Tag Archives: RSS

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?

Top 10 Tips for Blogging

Tips for creating a blog.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog. Having said that, bloggers will likely increase their exposure by following some simple blog guidelines.

1.) Stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Most readers won’t care that you eat Cheerios for breakfast. They may, however, be interested in the fact that vinegar takes out stains and that toilet paper rolls make great wreaths. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

2.) Stay informative.

If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.

3.) Old news is not news.

While blogging every day can be a drain, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate, writing an article or blurb about something that happened 6 months ago, will not be of interest to many. Telling your audience that Martha Stewart was convicted and will be going to prison, after her sentence is completed will make people question the value of your columns.

4.) Adhere to a schedule.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don’t want to lose them due to lack of communication.

5.) Clarity and simplicity.

Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don’t always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

6.) Keyword-rich.

If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

7.) Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

8.) Frequency.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.

9.) Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so.

10.) RSS.
RSS will increase your blog’s reach. It is important that you include your blog’s content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.

Most weblog audiences are small, but with time and regular updates audiences grow. Bloggers may never have more than a few hundred readers, but the people who return to regularly are generally interested in what you have to say.

Top 10 Ways To Get People Online To Read Your Business Blog

There are many advantages of running a blog, on top of your business website. A blog is an online diary, whereby you can easily posts clips about yourself, your thoughts and your personal life. If you publish a business blog, you posts good content, articles, breaking news or just about anything to build awareness of what you are selling.

Publishing a business blog gives your subscriber or prospect a chance to get to know you better. Through your blog, you can explain how your life has changed due to the product or service that you are selling. A blog can also be highly interactive if you also allow comments and for all to see. For sure, blogging provides a good avenue to establish some level of trust and security for an online prospect who has never met you.

Here are top 10 ways to get people to read your business blog:

1. Have a general theme and state this theme at the top or in a prominent location in your blog. Creating a general theme helps attract a group of targeted readers. However, do strike a balance. You don’t also want too narrow a theme. Otherwise, you may find yourself having difficulty finding new things to talk about in your blog every few days.

2. Be current in what you post. Don’t report about events that happen one year ago. You can refer to the particular event if relevant and/or via a link. For these past events, assume that people already know about them.

3. Keep a regular schedule. When readers return to your blog, they want to read about something new. Be sure to manage your readers’ expectations.

4. Post frequently. Search engine spiders love sites that are constantly updated with fresh content. At the very least, posting once every few days is a good idea.

5. Keep your posts short and clear. Don’t post long essays. Blog readers are known to like to zip in and out of online diaries. Keep your long essays to articles that you can publish on a separate webpage or in your newsletter.

6. Make your tittle keyword-rich. This helps in getting your posts better ranked by search engine spiders via the keywords that you use.

7. Post interesting content. No one is going to be interested in what you ate for breakfast. Not unless you are maintaining a food blog and you want to post your breakfast recipe!
Making your content interesting will ensure that your readers continue to read your blog loyally.

8. Have a unique perspective. Readers are interested to know what you think. If you are offering your opinion, be sure that you are able to qualify them.

9. Take note of your language and grammar. Even if you are posting an opinion. It is always safer to write in proper English if you are hoping to monetize from your blog.

10. Don’t forget to have a RSS feed. RSS means “Rich Site Syndication”. To increase readership and distribution, this is one thing that you must not omit in doing.

Search Engine Marketing With Blogs

Blogs are fast becoming the SEO tool of choice by many webmasters. Why? Content. Search engines love content. The more content your blog can provide on a steady basis, the better your ability to increase traffic. Blogs are easy to start and anyone can for more effective SEO management.

What content do you place in your blog? You can place any useful information or articles about your product or service. If, for example, you are a wedding planner, you should write about tips future brides may not be aware of in relation to planning their wedding. You might talk about wedding scams, catering faux pas, honeymoon hotspots etc… Let the readers know you have something more to offer then just a simple service. People who feel comfortable about a person or organization are far more likely to buy from them. Let your readers know who you are and what you are capable of doing for them.

Now that you have your content, you need to get it into the reader’s hands. The advantage of using a blog is that you can syndicate your content. Rich Site Summary or RSS is a format used to syndicate your content instantly. In other words, people can have your content posted on their web site or sent to their email. Most blog sites will give you your own special URL to submit to sites that syndicate content. These sites will then contact your URL for the content. The more you update your site the more your site will be indexed or PINGED by RSS feeds. To help ensure your RSS feed is being indexed, enter the RSS tag into the of your site. Just enter your site title and the URL with your special URL for RSS. This and other tags can be used in most blogs. Take advantage of them.

Creating a blog will allow your content to be syndicated which in turn will increase traffic to your web site as well as build your link popularity through RSS and blog directories. This will give you and your products or services recognition. The knowledge and personal insights that you share will help build your business and your customer relations. The RSS feeds and blog directories will also help build your page rank on search engines. Blogs have all the ingredients to be one of the best free advertising tools the Internet has to offer. Why aren’t you taking advantage?

Shorten Your Blogging-RSS Learning and Submission Curve

A blog is a frequent, online publication of comments, web links, and news. It is an online Enzine of sorts. People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with automated published systems, most notably is blogger.com. Thousands of people use services such as Blogger alone.

So start your blog now and be ahead of the crowd for a change. A secret I’ll share with you here before going any further is after you set up your blog goto FeedBurner and follow the instructions to burn your feed. Then publicize your feed by inserting the msn and yahoo chick lets to your blog.

I know it sounds complicated but if you can follow simple instructions and cut and paste it should only take a few minutes. Caution you must be familiar with HTML so as not to make mistakes. If you’re not sure ask a friend. This info is for you if you’re familiar with the web – if you’re a newbie it’ll take a bit longer to implement

Once the chick lets are installed onto your blog, login to them using your yahoo and msn id’s and add them to your my msn and my yahoo templates. From then on when you make an entry to your blog it’ll automatically log itself onto msn and yahoo and broadcast itself to the web in addition to your rss feeds. Once this is done goto PingOMatic and ping your blog to be indexed within days; not weeks or months.

Here are the reasons you should not ignore Blog advertising:

Remember when all search engines were free, and simply submitting your web sites got you listed quickly? Gone.

Then it was FFA pages, they brought in a ton of free traffic, built links to your site, and added to your mailing list like crazy. Tried one lately? Safe lists were an online goldmine for a while… until bottom less email accounts were introduced.

Website submissions now can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to be indexed. While blogs and rss feeds can be indexed anywhere from 2-8 days which is better for you??

So once again I implore you to be one of the first in line and not be last again. This is the new trend just beginning to breakthrough. A few years or months from now you’ll be able to sit back and smile as you watch the rest of the net stampeding to catch up.

Marketing Revolution with Blogs and RSS

Do you know that there is a marketing revolution happening online this very moment?

Before that, let’s go back in time and take a look at the major revolution or ‘waves’ that has occurred when the Internet became a business or marketplace.

First there was the Search Engine revolution, with Alta Vista, Yahoo and now Google coming onto the scene and with webmasters busy tweaking their pages for high ranking on these search engines which means more traffic.

Then there was the email marketing revolution, when people discovered the use of email as a means for follow up selling and is still being widely used today.

Finally, there was the affiliate marketing wave, popularized perhaps by Amazon, and with most businesses following using this model to distribute and sell their products.

And today, we have blogs and rss feeds being used as a new form of marketing for businesses. Blogs appeared few years back, and in a way was similar to a forum, except that with blogs, you call the shots and can write and talk about anything under the Sun.

When it first appeared, blogs were thought of nothing more than just a tool for people to express their rants, feelings, emotions and so forth. However, soon savvy marketers recognized the use of blogs as another channel of marketing – be it branding, selling, promotion etc.

Today, blogs have taken on a whole new meaning and become sophisticated in look and content to the extent that it has become a powerful way to market products and services. There are so many ways you can earn money with blogs, which is discussed in my multimedia e-book.

RSS Feeds are basically a way of distributing/circulating/syndicating your contents, which can come from your blogs, your newsletters, and so forth. In my multimedia e-book, “Marketing Rampage with Blogs and RSS” I show you in video how easy it is to create a feed in under 10 minutes!

Think of a giant sea octopus. Imagine its long tentacles with suction pods all over reaching out to grab food. RSS Feeds is like a giant octopus, with UNLIMITED tentacles and UNLIMITED REACH for you to “grab” your prospects.

Does that send shiver down your spine?

The Future of RSS is Not Blogs

Blogs vaulted RSS into the limelight but are unlikely to be the force that sustains RSS as a communication medium. The biggest opportunities for RSS are not in the blogosphere but as a corporate communication channel.

Even now, businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue. The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent.

Like the Internet when it first started, blogs were emboldened by the “cool factor”. As the novelty of being new and cool wears off, Internet webmasters and bloggers alike are realizing that maintaining a website or blog is time-consuming. “Coolness” often wears off if a channel is not monetized. With the ease of blogging and the array of blogs available, only a handful will be able to sustain fresh, constant, unique content and generate any sort of reasonable or significant revenue. As a result, blogs as we know them today will fade into the background, with many blogs being abandoned.

RSS, being a tool that saves Internet surfers time and allows webmasters to re-purpose and re-package existing and new content will, in my opinion, continue to thrive. A business effectively using RSS can bring new site visitors, increase search engine positioning, and generate product interest. The flexibility of RSS as a communication medium and the expansion capabilities of the enclosure tag will allow RSS to flourish as an online marketing tool. Each day businesses are adopting new uses for RSS, and users are becoming accustomed to skimming content that *they* choose in a single centralized location.

As businesses adopt RSS and consumers experiment with feeds, the popularity of RSS will grow. Ultimately, consumers are the driving force behind technology. The convenience of RSS and increased popularity will set a precedent for consumer expectations. Businesses using RSS as a communication vehicle are able to create keyword-rich, themed content, establishing trust, reputation, and ongoing communication with current and prospective customers.

The big consumer benefit to RSS is that consumers opt-in to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines, users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple content streams in a timely fashion.

Consumer expectation will drive businesses that are slow to adopt. Ultimately, RSS will be a standard, like email addresses and websites are now a “must” for businesses. RSS feeds will join their ranks.

Unlike blogs, businesses can easily justify RSS feeds, as they will be increasing customer and corporate communication. RSS will create new revenue channels. RSS has the potential to help companies develop strong relationships with consumers and create brand loyalty. RSS Feeds will draw existing customers and prospective clients, translating to a new or renewed income stream. Businesses using RSS feeds as a communication medium to notify interested customers of specials, discounts, product announcements, technical support tips, news and industry studies will ultimately sustain RSS as a viable and valued communication medium.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

Welcome to the second part of our series of articles on search engine optimization. In the previous article we discussed keywords, domain names, content and keyword density issues. This article moves past that to the nitty gritty of improving your web pages and website for better search engine rankings.

Page Title
It’s truly amazing how many people don’t realize how critical the TITLE tag can be to the success or failure of your website. Your TITLE tag needs to have your most important keyword for that page included in it. This is for the benefit of the search engines.

From a visitors point of view it also needs to entice them to click on your title tag when they see it in the search engine results. If your page is about PDA Accessories don’t just use that phrase in the TITLE tag.

Dress it up a bit. For example “PDA Accessories For The Busy Geek” or “Need Accessories for Your PDA? Come right in!” Those examples took me 10 seconds to come up with. You can do far better with a little more time and effort.

META Keyword Tag
Anybody still using the Meta Keyword tag as their sole search engine optimization method please leave the room. Go on get out and don’t come back.

The Meta Keyword tag is all but dead to the search engines. When building your pages it’s still worth including but simply put in the top 3 or 4 keywords that are relevant to your business and leave it at that. Do not spend hours coming up with hundreds of keywords to stuff into the Meta Keyword tag. It’s a total waste of time and anybody who tells you different has no idea what they’re talking about.


META Description Tag

This still has some limited value for your SEO work. When Google or other search engines display search results they display the contents of the TITLE tag and your Meta Description tag (if present) or a random selection of text from the page. Your Meta Description tag will take priority if present.

The Meta Description tag is still worth using. Your most important keyword should be in there and again you need to work this keyword into an eye catching phrase or sentence. Don’t just copy and paste the main keyword in there.

If the Meta Description tag is used well, in conjunction with the TITLE tag, then it can make your displayed search result more inviting to the potential visitor. Again don’t spend more than a few minutes on your Meta Description tag but do make sure that you include it on each page. One final note – make the Meta Description for each page different; don’t just recycle the same one over and over.

RSS
Stands for Really Simple Syndication and is probably something you’ve heard a lot about over the last few months. RSS allows you to display the news items and/or content from other sites on your website as part of a “news feed”. This adds a huge amount of value to your site from a vistors point of view – they don’t need to leave your site to get the latest news on a given topic. The other benefit is that search engines love seeing fresh content on websites.

At the moment there’s a huge upsurge in the use of RSS for search engine optimization. The question is does it work? Yes it does. Using RSS can most definitely encourage the search engines to come back to visit your site more often. How does it work? Well again that goes beyond the scope of this article so please refer to our site for more information.

Blogs
Also called Web Logs are basically online diaries. For a long time these were used solely by… well…. geeks to record their thoughts and as a way of sharing information on Star Trek. Seriously though initially blogs were never seen as anything more than a curiousity.

Recently with the increased visibility of RSS blogs have also seen their profile rise. Why? Well because many RSS feeds feature blog content. Which means what exactly? It means your blog could be included on and linked to from thousands of websites all over the world. Are you seeing the possiblities? There are some other nuances to consider but to mention them here would give the game away completely and certain ebook authors would put a price on my head for giving away their secrets.

Use Blogs And RSS Feeds To Get Your New Sites And Pages Index

Use Blogs and RSS Feeds to get your New Sites and Pages Indexed Fast!

They say it’s a dog eat dog world out there. Everyone is fighting for their right to lead the pack. Cyberspace has its own virtual rendition of this cliché…search engine optimization. Marketers around the globe are struggling to get their products at the top of search engine listings. They go to great lengths to produce material with high keyword density in an attempt to entice robotic spiders to visit their sites.

Robert was in over his head. He’d posted projects on freelance websites hoping to hire writers to supply him with keyword dense content. This was his fourth attempt. Good writers were worth their weight in gold. The only problem was that he didn’t have much of the gold stuff to throw around. He’d taken a chance, and accepted the bid of someone he knew wasn’t top-quality, but hey, they fit his budget.

Two weeks later he was still editing and rewriting…and grumbling and growling. Where did these people learn to write anyway? The ring of the telephone interrupted his fuming. It was his long time friend Dave…excited and ready to talk. Dave had discovered the backdoor into search engines…

Imagine yourself an old-time bank robber appearing at the bank’s back door only to find it wide open and a welcome sign attached. Wow! How much easier can it get? …no risks, and nothing to keep you from making a quick getaway with lots of cash. RSS feeds and blogs are exactly that…an open door to search engines like Yahoo! They costs you nothing and present a no-risk invitation for quick results!

Did I mention quick results? We’re talking really quick results! Compare the time and effort Robert invested into getting his site recognized by search engines to what RSS feed and blog users are spending…minutes, yes minutes! Bloggers spend a short time creating a few paragraphs of content that is quickly broadcast around the world with RSS feeds, and get better results than other SEO methods. People everywhere are saying, “WOW! MY site was indexed within hours after I employed RSS feeds!”

How much time have you wasted in your attempt to increase web traffic to your site? That’s what I thought…too much. I won’t bother to ask how much money you’ve wasted – we’ll try to keep things on a more positive note. You really don’t need to employ an SEO company, or – like Robert – attempt to do it yourself. You can have your site indexed and sending traffic your way today!

Hang on just a second…before you get started, there are a few secrets to making your blogs and RSS feeds more effective. SHHHH…if you can slip keywords from the news headlines into your daily blog…nod, nod…your blog will be sure make more appearances around the world. Now, go make it happen!

RSS Directory Submission: The Key To Blog Promotion

According to Technorati, there are over 15 million blogs as of July 2005. And during July, an average of 80,000 new blogs were created each day. If you own a blog, how are you going to promote it in order to stay ahead of the competition?

Fortunately, there is a simple, yet very effective method: RSS directory submission. Submitting your RSS news feed to specialized news directories benefits your site in several ways.

RSS directory submission increases your readership. When a person is looking for news feeds to add to their RSS reader, it is highly likely they will visit an RSS directory to find news feeds on their subject of interest. I recently visited a directory looking for personal business blogs. I subscribed to several, and now read them via RSS on a regular basis. Someone else may have an excellent business blog, but since they weren’t listed in the directory, I was unable to discover their site.

RSS directory submission enables your content to be duplicated and linked to from other sites. One of the key benefits of syndicating content through RSS is that it increases your reach. You can publish an article, then have excerpts of that article placed on hundreds of other websites – with links back to the original on your site. Many webmasters want to have fresh content for their visitors, and embedding an RSS news feed is the easiest way to do that. You’ll want to make sure that you are listed in RSS directories when a webmaster visits looking for website content – or your competitors may get the free promotion!

RSS directory submission provides immediate link popularity. RSS directories are similar to other web directories – you get a free, one-way link back to your site when you are listed. Think about this. Most RSS directories carry a page rank (PR) of 5 or higher. When you multiply that over 50 RSS directories, that is a lot of links back to your site – meaning increased search engine rank and more visitors.

There are several ways you can submit your RSS news feed to directories. The first, obviously, is by hand. You can get a list of the directories on any search engine, then go to each website and add your feed manually. Since there are many RSS directories, this can take quite a while. To save the webmaster time, two ways of automated directory submission exist.

The first one is RSS Submit (http://www.dummysoftware.com/rsssubmit.html), a program that automates the directory submission process. All you have to do is open the software, enter the URL for your feed, and RSS Submit will instantly send the feed information to approximately 100 directories. You can also manually submit your site to another 25 directories using RSS Submit’s auto-fill function.

The second method is appropriately named: RSS Directory Submission Service By Any SEO Company . This service is similar to RSS Submit – you give them your feed URL, and they submit it to over many  directories. The difference between the two is price: while RSS Submit costs  you money . And since sites usually only have one feed, the RSS Directory Submission Service is more economical for most RSS publishers.

Regardless of the RSS directory submission method you choose, make sure to do it! You will find the effort small compared to the benefits you receive.