A pontoon of blogging tips for beginners and pros alike

Before we start on this run of twenty one blogging tips, let me first tip my own hat to Social Media Examiner for compiling such a list in the first instance. Likewise, to the pontoon of contributors whose insights have made the list in itself something of a blueprint for both the would-be blogger and seasoned pro alike – Har Thank Yow, from the very heart of my bottom.

If you’re just setting out on the road to conquer the Internet using your command of the English language as your weapon of choice alone, firstly, good luck with that! That’s how I started out, thinking: “God, I’m great at writing. I’m gonna be an Internet star!” – quack-quack, oops!

Social media revolution
By Mentionablehonor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

Secondly, you’ll soon discover that blogging quality content, knowing how to drive traffic to your blog and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – knowing how to make your blog search engine friendly) go together in a natty little package.

They are the Holy Trinity of blogging and, like The Father, Son and Oily Goose, they need the assistance of a good many angels, arch-angels and saints to make blogging heaven run smoothly and keep all the little daemons at bay. You’ll also find that, just when you think you’ve rounded up all of the devil’s little helpers and locked them away and got all of your celestial brothers and sisters working in harmony, the mother of the devil himself will come along and release said little daemons and turn one (or more) of your angels or saints bad.

We refer to that mother as Google – y’know, the company that runs the planet we lovingly know as Earth? – and what they say, as far as good practises for SEO go, goes. It has the power to make everything that you were doing to make your blog appeal to its crawlers (bots that index the web pages) and even your flock corrupt overnight. And, yes, you can go to confessional, but expect your penance to be more like forty days in the wilderness than a couple of Our Fathers and a Hail Mary or two.

If you’re a Doubting Thomas about that last point, just enter ‘panda’, ‘penguin’ or ‘EMD algorithm update’ into MOTDH to see the gallons of sweat and tears of blood that webmasters worldwide have shed thrice in the last twelve months alone. Google has swept the web for pestilence in its attempt to rid its SERPs (search engine results pages) of what it considers spam. But it’s not worked out so good as many bona fide sites have been hit as well as some – but not all – of the spammy ones. Think: King Herod killing all of the new-born male children about two thousand years ago, taking everyone down to get to the target, but missing folks like Judas Iscariot and Saul – you’ll be on the right track.

But we can’t moan about it as, no matter what you think of its game-changing decisions, it is Google’s Autobahn we use to drive traffic to our content; it can close a lane, put up roadworks, increase or decrease the speed limit as deemed fit and there’s Jack we can do about it.

That’s why this series of blogging tips will be so very important. Many webmasters have had to become resourceful this last year, relying on other ways of driving traffic than Google, such as offering a product, using social media or incorporating e-mail campaigns. You, too, can no longer afford to place all of your eggs in the MOTDH’s basket alone.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that social media is just a haven for cat photos, seeing what your friends think of the last act on X-Factor or being forced to read what your network has had for tea. Each little snippet posted is minutia detail about each and every one of us. We are constructing profiles the likes of which brands have never had exposure to before. Social media is marketing gold and a tap (faucet, for our US buddies) inserted into the gushing pipe of advertising revenue.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll look at each of the tips offered up by the industry’s leading bloggers and social networkers in detail, all of whom incorporate article marketing into their online strategies. Well, I say three weeks – I’m doing NaNo and am already behind after day one, so please forgive me if there’s a day or two without an article. Trust me – I’ll be pulling my hair out more than you.

Well, that’s it from me for today. My NaNoNovel, The Seed (if you want to check out my fiction, too, here’s a link to the synopsis & excerpt), is years in the making, spattered across three PCs and laptops in varying degrees of accessibility (the bulk is on a PC thirteen years old, which only has a floppy and no longer understands connectivity). Fortuitously, I have printed it off, so am now dusting it off and finally bringing Delores, Darren et al to life in a place other than inside my mind…it’s a wonder they’ve not got mad….

Social Media Checklist v 2.0

Social Media Checklist v2.0
Social Media Checklist v2.0

See on Scoop.itSocial Sharing SEO

So, you’ve listened to your junior staff, realised that they don’t just want to spend a few hours goofing around every day and come to the conclusion that your business needs a social media presence.

Not wanting to look like a total dufus (or attract the wrath of your senior staff by putting juniors in charge of your online marketing), what do you put in your memo/ISO 9001 guidelines about what the role of ‘online marketing strategist’ incorporates?

There are worse place to start than this cool infographic checklist, both in the best social media for business and how many times per day do you tweet, post, share or pin.

The two obvious outlets are there, right at the top of the tree, facebook and twitter.  Yes, they’re huge and the thought of pitting your company against the competition using their platforms can either be daunting or over-simplified.  You can either be overwhelmed and give up because you’re not seeing results after week one or you can think that the odd tweet or post here and there will get you globally recognised after week one.

If the latter was correct, everyone would be doing the minimum of work and have a sudden influx of custom that could turn the GDP around overnight.  If you’re restricted by the former, your efforts at online marketing are going to be so tame you don’t even penetrate the surface, let alone make a ripple.

Looking at the beginner’s guide to social media infographic, it does assume knowledge about the various social media, the majority of which cost nothing to join.  But rest assured, your job is not, at this stage, to understand their machinations, just present an overview of usage that makes you at least seem as if  you’ve an idea of what you’re talking about when it comes to social media for business.

LinkedIn is on there, great for networking.  Google Plus and the Google-owned YouTube appear, too.  And the future of e-commerce, Pinterest, rightly makes the list near the bottom – I would have put it much higher, but hey ho, there you go.

The one recommendation I’d make that doesn’t show up is StumbleUpon, if you’re an SME (SMB, US) – in a recent vocus survey, although the site was by no means the most used by those polled, its helpfulness and contribution to the online marketing cause was second only to Google Plus.

It’s worth noting that, although these social media are outlets, you have to begin with a message to convey that is both relevant and meaningful to your target audience. This will typically start with a 400-500 word blog post, 250-word press release or CEO message. The subsequent tendrils your fledgling attempts to penetrate the online market produce will need to embed before they start to blossom.

Using social media effectively for business is by no means a cop out for not doing any work – of course it’s enjoyable as you’re interacting with humans rather than a corporate machine, but to make it pay takes patience, split testing to see which methods are working best and committing to the various projects with regularity and targeting the goals as set out on the Social Media Checklist infographic.

No doubt there are other platforms that many other businesses use, such as Instagram and Flickr for images, Delicious is another web 2.0 creation that relies on content from its users, as does Pinterest and Stumble, rather than produce the majority itself. I used to love Delicious before they did away with ‘stacks’ – now I hardly use it at all, preferring Scoop.It and Paper.Li for article curation and finding that both illicit a more positive response than Delicious ever did for me.

Those platforms mentioned are by no means exclusive to the possibilities of getting your brand in front of an online audience but do provide the backbone of your Internet Marketing infrastructure.

I’d love to hear what you have to say and what other forms of social media you use or how any of those mentioned work for you – and, if you don’t want to give too much away, insider tips on how you use social media for business would also be great for this little community of ours.

Thanks for your time – we look forward to your input.



See on mediam1.files.wordpress.com

Motivators behind liking a facebook brand

motivators for facebook brand recognition
motivators for facebook brand recognition

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Zebedeerox finds a new home on tumblr – well, not a new home, more like a country retreat to try out…

You may wonder why so many of us are putting as much time into our facebook fan pages as our webs and blogs, these days. For those who think that social media, especially facebook, is a waste of time, you may want to check this out first…

…fan pages are developing fast, with apps like a fanzilla set of apps – I like to call it a mask – that gives your fan page as much functionality as a bog-standard blog.

Unlike other platforms, people seem to be a lot more open and trusting on facebook than other platforms, too.

I did knock up a post about just this subject last week, but as the saying goes “A picture paints a thousand words” – okay, my article wasn’t 1,000 words, but for all my keyboard craftsmanship, I doubt that the eloquence expressed brought the subject matter to the eye of the reader in a split second quite like this infographic does.

Next up: how to learn to make infographics!




See on zebedeerox.tumblr.com

Content is King, but Context Rules the Experience

content vs context
content vs context

Curated via Scoop.it – on Zebedeerox’ ezine, Social Sharing SEO

Have you ever listened to someone speak and thought, this guy or girl gets me? Or seen an ad that resonated with you on a gut level? It’s not magic, ladies and gentleman.

I think we’ve all seen those types of ads – they’ve cost thousands, are crammed with action and verbiage, but the instant the game’s back on the advert’s still in your head but you’ve got absolutely no idea what the ad was promoting.

To an extent, blogging is identical.  You’re waxing lyrical about a product or a passion but, if your audience is not 100% up with the pace of that niche, are you assuming too much of them if you don’t relate within your piece how it’s relevant to them?

As Bryan points out, as backed up by Ileane Smith, you have to step away from the article and address it as an outsider – not just think outside the box to deliver the message in a way your audience will appreciate, but step outside of you to see if you’ve achieved what you set out to do.

In effect, you are the translator.

You have thought of something yourself that’s been rattling around inside your noggin for a few days and it’s now got to the point where that thought just will not stay under wraps any longer.

Or, you’ve seen a related article to your theme, but you want to write it in a way that shows the benefit of the original idea in addition to the added value that your niche brings to that piece.  If you’re not adapting it, you may as well just post the link and say, “Here, followers, I can’t be bothered to put my insight into the article, but you’re more than welcome to have a pop, yourself.”

Bryan’s five rules here serve everyone looking to make an impact on the web well:

1. Put some thought into your article – give it time to grow.

2. Know where you’re going with it – its point.

3. Take your time over it – if you think anything of your reputation and your followers, give your article the time it deserves

4. Don’t assume – if you’d not seen the original article/had the brainwave, would your article reflect your message?

5. Falling on deaf ears – what does your audience respond to?

And this little bit I love, Bryan’s “Key takeaway” – it’s a call to action, without coming across as arrogant or bossy, just underlining the benefit your existing/new followers could experience for reacting positively to the article’s message.

I read a lot about content, much of it the same re-hashed stuff or even just Scooped by a curator who can’t be bothered to provide a decent coverboard.  This article is one of the most practicable and informative that I’ve read for an age.

Please feel free to share the love – there’s plenty in this post.


See original, full on www.purematter.com

SEO Matters « zebedeerox

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Darrelldoo Google+ logo

Posts about SEO Matters written by zebedeerox…

Having the ability to put pen to paper – or keyboard to text editing doc – is one thing.  Understanding what gets your content in front of an audience is entirely another.

It’s not just about perfect grammar, well composed sentences and each article having quality, original content and a message wrapped betwixt its words.  That is important – nay, critical – if you want to build a loyal following.  But as well as pleasing a potential (or existing) human audience, you have to please the search engines, too.

Not taking anything away from the Yahoo!s and Bings of this world – they do a mighty fine job, for sure – but everyone in the online world who’s producing a blog or fresh article content for their website knows that it’s the mighty G whom you have to please secondarily after you’ve got the content write (I know what I mean) for your audience.

This post is a Scooped stack of a summary, for anyone new to Zebedeerox, of all of the articles on http://zebedeerox.com that relate my interpretations of the best practices for search engine optimisation for on-site content.  Some posts may seem dated now, especially the earlier ones ones from a Pre-Penguin world, but as I’ve always preached quality first, they should all still be relevant.

Don’t ask me about off-site SEO tactics – I’ve not got a bogging clue.

Actually, I’ve done this a little arse about face as there’s another fantastic article I’m going to share with you shortly by Bryan Kaymer that deserves its place in this stack – it will be published under the SEO Matters category, so run that category and it will  appear there once published.

One of the reasons a previous webmaster I wrote for kept knocking on my door was the fact that every article I produced for him through oDesk was not only written in top-quality, editorial English, but I also ensured that everything I produced had a point – a convincing story adapted to the site’s theme, summarised at the end by what that article meant to the readership of his blogs.

Bryan has taken this notion a step further and I’ll be posting that shortly – it really is one of the best articles I’ve seen on content vs context in an absolute age.

Please, feel free to comment and share or correct any ot the articles within this stack – look forward to your input.


See on zebedeerox.com

Identifying your theme within your blogging niche

It’s amazing how one little comment or like can lead to a full-blown dialogue.

In my guest post for Sports Monger on the Green this week, I questioned whether Rory would play for EIRE in the 2016 Olympics, as that’s who he’s played for as a junior, or whether he’d be Team GBR as, technically, he’s a Northern Irish golfer.

Yesterday, I got notification that ‘Northern Dating‘ liked my article.  “A dating site and golf?”, thought I. “Ho hum, stranger things have happened…” I mulled and proceeded to head on over to their site.  Then, I saw the tagline – “Online dating for the beautiful people of Northern Ireland” – the penny dropped.

To cut a long story short, we bemoaned the fact that getting people to publicly follow dating sites is not the easiest of tasks, amongst other things, but then a lightbulb lit up at a couple of comments the author made that rang a bell with me from when I first got darrelldoo4dating.com up and running and started to get into testing.

When you’re starting out blogging, especially in a niche that attracts 60,000 searches a month on the main keywords like ‘online dating’ and ‘dating’, unless you’ve got a blinding offsite strategy, a team of quality writers and a few bucks to throw at a custom design, you’re not going to make an impact against the big boys.  Pre-Panda, yes – I got our old site up to third on content and in-linking alone, but that just won’t cut the mustard in this post-Penguin world.

The comments were thus, and you’ll see what I mean when I copy and paste the ones that I mean:-

  • A lot of blogs just drop the key words like join us, join us! lol but I kinda want to write about everything
  • I started this so people maybe in Northern Ireland would read it but, funnily enough, everywhere but Northern Ireland reads it lol
  • I also own another website, not sure if it be your thing as its another touchy subject but I’ll let you decide yourself. Its called ultraxcite.com. lol

From going from blogging about everything dating, in three sequential sentences, the author narrowed down two key target markets within the broad online dating/sex market to focus their efforts on, quite without putting the two and two together.  Cross-selling saves having to build up two sets of customers’ trust, critical in a competitive market like dating, where even the most avid followers are often shy about leaving their online trace on the blog.

It was only because I’d been there and done the exact same ‘blog everything dating’ thang that I picked up on it, too. And thus, the following response was crafted…

120 x 600 iframe image - adulteres rencontres
(new tab)

Hi, right back atcha!  Yes, some bloggers do rather ram their product down their reader’s throat – leave that there, shall we? I’ve been across to your http://www.ultraxcite.com site, enough said!  Don’t know whether it’s my browser settings, but some of the lingerie links were coming up 404.  I was only checking them out in the interests of appraising your site, you understand, and not partaking in any kind of voyeurism whatsoever. Ahem. Swiftly moving on…

…I’ve written a fair bit about blogging on my general site, http://zebedeerox.com – if you want to check them out, just hit ‘SEO’ or ‘blogging’ in the tag cloud it will bring up the relevant articles.  But that aspect’s changing all the while and you’re expected to keep up with the latest in search engine optimisation as well as what’s going on in your niche – it’s hard work but ultimately satisfying when you start getting traction.

One widget I’ve not seen on your site is ‘follow by e-mail’ – I think that allows followers to keep tabs with your blog publicly or privately and it may be a way of getting surfers to follow you if they don’t want others to know they’ve been checking out the best Northern Ireland dating sites (I’m fitting a few long tail keywords into my comments, too…).

Given your other site, have you thought about researching really sexy/racy dating articles that you could perhaps rewrite to your own theme on here and then send a link to your other site?  For instance, if the lady single (in your story) got herself ‘warmed up’ before meeting her date, there may be something over on ultraxcite that you could link to directly once you’d got your reader in a similar frame of mind?  Just sort of blue skying a few ideas.

That said, don’t lose sight of the element of ‘you’ in the posts that will keep your followers loyal; but throwing the odd bit of spice in never hurt.

If you’re targeting Northern Ireland, a few place names, local dating stories and reviews of other Northern Ireland dating site facilities (more keywords!), on or offline (speed dating’s growing in big cities, I’m finding, especially in Australia, for some strange reason), will not only let your readers know where you’re coming from, but also the Google crawlers, giving you a better chance of showing up closer to the top in the SERPs.  Dating’s a big niche – like on my dating site, I started writing about everything, but then found ‘BeNaughty‘, ‘adult dating‘, ‘cheekylovers‘ and ‘xxx-site for Android‘ were the main searches Google was sending to my blog.  From thereon in, I’ve concentrated on mobile and casual dating and my site’s finally starting to get regular traffic – not massive, but increasing steadily without me really putting in as much work as I should.

Rather than try and cover the whole spectrum of dating, I think your two natural target areas, given your location and secondary website, would pick up organic traffic if you wrote about ‘online dating Northern Ireland’ and ‘dating (encounters) with sex toys/saucy dating/first dates’ – I really do.  I hope I’ve not been too presumptuous, there – sorry if it comes across like that.

If you’d like me to write a guest post for your blog (a real rising star in SEO, the guest post), just invite me (Zebedeerox) over through your WordPress dashboard with ‘author only’ rights and I’d be more than happy to, based on a topic of your choosing.  That’s what I’m doing on the SMOTG, where your found my Rory article yesterday, guest posting.

And one last thing (blimey, I do waffle when  start) – the other key element to SEO this season is the image/Pinterest.  I’ve just started to use http://www.stockfreeimages.com/ purely so I can pin posts to Pinterest – here are my boards: http://pinterest.com/zebedeerox/ – like I say, some are sparse, but I’ve only just started to realise Pinterest’s potential.  The images just attract more attention in timelines when you share to facebook and allow you to utilise Pinterest.

Right – that’s absolutely enough verbiage from me – feel free to drop me a line any time.

Zebedeerox. x

My new best mate from Northern Ireland signed off with: “I’d like to keep in touch, maybe you can give me a few tips if you ever see me go wrong. lol

Your wish, Northern Dating, is my command…