This month there has been a lot of interesting debate about fake stories. More specifically, the traffic they can generate and the potential damage they can do to the authors crediblity. It all started when Money.co.uk posted a story entitled ‘13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers‘. The story reported that a 13 year old ordered a credit card through his fathers existing credit card company and then treated him and his friends to a $30,000 spending spree involving him, his friends, an xbox and of course, the hookers. The story was completely fabricated though it generated a lot of traffic for the site since it was picked up by a lot of mainstream news publications (online and offline). It was also Digged about 2500 times.
The problem with this story was that it wasn’t posted on a satirical site, it was posted on a serious site about financial issues where the reader had no reason to believe that the story was fake. The author of the story was a man named Lyndon of CornWall SEO, who promotes his Linkbaiting and Social Media Optimisation service on his website. He wrote an article on his blog explaining his side of the story but later removed it. Thankfully, WiderFunnel reproduced the story on their blog (it’s worth checking out). I don’t believe the owner of Money.co.uk realised the negative side of using this traffic technique, sure he got a lot of traffic but who is going to believe the articles printed on the site from now on are true.
Are the traffic benefits from fake stories worth losing your crediblity over?
There is a great article which summarizes this whole affair on Jonathan Crossfield’s blog entitled ‘Linkbait at any Cost?‘. He rightly points to the old story of ‘The boy who cried wolf’. How can your readers trust you after you have misled them in order to get some extra traffic?
Some blogs use link bait a lot however not all link bait can be tarred with the same brush. For every good example of link bait, there is an article which generated traffic using questionable tactics. Is writing fake stories for your blog wrong, unethical or even just plain stupid? This is something where opinions can be divided but personally I wouldn’t risk losing my credibility just to get extra traffic. James Mowery from Tech in Demand feels the same way. Today he wrote an excellent article on Performancing entitled ‘A Warning to the Blogosphere About the Potential Increase of Fake Content’. In the post he explains why he has lost faith in the blogosphere with regards to credibility. Unfortunately, I have felt the same way the last few months. I have unsubscribed from a number of blogs because I have lost faith in their integrity, whether it was because of a fake story or whether the author was completely raving about a product just to make some commissions.
An example of a fake story backfiring
Around the start of April, Jim Kukral, Sam Harrelson and Shawn Collins decided to create a fake spat between them all. They all openly threw mud at each other on each others blog and critized Jim’s new site TwitterMeThis. If you want to how it developed then please read the post I wrote about it all in April.
So what happened? Well, they later let everyone know that the whole thing was staged. Some commenters suggested that it was probably fake at the time but others did believe it and unsubscribed from the authors blogs because they were disappointed with them. I have to hold my hands up and say that even though I read others saying it was probably fake I did actually think the spat was true because after subscribing to Jim and Shawns blog for a few months I didn’t think they would be stupid enough to create something like this. I’m not sure if they created the spat for a laugh or if they did it to gain some extra traffic but in my opinion it backfired as it hurt their credibility.
Crediblity is something which is very delicate. It can take years to build up a good reputation and minutes to throw it all down the toilet. I am not disputing that some web developers have benefited from marketing fake stories to promote their sites however in my opnion it’s something top bloggers should avoid like the plague.
It’s also very important to check the reliability of a news source before you report it (sometimes this isn’t always as easy as you think). You may find you have to apologise to your readers if you report a story which turns out to be fake, at the very least you would have to explain what happened.
From a collective point of view an increase in fake stories will definately hurt the credibility of blog writers. Top news agencies might be more reluctant to link to articles on blogs, at the very least they will scrutinize them more. James Mowery made a good point when he said that ‘Bloggers are beginning to prove why journalists still have jobs’.
So what do you think. Are fake stories hurting Bloggers Credibility?
For reference, here is a list of the articles mentioned in this post :
- 13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers
- Something is wrong on the Internet
- Linkbait at any Cost?
- A Warning to the Blogosphere About the Potential Increase of Fake Content
- The best example of linkbait this week
- Twit VS Twat
- Let Ideas Simmer
How to Turn Your Blog into a Profitable and Registered Company
Blogs are everywhere. Some of them are great and some of them are worthless. With more than a billion different websites and blogs on the internet today, you can see how it’s easy to get lost in the mix, while also understanding how quick and simple it can be to start a blog of your own.
However, there are a select few that will actually provide value to individuals on the internet and not only will they start generating a decent amount of traffic and search rankings, they could also start making a decent amount of money as well.
This is often through the use of affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, paid placements and sponsorships, or even writing content and eventually coming out with products and services of their own.
It doesn’t matter where or how your blog is making money, it just matters that it is. And in order for a blog to make money, it will soon likely need to be registered as a business.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important things you will need to remember when turning your blog into a profitable company — both in the United States and around the world.
What Type of Blog Company Do You Want to Start?
When it comes time to start your business, there are many different things you will have to consider — such as what type of company you want to create. This will depend on a number of factors, such as how much money your blog is making, if you are the sole owner, and also if you have a team of founders and how you might need to pay other employees or break up shares of the company.
The most common titles to register a blog as a company are LLC, Corp and INC. When you get even more detailed, you will find that you can also register your company as a S Corp or C Corp — which individually file taxes differently based on how the company funds are managed.
With all of these different titles and company types in place, it can be quite confusing for anyone just starting out. To help with the decision process, be sure to run through the infographic below, which provides the many advantages and disadvantages to going with a Private Limited Company, a Sole Proprietorship, or an LLP.
Before making a decision on your own, it’s best to contact your attorney or legal counselor for final confirmation and advise. You may also want to consider starting your blog as a company in a different state than the one you currently live in.
Delaware is a popular state for companies to register in, due to their tax and company restrictions and benefits that other states don’t offer.
Best Places to Start a Business Outside of the United States
If you have the ability to run a website or blog from the comfort of your own home, you may want to consider moving to a better location. This could be somewhere you always wanted to live or visit, someone that is cheaper to live, or even another country that is more business friendly.
According to a recent survey and article from USANews, Thailand, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Canada all ranked among the top seven locations to start a business in the world today. With so much attention on these countries and business in the world today, it’s no wonder that bloggers are eagerly making the jump from the United States to other countries — while also not having to change much about their sites or business model in the process.
However, just like there are different business and company entities that you need to choose from, you will also need to understand the different regulations for each of the countries listed above as well.
For example, if you want to start a company in Singapore, you would have to register the new company and also have at least one shareholder and a maximum of fifty shareholders within the company living in the same country.
Another scenario is if you wanted to form a company in Germany. Since it’s already part of the EU, you are going to have some big compliance and regulation issues that you need to abide by. For one, you would need to make sure you register the company within Germany, and also have an office, a bank account, and a local accountant within the same country as well.
Switzerland is another name that has always been popular with finances, banking and business as well. Bloggers that want to make the leap from any other location in the world and run their company from Switzerland, will need to make sure they fill out all of the necessary form, have the right specimen signatures, passport copies and relevant documents. As Switzerland is one of the most sought after locations to live and start a business, it also has one of the most complex business registration processes as well.
No matter where you want to run your blog business, it’s important to research the regulations of each country before making any sudden changes. The last thing you want is to make a big move and then have your business come to a halt and no longer have any incoming funds, or have the business be closed of seized by another country government.
Blogging is a Business that can Take You Anywhere!
As mentioned earlier, if you already have a successful blog or online business, then you likely already know and understand the advantages of being able to work from your home computer or laptop.
However, life is short and the amount of money you make is important as well.
If the idea of turning your blog into a legitimate business is in the cards, then you should definitely take the leap and go for it.
At the same time, if you aren’t happy with where you are living in the world either, be sure to explore your options for that as well.
5 Proven Methods to Get More Attention and Engagement on Your Blog
Whether you’re choosing to blog for business or pleasure, your number one priority should be to attract as many people to your page as possible. If you haven’t noticed much traffic on your blog lately, there are various things that you can do to help increase your readership.
Some of the most obvious ways to improve traffic and engagement on your site, is to have better content and a custom social media sharing strategy in place. These two components alone can result in thousands of new visitors to your site daily.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways to make your blog get real attention.
Establish Your Audience
If you don’t know who your target audience are, it can be difficult to know what sort of content to publish on your blog. Understandably, you will want as many people as possible to not only check out your page, but become loyal followers, so taking the time to understand your audience is important. The last thing you want is to spend hour after hour curating content for it to not be seen.
If you’re blogging for business, a great way to find out your target audience is by setting up your own Facebook business page. Make sure to link your blog on the page so customers know where to go for more information about your company.
In fact, Famoid recommends the following ten metrics and methods to be used when trying to grow and improve engagement through a Facebook Business Page.
- Use Multiple Forms of Media in Your Posts
- Don’t Over-Plug Your Product and Services
- Get People Involved
- Give People a Reason to Follow you
- Branding is Everything
- Thoroughly Fill Out the “About Us” Section
- Upload All of Your Videos and Photos to Your Page
- Make Sure It’s a Business Profile
- Be Responsive
- Be Consistently Active
Just like a blog, you need to make sure your social media profiles and fan pages are working for you, but also providing value to your audience. If not, users will quickly unfollow and unlike your content, while also being likely never to come back.
Post Relevant Content
Once you’ve identified your target demographic, the next step to take is to focus on what sort of content you’re posting. With so many blogs available on the internet, consumers can simply go elsewhere if they lose interest in your page, therefore, creating content that’s relevant, fresh, and eye-catching is key. Try and post images and videos on your page, rather than dominating the screen with large blocks of text. Many consumers don’t have the time or patience to sift through sentence after sentence, so you may want to consider using bullet points too.
At the end of the day, content is everything… but it’s the beginning and end all to everything. If you are creating content just for the sake of putting something out there, it’s not going to work. With more than a billion websites and blogs on the internet today, everyone needs to focus on creating the highest quality of content possible in order to not waste time and resources on just filling the internet with more clutter.
If you haven’t heard about SEO before, the chances are your blog isn’t gaining as much traffic as it could be. Search engine optimization is used to rank your blog higher in search engine results like Bing and Google. The higher your page is, the more chance you have of consumers checking out your blog. If you are a business that has multiple locations, you may want to consider using multi location SEO which can keep track of mentions of your company across the web, as well as on-page optimization.
This is especially true for local businesses or ad campaigns that are targeted to a select location or demographic audience. The better content and targeting you have in place, the more likely you can rank higher in the search results for localized terms or through social media with social sharing from locals.
Try Guest Posting
Helping other bloggers out with posts can be another great way to increase traffic to your page. Putting your knowledge and expertise to good use can not only help you build contacts through the blogging world, but it can also help draw readers in. We could all do with a helping hand, especially when starting out as a blogger, so posting links and recommendations to other bloggers can see your traffic increase.
Guest posting is still one of the best ways to get content placed on high-quality web sites and blogs, but it’s also getting quite saturated as well. For this method to work efficiently, you will need to build relationships with different websites and blogs across the internet, while also offering high-quality content in the process.
It goes without saying, if you aren’t motivated and consistent with your blog, you can’t expect consumers to stay interested. Blogging takes time and commitment, so if you aren’t passionate about your page, you won’t get very far. Major success rarely happens overnight, so being driven and staying focused with your blog is important.
Your first port of call should be to establish who your target demographic is. If you’re in business, posting content that’s relevant and informative is crucial, allowing customers to get more of an insight into what your company is all about. Using SEO to rank your page higher, staying consistent with your content, as well as trying out guest posting are just a few things you can do to make your blog get real attention.
Conquering Blogging Fears Sometimes Involves Shedding Blogging Tears
Build a list. Publish posts frequently. Guest post. Work harder.
I did all that stuff. I still struggled. You did all of it, too. Some of you at least.
But I bet you we were in the same boat years ago. Perhaps you sit in the boat of blogging despair now. You did it all. NOTHING seems to be working. Create value. Make connections. No traffic. No money. I can advise good things take time. Or I can say to be positive and be strong. In truth, being positive, patient and strong all are effective means to conquering your blogging fears.
Shedding tears is the quickest, most direct, simplest way to conquer blogging fears. Every fear is scary because fear frightens you. Crying out fears literally dissolves the fear-fuel; as tears shed, so do fears. Chip away; be present, relax, and allow fears and tears to flow in a quiet room.
Guys; until you face, feel and release fears, you cannot be generous, abundant, patient, persistent and prolific. Why? Fear is an anchor leading to:
- writer’s block
- general apathy
I can advise you to generously help people but if you feel bogged down by fear, you will ignore me because you just want to help yourself. See how far you get blogging-wise helping yourself. Expect to publish a cyber diary. Nobody reads self-centered bloggers but the blogger themselves.
Crying Leads to Shining
Last night I worked through the evening. Sickness mixed with energy surges inspired me to work then to meditate at 3 AM. Fatigue and allowing unearthed sadness in me; I cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes. Guess what? I immediately felt better, peaceful, poised, calm, grateful and generous. Perfect energy for accelerating my blogging success. But not crying out those energies creates a fear-burden sapping my generosity and abundance.
Do Not Be Tough Because Repressed Fear Leads to Endless Struggle
I have seen many struggling bloggers work 18 hour days doing smart stuff but injecting work with fear-strain-force. Guess what? Struggles ensue because you cannot get over what’s still in you. Do not be tough. Do not repress fear because fear will destroy your blogging campaign. Every struggle is fear. Every failure is fear. Feel fear – however unpleasant – to move along the struggle, to be generous, to trust and to succeed.
In my eBook: Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger
I explain thinking, feeling and acting like a pro leads to professional results. How can you think, feel and act like a pro blogger if you fear running out of money? How can you succeed if you deeply fear failure? How can you be a generous, trusting person if you feel terrified to spend time building bonds and creating content?
Fear makes you a blogging fool. Blogging fools spam people, publish thin content and fail forever until they face, embrace and release fears.
Cry it out. Seriously. I felt such a purge last night. I continue to predominantly feel amazing, light and relaxed by feeling whatever emotions arise in my being. Nobody enjoys feeling sad, but in the same vein, you will be completely blind to and fabulously ignorant of good, successful blogging advice if you feel burdened by sadness. Nobody succeeds in a happy, abundant way being saddled by fear and sadness. Let it go. Process your emotions not from logic, but from raw energy.
Once the tears go, then fears go. From that energy you are free to become a highly successful, prospering blogger because you act from an abundant, generous vibe.
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