Tag Archive for seo

Considering Domain Selling

I’m getting less fond of the whole grrl thing. Originally I had the domain thatgrrl.com but it was hijacked. Then I bought thatgrrl.ca which I will keep forever, I’m pretty sure. Never say forever.

But, I am thinking on and off about not keeping thegrrl.com. It seems to be liked by SEO types. I’ve accepted a paid ad to run on the domain this year and an invite to renew it next year. But…

I’ve never sold a domain and it seems I shouldn’t just leave this one to be picked up by someone who will do nothing with it. My old thatgrrl.com is has been a dead end ever since they hijacked it. Sad to see it made into a spam page after all the thought I put into choosing just the right domain name for me, at the time anyway.

Has anyone sold a domain before? How did it go? How did you decide what to sell it for? Did you have regrets later?

I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.

ThatGrrl.ca

Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

Applying to Lifehacker

I’m Laura. ASCII artist, stick figure cartoonist, urban and rural explorer of abandoned places – these are a few of the things I am doing when I’m not writing. I began as a web writer in 1998 but I started online in 1996, an IRC diva. I think I am a great fit for Lifehacker because I have experience, stamina (I was an editor at Dmoz over ten years), creativity, originality and inspiration. I’ve also been a copy editor and forum moderator so I can write and self edit my work quite well. I love finding new things online: new gadgets, new sites, new ways to use what we already have. I’m not the most organized person so I look for anything to help me with that.Some things work and some don’t but I try them. Once a year I reformat my hard drive to make sure I’m not left with any nasty critters from my experimentation. I’m teaching my Mother to use the computer. It takes patience, a lot of simple words, straight forward answers and I’m usually repeating the same things over a few times before she actually listens but we are making progress. I’m Sagittarius, I just feel the need to teach the world.

WordGrrls (http://wordgrrls.com) is my site for web writers. Originally I used it to stash content I had written for BackWash, WZard.com, HerPlanet, LockerGnome, BellaOnline and Suite101. On WordGrrls I post (daily) creative writing prompts, writing inspiration, web publishing ideas and generally my point of view about anything to do with keeping a space for yourself on the web. There is a flood of information for SEO and marketing your blog but the writing itself is being put on the backburner. I bring the writing back into the lime light. I love writing and even making lists of topics to write about. A bit crazy. Currently I am working through a mild addiction to WordPress plugins. I have found several I like for odds and ends but I’ve yet to find just what I want for displaying a featured past post.

I’m located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Not the US but I was once married to an American and spent a few years living in Illinois, does that count?

Right now I am not employed, trying the work from home plan but still mostly just unemployed. I have a lot of availability. Usually I am online in the evening when it is quiet and dark and I can pretend I’m far more mysterious than I really am.

How to Really Make Money from Blogging?

In reply to Ben’s post about money making online:

The click me ads are never going to make big money cause they have had their time and now it’s gone. People don’t even look at the ads any more. Sidebar content may as well not exist unless it is something personal. I do find people notice my flickr badge which shows photos I have taken. But, the rest of the stuff on my sidebar may as well just be there for me. Which, most of it is.

I used to think the best way to use the Internet was the traditional way, the Information highway. But the highway is clogged up with billboards and you can’t always find the highway through the signage.

Freelancing is great. If you can do that. I freelance but do not find the Internet useful in this. No one ever found my resume online except those who came to spam my email. So, not exceptionally useful.

These days I think the best way for a company/ business to use the Internet is to give information about themselves, offer sales/ coupons and such. But, don’t hope people will find you. Bring the people to your site. Offer the link on business cards, flyers, and so on. The Internet can be information storage. The highway is just a traffic jam now.

Professional Newbies

I’m getting a little irked with “professional” bloggers who don’t know a damn thing about writing, maintaining or creating a blog. Try using a dictionary if you want anyone to take you seriously. Don’t know how to fix an error on your template? Then do not call yourself a professional blogger until you can load a new template and make it work.

Learn some CSS and HTML code, call it XHTML if you like. Learn how to spell basic words like “a lot”( it is not one word). Learn how to use the [shift] key so you can capitalize proper names for things and people.

Far too many money-making, SEO and topical bloggers label themselves professional without knowing anything more than how to type. Being able to type does not make you a competent blogger. Some of them would not even rate amateur.

I think there should be an official Dust Bunny Award for Professional Boggers. People who type a blog proclaiming themselves professional, experts.

Maybe I’m being a little hard on them. But, they make it beyond silly to proclaim themselves professionals while I can find 3 spelling mistakes (or typos) in their most recent post. Can’t we get a browser feature that closes these kind of blogs just as it does the pop up windows? Can’t we be spared from the Professional Boggers?

The "Successful" Blog

People talk about having a successful blog. Most of those people are the money making, SEO, business bloggers. That’s fine for them to measure success in terms of number, scores, ranks and ads (sometimes even revenue). It’s not for me.

I don’t blog for those reasons so my success isn’t measured that way. I blog for personal reasons and success isn’t really what I’m looking for from this blog. Often I write to hear myself think. I draw to keep myself working on understanding how to draw, learning by doing. I wished I could draw for a long time and suddenly, once I actually started doing it, I realized I could. A personal achievement. That’s a successful blog for me.

I love exploring, decorating, and meeting people through my blog. Posting my photos of flowers, abandoned farm houses. Making changes to my template, taking a risk on them totally bombing and then fixing them again. Having new people comment on what I have done here and visiting them in return for more ideas of what I can do and in some cases making a personal connection that I want to keep and grow. Those are things that make a successful blog for me.

Success isn’t really the right word though.

I joined up Entrecard as an experiment, something new to try. I like joining new sites and networks and learning a bit about how they work. Seeing if there is something that will interest me about it. Entrecard has become partnered with SezWho. I don’t think it is a site I would have joined if it wasn’t for the partnership with Entrecard. I really don’t like the idea of rating/ scoring comments given to my blog posts. That seems very arrogant. I don’t want to do it. If I can automatically set it to score every comment at 100% I will do that. I moderate my comments and filter out any junk. Every other comment I fully appreciate and don’t feel I have the right to sit and judge them. A comment is freely given and should not be something that falls to the “successful” blogging scheme.

I’ve set up SezWho for those who want to score big with this. It seems like a get points quick scheme and little of real value to me. But, I am giving it a try, for now.

Online Marketing to Old Rules Won’t Work

Let go of some of your old marketing ideas. Look around you, smell the coffee. This is the Internet and the format is not the same as offline.

In the past bludgeon-them-till-they-scream marketing may have worked. Out of one hundred telemarketing calls you may have caught someone on the right day and gotten them to sign up for your service. That won’t work for email. It is too easy to delete it, unread and thus, unheard. Even auto deleted, untouched by human hand or eye.

Standard marketing will not work online because people online are being flooded with the stuff every day and in just about every way someone has thought up. The past several years of marketing online with constant onslaughts of spam have trained people how to not look at ads on websites. Think of the last site you were on. What ads did you look at, do you remember anything about them?

There are more ads and ad schemes online than on any other media. In one hour of time online looking at websites, checking email or using forums you will encounter easily double the amount of ads you would if you were watching TV, reading a magazine or listening to the radio. Read a book, that is one way to get away from ads (except for other books).

So the marketing plan online is ineffective and needs to be revamped. It may work on that thousand and first person to view your ad or be attacked by your marketing campaign to flood a social network. Meanwhile, what about that thousand people you just annoyed? There has to be a better way. Something more effective for your cost and your time and your energy.

I don’t have the magic answer or the magic beans or the goose that lays golden eggs. But, I do know the old methods which are still being used are just turning the Internet into a wasteland. It’s getting harder to find something to read versus something to ignore. Someone is going to come up with the marketing plan that works. Why can’t it be you?

Instead of trying to get other bloggers to trade meaningless links with you and instead of trying to get everyone on a social network as your fake friend – come up with something new. The time it takes to find a better way will win you far more than clinging to the old ways. Be an entrepreneur instead of a follower.

7 Random Things About Me and One Mini Rant

Mummified Times Five tagged me. She has one of the most colourful blogs on EntreCard, I have always liked pink and orange together. :)

Seven Random Things About Me:

1. I’m more girly and romantic than I would admit to anyone face to face. I really do like pink, yellow and orange, though red is still my favourite.

2. There are days when I get to work and realize I forgot to brush my teeth… and my hair. Luckily I carry a comb in my purse or usually a clip I can stuff it all up into.

3. My favourite reading at the moment is paranormal romance though I would never pass up a good science fiction. If you’re looking for a good paranormal author try: Michelle Rowen, Kelley Armstrong, Lynsay Sands, or Kerrelyn Sparks. Life or Something Like Bit can give you the real scoop on paranormal romances.

4. I seldom buy a new book from the bookstore, usually get them second hand. But when I do get a brand new book I always go back into the pile for the third one on the shelf. I want to make sure it still has that new book smell and no dog earred cover.

5. I started colouring my hair this year. It’s still weird to catch my reflection and see myself with a hair colour different than the one I grew up with. Almost like having a different face. I tried to match my real colour but it doesn’t seem to come out exactly as it is shown on the box.

6. I have my bedroom fully set up now. Messy, but fuctional. I’ve got the computer on my desk, the TV on my bookshelves (radio too) and my bed in the corner. It’s like my own corner of the universe in here. I never leave for hours at a time.

7. If I won the lottery I would not take another job working for someone else. I understand why the rules are there but I’m really tired of trying to follow all of them when some of them just don’t make sense in day to day practical situations. People need to listen to and think about marketing less and people more.

I read an article about buzz (word of mouth marketing), how people are turning themselves into commercials. This goes far beyond the guy walking around as a human billboard. How can you trust a friend who has her mind on how she can work selling you insurance and hair gel and a pyramid scam into the conversation more than she is actually listening to you? That whole buzz thing just makes me feel kind of sick. Like the worst of the Internet and weblogs is coming out of the computer and into the real world now. How would you react if you were spammed by your friend over coffee one day?

A Siting We Will Go

Just decided to add my site to Yahoo today. Seems they never have any results for me when I look in the directory. Yahoo wrote back a nice thank you after I set my site up there.

Thank you for taking the time to suggest your site!

We thrive on user suggestions; they make up the bulk of the sites we visit as we build the Yahoo! Directory.

I’m also doing meta tags. Blogger doesn’t even suggest adding them. Maybe they aren’t so necessary any longer. But, when I was editing the web directory I liked using them to find the title and description for a site. If they had meta tags the information would fill in automatically for me. You can find sites that show you what to type in and you just need to change it to your own site’s information. Or, you just type in your information and get the code you need. Nice and simple.

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