Have you ever discovered a blog that looked interesting, only later to find out that all of it's articles and content were extremely boring or just a clone of another blog?
There are millions upon millions of different blogs out there on the internet, but the majority of them are boring or just copy content from other blogs. And, even though you may be trying your hardest to avoid being like those blogs, your blog is probably no different.
But there is something you can try to break out of the blogging mold and make your blog one of the best on the web.
You can stop thinking so hard when blogging, and just write. The purpose of blogging was, initially, to keep a record of your thoughts and opinions. And that purpose is what made blogging such a huge phenomenon around the world.
So stay true to the purpose of blogging, quit worrying about how many people are visiting your blog, or how much money you can make from advertising, or how popular your blog is on social networking websites.
Be daring and adventurous, just write whatever you want to say, and you'll create something people will really want to read everyday.
There are literally millions of blogs about cats, and food, and cars, and gadgets, and cartoons, and news headlines. But there are absolutely NO other blogs on the internet about your opinion.
Sure, the things you write about may be covered by thousands of other blogs, but none of those blogs will have your unique, daring opinion attached to them.
When you stop writing for your own sake and start focusing on revenue or traffic you're losing the unique touch that would make - or break - your blog.
Your blog doesn't have to be a clone of other blogs. Your content doesn't have to be boring. Stop thinking so hard, and just write. Do it.
And if you find yourself needing more inspiration when it comes to blogging, go ahead and subscribe to Internet Hunger to receive blogging insight, help, news, and more almost every day!
November 28, 2007
Have you ever discovered a blog that looked interesting, only later to find out that all of it's articles and content were extremely boring or just a clone of another blog?
November 27, 2007
"You don't need to be a professional to start optimizing your website for search engines. All it takes is five minutes."
"A decade after registering its domain name, Google's name has become a verb for the service it offers. Seven years after it started to sell ads based on those searches, it's on track to top $15 billion in revenue for 2007. Riding on those big coattails is the industry of search-engine optimization, which has gone from an oddball curiosity for small businesses to something no organization with a Web presence can afford to ignore." (source: The Wall Street Journal online).
Simply put: if you've got a website, you need to optimize it for search engines. Doing so will dramatically increase your conversion rate - the amount of online visitors who buy or use what you offer - as well as help you and your website gain exposure.
But search engine optimization isn't something every household person can do. It requires knowledge, experience, and weeks - sometimes months - of planning and executing strategies.
That doesn't mean, however, that you can't start the optimization process without any knowledge of search engine optimization. You don't need to be a professional to start optimizing your website for search engines. All it takes is five minutes.
Well, five minutes and a bit of direction, which is why you are most likely reading this. So, without further ado, here are some extremely easy ways to optimize your website for a quick boost in search engines.
Evaluate the purpose of your website.
The very first thing to do before optimizing your website is evaluating it's purpose. This should be an easy first step, because it is you website afterall.
Ask yourself: "What do I want my website to do?"
Whether it's share your personal opinions with friends and family, selling a product or service, or providing useful information for readers, your website has a purpose; and once you've found that purpose you can begin your evaluation.
In evaluating your website, you need to identify keywords for your website. Identifying keywords is essential to improving your website's ranking in the search engines; you have to remember: search engines run on people searching for keywords.
For example: if the purpose of your website is to share your personal opinion, some keywords to use would be your name, and some generic keywords for things you are going to share your opinion on.
Or, if the purpose of your website is to sell a specific product or service you would want to focus on the name of the product or service, the type or product/service, etc. as keywords.
Make a list of any keywords you can think of, but try to keep the amount of keywords to a maximum of ten - focusing on a lot of keywords can spread your website too wide on search engines, and greatly decrease your options of ranking high for a specific keyword.
Find out how much work you need to do.
Before you do any optimizing, it's a great idea to find out how you are currently ranking on search engines.
Using a tool like SERPs Finder (Windows only) to find your current rank is a perfect, straight-forward way to find out how much work you have ahead of you.
Use the keywords you thought up previously and find out what page of a search engine's results your website lands on.
If you are in one of the top 10 pages you don't have very much work to do, your website is already fairly popular for that keyword; however, if your website isn't found within the first 1000 results, you've got a bit of work ahead of you.
But don't fret: you can increase your ranking in just five minutes, remember that.
Focus on keywords in your website's content.
Once you have determined how your website is currently ranking for your keywords, you need to incorporate those keywords into as much of your website's content as possible to improve your ranking.
Filling your page with useless garbage and keywords won't increase your ranking in search engines, however.
Search engines are smart systems, they can tell what is spam and what is quality content, so try to include your keywords in places where it makes logical sense to have them.
If you're selling a product, repeating the product name over and over in paragraphs about the product makes sense and is not a spam-like technique. If you're sharing your personal opinion on your website you can state your name in almost every paragraph and still have them make sense.
Including keywords in as much as your website as possible is a great start to making your website completely friendly with search engines - think "best friend forever" friendly - and begin the process of increasing your rank.
Gain exposure through links.
Once you've included your keywords in your website, you're going to need other people to use those same keywords to link to your website. This task is the hardest to do when optimizing your website, but can still be done easily thanks to social networking and online directories.
If you have any friends with websites, ask them if they would kindly link to your website using one of your keywords (an example of using a keyword as a link would be this: "internet related", where the keyword is what makes up the link.
Gaining links is currently the best method to increase your website's rank in search engines. Getting a lot of links to your website is greatly beneficial to the optimization of your website, and getting just a few, high quality links from popular websites is even better.
But don't believe everything you read about linking. It is just as beneficial to get thousands of little links to your website as it is getting hundreds of links from big websites.
Search on search engines for free link directories and start adding your website to as many of them as you can, but avoid ones that look like they are only listing websites so that they can make money - that may decrease, or even obliterate your website's ranking.
Search engine marketing and optimization is something all website's need to do. It's rapidly becoming the only way to market a website for a pinpoint audience. If you have a website, you can't afford not to optimize your website.
With this advice you now can get started on the optimization process without paying for a professional and without much knowledge of how the system works. And, if you need more help with optimizing your website in the future, you can subscribe to Internet Hunger and get the latest search engine marketing, blogging, web design, and everything internet-related headlines daily.
November 26, 2007
What's the deal with high definition video? It seems that no matter where you go there is always something going on about HD. The thing with HD is that it's misunderstood. You never really understand the quality until you see it for yourself.
Take, for example, this YouTube video and compare it with this video on Vimeo.
After comparing those videos, high definition suddenly seems interesting, doesn't it?
Video sharing websites like YouTube and Google Video have been the face for online videos for a while now, allowing people to share and view videos. But YouTube and similar video websites have been ignoring high definition video capabilities, making their websites below what could be modern standards.
Popular video websites that do not offer high definition quality video begs the question to be asked: are online video websites about to be over shadowed? According to websites like Vimeo - which offers videos in HD - YouTube and Google Video are on the way out.
Vimeo is doing it, why can't everyone else?
Vimeo has been allowing users to share high definition videos for months now, YouTube and similar websites have not (yet).
Why hasn't YouTube, one of the most groundbreaking websites of our time gotten with the times and allowed high definition to be shared on their website?
They have the technology and funds to do so, but they haven't yet. Vimeo, on the other hand, was created by a small agency in New York. With a limited budget (I'm sure). Just a bunch of college students (or dropouts) who figured out how to get it done.
The fact that a small, standards friendly, website is well on its way to overshadowing a corporate giant like YouTube means that the web is still in a stage of rapid growth.
Video websites that we have known for the past year are already on their way out, and they are just the beginning. Blogging websites, content management software, photo sharing websites, and who knows whatever else, could be next.
You can see the changes for yourself, through high definition video online.
November 22, 2007
For those in the United States - or from the U.S. - today is Thanksgiving, a holiday about being thankful, food, and turkeys. Strange, I know, but it's a great time to get away from the computer and spend some quality time with the family.
I'll be doing just that. Right now, as you read this, I am somewhere far away from my computer enjoying some great food with some of the best people in the world!
Which means: no Internet Hunger updates until next week. Until then: happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2007
There are over 170 million blogs on the internet, with about 120,000 blogs being created everyday. It doesn't matter what planet you're from: you can't count that using your hands.
What makes your blog unique?
In order to make a unique, successful blog, you'll need a lot of information on how to get the most from blogging. Tracking down blogging tutorials and resources can be painful; afterall, there are literally millions and millions of places you could look.
The truth is that I want you to be successful. I want your blog to rise up and be seen by the world - just don't forget who helped you get there. So, I've researched, collected, and listed the all time top 40 blog posts to help you become a better blogger.
If you ever need a resource, if you ever need a question answered, or if you just want to improve your blog, this list is for you. I suggest skimming through the entire list first, and then backtracking to find articles that will help you personally.
Go ahead, take a look:
40. An Introduction to Reading and Writing a Weblog at Anton Zuiker.
39. How to Effectively Brand Yourself through Blogs at Quick Sprout.
38. How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs at ProBlogger.
37. How to Make Money Blogging: 7 Strategies to Make Money Online at DoshDosh.
36. Search Engine Optimization Tips for Bloggers at ProBlogger.
35. 25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog at Online Marketing Blog.
34. The 120 Day Wonder: How to Evangelize a Blog at Guy Kawasaki.
33. Blogging is Harder than You Think at The Wrong Advices.
32. Writing for Google at Daring Fireball.
31. Leveraging the Power of Blogs in an Overcrowded Market at ProBlogger.
30. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic at SEOmoz.
29. 5 Ways to Build Blog Reader Participation at Conversation Marketing.
28. How to Deal with Bad Blog Comments at Blah, Blah! Technology.
27. Bloggers Often Have Real Lives Too at Pronet Advertising.
26. 101 Blog Tips I Learned in 2006 at DailyBlogTips.
25. Blogging Tips for Beginners at ProBlogger.
24. How to Choose the Right Blog Niche: A Simple Three-Step Method at DoshDosh.
23. The 5 Deadly Sins of Blogging at Pronet Advertising.
22. 15 Good Blog Posting Habits at Build a Better Blog.
21. The Top 77 Mistakes New Bloggers Make at Time for Blogging.
20. The Secret to Building a Popular Blog at DoshDosh.
19. Declaring War on Blogger Apathy at ProBlogger.
18. 10 Quick Blogging Tips at Blog About Your Blog.
17. Blogger's Depression at Lorelle on WordPress.
16. How to Write a Better Weblog at A List Apart.
15. How a Best Post Page will Increase Your Blog Subscribers at Stuntdubl.
14. How to Write Great Blog Content at ProBlogger.
13. 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang at Copyblogger.
12. Gentle Reader, Stay Awhile; I will Be Faithful at A List Apart.
11. 30 Ways to Increase Readability Online at Pro Blog Design.
10. 27 Tips for Building a Kickass Blog at Performancing.
9. How to Beat Writer's Block at Successful Blog.
8. Attack of the Zombie Copy at A List Apart.
7. Know Your Audience and Establish a Voice - Blogging 101 at Stuntdubl.
6. Personalise [sic] Messages and Stand Out at Pro Blog Design.
5. Do You Make These Mistakes When You Write? at Copyblogger.
4. 10 Sure Fire Headline Formulas that Work at Copyblogger.
3. Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for your Blog at Lorelle on WordPress.
2. Why You Should Use Full Feeds at Pronet Advertising.
1. Making Your Blog Popular Through Content at Pronet Advertising.
November 20, 2007
"Believe it or not, you are using online bookmarking services incorrectly. Use these techniques to change that."
How many times have you found something online - whether a cool website, a great video, or a funny picture - and later found yourself forgetting where you found it?
It's happened to all of us, guaranteed. The internet is full of new and useful information, interesting articles and videos, and websites that make all of us say "Wow" from time to time, but keeping track of that information and all of those incredible websites can be a struggle, right?
Bookmarks built into browsers are convenient, but only if you are always using the same computer - and chances are that you're not.
That's why online bookmarking services such as del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, and Reddit were created. But even using online bookmarking sites can make tracking online content a struggle.
Not only is keeping track of all of your favorite websites and online content a struggle, it can often be messy. Chances are, believe it or not, you are using online bookmarking services incorrectly. Use these techniques to change that.
Only bookmark websites and content that you really are interested in.
There is so much content on the web that it is literally impossible to explore it all. The easiest way to lose track of your favorite websites and online content is to bookmark everything and anything that looks interesting.
You can save yourself a lot of trouble in the future by not bookmarking anything that you might be interested in later.
Instead, setup two separate accounts on your favorite online bookmarking service and use one account for your absolute favorites, and another account for things you might be interested in later down the road (statistics show you most likely will want to delete it after a while if you're not greatly intrigued by it instantly).
Use more than one bookmarking website.
Using two accounts on one bookmarking website is a great idea, but the best way to track all of the content you are coming across daily is to use several different bookmarking websites for different categories of content.
For example: I use del.icio.us to bookmark everything related to design, whether it's resources or really great designs. I use Digg and Reddit for quirky, fun, and gaming-related content, such as funny news articles, game reviews, etc. And I use StumbleUpon for design and internet marketing content, like blogs I like and great search engine marketing articles.
This way, if you recall a category for something you are trying to find online again, you can go to the bookmarking service you use for that category and find what you're looking for much easier than if you were to browse through one bookmarking account with hundreds of bookmarked websites.
Add tags to all of the content you bookmark.
All online bookmarking services allow you to add "tags" or "labels" to content when you bookmark it. Doing so sounds like an obvious good idea, but a lot of people - and most likely yourself - don't add tags to their bookmarks.
One of the main reasons people don't add tags or labels to their bookmarks is because they don't know what to put there. That's why you need to remember: they are YOU'RE bookmarks, so put whatever you want as a tag or label. If the website is clearly about milkshakes, putting "milkshakes" as a tag wouldn't be a bad idea.
Tags can dramatically increase your ability to easily, and efficiently track online content that you bookmark. Not adding tags to bookmarked content is a critical error that can lead to a lot of headaches in the future.
Do your best to follow these techniques when bookmarking your favorite content online and you'll be well on your way to successful online bookmarking. And, hopefully, a lot of the content you want to find in the future will be easily accessible to you.
Speaking of content you may want to find in the future, why not bookmark Internet Hunger right now so you always have quick access to great internet-related articles?
November 19, 2007
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sphinn.com (the search and internet marketing social website) is now a pathetic, practically useless, extremely worthless popularity contest.*
Now, before all of you Sphinn-faithful start thinking "Tanner is just looking for attention," or "What a load of crock.": read this entire article before you start making assumptions about my thesis on the state of Sphinn.
For everyone else, I'll warn you: this is a rant on the state of social networking websites. It's fairly lengthy and will require at least two coffee breaks.
When Sphinn first opened to the public back in July it seemed like one of the best online communities for search engine marketers, optimizers, and anyone else who deals with online branding or internet optimization; but quickly, the negative side of Sphinn started to show.
Only popular, prominent members of the internet marketing community where being displayed on the front page of the website. It seemed as though the only "useful" and "worthwhile" stories were the ones submitted by familiar names and faces. So I cried out a warning: if the members of Sphinn don't pull together and start Sphinning, submitting and commenting on ALL useful stories, the value of Sphinn would quickly fade.
The community of Sphinn quickly took note and a lot of people began stating their opinion on the "popularity contest" that Sphinn was to become.
And then they proved me wrong.
Well, they mostly proved me wrong about Sphinn turning into a popularity contest. New members to Sphinn (even new internet marketers) began gaining popularity on Sphinn. New website's began gaining tons of popularity and new faces began to mix with the popular, already-well-known/big faces.
The quality of comments and interaction made on Sphinn became incredible. You could submit your own article to the website and within a few minutes you could have a number of Sphinn votes for your article and a lot of valuable comments (even helpful criticisms).
But the high-value of Sphinn, and the great interaction of the community was short lived.
It was bound to happen.
A lot of responses to my original article about Sphinn becoming a popularity contest brought up some great points, most notably: websites worth being noticed will become popular.
While Miss Hoffman's article is the exact truth (only websites that are worth a damn will gain attention on the internet), it defeats the ultimate purpose of an online community, such as Sphinn.
The purpose of a social community such as Sphinn - as defined by my own, personal observations - is to share knowledge and breaking news. According to a lot of the feedback I have received: even pointless articles and news stories, ones where no value or knowledge what-so-ever is passed on, can become popular.
That's great, but it's not what Sphinn was meant to be about, right? Wrong.
Sphinn was designed to be a Digg clone. A website where people can submit anything they want in hopes of getting attention or becoming popular. The evidence is in the design of the website. The evidence today, can be found on the home page; where the new popular faces can be seen almost everyday.
Does that mean these new "known" people are only submitting crap? No, of course not. A lot of the articles that hit the Sphinn homepage are valuable and full of insight on the latest happenings. But even more articles that are hitting the homepage are crap - completely useless.
If that's not enough to make you sick...
These popular faces aren't the only people doing Sphinn an injustice, the popularity of "gaming" Sphinn has risen off the charts. I get e-mails and messages at least 25 times everyday with people asking me to Sphinn their completely dull, and useless, and worthless, and pathetic articles (nobody cares that you know how to make money online, a quick search on Google can show me what you have to say AND MORE).
Sphinn is a wreck. A pathetic state that could have been avoided if the community had only not gotten so wrapped up in it's self.
For example: what about all of the great community interaction that once happened? It's as if a bunch of trolls, and greedy marketers (aren't we all in some way or another?) have taken over Sphinn and they're not going to give it back.
Don't submit your own material, even though it is recommended in the guidelines. If you do submit your own material (even if it's the most helpful, ground breaking information) you can expect a lot of negative comments saying something along the lines of: "Sphinn-bait, don't Sphinn."
Can Sphinn ever be something more?
I had high hopes for Sphinn when it was brand new. I was excited to share the experience of sharing and gaining new knowledge and opinions with some of the best people in the industry: the new people, like myself. But lately I have avoided Sphinn.
The community is now practically worthless: focused on their own popularity and nothing else.
I still have hope, despite all of the horrible things happening over at Sphinn. If people begin to Sphinn articles, regardless of the name and face attached to the article, and providing quality feedback to everything they sphinn, things will turn around quickly.
If the Sphinn community begins to realize that not EVERYBODY is trying to game Sphinn (which doesn't provide that much traffic anyway) the discussions could become that much more enriched with valuable feedback and criticism.
Sphinn is in need of help; because it can be MUCH more than a Digg.com clone. Sphinn can be THE FUTURE of social networking websites. It really can. There can be a whole new level to online communities and interaction, but it has to start with you.
*DISCLAIMER: This is nothing more than my personal opinion. If you do not agree, great, move along. If you agree, thank you for your opinion. If you could care less about Sphinn: why did you read this article? If you liked this rant, go ahead and subscribe to Internet Hunger. But no matter what your opinion is: this is MY personal, unprofessional opinion, and is to be taken as nothing more.
November 15, 2007
It's Thursday morning, you're sitting at work or home reading through the latest headlines, just one more day and then it's the weekend. But you need a little fun now, not in two days. That's why you've come to Internet Hunger.
You deserve to take a little break, why not? And because you deserve a break, I've gone ahead and rounded up the top six unbelievably addicting flash games to help you waste your day.
Sit back, relax, make sure nobody is around to bother you, turn your speakers down a bit, and take a look at these unbelievably addicting flash games:
6. Shuffle - A full screen, drag-and-release game that pits you against the computer. Great if you only have a few minutes to take a break. Your goal is to hit your balls into your opponents balls and have them get knocked off the board - without getting all of yours knocked off of the board.
5. Boomshine - A simpler, calming game than most, it's your responsibility to set off a chain reaction to get a high score. There's not really much more too it. You click, things explode.
4. The Last Stand - What's better than fighting off a massive army of flesh eating zombies? Doing it online. At first The Last Stand is difficult to get use to, but once you do you'll be coming back for more and more.
3. Line Rider - Before you even start to play with Line Rider, make sure you have plenty of time to waste. This game has been known to cause employees to miss deadlines and students to forget about final exams. In Line Rider you draw a 2D path using a pencil, then you click a "play" button and watch as a tiny animated man rides the path you have drawn on his sled.
2. Desktop Tower Defense - Warning: Desktop Tower Defense is extremely addicting. It's basically a game where you "protect your desktop from invaders by spending money on attacking pieces and building a maze for them to follow." It's one you have to try.
1. Bloxors - By using the arrow keys on your keyboard, make a block fall through a hole. It's not nearly as easy as it sounds, and that's what makes Bloxors addicting. I guarantee you will be going at this for hours.
What are you waiting for? Start wasting your time by indulging yourself in these addicting games!
November 14, 2007
"I have to warn you, this is an exclusive Search Marketing Expo deal that you can not get anywhere else."
What will you be doing February 26th through 28th in the upcoming year?
If you're a search engine optimizer, marketer or just someone who wants to learn more about online interactions and technology - or if you want to be honored by listening to big names like Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman - you better mark your calendar for the Search Marketing Expo West.
Search Marketing Expo West is guaranteed to be the marketing event of the year on the West Coast. If you miss it, you're missing a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I don't want you to miss this opportunity. I want you to experience SMX West first hand, and so I am offering an exclusive deal for all Internet Hunger readers. If you register for an All Access Pass through this link I will give you a $60 rebate.
Not interested in the All Access Pass? Then register for a 1 Day All Access Pass and I will give you a $20 rebate.
No strings attached. You register using my affiliate link posted above - or just click on the image at the beginning of this post - and then contact me letting me know that you have registered, I'll pay you.
I have to warn you, this is an exclusive Search Marketing Expo deal that you can not get anywhere else, so take advantage of this opportunity.
If you are a marketer, brand manager, search advertiser or planner, web technology specialist, search engine optimizer, or if you want to learn all about the future of search marketing and how it can affect your business and/or website, SMX West is for you.
And with the exclusive Internet Hunger rebate offer, you can save money and get the experience of the year.
November 13, 2007
Most search engine optimizers and marketers have been moaning about the same thing for a while now. What exactly have these search engine enthusiasts been complaining about? PageRank, of course.
It's time to stop with the complaints about Google's PageRank. The truth is an obvious one, and it's a shame that it has yet to be accepted. Search engine enthusiasts need to quick stating that PageRank is a load of crap, because it's simply not true.
The truth is that PageRank is useful. PageRank does matter when it comes to SEO and SEM. PageRank motivates webmasters and marketers. And most of all: PageRank creates a level - whether real/accurate or not - that marketers can work with.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Google's PageRank is that it was designed to somehow lead the industry. It was never meant to be anything more than a tool for webmasters and marketers, as well as Google, to use.
That's why, when a SEO or SEM says that PageRank is pointless, they are partially right, but they are mostly wrong. Google created PageRank to help webmasters have a way to measure their work.
There currently is no other tool to measure a website's "authority" with a search engine like Google's PageRank - on any search engine in the world. That alone makes it important to marketers.
You have to stop believing that PageRank is some mystical technology designed to alter search engine results. It's not.
Once you realize that PageRank is simply a tool for visualizing a website's place with Google, it's existence becomes that much more important. And when you realize that you can actually use PageRank to monitor what Google thinks of your marketing strategies, it becomes extremely useful.
Even though it is useful, if you are not using it in the proper way you are wasting your time. You shouldn't focus on PageRank with all of your marketing efforts. The recent PageRank flux should be a big sign to those who do devote all of their efforts to the little green bar.
But remember that PageRank is a great tool, for new marketers and veteran alike. It's currently the only way to visually see where your website stands with the major leading search engine. And it's not useless, or baloney, or stupid, or whatever else you have read it being called.
PageRank is useful. It is helpful. And it is here to stay.
November 9, 2007
Try to remember your favorite looking website. Remember some of the cool effects or colors they used. I'm not talking about a website you visit daily like your favorite blog. I'm talking about a website you maybe only visited once, but remember something about it because of it's unique design.
Now, try to remember a website that you learned a lot from. It can be any website, as long as you left the website with new knowledge or a new understanding for something.
Which website do you remember the purpose of? Which website do you remember the most about?
Remembering is fine and dandy, but what has it got to do with your websites? Let me ask you: is there anything better than a great looking website? Believe it or not: there is.
An effective website, one that has a purpose and provides valuable content, will always be better than a great looking website. That's why web designers and webmasters need to stop focusing on the look of their website, and start focusing on the purpose.
Sure, a website that has a unique design will get noticed, but it won't be remembered for its' content. And if your website isn't being remembered for the content - or purpose - then what's the point of being noticed?
Websites need to first focus on delivering a message, then on design. If the purpose of your website is to sell business cards, you should have a lot of information and pictures of business cards; not a flash intro explaining how your company is number one for international sales.
Fancy effects and unique styles will only get you so far online, but it's the content on your website that will make your visitors remember you and, if you do a great enough job, keep coming back.
I recently worked on a website design for a company that wanted a new website, something that didn't look like anything already out there. While the design was sure to make visitors go "ooh" and "ahh," it wasn't enough to make a sale through the website. Visitors are almost guaranteed to forget what the website was about, let alone visit it for the purpose again (they may visit it to look at the design, but not when they need something from the company).
Looking back at the websites you remembered at the beginning of this article: did the heavy design-focused website do a successful job at imprinting its' purpose in your mind? Or, now that you think of it, would you prefer to visit the information-filled website when you have a question or need a product?
Hey, if you liked this article, go ahead and subscribe to Internet Hunger. You can get servings of great internet information, news, and articles almost every weekday!
November 8, 2007
Google's PageRank is how Google determines how important and trustworthy a website is, based on a scale fro 1-10 (with one being the less important and trustworthy rank). While PageRank isn't extremely important to a website's success, it is still how Google determines the value of authority for a website.
It typically takes a lot of time and even more hard work to increase a website's PageRank from 0 to a higher number, but Internet Hunger was able to go from a PageRank of 0 to a PageRank of 4 in just four months.
How did I do it?
That's what todays post is all about: I'm going to tell you how to turn your blog from a PR0 to PR4 in under 61 posts.
Plan goals and plan, plan, plan.
Before I started Internet Hunger I had a lot of ideas of things to write about (you shouldn't have a blog if you don't have a lot of things to write about in the first place). I knew what I wanted to write about and I knew how I would make my blog unique (serving up delicious internet news and information), but the real secret to success with any blog is good planning.
Before I started posting to Internet Hunger I sat down and thought of some goals I would like to see with my blog. I had a goal for what I wanted to rank for in an online search, I had a goal for a Technorati authority value, I had a goal for how many posts I would make in a day, etc.
Even if your goals aren't achievable for a year, keeping goals in mind with each post will help you focus, and eventually become successful.
Write about other people. A lot.
One of the first Internet Hunger posts ever is still one of the most widely discussed: "Sphinn is basically a popularity contest."
The post is still mentioned on countless other websites and even bigger blogs, simply because I stated my feelings on something (and other people) who are "more popular" than I.
I also interviewed Rand Fishkin, James Huggins, and a few others in the early days of Internet Hunger.
By focusing on other, more important and widely known people in your niche you appeal to them. Those people are already getting attention, so why not let some of that attention rub off on you and your blog?
How many blogs do you know that mix food with internet marketing, web design, SEO, and blogging? My guess is: not many.
Better yet: have you ever seen a Matt Cutts action figure? Didn't think so.
Being unique will peak people's interest in your blog. Be daring, try something new, go all out. As an example: the Matt Cutts action figure brought my blog almost 300x more traffic than any other article.
A unique blog about unique things isn't always necessary, as long as your content is unique and from your own perspective you can't go wrong.
Love what you do.
Finally: don't blog for any reason other than expressing your thoughts and feelings. If you're blogging for money, you will fail. If you are blogging because your boss suggested that you do: quit now.
Your feelings come across in your writings, and if you're writing great, unique articles every day your blog will grow at an unbelievable rate.
Having a high PageRank, being on the Technorati top 100, having millions of subscribers, and anything else that "ranks" your blog isn't a huge deal. Sure, it's nice to see thousands of new visitors reading what YOU have to say, and all of the previously mentioned things help that, but when it comes down to it...
Blog about things you love, whenever you can, however often you can.
There is no greater secret to a successful blog than this advice.
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November 6, 2007
Like everything before it, the internet is changing. And with it new doors (or should I say "websites") are opening up.
In the years between 2004 and now, the internet saw an explosion of new websites. These new websites used new technology and new ideas to influence the future of the internet as we know it. "Social networking" began.
We are seeing the future of all social networking and social media websites right now. Say hello to BuzzFeed. (Warning: contains some content not suitable for children).
"The web is a 24/7 popularity contest. We help the good stuff win." claims BuzzFeed.com. Using "technology and human editors to find the hottest buzz on the web" BuzzFeed allows users to find, promote, and rank their favorite news stories and articles, or "buzz."
Websites such as StumbleUpon.com, Digg.com, and Reddit.com, have been letting users find and rank internet buzz for years now, but not in such a simplistic, easy-to-use way as BuzzFeed.
Not only have they taken a simplistic approach to internet buzz, they have also re-created online advertising, stating: "We developed a new form of PR and Advertising designed for the new networked world where consumers have the power. Instead of press releases and canned ad copy, we work with partners to amplify the voice of the most interesting bloggers, fans, journalists, and buzz makers."
The future of the internet is clearly in the users who are online everyday. The future of news, gossip, and information is in the hands of websites like BuzzFeed, who are taking great strides to expand on the technology we have already.
If you haven't already, check out BuzzFeed, and start preparing yourself for the future of social networking and media.
November 5, 2007
More than one billion people are browsing the internet today (World Internet Usage). That's significantly more people online today than just seven years ago. And even more people are getting online everyday.
Who knew the internet would be so successful in everyday life? A lot of critics and analysts had no idea the internet would even be around today, they thought it was going to drop off the map - it was just a fad, after all. But here we are, seven years later, and anyone with a computer is online.
Still, you have to give credit to those geniuses who even questioned the future of the internet. Today I have decided to do just that: here are the all-time dumbest assumptions and observations about the internet.
5. The Internet is a fad, like CB radio.
Gavin Shearer, of the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle, wrote a two page response to a question about the longevity of the Internet, in which he states:
"The development of the Internet, in some ways, mirrors the development of radio. At one time, radio was a young medium with a lot of promise and loads of problems. The critics of the day wondered about the viability of a medium that was so technical, and so prone to reception problems."
This story is added to the list because of the questioners "associates," who believed the internet would quickly fade from mainstream like CB radio. It's interesting to note that people really thought the internet was just a fad.
4. We're Running Out of IP Addresses
Back in 2006, Andy Patrizio of InternetNews.com brought up an interesting claim: there won't be enough IP addresses for us by 2010. The best part of Patrizio's argument is that all internet users will end up sharing internet addresses to access online content. Meaning piracy would be nearly impossible to trace, storing passwords online would become more difficult, and all of your privacy (you know, bookmarks, passwords, contacts, etc.) would go right out the window.
But is it realistic? The internet can be molded however we please, so - even though numbers will start to get out of hand - IP addresses will never "run out." They'll just become even more annoying.
3. Social networks--future portal or fad?
CNET News has been known to report a few odd things from time to time, but this report about social networks fading from popularity really hits a home run with their wacky assumptions.
"...attendees at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit here still can't decide if these companies are next-generation portals, or merely flash-in-the-pan communities that will eventually fade from popularity like one-time high-fliers Geocities or AOL."
Because, you know, these websites are only as big as they are today because more people are getting sick of them than there are signing up.
2. AT&T Provides Free Internet Access to Customers.
When I found this article I literally fell out of my chair, through The New York Times archive: AT&T to Provide Its Customers With Free Access to the Internet.
"This is a fantastic development for the Web as it hurtles toward critical mass as a commercial medium," said Donna L. Hoffman, professor of management at Vanderbilt University. "To achieve critical mass, you have to get people on line. We're already seeing the diffusion of the hardware, software and modem bundle into the home. What hasn't been moving along so quickly are bandwidth and access."
Wow. That most have worked out great for AT&T at the time.
1. A computer network called "Internet."
Probably the most entertaining video about the internet of all time, a 1993 CBC Television report about (then) new technology from "tools of the human spirit," of course it's about a computer network called "Internet".
Forget the unbelievable ranting about accessing millions of records of data for only $200 a year, the fact that "Internet" is what they decide to call it is what makes this video really great. Make sure you have your sound turned on, and that you have a few minutes to spare for the video. The modem chime is my favorite part.
So there you have it, some of the all-time dumbest assumptions and observations about the internet. Time has proven that not only are a lot of these assumptions and observations just silly, but plain wrong. So the next time you hear something about "web 2.0 is a fad," or "IMAP is a fad," or "high speed internet is a joke," go ahead a laugh, we'll make room for such accusations in another list in seven years.
Source: World Internet Usage, 2007 http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
November 2, 2007
"Questions you may have to ask yourself in the near future, as online content fades and is replaced by communities."
What would happen if web content suddenly didn't account for anything? If you couldn't trust an online source for news? What if online articles, videos, and networks all suddenly became obsolete?
The truth is that these are questions you may have to ask yourself in the near future, as online content fades and is replaced by communities.
Online communities are becoming prominent resources in the news today; with CNN featuring YouTube community videos, websites like Digg.com being featured in printed news articles, and other websites like NewsVine.com being picked up by major news corporations, online communities are rapidly becoming acceptable for accurate news and information.
But enough to replace regular online content?
Yes. Why? Because your safest bet is in numbers. When one person blogs about something that could be considered important news - even if it's only about how their neighbors dog got run over by a car - it will not be considered "accurate" or "important" until an entire community gets involved, determining whether or not the story is important and/or breaking news.
So what does this mean for you, the average internet user? It means that you can stop relying on a single person's view (or that of an evil corporation running advertisements instead of news on the television) and look deeper into online communities for reliable news and information.
And what about webmasters, bloggers, or computer savvy nerds? The time is now to join in online communities and social networks. Eventually online communities will ultimately decide what needs to be seen by the world, and what doesn't. If you're not in the loop when that time comes, the important things you have to say may be overlooked.
Ok, ok, it's a wild jump; but one that we can already see the beginnings of, through YouTube, Google Video, NewsVine, Digg, and other community websites that are rapidly overtaking the mainstream and becoming the new norm.
It's better to start considering the future of online news and content right now, so that you can be prepared in the future.
November 1, 2007
Linking has always been a major source of value for any website. When the internet was still a newborn, linking was practically the only way for people to discover new websites.
Now we have search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and a thousand others that use similar technologies, and linking isn't essential for the discovery of a new website. Linking isn't nearly as important as it once was. Or is it?
The recent Google PageRank fiasco was reportedly because of controversial linking. So, if you were to ask the number one search engine - Google - if linking is important to a website, you would get a response somewhere along the lines of "Hell yeah."
Google recently spanked websites selling links because Google knows how important links still are, even today.
So links are still as important, if not more so, as they were years and years ago when the internet still had "that new experiment" smell.
The best way to get links and improve the quality of your website? With great, well-written content, of course.
So if anybody tells you that links aren't as important as they once were, or that they hold lesser value for search engines, slap them. Show them all of the recent reports about websites penalized for linking. Then laugh and get back to writing great content for your website so you can get more links.