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If it wasn't for my blog, I wouldn't make any online sales at all.
It's true that I have a "regular" website, my so-called "main website," which I first set up to sell my goods, in this case, men's and women's health products. It's my workhorse, the source of most of my revenue. Most of my sales resulted from generic listings in the search engines, particually Google.
That is, until Google sandboxed me.
Some of you may have heard of the legendary Google sandbox, sometimes called, "The Goggle Sandbox Effect." What happens is that newly listed sites rank well for about two to three weeks, then suddenly drop off the radar screen. These new sites are placed in a type of probational sandbox, away from the "real" sites.
Why does this happen, you ask? There are almost as many theories as there are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts. Many believe that this probation period is not related to the sites themselves, but to their links. It is believed that back link (pure link popularity) credit is placed in a reserve for a period of time (2-4 months) before it is applied to ranking and has an effect. The theory behind this is to combat PR (Page Rank) purchasers from dominating PR from the beginning. It is meant to deter spam websites.
Others believe this alleged filter that is placed on new websites is an illusion. These skeptics argue that the phenomenon merely echoes already existing Google algorithm calculations.
Whatever the reason, I got sandboxed, the rug pulled out from underneath me; shiskobobbed. The high-ranking and sales that I was receiving from my site suddenly plummented.
I was devastated. What's a poor boy to do now?
Desperate, I wrote to a number of online SEO forums, seeking advice from the SEO gurus. Some thought it was amusing and laughed in my face. Others offered advice such as forgetting about Google for awhile and optimizing my site for the other search engines (not a bad idea). Others thought that I should continue adding content, since content is king as far as the search engines are concerned. Still others thought I should try to gain as many quality links as I should, and this would help pull me out of the sandbox (it felt more like quicksand to me.)
I committed to doing all these things, but in the meaintime, what about my website and the products that I was trying to sell, the money I was hoping to make?
I kept hearing about blogs, those personal websites that are published on the Web. As you probably know, blogs contain philosophical reflections, talk about social issues, and opinions about everything under the sun. They are usually presented in journal style with a new entry each day, or almost every day.
Some people have found out that blogs can also be used to sell products. In fact, an entire industry has evolved around commerical blogging and ways to market them. Some of these commerical blogs appear in the same journal style as the most popular blogs, while others do not look any different from a regular commerical website.
At any rate, I decided to check them out. The fact that a number of blog publishers allow you to build and post your comments for free, certainly didn't hurt either.
I studied many of the blogs that are out there on the Internet, particually the ones relating to my niche. The more I read, the more I liked. I was surprised to learn that some of the top websites in my niche were actually blogs. They ranked high on Google and all of the other search engines. And no doupt, they were making sales.
Soon, I had a pretty good idea about how I was going to build my blog. I didn't want to copy the others, I just needed to get an idea of how some enterprising webmasters were creating them.
Within minutes, I had created my blog, published it on the Web, and began posting and tweaking it. I inserted some HTML code to monitor my stats, and continued to work on making it a better blog. I also continued to work on my other websites, so that whenever I do climb out of Google's sandbox, my site will get a good rating.
Not long afterwards, I made my first blog sale!
Elated, I built other blogs. The more lines you have in the water, the better chance you'll catch a fish, right? Each was slightly different than the preceeding one, but I still hawked the same products. All have links back to my "main" website, and all have brought me sales.
I might have been down, but thanks to my new-found knowledge about blogs, I wasn't out.
So, while I'm waiting to climb out of Google's sandbox, I have an ace in the hole and another up my sleeve that is continuing to make sales for me - my blog. Unknowingly, I had stumbled upon one of the best ways to get my products out there before the buying public.
What I had thought was the worse thing to happen turned out to be the best thing. Had Google not sandboxed me, I probably never would have discovered the awesome marketing power of blogs!
Van Whitsett is the author of numerous articles, both online and in the print media. He has tried (and failed) with a number of Internet businesses. His latest endevour is a Wealth Building Program that is sweeping the Internet like wildfire.
MWC 2008: Samsung handsets round-up
Samsung had the longest line-up of all the manufacturers, with 12 models displayed at the Mobile World Congress show. It's enough to give anyone Samsung fatigue! Here's a recap on all the new handsets… U900 Soul – 5.0-megapixel camera, 4x zoom, image ...
MWC 2008: Samsung epitomises 'entry-level' with the J700, J150 and L170 mobiles
We're not yet done with Samsung's plethora of entry-level handsets, as the J700, J150 and L170 will surely appeal to some people doing a Google search on these rather budget models. Oh, hai, Google searchers! Starting at the left, the J700 slider model ...
Let's go digital
Let's go digital
De redactie van MSN.nl zorgt ervoor dat bezoekers dagelijks actuele en aansprekende informatie op de homepage van MSN.nl aantreffen in de meest populaire MSN Magazines Nieuws, Entertainment, Geldzaken en Auto. Zelfs een ogenschijnlijk 'saai' thema als ...
7 Tips for Successful Blogging
So, you have a blog! Do you have traffic? Do you know how to build traffic to your weblog? There are seven proven methods for building readership of your blog. They start with defining the purpose, or life, of your blog.
To Blog Or Not To Blog - A Laymans View
We have now entered the world of blogs! Sounds kind of Harry Potterish, doesn't it?If you're over 20 years old, you probably think this is some crazy sci-fi phenomenon, or I've simply lost my mind. Don't fret, the vast majority of people don't know what a blog is all about and more importantly, why it matters to them.
Are Blog Meant for Raves and Rants?
Blogging is the latest internet craze and it may turn out to be just that and killed off if the avalanche of misinformation continues. One is amazed at how an excellent online medium is promoted for all the wrong reasons.
Improving Your Customer Relationship Management by Blogging
Before I address the following questions:* What is a blog? and* What can a blog do for my business?let me pose a few "What if . .
Amazing Information About Blogging
A few months back, at the ITEA conference I saw this guy sitting next to me typing constantly into his wireless laptop. He was making notes on what the speakers had to say, was finding relevant links and then hitting the send key - instantly updating his Web site.
RSS - Will It Really Become Mainstream?
I am not one to have New Year's resolutions, but I do plan ahead. As we reached the last quarter of 2004, I decided that 2005 would be, for me, the year of article writing and RSS.
RSS, Feeds, and Aggregators
When you work online all the time, immersed in bits and bytes, hands automatically resting on the keyboard, where the lingua franca is a mish-mash of acronyms and abbreviations - it is easy to forget that the average person has no clue what we talk about. It can be very daunting for the Internet neophyte with all these terms, technology and hardware.
Your RSS Feed Might Look Like Spam
RSS feeds seem to be the breakout technology for the year. With more users turning to them for driving traffic to their site, it's no wonder that a trail of RSS feed spam is following in the wake.
Five Ways A Blog Helps You To Market Your Business
Want to advertise online without spending a fortune? Get a blog.If you're an Internet marketer, you need a blog, because:* a blog helps your site to rank higher in the search engines; and* a blog expands your customer base.
What Is A Blog?
Blogs can be described in many definitions and they are all correct.Blogs are instant publishing.
Top Ten Reason to Publish an Ezine AND a Blog
Blogs are the hottest thing going these days when it comes to marketing on the Internet. A blog is a way of delivering your messages and article to clients.
13 Steps to Successful Blogging
Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling.
A Blog Isn't Just For Christmas
I was watching the news on TV last night and there was a warning about buying puppies as Christmas presents. There's nothing worse than visiting the kennels in the new year and seeing all those unwanted dogs that were chosen as presents because they were so cute at the time.
In 1999 I asked my friends and colleagues if they blogged. The responses I received ranged from odd looks to questions about the blogging practice.
Blogging Can Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
Search engines are after one thing - providing their users with the most relevant and up to date information to match the search term that was used. Search engine results are no good to users when the information doesn't relate to the search term.
Strategies to Make Your Blog More Interesting
Putting up your business blog is an advantageous way of establishing your presence on web. It's no longer just about putting plain texts up on your blog.
Marketing With Blogs - Part 3
In part 1 and part 2 of this article series on marketing with blogs, I discussed the reasons why blogs are excellent tools for marketing, and provided some tips on using your blog to sell your products and services online.This article continues with more tips on using your blog to brand yourself and boost your reputation online.
BlogoCentric Communication: The Next Great Event in Social Evolution
Here is a pretty cool lesson in the structure and travel of information in the Blogosphere (that's bloggers on the Internet talking to each other about each other). If you haven't read the book The Tipping Point yet, then you are really missing something because it sets the foundation for how future electronic communications are going to happen in the future.
RSS & How to Use It (part 1)
Have you ever read an article, intended to explain RSS in simple terms that, begins well, but soon descends into confusing jargon or information overload? If so, take heart, I was in the same place a few months ago. Often the best way to understand something, is to use it.
Tips for Better Blogging - Promote any Product or Service
People start blogs for all kinds of reasons. Ego.
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