Writing A Guest Blog Post Checklist

Before putting together any guest post, make sure to review this checklist. It will ensure you cover all your bases when providing quality content and making it as easy as possible for the target blog to publish your content.


Note: “target blog” simply refers to the blog on which you want your blog post published.



Post Content:

Put your best foot forward with the content of your post. Here are some tips to help you do that.

  • Read Through the Blog: Look at recent posts and dig deep into the category you want to write about. You do not want to duplicate something that has already been done. Take note of the voice and style to see how your writing might fit in well. Also, take note of the perspective the blogger takes on certain subjects. While there may room for varying perspectives, you do not want to directly contradict the opinions of the blog owner.
  • Read the Comments: Understand the people who are reading the blog. What posts do they seem to resonate with? What questions do they have? How can you help with something they seem to be looking for?
  • Create a Quality Post: Obviously, you want to make sure your post is of the highest quality possible. If you want it to be noticed by the blogger and to make an impact on the audience, it just has to be.
  • Create an Original Post: You will also be creating completely original content and offering exclusive publishing rights, unless the blog does not require it. While you can write on topics you’ve covered before, make the text is original.
  • Create a Targeted Post: In addition to having a quality and original post, you want it highly targeted to the audience. Mention things that are relevant to the readers and link to previous posts and any relevant products the blogger may have.



Post Formatting

Formatting is also important. It shows extra care and attention and makes it easier for the target blog to publish your post.

  • Use good web writing format by using short sentences and paragraphs. Use bullet points and subheadlines to make your content easy to read.
  • Format your subheadings with <h2> tags or whatever is appropriate for the blog.
  • Format your links, so they can be pasted into a blog and be clickable. For example:

Jeff recently <a href=”http://clickme.com/previous-post”>fly fishing</a> here.

  • Include images as they can add interest to the post. Make sure you have created the images or you have permission to publish them. You can host the image on your site and include the html code for the blog to automatically, but you may want to also attach the image, so they can upload it themselves. Name the image something descriptive and make sure the file size is appropriate for web publishing (i.e. Not too big!).
  • Do keyword research and optimize the post for a relevant keyword. Don’t let SEO take over as the quality of your post is key, but doing that extra bit of work will make your post attractive to the target blog and will more likely result in long-term benefit for you.


Overall, it’s important to put your best foot forward. Don’t skimp on quality or polishing your post before submitting it. Do your homework, write your best work, check it twice and you’ll do just fine.


How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities


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There are a number of ways to find guest blogging opportunities and this guide will provide you an illustrated tour of how you can get great exposure through guest posting. Whether you search for blogs that publicly accept submissions, approach blogs directly, use a guest blogging site or a combination of all those methods, there are plenty of opportunities to be found.


Assessing the Quality of the Opportunity


There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not you want to write for a particular blog. While you may have other considerations, the factors we cover in this guide include targeted audience, traffic and community interaction. How much weight you add to each factor is completely up to you and depends on what is most important for you.


Quality Assessment Method #1: Targeted Audience

Before you write your first word, make sure the audience is truly targeted for you. Would they make good readers of your blog and customers for your products? While there may be plenty of blogs who write on the same subject matter as you, they may not be the right fit.

For example, if you write on political subjects, writing for a blog that doesn’t match your ideology may not be the best idea.

Or if you have a cooking site that features “from scratch” recipes, you may not find the opportunity to write for a blog that promotes quick and packaged fixes for meals a good fit for you either.

Ultimately, it’s up to you decide if the target audience is right for you, but do your homework first.


Quality Assessment Method #2: Traffic

There is no sure method of knowing a blog’s true traffic, unless they tell you. If the blog accepts advertising or requests content submissions, you might be able to find this information published on their website. If you can’t find that, you can use a tool like Alexa.com to assess their traffic.


TIP: Never base your assessment on traffic alone. The higher the traffic, the more competitive it is likely to get posted. Use your judgement accordingly.


Here is an example of estimated traffic ranking of mashable.com. Below, you can see the average traffic rank worldwide (in green) and in the US (you can customize the data for any country, if you prefer). The lower the number, the more popular the site.

In this case, Alexa says that mashable.com is the 222nd most popular website on the web. The ranking is based on users who use the Alexa toolbar and is often skewed in providing website with web savvy audiences higher rankings. However, any site that ranks in the top 10,000 or so is very likely to have a large volume of traffic.



To get a better picture of the popularity of a site, instead of relying on the single ranking from Alexa, you can compare the ranking to other similar sites.

First, you can click the “Related Links” tab to find related sites:



Because some of these are social networking sites, rather than targeted blogs, that mashable.com tends to write about, we’ll disregard Twitter, Twitpic, Tweetmeme and FriendFeed. In this case, TechCrunch, Reader/Write/Web, Wired, Search Engine Journal and/or Lifehacker seem to more closely suit our needs for comparison.


TIP: You can compare any related sites that you want. You don’t have to only compare the ones Alexa suggests.


We can compare traffic ranking by clicking the “Traffic Stats” tab.



Then you’ll see a traffic graph and below that, you can enter sites to compare. We have decided to compare Techcrunch, Wired and Lifehacker and clicked “traffic rank”.



From the graph above, we can see that Mashable and TechCrunch have comparable traffic, but Mashable seems to come out the winner more consistently. Wired and Lifehacker appear to have lower traffic levels.

If you want to see specific numbers of any of the sites you are comparing, you can simply search for that site in the Alexa search box.


Quality Assessment Method #3: Community Interaction

If interaction is important to you, you may want to look at how people comment and interact on the site. However, realize that commenting doesn’t always give an accurate reflection of a blog’s traffic. Some blogs are more interactive than others and most blog visitors will read and never post a comment.


That said, understanding the vocal audience of a blog may give you an idea of whether or not this is the type of audience you want to write for. Some blogs may be more controversial than you were bargaining for or may not moderate or control their community in a way that you are comfortable with. On the other hand, you may find a lower traffic blog with a very tuned in and thoughtful audience of people you would like to connect with. In that case, the guest blogging opportunity might be a good one for you.



Finding Blogs


Some blogs you come across may include guest post submission guidelines. If so, always make sure you follow the guidelines to the letter. If there is no submission information, don’t let this stop you from submitting a post for consideration. To find submission guidelines, always look in the website menus (top, side and bottom) of the page or search on Google for “websitename.com submission guidelines”, “websitename.com submit post” etc.

Whatever method or methods you use to find blogs, make sure you do a quality assessment before jumping right in.


Finding Method #1: Google

A Google search is simple. Enter your topic plus “blog” and browse the results. In the example below, we’ve looked for “basket weaving blog”:






Technorati is a large directory and search engine for blogs. You can browse through categories, by selecting from the top of the page:



You can also use the search box at the very top of the page to either search for blogs OR posts on certain topics. In the example below, we are searching for “stamp collecting” blogs:



Technorati lists the blog according to their own ranking algorithm:





Alexa Related Links


When you already have some sites in mind or ones you’ve already submitted to, you may want to find related sites to consider.

We already talk about Alexa’s Related Links feature and it will come in handy for finding additional blogs to potentially submit to. In this example, we have searched for sites related to comicsalliance.com:


In addition to the list above, if you scroll down a bit, you can search sites by category as well.




Using a Guest Blogging Site


There are sites and communities popping up where you can collaborate with other blog owners.

One such site is MyBlogGuest.com. It’s a free site where you can connect to find guest blogging opportunities and even to find guest bloggers to write for your site. Let’s take a quick look at how this site works.




You can sign up for free at MyBlogGuest.com. When you sign up, you will be prompted to complete your profile, including your social networking accounts, a photo of yourself, your websites, your blogging experience and more. This will make it easier for a potential blog to evaluate whether or not they want to work with you.

Once you’re all set up, you can navigate to the Forum and find the “Looking for a guest for my blog” forum. There you can find blogs who are looking for people to post.



You can also post your own offers in the “Looking for a blog to guest post”, so other blogs can view your information.



Final Thoughts:


As you can probably see, once you start finding site to guest post for, it becomes even easier to find more. You can also use your experience on certain blogs as leverage to get other blogs to readily publish your posts. Finding opportunities isn’t hard, if you know how to look.



How To Find Images For Your Blog



High quality, professional images will help your blog make a much stronger impression. It’ll help make your blog appear more credible, help you catch attention and help you hold and your reader’s interest. It can also help you hammer a point home.

In some cases, you’ll be able to generate your own images for your blog yourself. For example, you might take your own step-by-step pictures for a DIY homebuilding project you’re doing. Or you might take your own screenshots for a tech demonstration you’re doing.

But in many cases, that won’t be an option. Or you just won’t want to because of how much work it’ll take. In many cases, it just makes sense to find high quality existing images instead of making your own.

When you do, the #1 thing you need to look out for is the image’s license. You need to make sure you find the perfect image for the perfect post, but you also need to make sure you can get the appropriate license to use the image. So where do you find these images? Let’s take a look at some image sources, along with their licenses.


Source #1: Morgue File

Morgue File one of the best free stock image sources on the internet. The files on Morgue File can generally be used for any purpose without attribution.

You can reproduce the image, alter the image, use just a part or the whole thing, create derivative works and even redistribute the image. It’s as close to no license as you’re going to get. Note that images might have more stringent licenses. Make sure you check the license for the specific image you plan on using.


Source #2: Stock.xchng

Stock.xchng is another free stock image website. It also has an enormous selection of images. If you’re looking for free images, try checking both SXC.hu and Morgue File before making your selection.

The image license on Stock.xchng is quite similar to Morgue File, but a little more stringent. You can use the image in whole or in part and you can alter the image. You can create derivative works. You cannot give redistribution rights and you need to ask permission before using the images for print media.

Again, check the specific license for the image you’re using.


Source #3: iStockPhoto

iStockPhoto is one of the most well known stock photo sites on the internet. They have millions of extremely high quality images to choose from.

Stock photos you get on paid sites are almost always far higher quality than photos you’d find on free stock photo sites. Often time’s you’ll only be able to find a good photo on a paid stock photo site.

Generally these sites work on a sliding scale, depending on the resolution you need. The higher the resolution of the photo, the more you pay. Instead of using cash, iStockPhoto uses a credit system. You buy credits, then spend them on images.



Source #4: Dreamstime

Dreamstime is another major paid stock image website. Much like iStockPhoto, Dreamstime uses a credit system. They are generally less expensive than iStockPhoto, but the quality of the images also seems to be lower.

Dreamstime allows you to buy different kinds of licenses for your images. Two common licenses are their “Royalty Free” license and their “Extended License” license.

The Royalty Free license allows you to use the image on the internet, on advertising material, CD covers, presentations and other kinds of single-use media. The Extended License allows you to redistribute the image in web templates, in screensavers, on T-Shirts and other kinds of redistribution media.



Source #5: Open Clipart

Clipart is a very different kind of art. Clipart is generally made from vector graphics. It’s created graphics rather than photographed graphics.

Clipart generally isn’t used as the primary graphic. Instead, it’s used to supplement other images. For example, you might look for thought bubbles or “light bulb over the head” kind of graphics on a clipart site.

You could also use it to find arrows, checkmarks and other formatting related images.

Open Clipart is one of the biggest free clipart sites on the net. From the home page of this site, they say the images in the public domain, meaning you can use it without attribution in any way you want.


Source #6: Flickr Creative Commons

A lot of people on Flickr choose to license their images with creative commons. There are a variety of types of creative commons licenses that Flickr supports. Note that almost all the licenses on Flickr require attribution. Some of them allow you to alter the image, while others don’t. Some allow you to print the image, but you should read the license specifics. Some allow you to redistribute the image, others don’t.

Fortunately, Flickr sorts all the different kinds of licenses out for you. Just click below, then select the type of images you want to see:


Once you’re in one license category, you can browse all of those images by hand, or search for what you’re looking for.



Source #7: Google Advanced Image Search

Another great place to look is Google’s advanced image search. Google allows you to search for images based on image license. To access the advanced search menu, click the “Settings” button on the right hand side of Google Image Search:


To select the license type to search, scroll all the way to the bottom.


Enter your keywords and any other specifications, such as size or geographic region, then hit “Advanced Search.” Only images of the license type you selected will be displayed.

Note that Google may not be 100% accurate, so make sure you double-check the license before you use it.


Source #8: Using Photo Dropper

Photo Dropper is a WordPress plugin that searches Creative Commons and licensable images for you, then drops it directly into your WordPress post. It’s very easy to use. Instead of having to go to an outside site to get an image, you can do it all within your WordPress interface.

Once you have Photo Dropper installed, just go to your post or page screens to use it. Click the Photo Dropper button to bring up the plugin.


Type in a search term. A number of search results will be displayed. Click the one that appeals to you most, but double check the appropriate license as the plugin is not foolproof.


Hit “Insert into Post” and the image will be added into your post. You’ll be given the option to edit the image, just as you would with any other kind of image insertion. You can change the size of the image, add alt text, add a link, change alignment or add CSS styles.


These are eight images different places you can find images for your blog on the internet. Again, make sure that you double-check the licenses for each image you use, as different images can be licensed differently, even on the same site.



Blog Maintenance Checklist



Running a blog is a bit like running a car. Every so often, you need to put some time and energy into maintaining it. If you don’t, will it still run? Sure, it’ll run just fine – For a time. But if you go too long without changing your oil, or go too long without replacing your brakes, you put strain on the system. Eventually, the whole thing could fall apart. The same goes for running a blog.

Much like a car, a blog is quite a complex system. Maintenance encompasses a wide array of issues, from interactions with readers to interactions with other websites to website security issues.

Here are some of the most important things you need to maintain to keep a blog running smoothly.


#1: Update Your WordPress Installation

Updating your WordPress installation is arguably the most important task on this list. If you’re running an old version of WordPress, there’s a good chance you’re running a version of WordPress that has known security vulnerabilities.

If so, it’s not difficult at all for hackers to find your site through Google, then easily compromise your blog. Updating your WordPress installation literally takes seconds. Make sure you update it whenever you see WordPress prompting you to do an update.


#2: Update Your Plugins

The second most important thing on your checklist is updating your themes. Though the WordPress core installation can pose a security risk, the reality is that the vast majority of WordPress hacks come from compromised plugins.

Most people don’t realize that a single compromised plugin can not only result in their entire WordPress installation getting hacked, but having every other WordPress installation on their entire server getting hacked as well.

Updating your plugins is easy. Just go to the plugins panel and click on “Update Available.”


Then click “Update Automatically” under the plugin you want to update.


Update your plugins to their newest versions whenever possible.

#3: Backup Your Site Periodically

Backing up your WordPress installation regularly, say every 2 weeks or so, helps prevent avoidable disasters. If your site ever gets wiped out, you can simply do a restore. If your hosting company suddenly crashes and loses your data, you can just re-upload everything from scratch.

Backing up your data is made easy by the myriad of different backup plugins you can choose from. Pick a backup system that allows you to automate backups and learn it inside and out.


#4: Moderate Your Comments

Comment moderation is not only an important part of maintain your blog, but a highly time sensitive one.

If you want to maintain a strong relationship between you and your bloggers, you need to moderate your blog comments quickly. People should never feel like they’re being ignored, especially after spending a lot of time to write out a thoughtful comment.

Try to moderate your comments at least every 24 hours, if not every 3, 8 or 12 hours. Never, ever let real comments sit unmoderated for more than 48 hours, or you’re either going to lose that reader for good, or they’ll stop commenting and become a passive participant.


#5: Check for Broken Links

Checking for broken links is something you should do about every three months.

When you’re blogging actively, chances are you’re going to be sending quite a few links out to cyberspace. The majority of those links will still work even months and years from today. But some of them won’t.

If a page you link to goes down, that reflects very badly on you. Users who click on a broken link on your site will instantly view you as less credible. They might also get frustrated, because there was a resource they wanted to access that they couldn’t get to.

To avoid broken link issues, scan your site for broken links every few months. Whenever possible, replace your old links with new resources. If there aren’t any comparable resources, then just unlink that hyperlink.

Source: http://brokenlinkcheck.com



#6: Check Your AdSense Ads

Every once in a while, check what ads are showing up on your site. Check your ads for individual posts as well. Sometimes AdSense will misread your site and post non-relevant ads. Also, sometimes you might be getting ads for competing services. In fact, competitors might sometimes specifically target your site to have their ads displayed there.

One of the best ways to check your AdSense ads is to use the AdSense sandbox: http://ctrlq.org/sandbox/

This allows you to see your ads, minus any retargeting. If you just visited your site, you’ll see a lot of ads that are targeted towards you specifically because of retargeting cookies. The sandbox allows you to see just the ads that are showing up organically on your AdSense ads.


#7: Check Your RSS Feeds

Get in the habit of checking your RSS feeds every 3 months or so.

Check to make sure your RSS feeds are working properly. Check on several different clients, including Google Reader and a desktop client. Sometimes feeds can work in one reader but not another. If something isn’t quite working with your RSS feeds, you want to know sooner rather than later.

Make sure that people can find your RSS feed by typing your site’s URL into their RSS reader. Don’t make people scour your site for a specific RSS link in order to subscribe.


#8: Check Your Analytics

Is your traffic going up or down? Are there specific pages on your site that people seem to be bouncing out of?

What kinds of topics does your audience seem to like? What kinds of headlines seem to catch their attention and get a longer stay? What kind of keywords are people typing in to land on your website.

Your analytics can help answer all these questions and more. Your analytics will help you figure out what your audience likes and doesn’t like, so you can give them more of what they want. It’ll also help you catch red flags early on. If your search traffic suddenly takes a plunge for example, you want to investigate why.


#9: Are You Still on Message?

Finally, re-examine all your posts over the last few months. Ask yourself: Are you still on message? Are you still covering the things you ought to cover? Or have you veered off course?

It’s easy to write a post that seems just a little off topic, especially if you’re feeling inspired by the subject or if there are current events that you want to comment on. But one “slightly off topic” post can lead to another and sooner than you know it, you’re completely off track.

It’s not a big problem. All you need to do is realize when you’re off track by re-reading posts from your past few months. Then re-center your message in your upcoming posts.


These tips will help you keep your blog in tip top shape. Use these tips to help your blog stay secure, to help make sure everything works, to maintain a good relationship with your readers and to stay on message.



How to Come Up With Blog Topics



Once you’ve had your blog for a time, coming up with new topics can be a challenge. After all, once you’ve written 50, 100, 200 posts or more, how on earth do you come out and say something new?

This challenge isn’t limited to long time bloggers either. New bloggers also struggle with coming up with topics that people want to read about.

So how do you do it? Just us one of these eight brainstorming tools below. These tools will help you come up with new ideas consistently, whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been blogging for years.


#1: Scan RSS Feeds

Download an RSS feed client on your computer or in your smartphone. Then go on a subscribing spree. Subscribe to every blog feed you can find in your industry. Subscribe to at least ten different blogs.

Now anytime you run out of ideas, all you need to do is whip out your RSS reader. Read through some of the things other people are talking about and use it as inspiration.

Of course you should never directly copy someone else’s title. But feel free to use other people’s ideas as stepping stones. You can even steal an idea, as long as you don’t copy the actual words. Just make sure to add your own spin and link to the original source.


#2: Use Google Instant

Use Google’s Instant search tool to come up with ideas for what other people might be interested in. You can learn more about the tool here: http://www.google.com/instant

For example, let’s say you’re in the cooking niche. You could do something like:

Just change out different words and different wordings to come up with a variety of different potential keywords to target.


#3: Use Linkbait Generator

Linkbait Generator (http://linkbaitgenerator.com) is a unique online tool that allows you to create very creative and attention catching titles at the click of a button.

Note that some of these titles probably won’t make sense right out of the gate. Instead, use the ideas and words generated by linkbait generator to source your own title

For instance, typing in “find a job” might land you a headline something like this:


While you might not be able to use this headline on its own, you might instead turn it into something like: 7 Bizarre Ways Looking for a Job Can Get You Fired Instantly.


#4: Browse Old Magazines

If you’re in an industry that’s large enough to have magazines, subscribe to as many of the magazines in your field as you can. In a few months, you should have a big stack of magazines that you can use as idea fodder.

Also, many public libraries keep archived copies of newspapers and magazines. You can literally browse magazines from months or even years ago for free at many major libraries.

Go through these old magazines and look for ideas. Look for things they covered that nobody on the internet is covering.

Print articles often involve a lot more research to write than online content. Print content requires sources, quotes, statistics, verification, etc that online content just doesn’t need. The print world and the internet world are quite different. That’s why it often pays to look in the offline world for inspiration for your online content.


#5: Google Alerts

Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts)  is a free online system that will alert you by email whenever certain keywords or phrases appear in blogs or news articles. You can use Google Alerts to come up with topics in one or two ways.

First, you can use it as a constant stream of ideas. Just put relatively broad ideas in Google Alerts and set it to email you once a day. Every day, browse through the articles and see what ideas you come up with.

Another way to use Google Alerts is to use it to write cutting edge, timely articles. Use it to monitor your industry. Anytime something changes, anytime breaking news hits the net, anytime something controversial happens, you want to publish a piece of content within hours.

Often time’s the first person to publish content about something is the one who gets all the traffic.


#6: Invite Questions

If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, why not have your audience do it for you instead?

A lot of authors find that their best blog posts actually come from their audience rather than from their own minds. After all, if you’re trying to create content that your audience loves, who better to guide you than your audience?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know what your audience wants without asking. Also don’t make the mistake of thinking that what you want to express is always what your audience wants to know about.

Ask. Ask for questions and make blog posts out of them.

For example, Bryan of Panthers.com does this quite well. In addition to asking for questions, he actually outlines the kinds of questions he doesn’t want to receive (“can you get me an autograph?”) and helps guide his audience towards asking useful questions instead.


You can see more about this method: http://www.panthers.com/news/ask-bryan


#7: Critique an Idea, Business, Website, Video or Trend

Look for something outside of you site that you can give your opinion on. For example, you could critique a trend of thinking in your industry. You could critique a video that’s making the rounds. You could also ask your audience to send in their work for critique.

For example, Writerly Rejects creates a lot of content out of having writers send in their pitches for critique. They dissect the pros and cons of the writer’s pitch and use real world pitches to illustrate important lessons on their blog.


You can see this example in action at: http://www.writerlyrejects.blogspot.com/2012/07/pitch-critique-3-4.html

#8: Use Your Subconscious Mind

Your subconscious mind is far, far more powerful than your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind is the part of your mind that can read the thousands of different muscles on someone’s face to determine what they’re feeling. Your subconscious mind retains a copy of every experience you’ve ever had in your life. Your subconscious mind handles “intuition” by parsing data and ideas behind the scenes, working hard on problems without you ever knowing it.

One of the best ways to come up with new blog ideas is to harness the power of your subconscious mind. How do you do that? By thinking intensely about a subject, then completely letting it go.

Spend a bit of time thinking about your blog. Then, go for a walk. Or hit the gym. Or take a nice long bath. Relax and let your subconscious mind work on it. Then, when you come back to it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that ideas flow much more quickly. Alternatively, ideas might just hit you out of the blue as you’re relaxing.

Make sure you carry a notepad with you at all times so you can jot down these ideas. Ideas that aren’t written down are very frequently lost. Don’t overestimate your ability to remember an idea.


Armed with these eight idea-boosting tools, you’ll never have to worry about running out of ideas again. Find one or two tactics that work for you, then return to this list from time to time if you ever get stuck.



How to Come up with Great Blog Titles (with Examples)



Writing great blog subject lines is both an art and a science. On one hand, there are tons of writing principles you can employ to catch attention, to get people to read, to build connection and to stand out. On the other hand, the subject lines you write ultimately have to come from you. They have to stand out because they’re an expression of you and your brand.

The best way to learn how to write great blog titles isn’t to copy other people’s titles. Instead, use other people’s titles to learn what works. Then use those same principles to help guide you in writing your own titles.

With that in mind, here are ten blog subject line tips, along with examples to illustrate them.


Tip #1: Have a Clear Benefit

People should instantly understand why they should read your article just from the title. Vague and mysterious titles that don’t tell people why they should read are generally a bad idea.

Direct response marketers and newspapers have tested this principle time and again. Shocking titles, newsy titles, curiosity titles and other types of titles that don’t have a benefit in them almost always get lower readership than titles that imply a benefit to the reader.

For example, users who see this About.com article will clearly know that they’ll learn how to improve their credit score, just by reading the title:



Source: http://credit.about.com/od/creditrepair/tp/improvecredit.htm


Tip #2: Add a Power Word

A power word is a word that adds emotional punch to your title. Sometimes all you need to turn an otherwise dull title into an eye catching title is a power word.

Take this article from Problogger for example. Without the power word, the title would just be “The Secret to Happy Blogging.” A nice benefit, sure, but nothing to write home about.

But with the power word added in, the title now has some real juice. Most bloggers would have a hard time seeing a title like the one below without clicking on it, even if just out of curiosity.


 Source: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/08/29/the-secret-to-crazy-happy-blogging/

Tip #3: Use Numbers – And Use Big Ones!

People love numbers. Posts with numbers tend to get more clicks. Why? Because numbers are specific and tells people how much information they’re about to get. It suggests that they’re about to learn several things, rather than just one.

Large numbers in particular suggest that people are about to learn a lot of ways to solve a problem in their life.

Take James Altucher’s post on being an entrepreneur for example. If the title were just “Rules for Being an Entrepreneur,” it’d sound pretty dull. But the title “100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur” sounds infinitely more interesting.

3-Use-NumbersSource: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/04/the-100-rules-for-being-an-entrepreneur/



Tip #4: Boldly Add Your Personality

There are enough “me too” blogs on the web. Why not really let your personality shine on your blog for a change?

People who really let themselves out on their blogs tend to stand out. They tend to draw a crowd. People will often come to read your posts not because they need to learn what you’re teaching, but simply because they want to get a dose of your personality.

Take “The Middle Finger Project” for example. Just one glance at the website’s header image and you know you’re in for an interesting read. Every post title on the blog is similarly interesting and attention catching.



Source: http://www.themiddlefingerproject.org/blog/


Tip #5: Be Controversial

Say something that shocks your audience a little. Say something that gets people a little riled up, or a little defensive. Say something that risks alienating a small part of your audience. Do so while taking a stance for something you believe in.

Be controversial. When you go against the curve, people listen.

Take the post below from The Life Design Project. The title proudly proclaims: “If You’re Not Embarrassed By Your Product, You’re Late.” The premise of the post is to get people to just launch a product, instead of getting it perfect.

There were a ton of different ways he could have worded his title. He deliberately chose a title that could make people a little defensive. And it works. It catches attention.


Source: http://thelifedesignproject.com/

Tip #6: Put Relevant Information First

This tip is especially important for longer titles. Put the most important parts of your title first.

Eye tracking studies have shown that people don’t read websites. Instead, they scan along the left hand side of the page, occasionally flicking their eyes to the right.

In other words, people scan sites, look for things that are interesting, then read quickly to see if they’re actually interested. If so, they click to learn more. If you aren’t catching their attention in the first few words, there’s a good chance you’ve lost them for good.

Take the title below for example. Instead of starting the post with “How to launch a successful e-commerce site,” he chose to lead with the “$10K/mo” benefit statement. Why? Because it’s more attention catching and people care about it more.

It’s a long title. Leading with the $10K/mo will get him a lot more clicks.  It’s the most relevant piece of information. Do the same with your posts – Lead with the most important bits of information.



Source: http://www.thrillingheroics.com/10k-ecommerce-website-lifestyle-business

Tip #7: Pose a Question

Asking your audience a question is one of the best ways to get a ton of comments. It helps you build more of a relationship with your audience by making your blog a two-way communication channel.

You can use this as a one-time title for a specific post, or you can make a habit of asking your audience questions every month or so.

For example, in the post below, AskMen asked their male audience for questions that they’ve always wanted to ask women. It generated a lot of great discussion, as well as great content.

7-Pose-a-Question Source: http://www.askmen.com/dating/dating_advice_600/671_ask-women.html

Tip #8: Try Going Negative

You don’t always have to promise a positive benefit. Another avenue you could take it to help people avoid something they don’t want in their lives instead.

Talk about common mistakes. Talk about pitfalls. Look into how you can catch attention by addressing the don’ts instead of the do’s.

For example, from the “I Want Six Packs” blog:


Source: http://iwantsixpackabs.wordpress.com/

Tip #9: Use the Right Amount of Jargon

What’s the right amount of jargon?

If you use too much jargon, people might have a hard time understanding you. Newbies who’re new to your industry but still fall into your target market could get turned off.

On the other hand, using jargon allows you to speak in the same language as your market. People feel like you’re on the same side. Jargon also often allows you to get more specific than if you had to use generic words.

Though not a blog post, this classic John Carlton ad illustrates it perfectly. To a non-golfer, this headline makes no sense. To even an amateur golfer, this ad has an incredibly appealing promise. It doesn’t use so much jargon as to turn people off. Instead, golfers feel like they’re speaking the same language.

9-Use-Jargon Source: http://startbydoing.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/oneleggolfer.jpg



Tip #10: Give Real World Data

People love getting real world data. If you’re in the health niche, share your exact meal plans and your before and after photos. If you run a blog about stock trading, share your actual trades and what the results were.

When you give real world data, people get more of a sense of what it’s like to be you. It also seems more tangible than just tips or lessons extrapolated from your experiences. It also helps build your credibility, by showing people that you’ve actually done what you’re talking about.

For example, in the post below, Nerdy Nomad shows exactly what she earned in a month and how she earned it:


Source: http://www.nerdynomad.com/2012/08/05/july-2012-earnings-spending-report/

These ten blog title tips will help you write titles that get people to pay attention, titles that get your audience excited and titles that help you stand out from the noise.



Play the Popularity Game Linking to Build Your Business

It’s no secret that link building is one way to increase the visibility – and credibility – of your ecommerce site. So powerful, in fact, is this practice that it has the ability to catapult your site to higher levels of success. However, on the flip side of that is that improper linking from outside sources can be deemed useless and earn your site negative attention from the search engines. That’s right! Throw basically useless links to your site and you can find yourself in no man’s land of search engine world.

So, while it’s easy to see the validity of using link building as an SEO strategy; it’s equally easy to understand why not every internet business is eager to delve into building links to their sites. Taking the time to learn the ropes of “link popularity” is well worth it when you are serious about seeing your internet business through to ultimate success. With a few tips, you should have plenty of fire power to get started.

Let’s start here: there are two benefits of requesting links from other sites; search engines like links from reputable sites (key word: reputable), and when you receive links from other reputable sites, visitors to that site may click that link and you therefore receive some extra visibility and traffic. Keeping this in mind as you seek to request links from other sites will keep you focused on the real goals of link building.

Relevancy is key when setting out to choose the sites you want to request links from. For instance, if you are selling an e-book about weight loss, it would not be relevant for you to request a link from a site that sells patio furniture. The two are completely unrelated and hence will result in a negative response from search engines. An e-book on weight loss could receive relevant links from health clubs, nutritionists and other health and exercise related sites.

Additionally, building links with other sites is not a business building activity that is done one time. No, this is an ongoing task that requires time and energy. Many companies that are serious about this task assign an employee to handle it diligently. The other option could be to outsource your link building activities to a company that specializes in SEO strategies. Because outsourcing is so popular, there are multiple options for those looking to engage in this practice for linking.


When it comes to building links, there are several tools available to assist with analysis. Some are free and some are not. Finding free tools can be done by searching through areas such as Google’s webmaster tool or Yahoo Site Explorer. Firefox also has a tool, SEO for Firefox. Again, time will be invested into finding the sites that will be deemed most relevant and then requesting and receiving the links you want from them. Keep at it, because from the buzz going around this is a business building activity that is definitely worth the time you will invest.

Increase Web Traffic with Articles

Increase Web Traffic
Increase Web Traffic

As many business owners are quickly learning, writing articles is a new trend in advertising.  Ecommerce companies, especially, can benefit from this new marketing trend, as they really have no face for the general public to relate to, and hence need to do all they can to increase web traffic on their sites.  And when it comes to making purchases online, there is still a fair amount of skepticism that needs to be tackled.  Take a minute and think about the store you frequent the most, like the local grocery store.  You go there because you know what to expect – sometimes right down to which clerk will check you out!

Ecommerce companies must create a voice and a face in order to increase web traffic, and they can do so by submitting quality articles to online directories.   Well written articles do a lot for a website.

  • Informative articles help you develop a reputation as an expert in your field.  If your site doesn’t sell a product but offers a service, then the articles submitted to online directories will be written about the benefits of the service you offer, or the problem that your service solves.  Not only do you now have a voice, but that voice is well spoken and enchants the reader to click on that link!
  • Every article that is placed into an online directory should contain links back to your website.  What this will do is create traffic, which in turn will create revenue.  You know where that leads to.
  • Publishing articles online through Ezines is essentially free advertising.  Who doesn’t like that idea?   A little time and thought into a well researched, well written article goes a long, long way.

Now, if you were a writer, you would most likely have made your millions publishing a book of some sort.  But you’re not a writer, you are a business owner.  This is why outsourcing to a company like Start Ranking Now to handle internet marketing has enormous value.  Article submissions can be a tedious task, not to mention the actual writing and research required to compose great articles for ezine marketing.   Working with Start Ranking Now, what a business owner gets to do is hand over a time consuming task to a group of professional writers and get back to the business of, well, business!

There are so many online article directories to consider for article submissions that finding out which are the best for your online article can be a shot in the dark.  Professional service providers know which article directory sites are high quality and reputable. This does make a difference, so why waste time trying them all out when you can get right to the best the first time out?

We’ve all heard it said that word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  That has been the truth since the beginning of history, and will not change anytime soon. Article submissions to ezines on a regular basis are a great way to create word of mouth internet marketing. You’re giving your site a voice that is friendly and informative;  You’re generating traffic back to your site through links; and with the help of great writers like the team at Start Ranking Now, you’re gaining optimized articles that will be read over and over again.

The Best Advertising is Press

smmA common concern amongst busy entrepreneurs is how to effectively market their business.  Let’s face it; if you’re not seen, you can’t make money.  Advertising can get expensive and there are no guarantees that any paid advertising will increase web traffic to your site anyway.  And yet most professionals overlook the power of a good press release!  This is understandable, as the preconceived notion may be that press releases come from news.  And if your company is not making news, then it doesn’t deserve press.

Not so.  When you have spent as much time as you have in finding a product or service to offer, priority must be given to marketing.  Since we live in a technologically advanced society, Social Media Marketing is where it’s at.  Advertising your business through press releases on the web through sites such as Google News can create a huge buzz that can lead you down the path of success.

An effective press release is good for building backlinks, credibility, and visibility in Google News for keywords.  Press releases also often receive good placement in search results for long tail keywords.  However, writing a press release yourself can be a daunting task that quickly begins to eat up the valuable time in your day.  Time is a CEOs most valuable asset, and should be spent wisely.  This is why outsourcing to a press release distribution service like Start Ranking Now is worth the small investment you would make.

For one, an effective press release can significantly improve your overall search engine rankings.  Key word being “effective”.   Every day, thousands of press releases are being distributed.  How to make sure yours is not overlooked amid the sea of news?  Know how to write!  If you don’t, that’s ok.  The professional team at Start Ranking Now know exactly what to do and how to do it.  Writing a press release is like breathing for these people!

The benefits of writing a press release are worth it.  The thing about this sort of advertising over others is that there is more credibility in it.  Press releases are give the perception of a third-party endorsement.  And since word of mouth marketing is the best way in increase web traffic to your site, a press release can act as the “mouth” that spreads the word!

No matter what the size of your budget, social media marketing is a tool that you can begin using today to grow your business. For a miniscule investment, you can have your very own press release, with added backlinks, distributed across the internet. Working with a professional team like Start Ranking Now eases your burden of trying to accomplish all the marketing yourself and leaves you with the time you need to effectively run your booming business.  There is so much to gain by taking advantage of a well written press release.  Credibility.  A reputation.  Visibility.  These things add up to an increase in web traffic, which equals more success for your site, which equals dreams coming true.