Blogging Tips

Top 10 Essential Tips To Find More Readers For Your Blog | | Bizzebee

Top 10 Essential Tips To Find More Readers For Your Blog

  • May 15 , 2014

It is really a memorable day when a blogger launches his/her first blog. I think it’s something many of us can resonate and remember well (if we are indeed blog owners)

This happy, excited feeling doesn’t often remain for long, as all too quickly we find that our readership and traffic isn’t quite where we had pitched it in our own “ideal”

If you have taken on someone else’s blog – by way of purchasing it, then you might not have to worry too much about getting the readership up, especially if the blog itself already has a decent amount of traffic, however if your blog is a new start up sight, then really you do have some work to do!!!

This article will provide you 10 essential tips for the new bloggers that they can use to find readers. These tips are especially designed for new bloggers, who have little traffic on their blog at this moment in time.

If you start working through this list in order, it will go some way in helping you attract more readers to visit your blog. Knowing the best way to approach this, combined with “giving it some time” will really make this task a LOT easier in the future, and readers will grow over time as you would expect.

Top 10 essential tips that will help you to increase readers in your blog

Top 10 Essential Tips To Find More Readers For Your Blog | | Bizzebee

1) Write 5 pillar articles that appeal to your readers most.

A Pillar article refers to the tutorial-style article that is written to provide proper guidance, knowledge, or instructions to people. There should be no word limitation regarding Pillar Article. Although I would recommend at least a minimum of 500 words, or even more than 1000 words, which is totally depended on your topic. The only thing is to provide practical help, tips or advice through these Pillar articles that will remain evergreen. Basically, these are article are “how to” based articles. Pillar articles are able to make long term appeal to the readers. The more Pillar articles you have, the better your blogging result will be. For example, you could consider this article as a pillar article.

2) Write at least 1 post a day for your new blog

When writing 5 pillar posts, make sure you have published all of them at the same time – or at least within a short space of time. This will make your new blog attractive to the readers. After that, you have to maintain publishing daily posts, probably for at least 1 month I would say – as this will populate content and make your blog look “fuller” quickly. You don’t need to write Pillar articles each day, just keep writing fresh and informative posts that are considered helpful to the readers. If people see the blog being worked on with fresh content you are showing that you are committed to it and in turn, this will attract your readers, and create a sense of interest to come back to your blog tomorrow. Moreover, they will be interested to bookmark, or subscribe to your site’s feed.

It is not necessarily important to post articles daily, but it is important to do when your blog has just started. Once you are able to interact with your loyal readers through your blog posts, they will understand why you’ve slow down. That time you can post a couple of articles per week instead of daily posting.

To say it again, the first three months of blogging are critical, so you should publish as many articles as you can on a daily basis.

3) Select a proper domain name for your blog

If you are going to start blogging seriously, you should also be serious at the time of selecting your domain name. Domain Name is a very important and it should be consise and memorable. It enables the people to share your blog others easily. You know that people like to talk with their friends and others about the blogs which they used to read regularly. They also like to share the domain name or URL to their close friends, family and relatives. So, if your domain is not memorable enough, people may forget you.

Always try to get .com for your blog. When going to select a domain name, focus on your selected keywords that are easy to remember. If you find a domain name that is easy to remember and related to your keywords, you have done a great job. (so pat yourself on the back!!)

4) Comment on other blogs.

Once you have published your pillar articles and continue with daily articles, now you are ready to spread your blog to the world. I think, commenting on other’s blogs is a great way to find blog readers for your new blog. Aiming to comment on related blogs can bring lots of readers to your blog.

There are many blogs, which allow you to put your name/site title in the comment box. This will enable blog readers to find your blog. Commenting valuable information can grow interest to the readers to jump into your blog – and remember “curiosity killed the cat” so if you are commenting well on other blogs, people WILL be curios if they keep seeing your name pop up, so make it worth their while when they come over for a visit.

5) Link to another blogger’s article in your posts.

Actually, linking to other’s blog posts in your article is called “Trackback”. If you are going to write a post that references another blog post, you can track back to their site. So, how do you trackback? You can do it just leaving a short description of the article on their entry. It is like telling them that you are going to write a blog post mentioning them. Usually, trackback appears like a comment.

It is a very effective technique that will encourage others to tell their readers to follow your blog post. On the other hand, the other blogger will come back to your post to check what you have written about them. If they like your posts, you may get another loyal reader of your blog and possibly a nice little social shout out – which can again increase traffic to your blog.

6) Encourage readers to comment on your blog posts.

So you want readers? You need to show them that you have already some loyal readers to your blog (trust me it helps, if they think they aren’t alone)  If they notice that other loyal readers are commenting on your blog, then they will assume that your posts are good enough to read. They will come again and again to read your posts. One good technique to get comments from your readers is asking them to comment on your blog posts. How do you will ask them to comment? It is really a valuable factor for the expert bloggers. Most of the expert bloggers love to encourage their readers to comment on your posts. On the other hand, you may ask them some question regarding posts. Not only that, you must respond to any reader’s comment, so you can keep your conversation going on.

7) Submit your most recent Pillar blog posts to a blog carnival.

What do you know about the blog carnival? It is actually a blog post that used to summarize few high-value articles about a specific topic from different blogs. The main idea of a blog carnival is to collect some good content on a specific topic. Most of the bloggers link back to a carnival host that is really useful to get a number of readers.

8) Submit your blog link to www.blogtopsites.com

This tip will not get you a  flood of readers overnight, but it is worthwhile, as it doesn’t take much  time to submit your blog at blogtopsites.com. You just select appropriate category and submit it. After that, copy and paste some codes to your blog. You will get at least 1-10 readers of your blogs using this technique.

9) Submit few quality articles to Ezine.

This tip will help you to bring hundreds of readers, so it’s worth considering, especially if you have already some Pillar articles in your blog. Submit a quality article every week at ezinearticles.com.

Ezine article provides a “Resource Box” that will be a great benefit to you. In that resource box you can include your signature, 1-2 sentence, and link it back to your blog. You will get incoming links when you include your blog link as a signature. If someone likes your article then they may well share it with their own large network, you will get more than hundred readers.

10) Write more and more pillar articles with regular intervals.

All of the above mentioned techniques will only work when you have some strong Pillars in your blog. Without Pillar Articles, you may be able to bring readers, but they will not stay on your blog, or they will not come back again. It is a good idea to write at least one Pillar article in a week. Thus, you have above 50 pillar articles in a year, which will work for you to bring more readers to your blog.

I hope you have read my post very carefully. Everything that is mentioned here are from my own experience with blogging. I have put all techniques for my blogs, and I found these very effective. Also, I should mention that, these are not all techniques to bring readers. Different people use different techniques to find readers. Obviously, based on my own work and experience I can tell you that these 10 tips really do work and help over time in growing your readership and traffic at your blog.

11 Free Ways To Improve Your Google Ranking

  • May 8 , 2014

Improve-Your-Google-Ranking

How to improve your Google ranking?’ is a common question that crops up online because it is such an important issue.  Search engines send, by far, more traffic to websites than any other method, so it makes sense to make the most use of them.  You can only do this, however, by ranking highly within them.   But how do you do that?  Well we have put together 11 free ways that you can use to help improve your Google ranking.

Let’s get started!

1. Give People What They Are Looking For

First things first, in order to attract traffic to your website you will need to know what people are searching for.  This may sound simple (and it is really), but too often website owners write for themselves and not for their readers.

The easiest way to go and find what people are searching for is simply to open up Google or Bing and start typing away.  Whatever subject/topic/keyphrase/question, etc. that you were aiming to rank for can be instantly adapted to fit in with what people are actually typing in and searching for online.   Of course there are some excellent tools online that can help you do this, such as the keyword planner tool and Google trends, but nothing can quite beat a quick manual search on the search engine yourself.

Only by providing this type of targeted content will you be able to improve your Google ranking, so make sure that you spend some extra time to research your keywords and keyphrases.   This leads nicely to my next few points…

2. Use Keywords Within Your Post Titles

Once you have identified which keywords and keyphrases that you are aiming for, you need to include them in your content.  By far the best and most effective place to do this is by using them within your post titles.  It makes sense of course because obviously (as we have just covered) this is what people are typing into the search engines, but also it encourages people to click onto those pages.

Now, before you go cramming as many keywords and keyphrases into your titles as you can possibly fit (titles can only have a maximum of 70 characters), know that the ones that read properly and make sense are the ones that get the most clicks.  This is why ‘question’ titles work so well as;

  • That is what people are typing in,
  • That is what people are wanting answering.

For example, let’s say that I was searching online for help on how to make pancakes.  If I type into a search engine “How to make pancakes” all the relevant posts and pages will appear.  Any post that wanted to rank for this term but simple stuffed their title with keywords (e.g. Pancakes, Cook Pancakes, Easy Pancakes, Pancake Recipe.) then they won’t stand a chance.

How-to-make-pancakes

As a rule of thumb, try to only use 1-2 keywords/keyphrases within your title and ALWAYS make sure that it makes sense when you read it.

3. Use Keywords Within Your Post Content

Your keywords and keyphrases should also be used throughout the main body of your content.  Search engines don’t read in the traditional sense that we do to understand what an article is about, instead it scans your content for words and phrases and determines what it is about based on that.

Again, this doesn’t mean you should stuff your articles with as many keywords and keyphrases as you possibly can.  Search engines wised up to this practice long ago and now penalise sites that do this extensively.  They should make up no more than 3-4% of your overall article, but if you write normally anyway, you are bound to include plenty naturally.

4. Use Keywords Within Your Post Headings & Subheadings

Keywords and keyphrases should be included in your headings and subheadings, much for the same reason that we include them in our titles.

As we have said, search engines scan through your content to determine what it is about.  What they also do though is they look more closely at the text that you make standout in your posts.  Subheadings come under this (also known as H1, H2, H3, etc. tags) as they are a good way to gauge what each of your post sections are about, but this can also apply to italics, bold words, quotes, etc.

5. Internal Links Can Improve Google Ranking

A very simple and effect thing that you can do to help improve your Google ranking is to include internal links within your posts.  These are links that point to your other articles and pages of your site.

This is especially relevant when you use internal links that are relevant.  For example, since this post has a lot of information about SEO, I could link to another post about other useful SEO tips for you to read as this is relevant to the post.  This is actually another way that search engines assess what a post is about by looking at what content you are pointing to (both internal links and external links), so it always helps that they are relevant.

Of course the added benefit of using internal links is that readers will get to find more of your own content and stay on your site for longer, which is always a good thing.

6. External Links & The Importance Of Anchor Text

Whilst internal links are very useful, they are expected as obviously sites want to keep people viewing there content for as long as possible.  What search engines do though is they also look specifically at the external links that you include (links that point to other websites).

Search engines value the fact that you are willing to point readers to other sites, but which specific sites you point to is especially relevant.  Again the key word here is RELEVANT as sites/posts/articles that you link to should in some way be related to what you are saying.

For example, for this post I can quite happily link to other sites that talk about the benefits of external links and SEO techniques because they are relevant to what I am saying.  If on the other hand I randomly linked to a site about Orangutans, that would be out of place.

The same can be said about anchor text (the text that you use for the link).  This needs to reflect what you are linking to and not be generic (i.e. ‘click here’ is not as good as ‘SEO techniques’ when linking to a post about on-page SEO techniques).

Orangutans Laughing

7. More Links To Your Site = Good

Search engines look at the number of links that point to a site and use them as a way to assess how good that site actually is.  Think of it like a popularity contest, sites with lots of links pointing to it clearly must be good because they have so many people wanting to link to it.  Sites with not very many links pointing to it must be less popular or not very good.  This is clearly a very basic way of putting it as obviously, as we have discussed, there are many other factors that are taken into consideration, but it is one metric that search engines use.

A word of warning though.  Don’t just think that you can spam links to your site to help boost your ranking.  There are many dodgy companies that offer to sell X thousand links to your site, but you should avoid these like the plague.  Often these links are from dodgy sites themselves who you don’t really want to be associated with.  Also, search engines look at the rate at which sites build up links.  If anything looks unnatural (like buying X thousand) then it looks suspicious and could cause you more harm than good.

8. More Quality Links To Your Site = Better

Quality-over-Quantity

As the old saying goes – “It’s quality not quantity that matters.

Search engines look at the sites that are pointing to yours and judge their worth based on how good those sites are.  This is done using Google’s PageRank (PR) statistics.  High quality PR8 sites are significantly better than much lower PR2 sites.

So having 1,000 links from PR1 sites is good, but it is MUCH better to have 100 links from PR5 sites.

In order to help improve your online Google ranking then, try to aim to get links from quality websites within your niche instead of from any old site.

9. Improve Your Google Ranking By Improving Your Website Speed

Increasingly, search engines are taking into consideration how fast a site is.  The faster your page load time is, the better.

This is actually very beneficial to your readers, so this is something that you should look to improve upon anyway, regardless of the search engines or not.  It is estimated that people only stick around on a site for a few seconds before getting bored and navigating away.  If they click on your site and end up staring at a blank screen whilst waiting for everything to load, then they won’t hang around for long.  Instead you really want everything loaded up quickly so that they can start reading or viewing your content.

10. The Longer People Stay On Your Site The Better

Another factor, that is both beneficial for your website in general and search engines, is how long people stick around on your website.  This includes;

  • Pages / Session
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

If you can increase how long on average people stay on your website and how many posts/pages they view in a single sitting, then you are on your way to dramatically improving your rankings.  Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to these problems and can be affected by things like; website design, writing quality, how easy it is to navigate around your site, etc.

11. Your Site Gets Better With Age

Search engines can see and record how long a website is active for.  The longer you are around online, the better it looks.  Think of it like this – if a site was rubbish and no one was interested in it, then it wouldn’t last very long.

This is why many people like to buy existing sites and “do them up”, so to speak.  They get the benefit of a matured domain and everything that comes with that, whilst they can improve upon it and attract more traffic.

Obviously this point is something that you can’t really get around.  You simply need to focus on creating and maintaining your site to a high level over time.

Summary

Improving your Google ranking is certainly not easy, not least for the fact that search engines never quite let on exactly how they rank sites as they are always changing and adapting.  Hopefully though, these free tips will help you to focus your attention on what does work.  If there are 3 key things to take from reading this post though, it would be;

  1. Use relevant links,
  2. Quality is what really matters,
  3. Improve your site for your readers and it will improve in the rankings.

What are your views?  What other free methods would you add to this list?  Do you have any questions?  Please feel free to get in touch below via the comments section and we will try to answer them for you.

7 Step Plan For Your First Week Blogging

  • April 24 , 2014

Untitled-1

I wrote a post recently about people hesitating on starting a blog, which let’s face it, many of us do when first starting out.  This led to a few questions though on social media asking what people should actually do within their first week blogging.  Well ask and you shall receive.

I’ve put together a simple 6 step plan for you to follow during your first week blogging.  Now, this isn’t a strict “Day 1 do X, Day 2 do Y, Day 3 do Z…” kind of plan, it is more of a loose guide for you to follow.  The main aim though is to highlight key areas that you should be focusing on initially so that you don’t get distracted by smaller, insignificant details that can wait for later.

So without ado, let’s get blogging!

1. Pick Your Niche

If you plan on starting a blog, THE most important decision that you will have to make is on what subject to focus on.  This can/will determine whether your site will be successful or not almost from day 1.

I go into much greater detail in a previous post about picking a niche to blog about, but essentially you need to take some time to really think about and analyse your preferred subject.  Rushing in and committing to a blog all about your favourite hobby may sound like a good idea to you, but does it appeal to a wider audience?  Without a large enough group of people who would be interested in your site, it is doomed from the start.

On the other hand however, if you pick a subject that is too broad, you run the risk of being too generic and not attracting visitors.  There is a definite balance that you need to find;

  • Blog niche is targeted at a large group of people.
  • Blog niche isn’t too generic that people won’t know what your site is about.
  • Blog niche is too small to appeal to enough people.

Let’s take a look at an example.  Say you had a passion for cheese cake and wanted to start a site on that.  A blog that focused purely on cheese cake would probably be aiming for a much too narrow niche to attract that much traffic (and you’d likely run out of ideas pretty quickly).  If on the other hand you broadened it out to include all types of cakes, that would appeal to a much broader audience.  Take it to the furthest extreme though and broaden it out to “cooking” in general and you risk being too generic.  If people know you as a “site about cakes” or “the cake blog” they know what they are getting.

Cake

2. Set Up Your Site

A pretty important part of setting up a blog online is to actually set it up.   Now this is a lot easier than most people first think as all you really need is;

  1. A domain name,
  2. Web hosting,
  3. WordPress,
  4. WordPress theme (optional).

A domain name is essentially the address of your site (e.g. www.ExampleSite.com) and every site needs one.  If you can, always go for the ‘.com’ version as that is what 99% of people will type in without thinking about it.  We would recommend you to GoDaddy* to get your domain, we use them for all of our sites and have never had a problem with them.

Web hosting is essentially the space where your site is stored online.  In order for people to access a site 24 hours a day, all the images, text, website files, etc. need to be stored on a server somewhere.  This is why you need web hosting.  Bizzebee and the whole Bizzebee team use HostGator to host our sites online and would recommend them to you.

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it incredibly easy to setup and manage your blog, and what’s even better is that it is completely free!  You simply install it onto your web host and then you can add posts, images, edit the look of your site, etc. without the need for any complicated coding.

You may want to install a WordPress theme for your site, as this can greatly improve the look of your site.  There are plenty of free WordPress themes available online, but for a professional looking site you probably want to go for a premium one.  There are lots of sites that offer high quality themes for you to buy, such as StudioPress.

3. Set Up Your Key Pages

Once you have actually setup your site online, it can be tempting to just start writing your blog and focus on that.  You really need to setup some important pages before you do that though, including;

  • About page – Who you/what your site is about.
  • Contact page – Allowing people to get in touch with you.
  • Sitemap – Very important for the search engines to find all your content.
  • Subscription page – Allowing people to subscribe to your newsletter if you have one.
  • Legal page(s) – Affiliate disclosure, earnings disclaimer, privacy disclosure, etc.
  • Category pages – Allowing people to easily find all your content.
  • Home page – With a good, clear layout.

Creating these pages right at the beginning of your site will help greatly in the long run.  You may need to come back and edit them now and again, but at least people will be able to navigate around your whole site easily.

4. Get Writing

Blog-Writing

You have started a blog, so at some point you are going to have to start blogging.

As this is your first week, there is no need to go mad and publish tons of content.  One or two posts would be more than enough to launch your site with.  After all, you will probably be spending most of your time this week on the other points that we have listed.

One thing that you should do, however, is to make a list of future posts that you want to write.  This doesn’t need to be a definitive list of post titles, more like a list of ideas that you can pick from.  You will need to produce regular content for your site every week (2-3 posts at least) in order to begin to build up an audience, so having a list of ideas to draw inspiration from is very beneficial.

5. Plan, Plan, Plan

Successful sites don’t happen by accident.  Owners have planned out where they intend to take the site over the weeks/months/years and work towards achieving that.  Since you are just starting out, planning is more important than ever, as without a plan you are destined to fail.  As the old quote goes;

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

…or another of my favourites;

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Think about how you will;

  • Attract new traffic to your site,
  • Get people to navigate to your key posts/pages,
  • Compete with other sites in the same niche,
  • Make your site stand out against the competition,
  • Develop and grow your site over time,
  • …and much more.

6. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles

A massive part of attract traffic to a site and building a brand is linked with social media.  This is why it is very important that you take the time to, not only, setup social media profiles for your website, but also take time to be active on them as well.

Again, as we are focusing on your first week blogging we shall just look at setting up your profiles.  It is better to do all these at the beginning as then people will be able to find you on their preferred network.

Start by setting up profiles/pages on;

  • Facebook,
  • Twitter,
  • Google+,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Pinterest,
  • YouTube,

Depending on your site, you may want to create profiles on sites like Instagram and Flickr as well.

It is also important that you brand each of these profiles in the same way.  A brand identity can be built by consistently using your logo for each profile picture.  What you don’t want to do is create profiles that all look as though they are by different companies.

7. Get Involved

Lastly (and this links in nicely with our last point), you need to start getting involved online to help spread the word about you and your site.  There are literally hundreds of ways that you could do this, but some methods would include;

  • Follow people within your niche on social media,
  • Get involved in conversations online to do with your niche,
  • Get involved in the comment sections of rival sites (don’t spam though),
  • Keep up to date on what is happening in your niche,
  • Join forums within your niche,

Essentially, just get involved with the community that you are aiming your site at.  Ask questions, answer questions, be helpful to everyone and always remember that what you say online can (and will) reflect on you in the long term.

Go And Get Started!!!

There is no getting away from the fact that there is a lot of work to do to get your site up and running.  If you are serious about starting a blog though, you will approach it in the right way.

Blogging is a fantastic industry to get involved in.  It is great to, not only be involved in an online community that you are passionate about, but also to be at the heart of that community where people come for information.  I am a firm believer that anyone can create a successful site online, they just need the right attitude and a good plan.

Are you thinking about stating a blog?  What would you add to this plan to do in the first week of blogging?  Do you have any questions that you would like to ask us?  Please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below.

Content Is King | Bizzebee

Content Is King

  • April 23 , 2014

Good Morning Everyone!!

Firstly, I hope everyone has had a wonderful EASTER 🙂 It was my birthday yesterday, so I wasn’t around to publish this post (apologies for that, but I took advantage of the Bank Holiday here in the UK, and rewarded myself with 5 days away from the computer screen)

You might also be pleased to know, I managed to abstain from chocolate eggs too!!!

So, I’m back today to share this post with you, I know my colleagues here at Bizzebee have written posts before about content but I decided today that I would offer my thoughts on this matter too 🙂

Content Is King

This week I want to talk to you all about CONTENT. This is the KEY element to building a lasting fan base across your Social Networks.

Content Is King

WHY?

Because you want pages and profiles that are full of life, with a community building online that is active, involved and want to know what you have to say.

In this web 2.0 world we are living in now, CONTENT REALLY IS KING. It drives traffic to your website, your blog and anywhere else you choose to have a presence.

If you are serious about your online brand, then you will need to get involved in creating content, finding content, sharing content with your peers | prospects & customers alike, and I am talking about GOOD RELEVANT Content, things that you will find interesting and believe YOUR network will also find of value.

I am going to specifically focus in on my favourite method of content creation (mainly because I love writing), which is Curation.

Curation is the process of looking through / sorting through vast snippets of information on the web and ‘re-packaging’ it in a different way. Taking what other people have said and putting your own spin on it or rewording it to make it suit your audience.

I spend a LOT of time researching and reading articles online and as a result of that I often find that I have a lot of articles and blog posts that I create based upon existing knowledge I have about a subject combined with information I have read elsewhere.

Curating is not restricted to simply ‘re-packaging’ so to speak, by this I mean that if you read an article that is reviewing a product | service and you have experience with said product, you can also offer your own review on the subject too, putting back links to the other review, almost like a comparison / contrast.

Rohit Bhargava points out clearly in a post that a content curator is always looking to share and make sense of the best most relevant content within a particular area / topic, and more often than not this is a skill that almost becomes second nature in their daily life.

In 1 day in April 2012 250 MILLION photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube and 294 BILLION emails were sent.

So where do you go to look for all of this information?

This may seem like a silly question, given the amount of information available at our fingertips – but its not, because you want to look for the best most valuable information out there about your chosen subject / product or service.

In my post “What Is Feedly?” I talk about how you can house all of your favourite websites and blogs, in the one place (a bit like an RSS feed, which is now my favourite way to keep uptodate since Google Reader is no longer around) – This makes life a heck of a lot easier because you aren’t having to jump from website to website to read all the information. In a cool magazine type place, Feedly delivers everything you need, right when you want to see it.

The other great way to find content is to use Google Alerts – you simply set these up by keywords and you can choose to have them delivered at different intervals – as they happen, once a day, once a week etc, they are delivered direct to your email inbox. Personally I think that if you scan each alert within 60 seconds you will know if there is any articles in there that are worth opening. If you spend any longer than that scanning the alert then you should probably just delete it.

The more you spend time looking at content online that you wish to use in order to help create your content the quicker and better you will get at sifting through and identifying the good from the bad.

I have all my Google alerts delivered once a day and they cover a variety of keywords and topics, all of this information is collected and I then set myself some time each day to ‘curate’ the most interesting things and topics into my own language, that appeals to my target audience. Where do I post it? You don’t always need to have a business blog to put this information out.

The fact that Facebook allows you to create ‘notes’ can almost act like a mini blog itself. It’s a fantastic tool and there is no limit on how much you can post. The other really great thing about posting on your Facebook page with notes is that its continually building engagement on the page, which is exactly what you want.

Taking on the role of content curator for your product and helping build this online community engagement is a big task, but not one that is impossible.  The more you do it the easier it gets. And when you post the articles in the various social networks ASK for feedback – engage with the audience reading it, you will soon know if you are getting it right.

There are a few rules in which you need to bear in mind when Curating content, infact it has its very own ‘code’ 

To give you an idea of what to bear in mind for Curation best practice:

  1. If you don’t add context, or opinion, or voice and simply lift content, it’s stealing.
  2.  If you don’t provide attribution, and a link back to the source, it’s stealing.
  3. If you take a large portion of the original content, it’s stealing.
  4. If someone asks you not to curate his or her material, and you don’t respect that request, it’s stealing.
  5. Respect published rights. If images don’t allow creative commons use, reach out to the image creator–don’t just grab it and ask questions later.

So if you are ready to dive in with providing a service to your readers, then fire up that laptop and get stuck in!

Clair 🙂

4 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Rubbish! (And How To Fix It)

  • April 10 , 2014

Why-Your-Blog-Is-Rubbish

There could be many different individual reasons why your blog is rubbish, but from my experience it usually comes down to a select handful of reasons.  I see many sites make these big mistakes, which only makes it harder for them to succeed.

Let’s take a look at some of these mistakes to avoid and, more importantly, how to fix them.

1. You Site Is Slow, Very Sloooooow

Search engines have stated that they are taking a websites speed into consideration when ranking them, which is why it is so important that you work at speeding up your site.  Too often I have landed on a site that takes forever to load.  All that does is encourage people to click off of your site and go elsewhere.

A websites speed can be affected by many things, such as;

  • The website theme that you are using,
  • The number of plugins that you use,
  • The number and size of your images,
  • Excessive number of on-page elements that need loading,

Your first stop that you should take to determine what work needs to be done is the Google PageSpeed Tool.  That will give you a score out of 100 whilst also identifying areas that you can improve.

For more information on how to speed up your website, check out my ‘7 Ways To Speed Up Your Website Load Time’ post.

2. You Don’t Have Anything For People To Subscribe To

Subscribe

Any successful blogger will tell you that you need to grow your subscriber list.  One of the best ways to do that is to encourage people to subscribe by giving something away for free as an incentive.  This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, something as simple as giving away a free eBook or an eCourse can be a great way to get people to sign up to your list.  We do this ourselves here on Bizzebee, offering subscribers a free eCourse to ‘Help You Get Online In 7 Days’.

AWeber is the industry standard tool for email marketing and it is really easy to setup.

3. You Don’t Reply To Peoples Comments

Comments are at the heart of any website (or at least they should be) as they are from your loyal readers.  People can get fixated with the amount of comments that they receive, when in reality it is more important to focus on the quality of the comments you receive.

To encourage more interaction on your blog posts/site, you should be making the effort to reply to each and every comment that you receive.  This is for two simple reasons;

  1. It is polite to reply to someone that has taken the time to leave a comment,
  2. It gets the conversation going, helping to encourage other people to comment.

If people have spent time crafting a question for you to answer or need further clarification on what you have written about, you should make the effort to follow up on that.  This can actually refer to social media as well, as you should make the time to reply to people’s questions on Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc. as it is all a reflection on you and your site.

4. Your Blog Content Is Rubbish

How-To-Write-A-Blog-Post

A blog is only as good as its content.  If you want to create a quality website, you will need to publish quality content to attract readers.  It is your blog content that brings in the traffic, that encourages people to subscribe, that brings in the advertising/affiliate revenue, etc. so it needs to be up to scratch.

Some common examples of poor quality content would include;

  • Very short posts that don’t go into much detail (i.e. less than 300 words).
  • Poorly formatted content, with no headings, subheading or paragraphs to break it up.
  • Visually unattractive (basically just text, no images or videos are included).
  • Poorly written.

Of course, the absolute worst thing you can do is to simply copy & paste content from other sites and try to pass it off as your own.  Not only can you get banned from the search engines by doing this, but it is also illegal (as content is copyright protected) so you risk having your site closed down entirely.  I have been the victim of people stealing my content and passing it off as their own, but I have (along with many others in the blogging community) always chased up those offending sites and reported them to their hosting providers.

In order to create quality content you need to spend time working on the “quality” aspect of it.

  • Write longer posts that are helpful and detailed for people.
  • Include multimedia aspects (Images, Videos, Slideshows, etc.)
  • Format your content properly (Paragraphs, Headings, Subheadings, Bullet points, etc.)
  • Follow up with a call to action at the end of your posts.
  • Include internal & external links to relevant posts.

Check out our ‘9 Step Guide To Writing Quality Blog Posts’ for more info on producing better content.

Summary

These points may seem obvious to some but I can guarantee that all sites will have suffered from these at some point or the other.  There is so much to learn about running a blog that it is easy to let things slip in certain areas if you are not careful.  Some of my early blogs were truly horrendous looking back on them now, but you learn from those mistakes and move on.  Only then can you begin to improve your existing site(s) and look to take them to the next level.

What things have you spotted that other sites are doing that would make you label them as rubbish?  What areas do you think you could improve upon on your own blog?  Please let us know in the comment section below.

How To Create A Gif Image For Free. [Moving Picture: Video Tutorial]

  • April 1 , 2014

One thing we bizzebee’s have noticed is the increased popularity of the .gif image being used on social media. For those of you who are not aware what a .gif image is look below and you will see what appears to be a video playing on loop.

street fighter

What Is A Gif Image?

Well that is not a video it is in fact an image file, pretty impressive isn’t it? These moving images are great for businesses who want to stand out in a busy news feed on Google Plus. These moving images sat surrounded by many static images and text posts stand out and catch the eye of the viewer.

Bizzebee Gif

Unfortunately Facebook do not yet support .gif images but I am sure that must be their next move when you consider the increase in popularity of the gif image. Twitter allows very small .gif image files to be used as profile images and they stand out against the rest. It makes sense for Facebook and other social media networks to follow Google Plus’ lead otherwise they could soon be losing a lot of users.

How To Create A Gif Image For Free

What I found out recently by accident is that they are pretty easy to make using a free software. This software is an online vide tool that I love and regularly recommend for newbies to use when creating video tutorials.

logo

There is a paid version that allows you to record longer videos and access editing tools for only $15 for a whole year. That is an incredible price however you do not really need to use the paid version if you are happy for your .gif images to have their watermark across your images.

Ideally I say spend the $15 and invest in the full software licence for the year and avoid having their watermark on your videos as it will detract from what you want to use .gif images for which is marketing and branding.

You do not want to make a great looking moving image designed to drive traffic back to your business or website which has another website written all across it no matter how subtle it is.

I see a lot of potential for .gif images for businesses, most people use them to create short funny clips of people falling over or of cute animals doing something even more cuter.

The adult industry was one of the first to start using .gif images in their marketing to drive people to buy memberships to adult sites because they could see the power and potential of having a small video clip playing without the need of a large video file.

It is this power and potential that I think will mean more businesses will be using .gif images on their social networks like Google Plus. As you can see, they work brilliantly in WordPress sites too and they add a whole new dimension to a post.

Creating A Gif

In the video below you will see what .gif images look like in Google Plus and I also show you how I made the .gif image above using a series of slides and using the screen capture tool from Screencast-O-Matic.com. Enjoy 🙂

How To Create A Gif Image For Free

Have any thoughts and opinions on this post? Please share them with us below 🙂

The Secret To Blogging Success – Fast Food Of Course!

  • March 27 , 2014

Fast-Food

Yes, you heard me right.  The secret to blogging success is, of course, fast food.  I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it?

OK, maybe I should explain before you pick up the phone and order another [insert favourite food] from your local take out.  The secret isn’t about the food itself – that will just lead to diabetes and obesity – instead it is more about why fast food is so popular.

Why Fast Food?

Ask yourself why fast food is so popular.  We all know that it is bad for us (really bad!) yet people still eat it.  I consider myself reasonably healthy and I even follow fitness plans from sites as https://www.tophealthjournal.com/, yet I am still partial to the odd curry from my local take away restaurant now and again.
hre
You see, fast food (and junk food in general for that matter) is popular, not because of the taste but because it is both convenient and cheap.  Just walk down the street and you will pass several take out restaurants.  Supermarkets are stocked full of convenience food and there are vending machines on just about every corner.  Frankly it is everywhere!

What Has This Got To Do With Blogging?

Ok, bear with me.  I’m getting to my point.

Fast food is simply a product that is widely available to the mass population, which is why it is so popular.  Blogs can learn a lot from this as the real key to success is to simply try and make their content as widely available to the mass population as it can.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  Never before have we been so connected as a global species.  Despite this fact, sites still need to work on making their content accessible in order for people to find.  Just because it is online, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be able to find it easily.  You need to do what all the fast food companies do and get your quality content in front of as many people as possible.

There are plenty of ways of doing this, including;

Anything basically to help people find you and your site.  Some of the biggest fast food retailers (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.) aren’t really successful because of the food they make (I could make a better burger), it’s more to do with the fact that they can deliver that food to everyone because they are everywhere.

Advertising is usually the first method that people choose to use to help promote their website, but arguably the better option is to focus more on SEO.  Search engines are how the vast majority of people will find you online, so by concentrating on improving your ranking within Google, Yahoo & Bing, you can greatly increase the visibility of your site online.

Another way to think of it is like this.  Think of each of your blog posts as fast food outlet.  The more of these quality “outlets” that you have ranking highly; the more people can potentially find you online via the search engines.  Only then can you make money yourself via your own advertising, product sales, affiliate links, etc.

There are too many bloggers out there that give up and throw in the towel simply because they are not getting the traffic that they expected.  On inspection of their site however, it is usually clear to see that many of these are doing very little promotion (if any at all) of their content, which is why they are getting no traffic.

Summary

I hope this post has helped highlight the important factors that you should be focusing on with your blog.  The fast food metaphor was simply used to try and hit home the message.

I’m now off to eat something incredibly unhealthy.  Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.

What Is Feedly | Bizzebee

What Is Feedly?

  • March 25 , 2014

Afternoon Bee Readers 🙂

Wanted to write today’s post to share with you one amazing FREE tool, that I personally can’t function without, and if you read a lot of content online, you probably won’t be able too either!

Since Google Reader went into retirement last July (2013) people have been using different alternative’s to house all of their content they want to read online – and if like me you need to really keep the finger on the pulse and don’t want to miss any information, then you really do need a great RSS feed reader, and up until very recently we’ve relied heavily on Google Reader, and I would like to thank my Bizzebee colleague and friend Matt Smith for introducing me to this fantastic content tool.

What Is Feedly | Bizzebee 

What is Feedly?

There are probably a number of ways that you could better spend your time online and in jumping from site to site to try and visit all of your favorite pages in an effort to make sure you don’t miss anything new, exciting, or late breaking.

Luckily, with Feedly, you’ll never have to worry about wasting your efforts on the above ever again.

Feedly is an RSS reader on steroids

RSS technology has been around for a long time, it’s always been a relatively “sloppy” service that pumped all of your information directly to your email account (can’t cope with seeing all those emails, can you?) – or through some unwieldy software programme – with bits and pieces constantly slipping through the net. A little bit like someone with selective hearing – the old technology tended to lack consistency in what you saw.

Jumping all over the web to pull in every single one of the RSS feed, Feedly does all of the heavy lifting for you in making sure that it pulls in content from your favorite websites, news sites, RSS feeds, blogs, and YouTube channels – as well as a whole host of others with tight integration – to make sure that you never miss another new update.

Magazine like experience with every drop of your content

While most of us today have given up entirely on more traditional magazines {and rather sadly so I might add}, the truth of the matter is that the way that those printed magazines were organised delivered such a good reader experience and was so well organised. Now, thanks to the design of Feedly and the integration across multiple content sources, you’ll be able to basically create your very own magazine, and best of all …..  one that is personalised to your tastes.

Every single time that you add sources to your Feedly account they will be integrated inside of the program, helping you to get the utmost out of your content sources. Not only will you be always up-to-date with your information – but it will also be curated in an attractive, easy to read, and even easier to use format.

The best bit, you can MERGE your old Google Reader account direct to your new Feedly account :)

Specifically designed for a mobile experience, the Feedly application is the best way to make sure that you are constantly updated, wherever you may be. 

The other exciting element!

By enjoying the Feedly service  you’ll be able to take all of your content on the go – even if your regular content sites don’t have proper mobile integration – thanks to the ingenious mobile application. Redesigning all of the content that you have pushed directly through your Feedly account in an attractive user interface that is a dream to use, and this is how all web content should be enjoyed. It works SO well on my own iPhone & iPad – I literally couldn’t live without it now!

The service is available free through the iOS marketplace as well as the Android, & Google Play marketplace – making sure that you can connect to your Feedly account no matter what you happen to have on hand.

Finally …. 

If you’ve been looking for the ultimate solution in curating all of your content from around the web into a single source – so that you never have to worry about missing anything ever again – and then you need to sign up for a Feedly account as soon as humanly possible. Download the specific tools to your phone or tablet (or just use the browser-based solution that is available) and you’ll soon understand why so many people go absolutely crazy for this service too!

That’s all from me today Bee’s 🙂 thank you for stopping by!

Queen Bee – aka Clair

Curating Content For Your Business Website.

  • March 18 , 2014

If you are a small offline business and you are building up your online presence with a blog and a social media campaign you will know that it isn’t easy unless you are creating and sharing content.

Creating fresh content isn’t particularly easy either especially if this is all new to you or creating digital content is not the nature of your job. I am a writer and content creator and I knew that I had to write a post today but I was struggling to think up what to write about, and I write regularly so for someone who is new to all of this it can be a real nightmare.

I looked through a few of the last posts I had written recently for numerous projects and found some inspiration for today’s post. For a new website owner you might not even have much to go back through to help inspire your creative side.

Well today I want to share with you the best and fastest ways to create content for your website and social media campaigns and that is to curate content from the web. Content curation is a newish term that describes basically what newspapers have been doing for years now.

NewspapersPapers need to sell papers for their businesses to survive and to keep people buying those papers they needed to fill their pages with good content. If there were a big event happening like the tragedy of September 11th 2001 then there is a lot of content for them to fill their paper with but if it was a quiet week for news and they needed to fill out their pages they would source interesting news stories from around the country and often the world then re publish them.

sept 11 newspapersThere would be a specific journalist who would look for these stories then re write them to go into the paper and include all the relevant and important source credits. The people who read the paper would still keep on buying it even if a lot of the stories were sourced from other papers.

They very rarely went out and changed their daily paper for those where the stories came from, mainly because they were too numerous to mention and often small regional papers. They preferred to have all of the interesting news and stories delivered to them in one place.

When you have a website and a social media campaign you can do the same as long as you give the right source credit and play fair. cupcakesFor example, if you ran a local Cup Cake Bakery and you had a blog that you were building up, you could do a post that included the ’10 Best Cupcakes We Have Ever Seen’ and include 10 pictures of cakes you have seen in magazines or on the web.

You write a little blurb about the cakes then add any relevant source links to the image/cake owners etc and then you are good to go. You might see in a magazine an article with images about a cup cake bakery in Australia and decide to re write the article in your own positive way re using the images.

Again you make sure you have the right credit links in place, if you do then most people would be flattered that you have featured them or their work on your website. After all it is free advertising and exposure for them.

Some people may ask you to remove their images or stories from your site but it isn’t personal, just remove them if you are asked. It is unlikely though, if they do then they are seriously missing the big picture. As I said it is free advertising and exposure for these people.

Now you are beginning to see that you can mix up your website content with your own images and content with content you have found and enjoyed that is other people’s work. This is actually good for your social media campaign because it can do two very important things..

  1. Your followers will not get fed up if you share content that is interesting and not just yours. If you posted on Facebook & Twitter everyday your own images with a dull ‘Like My New Cupcake Picture’ style posts people will get fed up. Sharing other interesting stuff and other people’s work shows that you are an interesting person and not just out to ‘Constantly Sell & Push Your Products’.
  2. You can start to build a network of likeminded friends, you may not be able to meet up with or work with your fellow cupcake bakers in Australia but you can share ideas, chat work and share each other’s videos, pictures and articles. You might make friends with bakers in a neighbouring city which might lead to some work or at least a great friendship.

It is building up a network of like-minded friends that led to this bizzebee site being developed.

Curating content is big business and yes there is some work involved especially when re writing the content or adapting it into a series of fun images but there is no big thinking needed or planning required. You have access to all of the information right in front of you and usually all of the images you need just require you to download them to your computer and upload them to your site.

cupcakesIf you want to add more content such as a YouTube video or more images you have all of the details you need to do a search for more information. For example if you were recreating an article on the ‘10 Best Cupcake Shops In England’ and you were writing about the shop ‘Cupids Cupcake’s’ in Colchester (Fictitious example). But the article you were using as your base only had 2 images for this shop yet it had four for the rest, you could easily do a Google search for more because you have the exact keywords to find out more information and images for ‘Cupids Cupcake’s.’

Curating content is not theft if you correctly use source credits and links to the places where the images and content come from. You might not have permission to use them and if you really want to be all above board then shoot off emails to the right people asking for permission but usually it is seen as ‘fan advertisement’.

There are millions of websites online run by fans and they often write about the things they love like films & TV, books and sports, they would use images of the actors/sports people but rarely get sued because they were generating free advertising which is good for these industries. In fact when blogging by fans became huge with many websites having millions of regular visitors big companies took notice and now regularly send fan writers free stuff to review or just to say thank you.

When you curate content you are not using those images for commercial gain in its truest sense, yes you are using it for site content to help grow your business but you are not using their images as your own or recreating them within a book that you plan to sell.

They can ask for the content to be removed but if you have done your work properly then the chances are they will be happy that you have shared and featured their work or they will ask for the content to be removed in a friendlier manner than they would if you had stolen the work for your own use.

So if you have a website and growing a following on social media but struggling to think up or create content then why not look at the things you are reading and enjoying online then curate it into your own relevant content? It can be done while relaxing at home in the evening in front of the TV because it does require less thinking than creating your own unique content.

4 Simple SEO Tips For New Bloggers

  • March 13 , 2014

SEO Tips

A pretty important aspect to focus on when starting a new site is SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  This is because the vast majority of your traffic will be coming from the search engines.  Now I know many people struggle with SEO when they first start out, which is why I thought I’d put together a list of some helpful SEO tips for you to use.

1. Learn About SEO!!!

Yes, it may sound obvious but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT (I can’t stress that enough) that you spend time learning about how SEO works. Meet with L.A SEO Experts to learn more about what SEO is and have them help you with your website because if you understand the fundamentals of how SEO works and how a site can attract more traffic through it, then you will save yourself a lot of work in the long run.

I get the sense (from readers, comments, emails, etc.) that many new bloggers think that they can put off learning about SEO until later.  Something along the lines of “…oh, I’ll build up my site first and gain a following before I read up on SEO” is what comes up a lot.  This is just the wrong way to look at it.  You may as well say “…oh, I’ll jump into the ocean and splash about for a bit before I learn how to swim.”  That’s not going to go well!

Traffic is essential for any site, so if your plan is to build a successful site, then SEO is one of the first things you need to learn about.  Putting it off will only slow you down.  Start by learning the basics about both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques.

2. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term

Think-Long-Term

SEO is certainly no “quick fix” for a site and can’t instantly make a difference to your traffic.  Instead you need to think of SEO as a long-term strategy for your site (which is another reason why you should learn about it sooner rather than later).

When you first start out online, your site will likely only have a handful of pages.  While you can (and should) optimise those pages for the search engines, they can only make so much of an impact. Some of the best best seo company‘s have said that the real value of SEO comes when you have built a much bigger site with hundreds, if not thousands of pages, all optimised for the search engines.  This creates a snowball effect – as your best pages help to raise the rank of your site, which in turn helps to attract more traffic to your other pages, which helps to raise your rank – and so on.

Always try to think “long-term” with your website.  After all, the tortoise always wins the race in the end.

3. Always Write For Your Readers

As important as SEO is for a site, readers should always take priority.  Again, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of just writing content purely aimed for search engines.  That may help attract traffic to a site, but you want them to stay when they get there.

Search engines have gotten a lot better at spotting the fake sites who are only interested in manipulating their traffic.  They wised up to them and now heavily penalize sites that abuse this practice.  Instead, it is much more beneficial to write quality content for your readers and attract traffic that way.  That doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO techniques, just not to overuse them and spam keywords just for the sake of it.

4. Don’t Fall For The Scammers

There are plenty of individuals and “companies” online that will happily scam you out of your money when it comes to SEO.  The sad thing is that it is easy to get fooled by them when you are just starting out.

Stay well clear of ANY adverts that claim to be able to “get you to the top of Google in X days/weeks/months” or that suggest that they have “the secret to ranking highly”.  In most circumstances they are simply talking out of their ass.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate SEO companies online and the only real way of knowing is by talking with them.   You see, SEO is a very specific service that has to be tailored to a specific site’s needs.  That is why you should avoid doing business with any that make promises before you have even spoken to them.  How do they know what business you are in, where you are from, what keywords you are aiming for?  All that information is key to planning out your SEO strategy.  Again, this is why you should learn about SEO, even if you plan on outsourcing the actual work.

What other SEO tips would you like to add to this list for new bloggers?  What helped you out when you first started?  What SEO questions do you have?  Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.

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