The Importance of Networking in the Blogosphere

by Josh Auriemma on June 22, 2009

network-networking-bloggersWhen I’m working with a client, they often ask me why I spend 30 minutes to an hour per day reading and commenting on other relevant blogs.

There are two main reasons why you should implement this practice:

1. Blog ideas.  Let’s face is.  There’s not much original content on the web.  By reading other peoples’ blogs, hopefully you’ll be inspired to write material for your own blog.  If you’re focusing on successful blogs, you’ll probably get a better idea of what you should be doing to improve your own site as well.

2. Networking.  The more you comment on a blog, the more the blog author will recognize you.  Especially if you find one of those blogs with a lot of traffic but not a whole lot of comments (they exist — trust me).  Sometimes it’s appropriate to explicitly call attention to one of your posts, but most of the time it’s not.  In general, you need to settle for the vast majority of blogs that let you put a linkback url with your name.

The idea is that if you can organically convince a prominent blogger to start checking our your blog by injecting some intelligent dialogue, there’s a decent chance of them taking notice and hopefully putting their readers on notice of your good content as well.  On my law blog, I almost always check our the URLs of my commenters — particularly if the comments are intelligent.

As an aside, please don’t be one of those people that makes a good comment only to link to something completely unrelated with unrelated anchor text.  As a blog administrator, those drive me insane (and I’ve heard the same from others).

{ 9 comments }

Getting Your Own Domain

by Josh Auriemma on June 14, 2009

dedicated-web-serverMost self-proclaimed SEO experts will tell you that in order for people to take your blog “seriously,” you need to invest in your own domain.

I agree to a certain extent, but if you have killer viral content, you’ll build a following even if your URL is along the lines of IIlIlIIIlIlIIIlIlIIIIlIlIIl.wordpress.com.1  Still, don’t assume that you’re the exception to the rule or you could end up very unhappy with the result.

So let’s say you’ve decided that you want your own domain.  What’s next?  Well, you have two options:

1.  Shared Web Hosting

You can go with this cheap solution, which I do, and get a cheap, shared server.  My pick of this category is BlueHost, which runs all of my servers off the same account.  Benefits include no bandwidth restrictions, their servers/bandwidth is capable of surviving diggs/reddits/stumbles without much of a problem, one-click installation of most popular software packages (including WordPress), good customer service, and it’s cheap.  I pay about $140 per year for 4 blogs.

Here’s the major downside.  I mentioned that I run 4 servers off one account, right?  Well, there are over 100 people running their blogs on the same server.  While the blog performance only suffers minimally, the real danger is from Google.  Here are some things to consider:

  • If one of these domains is a spam domain and marked by Google as such, you could find yourself having difficulty getting indexed since Google assumes you’re somehow affiliated.
  • For similar reasons, if you run multiple blogs, you’re going to get less of an effect from linking your high PageRank blogs to your new blogs on the same server.

However, I’m a fairly good example that good results can be had even using the cheap solution.  While you can’t normally check prior to subscribing (though maybe you can if you get a nice chat rep) if you have the domain name of a website on the same server, you can use this tool to find other domains on the same server.

2.  Run A Dedicated Server

Here’s the more expensive, but all-around better route.  You’ll have way more control over your servers by using a dedicated server, and none of the drawbacks illustrated above.  You also tend to get much better hardware with dedicated servers, thus resulting in quicker load times and hopefully less maintenance.

While I haven’t used a dedicated server in a while, one service that I always hear mentioned by pro bloggers is InMotion — no setup fees, nice hardware, allegedly good customer service, and ~$40/month sounds like a good deal to me.

If InMotion isn’t your thing, here’s a post from cnet discussing their picks for dedicated servers.

In the end, whichever way you decide to go is probably a step up from your current situation if you’re “leasing” domain space right now.

  1. See, e.g., http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/ []

{ 11 comments }

Best Practices in Linking: Anchor Text

by Josh Auriemma on June 10, 2009

anchor-text-gold1This lesson has two ways of helping you out:

1.  When you link to yourself on external websites, you’ll be much better off; and
2.  The more this knowledge gets circulated, the better off we’ll all be.

So here’s the deal: many laypeople when linking to external sites will do something like this:  “Josh Auriemma is basically the coolest person I know.  Check out this new article about visualizing your website phrases and keywords!”  So what’s wrong with that?

Well, to some extent it is helpful: if that were posted to an external website with some spare PageRank, it would be giving me a decent linkback.  Google is *sort of* smart and so it’ll look around the link and realize that it probably has something to do with visualizing keywords and phrases, but because of where the link was placed, the Googlebot is going to think that it has more to do with the phrase “this new article.”  You can probably already see how this can be a problem.

So the moral of the story is that you should always explain the target website in the link text (anchor text) instead of linking with a meaningless phrase like “click here.”

{ 4 comments }

Uhm, No . . . I didn’t

by Josh Auriemma on June 9, 2009

Here’s a post to illustrate that search engines don’t always work the way you’d like.

Did not click on the link.

{ 0 comments }

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