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7 Tips for Successful Blogging
So, you have a blog! Do you have traffic? Do you know how to build traffic to your weblog? There are seven proven methods for building readership of your blog. Read More...

How To Boost Traffic To Your Blog
Let search engine index your blog and let people come to your fresh blog. Though you're in World Wide Web, nobody knows you're there. You need to pull kindly those who are potentially waiting for you but don't know where your are. Read More...

Recap on how to make money with your blog
Like most things, the amount of money you make will probably be in direct proportion to the amount of thought and effort you put into the process. Here are the steps

The Power of the BLOG

The online community is fast waking up to the power of blogs which have spread across the internet like wild fire. If you are still grappling with the word BLOG, these are online websites which are diary-like in approach and people are free to publish news or their ideas and thoughts. Blogs are very popular as they are simple to use and in most cases, free.

However, professional bloggers (people who have a decent no. of hours of blogging to their credit) will admit that blogging is not as easy as waking up in the morning, checking out some posts and putting together a few witty lines before you brush your teeth. You do need to be knowledgeable about the subject you are writing on or you are likely to be torn apart by people who are.

Having a Blog has its own set of inherent advantages which are obvious and some which are not so obvious. The better known advantages are:

Freedom to express: If you like to build a chain of communication and use that as food for thought and for your existence, a BLOG is the best way to create this outlet. You can express your opinion openly and you just might be surprised by the number of people who would agree with you. Such communication channels also help build momentum for a particular line of thought.

Networking at its best: If you own a blog which has genuine exchange of ideas it can evolve onto a good platform to network and grow your business. It is easier to impress potential customers with a strong and valid point of view rather than a price quote.

Excellent advertising platform: The sheer size of community generated at a popular blog provides an excellent advertising platform for advertisers. With the hunger for new advertising platforms which is both innovative and cost effective, blogs seems like the next location for the big bucks of advertisers.

Gauging public opinion on products and services: Bloggers post comments at a fiery pace. It is not uncommon to see a couple of comments posted within a few minutes of the original post. The topic and title of the blog needs to be alluring enough to get such quick responses. Blogs thus become an excellent forum to gauge public opinion on products and services and even political and business events.

Useful tool for inter-company communication without the red tape: IBM recently started a blog for its employees on the intranet. Reason? Simple, to get employees interacting with each other and building up a knowledge based community for putting together new ideas as well as provide good human resource practices. More and more companies are ignoring the naysayers for blogs and going ahead with using this tool for fostering better employee relations within the company. The knowledge sharing is also excellent and HR personnel can monitor comments to get an idea about new policies or identify troublesome issues head on and well in advance.

Other benefits which are worth mentioning if you own a blog is search engine optimization due to the high volume of content featured here, updating yourself on the latest trend in the marketplace which subsequently helps you identify new opportunities which helps you stay ahead and allows you to be tech-savvy in your social and professional circle. The benefits outlined above should be enough to inspire you to start a blog at the earliest!

Why Wordpress is now my Blog of Choice

The more I use Wordpress, the more I love it. It has 2 very important features that Blogger doesn't yet support.

Number 1, you can set up Wordpress to automatically ping all the RSS and blog feed directories every time you make a post. This is a very powerful feature if you want your blog to get a lot of traffic right away. On top of that, you'll be quickly developing backlinks to your blog almost automatically.

Think about how long it can take you to build a regular site, get the search engines to index it, get backlinks to improve your listings, and then start getting traffic. A blog like Wordpress can do all that "grunge" work for you automatically.

Number 2, Wordpress allows the use of Categories. Categories are a very powerful way to improve the structure of your site both for human visitors and for the search engines.

Let's say the topic of your site is Widgets. You could create a Category for black widgets, one for orange widgets, and one for green widgets.

Now when you add posts to your blog, you can choose which of your categories your post belongs to. Now your blog will archive your past posts not only by their month and date, as Blogger does. But also by Category.

So if you have a visitor who is especially interested in green widgets, they can easily find all your posts on green widgets. They don't have to go through your entire archives to find them. With a blog that has been around for awhile and has hundreds of posts, that would be pretty discouraging. Using Categories makes it very easy.

Categories are also very search engine friendly. When you use Categories in your blog, there is a link on every one of your pages to your categories. Think about this: would you rather be #1 in the search engines for March 2003, or for green widgets, one of the main keywords of your site?

By using the Category feature, you will eventually have hundreds of pages on your site with links to green widgets, black widgets, and orange widgets. All those backlinks to those keywords can result in much higher search engine rankings.

Another neat feature is that you can easily create an RSS feed for each of your categories. Then every time you post to your blog, it could be pinging the Blog/RSS directories for each feed!

Compare that to putting up a new page on a traditional website. Even if the search engines find your new page right away, it might be a month or two before it actually gets indexed and starts drawing traffic. It might be a long time before it enjoys a first page position for its keywords.

It's almost amazing how easy all this is with a well-structured blog like Wordpress with Categories enabled!

Driving Free Traffic To Your Blog

How can you drive "free" traffic to your blog? You can't. But that's only because nothing is really free. In the end you can either buy traffic with money or you can buy traffic by investing time. Time IS money, hence my statement that there's no free traffic.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your blog and pay for it with an investment of your time, instead of with gold or coin of the realm, then you're in luck because that is entirely possible if you are ingenious enough to figure out the best ways to do it.

Therein lies the problem. Let's make believe that time really IS money. Let's make believe that you only have 10 hours in your "time bank account" to spend on finding ingenious ways to drive traffic to your blog without writing checks or whipping out the charge card. How should you invest that money?

The answer for most people is to start sniffing around the Internet looking for other people's ideas and suggestions. You'll run across all of the amateur ideas like: "Advertise your blog on Free-For-All (FFA) link sites" or "join e-mail safe lists". Yeah, why not just post ads everywhere saying "Here is my email address. Please SPAM me". Because that's all you are going to get in return.

Moving a bit further up the idea chain you'll probably encounter people who say "Get links from other blogs that point to yours". Now that's a wonderful idea, and it does work, but consider this: There is new blog appearing on the Internet every 7.8 seconds! If every blogger started asking every other blogger for reciprocal links, then entire Internet would likely come to a dead stop in about a week due to the shear volume of email that all of those requests would generate. Not to mention all of the time that you have to spend finding suitable blogs to link to, contacting the owners and managing the link process.

If you've only got those imaginary 10 hours to spend on finding ways to drive free traffic to your site, then you have to zoom in on those underutilized "secret", not-everyone-and- his-brother-is-doing. "ah ha moment" methods that showcase your blog like a lamp burning at the top of a mountain at night. You need solid ideas that really work.

The best way to find solid ideas that really work is to find someone who already has invested the time in discovering and improving those ways and who is willing to share them with you.

That means that the best way to DISCOVER free ways to drive traffic to your blog is to BUY those secrets from a pro. Sure, you're spending money to acquire the information, but you'll end up with some great traffic-builders that aren't going to cost you a penny out of your REAL banking account to implement.

The end result is: You get free, quality traffic to your blog and you didn't waste 10 hours (10 weeks is more like it), trying every harebrain scheme that you encountered on the 'net while you were looking.

Go to the experts when you need help. That's my idea of investing your time AND your money wisely.

Search Engine Marketing With Blogs

Blogs are fast becoming the SEO tool of choice by many webmasters. Why? Content. Search engines love content. The more content your blog can provide on a steady basis, the better your ability to increase traffic. Blogs are easy to start and anyone can for more effective SEO management.

What content do you place in your blog? You can place any useful information or articles about your product or service. If, for example, you are a wedding planner, you should write about tips future brides may not be aware of in relation to planning their wedding. You might talk about wedding scams, catering faux pas, honeymoon hotspots etc... Let the readers know you have something more to offer then just a simple service. People who feel comfortable about a person or organization are far more likely to buy from them. Let your readers know who you are and what you are capable of doing for them.

Now that you have your content, you need to get it into the reader’s hands. The advantage of using a blog is that you can syndicate your content. Rich Site Summary or RSS is a format used to syndicate your content instantly. In other words, people can have your content posted on their web site or sent to their email. Most blog sites will give you your own special URL to submit to sites that syndicate content. These sites will then contact your URL for the content. The more you update your site the more your site will be indexed or PINGED by RSS feeds. To help ensure your RSS feed is being indexed, enter the RSS tag into the of your site. Just enter your site title and the URL with your special URL for RSS. This and other tags can be used in most blogs. Take advantage of them.

Creating a blog will allow your content to be syndicated which in turn will increase traffic to your web site as well as build your link popularity through RSS and blog directories. This will give you and your products or services recognition. The knowledge and personal insights that you share will help build your business and your customer relations. The RSS feeds and blog directories will also help build your page rank on search engines. Blogs have all the ingredients to be one of the best free advertising tools the Internet has to offer. Why aren’t you taking advantage?

Shorten Your Blogging-RSS Learning and Submission Curve

A blog is a frequent, online publication of comments, web links, and news. It is an online Enzine of sorts. People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with automated published systems, most notably is blogger.com. Thousands of people use services such as Blogger alone.

So start your blog now and be ahead of the crowd for a change. A secret I'll share with you here before going any further is after you set up your blog goto FeedBurner and follow the instructions to burn your feed. Then publicize your feed by inserting the msn and yahoo chicklets to your blog.

I know it sounds complicated but if you can follow simple instructions and cut and paste it should only take a few minutes. Caution you must be familiar with HTML so as not to make mistakes. If you're not sure ask a friend. This info is for you if you're familiar with the web - if you're a newbie it'll take a bit longer to implement

Once the chicklets are installed onto your blog, login to them using your yahoo and msn id's and add them to your my msn and my yahoo templates. From then on when you make an entry to your blog it'll automatically log itself onto msn and yahoo and broadcast itself to the web in addition to your rss feeds. Once this is done goto PingOMatic and ping your blog to be indexed within days; not weeks or months.

Here are the reasons you should not ignore Blog advertising:

Remember when all search engines were free, and simply submitting your web sites got you listed quickly? Gone.

Then it was FFA pages, they brought in a ton of free traffic, built links to your site, and added to your mailing list like crazy. Tried one lately? Safelists were an online goldmine for a while... until bottom less email accounts were introduced.

Website sumbmissions now can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to be indexed. While blogs and rss feeds can be indexed anywhere from 2-8 days which is better for you??

So once again I implore you to be one of the first in line and not be last again. This is the new trend just beginning to breakthrough. A few years or months from now you'll be able to sit back and smile as you watch the rest of the net stampeding to catch up.

Can Blogging Increase Web Traffic?

Blogging is merely keeping of a log at a website. It is a combination of the words "Web" and "log". Blogging is carried out through a blogging software that maintains the daily posts on the site. It doesn’t take long to set up blogs and once installed you can update it easily with lots of content daily.

To keep a blog is simply to maintain a page on your site where there can be daily posting of new content by the website owner or the visitors to the site. Blogging has one particular striking feature - the information there is always kept fresh as there are daily entries.

Our interest in blogs is in its search engine placement significance. Blogs can fetch you a lot of web traffic without any effort at all.

Search engines tend to rank sites with content favorably. Since a blog posts fresh content to the site on daily basis, the information at such a place is kept fresh and current making it a preferred destination for visitors. The web is about information - current and meaningful ones so as the information in the blog gets updated constantly with rich information so does the ranking on the search engines increase.

Some blogging tools worth looking into include:

Blogger.com - http://www.blogger.com
Blosxom - http://www.blosxom.com/
Drupal - http://www.drupal.org
Geeklog - http://www.geeklog.net/
LittleHJ - http://www.littlehj.com/
ModBlog - http://www.modblog.com/
Movable Type - http://www.movabletype.org/
PHPNuke - http://www.phpnuke.org/
pMachine - http://www.pmachine.com/
Radio UserLand - http://radio.userland.com/
WordPress - http://wordpress.org/

Like in traditional sea, your blogging should be around a central theme or keyword. Too many themes may dilute the consistency of your content and score you down the lane of SEO. Sticking to a central theme will help you to enrich the content of your pages and get favoring scoring in the search engine ranking algorithms.

The most popular blogging tool on the market today is WordPress which can be downloaded from their website at http://wordpress.org/download. Installation is simple and does not require extensive knowledge of programming languages.

Blogging is being used by many sites as a way to passively draw targeted traffic and search engine rankings. Installing one can help you draw web traffic and get noticed quickly by the engines.

Interactive Content - Blogs, Forums and Feedback

Both search engines and customers love fresh, updated information. Nothing promotes a business online better than staying in touch with prospects. The more interactive the continued contact, the better the relationship that is built with a potential client. But there's no need to groan at the thought of having to work hard at adding new content to your web site, it's not as complicated as you might think.

The business principle of continued contact and online relationship building has given rise to the popularity of online business blogs, forums and feedback opportunities. Interactive online communication define the web site owners as experts in the eyes of visitors, and serve as a promotional vehicle for other products and services that the business seeks to sell. Continued, interactive contact can bring many benefits, such as:

·You'll find out what type of content visitors want to see at your web site. This will attract your visitors to revisit and read the content.

·You'll find out how to improve existing products or services. This will attract new customers to buy from your business.

·You'll find out which products or services your customers would like to see you sell in the future. This will increase your back end product sales.

·You'll find out how to improve your customer service. This will cut down on customer complaints and how to better resolve problems.

·You'll find out how to improve your sales letters or adverts. This will increase your sales, traffic or subscribers.

·You'll find out how to design your web site to fit your visitors' needs and wants. This will increase the time your visitors spend on your web site.

·You'll find out what kind of non-related products or services your customers would buy. This will help your business easily move into a different market.

·You'll find out how to better price your products. This will help you sell your products or services at a price that will pull the most orders.

·You'll find out the interests of your potential customers. This will inform you where to market and promote your products.

Getting Started So where do you start? Do you need a blog, a forum, or a feedback form? All have different uses and your selection will depend on the needs of your particular business and your limitation with regard to time and/or budget. Below are some of the options and some ideas for adding interactive and fresh content to your web site.

For more information about how to establish and maintain online relationships with your viewers and customers, get a copy of our guide "Building Online Relationships" available here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html

Weblogs or Blogs A blog is basically a series of posts that appear by the date posted like an online journal. Setup is minimal and the interface is easy to learn- if you can use a word processing package, you can write a blog! Services like Moveable Type and Blogger make it incredibly easy for anyone to publish on the web.

Blogs can be integrated seamlessly into your site so that they have the same look and feel. You can use a blog to publish an events calendar or comment on developments and news from your industry. A blog can be strictly professional, announcing special offers or new product info or it can be casual and create a "personality" for your company.

What can a blog do for your business? Think about what your customers want to know.

To add interactivity, several blog programs come with a "comment" ability built in. This allows general users to create an account and post their comments to your blog. This is something to be careful of as you can get negative comments along with the positive.

Forums While online forums are popular and the perfect method of relationship building, starting a forum and maintaining one can be challenging, especially in the beginning when members can be few and far between. The challenge for most new forum owners is to get beyond the initial start up phase and move onto a phase where the forum members themselves promote the forum simply by posting.

Forums have become a common feature in many websites. With good free scripts available, and paid scripts being relatively cheap, it seems that every new website has its own forum(s).

But is it wise to add forums to your website?

On the pro side, large, active forums generate content for your website. They add a "sticky" element as most people come back, at least to monitor developments on their threads. Some forum software allows members to opt to receive an email whenever someone replies to their thread. Most people use it and that automated email sends them right back to the forum and therefore, your web site.

However, forums can take a long time to pick up and an empty forum can actually drive new visitors away. You need to constantly monitor your forums to make sure that they are clean of spam, troll posts, and just keep everything in order. In addition, forums are database-type applications that generate web pages on the fly. Every time a user views a page, it's being created from scratch. As the forums become more active, this can take a heavy load on the web server's resources and ultimately increase your hosting costs.

A forum is an incredible tool for building content and a community but it's not a task to be undertaken lightly; it requires a lot of time and energy and some technical knowledge (or a tech budget!)

If your industry has a need, or your product has a loyal following, a forum is a great tool to build content while drawing like-minded individuals together. A forum is great for market research, technical support, building a fan base, trading ideas and knowledge, and many, many other benefits. Try to get a base of people from similar business or industry experts to post at your forum. It's exposure for them and helps to build a solid foundation for your information.

If you decide to start a forum, be sure to use one that is search-friendly, such as www.InvisionBoard.com or www.phpbb.com, and set aside a good chunk of time to promote it and administer it.

For more information about how to establish and maintain online relationships with your viewers and customers, get a copy of our guide "Building Online Relationships" available here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html

Feedback Unsolicited feedback is a powerful and convincing tool! Let your customers tell other customers why they love you. It's much more compelling than your own claims. Unfortunately, customers normally need to be asked for their opinion. You can ask for feedback on any area of your business, your web site, your ordering process, your levels of customer service, your delivery service, etc.

The easiest way is to simply set up a form to allow customers to submit their feedback. Keep it fairly brief and allow a space for comments. You can then use the information provided to improve your customer experience, and with permission, publish the ones you choose.

Often other web site owners that are also customers of users of your web site can be enticed to write a review or testimonial for your site in return for a link back to theirs. This helps them with link popularity but it helps your site as well it shows a real person wrote that review.

Ask The Expert This is a great way of not only interacting with potential customers but also establishing your business as an expert in its field. Using a simple question form or forum software, users submit questions and someone at your company answers them. The Q&A are both published on the site for users to read once they are answered in a "knowledge database" or "FAQ" section. This is less time-intensive than a full-blown forum but a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of what customers want to know while still adding content on a regular basis.

Summary If you are interested in building loyalty and interest in your company as well as repeat business and you want to get increased traffic from the editorial or free listings in search engines, you have to offer more than just sales information to your users. If you create a plan for content that offers value and interest to your customers, you can have a site that is built to sell AND drive repeat business.

For more information about how to establish and maintain online relationships with your viewers and customers, download a copy of our guide "Building Online Relationships" available here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html
About the Author

Is your web site driving high quality, targeted customers to your business? Our proven Internet Marketing solutions make your web site work harder for you. For a complete range of Internet marketing and advertising resources to improve search engine positions visit Enable UK. Stop losing customers to your competitors and make more money from your web site TODAY.

Blog It And They Will Come

If you're hoping for a "Blog it and they will come" field of
dreams, you can forget that. Recent statistics from blog
search engine Technorati show that a new blog hits the
Internet every 7.8 seconds! Sheesh, talk about having to
rise above the noise level to be heard, how in the world are
you going to get eyeballs glued to your blog when there is
so much competition out there?

Unlike e-zine subscriptions or autoresponder mailings, it's
not the quantity of visitors that counts, it's the quality
of the visitors as well as how often they return to continue
reading your blog.

Quality, in this case, refers to how often they click on
revenue-generating links in your blog and how often they buy
something that you're blogging about. Of course, if you're
operating an altruistic blog that has no revenue-generating
features, then you are only concerned about how often the
readers return to bask in the illumination of your
knowledge, expertise, biting sarcasm or humor.

Either way, those are the two measurements of a successful
blog. Now don't get me wrong, the number of readers is
important, of course, but it's better to have 1,000 faithful
readers who return regularly than it is to have 5,000
readers who come once and you never see them again after
that.

There is no free traffic!

I love when bloggers say "I won't pay for traffic. I can get
it for free". Nothing is "free" my friend. You will either
pay for traffic with money or you will pay for traffic with
your time. Neither way is "free".

So what you have to do is decide which of these situations
describe you best:

A) You have more money than time.

If you are so blessed, then you need to develop an
advertising plan to help you spend your money wisely. An
advertising plan requires you to research the different
advertising programs that are available, study the
demographics of the traffic that you'll be receiving, make a
budget, set up test purchases and analyze the final results.

Well, you don't HAVE to develop an advertising plan. You can
always just throw money at different potential solutions and
hope for the best. If you do that enough times then you will
automatically end up in the "B" category of "more time than
money" because all of your money will be gone and you still
won't have any traffic.

B) You have more time than money.

You've got a great blog going, the few people who show up
already absolutely love it, but you're in a financial
crunch. Is there any hope for you?

Yep, there's plenty of hope. What you'll need though is a
lot on ingenuity and the time to turn your smarts into
traffic. Believe it or not, you should still develop an
advertising plan because even though you're not spending
cash, you are spending time. Time IS money and if you waste
time then you're wasting opportunities to get traffic to
your site.

No matter which way you end up paying for your traffic, time
or money, you should first make an investment in buying some
"knowledge" from people who have already been there, done
that and got the T-shirt. That way you can spend less and
get more bang for your buck or your time.

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