Domain name primer

When I registered my first business domain name back in 1997 (1998 according to the domain name records people but I disagree) the correct spelling of my chosen business name was taken by a web development firm in Texas.

So, instead of using the “hooked on phonics” version, I picked up my “street” version of the spelling. Thus Virtual Impax was launched.

I spent the next few years carefully spelling my email address and my business name over the phone… over and over again.

Then, a few years ago, I saw that the CORRECT spelling of my business name was available, I picked it up. (Did I win… or did they? As I work too many hours, I wonder!)

If I had it to do over again…. I’d pick a domain name that SPEAKS about my business…. like I did here.

Make My Blog Successful contains keywords that are important to my potential audience. Because it contains “blog” and “success” when I emerge from the sandbox, I’ll get a nice little boost on those keywords. After all, they’re important enough to be included in my domain name, so they MUST be important!

Staying up to date on WordPress updates

WordPress blogs are absolutely incredible. They’re so incredibly powerful yet so easy to use. There’s only one “downside” to WordPress blogs and it relates to how easy they are to use.

WordPress is so easy to use AND it’s becoming increasingly popular. As a result, it has to be constantly updated as the “bad guys” on the web discover tiny little holes which they can utilize to take over your blog and put it to evil uses (such as spam). Some upgrades are no big deal. Others can crash your blog.

Before you install any update, first grab a back up of your database. Then, deactivate all your plug ins. Then, you’re ready to begin the update. Be sure to check the boards at WordPress.org to learn from the mistakes and missteps of others!

It’s your blog and it’s up to YOU to make sure the maintenance gets done.

If you don’t want all that hassle, consider an Acumen Web Services self hosted WordPress installation. Acumen Web Services offers cyber-angel hosting which means they’ll take care of the updates and upgrades for you.

Successful Blogging Begins With Knowing Your Audience

Writing a blog isn’t too terribly different from other kinds of writing. Whether you want write a book…. or a blog…. or even a sales letter, if you want your writing to be successful, you need to write with your audience in mind.

For example, if you’re writing about Senator Hillary Clinton, you’d better be WELL aware of where your audience stands with regards to Ms. Clinton. If your audience is comprised of right wing conservatives, then Madame Hillary is evil. If on the other hand, your audience is comprised of left wing liberals, then your take on Ms. Clinton will be decidedly different.

However, knowing your audience goes far BEYOND political leanings. (If you aren’t sure to whom you’re speaking, leave politics and religion OUT of your writing.) If your audience is small business owners, then their interests are radically different than the interests of middle managers or even CEO’s of larger companies.

By keeping your audience in mind from the beginning, you make the marketing of your book, ebook or blog easier and more effective.

Start with the end in mind…. the end being who will be reading the magical words that you write.

Blog Marketing: How to Get Free PR for Your Blog

Blog MarketingGetting free PR (the publicity kind) for your blog is considered by some the “best” marketing your blog can get. The reason free PR (publicity) is more powerful than paid publicity (advertising) can be illustrated with this example.

Let’s say you’re searching for a solution to remove the sagging jowls that recently made their appearance upon your face. You pick up a magazine and one one page is a full page ad offering a miracle solution. Across from that ad is an article on the subject. Within the article, are several surgical and non-surgical “solutions” for sagging jowls.

As a consumer, which are you more likely to choose?

Publicity is also known in PR circles as EARNED MEDIA COVERAGE.

What that means is your blog won’t be cited just because you have a blog. There are millions of blogs, you’ve got to come up with something better than “I’ve got a blog” to earn free PR for your blog.

One way to EARN media coverage (and the “media” includes other blogs as well as “traditional” media outlets”) is to provide consistent, reliable, targeted content.  That’s why one of the secrets to blogging success is to stay on track.

Which blog are you more likely to “cite” – the blog that talks about “everything under the sun” – from health and fitness – to Search Engine Optimization – or the blog who obsessively writes about SEO?

If your answer is that you don’t know – it’s only because you don’t want to face the truth.

You’re more likely to be seen as an “expert” if you write obsessively about a certain topic.  Oh, and by writing obsessively about a topic, you will naturally begin to focus on choosing the best keywords for your blog.

There’s a real “freedom” in choosing a tightly defined target for your blog.  Instead of every story that pops up in your RSS reader catching your attention, only the stories that apply to YOUR chosen topic begin to catch your eye.

If you find that your eye is being “drawn” to other types of stories – well,then you have a decision to make.  Some bloggers will launch another blog to support their new passion – while others will find a way to integrate the new topic into the established “niche” for the blog.  The beauty of the latter – sometimes you’ll create your own specialized NICHE market.  The dog groomer who gets interested in SEO is suddenly THE resource for other dog groomers who want to build a successful website.  The shuuterbug who gets into blogging suddenly finds himself a six figure blogger because he’s blogging AND talking about photography.  (a.k.a. Darren Rowse).

This post began with the promise of how to get free PR for your blog – and I hope you’ve realized by now that the BEST way to get free PR (the public relations variety) for your blog is to keep your message TIGHTLY targeted.  Stay focused on your topic and soon you’ll be seen as “the expert” in your niche.  That’s the best way to get free PR for your blog