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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #543
  Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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A Word From The Editor

If you haven't heard about the Adlandpro Community then now's the time to go check them out.  The Adlandpro Community is the Business Networking part of Adlandpro.com where you can go to meet like-minded business people for business and social activity. 

April was the first month of our "Best Forum Awards" where each month, forum owners can nominate forums to compete for the "Best Forum of the Month" award.  The winner takes home $200.00 cold, hard, cash and a spot in the "BFA 2007 Finals" to be held in January of 2008.  The winner of the finals gets a grand ($1000.00) as well as the title of "Owner of the Best Forum 2007".

In addition to the prize money the winner gets exposure on the Forums page and on our newsletters as well. 

Winning this is no easy task though.  There are some pretty tough criteria to meet if you want to impress the judges.  Here's how it works:

  • First, forum owners can nominate their forums or the forums of others. 

  • All Nominees are placed into the running and Community Members then vote for who they feel has the best forum out of all the nominees.

  • Then, the top 5 forums are selected and a panel of judges determines the winner based on 5 criteria. 

Go to this link if you want full details about the judging process and how to get yourself involved:

http://tracking.adlandpro.com/url_tracker.asp?id=3556_alpBFAnfo

This month's winner was Jill Bachman, owner of the forum titled "Attitude is Everything".  Jill's forum scored 21 out of 25 just slightly edging out the 2nd place winner, Kathleen VanBeekom by 1/2 a point at 20.5.  Full details and results including judges commentary can be found here:

http://tracking.adlandpro.com/url_tracker.asp?id=3733_alpBFAres

The forum nominations are now open for May of 2007 and you can nominate your forum or one you think should be up in the running for BFA May here:

http://tracking.adlandpro.com/url_tracker.asp?id=3557_alpBFAnom

Remember, even if you didn't win last month you can re-enter your forum this month and as many months as you like after that. 

Again, congratulations to our April BFA Winners and thank you for your spectacular forums here on Adlandpro!

 

Your Digest Editor,

Michael Dela Cruz

 

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Special Guest Articles

These professional articles written by industry leaders.  Adlandpro.com has a free article library you can learn from here.

 

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Raise Your Website Traffic with RSS - Blogs and YAHOO! I
By Kamau Austin

It is the trend du jour. They are the subject of pundit press, guru glare, and is ready for mainstream adoption. RSS feeds and their communication kin the blog -- are bandied about as the next big thing.

Everywhere you look there are articles and ebooks touting the electronic affinity and high value of these two forms of media creation and distribution. However can these two forms of digital media drive more traffic to your site, or -- are they just hype?

Blogs are short for web logs and are like daily dairies on the web. Blogs started out as ways for Internet reality types to share their lives with other people on the web, without having to learn very complicated web design applications like Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage.

While on the other hand RSS feeds are the natural extension of Blogs. RSS without getting into all the arguments over the name (for the purpose of this article) stands for Really Simple Syndication.

RSS feeds can take your blog postings and syndicate a preview of your blog headlines all over the Internet. Therefore in theory RSS feeds can drive traffic to your blogs and websites similar to how search engines have become major marketing channels.

If your blogs headlines are syndicated on major high traffic websites, RSS directories and Internet Portals it could be another major source of traffic to your website. But how effective is blog marketing to the average Internet marketer who doesn’t have a major personal brand name like John Reese, Yanik Silver, or Dr. Ken Evoy?

This question is reflected in the concerns of bottom-line focused Stephanie McIntyre, president of eSales Unlimited, an eBay Power Seller, auction trainer and coach. Stephanie has generated over $200,000 in profitable sales on eBay and has low tolerance for marketing hype.

"I am not convinced that blogging can really drive traffic or profitable sales states Ms. McIntyre. Internet Gurus like James Maduk haven’t convinced me that I can really make money with a blog."

She isn’t alone in her skepticism. Many online business people are confused why all this hype is being created about blogs and RSS feeds. Many wonder if they can really deliver in their potential to drive more traffic and sales to business orientated Internet websites.

In short, can blogs and RSS boost really boost our website traffic? I put the technology to the test in the last four weeks to get some definite answers.

I found blogs are having some major income impact on the bottom-line of some companies and business people.

Despite many reservations by some Netpreneurs blogs and RSS feeds have been boosting the bottom-lines of some marketers. Willie Crawford, a well known Internet marketer generates over $1000 dollars a day from mostly blog generated Adsense™ revenue. Blogging for Crawford has become yet another profitable part of his business.
 
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Weblogs Inc., a publisher of almost 100 targeted niche blogs is noted as being on its way to generating 1 million dollars in Adsense™ revenue! This had to be a compelling reason for AOL to recently buy Weblogs Inc., for a whopping 25 million.

Still another very successful Internet business person I spoke with (who doesn’t what to be identified) uses blogs as a form of buzz advertising resulting in $50,000 in indirect eCommerce sales when properly timed. This business person does close to 17 million dollars in online sales.

I also have been having good success saving time and money by publishing quickly with blogs. My blogs generated good income for me however I wanted to see if the distribution of my blog headline via RSS feeds would bring in any new revenues.

One of the promotional ways blogs and RSS are purported to increase your online traffic is the strategy of increasing your website’s traffic with what I call horizontal SEO. Horizontal SEO is called "winning the search engine lottery" by Internet sales star John Reese.

Most SEO firms and web marketers focus solely on high rankings for popular keywords (Vertical SEO) . In contrast a more comprehensive search engine driven Internet marketing campaign would scale more horizontally or deeper with more rich keyword informed content pages.

In other words a horizontal SEO campaign would be like playing the lottery. Your odds of winning the lottery are greater if you have more tickets.

According to Reese "search engines algorithms change from day to day. Therefore your ranking will go up or down. But if you have more and more tickets in the SEO lottery you have a better chance of winning."

Blogs and RSS feeds give you the ability to create and distribute a lot of web information (content) on the fly that’s distributed throughout the Internet at myriad media outlets. Blogs and RSS feeds drive more traffic to your site by helping you win the SEO lottery with horizontal SEO.

Blogs and RSS can be the easiest and most efficient way to win the SEO lottery. They do this by creating lots of targeted niche content on your and other partner sites that carry your feeds.

In the last 4 weeks I launched a website with a blog component without optimizing it in the traditional vertical SEO fashion. It doesn’t appear on top of any search engine results worth mentioning. I wanted to see if the blog powered by RSS feed would drive significant traffic to my site.

The results are amazing! I have been totally blown away by the research. Check out why I have become a big believer in blogging and RSS in part 2 of this article. Visit http://www.searchengineplan.com/blog.htm to stay informed on the latest blogging, RSS, and SEO developments.


Kamau Austin is publisher of www.eInfoNEWS.com and runs www.SearchEnginePlan.com. He is author of Always On Top "How to Get the Highest Search Engine ranking for your website. See more about his strategies at www.AlwaysOnToptheBook.com

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Designing a Page That Compliments Your Content Pt.13, Hosting Images
Copyright 2007 by Kenneth Sword Jr

When a small-time blogger or diarist finds an image that looks like it might fit his post, he’s likely as not to simply link the picture where it exists, leaving it on someone else’s server, but displaying it on his page like it’s his own. For those who are not taking credit for the work, or whose blogs are not “professional,” it’s generally a non-issue. However, occasionally an image will appear on their site which is not the image they displayed, but which instead informs all their readers of what they are doing. It will say, in obnoxiously large letters that can’t be missed by the reader, “This person is stealing bandwidth.” It’s not a reputation you want your blog to have, and many sites are creating technological locks that that display such warnings or keep people from doing it altogether.

Stealing bandwidth is, in short, linking directly to another’s site in a way that causes the reader’s browser to download others’ content as part of your page. When a browser asks a server for a web page, the page points to the locations of other components of that page so that the browser can assemble it for viewing. If every word and image your page displays is stored on your server, then the bandwidth used for that page load is charged against your account. That’s fine; it’s your traffic and you should pay for it. However, if some of those components are hosted on the servers of others, your bandwidth is charged against their account. Once your traffic starts to grow, they will notice your theft and will be rightly upset with your practices. The solution is to take responsibility for your own bandwidth by hosting your own images.

In addition to being honest business, hosting your own images allows you to re-size or reformat those images to fit your page. While many blog programs allow you to do that when setting up the entry, unless you have physically re-sized the photo or image, the browser will be forced to download it in its original size and then fit it to the page. This can cause slow loading times, which are to be avoided at all costs.

The final advantage of hosting your own images is that you know they’ll always be there. As your blog grows in popularity and your archives spider their way into search engines, people will visit your prior entries as an entry point into your blog. Those entries will also be linked to and commented on by others (remember, what you’re saying is important). Ensuring that the images in your entries are under your control will eliminate the possibility that others will move or delete the images, rendering your entries less useful. Of course, be sure to respect all copyright laws when copying or modifying the work of others.

The easiest way to host your own images is to simply lease space from an internet service provider, uploading the images as you place them in entries. Check with your current provider first: you may receive a significant amount of server space assigned with your regular internet account. If you decide to lease space (and you’ll probably need to as your blog grows) be sure that the amount you have will fit the growth you plan for your business.

Kenneth R Sword Jr


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Designing a Page That Compliments Your Content Pt.14
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