Dead End Blogging: Blog Charlatans vs Blogging Truths

Introducing the new occasional series called “DEAD END Blogging”… What is DEAD END Blogging? When you’re driving you occasionally will see this street sign …

It clearly indicates that the road ahead ends soon, and that you will have to turn back and take another route to your destination. This series of short posts encourages bloggers (myself included) to avoid the many dead ends on the way to blogging success.

The Blog Charlatans: Do you always buy those claims?

So you bought that the latest PDF book on how to blog, you signed up for the latest traffic/hit generator, or you subscribed to the latest email/twitter course in the hope that they will make you a better blogger, bring you oodles of traffic and fame/wealth/success, or whatever. You eagerly open your browser to read the information, and as you do, you read the words… sign up for my next course/pdf/website to gain further insights into how to blog successfully. Hey, dude, wait a minute! I didn’t even find out anything in this PDF file, and you’re already exhorting me to buy the next course!

Congratulations, you have just found the upsell… in other words, this is a likely BLOG CHARLATAN! In fact, if you browse many of the extensive E-Book repositories or numerous website offering such products, you’ve probably already become blind to the first signs of a blog charlatan – the hype, the promises, and the evocative images on the front. These are carefully chosen to help you make an emotional decision, not an intellectual one!

Keeps you younger looking EVERY DAY!

These sites are basically dishonest (legally not, though) but they play upon the same instincts that you see in TV advertising. Let’s give you an example from TV: a beautiful young lady swears that her moisturizer KS-200 helps her stay young and beautiful much longer. The TV cuts to close ups of the young lady’s skin, enhanced by digital imaging (read: photoshop, premiere), all to convince you that the product is worth the claims made by the manufacturer, and all despite the fact that the young lady has been using the products for only one or two days (the shooting of the commercial!). Her skin looks young because she is young: it’s that simple. It’s manufactured coincidence that the product also makes the same claim to youthfulness.

So here are some claims that you might find suspect:

  1. “Get Targeted Traffic And High Pr Backlinks Automatically
  2. “How did a social worker earn $2000 per month?”
  3. “Need more traffic to your BLOG? Join ***.com the internet’s largest BLOG traffic generator!”
  4. “Affiliates Makes $19,859 In One Month”
  5. “The Ultimate Guide To Blogging Riches”

While each of them may contain an element of truth, there is very little reason to believe that following the plans will necessarily help you fulfill those claims.

I’m not claiming that I have achieved any of these steps or goals, but I now understand more clearly than ever that they are more important than any of the blogging charlatans out there. If you follow the charlatans, you will end up driving up numerous dead end streets and lanes. Each time you will have to back up, turn your car around, and reorient yourself as seek a new route. I guess this is what this post is doing for me.

For more reading, check out the principles of finding your own voice.

Google Tip of the Day: Submit your content to Google, and more…

submit your content

I was pleased to see that Google made it really easy for webmasters to submit their content to Google’s Engines of Search. The page details almost every content-related site within Google that I can think of and is a valuable reference for would-be webmasters.

So if you are looking to get your website in Google’s search engine, you would certainly start with:

Step 1: Get Included

Add Your URL to Google’s Index
Submit your website for inclusion in Google’s index

Step 2: Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools
Submit a Sitemap of your website to Google

Step 3: Submit Your Blog

Blog Search
Make your blog searchable in Google’s blog index


To get your site additional traffic, you can also…

Step 4: Ping Your Blog


Step 5: Ping Your Sitemaps, too.

You can also ping updated sitemaps (when you create a new page/post, for example).

Many of these have suitable plugins for WordPress and automate the process. In fact, some features are already included in WordPress. So I think WordPress makes running a website easier and smarter than using Joomla.

Chris, this is for you as you are building your website! Hope it really turns into something great!

Nozkidz: Online and Offline Promotion for a Real World Business

Well, the last few days have been pretty busy as we’ve been pursuing both online and offline audiences for our school. So we’ve now managed to establish a fully bilingual website, with our own Blog in English. Offline, we’ve been promoting our classes with Teaching Demos, Activities, Flyers, and meet’n’greet style promos. It’s all been hard work, but we’re beginning to see limited success in a number of areas:

First, it takes consistency, timing and perseverance to get the promotions done. And just occasionally, a little flexibility. With the development of our online marketing effort, as I hinted, we’ve completed the initial stages of promoting the school site in English (with our english theme/blog), EzineArticles, Squidoo Page, WordPress, and Blogger accounts. While none of the resources is particularly developed or popular, the combined effect has been to boost traffic to the English half of our website.

Online: Honeypots and Keywords

For the Chinese half, we’ve focused more on developing the keywords, putting up basic content. Many of the avenues open to US/European blogs such as EzineArticles are not just available in the local Traditional Chinese market in Taiwan. So we’re looking at developing more micro-sites to act as honeypots for traffic and boost our SERPS. Given language difficulties, this is not currently being pursued in any intensive way. Keyword search, however, has provided some interesting news, and the results of choosing specific keywords a few months ago is beginning to bear fruit.

We initially did a simple evaluation of our site courtesy of the Google Keywords Tool available in the AdWords accounts, looked at the statistics for the past six months, and created our initial selection of keywords. This proved somewhat haphazard at first, as the terms we chose weren’t the most focused. After doing some refining, we focused on about twelve terms. We’re not ranking for many of the terms in Google properly yet. But I was sad about that, until I remembered in Taiwan, Google is very much an also-ran. So I decided to check out the Yahoo! rankings, and their results were astonishing. Of our initial ten terms, only three ranked in Yahoo and one in Google. But when I started searching the other keywords, I was astonished to find a total of 13 keywords in which pages from our site ranked in the top 30 results. And many were on the first page for the results in Yahoo! General indications are though that many of these key terms don’t have high search volume, but at the moment, this is only the second iteration of keywords.

It’s difficult to see the individual effect of additional successful keywords but in general terms traffic is now approaching an all-time high. We are pursuing additional options in the English side of the site, as well as the Chinese… but it takes a considerable amount of time.

Offline: Flyers and Promotions

Running a promotional campaign has pushed my designing skills to the limit as well as other aspects. We decided to go for color flyers, instead of the usual black & white, which came out very nicely. In addition, we made extra specific flyers and color attachments to suppplement. Many of the leaflets were handed out to existing students and parents, while we ended up pushing flyers through mailboxes twice in the last week. In total, we’ve had over 2000 flyers printed and delivered in the past seven days.

My colleague is always skeptical about such things, but in handling offline promotion, I really think it’s important to get in people’s faces so that you get a chance to build up name recognition. Though our community is smallish, it’s a fairly big city and things are always changing. Familiarity takes a lot of time to build up on the streets so we’re going to be printing a lot more and expanding our leaflet campaigns to reach the major residential communities in our area.

Since we’re a real world business, it’s important to pursue a dual strategy of promotion. Local search traffic just isn’t significant enough to rely on 100%, but having a website means we are open 24/7 for information and communication. It’s a healthy symbiosis.

Tags: business, affiliate, marketing