October 30, 2007

"12 of the most inspiring, helpful, and incredible blogs that you have never heard of, but probably should have."

There are an estimated 15 to 30 million blogs owned in the United States alone. That's roughly one blog for every 20 people - not including blogs that have been discontinued or bloggers who own more than one blog.

Of those millions of blogs, there are only a few hundred that could be considered great, let alone truly helpful. And of that handful of great blogs, only a small amount provide extremely useful content for their niche. But a lot of the time there are great blogs that get overlooked; blogs that provide helpful, useful, and inspirational content, but are lost among the crowd.

Fortunately for you, I've spent the past several days compiling a list of 12 of the most inspiring, helpful, and incredible blogs that you have never heard of, but probably should have.

Take some time to stop by each one, I guarantee you will like what you read.

What are you waiting for? Start clicking.


Blogs Related to Design

1. Ideas on Ideas - The creative blog of smashLAB.com, though the posts are few and far between, each one questions the design industry and presents creative solutions to design-related problems.

2. Tutorial Blog - Whether you're looking for inspiration, tutorials, or something new to read, Tutorial Blog is the premier blog for incredible design news and articles.

3. Presentation Zen - A simple blog that discusses simple design solutions. Not only does Presentation Zen do a superb job with their unique content posts, but they also practice what they preach.

4. Juggling Man Design Group - Jason Newcomb may just be a graphic design student, but he is a creative genius with this blog of his. He often provides extremely valuable insight into creative processes, and a lot of the time his blog is filled with experiments and techniques you can try on your own.


Blogs Related to Online Marketing

5. Vendelay Blog - Vendelay Website Design provides some of the best online marketing articles in their online blog. Whether you are a new online marketer, or a veteran, Vandelay will have something that will peek your interest. Guaranteed.

6. The WWW Observer - Providing extremely helpful resources for any online marketer, this blog is one that you will want to check out if you run your own website or blog.

7. The Social Media Marketing Guru - One of the cleanest, most professional online marketing blogs I have ever seen. The SMM Guru gives great advice and insight into the world of online marketing. If you only read one or two blogs from this list, make SMM Guru one of them.

8. Search Engine Marketing Operational Excellence - SEMOE covers more of the technical aspects of online marketing, with articles varying from Pay-Per-Click control and improving Adwords, to designing for search engine marketing. With over 7 years of marketing experience, Matt LeVeque makes SEOMOE a must read for any online marketer.


Blogs Related to the Internet

9. Ms Danielle - Only seven months old and this blog is already one of my favorites. Danielle provides internet-related (and often quirky) insights and a lot of link love. Earlier I mentioned that if you read only one or two blogs from this list, SMM Guru should be one of them, msdanielle.com definitely needs to be other.

10. SiteLogic Web Development - This is one of those blogs you start reading but can't stop. A lot of the content on the SiteLogic blog is from a personal perspective, which makes this blog another can't-miss-read.

11. Social Desire - Full of insightful and unique ideas, Social Desire is a superb web-related blog. Shana Albert is a blogging queen, and she puts all of her talents and knowledge into this blog to make it one of the best, overlooked blogs of our time.

12. Sebastians Pamphlets - This has been one of my favorite blogs from the first time I found it on Blogger.com (it was once hosted on blogger, like Internet Hunger is now). Sebastian provides some of the most unique, and humorous, articles I have ever read. Always great stuff, and definitely worth a subscription.

October 29, 2007

"If you want to be a legendary blogger, stop writing what you think your readers want to read."

What makes a successful blog?

The answer is: personality.

Lyndon Antcliff of CornwallSEO.com put it best when he said: "What attracts people to blogs is more about the person behind the writing than the actual writing itself."

Sure, there are a lot of interesting things you could write about in your blog, but the real aspect of your blog that is going to make or break it's future is your personality. In your blog, you could report on news, review something new, talk about your daily life, write random nonsense, or even pretend to be somebody else. But none of that will matter - nothing you write about will interest anybody else - unless you add your own personality to each blog post.

Anybody could write about breaking news in their blog, it's their own unique thoughts and feelings about the news story that makes people want to read it.

There are billions and billions of product reviews out on the internet, but if you make your review unique in only a way that you can (maybe you're 89 years old and want to write a review about how easy it is to print using an HP printer) people will be interested. And they'll stay interested.

The real trick here is to stop writing what you think your readers want to read, and start writing whatever it is that you have to say.

Lyndon wrote such a great post over at the CornwallSEO Blog that if you REALLY want to know more about successful blogging, read his original article titled "Your Secret Blogging Weapon is You." and start blogging in your own words, with a little added flavor.

I'll say it again: if you want to be a legendary blogger, stop writing what you think your readers want to read, and start writing whatever it is that you have to say. That is the ultimate secret to becoming a great, successful blogger.

October 26, 2007

October 24, 2007

"SEOs are shaking in their boots."

What happens when the leading search engine in the world decides to punish some of the top websites on the internet? You get a lot of SEOs shaking in their boots.

The news first came through SEO blogs like Andybeard.eu, then from Digg.com. Websites were losing their Google authority value, or PageRank, by as much as two points. In a world where value is placed on a ten point scale, two points can be devastating.

Some of the best, well-known websites have received a decrease on their Google ranking; websites such as CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, Business Opportunites, even Forbes.com, and a lot more that have yet to be documented.

There is a lot of speculation that "link networks" are the reason for the blow to the ranking of these websites - but that is only speculation.

Frances, over at SEO1.net, shared his insight on the matter, stating that "a lot of seo websites have an artificial boost compared to most other sites simply by virtue of being in the seo community."

While there is quite a bit of validity to Frances' statement, Forbes.com is hardly an search engine optimization website.

So why the low blow? What other websites were affected? How much more damage will be done by the end of the week? Should you be worried?

If you have some insight - or just an observation on the matter - feel free to post over on this thread at AndyBeard.eu, where myself - as well as others - will be trying to get to the bottom of this fiasco.

October 15, 2007

"A few unbelievable things you should start doing today to help benefit our environment."

Blog Action Day

This post is a part of Blog Action Day. Over fourteen thousand blogs, with over twelve million readers, publishing and promoting a better future for our environment - a better future for everyone.

Are you doing your part to help out the environment? As an internet user, blogger, or someone who likes to take cell phone calls, there are a lot of things you can do to help the environment. There are a lot of things you can do - starting today - to help our environment that won't require you to go out of your way, or spend more money, or really change your lifestyle at all.

Here's a few unbelievable things I urge you to start doing today to help benefit our environment, and ensure a better future for everyone.

Blog in the sun.

You don't have to go outside to experience the radiance of the sun. I know, it's hard to believe. You can open blinds and shutters around your blogging area to let in some much-needed (and free) light, and turn off your room lights to conserve energy.

Turning off lights can save tons of energy each day, leaving a light off for merely six hours can save enough energy to watch television - or blog uncontrollably - for six months.

Not only will turning off lights and using natural light from outside save energy and help our environment, it will also give you a great boost of energy that no artificial light can do. You'll find yourself full of energy, experiencing innovative blogging ideas, and having a brighter attitude through-out the day (not to mention save a ton of money on your electricity bill).


Go for a walk.

Instead of blogging or browsing around the web, turn off the computer for a few hours and go for a walk. Just like turning off the lights, turning off your computer for a few hours everyday (especially when you're not using it) can save TONS of valuable energy.

If you're a blogger, turn the computer off and take some time to write blog posts by hand (you can type them up later, can't you?). If you're a web designer, sketching some ideas out on paper for hours while your computer is off is not only a great way to save energy, it's also a perfect way to work with your ideas in a fully editable way - there are no tools better for a designer than an eraser and led.

Too often computer users leave their computers on. But what most of us don't realize is that the computer is still using energy when it's not doing anything for us, it's still wasting valuable energy. Do the right thing and turn off your computer; it only takes a few seconds, and if you have a Mac starting up all over again only takes one second.


Buy those gadgets you've always wanted.

Buying new gadgets that are energy efficient can help our environment, save energy, save you money, and help convince your wife that it was well worth buying. For example: "if you replace your 1972 refrigerator with a 2001 model, you may cut your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,100 lbs. a year and save $80 a year on your energy bill."*

Visit energystar.gov for more information on energy efficient appliances. *Source: cwac.net.


Beat up your friends and family.

The best way to save energy is to help spread the word on saving energy. The best way to spread word on saving energy is to beat it into people. No, not really - you'll actually waste energy if you beat people up in hopes of them saving energy.

Talk to your friends, family members, co-workers, pets, pet groomers, taxi cab drivers, favorite restaurant manager, cousins and anyone else you come in contact with. Let them know how they can help save our environment by turning off lights and electronics, and by buying appliances and gizmos that are energy efficient.


Get started RIGHT NOW.

There's no reason you shouldn't be doing all of these things already. Don't tell me that you're lazy. Doing these things won't cost you anything (not even time), so what are you waiting for?

Turn off lights whenever you can. Turn off your computer for a few hours everyday, and especially when you're not going to be using it. And buy energy efficient appliances and devices.

Make a difference today. Spread the love.

October 12, 2007

"We're bringing back the dead, SEO will never die."

So I'm bringing back the dead, why SEO will never die.

Search engines exist, and they work. They work based on what webmasters do and don't do when it comes to design and networking. And, because webmasters are optimizing their websites for search engines, and because roughly 90% of all internet users are using search engines practically every day, search engines aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

As long as there are search engines, there will be people optimizing their websites to work well with the search engines. As long as there is revenue to be made by optimizing websites, people will be optimizing their websites.

Regardless of technologies that might make it easier for search engines to index websites more accurately, or rank websites differently, people will always optimize.

You can hate it, you can pretend like it doesn't exist. But search engine optimization is here to stay. The truth is, search engine optimization will never die. Despite what you may have heard, we're bringing back the dead, SEO will never die.

October 5, 2007

"How great blogging and online networks can benefit readers. Thanks ProBlogger!"

This is just a shout out to the best make money online blog, ProBlogger.com, and the help desk specialists over at Help Desk Geek for announcing me as the winner of an 8GB iPod Touch from Apple.

Just goes to show how great blogging and online networks can benefit readers. Thanks ProBlogger and Help Desk Geek!

"Internet marketers are the crack addicts of the internet."

Imagine a crack addict living in the ghetto. Willing to do almost anything to get his or her next drug fix. Nothing matters to this person except for their next fix. Internet marketers are the crack addicts of the internet, willing to almost anything to get results.

At least, that's what the general misconception about internet marketers is.

The truth is that, while there are countless internet marketing drones that participate in illegal, immoral, or otherwise negative marketing techniques, there are millions of internet marketers who are devoted to helping others - rather than getting their quick fix.

Part of the common view of internet marketers in spam e-mail. While a lot of internet marketing requires e-mails to be sent to you and me, it's hardly spam. In most cases marketers are e-mailing you out of general interest of you, not themselves.

Another misconception about internet marketers is that they all want to cheat the system, force people to buy something unknowingly, or trick people into some other type of scam.

None of these aspects of internet marketing are true. At least, not for real internet marketers. How do I know this? Because I'm an internet marketer.

When I started in the internet marketing field I was put in charge of working with a giant network of hundreds of links. I spent weeks reading as much as I could about internet marketing and search engine marketing, and the majority of information I found was negative.

But then I began to undercover the truth.

Spammers, hackers, and children playing with their parent's computers, make REAL internet marketers look bad - they make them appear like crack addicts.

But they're not - WE are not.

It's time to rethink what internet marketers are, and aren't. Internet marketers are people with real jobs, doing real things to change the internet for the better. Internet marketers are not spammers, or hackers, or pre-teens looking for money. Internet marketers are not focus solely on getting what they want, regardless of anything (or anyone) else.

October 4, 2007

"The Ultimate Beginners Resource Guide to Search Engine Optimization."

Do you know what search engine optimization is? Do you know how valuable it can be to you and your website? Are you trying to optimize your website, but don't know where to start?

I present to you The Ultimate Beginners Resource Guide to Search Engine Optimization. Or, UBRGSEO for short.

Getting Started.

Before you get started with this guide - or researching search engine optimization in general - you should take a few minutes to look at these resources. They will not only give you an idea of what search engine optimization is, but they will also help you better understand the how, why, and what's of SEO.

The beginners guide to search engine optimization by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, is the perfect place to start. With over nine pages, seven huge sections, and a great resource page at the end, the SEOmoz beginners guide to search engine optimization is ideally the first place you should go if you're interested in search engine optimization.

The guide is fairly lengthy, but shouldn't take more than a few coffee breaks to finish up.

Getting Started with SEO at Search Engine Guide is a much smaller, brief summary of search engine optimization. Offering valuable advice for getting started in the search engine optimization field.

Google's "What's an SEO" page is a good place to read a quick summary of what SEO is about, and how to identify good, quality traits of an SEO. Because Google is such a dominating search engine, I would strongly advice you follow their advice and read as much from them as you can.



Valuable SEO Tools

A SEO is only as good as his or her tools. If you're a beginner, you will especially appreciate the free tools available to help you optimize your website.

McDar Keyword Analysis is a very useful tool for optimization, it tells you where your website ranks in the Google search results for a specific keyword. The McDar Keyword Analysis tool is completely free, and very easy to use. Just type in your website address and a keyword, click a button, and start monitoring your website's ranking.

SEOmoz SEO Toolbox is another great resource provided FREE by the professionals at SEOmoz.org. With the SEO Toolbox you can find the strongest SEO-friendly page on your domain, find out who else is hosted on your IP, check inclusion in search engines, and much more more.

Some of the tools at the SEOmoz SEO Toolbox are not extremely useful, but each has a strength that will help beginner SEOs determine the value of their SEO abilities.

The Google Toolbar is an extension for the Firefox web browser. With the Google toolbar you can instantly see the Google PageRank of any website you browse to, you can highlight specified search terms, and you can find websites similar to ones you visit.

Wordtracker is simply a tool that helps you determine what keywords to work with when optimizing your website. Wordtracker is on a subscription bases (for as little as $30 for one week), but they also offer a free trial version of their software.



Blogs About SEO

When working with SEO, the best advice anyone can give you is to keep track of the market. Search engine optimization is changing on a daily basis, and keeping track of the latest news and guides will help you be successful in your efforts.

The best way to stay on top of things? Read top industry blogs, like the ones here:

Search Engine Land - A great blog by some great, prominent people in the search engine industry. Definitely the place to go to stay up-to-date with all of the latest search engine happenings.

SEOmoz - The leading blog in the field of search engine optimization, the SEOmoz team provides valuable, and fun information for any search engine optimizer.

SEO Book - Although very opinion based, SEO Book is a valuable blog for anyone who is looking into search engine optimization. And while you're there, take a look at the actual book.

SEO Chat - A good resource for search engine optimizers. Offers a lot of valuable help and advice for both beginners and veterans.

Top Rank Blog - Always on top of the latest in the world of search marketing, this blog is a great resource for search engine marketers.

SEO 2.0 - Blog that takes a modern, innovative, and fun look at search engine optimization.

October 3, 2007

"Things the internet helps us discover. Go ahead and waste some time."

Do you have any idea how entertaining the internet can be?

I'm not talking about movies or music or ebooks or networking or shopping or stalking your friends. I'm talking about completely idiotic things. Things that you would never have known existed without the internet.

Whether it's people, events, tools, or other websites... the greatness that is the internet has allowed us to explore the vastness of our world - and society - with only a few clicks of a button.

Here are a few examples of things the internet helps us discover. Go ahead and waste some time.

Nailing for dummies. Even though it is pretty pitiful, I could see this little tool being extremely useful for women who are afraid to ruin their nail polish when nailing up pictures in the home (or even myself, because I can't hit a nail with anything).

Jennifer Loves the Robot is an add for HUMMER. But it's... and... uh... just watch it.

Cadbury Dairy Milk ad. This is what has to be the most creative, unbelievable ad in the history of man kind. All thanks to the wonderful internet we can all bask in it's glow.

A computerized pillow that stops snoring. That isn't even the best part... it gives messages.

I can has cheezburger? Self-explanatory.