How to make Google fall in love with your blog

Put yourself in Matt Cutts’ shoes. When people click Search, you give them the best results. How do you decide what really is the best?
google-loveheart
Understanding this is the key to creating content – not just text – for Google.
It’s after quality. Yes, I know, there are exceptions to the rule but after blogging for fifteen years, certain patterns begin to emerge.
Such as:

  • Think long term.
  • Aim to be the definitive source in your field.
  • Don’t get distracted. Trends come and go. Stay focussed.
  • Study the Webmaster Guidelines.
  • Use every Google tool available.
  • Aim to be an expert in all things Google.
  • Think like a publisher, not a blogger.

Some of these are more important than others.
Stop blogging, start publishing.
Why?
The search engine is a robot. It can’t read between the lines. Cute logos mean nothing to it. It reads your text, looks for patterns, indexes some of it, and comes back again.
You have to help Google understand what you’re offering.
Do you know?
Explain your site in a single sentence!
My site is the:
Write content that is as valuable now as it will be in five years.

  • Be the expert.
  • Make sure others know you’re the expert.
  • Create other types of content that complaint – not conflict – with your content plan.
  • Banners ads, videos, and animated gifs are (almost) meaningless to Google. If you create a video, which is indexed correctly by YouTube (which Google owns) you might have a chance.
  • Develop your content as though you were writing for a magazine. Write short chatty pieces, long essays, and balance it with photos and videos – but stick to the same theme.

More next week!
Photo by Ange

29 Ways to Increase Traffic to a Niche Blog

Making money from blogs in an inexact science. What works one blogs fails on another. I’ve launched over 200 websites since 1998 (mostly ecommerce) and about 30 blogs (mostly technical). If your blog has a technical slant, for example, it’s target audience is technical writers, analysts, architects, or others micro niche areas, then use some of these techniques to increase your traffic.

Tips to Increase Traffic to Niche Blog
Making money from niche blogs in an inexact science. What works in one blogs, fails on another. I’ve launched over 200 websites since 1998 (mostly ecommerce) and about 30 blogs (technical). If your blog has a technical slant, for example, its target audience is technical writers, analysts, architects, or others micro-niche areas, then use some of these search engine techniques will increase your traffic. Continue reading “29 Ways to Increase Traffic to a Niche Blog”

The Mythical One Page Business Plan

A One Page Business Plan is more useful than you’d think. I was a bit sceptical about writing a one page business plan until my client twisted my arm to write it. I’d wanted to write a more in- depth document or use Business Plan software to scope out the requirements. As an experiment we tried it.

A One Page Business Plan is more useful than you’d think. I was a bit skeptical about writing a one page business plan until my client twisted my arm to write it. I’d wanted to write a more in- depth document or use Business Plan software to scope out the requirements. As an experiment we tried it. Here’s what I learned.

One Page Business Plan: Where’s the real benefit?

Writing a one-page business plan helps the small business owner focus on the main components that make up the company.

The Mythical One Page Business Plan

Difference Between One Page Business Plan and Traditional Business Plans

The difference between a one page business plan and traditional business plans (e.g. MS Word templates) is that:

  • A one one-page business plan is not a replacement for your strategic planning documents.
  • A one one-page business plan is not meant to provide in-depth analysis of your business model. How could it?
  • A one one-page business plan is not used to seek finance, for example, from your local bank manager or investors. But, there may be exceptions…
  • A one one-page business plan gives you a snapshot of the key points in your business
  • A one one-page business plan is a framework upon which you can start to build a more comprehensive document outlining your Strategic Plan, Marketing Plan, Technology roadmap, and Training & Development needs, Costs, and Personnel
  • A one one-page business plan provides direction for the future growth of your business. It’s a finger pointing in the right direction and

[Video] One Page Business Plan: Example of How It Works

In this video, we look at some of the differences between one-page business plans and the larger documents, for example, Business Plans in Microsoft Word format that you can format to suit your needs.

One Page Business Plan: Who Uses It

What I learned from this exercise is that – if you approach it with the right attitude – you can use this as a stepping stone for more in-depth analysis. The upside is that you get a ‘business plan document’ written in less than a day, while the downside it that it’s a snapshot and needs to be fleshed out if you decide to push ahead with the project.

So, who can benefit from this?

I can see the following benefiting from this:

  • Business Units
  • Cost Centers
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Departments
  • Divisions
  • Government Agencies
  • Not-for-profits
  • Profit Centers
  • Programs
  • Projects
  • Startup Companies
  • Subsidiaries

There are others but you get the idea.

One Page Business Plan: Why It’s Not a Plan

It’s a way to get your business planning up and running quickly and start to explore market strategies quickly.

But, it’s not a plan in the traditional sense. You can’t use this to develop a framework for your marketing plans or use it to seek funding.

There is an upside though. It does allow you to get a quick snapshot of how the business model may work and use this to refine gaps in the process or identify areas where the business plan needs more attention.

Why You Should Write a One Page Business Plan

A one one-page business plan grows with the business. As you change, so to does the business plan.

One final thing. The name of the document is irrelevant. You can call it what you want.

The real purpose of the one-page business plan is to help you navigate the choppy waters of running your business. Keep it simple. Make it useful. Keep it up to date!

What do you think?

Using Video To Increase Your Google AdSense Earnings

This article shows you can increase your Google AdSense earnings by at least 12%. I’ve started to use video-based ads in Adsense (not the text ads) and the results have been impressive. Split testing showed us that websites with video ads 1) keep viewers onsite longer, 2) increase repeat visits and 3) generate significantly higher AdSense payments than standard plain text ads. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to setup AdSense video, look at different sizes and formats, test the ads, examine the risks and benefits, and also show you how it increased our earnings.

google-adsense-ad-formatsThis article shows you can increase your Google AdSense earnings by at least 12%. I’ve started to use video-based ads in Adsense (not the text ads) and the results have been impressive.  Split testing showed us that websites with video ads 1) keep viewers onsite longer, 2) increase repeat visits and 3) generate significantly higher AdSense payments than standard plain text ads. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to setup AdSense video, look at different sizes and formats, test the ads, examine the risks and benefits, and also show you how it increased our earnings.
Continue reading “Using Video To Increase Your Google AdSense Earnings”

Productivity: How To Make Friday Your Busiest Day

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

How to make Friday your busiest day and reap the rewards

lance-armstong-getting-things-done
7 Mistakes to avoid:

  1. Don’t fill your day with low-impact tasks.
  2. Don’t get pulled into fluffy things that you don’t really want to.
  3. Don’t do project meetings when you know it will kill your whole morning.
  4. Don’t go to long lunches.
  5. Don’t leave early.
  6. Don’t waste time studying analytics, trends, click-thrus etc… you know what they’ll say, don’t you?
  7. Not Saying NO enough.

Do this instead.
You’ll get more success if you:

  1. Plan with intention – Use Friday to plan the entire week ahead. Spend at least 2 hours on this. Planning is decision making. When you plan, you make decisions.
  2. Get Ready for Monday – planning on Friday lets you hit the ground running on Monday. See the difference? You’re already a step ahead of everyone else.
  3. Do Strategic Meetings Only – Book meetings with key contacts on Friday. Most will say Yes. They’re in down mode, so they’re easy to arrange.
  4. Find Like-minded people – Connect with people that have the same values as you. Look around the office and ask, ‘who’s killing time v who’s using it’. Link up with those doing it right.
  5. Do high impact tasks – disconnect from activities that suck the life out of you, your projects and your enjoyment in life.
  6. Share useful information – everyone wants ‘relevant’ information. Select the 5 pieces of useful information you’ve read during the week and circulate these.
  7. Authority – Establish yourself as someone who provides ‘useful’ and high value information not just cats doing ninja tricks.
  8. Stay late – when everyone is gone, you can get focused and do more work. Global clients will still be up. Call them. Chase them up. Your colleagues won’t. They’re gone, so now is your chance.

What’s going on here?
It’s about behavior.

  • It’s how others impact the way you behave and respond.
  • To succeed, in the way you want to succeed, you need to observe how others make you behave the way you do.
  • Admit it.
  • Put a plan in place to create your own blueprint for success.
  • Find ways to do this every day.
  • See where you fall down, where you can improve and what you’re doing right.
  • Keep at it.

Success is like developing a muscle. You have to train it, assess it, and increase it. Luckily, there are no short-cuts. If you persist, you’ll succeed. You have to!
What do you think?
Do you plan to make Friday’s the busiest day? What would change if you did?
Photo Credit puliarfanita

Video Blogging – 9 Ways To Stay Motivated

Once the initial wave of enthusiasm wears off, where do you find the motivation to give yourself a kick start? What do you do to make your next video or blog post? Here’s what I do to get myself working again.

Video Blogging – How To Stay Motivated & Find Your Mojo


Making videos is not hard. But, the editing, testing, fine-tuning and uploading takes time. And once it becomes a grind, we tend to lose interest. That’s not just you – that’s all of us.

  1. Be realistic — if you can’t make a video every day, try for every week.
  2. Baby Steps — Don’t defeat yourself. Start small, work up.
  3. Batch Shoot — Don’t do one. Stop. Start. Do another. Stop. Start. Work in batches.
  4. Be Consistent — Shoot five videos at the same time and then edit in one go.
  5. Batch Edit — Edit in batches. Once you get into a groove, it’s easier to run thru the videos.
  6. Storyboard — Bullet point or diagram what you’re going to shot. Don’t wing it. You’ll lose time.
  7. Shoot everywhere – Places you find boring, others will find fascinating. Instead of shooting in your office, go outside and shoot it on the street corner. These small details give your video (and you!) a more interesting edge.
  8. Get creative – Is there anything more boring that a guy talking into his laptop, sitting at home? You can do better – give it a shot.
  9. Rewards – once you’ve completed a nice piece of work, treat yourself to a book you wouldn’t usually buy, maybe too expensive, or some equipment that you’ve always wanted.

How about you?

How do you avoid defeating yourself? What do you do get back in the saddle when you’re going thru a down-phase?

Mistakes to Avoid When Making Your First YouTube Video

YouTube Video tutorialWhat’s the most common mistake people make when shooting their first video? Christopher Ming Ryan points out that most video-makers don’t get in close enough to the person talking. This lessens the impact of the message. Zoom in. Frame the face. Here’s some tips from Ivan.

#1 Mistake When Making Your First YouTube Video

I took this video in Beijing. Twice. In the second take, I’m closer to you and the impact is better. The first take was scrapped. Pointless.
But I still made mistakes:

  • The sun is in my eyes, which is why I’m squinting
  • The noise was louder that you’d think, making it harder to concentrate
  • The camera was not stabilized, i.e. free-hand. Try to use a tripod if possible.

How to Make a Near Perfect YouTube Video

Ok, it’s not on YT, but you get the point. Seth Godin is the guy talking.
Try and beat this!

‘curiosity’ from Nic Askew on Vimeo.

What Other Mistakes Did You See?

This video is far from perfect. I know that. What else did I do wrong?
Fire away below!

7 Ways to Save Time At Work

calculator - how to save time at workLast week we looked at how much time you spend working every week. We looked at how Christine managed her time and tried to find ways to improve her productivity. The key here is to step back, see where you’re spending/wasting time and then find practical ways to address this. What works for Christine may not work for you – but making a start will make a difference.  Continue reading “7 Ways to Save Time At Work”

Video Blogging: Mistakes to Avoid & Doing It Right

I’ve started to use video to sell (and upsell!) my digital downloads and information products. Like most beginners, I’m making mistakes at every step. But I’ve learnt a few tricks this week, mostly thanks for Christopher Ming Ryan. Here’s what I learnt.

I’ve started to use video to sell (and upsell!) my digital downloads and information products. Like most beginners, I’m making mistakes at every step. But I’ve learnt a few tricks this week,  mostly thanks for Christopher Ming Ryan. Here’s what I learnt. Continue reading “Video Blogging: Mistakes to Avoid & Doing It Right”

What Avatar Can Teach You About Project Management 2.0

What’s the one thing you enjoyed the most in Avatar? For my pm friend is was the video logging. Did you notice that the team kept their reports not in Microsoft Word (i.e. on paper) but as video logs. When trying it out, the protagonist in the movie couldn’t get a handle on it. ‘Don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it’, was the reply. Well, it worked for them, could it work for you?

What’s the one thing you enjoyed most in Avatar? For my Project Management friend it was the video logging. Did you notice that the team kept their reports not in Microsoft Word (i.e. on paper) but as video logs.
When trying it out, the protagonist in the movie couldn’t get a handle on it. ‘Don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it’, was the reply.  Well, it worked for them, could it work for you? Here are some of the reasons you might want to consider using video for project management activities. Continue reading “What Avatar Can Teach You About Project Management 2.0”