May I Write a Post for Your Blog?

I am nearly complete with a couple big projects I was working on for the last couple months (site re-launch and another secret project), and wanted to try a fun viral blogging experiment. If you ever wanted to interview me, or wanted me to guest post for your blog now is your chance. You can choose the topic(s) and I will try my best to answer your interview questions or write a post for your site.

I only have four conditions

  1. your blog must have a non-default theme
  2. your blog must not be hosted on,, or
  3. your blog must be at least 6 months old
  4. you must love publishing, marketing, SEO, and/or the Internet (or else) ;)

Comment below with your URL and the word "interview" or "guest post" and I will reply to the email associated with your account. First come first serve, and I am not sure how many of these I will do as it may get a little overwhelming if many people say yes. But it is all in the name of fun. :)

Understanding "Organic" Link Building in 2008

Michael Arrington, writing about how many blog networks are trying to raise capital, describes the natural state of linking on the web:

And now that the big guys in the Gang are being injected with capital, hiring tens of employees and expanding their businesses, they suddenly have a lot more to lose. Linking is never done just because. Rather, links are your political capital that must be expended appropriately. Don’t link at the right time and in two weeks when you’re pushing your own headline, you’ll wish you had. When you stop seeing other blogs as people you admire and want to discuss things with, and start to see them as your competitor, your brain shifts and you stop linking the way you had previously.

Luckily, the newbie bloggers are there to fill in the links when they’re needed. That’s why, if you are a mid-level blogger, you are likely courted by the bigger blogs looking to get your support. If you know what’s going on and are willing to play the game, you can see your blog rise very, very quickly. Choose the wrong blog, though, and you may find yourself alone and lonely in your forgotten blog.

Launch something new? You better beg at least a dozen people to help spread it if you are in a saturated market. Hopefully you just them some favors too! This fending for your own self interests + backscratching is the new reciprocal link. Depending on how selfish we get, bloggers could make the mainstream media irrelevant or just make ourselves irrelevant.

Subscribe to SEO Book via Full or Partial Feed

If you are new to blogs and feeds, I recommend watching this 4 minute video to understand how RSS feeds work, and then spend an hour trying out a feed reader or iGoogle to subscribe to a couple of your favorite blogs.

I had some RSS issues with iGoogle that I think are cleared up now. The upside is that rather than only offering full or partial feeds, we now offer both. You can subscribe to either feed using your favorite feed reader on our feeds page.

If you are a blogger, it only takes about 15 minutes to set up a feed page like mine, and if you get a few new subscribers each month, that creates a cumulative advantage over time. Don't forget to also link to your RSS feed page in the sidebar of your blog.

[Video] Why You Should Start Blogging Today

This 7 minute and 30 second video evangelizes blogging to new internet marketers. The reasons I am such a big fan of blogs are:

  • they are easy to set up & update
  • they offer many feedback channels
  • it is easy to track how ideas spread through blogs
  • it is easy to join the conversation
  • there are many channels to spread ideas quickly
  • blogs offer many ways to show social proof of value
  • blog posts typically do not feel like ads, even if they are

I am not sure how well it came out. Please let me know what you think of the video. Did I talk too fast? Was it too information dense? Was I clear enough?

And if you have not yet seen The Blogger's Guide to SEO, please check it out.

Triggit - the Easy Way to Monetize Accidental Rankings

Since Google largely tends to favor ranking informational websites over commercial websites, some authoritative blogs tend to rank for valuable queries based on posts they make in passing.

Even if you had no intent to monetize a post, it just became easier to monetize accidental rankings. If you use analytics to track your stats and notice that you start ranking for some good keywords you can use Triggit to embed links to merchant products directly in the text of your blog post.

Shoemoney created this quick video to show how Triggit works

Unlike the automated ad solutions like intellitxt or AdSense, these Triggit ads

  • look like other regular links on the page (so they should get a high CTR)
  • can easily be applied on a page by page level (so you do not have to clutter up every page to monetize the few pages that can make a lot of money)
  • link to products recommended by the editor (to preserve editorial integrity)
  • can link to merchants that pay via affiliate payout or CPC (offering multiple monetization models)
  • allow you to keep your pages clean (and easy to link at) until they rank, then have you add monetization after you have a leading market position for related keywords

Triggit ads are easy to set up and should require little maintenance on the end user's side, but they are still a small start up, so if you start doing well with them make sure you remember which pages do well so you can keep monetizing the pages if the Triggit partnership stops working, and so you can track which pages you should try to monetize more aggressively and/or build links to.

As blended semi-editorial in content ad networks like these evolve, the distinction between optimization and spam blurs. And since Google has a similar product, it is going to be hard to view this in a negative light without looking hypocritical in the process. From Google's pay per action page:

Text links are hyperlinked brief text descriptions that take on the characteristics of a publisher's page. Publishers can place them in line with other text to better blend the ad and promote your product.

For example, you might see the following text link embedded in a publisher's recommendatory text: "Widgets are fun! I encourage all my friends to Buy a high-quality widget today." (Mousing over the link will display "Ads by Google" to identify these as pay-per-action ads).

Though the maximum length of a text link is 90 characters, we've found that shorter links perform better because they allow the publisher use the link in more places on her/his site and in different context. The maximum length is 90 characters but less than 5 words is best. Even better, just use your brand name to offer maximum flexibility to the publisher.

NetAudioAds Wasting Publicity Pushing a Bad Idea

The WSJ just published another article about making money from blogs, highlighting Darren Rowse's success (congrats buddy) and some small ad networks aimed at bloggers, like NetAudioAds. These ad networks pay bloggers crumbs:

Blog publishers get a 25% cut of the ad revenue. About 25,000 publishers have signed up so far, says Michael Knox, V2P's co-founder, and several large companies and 2008 presidential campaigns have expressed interest in becoming advertisers through the service. A site that gets 2,000 unique visitors per day with an advertiser paying $14 per 1,000 plays might earn $28 a day, or $196 a week.

What self respecting publisher takes only 25% of ad revenue to annoy all of their visitors with audio ads? And how do you keep up your momentum and pageviews if you annoy everyone who comes across your site? If the idea wasn't bad enough, the company behind this ad network is talking to the media to pump their product while

  • a blogspot hate site ranks #1 for their official name
  • their official site that does rank for their official name does not even use NetAudioAds in the page title
  • they bid on AdWords their core brand name but they are not even bidding on alternate version of their name like Net Audio Ads

How do networks that offer advertising and marketing solutions for others do such a bad job marketing their own products? Reviewed (or, Why Email Spam Whois Data of Bloggers With High Touch Marketing Ideas?)

Some marketers aggressively email spam people to promote their best ideas, thinking no harm could come from it. If you do not take the time to personalize emails and actually visit the sites you are emailing then you probably going to send someone like me an email, and there is a 5% chance I will blog about it. If I blog about it, I am probably not going to be talking up the product. ;) recently launched their celebrity weight loss calculator. I was sent a bulk unpersonalized email containing the following tip

The tool is specifically un-branded so it can blend with your experience. All we ask is that you post the entire code which contains a link back to our site.

Their site has a great growth chart. They come up with great marketing ideas. They are clever with SEO. And they are too lazy to connect the pieces without untargeted email spamming. Silly. Spend $10 an hour hiring someone to send out the emails if you are too lazy to do it yourself.

If you are reactive to blog feedback (like they were here then why not be proactive in creating meaningful relationships in the community? No point putting great ideas on churn and burn sites, and no point burning relationships with leading editorial voices in your market if you are creating a longterm site.

View the Presentation From My Speech at Blogworld Expo

This is was a document about how optimizing a blog is largely a game of competing for attention, with tips on how to win attention and marketshare.

BTW, I am going to WebmasterWorld Las Vegas Pubcon next month. I think I am speaking on two or three different panels.

Building Your Attention, Traffic, Trust, & Subscriber Base by Owning Ideas

Some Things Only Spread Because Who is Behind Them

I recently created an Internet marketing mind map and published it on my tools subdomain with a link to it from, but nobody mentioned it. A few days later I blogged about it on and dozens of webmasters linked to it. Same publisher, same content, drastically different results...because one channel has attention while the other does not.

The Flaw of Pull Marketing Advice

Much of the marketing advice offered on blogs assumes that you have a well read blog and can get away with great content spreading based on pull marketing, but when you publish a new site and write about ideas that others covered you don't get the credit you deserve until you build an attention asset. Which means you have to use push marketing until you get readers / subscribers / brand advocates.

Markets are not fair. People are more likely to link to familiar trusted channels then new channels. It can take years to build a significant readership. And if you wait for it to happen on its own it may never happen.

Ineffective Blogging

It is hard to be the regular news spot just by producing similar news to what is available on other channels. If you cover stories that are worth spreading, but are not dong much more than syndicating them, then even if your content is useful the reference links skip past you and on to the end story you wrote about. You might get a hat tip link here or there, but you are not going to get many if you have few readers. And those links are not going to be enough to pull readers away from market leading channels, to do so requires people talking about you. Your content has to amalgamate ideas from multiple sources or unique perspectives such that people are TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Owning an Idea

If you do not have enough leverage to own mainstream ideas then you need to own ideas on the edge or borrow the authority of someone or something else. The first person to crack an iPhone got lots of exposure. Announcing a new Google feature gets you exposure. Real in depth reviews of exciting new stuff gets you exposure. Every market has an Apple, a Google, or some relation to one of those companies.

The easiest way to get a community involved in your site is to ask them for involvement. Collect their feedback and aggregate it in a meaningful format. And interviewing a market leader is an easy way to leverage someone else's brand and gain attention. Getting community involvement is crucial because each trusted person who associates with you moves you that much further away from being irrelevant or potentially spammy. They make you worth paying attention to because they cared enough to participate.

If you get community participation it also protects your idea. It gets competitors called sleazy when they clone your idea and throw a few more marketing dollars at it.

What if you can't get anyone to participate? Desperate times require desperate measures! Wrap your message in a fictitious backdrop based on real world opinions. Want to reach out to financial bloggers? Notice they are talking about Alan Greenspan a bunch recently? Tell everyone why Alan Greenspan thinks Google is under-priced. Quote his principals and use them to justify Google at $2,400 per share.

Understanding the Value of High Quality Editorial Blog Content

With an ever increasing number of ways for people to share content and an ever increasing number of competing channels the easiest way to estimate the value of a blog post is to look at the people citing it. Citations lead to new readers and subscribers...and more citations. If your posts are well cited it does not take many posts to get thousands of subscribers.

With 12 days left to go in an auction the NorthxEast blog is up to $5,500. Their blog only has 33 posts, and is a blog about blogging, which is a topic that is notoriously hard to monetize. Typically freelance bloggers get paid anywhere from $5 to $50 a post. If this site goes for $10,000 then it will be a valuation of $300 a post. Where was that extra value created? It is in the number of inbound links and number of subscribers. Over 700 bloggers link at that site and it has a couple thousand subscribers.

If you paid a freelance writer $100 or $200 per page think of the type of quality content you could create. If you value your time at $20 an hour and take 8 hours to write a post and 2 hours marketing it think of the potential return from a link perspective. You can rent average quality links for $10 to $20 a month, increase your risk profile, and get links saying nothing about your company, or you could pour that same money into getting people talking about you. If you know your topic well writing is an easy and cheap form of marketing.

If a site can go from nothing to being worth ~ $10,000 on 33 blog posts, imagine what that link equity and subscriber base would do to your brand and search rankings. If that same effort was used to market a #12 ranking site, suddenly that site might be in the top 2 or 3 and see a 10x increase in traffic.