Archive for April, 2010

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How to Increase the Life Expectancy of Your Online Content

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Go Green – Evergreen, that is! You can greatly increase the life expectancy of your online content by remembering to write in a “timeless” manner.

Writing a regular stream of fresh articles is critical to your article marketing (or blogging) success. However, it’s also important to make your articles as “evergreen” as possible, with content that stays fresh and useful long after you publish it. Being sensitive to how your articles could be read in the upcoming years will help keep them from eventually becoming stale, irrelevant pieces of text.

Most publishers that you are trying to attract with your articles prefer evergreen content as well, for a very clear reason. Evergreen content makes your articles (or postings) more useful to their readers for a longer period, and they can spend less of their own time pulling out stale content. So if done correctly, your articles might live on for years and years on a publisher’s website.

So How to Increase Your Evergreen Factor?

Remove the Time Element – Notice how the evergreen title below drops the year reference? Be sure to remove any time-specific references in the body copy, too.

Stale: “Hot Summer Fashion Trends in 2010”
Evergreen: “Hot Summer Footwear Trends: Flip-Flops vs. Sandals”

Find Long-Lasting Angles on Time-Sensitive Topics – This allows you to take even topical news items or recent events and make them virtually timeless.

Stale: Writing about this week’s top-ranked golfers in the world.
Evergreen: Writing about the characteristics and traits of top-ranked golfers, and how you can incorporate some of their success into your own game.

Use the One-Year Test – After you write your next article, read it again and imagine it’s one year later. Is your article still relevant? You should rewrite anything that would be outdated.

Stale: “10 Things You Need to Know Before Investing $499 on Apple’s Hot New iPad”
Evergreen: “10 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing an iPad”

The concept of evergreen content can of course be in mind when you begin writing any fresh, new article, and you can also apply the concept when you older content you have previously created and re-work it to become “evergreen”!

SEO

Article Writing Basics – Defining Your Article's Purpose

SEO

Article Directories are a form of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) where companies and professional writers submit articles based on a specific niche. Article directories are also sometimes called Ezines, or Online Magazines, for their depository methods – sometimes hosting hundreds or thousands of documents related to a given subject.

What is the benefit of submitting to an article directory? When search engines scan the Internet for content, it “spiders” the web pages and harvests links from each page. The crawler then searches other pages for links and indexes pages that link back and forth with each other.

Article directories use this technology by allowing website owners the ability to link back to their own site using keyword articles, which trigger search engines to rank pages higher. Article standards developed by SEO experts typically call for a word count of 400-500+ words and a keyword density of approximately 2%or 3%.

They also demand that an article be different enough from any other piece of existing web copy that it is viewed as being “unique” by the search engines. But although common SEO methods specify that duplicate content penalizes a website ranking, Google has denied it. Regardless, article directories often require unique content themselves, and use specific editorial guidelines and rules to help deter the manipulation of search results, such as keyword stuffing.

Once you have written a good article, now you need to create an Article Title, one that will grab a potential reader’s attention and get them to read your piece. But when writing your article, you need to ask yourself: Is the primary purpose of my article an attempt to sell something other than information? The answer should never be “Yes.”

First, your Article Title should never be a blatant pitch for your website, your products or services, your company, or even you. Your job as an article author is to educate, entertain, inform. Not sell!

If you’ve created good content, presented it in a logical and interesting way, and used some best practices to disseminate that content, such as one of the top article directories as ranked by traffic and PageRank – and then spreading the word to your own social networks, either manually or with the help of various WordPress Plugins or stand-alone Social Media Management System (SMMS) tools.

And you must trust that your expertise in the delivery of valuable information on your chosen topic will do the “selling” to the reader. So save the big sales pitch for your Author’s Resource Box only.

And when discussing the Resource Box, think of the Article Body as being the place where you GIVE to the reader; and the Resource Box is where you TAKE something back, hopefully some readers who are interested in utilizing your products or services. Don’t break the Golden Rule of article marketing – Thou shall not TAKE in the Article Title or Body!

Your objective is to create a relationship of credibility and trust with your online readership. And you’ll never get the opportunity to sell to your readers until they know you, like you, and trust you.

In your Article Title, you’re simply trying to sell your reader on the benefits they will receive when they take a bit of their valuable online attention and spend it by reading your article. Put your creative marketing thoughts and ideas to use by selling your reader on the benefits of the information in your article – and not your business – and you will see greater conversions and sales results in the future.

Single Point of Web Access

"Imagine Having One Login…For The Whole Web"

Single Point of Web Access

Facebook is working hard to embed itself deep into the infrastructure of the web. So imagine if as an outside developer or website administrator you could hook into Facebook users’ data and activities directly, and persistently, for far longer than the previous limit of 24 hours? How would this change your online business model?

Organizing the world’s information in this way is an obvious affront to Google. And where Google observes links and relationships between websites from a distance, Facebook is now aiming to become the glue that connects the web itself.

The implications are thrilling, but also frightening – what if Facebook goes down?

The benefits of using a Facebook authentication system were already quite strong. Facebook’s director of products, Bret Taylor, recently explained just how strong when sharing his own struggle to grow FriendFeed – a real-time social networking company that was eventually acquired by Facebook. Users who signed up for FriendFeed via Facebook Connect were up to four times more likely to become active users than any other form of sign-up, said Taylor.

But now, beyond fostering better participation by inviting users to connect their real identities and their real relationships, web services will be able to use Facebook to explode user engagement and relationships. They can utilize Facebook’s many social plugins to uncover personalized friend activity and recommendations. And Facebook will establish persistent, dynamic links to users’ participation on connected sites around the web through its introduction of “like” buttons.

Users will now have the ability to share their interests not only by saying what they like — say, a local coffee house — but by saying what web site actually represents it — maybe a Yelp review page, instead of the establishment’s official site. Web services would be foolish not to participate.

And as a user, having your social self represent you around the web will at first be creepy but in the end quite useful. As a Facebook engineer recently put it, “Imagine if you had one login for the whole web. That would be incredible!”

Facebook.me would allow users to use Facebook as a CMS. Let’s say you’re one of those crazy MySpace holdouts who wants blinking disco lights on your profile. Fine. Make a web page, host it at whatever URL you choose, make it as hideous as you wish, and port in data that dynamically connects to Facebook. It’s not hard to imagine that many brands and small businesses might simply use this in lieu of a traditional webpage.

Another recent demo, KlugePress, gives the ability to use a customizable template and then port in Facebook event information. Only users who have been invited to the event on Facebook would be able to load a KlugePress invite. If users are logged in to Facebook and have access, they can RSVP, comment and see details just as they would on a bland Facebook event page. The data itself is carried right back to Facebook.

By inviting its developers to integrate with it so tightly, Facebook is enabling many new opportunities, but at the same time requesting an awful lot of trust, too.

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