Category Archives: Blogging

The Real Secret to Understanding Web Statistics

Understanding what your visitors do on your site is crucial information. If your visitors proceed to purchase a product but then a large majority leaves the site when they get to a specific page in the order process, you need to know about it. It could be that this page is confusing or hard to use. Fixing it could increase your sales by 200%. This is just an example; there are many reasons why you want a detailed analysis of your site visitors.

Most website hosting services offer a stats package that you can study. If you’re not sure where this is, call up your hosting service and ask them. Statistics are a vital part of tracking your marketing progress. If you don’t have access to website statistics get a package that can help you in this area. Do not get a counter that simply shows how many visitors you’ve had. You’ll be missing out on vital information that can help strengthen weaknesses in your site.

A good website hosting service offers traffic logs that provide an invaluable insight into the traffic being referred to a web site from various sources such as search engines, directories and other links.

Unfortunately traffic tracking provided by web hosting services is often in the form of raw traffic log files or other difficult to understand cryptic formats. These log files are basically text files that describe actions on the site. It is literally impossible to use the raw log files to understand what your visitors are doing. If you do not have the patience to go through these huge traffic logs, opting for a traffic-logging package would be a good idea.

Basically, two options are available to you and these are: using a log analysis package or subscribing to a remotely hosted traffic logging service. A remotely hosted traffic logging service may be easy to use and is generally the cheaper option of the two. WebTrends Live and HitsLink are two good, remotely hosted, traffic-monitoring services worth considering. However, WebTrends Live is a more complicated system and is suitable for larger ecommerce websites. “SuperStats” is another recommended traffic logging service.

These services do not use your log files. Typically a small section of code is placed on any page you want to track. When the page is viewed, information is stored on the remote server and available in real time to view in charts and tables form.

Log analysis packages are typically expensive to buy and complex to set up. Apart from commercial packages there are also some free log analysis packages available, such as Analog.

A good traffic logging service would provide statistics pertaining to the following:

” How many people visit your site?
” Where are they from?
” How are visitors finding your site?
” What traffic is coming from search engines, links from other sites, and other sources?
” What keyword search phrases are they using to find your site?
” What pages are frequented the most – what information are visitors most interested in?
” How do visitors navigate within your web site?

Knowing the answers to these and other fundamental questions is essential for making informed decisions that maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your web site investment.

The most important aspect of tracking visitors to your website is analyzing all the statistics you get from your tracking software. The three main statistics that will show your overall progress are hits, visitors and page views. Hits are tracked when any picture or page loads from your server on to a visitor’s browser. Hits, however, can be very misleading. It is quite an irrelevant statistic for your website.

The statistic that is probably the most important for a website is Page Views/Visitors. This gives you a good indication of two things. First, how many people are coming to your site, and secondly how long are they staying on your site. If you have 250 visitors and 300 page views you can figure that most visitors view one page on your site and then leave. Generally, if you’re not getting 2 page views per visitor then you should consider upgrading your site’s content so your visitors will stay around longer.

If you see the number of visitors you have increasing as well as the number of page views per visitor increasing then keep up the good work! Always look for this stat as an overall barometer of how your site design is going and if your marketing campaigns are taking hold.
Also, a good stat to look for is unique visitors. Once a person visits your site they will not be added to the unique visitors’ category if they visit again. This is a good way to track new visitors to your website.

Page views are a good indication of how “sticky” your website is. A good statistic to keep is Page Views divided by the number of Visitors you have. This statistic will give you a good idea if your content is interesting and if your visitors are staying on your site for a long time and surfing.

Some people are intimidated by web traffic statistics (mostly because of the sheer volume of data available), but they shouldn’t be. While there are many highly specialized statistics that can be used for more in-depth web traffic analysis, the above areas alone can provide invaluable information on your visitors and your website performance. Remember- this data is available for a reason. It’s up to you to use it.

7 Steps Of Mega Adsense Earners

The Google AdSense program is like finding money in the street.

Kids in High School are making thousands of dollars a month with Adsense… Housewives, Retiree’s, Mom and Pop’s who’ve never made a dime on the Internet have created full time incomes by simply placing AdSense Ads on their web site or blog.

Then you have the “Super AdSense” earners. We have all heard of them… the Elite few who are on track to make half a million dollars a year or more promoting AdSense sites.

Do not be mistaken though… these people are not building like your Mom and Pop’s do. They have systems in place that create sites for them… people who build sites for them… they have outsourced and automated many of the tedious tasks such as posting to blogs and searching for keywords.

While most people cannot emulate everything these Super AdSense earners do… many of them you can.

Here are 7 Required Steps you can implement today to copy their success.

1) Starting today… treat your AdSense business like it is a REAL business and track what you do.

Begin tracking what you are doing that works… as well as what you are doing that does not work. This will keep you from making the same mistakes over and over, and you can repeat the steps that have worked in the past. As simple as this step seems… most people do not know the reason(s) to their success or failure.

2) Utilize the latest tools and software available.

The Super AdSense earners are not any smarter than your average person. I know many people think they are… but for the most part, they are regular non techie people.

They are smarter in one respect though… they use the latest tools available to them to automate most of the tasks involved with researching and creating sites. They use the latest keyword, site creation and search engine optimization tools available. The tools they use are their secret weapons.

3) Quit chasing the Mega Dollar keywords.

You cannot compete with the search engine experts who create sites for the $80 payout keywords. You may get lucky every now and then… but in the long run, you are better off building sites for the low to mid range payout keywords. The competition is less, and your chance of success is much higher over the long term.

4) Choose broad niches and break it down.

Choose a broad subject as your main theme (lets use computers for an example). From there… break it down into as many sub niches as possible.

Using Computers as the example… you could build sub niches/sites like laptop computers, computer hard drives, computer keyboards, etc, etc. You could literally build hundreds of sites around one major theme and stay totally focused. Once you have exhausted every possible sub niche of that major theme… choose another main theme and repeat the process.

5) KISS

Keep your sites easy to navigate and forget the fancy graphics that distract your visitors attention. Unless you are just building AdSense sites for the fun of it and to impress your friends… the purpose of having the site is to have people click on one of the ads, right? Then keep the site layout simple… dump the scrolling banners, dancing chickens and colored scroll bars… they are distractions.

6) What is the purpose of your web site?

Your web site cannot be everything to everybody. If you have a full fledged ecommerce site, with products for sale… links to other products, it is not a good site for AdSense. If the primary focus of the site is to sell products… let it do that.

Do not distract or confuse your visitor with to many options or choices. The best AdSense sites are AdSense only content sites that sell nothing. They are sites that “Tell”… not “Sell.”

7) Be consistent.

This is not one of those deals where you build one site and you are done. Refer back to Step #4. You must continuously build in order to be successful.

Think of it as planting a crop that you will harvest in a month or two, and the sites you build are seeds. Once the seeds have grown and matured… you will reap the harvest. The more seeds you plant… the larger the harvest.

To sum it up… utilize the tools available to automate as much of the process of building sites – doing research and building keyword lists as you can. This alone will help keep you organized and on track. Be consistent in building… treat it like the business it is and you will reap the rewards of your harvest.

Ten Steps To Grow Website Traffic

If you own your own website or have a page supplied by a program, growing website traffic will be one of the keys to your success. You need a growing, self-generating stream of website traffic and plenty of it. Preferably free and preferably preconditioned to buy your product of service.

This article provides some ideas for growing website traffic.

(1) Directories
Directories are website listings. The trick is to find a directory which receives huge volumes of website traffic. Start by applying for listings in Yahoo, DMOZ and Looksmart. These are huge portals with significant website traffic. Getting listed isn’t easy but once achieved you will see a significant lift in your website traffic. Look at other directories but make sure they have a good traffic rating (use Alexa).

(2) Traffic Exchanges

Every website you view in a traffic exchange generates credits which are exchanged for views of your site. This website traffic is free and can be generated almost instantly. The more sites you view the more people visit your website and the more your website traffic grows.

(3) Article Writing

One of the most effective methods of generating website traffic. Best of all its free. Magazines, Ezines and Webmasters are always looking for fresh content. Just write an article on any topic which interests you, optimize it for keywords and be sure to include your website URL in the bio line at the bottom of the article. Then submit it to ezine directories on the web. This will generate website traffic and create backlinks to your site, which in turn helps with search engine rankings.

(4) Search Engine Optimization
Making sure your website is search engine friendly will certainly help grow your website traffic. Ensure all the meta and alt tags are completed, optimize the text for your chosen keywords, ensure there is an H1 header, update your robots.txt, update your google sitemap and ensure google is alerted each time you make a change. There are a number of sites which provide a “spider simulation” which shows you what your site looks like to a spider and what you can do to improve its search engine ranking.

(4) Blogs
Ensure your blog is located on your site, that it links to your key pages and that you ping each time your blog is updated. A regularly updated blog will attract readers which in turn builds website traffic.

(5) Forums

Leaving your URL in forums will generate website traffic in two ways. First, people who read your post are likely to click the link to checkout your site. Secondly search engines will generally accept the link a counting towards your link popularity.

(6) Viral Advertising

If you have a message and you tell 10 people and they each tell 10 people and so on, by the time the message goes through 10 levels it has been passed on to a million people.

A similar principle can be used in marketing. If you produced a free report or ebook filled with links back to your site and gave it away, the chances are those you gave it away to would do the same thing. Your links would be spread all over the Internet and your website traffic will grow.

There are also couple of viral websites which successfully use the same principle to grow website traffic. Follow the link in the resource box below to see some examples.

(7) Reciprocal Links
By swapping links, webmasters hope that people will click on their link in other websites thereby generating website traffic. This strategy is one of the very best ways of generating free, targeted website traffic and should be high on your list of priorities. It also is highly rated by search engines

(8) Classifies Ads

Do a search for “classified ads” and you will find many sites, which accept classified advertisements. Make sure you place your ad in a site complimentary to your product. Generally sites at the top of google/yahoo searches will perform better than those lower down. Again make sure the site you are placing your ad on has a high traffic rating or it will not assist with your website traffic.

(9) Pay Per Click Advertising

Programs like Google’s Adwords will deliver pre-qualified targeted website traffic to your site. I have found this to be an excellent way of delivering high converting website traffic.

(10) Expired Domain Names

Some expired domain names are still receiving traffic. If you are lucky you can pick one up quite cheaply. These can provide a very cheap source of long-term website traffic.

The greater your website traffic the closer you will come to your goals. I hope this article will help you grow your website traffic and reach those goals.

To your success!

How to Get Started Blogging in 5 Minutes or Less

I put off starting a blog for a long time because I thought it would be hard. I thought it would be technical. I thought I’d have to install scripts and tear my hair out getting them to work. At that point, most of what I’d read about blogs and RSS was just so much geek-speak.

Was I ever wrong!

When I finally got the courage to give it a go, I went to blogger.com and signed up for an account. To my amazement, I had a blog set up in about 5 minutes. My first post was uploaded to my site about 10 minutes later.

The only thing even remotely technical I was required to do was enter the FTP settings for the website my blog would be published on. But even that wasn’t a requirement. With Blogger, you can set up a blog on their site, Blogspot, and not even worry about FTP settings.

Since then, I’ve started 3 Blogger blogs on different sites. Blogger remains one of the most popular blog applications in the world simply because it is so simple to use and set up. If you’re a technophobe or don’t have the time to learn something completely new, I would urge you to drop by Blogger.com and take a look. You could be blogging – and enjoying the benefits – almost immediately.

Another very simple blogging tool is WordPress. This blog is my first WordPress blog, and I’m very impressed with how powerful it is – as well as simple.

WordPress is installed on your own website, but don’t let that stop you. Most hosts that have Cpanel already have WordPress ready for you to install. Look in your Cpanel for the Fantastico application, click it open, and then choose WordPress to install. It will automatically install it on your site for you, and you can start blogging right away.

If your host doesn’t already include WordPress in the scripts on your server, you can still pick it up at:

http://wordpress.org/

Then go to the WordPress Wiki for instructions on how to install it in 5 minutes:

http://wiki.wordpress.org/?pagename=5MinuteInstallation

WordPress is free, open-source software. It is very simple to install, even for technophobes, and has a lot of online documentation. There are also many sites with free WordPress add-ons and templates. I’m using a template for this blog that I picked up at Alex King’s site:

http://www.alexking.org/index.php?content=software/wordpress/styles.php

The WordPress Wiki is a wealth of information on all things WordPress, including installation instructions, help files, a long list of template sites, and all kinds of hacks and extras you can use to modify your blog and make it original.

If you’re a WordPress user, another place to visit is the WordPress discussion forum:

http://wordpress.org/support/

If you’re a new blogger, both WordPress and Blogger are very user friendly. There isn’t a long learning curve. And you won’t have to learn any new technical tricks. Why not give one of them a try?

10 Ways You Can Use Blogs RIGHT NOW

Now that you have got a basic understanding of the ins and outs of blogs, and some options available, you’re probably wondering: How does this help my business? How does it help me to stand out?

1. Team Communication. Companies use blogs internally to communicate project status to stakeholders and managers. It beats clogging everybody’s email with mass broadcasts. It allows these missives to be archived, indexed and easily searched.

2. Enrich Your Clients.
You can easily link to articles and resources relevant to your readers and their needs. You can more easily attract experts to provide value-added content to your audience.

3. Get to Know Your Customer. Nobody buys from someone they don’t know. Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise and point-of-view quickly and easily. In addition, blogs allow the customers to receive your updates in the format they choose.

4. Collaborate. You can create your own marketing buzz to drive attention and buyers to your products and services. Some companies use internal blogs to report on projects or to track work groups distributed around the world.

5. Research and Development. Weblogs are the perfect forum to test out new ideas and receive instant feedback. You can allow others to see how you develop your products and services, and at the same time, they can tell you how best to serve them.

6. Go Global. Blogs, like other online media, allow you to take your business and ideas to a global market. Translation services are getting better every day, allowing more people to read online content in different languages. I’ve helped bloggers from New York to New Zealand, from Indiana to India.

7. Hidden Entrance to the Press. Journalists are busier than ever and blogs provide a virtual directory of pundits on any topic. You and your company can be the content expert they’re looking for. Furthermore, if your company is talked about in the blogosphere it could end up using that exposure as a back door to the press.

8. Get Published. Publishers are turning to blogs to find new writing talent. Blogs can give a publisher a taste of your writing style as well as a sample of your depth of knowledge. Content specific blogs show a a commitment to a certain topic or subject matter.

9. Write your book. Let your readers help you write your latest book or article. Post chapters or ideas, then let readers help you in researching, testing and suggesting ideas. Or, use a blog after your book is published to update the material or to answer questions from readers.

10. Success Stories. Invite clients to blog about their successes with your products and services – it’s like a living testimonial that never ends. As clients share their experiences, your prospects can see first-hand how you can help them, too.

Blogging can run your entire web site

Blogging is a term that means different things to different people. To some people it means keeping an online journal. To others blogging is about creating a community of people who can contribute to a growing discussion on a specific topic. To me, however, blogging is about creating and running an entire web site. That’s because blogging can actually be used as a complete content management system for almost any web site.

There are several reasons why you should consider using blog pages to run your entire web site. These include:

* You can make changes to your web site content without the need for specialist software

* You can make changes to your content from anywhere you can access the web; you don’t need to be at your PC.

* You can make changes to content quickly – more quickly than with software.

* You can make changes to content without incurring cost – unlike using a web design agency.

* You can use blogs to create content with colleagues, working as a team – something that’s more difficult and more costly with software.

All of these benefits can be obtained free of charge using Blogger.com to run your pages. To use Blogger.com as a content management system, take the following steps:

1. Create a web page template for your entire site.

2. Include Blogger.com ‘tags’ for each blog entry within your template. The key tags you will need are: <$BlogItemTitle$> and <$BlogItemBody$>. These tags will insert the title and the text for each item you enter into your blog.

3. Set up each page of your web site as a separate blog using the ‘advanced’ settings.

4. For each blog, use your template code as the template within Blogger.com

5. Post a single entry into each blog, which is the main content for your page.

6. Publish your blog! That’s it!

In the future, you will be able to change the content or add to it, simply by logging onto Blogger.com, choosing the appropriate blog (or page of your web site) and then editing the post item.

People are beginning to realize the potential for content management using blogs. You no longer have to see blogs in terms of a single page that is added to your web site. Instead, you can view blogging as the way you run your web site.

Make Money Blogging

You have created a blog and your blog is dedicated to a niche industry. Have you ever thought that the blog could make money for you? We would look here in this article, ways and means, to make money blogging. Lets first have a look at what are the prerequisites for a blog needed to make money:

1. Blog needs to be dedicated to a niche market.
2. Updated regularly.
3. Enough back links (Don’t worry for it. Directory submission would be enough to begin with)
4. Good blog host or application (blogger, Xanga or typepad recommended), and
5. High quality articles or news items supported with images.

Get the above criteria in place and Hurrah… You are ready to Make Money Blogging.

Top 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Lets now take a look at top 5 ways using which you could make money blogging:

1. Google Adsense

Google Adsense delivers text and image ads to the authorized websites/blogs depending on the content of the website. Small code is required to be pasted at proper locations on a web page and Google automatically recognizes the page. Google shares the revenue it gets from the advertisers whenever a visitor clicks on these ads.

Google bills advertisers on price per click basis (PPC). Advertisers are required to pay only when any visitor clicks on their ads. They bid against each other for the keywords in order to receive better placement and thus prices for each keyword differ from one another. It is better to choose keywords for your blog which pays high $ per click.

2. Amazon
Amazon Associate program is another important way to make money blogging. The Amazon Associate program gives opportunity to website/blog publishers to promote any product from its inventory by adding a predefined code to their website/blog, which, when clicked by a visitor, takes them to the relevant product page. Once the visitor buys the product, the blog owner will be compensated with a commission.

3. Blogads
You can use Blogads as an effective tool to have a better control over the advertisers in your blogs. You can analyze and compare your profits with any one of your online agencies. Blogads can be simply specified as an advertising service used for the web logs or blogs. From the total money generated by Blogads, it retains 20% of it and the remaining money is paid to you through PayPal or checks.

Alternative Services:

• Crispads is another useful network focused on the blogs. You can put your advertisements in their blogs using Crispads. You can move through their RSS/ATOM feeds that help in generating revenues.

Users can place their text-based ads in the site within minutes and the ads will be displayed instantly on the website.

4. Affiliate Programs
Your affiliate programs can help you earn a lot of money for selected products and services. Lot of websites offers you to become affiliate members. These affiliate programs can provide a better reach and an in-depth exposure to the products. The commissions for the sales differ according to the quality of the product, sales and marketing strategy involved. You can gather information related to the commissions by looking into the catalogues of Link Share and Commission junctions.

5. Text Links
Text links has emerged out to be the best form of moneymaking source that you can use instead of cluttering or crowding the page with ads. You don’t have to make these text links prominent within your website. This link can act as an extra value to your site and will also help to promote the rankings of other sites. In most of the cases you will find these text links placed in the bottom of the web pages. The best part of this strategy is that the publishers send and accept links as the market continues to grow.

Blogging for Dollars

Blogging for dollars might sound like the latest game show or some new drinking game, but it’s the latest craze to hit the Internet. Bloggers began blogging for a number of reasons, but as the blog movement has increased in popularity, they have found ways to monetize their blogs and are seeing their commitment pay off.

Whether a blogger’s focus is to communicate with customers or just to have fun, they have begun looking at ways to earn revenue from their blogs. The most popular ways for bloggers to earn some added cash for their pet projects are:

1. ) Google Adsense in Blogs

Google AdSense allows webmasters to dynamically serve content-relevant advertisements in blogs. If the visitor clicks one of the AdSense ads served to the blog, the website owner is credited for the referral. Webmasters need only to insert a Google-generated java script into the blog or blog template. Google’s spider parses the AdServing blog and serves ads that relate to the blog’s content. Google uses a combination of keyword matching and context analysis to determine what ads should be served.

2. ) Affiliate Programs (Product Endorsements)

Affiliate Programs work when an affiliate web site receives income for generating sales, leads, or traffic to a merchant website. Generally, bloggers will mention or endorse specific products and if site visitors purchase the product, bloggers will receive a portion of the sale.

3. ) Product Promotion

Businesses use blogs to detail how specific features or product add-ons can increase functionality and save time. Content-rich product promotion will help with search engine placement.

4.) Banner Ads

While less popular than in the past, websites with high traffic levels can still earn decent revenue by selling banner space.

As the Internet evolves bloggers will continue to seek out ways to monetize their opinions and thoughts. Daily journals and online blogs have become more than just a communication means to many.

Should You Get A Blog?

A blog is a type of website. It allows the website owner to easily write messages that get posted to the site automatically, often in a journal or diary-like style. A particularly appealing thing about blogs is that your readers can comment back to your posts fairly easily, and a continuous stream of fresh conversations result. (This is a good thing.)Here are three reasons to consider getting a blog:

1.To Replace Your Ezine

If you currently publish an ezine, you may wish to consider replacing it with a regularly published blog. This means using your blog to publish journal entries, and then when it comes time to communicate with your subscriber list, you excerpt some items from your blog, and send those out as your ezine.

This saves you from creating special articles only for your ezine. In many cases it becomes easier for you to write in blog format (short and sweet) so you save time. Readers enjoy the practical, “reporter-like” nature of blogs instead of ezines, and gradually come to feel that they are in conversation with you on a daily basis. You become part of their everyday circle of friends and associates, which leads to you becoming their natural resource on the topic of your expertise.

2. To Create a Quick and Dirty Learning Environment or e-Campus

For those of you who offer TeleClasses or other programs that want to have a web page of learning resources, links, class notes and audio, etc., a blog can be a great way to bring together an e-Campus.

If you offer a workshop, coaching/consulting, or even a software solution, and you want to instantly add value to your clients, create a “client/student resource page” using a blog. This becomes an environment that the students can play in, study more, and soak up your materials. Your clients continue to benefit from your expertise even though you’re not physically there; they do it at their pace, and at little cost to you.

Once again, because blogging makes it easy for you to continually update your website without mucking around with FrontPage or DreamWeaver, you will save time and energy publishing to the Internet.

3.) Just For Fun, And To Be Cool

Let’s face it, a large part of the reason you’re wondering about blogs is because it sounds cool, right? And new stuff is fun. So why not try it just because? Sometimes it’s enough to try something because it stretches you, keeps you limber and awake to possibilities. There’s nothing wrong with playing, UNLESS you fool yourself into thinking your business is improving, or you’re somehow paying the mortgage while you play.

Rest easy, there’s no pressure to get a blog. Not getting one won’t negatively impact your bottom line. So although the technology can be entrancing, stay focused… what are you selling to who? How is it going? That said, do stay curious about new technology. Part of your chosen profession as an online biz owner means modeling for others by staying abreast of new things.

How To Make Money From Your Blog Content

Writing a blog can be fun and exciting, but it can also be rewarding. If you do not know how to make money from your blog content then you need to consider implementing the following suggestions in your blog.

Make Money Tip #1 Adsense
Adsense is an incredible service offered by Google to help you make money and help others advertise as well. Basically, with Adsense you choose several ads that blend or complement the information talked about in your blog. Then, when individuals click on the ads that are present in your blog, you receive money! Best of all, Adsense is free to use on your site, so this is a great opportunity to make money without really having to do very much.

Make Money Tip #2 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate programs are another great way to make money as well and work on the same premise of Adsense. The web surfer has to click on the affiliate website’s link and when they do so they are redirected from your blog to the link they clicked on. You will get paid affiliate income for the click, and if they make a purchase when they are on that website you will get paid affiliate income again.

Make Money Tip #3 Blog Ads
Blog ads can help you make money as well. Blog ads are not too different from Adsense or Affiliate marketing, but they are in the sense that blog ads connect web surfers with advertisers. Then, when any ad placements are made a commission is exchanged.

Make Money Tip #4 Business Blog

You can use your blog to simply converse about any topic that is important to you, but you can also use your blog as a tool to help you make money. Advertise your business services; make your blog a business blog by focusing at least part of your blog on your business services. This way, you can still communicate whatever it is you need to and make money as well.

When it comes to making money from your blog you can do so easily with these tried and true tricks of the trade. Whether you utilize Adsense, affiliate marketing, blog ads, a business blog, or a combination of all of the above, you will certainly benefit and make money. Don’t delay and start implementing these types of money making strategies in your blog today. Not only will you make money, but your blog will become more popular as well.