Saturday, December 27, 2008

Custom domain

Just created a custom domain for this site through Google. Glad I did so. Always better to do it sooner rather than later.

It was was very easy and quick. And the domain worked instantly. That surprised me because I thought it usually took a day or two before all that stuff comes together.

But then, we are talking about Google here. In the internet universe, Google is God!

Good backlink checkers

One thing that's absolutely vital for promoting a site or blog is link building. There are lots of free backlink checking tools out there that you can use to check your progress. One of the best is the trusty Yahoo Site Explorer. You just need to type "" into the Yahoo search box to see who links to you. That gives you a pretty thorough list.

And I recently found an even better one. It's called Backlink Watch. Best part about it is that it lists the anchor text in each backlink, and whether it is a "dofollow" or "nofollow" link. This is useful because if you are targeting certain keywords you can see how your efforts are progressing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Weebly, Synthasite, Webnode

Being a generally non-geeky kind of person, I have found the whole webmastering thing a bit daunting. You've got to get a site designed, find a good reliable host, buy a unique domain, do a bit of techie stuff to connect that domain to the site. Then, if you want to have a blog as part of that site, you've got to do still more mucking around!

It's certainly not impossible but it can be a bit of headache. Obviously a lot of people feel this way, because there has been a trend towards web hosting companies selling domains themselves, including site builders in their packages, and having blogging tools attached. There are quite a few of them now. Three of the best are Weebly, Synthasite, and Webnode.

These are good sites in many ways. They have heaps of widgets and stuff you can add. They have "drag and drop" site builders, too. So you can make your own site look substantially unique. The blogging tools are simple and effective.

But the best aspect is that they are free to use if you wish! You can publish to the subdomain (eg, for no cost at all. And if you publish to a custom domain (eg, you only pay for the domain, which you buy through them for perhaps 20 bucks a year!

I'd recommend them to anyone who wants a website, but particularly to those who want to learn to become webmasters themselves. Nothing beats hands on experience, and you can definitely get a lot of that with these sites.

Duplicate content

One thing you notice if you get involved in a lot of the online marketing forums is that there is a lot of confusion about duplicate content and its ramifications for webmasters, bloggers and article writers and marketers.

Many people seem to think that they will be penalized if they submit the same article, say, to several directories. They fear that their site may be delisted from search engine results. But this is not the case. It just means that Google will find what it thinks is the original article (that is, the one that was indexed first - probably the one at the article directory it was submitted to first, particularly if that's a high page rank directory) while filtering out the copies.

The penalty only really kicks in if you have duplicate sites.

Here's a good clear article describing this distinction in much greater detail.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A blogging Christmas

Strange to be posting in Christmas day, but I think I am addicted to blogging. Still, it's not such a bad thing. After all, while there are many things you can do to promote a blog, the most important is to just keep on posting.

I think of the internet in general (and the blogosphere in particular) as being like a vast ocean of word soup. Google is like a big ogre holding a spoon and he spends all day scooping samples from the soup swirling around him.

If you just keep pouring your words into this ocean, then you will eventually get scooped up!

Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ready to start

Welcome to my blog.

What's it about?

Well, I want it to document my experiences as I develop my offline and online marketing site. I actually started a blog on the same subject elsewhere. But it got swamped by spam, and I let it die. But now I'm ready to have another go.

Developing the main site has been a fascinating experience for me and I've learned heaps. So I want to help others by describing what I have discovered.

I don't know exactly what shape this project will take. But I'm determined that it won't be like so many "work at home" and "online marketing" blogs, which are just an excuse for a lot of advertisements and giveaways.

So, we'll see what happens ...