How To Use YouTube For Link Building

For most people, building back links to their sites amount to improving their PageRank and search engine rankings. However, the other benefits of building back links are brand awareness, connecting people with your products and services, and bringing targeted traffic to your web sites. Using YouTube to build links to your sites provides all these benefits.

Create a professional video. With the availability of free or low cost software and licensed music, it is easier than ever to create a professional quality video. If you don’t know how to create a professional video, you can get it done for low cost using outsourcing sites like oDesk and Scriptlance.

Create a branded channel for your brand. You can change the background of your channel by uploading a background image. You can also upload a banner that will be displayed above the info box on all your video pages. Other channel customizations available to you for branding purposes are: branding box, channel side column image, connect box icon, tracking image URL, and channel banner.

Just like a blogroll in a blog that points to good blogs in your niche, you can add YouTube channel subscribers to do the same.

Participate in comments. To engage users, reply to comments posted by others as you would do in blog comments. Answer their questions and resolve any issues they may have raised.

Share your videos from your Web site. Instead of linking to your video, grab the YouTube embedded codes of your video and share it on your site. It will make easier for visitors to your site to view your videos without leaving your web site. Also, many people who don’t click links will click the play button of a video.

Google has started using YouTube videos and channels in their search engine result pages. When someone searches for your brand, if you have a branded YouTube channel, the ranking of your brand in natural search engine results is improved. It will also result in more traffic to your site.

YouTube is the most popular video sharing web site. People spend hours watching meaningless videos of cats knocking something over. If you can create some funny videos, you will have improved chance of going it viral.

Educational how to videos are also popular. Create a few how to videos in your niche and share it with others in your YouTube channel. From fixing a faucet to changing oil, people are watching how to videos prior to engaging in any do-it-yourself job.

How to Start Writing Quality Articles For Blogs and Article Marketing

Writing quality articles for your blog and article marketing campaign is essential to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen niche. Every day, people post tens of thousands of articles in blogs and article directories. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to start producing authoritative and resourceful articles that others will read, bookmark, and promote using social media sites.

A quality article provides benefits to its readers. Neither it should be detailed and lengthy to put readers to sleep, nor it should be a laundry list of items for others to scan and forget. It should have enough information to put the written words into actions, but not more.

Before you start writing an article, make a list of all the non-textual contents that you will include in the articles. Non-textual contents may be images, videos, sketches, links to other resources, etc. Collect all the non-textual resources in one place, preferably in a folder in your laptop.

So, where do you go to find all the resources you need before you start writing your article? People who churn out low quality articles rely on Google search engine and article directories. While Google search engine may be a source, you should never use an article directory as a resource for your article-writing project. Finding a good article in an article directory is like finding a needle in the haystack.

Start with your own online bookmarks. You should have already developed a habit of using an online book marking service like delicious to store links to interesting contents. These online bookmarking services allow you to tag your bookmarks for easy organization and later retrieval.

Also, check out the marked articles in your RSS reader. In your RSS reader, you should always mark quality contents that you may use for your own articles later. In the Google reader, you can use the star mark and get to those marked articles later with a click.

Use blog directories like Technorati and Goolge blog search. You will find more recent articles in the search results of a blog directory, compared to a web search using Google. Use keywords like best, top, and reasons in the search query. You will find what others have said about the same subject. For example, if you are writing about benefits of eating apples, search for top reasons to eat apples.

Use Flickr for your image search. Click the search box to go to the search page and than click the advanced search link. Scroll down and check the creative commons check box. The Creative Common license allows you to use Flickr images in your blog, provided you credit the original source with a link.

For videos, use Google video search. It will find videos from YouTube and other social video sites like Metacafe, etc. Please review the licensing requirements of each site before you publish it in your site. You don’t have to download the video. You should get the embedded code for the video and embed that in your page html.

Locate a niche database using Google search. For example, if you want to find nutrient values of banana apple desert, search in Google using key phrase food database. You will be able to locate the USDA nutrient database. Similarly, you can locate movie database, etc.

If you want to build your blog readership or people who will specifically look for your contents in an article directory, quality article is the only way to go. Search engine optimization techniques on poor quality articles will not benefit you in long run. People will lose trust on your materials. In the future, trust will be one of the most important factor in generating sustainable online incomes.

12 Tips for Generating Bright Ideas For Writing

Are you running short of ideas for your blogs or articles? Is generating fresh ideas for writing becoming difficult? By following the techniques discussed in this article, you will be a writing power house.

1. Subscribe to a dozen RSS feeds on various subjects you are most interested in. Scan through the feeds every morning or at night and select a few articles for thorough reading. After reading the articles, tag them using your own classification system.

Classifying articles in different categories helps locate them quickly. Use Google’s RSS reader for reading and tagging the RSS feeds. You will have access to your categorized articles from any computers connected to the Internet.

2. Subscribe to a few print magazines and read them regularly. After you finish reading an article, record the main points of the article in a Google note. You will have access to these notes anywhere in the World.

3. Use a PDA and carry it with you wherever you go. Better yet, get a PDA with a camera and cell phone. You will only carry one gadget for all your communication, organization, and content generation needs.

Take pictures of interesting places, events, and moments you come across in your daily life. Use the voice recorder of the PDA to record whenever an idea hits you. Every night, transfer the ideas from your PDA to Google notes and upload your pictures to flickr.

4. Scan through the comments posted by others on the online articles you read regularly. Record interesting ideas, pros and cons of an issue, and strong opinions posted by others in your Google notes. Leverage the wisdom of the crowd.

5. Have lunch with friends at least once a week. Bounce ideas off them on any topic. Mix ideas from divergent topics to create new ideas in you own subjects.

6. Use the time like driving, watching TV while exercising in a treadmill, etc. to think about your favorite topics and try to relate to things you observe on the road and on the TV. When you get an idea, record it in your PDA.

7. Go through all the ideas and articles you have recorded in Google notes and your RSS reader to create new ideas by giving new twists to the old ideas. Combine two or more ideas and change or improve an existing idea to come up with your own idea.

8. Use a variety of online tools like Technorati, Digg, Delicious, etc. for writing inspiration. Every hour, hundreds of new articles and news stories are posted in these sites. Check Yahoo’s buzz log to find out what people are talking about and searching for. Quickly scan them to hit a few gold nuggets that can serve as springboards for new ideas.

9. Using on-line tools discussed earlier, select an issue and jot down all the pros and cons. Search Google to enhance the idea by adding more pros and cons. Once you have collected a dozen diverse opinions, you will be able to write an article based on those facts in a pro-con format.

10. If you are good at using data for analysis and comfortable in the use of a spreadsheet, draw charts in the spreadsheet and look for patterns in the data. Provide you own interpretation to the data. Illustrate your articles with charts and graphs.

11. To generate topics for your article, use overture keyword selector. Select a single keyword and run it through the overture. You will see a dozen or more keywords based on the search popularity. Copy a few selected keywords to a notepad. Now, take each keyword and do a search in online sites like Digg, Technorati, etc. You will see a number of articles. Read them to generate ideas.

12. Ask yourself what if, what else, and why not questions on an issue and search the Internet to find answers from different sources. Create new ideas generated from existing materials, provide step-by-step guide for somebody to practice an obvious idea, or offer benefits of practicing an old idea.

10 Rules to Keep Your Website Visitors Engaged

Do you know that most visitors leave a website within 10 seconds of landing on the home page? And they may never return to the same site. To keep your website visitors stay longer, you need to engage them. Follow these 10 simple rules to build a set of core loyal visitors who will return to your site frequently.

1. If you have a brick-and-mortar business and you want an online presence, don’t just hand over your printed brochure to the web developer for your site’s contents.

2. Get good text, picture, and video contents related to your products or services and organize them into categories for your website publication. How do you get contents? You can ask your kids to write contents for you. Today’s kids are information savvy and know how to do research on right topics. They can help take pictures and videos of your products and provide narrations. If you cannot leverage your kids talents and you don’t have time to develop contents, buy them from online sources, like distributors of private level rights to articles and stock photographs. You need a small content set to launch your web site.

3. Ask your developer for some sample websites he has developed in the past and review them. If you find clutter, music, unprofessional graphics, etc. in those sites, run away from the developer. Tell your web developer to use basic search engine optimization techniques for your web site. Use a developer who uses content management systems (CMS) to develop websites. You or your kids and spouse will be able to maintain and add contents regularly to an CMS without much efforts.

4. You must have an About US page in your website that explains the expertise of your company and your unique selling proposition. Also, you should provide a phone number and an e-mail address for contact.

5. Publish a weekly tips section in your website. If you are in a business for a long time, you have a wealth of knowledge about your business, market, and technologies involved in your business. Make it a habit of jotting down one tip every day. You will have plenty of tips for your weekly publication.

6. Don’t use guest books, testimonials etc. These are so Web 1.0 concepts. Use a forum. Let your customers interact among themselves. Develop a value network. You get into the insights of your customers’ minds by reading their posts and your visitors know your products and services by talking to each other. As a result, you will be able to provide improved products and services and ask for a premium price.

7. Promptly answer all your visitor’s e-mail. This is one thing you should never delay. Use your visitors comments, e-mail, and other form of communications to generate ideas for new articles and tips.

8. Tell your web developer to include an RSS feed on your site and publish a filtered news related to the market you serve and emerging technologies in that market. Don’t use a weather report. Nobody comes to your site to check the weather.

9. Publish a frequently asked questions related to your products and services. It helps save your visitors’ time and efforts when they are looking for information on a particular topic related to your website.

10. Did you know that the average person must be exposed to an offer around seven times before they will make a purchase? Make your website an advertising platform for your most popular items. Advertise them through out your site but don’t use any ‘in-your face advertising’ techniques. You can use side bars for this type of advertising with interesting anecdotes, pictures, etc. Be creative and use your imagination.

Your website is your publishing medium. It is not your online catalog. You want repeat visitors who spend their time at your site for valuable information. The possibility of visitors turning into a paying customers improves when they stick around your site longer.

7 Techniques to Make Your Article More Useful to Readers

Whether you are writing articles for article directories or posts for your blog, your goal should be to make them useful to readers. But, most of the articles and blog posts are full of vague generalities and they contain a pile of words and sentences meant for search engine rankings only.

If you make your contents useful to readers and strategically use a few key words to make it search engine friendly, you will not only attract search engine traffic but also develop readers’ loyalty who will promote your brand virally.

How do you make your article useful to readers? Use the 7 techniques discussed in this article to make an impact on your readers.

1. Use examples to elaborate your point. Without example the writing becomes an exercise in abstraction and many readers will not have a clue as to what you are trying to convey. You can either start with examples and than generalize message to an abstract concept or you can start with a general statement and elaborate it with examples.

If you are discussing several concepts, start with a simple example and build on the same example to illustrate all of your concepts. Switching to different examples for each of your concept, will leave the readers wondering how all the concepts you have discussed in your article relate to each other.

2. Use analogy, metaphor, and story. Analogies are very instructive and they provide insights to an unknown concept using a known concept. For example, you can explain back links by saying, ‘a back link to your website is like a vote for your site. If you have more votes than your competitors, you win. More back links to your site means higher ranking in search engine results.’

Metaphors are also used to compare two different concepts but the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ are not used in metaphors. Our every day speech is full of metaphors, e.g. ‘raining cats and dogs’, ‘old flame’, etc. Use them to liven up your prose but be cautious. Improper use may sow confusion in the reader’s mind.

If you have a personal story, use them to illustrate your point. Stories are very powerful in conveying a message. A Story resonances more in the minds of the readers than an abstract concept.

3. Enhance value by incorporating opinions. Bloggers often link to other articles and write a sentence or two to introduce a topic. While this is a good practice in letting your readers know what others are thinking in the related topics, you can enhance the value of the post by including your opinions and inviting others to post their own thoughts in the comment section.

4. Use Quotes from Authoritative Writings. You may already know about the value of using quotes from your college essay writing class. Quotes from authoritative figures help increase the value of your opinion and thoughts. You can proclaim that you are not the lonely person who has this crazy thought, but lots of respected people do agree with your insights.

5. Use illustrations and charts. You can use this technique in Squidoo lenses, Hubpages and in your own blog posts. This technique may not be possible for general article marketing sites because of the popular article directories don’t allow images and videos in the article.

Some concepts are difficult to explain using words only. However, a simple illustration helps readers grasp the concept easily. Readers can also easily remember a chart than a few paragraphs of a blog post.

You don’t have to be a graphic artist to create useful illustrations. Use MS PowerPoint or other free chart software to create your charts. Use screen captures when writing a ‘how to article’ about the use of software.

6. Write Pros and Cons. Most articles discuss only one side of a topic; either the writer is for or against it. Why no use both sides of the coin? Share your opinions about why it is good for your readers and what your readers should be cautious about while using or implementing the concept in your article.

7. Let your article sit for a day or two. Don’t rush to submit your articles to all the article directories as soon as you finish writing it. Wait for a day or two and read the articles again to see if you can add or modify some thing to make it more useful to your readers.

Does your article provide any useful information to readers to make their life better? It does not always have to be materialistic gains for your readers. Even if you can share humor or inspiration with your readers using your prose, you have achieved your goal of providing value by your writing.

In the web information is cheap but valuable information is few and far between. If you do your part in making your readers happy, you will be recognized as an expert in your field and money will flow.

5 Must Have Sources for Writing Articles that Attract Traffic

Are you getting ideas for writing your articles from the article directories? If you answer positively, you are not giving any valuable information to your readers. You are just rehashing published materials and spamming the article directories.

Whether you are writing for blogs or article marketing, you must come up with new ideas constantly to create valuable contents that will benefit your readers now and in the future. Coming up with new ideas from the thin air is difficult and time consuming.

If you know quality sources that help you generate new ideas for your contents, you will be able to produce fresh contents that others will refer to and, thereby, help increase the number of backlinks to your posts. This article introduces five must have resources for generating new ideas.

1. Subscribe to Google Alerts. On a piece of paper, write down all the keywords and key phrases that you are passionate about and want to write about those topics. You can use a tool like Google AdWords keyword suggestion tool for researching popular keywords and key phrases.

Once you have a list of keywords, go to Google Alerts and create a Google alerts based on those keywords. Google will send you the latest relevant Google results based on those keywords. You can choose to receive the alert email once a day. You can also opt to receive alerts on topics published only in blogs and news.

2. Subscribe to Meme Tracker. Meme is a thought or behavior that passes from person to person by imitation or learning. It is like viral marketing and it propagates very fast.

Have you ever noticed how top bloggers write about the same topic using different angles? For example, when Apple released 3G iPhone, tech bloggers did not spare any time in explaining their views on the product. And thus 3G iPhone became a hot topic in the blogosphere for a few days,

Some of the popular meme tracking sites are Techmeme, Megite, Tailrank and Technorati. Tweetmeme and Twemes are meme trackers for Twitter, the most popular microblogging site. To track meme from these sites, subscribe to their RSS feeds.

The number of articles from these meme tracker sites may overwhelm your RSS reader because each day these sites track hundreds of posts. So, you need to organize all these feeds in a single folder of your RSS reader. Just scan the titles quickly few times a day and flag the post you are interested in before marking the feeds as read. Go back to the flagged posts to review them further.

3. Subscribe to Online Newspapers and Magazines. Spend a few week-ends building a list of online news papers and magazines that regularly publish topics related to your niche. And subscribe to their topic specific feeds using your feed reader. Put them in one folder and name the folder to identify it by your niche.