February 17, 2010


The Basic SEO Rules for All Websites

February 17, 2010

The Basic SEO Rules for All Websites.

Search engine optimization isn’t rocket science, but it can feel complicated at times. There’s no need to worry about the jargon when you’re just starting out, though, and part of the point of SEO is to make everything simpler and cleaner, the way search engines like it.

Everything a search engine does has a pattern and a reason. Even if the algorithms are too complex for you to understand, there are patterns that can be found if you look hard enough. All you have to do in order to find the patterns is be willing to look for them which basically just consists of keeping your eyes and your mind open.

Being good at SEO requires some effort, but is – for the most part – very basic. To have a successful campaign, just follow these simple rules – they apply to all websites.

Search engines always try to give users whatever they can find that is relevant to their search. You have to realize that most search engines don’t work by moving the good stuff towards the top: instead, they try to push the bad stuff towards the bottom, and hope that what’s good will ‘float up’. Content is King and it can get you good search engine rankings easily if it’s written properly and sprinkled with the appropriate keywords. This not only brings visitors to your site but also feeds search engine spiders and crawlers. I can’t stress enough that good content is the key to good SEO.

A fast way to develop good content is to generate a series of articles or an ebook regarding your topic. These items are very powerful in the world of SEO because they provide your visitors with something to read and they allow you to conquer some key words that you normally wouldn’t be able to touch. If you are managing a website for pets, an article about dog food is more likely to generate a high position in the search results for “dog food” than your home page. Therefore, if you write articles pertaining to your subject but slightly more in depth than you can put on your home page, you will benefit drastically.

To try to get to number one in an index, you must first find out where your site is now. That means checking each search engine to see your position, and coming up with a strategy for each one – who knows, maybe you’re already number one on one of the smaller search engines! You can’t just assume, however, that because your site is listed in one search engine that it will be listed in all of them. That’s not how search engines work.

Look at the sites that currently rank high on the search engines and you will see that have simple designs with graphics that use minimal bandwidth, and they’re easy to navigate. Simple, clean designs are what both search engine crawlers and search engine users like, as it lets them get the content they want without any fuss. This is what you should be aiming for.

Some sites are considered good enough to be ranked highly in search engines, even though their designs make them difficult to look at. This goes to show that the looks of a site have nothing to do with where a search engines places it in the rankings – all search engines care about is text. If the content of a site is relevant to what people are searching for then that’s all that matters to a search engine.

Let’s take a look at meta tags, keywords, descriptions, and titles. They’re all important elements, even if they’re not what will make or break your site – they’re just one part of your strategy. These elements need to be compelling and sprinkled with your keywords, as this will entice users to click through from the search results page to your website. It’s best to start off slowly, gradually adding things in as you learn.

If you have any questions and you don’t know where to go, then check out some of the forums on the subject – just do a search for ‘seo forum’. These people are usually more than willing to post answers to your questions, or direct you to someone who can answer your question if they can’t.  Remember to be patient with yourself: learning something new takes time and effort, and SEO is no different.


Ovecoming Writer’s Block

February 17, 2010

What is writer’s block?

Well, I just can’t think of a single darn thing to
say. Oh well, I’m outta here!

Sound familiar? No! Oh, get real! We’ve all
experienced this phenomenon when we absolutely have to
write something, particularly on deadline. I’m talking
about. . . . .uh, I can’t think of what the word is .
. . oh, yes, it’s on the tip of my tongue . . . it’s:

WRITER’S BLOCK!!!!

Whew! I feel better just getting that out of my head
and onto the page!

Writer’s block is the patron demon of the blank page.
You may think you know EXACTLY what you’re going to
write, but as soon as that evil white screen appears
before you, your mind suddenly goes completely blank.
I’m not talking about Zen meditation
stare-at-the-wall-until-enlightenment-hits kind of
blank.

I’m talking about sweat trickling down the back of
your neck, anguish and panic and suffering kind of
blank. The tighter the deadline, the worse the anguish
of writer’s block gets.

Having said that, let me say it again. “The tighter
the deadline, the worse the anguish of writer’s block
gets.” Now, can you figure out what might possibly be
causing this horrible plunge into speechlessness?

The answer is obvious: FEAR! You are terrified of that
blank page. You are terrified you have absolutely
nothing of value to say. You are afraid of the fear of
writer’s block itself!

It doesn?t necessarily matter if you’ve done a decade
of research and all you have to do is string sentences
you can repeat in your sleep together into coherent
paragraphs. Writer’s block can strike anyone at any
time. Based in fear, it raises our doubts about our
own self-worth, but it’s sneaky. It’s writer’s block,
after all, so it doesn’t just come and let you know
that. No, it makes you feel like an idiot who just had
your frontal lobes removed through your sinuses. If
you dared to put forth words into the greater world,
they would surely come out as gibberish!

Let’s try and be rational with this irrational demon.
Let’s make a list of what might possibly be beneath
this terrible and terrifying condition.

1. Perfectionism. You must absolutely produce a
masterpiece of literature straight off in the first
draft. Otherwise, you qualify as a complete failure.

2. Editing instead of composing. There’s your
monkey-mind sitting on your shoulder, yelling as soon
as you type “I was born?,” no, not that, that’s wrong!
That’s stupid! Correct correct correct correct?

3. Self-consciousness. How can you think, let alone
write, when all you can manage to do is pry the
fingers of writer’s block away from your throat enough
so you can gasp in a few shallow breaths? You’re not
focusing on what you’re trying to write, your focusing
on those gnarly fingers around your windpipe.

4. Can’t get started. It’s always the first sentence
that’s the hardest. As writers, we all know how
EXTREMELY important the first sentence is. It must be
brilliant! It must be unique! It must hook your
reader’s from the start! There’s no way we can get
into writing the piece until we get past this
impossible first sentence.

5. Shattered concentration. You’re cat is sick. You
suspect your mate is cheating on you. Your electricity
might be turned off any second. You have a crush on
the local UPS deliveryman. You have a dinner party
planned for your in-laws. You . . . Need I say more.
How can you possibly concentrate with all this mental
clutter?

6. Procrastination. It’s your favorite hobby. It’s
your soul mate. It?s the reason you’ve knitted 60
argyle sweaters or made 300 bookcases in your garage
workshop. It’s the reason you never run out of Brie.

FACE IT ? IT?S ONE OF THE REASONS YOU HAVE WRITER’S
BLOCK!

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

Okay. I can hear that herd of you running away from
this article as fast as you can. Absurd! you huff.
Never in a million years, you fume. Writer’s block is
absolutely, undeniably, scientifically proven to be
impossible to overcome.

Oh, just get over it! Well, I guess it’s not that
easy. So try to sit down for just a few minutes and
listen. All you have to do is listen ? you don’t have
to actually write a single word.

Ah, there you all are again. I am beginning to make
you out now that the cloud of dust is settling.

I am here to tell you that WRITER’S BLOCK CAN BE
OVERCOME.

Please, remain seated.

There are ways to trick this nasty demon. Pick one,
pick several, and give them a try. Soon, before you
even have a chance for your heartbeat to accelerate,
guess what? You’re writing.

Here are some tried and true methods of overcoming
writer’s block:

1. Be prepared. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
(I know, that’s a clich?but as soon as you start
writing, feel free to improve on it.) If you spend
some time mulling over your project before you
actually sit down to write, you may be able to
circumvent the worst of the crippling panic.

2. Forget perfectionism. No one ever writes a
masterpiece in the first draft. Don’t put any
expectations on your writing at all! In fact, tell
yourself you’re going to write absolute garbage, and
then give yourself permission to happily stink up your
writing room.

3. Compose instead of editing. Never, never write your
first draft with your monkey-mind sitting on your
shoulder making snide editorial comments. Composing is
a magical process. It surpasses the conscious mind by
galaxies. It’s even incomprehensible to the conscious,
editorial, monkey-mind. So prepare an ambush. Sit down
at your computer or your desk. Take a deep breath and
blow out all your thoughts. Let your finger hover over
your keyboard or pick up your pen. And then pull a
fake: appear to be about to begin to write, but
instead, using your thumb and index finger of your
dominant hand, flick that little annoying ugly monkey
back into the barrel of laughs it came from. Then jump
in ? quickly! Write, scribble, scream, howl, let
everything loose, as long as you do it with a pen or
your computer keyboard.

4. Forget the first sentence. You can sweat over that
all-important one-liner when you’ve finished your
piece. Skip it! Go for the middle or even the end.
Start wherever you can. Chances are, when you read it
over, the first line will be blinking its little neon
lights right at you from the depths of your
composition.

5. Concentration. This is a hard one. Life throws us
so many curve balls. How about thinking about your
writing time as a little vacation from all those
annoying worries. Banish them! Create a space, perhaps
even a physical one, where nothing exists except the
single present moment. If one of those irritating
worries gets by you, stomp on it like you would an
ugly bug!

6. Stop procrastinating. Write an outline. Keep your
research notes within sight. Use someone else’s
writing to get going. Babble incoherently on paper or
on the computer if you have to.

Just do it! (I know, I stole that line from
somewhere?). Tack up anything that could possibly help
you to get going: notes, outlines, pictures of your
grandmother. Put the cookie you will be allowed to eat
when you finish your first draft within sight ? but
out of reach. Then pick up the same type of writing
that you need to write, and read it. Then read it
again. Soon, trust me, the fear will slowly fade away.
As soon as it does, grab your keyboard ? and get
writing!


Hello world!

February 17, 2010

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!