5 Ways To Get Back Links To Your Website

Getting back links to your weblog can be a tedious process. But, it is a process that is worthwhile. Getting back links to your site is another form of website SEO. I discussed this during a previous article, “What Is SEO?”

Now let’s discuss actually getting back links. To sum it up, you can think of back links as web votes. Every time a webpage links back to your own website or webpage you’ve got a vote. In search engines, like Google, this is like a seal of approval. The more seals of approvals you get the higher your website is likely to rank on search engine results pages (SERP). The more back links you get will also help to increase your page rank. A page rank is a measurement starting from 0 to 10 of how high your website is valued. The more webpages, of higher page rank (web value) the more your own page rank and website value increases.

We’ll get to discuss page rank in more detail a bit later but, for now, let’s focus on getting you more back links.

Getting back links are easy but it can be time consuming like I’ve mentioned above. I’ve created a list of 5 organic (not paid for) methods below of just how you can begin to do this.

  1. Comment on other websites: Comment on websites that will allow you to link to your own website or blog. And the more sites you leave comments on will link back to your own website. And, if these websites have a higher page rank than you it is likely to improve your own page rank.
  2. Guest post for other websites: Just like commenting the more websites you guest posts for will allow you to point readers back to your own website for reference. Hence, the increase in back links. Continue reading

How To Get Your Website Noticed!

Getting your website noticed can be difficult. With the millions of blogs on the internet and thousands more created each day, it’s pretty hard to make your site stand out from the crowd. No one goes to a site they don’t know about, right? Here are some ways to get your site noticed.

After launching your website, especially a new site, the goal is to always get people to visit it. You can start with some simple methods in getting your website attention. Below I’ve listed some simple ways of getting your site attention.

Tell People About It: One of the easiest and least expensive ways to get your website noticed? Simply tell people about it. What about your family? Your friends? And while you’re at it why not have them spread the word for you?

Reach Out To People In Your Niche: This means, fellow bloggers and people who are knowledgeable in the subjects you wish to blog about. Sign up for a community where bloggers and experts that share your interests and who won’t mind sharing their expertise and experience with you.

If you blog about celebrities you might want to reach out to their booking agency for an exclusive interview. If you are a fashion blogger try contacting up and coming designers for exclusive interviews, attend fashion shows so you can network and pass along your business card. And, yes, you should have a business card including your site name and link. The same can be said of travel, food, and mom bloggers. Reach out to and network with the people that are aligned to your niche.

Create Social Media Accounts: Site exposure and finding people of similar interests especially on social media can drive traffic to your website, utilize it.

Be A Guest Blogger: Being a guest blogger for another site will not only help you form connections with other bloggers you’ll also get your own website noticed by pointing readers there in your articles.

Being a guest blogger can get your site referral traffic. Referring traffic is another great way of getting your site noticed.

Contact PR Agencies: Publicists would love to get their clients exposure and they want writers to talk about their product. This is a great way to become a go to publisher when PR agencies are looking to get their clients attention.

In conclusion, you have to put yourself out there. If you write it, they will not always come. Be an advocate for your site. Connect with the right people in your blog’s niche and you’ll  build a network of go to professionals.

These are just a few ways to get your website attention. What are some other ways you drive traffic to your website?

Also Read:

Niche Blogging: Find Your Right Niche

Building Your Blog’s Community & Growing Its Readership

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Just Toni: All Things “Scandal”

I know I haven’t blogged in a some time and that’s all for a reason. Truth is, I’ve been uninspired to blog about blogging. I realized I needed to put some life back into this blog and created a subsection where I could talk about things that inspire me — giving the blog a personal touch. The difficulty in sometimes writing for a niche blog is that you get writers block. How many ways can you write about the same topic, right?

Well since the blog is mstoni.com why not incorporate a little bit of “me” into the blog? This brings me on to “Scandal”. The ABC television series that’s made an addict out of, just about, everyone that’s had the opportunity to watch just one episode.

Every Thursday night social media is in a frenzy about the latest episode of the scandalously good prime time soap opera, “Scandal”. Creator Shonda Rhimes sure knows how to reel you in and keep you entranced with the lives of her fictional characters. Although Scandal’s main character, Olivia Pope (played by actress Kerry Washington) is loosely based on real life crisis manager Judy Smith, her love affair with the President of the United States, Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, pulls at your heart strings. Although we know it’s wrong, the love and passion these two exude makes it so right.

For the past two weekends I’ve spent my time hurled up on my couch watching episode after episode. Thanks goodness for my Netflix account. I’ve spent my time watching from its beginning, season one, all the way through to its current season two and I have to admit the critics were right. It’s good. Really good.

I hate to admit, I wanted to say it was overrated and not follow the masses but even I know a good show when I see one. This culturally diverse cast of talented actors and actresses is a breathe of fresh air. The show does a great job of mixing in a bit of sarcasm, comedy, blended with intensity, mystery, romance and suspense keeps us all on our toes each and every episode.

Here’s my take, this show is worth one hour of your time. One of the most well spent hour on prime time television.

Well done Sonda, well done.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the method in which your site gets ranked on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, especially Google.

By using the proper keywords to optimize your website and site articles your site will have a better chance of ranking pretty highly on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). If you were to do a Google search for the site name Ms. Toni you’ll notice this site ranks on the first page. Appearing on the first three pages during a Google search is your desirable result. If you can land on the very first page even better.

The best way to come up with great article titles is to think of the likely search terms people will use when trying to find information on that particular subject.

It is also very important to optimize your site with keywords that ties in with your website’s niche. Since this is a blog about blogging, if you notice, you’ll see keywords and phrases such as blog tips, blogging, SEO, backlinks, social media/marketing etc. And as more articles are published it’s likely you’ll see these terms being used more frequently as well as keywords that ties in with this site’s niche. Doing so will also help readers navigate your site easier when properly labeling tab headings, sidebar headings and making site links clearly visible to the eye.

Also remember to use those same keywords when assigning categories and tags for your articles.

Why is optimizing your web pages and articles important? Organic traffic! The success of any site relies solely on website traffic. The more visitors to your site the more page views you’re getting. The more page views will give your site more backlinks, more article referrals and again your site ranks highly in search engines. With a successful site you’re likely to gain notoriety in your niche and the potential of making a profit from your website increases. After all, having a profitable site is your ultimate goal right? If not, it should be. The first three months of properly optimizing your site and posts is very vital. It is after the first three months that you’ll begin to garner some organic traffic if optimized correctly.

Here’s a short list of some tips I’ve already mention and other things you can do to rank better on search engines like Google.

  1. Optimize Your Site Title: Use keywords and phrases people will likely search when researching your topic/niche.
  2. Optimize Your Site Posts: It’s also very important to use keywords and phrases in the first three lines of your article’s first paragraph.
  3. Optimize Your Entire Site: Making it easier to navigate with similar keywords and phrases.
  4. Original Content: Write on a topic no one has covered or bring a different approach to the topic.
  5. Publish First: This is especially true of news media sites. The news is updated quite frequently, being the first to cover a topic puts you in a better position of ranking highly in search engines.

Building Your Blog’s Community & Growing Its Readership

Now that we’ve talked about creating your blog, giving it a name, which platform to use and how often you should be updating your site, let’s get on to building you blog’s community.

Let me first say, getting readers to your blog is one thing but actually garnering a following or devoted blog readers is a whole other ball game. It’s a challenge for sure.

Social media has given us a premise to better do so. It is a free tool you should be using to interact with current and potential site visitors. Social media is a marketers dream and until you can hire your own marketing team, tag, you’re it!

Some of the top and most efficient social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Digg, and Reddit, just to name a few.

I believe you should sign up for these platforms and promote your blog content and see which ones give you the most traffic conversion. I say this because if you begin signing up for too many social media networking sites you’ll spend all your time socializing instead of networking. The most efficient networking sites will allow you to properly connect and interact with your readers. This is an important factor. It is very easy to lose track of time socializing and not networking. Know the difference.

Being social with like minded people encourages conversation, an exchange of ideas, laughter and fun. Nothing wrong with that. But networking with like minded people encourages your growth as a professional. Both a great ways to pass time if you choose. However, as I like to say, your network will eventually equal your net worth. Ask yourself, what are you gaining from this conversation. Information? A potential client? A referral? A loyal blog reader? What message are your trying to send? Continue reading

How Often Should You Update Your Blog

Now that you’ve chosen your niche and the blogging platform of your liking let’s discuss how often you should be posting on your blog.

So you’ve made your first post. Congratulations! Now, let’s discuss how often you should be updating your site’s content?

Well, that all depends.

Although most blogging experts suggest you should update your blog, at least, three times per week in order to build an active community and drive daily traffic to your site, it also depends on your niche. For celebrity entertainment and gossip bloggers daily updates are vital in order to stay competitive in that niche. This is also true for any news outlets who want to be abreast breaking news story.

If you’re an Event Planning blogger, for example, who blogs about the events you’ve just covered, its likely you won’t be updating a blog three times a week. At maximum you may do so once per week, given there is an event to cover. Most often that not, event planning takes time in preparation and planning for the event at hand.

At the same time, as a new blogger, you won’t want to publish frequently on a blog that hasn’t garnered enough traffic.

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Choosing The Right Blog Platform

Free+Blogger+Blog

If you’re a beginning blogger, I’ll suggest, start with Google’s free Blogger platform. It’s  a great way to get your blogging feet wet and begin to learn the basics of using any blogging platform before moving on to something more advanced, such as, WordPress., for example.

Blogger and WordPress are the top two contenders. Although some other blogging platforms, such as Tumblr, Typepad, and LiveJournal are some great competitors, Blogger and WordPress are still the reigning platforms among blogging platforms. Just know, if you want to gain the most out of your blogging experience, and want to be considered a professional blogger, WordPress is the way to go. The features are almost limitless.

WordPress Signup Form

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Why You Should Keep Your Domain Host Separate From Your Web Hosting?

Now that you’ve decided on your domain name and your niche. Here’s another tip. If you decide to move your site from a free hosting platform, such as Blogger and WordPress, keep your domain hosting site separate from that of your web host. Until you decide on a web host you can simply set up your name servers to point to that of your blog on the platform of your choosing.

Like I’ve mentioned before I’ve purchased all of my domains through Domainmonster.com and I’m glad I have. Domainmonster gives me this very option of keeping my host site, FatCow, separate. Keeping the two hosts separate gives me more control of if or when I decide to move my site to a new hosting platform. And yes you want total control. The transfer of your domain name will be much easier if you do so. Some domain hosts may prevent you from taking your domain name with you when you move your site. They have complete control and “owns” your domain name. You do not! This very fact can be devastating to a webmaster that created the name, created their site, invested their time in creating a brand around it, and great content only to find out they do not own it. I’ve seen this happen a few times and, believe me, as a webmaster, myself, it can be devastating!

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Niche Blogging: Find Your Right Niche

I discussed a bit about niche blogging  in my last article, “Why Do You Want To Blog“, and I wanted to further elaborate and point out a few niche’s you may want to explore. Although it doesn’t have to be, niche blogging is typically for profit. With that being said, if you really think about it, all blogs could be considered niche blogs, right?

Almost all blogs have a focal point and it’s what you’re blogging about. But niche blogs not only have a focal point they’re profit driven. This is clear with marketing blogs. For example, you may see eBooks being offered on becoming a better marketer, recommended reads from an affiliate site or sponsor may be promoted, and you may even see pay-per-click links embedded in the articles.

Blogs like these are very “link embedded”.  Within any given post, you’re navigated through the article or webpage with keywords encouraging you to click on an embedded link. That link leads you to another article or even another webpage where you’ll get further information for what you were looking for. What’s great about this form of blogging, is that, it brings together like-minded people with similar interests, further narrowing down the target audience. Your success will however be determined by how much of an expert you become in your niche. And the more knowledgeable you become the more useful the information you provide.

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Why Do You Want To Blog?

Ms+Toni+Why+Blog

Now that I’ve shared with you a bit about why I blog, why do you blog? Or why do you want to blog rather?

This is an important question you should ask yourself. It’s not enough to want to have a blog but to know what you want to blog about. At the early stage of your blogging career, asking yourself these very questions will help in discovering, what we’ve discussed before, giving your blog the right blog/domain name.

Next, what are your interests? What are you an expert in?

When I decided I wanted to become an entertainment blogger it was based on my love for music and my interest in celebrity news, online media,  and public relations. I also knew that writing came natural to me. Although I do not consider myself  a “writer” per say (we’ll come back to that later), I knew, what is difficult for me to articulate verbally comes easiest on paper, in this case, digitally.  From the beginning I knew what my interests were, as well as, my strengths and I used them to my advantage.

Whatever you decide to blog about will become your niche. Your core content. The heart of your blog. For the Ms. Toni blog, it was simple, this blog is about blogging. It’s my niche.

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