David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

More on links from statistics websites

Aug 15, 2011 - filed under linking, rankings, stats 5 Comments
 

A couple couple weeks ago, I wrote about links from statistics and valuation websites, and posed the question whether it is worthwhile paying five dollars to have one’s domain submitted to 5000 of them. You might want to read the post before continuing.

There was an interesting comment by Graeme, that said:

“Did you check how my of these sites already had a link to yours? If I search for any of my domain names I get lots of these that I have never asked to list me.”

This is a good question, but it is hardly the full question. Some of these sites have static pages, and might already be linking back to you. But many of these sites create the pages on request. You punch in a domain name, and they grab the information from authority stats sites like Alexa or Compete, or from search engines like Google or Baidu.

So in most cases, the answer is “no” – most of these sites were not already linking to the site I submitted.

But as I said, that is not really the full question.

Think about it for a moment.

Keep thinking…

Aha! That’s it. If the linking page exists only because I requested it, what happens when I leave? Does the page still exist? Or more to the point, is the page stored somewhere for the search engines to find it? Yeah, 280 links or so, but on pages that really exist? A few, perhaps, but not most.

So you probably think I am about to change my mind and poo-poo the $5.00 I spent on this? Not quite. You see, $5 for 100 or 300 or more links (we are not sure exactly how many, remember?) is actually a pretty good deal. Any professional SEO consultant knows how much time it can take and how many fails one has to go through building just a couple links. What if we could take the pages we created on the fly and freeze them in time? Or in space? Or in cyber space?

Here’s what you do:

  1. Check which of the pages actually have a live link to your domain.
  2. Save the list of those pages.
  3. Build links directly to those pages

How? Here are four ways, depending on your comfort level.

  • Create a page on your website just for “Hey, look who thinks they know what our website is worth”.
  • Use these URLs when making blog comments.
  • Include these URLs in article marketing and blog posting (The Free Traffic System is ideally set up for this.)
  • Try some social bookmarking; there are many minor social bookmarking sites that are not as particular as Digg and Reddit are.

When the links you create are spidered, the pages evaluating your domain “exist” for the search engines. Plus, they actually have some small amount of link juice, which probably places them in the top 1% of pages on the each site for link popularity. Remember that most of these pages link only to your website, not to 30 or 40 or 50 other websites on some link exchange page. The more link juice these pages get, the better for your website.

So, the big question I am sure you all want to know is whether there were actually any improvement in rankings as a result of this little experiment. Well, here are the results at Google, keeping in mind that no links have been built in to these pages.

Keyword One before: around #70 (I did not take an exact reading)
Keyword One after: #60 (a couple days ago, I saw this at #55)

Keyword Two before: around #70 (I did not take an exact reading)
Keyword Two after: #65 and #66

Keyword Three before: around #70 (I did not take an exact reading)
Keyword Three after: #59 and #60

So these readings are positive in that it appears the site climbed a bit for all three search terms, even adding an interior page to two of the searches. The movement, however, is not phenomenal and it is possible that it is explained by other factors. It will be interesting to see if there is further movement once some links are built into a few of these pages. I might just have to report back to you again…


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Links from statistics websites

Jul 27, 2011 - filed under linking 20 Comments
 

I saw a gig over on Fiverr that caught my eye.  For those of you who don’t know about Fiverr, it is where anyone can offer to do anything (almost) for five dollars.  It’s a bit like The Dollar Store of online services.  You can get some amazing deals on Fiverr – stuff you would expect to pay $25 for.  Or $50.  Or even $100.  You also get some blatant scams.

Some great deals.  Some rip-offs.  But either way, five dollars isn’t much.  Like I said, it’s like The Dollar Store.

The gig that caught my eye was:

I will submit your main domain URL to well over 5000 statistic sites. How This Works. I will submit your URL to various statistic sites. These give a value of your site/blog, and also provide a free link back to your site. My software sends your URL to over 5000 sites which gives you that many one way backlinks and Rapidly gets your site indexed by Google! I will send you a text doc to prove works done too. Order now and get indexed.

Anything that generates hundreds or thousands of links automatically can’t be particularly useful for a professional SEO campaign.  But it did occur to me that a few of these sites might be useful, and the links would most likely be either the domain (some with www, some with http, some with both, some with neither?) or the title tag, so not the usual keyword style links you see in blog comment spam and forum profile spam.  And not from the type of sites my clients would usually get links from, so perhaps it would add a nice little variety to a site’s link profile.

With low expectations and high curiosity, I laid down my five bucks.

OK, first off I must say that I did not check through the full list of 7861 entries (representing 36782 sites?  I think there was a typo), but with domain duplications taken into consideration,  it is still likely that the promised 5000+ were delivered).

The first thing I noticed were how many of the statistic sites were obviously scraping results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and most of all Baidu (If you think China wants to buy up all Western real estate, what does this say about China’s hunger for Internet property?).  To be expected, I suppose, but irrelevant to this review.

I checked through 3 dozen entries, being careful not to duplicate any sites.  I guess my first disappointment were how many came up dead (sites were for sale, 404 error pages, server would not connect, etc.) – nearly half.  But I suspect that for five bucks a gig, nobody will bother to check 5000 sites for deadwood (although, maybe the software should be set up to remove dead sites).

My second disappointment were how many of them did not link to the domain they were reviewing.  They tended mostly to link internally to other pages about the domain in an internal web of sorts.

Did the gig live up to the promise of “over 5000 sites which gives you that many one way backlinks”.  Not a chance.  One of the pages gave a NoFollow link.  Another gave a link from a secondary page (which might have been one of the 7861 entries that I did not check).  Although the sample size is too small for an accurate extrapolation 36 site, or less than one percent of the total – it implies that the site did get over 280 new backlinks, from new pages on established sites.  Even if I am off by 50%, that is still 140 links for $5, with at least a couple of the links probably reasonably good.

Five bucks for 140+ links that took me just a few minutes to order (and a couple hours to blog about, but that’s another story).  I would say that it is worth it.

But there was another residual benefit, too.  A few of the statistic sites (2, 3, 4? – I didn’t keep track)  linked to various authority profiles that link back to your domain.  For instance, a profile on Surcentro.net will not link to your website, but it will link to your profile at:

  • Alexa
  • WayBackMachine
  • Robtex

And each of these links back to your site.  So we can assume that at least another 140 links have been built to your domain’s profiles on authority statistics sites that already link to your site, and that is also a worthwhile.

Would I use this gig again? Yes. I wish more Fiverr gig sellers would cut the hyperbole and be more accurate about what they are offering.  But inaccuracy aside, I would call this gig a worthwhile addition to a comprehensive link-building campaign.


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5 Things You Must Know About B2B Content Marketing

Jul 18, 2011 - filed under analytics, article marketing, content, writing 4 Comments
 

*Guest post by Matt Krautstrunk…

I used to think B2B marketing was B2C’s ugly sister. I was obsessed with consumer facing marketing initiatives and branding strategy. So naturally, I took a job as a B2B content marketer, and I learned that while B2B isn’t sexy, my creative spirit can still shine.

So when I began learning about B2B content marketing, I struggled with finding the secret sauce. I began tracking analytics on our site’s content, figured out what other companies actually wanted to read, and learned the most important rule of them all: content for the sake of content is useless.

A B2B audience isn’t searching for “sexy marketing,” with simple, branded web 2.0 messages (Salesforce is about as close as B2B comes to sexy); the B2B buyer is more sophisticated, looking for informational articles, blogs and anything that may or may not give them incentive to buy.

1. Don’t Sell

If you’ve ever seen Harry Potter, almost no witch or wizard dare speak of Lord Voldemort’s name. Well the same concept applies to content marketing, never mention the word, “buy our product.” It sets off the SPAM filters in the reader’s head, discrediting your content and slandering your name. Even if your goal is to guide purchase decisions with your company, don’t treat your readers like sheep. If they are interested, they will find you.

Of course your strategy differs with the type of content you are marketing (blog, article, whitepaper, buyer guide), but I’m often even scared to plug my company if it’s not in the bio. If you are a content marketer, speak with your voice and credit your own name, but have the company back your opinions and insights. This will help your credibility and the overall effectiveness of your content.

2. Statistics Are Your Backbone

In B2B marketing, there can never be enough statistics. Managers love them, creative writers loathe them, and researchers just… research them. Statistics are your backbone for all arguments you will make in B2B content marketing. Looking for reasons to get into content marketing? According to Junta42, in 2009, content marketing spending comprised of 33% of the total marketing budget and 60% of marketers believe that number will increase. This survey was taken in 2009, and content marketing was on the rise; I’d imagine if we surveyed the scene after Panda we’d see much more emphasis on unique content.

Regardless, you should invest in R&D. You should test out new content within the buying cycle and strategically launch your content like you would launch a new product.

3. Say It Only When You Need To

Sites that post content for the sake of posting something are often filled with low level jargon. It’s rare that your company would ever outsource its blog material, but many companies outsource their on-site page content. Does this make sense? From an SEO standpoint, more content is always better. But the real question is where the line cross between content quality and quantity. Does it serve you better to have 100 pages of optimized, poor content, or 20 pages of well written copy? The answer is, it all depends. If it needs to be said, say it, and be weary of poorly written outsourced content.

4. Don’t Copy Your Competitors

Copying a competitor’s strategy is a dumb idea. Whether you are taking basic ideas and repurposing them or blatantly stealing content (which Google will punish you for); always know that competing with yourself is easier than competing with other. Marketers get rewarded for paving new paths, not following old trails.

5. Plan Your Content for a Channel

Each channel views and interacts with your content in a different way. Short, concise content does well on mobile, where as more drawn out research oriented conclusions register for trade publications. If you are set to produce a white paper for lead generating purposes you will want to plan out where you will be hosting your white paper (longtail niche site or commercial site with universal appeal) and what topic it will cover before you finalize the draft. You don’t want to make the mistake of writing a “VoIP 101” article for a niche community like TMCNet.

Taking a channel approach to your content, shying away from duplicate content, and saying it only when you need to say it, are all instruments to the success of your content marketing. However, remember to keep your sales pitch at the door, and delivering timely, valuable, statistic-backed information to your audience will keep you relevant with the opportunity to go viral.


Matt Krautstrunk is a writer and social media marketer for Resource Nation, a service that provides document management software tips and tools to small businesses and entrepreneurs.


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Link Variety or Link Relevance?

Jun 15, 2011 - filed under article marketing, linking, SEO 17 Comments
 

Over at WebProWorld this question caught my attention:

One of my ways of getting links for my sites is posting articles on blogs. I submit these articles to a site and they publish them on blogs relevant to these articles. So if I write an article about guitar playing, this article is published on blogs dealing with guitars/guitar lessons/ etc.

I have written a good amount of articles for my guitar site, and they are published on guitar blogs, I get a good few links that way, but they are coming from the same blogs. I was wondering, if I keep on doing this, would it be better, seo wise, to write less relevant articles, say about jazz music or something like that. That way I would be getting links from different blogs.

So my question is:
What is better, getting 50 links from 10 different blogs that are very relevant to my site, or getting 50 links from 50 different blogs that are less relevant to my site?

Here is my response, in a little more detail than I answered in the forum post itself:

I would take a 3-step approach. First, get good coverage in those blogs (and other websites) that are highly keyword relevant. Relevance is perhaps the most important factor for SEO. In this case, his main keyword was “guitars”.  He had submitted articles to all those blogs that were specifically about guitars.  In so doing, he had built up a strong message for the search engines that his guitar site is one that is respected by other sites in the niche.  That is a strong ranking signal.  He now has links at a number of “guitar” websites:

G G G G G G

 

Endorsed by guitarists.

 

But he has not sent a signal that his site is respected by others beyond his niche, but related enough that they really ought to know.

So step two is to submit his articles to websites that cover related topics, such as music in general, musical instruments in general, various forms of music, etc.  He could easily write articles about rock or country or some other types of music that involve guitars, for instance.  The search engines value keyword relevance, but they also value topical relevance (and don’t forget that many of these music sites will have the word “guitar” mentioned here and there.).

Plus, they value a wide variety of linking domains.  Getting a link on many music websites broadens the variety in his link profile, while solidifying the authority in his niche (because music, rock and country are still in his niche).  His link profile now looks more like:

G G G G G G

M M R M R M C M R M C C M M M C C M R C M C M M R M M M C

 

 

Now you’re endorsed by the whole band.

 

Now, on to step three.  Since one of the ranking signals the search engines look for is how widely popular a website is, find ways of writing about other topics that a more diverse blogging community will be interested in.  First define our target.  If you use the Free Traffic System, as I do (see my Free Traffic System review), you can search for blogs by keyword, and easily see which words bring up the most number of blogs, and even what types of topics they cover (some “music” blogs might only cover very specific niches, whereas others might cover anything music-related.) You can also use a Google or Bing search or search one of the larger blog directories. Let’s take a common example – there are a lot of MMO  (make money online) blogs out there.  OK.  How can you write an article about guitars that an MMO blog would want to publish?

Easy.  Prepare a video about guitars to post on YouTube in order to draw traffic to your site.  Next write an article about how you posted a video on YouTube to draw traffic to your guitar site.  Make sure to explain how you portrayed the guitars or how video is a great medium for showing off guitars – just to make sure your article about making money online is also an article about guitars.

So he should identify each target set of blogs and figure out what he can write about that will be about guitars (or whatever your main keyword is) but also about their niche.  All of a sudden, the link profile starts to look more like this:

G G G G G G

M M R M R M C M R M C C M M M C C M R C M C M M R M M M C

n y e d c g y o p s j q c x j d b i m l j e d s a r t h y u v q l o j y z h u y l p a s r c b v e q j h y t f v x s a k f d h u j m n r s w a g c e w b g k l u q i o v r s

 

Now the whole crowd is cheering for you!

 

Wow!  Let’s review what the search engines see when you follow this approach to link-building:

  1. Websites just like yours link to you.  That is an expert endorsement.
  2. Websites related to yours link to you.  Lot’s of them.  That is quite an impressive endorsement, too.
  3. Lots and lots of websites of all kinds link to you.  Your website is profoundly popular.  It must be good.

Now go out and show everybody what an amazing website you run.

 


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Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan

May 25, 2011 - filed under email, marketing 2 Comments
 

Most people do this when they get spam email:

Grrrrrr….!*$#@!+%$!*&

But sometimes, spam can be really funny.  Especially when it comes to pathetic target marketing (You know, like I really need my melons to be enhanced or my Brazilian to be waxed!).  In that same light, consider this ad I recently received:

 

 

 

Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan…targeted to a Quebec-born Hungarian guy with a German name living in Ontario. Award-winning pizza?  Maybe.  Award-winning marketing?  I suspect that these guys would not recognize their target market even if they understood the concept.

Thanks for the laugh, guys.  I’ll have mine with green pepper and mushrooms.  Will you deliver in 30 minutes of less?


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Fame Trumps SEO in Battle of David Leonhardt Rankings

May 19, 2011 - filed under rankings, SEO 15 Comments
 

All those of you with common first and last names like John Smith or Jessica Jones or Bob Johnson will appreciate how hard it is to rank for your personal brand – your name. There must be hundreds of people active on the Internet who share your name.

And any reader with a name like Drew Barrymore or Larry Page… well, you know the chances you’ll ever rank well for your name.

But perhaps the worst off are those with common first and last names who also share their name with a huge celebrity. Think Dan Brown or George Harrison or Megan Fox.

David Leonhardt Posers

Well, this is a personal story. If you search “David Leonhardt” right now, you will see there are three of us with the exact same name with a presence on the Internet. (Guess who the two imposters are.)

When I first started on the Internet, the guy with the domain name ranked #1 – DavidLeonhardt.com ranked at the top for “David Leonhardt”. In fact, the David Leonhardt Jazz Group held several top-10 rankings, as he was in fact the original David Leonhardt active on the Internet.

As I grew increasingly active, some pages related to me started to rank in Google’s top ten for my name. Yay!

But another dude who writes for the New York Times was also getting active, so he also was breaking into the top 10 in a big way.

This New York Times David Leonhardt was in fact causing problems for me offline, too. A friend saw his by-line in the Toronto Star (I think it was) and the topic was even related to my happiness book, and a friend thought it was my article.

Even worse, my brother saw one of his articles in the Globe and Mail (I think it was) and again the topic was related to my happiness book. This time my brother thought it was my article.

And just over a month ago, this New York Times guy who shares my name (never asked my permission, mind you) goes and wins himself the Pulitzer Prize for “Commentary”. Thanks a lot!

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am all over on the Internet, commenting on blogs, active in social media, building links, networking – you don’t get more active than me.

And the winner is…

So let’s take a look at what Google thinks of all of us David Leonhardts. This is a snapshot at the time of writing…

1. New York Times writer
2. New York Times writer
3. New York Times writer
4. New York Times writer
5. New York Times writer
6. Me
7. Me
8. Jazz Group
9. Me
10. New York Times writer

What can we conclude by this case study?

We know that the domain name is important, as is anchor text – and surely the David Leonhardt Jazz Group has plenty of inbound links with “David Leonhardt” in the link text. (I did not check, but I do know he owns a number of other name-related domains specifically for wedding performances, etc.)

We also know that activity, inbound links, social media signals – all the stuff that I am doing just naturally every day (with a bit of SEO-savvy thrown in) are also important.

But it appears fame trumps SEO. New York Times David has six out of ten positions, including the top five. I am holding my own, sort of, perhaps down just a bit from my peak a couple years ago (I think I had as many as five spots at one point, including the third place ranking). And the once dominant Jazz Group David risks being pushed off the top 10 completely.

The lesson: If you want top rankings, get famous. Do things that win you real acclaim out in the real world, and Google will reward you on the Internet for your renown.

 


This post was featured in Book Marketing Blog Carnival – May 25, 2011.


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SEO Shotgun or SEO Rifle?

May 10, 2011 - filed under linking, pagerank, rankings, SEO 4 Comments
 

Or both?

For a huge website (ecommerce, directory, etc.) with many variations of the same product or service, whether by location or by brand, the effort to work individually on each one would be monumental.  For that reason, we often focus on:

a)   The home page, which is naturally where a fair number of links will have to go.

b)   A selection of the most important interior pages (such as those cities which might yield the best ROI) with a purposeful effort to help them rank better for relevant searches.

Some of the activities we do will help just those pages; some will help the entire site.  To understand this better, it helps to understand what types of ranking signals the search engines look for.  They include hundreds of specific signals, but most of them can be grouped as follows:

On-page relevance to a specific search query.

The changes we will make to the template(s) will bring benefits across the site to every page they apply.  In other words, even if we identify 10 city-specific pages on which to focus, every city-specific page will benefit.  If we add text or other elements on a page-by page basis, only the pages we work on will benefit.

Off-page relevance to a specific query.

Links that we obtain to 10 city-specific pages will often (but not always) confer relevancy.  The extent to which this occurs will depend on the content of the page that is linking, the anchor text of the link itself, and a number of other factors.  This relevancy is specific only to the page being linked to.  For instance, a link to the Chicago page of the website confers no relevancy to the London page.

Off-page importance/popularity.

Inbound links to a page also convey “importance” or “popularity”.  They represent a “vote” for the page in the eyes of the search engines.  That importance or that vote is specific to the page that is being linked to.  But, Google’s PageRank algorithm also spread the link-love to other pages that are directly linked. 

For instance, let us assume the Chicago page links directly to other Illinois city-specific pages, such as Rock Island, but not to any Florida city-specific pages.  If we obtain 20 links to the Chicago page, that will greatly boost the popularity of the Chicago page.  It will also boost the popularity of the Rock Island page, but not the Miami page (at least, not noticeably). 

This is why internal linking patterns for a big site like this are so important.

Domain credibility/authority/popularity

This is the exciting part.  Every quality link we build into the domain, strengthens the credibility/authority/popularity of the entire domain.  Every day the domain ages, strengthens the entire domain.  Every time a high-authority site links into the domain, every time there is a social media mention, every time the domain is renewed for a longer period of time…the entire domain – every page – benefits.

So the efforts we make for a few specific pages can benefit them all to some degree.  For a highly competitive sub-niche, that might not be enough.  For a smaller, less-competitive niche, the page might rank well without any direct attention to it.


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Dimbler for Content Promotion

May 06, 2011 - filed under bookmarking, social media 5 Comments
 

If you are not using Dimbler to promote your content, you should be. This is a simple, scrappy little tool that will help you promote your blog posts, articles, videos – whatever content you create, through…

  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg

The concept is very easy to grasp. It’s based on the age-old principle of “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” It is even easier to use, with a simple two-step process.

  1. Post your request.
  2. Respond to your friends’ request.

Setting up Dimbler

Before you can use Dimbler, you do need to sign up for a free account. That’s as simple as it is anywhere.

And you will need to have some friends. I suggest that you click on the “Recent” tab and add those people who you see have recently been active. In most cases, they will friend you back. You can see anybody’s stats quite easily; for example, here are mine: http://dimbler.com/user/amabaie

You might also invite friends who already support your submissions sometimes. Why bother if you already support each other? Well, with one posting you can have several friends give you a boost in four social sites, rather than having to send several Twitter Direct Messages (for example) for just one of those social sites.

Using Dimbler

Once you are set up, you are ready to go. The posting form at the “Submit” tab is simple, as you see here in this screenshot:

The fields are all pretty self-explanatory. You don’t need to fill them all in. If you want help only with Digg and Twitter, you don’t need to fill in the StumbleUpon field, for example. A number of people don’t ask for FaceBook likes.

Once you have made your request, go to the “Following” tab to see what your friends have posted. You just click on each link to support them

Drawbacks of Dimbler

Are there any drawbacks to this tool? Not really, but there are a couple weaknesses .

The first is that too few people are using it. The value of Dimbler is that it saves time: One posting leads to several people supporting. If you have ten active friends, it is more useful than if you have five. Twenty is better than ten.

At the time of writing, I have 26 friends, but only a handful are active.

The other weakness is that some people post Tweet requests that don’t include a URL or an RT account. If they don’t include a URL, what’s the point? And if they don’t include an RT account, am I really willing to tweet their content as if it was mine? This has been less of an issue of late; I think the Example: RT @twitterusername Article Title – http://su.pr/1234 you see in the form above was added and cut down on malformed tweet requests.  Or it might be that those people doing it wrong were not getting results and just left.

In summary, Dimbler is a very handy tool for promoting your website’s content across a the top four social sharing platforms. If you decide to join, please feel free to friend me at http://dimbler.com/user/amabaie and we will share some great content together.


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REVIEW: Blog Engage RSS Subscription Service

Apr 26, 2011 - filed under bookmarking, linking, social media 1 Comment
 

Each social bookmarking website distinguishes itself in some way. OK, so that’s not totally true, but most of the good ones do. Brian over at BlogEngage has built on something original to that platform, an optional program called the Blog Engage RSS Subscription Service. The banner ads, like the one below, bill it as an “Adsense Sharing Program”.

 

Memberships, RSS, Blog Engage

However, I am not going to review the Adsense aspect of it, but some of the other benefits, for several reasons.

  • I think there are several much more exciting aspects to the program.
  • As you know, I am not really one of the monetization folks – best leave that aspect to someone who is, like Justin Germino
  • I haven’t tested the program long enough to have much to comment on the Adsense aspect.

The Blog Engage RSS Subscription Service is optional

Let it be noted that the service is optional. Of the 2000-plus active users of BlogEngage, I would guess that a few dozen have signed up for the service. BlogEngage is one of the best social bookmarking websites, in my opinion, and was just recently promoted to top line at The Bookmarketer .

The service does cost money. It is not expensive, but some bloggers are counting their revenues in the cents-per-week range, and obviously they will be more hesitant to sign up.

And it is only for bloggers. Indeed, BlogEngage is only for blog posts, as the name implies. Got the world’s funniest video? Put it in a blog post if you want to see it at BlogEngage. Created a life-saving app? Blog about it first, then submit it at BlogEngage.

Cool benefits of the Blog Engage RSS Subscription Service

Automatic submission. Once you write your blog post, that’s when the hard part comes. You have to pull up all your social sharing websites and submit your post. Well, not all – through the RSS service, BlogEngage automatically grabs your post and submits it (under your account, so you are still the submitter).

Extra vote. Do you spend what seems like a ridiculous amount of time cajoling friends to vote for your social submissions and retweet or like or thumbs up your posts so that they get more exposure? Well, at BlogEngage it takes eight votes to “pop” (at which time your posy gets home-page exposure and becomes a DoFollow link) – and the RSS service votes once. When you have voted, that makes two votes already, saving you from wearing down your cajoling muscles.

More links from more domains. All RSS submissions are automatically syndicated to Blog Serp, Top Blogged, RSS Leak, Blogger Ink and Blogger Tag. This means more DoFollow links, as these are automatically published, even if they don’t get enough votes on BlogEngage.

Better promotion. BlogEngage also auto-tweets and autoshares on FaceBook all RSS Service submissions, making it easier to garner the votes required to “pop” and also spreading the word about your blog posts.

Contest Sponsorship. This is brand spanking new… ” All our Gold membership customers and above will automatically be added into our guest blogging contests as sponsors.” That means fame, fortune and links. OK, maybe not fortune, but if fame and links can earn you a little extra money, I though I would slip the fortune in there for you.

And of course, there is the Adsense sharing, which I promised not to address. I won’t even mention it. Just forget that you read this line.

Five levels of membership

 

Memberships, RSS, Blog Engage

There are five levels of membership to choose from, the lowest costing just $1.99/month. The highest – a premium enterprise service if you run multiple blogs – costs $19.99/month. The gold membership I mentioned earlier costs $4.88/month. If you blog daily or almost daily, it is a worthwhile expense.  You can learn about the differences between the plans directly at the Blog Engage RSS Subscription Service page.

 


This post was featured in the That Girl Is Funny Blog Carnival.


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Animate Thy Blog

Mar 16, 2011 - filed under blogging, writing 2 Comments
 

Animate your blog.  No, not that kind of “animate”.  I’m not talking about Flash or GIFs or even video.  I am not talking about animation.

I am talking about animals.

an•i•mate (n-mt)
tr.v. an•i•mat•ed, an•i•mat•ing, an•i•mates
To fill with animals.

Before you go thinking that I’ve gone Noah on you, consider this question: “How do you engage your blog readers?” posed by Brian Belfitt at SEOMKT.

My response to that post (visible in the comments) was “all over the place”, according to Brian.  And he is right.  I reflected upon what I tend to do across the various blogs I write, and I realize that I like to “animate” them.  This may or may not be an approach you want to follow; it is one of many ways to add a little colour to your blog.

Real Animals In Imaginary Settings.

squirrelLet’s start with the approach I think works best.  Do you remember the cartoon “The Far Side”?  Gary Larson made a career of switching role of humans and animals.  People somehow relate to animals playing human roles.

I would be proud if I had even a fraction of Larson in me, I suppose, since I wrote about “Five Animals Teach Us Less-wasteful Dining Habits“.  Not only does the theme put animals in the role of humans, but three of the illustrations do, too.

Real Animals In Real Settings.

monkeysinhottubOver at the Hot Tub Covers Blog, I wrote about “Monkeys Love Hot Tubs“.  This is a more real approach, almost science.  We put together a video montage of Japanese Macaques enjoying their own hot tub (hot springs).  Again, we try to humanize the animals by characterizing their actions in human terms.  (No monkeys were harmed in the filming of this blog post.  And nothing needed to be staged.) This might not work with every blog, but if it does, it can really add some colour for your readers.

Imaginary Animals in Imaginary Settings.

bugs2What’s an Imaginary animal?  Daffy Duck.  Under Dog.  Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Thestrals and Blast-ended Skrewts. I wrote “The Bugs Bunny Guide to Linkbuilding” right here on this blog.  Bugs is imaginary, of course, and the world of linkbuilding and SEO is pretty imaginary most of the time (and certainly some of the advice Bugs shares with us is somewhat unreal).  This post is based on the concept of “What would Bugs Bunny do?”, drawing on real-life quotes form this imaginary animal. People really enjoyed this post.

Imaginary Animals in Real Settings.

tigger1This one is a bit tougher to do, since Rocky and Bullwinkle have only once been caught on film in the real world – when filming their movie a few years ago.

But Kevin at Out Of Your Rut did manage to venture into the Hundred Acre Wood capture this live interview of “Eeyore and Tigger on Stock Investing Risk“.  (OK, so some people might suggest the stock market is no more real than SEO, but I had to place this here for symmetry.)

Maybe you’re not an animal type of blogger.  But maybe you are.  I hope this gives inspiration for a few colourful posts.  Whether you use my definition of the word “animate” or simply use the meaning “to make more lively”, may you leave this post prepared to animate thy blog.


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