Blog Engage Start Newest Guest Blogging Contest

It feels like 2014 has only just begun, but already Brian (owner of social network, Blog Engage) has announced their first guest blogging contest for the year.

The general idea is pretty simple – all they are asking is that interested parties post a guest blog on the Blog Engage website and then promote it as much as possible. Those bloggers with the most social activity and comments on their blog at the conclusion of the competition will win a share of US$500.

It also gives Brian and the team at Blog Engage a chance to thank the sponsors of the contest (a full list can be found below) without whom this wonderful prize would not be possible.

Contest Sponsors

Guest Blogging

Sandy "AIDY" Hoffman - Writer. Gamer. Awesome.

Garden Directory

Go Garden Guides

Just Gardening Fun

Segura Trading

Hydroponic Production

Earth Care Greenhouses
The contest runs from January 10 until February 15 with the winners drawn and notified on February 28. In between the competition closing and the draw date, entrants are still able to collect as much promotion as they can.

How To Make Your Website Social Media Friendly

These days, the interest in social media is continuing to grow at exponential rates and it is important that your business is taking advantage of this by making brand-oriented accounts on some of the more popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. To help you out, here are some tips that you can use to make your website social media friendly:

Social media Marketing News

  • Killer Content
    Have you ever heard the saying ‘content is king’? Whilst this is true of anything that you upload to the internet, it is especially true of social media, as you need to stand out from the crowd. Ordinary content won’t cut it anymore because there is simply too much out there.
  • Social Buttons
    Users expect convenience when they browse the web; they want to be able to share things they like or find interesting through their social media channels as easily as possible. This is why your website should include buttons (such as ‘like’ and ‘tweet’) to streamline this.
  • Social Content
    Whilst social media platforms are built with the intention of connecting people, you can actually take a similar approach with your website. Why not incorporate a blog section where users can post comments? Or post your advertising material on Facebook to see the reaction?
  • Titles & Images
    You need titles that are eye-catching and straight to the point, otherwise users won’t read your content (no matter how interesting or relevant). You also need images that explain the main points of your content in the same kind of tone that you have written in.

Whilst a website does provide you with a foundation for establishing a successful online presence, social media will provide you with an avenue for even wider coverage and more opportunities to connect with your customers. By using the above tips, you can effectively integrate social media with your website and will, hopefully, start to see it working for you soon.

The advantage of Informational Content

  • Websites with informative content trends more because near about 50-80% of search queries are informational in nature. Such websites can easily capture the Search market share.
  • The average website has a ratio of 80/20 navigational content to informational content. But Blogs have a higher ratio of 60/40 navigational content to informational content.
  • Informational content largely falls under two categories

1) Time-Limited

2) Evergreen

  • Time limited informational content includes informative blog which covers Facts, News and Current Affairs which gets outdated in a few months. On the other hand, Evergreen content remains relevant for many years.
  • The most popular of the Evergreen content is the “How to” content which should be included in the websites and other posts. For example- How to design a website? How to promote your business through social media? etc.

Content Marketing Campaign

  • The discussion feature in Google allows you to determine that what people related to your industry usually search in Google. To do this, search for a keyword, like [Social Media Optimization]. Then, click on the “More” drop-down menu and select “Discussions.”
  • The time-limited content tends to be more effective at gaining links and attention whereas evergreen content is generally more effective at gaining rankings for specific keywords. Hence the key is to make sure that the type of content is truly helpful to searchers and not just written for SEO.
  • The best way to build audience out of your informative content is by integrating the content well. The content should be easily accessible and therefore it shouldn’t be posted just everywhere. You can consult with your designers and user experience team to determine where it fits best.

A closer look at the working of white hat and black hat SEO

SEO has completely revolutionized the Internet Marketing Domain and has become an indispensable part of online businesses. Business owners all around the world are hiring SEO services for better results, improved ranking and for good web presence. SEO is a broad field which is mainly categorized in to two parts- Black Hats and White Hats. Both these methods of SEO are widely practiced all over the world however it is important for you to select the right method for better results of your business.

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

Black Hat technique violates Google’s rule to improve your web presence. Black Hat is therefore regarded as an illegal way of improving your web presence, website ranking and other such results. On the other hand, White Hat technique is a much legal and safe way of SEO process. White Hat technique works in a well organized and systematic way by strictly following then Google’s norms and regulations.

Black Hat technique follows unethical SEO methods and low value tactics by cheating the system and harming the search quality. Low-value tactics tend to fade quickly. As Google gets more aggressive, low-value tactics are also getting riskier. These low value tactics of cheating the system does not proves handy in the long run. Once they fail, and they usually do, you have to start over and chase some new low-value tactic.

Whereas, White Hat technique focuses on relevancy and true SEO practices by completely following SEO rules and policies. White Hat technique includes using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity and other legal practices. White Hat SEO is extremely popular among businesses who believe in making long term investment in their website. White Hat SEO is therefore regarded as Ethical SEO.

How To Manage An Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is actually a very powerful tool when it comes to furthering your business in this day and age. It does, however, raise a number of questions regarding how these sorts of campaigns are undertaken – do you need to spend thousands of dollars constructing mailing lists or can you do it organically; which techniques work and which don’t?

  • Get permission: Your email marketing campaign must comply with privacy laws. This means that you must ask permission to use someone’s email address otherwise you might find yourself penalized or blacklisted.
  • Target audience: You must make sure that each message you send out is targeted towards your audience. If you are a web design company, for example, try to offer tips regarding website upkeep.
  • Keep clean. Only work with the cleanest permission-based list that you can find. If you don’t want to spend the time crafting your own, join a (legal) company that will allow you to send information to their lists.
  • Be persistent: Keep in mind that it takes time to build up customer relationships; sending one or two emails isn’t going to cut it. Make sure that your mail is a regular thing (once a week or month).

This final email marketing tip should actually be more common sense than anything else – make sure that you keep mail short and sweet. For most people, a simple newsletter that contains at least one non-sales article (providing that it says something valuable for recipients) will be sufficient. Don’t send pages and pages of information, as no one will read it.


5 Things You Should Never Do In Your Online Marketing Strategy

It happens to the best of us – we get so caught up in the excitement and costs of a new website that we just want to share it with the world and ensure that we actually get some visitors. Some of the online marketing techniques that people implement, however, tend to do more harm than good. These are the top 5 techniques that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Unsolicited bulk emails – It doesn’t matter whether you sent out these emails with good intentions or not, unsolicited mail is labeled spam and you could end up with a blacklisted server.
  • Black hat SEO – Some people think using black hat (unethical) SEO is a great way to shoot them to the top. This can, however, result in blacklisting and even bans for your website.
  • Dishonest promotions – Yes, offering free stuff is a great way to get people to your website. Doing so through a fake online marketing campaign, however, is a great way to send them away.
  • Excessive link placement – Many people try to add their links to as many forums, blogs, discussion boards and so on as they can. You must, however, only post links on sites that are relevant to yours.
  • Promote half-finished sites – Don’t bother trying to market your website until it has been completely finished and made live. Promoting something that has been untested can really turn users off.

For some strange reason, there are still plenty of online marketing experts and companies out there that think the above techniques are fine to use in the promotion of their new website. Unfortunately, this is why there are plenty of websites out there that are getting penalized or just being blocked entirely; don’t let your site become one of them!

How To Get Started With Web Development For The iPhone

There has been a rise in the amount of people accessing the internet through their mobile devices, the most popular of these being Apple’s iPhone. This has led to changes in the way that web development tasks must be undertaken, as websites must now be compatible with a number of different screen sizes. But how do you get started?

The first step is by immersing yourself in everything iPhone. It is impossible to develop a website or an app for this platform unless you are familiar with how it works, and the best way to do this is to become an avid user of the phone for a few months. Look at how the touch screen works, and experience how iPhone uses animation to improve its responsiveness.

The second step is by planning what you are trying to achieve with your iPhone website or app. What sort of functionality do you want to explore with the web development stage? What sort of solutions are you looking at utilising? This is very similar to planning for any other type of platform, so is a step that you should already be familiar with.

The third and final web development step is by visualizing what the finished website or app will look like. You will need to take the general appearance of an iPhone website or app and then add your own unique twist to it. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and gadgets available online that make visualizing your website or app for iPhone much easier.