Saturday, 26 January 2008

Works Cheaper

Never get married.

Find a woman you hate and buy her a house.

It works out a lot easier, if not cheaper

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Choosing the correct keywords for your site

Today I am going to focus on the correct way of finding out the keywords for which you should optimize your site for the search engines.

This post will give you the formula for the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) - a mathematical formula that will help you determine which keywords you should be optimizing your site for.

Step 1: Open your text editor or word processor and write down all the words and phrases that you might have searched for if you were looking for a company which offers products and services similar to yours. For example, suppose your company organizes packaged tours to Australia. Here's a list of phrases that I might have searched for if I were planning to make a trip to Australi

tourism in Australia
travel to Australia
travelling in Australia
travel agencies in Australia
travelling agencies in Australia
Australian travel agencies

Ofcourse, the keywords that came to your mind may have been different. But that's not important - the important thing is to get an initial list of keywords.

You may be wondering why I have not used single word keywords. Here's why:

Firstly, single word keywords tend to be hyper-competitive. A search for "tourism" or "travelling" in any search engine will probably generate hundreds of thousands of pages. While it is possible that you may get your page in the top 10 for such a single word keyword, it is quite unlikely.

Secondly, because of the sheer number of pages that single word searches can throw up, most search engine users have realized that they can get more relevant pages if they search for phrases rather than individual words. Statistical research has shown that most people are now searching for 2 or 3 word phrases rather than
for single words.

Thirdly, single word keywords won't get you targeted traffic. When people search for "tourism", they are not ecessarily looking for tourist destinations in Australia - they may be interested in any other country of the world.

Even if you got your site into the top 10 for tourism, you gain nothing from such visitors. However, when someone searches for "tourism in Australia", he/she is your potential customer, and hence, it makes sense for you to try and get a top ranking for your site for that keyword. Hence, whenever you are trying to generate keywords, try to be location specific. Try to think of keywords which apply to the geographic area that your product or service is designed to serve.

Step 2: Open any spreadsheet program that is installed in your hard drive. I assume you are using Microsoft Excel. If you are using some other spreadsheet program, just change the spreadsheet related procedures outlined here to fit your program.

Create 4 columns - one for the keyword, one for the popularity of the keyword, one for the number of sites that appear in AltaVista for that keyword and the last for something I call the Keyword Effectiveness Index (don't worry - I'll explain what KEI means later on). In order to ensure that you can follow what I am saying, I recommend that you add the following column headers to the first four columns of the first row of your spreadsheet:


No. of Competitors


Step 3: A great way to obtain a list of keywords related to the ones you have developed in the first step is to use WordTracker's keyword generation service

Click on the "Trial" option at the top of the site. In the page that appears, type in your name and email address and click on the "Start the trial" button. In the next page, click on "Click here to start the trial". In the next page, type in the first keyword that you developed in Step 1, i.e. "tourism in Australia", in the text box.

Click on the "Proceed" button.

Step 4: In the next page, WordTracker will display a list of keywords related to the keyword that you had typed in. (Just scroll down the left pane to see the keywords). Now, click on the first keyword in the left pane which is applicable for your site. In the right pane, WordTracker will show a list of keywords which contain the keyword you had clicked on in the left pane.

Then in the table that you have created in your spreadsheet, copy each of the keywords in the right pane and paste them in the first column of the table. Also, copy the number of times those keywords have been used (i.e. the figure present in the Count column in WordTracker) and paste them in the second column.

Make sure that you type the first keyword in the second row of your spreadsheet. Of course, you should only bother adding a keyword to your spreadsheet if it is applicable for your site.

Once you have added all the keywords in the right pane which are applicable for your site, click on the next keyword in the left pane which is applicable for your site. Once again, WordTracker will display a list of keywords in the right pane which contain the keyword you had clicked on in the left pane. Again, copy the keywords in the right pane which are applicable for your site and paste them in the first column of your spreadsheet.

Also, copy the figures present in the Count column and paste them in the second column beside the corresponding keywords. Repeat this process for each of the keywords in the left pane.

Step 5: Once you have finished with all the keywords in the left pane, press your browser's Back button a number of times until WordTracker again displays the text box which asks you to type in a keyword. Type in the second keyword in your original list (i.e. "travel to Australia"), click on the "Proceed" button and repeat Step 4.

Do this for each of the keywords that you developed in Step 1.

Step 6: Go to AltaVista. Search for the first keyword that is present in your spreadsheet using exact match search (i.e. you should wrap the keyword in quotes, i.e. you should type a quotation mark before
typing the keyword and a quotation mark after typing it). AltaVista will return the number of sites which are relevant to that keyword.

Add this number to the third column of the spreadsheet in the same row in which the keyword is present. Repeat this process for each of the keywords present in your spreadsheet. Once you have done that, your first column will contain the keywords, your second column will show the popularity of the keywords and your third column will contain the number of sites you are competing against to get a high ranking for those keywords.

Now it's time to calculate the KEI!

Step 7: The Keyword Effectiveness Index is the square of the popularity of a keyword multiplied by 1000 and divided by the number of sites which appear in AltaVista for that keyword. It is designed to measure which keywords are worth optimizing your site for. Higher the KEI, better the keyword. How the formula for the KEI is arrived at is beyond the scope of this post.

If you had used the spreadsheet file that I created for you (see Step 2), you won't need to enter the formula for calculating the KEI yourself. The KEI would be automatically calculated for you the moment you enter the values in columns 2 and 3. You can go straight to Step 8. In case you didn't download the file, here's how you can calculate the KEI.

I am assuming that you have created the spreadsheet columns in the way I recommended in Step 3 and that you are using Microsoft Excel. If you using some other spreadsheet program, you will need to adjust the formula to the requirements of your spreadsheet program.

Click on cell D2. Type in the following exactly as it is shown: =IF(C2<>0,B2^2/C2*1000,B2^2*1000)

Then click on the Copy button to copy the formula, select all the cells in column 4 which have keywords associated with them and press the Paste button to paste the formula. The KEI for each keyword will be displayed.

Step 8: Use your spreadsheet program's Sort feature to sort the rows in descending order of the KEI. In Excel 97, you would click on the Data menu, click on the Sort menu item, choose KEI from the drop-down combo box named "Sort by", click on the "Descending" option next to it, and then click on OK.

And guess what - that's it! You now know the keywords which you should optimize your site for. You can now start optimizing your site one by one for each keyword, starting with the keyword with the highest KEI. Exactly how many of the keywords you choose to optimize your site for largely depends on the amount of time that
you can spare from your normal business activities. But whatever the number of keywords that you target, it obviously makes sense to go for the most effective keywords first.

Tying up the loose ends:

The number of related keywords that WordTracker displays in the trial version is limited. In order to get all the keywords which are related to the keywords you had developed in Step 1, you would need to subscribe to WordTracker's paid service.

It is highly recommend that you do subscribe to WordTracker's paid service as otherwise, you will miss out on a lot of keywords that can prove to be extremely valuable to you.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Freelancing/ Blogging Job Links

In addition to monetizing your own blog with advertising spots, paid reviews, affiliate marketing, freelance jobs etc., there are many opportunities on the Net for getting paid for blogging and other freelance jobs.

Helium - Where publishers and freelancers meet. At Helium’s Marketplace, publishers post the titles they need articles for right now. "Publishers are paying from $20 to $200 for each selected article"

B5 Media
"They normally post their job openings for bloggers at ProBlogger"

Lists a number of blogging opportunities on it’s site.

Associated Content
Associated Content invites everyone to contribute original video, text, audio and images on any topic to gain exposure and earn cash. AC offers upfront payments for some content submissions as well as a monthly Performance Bonus payment for all of your original content.

Write articles on any of a vast array of topics, including product reviews, “how to” guides, holiday reviews, essays and much more. If approved by WiseOrb editors, Wise Orb will publish your article on this site, and pay you according to how popular the article is. You can write about whatever you like, as long as the article adheres to WiseOrb terms and conditions.

Constant Content
Website that sells original content for your websites, blogs, newsletters, etc. Writers can submit articles on many topics and once approved, it is available for sale. Clients can also request custom articles from writers. You can sell the articles by usage or exclusively to one client. With Constant Content, you are paid for sales, rather than paid by article.

Career blogging listings.

Defense Talk
Get Paid to Write About World Militaries and World Military Weapons. For articles that are accepted, you get paid $25-$35In addition, you can bid on writing projects at all of the freelance boards listed below

The largest online freelance site. Large freelance writing section

Probably the second largest coding freelance site. Focused on programming but there are technical writing jobs there to be had.

This site has the lowest costs but it doesn’t have some of the features of Elance and Rentacoder. You can find some writing gigs here but it is focused more on coding/ programming.
Another reasonably good freelancing site

A very large outsourcing site with plenty of writing jobs.

Contracted Work
A medium sized contracting site

A medium sized contracting site
Freelance IT jobs. lists many jobs and projects open to UK freelancers, however clients from across the globe use regularly to source freelancers outside of the UK.


Freelance Jobsearch


Freelance Jobs

In addition to the above sites, you can go to any of the search engines and using the search feature, type in [blogging or writing jobs] to find the writing and blogging jobs available.

Buy content through ScooptWords

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Thought For The Day

Losing a husband can be hard.

In certain cases, it is almost impossible !!!

No offense please........

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Freelancing - Planning Ahead

In freelance writing, it is essential that you plan ahead

for example, let us determine how much money you want to make and CAN make in the next 12 months. First, let us assume the salary you are seeking, say $30,000. Now, let's divide that number by 2,080 (based upon 40 hours per week over 1 year) and you will come up with $14.42 per hour (gross).

Every day, you would have to make over $105.00, and for every week you should set a target of $577.00.

Let us say you are unable to find a job for the first month, which means you have lost an estimate of $2,500, which eventually has to be added on to the yearly salary that you are seeking. So to play safe put in a two-month period [that the time tour search might take], which increases your annual salary target to $35,000, your hourly target to $16.80 or a daily target of $.134.40 [8 hours], or a weekly target of $.672.00 [40 hours]

Now make note of this;

1. Your targeted annual salary [12 months] – should be set at $.35,000
2. Your hourly rate that you plan to charge would have to be greater than $.16.80, let us say $.17.0
3. Divide the figure in #1 by your answer in #2 to get the total number of hours you need to work in the next 12 months to reach your goal.
4. Divide the answer in #3 by 2080 [based upon 40 hours per week over 1 year] to estimate the gain you would make and the time you would take to breakeven.
5. Then think about how many hours you would have to be putting in, on a weekly basis, so as to figure out how many clients it’s going to take to reach your goal.
6. The result you get here is how many hours a week you have to work to reach that goal. The only advantage is that you can also work on holidays and get paid on it. This, of course depends on your social life.

If this number seems unreasonable, then you need to go back and reassess your goals. Maybe you need to increase your rates or you need to decrease your goals.

Whatever may be the case, I sincerely hope it works out for you.

If you crack the freelance code and start charging a lot more for your services, you can make it to your goal with far-less hours and fewer clients than you have in mind, and beat out most of the freelancer writers out there who work without a profitable strategy.

Wish you the best in your freelance writing efforts

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Freelance Writing

Th next step is to generate immediate revenue from your blogs and other freelance writing sources

The secret is to start using your content to get paid to blog. First you need to find out how to create a blog that gives you added income and exposure. If planned well, blogging can take your affiliate income through the roof.

Being Consistent

Many freelancers are inconsistent in marketing themselves and looking for new freelance jobs. This means that when you do market yourself and something comes in, you feel good because you have some income, you have some money, and you feel like your business is going well. But then you take your eye off the ball of marketing yourself and you just focus on delivering your service for your current projects.

Without keeping some consistent marketing in your routine, you're not filling the pipeline for new potential freelance job opportunities. Therefore, when you get a job, you feel great when you finish the job, and after which you have nothing. Result - you scramble desperately to find the next job.

By the time you start marketing again, it takes a while to get the engine back up and going, so it's a very inconsistent way to market yourself. The best way to remedy this deadly mistake that many freelancers make (especially most people who are new to the freelance business) is to set aside a certain amount of time each day to look for new freelance jobs and follow up with potential employers.

This could be a certain amount of time or it could be a certain number of jobs that you're going to apply to. Even if it's just one job a day or two jobs a day, that’s fine. All you need is to pick your rhythm, a success habit that you're going to do daily, every weekday for your business, and it doesn't have to take a lot of time. Set something as your daily goal and make it a success habit.

The key part of that habit is being consistent. It's where most freelancers fail and this is what takes most freelancers out of their business and puts them back into full-time jobs.

When you crack the code in freelance writing, you're going to love it as you're going to earn great money and you're going to have lots of freedom and responsibility to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Thought For The Year........

All true wisdom is found on T-shirts