Blogging tools to build your empire online – today

noobblogger.com

I have been looking into this whole Internet Marketing thing for a while now.  I was originally inspired by Pat Flynn over on Smart Passive Income and decided like many of you to take action… I have created this list of blogging tools to build your empire online today.  I don’t bother with gimmicks or dodgy tricks to rank sites.  I just use the tools available to me to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

I might have started of my initial journey slightly sideways and jumped straight in.  If I knew then what I know now everything would have been drastically different.  But there is a saying out there somewhere.  If you don’t fail then you aren’t even trying. Based on the knowledge I have gained on my journey so far I have decided to pull a list of my most valuable ‘finds’ together.  There are many similar lists on the Internet but this is what has worked for me and it’s all in the one place.

I’ll put this in at the start because on this post I have nothing to hide

Disclaimer: Some of the following links are affiliate links and yes I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase – this action will not cost you anything extra.

If you do decide to make a purchase and you use one of my links then thank you.

 

Hosting – The Foundations of your Empire

bluehost couponBluehost: My main business sites are hosted on Bluehost.  They are very competitively priced and with 99% up-time backed by first class customer service they are top of my list of hosting providers.

Hostgator: I use Hostgator for some of my business blogs. My business background is in technology so am very aware of risk mitigation.  Hence I have multiple options for hosting business sites.  That way if you loose a host you will still have 50% of your revenue coming in until things get sorted.  Again they have 99% up-time with first class service and support so make it into my top 3 hosting providers.

 

Blogging – The Walls of your Empire

WordPress & ThemesI use WordPress for most of my sites.  I find it really easy to use and for the most part it does what I need it to. At this moment in time I am using mostly free themes for all my WordPress sites.  This will change when I get a chance, as I no longer have the time to write custom code to get things to work as I would like the to.  A lot of people are now running with paid themes so I’ll report back here and update when I make the move.  The theme for this site is by CyberChimps and its free on their website.

Content – The key to Success of your Empire

Content is King: Talk to anybody these days and they all say that content is king.  Freshness is vital to ranking well in Google – well sort of anyway.  Glen Allsop over on ViperChill has an awesome post on Google ranking and some of the things you can do to get to the top.  Well worth taking the time to read this one.  The big trick with Internet Marketing is getting traffic and targeting the right phrases and keywords to position your blog or business right in front of your audience and there are a few tools out there that make this much easier than you think.  A site that seems to be doing this the right way is a Triathlon Gear website.  Most of the posts are new and seem to have relevant content.  I will be monitoring this over the next few weeks to see how it performs in the SERPs      

SEO – Attracting your Foot soldiers

As mentioned in the previous point you need to know what people are looking for and position your pages and content in front of them at the right time.  This comes down to good research, specifically keyword research and long tail keyword research.  Here are some of the tools I use daily to find these to target

Longtail Pro: By far the best keyword research tool out there.  I originally downloaded the trial version and had a bit of a play with it.  I built up a quick blog post and targeted a specific phrase I found with low competition and a fairly high hit rate – yes they still exist – you just need to know where to find them.  This is where I discovered the value in Longtail Pro.   Within 2 weeks of putting the site online I was top of the pile in Google rankings.  Armed with this knowledge it was a very easy decision for me to part with a small amount of cash to purchase the full version.  Have not looked back since and I suggest you go do the same.  Trust me its worth the money.

 Google: Not a paid tool but Google keyword Tool is something I will always use for research.  There are a million blog posts out there detailing how to use this so I wont reinvent the wheel by writing it down again.  I also use Google Analytics constantly and Google Webmaster tools.  Each of these plays a big part in researching the next big thing but also for good housekeeping on my existing sites.

List Building and E-Mail Target Marketing – Talk to your troops

There is a saying – If you build it they will come.  Yeah, they will if they know about it.  If you want to build any sort of a decent business – certainly around Internet Marketing then you need to build up a loyal base of followers.  Early on I used various free tools to do this but am now moving over to a paid service.  Research on this was limited to looking at what the top guys are using everywhere else.  Call me lazy but if the tools were rubbish they why would they use them.  One tool that caught my eye was

Aweber:  I Use this to create solid customer relationships.  They have a fantastic selection of email marketing tools and e-mail signup forms, auto-responders that do the hard work for you.

Hired Help – Somebody else to feed your troops

When you start out building sites and blogging you get the honor of staying up all night and writing content and building pages and links.  Once you start to see a return on some of this investment you can change pace a bit.  As the money start to trickle in – and it will if you use the right tools and strategy then you can look at the possibilities of outsourcing some of the load to somebody else.  Here is one that I have heard mentioned on numerous occasions and they are high on my list to investigate further in the future.

Odesk.com: Odesk cover everything from SEO right through to logo design and at first glance prices seems to be averaging out at around $4 per hour. Think about how much you can get done in an hour with a bit of focus and it starts to make sense to get somebody else to do the heavy lifting for you and create some of the value while you get on building your empire.

Thats my list so far.  If you have tools that you cant live without they let me know via a comment.  If they work and you you can show me proof then they might end up in my toolkit as well.

 

Thanks for reading Blogging tools to build your empire online and don’t forget to comment

 

noobblogger.com

How to write a blog

how to write a blog

When you start to think about writing you own blog its a bit of a minefield.  There are a gazillion blogs out there that provide tips and tricks on how to get started.  I have put together my top ten tips on how to write a blog.

I encourage feedback on all my posts and would hope to see some of your thoughts in the comments section.  If suitable they will go into an updated version of this post at a later date.

Today I’m going to concentrate on WordPress as this is the easiest portal into the blogging world.  I’m not going to into the installation process of WordPress in this post.  Most good hosting providers do that automatically now.  I have another post here that describes how to add a new theme to WordPress which you should do to change the look and feel of your site.

OK the top 10 ‘how to write a blog’ tips.

how to write a blog

How to write a blog Tip 1:

First thing you want to do is change the WordPress settings to reflect the www in your domain name.  By default it will show as http://domainname.com.  This will have a huge impact on search engine results as now it will be recognized as a proper website.  There is an official post on the WordPress site here that tells you how to fix things if they go horribly wrong.  Works fine for me – you just have to log in to your site again post change.

 

how to write a blog

How to write a blog Tip 2:

The next thing you need to do is change the permalinks.  The default WordPress setting is /p=1 which tells the person browsing your site, or Google for that matter what the page is about.  I will always change this to /%postname%/.  A much more meaningful description of the content behind the link.

If you take this post fir example it would look something like this:

http://www.noobblogger/p=24 which looks really bad

http://www.noobblogger.com/how-to-write-a-blog which is much better altogether

how to write a blog

 

How to write a blog Tip 3:

Next tip on how to write a blog post is SEO.  SEO is critical to the success of your blog.  Search engine optimization is the art of getting Google and others to find your content and rank it in their search results.  There used to be a magic art to getting this to work properly but for any budding blogger there are a rake of tools available now to help you out.  My favorite tool is WordPress SEO by Yeost.  It uses a traffic light system to indicate the strength of your post from a SEO perspective.

how to write a blog

 

If you follow the rules with this plugin you should start to see your page views go up over time and your posts rise up the ranking in Google search.

 

How to write a blog Tip 4:

The next tip will save you a heap of time.  Add a comment SPAM filter.  I forgot to do this a few times on various blogs and ended up with a huge amount of spam comments.

how to write a blog

 

There are several tweaks you can make to the service and you can choose how much – if anything – you want to pay for the service when you sign up.  Please offer something for the service because I can guarantee you it is worth it.

 

How to write a blog Tip 4:

 

Hosting is critical to your business

monkey

Hosting

One of the most important things you need to look at when building a new site or multiple site is hosting.  I cannot stress enough the importance of this.  I have multiple sites live at this time and for reliability and service I consider bluehost to be the best.  I am not one for advertising normally on any of my sites but this one is warranted.  These guys are pulling in 20,000 new customers a month so must be doing something right.  They also have a live chat system available 24/7 that I have used a few times.  Handy to talk to somebody when they know what they are doing.  They are also on the cheaper end of the scale so well worth a look.

Blue Hosting Link

 

Here are a few of the reasons why Bluehost is right for you:

Customer Support

With hold times that average less than 30 seconds and 100% in house on site staff in their offices you can be assured that the person helping with your site knows how to help.

Exclusive Hosting Technology

They have their own datacenter, they build their own servers, they have their our own nationwide fiber network, they even build their own custom linux kernel patches.

Superior Hosting Facilities

Bluehost facilities are world class. Their headquarters include over 50,000 sq. ft. of office space, a custom built 20,000 sq. ft. data center, and enough backup generators to power a city.

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Thats the marketing bit out of the way.  But seriously, there is nothing worse than trying to log into a site or control panel and you either get failed load or a non responsive page.  Hopefully you are building up a business online or maybe just having some fun, but you want to be able to work on the site whenever you feel like it.

Install new WordPress theme

install new wordpress theme

A quick video on how to install new WordPress theme.  Seems simple enough but not easy if its the first time you have done it.

Install new WordPress theme

To get started you need to click on the appearance tab in the left menu on your dashboard.  From here you select Themes

Install new wordpress theme

install new wordpress theme

This will bring you to the ‘manage themes’ section.

install wordpress theme

install new wordpress theme

The next thing to do is select the Install Theme tab.  For the purpose of this exercise I have chosen a featured theme.  You can alternatively browse the web and download a new theme.  You then upload the theme by selecting upload instead of featured.  A point to make here is that a lot of the free themes on the internet may contain hidden links or some dodgy code.  I tend to stick with the WordPress approved themes.  When you get up to full speed on WordPress there are tools available that can check for malicious code – but thats for another post.  See image below to highlight the featured tab and selection window.

install new wordpress theme

Install new WordPress theme

Next you need to click the install now link to install new WordPress theme.  You have the option here to just preview the theme in action, but it does not show any of you information so its best to install first and then preview.

install new wordpress theme

install new wordpress theme

Once you install new wordpress theme correctly you should see the following screen.  If you get any errors there could be a problem with the theme files.  I spend many hours trying to resolve an issue like this before.  Its not really worth the effort – just get another theme instead and carry on.  Next you have the option to view your new theme in action.

install wordpress theme

install new wordpress theme

You can see various customizable headings on the left.  Have a play with these to see if the new theme fits your needs.  If you are happy you can then hit Save and activate.  When you open your site in a new browser window you will see the new theme has been applied.  If you are not happy you can just go back into the themes view and select and activate your old theme.

Below is a quick video tutorial I made to show these steps.  Apologies for the lack of sound.  Working on that one.

Another key thing you need to work on as part of your new website is SEO.  I have a how to post here. SEO and the magic art of getting it to work

You can also find plenty of free and premium themes on the official WordPress themes site

 

SEO and the magic art of getting it to work

SEO yeost

Hi all,

This should be quite a good post to start with.  Nothing fancy, just correct use of a simple SEO tool.  The WP plugin is SEO by Yoast.

SEO for anybody who like me when I got started doesn’t have a clue what SEO is – it means Search Engine Optimization. A handy Wikipedia link can be found here.  This, when configured correctly will give you better search ranking in Google and help make you content visible when people search for your target keywords.

SEO Setup

First things first.  Search for and install the plugin.  Nothing to it really.  Just a few simple mouse clicks

seo plugin

Once installed you will notice how things have changed slightly when you are writing a post.  You will see a new section in the publish widget to the right.  You can see a round grey ball beside the SEO text.  More on this later.  It should change color if we are doing it right.

seo check

You will also notice a full new ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast” section below the post entry box.  I’ll go through each item briefly but this is what you should see to begin with.

seo box full

Things look a bit rough at the moment but we will start to tidy them up now.

Firstly we need to decide on a focus keyword.  As this post is about SEO we will use that as our keyword.  We are never going to get a very high ranking hit on this because SEO is a very popular topic and there are guys/girls on the web who are experts on this.  Nevertheless this is how a noob (me) does it for the moment.

I have now made so of the required changes to fix the SEO issues.  You can see below that we have a lot more content now and things are starting to go green.  Green is good in this instance.

seo good

The next thing to do is hit the second tab – page analysis. Here you will see 13 statements relating to your page, SEO settings and content.  There are things like keyword density, outbound links, Flesch Reading Ease test score.  Getting all of these to turn green helps with ranking and visibility in google in general.

seo detail

This is just a brief view of SEO for Noobs using a very useful plugin.  Blogs and websites I have built in the past had none of this.  There is a science behind SEO but I don’t have time to learn it so will just use the tools available to me.  I suggest you do the same to at least get started.