Monthly Archives: August 2007

What is the Google Sandbox

Over on Blogging Tips, Kelby Carr has put out a post that gives some details pertaining to the Google Sandbox.

I didn’t realize how many people did not understand the concept of the Sandbox. The Sandbox is basically a zone that a new site sits in until Google decides it is quality, and should be properly listed in their search engine.

I have to be honest though and say that it has been a huge thorn in my side because I love writing, but my weakness is advertising, and as such, I depend greatly on Google to send me some traffic.

Here is a snippet from the article:

How do I get out of the Sandbox?
First of all, don’t panic. Don’t start second-guessing yourself and tinkering with your entire site. The single best thing you can do to get out of the Sandbox is write quality content, optimize your site and pages for search engines, and repeat. You also need to have patience.

Here are musings about that from Big Oak:

The quick answer to this is yes, there is a way out of the sandbox, but you will not like the answer. The answer is to simply wait. The sandbox filter is not a permanent filter and is only intended to reduce search engine spam. It is not intended to hold people back from succeeding. So eventually, if you continue to build your site as it should be built, you will leave the sandbox and join the other established websites.

If Google is filtering you when it comes to highly competitive keywords, try to find other ways to promote your site. You shouldn’t be solely depending on Google anyways as their rankings change constantly, and an article that might get you thousands of visitors one day, may only bring in one visitor the next.

Blogger Doesn’t Mean English Major

One of the most annoying things to deal with as a blogger is the annoyance of having the spelling and grammar police comment on your posts about how you messed up various bits of the English language.

I have to admit that while English is my first language, and really the only one I am competent in, my schooling in its grammar and spelling was pretty horrible. I didn’t learn what a noun or verb was until I was in grade eight, or thirteen years old. I think that is pretty dismal, and while it doesn’t excuse any of the mistakes I, or anyone else makes, readers have to remember that in blogging, it is rare to have an editor, and if there is an editor, he or she probably wasn’t an English major.

Readers should cut bloggers some slack, and try to understand the context of the post, and enjoy the content. I don’t mind when I am corrected on a personal name, or website, but I don’t need to know that I missed a comma.

The Five P’s of Improving Your About Page

Your about page can be more important than you think. When visiting a site, I sometimes check out the about page to see if the writer has bothered to put up anything. Sadly, sometimes the default WordPress about page is all I find. If the blogger isn’t willing to write anything on their about page, you can probably place money on the fact that they won’t remain interested in blogging for a long period of time, and you should probably move on to another resource.

Here are some pointers to help you in creating or improving your about page.

Picture

I know it seems odd, but if the blog is about you, or one specific product, for example the Nintendo Wii, it doesn’t hurt to put up a picture of yourself or that product. When it is your picture you are putting up, the image can help you in creating branding, as Darren Rowse has done for a long time now. When people that read his site see his picture, they know what site it goes with. That is a very powerful thing, and one that shouldn’t just be cast aside.

If the site is about a specific product, the about page should reflect that, and an appropriate image should be added. This adds character to the page, and helps draw attention to the text near it. The image also has the ability to quickly, easily, and without any need for language translation sum up what the site is about. If I see a Nintendo Wii on the about page, either the writer loves the system or the blog is probably about the game console.

Purpose

Why does your site exist? What do you hope to do with your blog or website? This is the key reason to have an about page. While people may think that content can stand for itself, a good about page will also help you keep that content focused. I refer back to my about page all the time to make sure I have stayed on topic.

Power

Your statements should be bold and interesting. Your about page is a key marketing material, and so it should be given the time and respect that it deserves. This is the page people will read in order to find out more about you. Maybe it could earn you a job. Maybe it could lose you a job. You never know who is reading your about page, so it is best to put your best foot forward.

Personality

In your about page, you have a chance to correct any errors that people might have had about you. I know that a friend of mine, Chris Garrett always gets confused with Chris Garrett. They are not the same people, and so they need to make sure every about page they write has an abundance of their personality, as well as following the other rules to make their pages unique.

Promotion

Your about page is a great place to feature your best content, favorite posts, and other sites you are or have worked on. This is a great place to deep link the articles that might have otherwise been missed.

If the site is about you, then you also get to promote yourself. What makes you someone readers will flock to? This is your chance to talk about yourself.

Summary

With the above tips and a little creativity, your about page can help promote your site, your brand, and yourself. Make sure you take your time, plan it out, give it your best, and a proper picture never hurts.

How Many Times a Week Do You Update?

One of the things that you have to think about is how often you update your blog. Different niches have different needs for content to make them successful.

I try to update most of my blogs every weekday, with a few blogs getting bi-weekly posts, and others getting some weekend posts. I do this so that their is some fresh content being pushed out as often as possible. I would like to think that others do the same, but I watch as some blogs get half a dozen posts every single day, while other blogs remain devoid of posts for months on end.

How often do you update your blogs per week? Please let me know via the form below, or by leaving a comment.

How I Made $506 Blogging In July 2007

Adnan of Blogtrepreneur has released a post reporting his July income from his blogging efforts, and while it isn’t a full time pay check yet, it is still a great bit of extra coin.

Here is a snippet:

As I kept writing, so my RSS subscribership kept creeping up, passing milestones along the way: 100…200…500. Traffic too has been on the increase and has been up more so ever since I posted the article on 101 Essential Blogging Resources. But most significantly, online revenues have also been increasing, and I feel that it’s finally time to show my community how far they have helped me come.

This July, I managed to surpass all previous records and earn $506.14 from blogging online at Blogtrepreneur.com.

Another proof that metablogging, being patient and learning from other bloggers is key to making money from blogging.

Check out the full breakdown on Blogtrepreneur.com.