Writing Up Mooney And Link Love

Please excuse me if I have to write one more post about link love.

Writer and blogger Paula Mooney (pic), who has expressed great admiration for high-riding blogger John Chow as a friendly, helpful and successful entrepreneur, is taking a cue from this Vancouver guy.

Right on...she has just shot off a new post. Well, I happened to be at the right spot at the right time to catch it!

"I'm all about the link love...I'm gonna bite off his idea," writes Paula with enthusiasm and bravado.

And how she's gonna do that? Yeah, you got it...she's inviting you to review her new-look blog and add a link to it. Well, I'm doing it here...right now!

It's all right to give her a piece of your mind. For better or worse, Paula will give you link love in return.

She writes...

Blockquote Getting links from other blogs back to your blog gives your blog more authority. Giving links to other blogs that don't have as much authority as your blog is also goodwill."

Here's the good vibes:

If you have been visiting Paula's blog, you would have noticed it's got a makeover...boy, oh, boy, ain't it a darn good sight.

Man, it's neat with a kinda cool elegance and the layout is better structured. It's adios to the clutter that was there in the old template.

The sidebar with snappy descriptive text complimenting the photos and cartoons is a great idea. It maintains your interest as you scroll down but I hope she will update some of the pix after a while to keep that column looking fresh.

Here's the not-so-good vibes:

As you keep going south on her blog (it looks like a long, long way down), some of the old habits seem to have taken residence there. It sort of breaks away from the new theme with those second vertical column cutting down the center.

You bet, I've seen the old look. But now this one is at least roughly up my street. Paula has made a good choice of the Blogger template. The design is a good attempt.


Link...And Ye Shall Have Good Standing

Photo Credit: sierradelta74

If this picture does not convey to you the importance of links...then I supposed nothing will! You see we just can't get away from this unending story about links.

It has been pumped into our wooden skulls, time and time again, that to beef up your link popularity you must have inbound links to your site to gain good standing especially with Google PageRank. If you're viewing this site, look up to your Google toolbar and you'll see I don't have that green thingy. That says a lot about my inbound links.

Anyways, this blog is pretty new on the scene. It was launched just about two weeks back. Who knows, it's probably stuck in that mythical "sandbox."

Many newbies would not have realized this until much later into their blogging lives. If you're one of them, take heed that a search engine will love your site if there are inbound links.

So you must get to work on your web promotion strategy that will ensure you get so-called "authoritative links." Mind you, if you can successfully achieve this, it will probably boost your standing and you can give yourself a nice pat on the back.

Here's some help that will show you the way. This is a recent post on Search Engine Watch that might help you see the light at the end of the link tunnel.

11 Guidelines for Getting Authoritative Links

  1. Focus on links from authoritative sites that are relevant.
  2. Be prepared for the fact that success in a campaign to get a link from an authoritative site might take many months.
  3. Be prepared for your strategies to fail more often than they succeed. If you do a really good job, perhaps 1 in 4 of your campaigns will work.
  4. Be prepared to invest in building a relationship. Your first communications with the authoritative site may not include a request for a link.
  5. It's a campaign. You need a strategy, and it may have multiple steps. Be prepared to invest in the strategy to make it work
  6. Know that they won't link to you because they want to help you make money
  7. Know that they will link to your site because your content is valuable to their users (and because they actually care about their users).
  8. Meet their needs.
  9. Study their needs. Figure out what they need, and then figure out which of their needs you can meet. One way to do this is to review things written in the past by key contacts at the site. They may have expressed a need, such as "I wish I knew how to ...", "The web needs a resource that ...", etc.
  10. Be opportunistic. Your target site may identify a need that you can address. Jump on it as quickly as you can, and then fill the need completely.
  11. Invest more in your first 2 or 3 killer links than you will in the ones that follow it. Your first authoritative link will simplify obtaining the ones that will come later, as that endorsement makes all the difference in the world.
Read the full article posted by Eric Enge....


Of Hiccups and Humility

The social media scene seems to be stumbling upon one pothole after another. The latest being the "Shoemoney Affair" that has got the wags having a field day.

Well, the latest is that everything is patched up between MyBlogLog and blogger Shoemoney. That's good to hear, and kudos to Eric Marcoullier and the team at MBL for having the gumption to admit the slip-up and eventually put out the fire.

Although social networking sites are currently the rage among the blogging crowd, it's evident that sometimes there are unforeseen cracks in these communities. We get to hear about spammers,
mavericks, spoof artists, gamers and other types of blogging delinquents.

No doubt, there are those who just can't help but to have a bit of a lark. Maybe sometimes blogging can become boring if you keep harping on the same topics everyday. So, why not go blog wild for
a change!

MySpace and YouTube have shown that social networking can be infectious. Advertisers and marketers are not complaining. Other community sites like MyBlogLog (acquired by Yahoo! in January) and StumbleUpon are attracting thousands of members. And there's a new one up your street - it's called BumpZee!



Hats Off To Charismatic Blogs

Most people, I believe, have an eye for good graphics or aesthetic designs. Being a MyBlogLog member, I have the good fortune to come across some really good designs on blogs among fellow members while surfing.

Whether they did those eye-catching headers and pages on their own or engaged a web designer to do them is immaterial in this observation. These are pages that take on a charisma of their own. Your eyes are easily drawn to them.

You can see screenshots here of some pages which I had picked up. If you really want to have a real look at the actual pages, just click on them.

I'm sure there are many well-designed blogs or websites of which I'm not aware of yet. Hopefully, I'll get to discover more of them in my journey in Blogosphere. I've seen some great websites but for this post, I'll just stick to blogs.

I appreciate a well-designed page that's not all flash and clutter. And also avoid creating a cacophony of colors on your page. Understanding typography is another important aspect of good design.

As we all know in design circle, form follows function in graphic design. They are the two key components a designer must consider first to achieve a successful balanced design apart from knowing what the editorial content is all about. Page design is merely the last step of the editing process.

We are not designing for ourselves. We want the reader to be attracted to the page and read the content. People know what they like in terms of "design" when they see it. This is what we call effective visual communication.

Although views may differ according to each person's taste, they know a good thing when they see one. That's the universal truth.

Blog or website design, just like traditional publication design, is not a mystical being. According to well-known publication design guru Jan White, 90% of what is called "art" or "design" in publishing is really nothing but common sense.

WHY DESIGN?: The true purpose is to make dull material interesting. Catch the reader's attention. Hold it. And transmit the message.


Building A New-Look Great Wall

Here's a short notice that just came in via email from FuelMyBlog, a community site that is dubbed "The Great Wall." BTW, here's a sneak preview of their new logo. I think it looks great.

FuelMyBlog people have given notice that a new site would be ready and coming on live pretty soon, maybe in a day or two.

FuelMyBlog is a site that makes it easier for bloggers to get introduced. By having your avatar "pasted" on "The Great Wall", people will be able to read your blog by clicking on your image.

So, here's another free membership community site that's going to make a great impact on the social network scene if the people behind FuelMyBlog continue to keep the momentum going.


When can you do Review Me?

Enterprising bloggers are getting paid doing reviews on products and services on their sites. If you're one of those who has a keen sense of observation, perhaps a creative mind, and some writing skills, this would be just the ticket for you.

But before you can start doing these sponsored reviews, your blog must be accepted. For example, ReviewMe, one of the early pay-per-post pacesetters, require that a blog must have a minimum number of citations, traffic, and subscribers to RSS feeds.

That puts a damper on many fledgling blogs (including this one) whose time have not yet arrived for them to be included into this so-called "elite group" of reviewers.

ReviewMe look at your traffic ranking data from sites like Alexa, Technorati and Google PageRank using an algorithm that determines your blog's standing.

Where your blog stands in the ranking determines the fee advertisers will pay in order to have reviews on your site. There's a different set of fees (ranging from $30 to $1,000 per post) for each blog based on the calculation.

If you do qualify to become a reviewer, then you are required to disclose that what you're doing is a paid review. Now, you are expected to carry a "disclosure policy" or a badge to signify that your blog does paid or sponsored reviews.

You can write reviews in your blog's normal language (for example, English) but if your blog is Spanish or Japanese, then you should be writing in those languages.

What are the review guidelines? According to ReviewMe, they'd like bloggers to write in a way that makes sense for their unique niche and audience. All reviews are expected to be at least 200 words long and you'll have to disclose that they are sponsored.


Taking The Next Logical Step Forward...

Bloggers are now publishers, creating marketing niches (read The Long Tail) that would eventually outgrow the traditional media as a new generation of bloggers join the blogging community.

The Blogosphere has become the ad hunting ground for marketers who are already seeing the Big Picture.
Enter TheNextPost where anything that CAN be written will be written here...and writing for profit usually comes to mind. And obviously, it's quite natural for one who's a freelance writer to look for writing opportunities.

Consider this new blog as an offshoot of the growth of my earlier blogs CommonSense With Markk and WiredHoundBlog.

The upshot is that I can now expand on my blog writing covering a more diverse field of interests that my earlier blogging ventures CommonSense and WiredHoundBlog would not allow me to do if you understand what I mean. I'm not the type who go for a mashup of things.

Here I can produce an everyman's personal view of knowing the "write direction" to making dollar and sense while blogging... and that would be helpful to other bloggers, too.

I'll be scanning the New Media horizon for new revelations in the industry and the "next best thing since sliced bread."

Just like the tagline in the header says: The NextPost is simply the next logical step to take in my blogging journey.

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." - Samuel Johnson 1709-84: in James Boswell Life of Johnson (1791) 5 April 1776.