Saturday, May 7, 2011

Famous Bloggers: “20 Link Building Methods and How to Use Them” plus 3 more

Famous Bloggers: “20 Link Building Methods and How to Use Them” plus 3 more

Link to Famous Bloggers

20 Link Building Methods and How to Use Them

Posted: 06 May 2011 04:05 PM PDT

We all know that Google insists on quality content and I support that, but we all know that links play a major role in website rankings. I am tired of people saying things like, “Create diversified link profiles and build high quality links,” without telling you what is needed for the diversified link profile or where to go to build links. So, here is a list of 20 link building methods that will help you in your SEO struggles and link building campaigns.

link building methods and ways

1. Forum Posts – The most basic method of link building. Find an active forum within your target niche, create an account, add the link to your signature, and start posting.

This is good for two things:

A) It creates a link with your chosen keyword from a niche related website.

B) By participating in a forum, you can establishing yourself as authority in your niche. Well, that is if you help others and don't spam. Regular posting in forums, the legit way, can be a great source of traffic.

2. Social Bookmarking – Using sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and StumbleUpon can garner you a mass following.

Submitting links to social bookmarking sites will get you quite a bit of traffic and more interest. This means better search engine rankings. But that will not happen on its own. It's not enough to just create these accounts and bookmark links. No, you have to engage community, find some like-minded people to follow that will follow back, and digg and like their pages. In return, they will do the same for you.

3. Social Media – Build profiles on sites like Twitter and Facebook, then submit your links along with relevant comments. You’ll garner followers interested in what you have to say.

Again, you need to engage with people from your industry. No one will give you 2 seconds of their time if you are not willing to offer your time in return. The beginning is especially hard, but these two sites are a huge wealth of traffic waiting to hit your website, so invest time and effort into building connections and it will pay off.

4. Guest Posts – Consider writing guest posts on blogs of a similar niche with links back to your own content.

This is one of my favorite methods of link building. You get an in-content link, and if you publish your post on a website with high traffic like Famous Bloggers, you can get more exposure. Like with everything else, connect, engage, comment, and offer more and more. These few examples should give you a hint that social interaction is the key to website promotion and link building.

5. Link Bait – Write an article people will want to link to. Something that’s catchy and useful for your niche.

This is easier said than done! Link baiting is actually an art on its own. Doesn't matter if we are talking about articles, apps, widgets or infographics, they are the holy grail of link building. For starters, try to write something that has quality and really helps people. Spend some time doing research and write something unique, and you will have your very own link bait. Of course, the power of your social connections is what will make it viral, so if you are a new blogger it will be really difficult for you to try this method. But in the end, every single article can be seen as link bait.

6. Linking to Others – Others in your niche can help increase your link building efforts by linking back to you if they see you’ve linked first.

Linking out is a great way to gain links. Mention of people and blogs from your industry in your blog posts can actually get you a few quality backlinks, so don't be afraid to link out. Also, link out to major authorities in your industry; show Google and your visitors that you know what quality is and that you will gladly tell others about it.

7. Link Exchanges – Link exchanges work similar to the idea above, but the approach is more direct.

People either avoid link exchanges or overdo it. Like everything else, this one needs a bit of moderation. Find several highly related websites from your niche you can relate to and you can freely exchange links. No harm no foul. Don't skip this step, but don't exchange 50 links. Be moderate. Also, you can go for reciprocal, 3 way or even 4 way link exchanges.

8. Link Directories – People think that submitting to link directories is pretty much the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality link building.

Wrong. Quality niche directories can give you a powerful link boost and will spice up your link profile. Don't skip this step. Like link exchanges, find a few authority directories in your specific niche and get listed there. But don't go around submitting your website into every directory you find.

9. Free Templates – This one is a little harder but can provide you with great results. Links in the footer to your content go up on any site using the theme, whether it’s WordPress, Joomla, etc.

This is not a link bait and it is. A good theme on its own is a link bait and will get links, but what I am suggesting here is to create free themes and templates that you will offer the community to use, for free, as long as they keep the link in the footer of the template intact.

10. WordPress Plugin – If you’re a coder and you create a plugin that people have a need for, it can bring you some decent traffic if the plugin proves to be useful.

This speaks on its own – a link bait and not, just like a theme. But this is for advanced users with some significant tech skills.

11. ContestPromote yourself with a contest offering prizes for people to enter. Tell them to spread the word. The more participants you have, the more links will be spread.

This is a great way to get people to spread the word about you and to get some natural links. But you have to find a good idea for the contest, which is not hard. This is one of the definitive must use link building and website promotion tactics.

12. Blog Network – Time consuming, but creating a blog network linked to your main blog to help promote it can be one way of building links.

Or, you can join plenty of existing blog networks and engage with bloggers there. Similar to social networks, but highly targeted.

13. Paid Reviews – If you have a product, offer to pay bloggers to write a review about the product.

Or don't pay – you can get free reviews by offering your product for free or with a grand discount, which is a promotion on its own. Offer to give your product or service away for free in exchange for a review with links to your website.

14. Giveaways – Giveaway some of your product for free. People will grab it and link to the site.

Similar to reviews, but you are not asking for anything in return, which may prove to be more beneficial or less. It all depends on the level of promotion and the buzz you create in social circles.

15. Become An Authority – Write on topics people need to know more about in your niche. People will link to these articles.

Everything leads to this. Every article, forum post, tweet and everything you did will lead to this point. But this is one thing not everyone can do and it certainly won't happen over night.

16. Web 2.0 – Create a Squidoo lens or HubPages article that details products or information in your niche. Make sure the lens includes a link back to your own website.

Squidoo and HubPages are great places to show others that you are in fact an authority in your niche, and also to connect and engage with more and more people. I just got around to this, but links from these web 2.0 properties can prove to be very powerful. You just think up the quality of your content, and no Google update will worry you.

17. Competitive Linking – Find blogs and sites where competitors have linked their services and products and link yours there as well.

This is plain old competitor research, but instead of contacting sites and asking for links, you look for membership sites, profiles, and places where you can list your services. This is very easy to do. Just follow-up on your competitor backlinks, and you will find plenty of these free link opportunities.

18. Blog Comments – This one is pretty much like forum signatures. Find blogs with content the same as yours, leave a link to your website in the comments section where allowed.

Sounds simple and it is simple, but in order to gain the most, you need to offer a useful comment. Don't go around with "great post" and "love your work" type of comments. Offer something; give a real opinion, positive or negative. But comment on the article in question, and you will get noticed and that link will be clicked on.

19. Hire a link builder - The above methods take a lot of time and expertise. Hiring someone with the knowledge to do it for you can be more effective than doing it yourself.

If you have the funds and wish someone with experience to build links for you, hiring a link builder or an SEO company is the best option you have. The only part that is tricky is finding someone who is a good link builder and offers legit link building services and not spam links. I would recommend looking through SEOmoz marketplace for that.

20. Sponsor A Cause – Know of a charity drive that’s beneficial to your niche? Announce your sponsoring of it and people are sure to take notice.

Again, if you have money, this is a great way to gain some authoritative links from trusted domains and organizations. Most companies will link back to you under their list of thanks, so this is always a great way to get quality links without actually buying links. I would advise against it unless you know very well what you are doing.

So there you have it

20 ways to build links and what to look for. Some of these methods can be used by the absolute beginner, while others require some experience and technical knowhow, but you will get there. Remember that in online or brick and mortar business, you need to have a plan and something to look forward to. SEO is the best way to go about getting some serious traffic in the long run, so don't skip link building. By all means, of course, use everything you can, including social media marketing, PPC, and offline efforts to bring traffic to your websites.

Atomic PR, Global Public Relations

Posted: 06 May 2011 02:28 PM PDT

Atomic PR is a ten year old agency that was created on the premise that the PR industry in general hadn't innovated in the same way that many other industries had over the course of the information revolution in the 1990s. Where advertising, retail, and marketing had widely embraced new analytical and metric-driven approaches to their work, many PR firms still relied on personal intuition and rolodexes to get the job done. With this insight Atomic PR developed ComContext, its own analytics platform specifically suited to the task of PR, as well as deeply incorporating social media, search, and digital media creation to help meet the new PR challenges of the 21st century.

It's all just "media" now according to AtomicPR

While there are clear differences in lead times, gatekeepers, and content between "traditional" and "new" media, Atomic PR claims the overall media landscape has largely converged, with tweets read aloud on broadcast TV and major print media outlets seeing greater traffic online vs. their print circulation. AtomicPR understands these challenges and creates multi-pronged campaigns to address all these verticals simultaneously.

For Atomic PR, Social Media Presents A Return To The Fundamental Objectives Of Public Relations

Public relations has often been about "press relations" according to Atomic PR, however the influence of online channels and social media has truly taken it back to its roots. While strong press relations are a core component of any successful PR endeavor, AtomicPR recognizes that often times brands are communicating and interacting directly with its consumers via social media, and a strong understanding on this social dynamic is critical.

I just came across their website today while browsing the internet and reading about public relations firms, and I thought to share what they do! Enjoy your weekend.

Cleaning Up The airschk Mess

Posted: 04 May 2011 11:34 PM PDT

This is Part II of our "You've been hacked" blog I published last week. In this post, we will focus on how you can clean your files from the airschk web bug injections.

If you are one of the many blog administrators who run WordPress or other .php based CMS, this may interest you. When was the last time you checked your server database, files or logs for suspicious behavior or malicious code injections? If you haven't done so lately, do yourself a favor and check it now!

I have received some very valuable comments on last week's Part I post, mainly on other precautions that could be taken to protect yourself and your server(s) from similar attacks. One thing I may have missed in Part I is your desktop security. Attacks similar to airschk could be carried out through a hacker installed key logger or password spyware on your machine. This installed Spyware would spy on your keyboard strokes and/or other password files you may have stored locally on your machine, including browser saved passwords and saved form information. Your desktop security is therefore vital to your server security.

Another form of popular clear-text password transmission is email client applications that use regular POP3/SMTP to login to remote email servers. Consider using secure SSL connections for your POP and SMPT services running on the server and turn off any unused ports on your system.

Obviously, we can take a hundred more pages talking about other security measures you can take to protect yourself, your information, your server and your business against such attacks, but I would rather focus on the issue on hand right now; cleaning-up this specific web bug.

airschk code

I put together a quick bash script code for cleaning up web pages injected with airschk. The code may not be perfect, but it will sure do the job. Please note that the code I provide here was written on GNU Linux, and may slightly differ from other Unix/Linux flavors that you may be using for your site(s). Little tweaks may be necessary.

Cleaning up web pages injected with airschk

We ran and tested the code successfully on Hesham's servers and were able to clean over 200 files in the system.

#!/bin/sh  ########################################################################## # clean_airschk # # Created By: Mohamed Osam, 2011-05-01, # # THE CODE IS PROVIDED HERE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT # AND SHALL NOT BY ANY MEANS BE USED IN PRODUCTION SYSTEMS WITHOUT # THE PROPER AND NECESSARY MODIFICATIONS. USE ON YOUR OWN RISK! # #, its partners and/or the author of this code shall not # in any event be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, # incidental, or consequential damages, including, without limitation, lost # revenues, or lost profits, arising out of or in any way connected with the # use or misuse of the information or lack of information provided or with # the delay or inability to use this source code, or from any information # provided in cleaning up the web bug, or otherwise arising out of the # use of this source code, whether based on contract, tort, strict # liability or otherwise. The author shall not be liable for any loss or # injury caused in whole, or in part, by the actions, omissions, or # contingencies beyond the author's control, including in procuring, # compiling, or delivering the information, or arising out of any errors, # omissions, or inaccuracies in the information regardless of how caused, # or arising out of any Internet user's decision, or action taken or not # taken in reliance upon information furnished. # ##########################################################################  #First, created a list of the infected files for future reference  if [ $# -ne 3 -a $# -ne 4 ];then    echo; echo "Wrong use of $0"    echo "Usage: $0    [-b]"    echo "       -b: Optional. Will crate a backup file prior to the scan process modification"; echo    exit 1 fi   echo "Searching for airschk infected files..." find $1 -type f -name '$2' -exec grep -s airschk {} \; -print | grep $3 > airschk_infected_list   echo "airschk infected files list generated!"; echo; echo "Cleaning-up files..."; echo   BACKUP_FILES=$4 BACKUP_SWITCH="-b" OLD_FILES_EXT=".old_airschk_pre_clean"   exec "$file.airschk_clean"         if [ "$BACKUP_FILES" == "$BACKUP_SWITCH" ]; then          mv $file $file$OLD_FILES_EXT       fi         mv -f $file.airschk_clean $file         #### Add the "perl" statement line if you get the "^M" characters at the end of each line       #### as some unix implementations does that. This line will remove all \r characters from the final file       #### You could alternatively use "sed" with the same regexp, but again that would depend on the       #### linux flavor you are running.        ## perl -i -pe 's/\r//g' $file        #Now set all file attribute and ownership information back to the way it was       chown $fowner:$fgroup $file       chmod u=$u_attr,g=$g_attr,o=$o_attr $file         process_result="SUCCESS!"    else       process_result="*ERROR: Failed to read file!"    fi      echo "$file_count: Processing $file ...$process_result" done   echo;echo "**** Processing complete! Total of $file_count file(s) processed.";echo

Start first by making a full backup of your web files and all other files you plan to scan. When you are done with your backup, create a text file in your preferred directory on your server; I named the script "clean_airschk". Make sure you give proper execute privileges to the user/group that will be running the script. You can do that using the "chmod" command,

chmod +x clean_airschk

The script will create a file called "airschk_infected_list" on the directory it is executed from. The "airschk_infected_list" file will carry a list of all files infected on your system; keep this list for future reference. The script will then start cleaning up all infected files and create backup copies (if the –b option is used) of each cleaned file. The backup file will carry the same original filename but with an added ".old_airschk_pre_clean" filename extension. The backup file will be created on the same file system location of the original file. It is highly recommended that you use the "-b" option when running the script. This will help you decide later on whether you want to revert back the operation, move all backup files into one location, or just delete the backup files completely.

To run the script from the location in which it was created at, use the following command-line format,

./clean_airschk    [-b]

So for example, if you want to scan all your php files under your web home directory (htdocs for example), and backup any file found infected, the command and it's output will be as follows,

$ ./clean_airschk /htdocs *.php /htdocs -b   Searching for airschk infected files...   airschk infected files list generated!   Cleaning-up files...   1: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/uploads.php ...SUCCESS! 2: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/kendo-main.php ...SUCCESS! 3: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/install/index.php ...SUCCESS! 4: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/index.php ...SUCCESS! 5: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/admin/login.php ...SUCCESS! 6: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/admin/index.php ...SUCCESS! 7: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/demos/kendo/kendo-main/admin/settings.php ...SUCCESS! 8: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/index.php ...SUCCESS! 9: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/sites/default/default.settings.php ...SUCCESS! 10: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/modules/bob/bob-profile-item.tpl.php ...SUCCESS! 11: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/modules/bob/bob-picture.tpl.php ...SUCCESS! 12: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/modules/bob/bob-profile.tpl.php ...SUCCESS! 13: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/astro/modules/bob/bob-profile-category.tpl.php ...SUCCESS! : : : 167: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/kendonation/kendo-main/admin/index.php ...SUCCESS! 168: Processing /home/famous/htdocs/kendonation/kendo-main/admin/settings.php ...SUCCESS!   **** Processing complete! Total of 168 file(s) processed.   $

As always, your suggestions and comments are welcome.

Effectively Using Case Studies In Blogging For Your Business

Posted: 04 May 2011 01:44 PM PDT

Case studies are a great and unique way show potential clients and current clients your business’ thought process and experience. It is important to find a way to effectively use case studies in blogging for your business.

Your knowledge is very valuable. Online, people are not always looking for someone with many years of experience- not unless you have already established yourself in your niche as the ‘go to’ person. Because a lot of people have their own learning curve and differ in how they apply it, that allows them to connect differently with various people out there.

For example, not every video blog is going to connect with everyone. You might be talking over their head (they will not understand you). Others will understand you. It goes the same for written word. Everyone is different.

Some businesses may not even need to have case studies. That is fine. This article is not for you. However, for those who do have businesses that could benefit from case study blogging, this article is for you.

A List of Businesses that Can Benefit from Blogging Case Studies

  • Photographers
  • Web Designers
  • Graphic Designer
  • Social Media Consultants
  • Law Offices
  • Home Constractors
  • Construction Companies
  • Stock Offices
  • SEO/SEM consultants
  • Hair Salons
  • Doctors offices
  • Event Coordinators
  • Marketing Agent
  • Location and Talent Managing Companies

…and many more!!!

Now, please note that some of the above types of businesses, like lawyers and doctors, may have very sensitive material that must be confidential. It is important to either get permission from the client and/or do a case study in which the subject is nameless.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study

case study

Depending on the niche, it could be a bit different. For example, web design and graphic designers could publish pictures of their work and an article on what they did to come up with a solution for their job. The same would go for a lot of the businesses listed above and even ones not listed.

You have to answer a few questions:

  • What was the original project’s needs?
  • What did you do to finish the project?
  • What was the result?
  • Were there any highlights (like special things you did that should be noted)?
  • Was the client satisfied? (optional – this might be where you can add a testimonial)

These questions are very important to cover. It also keeps you professional and on track. Case studies are not to be taken lightly, as they can prove to be an important marketing strategy.

Case Study versus Portfolio

Some businesses may have a portfolio. It might be set up like a case study. In fact, it might be confusing, considering they almost the same thing. “Portfolio” has usually been defined as a short way to show your work to clients (and this is just paraphrasing), while a case study is actually describing the process of how a project was completed. Personally, I like the concept of combining both methods, as you get a more complete case study OR portfolio. More often than not, especially in web and graphic design, only the name of the project and pictures are involved. Portfolios are great and short, but really not always SEO friendly – not so much ‘oomph’ on content. You can leave the title and alt tag in an image for a portfolio, but an actual article can emphasize even more.

Some people really want to know more, especially to get into your company’s thought process.

How to Display Case Studies

With the awesome way content management systems have developed, displaying case studies can involve a few choices:

  1. Put it in its own category as Case Studies. This is a very simple method and you can point to the category from anywhere on your site.
  2. Create a portfolio and link your portfolio images to an article from the case studies. This will give you some inner site linkage going on and allow your visitors to find out more about whatever project they clicked on in your portfolio.
  3. If you use WordPress, make the case studies an entire section of your site with custom post types. You have the ability to make a whole section aside from your default posts and pages in WordPress since version 3.0. Instead of the old days of WordPress when people would make a totally new site in a sub folder or sub domain, this allows you to control your case studies from the same place as your posts and pages. You can then create a separate type of template just for your case study section. Just as a side note, you might want to try this for portfolios too.

Of course, there are many other brilliant ways to put together and display case studies, but I would love to know if you have done case studies for your blog or business and how you did yours. :)


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