Category Archives: Blogging

Blogging Tips, WordPress Tips and Make money online tips.

Six Ways Blogs Have Changed the way Businesses Market Online

Online marketing has been a successful way for businesses to get new customers since the internet became popular, but over the years it has changed a great deal. If you haven’t been marketing online for a while and still don’t have a blog, then you should really look into it. We are going to cover how blogs have changed the way marketing is done online and how it can help your business.

Blogs

Targeted Traffic

One thing that has always been a goal in marketing is to find people who would actually be interested in the products or services that are being offered. Blogging is a way to help you achieve this goal by providing relevant content to your target audience. The people that are attracted to your content will also most likely be interested in the similar services that you are providing.

It is never a good idea to steer away from your niche because if your audience is interested in a particular topic, they will start to get uninterested in the other topics you are writing about. It might be ok to write about a different topic that can be relevant or integrated in your niche, but you should never write about something completely different. In the end your audience will let you know what they like and what they thing you should change.

More Value

Blogs offer value to customers even before the customers know what your business offers. In the past, most marketing techniques would start out by letting the customers know what they are offering, now they provide quality content that gets the reader interested and then offers them a relevant product. It is a much better practice that keeps viewers engaged with the blog while being exposed to your products and/ or services.

More Visible

The internet is massive, and almost everyone in the world has access. Getting a blog popular within your particular niche might take some time, but once it does, you will have an incredible reach that could attract an unlimited amount of potential sales. You technically do not have any limitations on how big your blog can get, giving you more visibility to promote, brand, and interact.

More Interactions

Old marketing campaigns didn’t really have much direct contact with customers. They might have had them fill out surveys or something similar but really, they didn’t give 1 on 1 interactions. With blogs, you will have the chance to communicate directly with your customers and potential customers. They will give you more insight on how to make your blog and business better and you will also have an easier time converting them to becoming customers.

While you might not want to directly interact with your online customers, it is important not to let a comment or message go unanswered. If future readers see that you don’t give your audience the time, then they will get a bad impression and might not trust doing business with you.

More Potential Sales

With each interaction, new viewer, and new post, you have a chance to get more sales. You have to realize the true potential of every action that you take on your blog. Everything you do can result in more traffic and sales. Although not everyone that interacts with the blog will give you money, they can still be converted to customers in the future. Especially in the beginning when your blog is still establishing its authority within the niche. If you keep posting quality content on a regular basis, speaking to your readers, and improving your overall authority, you will start to see more and more people purchase from you.

Faster Response Rates

With older marketing techniques, people would take their time to respond and doing business in general was just more time consuming. With blogs, people have a place to go to directly contact your company and get a fast response. When someone leaves a comment or a message to a blog, they will usually keep an eye out for a response as soon as possible, increasing the overall response rates.

There are plenty of reasons why blogging is such a great marketing tool for today’s businesses, so if you are still not convinced to get one, keep on researching!

This guest post is by Jo of make-a-web-site.com.

Top Tips for SEO Video Strategy

If the back end of 2012 has taught us anything, it’s that infographics and videos are going to be huge in 2013. Visit just about any website these days and you’re likely to find images, videos or, as is most likely, both. Marketers with an eye on the ball will already know that the increased popularity of video is a great opportunity to achieve increased brand visibility, providing your SEO video strategy is implemented properly and in good time.

Video SEO

So here are some great tips for planning and implementing a great SEO video strategy:

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Videos, as with all other types of online content, involve the use of keywords which can be found in meta tags and alt attributes as well as in descriptions, link texts and URLs. All of these things can be optimised to attract visitors and increase conversion, providing your choice of keywords is appropriate for your brand and not too saturated already.

Use Social Media to Network Your Content

Uploading videos to your website is great, but won’t attract visitors unless you tell people that they’re there. Use social media networks to draw attention to your videos, and make use of other video sharing sites – such as YouTube – to post teasers and trailers of your amazing content. This will not only give your intended audience a reason to visit your site, it will give them a forum in which they can discuss your brand. Sites like YouTube draw visitors from all countries, so it will give your international SEO a boost too.

Optimize Your Links and Sharing Methods

Sharing your own content will attract some visitors but the best kind of digital marketing is organic, so make your content as relevant and interesting as possible to encourage your viewers to share it themselves. Embedding links into the content or description of your media will ensure that wherever your content goes, they will go too.

Optimize Your Videos for Search Engines

If you want your videos to be ranked well, here are some handy hints for implementing good SEO practice before uploading:
- Name your media properly with an emphasis on keywords.
- Choose where your video will be submitted, and at what time. There are plenty of great online resources which can give you advice on what social network is seeing the most conversions at which time of day.
- If you’re publishing the video on your own blog or website, make sure the web page it will go on is fully optimized before release.
- Create a separate video site map which can be submitted to search engines.
- Link your video back to one author profile which will be responsible for the production of your company’s media content, and ensure this profile is fully optimized across all major social networks.

So, there are lots of ways in which you can use SEO to optimize your media rich content, but the best one of all is to ensure that content is both relevant and interesting. There’s nothing more likely to create brand buzz than a video which can capture your audience’s attention, and keep it.

How Many Google Adsense Units Are Allowed Per Page?

If you’re using Google Adsense on your website, then you must be wondering how many adsense units are allowed per page?
Yes, Google clearly states the maximum number of ad units that are allowed per page and if you use more units than that, then Google can ban your account anytime on the basis of violating their TOS.
Google has given specific adsense guidelines which clearly states not to use more units than the maximum number of adsense units allowed per page.

Google Adsense

Google Adsense For Content – AdSense publishers are allowed to place up to three AdSense for content units on one webpage. This includes a maximum of one 300×600 ad unit per page. Rest of the adsense unit sizes can be placed more than one time but not more than 3 times.

Link Units – You’re also allowed to place a maximum of three link units per webpage.

Adsense for search – Only two search forms are allowed per page.

Maximum Google Adsense Units Per Page- Thus in total, you may place up to three link units on a page, in addition to the three standard ad units, and two search boxes.

See Also:
Best Positions For Adsense Ads
5 Best Google Adsense Alternatives

Placing more than the maximum units is clearly going against the terms of service, even if you didn’t know and can attracts a ban on your adsense account.

Google Adsense Account Banned From Invalid Activity

Google Adsense TOC Changed – Protection Against Invalid Clicks

There is a good news for all the publishers around the world. Google Adsense, one of the best contextual ad network has changed its Terms of conditions. Publishers who are afraid of finding their accounts suspended or even disabled for “invalid activity” without any clear understanding can have a sign of relief now.
According to the new terms of conditions, Google now will not permanently suspend accounts for invalid activity. Instead, it will provide a email and a notification to your account with further information and instructions.

Google Adsense Account Banned From Invalid Activity

Below are some of the changes by Google Adsense:

- Trusted publishers will now have their accounts suspended instead of permanently terminated for invalid activity.
- Publishers can now submit more informative appeals via a new form, which may help resolve issues more quickly.
- If Google detected a violation of their policies, you will receive an email and a notification to your account with further information and instructions. And you can read all about the causes of invalid activity.
- Check out Google Adsense Academy for do’s and don’ts.

See Also: 5 Best Google Adsense Alternatives 2012
How To Track Google Adsense Payment Check?
Best Positions For Adsense Ads

via Google Adsense Blog

Tools To Write Epic Content

15 Best Tools To Write Epic Content

When it comes to content research, there are a lot of resources available all over the web to help you write epic content. From keyword research tools to content ideas, you can find tools to help with every step of writing the blog post. With these tools, you would be able create epic content that is search friendly and at the same time would grab people attention to your blog.

Tools To Write Epic Content

So, let’s take a look at best 15 Tools to Write Epic Content:

1) Factbrowser: Factbrowser is google for data research. You can find all kind of research statistics there to use in your articles. The data can be broken down by topic, country, source, format, or demographic.

2) Evernote: Evernote helps you to take notes on the go easily. It works with nearly every computer, and mobile device out there. So that means, you can access your data anytime and anywhere.

3) Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Every content research starts with keywords. The Google AdWords: Keyword Tool is the best free keyword tool available in the market. You can find out which keywords are searched more than others based on broad, exact or phrase match volumes, in a particular area.

4) Qualaroo: With Qaularoo, you can easily survey your customers or readers to find out answers to any of the questions.

5) Quora or LinkedIn Discussions or Yahoo Answers: Find out what are the frequently asked questions and what type of content could be useful to your customers. You can write around those topics.

6) Topix: Topix is a great resource to find content ideas. The site categorized the news and events on the basis of user location.

7) Soolve: Soolve displays keyword suggestions from up to 15 different sites. All you need to do is to write a keyword and this tool will suggest keywords from sites such as Google, Answers, Amazon, eBay, etc.

8) Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a free tool like Soolve to get keyword ideas from Google and other suggest services.

9) CreativeCommons: Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing & use of creativity & knowledge through free legal tools. So, next time if you need to use any picture in a blog post, just head over to Flickr and use any CreativeCommon licensed photo that are free to be used commercially. All you need to do is to provide credit to the artist.

10) Spezify: Spezify is a social search engine to find out what is being shared on social media. This tool creates a visual search of related tweets, music, images, etc.

11) Jing: Jing helps you to take screenshots of your computer screen and record screencasts(onscreen video).

12) Google Correlate: Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends.

13) Wordle: With Wordle, you can write amazing looking word clouds to use in your blog posts.

14) Slideshare: Slideshare is a great platform to create your presentations and share in your articles.

15) Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a free tool to monitor the latest news in your niche by keywords to help you come up with new topics to write about.

So, what are your favorite tools?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Bloggers

This is one time of the year when you can find great deals all over the web and can save lot of money on products and services. So, let’s check out best deals for bloggers and online marketers for 2012.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Web Hosting:

Hostgator 50% Off:
Hostgator is offering 50% off on web hosting that includes shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated servers, reseller hosting,& Windows hosting! and $1.95 domain name registration (when purchased with web hosting package) starting at 12:01 AM CST on the 23rd until 11:59 PM CST on the same day.

Bluehost 50% Off:
Bluehost is also offering 50% off on web hosting and that includes a Free Domain for life.

WordPress Themes and Plugins

Themify:
Starting on November 23rd, 2012 until November 26th, 2012, you can use the coupon code ‘ BLACKFRIDAY ‘ to get 40% off on all the WordPress themes including the Club membership! You can get all 33 themes (Photoshop mockup files included) for just $53.40 (normally $89). That is $1.62 per theme! If you are an existing member, this is a good time to buy more themes or upgrade to the Club membership. Click here to know more.

iThemes:
50% off the Toolkit or 35% off Everything else.

Premise:
Premise helps you to create point and click membership sites and landing pages for WordPress. Purchase it now for $95 (normally $165). Starting today, the sale ends at 5PM PST on Monday the 26th.

Woo Themes:
20% Off on all Woo Themes & Woo Commerce extensions.

CommentLuv Premium:
Get it now for $97 instead of $197. This plugin allows comment authors on your blog to leave behind a link to their latest posts. Premium includes many features.

General Shopping

Amazon:
Find great deals on all kinds of products on Amazon. Check out Black Friday Deals and Cyber Monday deals.

Google Disavow Links Tool

Google Finally Launches ‘Disavow’ Bad Links Tool

Google has finally launched their own ‘Disavow’ Bad Links Tool. The tool allows you to remove bad inbound links that are harming your website’s rankings. That means, by adding bad incoming links in this tool – you are telling Google that you do not want these links to consider while deciding your site’s rankings in SERPs. The tool was first launched by Bing earlier this year.

How To Use ‘Disavow’ Bad Links Tool:

Step 1: To use this tool, first login to your Google Webmaster tools account & click here.

Google Disavow Links Tool

disavow-links Process

Step 2: Click ‘Disavow Links’. Google will give you warning about how using this feature incorrectly can even harm your website’s rankings. As in case, if you remove good links – it can affect your site’s performance in SERPs.

remove-bad-links Google

Step 3: In this step, you need to upload the file of links that you want to remove. Click ‘Choose File’ and upload a plain text file (create this in Notepad) with a list of links that you want to remove. Include only one URL per line. If you want Google to ignore all links from an entire domain (like example.com), just add the line domain: example.com. Don’t upload the entire list of links to your website: the file that you upload should contain the list of links you want Google to ignore.

Click the ‘Submit’ button and then click on Done.

You can even watch this video in which Matt Cutts explains the “Disavow links” feature of Google Webmaster Tools.

Note: It will take few weeks for Google to incorporate this information into their index to decide rankings in SERPs.

Learn more about how to use the disavow links feature on Google Webmaster Centrel blog and in Google’s Help Center.

So, what do you think of this new Google ‘Disavow Links’ tool?

Google Algrithm Changes

Everything You Need To Know About Recent Algorithm Changes By Google

Google has made too many significant changes in their algorithm in the last three weeks. It all started with the Google Panda Update 20 on September 27, 2012. This is the 20th update of Google Panda since it’s first update on February 24, 2011(which impacted 11.8% of English search queries). Google confirmed that the new Panda algorithm update is not just a data refresh but an algorithm update.

This was one of the major Panda update as it impacted 2.4% of English search queries and a smaller impact in other languages (for example, 0.5% in French and Spanish).

Google Algrithm Changes

Then, Google announced the Exact Match Domain(EMD) update on September 28, 2012 that is targeted to remove the low-quality exact match domain sites from ranking well and higher in Google search.
So, if you see any changes in your traffic around September 27 or 28 – chances are that your site has been punished by any of these updates.

Then came the Google Penguin Update 3 on October 5, 2012 that will impact search queries across multiple languages including 0.3% in English. This is the third update of Google Penguin since it’s first update on April 24, 2012(which impacted 3.1% of English search queries).
Google confirmed that it’s just a data refresh of Penguin algorithm and not an algorithm update.

The most recent change is Top Heavy Update 2 which was rolled out on October 9th, 2012 which impacted 0.7% of English search queries. Top Heavy update, which was first announced in January, 2012 is targeted at web pages with too many ads “above the fold,” also known as Google’s ‘Page Layout’ algorithm.

Apart from these changes, Google also announced changes in their YouTube algorithm last week. YouTube will now reward videos with higher engagement in their search rather than videos with just more clicks.

So, if you see changes in your web traffic in the last three weeks – your site is most likely affected by any of these changes. In that case – you can follow our guide about “How To Survive Any Google Panda or Penguin Updates”.

WordPress Security Plugins

11 Best WordPress Plugins To Improve the Security of your Blog

 

WordPress is one of the most popular platform for millions of sites all over the world. Though WordPress is a secure piece of software but there is always a concern among bloggers to improve the security of their WordPress blog. As WordPress is a Open Source software, everybody has access to its Source Code and thus it is a prime target for hackers.

WordPress Security Plugins

But with little effort, you can protect your WordPress website using following Security plugins:

1) Wordfence Security:

Wordfence Security is a free security plugin that provides firewall protection, continuous anti-virus scanning, malicious URL scanning and live traffic updates including crawlers for your WordPress blog. It sends you a Email everytime if somebody tries to access your admin area, or if you have a maliciois link on your blog. This plugin will lock out users after ‘n’ no. of unsuccessful login attempts. You can also block certain IPs from the plugin itself. Wordfence Security Plugin can verify & repair your core, theme & plugin files, even if you don’t have backups.
It is one stop solution for your Security needs on WordPress platform.

2) WP Email Login:

For better security on your WordPress blog, set your username to something random, and then just forget it and use your email address instead to log into your WordPress with the help of this plugin.

3) Google Authenticator:

The Google Authenticator WordPress plugin provides you 2-Step authentication using the Google Authenticator application for Android/iPhone/Blackberry. You can also try IM Login Dongle that adds two way authentication via selected instant messenger.

4) Bulletproof Security:

It provides one-click .htaccess WordPress security protection and protects your WordPress site against XSS, CRLF, CSRF, RFI, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking attempts.

5) VIP Scanner:

It scans all sorts of themes and files and things for any problems or malicious code injected into your templates.

6) WP Updates Notifier:

If you don’t log into your WordPress dashboard regularly, then this plugin is for you. It sends email to notify you if there are any updates for your WordPress website such as core updates, plugin and theme updates.

7) Exploit Scanner

This plugin searches the files on your WordPress site, active plugins and the posts and comments tables of your database for anything suspicious and notifies the administrator for all the changes.

8) WordPress Sentinel

Another plugin that tracks all files in a WordPress installation (core, themes, plugins) & notifies the administrator of any files that have changed in any way.

9)Login Dongle

Login Dongle adds an extra layer of security on your blog by means of a security question on the Admin area.

10) Lockdown WP Admin

This plugin can hide wp-admin and wp-login as well as add HTTP auth to the login system. You can change the WordPress Login URL and when someone tries to access http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/, it will show a 404 error page instead of redirecting to the login page. As most of the hacking attempts are auto-generated on wp-admin URL, this plugin can add an extra layer of security.

11) Secure WordPress

Secure WordPress improves the security of your WordPress website by removing error information on login pages, adds index.html to plugin directories, hides the WordPress version & much more.

12) Login Security Solution

This plugin provides security against brute force attacks by tracking IP, name, and passwords. Idle timeout. Maintenance mode lockdown.

Share your thoughts about which plugin you’re using to improve the security of your WordPress site.

Blogging Statistics 2012

Blogging Statistics 2012 (Infographic)

 

Blogging.org has done a research on Blogging in the United States. The research was done among 1000 bloggers across the US to find the answers in the domain of Blogging.
Here are some of the interesting facts on the state of Blogging in 2012:

- There are an estimated 31,000,000 bloggers in the United States as of July 2012.
- There are 42 Million blogs on WordPress.com.
- 60% Businesses have a business or company blog.
- Only 8% of people earn enough money via Blogging to support their family.
- Approx. 81% never earn more than $100.

Blogging Statistics 2012

Affiliate site

Best Affiliate Programs For Bloggers

 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a type of Performance-based marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for each visitor or sale brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Affiliates/Publishers earn commission when someone clicks on affiliate links and/or making a purchase.

The best part of Affiliate Marketing is that you don’t need any inventory or logistics to handle. All you need is a website to promote products/services and add the respective affiliate links. You can earn anywhere between 1-80% per sale for your affiliate marketing efforts.

Affiliate site

Check out Different Types of Affiliate Marketing For Your Website:

1) Affiliate Networks

Amazon Affiliate Program: One of the most popular and largest affiliate network where you can earn 4-25% per sale referred from your account. They have a huge list of products across almost all range of categories. Minimum Payout by Check is $100 but you can get Amazon Gift Certificate or direct deposit into your account once your income reaches $10.

Google Affiliate Network: It is an aggregate marketplace for 1000s of affiliate programs from different companies. Each program is managed by individual affiliate program manager. After signing up for Google Affiliate Network, you need approval from each affiliate company manager to showcase their products and earn money. Commission varies company to company. Minimum payout is $100.

Linkshare: LinkShare topped the 2012 Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks. It is a fantastic affiliate directory that provides thousands of affiliate programs from companies in thousands of markets and categories.

ShareASale: ShareASale claimed the third spot in the 2012 Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for being the “overall best performance marketing network in the world today,”

Few Other Best Affiliate Networks:

- Commission Junction

- ClickBank

- Peerfly

- E-Junkie

2) WordPress Themes Affiliate Programs

WordPress is one of most popular CMS in the world today which is used by millions of websites. You can earn up to 50% commission by referring WordPress themes and plugins on your website. You can even create lists such as, “Top 10 Premium WordPress Portfolio Themes”, to promote Premium WordPress Themes on your blog.

Check out Most Popular WordPress Themes Club:

- ThemeForest

- Themify

- Thesis Themes

- Elegant Themes

- WooThemes

- Mojo-Themes,etc.

See Also:

Top 15 Premium WordPress Themes Club

5 Best Google Adsense Alternative

7 Best Services To Make Money on Twitter

Earn Money Online By Writing Sponsored Reviews

Earn Money By Writing Articles Online

How To Make Money With 100% Adsense Revenue sharing Websites

3) Web Hosting Affiliates:

You can earn more than $100 just by referring 1 Web Hosting sign up on any of the Hosting Providers. After signing up for Web Hosting Affiliate Programs, you can even create discount coupons for your readers with maximum discount.

Check out Top Hosting Providers all over the World:

- Hostgator

- BlueHost

- DreamHost

- Hostgator India

- Big Rock India

Top Commentators Plugin

How To Add Top Commentators Widget in WordPress

 

Displaying Top Commentators Widget on your blog is a great way to reward your commentators and bring back readers again and again to comment on your blog.

Top Commentators Plugin

Top Commentators Widget Plugin:

The most popular plugin available to display the top commentators on your WordPress blog sidebar. It is designed to display the commentators with maximum comments on your website. The number of comments is tracked by this plugin automatically and displayed on the sidebar for your readers to view.

Settings of this Plugin includes:

- Change widget title
- Add Description below the Title
- Exclude any Users
- Limit the number of names listed
- Reset Commentators List Every Time Period
- Nofollow Links
- Show on Home Page only
- Display Gravatar
- Show an Award icon if comments reach a certain range.

Do give this plugin a try and let us know your thoughts in comments.