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The Art Of Social Bookmarking
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Archive for June, 2007

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Gaming Google, Yeah Right!

Posted by Jane on June 29th, 2007

I constantly hear people writing about not relying on Google so much to generate traffic for you.  Although I agree with diversifying your traffic streams similar to diversifying your income, Google does control things right now.  In other words, Google is God!  You mess with Google, you’re screwed.

How can someone try to game Google to rank higher on search engine results?  The answer is by using blackhat methods to SEO a website.  I will write more about this in a later post, but for now, let me leave you with some pearls of wisdom about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google.

  1. Often, factors that matter most in the search engine algorithms are good for both websites and their users.
  2. You will never really know exactly how Google works
  3. Text is eternally important in searches.
  4. The vast majority of businesses do best when they use a holistic approach to SEO.  By holistic, I mean combining elements of organic and paid search with a healthy dose of good writing and usability.

I give you these pieces of advice because I’ve known a few people that have gotten blacklisted by Google.  Once you get blacklisted and put into Google’s sandbox, your online career is down the tube for that domain (URL).  And I don’t know if there is any turning that domain around and getting on Google’s good side at that point.  Maybe sending them some chocolates and flowers will help, but I doubt it :-)

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The Art Of Social Bookmarking

Posted by Jane on June 22nd, 2007

The more blogging becomes mainstream the more bloggers are finding ways to generate traffic to their blogs.  Social bookmarking is not a new phenomenon, nor is it something that’s a secret.  But there is an art to social bookmarking that once perfected, can be very profitable for you.  With websites such as DiggReddit, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon available for bloggers to submit articles to, bloggers are seeing the power of mastering this art.  What power am I talking about, the power that brings 37,000 visitors to your site in one day.  Bloggers have come to find that if they can get their blog on the front page of one of these social bookmarking sites (digg, netscape, reddit), thousands of visitors will flood to your site within minutes.

How Do I Get Started?

  1. Create an account for each bookmarking site you want to submit articles to.   You can be as detailed as you want.  By disclosing information about yourself and making yourself personable to others, you are more likely to have people add you as a friend.  Make sure to include a unique picture for your profile.  Using a default avatars makes you blend in with the masses.  Having a unique picture makes you identifiable and even brandable.
  2. Navigate.  Take some time to navigate through the site and your settings.  Get to know how to make submissions, where to check your messages, etc.
  3. Make Friends.  You can make friends on these social bookmarking sites in different ways.  Some people might have similar voting habits as you, so you may want to add them as a friend.  There are some sites like Digg that only allow you to add a certain amount of friends per day.  But there are others like Netscape that do not have a maximum number of friends you can add a day.  Each site will vary on the amount of friends you are allowed to make per day.
  4. Vote.  If you want others to vote for your stories, you should do the same.  Take some time and read the stories that people are submitting.  You may have a favorite topic, like careers, sports, or money; whatever the topic, be sure to vote since social bookmarking sites are a community with many people and many personalities.  If you want others to read your article, it’s only right for you to read others’ articles as well.

Submission

Submitting your article to one of these bookmarking sites is a good way to start getting some exposure and generate a little extra traffic. Once you submit your story people see your post through the “new stories” feature that many of these sites have.  If it’s a popular post, you will get a vote or a “digg” for your story.  The more people that vote or “digg” your story, the more likely you are to have it on the front page of the website and generate mass exposure. From my experience, Netscape is more time based and requires less votes than digg to get on their front page.  However, the content that is popular on Netscape is not the same as the content that is popular on Digg.  Having about 10-15 votes on Netscape in a short amount of time will probably get you on front page.

How Can I Get On Front Page?

  1. Catchy titles.  Having catchy titles and descriptions help your article stand out from the crowd.
  2. New content.  Do not use the same story everyone has already written.  If you do, be sure to have a very unique twist to it to make it appealing to others.
  3. Help readers.  Bookmarking sites love lists and guides on how to make things better.  Focus on a clean format when writing a post that is easy to read and follow.  Having numbers and bold headings helps guide the readers through the article.
  4. Test the waters.  Try submitting your story to one of these sites and see what happens. When starting, you probably won’t hit home page.  You will find things that work better than others.  Best case scenario, let other people submit your articles to these sites, especially StumbleUpon, it tends to bring you more traffic.

Comments

I have found another way that works well in getting your post to the front page.  Even better, it gets you ranked higher on the page with fewer votes.  You are probably asking what in the world can place your article with fewer votes higher than an article with more votes.  Well, simply having more comments can place your article higher on the front page (Netscape).  There are many ways to solicit comments, but the best is to start out the comment thread yourself by asking a question to all readers.

I do want to caution you.  Don’t leave comments so you can link to your website or just leave meaningless words.  Everyone can see right through this.  Leave something that is constructive and adds value to the post itself.  The best comment to leave is one that provides valuable information to the community. If your comment does not add value to the post or the community, then leave it out.

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What Bloggers Can Learn From Paris Hilton

Posted by Jane on June 7th, 2007

It’s only been three days and Paris has already been released from prison. I will not focus on how ridiculous this is since she was sentenced to 45 days. It is very disappointing that this comes after all the hype of the judge doing a good job of not giving Paris special treatment and sentencing her like every other normal person who gets caught drunk driving, without a valid license three times in six months.  So instead of ranting and raving about this, I’d like to focus on the positive and look at how bloggers can try to receive similar “special treatment”.

  • Always smile no matter what is happening. When communicating with your readers via email, instant messenger, your writing or in person, be sure to always appear happy about the communication. Even if your blog is getting little traffic, revenues are down or your server has crashed, still smile.
  • Get your face seen everywhere possible. Get out and market, market, market! If there is a blog carnival in your niche, enter it. If there is a more popular blog around, comment on it. If you have something to share with an A-list blogger, email them.
  • Create a little controversy. State your honest opinion in your posts even if it will stir up controversy. If you believe in a particular opinion you have, state it clearly. If people get upset with you, you’ll get backlinks. As Guy Kawasaki likes to say, “no PR is bad PR”.
  • Make a video blog. Instead of always writing on your blog, create some videos for your readers to see you in action. Shoemoney has tried to blog in video format and John Chow often posts short videos of himself.

In conclusion, no matter how unbelievable and ridiculous the Paris situation is, we can all work on marketing ourselves a little better. That’s really the only thing Paris does decently.