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Established Blogger? Newbie? Take the world of Bloggers by storm! Here are some free tips and resources to help you get started or to help your established Blog to get noticed and well-polished. If you're NOT making money with your Blog, let us show you how. Read these articles carefully and learn how to profit from your blogging...

Updated Blogging Tips and Tricks from The Experts...

What Is the Definition of Guest Blogging

3 Biggest Myths About Blogging

Getting 1-Way Backlinks /Using Blogging To Improve Results

What You Need To Know About Blogging

Making Money Online by Blogging

3 Ways To Market With Blogs

Affiliate Blogging: 5 Mistakes To Avoid

Corporate Blogs - Common Features and Trends

How To Manually Clone A WordPress Blog Without A Plugin

3 Steps To Making Money Blogging About What You Love

2 Ways To Get Traffic To Your Blog With Ease

13 Steps to Successful Blogging


End Child Anxiety

10 Tips for Bloggers
By Sharon Housley

Tips for creating a blog.

There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog. Having said that, bloggers will likely increase their exposure by following some simple blog guidelines.

1.) Stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Most readers won't care that you eat Cheerios for breakfast. They may, however, be interested in the fact that vinegar takes out stains and that toilet paper rolls make great wreaths. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

2.) Stay informative.
If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.

3.) Old news is not news.
While blogging every day can be a drain, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate, writing an article or blurb about something that happened 6 months ago, will not be of interest to many. Telling your audience that Martha Stewart was convicted and will be going to prison, after her sentence is completed will make people question the value of your columns.

4.) Adhere to a schedule.
Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don't want to lose them due to lack of communication.

5.) Clarity and simplicity.
Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don't always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

6.) Keyword-rich.
If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

7.) Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

8.) Frequency.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.

9.) Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so.

10.) RSS.
RSS will increase your blog's reach. It is important that you include your blog's content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.

Most weblog audiences are small, but with time and regular updates audiences grow. Bloggers may never have more than a few hundred readers, but the people who return to regularly are generally interested in what you have to say.

About the Author:

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing and publishing RSS feeds and NotePage, a wireless text messaging software.


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Case Study; The Use of Blogs to Communicate with Authors for Online Article Submission Websites
By Lance Winslow

Communication between your customers, your advertisers and your vendor partners in any online business is essential. Many online web sites will use Blogs or Forums to communicate with their customers and team partners. Let's take a look at a case study where a Blog was used by an online article submission web site to communicate with its online article authors and article marketers.

An online article submission web site deleted a category due to a request by a very good advertiser. A couple of the authors were upset and were able to express their concerns on the blog. We note that it is really good for the online article submission web site to have this feed back so the people at the web site can address this in the future. Wow, this Blog really did help dialogue and allow for everyone’s concerns. Without this Blog there could be hurt feelings of the web sites staff and Team and even some Article Authors too.

Next time there will probably be more heads up time given to those who proliferate in a particular category prior to the combining or elimination and they indeed should be contacted individually. Another comment was made that; Maybe the top 10-15 authors in the category would be contacted; especially because there are great article authors, who using all the tools that the web site offers to promote their articles and online businesses.

Maybe a contact protocol prior to major changes might be; Those authors who have 10 or more articles in a category and are in the top 1-15. This might solve the potential conflict that one of the authors raised. This way they can adjust things on their side so that every thing synchromeshes together. It will provide better fluidity of motion and ease for the Internet Surfer too.

In this case study we show how communication and collaboration for a web site and its users, partners, advertisers and staff can all benefit. The use of this Blog to Communicate with authors for the online article submission website had helped immensely. Please consider all this in 2006.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/


Cure Child Anxiety

Publish Your Own eZine Without A Website
By John V. W. Howe<

Publishing an eZine without a website is certainly possible since you really only need to be able to send your newsletter to your readers using email. However, most publishers like to post the past issues of the newsletters and this is usually done on a website. Also, in text email you cannot embed AdSense ads and other revenue generating items. In the HTML format of the website you are able to do this to develop some potential for revenue.

Also, the website gives you a location where you can post a form for new subscribers to complete for entry into your database. Having a web site is definitely an advantage in publishing an eZine, but it is not absolutely necessary.

A new concept that has recently developed is to use a blog to post past issues of the newsletters so people can read them in HTML format.

Let’s discuss a blog and blogging. Blog is short for web log. It is an online journal or newsletter that is published by someone on the Internet for public reading.

The largest blog site on the Internet is Blogger.com. This site started in 1999 and was purchased by Google in 2002. The site on the Internet that keeps statistics on the traffic for every site on the Internet is called www.alexa.com. Blogger.com always ranks very high on Alexa since it is so popular and has so much traffic.

Traffic to your site is the major factor for the success or failure of your site. Your site’s position on Google or Yahoo search engines for your key words will make or break you. Having your newsletter on Blogger helps since the Google spiders check the blogs quickly when new information is posted. This will give you much quicker exposure to the search engines than posting your newsletters to your own website.

Boomer eZine made a decision to continue to post copies of the newsletter on both the Boomer eZine web site (See link to site in resource information below) and also on the Boomer eZine blog on http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.

There are some great advantages of using a blog for the archives of your eZine.

  1. It is free.
  2. You do not have to worry about setting up a website.
  3. Publishing on a blog is very quick and easy.
  4. You can include AdSense or affiliate advertising on your blog to generate revenue.
  5. Setting up AdSense ads on Blogger is much easier than setting them up on your own website.
  6. Readers can leave comments about your issues and interact with you.
  7. Search engines see your new content faster than on your own website.

Since AdSense is such an important part of this program, I recommend that you join it first and then set up your blog. AdSense is a Google program that you set up on your web pages. It reads the content of the page and automatically places ads on the page that match the page’s theme or content. When a reader clicks on an AdSense ad on your page and makes a purchase, you receive a commission on the sale. All you have to do is allow the AdSense program on your pages and Google does the rest. It is an ingenious system and one that has revolutionized advertising on the Internet. If you are not already a member of AdSense, you can join it at https://www.google.com/adsense.

Once you have set up your account, go to Blogger at www.blogger.com and follow the three easy steps on the page. Once you open an account, you will name your blog, and then choose a template. There are several templates to choose from which is the hardest part of the set up. Don’t get too concerned about the template since you can change it whenever you want to.

Now you can set up the blog for your eZine. (You can have multiple blogs in your account). However, I would recommend that you create a blog about your thoughts and experiences while you are planning your eZine launch and make daily entries in that blog. This will give you experience on how to maintain a blog. I think you will have fun doing it. Just remember that the world sees your information in the blog so don’t give away any confidential information about your new eZine.

Good luck with your newsletter and your blog.

Copyright 2006 John Howe, Inc.

John V. W. Howe is an entrepreneur, author, inventor, patent holder, husband, father, and grandfather. He has been involved in entrepreneurial activities for over 40 years. He founded http://www.boomer-ezine.com and http://www.retirement-jobs-online.com to help Boomers (baby boomers) become entrepreneurs when they retire.



RSS Integration: Personalized Online Marketing
By Scott Lindsay

As with most online marketing strategies there is a link between the various facets of marketing. For example there is a compatibility link between a business blog (b-blog) and a forum board. There is also a link between a b-blog and a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed.

Allow customers to decide what is most important.

By using an RSS feed in conjunction with your b-blog you are extending a courtesy to your valued customers. They can choose to be ‘fed’ blog entries that are compatible with their personal interests. Don’t be surprised if they visit at times other than an RSS prompt.

This concept can also be implemented with a content-rich website where new articles are being added on a regular basis. These new articles are a draw to those who access an RSS feed because it allows a hands-free feed of desired information from sources they trust.

An RSS feed allows you the opportunity to become a trusted source for information.

Integrated technology in marketing

Online marketing is the next logical step for brick and mortar stores. Whether you have a store front or find yourself exclusively web-based you can take advantage of available technologies allowing you to maximize the impact you have on prospects and existing customers.

The prospect of merging existing technologies into a comprehensive online marketing plan can be a little disconcerting if you aren’t really sure how these technologies work or how they perform together.

By spending some time in research or by outsourcing some of the design features that allow the integration to take place you are laying the groundwork that will positively impacting the future productivity of your online business.

Many blogging sites allow the implementation of site RSS at no extra costs to their customers while web browsers like Firefox already have a built in RSS reader that allows the end-user easy access the information they are most interested in.

As your website and/or blog grows you will find more and more people accessing the RSS feature. This is a great tool that provides a motivated list of contacts. Every time you post a new article on your website or post something on your blog the information is quickly directed to the parties most interested.

RSS simply offers another consumer tool that permits your clients to be in control of the information they receive, your job is to provide quality information and quietly allow it to connect with a receptive audience.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. HighPowerSites is the easiest do-it-yourself website builder on the web. No programming or design skill required. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com


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Blogs and Forums: A Two-Pronged Approach
By Scott Lindsay

When discussing online marketing there is the inevitable comparison between a Business Blog (b-blog) and an online forum. The feeling is that the two serve essentially the same purpose and it is a simple matter of defining which approach may be best for your company.

The comparison between these two approaches is something like comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruit, but that’s about the sum total of their similarities.

B-Blogs

A b-blog is designed to allow you a controlling interest in a conversation between you and your customers and guests. Your guests can provide feedback, but they can’t post.

B-blogs allow you great flexibility in timely release of company information in an informal and nonthreatening way.

Forums

A forum is offered as a means of allowing member interaction and conversation. Generally speaking a forum will be member-directed and in most cases a moderator or administrator will simply act as referee when needed. They may also answer a few questions along the way.

B-blog Benefits

As the owner of a b-blog you have the capability of keeping an informal line of communication with your customers and prospects. You can keep your clients updated on a variety of aspects related to your business. There is very little work that needs to be done with a b-blog to keep it maintained.

Forum Benefits

When you develop a forum for your business you are welcoming individuals with an interest in your products or services to network with other likeminded consumers. In a best-case scenario a forum will allow customers to discuss your product or service, provide tips to other users and develop friendships with other customers based on mutual interests.

Since this approach is consumer-centric it may seem a less than ideal means of online marketing. The truth is, a forum is less about active marketing and more about learning customer trends and preferences. If you pay close enough attention to what your customers are saying to each other you will learn more effective ways to connect with them.

It is a bit surprising, but a forum board somehow allows openness in communication that you won’t likely find in face-to-face conversations.

Combining Benefits

By combining these two truly unique online marketing principles you maximize your effectiveness in reaching your customers while allowing them the opportunity to provide honest feedback. Sure, they may not realize that’s what they’re doing, but an astute netrepreneur will take the information clients voluntarily share with each other and maximize customer satisfaction whenever possible.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. HighPowerSites is the easiest do-it-yourself website builder on the web. No programming or design skill required. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com



Can I Use a Blog or My Space to Promote My Book?
By Michelle Dunn

I have tried both using a blog and My Space to promote myself and my books. I had heard of My Space but thought it was a place for teens or kids, the description on their website is “a place for friends”. One afternoon I was reading an issue of Entrepreneur and they had a story about a woman who said she had used My Space as a marketing tool for her business. My first thought was “there are business people on My Space?” So I checked it out. I found there were very few business people that were active members, and a lot of teens, younger kids, musicians and people looking to party and meet other people with similar interests. I also saw that they have groups and some do pertain to business while some seem as if they are business related but are “Get Rich Quick” groups. There are groups for anything you can imagine someone might have an interest in. Many for authors grouped by genre. I thought I would try it, since I like to try everything to market myself and my books and it was free! I created my profile page, uploaded my pictures and began browsing the site for other business owners.

I have met a few people that I network with but I did not have a huge response or increased traffic to my website or orders of my books because of my myspace page. It is a fun way to meet a few other business people but you also have to weed through the emails from people just “hanging out” there and sending you emails about dating or partying. I found it was not worth the time and effort to continuously maintain a My Space profile for my business, but am hoping that will change. It was taking me too much time to weed through all the “friend requests” and “emails” from people who had no interest in my books or business. I have left my page up and do check it occasionally as well as post to my blog. My Space page also comes up when someone does a search on Google or Yahoo for me, so that is a bonus as well. If they find me on My Space and then visit my website, I have accomplished what I started out to do.

My recommendation with My Space is that if you have the time to create a page and do a little searching for business groups and people, it is something that does not hurt you to have it out there, but I wouldn’t count on it to help you make more sales or increase your websites traffic.

Depending on what you are marketing, a blog at My Space may be the tool for you. Tish Hill, from “Off the Hanger” which sells, buys and trades quality high-end used clothing and accessories tells me that she had no experience in blogging, websites or anything to market her business online. “My Space is a great option for me because my target audience is young people who want high quality fashion without the big price tags.” states Tish. “My Space is user friendly, anyone can create a page without any technical knowledge” says Tish. “You can screen the friends you accept, so you have quality contacts, and send out bulletins of special events or sales and keep a blog with fashion tips and ideas from what we have in the store.” I think this is a great option for young people who visit My Space; to have other profiles to view that are positive if they are going to be “hanging out” on My Space.

Depending on your business and who your target audience is, My Space can work to help market your business. Check it out and you can decide if it is a good fit.

When you blog, it is like a diary. You can post every day, a few times a day or whenever you have something you want to share with your readers. In my case, my blog is about Credit Policy for businesses and how to extend credit and manage credit risk. The difference here and why this is so much more successful with marketing yourself than My Space, is that this is a blog for business! My Space does not provide me with my target audience, but Know More Media does, so this is a perfect fit if you have something of interest to entrepreneurs, business owners or business professionals.

When you use a blog to market yourself and your books, remember it is not a bulletin board for advertisements. You can list accomplishments, such as a book release or press event, but don’t blatantly advertise your books. If you do, you will not have many readers. Give your readers valuable information, and update it often to keep them coming back and to keep the search engines coming back to index your blog. You want to post quality information, for example, I write books about collecting money and starting a collection agency. In my blog posts I try to give people tips on how to collect more money, or what is going on in the news in regards to my subject matter. You can incorporate other authors from your genre and do little interviews with them, link to their websites, and have them linked to your blog.

Easton Ellsworth who writes for “Business Blog Wire (www.BusinessBlogWire.com) and is also an associate editor for the Know More Media network of blogs about business has some great tips for authors who want to utilize a blog to help promote their books. “A blog can promote your books in many ways. You could use a blog to tell existing and potential customers about new books, products or services” states Easton. “No matter what you do with a blog, make sure you have a clear plan before you start blogging about anything and everything.” Says Easton.

Easton was kind enough to share with me a simple process anyone can use to launch a blog right:

• Choose a specific purpose and target audience.

• Pick a smart URL and title.

• Establish guidelines for the person(s) who will write for the blog.

• Read other blogs and talk to bloggers in your industry.

• Prepare a modest collection of ready-to-publish posts and quietly put several of them online.

• When you’re ready, tell the world about your blog!

I have a blog (http://www.BizCreditPolicy.com) through Know More Media, which is an online publisher of business information and news. The authors provide a broad spectrum of business knowledge, publishing their expertise on a continual basis. This is a great marketing tool.

Michelle Dunn, author of an award winning book, has spent the last 18 years stepping into dangerous debt collection potholes. She shares her hard-won expertise on debt collection with the release of a Second Edition title in her “Collecting Money Series.” She is the founder and president of Never Dunn Publishing, LLC, is a writer, teacher, and consultant. Michelle started and ran M.A.D. Collection Agency for 8 years. She created Credit & Collections a nine year old Association for credit and business professionals with over 978 members.

Michelle has been featured in Forbes.com, The Nilson Report, The Wall Street Journal, Ladies Home Journal, PC World, Home Business Magazine, Home Business Journal, Entrepreneur, Professional Collector, Credit & Collections Risk, NH Business Review and in many books including Home Based Business for Dummies. Michelle has been a featured guest on (NPR) National Public Radio and has been in many newspapers and magazines nationwide as well as on the CBS Early Show.



Really Simple Syndication – RSS
By John V. W. Howe

RSS is the newest, hottest technology on the Net. Whoa! Did you pull back just from hearing the word technology? Don’t be concerned about the “how does it work”, but let’s concentrate on what it can do for you.

Let’s discuss Really Simple Syndication. What is syndication? In the off line world, it is associated with comic strips or a particular feature writer in the newspaper such as Ann Landers. The comic or article was developed and for a fee was syndicated to any newspaper that wanted to carry it. It would appear simultaneously in many newspapers across the country.

On the Net, most of the syndication does not cost anything. Most sites or companies that supply “feed” for syndication do so for free because they are looking for the exposure from the information and advertising that is carried in the feed.

When you go to the home page on Yahoo, Google, or MSN, you will see news, weather, sports, etc. displayed on the page. This information is coming through a feed from other websites and will automatically update on the home page without the owner of that page having to do anything.

What do you need to read RSS? Simple answer …… You need an RSS reader. The easiest way to get one is to subscribe to “My Yahoo”. Sign in on your “My Yahoo” page and it contains an RSS reader for you to use. Go to www.yahoo.com and click on the “My Yahoo” icon to sign on or to register.

When get your “My Yahoo” account set up and log in under your user name, look in the top left of the window and click “Add Content”. You will be presented a form to complete for feeds by subject. Don’t bother with this search box. To the right of the search box in small letters is “Add RSS by URL”. Click that link and you will be presented another search page where you can set up the feed from a particular website. There are feeds from Retirement Jobs Online.com and Boomer-eZine if your want to experiment with setting up RSS in your Yahoo reader.

DO NOT CLICK THE FOLLOWING URL. Highlight it and right click on it. Select copy and then paste it into the search box on Yahoo. Then click the “Add” box to the right of the search box. You now have added an RSS feed to your “My Yahoo” page.

http://www.retirement-jobs-online.com/retirement-jobs-online.xml

OK you say. What is all the big fuss about RSS? Just stop and think about what this can do for you as a surfer on the Net. If you have particular sites that you check regularly for information, you have to spend time looking through the sites to see if new info has been posted.

If you set up an RSS feed from that site to your “My Yahoo” or any other RSS reader that you choose (and there are hundreds of them) you do not waste time having to look for changes. You are notified when a change takes place by the RSS feed and you can click right to it. As we say in Texas, “That is slicker than cow slobber”. I challenge you to find anything that is slicker than the slobber of a cow.

RSS is used extensively by bloggers to monitor blogs for new posts.

Now, on the flip side, if you have a website or a blog and you publish information, establishing a RSS feed will put your publication on the feeds on the Net so it can be picked up by additional people. These contacts will possibly become subscribers. This is a way to build additional traffic and it is free. Anyone who has a website or a blog or publishes a newsletter should establish an RSS feed for it.

RSS feeds are great tools for expanding your publishing options and I recommend that you set up a feed to help expand your online business.

I wish you the best in adding RSS to your website.

Copyright 2006 John Howe, Inc.

John V. W. Howe is an entrepreneur, author, inventor, patent holder, husband, father, and grandfather. He has been involved in entrepreneurial activities for over 40 years. He founded http://www.boomer-ezine.com and http://www.retirement-jobs-online.com to help Boomers (baby boomers) become entrepreneurs when they retire.



5 Ways To Make Money With Blogs
By Mal Keenan

There are hundreds of ways to make money on the internet, but most oversee the idea of making money with blogs. Blogs are a great way to promote articles, discuss various ideas, and promote your website itself. However, there are several ways you can make money with blogs as well. Here are 5 ways to make money with blogs.

1. Sell advertising

The most common way people make money with blogs is selling advertising. If you build a large blog you can sell advertising space for people to put their ads on your blog. However, a majority of people aren’t capable of building a blog big enough to do this. That is where Google AdSense and BlogAds can help you. It is free and they pay you based on the number of people that click their ads for further information.

2. Sell your products

A blog is a great place to discuss advice and opinions on various subjects. It can also be a great place to promote your product and tell them how it can benefit them. Whether it’s your blog or someone else’s, look at it as an opportunity to fulfill peoples’ needs, not that you are just selling your product.

3. Affiliate programs

This is a great way to make money with blogs that hardly anyone even considers. By mentioning the product, the affiliate program will provide you with a clickable link to hyperlink the word with. This way if people are interested in your blog post and click on the product word, they are directed to the affiliate program website where you make commission on all products they buy.

4. Sell your website

It may seem cliché because everyone sells their own website and business through blogs. However, it is your approach that can mean the difference of you making money with blogs or not. If you spend the whole time talking you will seem uninterested in others’ insight. If you incorporate others’ thoughts and opinions and strike up a conversation with little bits and pieces about your business, you soon will have them reeled in. By talking about their business and showing interest you will find that more people are interested in your business in turn.

5. Consistency

The more you post the more chances people have to see you and your website link. It is vital that you make one post a day or at minimum a few a week. This way people become accustomed to seeing your posts and hearing your advice or questions. This is a great way to build relationships, which will help you sell your product, share ideas, and promote your website.

If you take the time to put in the effort in blogs you can easily make money with blogs. There are some people that make a living through making money with blogs. However it is commitment, consistency, and your approach that can either break your or make you money with blogs.

Copyright 2006 Mal Keenan

For More Info on Making A Full-Time Income with Blogs Check Out: Rob Benwells Baby Blogging Bonanza Let Mal show you how you can get your own automated money making blog set up in minutes: Autoblog Income



10 Effective Ways to Optimize Wordpress for Search Engines and Traffic
By Hiram Davis

1. Use Descriptive Titles, and Mod-Rewritten Permalinks

Descriptive titles will bring relevant traffic to your site. This is one of the most important things you can do to your site to bring SE traffic to it. While I'm writing this article specifically for WordPress, I'm sure you probably could find similar mods or plugins for other blog engines to take their place. When I say a descriptive title, I don't mean to spam your blog's titles with keywords, I mean to write a short summary of the post contained within it that lets users know what they're fixing to read. Think of it from the users side: If you're on Google and you see a site titled "Hosting, Domains, Design, DNS - Joes Web Hosting", and a site titled "Great Hosting from Joes Web Hosting", which one would you click? Even though I dramatized the example, I made my point. Another thing to consider is phrases. When a user enters a phrase that's on one of your blog's titles, it will most likely be ranked higher than other pages. For example, if someone's looking for "Great Hosting", the post titled "Great Hosting from Joes Web Hosting" will rank higher (though, not much higher since that's such a general term). Secondly, you should use mod_rewritten links on your blog. This requires a server with Apache installed, with the rewrite module. This is a great tip, since it will place keywords in your individual post URLs.

For example, instead of "domain.com/p?=1", you'd get "domain.com/01/20/08/joes-web-hosting-services/". This, along with descriptive titles will help your blog out greatly.Wordpress has this built-in, but you must first configure it. Login to your WP admin area. Once the page loads, select "Options" from the upper menu bar, then select "Permalinks" on the next page. I recommend using "Date and Name Based", or enter this custom value in the box towards the bottom of your screen: "/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/". After doing this, you must update your ".htaccess" file so it rewrites the URLs correctly.

2. Remove your blog's name from Individual Post Page Titles

While this may seem counter-productive, it's actually a good idea. When your blog is indexed by Google (or any other search engine), many times the pages are seen as being too-close together and they are omitted from the search results because of this. This also reduces the relevancy of search results from your site, since your blog's name is taken into account by the search engine. By removing your site's title, you can (in most cases) cure this problem. To do this, look in your Wordpress' "header.php" file. This is found in your theme's directory.

Find the following code:

<i><title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> » Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title></i>

Replace it with the following code:

<i><title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> » <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title></i>

(http://wordpress.org/support/topic/66362)

3. Install the Mega tag description and Keyword plugins

META tags aren't as important as they used to be, but they are still a factor in the ranking of your site, especially on smaller search engines. For META decription/keyword tags to be effective, you must choose relevant and unique tags. However, both of these mods do this for you to some extent. You can choose your own, or use the default ones (either one is fine, since the plugins generally choose good keywords and a good description by themselves). If I had to choose between the two of these plugins, I'd say to just go with the description tag (though both are better). To find these plugins, just do a Google search for "keyword meta tag plugin Wordpress" and "description meta tag Wordpress plugin", or something similar (as these plugins/Wordpress may be updated rendering the old links useless).

4. Install the Google Sitemaps Plugin and Submit to Google

Installing the Google Sitemap Plugin can decrease the amount of time it takes Google to index your site dramatically. It generally takes weeks or months (depending on the size of your site, sometimes sooner) for Google to index new pages on your site. With the Sitemap Plugin, this amount of time can be reduced to just hours. To install this plugin, simply do a Google search for "Wordpress Google Sitemap Plugin", find it, and download it. Installation is just like a normal plugin. Once installed, submit your Sitemap to Google at "http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/siteoverview". As of writing, you'll also have to verify that the site is your own by either inserting a META tag into your site, or by uploading a specifically named HTML file.

5. Submit your RSS Feed to Other Sites

Submitting your RSS to other sites can increase your traffic substantially. Each time your blog's RSS feed is updated, you can have the other sites download the new feed and index your site (see the Pinging area below). This is essentially the same thing as letting a site index your site, but it's more targeted towards news and blogs. If you can find a site targeted towards you own site's niche (ex: Gardening, Computers, Autos, etc.), you're sure to boost your traffic levels, as long as your blog has unique content that's updated frequently. An excellent list of sites to submit your RSS feed to is available here: "http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm".

6. Ping Other Sites Automatically when you Update your Blog

As mentioned in the RSS feed section, pinging other sites allows other sites to get updates from your blog much sooner and automatically when you make a new post. This is very much like the Google Sitemap plugin (the concept is, anyway). To have your blog update other sites when you update it, login to your Wordpress' admin area. Select "Options" from the main menu, then select "Writing" on the next page (sub-menu). You may want to choose others, but I have the following sites in my blog to ping:

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b
http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://coreblog.org/ping/
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/

Please keep in mind, unless you install the "No Ping Wait" plugin, there will be a delay after you make each post (while your blog contacts the other servers to ping them).

7. Use "alt" and "title" tags, respectively, on your posts images and links

Using "Alt" tags on your images and "Title" tags not only helps your search engine rankings, but it also helps disabled people with screen readers view the content on your site. It also can help your page be valid HTML (another thing that can help your SE ranking). I recommend simply describing the link/image and not trying to cram tons of keywords to boost your ranking. For more information on doing this, visit W3C's site and look up the tag for the version of HTML/XHTML used on your site (if you want it to be valid).

8. Exchange links with other relevant sites, but don't use exchange networks Exchanging links with other sites can help your rankings tremendously, but trading with the wrong sites can do the opposite. That's why I reccommend only trading with sites that are relevant to your own and are listed in Google. One-Way links are placed much higher in Google than reciprocal links, so free or paid directory links would be even better. An excellent list of SEO friendly directories can be found here: "http://info.vilesilencer.com/". Using an exchange network can have adverse effects on your site due to the general quality of sites in them. Basically, a one-way text link on a high PageRank directory is the best route. Be sure to use good keywords in your link/title, as Google takes this into account for keyword/phrase rankings.

9. Post short, interesting posts on your blog daily to keep readers coming back for more

You don't have to write a book to keep readers coming. In fact, most people like reading short and simple articles that are straight to the point. By giving readers what they want, you are increasing the probability that they will come back. Choose interesting topics to post on your blog that are relevant to your site's niche. For example, if Ferrari just released a new car and you have an Auto blog, you could post a short paragraph summarizing the information about the car and your opinion, include a picture or two of the car, and include a link to a more in-depth article. Alternatively, you could re-write the article (it allowed) and post a link back to the site in a "Source" list under or above your own article. Doing this will keep readers on your site.

10. Share your site with people you know, and ask them to tell others they know

While it may not seem like much, telling people you know can help you build a site. People you know can offer advice on design, topics, etc. and let people they know about your site. People who know you are also far more likely to comment on your postings, making your site look more active, thereby encouraging others to do the same. If you choose to do this step, ask the person to tell 3 other people they know about your site. This will in effect create a small network of people reading and commenting on your site. Plus, if they really like your site they'll continue to tell others about it.

Article written by Hiram Davis, owner and publisher of http://www.blognation.be/

Don't waste your time with other hosts, switch to a reliable hosting solution: http://www.thinktivity.com/



Blogging: Effective Marketing
By Scott Lindsay

Weblogs, or “blogs” were introduced in 1997. As with most new technology the initial users of blogs were those gifted in the field of technology.

The growth of blogging began as the user interface became more simplified requiring no knowledge of HTML or other specialized coding.

Today blogging is used for personal as well as business applications. In the domain of business blogging (B-Blogging) many businesses are seeing the value of a b-blog and are allowing key personnel to blog on company time. The reasons are varied, but a b-blog is useful in presenting the face behind the brand.

The best b-blogs do not look at this format of information sharing as simply a means to say whatever comes to mind. A helpful b-blog for business is one that provides customers with the following.

1) INFORMATION – Customers are interested in the latest news on the products you offer and they may be very interested in the benefits your product or service has to offer.

2) ANNOUNCEMENTS – By providing important new offerings or staff changes, your client may feel more connected to your firm.

3) CONTESTS – In keeping with the fun nature of a b-blog, contests can be conducted through a blog that can supply visitors with a chance to receive promotional products.

4) SALES – If you will be conducting a sale on your products a b-blog can provide an easy way to pass that information along to people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

5) JUST THE FAQ’S – A b-blog is an effective way to solicit questions and then respond to them in your blog.

One of the key functions of a b-blog is to raise awareness and trust for your products and/or services while keeping things light, informal and highly personable.

B-blogs can be updated as often as you need to and your posts do not need to be exceptionally long. You should say what needs to be said and sign off. By making your comments short and to the point you will likely discover your visitors will respond better than if you insist on drawing things out.

Unlike email, customers who regularly visit b-blogs indicate it is a bonus to see the personality behind the company name. At the end of the day if you have encouraged a customer to remain a customer or if you find new prospects visiting your blog then your goodwill gesture has actually moved from a nice idea to a valuable marketing tool. Isn’t that what you wanted in the first place?

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. HighPowerSites is the easiest do-it-yourself website builder on the web. No programming or design skill required. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com


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B-Blogs: A Business Prerequisite
By Scott Lindsay

“How does business change when everyone is a potential publisher? A vast new stretch of the information world opens up.” – Stephen Baker and Heather Green

As a Business Blogger (b-blogger) you do not need to reinvent the wheel and you don’t even need to be an especially gifted writer. Simple software solutions are available to allow you to blog with confidence even if you feel technologically challenged.

Link and Click

One of the principal benefits of blogging is you can simply provide an opening sentence or paragraph on a subject that may be of interest to your clients. Once this is accomplished you can simply provide a direct link to the story you wish to cite. You can also include an associated photo. The client then has the ability to see first hand the information you found so valuable in relation to your business; it’s services, goods and future.

The information you can provide may be tied to the movement of stock in relations to a product you carry. New advancements in scientific research that has a bearing on a product you carry or new uses for an existing product.

Comprehensive Coverage

Many b-blogs have a list of outside links that may be interest to visitors. The purpose of a blog is not to withhold information or to provide that information on a time-released basis. For most b-bloggers there is a realization that the information they have to share is available elsewhere on the worldwide web, so being as timely as possible simply makes sense.

“There are some 9 million blogs out there, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day.” – Stephen Baker and Heather Green

Point of Comparison

Companies that have made blogging a priority have seen as many as five million visits to their blog. When you have web traffic at that level you can see how a search engine will recognize your blog site as authoritative and reputable and provide your blog with a higher rank.

“Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They're a prerequisite.” – Stephen Baker and Heather Green

Commitment

Operating a b-blog takes discipline and an understanding that this IS a marketing tool. It is possible that a b-blog might take some time to attract visitors and it may be tempting to simply give up on the prospect and drop this marketing element from your overall business plan.

The good news is you will save a few minutes a day by not developing your b-blog. The bad news is someone else will see the potential and work at building their reputation as an expert in the field – and they may likely be recognized as such.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. HighPowerSites is the easiest do-it-yourself website builder on the web. No programming or design skill required. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com



Keyword Meta Tags - SEO Bloggers & Search Engines Say ... Ding! Pointless!
By Mike Valentine

First, a quote "... implementing meta tags - more specifically the keyword meta tag - is not going to have any affect on your rankings." - SEO Jill Whalen of HighRankings.com said recently in LED discussion list.

Two list members then (who claim to be SEO's) quoted Jill Whalen's above comment suggesting they believe that keyword meta tags still have an effect on ranking. Can keyword meta tags possibly still matter? Title tags still matter - critically, description tags may, sometimes matter ... a little, but keyword meta tags? Uh-uh.

It's long past time to stop wasting energy on that tag and I hope those two SEO's who both claimed they found meta tags useful will spend their energies elsewhere in the future. It's old news that keyword tags are worthless.

I wrote an article in 1999 or 2000 titled "Keyword Meta Tags Search Phrase Tutorial" listing the top 8 ingredients to ranking well in the search engines.

I went back today to review it and found that remarkably few things have changed. So I massaged and edited a few things, added a small type disclaimer ;-) and linked to some online tools from that page, including a "Search engine simulator tool" and an "HTML source code viewer" and a also linked to a previous article I'd written in 2002 called "SEO Keyword Voodoo: Invisible Meta Tag Mumbo Jumbo" because, as you might guess from the title, I am 100% with Jill Whalen on the futility of mucking around with keyword meta tags.

Keyword Meta tags went south in about 1998-99 or so when webmasters began keyword stuffing and the search engines stopped paying attention to them. They are not used, nor are they trusted at all by any search engines. If they are not purposely abused, they are completely misunderstood by webmasters still. Don't waste your time fussing with them or tweaking them. They're an old and badly abused element of HTML code that no longer does a thing for ranking.

To further prove my point, I've created a Rollyo search tool, available from a link in my resource box below, which allows you to search only the top 25 SEO bloggers and the Official Search Engine Blogs for the search phrase "keyword meta tags."

At the time of this writing, only 9 results came back on that search. Nine. Keyword meta tags are no longer being discussed by anyone, let alone being used in SEO. After visiting each of the nine search results from that searchroll, I discovered that most of those results are either derisive comments about "keyword meta tags" from the SEO blogger or are derisive comments left by visitors about the folly of meta tag massaging!

My favorite blog post from among the results of that SearchRoll are from Aaron Wall of SEObook when he said,

"... an old client wants me to rewrite their meta tags. A total waste of time, but if it makes them happy, oh well ... Meta tags? ... hehehe"

Convinced yet that keyword meta tags are pointless? SEO bloggers say ... Ding! "hehehe!"

Copyright © September 20, 2006 by Mike Banks Valentine

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of in-house content managers http://seoptimism.com/SEO_Staff_Training.htm The SearchRoll on SEO bloggers and Search Engine Blogs mentioned in this article can be found at http://WebSite101.com/metatags.html and at http://website101.com/Search_Engine_Positioning/keyword-voodoo.html



3 Must-Read Books for Bloggers
By Jim Estill

A lot of bloggers read blogs, but there are also some very valuable books out there on blogging. The three books that I recommend for bloggers are Blog! by David Kline and Dan Burstein, The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, and Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble.

1. Blog!: How the newest revolution is changing politics, business and culture by David Kline and Dan Burstein.

This book talks of the power and influence of blogs. It uses political examples. Through these examples we can learn what good blogging is (honest, open) and what it is not (poorly written, blatant marketing). It talks about freedom of the press and countries and companies that try to suppress blogs. It also warns and gives examples of blogs that share insider or confidential information and what happens.

To quote from it: “most people or at least most of the media’s coverage of business issues in blogging are missing the fact that the real excitement here is not how much money business can make from blogging, but how dramatically blogging will reshape the world of business from top to bottom and create new sources of competitive advantage for firms that learn how to use this new medium intelligently… Bloggers not only tend to be more passionate about their interests and hobbies than other people, they also have marketplace influence far beyond their numbers.”

This is a highly inspirational read for anyone who blogs. We live in revolutionary times and as bloggers (and blog readers) we see history being made. We are truly cutting edge. The world is changing before our eyes.

As A. J. Liebling, a great 20th century journalist, said: “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” With blogs, anyone can.

2. The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right by Debbie Weil.

Debbie is one of the pioneers of corporate blogging. She is not only an advocate but she explains the pros and cons of corporate blogs.

A section from the book: "Blogs are a key enabler of this new way of talking with customers, employees, the media and other constituencies. Packaged, filtered, controlled conversation are out. Open, two-way, less-than-perfect communications with your customers and employees are in….Listen, learn, debate, be willing to change, admit mistakes, be equals, with your children, be fair to others with whom you have an adversarial relationship. Acting like a dictator will get you nowhere."

She has top 20 questions about corporate blogging and in one of those she talks about the three most important things to know before starting blogging. The book also has good examples of blogging policies.One of her points is savvy bloggers read other blogs. My advice is the simplest way to do this is to subscribe to them.

One concept that she talks about is citizen journalist and citizen media. Blogs are a new media and it is run by the citizens. Blogger Halley Suitt explains, "The word PR will be gone; the word blog will be gone. Your employees will be your ad agency and your customers will be your back-up ad agency"

3. Naked Coversations:How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble

This is an excellent book. I am passionate about business blogs. I truly believe they have value for a business. The book re-affirms this. Naked Coversations is easy to read, fast and well organized. It combines advice on blogging (and why blogs help companies) with stories of real bloggers.

Blogs have dangers but those dangers tend to be overrated. Not blogging is a greater danger. As I have said many times, blogs are a new media. Companies that ignore it do so at great peril. At the same time, blogs cannot be blatant self or company promotion - readers (and other bloggers see right through that and can decimate a company).

How do I know if a book is good? If I make a change as a result. I turned off word verification on my blog to make it easier to comment (I still review all comments and don't let spam through but am trying to make it easier to have a conversation). I get twice as many emails as comments on my blog as a result of my blog. The book drives home that comments and conversations are good.

I also know a book is good if I buy multiple copies for people that I think should read it. And in this case I did.

All three of these books, Blog! by David Kline and Dan Burstein, The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, and Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble should be read by anyone who has a blog or anyone interested in blogging.

Jim Estill is the CEO of Synnex Canada.

To learn more about his successful business strategies, visit his blog at www.jimestill.com.

Jim Estill's CEO blog also has information on ordering his audiobook and ebook, Time Leadership.



4 Simple Steps To Blogging For Business
By B Hopkins

Blogging is a practice that has been around for at least 5 years. It began with average, but opinionated people with something to say, who wanted to share their opinions with anyone who would read them. While it has been popular with the general public, it hasn't caught on with many businesses until recently. Blogging can be a powerful tool for marketing and exposure for any business if done properly. This article will cover the first steps businesses will need to take to set themselves up for successful blogging.

1. Select the Appropriate Hosting for Your Business Blog

You first step is to select an appropriate host for your blog. There are a couple of solutions that you can use to host your blog. You can:

1) Host it on your own server

2) Host it at a blogging hosting server, such as livejournal.com or blogger.com

If you host your own blog on your own web site, you will need to find blogging software that you can use on your web site. You will need to determine what your web site server capabilities are, and then determine what blogging software will work within your server environment. You will then need to install the software and configure it in order to begin blogging.

If you host your blog on a blog hosting system, then everything is already set up for you. All you have to do is sign up for, and configure your account. Some of these blogging services are free and some of them will have a monthly hosting charge.

2. Configure Your Business Blog

Once you have determined how you want to host your blog, and have installed it, or signed up for your blog service, you will need to configure your blog.

Configuring your blog includes, what template you want to use with your blog. Most blogs whether they are on a blog hosting service, or software that you have installed, will come with several templates. If you are new to the Internet, and don't have a lot of programming experience, it is probably best to stick with one of the templates that has come with the software or service. It is however, better if you have some programming background, or have the funds to hire someone, then you can get your blog to look like your business web site. Even if your blog is hosted elsewhere, you can do amazing things with the templates to get your blog to look very similar to your business web site. Most services will allow you to modify the templates that come with their subscription.

Other things that will need to be configured are settings such as the name and description of your business blog, the email address you want messages from your blog to be sent to, how you want your blog archived (posts saved for future access), what ping services you want to notify when you update your blog, and other settings too numerous to mention in this article.

3. Determine the Content of Your Business Blog

This next step can be done before you actually install your blog, but you will need to determine the topic of your business blog, and how you want to convey your information to your target market. The content and topics of your blog should relate to your industry. You can focus as narrow or as wide as you choose think is appropriate. In general, it is a good idea to cover many areas within your industry and then separate the different areas of your industry into different categories within your blog.

For example, if you are blogging about your real estate business, the big topics would be commercial real estate, residential real estate, and investing in real estate, etc.

However, it would be better to specifically focus in your main category/industry. For example, if your main industry is residential real estate, you could have topics such as renting out your home, buying a home, and selling a home. Each of these would be a separate category within your blog.

Lastly but most importantly, you should choose topics and categories that will be of interest to your visitors. You will need to research the keywords that your customers would use to find you. There are many keyword research tools available on the web today that will tell you what exact phrases, and how often, your target market is using to find you. These keywords will determine the topics of your blog entries. You should also use some of the phrases you have found in your research in your business blog posts.

4. Begin Blogging for Your Business

The last step is to start blogging. You can choose from a number of different formats to add entries to your blog, as blog entries can take on any format. Some formats that you may want to consider include:

1) Writing articles and posting them to your blog.

2) Finding related news items in your industry and posting them with comments as to what you think of the news item.

3) Answering frequently asked questions you get from your clients.

4) Writing reviews of products/services in your industry

5) Writing "how to" posts

6) Using a free-style posting of anything you feel would be of interest to your potential clients and/or customers.

Your style of posting should match what your target market would find interesting.

Now that you know the basic steps of what needs to be done to begin business blogging, you can choose how you want to host your blog, what keywords your target market uses to find you, and what format would make the most sense to begin blogging. There are many web sites that have more articles and in-depth information about business blogging. You can use these resource sites to help guide you through the process from making your first post, to getting your first customer from your business blog.

Don't waste time learning about things you don't need to know about blogging. Get right to the heart of the matter and learn how to get your blog set up and working for you in a matter of a few hours! Go to http://www.allwebcontent.com/articles for more information go to. http://www.allwebcontent.com/resources/businessblog.shtml (A http://drivetraffictomywebsite.com creation)



RSS For Geniuses And Other Dummies
By Titus Hoskins

I get quite a few emails like the one below, asking for a simple guide to RSS...

"I read your information on RSS. Frankly, it was frightening, as new things usually tend to be. What you need is a tutorial for absolute dummies. Your article moves too quickly into a form that is reminiscent of people who it for is assumed know more about web sites, source codes, and the like."

...This email is so true for the majority of webmasters and I will try to provide the simplest explanation of RSS as possible.

Fastest and easiest route to take:

Go to www.blogger.com (owned by Google) and create a free blog -- in the process you will create an RSS feed that you can use to send your content/podcasts. You can place this RSS feed on your site.

While there, look around, check out the FAQ and read all the information on RSS and blogging. You will discover every blog has an RSS feed attached to it. It is a way of broadcasting/syndicating your content to all interested parties.

Please understand, in most cases, your blog URL is not the same as your Feed URL.

Also keep in mind, there are many ways to create a blog/RSS feed on your site.

Another popular way is to use free blogging software like WordPress (www.wordpress.org) -- you can download their files and then you upload them to your server. This does require some knowledge of handling server files and scripts but everything is conveniently explained.

Besides, the WordPress installation is very straightforward and most webmasters and site owners should be able to set up a blog/rss feed without too much trouble. There is also an excellent help section/forum if you're a complete novice with handling server-side scripts.

You have to realize RSS is only simple code that syndicates your content to all interested parties, it originally stood for 'Rich Site Summary' and was a way of summarizing your content and broadcasting it. Most people now refer to RSS as 'Really Simple Syndication'.

It was mainly used by news groups and sites. Dave Winer of UserLand and Scripting News fame -- created RSS in 1997.

Then we had the blogging revolution, which spread RSS around the web, and into the mainstream. Well, sort of, we are not quite there yet!

Many believe RSS will fully come into its own when Microsoft finally releases Windows Vista, it will have RSS embedded in its source code. The ordinary surfer won't have a clue what RSS is and will still be using it in tons of applications. As it should be, how many Internet users know what DOS or even HTML are?

Once RSS becomes totally integrated into the Internet and our browsing experience, it will become even more important for webmasters like yourself to full understand RSS and what it can do for you and your site.

I believe every site should have at least ONE RSS feed or blog.

There are only Three Questions/Problems concerning RSS that keep popping up again and again. These questions are answered simply here:

1. How do I create an RSS and Blog?

Answered above... use a free site like Blogger.com which lets you publish your blog files to your own server or use free blogging software such as WordPress. www.wordpress.org

2. How do I read my RSS or any RSS feed?

Several ways... you can read any RSS feed by using an aggregator or RSS feed (news) reader like Newsgator, Google Reader or you can use the Social Bookmark feature present in some browsers like Mozilla Firefox. As mentioned above, the next Windows will have RSS embedded into its operating system.

3. How do I put my or anyone's RSS Feed or content onto my site?

Several ways... you can try the popular Feedburner.com to place your headlines and feeds on your site. Another good one is www.bigbold.com/rssdigest --- no programming required --- you can use JavaScript, PHP, or an IFRAME!

RSS for some unexplained reason, still remains a little known and mysterious creature for most webmasters and surfers. This is a bit troubling, when you consider the growing importance RSS will play in the overall function of the web. A factor which makes RSS a subject that has to be understood by webmasters, dummies and geniuses alike.

Regardless of where you fit into that group, if you need further help on RSS, see the resource box for an online RSS tutorial and a simple downloadable RSS Guide.

----
To add RSS to your Site within minutes - download this simple RSS Report and Guide. Or try this more technical RSS Tutorial Copyright © 2006 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.



What Does RSS Have To Do To Reach The Tipping Point?
By Matt Ambrose

Bloggers and online marketers are forever trumpeting the wonders of blogs as a business and marketing tool. But blogs will only be able to live up to the dreams of its disciples if they start being read by average Joe from the mass market. Some work still needs to be done if RSS and blogs are to be pushed over the tipping point and become the widely used marketing machine that everybody believes/hopes they will be.

RSS is going to need a charm offensive before people in the street even know what it is, let alone start using it. You only have to look at the makeup of the top 50 most popular blogs (mainly about gadgets, politics and marketing) to know that the mass market have yet to start reading blogs in their great numbers. Or maybe there is just a huge gap for blogs on paying your mortgage and cutting your credit card bills that nobody has spotted?

At a recent ‘Beers and Innovation’ event in London the future of RSS and blogging was discussed and it was universally declared, as per usual, how fantastic they are. The speakers also all agreed that their growth amongst the non-web savvy would continue to stall until RSS becomes more accessible and easier to use. Hopefully, when Internet Explorer 7 launches later this year it will go some way to correcting this problem.

Even when the hurdle of accessibility is cleared there are still other problems preventing RSS from becoming a business tool that can be effectively managed.

As any marketer will tell you, “You can’t monetise what you can’t measure,” and this is an issue faced by RSS/web feeds. It’s virtually impossible to know exactly how many people are subscribed to your feed, let alone how many are actually reading your posts.

There are so many different aggregators and methods of capturing RSS content that there is currently no way of compiling all your data into a central reporting function, as with email. This makes it tricky for marketers arguing their case for the extra funding needed for this radical new marketing tactic. There is simply currently no way of measuring the ROI of blogging in traditional quantifiable terms (other than organic SEO and increased traffic of course).

RSS will soon be far easier to use, which will help it to start reaching out to the non-web savvy. If you can bookmark a site then you will be able to click on a button to save its feed in your browser. But developing a universal standard of tracking your blog’s subscription and readership - with the level of reporting offered by email - might still hold back its tipping point amongst businesses for a while yet.

Please visit www.thewritewords.me.uk for more information about my business blogging services and the answer to all your web content needs.

Thanks for reading,

Matt.



Making Money Online: Blogs vesus Subscription Websites
By Miles Galliford

What is the difference between a blog and a subscription website?

This is a question we are often asked.

Our answer usually goes along these lines:

There are some similarities and many differences between blogs and subscription websites.

Let us start with the similarities:

1. The majority of blogs and subscription websites focus on a narrow specialisation. For example, fly fishing in Scotland or beer distribution in the US.

2. Both are usually driven by an individual’s passion and expertise for their specialisation.

3. Both involve writing about this specialisation and posting this information on the web in a timely way

Now the differences:

1. Blogs are usually written by people wishing to share their opinion and expertise.
2. Very few blogs make money.
3. Even fewer allow their editors to do it as a full time job.
4. Subscription websites are usually setup as commercial businesses. Their intention from the outset is to generate income from providing access to unique and expert knowledge.
5. The single owner or small team are usually full-time.
6. Blogs give all their content away for free. Any revenues are generated by advertising revenues or referral to another business activity. Subscription websites usually require members to pay to get access to their premium content.

Today there are around 50 million active blogs. It is estimated that less than 500 of these make sufficient revenue to give one or more people a full time income.

There are probably less than 30,000 subscription websites on the internet, but we would estimate that over 80% of these are generating a full time income for their owner or company. Some are making many millions of dollars.

For the more internet savvy, it is worth putting some numbers around the different revenue generation methods – Advertising vs. Subscription.

Assume a website publisher wanted to make $100,000 per year from their specialist content website. These are the rough sums:

A Blog with Advertising

The average revenue from advertising for a blog is $3 for every 1,000 pages viewed ($3 per CPM). To achieve $100,000 revenue a site would have to have roughly half million visitors every month each viewing an average of four pages a visit (2.7m pageviews/month).

A Subscription Website

For a subscription website to achieve $100,000 revenue they would need to have 834 subscribers each paying $9.95 a month.

Blogs need high volumes of traffic to generate advertising revenues. Subscription websites need a lower number of highly dedicated and committed members.

The type of content also tends to differ.

Blogs generally provide highly time sensitive news and opinions about their niche subject. Successful bloggers often post multiple times every day. Their goal is to get readers visiting a little and often. This tends to generate the most advertising revenues.

Subscription websites tend to have a much more diverse range of content including:

• Directories
• How-to articles
• Applications (e.g. online investment portfolio management)
• Forums
• Events calendars
• News and views

The objective of the subscription website publisher is to ensure their members renew their subscription every year. As a result the content is created to have a much longer shelf life. It encourages member interaction and usually includes archives of longer feature articles which members can re-read.

Blogs tend to have just one stream of content in the form of a daily diary available to all visitors. This is usually scrolled on the home page and is frequently updated. Subscription websites tend to have multiple areas of content including free and paid for, feature articles and news, forums and directories, etc. This depth and structure is again intended to create an environment where members want to spend their time learning and sharing with their peers.

Which is Right for You?

At the end of the day only you can decide.

Blogs succeed by creating daily content driven by news and opinion. They rely on traffic volume to generate advertising income.

Subscription websites succeed by creating a relatively small, but strong community of dedicated members. The content tends to be more detailed and re-usable, and the sites rely on interaction with and between members to create loyalty.

Ask yourself which is more achievable for you; attracting half a million visitors a month, or recruiting a thousand paying members?

Miles Galliford is the co-founder of SubHub http://www.subhub.com. Miles has been running successful internet companies since 1998. SubHub provides everything that an individual or organisation needs, from the technology platform to the know-how, to build, run and grow a successful subscription website business. To find many more articles about subscription website publishing visit http://www.subhub.com.



Internet Explorer 7 = RSS Consumption Explosion
By Matt Ambrose

Does your website provide an RSS news feed?

Do you know what RSS is?

Do you care?

If up until now you haven’t taken any interest in RSS very soon you won’t have a choice. The imminent arrival of Internet Explorer 7 could well change the way information is found, distributed and read.

IE7 will make it easier than ever before to promote your news feed to visitors, and subscribing will be as simple as adding a new bookmark. IE7 will push RSS from the domain of just the web savvy and into the mainstream. Hold tight because there is about to be an RSS explosion and your business better be ready for it.

Few people will buy your product or service the first time they visit your site. If you have an RSS feed then you have the opportunity to build trust and confidence over time (see my earlier posts on RSS and blogging for more info on how you can use RSS to market your business).

The use of RSS is set to explode in usage and become as important a content delivery vehicle as email. The hurdles of having to understand how RSS works and knowing what a news aggregator is are due to be vaulted in one giant leap.

IE7 is now in its third stage of beta testing with the official version to go live before the end of the year. As well as closing various security holes and a new lick of paint, the new web browser will feature an RSS button bolted into its toolbar. Megan Kidd, Microsoft Windows Product Manager, hailed, “We believe that RSS is key to how people will be using the Internet in the future.”

The new IE7’s RSS button will light up to visually show if a site provides a news feed. It is then simply a case of clicking on the button and subscribing. This could replace bookmarks as the way people log sites of interest.

With full RSS support in the new Outlook and Windows Vista, your feeds will soon be delivered straight to your desktop. Why waste time checking through all your bookmarks when you can receive updates automatically?

So what does this mean to your business?

The imminent spread of RSS could change the way in which the Internet is used for information. People will increasingly rely on their RSS feeds to gain the latest industry and product news. You don’t waste time walking to the newsagent when you can have your newspaper delivered straight to your door.

The importance of regularly updated content will go beyond being merely part of an ‘organic’ SEO strategy. Web users will be subscribing to news feeds in far greater numbers, and this will determine which sites gain the most attention. It will be the businesses providing the latest news and articles who will prosper in the new content driven online world.

As RSS achieves mass market penetration you could even see it start to replace email. With inboxes being clogged up with spam and messages blocked by overzealous junk filters, RSS offers a new vehicle for contacting subscribers.

The mass delivery of content such as newsletters, product updates and industry news could all be handled by RSS. That way it is guaranteed to reach subscribers and is far more likely to be read.

If you are serious about marketing online and developing relationships with potential customers you need to start forming your RSS strategy. IE7 will be out before the end of the year. By that point you will want to ensure that the RSS button lights up whenever people land on your site.

Please visit http://www.thewritewords.me.uk for more information about my business blogging services and the answer to all your web content needs.

Thanks for reading,

Matt.



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