If you, as I do, operate an enterprise online, you know that one of the things many people obsess about is keyword rankings in the search engines. Since it is virtually impossible to be noticed without being visible in the search engines, a whole science has emerged with respect to getting sites ranked for certain keywords. For example, if your site is about movers, ideally you’ll want to rank number one in Google whenever someone’s searches include the word “mover” in context.
The problem is that there are only ten listings on the first page by default (you can change this to some greater number but the vast majority of people casually searching for stuff on the Internet do not) and there are oftentimes millions of search results. In addition, we all know that there are more than one keyword to which any one product relates. People might search for “movers” as well as “New York movers,” “NYC movers,” “New York moving companies,” and so on. In order to engage in proper monitoring of these long-tail keywords, you need the right tools to check your keyword rankings from time to time.
While there are a number of free tools available to help you check your site’s keyword rankings, I recently came across two tools from a company (Caphyon) that have become invaluable to me to help in both monitoring my website ranking as well as managing my link popularity (a necessary process to move up the rankings for virtually all your most important keywords).
Advanced Web Ranking
The first tool is Advanced Web Ranking. Basically, it is a rank monitor on steroids. Unlike the free rank monitors available as Firefox extensions or otherwise available at any number of websites that specialize in search engine optimization, AWR is search engine ranking software that sits on your desktop and tracks your keyword rank across hundreds or even thousands of keywords on both a present and historical basis. You can even compare the keyword rankings of your competitors across the same or a different set of keywords. All of this can be set to automatically engage on a set time schedule.
If you are serious about your online enterprise, it is absolutely critical to be aware on a regular basis the status of your keyword rankings. Unless you have a seriously large marketing budget in the nature of certain large corporations, the only real way people will find out about your business will be through searches at engines like Google. Since it is virtually certain all your serious competitors are actively engaging in methods to improve their keyword rankings, you need to also be aware of the status of your keyword rankings.
Besides simple monitoring, AWR will help you spot trends. If it appears that your ranking on certain keywords are improving, you’ll know that whatever you are doing to improve your ranking is working. Alternately, if it appears your rankings on certain keywords are deteriorating, you’ll know that you need to either stop doing what it is you are doing to try to improve your rankings or else do something to counteract that deterioration.
Here are some additional features of AWR that make it more useful and efficient than the free alternatives:
- Triggers can be set to automatically alert you to certain events that occur (e.g. a decrease in ranking on certain money keywords)
- Advanced filtering can be set to get you information that is most relevant for your needs
- You can export the data to manipulate in external programs such as Excel
- You can monitor keywords on a local basis limited to results for a certain city or region
- AWR can help you generate a list of keywords
- AWR runs on Mac, Windows and Linux
Advanced Link Manager
The second tool is Advanced Link Manager. This is a tool that lets you monitor the links that are pointing to your web site. You can also set it up to monitor the links that are pointing to your competitors’ web sites.
Before moving into the features of ALM, it’s useful to discuss why links are important. The veteran Internet entrepreneur will know that besides the traditional PR one gets from mentions on the Internet by other web sites and authorities, the search engines such as Google consider links to be a proxy for “citation” authority. Thus, in determining where a web site should rank for any particular keyword, a large determinant is the number of links (i.e. link popularity) pointing to that particular website.
Besides pure link quantity, another determinant of keyword rankings is link quality or authority. A link from a respected educational institution is considered to be of a higher quality than a link from a site without any links pointing to it and without any apparent authority itself.
Although not a perfect gauge of the quantity/quality mix, you will hear webmasters often refer to the “PR” of a site or a page on that site. PR in this context merely refers to Google’s PageRank indicator which runs a scale of zero to ten. The more links and the more authoritative links a web site or page has, the higher the PR. For example, CNN.com has a PR that fluctuates between 9 and 10. This reflects the number of other web sites that have linked to stories from CNN. Similarly, Adobe.com has a PR of 10 which is most certainly due to the millions of sites that use Adobe Reader for PDF documents and link to Adobe.com.
Now that we have a good sense of the importance of links, it should be obvious why a link manager like ALM is pretty useful. With ALM, you can automatically determine which sites are linking not only to your site but also to your competitors’ sites. This will allow you to monitor your own link building progress as well as compare your efforts to your competitors.
Here are some features of ALM that make the tool critical to my link building process:
- You can monitor multiple sites including your own as well as your competitors’
- You can set an automatic schedule for checking links
- You can set triggers that automatically alert you to changes in links
- Links can be sorted by PageRank to determine link quality
- Links with “nofollow” are shown
- You can export the results to be manipulated into an external program, such as Excel
- You can find broken links
- You can monitor the anchor text of links pointing to your site
- ALM runs on Mac, Windows and Linux
Running a successful enterprise online is not just about throwing up a site and hoping that the world will come. Besides engaging in traditional marketing, you need to have a reasonably solid understanding of how your site will be discovered on the Internet. I have found both Advanced Web Ranking and Advanced Link Manager from Caphyon critical tools to have in my virtual toolbelt.
I read this article with interest from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/business/smallbusiness/13freelance.html?sq=elance&st=cse&scp=3&pagewanted=all.
In this tough economy, how many of us have considered turning to the web as a source of work? If you have the skillset of a professional but can’t find work in the traditional markets, why not consider leveraging some of your skills you’ve acquired over the years as a provider on Elance? And, if you are really ambitious but don’t have the skills, why not learn a skill and make money while you do it?
I know how to ace interview questions like the back of my hand and can whip out a snappy “Knock ‘Em Dead” resume in about 3 hours. I see some of those services being offered up for $300 or more. And it doesn’t take much for me to pick up a business proposals book from Barnes and Noble and offer up my services writing proposals as well after a little brushing up on the basics.
We all spend time on our blogs, why not also spend some time being paid to provide writing services for others? It might be even more lucrative than earning a few dollars on Adsense while blogging…
I just wanted to point a link to Tom and Kerrie Everett in Vancouver, Canada. They’re real estate agents in the Vancouver market and started doing short, simple and fun videos on their real estate website. Over the course of less than 6 months, they’ve grown their business and audience by setting themselves apart from their competition with these short videos.
What is so great is that you’ll notice they’ve been featured by two television stations – one national (CTV) and one local (City TV) and have only done 11 episodes! Also note that, while not really professionally produced, the videos are fun and informative.
Here is the takeaway:
- you can do videos easily with a digital camera
- you don’t need to make them fancy
- you do have to post regularly
- make them fun and short and you will probably be surprised at the results!
- OH, Kendra Todd (of Apprentice fame) is in one!!
More videos over at ThinkTom.com. By the way, I went to grad school with Kerrie.
I’ve found that, on Twitter, I’ve been befriended by people who claim to be either well-known (like Barack Obama) or people I know. Problem is, they are fake profiles. Even the Dalai Lama had his profile faked. Often, the only thing that’s changed is the addition of an underscore or a middle initial.
Two reasons why this is a problem:
1) They may phish me at some point by responding to my Tweets, for example, and then asking for info I would only provide to people I trust.
2) They may be legitimized by being followers or being followed by others not wise to their scheming. So, when someone else sees that these scammers are friends with someone they know, that third person may be fooled into befriending the scammer.
This whole development reminds me of the AOL chatrooms and instant message clients from the last century where random scammers would overrun the services and try to defraud you. It drove me, and perhaps others, into services that were more secure.
Twitter needs to nip this in the bud before it gets out of control.
At the University of Utah, Prof. Juliana Freire is working on DeepPeep, an ambitious effort to index every public database. Now, check out the screen–Mac OS X 30 inches * 6 across * 4 down = 720 square inches and 98,304,000 pixels of resolution.
David Lat of Abovethelaw.com writes a brief note about cyber-bullying, slander and libel on the Internet.
Simple rules everyone should abide by. It’s too easy to be offended by someone and lashing out without regard to consequences. I can safely say with confidence that we’ve all done it at one point or another and regretted it almost immediately.
Basically, don’t make a false statement about someone else that is malicious, false and damaging to that person’s reputation. Also, don’t think you can hide behind an anonymous comment.
It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted to develop a website or web application, it would potentially cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars before you even had a prototype. So, you probably needed investors willing to step up to fund your venture. For a chance at a healthy return, wealthy angels or companies would plunk down enough change to get you through to market.
Problem is, it seems that as time and technology progresses, it becomes cheaper to actually develop for the web. There are now enough standards, backend modules (both open source and paid) that allow a lean startup team to get a product to market for a fraction of what it would have cost earlier. That means the later venture, compared to a similar venture started up several years earlier, could be more profitable earlier and wouldn’t be saddled with the startup costs of the earlier venture.
Result: lower cost to market; higher return on capital invested. Consequently, the newer startup has a healthy chance at displacing the earlier startup in both market share and profitability. I think only way to avoid this situation is if the earlier startup has become so dominant in its industry that that itself becomes a barrier to entry.
I set up a trial account on TypePad recently and tried to port my blog over there. Unfortunately I failed; there were some serious flaws that made porting difficult or impossible. So, I’ve decided to stick it out with WordPress hosted on my own server after all. It all started when I decided to restart this blog (I know, it’s been a long time since I last wrote; more on that later). That’s when I realized that WordPress had gone through a couple of major iterations since my last install. When I installed the latest version (version 2.7), I noticed that plugins broke down, templates broke down, and the interface had changed. Rather than try to relearn everything and try to fix my broken down WordPress install, I decided to take another look at TypePad.
I really liked TypePad’s administrative interface. The backend was quite elegantly designed and, once set up, posting new entries was really intuitive. I also liked their default template selections. There were 100 different designs and you also had the ability to customize your own from a default installation. The customization process was as easy as click, drag and drop. There was no noticeable lag like there were when I first tried using TypePad way back in 2005. Thus, I really wanted to like TypePad; it was elegant and polished. Compared to the WordPress backend, TypePad was, in my opinion, miles ahead.
Unfortunately, when it came time to redirect my existing posts that were well indexed in Google, that’s when I realized it wouldn’t be possible to port my blog. There were two critical TypePad flaws:
Flaw Number One - You can’t change TypePad’s permalink structure
TypePad doesn’t give you much control over how your permalinks are formed. That means that if you have anything indexed in the search engines and have any incoming links, you’ll need to do a meta-refresh to transfer visitors clicking on old links to your blog. So, unless you have a handful of blog posts, moving anything more than, say, 10 posts, becomes a real hassle.
Flaw Number Two - TypePad’s extensions are “.html”
WordPress extensions are “.php” while TypePad extensions are “.html”. I don’t think anyone these days should have webpages with the .html extension. Having that really limits how you are able to expand your webpages when it comes time to integrate with a database or otherwise interact with dynamic php code. Php code (the language on which many plugins and extensions are written) requires webpages that end in “.php”. In TypePad, you can’t change the extensions of your pages because, as Flaw Number One noted above, you can’t change your permalink structure in TypePad.
Stick with WordPress or another hosted solution (and on your own domain) unless you don’t care about losing your existing link equity or want to be locked into their system.
A Little Background
A few years ago, I read with interest the obituary of Bob Hope, one of the 20th Century’s legendary American entertainers. It was in the obituary section of The New York Times newspaper and you can read online here.
Bob Hope’s obituary was well written, reflecting a tremendous amount of research, covering his life and contributions spanning over seven decades. It discussed his work during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, entertaining American troops overseas, his career as vaudeville, theater and film, among his other detailed accomplishments. The obituary was supplemented with a picture slide show, audio sound bites, and a couple of film clips of his work in Hollywood.
Bob Hope died on Sunday, July 27, 2003 at the age of 100. On Monday morning, July 28, 2003, his obituary was featured on the front page of The New York Times newspaper and was read by thousands of its subscribers. Clearly the newspaper either had some really hard writers burning the midnight oil to research and write his obituary or, more likely, had Mr. Hope’s obit pre-written in anticipation of his eventual passing.
Well, it was pretty obvious which had occurred once you researched who the writer of the obituary was–a Mr. Vincent Canby. Vincent Canby was a prolific film and theater critic for the Times who, in October 2000, had himself passed away at the age of 76, nearly three years before Bob Hope. You can read Vincent Canby’s obituary here.
The Main Point
Now on to the main point of this post. What can we learn from how old-world media research and write obituaries that we can apply to our blog postings? If it isn’t obvious, it is that we, as bloggers, can pre-write many of our posts in anticipation of things that will likely happen sooner or later.
An Example–The Apple iPhone 3G
Taking a recent example, a tech blogger who blogs about cell phones would clearly have been able to anticipate that Apple Computer would eventually release an updated version of their world-famous iPhone. Well, this week, that event happened. Apple Computer released Version 2 of its best-selling phone, the iPhone 3G.
If you really wanted to be a cutting edge-, breaking news-type of blogger, you wouldn’t have waited until after Steve Jobs speech at WWDC 2008 to have started to write your blog posts.
Let’s pause there for a second. If you were a cool-as-ice, in-the-know tech blogger with the early “exclusives” on new products as they happen, what would you do (or, more accurately, what could you do) to make it appear as if you were a first to post, in-the-know, up-and-coming A-list blogger?
If that blogger were me, I would first make up a list of “likely” and “unlikely but wishlist” features that might appear on a new-generation Apple iPhone.
Among the likely:
- Built-in GPS
- Better battery power
- Third-party applications
- “3G” high-speed internet access
- Lower price
- Greater worldwide availability
- Multiple carriers
- Higher resolution camera
- Ability to record video
- Purchase quantity limits
- Long-term contract required
- Updated iPhone software
- Enterprise server access
- Integration with .Mac online services
Among the unlikely but wishlist:
- Video phone chat
- More than one carrier in the US
- Built-in physical keypad
- Wireless stereo headsets
- Redesign of physical form factor
- Multiple colors
While hindsight is always 20/20, let’s analyze the lists above as if we made them up well before the new iPhone 3G was revealed. What would we have been correct on? Wrong on? As it turns out, on the “likely” list, we were nearly right on everything except for the ability to record video and the lower price (phone cost was much lower but the monthly contract fee was $10 higher than currently). On the other hand, on the “unlikely but wishlist” list, none of the items were featured except for a minor redesign of the form factor and that there were two colors–black and white.
Having made those two lists and thought something about each feature well before the iPhone 3G actually debuted, I would have been well positioned to pre-write any of the following blog posts:
- Ten Features Missing From the Latest iPhone
- Five Disappointments of the iPhone 3G
- The Ultimate iPhone 3G Guide
- Three Reasons to Get/Not Get an iPhone 3G
Mix and a match the points in the lists above and you could have pre-written a number of blog posts. Just revise for reality (in case some of your predictions are wrong), add some illustrations, and release into the wild. Rinse and repeat; now you’ll be among the first to release breaking news blog posts about your favorite subjects as they happen.
A Couple of Other Examples
- Politics–Prewrite posts about who’s going to win the US election in November. Prewrite why a particular candidate lost.
- Sports–Prewrite posts about who’s going to win the US Open Golf Championship. Prewrite about the characteristics of the champion. Even though you don’t know who’s going to win, champions share some common characteristics–luck, determination, experience, etc.
I thought I would put up a domain I own for sale. If anyone is interested in BloggerForums.com, please let me know. If you always wanted to start a forum site for bloggers, here’s your chance! You can’t get any more specific than BloggerForums.com. The domain has been continuously registered since 1999. The asking price is [please email me].
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Stripe ads are a neat way to extend screen real estate to create additional advertising room. They are extremely popular with high traffic websites and are extremely visible to the website visitor since they are the first thing the visitor sees on the site.
As you can see, the reason they are so effective is because they are right at the top of the site, almost integrated with the browser’s navigation. So, they are not (at least yet) subject to visitor blindness so often associated with banner ads at the top of websites.
To integrate a stripe ad for your website, you can get a branded plugin for your Wordpress theme from certain Wordpress plugin developers or you can roll your own! In this blog post, I show you how you can roll your own. [To get the link to the full report, you must subscribe to my RSS.]
Why do you want to roll your own? Because:
1. It is free!
2. You don’t have to keep a visible link to the plugin developer’s website (e.g. “Powered by XXXX”) since that looks amateurish.
3. You get to understand how xhtml and php works so you can custom tailor your stripe ad to your website needs.
You should know a little bit of how to write html and CSS. If not, follow the steps below and just do a Google search for parts you don’t understand.
Step 1 - Create a new “div”
Add the following div and message to each page you want the stripe ad to appear:
<div id=“stripe-ad-top”>[INSERT MESSAGE HERE]</div>
If you are using Wordpress or another blogging system, you can just add the div to the appropriate template file once and it will appear on all pages.
Step 2 - Modify your CSS file or style sheet
Modify your CSS or style sheet to add in the following styles:
[Subscribe to my RSS to get the link to the full report with all the codes.]
Step 3 - Modify your webpages for Internet Explorer
Because IE6 and below is not generally standards compliant with W3C guidelines, you have to enter the follow fix for IE:
Put this at the very top of each page (again, it is easier to just paste this into your templates):
[Subscribe to my RSS to get the link to the full report with all the codes.]
Then put this in thesection, right after the reference to your linked CSS stylesheet:
[Subscribe to my RSS to get the link to the full report with all the codes.]
That’s it! Enjoy your new stripe ad!
So you have a newsy blog. You want to get into Google News. You post regularly. Google News only accepts quality blogs with multiple authors. Why not create multiple aliases even though you are the only blogger.
Is that ethical?
Rel=”nofollow” was first introduced by the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) in May 2005 as an answer to blog comment spam and other spamdexing techniques utilizing unauthorized link dropping. Since then, Google has tried to repurpose the rel=”nofollow” as a way to identify and de-influence the effects of paid links.
Paid links are primarily of three varieties–one, “sponsored” blog postings (like ReviewMe and PayPerPost); two, text-link paid advertisements (like text-link-ads.com); and three, paid directory listings. Matt Cutts, Google spam engineer, has publicly stated that all paid links should be marked with the rel=”nofollow” attribute because Google views these types of links as non-trustworthy and, therefore, these links shouldn’t be counted for purposes of search rankings.
But Google misses a crucial point, in my opinion, in getting webmasters to use the rel=”nofollow” attribute for things other than “true spam” links. That point is that in so trying to repurpose rel=”nofollow”, Google has told me what it thinks I should think.
The history of rel=”nofollow” indicates that it was used to address the blog comment and outside spam problem. By “outside” I mean the link dropping on a site by spammers not affiliated with that particular site. Google first marketed the whole concept as an answer to “untrustworthy links” (i.e. spam). Then, Google decided that all “paid” links are untrustworthy (in essence, “all paid links not marked nofollow = spam).
Since when was Google ever entitled to decide whether or not a link was trustworthy or not? Just because someone paid for a link, or I paid someone for a link to my site, doesn’t automatically mean that I don’t trust that link. Herein lies the problem–Google has made a value judgment for me that I don’t think it should have made. If I didn’t trust the site (because, for example, I didn’t believe in the product), maybe I wouldn’t have accepted the payment (even if offered) and wouldn’t have linked to the site regardless. Maybe I really do trust that site and they just happen to also pay me to blog about it or link to it. Why then should I be required to label the site “NOfollow” just because Google considered that all paid links are untrustworthy (no matter what I thought)?
My point is that Google has a right to determine what links should count for what in its index. It is their index after all. But, please, stop trying to make a value judgment for me on whether a link is trustworthy or not just based on whether it was paid for or not. Instead, ask me to identify which links have been paid and you, Google, decide whether that link is worth anything to you in your index. That’s fair.
While we’re at it, I have to mention that I think using a bunch of new rel= attributes for other types of link would really help make the web more semantic and transparent. For example (in addition to rel=”paid”), using rel=”affiliated” for sites owned by the same webmaster/person.
Recently, I made a seemingly off-topic post–”Would You Still Trust These People If You Knew These Secrets?” It hasn’t gotten a lot of attention yet for a number of reasons–off-topic for this blog, etc.
While the content was off-topic, the process for creating that content was very, very on-topic. Imagine that this blog was about consumer rights. Then, the post becomes very relevant in terms of its content–a comprehensive list of posts in the universe that reveals all the secrets of the people we entrust with our money and secrets.
And here comes the good part: You can use the same process that I used to create that list to create viral content for your blog on demand.
The content for the “Would You Still Trust These People” post was discovered in less than one second. That’s no boast, less than one second–using the power of Google. How did I do that? I used some creative search operators, a rudimentary knowledge of copywriting and the power and comprehensiveness of Google.
Here’s how I did it:
Step One - Use the right search operators
The * (asterisk) is your friend. In Google, it represents the replacement of a word or phrase. So, for example, if you entered “Popular * Ideas” in the Google search box, it will return the results “popular costume ideas”, “popular gift ideas”, etc. See here.
The ” ” (quotes) are also your friend. You probably know that placing a phrase in quotes means that a search will only return results with that phrase in that order. Thus, “popular * ideas” means that results will only have the word “popular” before the word “ideas”.
Understand how to refine your results with the “intitle:”, “inurl:” and “site” Google commands. The “intitle:” command is useful if you are obtaining many results and want to focus your results to those with the search phrase in the title. “Inurl:” is useful to focus results with the phrase in the url. Finally, “site:” allows you to focus your results to certain types of authoritative sites like .edu and .gov.
Step Two - Combine search operators with focused copywriting
If you don’t know much about direct response copywriting, head over to Copyblogger for some background. I also recommend you read the book by John Caples/Fred Hahn, “Tested Advertising Methods“.
Think about how copywriters in your niche would promote their content. What sorts of titles would they write? The beauty of copywriting is that the title are usually templates. For example, see how the following two titles, while dealing with two totally different topics, follow very much the same template:
- Ten things your doctor won’t tell you.
- Twenty things your mover won’t tell you.
Take that template and put the phrase in quotes. Then, using the asterisk, replace the words that are different with an asterisk. Add another asterisk for your niche and do a search.
For example, for this blog, I might formulate the following search query: “* things * about * blogging”. The results are here which I can use as a launch pad for creating blog posts. Mix and match the results to create viral content that’s unique.
If you find that you are getting too much “noise”, try using the “intitle:” operator, like this: intitle:”*things * about * blogging“.
Want to focus your results to government or educational sites? Add the site:.edu or site:.gov operators to your query and see what else comes up.
Using the two steps, I was able to quickly compile a list of useful links for a consumer-oriented blog (e.g. consumerist.com) for the “Would You Still Trust These People” post using this Google query: intitle:”* things your * won’t tell you“. In less than one second, I had a list of results that I used to make my post.
Want to create some tutorials for your niche but don’t know where to begin? Try this query: intitle:”how to * [keyword]“. For example, see the following results:
- intitle:”how to * iphone”
- intitle:”how to * linux”
- intitle:”how to * ubuntu”
- intitle:”how to * chess”
- intitle:”how to * move”
- intitle:”how to * lose weight”
- intitle:”how to * apple”
- intitle:”how to * mac”
- intitle:”how to * improve”
- intitle:”how to * ipod”
I hope you found this post useful! If you did, please bookmark the post at your favorite social media sites, stumble it or link to it!
Can you, my loyal reader, indulge me and see if you think this list is helpful? Whether it is or not, would you let me know? Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!
1,019 Things You Wished You Knew About Your…
Business, Money and Finance:
- 401(k) Provider
- CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
- Credit Card Company
- Customers (PDF)
- Estate Planner
- Financial Planner (PDF)
- Head Hunter
- Health Insurer
- Money Manager
- Mortgage Lender
- Online Bank
- Online Broker
- Relationship Manager
- Satisfied Patients
Home, Family and Friends:
- Adoption Agency
- Antique Dealer
- Best Friend
- Bloke (When You Are Pregnant)
- College Student
- Farmer’s Market
- Fitness Club
- Health Food Store
- Home Builder
- Home Owners’ Association
- Kid’s Camp
- Parents (of a Dorm Student)
- Private School
- Teenage Son
- Warehouse Club
Entertainment, Vacation and Holiday:
- All-Inclusive Resort
- Bed and Breakfast
- Bridge Teacher
- Country Club
- Cruise Line
- Travel Agent
- Utility Company
- Wine Merchant
Computer and Internet:
- Assisted Living Facility
- Cell Phone Service
- Child Care Provider
- Child’s Tutoring Service
- Cleaning Service
- Cosmetic Surgeon
- Delivery Service
- Doctor (About Thyroids)
- Dry Cleaner
- Eye Doctor
- Funeral Director
- HMO Doctor
- Local News
- Mobile Operator
- Moving Company
- Personal Trainer
- Plastic Surgeon
- POD Subsidy Publisher
- Prenatal Instructor
- Real Estate Agent
- Real Estate Broker
- Rental Car Company
- Wedding Planner
- Yoga Instructor
So did you hear about DMOZ founder Rich Skrenta’s Topix.net purchasing the Topix.com domain name from a Canadian company for a cool USD 1,000,000? I guess too many people were being lost in the type-in traffic going to the dot-com.
So, think about that when you choose a domain name. If it’s a dot-net (or something else) and your site becomes hugely successful, you might need to pay big buckeroos later for the dot-com.
Here’s the link to the article at WebProNews.
When I started I Help You Blog, I knew that blogging was a collaborative medium and something that would enable people from around the world to share ideas. What I didn’t expect was to actually be able to connect with some many helpful and friendly people, all of whom are willing to help and share ideas. I found that when you really have something worthwhile to write and share with others, people are so appreciative and that just makes me want to keep the blog alive!
I’m writing this post because I really want to plug someone who I think is just an awesome up and coming blogger with really fresh ideas and thoughts! If you like reading my blog, then I know you’ll also like reading what Collis Ta’eed’s has to say. If there is such a thing as a “blogging buddy” then I have to count Collis as my blogging buddy! Luckily for us, Collis writes profusely at eye-candy designed blogs North x East (his personal/problogging blog) and Freelance Switch (which he also blogs with his collaborators Cyan and Jack).
Collis has been one of the people I mentioned above who has been so willing to listen to my ideas and participate in my blogging discussions. I am very thankful for that. His North x East blog has some excellent posts that I often find myself visiting to flush out ideas I have about blogging and making money online. Some of my favorite posts Collis has written include:
- A comprehensive guide to starting a freelance career
- The nine essential posts that every blogger should know
- A classification of web business models
- A comprehensive guide to starting your freelance career (which is really a plug for Freelance Switch)
Frankly, there are many other posts! I think all of Collis posts at North x East is worthy of a read and many are worthy of a bookmark. Heck, just make sure to add North x East to your RSS reader!
Also, if you haven’t heard about Freelance Switch, you are really missing the boat on the hottest up and coming blog for freelancers! Freelance Switch is just so packed with great posts already even though there are less than 30! Thing is, Collis, Cyan and Jack have really put a great deal of heart and soul into the posts. And it shows. 3,000-plus subscribers in less than 2 weeks!? :shock: They must be doing something right! Do it now and subscribe to Freelance Switch in your RSS reader.
Some of Freelance Switch’s articles I’ve really liked include:
- The monster list of freelancing job sites
- The twelve breeds of clients and how to work with them
- Staying motivated without a boss (Part I)
- 101 essential freelancing resources (the post that launched Freelance Switch into the stratosphere)
Just to set the record straight, this post was not paid, not sponsored. It is a completely unconditional endorsement of what I believe to be two awesome resources I think my readers would find helpful. And I do walk the walk on this one–I read both North x East and Freelance Switch personally.
Thanks Collis, Cyan and Jack for all your thoughtful contributions! And thanks Collis for letting me bounce ideas off you.
Sorry this wasn’t posted earlier this past weekend. Here are some awesome “Great Blogging Posts” from loyal readers. In particular, I’d like to point out the great post by Collis and his team over at Freelance Switch with their 101 Essential Freelancing Resources that helped launch the blog and get the site over 2,000 readers in less than two weeks! Simply awesome resource! Now, the site has over 3,000 readers and is less than a month old!
Here are all of the readers this past week who’ve taken me up on my free linkback for a great post offer:
- Thoughts From My Life creates a “Checklist for Traveling - The Ultimate Guide”
- Romance Tracker’s “Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Fall In Love”
- Freelance Switch’s “101 Essential Freelancing Resources”
If you want to read more about how Collis and his buddies were able to get over a thousand subscribers in less than two weeks, head over to his most excellent blog North x East for the write up. Just so you know, his 101 list made it to the front page of del.icio.us (link to the bookmark page) and has been bookmarked over three thousand times! Well done Collis and company! Very, very kickass!
If you haven’t participated, why not? Here’s your opportunity to motivate yourself to writing a Great Post. There’s 101 ideas on the list so surely everyone must be able to find something on there to write about!
On the other hand, maybe you are just one of those people who like to read about great ideas (like my list of great post ideas) but don’t actually do anything to get involved. If that’s you, I can’t help you until you help yourself.
Wow! What a crazy two months I’ve had since this blog went online! I’ve met some awesome people both online and offline and have been thrilled with the progress of this blog. I’ve gone from zero subscribers to 100 after one month to over 470 after two months. Thank you to everyone who read my blog!
What kicked things off was my blog post about 101 great blog posting ideas. That brought in a flood of subscribers and visitors who still come in regularly nearly a month after the post. Thanks again for all of you who dugg, stumbled and linked to it; that was very kind.
I also decided to make a change in my offline job. I will be leaving the legal world and joining a bank on the business side. With that should come better hours and more predictability. Anyone who works in New York City as a corporate finance lawyer will know what I mean when I say that sooner or later almost everyone leaves law firm practice because of the unpredictability and the hours.
I started this blog intending to post daily and on a regular basis. This was going pretty well until I stumbled across Frank Schilling’s blog while preparing to do a post about domaining. As I read about this strange little niche, I found myself becoming increasingly captivated by its potential. And over the last two weeks I have been trying to absorb as much knowledge about this industry as possible.
For those of you who have visited my Cell Phone News site, I am in the process of redesigning the template and layout to better take advantage of advertisers who have frequently requested to be featured on the site. Right now, the income on that site is about one-third of what it could be. I’m very excited about the new design and it should be live within a month. It will make an interesting case study on how design can influence revenue for a professional blog.
Finally, I purchased a domain name recently in the four-figure range. I plan to develop a site that I hope will be able to bring in steady revenue and I’m very excited about it. I plan to do a feature post on how I went about researching and picking this particular domain name.