BlogLectures

In-Depth Blogging And Marketing Advice That Work

Internet Marketing

Developing a Home Business Enterprise for Beginning Internet Marketers

It is becoming apparent to many people that home businesses can be a great source of income. The problem is that many people don’t know where to begin. To be successful, you need to learn everything that you can about home business. This article will help you get going.

Internet Marketing

Be sure to set some money aside for paying taxes. Taxes will account for about 15 or 20% of your total income so make sure you save accordingly.

A good home business tip is to look as professional as you can. If your website has an unprofessional appearance, you potential customers will not be impressed. You can garner some very useful ideas about how to create your own best website by looking at professional examples scattered all about the Internet.

Try to find a product on which to base your home business that fulfills one of your needs. Customers want to buy products that solve common problems they face every day. If it is a product that solves your problem, then it will, of course, appeal to others too.

As soon as your business is up and running, track mileage and gas on all the driving you do in relation to the business. Business-related transportation costs are often tax deductible. You can achieve significant savings on your tax bill by keeping accurate records and knowing the available business deductions.

Prepare a written business plan if you have a home-based business. Even though your business might be small, you still need to outline what your business goals are, what resources you need, and what methods you will use to reach your goal. Business plans are essential for keeping your new venture on track.

Check out any employee that you might hire to help build your home business. It is important that feel certain that your workers are both skilled and reliable with regards to the products that you are planning to sell.

If it is a viable idea and won’t distract from your website, you can earn a profit from requiring membership fees. In many cases, your site could easily implement a membership subscription that could increase your profits.

While it may seem to entice customers with discounts when you are starting a business, it is a recipe for disaster if you do it too much. Be transparent with your customers about payment terms, potential fees and interest due on late payments.

Remember that things take time. Don’t expect the home based business you’ve created to become super successful overnight. The more you work at your business, the better it will become. Being patient and consistent are fundamental building blocks for your home business.

Where are your customers located? Find out where they are and do what you can to reach out and communicate with them. Online customers and prospects are great, but many potential customers await you in the physical world as well. You can attract new business by creating a physical presence in different markets.

As you can see, it will require a little bit of work and dedication to make the jump. If you can manage to pull through and stick to the plan, you will be able to accurately represent your dream in the company’s image and create something that is long-lasting and profitable over the years.

Blog for Your Business

The Reasons You Should Launch a Blog for Your Business

Can a business still use a blog in a meaningful way, or have the new social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, superseded this tool? Several years ago, many companies abandoned their static, flat websites that lectured customers with facts that could have been straight out of their Annual Reports, and began including blogs. There they announced their most recent products and received customer input in return, and discovered that blogs were a valuable public relations tool.

Blog for Your Business

Dell computers have always been seen as the leader in the blogging community, is one of the initial companies to make such a change. Even though Dell had become a very successful organization, a barrier still remained between the company and its consumers, many of whom had frustrating complaints that were not being attended to. When Dell set up to receive blog comments, the turnaround in its relationship with customers was remarkable. General Motors, too, had a similar experience.

Blogs can even work in tandem with email newsletters. Businesses need to engage customers in several ways. If it’s updated regularly, the blog can provide fresh information that won’t vanish down the page quite so quickly, say, as the more ephemeral tweets on Twitter. Up-to-date business news can be posted in a friendly, casual fashion, allowing customers to ask questions or make suggestions. And their remarks won’t vanish down the page either.

Companies do need to be careful about raising customers’ expectations, however. While an almost one-on-one relationship might be feasible between a small business and its customers, bigger companies may not be able to respond to all queries or complaints, and this could ruin its good reputation if the company is not vigilant.

An additional use for a blog and one that companies might not even consider at first is for internal communication. Despite the fact that employees can keep in touch by means of email, meetings or conference calls, an internal blog can concentrate on one department or a single project, providing a central place for a group to receive daily updates or make an informal entry of their advancements. This will keep these employees up to date without their own email inbox piling up to an unmanageable level.

Even though blogs are now in a lot of ways less active, they still have a function in giving up-to-date business information and news to consumers and obtaining feedback from them. Belonging to the more tried and true internet establishment, they provide information in a more permanent form than other media, yet allow a business to remain in fruitful, friendly contact with its customers.

Untapped Sources For Dynamite Content Ideas

Three Untapped Sources For Dynamite Content Ideas

You, as a writer, ever daydreaming-ly stared at a blank wall for about a minute before getting your consciousness back?

I have, not a lot though.

Running out of ideas is almost impossible for me.

But if you are one those who experiences the writer’s block from time to time, now is the right moment to find out how you can counter it.

Untapped Sources For Dynamite Content Ideas

Utilizing Other Sources

This is always the first and the most recommended method for finding content ideas.

Of course, what other sources? Blogs in your niche, but even some where off-topic, e.g. from the news, could spark up a totally innovative idea unto your mind.

It needs no reminding that the sources you pick from should ideally be authortative, not from unknown sources, just in case you pick up false information.

So you’re only checking out posts from the front pages?

Dig up the ancient archives!

It might not be the best idea to read from the past, since not all content is timeless, meaning, some information from the past if presented now may be out of date.

What you should do is to look for timeless valuable posts, since they are still in effect and you can tweak some ideas into it and transform it to your own version.

Teach As You Learn

Don’t tell me you have mastered everything in your topic, it’s common sense that you’re learning new things almost everyday.

Then teach your audience of your understandings.

Whatever you have learned recently, wrote a post about it, perhaps a summary? Absolutely not a bad idea, ayy?

This is really my personal favorite, and anyone can generate plentiful of ideas using only this technique, but a word of advice is to teach what you only understand, truthfully. This is the reason why I never write posts about how to make money online, because I have not yet done that.

So, teach your readers what you know, with honesty.

Talk About Your Chair

Before you speak, I do know that a chair is completely irrelavent about finding ideas, I’m going to be a smarty pants here.

Just force something to make sense in your niche.

Example: If you blog about personal developement, write a post called “What Chairs Can Teach You About Life”, it works and your headline grabs attention without paying much efforts into the craftmanship.

So how can a chair teach anyone about life? It’s going to sound weird but make something up:

Struture. The structure of all typical chairs consists of four legs, and with four legs, it creates balance that allows us to put our weight on the seat without causing harm.

What this teaches us. The structure of anything plays an important role in the main object, without the structure, which is the base, you cannot put anything on top of it, meaning before you start running you need to first learn how to walk.

Quality. The material used in all chairs must pass a quality check, and to ensure it does not cause any damage to people.

What this teaches us. Whatever you do, quality is always over quantity, try to focus on making a single good than making many of average.

And so on…

Whatever you can see from a chair, make something up that has meanings in your niche (in this case personal development), and that the information you give out has valuable information.

The ideas are countless with this trick, talk about whatever you see, it doesn’t have to be about chairs, it could be about airports, buses, handbags, oranges or even ants.

Use your own imagination

The power of ideas derive from a person’s creativity, why not take the primitive ability into action?

Brainstorm ideas yourself, sometimes it’s better not to rely on other sources, but to speak your mind.

Anything in the world if added with a little bit of creativity juice can become potential content.

To me, ideas never seem to run out, there are as much as the stars in Andromeda.

If you ever tell me you ran out of something to say in your niche, first remind me that you’re out of your mind.

Really.

Comment

The Secret To Transforming Readers Into Loyal Commentators

If you own a blog and you have ever received a comment, then you and I both know, it’s not a common thing that you see the same commentator come back again. It’s always a new person.

In most cases, people comment and leave and barely ever come back, only a whopping twenty percent of the people will turn loyal and revisit your site.

Obviously, the more comments our blogs get, the better, it means the blog is alive, it equals to social proof, it makes a blog a blog.

Comment

Before we deal with how to interact with comments, first you need to “get” those people to touch their keyboards and start expressing their thoughts.

The two types

There are two types of people that you need to know about, ones that are novice internet users and ones that are people who know about commenting.

You can skip the ones who know about blogs and comments, but you need to pay attention to the internet users who don’t or have little knowledge in all this.

Now, imagine yourself as one of those:

You read information from a blog and then leave and wait for new stuff to come by some other day. You never contribute (as in commenting).

The only thing they do is read.

And that is their weakness.

Step one: Hook their first comments

If they are solely readers, it’s fact that they will see every single thing you write, why not directly get them to comment? Be challenging and ask them something worthwhile to answer, don’t just drop in a random question.

When people comment the first time, there will be a second time.

But to make the first time happen, it’s up to you. Make them do it, think of the scenario as yourself as them, brainstorm what it takes for them to leave their thoughts.

Now, pretend you see a comment pop up in your dashboard, you’re all excited.

However, there’s a catch, there’s a trick you need to perform to get them come back again.

Let’s be honest, do you respond to every single comment you get? Well, I do, even to useless words like “nice post I like it very much”, if it gets past Akismet and that I approve it, it’s a law that I would respond to it, or else there would have been no point in approving the comment in the first place.

Plus, it’s rude if someone talks to you and you ignore them, how do you expect the commentators to comment again? You’ve just ruined your first time impression.

Step two: Respond

That makes sense, why would anyone want to leave a comment knowing that they won’t get a reply? Man, I see this mistake a lot from other bloggers.

No the excuse isn’t because you were busy or you didn’t have anything worthwhile to say.

If someone said something, there must be something you can talk back, as blog owners, that’s our job.

Provided that you do respond to comments,

How do you talk back? In a casual manner? In a rude manner? In a positive manner?

Yeah I had it. In a casual manner. Was that your answer? Unfortunately that’s not what you should be doing.

You need not only to be casual.

Replying your comment back in a casual manner surely is how things work, but here’s the strategy:

Be remarkable.

What on Earth does that mean?

It means that you have to create a remarkable image in your commentators’ mind. You’ve got to say something that makes him/her want to reply to your response.

Even if he doesn’t, don’t worry, you have already sent a natural hidden message in his mind, a message that tells him he needs to come back for updates on your blog.

And that is:

The catch: Respond remarkably

Don’t freak out if he doesn’t respond to your remarkable response, he will definitely come back, he might contribute to your blog in another way for example purchasing your e-books, tweeting your posts or tell his/her friends about you.

So this is how you should respond remarkably, you need to carefully craft this stuff yourself, it’s industry specific. This is similar to the idea of using attractive headlines, but instead you write attractive comments. (attractive to that particular commentator, not all commentators)

You could be speaking in a half weird manner, you could answer a comment in question form, esempio:

Not attractive: thanks for your comment I think this point is great too.

Discussion generator: would you ever use this X method? like seriously.

The ideas are countless.

Make it look like you’re teasing him but in a positive way, when the commentator sees such a not-so-usual reply, it must be hard not to talk back.

That’s it.

When he talks back, which most of the times he will and if he doesn’t, he will do it on other posts (you’ll have to lower your remarkable response’s intensity because some people can’t take it).

You be casual.

This is the right moment to build relationships (in the friends way), don’t be afraid to start threaded conversations.

As time gradually ticks away, loyalty strengthens. [Of course, you have to keep on writing content]

You’d be king, he’d be slave. (lame joke)

Now, the real problem kicks in, we live in a world where nothing is perfect.

What if the commentator doesn’t come back to read your response?

You send them an email with the conversation in it.

Solution: Use a Comment Reply plugin, craft a unique layout for the email in the settings, don’t use the plain default version, be remarkable and drive good first time impressions.

Well, that won’t make things perfect but it will certainly get you the most amount of loyal commentators, see for yourself.

No comment because this is too nitty-gritty? I expected. (but you can still talk)

The Simple Link Building Strategy That Works Ninja

As you probably know, I haven’t been posting on that classic Blog Lectures “once every 3 days” schedule, I realized quality is really important over quantity.

Recently, I have been doing a side project, a bit of link building through article marketing for a mini niche site I have been working on.

Now, I’ll be sharing with you of the link building strategies I use to rank for a high search engine position. It works for websites, blogs, minisites, anything really. The main linking comes from article marketing, below I will first give a simple description of what links are and etc.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are basically “votes”, the more votes you have, the higher position you have in search engines.

Building backlinks is a part of search engine optimization, a “vote” is basically a hyperlink from other pages that links back to your blog or a page on your blog. Hence the name, links back, back-links…blah.

Some people might ask, couldn’t I just repeatedly link to my blog or a page on my blog myself?Yes, they are still backlinks but have less search engine benefits, you will need to focus on building links that are from pages outside of your blog.

Important: Anchor Text

You may hear this SEO term many times in the web industry, an anchor text is the text that you link to other pages with. For example I have this post about content ideas, I could link it in various ways:

http://www.bloglectures.com/content-idea-sources/

I could simply link to the page with the URL like I did above, but people in search engines don’t search URLs, they search keywords so to give the page some SEO benefits, I should link it using keywords.

Content Idea Sources

See the difference? If thousands of people link to this post with the anchor text “Content Idea Sources”, I am getting a lot of “votes” and Google would put me up higher in the search results for this term.

When you build links to your blog or other pages, it is critical that you hyperlink the link with the keywords you’re trying to rank for 1st on search engines as the text.

Need another example? Go to Google and search “Click Here” and you will be surprised at the fact that the first result is completely irrelevant with this keyword, but because millions of other sites link to it with the anchor text “Click Here”, therefore it gets the 1st place.

Why are anchored-backlinks important?

If you have a good amount of backlinks for a keyword, you can “capture” the 1st result of the first page on Google for that keyword (as well as other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing).

Obviously, if your blog or a page from your blog is ranked 1st for a commonly searched keyword, you will receive a lot of free organic traffic from search engines every day without further work, unless you have competition who are trying to rank for the same keyword.

No-Follow and Do-Follow

To reap search engine benefits, hyperlinks that link back to your site must be do-follow, meaning they should NOT have a rel= “nofollow” tag, or else it would be useless and the backlink will not get picked up by Google (and others but not all). Example of a no-follow link:

<a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">Link text</a>

Make sure you double-check whether your backlink is do-follow or not before you build them or your efforts will go wasted. You can easily do that by right clicking anywhere of a page, view the source code and search for your link, if you don’t see any no-follow tags next to your link, you’re all good.

What are keywords?

Keywords are what people commonly search on search engines, say “How to train my dog”, “How to lose weight fast”…etc

You might want to aim for a keyword that people often search or else there would be no point in getting the first result for that search term.

For example, if you wanted to rank for the 1st result for the keyword “common blogging mistakes”, then you will have to do hyperlink your links with the appropriate anchor text, like this:

Common Blogging Mistakes

Oh and it should be do-follow!

Important Ranking Factors

  • Anchor Text – We talked about this earlier, your backlinks should be named the keywords you’re ranking for, not the domain URL or something else that people don’t search.
  • Single-Phrase Backlinking – A little contrary to the anchor text factor but you should never build backlinks around a single keyword, try and give it a little twist every now and then (keep it relevant at the same time), for example: instead of using the “weight loss tips” anchor text all the time, try “weight loss advice”.
  • Page Rank – The higher page rank a page has, the higher link juice (a term for SEO benefits) it will give you if it links to you, to check, simply use this tool. Bear in mind that all pages have an individual page rank even if it’s from the same domain. A backlink from a page rank 7 site can give you as much link juice you can get from 500,000 unique backlinks (real data) from page rank 1 sites.
  • Relevancy – If the backlinks you are getting is from a website that is totally irrelevant from yours, I suggest you should not consider those links, in fact, they can even lower your credibility. If you have a weight loss blog, get links from blogs about weight loss and not from blogs about casinoes.
  • Link Weight – The strength of a link on a particular page is calculated by many factors, the stronger the better, and if a page has many links to other places, the strength of each link will be shared amongst the others, meaning each backlink will become weaker. If you plan on getting quality backlinks, make sure the link weight isn’t spread around with many others.

So the catch is where can you build backlinks?

There are numerous of ways, with one being most popular called article marketing, that is by writing an article around 400 words and submit to an article directory in return for a backlink to benefit yourself with.

This is where I submit content to, three places I’ll ever use:

  1. EzineArticles – Article Marketing
  2. Hubpages – Web 2.0
  3. Relevant Blogs – Guest Posting

EzineArticles is for submitting articles that have a minimum of 400 words, after your content, you get an author resource box to place your two backlinks however you like it. As they say:

“The BODY of your article is where you “GIVE” and the RESOURCE BOX is where you get to “TAKE” for your article gift of information.”

Make sure you write good articles or else the editorial team won’t approve them, all articles are checked by real human beings, so don’t cheat or anything.

Hubpages is a web 2.0, in simple English that means it’s place where you can submit your articles to, it doesn’t have real people checking your stuff, however there is a scoring system called HubScores, it will move up if you write useful stuff and participate in the community, if you spam or write junk it will go down.

Take note that your author HubScore has to be above 75 or else links from all of your articles (called Hubs) will become no-follow. Also, if an individual hub has a score lower than 40 or 50 I don’t remember, the links from that hub alone will become no-follow.

However, it is easy to maintain good HubScores if you give value.

Relevant Blogs, unfortunately I cannot give you much data on this because I don’t know your niche, try Technorati Blog Search for finding relevant blogs. If you guest post on a blog that has a similar topic of yours, you can get quiet good backlinks because there are many blogs out there with a high page rank

Plus, you get instant traffic because almost every single subscriber from that blog will read the post.

Guest posting is basically writing a post for a blog owner to submit it on his/her blog, you get to include a 2-3 sentences “author’s biography” at the bottom of the post with a maximum of 2 backlinks (most of the times).

EzineArticles and Hubpages both have a stable page rank of 6 so the strength of the backlinks you get are reasonably good.

Linking Building Plan

I have a link building plan to show you, but to make things simple, I have broken them down to three parts step-by-step.

#1) Simple Direct Backlinking

 

I know the graphics are terrible, I did it with MS Paint so bear with me. This is the fundamental form of backlinking, you publish content on a platform and place an optimized link back to your target, it could be your best post or your homepage URL, anything really.

#2) Linking With Support

 

The green link means it is a “support link“. As you can see both of these articles have a link to your target, and HubPages has a link to support an article you wrote over at EzineArticles, meaning the strength of the backlink to your target on EzineArticles is more powerful because it is supported by a link from HubPages.

#3) Linking With Double Support

In this form of backlinking, you can strengthen the Guest Blog link with the EzineArticles backlink as it is also supported by HubPages, this will enhance your overall backlinking effectiveness.

If you are confused, you can definitely ask me in the comments below, but it is quiet simple, basically, all articles you publish has a backlink to your target, but there’s a support link from HubPages to Ezines and another from Ezines to a Guest Blog.

The Ultimate Support-linking Order

You cannot switch the order of the support links, you can but you will have weaker link juice. You should always use support links this way:

HubPages —> EzineArticles —> Guest Blog

Web 2.0 —>  Article Directories —> Blogs

I’ll explain this, because HubPages is a Web 2.0 and their articles don’t get reviewed by human staffs, it is not as good as EzineArticles, whereas EzineArticles is an article directory that has a human editiorial team.

You guessed it, best of all, a blog, because blog owners will always precisely check the content that get published on their blogs, it is really difficult to guarantee your articles will get accepted (note I used accepted not approved).

The quality of the articles you publish need to be better and better as you move up to a different platform, as the reviewing process gets tougher than the previous.

Warning: Never Reciprocally Link

There’s a SEO term called Reciprocal Linking, for example, if you have a backlink from article A to article B, and article B also has a link back to article A, meaning, they are linking back to each other.

That is 100% no good, it won’t harm you in a bad way, but both of your links will weaken, even weaker than what you should get normally. Therefore, make sure you link articles in a linear fashion.

Critical Key Point of Link Building

Link building in reality is really just writing articles and linking them back to your own website, the most important aspect that people miss, is to write.

I know writing is a tedious task, I hate it too, how effective or how quick you will achieve your results depend on one key, and that is the number of articles you can write.

If you use this link building strategy properly, you will definitely see your desired increase in search engine ranking. The speed is keyword specific though.

As usual, let me hear your thoughts about this tactic. (or this ninja will Kung Fu chop you from behind :) )

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