Google Sitemaps is one of the latest innovations by search leader Google to allow publishers to clearly designate parts of their site for indexing. By giving publishers the power to guide search engine bots what content they should be looking at, information is organized in a much better way, at least for a given site. The benefits are definitely worth it.
Problogging is not for everyone
Yes, you got that right, problogging is not for everyone. Despite the enticing benefits made even more inviting by numerous success stories around the web, this newly established career will never be a viable primary source of livelihood for the greater majority of those who try it.
Blogging made it into the mainstream because it enables everyone to communicate almost instantaneously. The promise of getting your message across to your target audience at the soonest possible time empowers every person who can write well enough to be understood. Unfortunately, not everyone has something worthwhile to say.
So how could you take advantage of blogging, professionally? Use it to drive interest towards your competencies. Use your blog to showcase your level of expertise in your field, and rise above the competition. Most web designers keep weblogs to write about recent projects and techniques they’ve developed, and doing so allows them to be noticed by their peers and more importantly, their clients.
Strive to stick to your weblog’s primary goals. Do not not be drawn by the promise of profits from blogging itself, but rather use it to increase your stock and excel in your field of interest.
Writing for the web
You’re a stream of creative thoughts and ideas, but it’s not not enough for effective writing on the web. Writing for the web need not be complicated, get straight to the point. Great offline writers can master writing for the web by following some simple guidelines. In addition, the articles “How to Write a Better Weblog” and “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web” from A List Apart can further mold your writing and content for the living web.
Everyone’s gone gaga over Pagerank, so this article should be very helpful in analyzing and breaking it down for you. Now make sure you’ve gone through all the steps. 🙂 Here is the outline of the checklist:
- Do you know how Google ranks pages?
- Do you know if Google has indexed your page?
- Do you know your Page Rank?
- Do you create new page rank for yourself?
- Do you conserve your page rank?
- Do you concentrate your page rank where it will do the most good?
- How many inbound links do you have?
- Do you use enough keywords?
- Do you monitor the progress of your keywords?
- Are your <title>, <h1>, and <h2> tags descriptive?
- Do you use META keywords and description tags?
- Is your URL consistently in the same case?
- Do your links have relevancy to the page you’re linking to?
- Do make it easy for Google to find your dynamic pages?
- Do your inbound picture links use attributes?
- Do you avoid the temptation of link farms?
- Are you listed with DMOZ.org?
- Do you avoid using frames on your website?
- Does your Flash website have an alternate HTML site?
- Do you submit all your software to download sites?
- Are your webpages less than 101k?
- Do you use your Robots.txt file effectively?
Professional blogging has always been synonymous with statistics, be it unique visitors, pageviews, or adsense clicks. The rise of blogging has spawned the need for stat tracking systems, to the point that google now owns two promising services: Analytics (formerly Urchin) and Measuremap.
There are several other options in the market, though a good number are only available through paid monthly subscription. For those in need of basic stats, Sitemeter does the job acceptably well. Fortunately for everyone, the popular problogging community Performancing has just launched Performancing Metrics, their stats tool that is both simple yet powerful. A quick overview outlines your site’s daily stats, and you can dig deeper for detailed information. Typical data are available like unique visitors, pageviews, browsers, screen resolutions, and other visitor details. A not so typical (and very helpful) feature is adsense click tracking, which can be used to monitor the ad clicking behavior of your readers. Best of all, it’s currently free, and all you need is a Performancing account (also free). Try it!
WordPress for professional blogging
These days, many of us are dreaming of taking professional blogging seriously, enough for it to become a major source of income. And fortunately for some of us, blogging as a business has been rewarding, especially financially.
This phenomenon has inspired many others to consider blogging as an additional revenue source, to supplement what they may be earning from their day jobs. Once you’ve got your blogging ideas ready, all you need is decent hosting and a good blogging platform.
There are many options available, though if you observe individuals running their own little blog networks, more often than not, you would see WordPress as the platform of choice.
Why WordPress? Personally, this choice has been a no–brainer. The application comes with all the basic features you’ll need to get a blog running. Additionally, it offers endless customization options as you learn the system, and the possibilities are endless. Because it is based on PHP and MySQL, you can easily learn the system, with the whole open source community behind you, providing lessons and tools for rapid learning and development.
WordPress also has a very large community of selfless individuals who continuously contribute and improve the application with various plugins, themes, and even hacks to make it do just about everything. The app has taken various incarnations and served varied purposes, it’s that good that it has been modded to simulate a photo gallery solution, a content aggregator, and quite sadly, it has also been a splogging solution for evil–minded souls.
A big seller for professional blogging is the fact that WordPress is pre–optimized for search engines. Using the clean permalinks option, it produces friendly URLs that are preferred by search engines. It also supports the various XML syndication formats which has almost been a requirement for almost all new web applications.
Lastly, WordPress is free. Free as in beer, or in whatever way you want to see it. You don’t have to pay anything for it, and you can pretty much mangle it to suit your needs.
Don’t you agree it’s the best for professional blogging?
The death of original content
The search engine wars and the rise of contextual advertising has produced what many online watchers hav long feared: the death of uniquely original information.
As reported by a WSJ columnist, a brief experiment taking a freelance writing gig results in what is actually a rewriting business. This is the truth that most content providers commit these days, and I am personally guilty of the same thing, to a certain extent. However, what is bothersome is the existence of sites that serve no purpose but take others’s content, twisting and mangling them until they look like it was written by someone else, providing nothing of worthy to those who seek the information.
This phenomenon is the offshoot of the strong drive to dominate search engine results, which in turn produces significant revenues that has been an alternative form of livelihood for many individuals. Obviously, most of these revenues are from online advertising, which is directly a by–product of a site’s traffic size. The more visitors you have, the more money you earn.
Unfortunately, search engines have not been able to considerably weed out the worthless copycats. Segregating useful information from the useless rewritten ones is a job best suited for humans, a technology too hard to translate to machine code — unless other methods are developed to track such instances.
Are we going to finally see the death of original content? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, the continuous growth of valuable information is synonymous to pirated material. This will be the reality, at least for the next few years. How soon search engines respond and win against the content pirates is surely something we will all be keenly waiting for.
Welcome to problogger philippines. I’m Markku Seguerra and most likely you’ve known me through my main weblog, rebelpixel productions.
My other weblog has always been focused on the things I’m passionate about, be it personal or otherwise. I created problogger philippines as a medium for collaborative learning in the field of professional blogging. This is where we learn together on various related interests like contextual advertising, search engine optimization and marketing, and all other buzzwords that comes with the lot.
Now let’s get problogging!