Blogging to Fame, Till Now. What's Next?
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
“[…] Do not send us a resume. Collect the ten most important posts on your blog (You aren’t blogging? You’ve got to be kidding!) and write a blog post entitled Why Blue Whale Labs Should Care About Me (or the like), and tag it “a few good mammals”. Send us the link. Let’s see where this goes.[…]”
While reading the above I thought I would mention Blogging to Fame’s Ten top posts which I consider to be the best(Well, I like all my posts but after all the fights they went through in mind, I selected the top ten contestants) So, here are the lucky ones and now you can even vote for them, rate them from 1 to 10(1 being the best), or just read them and benefit from the information provided. If your favorite differs from these, do mention it. I am including reader views that are randomly picked with the categories you can club them in.
Vital Lessons Before you use Flash this year-Great article! I am actually one of the flash developers for yourminis.com. I could not agree more with your points. It's actually kind of funny, because if we ever put in flashy effects they usually end up being removed in the long run in favor of usability. If you have any comments on how we can further improve, please direct them to our forums at http://forums.yourminis.com/
commented by Hart
Blog Designs can confuse own Webmasters- I did not quite follow what you were saying but after a visit I totally agree. The image suggests itself as belong to the comment below.
commented by Lord Matt
The Death of Search Engine Domination in Web2.0- Interesting thoughts, Divya.
I agree that the social network is going to play a much larger role, however, I don't think search will EVER go away entirely. Think about even 2 of the commenters here - both have talked about Google blog search and it working a bit better (more timely) than the traditional search.
That tells me that there is still some work needed to help users FIND the content they need. All the cross-promotion and viral self-networking in the world won't help in this aspect.
I see a marriage between search and the social network as being the best for the user.
Interesting also to note - I remember the early days of web 1.0 when all webmasters tried to get their site posted to as many locations (and get as many "webby" awards as possible) to accomplish the same goals that you are now working towards.
We have much better tools now, but what you're describing is what has already been - a giant popularity contest.
commented by malatobah
7 Truths for increasing your blog's social likebility!- Speaking of social likability, if you put some personality in your posts, as well as visuals like pictures or videos that are relevant, you will surely get more attention. People will be more willing to stick around and explore.
commented by Tim
Viral Marketing Vs Search Engine Optimization.- Viral Marketing and Spam are two very different things.
Viral Marketing (VM) is self-propagating and Spam is all about forced propagation. VM is beneficial to the propagator as well as the person at the receiving end. When Spamming is done, VM losses it’s purpose. Strategic planning as well as marketing cautions should be kept in mind before bringing Viral is brought into existence.
commented by Divya Uttam
Blog Optimization- Is Content the Only Real King online?- I have read a quote in some book saying: Abundance of information leads to scarcity of attention. I feel this is quite true for blogosphere. Increasing your blog visibility is not an easy task at the same time its not a rocket science.
Divya, Your blog has lots of content to help bloggers succeed.
I have few points to make:
If you are particular about a domain and you have enough knowledge in that vertical, it is pretty easy to get noticed.
1. Find out famous blogs in your vertical. Interact in the discussions through comments in the well known blogs of your vertical.
2.Try to interact quickly on your blog if there are any hot topics raised in your vertical.
3.Try to write a series of posts like, Daily Tip or Weekly Tips to convert new visitors into frequest visitors
Wish you Happy and Profitable Blogging!
commented by Chandra
So You Are A Wanna be A-List Blogger, Ugh!- "Its better to be known as an expert in your niche" is truly great advice. Thanks (again), Divya, for the great post
commented by ecllc
The Big Steal in MyBlogLog!- Don't spammers realize generating traffic this way will not be 'healthy' over the long run? People will eventually get bored of seeing their 'ads' everywhere and quit visiting. I don't know about you but I certainly do.
By the way I don't think it should difficult be to create fake members with random avatars on random days of the week..etc Can anyone with knowledge of scrip-bots confirm this?
commented by ilker
MyBlogLog and Quest for building Community-Divya, you know I'm in agreement with most of what you have to say and you definitely practice what you preach. I'm not concerned about what Andy and Shoemoney are doing because unlike Andy B.(whose blog I read frequently and comment on) I don't feel it undermines the quality of MyBlogLog. It is for each of them to determine the value of their actions.
What I don't like is people adding every contact and commenting spam on the community page. You know things like "nice blog, come visit mine at ______." Really? Was my blog nice, what was nice about it, are you ever coming back again? No probably not.
I'm only interested in building a community that is actually reading my blog and of course commenting (rare for most of us). Yahoo will bring a bunch of the aforementioned spammers and I encourage all of us to immediately delete any of those comments so others don't see.
Let's support each other and work on building our own communities and leave the spamming to those losers that probably don't have anything of value to add anywhere.
commented by David Temple
When Every thing you do is Spam...- Its a tough world out there on the Internet with all the spam getting around.
I too, had encountered what you did - not getting comments approved because you wanted to recommend them your article and forums not allowing signatures, even if all you wanted was to post your primary website URL.
Another problem was with spam filtering. While most spam filters work well, there are some good blog comments that got listed as spam, and for a person who doesn't check his spam box very often like me, messages will just not get across.
I read a book recently and the author thinks that spamming works - afterall, if it doesn't, why are people still spamming? I guess there are just some people out there without the proper business ethics :/
Anyway, its the end of the year. Your blog has been a great read! Happy new year!
commented by Kian Ann
Best of Luck Blue whale Labs for your venture, hope you soon have opening for Indians to work with you, too.
Here we go, you can read them or vote for them or include your own favourite. Blogging to fame will be more hot and happening place and I would be coming up with more features. Blogging to Fame Web2.0 is on its way, what say?
Till Then Happy Blogging,
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Technorati Tags:- Social Media , Blog Optimization
Labels: Blogging Fame
Google’s Billion Dollar Game Plan
Monday, January 29, 2007
Well you would say SEO will bring traffic to your site, and I would agree with you contradicting my own statement, but you need many other traffic resources to fulfill the your need of increasing your prospect base.
Link building is one of the ways your gurus will tell you to put your efforts and money in. If your blog is running good, or even if it is just upcoming you will have to handle many link exchange requests. They not yet realize that link exchange is of no use now and was technique of the past. Search engines became aware of the fact that webmasters are trying to lead them into believing their pseudo popularity, and started to discount such strategies. They will award a PR of 2 to such cases.
Links from link purchase are also considered non earned and is not effective any more. This is leading to a downfall of link selling business which was once much hyped. The basic motive of link purchase and link exchange was for SEO and generating traffic, which was not very useful for either of them. Google now takes care that people follow the long and natural way to make these links. According to its official blog:-
“[…]Google has tremendously refined its link-weighting algorithms. We have more people working on Google's link-weighting for quality control and to correct issues we find. So nowadays, undermining the PageRank algorithm is likely to result in the loss of the ability of link-selling sites to pass on reputation via links to other sites. Discounting non-earned links by search engines opened a new and wide field of tactics to build link-based popularity: Classically this involves optimizing your content so that thematically-related or trusted websites link to you by choice.[…]” To read the rest of the article you can click here.
Now what is the game I am talking about. What everybody knows is that Google is the master of all the search engine traffic. With all this strictness coming into scene the money being invested in the above techniques is left on the table. The biggest under cover game of Google…
From where do Google earns? It has a giant infrastructure and all services it offers are free. So how do they get the funds to maintain these services. The only place where Google generates income is through advertising which is better known as their Adwords program, and the only way you can generate targeted traffic is by advertising for your site in their sponsored results.
All the content of your site and the hard work that goes into it will only give you a few cents each click on the adsense ads placed on your blog/site, while Google earns in million of dollars using your very own efforts, because the bulk of adsense usage.
If you want to earn a few dollars from these ads you will need a lot of traffic to your site, and where will the traffic come from till your site is not on the top of result pages? From investing in their Adwords. Who is the master, Google, and who is dancing to its tunes, we the webmasters who want to earn their bread and butter or a Merc from our online business.
If you want to make your own rules, then play the game differently to get the ball in your court. Google does pay you a little price for the labor you put in the right direction. What it stresses on is to make links naturally and organically or by Linkbaiting. The more focused your site is, the more targeted and better quality ads you’ll get. Another point to notice is the stress on using Social Media sites like Digg.
Other lines from the same article says:-
“[…]Discounting non-earned links by search engines opened a new and wide field of tactics to build link-based popularity: Classically this involves optimizing your content so that thematically-related or trusted websites link to you by choice. A more recent method is link baiting, which typically takes advantage of Web 2.0 social content websites. One example of this new way of generating links is to submit a handcrafted article to a service such as digg.com. Another example is to earn a reputation in a certain field by building an authority through services such as http://answers.yahoo.com. Our general advice is: Always focus on the users and not on search engines when developing your optimization strategy. Ask yourself what creates value for your users. Investing in the quality of your content and thereby earning natural back links benefits both the users and drives more qualified traffic to your site.[…]”
Don’t hang around asking for links anymore. Give people reasons to link you. Be the champion of your own game like Google is. Make your rules and let others play by it. Be the pioneer of new methodologies which are ethical and safe. Build your business. All the self made SEO gurus are in reality amateurs and do not know what actually SEO is. A successful SEO expert knows to assess the nerve of visitor’s psychology, how they come, where they click and where lies the potential traffic source. Its not about Search Engines its about you and your visitors, because business is made of Humans not Search Engine Robots. Follow Google’s advice to beat it and it will love you for making it loose.
Cheers To your Success,
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Technorati Tags:- Social Media , Blog Optimization
Social Media Isn’t Everything: But still Win it.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Any kind of publicity is good publicity and can bring you large amount of Traffic. Whether you get a link from A-list Blogger, getting your story on the top of Digg Charts, or from Search engines, for your site all possible resources are needed and well appreciated.
After doing the last post about Social Media, I was surfing through few other ones of Darren Rowse and Amit Agarwal.
In Darren's words from his post- "in most cases the Digg traffic comes and goes quickly and doesn’t usually hang around for dialogue - whereas referrals from other sites is more likely to ‘convert’ either as a longer term viewer, RSS subscriber, newsletter member or comment leaver"
Darren did also actually mention- "Of course Digg traffic isn’t completely useless - in fact if you harness it you can grow a blog over time. It comes in such high numbers that even if only a very small group stick around it can be worthwhile.It also brings a round of secondary links - which can be good for SEO and lastly it doesn’t hurt the old ego and can give a rush of motivation to a blogger. The key with Digg traffic however is to work on converting readers into loyal ones. "
The points raised by Amit in his post while comparing Traffic from the site of A-List Blogger and Digg are, (1)After traffic floods your post they'll at the most increase the count by one and leave. (2)The Digg crowd will never leave comments on your site but they'll do so on the actual Digg page. In most case, the comments (or curses) from Diggers will make you feel depressed unless you write about Kevin Rose, Diggination or 10 Reasons Why Vista Sucks. (3)The majority of Digg crowd will visit your site for one-tenth of a second. (4)You might notice higher page impressions during Digg days but the CTR and effective CPM will reduce so the net result would stay the same. (5)Getting on Digg is unlikely to boost your page rank or search engine rankings - infact, there are cases when the Digg pages rank higher than the actual page it is linking to.
These may be confusing to a reader who may take with him all the negative points about Social Media, when it can benefit him in the direction he wants his blog to rise.
Why Social Media Networks are important-
Search Engines index you only after a certain amount of time. Any News is old News. You need to get to people as soon as possible and get maximum exposure to the story, so that people come to know about it and link it. Will you depend on Search Engines for that? People spend lots of effort, time and money to Search Engines Optimize their sites but when they say they do not like Social Media Sites, I cannot do anything but pity them. If you are not in Social Media you are seriously leaving a goldmine of traffic. A little effort and time devoted on these sites can bring you results never imagined, and its free.
When inbound links are the passing criteria for Search Engine Optimization, everybody runs for Links. Link exchange is the only way a few bloggers are left with and you will find 100s of blogs in their blogroll. Asking for links not only sounds scary to me but is also of little use, and is discounted by Google. Everybody says get incoming links, but from where is still a secret. All you need is giving right exposure to your content.
Search Engines send you traffic on keywords used in your article but not its Tags. On the User end when you search for information about any site lets say Google itself, the results that the search would lead is the site itself and 1000s of its indexed pages. On the other hand if you are using Digg or Technorati you will get latest stories written about Google. If you are interested in a particular company lets say Ford, and want to know about want to know about what people are saying about it, where should you be headed to? By mentioning all this I am no where suggesting the supremacy of social media sites over search engine traffic. For a blogger its best to use both for theirs pros.
Normally, business blogs are an SEO tool for static sites, and even if not links, mass exposure and getting yourself noticed by the experts of the field. Here is where Social Media Sites come into play. Its all about relationships.
Myths Regarding Traffic from Social Media Sites-
1). The traffic from sites like Digg is often termed as inconsistent and not much fruitful.
2). It is focused only on one article and is mostly non-convertible.
3). Visitors from else where are more prone to linking to you and subscribing to your RSS feeds.
4). Only the articles from influential Sites/Blogs or Spam reach front page.
5). Only your friends Digg your article and vote for you.
6). The job is done after submitting the article or the story and it will be promoted on its own.
7). It is just targeted to one article.
Now the Truths
1). Its very true that you need an influential circle to make your story appear on the home page, but all the Diggs and votes you get once you reach there totally depends on the quality of your article and its content. That is why you’ll see 300 votes or Diggs for one, in thousands for another and not even 150 for another. The only people who are interested in your article will digg or vote for you, and do not forget that there is a bury button along with every story as well. People do not hesitate to use it if your story is not relevant or of poor content.
2). The traffic you get from these sites is easily convertible. Once you have them to visit your site and provide them quality content, they’ll either bookmark you, digg your story, subscribe your RSS feed or leave a comment, and would never forget you if you proved to be offering a useful insight.
3). Everybody is hungry for more if they find the first bite delicious. They came to you for your first story, but nobody leaves the opportunity to browse through other chunks of information you are providing.
4). Again depending on the quality of your blog this traffic will link you through their blogs or write an article just on the point of view you put forward. The greatest part is these are incoming links, organically created and very helpful from Search Engines perspective.
5). These sites are best for building relations with other bloggers, and increase your contacts.
Its not traffic for a day. There would sure be a rush of traffic on the day your story reaches the front page, but it wont stop there. Supposing you have a daily traffic of a 100 visitors, and one final lucky day you get to the top of Digg, your blog will see a rush of 8000 visitors. Amongst these lets say a minimal 5% are converted, and 50% of the following become your regular visitors. Not bad, I guess. As it is this is not a one day effect, it continues, though not as vigorously. If you make sure that atleast you get one story at the top fortnightly, you will see a dramatic increase in your traffic, incoming links and your feed subscribers.
Exposing your content through the Social media sites will increase your brand awareness and more the people know you, more is your fan following.
Isn’t social media adding more sense to the word WEB, is this the reason we say WEB2.o.
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Technorati Tags:- Social Media , Blog Traffic
Labels: Blog Traffic
Vital Lessons Before you use Flash this year
Thursday, January 25, 2007
With all this going on, it’s always an issue to watch the role Flash plays here. Flash can much obviously make your site attractive and unique. Its quite an entertaining experience for the visitors to surf flashy sites and can make your site more sticky. When we acknowledge flash based utilities we can call it creativity at its best.
Where stickiness comes, unnecessary or overuse of flash may annoy your visitor. The major issues to handle are mass approach, navigation and usability of your idea. As the neThe point to ponder is the loading time of such sites and how effectively Flash is being used.t becomes more multimedia oriented and trendier, it should become more advanced and user-friendly.
How to effectively fuse it with your site? What should Flash Do for you and your User?
1. It should add to the user experience
2. Use Flash to support your content but not the other way round
3. Enhance User Interface
4. Optimize Flash files as much as possible.
5. Should make navigation easier.
6. Use Flash wisely and in reasonable amounts.
When can flash go against your site?
1. Flash should not interfere with the information on your site.
2. Don’t make your whole site a Flash Application. If you do provide with an alternate choice of HTML version.
3. Should not slow down your sites loading time noticeably.
4. Do not use text in flash which you want to be indexed by the search engines.
5. Flash should not be your objective but a help to display content effectively.
6. Accessibility should not be hampered.
Not all browsers support Flash files effectively. If the text is included with the designing part of flash it may not be properly retrieved, hence creating a vacuum in information provided, as it is flash based websites are not able to handle large amount of text. Heavy flash usage can also weigh down your web page.
Why Use Flash?
Flash is the best way to fill content gap and making your site presentable. It is a visually compelling tool that you can use to attract your visitors with. You can use flash creatively to appeal to the theme of your website. If you are running a site where flash is the actual content(like Gaming sites, jokes, maps and graphs) it is as useful.
Lets look at the following case studies:-
yourminis- Launched, on Nov 6, another Flash application which enables you to create your homepage, with standard widgets including videos from YouTube, photos from Flickr, weather from the Weather Channel and the latest headlines from Digg, and your own gmail account. You can customize the page without creating an account, with all your settings being stored in a browser cookie. Add RSS feeds, download videos, display your content forming tabs and can even share it with everyone else. Easy to navigate and a perfect example of usability integrated with flash.
Msdewey- A flashed based search engine which initially pulled a lot of traffic and proved to out be a linkbait for Microsoft. It gave a humanly feel to searching on internet but sometimes Msdewey’s rumblings get on nerve if you want to search something fast. Being flash based it is a little slow to load. She will be sad, happy, angry, she may sometimes even sing to you, as a flash application it is real cool but from a search engine’s perspective it is slow, sometimes extremely slow. It does not offer any advanced feature and the results are close to cause your eyes an irritation. It would be a cool site to show your friends but not search on it. They even provided you with a mute button on its homepage, Guess they realized she can be too annoying to people.
Swarmthe.com- The creator says-“Swarm is a useful tool for browsing the web, not searching it. You need to come here with an open mind and you may find some really cool stuff. Swarm is a graphical map of hundreds of websites, all connecting to each other. It updates itself every second with where people are going and coming from. As sites become more popular, they move towards the center of the swarm.”
You can actually watch who is surfing what, with thin lines representing traffic transfer. A look at ‘The Swarm,’ a Flash-animated mosaic where visitors can view the real-time online travels of Swarmthe.com’s volunteer surfers. Swarm got much publicity after it appeared on Digg and saw around 1000 volunteers per day. It has a database of around 8 million sites. efficiently. It is a good example of social browsing though only the more popular would be covered. As with heavy flash sites, this one takes lot of time to load, and you may come across an occasional error message.
Keep in mind it is the quality of your content and information you provide which gives you repeat visitors and not the animations and flash that is used in the site. Use Flash to boost up your sites design effectively and use it properly. Do not overdo it.
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Technorati Tags:- Flash, Blog Design
The Death of Search Engine Domination in Web2.0
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The flaws in search engine that caused the evolvement of Social Media sites:
a. Search engine results cannot be updated instantly.
b. Keywords based traffic. We needed Tags.
c. No value to user developed content. Many times search engine considered such content as duplicate content.
d. Search engine robots and their algorithms rated the content of website.
e. Search engines inability in re-using the same traffic effectively.
From a marketers or bloggers context, social media sites can be divided into two broad categories-
● Content driven, where a member is known for how many stories he is providing and how much people appreciate them. These are like Digg, Netscape etc.
● Community based where member is known for number of other members supporting his particular blog or services. Instead of stories, blogs, services and person behind them are voted. Example MyBlogLog.com or LinkedIN
People learned using these types of sites for generating traffic to their websites or blog. MySpace was no more a website for younger generation but marketers started using so effectively for getting large amount of targeted traffic. Marketers learned to create their communities with similar interest.
With the evolving media of Social Media Sites, and with so much of traffic these have, the need to have top rankings in the SERP's has decreased and the need to optimize content for sites likes Digg, MySpace, del.icio.us etc. has become a very important factor. We have learned to get traffic as well as develop content, which appeal masses.
In most cases if you live to these social media, then you are automatically optimized for search engines. So basically gone were the days of Search Engine Domination and SEO experts domination. Recently I was in one of the forums, I read a story where a discussion was going on Why SEO firms should close.
Why use upcoming Social Media Sites?
1.Increase your Audience Circle:- Increase your visibility, Accessibility and Traffic to your site. Should I speak any more? With you participating in Social Media Networking, you increase your consumer base, visible to more people with varied interests would visit your blog/site(and find their way through whatever you would have written).
2. Linkability goes roof high- You want it, I know. Everybody does. Me too. Just do not speak that you do, and do not ask for them. Though being socially active you will have lots of opportunities to ask for a link exchange, but it will be hundred times better that you don’t, because then people will link you for your quality, your words and your presentation. The marvel of this is that those would all be incoming links. You can reward your friends by linking back by writing about them or adding them to your blogroll.
3. Bookmarking becomes easy- No need to remember your favorite sites, just log in and surf from where ever, is the motto. You can give your readers the option to add you to the Technorati Favorites or on Delicious. You can also provide icons like these under each article to help your visitor easily make you available through his account.
4. Relevant tagging- Though Tagging and bookmarking go hand in hand, I took another point to describe it just to tell you how and why tagging is more important. Creating relevant tags will help search engines find you easily for the content that would have been bookmarked by your visitors, under the tags. Its obvious but worth to mention.
5. Make your content travel- When you have portable files of PDF Reports, Podcasts and Vodcasts travel very easily over the network. Its almost like providing freebies, which can act as a buzz for your fame.
6. Get targeted visitors- You will attract targeted visitors automatically, when other members will either search a tag or visit your profile or by the article you submit.
7. More Comments- More visitors, the more discussions about what you write and more comments on your story. Just keep in mind to be a part of discussion at others blogs and reply at yours.
As Internet gets mature, it gets more important to get traffic from as many places and make their content reach to the mass audience. People get choosier in selecting stories. People, who know their stuff, are smart enough to manipulate their stories, their blogs to get most from the traffic from these social media websites. They know how to put right buzz (hyper link) in their blog and cash the maximum traffic.
A Few Highly rated Social Media Sites.
1. Netscape: (Alexa ranking- 471)A system bit similar to Digg but not its clone. Better anti spam policies and profile pages are very much valued by search engines also.
2. Technorati: (Alexa ranking- 204) Most effective tagging. Helps you know who is linking to you on real time basis(most of the time) along with easily bookmarking options.
3. Digg: (Alexa ranking- 74) Its like ‘the coke’ of Internet. Original and the best. Digg provides lots of traffic and many like to link the top stories. So good source of getting too many targeted in bound links.
4. LinkedIn: (Alexa ranking- 179)Among the best place to put your resume. You can tell about yourself here, as well tell ow many people recoomandes you. It's Who know who feature is really cool. again very much valued by search engines.
5. PlugIM: (Alexa ranking- 29,594)Type of Digg clone but just for marketers and marketing content.
Other interesting ones I work on and will be working to build influence are Reddit, Squidoo, Del.icio.us, MyBlogLog, Stumble Upon and news wine, and I would keep telling my experiences to get maximum out of these social media sites.
To be more equipped and to learn how things work on these different social media sites, all you need to do is be a part of it. The most important cause of social media traffic is helping to get your content to the mass audience. It sounds really easy to get traffic from these places but you need to be smart enough to get most benefits , and build your blog/ websites accordingly. With time only best stories will be able to get maximum exposure from these sites and only websites carrying right buzz will be able to get maximum repeat traffic from here.
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Technorati Tags:- Social Media, Better Blogging,Blogging Traffic