Tips on Blogging

How often do you need to post to your blog?

Since the most prominent bloggers out there are blogging every day – sometimes multiple times a day, many beginning bloggers think they have to match that pace. Not exactly true.

I recommend beginning bloggers commit to at least three posts a week, 5 if you can.

Surely you can come across three things worth telling your readers over the course of seven days. If you can’t then I’d say you aren’t on the pulse of your target audience – which is a different matter entirely.

Anytime you email something to a friend or colleague or make a mental note to read an article later on – BLOG IT.  Add to your online storehouse of knowledge.

Many blog tools allow you to schedule your blog’s posts ahead of time. You can schedule a week’s worth ( even a month’s worth) of blog posts in the time it takes to drink a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea (which is neither tea nor required to be from Long Island – discuss!).

If nothing else… remember these two things:

1 – In the Beginning… these blogs you are doing are not really meant to be read by humans. They are purely for “Search Engine Bait”.

2 – Put anything in your blog you would say to a prospect who is asking you about whatever it is you do.

Once you get the hang of blogging each day… you’ll find something to blog about. Then, don’t forget to Tweet on Twitter that you just posted a new blog. It will help your blog in the search engines! REALLY!

Have a good weekend!


(Follow me on Twitter)

What About Active Rain?

Active Rain (a.k.a. AR) is a multi user platform, nothing more, nothing less.  Its success is its multiple users.  Thousands I would guess.  Its failure is because of its success.


Let me explain.  The system rewards the conversation.  The conversation is the back and forth that can happen from a blog responding to another blog thru commentary, trackback, or a blog post.  Or all of the above.


AR rewards you for anything you post.  The more you post the more exposure you get.  So each post usually gets comments.  Many are obvious attempts at what we in the off AR world would call "comment spamming".  It makes for a very retarded conversation.  It also makes for a very incestious community of self focused blogging as opposed to consumer focussed blogging.


This is not the only example of a multi-user blog, but AR was the first to come onto the scene (I say scene and not market because a market implies trade of usually dollars) with its unique ranking system.  And true to the predictions of the book "Positioning", being first to market usually wins.


Win what? is my concern. killed its buyout of AR.  Did they figure out that free means no revenues?  But I thought free is the new empowerment model that Web 2.0 is all about.  I question that one all the time.  Its hard to demand restitution from something you never paid for.  AR should offer unique blogs as a revenue model, and it is wise to have your brand on your own URL as blogs at sites like AR can be used as brand extensions.


The Consumer Asks Why Do You Matter?


When I consult I teach that the web is becoming more and more about proof of your relevance in the marketplace.


Active Rain has created a nice model to cause agents to create content.  These agents are only too happy to comply and create in many cases (not all), junk content.  I can only wonder what the consumer sees in the many posts I’ve seen at Active Rain illustrates.


Many of the posts I’ve seen there are far removed from anything real estate, and is more relevant to an IVillage discussion group.  The bulk of comments I see there that could be at all interesting to a consumer (other than a consumer looking to confirm the cultural view of a Realtor) are ones that briefly allude to a particular market.


This is what the industry as represented at AR is saying is their relevance to the single largest asset that the consumer/visitor owns.  Can you understand why there is a demand for a Really Good Blog in the marketplace?


Those of you with Blogs that we maintain for you, can be proud of the fact that your blog is on your own domain, and contains 100% pure relative content.  A consumer finding your blog will not see BS posts that are put there just to fill up space.


Is Active Rain worth doing?  Maybe.  Would I spend a lot of time posting there?  No.


More later on other Social Networking Spots.  Have a Good Thursday!  WOW… where did January go already???





Guard Your Wallet!

As we get closer and closer to the end of another year, I come to you today NOT to try and sell you anything (you guys know I very rarely ever do that anyway)… but to warn you to “GUARD YOUR WALLET!”


There are several things circulating around the Internet right now that you may or may not have received notice of.  This post is in case you HAVE received one or more email’s from marketers promoting these things, as well as for those of you who may NOT have gotten word of these promotions making their rounds right now. 


First of all… Web 2.0


Most everyone who is on any major marketer’s email list has been hit with the latest and greatest thing called “Web 2.0”  You need to pay CLOSE attention here.  Are you ready?


The phrase “Web 2.0” was most likely invented by some marketing guru in an attempt to get you to buy something!.. and from what I am seeing… it was a job pretty well done… I have to give him (or her) that.  Regardless.. I am here to tell you… (in my humble opinion)… “Web 2.0” is pretty much a bunch of marketing hype right now.  There may be SOME validity to some of the hype, but it’s mostly fluff.


Why?  Because nobody really knows what it is they are talking about, at least not in the circles I hang with.  Enough on “Web 2.0”  For the time being, suffice it to say, “Ed recommends YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR WALLET!”


The second warning pertains to another big new idea that is being pushed around the net right now.  I’ve gotten at least 15 email’s over the past few days from every major Internet Marketer out there… amazingly ALL using the same canned pre-written email, telling everyone about the new “Pipeline Profits” program.


First of all… What is it?  Bottom line:  It’s about using co-registration leads to build massive lists and to market your products or services to those leads in a systematic approach.


Co-Registration is a very common technique used by marketers and even major corporations.  When you sign up for something online, and there’s a bunch of boxes you can check for more information on this or that — THAT’S Co-Registration.  A good example is seen when you go and sign up for a HOTMAIL email account (which everyone knows I would NEVER recommend you do!).. but you get the idea.


Does it work?  Yes and no.  If you have seen the Pipeline Profits video, you’ll see that these guys grossed over $1 million dollars in 90 days… so obviously it works.  On the other hand.. it has some serious problems.  In my opinion, most emails that get sent to co-registration leads are spam, or at least LOOK spammy… and even if you’re not sending spam, you WILL be accused of it.


I think there is tremendous risk in using co-registration.  Consider how it works.  You get a bunch of names and email addresses (and IP addresses which supposedly makes it legal).  You’ve never met these people, and they’ve never heard of you.  You load them into an email program (like ARP) and blast off your message.   The guys from the Pipeline Profits video say they are getting 10,000-100,000 new leads a day.  Hmmm… do you suppose any of those people will click the “report as spam” button when they receive the first message? You better believe they will… you can almost take it to the bank!


I am NOT saying that it doesn’t work… but this is a technique that I personally would not use, and therefore I am not going to recommend that you use it either.  


So, if you have NOT gotten anything in your email boxes about these two “latest and greatest marketing ploys”…  consider yourself sheltered and safe.  If you HAVE received mail pertaining to either of these, I strongly recommend you “GUARD YOUR WALLET” and steer clear of both of them.  Especially the Co-Registration scheme!


I know that everyone is looking for ways to get more leads, but folks, this is NOT the way to do it!   Okay??  I’ve studied these things… and want to save you the time and money of falling for either of these marketing gimmicks for your business.


I am in the back pockets of a lot of major marketers, and if and when I find something that I think will TRULY help you with your business, rest assured, I will tell you about it.  Until then, “Guard Your Wallet” and keep doing what you’re doing.  🙂



Search Engine Optimization?

Seems that several SEO Companies are starting to “make the rounds” once again in calling and trying to convince some of you that “Search Engine Optimization” is the end all solution to your traffic problems.  So allow me a moment (if you will) to address this topic:
I labeled the subject of this post “Search Engine Optimization?” with a question mark, because that’s exactly what it is.  A BIG Question mark!!!

For a good many years, so-called “Search Engine Optimization” companies have done well… and some have actually done something positive for some of their clients.  But for the most part, they are a miserable disaster waiting to happen to your web site.  Let me explain why.
Up until November/December 2005, one of the things we offered as a service to our clients was “Search Engine Submission” of your web site each month to the major engines.  We ceased offering that program simply because, “IT NO LONGER WORKS”.
Submitting your web site to the search engines USED TO WORK, but not any more.  I have done extensive testing of this.. and have learned from others with much deeper pockets to test than I have.  It just does not work, and in fact, can actually HURT YOU in the rankings.  That’s right… submitting your URL to the search engines on a repetitive basis can (and usually does) HURT your rankings… not help them.  The search engines don’t want anyone TELLING them anything… and that’s what repeated submitting of your site is doing.  You’re telling the search engines… “Hey dummy… I already told you every month for the past 24 that I’m here at this address, and I’m TELLING YOU AGAIN… come visit my site…”
Search engines have gotten sick and tired of that… and have stopped listening.  That’s why we STOPPED submitting your sites… it actually does more harm than good.
What these “SEO Companies” do when they “SELL YOU” on their services is this.  They go in to your site… and create a TON of “SPAM PAGES”… which are basically just crap pages stocked full of keywords, pages that look like crap to a real person, but SUPPOSEDLY are search engine bait.
These so-called “Landing Pages” are then tied to an article they write that gets submitted to the search engines.. and those articles then link back to your specific landing page, which then re-directs the user to some other page at your site.
This too USED TO WORK, but the search engines have also gotten wise to this tactic, and it just doesn’t work any more.  Search engines see this as the equivalent to you “Spamming The Engine” with garbage… and Google, Yahoo! and MSN (equivalent to the Big 3 Automakers in the Search Engine World) have all gotten wise to these tactics.
You need to understand something here.  Google (and I suspect Yahoo! and MSN have as well) is hiring some of the most highly trained and intelligent people on the face of the earth to come to work for them… and most have PhD’s and Doctorates in Science, Computers, and other technology related fields.  These people are not stupid.. and they are on a mission.  The mission is.. “CLEAN UP THE SEARCH RESULTS!”  And that means… a lot of sites are being de-indexed, many are losing their ranking.. and others are moving up.
So what is it they want, and why?
Simple.  The engines are all concerned with one thing, and one thing only.  Delivering the best search results to their visitors they possibly can.
Let’s face it… if you continually go to Google, or Yahoo!, or MSN, and all you get are junk pages, or pages that make you continue to search for what you went there for, eventually, you’ll look someplace else to find the results you want.  Therefore, these guys are on a mission to clean out the garbage and deliver good content results to their site visitors.
Now, if you’re lured and tempted by one of these SEO Companies and promised all these great “Top 10 Rankings” for keywords in your market, and you want to just throw away several thousand dollars to find out what I’m telling you here (FOR FREE) doesn’t work, then I can send you several charities that would benefit more by you sending them your money.
The simple fact of the matter is… search engine optimization is a WASTE OF MONEY, and in MOST CASES, (in the long run) will HURT your rankings, NOT help them.
The ONLY thing I’ve found (in the past 14 to 18 months) that continues to work consistently at improving your search engine ranking is, BLOGGING!
Search engines love content.  They love continuously updated pertinent content.  They love content that is information people want…  and blogging delivers ALL of these variables.
Static web sites that never change… and only contain spotty content (at best sometimes) is NOT what they want to deliver to their users.  Therefore, many of these Search Engine Optimized sites are falling in the ranks, because the engines are “Cleaning Up Their Act” in what they deliver to their users.
This is the WHOLE REASON our “Blogs for Your Business” idea was born, cultivated, tested, and delivered to market.  It works. Plain and simple.
If you have already signed up for our BlogsForYourBusiness, you’ve already taken the best step you could take towards “SEO for Your Site”.
Another thing that DOES continue to work, (but SEO companies only seem to have half of the equation figured out) is the writing of GOOD articles, and submitting these to the major Article Directories.
Who has time to sit down and write articles?
Not many of us.  In consideration of the fact that articles do make good search engine fuel, I am HIRING an article writer FOR YOU!   That’s right.  For those of you who subscribed to our Blog Service when we launched it…  I have decided to hire a professional writer to write articles for you.  NOT FOR YOUR BLOG… but articles that I will be submitting FOR YOU to the major article directories.  Articles that will have YOUR name, NOT MINE, not the author’s, on the article as a resource back to your web site.
This is an added bonus I have decided to throw in for Blog Subscribers (at no additional cost).  Not only will we be adding fresh content to your blog on a continuous basis…  but now… we will be submitting articles to the web with YOUR NAME and YOUR web address linked there… which could stay in circulation forever!
You see… many web site owners and bloggers are STARVING for content.  Especially bloggers.  Everyone has been convinced of the importance of having a Blog, but suddenly, people are realizing, “They’ve got to add new content to that blog!”  … so they turn to article directories to find this content.  They get fresh articles from these directories, add them to their web site, which in turn, links back to your site (as the author), and gives you one more of the hot search engine starved ingredients… and that is… “One Way Back Links.”
Link farms and directories USED TO WORK by you exchanging (reciprocal) links with other sites.  Now… Google (and many of the others are following suit) is putting FAR MORE weight and relevancy on “One Way Back Links” versus link reciprocity.  So, we’ve STOPPED doing reciprocal links, and the best way I know of to get what the engines like to see (other than and in addition to your blog) (the one way links leading TO YOUR SITE) (versus links coming in and going right back out) is to have you publishing articles with links to your web site.
I know none of you have time (or the desire) to write articles…  So, as an added bonus (that you didn’t know you were going to be getting), I’m hiring a writer to take care of this for you!!
If you did not sign up for a Blog for Your Business, I’m sorry, this article bonus will not be added to your site linking structure.  And I’m also sorry, as we are not accepting any new orders for Blogs at this time.
These articles will be added to the Article Directories very slowly over the next 6 months.  Going in and just plastering the directories with a ton of new articles will not work, it has to be done slowly (like a good bar-b-cue) over a long period of time…  and trust me… I have learned the formula and the pace at which this works best.
So, in summary, let me encourage ALL of you…  If an SEO Company calls on you… no matter how good the pitch… no matter what great search engine results they promise you… resist the urge to say “yes.”  They will not only take your money… they will hurt whatever ranking you have now.
If you signed up for the Blog Service, be patient.  Give the blog a chance to do what it is designed and intended to do.   There is a method to what you see with your blog when it is brand new, and there is also a method behind the things you’ll see coming down the road that gets added to your blog.  Just be patient and watch.
More later this week…