Category Archives: Blogging

How Do I Start My Own Blog?

I was asked this question by one of the readers of this site and I have written a brief page about the mechanics of doing this. I plan to add more detail as I find the time but for now, I think the more important question is ‘why do you want a blog?’

If you can answer that then the how part is simple and covered here.

 

Relevant Content Is The Key

Google have been busy slapping hundreds of black hat SEO types and a stack of white hats, too. Basically SEO as they knew it is dead. Now the focus is on the content and that needs to be quality content, not poorly written rubbish of 200 words or less, stuffed with keywords and basically making no sense to anyone, even the poor schlep who wrote it for a buck or less.

I feel for the writers of developing countries like Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Alabama and so on as the gravy train for them is coming off the rails. No longer can second rate composition and poor grammar be offered as an ‘article’. No more the scrapers and the blog networks set up solely to raise the ranking of sites at the expense of the reader. For all those SEO gurus who just wanted tons of content to fill out a place to advertise and sell from, the game is over.

Content must not only be of a decent standard, it also has to be relevant. Google and other search engines are ranking differently now. They are presenting searchers with results based on relevancy, not just how many back links the site has bought or how many times the keyword is stuffed in the text. I feel vindicated as I have always railed against those spinner programs. I have understood that there is a market for poorly written articles which keep ESL writers in rice and curry and feed their families- they have a right to earn a living too and we in the developed world need to adjust. Still, it is time now for good content providers to say this is what we can write for you and this is what we charge.

So how much do we charge? That is an entirely different blog, perhaps even a page of its own. Stay tuned. Hit the RSS icon and grab the feed.

Panda And Google Explained

Here is a terrific presentation that explains the recent Panda slap from Google. If you have no idea what I am talking about, basically Google have changed how they rank sites and this will have a major effect on how web sites are ranked and thus their level of success as regards traffic. The bottom line as far as we eWriters are concerned is that it supports my long held belief that the best way to get solid traffic is to offer content worth reading and worth coming back to.

The days of the $1 for 100 word ‘article’ are over, effectively. The SEO experts who relied on pumping out these petty collections of words and calling them articles with a link to the web site they wish to manipulate the ranking of will now have to find other ways to justify their existence. Tightly written content placed on well laid out and easy to navigate pages offering the visitor quality information or entertainment – that is the secret.

It is not just good content that is needed now but also properly constructed web sites that make it easy and enjoyable for humans to interact with. Interaction is the key and the more you can put on your site for the visitor to interact with, and that means more than just read, the better. ‘Interact’ with the Webinar presentation below and invest an hour of your life for a lot more in return, with thanks to ‘Guerilla’ and the good people at www.dripfeedblasts.com

 

Wistia

Harry & Ivory In Paperback

I have the privilege and the honour to be the publisher, in hardcopy paperback (US Trade 6″x9″ 280 pages) of a superb example of the Great American Novel. ‘Harry & Ivory’ by John Aalborg has been out as an eBook for some time but he recently gave me permission to publish it through StreetWise Publications in hard copy. It is available for review and sale at my Lulu.com page

 

Moving Away From The ‘Membership’ Model Of Online eBook Selling

I confess I get a buzz when I see my eBooks on sale at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com or at the iTunes Store. I would like to see the hardcopy editions on the shelves of every library and bookstore around the world but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The buzz for most is ‘buzzier’ when your name is on a printed book you can pick up, hold in your hand, read and lend out. The thing is you can do all of that with eBooks albeit not without some help from an eReader or other device. Whereas the book has some advantages over the ‘e’ version, the eBook has its own set of pros to balance the cons. You can send a copy to anyone with an email account, anywhere in the world. In fact, you can send it to their mobile phone or iPod-like device, Kindle or similar reader. If you lose a book it is gone. You can always download your eBook from wherever you store it or purchased it if you accidentally wipe wherever it is you are currently reading it from. Amazon’s kindle store lets you download to your PC or Mac as well as your Kindle and if you lose a title you can always download it again for free.

While there is no doubt a lot of the current crop of eBooks are pretty much rubbish when it comes to layout, formatting and even basics like spelling and grammar let alone plot and so forth, the fact is a ton of books of equal or worse quality made it into print over the years and then filled the bargain bins outside barely getting by bookshops. The media is not the problem although today, with eBooks still in their infancy, there are a lot of people clambering aboard who barely have a grip as the juggernaut pulls out of the station. Do not worry, they will fall off enroute. Already in the eight years I have been publishing electronically I have seen the means to achieve this become more and more simple and accessible for all, just as my own skill and ability to produce a decent looking eBook has come along in the proverbial leaps and bounds.

Right now I am switching from a traditional ‘membership’ model of selling my range of Philippines eBooks to what I call the ‘Amazon’ model. Rather than charge $29.99 a title and offer freebies and personal advice via email and so on, I will now sell the same titles for just $9.99 via the major online eBook distributors. I make less per sale, sure, but then I don’t have the hassle or the overheads. No need to worry about the software we use to accept sales and deliver the download dying on us at 3a.m.. No need to try and push the web sites where we advertise the books, not to mention the costs in owning and operating those web sites. On the plus side, those major distributors already get more ‘untargeted’ traffic than we could ever whip up in targeted traffic, without doing anything. If we focus the effort we have already expended on the many web sites we use to support the sale of the books into making people aware of the books being available at amazon.com et al, we will surely increase volume and eventually exceed current sales.

I have been selling the eBooks via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing for a year now and watched sales steadily grow despite zero promotion. It is at the point where they match the numbers of books sold via the ‘membership model’ given the drop in sales there in recent months. The bottom line is simply this. The paradigm has shifted. The whole online book buying marketplace has changed and if I don’t change with it I will be left behind and in the eCommerce world this is instant death. If it doesn’t work out we can always return to the membership model and for some niche products that is still the ideal model but I think we need to get with the mainstream and utilize social networking media like Facebook and Twitter and replicate what the big sellers of eBook fiction are doing to turn over some huge numbers. Time will tell and I’ll tell it here so you can share the knowledge.

Blogging All-in-One For Dummies

  • ISBN13: 9780470573778
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Product Description
A complete guide to creating and establishing your place in the blogosphere! New blogs are being launched at the rate of 175,000 a day. To stand out from the masses, bloggers need the detailed information and advice packed into this all-in-one guide. Here’s what new bloggers need to get started and what experienced bloggers need to upgrade and even earn money from their blogs. Eight self-contained minibooks cover joining the blogosphere, bloggin… More >>

Blogging All-in-One For Dummies

Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal: A Guide for Crafters, Artists & Creatives of all Kinds

  • ISBN13: 9781600595110
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Product Description
Today’s crafting community is online, connected, and blissfully blogging about their work and ideas. Blogging is hot in this highly creative world—and here is the only how-to book aimed directly at them. Everyone from knitters and beaders to scrapbookers and altered artists will find the practical information and visual inspiration they need to create an artful online journal. Thanks to hundreds of gorgeous screen grabs from the very best blogs, a thorough intro… More >>

Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal: A Guide for Crafters, Artists & Creatives of all Kinds

Blogging For Dummies

  • ISBN13: 9780470565568
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Product Description
The blogging bestseller, now fully updated to reflect the latest tools and techniques Blogging is forever evolving, and remains essential for anyone who wants a distinctive Web presence. There are many options that surround blogging-on everything from blogging software to hosting services-and this fun and friendly guide gets you started so can begin logging in hours of blogging! Building on the success of the two previous bestselling editions, this latest r… More >>

Blogging For Dummies

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

  • ISBN13: 9780470616345
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Product Description
A complete how-to from two of the world’s top bloggers Thousands of aspiring bloggers launch new blogs every day, hoping to boost their income. Without solid advice from experts, most will fail. This bestselling guide, now fully revised with new and updated tips and tricks from two of the world’s most successful bloggers, provides the step-by-step information bloggers need to turn their hobby into an income source or a fulltime career. E… More >>

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income