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The Internet has been around a few years, so naturally, everyone should know how to create an effective Web site by now, right? Of course not! The storefront has been around for centuries, yet not every business is successful. How can this be?

Website Copywriting Secrets for Major Success

It’s a fact that one website will pull many times the leads or sales as a competing website. What causes this large variance in results? It’s the copywriting on the website.

Website Design

As more and more businesses depend partially or fully on their online presence to sell their products and services, website design is gaining more and more importance. A business’ website serves as its display window and, like a good or bad display window,

Internet Marketing: The importance of a Domain Name

The domain name is the entry to your site. The address people type in their browsers to get to it. You need to pay attention to it, because your company name will not always be the best domain name you can get for your website.

You Need Your Own Domain Name…

A unique domain name. That’s one of the first and most important steps that a new home business website builders must consider. All too often, you see websites created with a free host with a domain name that includes the free host company’s business name. If you are planning to market your website and internet business as a professional entity, then you really should buy your own domain name. Your domain name gives potential customers an idea of what is inside your website or online store. Owning your own domain also lends an air of ‘permanancy’ to your business and reputation.

Other reasons why you should buy your own domain name rather than use a free one from a free host:

If you change hosts, either voluntarily or otherwise, your domain name will go along with you and your customer’s will not need to be contacted with a new web address.

A good domain name that describes your business or product helps prevent visitors from being confused and clicking on to someone else’s site to shop.

Remember to keep your domain short and easy to remember, something easy to spell and pronounce. My first blog domain name was, and still is, too long – 6 words – with hyphens between each word. It drives me nuts to type it, so I can only imagine how visitors feel if they have to type a long winded web address. Cutesy spellings like adding a Z in place of an S in a word is only confusing, and will quickly loose it’s cuteness. To help search engine users find you and increase your traffic, do some keyword research before deciding on a domain name. Keep in mind that you can always register more than one domain name directed to the same website. You can use .com, .net, .biz and protect your website from others of the same kind who register their sites with less popular extenstions.

How do you go about registering your own domain name? The host that I use, Homestead , provides the service as part of the package, for a small extra fee to register. You can buy domain names at other hosting companies. Find them by doing a Google search for ‘domain registration’ or other similar quearies.

Getting Blog Links

A lot of time is spent by bloggers trying to get other blogs to link to them. A lot of traffic can be gained by doing this with blogs that are both related to your topic and blogs that have a lot of readers.

This can sometimes be very difficult for new bloggers because they do not yet have enough readers or page rank to interest the bigger blogs.

Talk to other bloggers who are in the same position as you right now and develop a lasting relationship. You link to them, they link to you and as both of your blogs grow those links will pay off for you.

Many people find a blog they like, then will take suggestions from that blog about other blogs they might like. So someone goes to a blog you have traded links with and likes them, then they follow your link and if your content is good, they add you to their reading list. The same happens in reverse for the one you link back to.

Sooner than you think both of your blogs will become ones that a circle of people read. The more blogs you do this with, the more your circle will eventually grow.

Don’t be too concerned with page rank. Many of the established blogs with good page rank are not going to link to you until you build up your readership at least a little. There is a reason for this and it isn’t arrogance, though it may feel that way at times.

The reason is that many people start blogs, but few people actually become bloggers. Blogging daily takes a commitment that many are not willing to make. The established blogs might link to you regardless of page rank and traffic issues if they see you are committed to writing your blog and becoming a blogger.

They don’t want to link to someone’s blog that may or may not be around next month. It is a disservice to their readers and a hassle to remove your link later or check and see if you are actually still blogging. They do not have the time to hold your hand on it.

If they check out your blog and you have been posting to it every day for quite awhile, say 6 months at least, then they might give you a helping hand and welcome you to the blogosphere.

Put it into your schedule to make a post every single day, even if it has to be a short one due to lack of time. When there is a time you know you will not be able to post for a few days, make a post for each of those days and if you are using wordpress you can timestamp the posts so that each one appears on the scheduled day. That is one way to keep your blog fresh for your readers every day.

Another tip is, as we post to our blogs daily, there are times when you have two or three things you want to blog, but if you are finding it hard to post daily, timestamp the second or third post for other days rather than posting them right now unless it is something time sensitive. Try to stay two or three days ahead so that if you miss a day, it won’t hurt you.

If you are using blogger or other blogging software that doesn’t have the timestamp feature, save them as drafts, then log in when you have little time and post your draft. If you have time to blog a post, then leave the draft there until you need it.

Don’t let yourself get frustrated if everyone doesn’t want to link to you right away. If you are blogging good content, you may find they are linking to you before you even ask!

Getting Blog Visitors

This article will cover one of the unique methods of getting traffic to a blog that doesn’t work for regular sites. Remember that every blog is a web-site, but not every web-site is a blog. My top methods of getting traffic to a web-site are still my top methods of getting traffic to a blog. Those include: article marketing, link building and content creation/ranking factors.

But blogs are a special breed of web-site. There are additional methods of getting new visitors to your blog that are very effective. The first one I played with was linking to others. For your blog marketing efforts to work, you must understand that bloggers are part of a community. Those of us old-timers on the ‘net remember when the entire ‘net was a small, close-knit community… when it was OK to send an email telling others in your topic area that you just set up a site and would like a link on their site.

That isn’t what I’m suggesting with the blog community. The days of sending even a personal email to someone you haven’t met are nearly over. The spam problem has made that more and more difficult. However, it is still OK and still rather expected that you introduce yourself when you come into a community. It is also a good idea to let your new community know that you are a friendly guy and are willing to help out in the community.

This post will tell about one way to do that when you enter the blogosphere. First, you should find your neighbors. The Alexa toolbar is going to help you find out who the leaders are in your new community. Start by searching for “______ blog” on Google, Yahoo or your favorite search engine. Fill in the blank with the topic of your blog. Take a look at the blogs you see.

Do you like them? Good; these are leaders in your new community. Link to them in your blog roll. Read them daily to find out what is going on in your community. Do you not like them? No problem. Don’t link to them then. Don’t read them. Don’t introduce your visitors to them. It isn’t required that you like everyone in your new community, but you do want to be a part of the community you now live in…

Now as you read those blogs daily, notice their blog rolls (links they have to other blogs in your community). Go visit them. This is where the Alexa toolbar comes in. You will find some new leaders (those with blogs showing less than 100,000 on your Alexa toolbar). Check out their blog and if you like it… add it to your own blog roll.

I recently moved to a town of about 300 way up in the top of the Utah mountains. It was a new community. I had never lived in a rural area before, so it was critical for me to go through this exact same exercise as I became a part of my new community up here in the mountains. Sure; it didn’t involve Alexa or linking to others… but the concept is the same. When you enter a community and want to be a part of that community, get out there and get to know people. This is one way to do that in the blogging community.

I now have a hundred or so links from those in the blogging community after just a couple of months. From those links, I have over 600 daily visits and over 100 loyal readers who come to read my blog almost every day.

Did I ask for any of those links? Nope. Just like they didn’t ask me for the links I gave them. Do I have 100 outbound links? Nope. A lot of those links came in without me linking to them. As I get the chance, I go and check out their blog and if I like it… I give them a link. If I don’t like that blog for whatever reason; I don’t include it in my blog roll. It’s not always a tit for tat link exchange.

Some of you may be confused at this point about how my outbound links became inbound links without any other action. You may be confused about why I called this article “Getting Blog Visitors” when I have only talked about how to send my visitors to others by linking to them. OK; let me go into why this uniquely works very well on blogs, but not on other web-sites.

First, of all… I use WordPress. It is the fastest growing blogging software out there. I’m not sure of the features of other blogging software, but I know the follow applies to WordPress. When I log in to my control panel to write a blog post, I am given a page that shows a number of blog stats. One of the most prominent parts of those stats is the number of inbound links… AND a list of those who recently linked to me.

When you see that a blog called “Mattress Cleaners” just linked to you… can you ignore that? I can’t. I’m immediately distracted… and what do I do? I click on it. I go and check out that Mattress Cleaner blog. They just got another reader (at least for that day). If they were a quality blog that was actually relevant to the blog community of my own blog (and they aren’t)… they would get a link in my blog roll so that I could check them out periodically.

The same thing is possible with non-blog web-sites. When you link to a site and send them traffic, that shows up in their referrer logs. However, a lot of webmasters don’t look at their logs or stats. Those who do may use stat software that doesn’t even show referrers. They may only focus on traffic and not where it comes from.

However, most bloggers DO see when someone links to them. It is right in their face when they login to make a new post. All you need to do to let someone know that you have moved into their blog community is to link to them. BTW, it not only introduces you… it lets them know that you are friendly and you like their part of the blog community you just entered. Don’t be surprised when they link back or even write a post about your blog.

It’s that simple.

Learning How To Create The Ultimate Blog

One wonders where all that pent-up rage, radical views, strong opinions and peculiar beliefs would be deposited without blogs. For some people, blogging offers a cathartic experience in that they are able to write about who or what is troubling them. Yet for others, by simply being able to put an idea out there is help enough for their egos and self-esteem. Writing in a blog would definitely be much cheaper than a session with an overpriced shrink. Entrepreneurs, newsmakers, tech tutors and a whole lot of others also employ the use of blogs for profit or for up to date information. There are numerous reasons for putting up and maintaining a blog but all of them have one common goal, how to get your thoughts across clearly and effectively.

Blog 101’s are as ubiquitous as blogs themselves in the Internet. The obvious way to go here is to look for an excellent site that will be able to deliver the goods on creating and keeping up a blog. These sites offer guides, tips, how-tos and even some useful tools that will help you in the wonderful world of blogging. The topic commonly discussed initially is finding a home for your blog or the seemingly thankless job of looking for a host, free or otherwise. You might think that it’s easy enough to look for a host, google “blog host” and you’ll see that it’s not as painless as it appears. The wealth of choices available simply overwhelms the soon to be blogger. Now, let’s say you finally found a suitable home for your blog, the next challenge that you need to hurdle would most likely be the design. If you build an attractive and well-arranged blog, then they’ll most certainly come. Most blog hosts have built-in tools that will help you with that but the myriad “ready-to-wear” designs will almost certainly baffle the unversed. Blog tutorials have simple yet useful guides about designing blogs that includes topics ranging from text positioning to color schemes. Now comes the best part, content. A truly good blog tutorial site will stand out from other pretenders when it’s able to supply bloggers with relevant information concerning content. Ideas on where to get content are very crucial. The only way you are going to get considerable amount of traffic in your blog is if people are INTERESTED in it. Your content plays a very critical role in your blog’s success, it is the lifeblood of every single blog out there. If you keep good content flowing steady and fresh, that can only stand to help your blog achieve a level of greatness. Tips on the finer points of increasing traffic for your blog are very abundant in the tutorials. Be sure to take heed because dealing with keywords and search engines will be a joyful task if done properly and with decent supervision.

Bottom line is that blog tutorials are essential partners in your blog making travels because they serve as competent and experienced guides. Up until such time that you get your blogging legs true and steady, I recommend not letting go of these sites.

Keywords, Tags, Categories – Oh Vey! I Am So Mixed Up!

Okay so now we know all there is to know about content and keywords. Hah! But you did get the basics. It may be a good point to stop and talk about Keywords, Tags, Categories and all that as well. Logically, in progression this should come much later, but because there seems such misunderstandings about Technorati, Del.icio.us and other tagging systems, it may be a good place to put this down.

These articles began because of a thread at Absolute Write called “What Is Your Technorati Rank?” On perusing that thread I realized that many writers were placing their hopes in something that just was not going to happen. More so, they were actually misreading the importance of certain “rankings” and thus ignoring the more important factors.

If you read the previous articles in this series you now hopefully understand “keyword basics”. So we are going to use Technorati for our example.

So along comes techie #1 and says:

“Hey, you know what. Blogs are becoming mainstay business. They are great for people with no knowledge of HTML and you can literally put up a web-site Weblog in minutes. So now they are multiplying over the net faster than rabbits, and the Search Engines are ignoring them for the most part as most of them contain personal musings and ramblings. So why not create a sophisticated search engine for blogs?”

“Great idea,” says techie #2, “a search engine from blogs. And that means anyone who has a blog will want to register with us. But how are we going to build it. Obviously, normative search engine technology is not what we want.”

“You know what?” says techie #1 “we are going to take keywords, call them by a different name and create a closed system!”

And thus Technorati was born.

What essentially goes on in Technorati, is you define what you write with “tags”, Technorati tags. These are keywords, (with a special HTML parameter). Keywords just like you will learn to use in your meta tags. Technorati then in a CLOSED SYSTEM connects all the blogs with the same keywords. Technorati does not look at content to a great extent (to my knowledge), they pay attention to the tags re: keywords that you input. If you do not input keywords they use your keywords in your Blog setup.

Okay this is great for all those people looking for blogs say about hairdressing. So they come to Mr. & Mrs. Hair’s blog because the Hair couple input keywords as Technorati tags. Simple.

Technorati now goes one step further. Technorati rates your blog based upon a few parameters. One of those “important” parameters is how many other people in the Technorati Network (Only those IN the network, or those using Technorati tags) have linked to your blog or a post on it. So by gaining links (there is no concept on Technorati as “bleeding links” as far as I know), you move up in the ladder. But even Technorati also keeps track of how popular your blog is. You can have 200 links into your blog, but if no one visits then your standing will not go up to the top 100.

Okay, that is Technorati. Important for bloggers? Well it is a popular site, and growing. So the answer would be yes. Important for Google, MSN and Yahoo — not on its own…yet there is one critical Caveat.

When someone links to your site in a blog or web site, the href HTML links are in the code. The Search Engines when they read the code with their bots (see how much web lingo you know already!) sees these links. Those get added to the amount of sites linking to you. They are “hot links” or “back links” into your blog or posts in your blog. So linking not only works in the closed world of Technorati tags, but also works in the Wide World of Search Engine placement. Those links are important. Now if you get linked in a very popular blog, that counts for a lot in the world of Search Engine placement. (As we discussed in the previous articles.)

So while it is nice to know your Technorati ranking is going up, what is IMPORTANT is to remember to use their tools of tagging and linking to get others to discover and link to your blog. That gets noticed by the Search Engines. Not immediately to be sure but if you are being hit a great deal and have links to you, sooner rather than later the Search Engines will pick up your blog and your keywords. They will NOT look at the Technorati tags though, they will look at your meta tag keywords and your content. (Oy Vey! so many things to remember)

Del.icio.us and others work on the same concept, though del.icio.us is more centralized and called a “social book-marking service”. Just remember the rule of thumb:

The more sites that link to you and your post, no matter for what reason, the better it is for you and your position in the Search Engines.

Okay now what are Categories? Categories really belong in Wiki format, and this is not the scope or place to discuss Wiki and the technology behind it. I own a new Wiki site, and you are welcome to peruse JewishPedia because on a Wiki site you can view all the code to each article.

Categories in blogs (WordPress implements them automatically) are a way to search for something. I have Categories in my blog, but this is a code implemented Category Listing in Google’s blogger system, where when you click, the blog does a Google Blog search in my blog for all articles related to that word. And thus it depends on Google’s specific Blog Search Engine (not their regular search engine).

Remember, Google and others have specific Blog search engines. It is important to be on the top in those as well, BUT for mainstream, if you are using a Blog for whatever reason, your goal is to be in the normative search engines as well, and in a good placement there.

So there you have it. Tags = Keywords. Technorati uses them in the closed world of Technorati. The employ linking counts as well. These keywords and links, if done correctly, are also very useful for Search Engine rankings if your blog is popular. deli.ci.ous uses them for “social” blogging.

So don’t give up on Technorati. Just don’t believe it is the golden answer to be good rankings in the Search Engines. It is but one of the myriad of possibilities.

“The more sites that link to you and your post, no matter for what reason, the better it is for you and your position in the Search Engines.”