Monthly Archives: August 2011

5 Critical Search Engine Metrics That You Should Be Tracking

This keyword combo from Google is one I've been optimizing...

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

You could optimize your blog with search engine optimization strategies til kingdom come but it won’t matter much unless you know if it’s actually working.

Why? It’s because any good search engine optimizer understands that optimization never a one time deal – it’s a continual process of reviewing data, tweaking methods, iterating for positive growth, and being flexible with current trends, technologies, and use cases.

And the only way you’ll be able to do that well is through concise measurement, right? It’s like a science experiment you did back in middle school where you were testing the effectiveness of plant’s photosynthesis ability when covered with wax against the control plant which had no inhibitors – the only way you knew was to keep a record of the data, right?

Bleh. Perhaps that brought up some terrible memories of middle school (I did, yikes!) but the point is that you’re going to need to see if your SEO efforts are being effective and are of any value and here are five significant metrics that you should be tracking:

Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Grow and Invest in Your Offline Relationships!

I’ll let you in on a secret – the quality of my blog and my blog posts is directly related to the quality of my life outside my blog.

More specifically the quality of those that are most close to me: My family, my friends, and my mentors who have deep access to my life. I’ve learned to listen closely to the heartbeat of my relationships and if they aren’t going well then nothing is, including my blog.

And you’ve probably realized this already as you’ve discovered that you can’t do much with yourself after a fight with your spouse or your best friend – life seems to halt or at least your motivation is dropped to extremely low levels.

But perhaps it’s not a significant event like that but a slow decline of some of the relationships that you know matter a lot to you but it just so happens that you haven’t seen them in some time or that work has gotten in the way too often to meet up as often as you used to.

One of the best indicators of my overall health is my relationships with my daughters, @Roenne and @Arden and it’s quite apparent that nearly everything in my life suffers if my growing relationships with them are being hamstrung.

But it’s not just about making sure they are doing “ok” but making sure that I’m investing additional time and resources to be coached, trained, and taught to become a better father. One simple way is to take the advice and counsel of those that I trust and read books that are recommended to me, like this one:

Continue reading

BlogX: An Intense 90 Day Blogging Bootcamp

We're about to get serious...

I attempted the workout program P90X recently and was unable to complete it fully ducking out around the 11th week – but man, did it whip me in some serious shape!

I didn’t have any of the extreme examples of a “before and after” pictures but the change was definitely apparent in the mirror – and my wife, who told me straight, was able to notice a significant difference.

But man, was it tough! It was the hardest workout program I’ve ever done and I had thought about quitting a number of times; but I’m glad that I didn’t. The results were not in the individual workouts but the consistent daily effort to retrain and reprogram my body to think differently about activity as well as changing some dietary habits I’ve created over the years.

And it’s with that experience fresh in my mind that I’m announcing BlogX, a 90 Day Blogging Bootcamp! And it’s only available via the Community Forums!

Continue reading

Paid Links: One Big No No for SEO Link Building

Don't let your blog end up in search engine jail.

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

We’ve spent the last few posts in this series talking about how building your link profile is one of the most important strategies for you to grow your blog, to gain new visitors and readers, and to ultimately become more profitable long-term.

And I also shared some very organic and strategic ways to grow the number of backlinks as well – and these are the legit and above-board tactics that’ll prove valuable to you for years to come.

But, there are definitely some ways to increase your ranking, at least temporarily, that might end up getting you banned from search engines, perhaps indefinitely. One of the biggest offending practices is paying for links.

Continue reading

Don’t Forget: We are Human First, Blogger Second

Let me be frank with you and let you know plainly that I’m just like you – perhaps more than you think.

I’m challenged by the ups and downs of blogging, the “dry” spells of creativity and then, with a lot of luck, a few moments of brief genius and clarity.

I don’t have it all figured out and I certainly don’t wake up kicking serious booty every single day of every single week of every single year – in fact, there have been years where my level of so-called creativity was ridiculously-low.

The thing is that most of you never knew me then! You just know of me in the now and I oftentimes wish I could adequately share with all of you my complete journey of how I stumbled my way into blogging as a profession and how I luckily turned it into some frankenstein-ish career!

I never had it all figured out and I was never completely sure of how it was all going to play out. All this to say my blogging experience and journey was relatively unremarkable and very much “normal” – in other words, very human.

Continue reading

Do You Have Flora In Your Home Office?

I've always liked the idea of Bonsai Trees.

[This is part of the Problogger Home Office Series.]

As I slowly work towards something that even remotely looks like a functional office I’m considering nearly everything as I want it to make sense (and make sense for a long time).

Although the pace of my work has seemed to grind to a near halt since school has started to pick back up and my second daughter decided that she wanted to be less sedentary and more mobile in addition to a ramp-up of traveling outside the home for meetings, projects, and more I’ve spent less time focusing on developing my space, which is sad.

Well, to be honest, I’m not upset at all as it’s just one of those things – like many people’s home office it’s going to take a while to “build out” and that’s just part of the overall process. I’m less inclined to “get there” and more interested in taking simple steps forward.

One of the things I’m reconsidering is whether or not to have flora in my office; that is, plant life.

Continue reading

Roenne’s First Pair of Cleats

I played very competitively when I was younger and to see Roenne lace up her first boots (starting practice this Wednesday) makes my heart smile.

I think she’s going to have a great time – and if she doesn’t that’s fine with me! I’m not one of those parents that’s going to force my kids to fit my mold, so to speak.

Continue reading

Would You Sport a TentBlogger Sticker?

***UPDATE***

I’ve got some! They are here! Get one!

***END UPDATE***

After looking at this picture (bottom of post) a few times I realized that it had some more real estate for some sweet stickers – and why not a TentBlogger-branded one?

I’ve used StickerMule before and am considering it again – heck, I could get 1,000 of them (2″ x 2″) for $120. Not bad, right?

Continue reading

It’s About Our Culture, Not Just Our Products

No, we don’t create 1,000+ word blog posts with targeted keywords, search engine optimized titles, meta descriptions to boot, or number of other SEO best practices on our small business blog.

No, we don’t even post regularly or in a systematic fashion that would display conclusively that we even have a robust blog strategy – we just blog about ourselves, our staff, and what we love doing.

Here’s the thing though – our blog might be one of the most important elements of our online startup and bootstrapped business and is one of the highest jump-off points for product sales and conversion! That’s why we consider it our little secret weapon to our successful growth and profitability.

What’s our ammunition? Marketing? No, no way. We don’t “pitch” on our blog. Business updates? No, not exclusively, that’s for sure – it’ way too boring anyways.

You see, our ammunition of choice is culture. We blog about who we are, what we’re up to, and what we’re passionate about which typically is related to anything but our products that we’re selling!

Continue reading