Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jump Your Blog: Be Your Own Webmaster

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Don't be afraid of the term "webmaster" - it's just a word. If you're writing a serious blog, whether you're a politcal commentator, a technology writer, a diarist, a milblogger, newsblogger, photoblogger or perfume blogger, there's more to building a readership than sitting back and hoping a search engine brings people to your blog. Indeed, they will: but Joe or Mary who Googled your post about George Bush smoking bananas is NOT coming back to read your homepage--- ever! The bloggers you lured in with linkbait and memes and viral carnivals won't be back either, and could end up costing you points later on!

So, how does an aspiring blogger pull him or herself up by the bootstraps?

Rank - First, you MUST get this through your head: it's a BLOG, NOT a POPULARITY CONTEST! Then, go read Ethical Blogging!

If you are concerned about your page rank it's well worth running a free test with SEOmoz. By visiting http://www.seomoz.org/page-strength and entering your website URL you'll get a report showing ranking statistics with most of the major search engines and ranking sites such as Google, Alexa, Wikipedia etc. For a general SEO health check Sitening provide a speedy analysis of your website structure helping you to tweak a few elements for better performance. Visit: http://www.sitening.com/seo-tools/seo-analyzer/.

The Problem with Search Engine Optimisation is worth taking a look at...

Technorati is more on the "popularity contest" side of the ranking scheme, Alexa seems to be more "ratings" oriented. The following are the suggestions given by DoshDosh and others:

1. Install the Alexa toolbar or Firefox’s SearchStatus extension and set your blog as your homepage. This is the most basic step.

2. Put up an Alexa rank widget on your website.
3. Encourage others to use the Alexa toolbar.

4. Write or Blog about Alexa. Webmaster and bloggers love to hear about ways to increase their Alexa rank. They’ll link to you or visit your blog, which helps with your traffic rank. Check what this guy had experienced!

5. Show your URL in webmaster forums. Webmasters usually have the toolbar installed. I like doing this for a few reasons. You’ll get webmasters to visit your website and get some feedback in return. It’s also a good way to give back to the community.

6. Write content that is related to webmasters. (Like THIS very post, for example!) This can fall in the category of domaining and SEO, two fields in which most webmasters will have the Alexa toolbar installed. Promote your content on social networking websites and webmaster forums.

7. Use Alexa redirects on your website URL. Try this: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com . Replace dave-lucas.blogspot.com with the URL for your website. Leave this redirected URL in blog comments as well as forum signatures. This redirect will count a unique IP address once a day so clicking it multiple times won’t help. I've noticed that many MyBlogLog members used Alexa redirects, until MBL decided it had had enough!

8. Post in Asian social networking websites or forums. Some have suggested that Asian (Korean or Hong Kong) web users are big Alexa toolbar fans.

9. Create a webmaster tools section on your website. This is a magnet for webmasters who will often visit your website to use the tools. I have set up a seperate website which features several tools: SmartPork.

10. Digg, Reddit, Stumble. This usually brings massive numbers of visitors to your website and the sheer amount will have a positive impact on your Alexa Rank. Of course, you’ll have to develop link worthy material.

11. Use PayperClick Campaigns. Buying advertisements on search engines such as Google or Exact Seek will help bring in Traffic. Doubly useful when your ad is about webmaster/tech related products/content.

12. Create an Alexa category on your blog (I just did, as an experiment) use it to include any articles or news about Alexa. This acts as a resource for webmasters while helping you rank in the search engines.

13. Optimize your popular posts. Got a popular post that consistently receives traffic from the search engines? Include a widget at the bottom of the post, call for Alexa signups or use Alexa redirection on your internal URLs.

RSS Feed - This is one of the most basic pieces of the blog puzzle which creates a stable group of visitors reading each of your daily postings. An RSS feed notifies your readers that you have created another article and made a new posting on your blog. The RSS feed will also help create a stream of income as more visitors mean a higher page ranking and better search placement.

Links - I can't tell you enough times, you should join MyBlogLog. You'll make friends, meet new blogs and bloggers and generate traffic for yourself! You'll be pleased! One strategy that can help you accomplish your blog traffic goals is to create a link bait post. A link bait post is a post that offers a lot of information to the readers of the blog. Basically the post can have anything of use to the niche you are in. For example, if you own a site that is all about blogging and gaining traffic, you can create a post about the top 20 blogs about blogging. Many people will bookmark the page and link to it because they want to return to it and see all the different recourses.

With link popularity being one of the major drivers of traffic a visit to http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com/free-marketing-tools.html will provide you with a quick way to check popularity with Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Slow Loading Pages - Remember, a LOT of people in this world are STILL using dial-up! If your page stalls, freezes or screws up their browser, THEY WILL NEVER BE BACK! NEVER!
We all know that web surfers are impatient and when it comes to waiting for slow pages to load there can be no better way to send your surfer running to competitor sites. So with speed in mind it could be worth running your pages through SelfSEO's speed checker. Giving you options to add multiple domains or multiple pages it's easy to see if your site measures up to competitors. Point your browser to http://www.selfseo.com/website_speed_test.php and off you go. If speed does appear to be an issue then at least you'll know about it and can begin cleaning up your source code and optimising a few graphics here and there.

Blogging For Pay - Very few bloggers are going to be able to make a living via blogging. that doesn't mean you can't make money using Amazon and Google ads. There are also a variety of "pay per post" services and you could even install a "Tip Jar" and beg for coins. You simply have to find what works for YOU. Look at it this way: even if you make $50 a year on your Google ads, that's fifty bucks you can spend on YOU! While you want to concentrate on your CONTENT, that CONTENT could be what ultimately attracts a crowd of blogders who end up clicking thru on some of your ads!

Many many useful tips can be found at Behold the Expertise of the ProBlogger Community - 95 Reader Tips!


Download a free article marketing guide here: Secrets of Article Writing

Sources used for this post include Flixya, Banner, Paul Coupe

1 comment:

ahlost said...

hello from kuching :P

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