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Month: November 2010

How to treat your blog as a business

Artists make art, not money. Only business makes money. Make money with your blog, that’s what it is all about, isn’t it? Make money blogging, earn in your sleep, have an email list instead of an ATM; one email and BOOM! Money explodes into your bank account. The dream, I am happy to report, is alive and well, and more and more people are buying in: earn money and live the “Internet Lifestyle”. This represents an attitude almost, that it is just a matter of starting a blog, and you’d be done, with exploding bank accounts and everything. That is not how it works though. Yours truly is an entrepreneur, and have numerous enterprises that are, by God’s Grace, in the green. Most of them are offline. Distribution, agriculture and marketing. I hear the same attitude towards ‘starting your own business’ i.e. you just need to have your own business and money will come in like Niagara Falls (or Victoria Falls, depending on which side of the equator you studied geography). But that is not how it works, man! A business is a lot more than a business card, an office space and an expensive suit. In fact, all my enterprises do not have an office space (there is an office address though!), I wear suits only for weddings, (ha!) and I work sometimes less than 4 hours a...

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Must-have plugins for your blog business

Following is a highly-scrutinized list of plugins that I use on pretty much any blog that I set up. I have given the reasons as to why I use these plugins and some tips on how to effectively use them. From time-to-time, this list grows 🙂 All in One SEO Enough said. Wp Captcha Free (Download for FREE) Use it to fight spam, and win! Definitely an underrated plugin, but one of the most effective ones I have used. I really do not know exactly HOW it does what it does, and I don’t want to know (I love abstraction sometimes). One of my blogs used to get 35 to 40 “Please moderate…” requests a day, and when I finally installed this plugin, the daily spam count dropped to… ZERO! Now I install it on every blog that I install. Highly recommended. Easy Contact (Download for FREE) The simplest method to add a ‘contact’ page on to your blog. Some people recommend CForms, but they do that probably because they have not tried out Easy Contact. It is easy. Duh! Subscribe to Comments Reloaded (Download for FREE) Whenever someone leaves a comment on your blog, you always focus on the comment. That’s missing the point. Blogging is not ABOUT COMMENTS people, it is about INTERACTION! Remember that. To encourage interaction, instead of just one-off comments, always use this wonderful...

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I owe dinner to these 5 bloggers

My first ‘actionable item’ for starting any project – online or offline – is to find a teacher. Online business and blogging is no different. Here is a very selective list of bloggers that are teaching you for free what took them time and money to learn. I respect them for what they are doing and I pay attention to what they are saying. Goes without saying, I end up learning way faster. In no particular order, here are the folks who are making it big out there, and telling you about it. I owe them dinner because they have given me a lot more than what I gave them. If you want to learn more about blogging, online marketing and business and general goodness, I highly recommend the following: Pat Flynn Blog name: Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn What is the blog about? Pat talks about ways to earn passive income, strictly via online methods. Why did this blog make the list? I don’t even remember how I stumbled onto Pat’s blog, but I was glad I did. The thing that got my attention was his straight-up honesty that no, he is not a “millionaire guru”, just a guy who has decided to earn his living from online ventures. And then he goes ahead and lays it all out, and his monthly income reports are a charm...

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Blog SEO

Because this is fundamental stuff, you do not need to be a geek to understand ’em. Any blog owner and business owner should know these. For your blog/website to be of any use, it needs traffic and a mechanism of converting that traffic into clients. Go back and read the above line again. Your website needs people coming to it. Search Engine Optimization deals with the field of bringing traffic to your blog/website. Because pretty much everyone uses search engines to find stuff online, your online presence should show up on search results for anyone to click through and come visit your website. But people search for a gazillion things online. If I am searching for cars, why would your blog on baking cakes show up? It is the job of the search engines (like Google) to make sure that what a person is searching for, he gets related results. So only car-related stuff should show up if I am searching for Mitsubishi Evo. You are a blogger, and your blog is about baking cakes. You write recipes and other fun stuff (fun stuff for people interested in cooking obviously). So when you write a blog post about your latest and greatest cake recipe, your post will be picked up by search engines (like Google). All search engines store this information so that they can display it to anyone...

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301 Redirect for your WordPress blog

If you are going to do something, then it is worth doing right. Right? To really optimize you search engine rankings, you need to do a few basic things with your blog. Setting up a 301 redirect is one of them. 301 what? A redirect, as the name suggests, takes you from one place to another. For example, you can set up a redirect at http://abc.com/ so that whenever anyone comes to abc.com they are AUTOMATICALLY taken to http://xyz.com. In our case, setting up a 301 redirect is important to help your blog with its SEO rankings. You see, as far as search engines like Google are concerned, http://blogstarta.com and http://www.blogstarta.com are two completely different sites. But in normal practice, they are the same. So what happens? Someone links back to your blog with http://www.blogstarta.com/ and some without the ‘www’. This divides your linkback count, which really should not be the case. There ought to be consistency primarily because consistency helps with the SEO of your blog/website. You need to enforce consistency on your end (you really can’t enforce this on the linker’s end; you should be thanking the linker, not enforcing stuff on him!). Also, it does not matter what you decide (to go with WWW or without), but what matter is that you do decide, and stick with it. (I am sure there is a deep philosophical...

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