How To Build A SEO Friendly Blog In 15 Minutes (Or Less)

Are You Ready To Learn How To Build A SEO Friendly Blog In 15 Minutes (Or Less) And Write Your First Blog Post? Then I’m Here To Guide You One Step At A Time…

As an entrepreneur one of the most critical pieces of your success online will be building a website that has long-term success in the search engines. Consider what happens when someone searches for a solution to a specific problem online. They type in a few keywords in a search box and waits to see what results are returned. When they see what looks to be like content that will solve their problem (usually in the first 5 results they see), they click the link and go read the content. That is what is called highly qualified organic traffic. Many small business owners believe that getting good rankings involves some sort of complicated series of SEO steps, but trust me when I tell you that in today’s post Panda/Penguin world, it isn’t that difficult. You just need to know what to do and when you do you can get it done rather quickly.

In this post today (this is a long article but worth the read:), I have outlined the steps that you can take to create a really SEO friendly blog as well as write your first post and you can do it all in under fifteen minutes.

STEP 1 – Selecting A Good Great Domain Name

It use to be that SEO experts and marketers taught clients that it’s better if you pick a domain name that has your top keyword phrase in it. We did so because for years that’s what Google showed us and told us they liked. Domain names with keywords in them because it showed relevancy. Yet with recent updates affecting exact domain names as well as Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, now everything we know has been turned upside down.

So the advice now is to not go with a domain name with an EXACT match to your keyword phrase; but to purchase one with your keyword inside. So for example, if you sell blue shoes on your site, do not buy a domain name such as Blueshoes.com — what you could buy though instead is LisasBlueShoes.com or PhiladelphiaBlueShoes.com which is not an exact keyword match but still contains the relevant keyword of blue shoes.

You can also go with a brand name  (such as LisaAngelettie.com) and forget about selecting a keyword rich domain name, yet focus your SEO optimization in other ways, which we will go over in step four of this tutorial.

TIP: You will buy a domain name once and renew it annually with any company you buy it from. Most companies charge between $10 to 15 dollars per name and the same for renewals. It is best to buy a .com name as it is the most widely recognized and used. In a pinch, you could go with a .net or a .org. Do not waste your money on a .info name or a .biz. I have yet to see these do well in the search engines.

RESOURCE: Whichever type of name you decide on, using this link you can purchase one for only $5.99 with my preferred domain hosting company GoDaddy.

godaddy domain names

STEP 2 – Fast & Reliable Website Hosting

Many moons ago, I once founded and ran an article directory for coaches. It was really becoming a great niche resource in my industry until I started running into major problems with my website hosting company. They were constantly shutting me down because of the amount of resources I was using because my traffic was good, submissions were high, and the platform that the directory was built on used a lot of resources. At the time this host didn’t have any other options for me. Shared web hosting which is fine for most sites, was all they provided and I needed something a little more robust.

I went searching for a new webhost and found Hostgator. Someone recommended them as a host who had experience handling resource heavy sites like my own under a completely affordable shared hosting plan. No need for my own server and the cost of that and they were right. I’ve been with them ever since.

One of the major factors that the search engines have been warning webmasters about for months is that page load time and site speed matters when it comes to ranking our content favorably. If it’s between sites that have near identical content but one site is faster than the other, the faster one will be ranked higher. While there are many factors that affect site speed, one of the major ones is using a webhost that is reliable, secure, and speedy.

SIDE NOTE: You can also buy your domain name with Hostgator which will cost a little more at $15.00, but I like to keep my domain name registrations separate from my web hosting just in case one of them goes down. If that happens (and I have stories about that!), I can always switch the name to a new host or move a new name to my hosted site. If you purchase your domain name with a separate company such as GoDaddy, then you will need to create your new account using your existing domain name.

existing domain name

TIP: You will need a web hosting company to host your blog. Think of it as “office space” for your blog. Free WordPress hosting will not work for a for-profit company because of their terms of service which they fully execute. You will pay for your web hosting on a monthly or annual basis and packages are rock bottom cheap now (not like when I first started out:). Make sure to write down or record your username and password after you open your account and keep it in a safe place. I use 1password for my password management.

RESOURCE: You can get started with Hostgator webhosting for as little as $3 bucks a month (at the time of this writing) and you can save $9.94 on your entire package only when you use my affiliate link and special coupon code: CONTENTRICH

hostgator webhosting


STEP 3 – Installing WordPress

Once you’ve purchased your web hosting plan, it’s super simple to install your own self hosted WordPress blog. First, you’re going to log into your new web hosting’s account CPANEL area. So for instance, you’d go to the url: http://YourWebsite.com/cpanel, which will lead you to a login box. Add the USERNAME and PASSWORD you used when you created your web hosting account. (I told you to write it down earlier:)

Now you are logged into your cpanel administration area. You can and you should spend a little time playing around in your cpanel area at a later date and get familiar with it. For now, I’m going to have you scroll down and find the links for QuickInstall or Fantastico De Luxe under software/services.  This is the program that you are going to use to install your blog. If you see QuickInstall, go with that one.

wordpress install

Once you’ve clicked on QuickInstall, then you will look to the list of software programs on the left and click on WORDPRESS. You’ll see information to the right describing the version and installation size of WordPress and a button to click to continue installing the software.

wordpress installation

Once you click continue, you’ll see another box appear on the right hand side where you will input some required information for your new blog. The first thing you’ll see is a drop down menu with your domain name in it. It’s here where you decide if you want your blog to be hosted at the root meaning http://yoursite.com or on a separate directory such as http://yoursite.com/blog. If you want it hosted on a separate directory, then you’ll have to write the name of it in the box next to the drop down menu. For example: blog. You need to be sort of sure how you want to do this because to change it you would have to uninstall WordPress then start all over again.

Examples of both scenarios would look like this:

Hosted at the root: http://LisaAngelettieBlog.com [You see blog posts on the first page of my site because it’s hosted at the root]

Hosted on a separate directory: http://clickbank.com/blog

wordpress quick install

Add an administration email for your blog, your blog’s title, your first and last name (you can change any of these details later) and click INSTALL NOW. Let the magic happen:) You’ll see a progression bar and after installation you’ll see notification of its completion. Congrats!

STEP 4 – Optimizing WordPress

Now it’s time to login to your new WordPress blog. Now you’ll go to your WordPress admin area by going to the url: http://YourSite.com/wp-admin. Once there you will need to input your username and password. Before we start writing your first post, we need to tweak some things to make your blog super SEO friendly.

There are two shortcuts to optimizing your WordPress blog. You can either use a plugin such as the wildly popular WordPress SEO Plugin, or you can use a premium template to do the job such as Thesis, or a combination of both. (I use a combination.) Whichever solution you choose, these are the basics you’ll start with when setting up your site:

Site Visibility – Make sure that you’ve published your blog to the public. You’ll find the option in the privacy area under SETTINGS in your WordPress dashboard. Believe it or not a lot of people forget or don’t know to do this after setting up their blog.

wordpress privacy settings

With the WordPress SEO plugin and Thesis Template you can set up these other three items:

Titles & Meta – Set your title & meta information for your blog the way you want people to see it in a search.
Permalinks – Change your permalink settings to a more SEO friendly one such as /%postname%/.
Sitemaps – Set up a XML sitemap so that search engines can easily crawl every post and page on your site.

RESOURCES: I highly recommend to invest in the Thesis WordPress Template and to download the FREE WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

STEP 5 – Writing Your First Post

Whew! You’ve set up and optimized your blog. Now it’s time to write your first post. WordPress is really simple to use. Go to the POSTS link and click on ADD NEW. Give your post a reader friendly title that includes a relevant keyword. WordPress will automatically use that title as the url for the post, but you can edit the url in case it’s too long. (I do this all the time).

When writing for the first time, sometimes it’s a good idea to write an introductory post which explains who you are and the types of content you’ll be writing about in the future on your blog. Some people just dive in with a really meaty, info-packed post. The choice is yours. Tweak your SEO settings for your post and then publish your post immediately or schedule it to post at a later date.

Thank you for taking the time to read this tutorial. I will be posting a series of supporting mini posts for this tutorial to take your blog publishing and optimization efforts to the next level, so be sure to subscribe to get notification of them or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Please leave any questions or feedback you have on this tutorial in the comment section and be sure to share this post with someone you think would benefit from it.

 

Ninja Tips for Serious Bloggers

penguin ninja tips imageBlogs are born in all shapes and sizes.  But there is one thing that all Blogs have in common: someone, somewhere, had a dream.  Every single Blog that exists, exists only because someone had a passion, or a wish, or a dream.

And that dream was strong enough to motivate that person get up off the sofa, and Take ACTION, in order to make their dream come true.  All the other would-be Bloggers are still sitting at home watching TV – with no Blog to call their own.

Which sort of person are YOU???  Are you serious about setting up a blog?

If you really are going to take active steps to set up a Blog, the first and most important question you must ask yourself is:

Why Do I Want to Set Up a Blog?

Only you can answer this question.  And everything you do in your future blogging life will depend on your answers to this question.  There are no Right or Wrong answers.  Before anything else, you need to know WHY you want to set up a blog, and WHAT you want to achieve with your blog.

The ‘HOW’ of setting up a blog comes later, after you know what sort of blog you want to set up.

Some Reasons Why You Might Want to Blog

The reasons WHY you want to set up a blog, and what you hope to achieve with it, dictates everything you need to do when you get down to the job of setting it up.

For example: Blogs that are designed to bring you untold wealth and an early retirement are a completely different kettle-of-fish, to the Family Recipe Blog.

[Disclaimer: Untold wealth can mean anything from $1 to $1,000,000 – that’s why it’s called ‘untold’.  Neat, eh?]

1. The Photo Album/Travel Blog

You might want to share your photos with family and friends, but you hate Facebook.  I understand that perfectly – it’s a perfectly valid reason.  I sympathize.

2. The ‘I Know How to Set Up a Blog’ Blog

This is a greatly under-rated sort of blog, and it’s one of my favorite types.

  • Sometimes we just need to impress people – Right?…Right!
  •  Feeling undervalued?  Do the kids think you are still living in the Dark Ages?  Ha! No way! Set up a blog (before they do ?) and you will Rock!  Or maybe, sway… just a little.

optimized blogging superhero

  • This sort of blog has the big advantage of not requiring much on-going work.  Setting it up and then bragging about it, is it’s sole purpose.Then, after your friends and family have been suitably impressed with your talents and brilliance, you can move on with the rest of your life, with head held high, and an Eat-My-Dust, Super-Hero Self-Confidence that will leave them gasping in your wake.  Brilliant!  Yes!

3. The ‘Dear Diary’ Blog

This type of blog will be a blog where you write and publish, thoughts and events that you are willing to share with the world.

  • There is nothing wrong with starting a ‘Dear Diary’ Blog.  Sometimes we just have to ‘tell someone’ what we are feeling, don’t we.
  • Warning: Don’t share with the world, thoughts that are best kept private. Using this Ninja Tip can save you from some tricky personal complications…such as divorce.
  • If you want to keep your thoughts personal, and for your eyes only, don’t start a Dear Diary Blog.  Keep your innermost thoughts on a File on your Computer, or only confide in the dog.
  • Extra Ninja Tip: do not call this private File: FMEO (For My Eyes Only). Why? Because some clever-clogs kid will come along and wonder what’s hidden in your FMEO file…. I’ll let you imagine the rest of that story.

4. The Personal Fortune & Early Retirement Blog

You might want to find a way to help to pay the Bills every month.

  • Great idea, but you will want to set up a completely different style of blog to the Photo Album or Personal Travelogue types of blogs.

NB. How you set up a blog so you can pay the Bills every month is not something to think about at the moment.  That will come later, after you have made a committed decision to actually get this baby on the road – and what sort of baby it’s going to be.

Free Bonus Ninja Tip:

If you are having trouble deciding what sort of a blog you want, don’t ask your friends what you should blog about. Why?

  • It’s your blog.  You know best what you want, and why you want it.
  • If you can’t work out why you want to blog for yourself, your friends aren’t going to know what YOU want, if you don’t know that for yourself.
  • If you are blogging because someone else gave you an idea that they say is the current best money-spinner – forget it. Why?

Do they really know that the topic is a potential cash cow? I doubt it. The more important reason is that if you had to ask someone else what you should blog about, you will not be sufficiently interested in that topic to be able to write a new and riveting post on that subject every 2 or 3 days – for several months. Because that is what will be required if you want to set up a serious blog that brings you visitors who are not just your family and friends. If you want to set up a blog to make money, you MUST choose a topic you have a passion for, or else you will quickly get bored with it after a month.  And then it will fail.

More Ninja Tips: What To Do If You Are Unsure What To Blog About

Ask yourself: 

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I know a lot about?
  • Do I have any hobbies?
  • Is there something I have a passion about?
  • Is my passion, or hobby or knowledge likely to be of interest to others?
  • If you hope to make money with your blog, also ask yourself:

1. Is the Topic I’m interested in, something someone else would pay money to know more about?

2. Are there enough people out there who would be willing to pay money for what I can offer them?

Note: This article cannot cover the mysteries of ‘Niche Topic Research’, or ‘How to Find Markets Where You Can Make a Killing’, or Affiliate Marketing.  How you do that can be found on the Internet…or at my own blog, My Second Million.

Really, Really Important Ninja Tip for Young Players:

Do NOT tell all your friends you are going to set up a Blog before you actually do it.  Why?  If you tell people what you intend to do before you do it, you have put yourself in a No-Win situation.  Really? Yes, really! Think about it:

Possible Outcome 1:You succeed in setting up a blog.

  • Great, but is anyone impressed?  No. Is anyone surprised? No. Why? You have only done what you said you would do. Nothing more.  They are not impressed with your brilliance because you flagged this event earlier, before you had anything to impress them with.
  • You raised their expectations, and now you have fulfilled them.  So what?  It’s no big deal – from their point of view.

Possible Outcome 2: You don’t get around to setting up your blog. 

  • If you have not told anyone of your plans, you have lost nothing.  It’s a personal decision with no public consequences.
  • But…if you have already raised people’s expectations by telling them you are going to set up a blog, and then you don’t: you have failed to deliver…you are now less in their eyes than if you had said nothing beforehand.

Flagging your intended achievements before actually achieving them is a No-No in everything you do in life, not just in blogging.  Yes, it applies to everything you do in life.

Special Ninja Life-Tip:

Always, always, always….first decide what you are going to do, then do it, then tell people what you have done.  That way, you will always give yourself the best chance to reap the true rewards for your achievements.

But if you do it in the reverse order, you will either fail to get the proper praise you deserve, or you will fail to live up to their raised expectations – expectations that you have loaded onto yourself – and you can end up damaging your image in the eyes of others.

Keep safe, friends….and keep Blogging.

Carol Manser specializes in easy to follow ‘How To’ articles on Blogging from Day1 to online Mega-Stardom – Think Big! is her motto. Visit her at http://www.mysecondmillion.com

How My Blog Traffic Increased by 33%

One of the major ways that you can and you should be attracting more clients and customers is by leveraging the power of the web. Ultimately what that means, is that you should be taking advantage of the free traffic that the search engines will send you when you give them what they want–content.

How I Increased My Blog Traffic By 33%

On February 13th I got the highest amount of traffic ever on my site and most of it was due to several articles I had written over two years ago on February and Valentine’s Day related article ideas. I saw similar results last year, but this year the increase was even higher probably because Google has ranked those articles pretty high for me with related keywords.

lisa-angelettie-blog-stats

For instance, if someone is searching specifically for Valentine’s Day Article Ideas, they will find that two of my articles on this site come up in positions #1 and #2 in Google out of over 49 million results!

valentine's day article ideas

 

Keep in mind that I wrote these articles two years ago — nothing this year around this topic because I was busy promoting Articology. So my point here is that the real key to consistent traffic that will only get better as long as it still is relevant is to just do it! Create it, publish it, rinse and repeat. And realize that you will reap rewards from your efforts immediately when you push your content out in social media AND for years to come as the search engines rank your content higher and higher in a search like the above example.

You can replicate these types of results as well when you follow a few simple rules:

Do Proper Keyword Research
I didn’t accidentally come across the term valentine’s day article ideas. I did my research and knew that there was a select group of people searching this topic using these keywords. So I made sure that I wrote optimized articles around them. I talk about this a lot in my article marketing training program Articology.

Keep Stacking Content
It’s important that you continually publish content to your blog. Not only to keep things fresh for your clients, but for the search engines, who will rank your older content based on how relevant you continue to be with your new content. Simply put, if I hadn’t continued to build my site and stack it with relevant content, I doubt that those articles would hold the #1 and #2 positions. They would get ranked, but probably not that highly.

Keep Sharing Your Content
One thing that I did do differently this year, was to casually remind people through my ezine and social media that if they needed article ideas for February or Valentine’s day that I had a few articles around that topic. I really think that this helped my traffic rise for not only the 13th but the entire month of February. Remember that while you are always sharing new content, it’s important that you remind folks of all your great older content found deep inside your site.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Remember that content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. It serves as the foundation for your business and you should ALWAYS be doing something content related in your business. This is not a quick fix strategy. Once you adjust your mindset around that fact, you will do the work necessary to see REAL results like mine as you grow your business.

Are You Going To Hit It & Quit It?

I want you to stop thinking about the pursuit of search engine traffic as a one hit wonder, a one night stand, or a quick fix. Sure there are a lot of marketers out there trying to sell you WordPress plugins, software, and “systems” that will assure you a HUGE avalanche of traffic (can you hear me being sarcastic?), but the truth of the matter is that I am not here for a quickie. I’m in it for the long haul. I can stay committed. I am faithful. I want a long term partner and therefore long term results. That is why I consistently feed the search engines what they want:

Content that is original
There is little tolerance for duplicate content by the search engines and rehashed content by readers. The search engines are getting smarter and smarter each day to all the duplicate content tricks, PLR mess, etc. and the readers are getting a little sick and tired of reading something they know that they’ve read somewhere else. Be original.

Content that is high quality and useful
I’m going to be totally transparent here. There are definitely days where I have written articles that I just wanted to get done and rushed it. Or there were articles I’ve written where I didn’t really have a lot to say and perhaps should of saved them to include in a more meaty article — but I didn’t. Ultimately I will pay the price for those so-so articles because people won’t read them or they certainly won’t convert. Not when there is a higher level of content out there on my topic. Now I’m not putting a word count on that content – I’m putting a quality meter on it. If it’s highly informative or entertaining, then publish it. If it’s not really something that you would read yourself, forget it, and go back to the drawing board.

Content that is shared with others
This is a relatively new concept for many business owners but it makes perfect sense. The quality level of any piece of content can generally be judged by how many people share it with others. Think about an article you shared with someone recently. Or a video you “liked” or “tweeted”. If you’re not totally sold on social media yet, think of “old school” sharing. Comments. Or reviews (like Amazon). Anything that gives your content the thumbs up or the seal of approval is of great importance to the search engines and helps them determine where they will rank your content. For example, if you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d really appreciate it if you would comment, Tweet it, share it on Facebook, or give it a G+.

Your Turn!
What strategies have you used to increase your blog traffic this year?  What are your trying? What’s working for you? What isn’t?

How To Optimize Your Blog Post Images For Top Google Rankings

One of the things that I find that most entrepreneurs drop the ball on is basic seo for the images on their websites. The reason why this is a BIG mistake is that Google sends websites traffic from images too. In fact, when I check my website statistics I can see what images are sending me traffic, and there are quite a few! The images that are sending me traffic to my sites typically are ones where I got the keyword phrases REALLY right. Watch this video to see how to get it done in under 4 minutes!

Top 5 Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog (And What You Can Do About It!)

Why Won't Read BlogThe content you create this year is more important than ever. The big brands like American Express and Coca-Cola have caught on now. Instead of spending a lot of their dollars on interruption marketing (commercials, etc.), they are paying consultants like myself big bucks to create compelling content campaigns for them that build brand trust and brand loyalty. Does your content do this? What is the first impression that your content makes?

In my work with clients, I do a LOT of website content evaluations a.k.a. makeovers, with which I use a 17-point criteria system. Over the years, I have consistently found five factors that site owners drop the ball on and so I thought I’d share them with you today…

Reason #1 – I Can’t Find Your Blog!

One of the biggest areas that site owners drop the ball on is basic search engine optimization. First, you have to start thinking like your ideal client. How would your ideal client search for your what you do in the search engines? What type of language would they use? Now you have to optimize your blog post titles to reflect that language so that when people do a search that your article shows up in the search results.

So for example, if you are a wedding planner and you are writing an article on wedding planning tips, I can’t tell you how many biz owners I have seen that title those articles something cute like “I Do” or generic like “Your Beautiful Wedding” — when the reality is that you need to be very specific and use terms that REAL people search for if you want to get search engine traffic like “How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget”. The key to getting this right is doing keyword research in your niche to make sure you are targeting phrases that people are typing into Google. I use the keyword research tool Market Samurai for this type of research for myself and when I create editorial calendars for clients.

Reason #2 – Your Blog Screams To Me That You Are An Amateur

As a solo entrepreneur, our resources may be limited as to how much we will invest in the aesthetics of our website, but we can make up for it in other areas. That’s why it’s really important that we do. So if your blog screams “amateur” then I’m afraid you are two seconds away from losing yet another possible client.

You are hosting your blog on a 3rd party blogging platform such as Blogger, Wordpres.org, LiveJournal etc. — While these are great resources and very user friendly for newbies, a blog hosted here does not say that you are serious about your business. Serious enough to invest a few dollars on your own domain name and a self-hosted WordPress blog. When I see a blog like this, I don’t think serious, I think “newbie” — and I’m not going to invest my money with a newbie or with someone who appears to be a newbie.

Your blog looks straight out of the package. While you do not have to spend a lot of time or money on this, I think that it’s really important for your website to look like you’ve spent at least a little energy in making it “different” than the many other blogs that use the same template you use. It shows that you are serious about your business and that you want to provide a good user experience.

Reason #3 – Your Blog Gives Me A Headache

If your blog is too cluttered, it will turn off and turn away potential clients. A good way to give your blog “room to breathe” is to make sure that your articles have a lot of white space between paragraphs, photos, etc. You also need to take a good long look at your sidebars. Do you have too many slow loading social media widgets? (Dear Facebook, can you fix that?) Do you have too many advertisements? Is there just too much junk in your sidebars that leave your readers about where to go first? Consider what you can eliminate from your sidebars that will improve your visitors user experience? A simple and clean blog is best.

Reason #4 – There Is No YOU In Your Blog

This isn’t typically a newbie mistake, but one that many intermediate marketers make. A trend that has started which I fully support is the use of guest blog posts. Many bloggers are featuring other writers and experts so that there is more “fresh” content on their site without having to create it all themselves. Totally fine strategy, except that many bloggers are overdoing it to the point that I don’t know what the point or message of the blog is. There are so many different points and strategies being made on the blog by different writers, I’m not really sure what I’m suppose to be learning and more importantly what to do next. If this is you, remember that this is YOUR business and at the end of the day people have to be able to trust YOU in order to make a decision on whether or not to invest with you. Using too many guest bloggers will dilute your message, so be picky and selective about who you feature. Make sure the message of the guest articles are in alignment with your overall marketing message.

Reason #5 – You Haven’t Invited Me To Come Back

While I may do a search, and find your blog articles, AND actually read one, I probably won’t ever come back and visit your blog again because you haven’t asked me to. The #1 call to action that entrepreneurs should make in their blog is to ask for an email address so that the reader can continue to read more content. The reality is that trust doesn’t come easy in today’s world! Visitors need to have additional exposure to your message in order to make a decision to trust you and invest in you. So ask invite them to experience more of you. Make sure to add optin boxes on your blog. The best 2 places for these optin invitations are top right-hand corner of your site and at the end of your individual articles.

Your Turn!

I’m sure you’ve visited many blogs on your travels around the web, what are some things that make you “click away”? Share them below in the comments area, because I’m sure that we all can learn from each other.

5 Essential Rules For Protecting Your Content From Disaster

Last Week I Broke My Blog, So Here Are My 5 Essential Rules For Protecting Your Content From Disaster…

If you are paying really close attention (or maybe I flew under the radar), you’ll notice that probably the last article (or 2) I published are missing from my site. The reason why is that I had to repair the blog using the database back up that my web host Hostgator runs regularly of my blog. They typically back up a site weekly, so when I contacted them, and they fixed it, the last couple of recent articles were missing.

I know what you’re thinking…I did not follow some of my own advice and write and save the articles in my word processing application. No, silly me wrote the articles directly to my blog — so whatever is missing — is gone. Links to those articles — 404 errors.

Mistakes are human and everybody makes them, but guess what? I’m a little embarrassed by this one. So here’s a content protection plan that I’m sticking to and I’m sharing it with you too…

save content

 

There is nothing more frustrating for a writer than to be in mid-sentence and the power goes out. Note to self: don’t write your most inspired articles in the middle of a torrential storm! So based on quite a few episodes that I’m embarrassed to admit, of serious content loss, I started implementing a few rules in my life in an effort to always protect what is the lifeblood of my business — my content.

Rule #1 – Save As You Go
There are many word processing or blogging platforms that now do this automatically, but just in case they don’t — always save your work as you go. This can be a difficult task for someone when they are in the “writing zone”, but all I can say is that you have to discipline yourself to do it.

There have been many times that the power has gone out for 2 seconds, but just that fast my computer shut off and had to reboot — and so whatever I was working on was lost. This goes for all content including videos, audios, etc. Even if it’s a rough cut – save it.

Rule #2 – Save On An External Hard Drive
It’s practically like the Flinstones of hard drives, but I have one of my trusty old hard drives passed down to me from my husband’s early record producing days, that I use to save my entire site. I work on a Mac, so I use it in conjunction with Time Machine and it works fantastically. I make sure that I download a copy of my WordPress database on this hard drive too, so that I have it saved as well.

Rule #3 – Save Your Files In The Cloud
I practically did a old high school styled cheer “hooray!” when news of the “cloud” came into fruition. I love the concept of saving all of my important stuff in the air somewhere. Somewhere safe. So again since I am on a Mac and have a MobileMe account, I save all of my important files to the cloud.

The secondary benefit of saving to the cloud is that I can view the files on my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop and everything looks the same and any edits I make will be seen the same on all devices, because I’m really making the edits “in the cloud” ! Love it.

If you don’t have a Mac that’s okay, because you can save your files the old school way. Upload and save your Images to Flickr. Save your articles to a major directory like EzineArticles. Your videos should be very safe on YouTube.

Rule #4 – Print & Save Copies Of Your Work
Okay, can someone cue a little Run DMC because this is old school and not very environmentally friendly, but it works, and that’s to have a print copy of your important work.

I mean what if you’re writing that book of yours that you’ve been writing for like 11 years and something happens to your computer files — there’s nothing like being able to whip out those pages right! I print most of my products and program materials and keep them in files just in case.

Rule #5 – Keep A Copy Out Of Your Office
Whether you work in a rented space or home office, it’s important to understand that part of keeping things backed up and safe is to separate them from where the potential disasters may happen. First place is the home. You may have a flood, a fire, or some other issue but your content will be safe as long as you kept it out away from your main working area. So a safety deposit box. Your mom’s house! Anywhere but where you are.

 

What Is Content Marketing?

Have You Ever Wondered What Is Content Marketing — Really?

“Your Business Must Market Content In Order To Thrive”

There is a movement going on in the world today — people do not want to be sold to. Instead it is crucial for business owners to build trust, credibility, and likability with customers and clients before the sale is made. So while many traditional advertisers are struggling  converting customers with print ads, television commercials, and direct mail, businesses using content marketing are not. The reason being that for entrepreneurs like you and me — it is our first priority to give people value first – then convert them into the sale later.

So What Exactly Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the act of a business owner creating and sharing free but valuable information that a prospective client or customer has requested (or searched for) and which creates trust, credibility and authority for the business owner that provided the information.

There are characteristics that differentiate a solid content marketing piece from a random source of free content on the web–content marketing must offer value and have a call to action a.k.a. some sort of action you want the prospect to take after they’ve read, listened, or viewed your content.

Another characteristic of Content Marketing is that it is something which grows exponentially more powerful with repetition. It’s this repeated and regular exposure to your content and therefore your marketing message which builds a relationship of trust, likability, and the opportunity to convert your prospects several times rather then once.

It makes sense because statistics prove that it takes more than 7 exposures to a marketing message before a prospect even considers investing in you, and I can only imagine how that number is probably even higher for solo entrepreneurs.  I admittedly told one of my most influential mentors how it took about three years of being marketed to by her before I invested in coaching with her!

What Types Of Content Marketing Are There?

Do you already use some of these in your business? Are you maximizing the reach that each of these content marketing tools can make?

1. Articles
2. Blogs
3. White Papers
4. Free Reports
5. Videos
6. Audios
7. Social Media Content
8. Email Newsletters

Luckily over the years I have actually discovered my content marketing sweet spot, and I found it by effectively figuring out the right ratio for providing high-value content vs. promotional messages that resonated with prospects.

Interested in obtaining started creating & leveraging marketable content? So my assignment for you is to let go of the limiting belief that you are frightened of giving away all your yummy content. The actuality is that you must give some of the good stuff! And this is why…

Deliver your prospects undeniable value, connect with them authentically, build their trust, as well as they will definitely not merely want to function by having you, however they are going to count on everything that they purchase from you and they will definitely disperse the word about you all over the spot. That is actually the TRUE potential of content marketing!

How To Create A Trackback URL

How To Create A Trackback URL

For a web writer, links and backlinks are serious business! We love ’em. So today I wanted to discuss with you the value of using trackback url links and how to use them in your blog.

What Is A Trackback?

First of all, it’s important that you understand what a trackback is. A trackback is a method for web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their articles. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking, and so referring, to their content. Blogging platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Movable Type, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published, although WordPress is considered the favored platform for trackback linking. Side Note – Blogger does not support trackback linking.

Let Me Explain Trackbacks In Even Simpler Terms…

If you are cruising around my site and you see an article on creating a custom Facebook url that you want to share with your readers, the obvious thing to do would be to link to that article: http://lisaangelettieblog.com/how-to-create-custom-facebook-url/. Linking to this article from another trackback enabled blog (like another WordPress blog) would automatically create a trackback link.

This type of link that lets me know that you have made reference to my article and it also lets me know in which article on your site you did this – by including a link to that article. At best this gets me interested in you and I will visit your site and read (and possibly refer) to some of your articles as well. We could build a relationship. At worst, you at least have my attention and you have a backlink to your site on my site.

Where Would I Find A Trackback Link?

The way trackback links are displayed can differ based on the type of blogging platform you are using, and even if you are on a WordPress blog, the display can differ based on theme. But for the most part – you will find trackback links in the comment section of your blog or right before the blog comments. This is what a trackback looks like on one of my fav’ sites Problogger:

trackback example

Please be aware that some blogs show trackback links differently and this is usually dependent upon the preferences you have set up for your blog’s comments. For example, on my site, I just show the link to the referring article. I don’t include the excerpt like Problogger does.

Other sites do enable trackback links but choose not to show them on their site, while others choose not to enable trackback linking at all (which I don’t agree with), but this is probably due to something out there called “trackback spam”.

What Is Trackback Spam?

Well, if you start seeing some trackback links from totally off topic sites or if you get a trackback link from the same site every time you publish – you are probably receiving trackback spam. It’s a good idea to delete those trackback links because they are basically fishing for links all over the web. They aren’t really referring you to any qualified reader that would actually visit your site.

The WordPress plugin Akismet does a really good job of keeping trackback spam at bay, although there are a few other solutions out there such as Simple Trackback Validation that do the same thing as well.

How Concerned Do I Need To Be About Obtaining Trackbacks?

You really cannot force trackback links to your site. They happen organically because someone liked something you wrote on your blog – end of story. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just pay attention when you do get your first few trackback links and see if the blogger would be someone with whom you could build a relationship with in the future.

What you can do purposefully though is refer to relevant articles yourself and build trackback links on other sites. Do this only when you really like the content and preferably on a high traffic blog. The reason why I say high traffic is that most trackback links are NOFOLLOW links, so the advantage of having the link is so that a human being (the blog owner and/or a reader) will see it and click on it. There is no SEO benefit, although there are a handful of blogs that have purposefully turned their trackback links into DOFOLLOW links.

*Bonus Tip – TweetBacks

There is also something called Tweetbacks. That’s when a link pops up in or under your comment section because someone on Twitter has referred to (linked to) one of your articles. This is just another great way to continue the conversation about your content in the social media stratosphere. We like these too!

How To Create A Tweetback

So for instance, if you wanted to recommend this article to your Twitter followers, you would copy the url of the article, shorten it using tinyurl or bi.tly etc., and create a tweet adding that link. Once you do that, a tweetback would automatically appear in my comment section from your Twitter profile.

*This article idea was submitted by a valued reader. Feel free to submit article ideas you’d like me to write about over on my Facebook page.