Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Importance of Search Engine Optimization

The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine MarketingWe have seen how important it is to gain visibility on search engine results. This is called optimizing your website (or articles ) for search engines. So let us understand a little about how search engines work before we find out how to make good use of it, the legal way.
Now, before I proceed, please allow me to make a small request/warning. There are many bad SEO practices also known as Black Hat SEO out there. These practices are not only wrong, but would also harm your efforts to gain an online presence as search engines are smarter than people give them credit. That said, it is always advisable to stick to the right SEO practices also called White Hat SEO.
So how do search engines work? You should know by now that search engines are not humans. It is essentially search bots or search engine spiders that crawls through your websites and makes notes of who you are and what your website content is about. These search bots visits your websites from time to time to note for changes and based on the information indexed, they categorize the rankings of your website with respect to the search engine query they the user has entered.
Search engines use many criteria to determine how important your website is and how relevant it is to the search engine query it is attempting to answer. Here are some of them.
1. They check the relevance of the keywords used in the website
2. They check the quality and relevance of incoming and outgoing website links from the website.
Based on their judgment, websites earn a certain ranking on search engines. Now note that this ranking is not permanent. It could improve or get worse.
So let us use the next lot of posts to determine how we can gain the search engine’s love and find targeted traffic to your online works. These tips would also work great for your online business websites too.

The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Figured Out What You Want To Write On...Now What?

All Eyes On Me (as usual) shirt
From my line of posts about nailing the niche, I hope you have an idea about what it is that you intend to write about. So what is next?
When you hear the term "online writing", you must remember that there are 2 aspects to this. While it is vital that your writing adds more value to the reader and is done well, it is also important that it REACHES the reader in the first place. Writing online and having no one visit the website to read it is equivalent to you talking to the walls of an empty room. Your writings could just disappear in this ocean called the Internet.
Thus ensuring that you have achieved a significant amount of online presence is as important as ensuring that you have done a well written article that has something unique to offer to your readers. You must make sure interested people are reading your online works? So how do you do that?
So for a moment, lets think like an online visitor. What is the first thing you do when you are out online searching for a specific topic? If you are anything like me, I would do a quick search engine search to find what I need. You would use the keywords that make the most sense in the hope of getting search engine results that almost exactly match your needs. Normally you would browse through a few entries, mostly within the first page or two, and try find the answers that you are seeking.
Now back to being the writer, so what should you do to reach the readers? Get on those first two pages of search engine results based on keywords relevant to your topic of writing and your target audience. Sounds complicated?
Well I thought so too at first. But experience shows that it is doable. There are a few steps you could take to ensure that you are as high up the search engine ranking as possible.  To give a brief outlook, you need to work on good keywords, gaining great search engine optimization for your article, and marketing it directly to your target market.
Through this next set of posts, I hope to share with you my insights on how this is possible and hopefully get you to see how achievable this goal is.
Write and Be Seen!
Image Credit: All Eyes On Me (as usual) by debbie205

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the act of writing articles and books on behalf of other authors. There are many people out there with the desire to create products and books, but they just do not have the capability of producing one of a good quality. They need the help of a good writer who could voice their words and make it into a product to share with others.

If you are considering being a ghostwriter, there are somethings you should remember
1. You can not have that piece published in your name.
2. You can not claim that the piece was written by you.
3. It can never be a part of your writing portfolio.

If you are agreeable to these conditions, then ghostwriting is for you. It is understandable that not everyone would not agree to these conditions. But I do see some good in ghostwriting.

Firstly, it is a great way to get exposure to many fields and topics. It infact is a challenge. Before doing some rewrites as a ghostwriter, I may never have known about auto insurance, sports news or about some travel location. As a ghostwriter, I had to opportunity to not only write about these topics, but also to learn more about them.

So if you are looking to write, you could see if ghostwriting is for you. When I said that your ghostwriting pieces can not be claimed as your original work, I only meant the works. You can always inform others (potential clients and employers) that you have ghostwriting for the patricular firm or business. I would certainly think it is a good career option to consider, especially as a work at home job.

Take a look at this book to learn more about the art of ghostwriting
Ghostwriting: For Fun & Profit (Writeriffic Writer's)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Working With Textbroker

Whilst having alot of fun (too much fun sometimes) writing at Squidoo, I also do alot of writing assignments at Textbroker. Till date, I would have written about 100 articles or so for them. Textbroker is an excellent starting point for anyone who is entering the world of writing. Sadly, it is only available to US residents.

Textbroker is a firm that facilates online ghostwriting for writers around US and clients. Potential customers post their requirements into a pool of assignments. These assignments are categorized according to subject matter and posted to be viewed by all Textbroker writers. Writers are given the ability to select the assignment that suits their expertise and are required to get them done within the time allocation. When the customer has reviewed the articles, they can either accept the article and process the payment, or request for some changes till they get the article that they like. Clients and writers can only communicate through the Textbroker portal.

Payment is made twice a month. Each writer is paid according to their quality of their writing. Writers are allocated a ranking number to determine their level of writing.  Level 2 indicates that you are slightly below average, level 3 average, level 4 and 5 places you above the average.  You could see the Textbroker's payment information at this link.

What was it about Textbroker that attracted me?
1. They always have a very large pool of assignments for all their writers.
2. They state clearly the specifics about the assignment. They would state the exact instructions, the number of words and the timeline.
3. This is convenient as it allows their writers to determine if they have the ability to perform the assignment.
4. You get to set your time to work on Textbroker assignments.

While the average assignment usually is between 200-500 words, there are times when I managed to write some very interesting pieces that were 1000 words and over. There are many kinds of articles that one could write at Textbroker. Some of them are content for websites, articles about topics, rewrites and even articles that help promote a business.

Another great thing about working at Textbroker is their assistance in ensuring that we provide quality work for the clients. For instance, they provide an inhouse software that allows us to verify that our article meets copyright requirements before being released to the client. Also there are indicators that would ensure that we met all client's requirements before we are allowed to submit these articles to the clients. These indicators usually ensure that all keyword and word count requirements are met.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Marketing Effectively Through Squidoo

Marketing through Squidoo isnt achieved merely by writing one lens introducing your store. Remember - Nail The Niche! Talk about different aspects of your online business. Inform your readers about the subject matter that you write about. You could talk about individual aspects, what motivated the birth of the business, and about recent changes to the services. You could also talk about how your business would benefit the customers and everyone else around.

In my case, as you know the business that I have ben promoting via Squidoo is my Zazzle store. So apart from the lens I mentioned earlier, I also have created a series of lenses promoting some categories of products that I have designed and featured at the store.

Celebrate a Happy Friendship Day 2010

Spread Love, Joy and Motivation With These Unique Inspirational Gifts from AddMoreColor

Look at the Sunset for Some Stress Relief

Likewise, you too could create individual articles about each type of product and service that your business provides. It is also important to link them all back to your business website and to also interlink one another. This would in turn increase the quality of backlinks and have your business gain the exposure you need for better business.

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice)
The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice)
To find out how to promote your website effectively and gaining more online visibility, click on the link to get this great resource.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Squidoo Is A Great Place To Market Your Business

Squidoo is not only a great platform to write about what interests you and is important to you, Squidoo is also a great place to market your business. Especially if they are online stores or your business website, writing effective articles on Squidoo would certainly drive more targeted traffic to your online business while the number of quality backlinks your website has earned. Search engines favor quality backlinks that come from relevant websites. This way, you could earn a higher search engine ranking and be noticed by more potential customers.

Likewise, I too have created a series of Squidoo lenses to promote some of the products at my Zazzle store AddMoreColor.There is one lens that acts like a main hub for my store. In lens, I add updates of my latest designs and latest products. This way, by subscribing via RSS or adding this as a favorite lens(only available for Squidoo members), people can stay upto date with the updates I have made to the store and to the article.

This is not only a great exposure for the store but also a great way to maintain the search engine ranking of the article and hence the store.

So even if you are not into writing online, but are seeking for ways to promote your online establishment, then you should consider writing a series of Squidoo lenses and maintaining them as part of your marketing plan. These articles are more attractive and would attract Squidoo readers who are interested in your content. This is an easy way of talking about your online establishment in a conversational and informational way. You could also introduce latest changes to your business.

That said, its sharing time.. If you do have a Squidoo lens that talks about your online store or business, please do list it here. This would give the readers a chanc to take a look at how they could promote their business via Squidoo lenses.

Image Credit: Squid Art by tagsforkids

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Series on Gift Ideas

Along with writing, I also have started a Zazzle store called AddMoreColor. Well, in the online world, you need to do more than create a store, you need to broadcast it across the World Wide Web. My gifts blog "Wonderful Gifts for Wonderful People" was created in an attempt to do that along with providing good gift tips.

Why gifts? Because I have had the hardest time in the past getting people the right gift. And I always hated resorting to gift cards. I mean it was one thing to get a gift card because you know they like items in the store and you want to give them the liberty of making their own selection. But to get them one because you do not know what to get them, now I always hated doing that.

So this gift blog was also my way of doing my research to get better and more creative gift ideas that I could share with everyone.

As part of the gifts blog, I thought, why not some gift idea lenses at Squidoo too? So over time, these were the gift type lenses I created

2010 Graduation Announcement Ideas
Celebrate a Happy Friendship Day 2010
For Men Who Love to BBQ
We Know You Love Your Mum… Now Let Her Know That
Disney Cars Movie Toys for the Children

There would be more coming my way and I would certainly talk about them as I write. I hope you enjoyed the articles and my blog as well. If you are a fellow blogger, please feel free to grab my new button at the gifts blog and help me spread the word.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Topic - Herbal Benefits

Over the past 5 generations, my family has believed in the herbal benefits behind regular food products, vegetables, plants etc that exist around us. Not that we use these to substitute medications, but we try to use them to supplement our intake of required medications and vitamin supplements. As my online writing skills improved and I knew more about what I was doing, I decided to write about health benefits in foods that we eat. To start off that series, I wrote about the herbal benefits of alfalfa entitled

I enjoyed writing it as it gave me more reason to love alfalfa. I liked it alot in salads but as I researched to create this lens, I learned about other fun ways to consume Alfalfa and also other benefits that I had no idea about. I also found that how simple it was to grow it at home throughout the year.

So writing has yet another benefit - you learn more about the topic you write about as you would need to do some good research to create some great pieces.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition
Learn more about other nutritional healing methods from this great book.

Image Credit: HERB IS GOOD FOR HEALTH by OtherVices

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Articles on Photography

Camera Chat shirtWhen I decided that online writing was my way of working from home, I wanted to see if I could write about my hubby's photography. My husband's hobby is photography and I personally love his pictures. You can find some of his photographs at his Flickr Page. Along with taking good pictures, he also taught me some tricks and tips to take good pictures. These were very helpful when I was capturing my growing little son as he was learning new skills everyday as an infant and toddler.

So when I first joined Squidoo, I thought to myself "Why don't I write about what I have learnt?" I was also in the midst of creating our online store at Zazzle called AddMoreColor, so an article on photography seemed like the right thing to do.

So came my 2nd lens - Photography-The What and the Why

This lens was done WAY before I joined Fresh Wonders and learned the actual art of writing good lenses. The lens in itself was fine, but like I said before, it covered way too many topics.

That led to my next photography article -
Waterfall Photography Tips- Capture The Waterfall With Your Camera
Why I chose waterfall photography
1. I love waterfalls
2. At the time I did the lens, there were not too many Squidoo lenses on this topic.
3. Its only about 1 type of photography and made a good branch out from the first lens I mentioned here.

This waterfall lens also won in an internal Nail That Niche contest organized by Fresh Wonders. Learn more about that at this Nail That Niche lens.

So this is how you create more articles and remain nichey. I would have created more but I got excited and started exploring other niches. Which isn't a bad thing and I hope to make more photo tip articles in future.

Image Credit: Camera Chat by slackingest

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So What Niches Am I Working On?

Typing Monkey button

Me talking about niches might get you asking about what niches I am working on now over at Squidoo. Thus far the Niches that I have worked on are

1. Photography Tips

2. Medicinal benefits of herbs

3. Gift Ideas for Special Occasions

4. Lenses featuring AddMoreColor products

5. Travel/Local

6. Toy Reviews.

Over the next couple of posts, I would be sharing some articles that I wrote within the niche, talk about what got me started in this niche and where they are at today.

I did create one lens on web traffic creation, but decided not to pursue it as it was already over done and the competition was too high.(Lesson: Choose a niche with a high demand and low supply(competitors))

Image Credit: Typing Monkey by ShovelTest
make buttons online at Zazzle

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July Weekend

4th of July is here again. So this is me wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of july! Stay tuned for more on my story after the long weekend

Is Niche Writing Effective?

Thumbs Up shirt

Absolutely! Niche Writing has so many benefits and would help you succeed as an online writing in ways that you could never imagine.

1. You can specifically target your viewers. For instance, let's say you want to select a niche "Photography tips". Now if you think about it, very few people actually search for a broad topic on search engines. By having articles written on a narrower scope, you would be able to gain the attention of the search engine user who then could ALSO take a look at your other articles within the field and see your expertise. A great link building method, dont you think?

In this case, suppose someone searches for "digital waterfall photography tips"... I got it.. they can find my article ( hopefully) and when they do... they also find my general article on tips on photography!! That way, you not only cater to the SPECIFIC need of the online reader but also can provide them with more.

2. Helps you build a reputation as an expert in the field.
By writing about very specific segments of a niche and nailing it down to the point, you not only create many articles within the field, but also can be seen as an expert in that field with lot of information to offer the public.

3. You never run short of articles.
By narrowing the niche further and further, you also create a countless number of articles that you could produce and never find yourself with a shortage of ideas. Infact this form of writing could cause you to explode with way too many ideas.. (More on how I dealt with that later...)

4. Better linking = better traffic and SEO
The links that the articles within your niche create within one another is a great way of making all your articles more search engine friendly and thus it would be easier to grab the attention of your target market...through one article or another... And the best form of traffic is organic traffic from search engines.

So think of what niche you can write about best, break it down into as many sub parts as you can think of..and make an article of each of the parts now.

You could try this book to learn more about niche marketing on the Internet

Image Credit: Thumbs Up by This_and_That
Related Posts with Thumbnails


Share |