. The A-list blogger will highly appreciate the fact that you’ve made it easy on him or her. If your content is indeed useful, pertinent and written well, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of it getting green-lit.

You’ve given the blogger all he or she needs to do besides e-mail you back with a resounding “yes!”

What’s the worst case scenario? It’s declined. Pfffft! Your work still has value. Submit the guest post elsewhere or put it on your own blog.

5. Come up with a creative post title that looks appealing and clickable

We all remember some of your last few gems: Stuff I Like, Where I Had Lunch, and Things to Do.

Let’s not repeat those failed post title attempts.

Numbered titles work. Hyperboles work. Questions work. Action words work. Utilize a highly recognized and search-heavy keyword or two if you can.

If you need some inspiration, the best method is to look at the blog’s past post titles, especially those listed as the most popular. Get a sense on how the A-list blogger prefers to title his or her posts and take their lead. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

6. Search your favorite blog’s past content and link it to your post

Old blog posts are so . . . yesterday! The world changes quickly, so why would any of your favorite blog’s past 728 posts even be considered relevant today?

You might be right, but all I know is that Google loves ancient history.

I just realized this today . . . all the search results that come up are from the past!

According to many SEOs (yet not others — apparently, the acronym SEO stands for “Seriously, Everyone has an Opinion”), it’s beneficial to link to old posts in new content for search optimization purposes.

More important, it provides proper context to the ideas included and gives readers a sense of back story on a topic. Help them understand the subject in greater depth.

Throwing in some links to the blog’s cornerstone content helps the A-list blogger as well. It saves them time (as discussed in step 4) so they don’t have to miss a second away from the secret ninja meetings conspiring with all of the other A-listers.

7. Add your own short byline to the bottom of the post with a link to your blog

Why bother? A prominent back link from a PR6 site with 100,000+ subscribers probably doesn’t mean much to you, right?

Oh, I forgot. That’s one of the primary reasons you’ve written the guest post in the first place. Silly me!

You can always just have the A-list blogger write the byline. They have tons of time to check out your site and figure out the best way to describe what you do. Maybe they’ll even get your name right.

Or you could play it safe. Write a short sentence or two that simply describes your blog and who you are. Nothing outrageous or over hyped. Unless you’re Johnny B. Truant.

Shamelessly self-promoting yourself is fine, but making it out that your blog “ToTaLLy roXorZ 4 LiFe!” is overdoing it just a bit. Remember, it’s going to be perceived by the reader as the A-list blogger’s voice — so if you can’t imagine him or her saying it, then you’ve gone too far.

8. Submit your guest post via the preferred method of contact

Using the A-list blogger’s geotagged location and delivering the post via bike messenger as they’re walking back from lunch — that’s just a bit too forceful downright creepy.

There’s no need to try and surprise the blogger in your creativity in getting the post to them.

This is where the guest posting guidelines come in handy. It’s very likely they’ll tell you exactly where to submit the post. When in doubt, the contact form on the blog itself is always the best bet.

Include nothing extraneous to the actual guest post content, other than a very short introduction showing your intentions.

Remember step 4? Of course you do. Don’t take the A-lister’s time for granted by droning on for 17 paragraphs about yourself, your blog, your thought process, your broken childhood, your aversion to baked beans, or your last trip to the Andes when you survived 72 days in the frigid cold by feeding off the dead bodies of your fellow Uruguayan rugby teammates.

Sucking up, on the other hand, is okay. Trust me.

9. Find a friend with a connection

If you’ve been a good little blogger, you’ve been using social media platforms to connect with peers in your niche. Although you desperately try to get attention by retweeting every single post of the bigger fish, it’s better to aim for someone lower down in the food chain.

B and C-listers love helping out the “small fries” because it makes them feel like an A-lister!

Skim through the target blog’s last few months of guest posts and see if there are any familiar names as authors — ones who you have developed a relationship with online. Well, now it’s time to call in a marker.

Don’t be shy, but don’t be pushy either. Tell them you’ve submitted a guest post to the blog. Simply ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving the blogger a quick “heads up” about it. There’s no need whatsoever for a glowing endorsement.

Popular bloggers are pitched post ideas all the time — a majority from people who are complete strangers (many they’d like to keep that way). Your goal is to just have your name recognized and stand out a little from the pack. That’s all.

10a. Bask in your glory

If you were able to pull off the first 9 steps, congratulations! You’re one of the few people who actually implement what they read. Of course, the A-list blog will probably publish your guest post on a “filler” low-traffic day. C’mon, you’re a blogger — you always need something to complain about!

10b. Live to fight another day

The A-list blogger still passed on your guest post? Don’t worry, you can always pitch it somewhere else or put it on your own blog.

First though, you must write an inflammatory post that knocks the A-lister off his or her fancy pedestal. They obviously don’t appreciate their community if they’re unwilling to accept your undisputed brilliance.

[Editor’s note: You guys do know he’s kidding, right?]

While you’re at it, send me a really nasty e-mail bemoaning my advice. As a concession, I’ll put up your work on my blog. I’m sure my visitors would love to read your guest post titled: “7 Things I Like To Do When Ice Fishing For Dead Bodies In The Andes”

About the Author: Jordan Cooper is a 13-year professional stand-up comedian who showcases his sarcastic humor with videos and written rants about blogging, social media & marketing at Not A Pro Blog.


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