Friday, March 28, 2008

Money From Affiliate Marketing On Your Blog

I have referred in a few posts to affiliate marketing and thought I would explain how it works best for bloggers.

Additional Ways To Earn Money From Your Blog Include Affiliate Marketing

Done correctly it can provide a great additional source of income.

Most bloggers if they do become involved in an affiliate agreement just sign up with an affiliate company and add a few banners in the side bar , but you can do so much more and much better than that.

Rules Of Play

  1. Make sure the product or service will appeal to your visitors ( So if you run a gardening site why not spend some time on research on Greenhouses and take some time to create an informational review post) this will benefit your visitors who will appreciate the effort you have put in.
  2. If you post normally once or twice a day your visitors and the Search Engines will not object if you post a review about a product or service Once A Week ( Your loyal visitors may even be grateful for the information.
  3. This type of post is often referred to a Pre Sell which means when the visitor clicks on the link they are more likely to purchase.
  4. My advice is to also include a link to the competition , I am sure if you are looking round you look at multiple suppliers prior to your puchase
  5. Do Not just copy the description ( That is what spammers do ) and will be seen as such
  6. Only work with affiliate companies you personally would be willing to do business with

Remember if you P?? off your visitors by just trying to sell something so you make money will quickly lead to no visitors ( Plus The Search Engines will soon realize what you are up to )

OK few additional advantages

1. It is possible your contextual advertising for that post could also match the product or service which can be a bonus ( But remember loyal visitors will often become add blind over time )
Check my earlier post on How Contextual Advertising Works and remember the Contextual advertising may well think the most important and likely sales may come from Double Glazing , or Racking because you talked about the glass and the shelving in the greenhouse ( Remember Contextual Advertising is just a computer driven set of rules ) so not as clever as us humans.
2. If the post proves popular and you do gain sales then create a specialist area which just includes reviews of products and services ( this may then be used by your visitors as a long term resource ).

OK the question I have been asked most is how and where do you find these affiliate programs

Much easier than you think

Commission Junction Has thousands of companies registered who you can apply to join
including large companies like Walmart and just about any other you can think of

Clickbank is yet another

Amazon also has great affiliate offerings and will allow you to check out books or videos related to your niche and review them.

But beyond that is check out some of the companies you may use currently to buy products and services most if not all have some form of affiliate program ( sometimes it can take a little time to find but worth it. Remember this will also allow you to get the affiliate commission from something you want to buy for yourself so additional bonus .

The second question is How Much Will I Earn ?

Ok Depends on
  1. How much traffic you receive
  2. Are your visitors interested in that item or service
  3. How good your pre-sell is
  4. The amount of sales you generate ( More likely to produce dozens of sales for $50.00 item but only the odd 1 for a new greenhouse at $2,000 )
  5. The % of commission you receive on completed sales which could range from 2.5% up to 7%

Well I hope I have provided you some ideas of how you could help to earn some money for the effort you have put into your blog.

Another Blogging Idea From Steve at The Power Guides Blog

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Contextual Advertising How Does It Work ?

How to monetize a blog like The Power Guides Blog
The Power Guides Blog is a purely informational blog and at some time after putting many hours of work into providing free information , most bloggers would like to make some money for all their hard work .

So What are the options for Contextual Advertising

1 Contextual Advertising
To most webmasters who run websites the most obvious one that comes to mind is Google AdSense due to wide range of advertisers fairly good payout and easy to implement.

How Does Contextual Advertising Work

Contextual advertising by Google and the other companies is done using a special program / Bot which looks at all the content on a page to decide what the page is about and tries to match the advertisers to the content on the page.. It is also thought that Google has quite a bit of information about the visitor gained through ( cookies ) plus will know where the visitor is from .

I will try to explain .

Lets say your page is about garden sheds and Google has also decided it is about Garden Sheds ( Due to trust of your site over period of time ) , Also would help if your blog / site was 75% about Gardening.

Possible Stages Prior to delivering Add

  1. Page Is about Garden Sheds ( Pick Garden Shed Advertisers )
  2. User Is Middle Aged and Goes to lots of Gardening sites implying it is their hobby ( Therefore meaning they are more likely to spend )
  3. User ended up at the page when they were searching for information about Garden Sheds.
  4. User Lives In Chicago , Illinois ( Easy to find out often through IP but Multiple Options to obtain Geographic Location ) ( If you want to see it in action check out the little Sitemeter icon to find out about where visitors have come from on this blog ( Geographically and which last Site etc. ) and that is know where near the level of sophistication a company like Google has at it's fingertips.
OK now Google has the whole story this looks like a possible prospect for an advertiser selling Garden Sheds in Illinois .
So delivers a great add from local advertiser selling Garden Sheds In Illinois.

( This would mean much more likely the Visitor would ( 1 ) click on the ADD and ( 2 ) buy a shed )

Now understanding how much information Google has before it delivers adds will also help to explain why some traffic is not as good as other traffic

Example 1
StumbleUpon , Generally the visitors from StumbleUpon are just flitting through hundreds of sites aimlessly to find something interesting and not that likely to provide a good prospect for an advertiser.

Example 2
A news story about garden sheds being blown down due to a hurricane many miles away is unlikely to mean the reader will be interested in buying a new shed ( he was not affected ) But If Google Comes From The Effected Area they may make a great prospect so will adjust advertising accordingly .

Example 3
A Visitor with no referrer would not be considered as good as a visitor who came from a search query on new garden sheds from Any Search Engine ( maybe would explain why bloggers who go to the same sites every day not the best prospects. )

There are many other examples I could provide but I hope you have a better understanding from the examples above

Google Adsense
Google is open to fairly new sites / blogs with low traffic and is available for publishers in most countries in the World and in multiple languages.

It is easy to implement and in Blogger is even easier once you have applied and been approved for your account.

Payment is not made until you have reached $100.00 in your account and can take up to 3 years for blogs with low traffic.

My Wife has been blogging for over 12 months and I suspect it will another couple of years before she receives her first check ( But when she does she will super chuffed ).


Google Takes the clicking of your own adds very seriously because it means you are defrauding Google's paying customers THE ADVERTISERS and without those advertisers trusting Google to monitor click fraud the Adsense market would not exist.

It does depend very much on your niche and Google's view of your blog re: providing the advertiser with a ROI ( Return On Investment ) and it can take some time before Google has enough information to decide it is a good fit for specific advertisers in that niche.

As you can see from the above the information Google has to work with provides Google with all the tools to match Advertisers >>> To Prospects and the better the match the more everybody is happy.

contextual advertising KONTERA this is very different from AdSense in that the adds are displayed when a visitor runs the mouse over a word in the text which an advertiser has targeted , As per Yahoo does not have the breadth and number of advertisers of Google Adsense

YPN from Yahoo only available for US advertisers and does not have the number and range of Advertisers of Google Adsense

I will go into detail in a later post some of the great opportunities offered by Affiliate Marketing which can provide as much if not more income than contextual advertising .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Google Docs Presentation Software

Using Google Docs Presentation
I thought this might be interesting for some of those in the blogging community .

I have used this on a project of mine where I wanted to include a number of old war time posters in a single easy to run application and to add a small amount of text for each slide you can find my attempt at the end of this post.

It could be useful for a blogger who wanted to create a presentation for training or to be able to include a series of photos showing a process over an elapsed period of time, plus the added advantage of fully portable and internet friendly.

The great thing I liked about it was to be able to add text to each slide.

I will warn of one downfall and that is it will not be very Search Engine friendly so when I have used it I have created a written post about what the presentation includes.

So How Much Can You Realy Expect To Earn From Your Blog

Separating the Myths from the realities of earnings from your blog

Facts, Fiction, Dreams and Everything In Between on Expectations of earning big money from your blog ( I will quantify that by saying big money ranges from enough to live on upwards )

So You Have A Blog and Want To Get Rich Quickly

Is It Going To Happen Sorry To Disappoint you in 90% of cases
NON , NO and "In Your Dreams

So what can you expect and what are the criteria to earn money from your blog

The most important factor in defining your earnings is Traffic / Visitors which depends on the following.

Traffic / Page Views

1. Popularity of topic ( Some sectors are super popular like Entertainment, Fashion , Food, Technology )

2. Style of Writing ( If your writing style is easy and interesting to read and not to Airy Fairy or Complicated )

3. Information or Personal ( A Blog providing easy to read help on a specific subject with a lot of other similar posts will gain more visitors than a blog talking about your good or bad day )

4. Age of Blog ( As a blog ages it's visitors increase through word of mouth or links )

5. Design Of Blog ( The blog should be easy on the eye with content above the fold ) If a new visitor comes to your blog and sees nothing but adds without writing . Will they take the time to scroll down , You may earn money from the click but will you gain a new visitor to revisit your blog.

6. Optimized for search engines ( This is a big subject on it's own check out our sitemap for some of the posts talking about Optimizing Your Blog ( SEO )

7. Easy Navigation ( If visitors come to your blog make it easy for them to find other posts related to the post they came in from and provide a way for them to navigate the blog for other similar posts ) Most popular method is Label Clouds

Traffic ( Can improve through SEO by leaps and bounds if blog is optimized ( Search Engine Optimization )

As you can see Traffic / Page Views is the single most important factor in how much you earn but there are a number of others

Possible Advertisers / And How Much You Earn PER Click
The difference between what advertisers pay is critical some will pay up to $10.00 for each click ( usually in the finance market Mortgages, Loans, Credit Cards Etc. ) but most pay much less than that . Advertisers fall into two quite distinct types.

1. Those selling a product or service
2. Those trying to buy traffic from your blog to theirs for the cheapest amount they can

The difference in potential earnings between these two types of advertisers is significant with

Those selling a product or service very dependent on if your visitors are the type that will buy their product or service, if so they may well pay very well ( Great if you can combine both Advertisers Who have a product or service to sell and visitors who are willing to spend money ) WIN WIN. Lets give an example you have written a post about the new horse barn you have erected and the adds are for horse barns there is a great chance your reader may leave your blog and go to an advertiser to find out how much etc. I suspect an advertiser would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for a live prospect for a new horse barn.

Those trying to buy traffic from your blog to theirs for the cheapest amount they can these are the ads that say things like find more of this in our directory, or play game for free, or get a free widget for your blog and pay very very very little plus least likely your visitors will click the add seen them all over the internet on thousands of blogs.

The number of clicks you receive and the amount per click,

Once again you can do something to influence this

1. The more advertisers who are targeting the content of your post the better ( It is an auction based system , not just by the highest bid but also based on quality score of Advert, Advertisers Landing Page and Your Post. You cannot influence the first two but you can influence the quality of your post .

Where you advert is on the page also has a big effect , the optimum place is above the fold but finding the correct mix between pi??ing of your visitors and gaining the highest number of clicks is a balancing act.

Below is a graphic from Google's Page on Best Placement for adds check out the page for more information

Google Guide for best placement for adds suggestions

Now one of the biggest problems for bloggers is assuming the more adds you have the better ( Not true ) the most likely scenario is the price per add goes lower and you could lose your visitors for 2 cents not 50 cents that you may hope for.

So now I suppose you want some meat HOW MUCH PER THOUSAND PAGE VIEWS

It does really depend it could be as low as $2.00 per thousand for the worst areas but up to $50.00 per thousand if you get it right but if you can get your CTR to 5% ( Number of Clicks Per Hundred Ad Views ) and your price per click at about the mid range of 20 cents you can work it out from here

1000 page views = 50 clicks ( 5% )
50 clicks at 20 cents per click = $10.00 ECPM

So if you get 650 visitors per day viewing 1.5 page views per day this is what you might expect to earn $10.00 per day

If you are getting those figures or better you are doing well and I think close to the average

Now just a few additional notes if your visitors are all loyal readers of your blog they may well become adblind over a few months and less likely to click, but if your visitors come from Search Engine Results or Blog Search Results your earnings will be much better.

I will try to discuss the differing options on ad types, sizes, and other information that may effect your earnings in a later post but this post ended up much longer than originally planned


The Power Guides Blogger

Using Your Own Reader Feed to display latest posts

One of the weaknesses of Google Blogger is no easy widget in the templates to display your latest 10 posts .

You can place the archiving widget in your sidebar but the problem is options are limited and once chosen often can show to many or to few posts.

There are a number of widgets available out there and I will go through just a few.

1 My Favorite just put your own feed through Google Reader make a tag with website name choose public and choose add a clip as shown below , I did create a Reader Help Guide on an earlier post here.

using blog feed to create 10 latest posts

Now like all things there are a couple of disadvantages
1. The text is bloody huge and dominates the page
2. There is no option to display some of the first words of the post as a teaser.

The Big advantages
1. Super easy to implement
2. Very little delay in updating latest posts ( few minutes maximum )

OK so lets look at alternative ( once again a company owned by Google ( Feedburner )

Below is A feed from feedburner as you can see the text is much smaller and looks nicer plus it has some small amount of text as a teaser to the post.

The process to do this is quite simple
1. Register ( Create Log In ) on Feedburner
2. Add your Blog Feed
3. Choose Buzz Boost
4. Choose Options
5. Grab The Code They supply
6. Choose Customize and Add Page Element ( HTML / Javascript )
7 Post the code in to page element and Bobs Your Uncle
This is just one option you could create a headline animator or change the way your feed looks and so much more play with it You Can Not Break Your Blog or Their Software so play and learn

Now there tons of options or you can go one step further and create a sexy looking widget using the Spring Widgets Skin Option Available inside Feedburner

1. Just Choose Spring Widgets Skin From The Sidebar on Feedburner >>> Publizice
2. Add a graphic ( bug requires you must have a graphic ) So I used an old one I had Kicking around for The Power Guides
3. It will now generate your nice widget which you could put in your sidebar
using add html / javascript

Each one of these options adds a delay in updating your feed to display the latest posts and things like Spring Widgets also can slow down the time it takes to display your page .

I will stick to my boring Google Reader option but try these things and see what is best for you

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Changing Feeder Settings To Not Give It All Away

Changing Site Feed Settings From Full To Short in Blogger
This post is just to explain about one of the settings in the Feeds Settings and to stop giving everything away without visitors ever coming to your blog and just using a feed reader to view your post .

This is a difficult call but I have changed the settings on my Feeder Settings

Go To Settings >>>>> Feeder and change from full to short if you want to do this.

I may well turn it back on later to full as I am not that worried if people come to visit just try and help the ordinary blogger compete with those who are in the know.

Working Together As Bloggers

One of the things I have noticed over the past few months is that the professional bloggers ( those who make a living from blogging ) not all sectors is this possible but some are.

They have specific things they do which the ordinary blogger does not.

1. Quote each others blogs with links embedded in the post
2. They will often review a subject and put links to 2 or 3 other bloggers posts related to the subject
3. They will often act as guest bloggers on other blogs and return the favor.

I talked earlier about using links inside a post to other related posts to gain traffic on your blog , the same thing applies but even better if you can send your visitor out to another blog ( It is very much a you scratch my back I will scratch your back thing ).

OK so why do it and what are the gains when it would appear you are sending traffic to your competition

1. Provides a service to your visitors
2. Search Engines like to see links to similar pages and counts the link as a plus for both you and the page you are linking to.

Like all the things I have talked about all things in moderation so do not do it unless it provides something good for your visitors ( gains from Search Engines should be secondary.

Now one final piece of the puzzle giving a good description for your links is as important as the link itself. If you look at the link I have in this post to an earlier post I had the option of saying "here" or "links inside a post to other related posts to gain traffic" both are equally good for your visitor but the second is much better for SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) because you are telling the search engine what the page is about.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Simple Way To Gain More Page Views

So far I have concentrated on gaining new visitors , but we can also gain more page views and if we have advertising a better chance of our visitors clicking an advert.

When we create a post generally the post is about something we have knowledge about and often we may have posted some more but different information about that subject in an earlier post.
There are two distinct advantage to including a link to an earlier post

1. Provides our visitors with additional information.
2. Creates an additional link for Search Engines and if the page we provide a link to is viewed as related to the page it is on will gain even better importance.

Like all things moderation is the key because too many choices may confuse or overwhelm our visitor, Also if we add too many links the Search Engine may think we have pushed the envelope to far and discount the links. So the secret to success is think first of all for your visitors and the rest will follow.

Below are a couple of good examples of embedding links to an earlier post

1. You have created a post about how well your Gardenias have done with a couple of great photographs . ( Now you grew these from seed and wrote a post about planting the seeds early in the spring ) so put a link in your post back to that post about planting the seeds.

2. You have written a post about a great curry recipe and how well it has turned out , now you may well have posted earlier about another curry recipe so put a link in your post to that recipe for your visitors .

3. Here is an actual example from this site the post was about Self Promotion Tools and towards the end I included a link to an earlier help guide for Google Reader.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Other Forms Of Blog Promotion To Gain Traffic

I have touched on using

Stats Tools to gain more traffic
Blog Rolls To Gain More Traffic
Latest Posts Widgets to gain more traffic

So I thought I would include some of the other ways to promote your blog,

I have listed them in no particular order but all are important and they are all free
just a question of spending time and effort

Gaining Traffic through involvement in Forums
1. The most used forms of self promotion is participation in forums which should include your blog in your signature.

This does NOT mean join forum and just keep dropping stupid comments with your signature to gain traffic ( that just makes you look like a spammer ) but being involved in the forum putting forth your ideas and thoughts on specific subjects so people may want to visit your blog for more of your ideas, thoughts and knowledge on the subject.

Gaining Traffic Through Helping Answer Questions In Yahoo Answers

Of all the dozens of Answers sites the best by far I think is Yahoo Answers , it is well managed and controlled to stop spammers gaining a foothold and there are a large number of knowledgeable people who are involved making it a great place to ask a question and a great place to help with answers , at the same time telling more people about your blog. Check it out well worth the time and effort, As an extra bonus because of how well organized and controlled it is also indexed by search engines ( great bonus for backlinks and traffic ).

Gaining Traffic Through Involvement in Google Groups

I have mixed feelings about Google Groups if only they were better controlled to stop the spammers the concept and the groups could provide a great resource for many more areas ( like an updated Forum ) but from my checks I have found they are either only open by invitation and of those fully open to many are just a mess , I have found a few groups that are well worth the effort to read but they are few and far between .

Involvement in Wiki's

I do not have much personal experience but know of many bloggers who are involved in Wiki's including the largest Wikipedia who gain significant traffic through their involvement and sharing knowledge .

Self Promotion Never Hurts

I am an avid believer that your success in blogging and adding a wider audience is based on your participation in the blogging community.

It is not just about you writing great posts about your own specific area of knowledge but taking the time and effort to read and comment on other bloggers posts.

So today I wanted to talk about first can be best

I am going to use my Food and Cooking latest posts widgets as an example you will find the widget below this post or if gone from here find it at The Power Guides Home Page.

I do not run a food and cooking blog but love food ( don't we all ) and my daughter is home from college informing me she does not like eating meat . Oh for the joys of youth and education and video's on some of the worst examples of how we treat our animals for food.

So On To The Show

The advantages to using something like our latest posts widget are that you may well be first to post a comment and if your comment seems well informed on the subject other visitors to that blog may well decide to visit your blog to find out your views , ideas or knowledge on that subject.

You do not have to use The Power Guides Widgets to achieve this you can create your own just from the blogs listed on your blog roll ( Find how to create your own latest posts widget ) Google Reader Help Guide

So if you have a blog on Auto, Artists, Bird Watching, Clothes and Fashion, Environment , Farming , Fishing, Food, Gardening, Horses and Teaching and education think about adding our Latest Posts Widget to your blog.

Not only are you providing a great little feature for your visitors but also will help you to keep up with other bloggers in your category.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why Blog Name and Post Title Important

What's In A Title

I was thinking about this today while I was working through some new blogs to add and it struck me The Blog Name, and The Post Title are your advertising slogan for that wonderful post you may have spent an hour writing.

I will take some examples of Good Blog Names and Post Titles to try and explain

The Blog Name : In The Garden
The Post Title : Yucca, Another Good Plant for Winter

Now let us suppose you had never heard of this blog before but found it in a feed or from Google Blog Search Latest Posts for gardening

You may well find the combination of Blog Name and Post Title enough for you to visit and read the blog

Now lets take another good example
The Blog Name : A Drawing A Day
The Post Title : Little Brown Teapot

Once again if that is the only thing you see it entices you in to read the blog and look at the drawing

( Just as aside but quite important , I suspect when this blogger went to start his blog A Drawing A Day was not available ) his blog is actually but when he was setting it up he called the blog "A Drawing A Day" not as good as if he had obtained but it still works

Now lets take a Bad Blog Names and Post Titles and see the difference

Blog Name Greenbow
The Post Title : Hope For Mush

Now this is an example of how just a minor difference in blog name and post title would make the post so much more appealing

Greenbow is actually the name from a blog registered as
It would have been better to have called the Blog Greenbow Gardens

Hope For Mush is about the writers Hellebores are taking a beating this winter.

Now the chances are that if somebody read that they would not understand what the post was about but with a couple of changes (1) to the blog name and the blog title it becomes so much more enticing
Blog Name : Greenbow Gardens Post Title : Hellebores taking beating this winter

Both of the gardening posts above were well written and informative but one would gain more visitors than the other just because of the Blog name and Post Title

I will point out one more thing that is also relevant and that is all Search Engines use title and blog name as part of the way to decide what the page / post is about so a well crafted name and title is well worth the extra time and thinking .

These are not set in stone but as readers are used increasingly to monitor Blogs the Blog Name and Title becomes more and more important.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Search Tools For Your Blog That Earn Money

Each Blogger Blog comes with the default search in the top left hand corner on the Blogger toolbar ( most people miss it and does not get used that much )

Graphic below
default blog search on all blogger blogs

The Best Alternative

If you have an Adsense account it is easy to create a Google search box to search your blog and even better you can earn money with it , ( Graphic Below ). I am a great believer in this as an option because it not only gives your visitors an easy search facility for your blog but you get paid if your visitors click on an add. I do have an educational site which has significant traffic and I was not willing to place adds on because the adsense adds that were displayed were of such poor quality and not suitable for target audience. But the little search box pays for the hosting on that site . Search can provide from 10% up to 40% additional income for a blog if well implemented.

I have included a graphic of where I would place it on this blog if I was to implement below as well.

Basic Adsense Search Box That earns You Money

where I would implement on this blog if I was to do so

The Third Alternative is Google's Custom Search Tool which not only allows you to search your blog but other sites or just pages you feel may help your visitors , you can also use your adsense account to earn money with this option , and if I implemented I would place in the same position as the other Google Search box , and example of a CSE created for this Blog and the power guides below and below that a graphic of some of the options you can choose when creating your custom search tool

Custom Search

Should You Pay Per Post ?

The Internet continues to evolve and one of the latest innovations is called Pay Per Post using middle man / website. ( Please go to to the end of the page about e-mails coming out of the blue offering to pay you to post about a product or service )

What Is Pay Per Post ?

Pay Per Post is when one Company / Blogger pays a Blogger to write a post about their products or services .

How Does It Work?

There are now a number of websites you can join as an advertiser or publisher and the website acts as a middle man and joins the two parties together.

How Much Can You Earn As A Publisher ?

The amount you are paid will depend on how popular your blog is ranging from $5.00 up to hundreds of dollars but most will be in the $5.00 - $20.00 range for a single post.

How Much Will It Cost as an Advertiser ?

If you are serious in using it as a form of promotion for a product or service and to create a buzz, allow for $5,000 to $10,000 dollars , if you are just trying to get a few decent links to improve search engine rankings allow from a couple of hundred to a thousand or so.

Advantages To Publishers / Bloggers
1. For some bloggers you can earn significantly more than you would on any other form of advertising.

2. If you pick your pay per posts very very carefully you can provide something useful to your readers , My own rule of thumb would be if you post a " Pay Per Post " and then feel you must post something of your own because the "pay per post" you published is off the mark from what your readers are expecting that post was not the best fit for your blog.

Disadvantages For Publishers / Bloggers
1. If you choose to publish too many "Pay per Posts" you will piss your readership off

2. The Search Engines are not happy about this because many / most advertisers are using this form of advertising to manipulate search engine results by gaining extra links and although Search Engine Algorithm's are evolving they still rely on links as a major part of ranking pages. Unlike the original way used by many webmasters to manipulate the Algorithm's which was just buying links around the net , this is much harder for the search engines to combat because it so similar to normal posting, I suspect they will find a way eventually to penalize both the sellers and buyers in this market and if you are caught and penalized you could be dropped from Search Engines. Even now it would not be that hard to find some pay per posts and penalize for example a blog that only talks about gardening suddenly writing posts about horse racing with links to a betting site would be easy to find and penalize.

Advantages for Advertisers

The advantages are many fold IF you can get the right bloggers to post about your product or service.

1. Great Backlinks from authority sites with the right target audience
2. Genuine leads who have been pre-sold on your product or service
3. Great way of creating a Buzz on the Internet to your target audience

Disadvantages For Advertisers
The current offerings are really designed for a very quick turnover of posts and from some I have seen your adds end up on sites where you would not want to be seen instead of the correct target audience which would provide you with genuine visitor prospects and a valuable good backlink. Plus I also suspect the Search Engines are building a database somewhere of bad neighborhoods who are well defined for multiple pay per posting which may well cause the link to be discounted fully. therefore wasting your money.

Unsolicited E-Mails offering bloggers to post about product or service

These are the ones as a blogger you must be very careful about and the only thing I can say is check-recheck and recheck again about what you are expected to write about and the company you would send your visitors to, and if you would not visit the site or tell friends to visit the site do not do it.

Many are for gambling ( Remember Online Gambling Is Illegal In The US ) or for pharma products. If you do get an email for a product or service you would be interested in and which is a good fit to write a post about then go for it apart from that run away as far and fast as you can.

Roundup of Pay Per Post

Pay per post can be a great boon to bloggers / publishers because it allows them to earn some extra cash ( If your readership is very static i.e. the same visitors most of the time Adsense / adds blindness can quickly kick in and earnings can be pretty crappy ) so provides a great alternative , but if you are going to get involved with pay per post then try to think of your readers first and then the money and if the "Pay Per Post" is a good fit for your readers then everybody wins if not don't do it.

Bought to you by The Power Guides Blog.

We will be publishing a possible idea for an alternative to "pay per post" in a later post to boost your income

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Using Photos & Images To Gain New Traffic

There is a rich vein of traffic to be gained for bloggers and from my checking around blogs over 70% do not tap this great traffic generation tool.

So Here are the steps to gaining that traffic

1 Insert Image or photo using standard Google add image tool
2. Now you have inserted the image find the the following in the code alt=""
it is shown in the graphic in yellow highlighter

3. Where you see the alt="" put your description between the "" like this
alt="this is where I have put my description of the photograph so the photo will be indexed by Search Engines because I have the SE''S by telling them what the picture is"

This is the first example with no description in alt tag

This shows the alt tag with a description

Alt tag now with words to describe how to gain traffic through adding description to an Image in Google and maybe be found in Google Image Search

In the case I have chosen which is just a couple of screen captures a description is not that important but suppose you had a great photograph of a humming bird in mid flight you had captured with your new cannon digital SLR camera why not put the description of "Humming bird in mid flight you had captured with my new cannon digital SLR camera" in the alt tag for that photo

There are a couple of gains the
1. First when somebody surfing with IE runs mouse over photo they see the description
2. Search Engines index images in a separate database for use in image search so say a searcher was searching for humming bird pictures with Digital SLR your photograph may well come up number 1 for that image search

This is one of our suggestions from The Power Guides Blog to help increase your traffic to your blog

If anybody is interested I use a tool called Snagit to capture the various images you will find in this blog , great little program that is cheap and easy to use

RelationShip of Blog Load TimeTo Visitor Numbers

It is so easy to get carried away adding widgets, videos and to many other graphics links to your blog , it makes it look like a fun place to visit with lots to look at BUT

Here are few things to remember

When you visit a blog or website graphics are often cached on your own computer so the next time you visit the page will load faster ( so you will see a different blog page load time than first time visitors )

Just because you have a fast internet connection not everybody does

The more posts you have on your blog home page the longer that page takes to load and if each one of those posts has a couple of Photos it all makes a difference

Widgets are a great thing to have but if the site where you are getting them from is not fast your page could take for ever to load

It is thought that Google and other Search Engines do take into account page load times when evaluating how high up in search engine results a page should be ( this is to make sure the user experience leaving via a Search Engine Result is as good as it can be ) NOT PROVEN but for example we do know it is used in Quality Score when measuring Add Quality on the Adwords Network

AND the most important reason is a large number of visitors will go to a site or blog and if it does not appear to load instantly they will leave.

One other little thing to note is that if you are running adsense and your visitor leaves your site / blog before it has all finished loading and this happens a lot It may well effect how much Google Pays per click ( Part of Smart pricing Algo I will talk about at a later date )

So how can you help

1. If you do put a large number of Photos in your blog posts then display less posts on the home page ( set up via Settings - Formating on Blogger )

2. Widgets a re a great tool for helping the stickiness of a blog but use them sparingly and check how long they take to load.

3. Use the hack I discussed in an earlier post to display less on your Posting pages

4. Try very hard to look at your blog as a visitor who has never visited would and be critical of your own work ( hard I know as most bloggers are so proud of their work and achievement )

Most of the things I discuss are very much my own opinion and gained from my personal experiences over 9 years working with others and for myself on Website Projects

Getting More Comments

For most bloggers one of the signs of success is how many visitors comment , it shows they took the time to read your post .

So can you increase the number of comments you receive easily an Emphatic YES with just a little thought

OK lets say you wrote a post about why the bees are dissapearing and did lots of research to create a well informed article explaining some of the reasons , and telling some of the the things we could do to help .

Now all you need to add at the end of the article is something like

Do you have any good ideas to help ? please leave a comment and share


Is this a big problem for all us gardeners and have you noticed less bees in your garden ?

If you notice all we are doing is encouraging a way for our readers to be more involved and add their views or knowledge on the post

Lets take a different post about something else as an example

You may or may not know there is an Avian Flu outbreak in Hong Kong which has caused schools to be shut down early , I personally have seen little on this in the American Media but check out the BBC for more informed commentary, anyway back to the point of the post

My own view is that US News would rather talk about who got booted from American Idol than provide world news we should be told about

So If I had written that article at the end of the post I would have added

Do you think our news covers other world events well enough to keep us fully informed ?

Once again asking for audience participation in our blog post

Hope this has provided some ideas to gain more reader participation in your blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Using Adwords - Content Network To Gain Visitors

The Power of Advertising

What I Have Found Works Over Years

OK check out some earlier posts about gaining free traffic first before you think about spending hard earned money to tell the world about your blog
Using You Blog Roll To Gain Traffic
What Can I Do When Nobody Is Visiting My Blog
How To Gain More Traffic To Your Blog

So you have checked all those but you are not gaining traffic quickly enough so you decide you want to spend some money to tell the world about your blog and gain more traffic.

I decided to post this today as most of my visitors this last couple of days have come from my Adwords campaign telling the world about my blog.

OK here are a few facts
I have decided I want visitors and am willing to spend a little bit of money to do so ( $20 a day for 5 days ) that is what I have decided is my budget

The Adwords option I have chosen is Adwords - Content and using banners on Content Networks targeting the keywords of Blogs - Bloggers - Blog , Also only Targeting The United States
I created 4 different banners 2 at 250 x 250 and two at 300 x 250

Some stats from the campaign
Banners shown 100,000 times so nearly 100,000 people saw my banner
Roughly 100 visitors from Google Content Network

Total Visitors for the day 175 so some came back
Of those 100 visitors 50 just landed on the page and left within 00 seconds

So for $20.00 I gained 50 visitors who were interested in what the blog was about
at a total cost of $20.00

You can gain visitors from the content network much cheaper down at 3 cents a visitor and for other sites and campaigns I have gained visitors from Google's own search network costing 5 cents .

So what will I achieve for my $100.00

Well my banners telling the world about this blog should be seen by 1/2 million people , I should get about 500 visitors of those 250 who think what I write about is interesting and hopefully who revisit the blog or tell their friends or decide to add it to their blog roll to fellow bloggers as a useful resource

I will create a post at a later date about other ways to promote your blog through advertising which I have used for other projects including
Adwords - Google Search
Stumble Upon
Press Releases
Other Advertising Options I have tried and failed

The one thing I can tell you I have learned over the years using Google Adwords is
The text of your ad or how well your banner is crafted can make a significant difference to the cost of obtaining a visitor and the page where you are sending your visitor to on your campaign must match what the add says , this gives you the best results ( In Google Terms you will often here this called the quality score of a campaign )

One other thing I would advise is if you are signing up for Adwords sign up for Analytics at the same time , I will create a much more detailed post at a later date about what a great product it is and FREE.

I have used Urchin which is what it is based on for five years and on some dedicated servers payed $2,000 for the software long before Google bought it and made it freely available

Continuing to slim and trim links On This Blog

I am continuing to tune this blog for SEO so thought I would share some of tuning I have done in the last couple of days

1. Changing Archive Widget Settings One of the problems with not displaying the full archive Hierarchy is that is not easy to see all the latest posts ( As you can see I chose flat list as my option with Months ) but if you are a daily poster and using the full full archive Hierarchy option by the end of the month that would be 30 posts and as I explained in an earlier post the more posts out from a page the more diluted the link becomes so I decided to use my own RSS feed through Google Reader to create the Latest Posts widgets which is loaded through javascript so does not count as 10 links ( I used Google reader rather than Feed Burner because of the delays that can occur with Feed Burner updates )this saved me 9 outgoing links from the page but still allowed my visitors to see my latest posts.

2. Removing Labels and Implementing more Traditional Site Map The second decision was to implement a post as a sitemap where links will reside under the correct section , this can be time consuming as it is accomplished by a manual process but most non blogging websites use a sitemap for visitors and Search Engines to find other links on the site. At the same time I decided to do away with Labels this is not a great decision as labels can be used as an SEO tool but I found to categorize posts correctly I sometimes needed to identify a single post with 3 different labels and feel I have better control this way it also means I could decide to split into two sitemaps at a later date as the numbers of posts rise ( 1 for just The Power Guides Updates and One for Blogging SEO, Writing, Tips and Ideas ) this tight control does come with a cost in time and resources .

I am also using the Blog Hack implemented in the last post as part of the scores on the doors

So Scores On The Doors Now after further blog tuning

Total Words On Home Page 652
Unique post words 357
Percentage of Unique Content on home page roughly 56%

Total Links Out From Home Page ( Tool Used Xenu ) 41

Total Words ON Post Page 574
Unique Posts words 357
Percentage of Unique Content on post page roughly 62%

Total Links Out From Post Page ( Tool Used Xenu ) 37

PS One further thing I will implement when time available is to exclude every widget from my sitemaps page so decreasing the other outgoing links from that page

There is an earlier post explaining how to use Google Reader under our Google Tools section on the Sitemap

Graphic for Archive Settings Below

blogger archive settings

The tuning on this blog does not Necessarily mean the blog will be found at the top of the search results but does make the blog act more like a traditional website rather than a CMS which is what it is.

A CMS By default can cause significant duplicate content through labels and archives and I will discuss at a later date on other ways to help with this very thorny issue that can cause the wrong pages to end up in supplemental hell and not being included in Search Results.

Useful Blogger Hack To Help With Unique Content

I can take no credit for this hack , I found it here I consider it a Good Blogger Optimization Tip

Let me explain on an earlier post I discussed the amount of unique content on a page and that the more unique content the better , but we all like to add things to help our visitors understand what our blog is about

Or in the case I am using you will find the two below listed on the homepage but not on individual posts, now it is only 92 words but it means that the percentage of Unique Content on Post pages is higher than before , in the case of most posts the amount of unique content on a post page is nearly 10% more ( read earlier posts that explain why this is good. )

Blogs Deletetion
All blogs not updated in the last 30 days are deleted from Our Guides

About The Power Guides
The Power Guides was created to help bloggers with specific interests find other like minded bloggers and to check out the latest posts from their community This Blog was created to update changes on The Power Guides and to help fellow bloggers by passing on some of the information I have learned since starting Blogging , Especially with regard to gaining traffic.

Check These Two Pages to see the difference

Power Guides Home

Power Guides Ordinary Post Page

This is a hack that requires you to backup your template and edit the HTML it can be daunting but if you take it slowly can be very rewarding both in look and feel of your blog but also in better Tuning for your blog for SEO.

There is also a hack on the same blog for only showing a small snippet instead of the full post on the home page and I will discuss that at a later date

Steve let me know how you get on ( I spent about 15 minutes ) doing this hack you could do it much quicker but if yoy feel better do it slowly

PS One piece of advice if you have multiple widgets you wish to stop display on post pages do one at a time.

How Do Search Engines Rank Pages In The Results

The number and complexity of differing criteria for measuring a pages right to be listed on the first page include

  1. The content on the page including the Words being searched for .

  2. Is the content Unique ( Does Search Engine have the exact same paragraphs in store already ) from your site or did somebody else publish it first

  3. Semantics difficult to explain but if your page was about cars the search engine might expect to find words like driving or engine within the content

  4. The Title, Meta Description, Words in Bold / Strong and Headings

  5. Age Of Domain

  6. The Quality of the sites that link to you ( Often Called Authority or Trusted Sites )

  7. The Quality of the sites that the page links out to for example a page about green cars suddenly has links out to little blue pills would quickly be picked up as BAD but a link to Ford Motor Company would be considered a good thing and may even gain you additional ranking points

  8. Other Links pointing to that page ( your own and from other web
    sites )

  9. The text used in the links pointing to the page for example a link saying click here may well have a lower value than a link that says blue cars if the search query was blue cars ( This was the Loophole that SEO'S and SEM's used for a long while ) and Google were forced to combat , it is also the way Google Bombs were implemented against well known people in the public eye

  10. The Page Rank of your Site / Page ** What many call the little green bar ( This was much more important 2 years ago but is decreasing in importance all the time ) partly due to Google using more manual checking and also because it was very heavy manipulated by SEO'S through buying links and every other trick in the book and many not in books

  11. Over Optimization Filter

  12. How sticky the site is ( I.E. how long do visitors stay )

  13. Suspected Google may even be collecting further information like did the visitor to Favorites

  14. Google and the other Search Engines also employ a significant number of quality control staff ( possibly as many as 10,000 ) to weed out sites they believe should not be included

  15. It is also thought to depend on how competitive the search term is ( Believed to be derived from PPC prices but pure subjecture ) Search Engines may put in additional layers of checking for example they may well place a much higher on reliance on age of site / page and age of the links into that page i.e. 1,000 links in that were all just 1 month old could be fully discounted

  16. I will include one further thing of interest all of the search engines do ban websites / Domains / Blogs and even if the site is now squeeky clean and perfectly optimized for a search term your out of luck ( You can apply to all search engines for re inclusion )

  17. As you can tell there are so many things but one of the most important IS AGE OF BLOG / DOMAIN / PAGE and Google will often give new sites a honeymoon period to help them gain natural links and visitors and after the honeymoon which can last from 2 days to 3 months the new site will struggle against older more established sites which is why if you do not get traffic do not give up , depending on how competitive the sector you are trying to enter will depend on how long before you gain free traffic

One further note when you do first start to gain free traffic from Search Engines it will be on the longer tail keywords for example you may hope to be found for Blue Cars but if your page talks about Fords or a Blue Honda Prelude Car you mind find visitors coming through for Blue Honda Prelude Car , as your page gets older and gains more links providing all other things are equal you will slowly rise for your chosen keyword of "Blue Cars" from page 75 or 750'th in the results upwards closer to that magical 1st 10 results.

These are only a small subset of the algo that is used to rank pages and the priority of any one of those and many more can be changed at any time and often are . Google .

It should also be noted that Google in particular was pretty pi???? when they realized how easily the SEO'S were manipulating their results and have slapped a number of sites by taking away the visible Page Rank from sites known to be buying and selling links in order to manipulate results , as yet it looks like all they have done is taken away the green that used to be on those sites without penalizing them in the rankings ( but I also suspect that if they feel they are losing the battle they may well take their rankings as well ) only time will tell .

Some Further Suggested Reading

How Many Words In Post Compared With Total On Page

Links In Links Out What Is Good or Bad ?

From those two posts you realize that depending on the percentage of unique content from that post and the number of links out from the page will define if Google Indexes and places into it's d-base to be found. ( there are many other issues on where it is found in the Search Results 1st or 950th Covered slightly in these two posts

Tuning Your Blog For Search results

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How Many Words Ideal In A Post

How Long Should Your Posts Be?

It depends but one very important factor is how the search engines will see your post ( and if seen as unique content ) and the big problem with most blogging platforms is the amount of other stuff on the page which all counts as words when the search engine goes to index your page.

It is thought most Search Engines are looking for between 30% and 60% of unique content on a page .

The graphic below shows that the total number of words on the page we used for testing Why Bother Posting ? for that post the search engine's words that could be read was 620 words of which 320 were for that specific post which works out at about just over 50% unique content for that post, so should be acceptable for the search engines to consider the page to be worthy to be fully indexed. Of course a further benefit is that in that post there are enough words for the search engine to find specific unique phrases to help with your hard work to be found.

The Yellow highlighted content is the same on every page ( because of the way Blogging Platforms Work )
The Pink Highlighted content is your unique writing for that post
The Grey highlighted content is created via Javascript so the search engine does not understand and therefore does not count the words

Just as a check I checked how many words this post is and it is close 310 unique words when you include the words included in the alt tag in the graphic which works out at about 50% so closer to the threshold of what is acceptable of unique words required to be fully indexed by the Search Engines and not penalized for duplicate content but should still be OK

Page showing Content with blogger duplicated content / words shown in yellow highlighting and original content for that post shown in pink highlighting

Now I realize that this leaves a very integral part of blogging out in the cold , adding graphics and Photos to your blogs and how that information is indexed and counted by Search Engines . I will attempt to discuss in a later post, and we have changed the layout to include 10 latest blog posts which are delivered via javascript so should not be counted as words

Page From A Blogger Post Showing what the search engine sees when it tries to index your post and percentage of Unique Content

Why Bother Posting?

The biggest problem for new blogs is getting discouraged because no one is visiting or leaving comments .

So here are a few things to think about forget about who visits, use your blog as a form of relaxation and even if you are creating an information guide ( do not be discouraged ) as they say Rome wasn't built in a day.

I know it can be discouraging to take the time and effort to write with no one reading and sometimes it can take up to 12 months to build that readership , BUT and here is the but the more often you write the better the Search Engines think about your blog and slowly over time as a few people trickle in they will tell more and slowly your readership will increase.

During this time it also allows you to hone your writing skills and find your own style , each of us does have our own writing style .

If you are doing some of the things I talked about in earlier posts
Gaining Traffic Through Use Of Your Blog Roll --- Why Is Nobody Visiting My Blog

It will help to build your traffic

Do not be disheartened this blog has been online for two months and I think I receive only 20 - 30 visitors per day , I hope what I write is helpful to other bloggers . I have had nearly 8 years experience working on the internet and supplying SEO services to others so I do have a little knowledge .

It would be great if 100's of visitors came each day and I received dozens of comments and bloggers told others to pop over and check out the information, but the reality is only 3 people take the feed , I do not know of any bloggers who have given me links and I do not get many comments.

so if I can battle through to give it a year to see what happens so can you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Links In or Out Whats Good or Bad

The last post was all about tuning your blog by managing the amount of outgoing links ( Including Blog Rolls ) now lets look at this in more depth why all links are not equal both in and out

What are considered good links out by Search Engines

Well Search Engines look for links out to authority sites on a similar subject I will give examples after all the rabbiting I will do

What are considered good links in by Search Engines

Well it should be no surprise links in are measured on the same basis ( That was easy and now you want to know what the hell is an Authority Site )

The Search Engines consider a number of factors when defining an authority site

  1. Depending on what the blog is mainly about will depend what it is considered an authority on ( this is why specialist subject blogs do better ) Plus the Blog Title will also affect what the search engine thinks the blog is about
  2. Where do the links come from for that Site / Blog
  3. How old is the Site / Blog
  4. Is the site about similar stuff ( it does not have to be about exactly the same thing for example a link from a farm that happens to have horses is still OK and does not count against you
  5. Do lots of visitors like the site and add to favorites
  6. Is the blog updated frequently with good content

Well that was easy ( now you know what you should include on your blog roll )

PS A way one link from an authority i.e. them to you is better than a link iether way but if you do not link to them they may drop your link which could hurt you in two ways

1 Visitors to their blog / site will not find out about yours
2 You will no longer have an authority link to your site / blog

What are considered BAD LINKS OUT or not as highly rated by Search Engines

It is easier to give examples stating the worst kind first

OK a link from a gardening blog to a gambling blog would be very very bad or a link from a
Cooking blog to a mobile phone blog would not be considered that great , as you move closer to what your blog is about the better it is

Now lets look at links in to your blog / site

With this you just need to think logically a forum talking about horses with your blog mentioned in the post would be great and considered good but a forum talking about cars with a link to your blog would not seem logical .

Now many of the heavy hitting SEO webmasters will buy links on anywhere mainly dependent on price which is why Search Engines now look at the link but also where it came from and could it be related.

A new type of link buying has taken off called pay per post with the same cause and effect i.e does the link go a site in anyway related to where it was posted and the same the other way .

Most smart webmasters have now worked out that if you are buying links the site where you are buying from should be related to the subject matter the link or PayPerPost is about.

Even then if the site is mostly doing PayPerPost or Payed Links over quite a short period of time the Search Engines do spot the footprint and in some cases the links out are discounted and the site giving the links loses it's authority status

Hope this has helped can be a difficult concept to explain and grasp the first time of reading


Tuning Your Blog For SEO

I have a good friend who is thinking about starting a new blog that she wants to use as an informational blog and this is the reason I decided to write this post.

Tuning Your Blog To help With Search Engine Ranking

Search Engines and the way they decide on what to put at the top of the results can only be called a mystery black box and Nobody Knows Exactly All The Criteria Search Engines use for ranking A Page but we can at least guess about a few and this post is just one of those possible criteria.

All search engines ( SE ) measure the number of links coming into each page/ domain / Blog and each SE uses that information together with many other factors in some way to rank where you are listed in Search Engine Results .

Now that sounds quite easy the more blogs and websites you can get to link to you the better off you are BUT and this is a big BUT the other side of the equation is how many links you have going out from each page .

Lets look at this in a little detail I am going to take my wifes blog which she does just for fun because it is her hobby.

The Blog In Question is
Midwest Horse it is her blog where she talks about all things horsey and she has a popular group of readers who comment often on her blog anywhere between 5 and 25 comments for each post , I consider that a great achievement and a testimony to her writing style.

But and here is the but she very rarely gains visitors from Search Engines because apart from the name of her blog she ranks for nothing .

To my wife her blog is a great success she has made great friends with other Horse Bloggers and her blog gives her plenty of pleasure but I want to explain why even though her blog is popular with those that have found it she does not get Search Engine traffic .

I used a free tool called Xenu to Analise how many links she had going out from her home page and she has 227 links out from her home page of those 120 were to external websites and the rest were to internal pages or links from her blog. Because of the way blogs are designed that means she has 200 + links out from every page of her blog.

Now as I said earlier Search Engines measure how many links in to a page / site / blog and they also take into account how many links out so in my wifes case although her blog is popular with those who have found it Search Engines hate it and do not rate it for anything in their Search Results.

So what can you do to give your self a chance of being found in Search Engine results better.


I played with this blog last night and this morning to see what could be achieved by tuning a blog and having less links out and ran Xenu over this blog and ended up with 42 links from home page of those 1/2 are to external links most to blogger itself and one 1 out to sitemeter which I set up to show how to use visitor traffic information to learn about visitors and to gain more traffic.

This Blog had 180 links out last night before I tuned it

So What Did I do on this blog to make it More Search Engine Friendly

1. Created Labels ( not to many ) so information was easy to find for specific type
2. Only Posted 1 Post on the home page ( settings can be set in Blogger )
3. Only included 5 popular posts and used my Labels as My Form of easy navigation for visitors
4. Made my archive information in to a drop down menu
5. Removed links to each public Google map and sent visitors to my Google Map Profile

Now I know I do not have a Blog Roll on here so if you have a blog roll it will increase your links out but there are ways to have a blog roll and still keep your links out to an acceptable level which I will try to explain in a later post

If you have any questions drop them in the comments and if you would like me to run Xenu drop me a comment with your blog details


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Using Blog Roll and Stats Widgets For More Traffic

I touched on going out to other blogs and leaving comments in an earlier post, hopefully they will come back to visit you

But this time I thought I would include an additional piece of information , when you post comments it does not matter where you started from as your url / or blogger profile will provide a way to find out about you .

Now lets look at using your Blog Roll to gain traffic .

The important thing here is your blog roll can not be in an Iframe provided by another site but we will assume it is a bulk standard blog roll you have built up of blogs you like to visit ( this also works with a blog roll in Javascript ).

Each time you use your blog roll to visit another blog the information of who and where you have come from is available for any software / widgets that blog uses to monitor visitor stats. For the purpose of this I have just added site meter to this blog so you can check for yourself .

Now if you came from a link on your blog to The Power Guides Blog ( Must admit highly unlikely ) most likely you will see the Power Guides as your referrer you would see referrer as your blog now so can the person that runs that blog and other visitors if they are nosy about where the blogs traffic has come from . Some traffic monitoring widgets even display the information to all of the last 10 visitors who, where they came from etc. Now it may be that the person that runs the blog keeps seeing your site and decides to add your blog to their blog roll or they just pop out to check on blogs who have links to them , also visitors often will pop out to visit other sites because they might find them interesting.

It is also worth having a meter yourself to check who is visiting your blog often only one in 50 visitors might make a comment so it interesting to learn who else is visiting

If you want to have a play put a link on your blog roll to The Power Guides Blog you can take it off after you have seen how it works.

Or the next time you go out to blog with sitemeter ( from your blog roll )or one of the many other widgets available to monitor stats take the time to investigate.

There are a good 10 blog traffic monitor widgets out there I just chose sitemeter because quick and easy to use and only little tiny graphic

This can be a very important use of your blogroll even if you do not wish to comment on each post

hope it is fairly simple to understand if not drop me a comment


Farming Bloggers updated in the last few days

Sometimes when you start research it seems impossible that you will find new suitable blogs to include , Our Farming Bloggers guide was a good example .

I had lots of RSS feeds for agriculture information from Government departments including state and federal but the actual number farming blogs was very weak , so I spent 2 days looking and searching because I knew there must be more out there and there was .

Over 2 days I managed to find an additional 70 farming blogs from every type of farming form the big thousands of acre beef ranches through to the small local homesteader trying to live off the earth.

It is even harder to do the research sometimes as I can spend 1/2 hr just reading some of the posts on a new blog helping me understand both how difficult it must be farming and also how rewarding especially at this time of the year with lambing and calving

Hope you like the new improved farming guide

I also created a Google Map showing farming blogs from around the world


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tips For Ideas On What To Write About

Ideas and using to Create Blog Posts To Post at Later Date

If you sit down with a blank sheet of Paper ( Or In our Case ) To Write A New Post it is often difficult to think of anything to write about so here are a few tips

Well if you have been a good blogger as we talked about in earlier posts when your surfing around I am sure you must see posts that remind you of some thing from your experience lets take a few examples

You See a post about a
cooking disaster on a cooking blog and remember your own disaster
A great horse ride on a local trail and remember a trail riding experience of your own
A Fish that got away every fisherman has those stories
Planting what you thought was one type of flower and when it came up was completely different

These are just a few examples , what you need to do is create a post about whatever even if you do nothing but create the title and save to write full post later, this over a period of time gives you lots of ideas to write your story or memory of that event.

My own most common way of ideas for creating new posts is when I am writing a post about one thing which reminds me about something else , So I always just create new post and save ready for later date.

Another way is when somebody makes a comment about an existing post which might ring bells that you could write a post about that subject

One footnote to this with blogger remember when you do write the post to go to post options and change it to todays time and date so it appears at the top of your posts

Hope the above helps
Writers block often goes away if you have the title already written and all you need to do is fill in the details

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sorry Problem Hostway Shared Hosting

Sorry The Power Guides Down Time the Shared Hosting with Hostway seems to be up and down today more down than up and this seems to have been getting worse over the last few days , may well need to look for alternative hosting if no suitable answer comes back from Hostway ( ticket placed 8:00 ) and no update yet

sorry for about The Power Guides Down , you can still get through to the maps on Google Maps

This will take you through to the fishing guide public map

and if you have the Latest post widgets displayed they will still display OK

Generic Blog vs Specific Blog

This is a hard subject but it depends on if you are blogging to keep a journal of your family and life or if you want a large number of people to visit your blog and maybe even make a little money through Adsense or something similar

I am a firm believer in running one blog where you can post anything and everything about life , family, and the world we live in , but the disadvantage to this is how many people will be interested in all your views or seeing family photos .

The reason I am writing this post today is I was doing some research for adding additional blogs in our gardening guide and found over 100 blog posts I found interesting but when I researched further I found over 70 of the blogs where these great gardening tips and information included posts about anything and everything ranging from pictures of the kids, cooking tips, keeping chickens, embroidery and about current events.

Now these do not make the blog uninteresting far from it but very difficult to categorize ( Our Policy at The Power Guides is blog must contain 65% + content related to the guide it is included in ) so 70 blogs could not be included in gardening.

This does not make these blogs less readable and in some cases more readable but when our visitors for example are looking for blogs related to gardening the blog must be gardening focussed.

So here is my own advice continue to post to your ( Contain Anything about Anything Blog ) but if you have an interest in gardening create a blog dedicated to Gardening.

You do not have to post everyday but maybe once or twice a week with a roundup of what you did or did not do in your garden with why, where and when ( I suggest more posts but that is one option ).

This will allow you to submit to gardening blog directories , exchange links with other garden blogs and get like minded people to visit and comment on your blog

As more and more blogs are created it will become more and more difficult for your blog to be found unless you focus on a specific area


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blog Etiquette and Rules Of Engagement

Applying good manners and protecting yourself while blogging which for the sake of this post I have called Blog Etiquette and Rules Of Engagement .

1. When posting remember that your words may well be read by anybody and everybody and if you say things you may regret later they will still be available even if you delete them ( there are archiving tools which keep old copies of your page ) if your not sure post something and edit and change , and then look at Google's cache of the page often it is the original version

2. Over a period of time be careful how much information you put up about yourself for example
You may say in one post you live in a converted barn on 2 acres and in another post talk about local area high school Elkhorn , in a different post you may talk about getting a new Dodge Truck .

Now if we put the information from those 3 posts together
Elkhorn, Converted Barn, Dodge Truck the chances are you could be found quite easily .

I know of somebody who was in the process of bankruptcy and when they arrived in court the lawyer had traced a number of posts she had placed on her blog about things she had bought and owned and used it in court against her because she had not declared them as assets on her paperwork.

Also remember that we all do things as kids in School or College we think are funny or cool at the time as we get older we realize how dumbarse we were and they could affect a professional career at a later date, plus what we thought was pretty cool could provide major embarrassment as we get older.

3. Always use a spell checker it looks so much more professional and most blogging platforms do have spell checks built in.

4. Try to make the post easy to read and understand even if you have to go back and edit and change it.

5. If somebody takes the time to comment on your post , please post a reply to their comment and make them feel you appreciate the time they took to place a comment.

6. Also take the time to go out to their blog if they have one and make a comment on one of their posts.

7. When going out to a blog to leave a comment take the time to go back to see if the blogger has replied to your comment

8. Comments from spammers or those just posting comments on your blog to gain traffic.
This is difficult and left up to each bloggers personal discretion but my advice is if comments have links in them just delete and do not post or you will encourage others, but if the link provides a great resource related to that post and will be good for other readers of your blog allow it.

9. Blocking comment spammers . I always turn on Captcha if you have it available turn it on ( stops or least slows down automatic comment spamming ) . My own personal view is to turn on comment moderation so post only appears after you have approved but up to personal view.

10. Never post your email address without some protection against email harvesters , I use a form run by an outside company for contacting me for exactly that reason , but another option is to have your email address as a graphic , there are a number of other options javascript etc. etc.

I have decided to leave the question of blog roll links until a later post as there are very specific ways you should and should not try to get other blogs to link to you and what makes your decision to link to another blog

Written My Post Why Is Nobody Visiting

This is a follow on from my last post

You Wrote A Post About your Border Collie

So you wrote this great post about your Border Collie how Intelligent, Cute, Loving and just the best dog in the world and you have included some cute picture ( What makes you think I love Border Collies Myself and have one ).

So now what do we just sit and wait for somebody to visit us ( not going to happen ) but you can check your blog post is available and this is how usually check in the 1/2 hr to 2 hours range then your blog should be found

Blog Search

I will take my last post as an example in my last post yesterday I wrote these words "own piece of the internet" as part of the article .

1 I went To blog search and put those words in

I came up with those words as number 1 in most relevant but because there were thousands of posts using those words since I posted on the forth page when sorted by date

own piece of the internet ( now you may come up automatically ) default on blog search is
Sorted by relevance but if you don't don't panic try the sort by clicking The Sorted by date

Your best chance of finding your post might be to use "Border Collie Spot" Spot is my border collies name if you used your border collies name in your post then you would use Border Collie XXX

if you posted in the last couple of hours you should see your post about your wonderful border collie in sorted by date.


So now how do we get people to visit
try this
put Border Collie in Most Relevant

even if yours does not come up it may give you a starting point to find other bloggers who talk about their Border Collie's pop out to blogs who come up and comment on their Border Collie posts.

Now when you created your blogger profile maybe you included Border Collies in your interests so now you should be able to find other bloggers who are interested in Border Collies go out to their blogs and make a comment. ( When I checked there were 17 other bloggers who included Border Collies in their interests , Now maybe you put dogs in your interests you will find over 20,000 other blogs who have included dogs as an interest pop out to a few of those and make comments if you find their posts interesting

PS to do this check my profile and try clicking on my interests " Border Collies or Dogs

The more blogs you go to the more bloggers will pop back to your site to make comments and thats the easiest and quickest way to gain visitors.

This is a quick and easy way to have people visit your blog , do not try to force them to visit just make a comment on how great their dog is and you love the photos and something along the lines my puppies will never stay still for photos, I can not tell you what to comment just make your comment interesting and they may want to read some of your posts.

I will try to cover some other area's of telling the world about your blog in my next post


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So You Got a Blog What The h??? Do You Do Now

Hmm well now comes the decisions

Who Is The blog for ?

1 Do You want to keep it as a personal journal similar to old fashioned hand writen diary or journal

If so just choose in settings permission just blog author

2 Do you just want family or close friends

If so Just choose in settings permission only those I invite

By default Blogger defaults to everyone

The choices above are designed for journal self of family you can also invite friends or family to participate in creating the blog via permissions add authors.

What is the blog to be about ?

Most blogs are written about life including the trials and tribulations of the authors life or comments on what is going on in their world and in the wider world .

Others are written which allow the blogger to express their disgust or praise of some of the news and current events and just provide a means to vent frustrations

Yet other blogs are used as a means of sharing knowledge or common interests or asking for advice on a specific subject ( my wifes is a blog about her horses and has allowed her to meet, converse and publish things about her horses including her love for them. These also include many other hobbies / passions ranging from art to yachting .

The great thing is with blogger for example is you could start with a personal blog about your life and realize what you really want to write about is your passion for gardening and create another blog just about your garden.

So now you have your blog what the h??? do you write now .?

Don't be daunted just write what comes to mind it could be about the idiot who cut you up in the traffic today and what you would do to make drivers better or it could be about how the kids played you up today or the cat looked so good laying there you took a photo and decided to share it with the world .

Nobody will judge you it is your own little piece of the internet you may want to talk about planting your new bulbs and why you chose those bulbs or you could just say "today was a crap day I hope tomorrow is better" and why it was such a crap day.

All you need to remember is this is your own piece of the internet and you can express your views and feelings.

Now a couple of warnings , do not make to much information about yourself public in things like your profile so maybe use a different name , do not give out your address , you could put a state and country or even a city if it is a big city, but my advice is always err on the side of caution there are some weird people out there, plus if you talk about your job and what a twit your boss or a fellow worker is try not to identify them or your self . Also be carefull about what you say about others THINGS COME ROUND THAT GO ROUND and none of us are perfect.