|Blogging, RSS & Feeds|
The 6 Top Reasons Marketers Should Blog
If there is a downside to blogging, I have yet to find it. The more you learn about blogging, the more there is to like.
In fact, here are 6 mouth-watering reasons why every marketer should be blogging:
1- Fast Search Engine Spidering and Indexing of Your Site:
Did you know that Google owns the most popular blogging platform on the planet? Blogger at http://www.blogger.com is used to produce thousands of blogs. Even a complete internet newbie can set up a blog in about 5 minutes at Blogger. And guess who can be counted on to come by and quickly spider all those new blog posts as they are written?
Yahoo is also embracing blogs and feeds in a big way. Savvy marketers know that adding their blogs and feeds to their MyYahoo page can bring the Yahoo spider to their site almost immediately.
One of the reasons that blogs get spidered so quickly is that most of them produce a feed. Many blogs automatically "ping" (or notify) some of the large sites that carry these feeds and make them available for syndication. Search engines spider these sites many times a day. Blogger, for instance, pings Weblogs every time you make a post. You can also "ping" a free site called Pingomatic (http://www.pingomatic.com) every time you add a new blog post. Your ping will notify Yahoo and 11 other large feed sites that you've added a post. If it only were so easy to get Google to notice new pages on regular sites!
If you have a new site that you are having trouble getting indexed, adding a blog or RSS feed is one of the quickest ways to get the spiders to come calling.
2-Blogs can Build Your Backlinks Quickly:
If you've spent time trying to get reciprocal links to your site, you know how frustrating, boring, and time-consuming it can be. I've long considered reciprocal link building to be one of the worst ways to develop link popularity. Many SEO experts consider one-way links to be far more effective.
A blog can build one-way links to your site fast. If you've just started a blog, you should submit it to the large blog and feed directories. Here is a list of the Top 55:
Once you've submitted your blog to these directories, you'll find your backlinks growing quickly. This past year, more webmasters are using RSS feeds on their sites to keep their sites fresh and spidered frequently. Software applications such as RSS Equalizer, Express RSS, and CARP make this easy.
After starting my first blog, I was amazed at how many different sites carried my feed with a link back to my site! These links can multiply exponentially over time.
Now tell me something. Wouldn't you rather be spending your time adding content to your site than trying to get questionable reciprocal links? Especially when it doesn't take any extra time?
3-A Frequently Updated Blog will Keep the Spiders Visiting Your Site Often:
Most of us are aware that the search engines like sites that are updated frequently. If you have your blog set up correctly, every post will update several pages of your site. Then pinging Yahoo and the blog and feed directories at Pingomatic can bring out the spiders in just a few hours. This is a great way to get new pages of your site indexed quickly and frequently.
4-Your Site is Stickier and More Appealing to Visitors:
A blog on your site is an easy way to keep your site updated on a regular basis. The upside is that visitors will come by more often. If they find your blog interesting and informative, they may bookmark your site. That means you have a much greater chance of making sales. And you have a ready-made audience for any new products you launch.
A blog can also add a human face to your website that potential customers will trust and respond to. Most marketers know that people buy from people they like and respect. A well-written blog is a great way to build a relationship with your visitors.
5-A Blog Is The Fastest And Easiest Way To Build A Brand-New Website Without Training:
Even a 10 year old could set up a blog at Blogger.com and be blogging almost immediately. No HTML knowledge is necessary. You don't need to know how to FTP. You don't need to know how to link the pages in your site together. All you have to do is type in your post and click on the "publish" button. And yet you can still set up an attractive, spiderable site in record time.
Blogs can be used for any type of site, not just for online ezine delivery or a place to announce new products. Using a blog you could quickly build a niche site. Just research the best keywords for your niche. Then write articles around those keywords and post them to your blog. Include your keywords in your title. You now have an instant niche site that will be spidered quickly and be easy to maintain.
6-Keyword competition in RSS feed sites is much less than in the SE's:
Google, Yahoo, and MSN each have many millions of webpages in their indexes. It can be almost impossible to get top rankings for competitive keywords if you don't have a high PR site with lots of backlinks.
It's a completely different story at the RSS feed sites. The competition for many high-competition keywords is almost nonexistent. Setting up a blog in some of these high-competition niches is a good way to successfully compete.
Marketers spend a lot of time and money getting traffic to their sites, creating backlinks, getting good SE rankings, and building relationships with their customers. A blog can improve your results in all those areas. There aren't very many free marketing techniques that can make that claim!
For more tips and ideas on how to make money blogging, be sure to visit my "Why Marketers Should Blog" weblog at (what else) http://www.WhyMarketersShouldBlog.com
Avoid Bad Manners While Blogging
Blogging, the hottest trend in online publishing right now, is currently spreading like wildfire across the Internet.
See RSS Feeds from Your Website
RSS feeds have made it so convenient to gather current information. If you have an RSS Reader on your desktop, then from this one window you can get up-to-date information from any sources of your choice, such as:
Blogging will Soon Take Over the World
In recent years, it's been pretty obvious that "blogging" (Web + Log = Blog) has simply taken over the internet.
The 7 Steps to Promoting Your RSS Feeds on Your Website
RSS gets 100% of your content delivered, but it's no good if no one subscribes to your feeds.
6 Ways That Blogging Can Save You Money
Even though I've had several personal blogs for years, I've only been officially business blogging since 2003. So in going back over expenses for the last quarter, you can imagine my shock when I realized that my overall business costs were down about 19%. What saved me so much money? Surprisingly, blogging. How can you save money with your blog? It's pretty simple, so I'll be brief. Attract search engine traffic without paying the big bucks If you want Google, Yahoo and MSN to pay attention to you, blog. It doesn't have to be a whole new site, just add a directory to your existing site and start blogging. Most blog software solutions are either cheap or free. And you can find out most basic blog information online for free (really, sometimes just typing your question into Google will do it.) by people who've actually done it. For less than $100, you can build a small library of blog tips and secrets, written by successful business bloggers. Instead of buying links, get one-way links from blog search engines and directories, as well as getting your RSS feed content displayed at other sites. Linking is a great way to get search engine attention and click traffic. Some people get links by trading; others by including their links at the end of freely distributed articles. Others pay to be listed, or to get linked. In each of these scenarios, some type of trade takes place, money, free content, or a link back. When you blog, you'll find plenty of search engines and directories that are willing to list you free of charge. For the most part you won't need to link back - you'll get a one-way link from site favored by search engines, often using text that you select yourself. If 90 or more of these free, legitimate links back to your site is worth your time, then get you blog in motion. Not only that, if you update frequently, other sites may want to display your RSS feed content on their sites. To encourage them to do so, put a link on your page with instructions on how to do so. Ever since I put one on the front of my site, various feeds from my main site have turned up in the most unexpected places. Cheaper way to study your audience. As your blog gets more popular, you may start to find that on any given day, you have a representative cross-section of prospects and clients at your site. If you have a question for them, you can just... ask. True, you can post a link to a survey in your newsletter or on your site, but these are not as interactive as the ability for your audience to comment. They will comment, and you can reply to ask them to expand, or clarify. Conversation gets going and before you know it, a bond is formed, a much stronger bond than occurs in a one-way conversation. Cheaper (and faster) way to start a resource or authority site. Five years ago, if you wanted to start an authority site, your best bet was to build a portal with a specialized directory at its core. Three years ago, you were better off starting a forum with a resource section attached to it. Last year, your top bet was a feed-enabled content management system, especially as more parts of content management systems began to have content feeds related to them. (I have 12 feeds for each of my PHP-Nuke based sites, though they don't work as well with Google Tap.) Now, if you want to be the expert, you want to start a blog. If you're blogging consistently, you have a hub of information collected that will inspire return traffic. You have a collection of links to articles, sites, and tools. You can constantly write up your own opinion editorials on each of these items, as well as fact-based analysis of news and events that can help your audience make better choices. As blog software matures you can now categorize, and alphabetize your links, and with the ability to ping multiple sources as well as leave trackback links to other sites, you can send your readers through a ring of related, freshly updated information that ultimately leads back to you. Spend less money on advertising as your blog becomes more popular I can't promise you that you'll never spend another red cent on advertising costs. However, the amount of free advertising you get from having your blog link or RSS feed listed in dozens of search engines and directories, and popping up in feed readers is not to be underestimated. You'll probably still want to do some ezine advertising when your new ebook or software release is debuted. But you may not need to buy as much advertising or purchase as often. Then there is the fact that many newsletters that are also published to RSS feeds have wider reach. I've found that it's worth the extra money to appear in both versions ? ask your favorite publisher for details. For publications that allow this, it's normally only 20% extra Save money by retaining visitors You've probably heard a thousand times that it is easier to sell repeatedly to an existing client than it is to find a new one. So how do you get that visitor to come back, and possibly buy again? A constant stream of new information on a particular topic work is enough to keep people buying a daily newspaper, subscribing to a magazine or viewing a television series. Frequent updates can work the same way for your site. With bloggers being named People of the Year by Time magazine last year, if you're not blogging in 2005, you're going to be left in the dust by other sites in your industry that do. It doesn't have to take up a lot of extra time, and the time it does takes is made up for in the money you can save.
How to Create an RSS Feed
An RSS news feed can be used to communicate with your target audience. It is an ideal means of notifying people of new content on your website without the need for them to keep on visiting your site. You can send newsletters to your readership without having to use email and risk being accused of spamming. You will be comfortable in the knowledge that people who request your feed are actually interested in it because they have actively subscribed to it. This article will explain just how to create your own RSS news feed. There are a couple of ways to create an RSS file, you can use an editor designed for the purpose or you can create a file using a simple text editor. The latter will require you to learn some XML whilst the former will do the hard part for you. First off I will describe an RSS file, there are several versions and I will be showing you version 2.0, the latest RSS version. An RSS file looks just like an HTML file except it has different tags and the files end in .rss or .xml rather than .html. The file is made up of header information and item information, the item information contains the actual news items. The first section of the file contains the header information. This states that the file is XML and which version, the encoding used and the version of RSS that you are using. This part of the file is mandatory. Next up is the channel tag, this encloses the whole of the rest of the file. This is followed by a title, description and link which explain the what the feed is about and what website it is associated with. The final part of the header is the optional image information. If you use this the software that is used to parse or read your file can display a small picture such as a logo. Please note that in these examples I have used square brackets instead of angled brackets. [?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?] [rss version="2.0"] [channel] [title]The Widget news feed[/title] [description]The latest news on widgets[/description] [link]http://www.widget.com/[/link] [image] [title]Widget News[/title] [url>http://www.widget.com/widget.gif[/url] [link>http://www.widget.com/[/link] [/image] The body of the file is made up of the news items. Each news item is enclosed in the item tag and comprises of a title, a description and a published date. The date needs to be in the format shown in the example below. [title]Which is the best Widget to?[/title] [description]In this article we discuss the release of several new widgets, but which is the best widget.[/description] [pubDate]Sun, 20 Mar 2005 14:38:50 GMT[/pubDate] [link]http://www.widget.com/the-best-widgets.html[/link] [/item] You can have as many items in the feed as you like but many webmasters just show the 10 most recent items to keep the bandwidth usage down and also so not to overwhelm the end user with too many items. Finally the file is ended with the closing channel tag and a closing RSS tag. [/channel] [/rss] I have covered the basic tags to create an RSS file, there are other tags that can be used and these are explained in the http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss (RSS 2.0) specification. Once you have created your file you will need to verify it is ok, to do this upload the file to your server and then go to this validator to validate the file. Your file is now ready. Now anyone can subscribe to your feed just by pointing their RSS reader to your RSS file. That is the basics covered. I will be covering other areas in future articles as there is far too much information to fit into a single article.
Marketing With Blogs - Part 1
Marketers have found that blogs are excellent tools for communicating with their audience. Anyone who has something to sell or an idea to promote can benefit from using blogs.
How to Write A Blog... And Survive
The question of the day is "Should you start a Blog?"
Business Blogging - 5 Tips to Help You Smashl Through Writers Block
It's inevitable. Everyone hits the wall. Whether you've been blogging ten weeks, ten minutes, or ten months, eventually you'll find yourself with absolutely nothing to say. Or so you think. So what in the world do you do when you're stumped? 1- Talk about what you've already talked about Pick a topic you've gone over before and give it some spin. Try a new angle, like playing devil's advocate. For example, if you are a search engine journalist, and last week your position was that most mainstream sites need Google traffic to survive, try proving your point from the "con" perspective, instead of the "pro" position. There are dozens of ways to write about the same thing. By putting your point another way, you might give someone in your audience what a client of mine referred to as an "Ah-ha!" moment. That's when they realize the true value of the items for sale at your site to them and their business. 2- Talk about what someone else is talking about If you want to have a popular blog, find other bloggers in similar areas, and talk about what they said in their posts. Friendly debate can often spark the soap-opera like drama that will have both your audiences visiting both blogs to see what "the other fella" had to say. As an added bonus, if both of you are using Trackback in your blogs, you've got yourself a mini-link party that other people who are speaking on similar topics will want to join.. 3- Have yourself a good rant The intimate nature and voice of blogs lends itself well to the opinionated, angry ramble. But as a professional, don't let yourself get too unfocused, and remember to back up your opinion with facts. 4- Feature someone, something or somewhere I like to call mine "of the Day". As I zip around the Net conducting my business and research, if my attention is called to a resource or tool that my audience might find useful, I hit my blog bookmarklet and save that bad boy for later. Then when I get too busy for a full blown tip, I'll crown the resource, feed, tool, download or freebie the featured "Deal of the Day", changing the word deal to something else more appropriate as needed. After a while, my audience started to look for it as a feature, as opposed to being upset at the interruption in my mad, mad rambles. 5- Let someone else talk for a change Invite a guest blogger, or post an article that offers free reprint rights, the same way you would in a newsletter. Of course you want to leave the resource box intact, or let the guest promote their site, which brings me to the most common complaint about this tactic. "But I don't want to send people away from my site." Guess what? You'll never believe what I found out. Ready? In a recent startling discovery, I've found that 100% of my visitors eventually turn off their computers or take otherwise drastic measures that cause them to leave my site. Apparently this is beyond prevention, though you can stall them for hours sometimes with good content. Of course you don't want to send them on their way prematurely, but if you're a good blogger, and have done what you can to make sure they sign up to your blog email updates or site feed, they'll be back. Just be sure that you're giving them a good enough reason. In the meantime, since they're going to leave anyway, it might as well be somewhere that gives you some direct or in-direct benefit. So there you have it - enough material for five more days of posts. Happy Blogging!
Web Blogs, Defined, Explained and Understood
What are Blogs?
Do Marketers Really Need RSS?
The recent Forrester Research study, which claims that only 2% of online households in North America use RSS, took the internet marketing world by storm. Does this data really mean that marketers can still afford to ignore this channel?
Even a 70 Something Technological Challenged Mom Can Get Started in Blogging With These 10 Tips
Blogging is all the rage. With these 10 Simple Steps even My 70 Something technological challenged Mom was able to Join the Growing number of Bloggers.
Is Your Site Ready For The Coming RSS Revolution?
Recently, there have been many developments in the RSS arena. Changes that will make RSS a major force on the web and a dominant contributing factor to your computing experience. Online marketers should pay special attention to the RSS wildcard in any future marketing ventures.
Top Ten Reason to Publish an Ezine AND a Blog
Blogs are the hottest thing going these days when it comes to marketing on the Internet. A blog is a way of delivering your messages and article to clients. They are a like personal web sites, easy to create and far less expensive than traditional web sites.
Why Your Blog Might Be Sabotaging Your Business
Many marketers were very excited when forum and newsletter discussion focused first on blogs (about two years ago) and then on RSS feeds (mainly within the past year). It was a brand new opportunity for marketers to use, one that promised both search engine success and a way around spam complaints. So they ran out and created a free blogger account or bought some software and began blogging and trying to set up RSS feeds.
What Is This RSS, XML, RDF, and Atom Business?
It's been a long day at work and you're in no mood to cook dinner or go out. Time to count on the reliable pizza delivery guy. The order is called in and he promptly arrives with smokin' hot pizza within 30 minutes as promised. If it were only that easy with a picky family where no one can agree on the same restaurant for dinner. One wants Mexican, another wants Chinese, and another wants a burger and Mexican. Instead of running to three different places, you call a delivery service that goes to all of them and brings it to you. What could be easier in getting a meal without cooking it or fetching it?
Blogs: Todays Internet Diary and Marketing Tool
The popular blogger.com owned by Google, Inc. has been around the internet for a while.
12 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
"Why Should I Blog? I Simply Don't Get It"
RSS Feeds Have Revolutionized the Internet
RSS feeds have revolutionized the Internet for one very good reason: they have provided and end to Spam. With RSS feeds, you can say good-bye to mass emails and distributions that do not meet your news needs and clog up your mailbox and hard drive.
Marketing With Blogs - Part 2
In part 1 of this article series on marketing with blogs, I discussed the reasons why blogs are excellent tools for marketing.
|home | site map|