Wednesday, February 11, 2004

How to Benefit from Internet Fads

Fellow commentator on Business blogging, Wayne Hurlbert mentions on his Blogbusinessworld Blog That writing about a current Search Trend in its early stages is a good way to boost traffic by riding on the wave of the trend.

Wayne gives the example of the recent Janet Jackson Boob flashing story at the Superbowl. Many surfers looked for info on this story, and any bloggers commenting on this will have grabbed quite a few eyeballs as a result. However, in its later stages most Search Engines will be pointing surfers to the most popular sites mentioning this topic. If you are lucky, you can catch this wave of searches by being one of the first to write on the subject, and if this results in high click-thru, Google should adjust its ranking of your blog to feature highly even in these later stages.

How do you become first to such a Search Trend?

You may think this is similar to the manner by which reporters get their "scoops" for newspapers - investigations and good speculation to unearth a good story. Well, the internet works a bit differently, and these trends can be identified quite quickly and easily. Often these trends will be either started or perpetuated by Blogs that discuss the topic and other blogs discussing it as they too discover other blogs reporting on the topic. These sites all provide a listing of the most discussed topics by bloggers:


Its a good idea to regularly check these sites and look for new trends that are relevant to your own blog. Also, make sure you have a good headline and the first few lines of the post are strong enough to hook the surfer - search engines will display this text in the search results listing for your blog. If you get that part right, and you get the timing right, you could get a great boost to your traffic during brief life of this trend.
Monday, February 09, 2004

More on Blogging Jobs

Blogging can not only help you in your job-search, it can become your new job in itself. Is there much difference between a blogger and a journalist? Not really. The Blogger Forum Blog reports on the story of Simon Willion, whose blog was noticed by SitePoint as a being a great source of information on web development topics and was hired for "a boatload of money" to blog for them. As blogs become more popular as a mainstream publishing format for the web, and more and more big time blog sites such as Marketing Wonk or are created, bloggers will have a great chance to launch a new journalistic career, with these bigger blogs becoming launch pads to more establishment sites.
Saturday, February 07, 2004

Let your Reputation Precede You

Over on John Robb's Weblog he lists what he believes to be the 7 ways to build reputation.
My Blog Promotion 101 post from last month has been publicly criticized by some fellow bloggers because it misses what they feel is the most important element of a successful blog: great and timely content. The point being that your Blog will become popular because your content will command a strong reputation. I cannot argue against this, however one needs to get the blog in front of eyeballs in order to start building that reputation. The Blog Promotion 101 was not intended to be the be all and end all of blog success, merely a means of gaining a head start. A strong reputation is of course the path to success, but there is no point in writing great content if no-one can find you.
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Blogging to get a New Job

A Blog can be used to raise awareness of one's business, or to demonstrate expert knowledge of your target market.

Can a blog help raise your personal profile?
Yes it can using the same principles as a business does to benefit from a blog. The term "to google someone" is becoming more and more popular as people use Google (or other search engines) to discover information about people, not just companies, products or research topics. For example the Bel-air hotel in Los Angeles googles guests to find out information that they can use to create a personalized service, such as assigning a room with morning sun for guest that like to go jogging at dawn. For those that would potentially google YOU, ablog would be a useful source of that information.

You may think this would never happen to you, but apply this to a situation where everyone need to market themselves - the jobhunt. How many times have you felt short-changed by having such a small amount of time to impress your interviewer and feel the resume format isn enough to really showcase your knowledge? Everyone has felt like this at one time - and a lot of people get asked the question "what is your knowledge of this industry?" which is often difficult to demonstrate in an interview. If you had a blog where your wrote about your chosen or target industry, you could always invite them to read your blog which they can digest over time after your interview. I mentioned my Internet Marketing Blog on my Resume once and was impressed to have an interviewer once remark that they are an avid reader of my blog and they brought it to the meeting to show to the other interviewer. Well respected blogger, Robert Scoble claims that his blog helped him get his current job with Microsoft. In response to whether blogging played a role in the selection process, Robert remarks:

"Yes, weblogging played a major role. For one, it helped get me noticed. For two, it helped people inside Microsoft see how I thought without needing me to come up for an interview. For three, during the interviews, we were able to really get to the point of things, since they already knew my strengths and weaknesses."
As you can see blogging can help improve your jobsearch and help you in those awkward interviews where you don't feel you really did yourself justice. Blogging can make you famous, fame leads to increased opportunities.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

How to make your Affiliate Deal with Amazon better

For those bloggers out there that have taken up the option to add affiliate links to Amazon may be finding it a bit of a grind to keep the site updated with relevant links back to Amazon products. BlogFuel is a great new site that gives tools for British and American affiliates to create quick and great looking product links. Check it out.
Monday, February 02, 2004

Blogging Consultants

I have mentioned previously that blogs can benefit a business greatly when the blog is considered to be a rich source of knowledge for the field that the business occupies. There are of course business that already offer expert services: consultancies and marketing agencies. Many consultancies and agencies will only become successful once prospects realize they are knowledgeable. Take a look at many websites for agencies and consultants and you won't get much that actually proves they have this knowledge. Adding a blog to such websites enables the "experts in their field" to give small tastes of what they consult on. Jupiter Research is a good example. The company supplies marketing research, and some of their analysts have their own weblogs which contain commentaries on the areas they work on. As an internet marketing professional myself, I am very interested in what they have to say about internet advertising, and the weblog for Gary Stein is a regular read for me, as well as being a great example of good use of a blog by a consultancy. He never gives too much away, otherwise one wouldn't need to buy one of his reports, instead giving the reader a view to how he thinks and to demonstrate that he really does have his finger on the pulse.

Another good example I came across recently was the blog werbeblogger, which is a German blog about the Internet advertising industry. In fact the blog is written by German advertising agency Breitenbach and Partners and demonstrates that they are experts in that field. Agencies can also demonstrate the success of their services by creating good case studies, or by customer referrals, but this takes time. Creating a blog which demonstrates your agencies knowledge of the field can help get a foot in the door of potential clients. Add to that the fact that a blog is likely to help improve your business' visibility in search engines and blogs can provide enormous upside to your business. For a lot of agencies and consultancies this does not require too much extra effort, as these companies are often providing guest articles for trade press or conferences.

There's an ad in my RSS

It was bound to happen sooner or later; once early web marketers started using mailing lists, it wasn't long before we saw ads in the newsletters - now you can have an ad in your RSS feeds. Weblog Hype reports on two companies hoping to get website owners to place advertising slots in their RSS feeds .

Is this an effective means to create revenue for your blog? Maybe, but until RSS feeds become mainstream the audience is going to be very small, and there may be a backlash against RSS ads resulting in RSS readers coming with ad-blocking features.