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June 22, 2008

Map Out Your Blog’s Long Term Growth Plan

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Back when I was still managing a blog network I sat down with a piece of paper and mapped out my strategic growth plan. I failed miserably. Largely because I set my goals way to high. But looking at a more realistic approach. I’m going to show the readers here at The Blog Herald what it takes to grow a blog simply and easily.

1. Build Flagship Content
Chris Garrett has long been the king of content online. Check out his great free ebook by subscribing to his blog online. More from Chris at Performancing.

2. Build Flagship Links
Building a core group of links early on in a blogs history is essential to long term success. Authority links will only increase in strength with age and will determine a blogs success in the long run.

3. Build A Flagship Network
Build a strong network of followers is also key. Use social media tools like Twitter,Friendfeed,Facebook and other networks to market your blog, not spam and create communities around your blog. Don’t be afraid that the conversation is going on behind the scenes and not on your blog.

In conclusion,
Track your growth using tools like PMetrics,Google Analytics, and Google Trends, and Alexa and watch your earnings grow by slowly and persistently following steps 1 through 3. It’s as simple as that.

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June 17, 2008

What is Your Ideal Dream Blog Job?

Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossenThere are now quite a few blog job sites helping connect bloggers with jobs involving blogging. Here are some blog job titles I uncovered recently.

  • Advertising Expert Blogger
  • Alternative Health Blogger
  • Car and Phone Tech Blogger
  • Celebrity Gossip Blogger
  • Cell Phone Blogger
  • Children Issues Blogger
  • Cosmetics Blogger
  • Entertainment Industry Blogger
  • Fashion Blogger
  • Football blogger
  • Jewelry Blogger
  • Motor Trends Blogger
  • Musicians Blogger
  • Online Games Blogger
  • PETA blogger (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
  • Political Blogger
  • Real Estate Blogger
  • Science Blogger
  • Software Blogger
  • Sports Blogger
  • Sports Car Blogger
  • Travel Blogger
  • Women’s Health Blogger
  • Women’s Issues Blogger
  • Work from Home Blogger

Looking at this list, I thought about what my dream blog job would be, if I weren’t already blogging it. What would yours be?

For the most part, most of these jobs are dream jobs as they allow you to work from home in your pajamas. You don’t have to go to the office. You don’t have to wear a suit. You control your own schedule, as long as you can meet deadlines. And you get paid, not much, but something. Doesn’t get much better than that, right?

Over the next week or so, I’ll be exploring the world of blogging jobs, but I’d like to know what your dream blogging job would be if you could choose any blog job. Are you already in that perfect blogging job? Tell us about it.

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June 9, 2008

Chyrp, an alternative blogging engine

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I took Chyrp for a test drive recently. It’s a great little blogging engine for personal sites. It’s simple and runs on any out of the box LAMP server. Has some great themes and reminds me a lot of a stand alone Tumblr. Worth checking out for the tech savvy personal blogger or blog hobbyist looking for something other than MovableType or WordPress.

Chyrp is a blogging engine designed to be very lightweight while retaining functionality. It is driven by PHP and MySQL (with some AJAX thrown in), and has a pimpin’ theme and module engine, so you can personalize it however you want.

Other alternative blogging engines I test drove recently include:
Expression Engine
B2Evolution
Mephisto

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April 23, 2008

Start A Blog Consulting Business Today

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There are a lot of Blog Consulting firms out there. I’ve worked with a few of them on sub contracting projects. I’ve started a blog consulting firm, and helped strategically plot another. There’s bound to be some new firms pop up after Six Apart picked up a MovableType consulting firm for what can only be assumed a six figure plus acquisition.

There are a lot of different types of blog consulting firms. There are those who focus on design, and implementation, those that focus on social media, and those that focus on training and implementation. Other focus on developing content for blogs, or hiring bloggers. Here’s 3 Quick Tips to get started in blog consulting.
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April 15, 2008

Blogging and Website Acquisitions

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I’ve been apart of a number of acquisitions, scouting for acquisitions, and I’ve learned a lot by being involved in this process. Recently a company came knocking looking to acquire a division of my company. In the end the acquisition failed because of their obsession with Google Rankings, and a lack of understanding in how the web operates. But I did manage to learn a lot because of this and their insights into their niche has helped propel my drive to better improve our operation and how we use the social web including blogging.

Lesson I’ve learned:
Blogging has a price point.
When in a market in which I’m trying to grow, blogging should maximize leads and drive relevant traffic to product sales. If blogging isn’t converting customers and evangelists then blogging doesn’t merit a continual investment.

The price of a blog or website is a small part of the deal

Tip for acquirers: when a startup turns you down, consider raising your offer, because there’s a good chance the outrageous price they want will later seem a bargain.

~ Paul Graham

A good blogger is worth your entire enterprise
A strong social networked blogger is worth far more than a blog, a blogger is worth its weight in gold. Your business should start a blog, and hire a strong blogger.

Understanding SEO Is A Neccesity For A Site Acquirer
When a larger company wanted to acquire us their lack of understanding in SEO is what made the sale fall through. If you are going to acquire a website you need to involve a webmaster with at least basic knowledge of SEO in order for a successful sale.

Time is valuable. Don’t Waste It.
After spending around a month on the failed acquisition I learned something that could be applied to many organizations in the midst of acquisitions, or being acquired. Don’t waste time. If you can’t pull the trigger or quickly agree to a price, just walk away. Time is far more valuable than the time wasted on an acquisition that may not drastically change your organization. If you are unable to see how an acquisition is going to drastically change your organization than don’t acquire or allow yourself to be tempted by an a buyout.

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April 13, 2008

Case Study: Utilizing Pages For WordPress

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For a successful website, and in particular a resource section inside a blog I utilize Child Pages. Proper linear organization makes for a better blog organization and an easier to locate resource library for search engines to index and people to navigate.

Client A: Ridelust
Assignment: Create A Resource Laden Section on Corvettes, and other sports cars.

Chevrolet Corvette 2005 C6 LS2 Convertible Victory Red

The First thing I did was create a Hub Page, the parent page so to speak. You can find it here http://www.ridelust.com/corvettes/. From there we created ‘child pages’ under the parent. Examples of that would be our Corvette History page, and our Corvette Girl Pages.

You can utilize this to create multiple resource laden sections for your website that are organized in a way that search engines and users can find useful content. For a more indepth coders insight into child pages check out Technosailor for the info.

If you like this article please vote it up on Reddit.

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April 10, 2008

The Blog Business Toolshed

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This article is not for experts. This article is meant to help beginners dive headfirst into the world of building a blog business. Here are the tools you need to build a strong blog business from the ground up. It’s fairly expansive and will help you grasp all the tools needed to understand how to get a blog business off the ground. Other things I didn’t really touch on are actually setting up your blog,nailing your permalink structure, and installing WordPress which is my preferred tool of choice. This is just a basic rundown of tools to get you going in the world of blogging.

The Building Blocks
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April 6, 2008

Is there a deliberate effort to hack a large number of blogs for SEO and cash?

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Tony Hung, former editor here at The Blog Herald, believes that there is. He writes:

Some enterprising hackers have put together a scheme whereby they hack a number of blogs, so that they can create their own network pages and links back to a few select blogs, to pages that are not easily visible. It takes advantage of the organic and real page rank of all of the sites in question, and probably makes some bucks for the hacker involved.

Tony has been able to use the “river of news” feature on memetracking site Tailrank to find a number of blogs that appear to have been hacked in this method.

I have seen something similar occur on my company’s website over at Bryghtpath LLC. We were contacted last month by Google informing us that links to spyware/malware were detected on our company blog – and then we were being delisted until we had notified them that it had been removed. We’d been hacked.

I’m sure this news will evolve throughout the day – I suggest that you ensure that your sites are clean and fully patched with the latest versions of your blogging software of choice.

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February 19, 2008

The Art of the Artist Web Design Collaboration

Web design or re-design with artists, musicians, painters, poets, or crafters can be challenging. They usually have their “vision” which may or may not be technically possible. From the start, I tell the artist that their website or blog is their stage, totally under their control. From design to attention-getting content. It’s their performance hall. An outlet for their creative expression. Do with it what you will – however, a few guidelines along the way will make it a more effective performance, no different than learning how to project and control your voice, develop stage presence, and learn the techniques of connecting with their audience.

Treat the experience as an artist collaboration. Any hint of commercialism or “how others do it” that might violate their “creativity” so monetization and SEO must be handled delicately. They usually think of themselves as unique trend setters, which works well in web design, but can break it, too.

Once they understand their website is a stage, they jump on board with enthusiasm and great ideas for incorporating their talents toward this new audience.
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January 25, 2008

Introduction to the world of Blog Consulting

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A lot of people ask me about my history of flipping websites one of the amazing things about ‘flipping websites’ is that it’s given me amazing experience into building a successful blog, although a lot has changed in the last year or two as far as what it takes to really take things to the next level. I’m going to take you through the process of development to execution on a blog consulting gig since I’m in the middle of starting a new client gig.

The first step I take is to work with the client to find the right web hosting company. In this case the client had multiple accounts and so this was easy. They went with Mediatemple. There are lots of others out there that I can recommend including my personal favorites ASmallOrange
and ModWest.

I then help the client select an amazing domain name. I generally use Instant Domain Search a great service for simple and elegant branding. You might also check out Deleted Domains for some interesting names that have expired that still have back links.

I then install the only blogging software I take into a battle. WordPress, even though I have a love hate relationship with it at times.

Next I setup a Social Media and Blogging Toolkit, this entails setting up accounts at places like Twitter,Digg,Reddit,Tumblr, and the like to help not only engage the social community at large, but to also build strong relevant back links. Being apart of the community conversation is very important IMO.

Next I setup a Gmail account for this project. myshinydo[email protected] usually does the trick. I then create a set of feeds to listen to in Google Reader. This really helps me develop a feel for the niche I’m consulting in. I”m a blogger, not an expert in every possible field that a client brings to my attention.

Once I get this out of the way. I can move into the heavy lifting on the site. Stay tuned next week for my next installment on Blog Consulting.

Occassionally I work with the guys at Performancing on projects so if you are interested in Authority Building,Blog Management, or Social Media Optimization head on over and check out Performancing.

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