Blog Engage $500 In Cash Prizes Blogging Contest

Recently, I came across a blogging contest organized by Uttoran Sen of Guest Crew. Basically, the contest is opened to all bloggers and even members of Blog Engage. We are not talking about $50 or $100 but it is $500 worth of cold hard cash! The below are the prices for the winners:

1st Prize - $200

2nd Prize - $100

3rd Prize - $75

4th Prize - $50

5th Prize - $50

6th Prize - $25

Yup, there is 6 prizes to grab! This blogging contest runs from 1st July 2013 to 15th August 2013. So, hurry up and join right now!

The judge of this competition will be ... no other than Mr Brian Belfitt of Blog Engage.

Wait a minute! Who the [email protected]#$ he is?

 

Blog Engage is a platform for bloggers to gain more backlinks and relationships

Brian is the man behind Blog Engage.

 

How to join this blogging contest?

1. Write an article on your blog about this contest

During the write up, remember to mention Uttoran Sen of Guest Crew as the sponsor and Brian Belfitt of Blog Engage as the judge.

How to score more points: Simply share, try to get as much traffic and comments as possible for the post. Trackbacks are also allowed.

2. Register an account at Guest Crew (it's free)

Once you had verified your account, head over to the article gallery and apply for an article at the guest crew.

Alternative method: You can also request for an article from the request gallery and one of the guest bloggers will apply and write an article for you! Just publish the article on Blog Engage as guest post and you are all set!

3. Be more than just a member on Guest Crew Forum. What?!

Yup! You'll earn points for being active in the forum or helping out others. Very easy right?

Hint: The more active you are, the more points you might get in return. Win - win situation right?

Wait! There's more!

Once you had done registering for the contest, make sure you drop Uttoran Sen a private message on Guest Crew. Just hit the PM button and give the following details:

Your name

Your email ID

Your PayPal ID

Your Guest Crew user ID

Your Blog Link

Now, you are absolutely on the way to win the contest!

 

How to score more points?

  1. The keyword here is ... sharing is caring!
  2. You gain more points by:
  3. Sharing on social media
  4. Drive more traffic to the article
  5. Get more trackbacks

I hope this information will be sufficient enough to help you get started on this blogging contest organized by Blog Engage and Guest Crew. So, are you ready to rumble??!

You can also check out my guest post for the contest here: 9 Tips to Effectively Use Email Marketing.

Promote Your Website Today For Free!

Promote your website and get free backlink

Promote your website and get free backlink

 

I am always finding ways to return a favor (or favors) to all my readers, followers and even subscribers. I wouldn't have made it so far without you. Seriously.

I would have given up within the first one week but thankfully, you guys are here to help, guide and show me the way. I really appreciate that!

You might be asking me so what's this all about, right? C'mon, I know you are eager to know!

All of you have either retweeted, shared and even liked my articles on social network. I even received some trackbacks too which is great. So, here I am today ... offering you a platform where we can exchange social media profiles, spend some time connecting and following each other.

Yes! I mean it. I want to give you free backlinks!

So, feel free to promote yourself, website and even social profiles. All you have to do are the below:

So, what's the catch?

In order for you to get a DoFollow backlink, you just got to Tweet, Like or +1 this post. Once you have added me, I'll add you back and let's start sharing!

If you have yet to follow me, this are a few ways which you can connect to me:

Twitter: @Reginald_Chan

Facebook page: Blogging Moments

Google+ page: Blogging Moments

Triberr: Blogging Moments

RSS feed: Reginald Chan

Subscribe to email list: What are you waiting for? Sign up now!

 

How to format your comment to promote your website?

I want to make it as easy as possible and thus, you can follow this 🙂 Of course, feel free to leave out any that isn't relavant!

 

Personalized comment:

Twitter:

Facebook:

Google+:

Triberr: 

RSS feeds:

 

Connect with me and promote your website

What are you waiting for? Start joining me right now!

 

Have you followed me on ANY of the social networks? Hit the reply button now and remember to share it! That's the only way to get a DoFollow backlink.

Like this article? I would appreciate it if you could share it using the red button below.

How To Get Free Backlink From Technorati Blog?

Getting backlinks from quality website is basic SEO 101. It is a long, expensive and time consuming task. What's makes it more challenging is that every blogger in the world is trying to get good backlinks pointing back to their sites.

Well, if you're having some backlink woes, you have came to the right spot. I'm going to share with you how you can get a free and high quality backlink from a page rank (PR) 8 website ... for free!

Yup, you don't have spend a dime for this. All you need is just 10 minutes of your time and you can enjoy the free backlink. Of course, assuming that you have a good content blog.

Allow me to introduce to you, the Technorati blog.

What is Technorati blog?

I prefer to describe Technorati as a blog directory. You can submit your blog URL and it helps you to syndicate it on its site.

Technorati is an Internet search engine for searching blogs. By June 2008, Technorati was indexing 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.[3] The name Technorati is a blend of the words technology and literati, which invokes the notion of technological intelligence or intellectualism. - Wikipedia

With a page rank scale of 8, I bet it is a no brainer to get at least one backlink from there back to your website right?

As good as it may sounds, I know there are still people who dislike it. Well, for most obvious reason is on how they actually calculate your website ranking. Okay, since we're talking about getting a good backlink, let's talk about the good part only, shall we?

Setting up your account and claiming ownership on Technorati

  1. The first and easiest step is to get yourself an account with Technorati. Yes it is free and it won't cost you a dime.
  2. Next, complete your profile with all the details for others to connect to you.
  3. Once that is all set, you need to claim your blog's ownership.
  4. Submit your blog's RSS and select 'Claim Ownership'.
  5. Check your email for the Technorati claim token.
  6. Place the token code on any of your active posts.

An issue that you might face when claiming website ownership

I'm not sure about the rest but personally, I experienced one devastating issue; I wasn't able to claim ownership for my website!

So, what was the problem?

Basically, when you request for a Technorati claim, Technorati will send you an email and requesting you to place a code on your website like this:

Technorati claim email

Email from Technorati informing about the website claim.

Now, you need to place the code on your website ... specifically in any of your live post and must be available via RSS.

Example: 

Technorati Claim Token: 52QT5MQXJN9G

Yes, Technorati syndicate your website using RSS feed. Remember the part where you submit your blog's RSS to Technorati in the settings?

At times, it takes some time to get your RSS feed 'sync' with your posts. Therefore, I would suggest waiting for at least an hour before you proceed to verify your website ownership with Technorati.

For your info, I uses FeedBurner as my RSS and it took me about 6 hours before I finally get my site approved for my Technorati claim. Weird huh?

Go figure!

So, don't panic if Technorati informed you that they are not able to verify your website ownership. Give it few hours or so and it should be just fine if you're doing everything correctly.

Help! I'm not getting the free backlink from Technorati!

I know some had issues trying to get backlink from the site. The simple reason could be either you have low quality content or your blog is probably new. This means that Technorati would still need some time to syndicate your content first before anything else.

Now, read the above sentence again.

Did you read the part where I say Technorati syndicate your content using RSS?

Yes! This means that you need to make sure that your website is having a working RSS URL. You can easily sign up for a free RSS address using FeedBurner.

Now, the next step is totally up to you. You're going to get more traffic and backlinks from Technorati if you start writing quality content. Well, it's fair right? You won't get free backlink if you aren't doing anything good.

Back to you...

Have you registered your website with Technorati? I did recently and my site score is only 23,557. Crazy far away huh? Hit the reply button below and let's discuss.

If you find this article interesting, I would be very grateful if you could share it using the red button below.

12 Most Important Tips To Improve WordPress Security

Recently. WPTemplate shared an infographic on WordPress security issue. The figures were shocking. Each year, thousands of websites are compromised and the figures keep increasing every year.

In year 2012, more than 170,000 WordPress sites were hacked and that's crazy!

The million dollar question could easily be, "Are you doing enough when it comes to securiting your website security?"

Source: WordPress Templates

So, what you can do to improve your WordPress security?

Did you notice two of the biggest contributor to WordPress security are hosting companies and WordPress themes? And heck, most of thought that WordPress security has always associated with weak security password.

WordPress is one the biggest blogging platform in the world and thus, it is not something new that it is targeted by hackers every single day.

Being said that, you should not take WordPress security for granted and therefore, you should act now.

Yes mate, right now ... by doing these easy steps!

1. Practice frequent updates

When was the last time you upgraded your WordPress or plugins? Usually, the latest updates are the one that has security patches or even newer features. If you have yet to get them updated, do it now. It wouldn't take you more than 5 minutes.

At least, do it for the sake of your website security. Seriously!

2. Perform housekeeping and clean up on your website regularly

Good website maintenance could keep hackers away

Safety first when it comes to website security

Do you know that it is best to delete or uninstall those unwanted plugins you have on your database? Yes, even though they have been deactivated, you should ... and by all means remove them immediately. Having lesser plugins also provide a better website loading speed and not to forget, leaving a better experience for readers as well.

The main reasons is because there are many plugins which might pose a threat especially to WordPress. You have to remember that even though you might have deactivated them, they are still accessible in your website database.

3. Avoid using Admin username

This is the same mistake everyone does. You should never use Admin as your administrator ID. I know some WordPress sites advice users to create Admin username without any administrator access. For me, it is best to leave Admin untouched.

The first thing a hacker would try is to brute force login using Admin or Administrator ID. If you are using either one of those username, then you are basically making their life (of hacking) easier!

It is always best to have a mixture of words, symbols and numbers. Of course, you can further boost your WordPress security by adding capital letters as well.

4. Turn off membership registration

Controlling the number of registrations could easily avoid hackers

Proper 'security check' for members is vital to improve your WordPress security

Yes, I don't allow open registration at all for my sites. Instead, I'll manually add members myself. This is to ensure that I have complete control over security matters. Small security actions goes a long, long way when it comes to securing your WordPress site.

If everyone is able to register on your site freely, then you might have problem when you'll find spam bots and potential hackers trying to break the website security.

I truly understand that adding membership manually might be a real pain but it is worth it for those who really cares about security matters. Of course, if you are running a big company, uses WordPress and has a full list of members, Premise might be the best WordPress membership for you.

5. Changing table prefix

This is one hell of efficient method when it comes to WordPress security. Better WP Security plugin makes it sound easy with just a press of a button. No, it isn't that easy!

You got to learn how to change the prefix correctly or else, you are going to destroy your website ... literally. I changed the last round and I accidentally 'destroyed' my theme.  Ouch!

6. Backup, backup and backup

Nothing goes more important than backup ... when it comes to website and stuffs. Lucky for you, there are some seriously good backup plugins and programs that work perfectly for WordPress. Why backup you may ask. Well, imagine you are being hacked or something bad happen to your site today. You can easily restore everything in a very short period since you have a backup file. What happens if you have no backup files? Then you would need to start back from scratch!

Real case scenario. Three months ago, I had several websites running and when 'something' bad happened to them, I practically lose hundreds of articles. Yes, I do backup but I only did once a month which is clearly, insufficient! However, it was good that at least, I still have a month old backup. If not, I would be doing everything from scratch ... and for over five websites!

7. Security plugins could help

Installing security plugins will increase your WordPress security level

Hello, you're being monitored.

Let's say you are less geeky and need help with securing your website. There are WordPress security plugins such as WordFence and Better WP Security which could provide above average security features with just a few clicks of the mouse. Can't decide which to use? You may find my review here, Wordfence vs Better Wp Security plugin.

Basically, these plugins will boost your WordPress security level and even provide you the well needed security notifications. Definitely worth a shot for those who prefer to be on the safe side.

8. Increase your security features with Content Delivery Network (CDN) services

Heard about Cloudflare and Incapsula? If not, you should definitely use one. Seriously!

Content delivery network or CDN could provide minimal security especially when you are using a free service. Well, some security is always better than no security right? No? 🙂

I always consider CDN to work very well especially when it comes to preventing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and also improving the website loading speed. Personally, if you are using a CDN for security, Incapsula has a very good security background while Cloudflare is much better of with improving website loading speed (with some security features).

9. Know your WordPress plugins

We all talk about WP everyday.

Now, ask yourself a question. How much do you know about your plugins?

I used to download and try all types of plugins last time and without even bother to check the reviews. Now, I do check their reviews first and even a little bit of Google-ing before installing anything. Some malicious plugins could be hacker's backdoor to your admin area and protected files. So, always have a good grip of what you are installing and decide if they are really worth the time (and your website security).

Nothing is too personal when it comes to website security!

10. The last level of security comes from you

You are the one in charged of your website security

Me? Seriously?

Yes this is true! Who is your best, most accountable and trusted watch guard for your website? It's you for Christ's sake! You got to be on your toes and at least, check on basic changes done that you should be worried about. Let's take a simple example below.

I had Better WP Security installed on one of my niche website and every time changes are done to my site, I''ll receive an email notification immediately. Imagine small changes such as uploading an image to my gallery and it triggers an email notification. Good? Excellent I would say!

Thing is, you got to at least know what's happening on your website. Well, you might not have the technical skills to know what to do but at least, you're still able to alert your hosting provider or developer to check on that.

And when you think that are all ...

Hold on there tiger! The above are 10 important security tips when it comes to WordPress and I still have two more under my sleeves!

11. Choose the right WordPress theme for your website

Do you know that 29% of security problems originated from using the wrong WordPress themes? There's absolutely no denial that there are thousands of free WordPress themes out there. My personal advice?

Ditch those free themes for crying out loud! Jesus! Don't you see it? These themes might have some codes inside which could compromise your security. Not all, but certainly, I know a lot of them who actually are!

I don't get it ... I really, really don't get it on ... you know ... free WordPress themes.

If you are willing to buy premium WordPress theme, you have to be careful as well as not all themes are coded properly. Badly codes one will actually affect your website in many ways.

Here are two of the best WordPress themes I would recommend any day; Genesis Framework and Thesis theme.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Genesis because:

Don't take my words for that. Check them out yourself and decide which is best using the links below:

Genesis Framework | Genesis Child Themes | Thesis Theme

12. The importance of hosting companies

Last but not least, the infographic provided by WPTemplate proved that hosting companies play a huge role in terms of WordPress security. With 41% of website hacks originated from website hosting,  I bet the figure explains it all.

Personally, I know there are so many hosting companies that are offering cheaper than usual hosting packages. I totally get it that hosting is a competitive industry but have you ever thought that cheap hosting might not provide even the slightest security features for your lovely website?

Let's take some 'stats' for example, shall we?

Now, does all these makes any logical sense to you?

The above are examples of big brands trusting their hosting companies. Do you see why they don't go for cheaper corporate hosting? C'mon, give me a guess and I'll wait! Yes, you got it right mate. It's all about security.

When it comes to WordPress security, it is best to leave it to the pros if you have limited expertise.

Obviously, these brands are having a much bigger package but it doesn't mean that you can't join the big boys' club. There are packages below $20 which could work very well on your budget and most importantly, a piece of mind 24/7.

You may be using a package say $5 per month but you have to do all the job and maintenance yourself. Simply by adding $15 a month, you would can leave all the maintenance work to the pros ... for free.

With proper web hosting, you can forget about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on webmasters who will take care of your websites (no offence though).

Last time, I was with GoDaddy and then, moved over to HostGator. Even though I was happy with my money spend with them, I wasn't too happy about the support. What can you expect from a $4 or less web hosting package right?

Again (and like what I always say), don't take my word for it. Go have a look at their websites have to offer.

Recommended high end web hosting companies: Web Synthesis | WP Engine | Media Temple

You may also take a look at my review on why BlueHost is my top choice for affordable web hosting service.

Over to you...

If you think that SEO and all those blogging tips are important, think again. WordPress security is much more important nowadays. Thousands had done them wrongly and I certainly do not hope that you are one of them! Remember that hackers are always out there and you need to be ready for them.

Do you have any other WordPress security tips to share? If you do, drop me a comment below and let's discuss it over.

**If you find this article interesting, I would be very grateful if you could share it using the red button below.

Top 8 Link Building Strategies That Work For Search Engines

Since the last Google algorithm update, there are many rumors about link building and the white hat SEO strategies. I recently wrote about the importance of social engagement in contrast to SEO and it became a pretty hot topic. I believe the biggest question nowadays would be the important the the old school link building method.

Before we go any further, this is a snippet from Google Webmaster Tool:

Previously, Google said ...

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'

And everything changes now with ...

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'

Source: Google

Does this really means the end of link building techniques in search engine optimization? Of course not!

This doesn't prove that link building is no longer in use. In fact, this makes link building even richer and more valuable! And at the same time, this new Google algorithm makes link building ... yes, you got it right ... harder but definitely not impossible.

Important disclaimer: This article is more than 2,000 words and I dare you to do read it in just one go. If not, bookmark this page right now and come back anytime when you are ready!

What did we learn from the latest Google update?

Google update affects many SEO techniques

Oh no! Another Google update?

Every time an update takes place, there are many things Google are showing us ... or at least, hinting us. Here are some things that I had learned which are the number of backlinks, using the right link building techniques and even using the right search engine optimization methods. And the only way to learn this is by watching those videos posted by Matt Cutts and his team.

So let's discuss on the proper link building strategies that work for search engines today.

1. Using the right SEO tools for link building

For those who really into SEO, it's a very known fact that you probably need at least one SEO tool to help you with those ranking and link building tactics. Seriously.

I know many people who uses paid SEO tools like this one are having crazy time trying to create more quality backlinks to their articles. I would say, maybe they are having the time of their lives! 🙂

You might be thinking that, "Hey, take that you [email protected]#$ paid SEO tools!". Here's the reality check. These SEO tools will actually ... and still be rocking like any other days.

Yes! Let me repeat; link building isn't dead but it just got tougher. That's all.

For those who are using various link building tools, well, you just got to play smarter. You need to change the game plan but slowly.

Why? Google still loves quality backlinks and this doesn't mean that you can't get the best out of 'virtual assistance'.

Thinking of going white hat SEO to be on the safe side? Maybe this tool might help!

One thing for sure is that using SEO tools will not make you any safer from Google updates. You need to use SEO tools the right way and focus in your strategies. Always remember that misusing these SEO tools will actually destroy your traffic and your SEO ranking.

*p/s Looking at this article length, I'm going to write the so call 'SEO game plan' on another post.

2. Write articles for readers and not for bots

The right link building techniques goes further than just plain SEO

Optimize your website for your readers and not for search engines

Link building isn't really link building only. For me, link building also means website marketing and communications. The more visibility people has on your website, the better chances you are going to create the 'brand awareness'.

And with that (assuming you write great articles), people are going to share your articles even more!

More shares = More love from Google.

There ain't any trick about link building and content sharing if you ask me. Write good stuffs, get your name out and let the people (readers) do the rest for you.

What you really need to learn about link building is you can't get everyone to love your writing or even share your articles. Okay, remember that every visitor who comes to your site is a potential 'buyer'.

Take the opportunity to get them spread the word for you and how you can possibly do that?

It really depends on how generous are you. For me, I do a win-win situation for my readers. I am using CommentLuv for WordPress and what this plugin does is simple. It allows users to share one of their links after they commented.

Wait! That isn't all.

For those who share my articles on social media, they will automatically get a DoFollow link back. Sounds good right?

You see, blogging is all about giving and just not taking completely. I see absolutely no reason why one should be so secretive about backlink.

3. The relationship between backlink, social communities and tribes

Recently, I'm very active on several sites such as BizSugar and Triberr. I wasn't actively sharing my links though. Instead, I was commenting and sharing other articles I felt useful.

The effect? One word: Tremendous.

As I had said about in #2, sharing is caring and there's no better way than helping a fellow blogger to share their articles. Heard about karma or what goes around, comes around?

Whenever you share an article on social networks, you are creating a good chance for others to visit your website in return. And most of the time, they would probably return a favor by giving a shout (hey, that's free publicity) for you.

Blogging isn't everything about yourself. Instead, it is all about relationship building and sharing of information. Grow your audience indirectly by doing good to others.

So, stop being a link whore and start linking out to others!

...

...

...

Yes mate. Right now! Don't worry, I'll wait!

4. Link building is closely related to sitemap

You have written an excellent article and you published it. After one week or probably a month, you ain't getting a hit and you are no closer in creating a viral article that drives hundreds of traffic to your website. So, what's wrong?

Okay. Here's the deal. You want to build good traffic, link building etc. You probably won't go far if you are not focusing enough on SEO. One of the search engine optimizations best practices is to have a sitemap.

Google just won't put you on first page of SERPs if Google is not aware of your existence. This is where sitemap plays a huge role in your website ranking.

So, yes. The first thing is to get your sitemap up immediately ... (moments of silence) ...

What's a sitemap? Site what?

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. There are two popular versions of a site map. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn't need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in your site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page, and don't need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.

Source: Wikipedia

Makes any sense to you? Maybe this image from Google might help out.

Generate a sitemap for your website to increase your SEO score

Sitemap usually gives search engines a list of links that you have on your website

If you are using WordPress, you can probably use WordPress for SEO (which comes with Sitemap functions) or Google XML sitemap. You won't wrong with any one of those.

Creating a sitemap is no hassle and you can do that within 5 minutes or less. Once you have your sitemap ready, head over to Google Webmaster Tool and Big Webmaster Tool to submit your sitemap.

5. Guest posting - The pros and cons in link building techniques

We can't deny the importance of guest posting especially when you are looking for a quality backlink. Writing good guest post will certainly drive traffic to your website without fail but there's something you need to know first!

Backlink building from guest posting is a double sided blade. Handle with care at all times.

Google and other search engines understand that many bloggers are actually trying to gain momentum and getting some quality backlinks from good page rank sites. When it comes to guest post, there isn't any difference.

Don't get me wrong. Guest posting is definitely worth it considering the quality of backlink. However, you do not want to over do it to avoid any penalty. The easiest methods which I see best fit for guest posting are:

Huh? Isn't that rel="nofollow" means zero backlink?

Yes indeed. This is my link building strategy. You don't want search engines to consider your site as a link juice or link farm. Therefore, if the content in the link doesn't provide quality information for your readers, it is better off with a no follow rule.

Do you understand why I say it as a double sided blade now?

6. The viral factor and link building under one roof

A viral article or video could easily create many backlinks

Go nuts ... like Holmer!

Have you heard about viral video or viral content? So, what does the word, viral actually means?

For me, it means an action which is hit the world by storm ... unintentionally. Here's an example:

Years ago, a kid made a video to promote his band and uploaded it to MySpace. Sounds like, "duh" right?

The video was about a kid who ran around the garden smashing two Barbie dolls together, throwing tomato source all over the place and screaming the name of his band in a variation of pitches while his MySpace page flashed at the bottom of the screen.

And, guess what?

He received two million hits to his band's MySpace ... in just two days. 

The kid didn't do much ... and probably took around 20 minutes trying to clean up the mess he did plus uploading the video.

Source: Adam Connell

Makes any sense? Probably not.

But does that matters? It certainly do!

Viral content, whether it be images, videos or quizzes - has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic and generate a large amount of business leads or subscribers.

So, what the heck this has to do with link building?

Take the kid's case study for an example. Do you think that out of the two million hits the kid got, how many people actually share the video or his band?

I call this ... indirect link building since ... it's viral and we can't really control it, could we? I totally understand that there is no possible way to actually create a perfect viral content.

Math lesson: Let's say you manage (accidentally) create a viral content and it drives you tons of traffic. Do you know how much website traffic you are going to gain?

Even though there are no proven ways to actually create a viral content, here are 14 marketing tools to help you increase the chance of viral-ing and spread the word!

7. Old fashioned link building techniques. Are they dead?

I read so many articles about changing SEO techniques, so on and so forth. Question is, do you really need the traditional SEO building strategies now?

From what I see it, yes you need them and it is never advisable to ditch them. With all these Google Penguin and Google Panda, it is harder to score points with the old methods. But, each point you earned will worth even more than ever!

Fair deal for you?

We discussed about guest blogging, marketing techniques and SEO tool like this one above. Anyone of these could help you with SEO and this certainly doesn't prove that ancient SEO methods won't count anymore. Remember that most search engine optimization methods are based out of the trusted, ancient 'recipe'.

Since so many algorithms are calculated based on page ranks and number of links, I bet you totally understand where this is heading.

Personally, I would advise you to start changing your game plan. Like me, my approach to SEO is way different than three years back. I even created SEO Blueprints library which consist of every SEO techniques I'm practicing right now.

8. Avoid the BIGGEST link building mistakes

Giving up too fast is one of the biggest mistakes done by bloggers in terms of link building

Oh no! Holmer does it again!

For me, the biggest sin you can ever do when it comes to SEO is when you think you had done enough. The truth is ... you aren't able to to completely do SEO.

Why?!

Because SEO is a learning process and it has many implementation phrases. This means that what works today, might not work for tomorrow.

Now, tell me if you have ever (and I really mean e-v-e-r) thought of giving up.

Yes, you thought search engine optimization is too hard and you probably done everything you could. Yet, you're ain't seeing the results. People say you need to be patience and you waited for months and still, goddammit nothing happens!

Sounds familiar? Don't be shy and admit it. It happens to you, to me and nearly every blogger out there. It felt like a never ending war right?

Now, this is the cold hard fact. SEO doesn't happen overnight and certainly, there isn't any proven methods for us to judge how far we had done or accomplished.

However, we can always judge by page rank and the number of links that are pointing to our articles but, are those really counted?

Giving up hope is definitely a no-no here. Content, article and website optimization are all, ever growing activities which will always keep you on your toes (and for some, might even make you stay awake at night).

Agree to disagree?

Back to you

Wow! This is a longest post (as of now) which I had written! So, how do you like it? If you had read this in just one shot, I'm going to give you my salute. No doubt on that.

As for the topic, these are the top 8 workable link building techniques that we all can practise to build authority and at the same time, traffic. I used these nearly every day and whenever I'm blogging.

What do you think? Tell me what you think and you can easily do it right below.

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Why Social Engagement Is More Important Than SEO?

For many bloggers, search engine optimization or SEO is very important when it comes to growing a website. And yes, this is wrong! Hell wrong ... I should be focusing on reader's engagement and let me tell you why.

I did two case studies last month and the figures really opened my eyes. Through my experience, new websites on competing on moderate to high competition keywords usually get very less traffic for the first few months. When I read Neil Patel's Quick Sprout, it made me realized that I could actually grow my website from nothing to something ... within days.

What's worst is that I'm competing on super high competition keywords such as:

Do you know how much competitions I'm actually facing? Literally, it felt like competing with a quarter of the total websites in the world.

So, this is probably not the question of the year but it sure sounds important for you and me; Why should you focus more on social engagement than plain, straight-forward search engine optimization techniques?

This is not about ditching your SEO strategies but to improvise it. Start thinking out of the box!

Here's what Google said in the past:

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'

This is what Google says now:

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'

Source: Google

Does this make any sense to you? I even underlined the important words for you. So, ask yourself again now; How important is social engagement in Google point of view?

The below are two case studies which I did to see how social engagement affects my website growth and traffic.

Case Study 1

Focused on:

  1. Search engine optimization techniques
  2. Quality content
  3. Using right keywords
Website traffic was moderate to low

My website traffic was pretty low considering that it is new and limited social engagement

Look at the graph. Does that look familiar to you? For me, absolutely yes. Regardless how many new websites I started up, my graph and website traffic has always be like that.

20 to 50 views a day? That doesn't make the cut! I need to do more and think out of the box; Is there any other way to improve and increase my website traffic?

Case Study 2:

Focused on:

  1. Social shares (social media)
  2. Reader's engagement
  3. Commenting on other blogs of the same niche
Website traffic increase

My website traffic increase dramatically when there was comments done on Google+ and social media

Even a young boy could tell the difference right? My website traffic exploded, skyrocketed and increase more than what I expected.

This is H-U-G-E ...

In just one week:

  • Website traffic increase at least 2.5 times more
  • Over 50 comments received
  • Bounce rate reduced by 10%
  • And my Gooogle Adsense revenue grow by 33%

This is H-U-G-E ...

Case study 2 isn't much about the normal SEO stuffs most bloggers talk about ... you know, content, keywords and the list continues.

Instead, case study 2 is how clever bloggers and writers grow their websites. Just look at how Traffic Generation Cafe, Kikolani and CopyBlogger grow their websites.

Practically, they did everything every one was doing. From search engine optimization techniques to writing great contents.

But, they did everything with a twist ... they added human touch.

What? Human touch?

A good blogger is a blogger who writes for its readers

Human touch is more than just hand shaking

Read some of your articles and tell me if these articles are written for search engines and not for readers. I admit it, even I have some article written for search engines and that's bad.

I classify human touch as one part of social engagement. When your readers hits your website, you got to make sure that you try your best to get to them and welcome them.

If you are writing a blog or article, make sure you are catering for your human readers and not bots. Readers want to read facts and not SEO optimized articles. Period. 

Be a reader yourself to be engaging

Nowadays, reader's engagement is way more important than content itself.

Always put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Imagine you are visiting a blog and the writer is actually writing for search engines and not for the reader. Would you be back? I guess not.

Sames goes here. When a reader leave a comment, reply to them and tell them how much you appreciate them. I know a bunch of bloggers who don't reply to comment and this is absolutely why you should ... starting now!

You want to your website to grow in terms of traffic, search engine ranking and even subscribers right? You got to do something to make them come back for more! And, you wouldn't go any wrong with some customer service or human touch I would say.

Small steps could create big improvements in social engagement

Before you even thinking of going into social media, make sure you are ready for it. Update all your profiles and make sure they are good. Yes, real good.

Tip when writing a profile: Compose a short profile where readers can get an idea of what you are in just 15 seconds or less.

You want your readers to engage with you and you want to create a good platform for that. There's no better way then showing to people what you really are with a good profile and a nice photo of you. Please ... no fake photos or some celebrities. That's a recipe for disaster 🙂

Why reader's engagement matters?

It doesn't really matter if the reader is leaving a negative or positive comment. Taking for an example, I received a comment yesterday by Adrian Jock. He pointed out that I had overlooked one of the facts and I didn't delete that. Instead, I published it and did the right amendment as what pointed out. You can find the article here: The Truth About Aweber And MailChimp.

I used to be a blogger myself who deletes all bad comments and leave good ones instead. Well, even though that is absolutely doable, I wanted to be slightly different.

Now, do a little thinking and do you get the point?

The fact is that any discussion could be a great discussion. It really depends on how you talk it out. I know some comments turned out to be heated one instead. And that, by all means ... please avoid it! 🙂

Thank your readers who left comments on your website

Thanking your readers could increase readership

A small note of thank you goes a long way especially for bloggers

This is another important part that is important for most readers following from the above. They love to see your reply and yes this is the real deal. I know quite a few bloggers and writers who do not respond to their reader's comment. If you're following their footsteps, you should stop right now!

If you want to boost your social engagement level and get your readers to come back for more, you should start talking to them. There's no better way then thanking them for their time visiting and even reply to their feedback.

For me, I reward my readers and those who leave a comment by using CommentLuv plugin. Basically, anyone can entitle for a free DoFollow link as long as they comment and share the article on social media. Don't hear my words for it. Instead, here's the link (it'll open a new window for you): What is CommentLuv WordPress plugin?

Start leaving your comments on other blogs!

Have you ever encountered a time where you stumbled upon some article on the web and liked it? Why don't you leave a comment and thank the author for the hard work? Moreover, they deserved it since they had provided some sort of important information for you.

When you are leaving comments on blogs, make sure you make it as insightful as possible. This means that you must scrape off all those thank you and goodbye stuffs. Instead, thank them for the hard work and add some of your thoughts into the matter.

I know probably 90% of the blogs out there do not allow links on their comment right? This is where you should take advantage of CommentLuv enable sites. Sharing good comment and get a link share in return?

I don't think there's anything else better than this!

The importance of social share (social media)

Like it or hate it, social share is important. Imagine the webpage had just opened and immediately, your eyes are attracted to the total number of social media shares it has on that page. I bet your mind is telling you that the article is pretty impressive and worth your time reading right?

Yes! That's it! The more social share you have, the better chance people are going to be convinced on what you've to say.

Recently, I've been very active on social media and for every like, retweet or share I got on social media, my traffic exploded multiple times. Does this make any logical sense for you?

I bet it do ... right?

Writing good content is important but if no one is reading it, there ain't any point. Therefore, it is best if you can allocate some time around daily for some social shares. Even sharing other articles is also a great move as well!

When it comes to social engagement, here are 14 recommended social engagement tools to help you in terms of marketing.

If you are looking for a good (and free) Social Media management tool, you may want to sign up for SocialOomph.

Over to you ...

I'm sure you are now convinced that social engagement is extremely important regardless it is for SEO, website ranking or even increasing website traffic.

What do you think about social engagement and are you practicing it already?

Hit the Reply button below and let's discuss.

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