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How to Build Big Web Traffic in a Tiny, Niche Blog

By on Apr 19, 2013 in Blogging |

Blogging, for most, is a labor of love. Sure there are plenty of people out there with lofty goals of monetization, but most bloggers don’t start out with the idea of becoming a millionaire. They just want to share their ideas and opinions with an audience in the hope that they can connect with, learn from, and inspire a group of like-minded individuals. But as long as you’re sharing your passion with others, you might as well do what you can to extend your reach. Of course, it’s not quite as easy as waving your virtual wand and taking your tiny, niche blog to the level of popularity enjoyed by, say, Mashable, the Onion, or TMZ. You’ll actually have to take targeted steps in order to increase traffic, visibility, and your overall web presence. And even then you may never gain the expansive following you seek. But if you’re committed to making the most of your blog, even if it only appeals to a particular segment of society, here are a few tips to help you build your web traffic. Content, content, content. It’s not enough that you’re an expert in the niche topic you blog about – you have to remind readers of this fact constantly by providing them with current examples of your genius. And if you’re at all savvy concerning SEO, then you know that adding content regularly not only keeps readers interested; it also gives you a chance to use trending keywords to your advantage. Of course, your primary objective is to ensure the satisfaction of your readership, and you can do this, first and foremost, by keeping them riveted with your fresh, engaging, and timely content. Share and share alike. As a niche blog you will have to rely somewhat on a grass-roots type of movement to spread your name. The best way to do this is by encouraging current patrons to share your posts. And you’ll no doubt discover that certain types of content are more likely to be shared. For example, large blocks of text might not move well (unless they feature incendiary, shocking, or hilarious content), but infographics and videos might get passed around more. It also helps if you provide a means of sharing by featuring options like an RSS feed and ways for fans to like and repost you on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Get listed. Listing your website with search engines may seem secondary to penning compelling blog posts, and it probably should be (especially considering Penguin directives). But if you fail to take the steps necessary to get your blog listed with search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on (mainly Google, which accounts for roughly two thirds of all search traffic), you’re shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to the potential to increase traffic. Well, there’s a lot more to it than simply getting listed, but this is a good place to start. Optimization. Once you’ve gotten yourself listed it’s time to start optimizing so that you can raise your page rank and ultimately increase traffic to your site via targeted keyword searches. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shell out tons of money to hire the best SEO company on the web, but you may have to teach yourself, a potentially lengthy process, or devote some funds to hiring a little help when it comes to making your content work for you. Analytics. Optimization and outreach efforts are worthless if you don’t take the time to run analytics and see which strategies are delivering the best returns. Analytical tools can be used to provide you with custom reports that help you to create a plan for expansion based on proven data. This is a great way to ensure that you’re not wasting your precious time on efforts that aren’t increasing your web presence and bringing in more...

5 Inspirational Quotes From Technology Gurus

By on Apr 7, 2013 in Blogging |

We live in a world that is inundated with technology, from the cars we drive and the devices we use to communicate to the electricity and plumbing that we have come to take for granted. It is the gift of mankind to innovate, and often we do so in order to make our lives easier. But technology can also make us lazy. And if we want to continue along the path of innovation, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. Here are just a few quotes from legendary leaders in technology, many of whom worked their whole lives to create the technologies that we have come to rely on. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs. There is a reason why Apple products are so fanatically beloved in a consumer society that thrives on competition; it’s because of Steve Jobs and his commitment to excellence. He not only strove to fill needs that were as yet unmet, but he endeavored to create more efficient products and offer better customer service at every turn. And he made sure that his employees knew that they were expected to follow his example. “I am never really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand…” – Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace. This quote comes from a woman who is credited with helping to create the first computer program. It just goes to show that even those in society who we deem to be of the highest intellect still doubt themselves, come up against roadblocks, and have to work hard to reach their goals. Byron dealt with complex mathematical equations that were the basis for modern computing and even she knew that there was always more to learn. “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” – Bill Gates. This mogul of modern computing may be best known for his work with Microsoft, but he and his wife, Melinda, are also devoted philanthropists who set up a foundation committed to educating children around the world. So it’s not surprising that he values the human element in academia even more highly than the technological component. “Failure is just the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford. Every paragon of the entrepreneurial spirit has failed, and many have done so regularly and spectacularly. What makes these people different from everyone else is that they take their missteps in stride and use every failure to improve in the future. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison. It’s funny how often Edison is quoted as extolling the virtues of hard work when so many of his patents were actually invented by other people. He apparently forgot to throw in the percentage where you submit a patent before your boss steals your idea out from under you. In any case, he was credited with quite a few inspirational quotes during his time, although this clever quip is one of the best known. And he’s not entirely wrong. Many people are inspired by ideas that would improve existing technology or address an unmet need in the marketplace, but few are willing to put in the work to bring their ingenious ideas to...

How Websites Can Use the Disavow Links Tool From Google

By on Feb 14, 2013 in Blogging |

The three letters on the tip of every webmaster’s tongue today are SEO. Search engine optimization has been popular for as long as there have been search engines, and the industry as we know it today is built almost entirely around Google. By far the most popular search tool on the web, Google turns up results for billions of searches every day. When consumers are trying to find things on the web, Google is their tool of choice. Tailoring a website to rank higher in Google search results is a complex art that has many ins and outs. One often misunderstood instrument in the SEO toolbox is the disavow function. Google’s Webmaster Tools package offers users a wealth of information and statistics about their websites and the traffic that they generate. This is important information for webmasters seeking to optimize their pages for search engine rankings, because internet traffic is more complicated than it seems. Not every hit is a good hit, and links from spam websites or illicit sources can harm your website’s reputation as well as its SEO. The disavow tool allows you to effectively strike links like these from the record and preserve your SEO and page rank. However, the disavow tool is not as simple as it seems. Disavowing links can help a website climb the ranks in search engine results, but careless use of it can have serious negative consequences. Google may send webmasters bad links warnings via email to notify them of unnatural links to their pages. In cases in which the web master can identify the link sources that are causing Google’s red flags to raise, the disavow tool is often the perfect solution to the problem. By blocking such links from your website, you can avoid bad link warnings and maintain your standings in Google’s all-seeing eyes. Negative SEO is becoming a concern for some webmasters, particularly those running business websites. A competitor may actually create intentionally harmful links to a website in order to drag that website’s SEO through the mud. A webmaster who has become the victim of negative SEO may have no other options for blocking these links, making the disavow tool their primary weapon. However, it should be noted that while negative SEO does exist, it’s very rare. Webmasters who think they are being targeted by competitors in this way are most often simply suffering from other SEO problems. Be sure to diagnose your situation carefully before making any rash moves. Users should use extreme caution with the disavow function. The consequences of disavowal as a link removal tool are not yet fully understood, and Google is still refining this tool. Any webmaster considering using the disavow function to clean up their traffic should be completely certain of their actions. An unnatural links penalty may have been caused by any number of things. Getting too reckless with the disavow tool can lead to even more SEO problems, so users should proceed with caution. Google itself, as well as most SEO professionals, recommend seeking alternatives to disavowal before pulling the...

Chrome Overtakes Firefox in 2012: Study Finds

By on Dec 15, 2011 in Blogging, Internet |

According to Irish web analytics company StatCounter, Google Chrome has surpassed rival Firefox to become the second most popular browser by market share. StatCounter announced that Chrome is now used by 25.7% of web surfers everywhere, narrowly besting Mozilla’s 25.2% slice of the pie. Internet Explorer in all its various incarnations is still number one, with 40.6% of the browser market. Apple’s Safari took fourth place with roughly 5%, while Norwegian browser Opera can boast a market share of between 1 and 2 percent. Though this is good news for Google, the results of StatCounter’s data crunching may not be entirely accurate. Fuzzy Statistics While StatCounter has already crowned Chrome as the browser runner-up, rival analytics firm Net Applications begs to differ. According to their numbers Chrome has a market share of 18.2%, with Firefox maintaining a healthy but rapidly eroding lead with 22.1%. That’s a fairly sizable discrepancy between the two company’s numbers, and it’s not entirely clear what led to those results. What’s not disputed is that Chrome is easily the fastest growing browser in terms of momentum. In India, they’re already the top browser with 34.7% market share. If the rest of the developing world takes to Chrome as India has, you can rest assured that they’ll be the top browser worldwide at some point. Inevitable Chrome Dominance? At the end of the day, a few percentage points doesn’t make much of a difference. Furthermore, there’s probably not much that Firefox can do to prevent slipping to third place. Google’s Chrome is arguably the fastest browser available, which is part of the reason behind its growing popularity. Chrome also supports just as many high-quality browser extensions as Firefox. Plugins were what initially attracted so many people to Firefox a few years back. We’ll probably see Chrome take the top spot some time in the next 24 months, considering the fact that they experienced 10.8% growth this past year alone. Why Google Wants The Top Spot Google doesn’t want to have the top browser to make money. Well, not directly, that is. King of the Browsers isn’t a particularly lucrative title. But it is a great form of advertising for the company. Nothing is better at positioning Google as the go-to source for everything web-related than a premium browser. It further cements Google’s position as a web software authority. They already feature plenty of free tools like Google Docs, Gmail and Google Calendar. They offer such free services to increase the odds that you’ll spring for something they actually sell, like some shiny new Adsense placements. Chrome is just another piece of that puzzle. Conclusion The rise of Chrome is just another part of Google’s long-term plan for remaining relevant. Though it seems unthinkable, another company might just wrest control of the search market from them in the near future. They know they have to diversify their income streams, and Chrome is a good way to stay in the public’s eye. Ultimately, competition in any form is good for the end user. You can thank Firefox for that. They were the first to challenge Microsoft’s near-monopoly on the browser market and push them towards improving their product. Whatever happens next, 2012 should be an interesting year for web browsers. Author, Zienna Miller, loves using both Chrome and Firefox but can’t really decide between the two, just like she can’t between her cute new pet pig she adopted from buyteacuppigs.net, or her BFF, Daniel Hayes. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

How Far We’ve Come So Far in Social Gaming?

By on Dec 7, 2011 in Blogging |

I’ve been playing vide games since I culd say “Atari 2600″. I knw, I’m dating myself. But fr years and years, the landscape f gaming was determined by what video game companies culd cram int the hardware f their next cnsle, and wh had the best graphics. ver the last decade r s, gaming has mved ut f ur living rms, basements and dens, thanks t innvatins in hardware and netwrk infrastructure. N lnger are we cnfined by the bundaries f the number f cntrllers ne can cnnect t a cnsle r the number f peple yu can fit n yur cuch. My first experience with what might be called “social gaming” was with Quake n my PC. I was wrking at an Internet startup at the time, and a cwrker mentined that they were ging t have an afternn break where we’d meet up and play Team Deathmatch. It tk me abut a day befre I was hked. Even thugh we were all in cubicles in the same ffice, I was cmmunicating and interacting with peple that I wuld never have the reasn t talk t n an everyday basis. Fr the first time in a lng time, the idea f playing games with ther peple, even thugh I might nt have had lts f gamer friends since I was a kid, became a reality. f curse, Quake seems primitive by tday’s standards, and there’s nthing quite like fragging yur alien buddies in a rund f Crysis 2 n ne f tday’s ttally maxed ut gaming PCs. Persnally, I can’t wait t play it n that cl new Alienware Razer Blade laptop n a speedy wireless Internet cnnectin. ver the years, social interaction in games has evlved frm its humble beginnings as a venue fr taunting enemies in FPS games. Achievement and friends systems n game consoles and social networks have advanced social gaming t where it is tday. S-called “gamification” rewards players with virtual trphies, prizes and leaderbards in exchange fr achieving milestnes in games. These badges f hnr generally have n cash value, but the psychlgy behind them is pure genius. Peple like t win and share their achievements with their friends and peers. With social games n platfrms like Facebook, and a wrld that is cnnected virtually all the time, there’s a perfect strm which seems t have gathered. Nt nly d yu have the pprtunity t meet and interact with a seemingly infinite number f players at varied skill levels, but there’s an inherent sharing system built int the ecsystem. Sure, nt all f yur friends care that yu are busy looking for best CastleVille building guide, but it still feels gd t make it t that next level, and t let thse wh d care abut the game knw yu’re a serius cmpetitr. And the LEG-like level-building tls in games have allwed users t get really creative and share their wrlds fr thers t play in and enjy. ne f the clest things abut the tls being used t enable social gaming is that the basic infrastructure (the Internet), and platfrms (i.e. Facebook, Google+), and delivery technlgies (i.e. HTML5) are becming ubiquitus acrss virtually all mdern devices. Whether yu’re n a laptp, netbk, smartphne r tablet, these games are starting t find their way t mre and mre players, n matter where they are. And it’s nly a matter f time befre these always-n cnnectins will find their way int ther cnsumer electrnics. I can imagine a day in the nt-t-distant future when yur refrigeratr and cffee maker will alert yu when yu lse yur ranking n the Angry Birds 2013 leaderbard s yu can jump nline and reclaim yur spt. S hw abut yu guys? D yu regularly play online and social games? What’s yur favrite multiplayer game? What d yu like mst abut it? Is it the game, the social interaction, r bth? If you are really serious about social gaming, here’s a good treat for you – try CastleVille by using CastleVille Guide and walkthrough! This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Linking Up With Your Home Page – Affiliates VS Product Providers

By on Dec 2, 2011 in Blogging, Hosting |

Natural links come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. If you are running an authority website, and if this website gets natural links on a daily basis because it is so high in quality, then those links are going to be coming from all over the place – good websites, bad websites, mediocre websites, and they can come with all sorts of different anchor texts. The Power of Highly Optimized SEO There are many businesses out there that have a huge number in that little “LD” category of the SEOquake bar and provide the actual products that people need, but do not rank for the most lucrative keyword phrases. It is actually quite astonishing. It really shows the Importance of having the knowledge (at least the basics) of SEO down pat. This is why so many affiliate gateways rank at the top of the SERPs. Actual companies just do not have the time, or knowledge (or money), to get to the top of the SERPs. As a matter of fact, it is rare that many of them do. Do a couple Google searches for different types of products, and many, if not most, of the times you will find an affiliate gateway at the top of the SERPs. This is because of these three simple facts: Number 1: Many companies do not put some of the most valuable keyword phrases anywhere on their front page. Number 2: Many comanies do not engage in any contextual link building where the keyword phrase is the anchor text Number 3: Affiliate gateways usually have the keyword somewhere in the domain name, and as much as Google and Matt Cutts try to steer people away from buying domain names solely for SEO purposes, they still put a lot of weight in what words are in your domain name. This is why if you have a form of the keyword phrase in your domain name – it will be a little bit easier for you to rank for that website. The Power of Contextual Link Building Building relevant links, building them with relevant anchor texts, and relating them to your landing page, is a very powerful combination that can outrank a lot of “natural links.” It is not rare to see a company that provides many products have a very large number in the LD section of the SEOquake bar be outranked by an affiliate website, with a lesser amount of backlinks out rank the company. This is because there off-site and on-site SEO is completely better in every single way possible. Many companies that provide products or services have not a clue what it is that the people of the world that are using the search engines are even searching for to try to find the products and services that these companies are offering up. Because of this, they fail to put relevant keywords on their homepage – a SEO 101 concept – and surely don’t do any link building targeting those keywords. For this reason, it is a lot easier for affiliate marketers to rank for desired keywords as they have the knowledge. My advice to all you product providers out there: Don’t fix the wheel if it isn’t broken! Copy those affiliate marketers and perhaps you won’t need an affiliate program! Either that, or hire a company that offers SEO services to do it for you! This article was written by Philip Russell of www.inetzeal.com. This is an Internet marketing company that provides many different services like its web development service. In his spare time he likes to write articles about SEO and SEM. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...