David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

The Golden Rules of Guest Blogging

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

So many people are guest blogging these days. It is almost a cliché to say that once the masses get a-hold of something, they cheapen it. Sadly, the cliché is often true. So it is with guest blogging. I regularly receive offers to guest blog from people who have no clue what they are doing …which generally is wasting my time and theirs. So, here are the Golden Rules of Guest Blogging:

Know Thy Blog

That’s right, take time to study the blog you want to guest post for. What topics do they cover? What topics do they avoid? (Hint, if there are subjects that would be obviously on-topic, but they haven’t touched in the past 341 posts, they probably do NOT want your take on the subject.) Are posts serious? Fun? Are posts mostly practical or philosophical or reviews or opinion? Are posts very professional or very informal? Very carefully worded? Or anything goes? Are posts one-sided (is there a theme to the opinions?) or well-balanced? Is the writing top-quality? (Hint, regurgitating an article-directory article won’t fly on a good quality blog.) Are all the posts long? Short? All different lengths? These are just some of the points to look for.

Don’t Bore Thy Audience

Keep in mind what you learned about the blog you wish to write for. Even if it is a very serious blog, you don’t have to be boring. At very least, use colourful analogies or some form of allegory. Jesus spoke in parables, politicians do so all the time, and you can, too. Look for a new way to express old thoughts. For instance, how to eat frugally has been written all over the blogosphere, but how animals can teach us to eat frugally has not been covered very much. Get creative.

Can’t be creative? Maybe guest blogging isn’t for you. Your creativity – your fresh approach to a topic – is one of the main reasons a blogger might want a guest post on her blog.

Bring Value to the Table

Why on earth would I want you to write for my blog? Well, there might be some good reasons. Here are a few that I would consider worthwhile….

  • You have an amazing idea that captures my imagination
  • You have superstar credentials, strong enough that my blog would be very impressive just to host your name on it
  • You have an amazingly strong account at Twitter or StumbleUpon or other places that can drive traffic and links to my blog
  • I can’t write for the life of me and I need good writers that will impress people with the quality of the post
  • I have a far too ambitious publishing schedule to cover it all myself

What do you have to offer? At the risk of sounding like a nag, study the blog; you’ll quickly learn what might or might not be worthwhile. For instance, on this blog you’ll see immediately that I write very well and that “ambitious” is an antonym of my publishing schedule. You will also note that I rarely take on guest posts, so you’d better be prepared to really “Wow!” me if you hope to escape my brush-off.

Approach Bloggers Who Welcome Guests

I am not the only blogger who ignores most offers to guest post. But there are many bloggers who hungrily invite guest bloggers Try searching Google for your keywords along with “guest post” or “guest blog”. Or head over to Ann Smarty’s guest blogging forum where many of the more eager hosts are already waiting for you.

Write Well

If you write trash, your post will be accepted on a trashy blog. You get what you pay for. Or what you write for. Or what you scribble for. This falls under the heading of “when is an opportunity not an opportunity?”

These are the Golden Rules, as I see them. There are also some guest blogging tips to consider at About.com .


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The Bookmarketer adds Tipd, Plugim, Plime

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Financial bloggers finally have a social bookmarking tool that includes Tipd.com, the niche social bookmarking website for financial news. Now there are five excellent reasons to add The Bookmarketer to your blog:

The BookMarketerFree bookmarketing power tool

1. It is the most up-to-date social bookmarking service, including emerging social bookmarking websites such as Tipd, Plime, Plugim, Shoutwire, Stumpedia, Socialogs, PostOnFire and Jamespot. (I am user “amabaie” at all of these; come be my friend.)

2. It is the least out-of-date social bookmarking service. Many others still have Spurl, which discontinued public services a year ago, and Magnolia, which folded earlier this year.

3. It displays more popular social bookmarking icons on your blog post, increasing the likelihood your readers will use it and bookmark your posts.

4. Finacial bloggers finally have a social bookmarking tool that included Tipd.

5. Canadian bloggers finally have a tool that includes Zoomit Canada.

The Bookmarketer is a free social bookmarking service to help increase the readership of your blog or website, and increase the links you attract from other websites. Just cut-and-paste the code, and off you go. Toy can see The Bookmarketer in action at the bottom of this post.


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Memes for linkbuilding

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I’ve been tagged in a meme.  I think I was tagged sometime a ago in one, but this time I’m paying attention for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a good chance to tell you about the linking benefits of participating in memes.
  2. I was tagged by SEOAly (Alysson Fergusson), the Sunshine of Twitter
  3. SEOAly might get to go free to the IM Spring Break conference (and surely bring back some great notes for me, since I don’t have time to attend)

The concept of a meme is quite simple.  At heart it’s a tag-you’re-it game, where one blogger “tags” several others by linking to them.  Their role then is to link back to the person who tagged them, and then tag additional bloggers.  If you can visualize the linking diagram, you can see the benefits this brings to your blog and to the blogs of your friends and associates. 

If a large part of SEO is making your website well-connected across the Internet, a meme helps establish the community of like websites.

So to participate in this meme, I am supposed to link back to SEOAly, link to the IM Spring Break meme page, list 7 things you expect to happen at IM Spring Break, then tag as many people as possible.  (I will cheat on that last one; I’ll tag just a few people who have been readers of this blog whom I think might not yet have been tagged by someone else.)

What will happen at IM Spring Break.

  1. I will miss 100% of the sessions, because I’ll be back home working for my clients.
  2. I will miss Chris Winfield’s insightful presentation, but I will get to contribute to it when he seeks input via Twitter as he did for his Lawyers on Twitter presentation last month.
  3. Several words that I can’t repeat here, in case my kids ever read this, will punctuate an equally insightful presentation by Sugarrae Hoffman.
  4. Jordan Kasteler aka Utah SEO Pro will get even with the IM Spring Break organizers by going 100% dry all conference.
  5. SEOAly will attend, thanks in part to this blog post.
  6. SEOAly will bring back notes for everyone she tagged.
  7. I will run out of ideas before I get to #7.

So, let’s tag Wilson Raynopss, Peter Lee, Mr Javo, Communibus and Barry Welford just for fun.

Is a meme a good way for you to spread the word, too?


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Map of Our Visitors

Friday, January 30th, 2009

One of the most amazing things about the Internet is that it brings the world together.  For instance, this website brings visitors from all over the world (which is a great thing for someone like me, who enjoys multilingual SEO).  However, I do not often see a website demonstrating how broad its reach is. 

Many websites feature language and currency options, and a few show testimonials from a variety of locations.  And occasionally I have seen a map widget that shows red dots where visitors come from.  But surprisingly, I have never seen a blogger share with his readers where the other readers come from.  Given that blogging is a conversational format, I would think this would be a natural.

Below is a map of where our visitors come from.  This was cut and pasted directly from Google Analytics, so it’s easy to do.  Just for the record, this does not include blog traffic.  A couple days ago I realized that I do not have Google Analytics tracking on the blog, just on the main website.  I have corrected that, but for now this is where our website visitors come from.  It’s pretty impressive when you think that people from almost everywhere outside of the Sahara have been on the website in the past month.


By the way, if we go back a year, most of the yellow spaces turn green, with a handful each from Bolivia, Mongolia and Paraguay and even a couple from Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.

If you run a blog, why not write a post like this, sharing with your readers where their fellow readers come from.  Help bring the world just a little closer together.


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My Top SEO Blog Posts of 2008

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Just for fun, I went back through 2008 to see if I could narrow down the top 10 best blog posts I published during the year. It’s amazing how much writing a person can do in one year. I looked for those posts that are the most substantial and useful, and hopefully will stand the test of time.

It was not easy to choose just ten, but the following are my top 10 picks, in reverse order by date:

1. Bounce Rate SEO Fallacies
Regular readers might be getting tired of hearing from me on this topic by now, so I will simply say that this story already continues in two posts I have made in the past 24 hours, and this post spurred a debate at Sphinn

2. Website Optimization for Telephone Leads
This post is one that fills a pretty unique niche. In fact, I don’t think I have seen a handful of blog posts or articles in my life linking SEO and telephone leads. This is a very practical how-to post.

3. You Need Sucky Links
I get tired of all the emphasis on PageRank and how some website owners try to avoid getting sucky links. I don’t mean links from really bad neighborhoods, just low quality links that don’t count for much. But these are pretty important, nonetheless. Read the post to find out why.

4. Offline Links Count, Too
Folks in the online world tend to forget that there is a real world out there, and “links” in the real world can do wonders for one’s business.

5. Earlybird Link-building
File this one under “advanced SEO tactics”. Why wait until your website is completely developed and launched to start building your links? Give the search engines a taste of what will be on your site before it actually is. This is another how-to post, which drew a pretty good discussion.

6. How to get More Value from Your SEO Consultant
This is the one “SEO business” post I selected for the top 10 of 2008. It is important not to lose site of the client-consultant relationship.

7. New Google Rank-check Tool Is Released
Call the title a spoof or a prank, but topic is some seriously good advice for the search engines.

8. Why Blogs Are Good for SEO
Prospective clients almost always get this piece of free advice: “Get a blog.” This is one post that I expect to be just as valid in 2012 as it is today … and that’s an eternity in SEO.

9. Yahoo Violating Nofollow Attribute
I chose this post because it seems even truer today than it did back then. In fact, just prior to Christmas, I found several new batches of “nofollow” backlinks showing up in Yahoo. It might be that PageRank is not passed along through “nofollow” links, but I am pretty sure they count for quite a bit. Although best practice is to make sure I get nofollow-free links for my clients, I jump at good nofollow links, too.

10. Link Exchanges: It’s Not the Size of the PR but How You Use It
If you love that pesky little green bar on the Google Toolbar, don’t read this post; it will only irritate you. For newbies, a welcome to a sneak peak at how this SEO specialist evaluates possible link exchanges.

So that’s it. A whole year of SEO advice condensed into a single post. If you like any of these posts, please Sphinn them or Digg them of Mixx them or Stumble them so that others might enjoy them, too.

Happy 2009!


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Intense Debate Plugin

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Regular readers might notice something different on this blog. If you are the first to read this post, you will have to go to an older post to view it. It’s called the Intense Debate Plugin for WordPress. It offers some really cool features that this blog did not have before:

Sadly, when I first installed it, the plugin nixed my WYSWYG editor, until we could load the new WordPress 2.7.  It looks like any comments posted in those few days between initial installation and making it work have been lost.  I am still trying to recoup them, but it doesn’t look good.


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Like Digg, but “Canadianer” – Zoomit Canada

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

To all those Canadians on social bookmarking websites like Digg and Reddit who were wondering, “Will I ever see a Canadian story make it to the home page?”…

…well, the answer is yes!  In fact, if you rush over right now to Zoomit Canada, you find nothing but Canadian stories on the home page.  That’s because Zoomit Canada is the social bookmarking website made for Canadians:  “Canada’s News, Chosen By You.” 

And if you’re not Canadian, here’s your chance to do all your Canadian friends a favor.  let them know that they can…

  • submit Canadian stories to Zoomit Canada .
  • vote for their favorite stories (actually, it’s spelled “favourite” in Canada)
  • comment on stories to share their opinion.

Like Digg, it’s free.  Unlike Digg, you are welcome to submit your own blog post…so long as it, you or your blog is Canadian, of course.


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Bloggeries Contest

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

There is a really cool contest happening over at Bloggeries forum, and not just because you can win an Ipod Nano 8GB.  It seems that Rob is trying to brand his service in the same way the Kleenex has been branded.  No matter what grand of “facial tissue” you have on hand, let’s face it, you call it a Kleenex. 

Rob wants you to do the same thing with “bloggeries”.  Every time you publish a blog post…oops, I mean a “bloggery”, he wants you to use that term.  If enough people start referring to their posts as bloggeries, his Bloggeries.com forum, directory and other services will get a massive branding boost.  People on the Internet do not think enough about branding, so this is a superb contest — probably the freshest idea I have seen in a while, and one I am already thinking how I could apply to some of my own ventures.

By the way, although I am a member of Bloggeries and occasionally stop in on the forum, I am busy and I would have missed this if I was not following Rob on Twitter.  I am sold – Twitter is great.  You can follow me at  http://twitter.com/amabaie .

P.S.: I just ran this bloggery through a Microsoft spell-check and it seems they haven’t caught on yet.  Rob, better get in touch with the folks at Microsoft.


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Making Your Blog a Destination in Your Niche

Friday, July 18th, 2008

One of my clients wants to create a blog that will really stand out in her niche and become a destination.  She asked for a few tips, so here is what I suggested: 

1. Unique topic – anything that people have not heard before, surprises or even shocks, cuts through the clutter and gives practical advice (where people usually find a 20  minute speech), or is edgy or controversial. 

2. Participation via comments – invite participation and get people returning. Although my blog is almost a hobby (when pressed for time, client work comes first, so sometimes I go as much as a month between posts), I have done three things technically that have increased participation: 1) I made it a do-follow blog, so more people come to comment on it, making it a more happening place.  2) I am trying to respond to comments with follow-up comments, for the same result. 3) My WordPress sends me two notices, one when a comment is posted for me to moderate, and a second when the comment goes live.  To this second email, I respond with a note like this:

I approved your comment, so please don’t forget to social bookmark the post.  Because mine is a DoFollow blog, your website will benefit from the SEO-friendly link.  It is therefore to your advantage to give this page some link juice by social bookmarking it.  You will see at the bottom of the post some icons for one-click social bookmarking:
Or it would be even better if you could share some of my ramblings with your readers by blogging about them and linking back to the original posts.  :-)

This has gotten me some social bookmarks and also has lead to a few other link exchanges. 

3. Social bookmarking – I have a free script for that at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php 

4. Building big communities at MyBlogLog.com, BlogCatalog.com, SpicyPage.com, and probably a few others.  There probably is a good way to promote it also through article directory communities such as EzineArticles.com .

5. Guest post exchanges can be good, bringing new perspectives to your blog and reaching out to the audiences of other blogs.

6. Posting really insightful comments on well-read blogs can also lead to others following your link — but you have to get there early, before the crowds have come and gone.

7. I have found that just visiting blogs listed at MyBlogLog has resulted in the bloggers visiting my blogs.  A lot of bloggers watch for a new face to show up on their widget, and they visit the blogs in return.  If you have great content, they’ll be back.


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DoFollow Blogs

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Hot on the heels of writing again about the NoFollow attribute, I though I would also write again about the DoFollow plugin.  Here is a list of blogs that have installed some form of DoFollow feature.  This list will be updated so that new DoFollow blogs can be added over time.

Due to a Script Failure, this list is no longer available

You might also want to list your blog at what is probably the most effective blog directory, at least from an SEO perspective. Bloggeries offers a listing not just for your home page, but also to the five most recent posts…helping drive traffic. This is not a free directory, but the price is well worth it. My blogs are all listed there. Submit your blog to the Bloggeries Directory.


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