Archive for the Blogs Category

The Pareto Principle Can Save Your Business

Posted in Blogs on November 1, 2011 by wolfwomyn

The Pareto principle, which is also called the 80-20 rule, states that for many events and things in life, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

For example, an Italian economist once observed that 80% of land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. His name was Vilfredo Pareto, and that is where the principle got its name from.

Another famous example: Microsoft once found that by eliminating 20% of the largest bugs in its operating system 80% of the crashes  would stop.

Another one: most businesses find that 80% of their revenues come from just 20% of the customers.

So how can the Pareto principle save your business? Well, it is  clear: by identifying and focusing your work on the 20% of the tasks that will generate 80% of the results you’ll become much more  efficient and profitable.

Here is one practical example that you probably can relate to. Suppose you have a blog and that you are trying to make it popular (e.g., to increase its traffic). There are many things you could  do to achieve that, including:

-write quality content
-promote that content
-use social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook)
-use social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg and Reddit)
-tweak your design
-track your stats
-chat with readers
-create Youtube videos
-article marketing
-submit your blog to directories
-search engine optimization

That is a lot of things right? And many bloggers actually do all of them. But what does the Pareto principle tell us about this? It’s simple: 20% of these activities are going to produce 80% of the  traffic gain.

In fact I place these activities right on top for that reason. They are: writing quality content and promoting that content. If you do  these two things you’ll get new readers, new subscribers, backlinks  from other sites, your search rankings will increase, and  ultimately your traffic will increase.

Sure, the other activities can help, but 80% of the results will come from writing quality content and promoting it.

Guess where you should spend most of your time?

And remember that the Pareto principle works on almost any  situation, so apply it for your own business or website, and focus on the 20% of things that will bring you 80% of the results.

Source: Daniel Scocco

Tool To Check Your Search Rankings

Posted in Blogs, Websites on October 25, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Searching on Google for your keywords is indeed the simplest way to check your rankings, but it is not an effective one, because the search results you get on Google might not be the same that other people are getting.

Let’s suppose that you have a blog about celebrities, and that the main keyword you are targeting is “photos of celebrities.”

You could go to Google and search for “photos of celebrities”, and then check the position where your blog will appear. The problem is that the rankings you’ll see there are influenced by factors like your IP address, the language of your computer, your past search history and so on. This is part of an innovation Google introduced a while ago called “Personalized Search.”

For example, your blog might appear in the 5th position when you search for “photos of celebrities”, but this is so because you often click on your own website, so Google is artificially increasing the rankings of your blog when you search for it.

For all other people, however, your blog might be appearing in the 20th or 30th position.

So how do you find your real search rankings? There is a tool called Scroogle that you can use for this purpose. Here is the link: http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

It is basically a Google scraper that will get the search results from Google with an anonymous IP address, without storing cookies, without storing search-term records and so on.

When you run a search query on Scroogle, therefore, Google won’t have any past data about it, so the results will be the ones seen by the average Internet user.

You can make Scroogle show 100 results at a time, and after that you’ll just need to find where your website is positioned.

Nice trick eh?

Source: Daniel Scocco

4 Steps to Increase Your Blog Traffic

Posted in Blogs on September 14, 2011 by wolfwomyn

One of the most common complaints that I hear from bloggers is the fact that no matter how hard they try, they can’t grow their blogs past 100 or so daily page vies. Those early days are indeed the hardest, because you need to put hard work in without the certainty of achieving results.
If you are in that same situation, here is a simple strategy that will certainly increase your blog traffic and make you break the 1,000 daily page views mark. In fact, the strategy could be used even if your are already over that number but have reached a traffic plateau lately.
Just make sure to execute the 4 steps as planned and to spend the two hours and a half every day (obviously if you have more time available you can expand the time spent on each of the four steps proportionally).
First Step: Killer Articles (1 hour per day)

Spend one hour brainstorming, researching and writing killer articles (also called linkbaits, pillar articles and so on).

Notice that your goal is to release one killer article every week. If that is not possible aim for one every 15 days. So the one hour that you will spend every day will be dedicated to the same piece. In other words, expect killers articles to take from 5 up to 10 hours of work.

If you are not familiar with the term, a killer article is nothing more than a long and structured article that has the goal of delivering a huge amount of value to potential visitors. If you have a web design blog, for example, you could write an article with “100 Free Resources for Designers”. Here are some ideas for killer articles:

  • create a giant list of resources,
  • write a detailed tutorial teaching people how to do something,
  • find a solution for a common problem in your niche and write about it, or
  • write a deep analysis on a topic where people have only talked superficially

When visitors come across your killer article, you want them to have the following reaction: “Holy crap! This is awesome. I better bookmark it. Heck, I better even mention this on my site and on my Twitter account, to let my readers and friends know about it.”

Second Step: Networking (30 minutes per day)

Networking is essential, especially when you are just getting started. The 30 minutes that you will dedicate to it every day could be split among:

  • commenting on other blogs in your niche,
  • linking to the posts of bloggers in your niche, and
  • interacting with the bloggers in your niche via email, IM or Twitter.

Remember that your goal is to build genuine relationships, so don’t approach people just because you think they can help to promote your blog. Approach them because you respect their work and because you think the two of you could grow together.

Third Step: Promotion (30 minutes per day)

The first activity here is the promotion of your killer articles. Whenever you publish one of them, you should push it in any way you can. Examples include:

letting the people in your network know about it (don’t beg for a link though),
letting bloggers and webmasters in relevant niches know about it,
getting some friends to submit the article to social bookmarking sites,
getting some friends to Twitter the article, and
posting about the article in online forums and/or newsgroups.

If there is time left, spend it with search engine optimization, social media marketing and activities to promote your blog as whole. Those can range from keyword research to promoting your blog on Facebook and guest blogging.

Fourth Step: Normal Posts (30 minutes per day)

Just like a man does not live by bread alone, a blog does not live by killer articles alone. Normal posts are the ones that you will publish routinely in your blog, between the killer articles. For example, you could publish a killer article every Monday and normal posts from Tuesday through Friday. Here are some ideas for normal posts:

  • a post linking to an article on another blog and containing your opinion about it
  • a post informing your readers about a news in your niche
  • a post asking a question to your readers and aiming to initiate
  • a discussiona post highlighting a new resource or trick that you discovered and that would be useful to your reader

While killers articles are essential to promote your blog and bring new readers aboard, normal posts are the ones that will create diversity in your content and keep your readers engaged.

Source: Daniel Socco

Use This Checklist Before Publishing Your Posts

Posted in Blogs on September 8, 2011 by wolfwomyn

How many times have you published a post, only to find out you forgot to proofread and that many typos slipped through? What about when the links you included are broken, when you used the wrong keywords, or when you forgot to optimize the post title?

As you can see, there are many things one should check before hitting the “Publish” button, and most of us forget about them. That is why I decided to create “The Blog Post Checklist,” with a list of things you should check before publishing your post. You’ll find it useful especially for those long, linkbait type articles you publish once in a while (what I call “killer articles“).

Below you’ll find a description of all the checks

 

Source:
Daniel Scocco ~ Daily Blog Tips

1. Did I read the post after writing it?

Common sense as it sounds, most people don’t read what they just wrote before publishing it. This is a mistake, because unless you read your article as an integral piece you won’t be able to tell if the whole thing makes sense, if the paragraphs and sentences are in the right order, if the arguments are solid and so on.

Before anything else, therefore, read what you just wrote from top to bottom.

2. Is the post as complete as it could be?

If you want to generate as much traffic as possible and to get as many backlinks as possible, you need to make sure that your post is as complete as it could be. If you completed the previous check you should also be able to evaluate whether or not you could add more sections and explanations.

For example, you might be writing a software review, and your post is focused on the features of the software. What about the installation process? What about the compatibility of the software with other programs? These are all aspects you could include, making the post more valuable to potential readers. If you want to read more on this topic check these 10 tips to write popular posts.

3. Did I research the related keywords?

Keywords rule search engines (and the web, as a consequence). If you want to maximize your traffic you need to use the same keywords that most people use. First of all because this will make your post easier to understand. Second because it will help with the search engine optimization.

For instance, you might be writing a post about gaming notebooks. But should you call it “gaming notebooks” or “game laptops”? After using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool you would discover that the term “game notebooks” is searched by 8,000 people every month, while “gaming laptops” is searched by over 60,000 people. This means that the latter is much more widespread, and you probably should go with it.

4. Did I craft the title carefully?

The title of your post is the most important part. Even more important than the body of the post itself, because unless the title grabs the attention of visitors, they won’t read the post.

First of all make sure your title has an emotional hook. For example, you could get the reader excited by offering something of great value (e.g., “100 Photoshop Tutorials to Become a PSD Ninja”), or you could get the reader curious by making an unusual statement (e.g., “5 Things Chuck Norris Can Teach You About Marketing”).

Second, remember to use the main keywords of your post in the title, as this will help with the search engine optimization.

5. Did I proofread it?

I know you have already read your post once to make sure the ideas make sense and the paragraphs are in the right order. However, you’ll need to read it once more, to proofread it.

This time focus on spotting grammar and spelling mistakes. Here are a couple of tricks you can use for this purpose: read your article backwards or read it out loud. Both of these methods will allow you to focus on the single words, making it easier to spot the mistakes.

6. Did I link to one or more of my older posts?

Linking to older posts inside your blog is a practice that helps both human visitors and search bots. It helps human visitors because it lets them explore your archives, possibly complementing or expanding on the information they have just read. It helps search bots because it lets them crawl your site more efficiently, and it also helps them to understand your content (through the link anchor text).

Before publishing the post, take some time to find older posts you can link to.

7. Did I link to external resources when appropriate?

Do not be afraid of linking to external websites. You’ll not lose PageRank, and you’ll not lose readers.

If your content is solid, you’ll only be enriching it by linking to relevant external resources. If you mention a particular tool in your post, for instance, link to it. If you mention a term that readers might not be familiar with, link to the respective Wikipedia entry.

8. Did I make sure all links are working?

All it takes to break a link is to omit a letter, a dot, or to add an extra http:// heading. For example, if you write http://www.siteyouwannalinkto.co the link is not going to work. Similarly, if you write http://http://www.siteyouwannalinkto.com the link is not going to work either. The impact on the user experience, however, is quite significant. If your visitors can’t click on a link you mentioned and find the website they’ll get frustrated.

Before publishing the post use the “Preview” feature of your blogging software and click on all the links to make sure they are working and pointing to the correct URL.

9. Did I credit any sources I might have used?

If your post was inspired by something you read somewhere else, credit it. Similarly, if you used information that came from a particular website or blog, make sure to mention and link to it. This will be fair with the original author, and it will also be useful to your readers, as they will be able to track where everything is coming from.

One post that inspired me to write this one was 13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post On Your Blog, by Darren Rowse. Even though I had read it back in 2008, the idea probably kept wandering in my head, until I finally decided to write my own take on the issue.

10. Did I include an enticing image?

If an image is worth a thousands words, why not use one in your post? Images are a great way to entice people to read the rest of your post. They can also help with the search engine optimization, and bring some traffic from Google image search.

11. Did I optimize the permalink?

Most publishing platforms and software allow you to edit the permalink of each post you publish. You should use this feature to make sure your permalinks are concise, and that they contain your main keywords.

Apart from making the permalink look cleaner, this will also help with your search engine optimization and possibly increase the amount of traffic you’ll get from Google and company.

12. Did I add one or more elements to engage readers?

Every blog owner should be trying to build a community around his blog, and engaging readers with your content is one of the best strategies to achieve this.

Practically speaking you could ask them a question at the end of the post, include a poll, make a call to action, use their feedback directly in your post and so on.

13. Is this a good day for traffic?

Even if you have written a masterpiece, you’ll not get the best possible result if you publish it on a Sunday. The best days for traffic are usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But make sure to track your traffic numbers, so you can be sure of the best day for your blog.

Second, keep an eye on international holidays. If you live in the UK, for example, you should check the list of US federal holidays and avoid publishing your killer article on any of these dates.