content ideasExpertly crafted search engine optimized content is the gold standard when it comes to web traffic. Simply put, if you’re showing up on Google’s first page, and especially within the top-5 results, then your site is doing extremely well and new, unique visitors will generously flow in your direction.

With Google (and Facebook) changing their algorithms on almost a daily basis, however, the SEO tactics we once employed are becoming useless. In fact, sites that used heavy keyword densities and other older SEO methods are quickly getting Google’s cold shoulder.

The Web World Is Changing

Search engines are becoming smarter these days, which means that pure SEO isn’t going to get you anywhere. The overarching rule of thumb is simple: you need solid, well-written, relevant content. While this doesn’t necessarily negate your need to use keywords in a smart way, the emphasis is quickly shifting to the relevance and the quality of content that you put on your site. This is why finding great ideas for content on your website is critical, and yet it can also be one of the most difficult tasks you may face.

This is why I’ve come up with this list of seven essential tools to help you determine the most relevant content, while finding the right keywords to attract Google’s golden attention. Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to use these tools this order, but my suggested workflow may help if you’re stuck in that black hole of confusion.

Now let’s get crackin’.

#1: Trello

One of the most difficult parts about creating compelling content that gets SEO results is staying organized and keeping track of tasks and ideas. This is why I usually recommend using Trello, which is one of the most useful online task managers I’ve found. It may be a little difficult to learn at first, but after a few YouTube tutorials and an informational how-to article, you’ll be a Trello wiz within 30 minutes.

#2: Google News

If you were trying to figure out what people are currently searching and what Google already finds relevant, then why not head straight to the source? Google News will allow you to do exactly that.

In fact, this is already a practice known as ‘newsjacking.’ Hubspot defines this as, “…capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success.” What does this mean for you? The clever application of ‘newsjacking’ through acquiring ideas from Google News could be extremely valuable for traffic.

#3: Topsy

Another fact you should keep in mind is that search engines will also pick up social media traffic, which means that you should certainly have your hand in that cookie jar as well. For this, I recommend using tools like Topsy.

Almost everyone who is noticeably active on social media will have their networks linked to Twitter… and Topsy tracks Twitter. There are several excellent features on here that will allow you to gauge whether or not the idea you found on Google News is gaining any traction in the social media universe.

#4: Quora

In addition to filtering your ideas (and coming up with new ones) from Topsy, you should also take advantage of Quora. Essentially, it is a tool that will show you what relevant questions people are asking. If your content provides relevant content, which addresses these questions, then people will be searching for your site.

#5: Reddit

In ways that simple traffic tracker tools cannot, Reddit can provide you with the most up-to-date, relevant information on what people are talking about. You can harness Reddit to your advantage, talking about everything from creating a proper handle (username) to just how well Reddit has worked for other sites in the past.

#6: Ubersuggest

Once you’ve figured out the best general ideas for coming up with solid content and topics, you should research what keywords you should insert into the page. Ubersuggest’s advantage is that it will give you access to several services that monitor actual user keyword queries.

Bear in mind, while it is important to note that keywords aren’t everything. Good SEO requires a delicate harmony between proper usage of keywords and the crafting of well-written content.

#7: Google Keyword Planner

Last, we arrive at Google Keyword Planner, which will enable you to research keywords and learn more about how traffic for that keyword has changed over time. This is your most accurate, comprehensive tool that is tailored specifically to work directly with Google. Although this tool shows up as #7 on the list, I would say that it is probably your most essential option for coming up with the best keywords and knowing how well they will do.

I simply use it as a last check to determine my keywords, confirm their validity and figure out how to fit them into my content strategy… after utilizing the other tools to research what people are already talking about, of course.

Easier Than You Thought?

Again, half the battle isn’t writing the content. The problem is figuring out what to write and how to write it before you even begin. This is why these tools should offer a fantastic guide to come up with content that will be picked up by Google, and most importantly, will offer the best value to your readers. Your content will be what they were looking for all along.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and designer who loves writing about marketing strategies that will help organizations like Saffire succeed on the web.

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Helpful tips create engaging content

Content is the face of website and must be interesting enough to engage visitors to the site a while long. The first impression about your business is drawn with the flow of writing. Rather make an attractive and appealing writing which can hold the interest of readers then a straight and flat information or marketing of your business.

There are some tips mentioned to make your content interesting and updated to elicit visitors and make them visit your site again and again to read the content.

Tips To Create An Interesting Content

Make your Unique Style of writing

Make the website different and special from others. A unique voice, distinguishable content attracts the mind faster than others. An eye-catching content and formatting that no other competitors in the business have. The flow of writing must go same in all the pages that impress the readers and make their habit of reading in a same pattern and will not let them go anywhere then revisiting the site again.

Active Words

The active form of writing makes the reader interesting and they get involved with the story. Rather than passive writing which may bore a reader after a certain period of time, use active words to engross reader to read more and more.  Conservative writing is much preferred by the readers but don’t go outlandish or absurd, maintain the dignity of our business.

No typographical errors

One or two typographical errors can be carried with the presentable and interesting article of writing but not more than that. Much of the spelling or grammatical error will make the site lose credibility and lower the interest of the readers. As it breaks the flow of reading and results in a flippant impression.

Content must be skimming

With so busy lives; readers have made a habit of reading the content while skimming. Especially the website contents, when the web users get number of options with a single click. The content should carry a quality of skimming and scanning, so that user can find the useful points as per preferences and get through with all the content in limited time.

Readers focused content

No one wants to read about you, if it is not related to them at all. They will look for other sites very soon. Focus on the needs and wants of readers than on your interest to engage them in your website content. Even the popular search engines check the quality and worth of content in the process of content optimization.

Showcase benefits of content

The topic may be anything, the reader must get the motto of writing and the benefits they will get after it. Feature the logical and beneficiary things of the product or service if the content is about them. You must convince your reader through showing them their benefits.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Websites present content to get the high ranks on Search engines and appeal to visitors about their product and services. But too much keyword stuffing will upset both, Google and the users as well and will no more help you in social media optimization. Penguin and Panda updates has made it clear about too much keyword stuffing and it also breaks the flow of reading and irritates the reader to read same words again and again.

Add Calls to Action

To make your content active and feasible to the readers, always add at least one call to action. Make the content supportive to the user by directing them the very next step apparently in the content.

Linking to others

To go beyond the limits for helping your readers is always an impressive act for users. Linking to a relevant site of information to the visitors is a positive point; on the other hand one irrelevant link will make you lose credibility. The linking site can be a splurging site of your content and services but should be informative to users.

Speak to visitor personality

Content is printed on the site for varied web users; try to make your content conservatory to all users. Address the specific needs and requirements of users in your content and be friendly with them by simplifying your way of writing.

These ten tips can help you make a huge difference in the presentation and make your site favorite among search engines and web users.

Know Your Guest Author:

This article has been written by Sachin Sharma .

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today

Content marketing is no trend, it’s an integral part of a successful business model in today’s world. If you’re seeking the best and most effective ways to promote your business, content marketing is your answer. Whereas companies used to rely on word of month and consumer reviews, now the word of the Internet is the new source of consumer and industry communication that can really benefit your business.

Effective marketing can do great things for your business, including:

Brand protection for your company

Let individuals hear about your company straight from the horses mouth. Rather than leaving it up to outsiders to review your company’s products and policies, develop a discourse on them over the web in your own right. Always leave room for users to join the conversation with comment fields and social sharing tools, but make sure you and your company insiders are the ones that start meaningful, beneficial communication about your brand.

 Don’t let bad reviews dominate the content out there for your business, and start conversations about the good aspects you have to offer; people will surely join in.

Accurate information dissemination for your business

Set the facts straight by being the forerunner in web content about your company and the industry it’s a part of. Your consumers will appreciate your factual, helpful reporting, and your company will benefit from gaining a credible voice with an online presence based in a variety of online media. Content marketing is solid when done through blogs, press releases and social media outlets, but don’t forget to employ new media when getting your accurate business information out there.

Use videos, infographics, audio interviews, and compelling photographs to get the facts about your company out into the consumer-based online venues.

Helpful content for existing and potential consumers

Improve the consumer experience by giving your customers (and potential customers) some useful information about the products they buy. This type of content marketing helps you connect with existing customers, keeping them pleased with their decision to frequent your business. Cut out the middle men of traditional advertising and do away with annoying ads that will deflect your consumers; develop helpful information that is easily accessible on mobile devices, and consumers will appreciate your efforts.

Link building to generate business

It’s well known that content marketing is key to link building, driving traffic and generating more business. But the importance of this should not be ignored. You can’t market content enough, there is no end to the amount of links you can build over the world wide web, so your efforts should not become static. Always look for new ways to do so, getting on the hottest new social trends and sites that are based on catering to consumers in your industry.

Better relationships with consumers

Consumers will appreciate the chance to connect more with a company or product they use. Create a better rapport by developing a more intimate relationship with your consumers over the Internet. Content marketing is key to establishing this. The benefits of deepening your relationship with consumers will also bring your company many much needed avenues of growth. By establishing this intimacy, your company will become more aware of consumer wants, trends and stories of experience that will act as helpful research and development tools for your business, strengthening your future in the market.

Brand awareness

Even if your potential customers and industry insiders are not propelled to purchase through your company, content marketing will make them aware of your brand and what you have to offer in the market. Getting closer to becoming a household name is possible if you are spending a significant amount of your efforts on effectively marketing your company and products over the web. The more content you disseminate out to users of the web, the more likely your products and business name will become recognizable, giving you the potential for snagging customers long after they encounter some of your content on the web.

Conclusion

Great things will happen when your company starts to tackle the many avenues of content marketing. It’s important to note that this type of marketing is not a fleeting trend that should be done in a cursory, superficial manner. Put forth your best efforts when you start content marketing for your business, get some accurate helpful information out there that is worth reading. Your existing customers will appreciate it, and your potential customers will see you in a more credible light.

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Boney Pandya leads the online marketing efforts at WebNet Hosting, a company offering fully managed dedicated servers and cloud hosting solutions since 2002

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Vlogging

This is a guest post by Megan on Vlogging and its benefits. You can check out the guidelines for guest posting on our write for us page.

Video blogging, otherwise known as vlogging, has become a popular form of Internet communication thanks to falling webcam prices, greater broadband adoption and the rise of the smartphone.

Popular video blogs regularly fetch hundreds of thousands of views and can be released episodically, effectively re-generating those views with every new blog. These numbers give vlogging incredible marketing potential.

Vlogging – The acceptance quotient

Vlogging has increased in popularity with the commoditization of YouTube, a website that has become a haven for Internet entrepreneurs. Offering a virtual face-to-face with potential clients is a proven way of generating buzz about your product/service and, if done with flair, could find a larger “viral” audience. There is also the fact that YouTube pays YOU if the video strikes fame.

There are a number of famous vloggers you may have come into contact with during your Internet life: Fred and Ciaela are good examples of the blogger speaking to audience setup. The Talking Orange started as a video blog and grew into a full fledged internet comedy show. Some vlogs focus on music reviews while others emphasize basically anything you could want to know about.

Vlogging in Interpreneurship

For entrepreneurs, the issue is getting your message out. Video blogs are a great way to do that, but usually as part of a larger marketing plan. For example, if you have an existing email marketing campaign, adding a video blog into your regular transmissions can give you a schedule and increase the amount of information that actually comes across to the consumer. Reading isn’t quite dead, but videos are preferable to walls of text these days and hence vlogging is a preferred medium.

Of course, you should not launch into a video blog because I think it’s a good idea. Evaluate your product and the information you plan to put in the video: is that better conveyed through video or words? You will essentially be using the video blog as marketing, but to make it overtly so would kill interest. Who wants to watch an infomercial of their own volition?

Vlogging as a medium of discussion

Another good technique for business vlogging is simply talking directly with consumers. Notify them how things are going, spring a contest to spur engagement. Microsoft’s many departments regularly produce video blogs to get people interested in what the company is up to, whether it’s the development of Windows 8 or, where the Xbox will be in a year’s time. People respond to these because they are inclusive and bring consumers who are already interested into the world of the business. Obviously, you will not forfeit any trade secrets in these videos.

Another thing to remember is that vlogging is almost always serial; if you do engage in an effort to video blog, count on making more than one video. It can often take time for people to warm up to videos, and if you are successful in producing them you will be able to generate buzz and pull more consumers in. Your primary target is people who are familiar with your brand and ideally you will reach potential consumers who have been linked to your video blog or have shared it in one of the myriad ways that social media offers.

Vlogging is a fun, effective way of connecting entrepreneurs with current and potential clients. Done right, it can be an art form. The technology is in almost anyone’s hands to produce a video blog regularly and release it to the Internet where it has the potential to skyrocket. It may not be a viable form for every business, but it is definitely worth taking a look at through the lens of a marketing budget and seeing whether you and your customers can benefit.

What are your thoughts about vlogging?

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Blogging Ideas

Are you feeling as if your ideas have drained out?

Are you finding it hard to come up with topics to blog about?

You are probably a victim of the “Power-Cut” syndrome. Don’t worry, it is not the name of a disease and you do not have to go and consult your physician about it. It is something that all bloggers at some point face.

Before finding out a cure for this syndrome, let’s first check the topic that you are blogging about.

  1. Is it a topic that has a bit of competition?
  2. Is it something that other bloggers are also writing about?
  3. Are there articles being written on the topic?

If the answer to all the above questions were “YES”, then you have a cure that is easy. But if you answered in “NO”, then I am afraid that the cure will take quite  a bit of time and is still not a guarantee.

If you answered in “No”, then let me ask you another question. Why on earth did you choose a topic that had nobody even bothering to write about? It seems you wanted to get into a market that had no competition. I can understand your point of view because that is what is preached all over the blogs of the internet marketing gurus. But I have a different opinion. A bit of competition is always good.

The Importance of competition :-

Competition shows that there are people who are interested in the market. It means that there are prospective buyers in the market which is what the core of the competition is all about. You know that there is huge scope in the market because there are buyers. Zero competition means that no one wants to enter the market, because there are no buyers.

Would you be interested in re-inventing the wheel? I am absolutely not. I would suggest you shouldn’t either. Get into a market that has some competition so that you at least know that there is scope to succeed, if you are different.

How to get an idea for your blog :-

Setting up alerts -
There is nothing as informative as Google Alerts. In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned about setting up Google Alerts on topics of your interest. I keep getting alerts on my niches everyday and many of them are worth reading. Some of these alerts become topics for my blog posts. The mails that you receive as a part of these alerts are knowledge banks and can form the basis of your posts.New idea

Reading other blogs -
I have a list of about 8 blogs that I read frequently and that are from my niche, on my favorite feed reader. I visit these blogs almost every second day and read their posts. I then jot down interesting points that I felt can form ideas for my next posts.

I write a precis on the topics that I have collected and save them as a draft in my blog, which I can later elaborate on. I add a few meaningful pictures to it and my post is ready. If you are serious about blogging, you need to respect other bloggers the way you will expect them to respect you, and that is by reading their posts.

Reading comments on other blogs -
This sounds very funny, but it indeed works. People use the commenting box on any blog just to get a link back or, to get some traffic and for this, they write stupid things like, “Nice post”, “Interesting topic” etc. But there are some wise men who ensure that they contribute to the discussion in the post by writing valuable comments. These comments at times result in a debate or, a further elaborate discussion on the topic.

Such comments form source of interesting posts for your blogs. In addition to that, if you add a permalink to the original post on the original blog, you might get some serious traffic and there is also a possibility that the owner of the original blog just link to you.

Forum discussions -
These are by far the easiest place to get new ideas for your posts. Register at a few good forums in your niche and contribute to the discussions. You might find people asking interesting questions on “How to”, “Where to” etc. and these can form excellent ideas for your blog posts.

Blogging is not difficult. All that is required is a bit of innovation and you can do well in any market.

Don’t forget to add your comments below.

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Book on Shelves

Blogging is an art. So is choosing the content to write on. The competition is so fierce these days that you would find about a hundred thousand blogs on a specific niche, howsoever specific you are. So when the competition is fierce, what is the mantra to stay successful?

Blogging is a factor of the number of visitors to your blogs. The more the visitors, the more popular your blog. The popularity of your blog will determine the amount of money you make from it. So all of this means that you have to maintain a steady flow of visitors to you blog is you have to be successful in your niche.

When there is so much available on the internet and most of them being common, what is it that would help you maintain a steady flow of visitors? To understand this we will first need to understand the kind of visitors to your blog.

Your blog would have two types of visitors – Returning visitors and new visitors. The returning visitors are the ones who would subscribe to you blog and would keep coming back because they like your content and want more. The new ones would be the ones that come from your links on other blogs, social networks and more importantly from suggestions and advices from your subscribers.

This means that the steady flow of traffic to your blog would be influenced by the ones who subscribe to your blog or, in other words, your returning visitors. So if you are to stay successful you need to cater to their demand and keep them engrossed.

“Continuing content” is something that can help you achieve this. Let me explain what continuing content is. Caroline Middlebrook in her blog has quite a few posts on getting traffic from Stumble Upon and also has an e-course on the same topic. She has actually broken down the tips on getting traffic into numerous small blog posts and keep adding to what she had written in her earlier posts. A reader to her blog, like me would read one of her post on the said topic and would want to come back to check the next post because this topic is of interest to me. This is what “Continuing Content” is.

Continuing content, necessarily does not mean that the content has to be on the same topic. You can build continuity to various other topics, if you are smart enough to do that. A post on StumbleUpon traffic generation can continue to a google analytics post if you know how the two can be linked. A little bit of effort and research can make you a pro in this and can do a lot to making your blog a successful one.

Photograph by timtom.ch (Under Creative Common License)

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