Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 03 - Why blog? Because somebody's gotta.

What to write about and what is this "authority" stuff, anyway?

photocredit: http://missionsplace.com
The pre-assignment for today is to review Section II of OSP. So I don't have to repeat the data on how and why you set up your online activities in order to succeed.

We figure that regardless of whether you have settled on a niche or a service or a product, you have covered this material and know basically that you'll be setting up a business. And running it as a business, not a hobby.

The next set of logic:
  • The Internet is based on content and speed.
  • If you want to promote your service or product, you'll need to develop content and host it on a platform which loads quickly.
  • If you do this, and optimize your web pages for the search engines, they will rank you well. 
  • Mostly, anyway.

In the last essay before the articles, entitled "What you should really be going for - just the cherry on top, not whole sundae" - once you get past that embarrassing typo (well, it was a beta edition...) you see what I call this repeating graph called the Bell Curve. Key point on this is that it predicts that a small minority of people are creating all the content on the web. (Not my fact, but it does support the graph.)

Out of that, the same percentage actually set up their content to be search engine friendly (optimized). So now we see that 1 out of a thousand will create any usable content - that the search engines will place high in the rankings just because the way it was composed.

This is where Search Engines start to decide who is the actual authority that they will put on top. Where they start. In the last few years, they've moved beyond just how content was written - but not too far. Given about 3 months, a webpage will start ranking well on it's own if it's SEO'd.

Sidebar: What am I talking about - this SEO stuff?

On page 216 points out the main 5 points you have to keep in mind in order to optimize your site. And then explains the rest of the key points, which we'll revisit as they have refined (or I have) since this book was written.

However, this reminds me of a caveat - I don't recommend Wordpress (WP) anymore. It simply doesn't SEO well. And can (by personal experience) get you kicked off servers from tying up their machines with runaway scripts. Best advice right now - if you must do Wordpress - is to pay them to host your domain. You lose a lot of back-end analytics, but it will be worry free.

The real backend is always custom-built to actually SEO from the outset - and isn't something cobbled on top of a WP backend. (And if you are desperate to run your own server, try "PivotX" as it can be made to SEO properly, but can be uploaded just about anywhere.)

When I say most people don't SEO their sites, this means they don't include all the 5 points mentioned on that page.

Your community

This gets us back to Section II. A business will develop a community. If it serves it well, they will be supportive. Scammers develop anti-communities which work to bring them down. (And will hunt them even if they change their name.) It's all the value you give.

In our lessons leading up to this point, you've more or less figured out just what your interests are and a vague idea of what value you want to give.

I want to tell you right now to not fall for the trap it took me years (literally) to get out from under. And while I recommend The Challenge to anyone, I split with them on this one point:

You have to follow your bliss (purpose) to get anywhere, to make any real success.

There is a common misconception that you can simply find "hot niches" to work from and find products which are being sold there, and then simply "dominate" that niche to rake in all sorts of cash.

Doesn't work that way. You need to be working at something you could do forever. Like this: FOREVER. "Making money" is another trap. Having a "job" is another trap. You are an individual and need to be living your own life, not someone else's.

The simple way to do this is to
  • Find your bliss, your purpose, your main line of fascination - what perpetually interests you.
  • Develop or discover a product or service which aligns with this. And which can be leveraged to produce all the extra income you could want.
  • Do your market research (next lesson) to figure out what people are looking for in the area of your bliss.
  • Tailor your content to contain those keyword phrases so that you essentially move your target in front of where they are searching.
After that, it's a case of simply converting viewers to leads to customers to clients.

Not that this all isn't a bunch of work, but that's the sequence.

This ties into communities in this fashion - when you find your bliss, you'll find other people share that purpose. And you'll find forums and blogs about it. And what keywords they are using - you've just started your market research. As you continue to study the communities which have developed around this niche, you'll have the common itch they all need scratched. Provide the product or service which does the scratching and you'll have as much income as you can promote and deliver to them.

Back to Authority

This is what the Search Engines are fixated on - and playing catch up to. Social media says what people are interested in. And Search Engines use this (and how well your pages are SEO'd) to serve up pages which match those interests. (Which is why Google came out with Chrome browser, the Chromebooks, and Google+. All to figure out what people want served up to them.

So people who write SEO'd content routinely and are regularly bookmarked, liked, commented on, tweeted, and +1'd - their pages will wind up on the top of Google regularly. Infallible. Really.

That's called authority - earning Google's trust for your content.

And the simplicity of how to accomplish this is what prompted me to write all this up and give back to the community.

I'm not worried about some spammer mis-using this. They can't. Because it's too easy to see what they are doing. (And was the recent "penguin" update as they took out some social media spammers.)

Main thing is to enable you to earn some extra income and perhaps - just perhaps - be able to replace any day job income and benefits you currently have going.

- - - -

Again, I've written way too much today. That's my over-verbose fingers going again.

Assignment:

Take that list of interests and start punching around on the Internet to see what forums and groups you can find about them. Wade around a bit and see what people are talking about, what the biggest threads are.

And finish reading the rest of Section II if you can. (It will come in handy later on.)

Today's freebie - Turning Dreams into Dollars. I don't agree with everything she says, but she gives a great lot of things to start with.