Category Archives: Tips

How I Outpaced 20 of My Competitors

Climbing past your competitorsI haven’t yet received a PageRank from Google, I am in a highly saturated niche, and this site is only coming up on its fourth month of being active, yet despite having so many things going against it, the growth of this site has outpaced over twenty of its competitors.

Where am I getting this comparison? Well, earlier this month, I was at the 121st position on the Top 100 Make Money Online Blogs list, and I made it my goal to get into the Top 100. A goal that some friends of mine said was pretty much impossible. Heck, some were surprised that once the list was expanded to over two hundred, that I was still sitting so high, but I was already working hard to build this site, and make it the best it could be.

As of today, I am sitting at a ranking of 101, and while that is still one spot away from my goal, it is still a jump of twenty positions over other blogs working hard to improve their ranks in the same niche.

Competition Doesn’t Matter

One of the biggest complains I hear from bloggers is that the niche they selected is too crowded, or that it has all been done before, and if you are going to go around believing that, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

You can’t concern yourself with your competition. They are great to help you set goals, and think up content ideas, but otherwise, you can’t let them make you feel inferior. If you have something to say, even if it has been said before, it is still worth getting your opinion out there.

Do Something New

With this blog, I added a weekly podcast, showcasing other people’s content and ideas, as well as adding my own thoughts and opinions to the subjects at hand. This lead me to stand out in this niche, and it is not like podcasting is a new idea.

Mark at came out with a Top 100 list, another idea that has been around for ages, but he made it his own by focusing it on a single niche, and promoting it well.

If you are going to really stand out from the crowd, you need to do something different. It doesn’t have to be innovative or new, but it has to set you apart from others in your niche, and help spread your message, and build your popularity.

Promote Your Content

If no one knows about your blog, then no one will read it. Seems to be a simple path of logic for me, but so many people don’t promote their content, and those that do, don’t always give it enough time or effort.

On some of my best articles, I will spend upwards of an hour promoting it. I contact my friends via e-mail that are willing to help me out from time to time. I have found e-mail newsgroups that help each other out with a link or an approving thumbs up if they like the article. I ask friends to submit the link to social bookmarking sites.

I come up with custom, personalized e-mails for a variety of site owners that are in the same niche as me, and ask them to look over the article and send me any for of feedback they have time for.

Sure this might seem laborious and tedious, but done well on your best posts, you can gain a huge influx of links, traffic, and new ideas. A few links, placed on really popular sites, can double all the stats on a new site, over night.

Make Friends

One of the biggest avenues for promotion, and one of the best tips I can give you is to make friends. Network with people both inside and outside your niche. Surrounding yourself with people that understand you can lead to great feedback, the occasional link, and help with every bit of your site, from the design, to the content.

Also, as a side note, friends can open avenues of promotion through their blogs, but allowing you to guest post, and I have said how amazing guest posts can be for your blogs, numerous times. It has been one of my largest sources of traffic this month.


So there you have it, with a little hard work, a positive attitude, and a lot of promotion, you can push your site up the rankings as well. Don’t let a little hard work scare you away. Pick a niche you are passionate about and enjoy your blogging time.

Originally posted on October 23, 2007 @ 8:00 am

A Simple WordPress Category Professionalism Tip

I have a simple tip for everyone today on how to make your WordPress blog look more professional. This tip is especially important to newer bloggers who sometimes forget to add categories to their posts.

WordPress Manage Categories

I hate seeing that any blog has posts under the Uncategorized category. This is the default category that WordPress created for everything that is not otherwise categorized to be stuffed into. It just looks bad to leave things this way, but there is a very simple solution to this problem: get rid of uncategorized.

You can’t just delete the category though, as it is the default category and thus, doesn’t have a delete option in the WordPress administration.

You can however, edit the category.

After clicking on edit, next to uncategorized, you will be brought to a screen similar to the one below.

WordPress Edit Category

You can then change the category name and the category slug to something else. I usually select something like News, General News, or Site News. I find these all sound much better than the default uncategorized and to readers, it will look as though you gave your post a category, even if you forgot.

Note: This will change the permalinks of any post that was previously under uncategorized to now using whatever post slug you entered in the edit screen.

Originally posted on September 21, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

Staying Positive with Blogging

I don’t want to start sounding like a self-help site or anything, but I felt compelled to write this post. There are days when you won’t feel like blogging, or that you just want to “stick it to the man” or “rage against the machine”, and we all go through them, but if you want to keep your readers, it is usually best to stay positive.

Most people like to surround themselves with positive people, watch television shows and movies that have positive endings, and also read blogs that have a good message or a positive personality.

Negative blogs can quickly depress your users, thus eventually depressing your blog statistics as they all leave and go somewhere else.

So before you post about hating something, take a break, think about what you want to write, and ask yourself if it can be done more constructively. If the answer is no, then take a longer break, and do something you enjoy before coming back to the topic at hand.

Now, I just need to learn to take my own advice.

Originally posted on September 18, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

Finding a Hidden FeedBurner Feed Count

If you use FeedBurner for your RSS feed managment, you might be in for quite a shock, despite you not wanting to show your audience how many subscribers you have, you may be showing your competition how well, or how poorly you are doing.

Feedburner Feedcount

FeedBurner provides a small chicklet which shows your current subscriber rates on your blog. Many prominent bloggers love to show off their feed counts, and display the badge prominently. The service is FeedCount, and if you have enabled it, anyone can view your current subscriber rates.

  • Feeds on FeedBurner are usually formatted as
  • To view the FeedCount badge, add ~fc/ before the feedname
  • The new url should then be formatted like

If the FeedCount service is inactive, then you will come to an ugly page telling you so, but from my tests, most people using FeedBurner have activated the FeedCount service.

Here are a few examples of sites where you can see their feed count. – he shows his feed count publicly, but it can be a good check to make sure it is not a faked graphic. Like we had any doubt.
Blogging Pro

The Blog Beat
The Blog Beat

Self Made Minds
Self Made Minds

Blogging Fingers
Blogging Fingers

So if you don’t want to show off such numbers, then deactivate the FeedCount service or if you are so inclined, post the graphic on your blog, and proudly display how well you are doing.

Originally posted on September 7, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Originally posted on August 29, 2007 @ 3:10 am