Archive | June, 2012

The No Stress Guide To Finding A Great Blog Domain Name

Choosing a good domain name for your new blog takes will take some time and effort, especially if you want the blog to stand out, represent you and be profitable.

Selecting you name or your business name is the easiest way to choose a domain. Unfortunately, you can run into a road block when you find that the domain name you want is taken. Don’t despair. If you intended using your own name and someone else has snatched it up, you could add to it e.g. yournamemarketing.com or something similar that will portray what your blog is going to be about. I highly recommend that you grab your name as a domain, anyway, even if you don’t end up using it for your blog. You can later use it as an “about you” profile page, linking to all your blogs and products etc. BrandYourself.com is a free service that provides you with the tools to do this. Here is an example of one of their profile pages: http://petekistler.brandyourself.com/

If you choose a domain name for your blog from these 3 criteria, you can’t go wrong:

1. Easy to remember
2. Easy to spell
3. Representative of yourself or your business

Here are some dos and don’ts to apply when choosing a domain name.

DOMAIN NAME DO’S

* Keep It Short and Sweet – Shorter is better, that way people to remember it more easily. Remembering a domain name is very important from a marketing perspective. As visitors reach your blog and enjoy using it, they will likely tell people about it. The longer the domain name is, the harder it is to type in as there is too much room for error. Most important of all, make sure it is spelled correctly.

* Utilize Keywords – Search engines like keywords in the urls in your domain name and it will help your rankings. Finding a good keyword that fits the three criteria, and isn’t taken, might be difficult. If this is the case, you could also use a keyword as part of your domain name. If a keyword makes your domain name too long or too hard to pronounce, then don’t do it. Also don’t squeeze in a keyword for the sake of SEO. Focus on having a domain name that represents you. For a great guide to finding keyword, visit my previous blog post here:

Help! My Blog Needs Traffic – SEO and Keywords

* Use Top Level Domains If Possible – It is preferable to use a .com domain. If .com isn’t available then .net, .org and .biz are the next best  extensions. You can also get creative with an alternative domain endings without losing people. Consider del.icio.us as an example. This could be a good way to go if your blog is going to be doing something that is new or different.

DOMAIN NAME DON’TS

* Avoid Unusual Spellings – It may be tempting to use unusual spellings if the domain name you wanted is already taken. Don’t do it. They aren’t memorable and definitely aren’t easy to spell for the poor person trying to type in the address. It also looks unprofessional.

* Don’t Use Excessive Hyphens – Sometimes hyphens are good especially if you can utilize good keywords. It can make it easier to read and can help avoid misspellings. On the other hand, it can make the domain name longer which makes it easier for people to forget it. Also, if someone recommends you blog, to someone else, they may forget to mention that each word in the domain name is separated by a hyphens. If you do use hyphens, I suggest you do no more than 3 words.

* Don’t Use A Copyrighted Name – Be very careful not to use a copyrighted name. Even stay away from domain names in which part of the name is trademarked. Litigation can be costly so avoid it.

* Don’t Use Keywords That Have Double Meanings – Be careful not to use keywords in your domain that could potentially have a double meaning. For example, thishit.com…you get the picture.

By taking into consideration the above guidelines when choosing your domain name, you are sure to select one that meets the three criteria and will work well for you into the future. It’s not an easy thing to do with all the possible variations and the competition out there, but you shouldn’t settle on any old domain name either. If you put in the time and effort to choose a good domain name, you won’t go wrong with your final choice.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU FIND DOMAIN NAMES

Blog Name Generators

* Nameboy – This allows you to plug in keywords for a keyword rich domain name.
* Domainr – Find great domain names that utilize the country code e.g. Del.icio.us
* DomainsBot – This is a search tool that will help you find available domain names without submitting a query, featuring a helpful suggestion option if you’re having trouble finding a domain name.
* PickyDomains – This is a service where other people think of domain names for you. If you like one, you may claim it and buy it outright.

The above tools can be very helpful when you become stumped about the domain name for your blog. Instead of wasting hours going insane trying to find variations of names, plug in your keywords and check out the suggestions these tools generate for you.

Category: Articles

Help! My Blog Needs Traffic – SEO And Keywords

As a blogger you want to get noticed. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can play an important role in attracting those visitors you need. However, it is not something that should consume your focus. WordPress is designed in such a way that a lot of the SEO is already taken care of. Your focus should be on providing good, fresh, regular content, throw in some keyword research and you will be rewarded with an increase in free traffic. Best of all this traffic will be targeted and that is what you want if your intention is to have a profitable blog.

If you follow some basic rules, keyword research doesn’t have to be a chore.

Keywords are the words and phrases people search for when they visit a search engine. It is your job to uncover the right keywords and it comes down to following only 2 steps.

Step 1 – Gather Your Keywords

Use a keyword tool to gather a large number of keywords in your particular niche.

The Google Keyword Tool is free and returns results directly from Google’s own internal database of searches people have performed.

http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Start with a seed keyword like “blogging”. This will return keywords such as:

blogging websites
how to blog
what is blogging
make money blogging

For this search Google returns 800 results. You can go further by taking some of the keywords it returns and using those as seed keywords to find more.

If your niche is small you will only want to focus on a small amount of keywords. On the other hand, if you want to create a large authority site you will want to collect thousands of keywords.

Step 2 – Analyze Your Keywords

Assessing your keywords for traffic and competition is very important. If keywords are too competitive or don’t get enough searches, then you are wasting your time.

To choose the best keywords there are 3 things you need to look at:

*Global Monthly Searches – Google will tell you the approximate amount of searches received by each word or phrase. It is best to use keywords that return more than 1,000 searches a month. For example:

best software for blogging (This returns 5400 global monthly searches)

*How Many Google Pages Use The Keywords – You need to find out how many people are using each keyword phrase on their pages. This is done by entering the keyword into Google Search in quotes. This will tell you how many other pages contain that exact phrase. Use phrases that return no more than 30,000 pages. Using the same example above:

“best software for blogging” (This returns 953 results)

*How Many Competitors Use the Keyword Phrase In Their Title – Google gives a tremendous amount of weight to the keyword phrase appearing in the title of the HTML document, so you need to see how many of those pages are also using the phrase in their title. This is done by entering into Google Search:

allintitle:”keyword phrase in quotes”

Use keyword phrases that return no more than 10,000 results. Once again, using the same example as above:

allintitle:”best software for blogging” (This returns 34 results)

You can’t go wrong if you use the formula below.

– At least 1,000 monthly searches
– No more than 30,000 pages in Google “in quotes”
– No more than 10,000 results for “allintitle”

Now that you have your keywords how do you use them to rank higher with Google and attract a steady stream of free traffic?

Search engines give a lot of weight to keywords used in the title of your blog so it is important to use them there.

Other places that are domain name and your blog posts and pages. A word of caution, do not overuse them. Repeating the same phrase too many times is considered spam and can actually hurt your ranking.

Using the 2 steps above to find the right keywords and applying them to appropriate parts of your blog, will see you well on your way to a higher Google ranking and lots of free targeted traffic.

Here is a resource that I highly recommend and use myself. You will find this extremely helpful in your quest to uncover the best keywords for your niche…

**Niche Finder**

Niche Finder is my favorite, all-in-one, keyword tool. It is the only keyword software you will ever need. Some of the features include:

  • Enter a keyword and Niche Finder will uncover profitable niches.
  • Shows you how competitive any keyword is and how difficult or easy it will be to rank that keyword in Google.
  • Generate an unlimited number of long tailed keywords actually being searched, right now, on Google and find exact match domain names for any keyword.
  • Quickly see the difficulty level of getting a keyword ranked in Google and view monthly search counts in google for bothgGlobal and local searches. This comes directly from Google (in real-time).
  • Plan your entire SEO strategy based on the summary data that Niche Finder generates for you.
  • View Adwords Cost Per Click Data. (great for Adsense marketers).

I have arranged with Brad Callen, the maker of Niche Finder, a 50% discount for the readers of Blog And Profit. You can receive this discount by using this link:

http://blogandprofit.com/blog/niche_finder

 

Category: Articles

Finding A Profitable Blogging Niche Using The 3x3x3 Rule

Finding your blogging niche, especially one that is profitable, should be something you carefully consider before starting at blog.

Ideally you should select a blog subject about which you are passionate and knowledgeable.

One of the first things to consider are your own personal interests. This is important because a blogger who is passionate and knowledgeable about a particular subject will not only have an easy time coming up with ideas for new blog posts but is more likely be highly successful. The blog visitors  will be able to sense your passion for the subject matter and appreciate more what you write in your posts.

Blog subjects can be widely popular or only of interest to a small section of the population. However, there will likely be interested readers regardless of the subject of the blog. If your aim when blogging is to profit and make an income then you should select a topic which appeals to a larger audience.

I recommend you select a niche that is evergreen and avoid short term fads. Evergreen markets are where there’s always a ready and willing target audience to pursue and it will not change tomorrow. This is important to the long term income potential of your blog.

Identifying A Profitable Niche Using The 3x3x3 Rule

**There are 3 golden categories of profitable niches. These are:

1. Health
2. Wealth
3. Relationships

Write down a list of niches that interest you, from these 3 broader topics.

**Do some research to narrow it down. When researching a niche there are 3 important factors you need to look at:

1. Who is your target audience?

Your target audience are people who are interested in your topic. This can include age, gender, income etc. For example, are they cash poor college students or do they have discretionary income to spend on a hobby, such as golf.

2. Are there enough products?

Are there enough products within your niche that you can earn money from? Some niches are more for information gatherers rather than buyers and you would need to create your own products. Others naturally have tons of affiliate products that you can provide to your visitors and earn a commission when they buy.

3. Content Availability

A profitable niche is one where you can provide lots of content to your readers. There should be lots of angles and key phrases to write about over time. New content is key to bringing in traffic and search engine ranking.

**Human emotions also play an important role. There are 3 conflicting human emotions that make a profitable niche:

1. Pleasure / Pain
2. Hope / Fear
3. Social Acceptance / Rejection

By focusing on the 3x3x3 rule above, you will be well on your way to choosing a niche that will make your blog a profitable success.

I have compiled a list of the current hottest markets, where to seek them out, monetization and the tools needed. Click the special share button below and download your copy for free (no-optin required).

Go forth and dominate your niche!

Category: Articles

Why Choose WordPress For Blogging?

One of the main advantages of WordPress is that you are in total control. Unlike remote-hosted scripts such as Blogger and Live Journal,  WordPress is hosted on your own server, which in my opinion is the only way to blog. Installation is very simple and it is extremely easy to configure. Unlike other software programs, there isn’t a million files to to change permissions on or dozens of templates to edit just to get your site set up and looking the way you want.

Here are the top 10 reasons why WordPress is the best blogging platform to use:

1. WordPress is Open Source and Truly Free

WordPress is completely free for you, forever.  WordPress doesn’t start charging when you hit a certain size, nor does it close off any of its code to you.  This is probably most important elements of the success of WordPress.org

2. The Functionality Of Plugins

Other platforms offer plugin functionality, but with WordPress implementation of plugins is so much smoother. Plugins can allow you to add great photo galleries, sliders, shopping carts, forums, maps, optimization (this is what we need to create a profitable blog) plus much more.  There’s a searchable, one-click install directory of plugins, it’s like an App store for WordPress.

3. Visual Editor

The user-friendly backend of WordPress is probably what made it so famous in the first place.  It is so easy it is just like using Word. Posts can be created using a visual editor or HTML.

4. Easily Add A Blog To Your Site

With WordPress the default configuration is for the home page to be a blog.  With categories, tags, threaded commenting, gravatars, easy theming, widgets, fantastic moderation controls, anti spam solutions, and plugins, you can’t find a better blog solution.  Adding a blog to a WordPress site is a great way to attract and involve visitors, and to keep Google paying attention.

5. So Many Themes To Let You Style Your Site

It is easy to make very beautiful and successful sites by using pre-existing themes and doing customizations from there.  At WordPress.org there are hundreds of themes to choose from, completely free. I personally recommend buying a premium theme as you can be sure there are no bugs to cause you problems, but it is entirely up to you. My favorite themes include those found at Woo Themes and Solostream. What makes it even better is themes are independent from your content, so you can edit or swap out themes at any time and keep your content in place as it is.

6. Easy To Install

WordPress is very easy to install with it’s famous “5 Minute Installation” guide. It can take 5 minutes to install if you are handy with your web servers and it won’t take much longer than that for newbies.

7. Easy To Keep WordPress Secure

WordPress is easy to update for security and new features.  When a new version is available, WordPress will give you an easy link for a one-click upgrade.  Remember to back up your blog before doing an install in case something goes wrong.  Do a search for backup plugins to help.

8. Google Loves WordPress

Using WordPress for your blog helps you achieve better search results with Google. There are some great free plugins such as the All-In-One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps that help the SEO optimization of your blog, but even without these plugins your site will be naturally attractive to Google.

9. WordPress Sites Are Accessible

WordPress sites are built on simple and accessible technologies. It uses all free licensed server software.  The web pages are in HTML and CSS allowing them to show up on devices such as iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, iPads, etc.  It’s also easy for alternative browsers such as text only browsers which are excellent for those with disabilities.

10. Your Site Will Grow With You

Your WordPress site will grow with you over the years.  You can easily upgrade it for new features and security.  You can add a new theme without redoing your whole site.  You can add new plugins for enhanced functionality. WordPress is used by millions of sites, from the simplest little blogs to huge brand names.

Feel free to leave comments as to why you do or don’t love WordPress.

Category: Articles
Welcome To Blog And Profit

Welcome To Blog And Profit

I would like to welcome you to my new blog, “Blog And Profit”.

You have arrived here because you are interested in earning an income through blogging.

I hope the information I share with you here will set on the right path to acheiving this goal.

Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter by filling in your details in the top right section of the sidebar. When you subscribe you will receive a free gift, “Blogging Profits Unleashed” plus 3 complimentary WordPress plugins to help you optimize your blogs.

I wish you success in all your blogging endeavors.

Suzanne Howarth

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Category: Articles