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4 Tips to Keep Your Feeds Safe(r) from Copying

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Earlier today, Sharon posted an article that asks a simple, but profound question, Should you really unlink your feeds?.

The idea comes from Tim Maly who makes the compelling case that combining all of your content into one feed is disruptive to yourself, your friends and your readers. One of the major reasons is that it results in your content being duplicated all over the Web as search engines pick up both your source content and the feeds that you tell to pull from the sources (IE: Friendfeed).

However, there is another kind of RSS feed copying that is getting a great deal of attention and that’s the kind of copying that happens without permission. It’s the kind of RSS use, also known as scraping, that gives rise to spam blogs and other garbage sites, as well as other, more legitimate services.

So how do you prevent your feeds from being copied while still encouraging users to subscribe to your work and allow other legitimate works? There are many different approaches but here are four that you can take advantage of today, literally in the time it takes to read this post.

The Basics

From a content creator standpoint, RSS feeds are a mixed blessing. On one hand, they allow readers to subscribe to your site and get your updates delivered to them, on the downside, since they are essentially raw versions of your content with predictable formatting, it is like handing over your content on a silver platter to those who wish to use it for more nefarious reasons.

In short, whatever you put into an RSS feed, someone can trivially extract the content and place it on another site. Since all RSS feeds are formatted the same way, there’s no need for human involvement as one script can literally parse millions of feeds. This is how spammers fill up thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of spam blogs in a few a hours.

So, if you have an RSS feed for your blog, or anywhere else for that matter, it is worth taking a moment to figure out what you can do to reduce this kind of unwanted copying or at least minimize its negative impact.

With that in mind, here are four tips to help you keep your RSS feeds safe(r).

1. Use a Feed Footer

Feed footers may not prevent others from scraping your feed, but it ensures that your content is always identified wherever it appears and links back to you. A good footer should contain a link back to your copyright information (copyright symbol, year, name, site name, etc.) and a link back to your site. Don’t put warnings in the footer as it may confuse legitimate readers who are viewing the content on Google Reader or elsewhere.

There are many different WordPress plugins that can do this, including Ozh’s Better Feed Plugin, or you can simply edit your RSS files. Blogspot has a setting for feed signature that you can use to add the HTML you want.

2. Use a Digital Fingerprint

While you are working on your feed footer, take the opportunity to add a digital fingerprint to your content.

A digital fingerprint is a short but unique series of letters and numbers that defines your content (EX: “a1b2c3d4”). Ideally, if you search Google for it, no results should come up. That way, all matches for it almost certainly pertain to you scraped copies of your work.

Once you’ve done that, set up a Google Alert for your digital fingerprint and be emailed every time scraped versions of your content appear on the Web. From there, you can easily shut down most infringing sites by contacting their host.

3. Use .htaccess

Though a bit more technical in nature, if you operate your own domain and have access to your .htaccess file, you can use it to block sites that are scraping your feed.

This only works if you are self-hosted and aren’t using a third party service, such as FeedBurner, to handle your feed subscriptions. Also, you have to use a site like Domain Tools, to determine the IP address of the server. Once you do that, you can then block it from accessing your server.

However, be careful with this one, you don’t want to accidentally block legitimate readers from accessing your feed or your site.

4. Limit What is In Your Feed

It is important to remember that anything that is not in your feed can’t be scraped by most spammers. As such, if you don’t put something in your feed, it is much safer than the content that is.

On that front, consider truncating your feed. Though partial feeds are very unpopular with readers, which is why I am loathe to recommend them, it may be a good solution for sites without a lot of RSS subscribers.

Also, you may wish to look at removing images from your RSS feed Typically, spam sites not only pick those up, but hotlink them from your server. This can create a real problem for you as you are paying the bandwidth to host content on their sites. Worse still, traditional tools, such as referrer checking, causes images to break in your RSS feed as people access it via Web-based readers.

In short, if you don’t want something scraped, don’t put it in your feed.

Bottom Line

In the end, RSS feeds do bloggers far more good than they do harm. For every scraper or spammer, there are likely dozens, if not more, legitimate readers. It is much better to deal with the cases of infringement that do come up than it is to shut down an avenue to your content that many legitimate readers likely enjoy.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you should offer your content up on a silver platter with no strings attached. You can easily monitor/track content placed into your RSS feed and then either shut down or block those that choose to misuse your content.

While there’s no “one size fits all” solution to these issues, there is little doubt that there are tools available to you that you can use to protect your content while also giving to those who want it.

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Landing Page Optimization Tips for Better Conversion

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Properly designed and optimized landing pages often generate more leads than those that are poorly built. Overall layout and design of a landing page should support your compelling copy and also work great with other elements to persuade landing users to take an action you want. Whether you want to build a landing page for your next digital marketing campaign or simply want to optimize an existing one for better conversion, you can make use of the following landing page optimization tips to generate more leads.

Be Sure to Craft Convincing & Catchy Headlines

A perfect landing page always has a headline that describes an offer or product clearly. You can make a headline compelling and catchy too by adding some strong and convincing words in it. By doing so, you will successfully be able to persuade your audience to read the full copy. You can also test different headlines to find out which one works well for you.

Design Makes the Difference

A landing page sounds like a virtual shopping window for each your visitors, and if it is appealing enough to grab the attention, it will make your service, product or offer look great too for them. Simple yet creative and pleasing to eye design and a well-written copy are the most important elements of a winning landing page. These both should work together in order to encourage visitors to take action. After choosing a perfect design, you need to make sure that content is also placed in the right order to make sense. You can also visit https://landingi.com/blog/create-landing-pages-that-convert to create landing pages for better conversions.

Choose Typography Prudently

Typography can make a huge difference between an appealing and ugly landing page. That is the reason you should choose the typography for your landing pages carefully to make the content more logical to the visitors. A well formatted and easy to read copy keeps the visitors focused and also reduce the efforts required to read.

Compelling & Scannable Copy

Clean and crisp tone should be used to create a compelling copy for a landing page, in order to convey the value of your offer or product. Majority of the web users usually scan the web content to find exactly what they need to know. That’s why the copy create for a landing page should also be scannable for the visitors. Use of the different font sizes is a superb idea to differentiate between the more and less important contents of a landing page.

Optimize for Search Engines

Make your landing page appear in top search engine results by using different on-page SEO tactics. Optimizing your landing page for search engines is the best way to get a huge amount of organic visits. Creative use of target keywords in the content, personalized URL, meta tags, meta description and image alt tags are some best-known SEO practices to increase the visibility of your landing page in search engines.

An attention-grabbing CTA

You have to be careful while making and placing CTA (call to action) on your landing page because the design and location of the CTA matters a lot. The core purpose of a call to action is to get visitors excited about the offer by letting them know what they are going to get. Adding it on the page too early can irritate and even scare your visitors. So, find out the best time and location to add CTA ingeniously into the page.

A/B Test

A/B testing is the way to compare two different designs or pages in order to find out which one is more effective and fertile as well. After getting the test results, optimize each and every element of your landing page to make it work the best for you.

If you want to improve your blogging or affiliate marketing earnings and conversions, be sure to start implementing each of these methods above into your content creation and marketing strategies.

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How to Do Blogger Outreach Right

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Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.

People reach out in desperation.

Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.

I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:

  • are unknown
  • offer little value
  • want to use me and my blog for their gain
  • are not connected
  • are not influential
  • have no clout
  • have not paid their dues
  • have not helped people freely
  • have not earned the right to appear on my blog

Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.

He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.

I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?

I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.

Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs

Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.

A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.

Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.

Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.

Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.

Watch my recent live video from Thailand:

Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.

The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.

You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.

Your choice.

Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

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1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog

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10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.

Today I rely on no income streams.

I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.

Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.

Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.

But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.

The Step

Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.

But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.

Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.

Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.

Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.

Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.

Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.

I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.

Are you trading time for money, solely?

You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.

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