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10 Essential Blogging Tools

So, you finally decided to take the blog leap. You've heard all about the
marketing and search benefits so you stepped up to the plate and signed up
for a TypePad, MovableType or WordPress blog software package and now
a blogger.

Okay, now what? Add the ten essential blogging tools listed below and you
will also be well on your way to creating and promoting a blog that is a
powerful marketing tool. I'll explain the use of the tool and offer some
suggestions, including the tools I use on my own blogs including the
DuctTapeMarketing blog.

Feed Reader

The best way to learn about blogs and blogging is to read, or at least scan,
lots of blogs. One of the wonders of blogs is that you can have every new
post from every blog you want to read delivered to your desktop or to online
location via RSS, so you can easily read and scan the posts of many blogs in
a very short time. Newsgator is a good online choice for feed reading and
also has a version that integrates with Outlook. I use a frëe online service
known as Bloglines.

Subscriber Center

You need to make it easy for your blog visitors to subscribe to your blog's
RSS feed – so they can read your blog in their favorite feed reader. The
best way to do this is to go to FeedBurner and burn your own RSS feed there
and use the tools they provide to set up automatic subscriber links so
people who want to use Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo or Pluck, for
instance, can clíck on one button to subscribe. Tech types can figure this
out without the buttons but why not make it easy for anyone to figure out.

Side note: Subscribe to each of these yourself and you will force some blog
spiders to visit your site.

Email Subscription Option

A lot of people will nevër get the whole feed thing, but everyone gets
email. Create an option for people to subscribe by giving you their email
address – they will simply receive your blog posts like an email message.
FeedBurner offers this service for frëe. FeedBlitz is another option or, if
you already have an autoresponder email list service they may offer this
service. AWeber offers this and helps me integrate these blog email
subscribers into my other mailing lists.

Blog & RSS directories

There are hundreds of blog and RSS directories and getting listed in many
can be a good thing. I use a piece of software called RSS Submit , but you
can also visit Robin Goode's frequently updated list and submit your blog
and feed by hand.

Hint: Subscribe to the RSS feed he offers and you will be notified when new
directories are added.

Ping Service

Pinging is a term used for letting the various blog and RSS directories know
when you have posted new content. Again, FeedBurner offers this as an
automatic option called PingShot and you should activate it. PingGoat and
Ping O Matic are other options but they require that you visit and update
your record each time you post new content. Bookmark Manager

As you surf around the web or hop from blog to blog you may find sites that
you want to point out to your readers. Online bookmark managers allow you to
bookmark and categorize web and blog pages as you collect them and are a
great tool for managing all of the stuff you find on the web. I use but BlinkList does a fine job as well.

Blog Stats

I like to track a few key stats in real time because it shows what other
blogs might be linking to you or posting about your blog. A lot of people
just like to track this kind of thing for fun and frequently visit sites
like Technorati. I like to track it for networking opportunities. I use a
tool called MyBlogLog because it allows me to see where traffïc is coming
from but also tracks what links on my blog visitors are clicking on. It's
amazing how this data can help you write more effectively. (MyBlogLog also
ranks your links so visitors can see which links on your site are the most

Desktop Posting

With most blog software you must go online and post using a set of tools
provided by the blog software. Many bloggers like to use a desktop
application to create and submit their posts as it gives them some extra
tools and allows them to more easily integrate content and files on their

I use w.blogger but also like Performancing, Qumana and ecto (apple folks)
(w.blogger also doubles as a really simple HTML editor.)

Tell A Friend Script

My blog software (pMachine) has a feature that allows a reader to clíck a
link and send the post to a friend. This tactic brings me lots of readers.
You might try looking here for some simple scripts that do that same:

Republish Your Feed Headlines

The ability to republish your blog posts on other web pages, sites you own
or sites of strategic partners is a great way to expose folks to your blog
content. One more time we turn to FeedBurner for a painless way to republish
your blog post to any web page you choose with something they call
BuzzBoost. John Jantsch


10 Worst AdWords Campaign

On today's highly competitive Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) search
engine, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your PPC campaigns
are optimized to their utmost potential. You should be achieving maximum
return on ínvestment (ROI) for the keywords or phrases that are most
relevant to your business and are most likely to provide you with targeted
traffïc to your website. With ever growing cost-per-click (CPC) prices
throughout the various PPC search engines it is essential that you avoid
certain mistakes that will undoubtedly result in poorly performing PPC

The Mistakes to Avoid

Long list of less than targeted keywords
Not identifying unique aspects of your product or service
Lack of keywords in your ad text
Directing users solely to your home page
Creation of single Ad Groups
Utilizing single campaigns
Using broad match only
Failure to optimize Ad Serving for your ads
Not tracking results
Entering the content network without modifying bids

Long List of Less Than Targeted Keywords

When you first set out to create your AdWords campaign it is of utmost
importance that you do not go "keyword crazy". What this means is that you
must not create long lists of irrelevant and generic keywords. For example,
if you were an automotive dealership then it would not be in your best
interest to target the keyword "truck". The reason being is that the
cost-per-click (CPC) for such a generic keyword would be incredibly high
when compared to a more descriptive relevant keyword such as "T-Z783
Extended Cab". An example of an irrelevant keyword which would not produce
conversions if you strictly conducted automotive salës would be "tail light
covers". The phrase may bring visitors to your website but, if they do not
find what they are looking for when they get there, they will be gone just
as quickly as they arrived.

Not Identifying Unique Aspects
of Your Product or Service

Before implementing your AdWords campaign you must first understand exactly
what it is that makes you stand out from your competition. By identifying
your unique products or services you will have a lot more clarity on how to
rise above your competitors and zone in on the keywords or phrases that are
unique to your business. I would recommend that you perform an analysis of
your competition, have a look and see what they are doing and which phrases
they are using. After conducting a competition analysis and after
understanding what makes your products or services unique you will
be able
to come up with a strategy that will topple your competitors.

Lack of Keywords in Your Ad Text

When creating your descriptive ad copy it is imperative that you find a
means to inject your keywords into your title and description while
maintaining the delicate balance of clarity and relevance. Your ad copy
should be tailored in such a way that when read by a visitor they know
exactly what they are getting into when they clíck on your ad, which brings
me to my next point.

Directing Users Solely to Your Home Page

Not taking the time to decide which destination URL should be designated to
which ad is an oversight that I come across far too often. When you finish
compiling your list of relevant keywords that describe unique products or
services of your business, why on earth would you then send everyone to your
homepage and let them navigate through your site in hopes of finding what it
is that they are looking for. Instead why not send them straight to the page
that contains exactly what was described to them within your ad copy. As an
example, if you are an automotive dealership and your ad contains the
keyword "T-Z783 Extended Cab", instead of sending them to send them to

Creation of Single Ad Groups

Categorizing ads that are targeting related keywords into a common ad-group
will allow you to have a much higher level of control over your entire
campaign. Let's say that you run a sporting goods store, start by grouping
all ads targeted towards hockey skates into a single Ad Group. You would
then create another ad-group which would be targeting hockey sticks and
another containing hockey gloves and so on. Organizing your ad-group
structure in this manner gives you the ability to create in-depth reports
the perförmance of each ad-group.

Utilizing Single Campaigns

Once you have your Ad Groups sorted out into easy to identify categories you
may then move on to the next step of creating relevant campaigns. From the
example above you have created Ad Groups containing separate products of
hockey skates, sticks, gloves etc. Now it is time to create a container for
all of the Ad Groups into one campaign entitled "hockey equipment". You
would then repeat the process creating Ad Groups for tennis, one group for
shoes, one for racquets etc. and then once again you drop them all into a
single campaign entitled "tennis equipment". Having highly organized
campaigns is the key to determining which ads are creating optimal

Using Broad Match Only

When you do not take advantage of the phrase matching options that are
available to you, chances are you are missing out on potential customers and
creating a higher CPC. Broad matches are usually less targeted than exact
and phrase matching. Broad matching is the default option your ads will
appear for expanded matches such as plurals or relevant keyword variations.
When utilizing phrase match your ad will appear for search terms in the
order that you specify and sometimes for other terms. Exact matching is by
far the most targeted option to use. You will appear for the exact keyword
specified. Negative keyword is also a fantastic option to utilize in order
to specify which keywords you do not want to appear for.

Broad match
Default option: Blue widget

Phrase match
Surround the keyword in quotes: "blue widget"

Exact match
Surround the keyword in square brackets: [blue widget]

Negative match
Place a negative character before the keyword: -blue widget

Failure To Optimize Ad Serving For Your Ads

When you take advantage of the AdWords Ad Serving service basically what you
will be doing is showing your most popular ads more often. The AdWords
platform will give weïght to ads with the highest click-through rates (CTRs)
and display them more often then keywords with lower (CTRs) within the same

Not Tracking Results

In order to have any idea on your AdWords campaign perförmance you must
able to see the keywords that work as well as those that do not. Google
AdWords supplies a vast array of very useful tracking tools. Google has also
built into the user interface Google Analytics which is a marvellous web
analytics tool that provides you with in-depth reporting on all aspects of
your campaign perförmance. I cannot stress enough the importance of creating
goals for your AdWords campaign to measure your success by.

Entering The Content Network Without Modifying Bids

Within the AdWords platform you have recently been given the ability to set
different bids for the content network compared to that of the search
network. If you do not set different bids on the content network for certain
keywords, you will be paying more per clíck than you should be. After
lowering the prices on certain keywords you will notice that the amount of
click-throughs that you will be attaining will remain the same as they were
at the higher bid.


The purpose for this article was to create awareness for common mistakes and
to eliminate frustrations that may emerge when managing Google AdWords
campaigns. The points mentioned above are compiled from management mistakes
that I have stumbled upon time and time again in hopes to assist you in
creating a marketing campaign that will generate dramatic increases to the
profïts of your business. Tyler Huston

A Hard Look at PPC,
Clíck Fraud & the Alternatives

With the creation of the Overture and Google Adwords systems, many
webmasters believed they had finally hit the mother load. It was no longer
necessary for small online businesses to invest large amounts of monëy into
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to gain high search rankings in
the natural search results.

Even webmasters committed to SEO campaigns began to realize its fleeting
nature. Given frequent search engine algorithm changes, optimizing a website
was no guarantëe that in 6 months or less it wouldn't be back to square one
and page twenty of the search results.

Hiring a SEO company was no longer necessary to crack the top search engine
results. A Page One placement could be purchased and often for far less than
the cost of a SEO company's services.

Webmasters discovered that they could get traffïc to their website for as
little as one cent per clíck.

Pay-per-click, however, has evolved over the last 5 years and not to the
benefit of most webmasters. Although five cents is currently the average
starting bid price at most major search engines, many sought after keyword
terms can cost as much as $30 - $50 per clíck. Given the increasingly
competitive nature of PPC advertising and spiralling costs, many small- to
medium- sized businesses today might be better served hiring a good SEO
company to search optimize their websites.

Who Is Clicking Your Pay-Per-Click Links?

There are four types of people who clíck on pay-per-click ads. Knowing who
these people are helps explain why experts keep telling us that 20% to 25%
of all clicks on PPC listings are "fraudulent clicks".

Personality Type #1: True-Blue Prospects

These are the people for whom you have placed your pay-per-click ads. They
see your advertisement; they like what they see; and they clíck your link to
see if you can actually serve their needs.

Personality Type #2: Accidental Clickers

Every once in a while, even my finger misfires, and I clíck an advertisement
that I did not intend on clicking. My first thought is usually, "Oh no...",
and my first action is to find the back button.

I didn't mean to cost that person monëy by clicking his advertisement...
I did. It was an accident. Now, the advertiser has to pay for my mistake.

Personality Type #3: Jealous Competitors

I would like to think that all of my, and your, competitors are fine,
upstanding people. And most of them are. But, there are some who are not,
and they clíck on pay-per-click links just to be spiteful or just to cost
their business rivals a few dollars.

Believe it or not, a good percentage of "fraudulent clicks" are believed to
be clicks perpetrated by people against their competitors.

Personality Type #4: True-Blue Fraudsters

Not that long ago pay-per-click providers realized that there was tremendous
opportuníty in offering small website owners a method for cashing in on
their limited traffïc.

Today, a webmaster can go to any number of pay-per-click services, add a
small piece of code to a webpage and start serving paid advertising the same
day. Webmasters thus become revenue share partners with the PPC provider,
splitting revenues with the PPC provider for each clíck.

Ethical webmasters, of course, put the needs of their advertisers first and
focus on putting eyeballs on their website so that visitors can clíck on the
advertising links.

But, the word "ethical" doesn't exist in the vocabulary of some webmasters.
These are the "true-blue fraudsters" who believe in making "revenue at any
cost... no matter who might be hurt by their actions." They devise schemes
to have their own ads clicked in order to drive up their revenue share.

These webmasters, although a minority, are responsible for the vast majority
of fraudulent clicks. And, they are the same people that should be taken out
behind the barn, for a good old-fashioned flogging --- one lashing for each
stolen dollar would be fine with me.

The Unseen Costs Of The
Pay-Per-Click Search Game

If the experts are correct in estimating that 25% of all clicks are
fraudulent, then you are paying out 33% more than you should have
to pay to
get your business.

If you are converting PPCSE clicks-to-sales at a rate of $20 per
transaction, then you should be aware that your actual conversion rate for
non-PPCSE advertising would cost you an average of $15 per transaction. By
escaping the pay-per-click search engine model, you could in effect make an
additional $5 per transaction by cutting the fraud out of your marketing

Personally, I would rather not pay the pay-per-click mafia the $5 a
transaction that they are exacting against pay-per-click advertisers.

Where My Advertising Money Works Best

I have always gained the best bang for my buck with pay-for-placement
advertising. In a nutshell, I pay a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee to have
my advertising seen on various websites. Banner advertising is always an
option, but text links provide better click-through rates (CTR's).

At any one time, you can find links to my websites on dozens of other

Here are a few examples of pay-for-placement, often referred to as "paid
inclusion", advertising networks: Network:

The Independent Search Engine and Directory Network (powered by is comprised of more than 200 specialty search engines,
search directories and article directories. Through their system, you can
buy quarterly or yearly top ten exposure for specific keyword phrases which
are then shown through the ISEDN's 200 plus member websites. Their network
claims to show paid inclusion ads 150 million times per month.

Pricing starts at $4 per month per keyword term (word or phrase) and goes
down according to the number of keyword phrases purchased. Quarterly and
yearly rates for one keyword phrase are $12 and $36 respectively. Home Page
Featured Advertiser Listing:

BraveNet is the number one provider of frëe web tools in the world and
through their AdBrite salës page you can purchase a 30 day text
advertisement at the bottom of the Bravenet home page for $1500 or a 3 month
advertisement for $3500. According to the Bravenet Media Kit, their network
serves 500 million page views per month.

ColdFront Network:

ColdFront serves the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG)
communities. With 150,000 unique visits and 12 million page views per month,
they provide real advertising value, if your target market happens to be in
this area. Paid inclusion can be purchased for $250 to $350 per month.

Who Left The Barn Door Open?

We put locks and deadbolts on our doors. In some localities, we put bars on
our windows. We keep our valuables in safes. We keep our cars locked when
are not in them. We are a nation obsessed with protecting our valuables.

And yet, when we advertise our online businesses, we seem to be willing to
let PPCSE providers steal 25% of our advertising budget? It boggles the

Personally, I am done with PPCSE companies until they can assure me
that my
advertising dollars are protected from clíck fraud.

I have always relied on my own search engine optimization skills to
strengthen my natural search results. And frankly, I am pretty good at it.

And, to supplement my own SEO efforts and organic search result placement
sucesses, or lack thereof, paid inclusion currently offers me the best value
for my monëy. Bill Platt

The What, Why and
How of Business Blogs

Blog is short for Web Log or Weblog and the Blogosphere is the online blog
world, some parts of which are hyperlinked extensively to each other.

This is the Wikipedia definition: Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a
journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general
public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author
or the Web site.

I recommend that you read lots of people's blogs to learn what blogs are. Go
to your favorite search engine and type in the word 'blog' and the subject
you're interested in. For example, 'web design blog', or 'blog music', or
'sports blog'. You'll find lots of blogs that way.

Blogs have become a way in which regular, non-technical people can post
information to the Web as easily as they can access it.

Why Are Blogs So Important?

Well, they're not that important, yet. But they could be soon, and most
likely will be. In fact, some would argue that they are already vital in
today's Web business world. I am not ready to agree to that yet, but it is
becoming more obvious to me over time that blogs can no longer be ignored in

Online businesses can benefit from blogging by taking advantage of a vehicle
for easily posting new, original, and business-related content on a regular

Here Are Some More Business Benefits Of Blogging:

a.. Blogs help to position you and/or your company as experts and leaders
in your industry.

b.. They're interactive in nature. At the end of each blog entry is
usually a link that allows anyone to add their own comments to your blog
entries. This allows your customers and potential customers to make comments
about your products or services or ask you questíons to help them in their
buying process.

c.. Blogs are marketed easily and quickly by their RSS feeds.

d.. Blogs allow you to stress your choice of products, services, relevant
news stories, quotes, pictures and more with your audience, customers and
potential customers.

e.. People are generous with adding links to your blog if the content is
good, especially within their own blogs. More links means more traffïc and
better search engine rankings.

Here Are Some Ways In Which You Can
Make Revenue From Your Blog:

1. Selling advertisements. Whether you use banners or text links, if your
site draws a regular audience interested in your blog topics or theme, try
to offer ad space to organizations that are looking to market to your
audience. In fact, if your blogs becomes really popular then advertisers
will call you.

2. Offering Google's AdSense. Google's website explains, "Google AdSense is
a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant
Google ads on their website's content pages and earn monëy." Learn more
about AdSense.

3. Affíliate Programs. Affïliate programs allow Web sites that provide links
to your site to receive payments or reciprocal advertising in exchange for
promoting your Web site. In the case of blogging, this is reversed, where
you post links within your blog, and collect monëy from the owners of those
links when they result in a click-through and sale.

Here Are Some Websites Where
You Can Get Your Blog Listed:

a.. BlogWise
b.. Blog Search Engine
c.. Blog Hub
d.. Blog Daisy
e.. Get Blogs
f.. LS Blogs

How To Blog For Business:

First you need to get blogging software. You can choose to create a blog
that is housed on another site such as (which is a
blog service) or you can host it on your own Web server. I recommend the
latter since the links that are developed by others pointing to your blog
won't be counted in the search engines. This is because the links are
attributed to domains, so a link to gives a
link credít to and not your domain.

If your blog is a business blog, you really ought to host your own blog as
opposed to using a blog service. You'll need the extra functionality and

If you plan on hostíng your own blog and if you plan to use a UNIX Web
server platform, then you need to go with blogging software such as Movable
Type, for example. If you have a Microsoft Web server platform for your
site, then you'll need software such as BetaParticle blog. Find a great list
of various blog software at:

Next you'll need a database to hook your blog up to. The database is what
stores the blog entries, among other things. If you don't know if you have a
database on or connected to your website server, or if you don't know how to
hook up your blog to your database, contact your host company or Web server
administrator for help.

Once you have the blog set up on your domain (for example and you've hooked it up to a live database,
you can start blogging. Generally, each entry is also a day. So you can
write a new entry every day, or whenever you want, and that entry will show
up on the blog at the top, moving older entries below.

You ought to think of a theme for your blog. In other words, your blog could
be about your personal experiences in the industry you're in. It could be
about your company's product reviews, or new services. It could be about
your thoughts and opinions about issues related to your industry. It could
be a place where you regularly find and list new resources to help others in
your industry. The list is endless. But be sure to stick to a theme and be
original. You want to offer something of value to your website visitors.

Sticking to a theme helps you position yourself for future advertisers and
also makes for better reading for your visitors. Furthermore, you want to
give a good impression with your blog with each and every entry if you want
it to augment your online business. Finally, sticking to a theme helps with
the search engines since it's believed that engines determine website themes
and use this information for ranking.

Of course your blog could be about personal things too. Many blogs are just
that, an online journal. But since we're interested in Web business here, I
am discussing business blogs only.

What's great is that blogs get indexed easily and quickly by search engines.
Each entry is another "page" that can be potentially listed in Google for
example, which will drive more traffïc to your site.

Another neat thing about running a blog once it's set up is that you do not
need to be technical at all to make regular entries. This is helpful if you
want to delegate the writing to someone else, since technical skills won't
be a prerequisite. This allows you to have the most qualified person
regarding the blog's theme and, hopefully the best writer, actually making
the entries.

Be creative. Add images to your blog entries to spice things up a bit.
Although blogging can be lonely, keep at it. Sometimes it seems like you're
just writing new entries each day for yourself only. It may be a while
before someone chooses to add a comment to one of your entries. You may not
hear from anyone for a long time. But that doesn't mean people aren't
reading it. In fact, chëck your website statistics to see just how many
people are visiting your new blog. As you add more entries, get your blog
listed on other sites and market your blog. It will build, and eventually
you'll have a nice following of engaged readers.

Most importantly, be sure to pepper your entries with calls to action. For
example, if your business blog is attached to your travel website and the
blog's theme is traveling and finding great travel deals all over the world,
make sure you add a link to an entry that points people to a travel special
you're running on your website. What would be even better is a blog entry
about the fantastic vacation you took to Hawaii and included at the end was
a link to cheap Hawaii vacation deals on your website. Jason OConnor

Essentials for the
Online Marketer's Toolbox

As an online marketer, there are a number of tools that every webmaster
should have in their toolbox. Here's a list of some of the top sites you'll
want to put in your bookmarks.


WhoNu is the ultimate online search tool. This tool was created by an
innovative thinker named Derek Franklin. His tool allows you to tap into
multiple search engines.

You can search:

a.. directories
b.. discussion groups
c.. forums
d.. images
e.. audio clips
f.. podcasts
g.. sound effects
h.. music clips
i.. film trailers
j.. flash movies and.
k.. news
Search for unique files such as:

a.. pdf's
b.. word documents and...
c.. powerpoint presentations
Discover facts, secrets, tips, faq's, how to's, and a multitude of article

You can also generate rss feeds based on any of your queries. WhoNu is truly
search on steroids. Give it a try! I think you may quickly find yourself

Teleseminars are one of the most powerful marketing techniques on the
internet. Unfortunately, many webmaster's do not take advantage of this
tactic. Fortunately for us, there is a company that is offering frëe
conferencing software for up to 99 people.

With, you can hold a conference call at any
time, without having to reserve a time slot and without any time limits.

Using this service, you can hold teleseminars with your visitors or host
interviews with industry experts.

No matter how you decide to use it, I would highly suggest that you give it
a try.

Google Suggestion

Google Suggestion is an innovative service from Google Labs. As you type
your search term, Google offers keyword suggestions in real time. This tool
can be very helpful when you are looking for related keyword phrases on the

Once you have found a number of related keywords, you can go to
to analyze how competitive each term is.


MySyndicaat is a new tool that allows you to collect information in an
extremely efficient manner. It allows you to combine, aggregate, and splice
together any number of rss feeds.

For the webmaster, this is an extremely useful tool because it allows you to
stay on top of important news in your field without going into information
overload. You can simply get what you need and apply it how you see fit.

This is an essential for those with a news site. However, it is also
beneficial for webmasters in general.

You can use this tool to keep abreast of the latest breaking news in your
industry. I often use this service to find article ideas for my website. As
you probably know, recent news is one of the hottest topics online. News
events are great topics for articles, so stay on the lookout to see how
recent events might affect your readers.

Google Analytics

Every smart webmaster tracks their visitors. Luckily, Google offers a frëe
solution that allows you to find out in-depth information on your visitors.

With Google Analytics, you can track your total number of visits, pageviews,
search engine stats, conversion summary, entrance and exit pages, and much
more. You are also provided with a number of graphs and charts to illustrate
many of these statistics. If you're looking for a frëe piece of analytics
software with some powerful features, Google analytics is a very good


This site has one of the most complete lists of online marketing tools. They
provide keyword suggestion tools, search engine ranking tools, rss feed
generators, link popularity checkers, sitemap generators, and much more.

For a complete list of SEO tools, visit

This is a site that you'll definitely want to stick in your favorites.


Podcasts are increasing in popularity online. If you haven't joined the
crowd, then it's time to do so.

Odeo allows you to record and share your podcast completely frëe of charge.
The audio you record can be downloaded to desktops, iPods, mp3 players, and
posted on your website.

If you have a recording device, you can use the Odeo studio to create your
own audio. However, if you don't have a microphone, don't worry. You can
also use your telephone to record. Simply dial a designated number and start


Have you ever wanted to be an aspiring author? Well, Lulu allows you to do
just that. They allow you to publish your very own book without a major book
publishing deal. There are no set-up fees, no minimum order, and no delay.
Lulu is an on-demand publishing service that prints and ships each book as
it is ordered. In addition, they also offer online tools for authors to sell
and market their books over the Web.

So, why would a webmaster want to become an author? It gives you instänt
credibility. When you are an author you are the expert. At Lulu, you can
become both without the upfront cost.

Are you looking for high-quality images to place on your website?

The Stöck Exchange offers an impressive collection of high-quality images
that you can use frëe of charge on your website. You can search over one
hundred thousand images by category or by typing in a query.

Using images on your web site helps you to stand out above the rest of the
crowd. They are great for complementing your content. Kim Roach

Linking Strategies:
"To Buy or not to Buy,
That is the Question"

Buying text links for your website is a highly controversial subject online.
Like it or not, approve of the practice or disapprove, it does exist and
there are many website owners who are doing it. I'm not going to debate
issue one way or the other; just shed some light on what some consider
"gray subject."

So why would you want or need to buy a text link on another website? It all
goes back to "link popularity." Search engines look at how many other sites
are linking to yours when deciding on your ranking. Granted, this is just
one criterion, but nevertheless an important one to pay attention to.

If you don't know how many other sites are linking to yours, go to any
search engine and type this in: link: ... you
should get a pretty good idea of your "popularity." Keep in mind that Google
nevër shows all sites linking to yours, so what you see in the results will
not be an accurate presentation of those linking to you. Why they do this
not clear (it's one of those "Google Secrets"), but a possible explanation
is that it's one of the methods they use to keep their ranking algorithms

When considering a link purchase, only buy from sites that are related to
your theme and use the Google Toolbar to chëck their page rank. You can
download it here:

A page rank of 4 or above is pretty good but a 7 or 8 is excellent. Nevër
buy a link based on page rank alone. If the site doesn't relate to your
site's content, don't do it.

Here are some things to keep in mind before making any purchases:

There are two types of links: one-way and reciprocal. A reciprocal link is
when two sites agree to link to each other, a one-way link is just one site
linking to another without linking back. Purchasing a text link is an
example of a one-way link. One-way links are counted higher by most
engines and therefore are more valuable then reciprocal.

When supplying your text link to other sites, make sure to include your
keywords in your anchor text. The anchor text is the part of the link that
is clickable. Use a variety of key phrases so as not to raise any red flags
with the search engines.

You also want to be consistent with your url. Use the "www." part in all
incoming links, as links to "" and ""
be treated as two different websites by the search engines.

Another tip when buying links is to do it slowly. Don't buy too many at one
time. You want it to look natural to the search engines. Hundreds of sites
deciding to link to yours in a week is not "natural" and may catch unwanted
attention from the powers that be.

Stay away from link farms when choosing link partners. Just associating with
"bad sites" can be enough to get you banned by the search engines. You'll
also want to make sure you're getting links from different IP addresses.
Search engines will give the links more weíght if they don't all come from
the same IP.

So now that you have the basics, where do you buy the text links? I thought
you'd nevër ask.

1) LinkHaul

Purchase static links to PR 4, 5,6, 7 or 8 websites. Pricing starts at 3.00
per month.

2) Text Link Brokers

Offering a variety of link building programs to increase your link

3) LinkAdage

Buy or sell text links within an auction format or buy dírect thru a broker.

4) Text-Link-Ads

Offering $100.00 in frëe text link ads when you spend $125.00. So you only
have to spend an initial ínvestment of $25.00

5) BackLinks

Frëe service that allows webmasters to trade, sell or buy text links.

When you buy a link, it's usually billed on a monthly basis and you'll
always pay more for a site with a higher page rank, and also for having them
put your link on their main page compared to a page deeper down within the
site. Once you purchase a link let it run for a few months at a time. Search
engines will need it in order to find and spider them.

Right or wrong, purchasing links is one way to improve your link popularity
quickly and move your site up the ranks in the search engines. Remember,
there are many ways to increase your website traffïc, and buying text links
is just another means to an end. Merle

Internet Marketing
Is Going To The Feeds

This change is permanent: Marketing your website without taking advantage
RSS feeds will be the biggest mistake you can make in 2006 and beyond.

Microsoft is unleashing a new OS (Vista) that will plug into the web via RSS
in a very profound way. If you haven't been keeping up on Vista (formerly
Longhorn) developments because you thought it was of no consequence to you
as a marketer, think twice.

Vista will revolutionize the way everyone syndicates their content and
markets their websites forever.

RSS is fast becoming the backbone of the web. Sites are organically
syndicating content around the web through RSS search engines like this one:

Feeds in RSS directories then get picked up by publishers looking for good
headline content for their sites.

The major search engines also pick up those feed listings and often discover
new sites and spider them faster than any other förm of content syndication
including articles and press releases!

How To Create A Feed For Your Site

First off, if you are not blogging, you need to. Every type of site
imaginable can produce a relevant blog with topics related to your main

It doesn't matter if you simply sell furniture on your site - you need a

Imagination is all that is required to create a blog featuring the almighty
promotion power of an RSS feed. In the furniture example you can blog about
interior design and any number of topics.

Notice that the big sites (that were formerly simple shopping cart sites
with little content) are now putting up articles and blogging about the
topics surrounding their products.

They are not stupid. They know that creating content and feeding it around
the web is a major traffïc source and they've been switching to richer
content models for well over a year en masse.

Most any major shopping site you land on nowadays has rich content
on the site. And they have a feed their visitors can subscribe
to and that
they can market with.

For the smaller mom and pop shop, a Wordpress blog is all you need to plug
into the RSS world and fill your site with rich content (not just product
descriptions and salës letters) that the engines are looking for, as well as
the major part of your market who want more information before making

A review site is a very popular model. Lots of surfers want to read about
3rd party experiences with products before deciding on purchases.

Again, this model is not new and it is not an afterthought marketing ploy.
It is major business to the sites who have mastered the art of filling
direct salës sites and shopping cart-run sites with deep content.

With Microsoft Vista, all PC users are going to be able to detect feeds on
every site they visit and subscribe to those feeds.

Very soon the days of "Give me your email address and other private
information" will be a thing of the past.

Smart marketers are going to adopt the RSS information delivery model
because surfers will quickly begin to ignore email subscription forms while
looking for the simple and completely anonymous RSS subscription model.

So if you haven't started planning a marketing campaign utilizing RSS
delivery of newsletters and updates over email, you had better get started
understanding RSS and its eventual replacement of the traditional email

Critical mass tolerance of sp@m and giving out email addresses has been
reached in all markets. Only in very tight niches in special circumstances
where there is instant trust and credibility conveyed by a site will you
find decent optín rates.

Everywhere else the optín rate for any kind of email notification list
is at
rock bottom. Add to that a dismal delivery ratio of emails due to
overzealous, catch-all sp@m filters from the ISP to the user level,
and the
writing is on the wall: email is on its way out as a viable tool
for a
successful marketing campaign.

The change is happening now and it will be permanent. RSS will eclipse
lists and it will be the new defacto method of content syndication
the web by the end of 2006.

Tracking what your RSS subscribers clíck on and do through your RSS
feeds is
the problem many geeks are working on now. We will soon have
more accurate
and more in-depth tracking available through RSS sub -
scription and
syndication than we currently have with email marketing.

Once marketers feel comfortable that they haven't lost any tracking ability
that we currently enjoy with email, the game will quickly accelerate into a
whole new type of competition for eyeballs. Watch also for a whole slew of
new marketing courses and materials that teach how to dominate a niche with
RSS marketing rather than email marketing.

"Growing Your List" and "Syndicating Your Content" is going to be done by
RSS more and more by regular website owners as this year progresses. That
includes your competition! Vista will be a massive feed detector/reader
available to all PC users very soon.

This means that you can have a feed on your site for visitors to subscribe
to, or you can see for yoursëlf how many of your visitors choose to ignore
your email subscription förm and your content because you are not Web 2.0
enough for them.

So, are you set to take advantage of RSS as the impending dominant tool in
your marketing campaign? Jack Humphrey