Using LeapFish for SEO

Yes, I’m doing the LeapFish $100,000 Cash Dash. Yes, you get points (raffle tickets) for doing blog posts and making videos about LeapFish. Yes, they are giving away prizes (iPads, MacBook Pro’s, Samsung TV’s & cash awards) to contestants.

I’ve explored high and low all over the LeapFish website and one of the more interesting things I’ve discovered is the ability to add your own links to your LeapFish Social Profile page, using whatever anchor text you want. This can provide some excellent link juice for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Watch the screencast video below to find out more.

As you can see from the video, LeapFish allows users to register and create a free “LeapFish Social Profile”. On the “Edit Social Profile” page, near the bottom, there is a section that allows you to add hyperlinks.

I’ve checked the Google Page Rank for www.leapfish.com and it comes up with a Page Rank of 6. This is good. Getting links from a PR 6 website can be very valuable and can certainly help you gain higher rankings in Search Engine Result Pages for a certain keyword or keyword set that you are targeting.

The source code on the leapfish social profile page also shows that it’s a legitimate hyperlink. There is no “nofollow” attribute added to the hyperlinks, which means that the search engines should give them value.

It also appears that you can added an unlimited number of links, which is pretty cool. So check it out and gain some SEO benefits from LeapFish.

See my post from yesterday for a more thorough overview and explanation of the LeapFish Cash Dash contest.

28 Day Blogging Challenge wrap up

28 days ago, I jumped in on the 28 day blogging challenge, along with many other bloggers. It all started with Scott Bishop’s pledge to blog 28 days in a row in order to increase traffic and readers on his blog.

what-to-blog-about

I highly enjoyed the challenge on some days and on other days, it strained me. Like Tyler Hurst, I found that quite a few of my posts were “forced”, in order to meet the one post per day quota. These forced posts could have been much better, or skipped altogether.

Even so, I still came away with some posts that I really liked and some that also attracted a good amount of attention. With that said, here are my favorite posts that I wrote over the course of the challenge.

My favorite 28 day challenge posts

1) Gowalla for Android – This was a post about a Gowalla beta application for Android. It was picked up by TechCrunch and a slew of Android news websites. Lots of good back-link juice attained.

2) Why do you Yelp? – A post on Why I use Yelp and why I review businesses on the social user-review website. This post garnered a few good comments.

3) My blogging history – A look back at how I got started with blogging, on Geocities.

4) Why do you blog? – A post that examines my motivations for blogging, for sharing ideas, for joining the online conversation.

5) Operation wine smuggle – This one was just fun.

Wrap up

28 day challenge, you were fun and you were also annoying at times. All in all, it was a worthy project, but I’m certainly happy that I no longer “have to” come up with a post every day. It did go pretty quick though, and I’m actually surprised that the time is already up.

Up next: I’ll focus on some important non-content related items for this site. Mainly, switching to a theme that is more SEO friendly and that doesn’t ignore my specified permalink settings.

Mining blog ideas from your Twitpics

As I discussed in my post, What to blog about, I’ve always got a list of topics queued up that I would like to write about.

But not everyone does…

Stir up blogging ideas from your own photos

If you’re one of those people that is looking for inspiration or searching for a topic to blog about, why not take a look at your own Twitpics? If the image was interesting enough to share on Twitter, it might be interesting enough to warrant it’s own blog post.

I do this all the time.

drink-coffee-poster-US-Egg-p

The photo above is a poster on the wall at a US Egg restaurant, which I shared via Twitpic. This poster pic could’ve inspired a blog post on why coffee is good or bad, a post asking whether or not coffee makes you do stupid things, a post about coffee alternatives or whatever else you can come up with.

Twitter is a constant stream of updates and only a small percentage of your followers will actually see your Twitpics or photos. Blogging about those images will get them out to a larger audience.

Don’t stop there

Take a look at all of your online activity. Anything you do can turn into food for your next blog post. A great photo on Flickr, a great conversation on Twitter, a comment you made on another site, just about anything…

Use your own momentum, use your own activity and the posts will keep on flowing.

My blogging history

Today, I decided to take a look back at my online history over the years and how I got started with creating content in this crazy online world of the interwebz.

My first website

One of my first, if not the first, site that I put online, was a webpage at Glendale Community College (GCC). At the time, I was the proud owner borrower of the not-so-sexy address gecko.gc.maricopa.edu/~wanovack/index.htm. This was sometime in early 2001.

maricopa-wanovack-500

Screenshot via archive.org

The image above only shows the final iteration of what that site looked like and unfortunately, archive.org doesn’t have any of the previous versions preserved.

I had some text, hyperlinks, background color and even an image (fancy) on the right. The image is unavailable as it wasn’t archived.

Judging from the screenshot, it looks like I was primarily interested in comedy and skateboarding at the time.

But, as you can see from the unnecessarily huge text located top-center, this page was no longer relevant as I began using Geocities as my primary web space.

Moving into the Geocity

Geocities-Wesociety-OG-500

By April of 2001, I had setup my very own Geocities site. Ahhh, the drag and drop of Geocities’ Java based “Page Builder” app. Quite buggy, but it worked adequately enough.

My first blog

My Geocities website was my first blog. I actually had a “News” page where I would write updates about my life, with the date stamp manually entered above each entry. The URL was distributed to my friends and family, who would visit my site, read my updates occasionally and leave comments on my guestbook.

Over the years, my Geocities page changed a bit, but it kept the main features of a News page, photos, a guestbook and links to external sites that interested me.

Below is a screenshot of the final iteration of my Geocities site, before Yahoo decommissioned Geocities in October 2009.

Geocities-Wesociety-Final-500

The age of the Content Management System

After abandoning my Geocities sites, I moved on to bigger and better things, grabbing my own domain name and setting up a website running on Postnuke.

Eventually, I transitioned to WordPress, which I now use as the primary platform on the majority of the sites that I own, including WesleyTech, PhoenixNorthgate, this site and a few others.

How did you get started blogging?

Why do you blog?

Why-do-you-blog

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m participating in Scott Bishop’s 28 day blogging challenge.

What are your blogging goals?

Many of the 28 day challenge participants are working to increase their page views, increase their subscriber base, make more money from their blog, etc. And while all of these items are worthy goals, I’m not focused on any of that for this blog.

So why am I doing it? Simply…

for my own enjoyment.

I blog for me

As I mentioned in my guest post on JohnChow.com, Real life lessons from Dear Me: A Blogger’s Tale, blogging can be therapeutic. It’s educational (for learning & teaching), it’s expressive, it’s creative, it’s conversational and it’s fun. It is your own personal broadcasting platform to the world!

I’ve been writing for many different sites for a long time, and most of those sites have a very specific purpose or a confined set of topics. I write about technology, I write about my neighborhood community and I write for a few other sites that I’m not going to list here.

Freedom

This little personal blog of mine has no confines. No topic is off-limits and no subject is out of bounds. There are no pre-defined formats, nor are there a strict set of categories that limit my scope.

No rules, no confines? That can be a very liberating concept.

Why do you blog?

Photo credit: Marco Bellucci

It’s Monday and I’m ready to rock

Another Monday, another start to the standard work week for the majority of Americans.

I’m ready to rock!

Get a real guitar dude!
Get a real guitar dude!

But this post isn’t really about Monday, or rocking out.

What it’s really about is cheesy motivational sayings, tweets, posters, quotes, etc.

I gotta wonder if I’m in the minority, but I get nuthin out of empty “motivational” bytes. If there’s a person constantly tweeting out quotes on Twitter, I tend to un-follow them.

So what motivates me? What inspires me? People doing things, people writing, people talking.

So instead of posting quotes, do something. Even if it’s “just” writing for 28 days straight. Thanks to Tyler for bringing the 28 day challenge to my attention.

What to blog about

I often hear that many people have a hard time finding things to blog about or that they don’t have any ideas for a blog post.

I am the opposite. I always have too many ideas, too many blog topics, too many photos & videos that I need to turn into posts.

what-to-blog-about

In the near future, I plan on posting about how and where I get some of my blogging inspiration, but until then, if you’re searching for blogging ideas, you may want to check out 100 blog topics from Chris Brogan (which I stumbled upon via Clintus), 101 posting ideas from IHelpYouBlog and 100 ways to find ideas from LifeSnips.

If you blog regularly, do you have a tough time finding things to write about? If you do get “blogger’s block”, what helps you find post ideas?