How To Build A Blog

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         “How To Build A Blog With 1000+ Subscribers”

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My name is Alexis Kenne and I’m the owner of . Over the last few months I’ve gone from

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being a LOSER affiliate to finally starting on the path of becoming a
SUPER AFFILIATE and Expert Blogger!

I shared some of my experiences on my blog

I quickly realized how important was a mailing list in an online
business. I then did everything to learn in the shortest time possible
to send a ton of free targeted traffic to my main site at and to my blog plus by making some
small split tweaks to my conversions (opt-in rates) I’ve also managed
to capitalize on the amount of traffic I do get.

More Traffic = More Opt-ins = More Sales

If you are struggling to get traffic to your site and /or struggling to
      make money online then I can help. Check out my site for
      access to my free affiliate marketing success kit, or visit my
      blog for some of the hottest affiliate marketing and traffic
      driving tips.

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One last thing before you begin reading the rest of the guide, I
actually offer a FREE 7 day ecourse on how to make money
blogging. You can get access to it at

                       Additional Useful Links

                   My Facebook Fan Page
                      My Twitter Page
                    My Youtube Channel
                  My Articles at ezinearticles
                    My LinkedIn Account

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Table of Contents

     The 4 Keys to Building a Popular Blog                6

     Guest Blogging                                       9

     Narrow Connections                                   18

     Proitise Content                                     24

     Dominate Search                                      35

     Recommended Resources                                53

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           The 4 Keys to Building a Popular Blog

     I generally like to stay away from “boxing” certain tactics as the
     only ones you need in order to build a successful website.
     There are literally hundreds of ways to grow your audience, as
     many lists online will show you. Just because there are a lot of
     ways to do something though, it doesn't mean that you should
     try to focus on all of them, or even most of them. There is a lot
     of common advice out there which I rarely recommend, such

     • Commenting on other blogs
     • Building your Facebook fan page
     • Submitting articles to directories
     • Following all of the bloggers in your niche on Twitter

     These are all things which can help you to grow your blog, but
     in this report I'm not going to solely recommend a single one of
     them. It's not because they don't work, it's just that there are far
     better uses of your time. Though I get to work for myself, I'm
     still a very busy guy when it comes to my social life, hobbies,
     and working on other projects. I don't have all day to work on
     my blog, but thankfully you I don't need it. And neither do you.
     My minimalistic four-step approach to growing your blog is both
     simple and highly effective.
     The real four keys to becoming an A-list blogger are:

     1. Guest Blogging
     2. Narrowing Your Connections
     3. Making Content Your Priority
     4. Dominating Search Engines

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     I didn't get lucky one day and find that these four things were
     working well for me. I proactively used them on multiple
     websites and had a lot of success doing so. I've also coached,
     one-on-one, dozens of bloggers who have used this quadrant
     strategy in order to have more blogging success than they ever
     thought possible.
     By focusing on just these four things, there are a lot of direct
     and indirect benefits to be had:

     • Guest Blogging

          Direct: Backlinks
          Direct: Traffic
          Indirect: Search engine traffic
          Indirect: Brand exposure

     • Narrow Connections

          Indirect: Links from other blogs
          Indirect: More Facebook fans
          Indirect: More Twitter followers
          Indirect: Affiliates for your products

     • Prioritise Content

          Direct: More value for your blog readers
          Indirect: More traffic from StumbleUpon
          Indirect: More traffic from Twitter
          Indirect: Links from other bloggers
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     • Dominate Search Engines

          Direct: Targeted website visitors
          Direct: More product sales
          Indirect: More blog subscribers
          Indirect: Stronger brand recognition

     Hopefully you can start to see how just focusing on these four
     things, can have a massive affect on your overall blog-growth
     strategy. There's a reason it works for me time and time again.
     Let's look at this quadrant in more detail, shall we?

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     Guest Blogging

     I try not to sound too egotistical when I say this, but I really
     have increased the use of guest posting as a marketing tactic,
     simply because I have had a lot of public success withit. I’ve
     been interviewed about marketing using guest posts over 10
     times, I’m mentioned on the homepage of a guest posting
     community and I’ve written far more of them than I care to
     Because of this, I feel I’m probably one of the best people to
     cover this subject in detail. If you’re wondering what guest
     posting is or why you should even care about it then you’ve
     been missing out. You’ve seriously been unaware about one of
     the best marketing tactics available today. Thankfully, you're
     reading this report so you have time to utilise this strategy
     before it is too late.

     Why Guest Blog?

     If you’re wondering about the “what’s?” or “why’s?” of guest
     blogging then they’re going to be covered here. To begin with,
     let’s explain what guest blogging actually is. In it’s simplest
     form, guest blogging is the exchange of content from one
     blogger to another, for a site which the author does not own.
     In essence, someone (you, perhaps?) writes content for
     another website and this act makes you a ‘guest blogger.’ If
     you’re wondering what you get in return with more specifics
     than the typical “exposure” response then let me give you a

     • Links - Links control the web. If you want rankings on Google,
     you need links. If you want authority in your niche, you need
     links. If you want traffic from other blogs, you need links. Guest
     blogging is a fairly easy way to get custom anchor-text, high

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     quality one way backlinks to your website. There are few other
     techniques so effective.
     • Traffic - There are millions of webmasters out there and
     they’re all competing for targeted eyeballs online. Guest
     blogging is not only a way to get one fundamental of the web –
     links – but also another fundamental: traffic. The difference
     between someone who makes money online and someone who
     doesn’t is generally because one has a website which gets
     traffic. It’s that important, and guest blogging provides it.
     • Subscribers – Not everything is about web spiders and the big
     G of course; the readers of a blog are more important than
     anything else. This, of course, is why so many bloggers care
     about their feed count. Subscribers are the life and soul of a
     blog and if you can get in front of an audience on another site,
     it’s likely that they’re going to subscribe to your feed. (More on
     this later).
     • Branding – Research suggests it takes someone eight views
     of a brand name or logo to have it stored in memory.
     On the web, your name and your blog are your brand, and
     guest blogging helps you get them out there in your industry.
     My own activities with guest blogging have sometimes found
     me on 3-4 sites all on the same day. This massively pushed my
     brand around the niche and put my website on the map.
     Guest blogging is a great deal for all parties involved. Blog
     owners win because they get excellent, free
     content for their site and bloggers win because they get more
     links and more subscribers on their blog.

     How to Find Sites

     If you’re going to guest blog on other websites in your niche to
     enjoy some of the benefits that guest blogging has to offer, then
     you need to actually find websites to write for. After guest
     posting consistently for over a year, I now have quite a few
     tactics for helping with this process.

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     • Google Search – Google is always the place I start with my
     internet research because it gives quick, accurate results.
     Depending on what you know about your niche, you can use
     Google for two things. The first is simply to help you find sites in
     your industry by searching for things like “niche blog” (changing
     niche for your industry).
     Alternatively, you could search for things like “niche blogging”
     or “niche guest posts” to find sites that want your content.
     • Niche Browsing – Many sites in your industry will make it clear
     that they accept blog posts on their site.
     Therefore, all you have to do is simply browse around the top
     sites in your niche and see which one’s do. Look for text like
     “write for us,” “become an author” and “submit your article”.
     These are all indications the site wants guest

     Writing Publish-Worthy Posts

     Although bloggers who accept guest posts also ‘win’ because
     they get free content, they still want great content. On that
     same note, guest blogging has so many benefits because you
     get to show a new audience the kind of awesome content
     you’re capable of writing, not to slip in a link and hope to get
     hundreds of subscribers.

     The Basics

     The basics of all good blogging applies to guest blogging so
     because they’re so important, I thought I would jot down a few
     of them here:

     • Write content that is unique and hasn’t been used elsewhere
     • Break posts up with images, bullet points and headings
     • Write your best work. Blog posts to a blogger are like
     paintings to an artist. They’re your portfolio and show you off.

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     • Keep the piece relevant to content the blogger has published
     in the past
     • Provide as much value as you can to the new audience you’re
     interacting with

     If you write good content for other sites, you’ll have your posts
     approved and you’ll receive the benefits that guest posting has
     to offer. If, however, you put in minimal effort and product sub-
     par content, then you will have done nothing but waste your
     time. Even if your post gets published, nobody will take the time
     to check our your website and they certainly won’t subscribe for
     future updates.

     The Process

     The process that you go through with guest blogging very much
     depends on the website you are writing for. For example, in
     almost all cases, bloggers will say that they want to see your
     article idea before you get to work. However, these same
     bloggers will say that if you want an interview with them, send
     questions with the request so if the answer is “Yes, I’ll do it”
     then things get done.
     Based on this, I decided to send a number of guest posts
     without saying anything. I simply sent my content and said ‘I
     really hope you enjoy it’. Now, these were people that clearly
     accepted guest posts, but they were also people who said they
     wanted to know the idea before the article is written. This is
     usually just a measure so that the blogger doesn’t waste his
     time, but when I was writing these things so frequently, the only
     time being wasted with the process was mine.
     I don’t recommend you going ahead and relying on this, but it
     goes to show that people like to do business without much fuss.
     If you know your work is up to standard, you just might get
     away with this like I did. Otherwise, the process typically goes
     like this:

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     • You find blogs accepting guest posts or contact those who
     you’re unsure about
     • You tell them what you would like to write about and see if
     they would be interested
     • They get back to you with any suggestions or thoughts
     • You write the article and make sure to include a link back to
     your website in the bottom
     • You send it to the author
     • They publish the article if you like it, and you receive the

     As far as publishing time goes, I’ve had one blogger who
     published my post the next day and one who took almost four
     months for an article to go live. A handy rule to remember is
     that generally, the bigger the blog (in terms of subscribers), the
     longer the wait.

     Guest Blogging Examples

     I’m certainly not the only guest blogger in the world so there are
     lots of examples out there of its benefits. Some of the most
     prominent guest-bloggers (and people I count as friends)
     include Ali, Jade, Mary and Dirk. This means that I can give
     examples about each of the points mentioned earlier and show
     how things work out.


     As you know by now, guest posts give links to the authors
     website. These links in-turn send traffic which could then
     become subscribers to this persons blog. The links don’t just
     send direct traffic but they also help with search engine traffic. If
     you want more traffic from the likes of Google, Yahoo and
     Bing, you need more links.

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     The image above shows a Yahoo backlink count of links to
     PluginID. The tool seems to be a bit ‘off’ lately as PluginID has
     around 15,000 backlinks but this screenshot should show proof
     that guest posting can get you a lot of links. Also highlighted in
     the image is an article that I did for ZenHabits.


     As I am working a little on getting the name of ViperChill out
     there, I have already written a few posts to both help people
     and build this audience. Notice how I don’t think of guest
     posting as just getting something in return, but also doing a
     good service to the readers of the blog I write for. Because of
     this promotion, I recently posted an article on Problogger about
     the lessons I’ve learned from blogging over the last 12 months.

     The article ended up getting me almost 700 highly targeted
     visitors from the site which I believe resulted in around 200 feed
     subscribers through watching my stats closely around this time.
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     This clearly shows more proof about the benefits of guest
     blogging and what 1-2 hours work can do for you.

     Guest Blogging Email

     Instead of just showing you the benefits of guest blogging, I
     also thought it would be useful if I provided a sample email of
     what I send to bloggers after I’ve written an article for them.
     Note that I send all of my posts in text (.txt) files because I send
     bloggers the HTML code of my post, and not just the text
     version. This allows us to keep links intact and make the post
     far easier to edit.

     If you can’t read all of that text clearly then don’t worry too
     much about the specifics. Instead, the two most important tips I
     can give you when sending emails like this are simply: be
     friendly and to get to the point. Bloggers are busy and they
     don’t want you rambling about your life story but neither do they
     want you to be robotic, so be personal in there. As long as your
     content is good, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about
     this email.

     Getting the Most from Guest Blogging

     Everything I have told you so far has hopefully given you a
     clear understanding of what guest blogging is, how to get
     blogging opportunities and how much potential this ‘method’

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     has. Before I leave you all to start getting in touch with bloggers
     in your niche, I want to share some tips from getting the most
     out of guest blogging.

     • Write Awesome Content – I know I covered this earlier but I
     believe it’s worth repeating due to how important this step is.
     Remember: even if you get your article onto the site of
     someone else, it doesn’t guarantee any results. The best way
     to make sure you reap the benefits of guest blogging is to write
     the best articles you can for other websites. This means that
     they’ll a) want you to write again and b) you’ll get traffic and
     then subscribers from their site.
     • Leave an Optimised Link in the Byline - Guest blogging has
     been around for a while, and there are hundreds of people who
     do it. The biggest mistake I see these people make, however, is
     that they just leave a normal link in the footer of the article to
     their site. While it’s obvious that you should leave a link to your
     own site in the bottom of your post, you can get more ‘use’ out
     of the link if you change the anchor text to something you want
     to rank for in Google. I’ve received thousands of visitors from
     this tactic and it means that the benefits of guest blogging on
     each site will be with me for a long time to come (search engine

     • Vary Where You Post – Generally, the way to maximise the
     benefits of guest blogging is to write for bigger blogs. If a site
     you write for has a large audience then that means there are
     more visitors who can click through to your website and
     subscribe to your feed. I have noticed a few people trying the
     guest blogging ‘tactic’ just on a few websites and constantly
     using the same ones. They had great results at first, but this
     quickly died down. If you keep writing for the same site, the
     people who want to subscribe will, and those who haven’t
     already probably won’t. I have wrote for sites with 200
     subscribers and I’ve wrote for sites with 150,000 subscribers.

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     I’ve enjoyed both and received the rewards for varying where I
     place my content.
     • Respond to Comments – Because guest blogging is about
     writing on relevant websites, it’s important to stay professional
     and friendly with the influencers in your niche that you interact
     with. Not only should you try to keep in email contact with the
     blogger you’re writing for, but respond to as many comments as
     you can once your guest post goes live. This will show the
     blogger (and their site readers) that you genuinely want to give
     people genuine advice on whatever it is you write about.
     • Make Subscribing Obvious – If you want people to subscribe
     to your blog after they click through to your site, at least make it
     easy for them. The amount of sites I go to and struggle to find
     how to subscribe to them is actually amazing. Remember that
     most of your visitors are probably not as web-savvy as you are
     so you need to make your RSS and email subscription options
     very clear. As you can see, I have mine in a bright yellow box at
     the top right of a page (for those who are web-savvy) and then
     sections in both the blog sidebar and single post footers for
     those who need a little push.
     • Have Excellent Content Waiting – People won’t judge you just
     by what you write on the site of someone else, but what you
     have waiting for them when they arrive. If visitors don’t like what
     they see and don’t feel like missing your content is missing out
     then they just won’t subscribe. For example, I once promoted
     my personal development site on an internet marketing blog
     (where I wrote about internet marketing) and as expected
     received links and traffic for doing so. However, I only gained
     about 20 subscribers from 500+ visitors because only a few
     people were interested in both topics.

     A lot of these are common sense suggestions, but I do see
     them being ignored on a daily basis. If you
     can write great content and stick to these tips to maximise your
     rewards, then you’re going to have a
     lot of success with guest blogging.

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     Narrow Your Connections

     The advice to 'narrow your connections' is usually the exact
     opposite to what most people will tell you to do. After all, it
     makes logical sense that if you can reach more people, you
     should be able to grow your blog by more followers. The flaw in
     this thinking is that it simply takes far too long to reach a lot of
     people individually.
     And, even if you could speak to every blog reader in your
     industry, the time you have to create strong connections is
     going to be minimal.
     Instead, what I prefer to do is create fewer, but stronger,
     connections. I like to build them with people who have large
     audiences I can potentially (ethically) tap into, and people I just
     generally seem to click with anyway. If I have completely
     different views to someone or don't enjoy what they write, I
     won't try to get in their “good books” just for the sake of a
     potential link one day.
     I made the mistake very recently to focus on too few
     connections, so watch out for that. After launching affiliateSkin,
     I sent review copies to some of the biggest bloggers in the
     world, with only a handful replying. I wasn't ignored by some
     people because we had never contacted before. I actually have
     no idea why some people ignored me, but they did. Some were
     people I've wrote articles for, helped with product launches, and
     even given interviews for their membership sites. That didn't
     seem to be good enough to even give a “sorry, I'm busy”
     response to my email.
     Through my own observations and experience, I've found it's
     better to try and connect with people who have a decent, but
     modestly sized audience, and enough time to communicate
     online. For example, when I first came across Pat Flynn, his
     blog had been going a year longer than mine and he had a
     solid 4,000 subscribers. I can't recall exactly how I came in
     contact with Pat, but from the first emails we exchanged it

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     seemed clear that we had a very similar focus, and neither of
     us took ourselves too seriously.

     After countless emails, Skype conversations and advice passed
     between us, Pat is someone I wouldn't hesitate to call a friend. I
     also wouldn't hesitate to promote any product that he's working
     on, or link to him in a free report I share to my 10,000+
     subscribers ;). I've met quite a few more “Pat's” over the last
     year and now have some great connections in this space.
     Connections I don't believe I would have had if I had tried to
     broaden my networking horizons too far.
     Your job is simply to find and connect with the influencers in
     your industry. The influencers behind most blogs of course, are
     the writers. Look for people who seem to be active in social
     media spaces (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), have a decent-sized
     audience, and write on a similar topic to you. I would choose no
     less than five people to connect with and no more than ten.
     Once you have a list of people in your industry who would be
     worth getting to know, it's time to make the approach. When it
     comes to approaching people for the first time, you need to
     remember a few things:

     • Don't ask them for anything
     • Don't speak to them like they're some kind of guru (it feels
     • Get to the point

     Influencers are generally far more interested in doing other
     things than replying to emails. This is a key reason as to why
     they're influencers in the first place. I'm not only speaking here
     from my own experiences of trying to make connections with
     others, but from experience where people tried to connect with
     me, and how they managed to get on my radar.
     Email interactions, in my opinion, are not the best way to begin
     communicating with someone. Instead of trying to get on a
     bloggers radar by annoying them through email, connect in a

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     way that they will love. This could mean stumbling their articles,
     linking to their blog posts, commenting on their articles and
     even retweeting them. Giving before you get applies here more
     than ever. Once you’ve been giving for a while then start to
     engage in more personal surroundings like email.

     Why This is So Important

     Although guest blogging was the number one way that I grew
     my personal development blog PluginID, it was not the number
     one way that I grew ViperChill. If I write a guest post for
     someone, I might receive 100 visitors to my blog and gain
     about 15 subscribers. Yet, if someone links to me naturally,
     interviews me, or mentions one of my posts they happen to like,
     the visitor to subscriber ratio is way higher. In other words, I
     would rather be mentioned on a popular blog than write for it.
     Once you see the effectiveness of mentions on other websites,
     you inhibit a drive which makes you want to work on getting
     more of them. After all, it makes sense that you would rather
     trust the recommendation of a friend (or website) directly, rather
     than have someone speaking on their behalf (a guest post).
     The major benefit of guest blogging over trying to get
     mentioned on other blogs is that generally, your time spent
     guest blogging is a lot more likely to result in a link. If you put
     the work in on creating a good article, then it’s likely to go live
     on the intended targets’ blog. You can’t be sure, however, that
     your engagement with other bloggers will result in them linking
     back to your website. Getting links from other bloggers, in my
     vast experience, is the easiest and most effective way to
     increase the number of people subscribing to your blog.
     You can increase your chances of getting links from other
     bloggers by creating these strong connections, as we've just
     discussed, but there are a few more things you should be
     focusing on.

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     Write Incredible Content

     There are a lot of people who come to ViperChill, leave
     comments, and interact with me on a personal level. I would
     love to promote a few of them to help them grow but in all
     honesty (without trying to sound nasty) the content they
     produce just isn’t that great. The main reason for this is that it
     isn’t unique.
     If I recommend a site that people don’t get value from, my
     audience will start to lose trust in the links I share. That’s why I
     so frequently link to people like Tamar, Karol and Pat, because
     they write excellent content and it’s relevant to my audience.
     No matter how engaged and friendly you are with another
     blogger, they’re going to struggle to link to you if your content
     isn’t relevant, and it isn’t amazing. It’s pretty much a waste of
     time trying to get a cooking blog to link to your marketing
     website, and also a waste of time trying to get them to link to
     your guide on how to make toast, even if you do run a cooking
     Make sure you take care of this most important step first and
     foremost, and you’ll have a much greater
     chance of getting links from big blogs.

     Make Other People Care

     When I was 16, I received an email from Google Engineer Matt
     Cutts. Matt created what you may know as Google’s
     “safesearch filter” and is the head of their web-spam
     department. His blog actually has over 70,000 subscribers. In
     the email, he asked if I did any “shady or black hat tactics”
     because he wanted to link to me, but didn’t want to look bad for
     doing so.
     If my blog at the time had any sort of audience interaction or
     readership, Matt wouldn’t have needed to ask. Because my

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     blog was so quiet, which I had in common with many of the
     bloggers who interact

     with me, he wasn’t totally comfortable with just linking to me,
     but instead wanted to speak to me first.
     Just because I like a post of yours and may want to link to it,
     like other bloggers I’ll have doubts whether this was a fluke post
     of yours, and whether people would be disappointed with your
     other posts if I was to send them your way. Sadly, we rarely
     have that much time to look around to determine a “trustworthy”
     site, so building an audience first is your best chance to do so.
     With so many blogs in the Make Money Online space, it’s only
     the ones with a fairly large audience that tend to catch my
     attention. Grow your readership and show potential linkers that
     you can build and sustain an audience, and they’re far more
     likely to send readers your way.
     Finally, this also works well because many people will link to
     you in the hope that you’ll link back one day. They’ll only care
     about this if you have a decent-sized readership.

     Show Me Who You Are

     This isn’t so much a rule myself or other bloggers have, but
     more of a feeling. If I don’t know anything about you (even just
     basic details such as your name or gender) it just feels weird to
     link to you. First of all, I don’t know what to call you when I do
     so — site names just aren’t personal.
     Secondly, I don’t know how to structure my sentence because I
     usually want to say he or she. Thirdly, I tend to wonder what
     people have to hide if they don’t want to reveal information
     about themselves online. I totally get anonymity, since I had a
     pseudo-name online until I was 18, but some small details like
     your first name and a picture won’t hurt you.
     I’ve also noticed that out of all the people I link to regularly, I
     know something specific about their life, or their character
     (usually through Twitter interactions). I know bloggers who I

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     don’t even interact with that are performers in the circus, trying
     to visit every country in the world, or able to speak six
     If you can let me know through your blog or our interactions
     something unique and quirky about you,
     I’m far more likely to remember who you are. Though it may not
     be great for my brand, people often refer to me as the “young
     blogger” or “marketing wizz kid”. Neither are angles that I’m
     going for, but it’s clear that people pick this up from my work
     online, and it’s something they remember me by.

     What can I remember you by?

     If I can remember something, I’m more likely to link to you when
     it’s relevant to what I’m writing.

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     Make Content Your Priority

     If most of your blogging time is not spent by focusing on your
     content, then you're on the wrong track. This isn't to say that
     things like having a clean design, networking on social media
     sites and following other sites in your niche aren't important.
     Because they are. All I'm saying is that the only reason anyone
     reads any blog, is because of the content it offers, so if
     producing brilliant content is not your main aim, then it should

     Because there are so many other sites in the internet marketing
     industry – and pretty much any niche these days – I knew that
     my content was the number one thing which would set me apart
     from the competition. It's what will set you apart from the other
     bloggers in your industry as well.

     The kind of content you should be writing, clearly depends on
     what niche you're writing in. Instead of just saying you should
     focus on your content, it would probably be better to say that
     you should focus on producing high-value content. Information
     that your audience loves. It's your job to find out exactly what
     this is in your industry. For some of you it may be in-depth
     articles, for some it may be quick, powerful posts, and for
     others it may be a humorous piece that others naturally want to
     The aim of your content is to not only be viewed as powerful by
     the person who reads it, but encourages others to pass it on to
     people who may also enjoy it. The high-value content you
     produce also needs to be viral.

     Some of the most popular articles on my site have received
     hundreds of backlinks, comments, and tweets. This wasn't just
     some lucky event, but something I consciously aimed to make
     happen. A list of some of my most popular articles include:

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     Article                                    Tweets     Comments
     Wordpress SEO:                               288        300
     The Only Guide You Need.
     28 Resources from My                          232         123
     Internet Marketing Toolbox.
     How to Build Backlinks                        192          270
     and Dominate Google.
     21 Lessons I’ve Learned                       171          144
     After 21 Years Alive.
     How I Wrote a $30,000                         128          132
     eBook (And You Can Too).

     The rest of this section is going to look at how I aim to write the
     most valuable and viral content that Ican, which hopefully helps
     you to do the same.
     One of the first lessons that newspaper journalists are taught is
     to structure their content so that the most important information
     is first, with the importance decreasing as you read through the
     Pick up any newspaper around you and you’ll see that the first
     few sentences contain the most crucial elements of the event.
     This not only creates impact, but also allows editors to simply
     snip off the bottom paragraph of a story if they need space for
     other articles. As the final paragraph is the least important, their
     editing does not affect the article too much.

     Your Headline

     Your headline, in my opinion, is by far the most important
     element of your article or blog post. It of course matters what
     you say after the headline, but only if you can actually get
     people to read your article. The job of your headline is simply to
     get people to read the first sentence of your post.

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     Your headline doesn’t just need to be attractive to people who
     stop by your blog regularly. If you use Google Reader in a list
     format for example – like I do – then your headline determines
     whether myself or anyone else using the service will click on
     your listing to read the post. Similarly, if I see content posted on
     Facebook or retweeted on Twitter, that same headline will
     determine whether I click through to your website.
     The following advice is my take on how to create a headline
     that draws your readers in and helps your content go viral.
     Don’t tell me something I know: If your headline says something
     like “Why exercise is good for you” or “How to increase your
     feed subscribers” then I probably won’t read it. It gives me
     nothing but the expectation that I already know most of what
     the article is going to share. If you want someone to keep
     reading, you need them to feel like they’ll actually get value out
     of the time they’re going to spend doing so.

     Headline example: Printer Cartridges Are Expensive

     Challenge someones beliefs: One of my most popular posts on
     PluginID bore the title ‘Smoking is Good for you’. As everyone
     knows, there are many reasons why smoking is detrimental to
     your health, so this caused quite a stir and invoked the desire
     for people to continue reading. I followed up the title with a
     good twist in the article, which is important if you’re going to
     write your headline with such an angle.
     If you write an article – with the content to back it up – which
     tells me why “running is bad for you”, “people don’t read blogs
     anymore” or “[common tactic] no longer works”, I’m going to
     read the post.
     Humans love taking in new information, but we hate holding on
     to information which is incorrect, so
     challenging beliefs can be a very powerful to get eyeballs on
     your content.

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     Headline example: Why Buying Another Printer is Cheaper
     Than Buying Ink

     Offer a hidden insight: This one is very common in the internet
     marketing space, with titles offering ‘keys’, ’secrets’ and ‘crucial
     aspects’ about different topics. I’ve used them myself in posts
     like this one on ‘The Secret to Growing Your Blog Twice as
     Fast with Half the Effort‘.
     This works so well because the title suggests that by reading
     the article, we’ll learn something we wouldn’t have known
     otherwise. A year or two ago I did this for a popular topic – how
     to increase feed subscribers – but in a way that was new and
     promised value. The title was ‘How to Increase RSS
     Subscribers (One Method You Probably Don’t Know About)’.
     Are you more likely to read that article than an article with the
     same title, but without the brackets?

     Headline example: The Real Reason Behind the High-Cost
     of Printer Cartridges

     Ask a question: If the question you ask is relevant and
     intriguing, people are going to read your post to see why you
     feel a certain way about something. Headlines with questions
     are also one of the best ways to get people to leave comments
     on your posts. The question automatically gives them
     something to say in response.
     Discussions start from questions, and this is a great way to get
     a conversation going in your community, especially if you make
     bold statements on a hot topic. There’s a great example of this
     kind of post at Copyblogger, where the author asks: Is
     Commenting on Blogs a Smart Traffic Strategy? [Link]

     Headline example: Do You Know Why Printer Ink is so
     Expensive? We Reveal the Truth

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     I’ve received a lot of praise for the headlines I use in posts and
     I’ve been asked numerous times whether headline writing
     comes naturally to me. The answer is no, it doesn’t. I find
     inspiration from magazine covers, books, and other bloggers
     along with my own imagination. I also spend quite a lot of time
     on each title and it’s never something I just “throw out there.”
     Keep these ideas in mind, and you’ll soon be writing headlines
     which capture the attention of your audience and help your
     content go viral.

     Your Introduction

     If the job of your headline is to get people to read your
     introduction, then the job of your introduction is to get people to
     read further into the post. I believe that if your introduction is
     interesting and
     compelling enough, there’s a better chance that people will
     read your entire post, rather than just
     skimming through or ignoring it all together.
     I definitely have a lot of work to do on my own introductions, but
     do have some advice to share which I think can help you.

     List some interesting facts: I think the introduction for this
     section, regarding newspaper journalists, would have been
     interesting for most people. The information it shares must have
     some value, simply because I was able to remember this myself
     and then pass it on to you all. If you’ve naturally remembered a
     small nugget of information about a topic, there’s a good
     chance it’s interesting.
     If your facts are both interesting and relevant then it’s a great
     way to keep people hooked on what you’re saying.

     Offer a teaser for later in the post: If you could easily work out
     who the killer was at the start of an episode of CSI or figure out
     the plot of a movie after the first 5 minutes, we just wouldn’t
     watch them.

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     Smart television and movie producers “sprinkle” teasers
     throughout the length of the production to keep you hooked
     until the end where you find the answers.
     Promise your readers the answer to something you know they’ll
     care about, and make sure you stick to that promise, but only
     by offering small nuggets of information as they get towards the
     end of the post.

     Ask a question: Though questions can make very effective
     headlines, I personally don’t like to use them in this way. I
     prefer to use them in introductions. This way, you can both ask
     the question and answer it to offer value straight away, or you
     can use it as a hook.
     Similar to the last point, you could answer an intriguing question
     and then promise to answer it towards the end of the post. A
     good one from the book Made to Stick is the question, “What
     are the rings around the planet Saturn made of?” I’ll tell you at
     the end of this section .
     Use Reverse Psychology: I recommend you use this sparingly
     as too much of this tactic will annoy readers rather than
     encourage them to read your post. I used this tactic in my ‘most
     important blog post‘ article when I wrote “This blog post is quite
     long so you probably shouldn’t read it. To the 50% of visitors
     who are still with me, I’ll say now that less than 1% of you will
     get to the end so you may as well leave now.”
     I can imagine some people will take this too far and tell their
     readers in every post that they aren’t going to read it or they
     won’t enjoy it. Trust me, this tactic only works when you use it
     very, very sparingly. Think of some unique ways you can apply
     it and you’ll be on to a winner.

     The Middle (The Meat of Your Content)

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     The middle of your post is where you get across your main
     points, provide value to your readers, and offer lessons you
     hope that they take away from the article. For example, in my
     post on How I received over 900,000 visits from Google in 30
     days, I began by proving my facts and claims in the headline.
     The meat of the post was exactly how I was able to do that.
     Although I mentioned this earlier, it’s very important that even if
     you have a great intro and a great

     headline, the meat of your content must match up to those high
     standards. If you have extravagant headlines and can’t follow
     them up with great information, you’re just going to annoy
     readers and they probably won’t come back. In other words, if
     you’re going to offer some “secrets”, make sure they actually
     aren’t that well known.

     Be personal: One of the best ways to get your points across is
     to speak about personal experiences. On the most basic level,
     this means that you should be open to sharing both your
     failures and your successes. In my article about generating
     more blog post ideas, I was more than willing to share that I
     had been struggling to come up with things to write about.
     The reason that being personal works so well is because
     people can relate to what you’re saying. And, if people can
     relate to your content, they’re more likely to take your advice to
     heart and engage in your site. Don’t be afraid to use personal
     stories to help get your points across. It’s probably one of the
     most effective things you can do.
     Provide concrete evidence or examples: I’m lucky enough right
     now to be in an industry where people know enough about what
     I’ve achieved to trust what I say. However, that wasn’t always
     the case, especially when I was blogging about personal
     development. In order to get your point across and have your
     ideas stick, it’s good to have enough information to backup your
     points so that they really can’t be disputed.

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     I often include images of ‘roadmaps’ when I talk about
     complicated subjects like my SEO strategy in big industries,
     and always try to include examples to help people create a
     picture in their mind of what I’m talking about. Evidence and
     examples might not help your post be more viral, but it will help
     solidify the ideas you’re trying to share.

     List your most important points first: I can’t remember where I
     first read this, but it makes total sense, and it’s something I’ve
     tried to implement in all of my posts. If you’re writing a list post
     or ever just listing points in a certain order, put the most unique
     and/or valuable at the top of the list.
     I believe the simple logic is that if you’re going to share points
     that are interesting and someone hasn’t heard before, they’re
     more likely to continue reading than if your initial points are just
     generic and nothing new.

     Keep Your message simple: In most cases, it’s best to keep the
     message you’re sharing simple. Or, if it is complex, at least
     keep it to one idea. The best blog posts tell you one thing and
     they tell it well. Seth Godin is a master at this. If there’s a key
     message that someone can take from your article that they
     understand fully, then they’re more likely to pass that message
     on. An example of this is my post on blogging partners, which
     was one of the most popular on the site. I said a lot about the
     subject, and covered it in-depth, but I really just stuck to one
     idea: If you want to grow your blog faster, find a blogging
     “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci

     Your Summary and General Readability

     The summary of your post, in my opinion, is the least important
     aspect of your article. The hardest part of anything you write is
     to get people to read it, and then continue reading it until the
     end. Similar to what newspaper journalists learn, your best

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     information should be in the introduction and main sections of
     the article.

     If you rely on the summary for people to “get” what you’re trying
     to say then you’ve just wasted 80% of your writing, in most
     cases. Although the summary isn’t as important as the other
     sections, there are some recommended ways to use it.

     End with a powerful statement: The more articles I wrote, the
     more I found myself trying to end
     them with a message that left an impact on the reader. Movies
     do this all the time; if you’ve seen the end of Inception then
     you’ll know what I’m talking about.

     Just because you’ve got your main message out of the way, it
     doesn’t mean you should get lazy with your article. On two
     random guest posts that I’ve written, here were two of the

     • “Those thousands of subscribers are waiting for you. You’ve
     just got to be ready for them.” from Copyblogger.
     • “Now, can you please promise me you’re going to share your
     value with the world? Because I can promise you, the world is
     waiting for it.” from

     Start a discussion: This will be the third time I’ve mentioned
     starting discussions and asking questions. I do so because I
     believe that conversation is really at the heart of blogs, and one
     of the main things that makes them so different from static
     sites. Often times, people will want to leave a comment, but
     they just aren’t quite sure which part of the post to share their
     thoughts on.
     You can use your summary to remind people of the most
     important points, and ask questions around any of them. This
     should help to get the comments flowing.

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     Summarise Your Post: Although very obvious (it is called a
     summary, after-all), I couldn’t leave this point out of the post. A
     good suggestion for ending is to pick the most important advice
     you’ve shared and repeat it in bullet-form. Another option,
     where relevant, is to give people an action plan as to the steps
     to take next after reading your advice.
     My final suggestion, which is not directly related to making your
     content viral, would be to offer links to other relevant posts on
     your site. If people like what they’ve just read (and they
     probably did, if they made it to the end) then they’re likely going
     to want to see other articles you’ve written.


     I generally break many rules when it comes to readability, but I
     still try to include the basics when I can. Even if you write the
     best posts in your industry, nobody is going to take the time to
     read them if you just list paragraph after paragraph without any
     formatting or line-breaks.
     There aren’t many things to remember when it comes to making
     your posts scannable. Here are a few things that I think you
     • Use Bullet Points: Just like I’m doing here, separate some lists
     into bullet form which not only breaks your post up into
     sections, but helps people skim your ideas if necessary
     • Use Section Headings: I often use H2 and H3 tags to define
     different sections of my posts. This way, I have a clear outline
     of my beginning, middle and end, so visitors can decide to read
     just one section or all of them combined.
     • Bold important sentences: If people are going to skim your
     posts, make it easier for them to take value from it by
     highlighting your most important points
     • Use clear sentences: Unless you’re trying to appeal to English
     literature graduates, you don’t need to use fancy words or
     complex-sentence structures. Keep your sentences simple. And

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     remember: What you say is far more important than how you
     say it.
     • Break things up with images: Another good way to structure
     your content, without using headings, is to use relevant images
     to break things up. I like to have one in the introduction, as do
     many other bloggers, and more throughout the post, depending
     on the length of it

     Many of these suggestions are aimed towards people who
     aren’t going to take the time to read every word that you write,
     but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The whole point is that
     they’re reading your content and enjoying it in their own way,
     and then sharing it if they like it.
     Many people will also skim an article first, and if it looks
     interesting, go back to read the whole thing in detail.
     To those of you who read this whole section, and want to know
     the answer to my question about Saturn, the rings are believed
     to be made out of dust-covered ice.

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     Dominate Search Engines

     There are far more ways to build traffic than I could ever cover
     in this guide. The four keys to the A-List quadrant all either
     directly or indirectly give you the greatest chance to get the best
     traffic to your site, with the least effort. The fourth quarter of our
     quadrant, is to focus on search engine traffic. Search engine
     traffic takes a lot of time to grow, simply because search
     engines take time to “trust” a website and allow it to rank. Many
     people believe in what is known as the Google Sandbox, which
     temporarily holds back websites from rankings to determine
     whether they are quality, legitimate websites or not. This makes
     sense, as search engine's don't want spammers to be able to
     rank highly, or quickly.
     Though it does take a long time to grow, it's one of the best
     sources of traffic you can get to your site. In fact, with affiliate
     marketing, I make 90% of my living thanks to traffic from search
     engines. It's not only highly targeted, but it's also free once
     you've achieved rankings for your relevant keywords.

     There are two main parts to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
     • On-site optimiation
     • Off-site optimisation

     As the names suggest, on-site optimisation is the things you
     can do to your website to help your rankings, and off-site is
     things you can do besides tweaking your site, to help with
     getting more search engine traffic. I'm going to begin this
     section by looking at on-site optimisation for your blog, which I
     will assume like 99% of blogs out there, is running Wordpress.

     Wordpress SEO (On-Site SEO)
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     For all the great things there are to be said about Wordpress,
     out-of-the-box SEO certainly isn’t one of its strong points. As I
     use the software so much and make a lot of my income thanks
     to search engine traffic, I have come to learn what works best in
     terms of optimising your Wordpress setup.
     Before I share my tips for getting more search traffic to your
     blog, I want to state that the following recommendations should
     be used with a little bit of caution. The majority of
     recommendations here are very obvious and totally fine, but
     there are others which some people may disagree with.
     Everything I share here has worked very well for me and the
     countless clients I have worked with, but I will mention on
     specific steps if any of them may be frowned upon by others.
     Now that I have the “don’t sue me” disclaimer out of the way,
     we can get onto the good stuff.

     Title Tags

     The title tag has long been thought of as the most important on-
     site factor in telling search engines what your site (or a page) is
     about. By default on older versions of Wordpress, post titles
     would display as “Blog Name >> Post Title”. As your homepage
     is probably already ranking for your site name, you’re not
     helping yourself by putting your site name at the start of your
     title. You don’t need to rank for it more than once.
     Instead of leaving things this way, I personally like to remove
     the blog name altogether. This isn’t just because I think it looks
     better, but because it works. A client I worked with last year
     received a massive boost in search traffic when we removed
     their brand name from title tags on their blog posts.

     To change your title tags, I recommend you install this
     awesome SEO plugin. Once installed, log into your Wordpress
     admin and go to Settings >> All in One SEO Pack. From there,
     I have entered the following:

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     • Home Title: Viral Marketing : ViperChill (This is the phrase I’m
     trying to get my site to rank for
     and a brand name)
     • Post Title: %post_title%
     • Page Title: %page_title% | %blog_title%

     Those are the main ones, and I recommend you tweak the rest
     to your preferred preferences. The post and homepage titles
     are the most important.

     Meta Tags

     When you search for a site in Google, you’ll see a snippet of
     content under the page link. To control this, you can customise
     your meta description tag for the page. Similarly, you can also
     add keywords to your tag to tell search engines what your site
     is about. I should mention that Google announced a few
     months ago they do not crawl the keywords tag anymore.
     A good few years ago the keywords used to be important as
     search engines had less ways to determine what a site is
     about. Now that technology is so advanced, search engines
     have better ways of determining rankings and relevance. I still
     like to put the keywords in there (for other search engines) and
     do this by enabling ‘dynamic’ keywords with the All in One SEO
     As far as descriptions go, there is no ideal way to automate the
     process. The best descriptions are hand written, and the plugin
     Headspace will allow you to configure them for each individual
     post. Headspace also allows you to auto-fill a posts meta-
     description based on the description of your category so if you
     post a lot, that may be useful for you.


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     Permalinks are simply the URL’s for your posts. By default, post
     titles tend to look like p=38 but if you look at the
     URL for this post you will see
     I’ll let you decide which one you think looks better. Not only
     does this new format tell someone what your page is about
     before clicking on it, the words in the URL will also be
     highlighted in search engine results if your post is relevant to
     the search query.
     To change your permalinks, simply go to Settings >>
     Permalinks. I currently use the following format:

     Some people like to have categories in there but I like to keep
     URL’s as short as possible. A friend pointed out that the
     quickest solution (in terms of querying your database) is to
     use /%post_id%/ %postname%/. I would only really recommend
     this if you have a massive site built on Wordpress, but it’s
     interesting to note.
     It’s best to do this on a fresh blog, but if you’re making this
     change on a new blog then make sure you install this
     redirection plugin. It will move your old URL’s properly and in a
     search engine friendly manner. Also remember to shorten the
     post slug when you are writing an article, as by default the URL
     will use all of the words in your title.

     Focus On a Keyphrase

     Unless you’re very into branding, it’s a good idea to try to
     optimise your site around a keyphrase that can send you
     search traffic. Most blogs end up getting the majority of links to
     their homepage, so it’s a good idea to try and leverage those
     links by getting search engine rankings for a relevant phrase.

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     For Alexiskenne, I’m aiming to rank for the phrase ‘viral
     marketing’. Although it is fairly competitive, it has a decent
     search volume and it’s relevant to what this site is about:
     helping you build remarkable
     sites that others naturally want to share. The Google external
     keyword tool is a good place to start tosee which phrases are
     popular in your audience. Make sure you select ‘All Countries
     and Territories’ on the left and then ‘Exact match’ on the right
     hand side to get accurate results.

     Once you have this keyphrase, you can use it in:
     • The title tag for your homepage
     • The heading of your site
     • Your logo
     • As anchor text in links from other websites

     The first and last items on this list are going to be the most
     crucial to helping you achieve higher search engine rankings.

     Turn on Pingbacks

     One way to get more links to your site (which increase search
     engine rankings) is actually to link to other people. If you are
     regularly supporting a site, it’s very likely that they’re going to
     return the favour. Especially if they’re in the same industry. I
     recommend turning on the option in Wordpress (if it’s not
     already enabled) which notifies other blogs when you have
     linked to them.
     To do so, head on over to Settings >> Discussion, and choose
     the following options:

     Use Alt Attributes Religiously

     I’ve noticed fairly recently how much emphasis Google seem to
     be putting the alt attribute when it comes to not only ranking
     images highly, but also ranking your posts highly as well.

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     Consider a search for the term ‘minimalist marketing’ and here
     is my site result.

     The text minimalist-marketing, which I have highlighted, is
     actually not written anywhere on the page like that. Instead, it is
     the alt attribute for one of my images. Wordpress applies alt
     attributes to image automatically, but they are generated based
     on the file name. Therefore, if you save your images as
     “minimalist-marketing.jpg” or whatever your content is about,
     then Wordpress will automatically generate that text.
     The alt tag is a way to tell search engines what your images are
     actually about. Not only will it help you get more search traffic to
     your images, but I think it helps the overall rankings of a page,
     as well.

     Interlinking simply means that you link from your blog posts to
     other blog posts. For example, I sometimes recommend guest
     blogging as a great way to build your authority in your niche
     and will then link to my guide on guest blogging. I also use the
     anchor text of the search query I’m trying to rank for if it doesn’t
     making my writing look robotic.
     Not only is this useful in terms of SEO, but it also gives your
     readers more posts to read and thus increases your pageviews.

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     WWW or Non-WWW

     On a lot of sites (and probably yours if this section title makes
     no sense), there are two ways to access them. For example, if
     you head on over to, you will see it is both accessible
     at and Try this on your own
     site and see if it is the same.
     By default, Wordpress handles this redirect for you, but it uses
     a 302 redirect. A 302 tells search engines the redirection is only
     temporary, but you really want to tell them it is permanent so
     that all of your link weight goes to one place. To do this, you
     need to implement a 301 redirect.
     You can choose which one you want Google to list in Google
     Webmaster Tools, but it’s still necessary to do this. Whether
     you want to choose the www version or the non-www version of
     your site is completely up to you.
     You will need to be able to edit your .htaccess file which can be
     found in the same folder that you installed Wordpress on your
     server. Here is how the code in mine looks:
     # Begin 301
     RewriteEngine On
     RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.alexiskenne\.com [NC]
     RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]
     # BEGIN WordPress
     <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
     RewriteEngine On
     RewriteBase /
     RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
     RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
     RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
     # END WordPress
     I do have other code in my .htaccess for specific redirects, but
     that is all you need to redirect your site from the non-www

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     version to the www version. Also, remember to change to whatever your domain name is.
     If you want to redirect from the www to the non-www (which I do
     on a few sites), then swap lines 3 and 4 with this:
     RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^alexiskenne\.com [NC]
     RewriteRule (.*) http://$1 [R=301,L]
     If that gives you any errors or doesn’t seem to do anything,
     make sure that your host allows you to edit the .htaccess file
     (most will).
     I’ve just shared some of the most common tips you’ll find online
     about optimising Wordpress, but now we’re going to go a bit
     deeper and share some slightly more advanced tactics. If you
     only do the above, then that’s a great start, but there are still
     areas you can improve upon.

     Noindex Archive, Category, Pagination or Tag Pages

     On ViperChill, I only use categories and I manually create my
     own sitemap, but I know that a lot of people have date based
     archives, categories, and tag pages. These might be great for
     usability, but for search engines, they’re really just lots of pages
     with links to your other pages. In other words, the search
     engines don’t need to crawl through all of them to find your blog
     posts. For that reason, I apply the Noindex option to my
     Archives and Tag pages, and do this by installed the All In One
     SEO Pack I mentioned earlier. There are settings in the admin
     panel to help you decide what you want to block.
     I recommend that you allow one of them to be followed (e.g.
     normal pagination, or categories) and then block the rest to
     “preserve” link juice.

     NoFollow Certain Pages

     I did say there may be some tactics that people frown upon in
     this post, and this is the first. The Nofollow attribute was first
     introduced by search engines to help stop spam on the web
     from ranking in search results. That’s why, by default, all links to
     commenters on your blog are automatically nofollowed.
     Nofollowing scuplting, as it is commonly referred, is simply
     about keeping and diverting link juice (link weight) to the pages
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     where you want it to go. For example, on every page on my site
     there is a link to the contact form. Does it really need to be a
     powerful page?
     Just linking to the page once is enough to have it indexed in
     Google, and that’s all that matters for a number of my pages.
     Similarly, I nofollow links to my about page, my category links
     and my RSS feed.
     This means that the ‘weight’ from backlinks I’m getting to my
     own post won’t be spread to those pages.
     A typical text link looks like this:
     <a href=”http://www.”>Alexis Kenne</a>
     To make it nofollow, you would change the link like so:
     <a href=” rel=”nofollow”> Alexis
     Kenne </a>
     Again, Google have recently mentioned that they frown upon
     this (in some circumstances — not most) so use it at your own

     Nofollow Your Read More Link

     If you show full posts on your homepage then you don’t need to
     worry about this. If, however, you just show a snippet of
     content, then it’s likely you also have a “read more” or
     “continue..” link in there somewhere. As your post title already
     links to the page with perfect anchor text, there’s no need to
     give juice to the read more link which simply takes people to the
     same page.
     In your Theme Editor (Appearance >> Editor) open the relevant
     file (usually index.php), find the following text:
     <a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>”
     Then simply add
     <a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” rel=”nofollow”
     That’s it. You must make sure you are changing the read more
     permalink, and not the permalink to your post titles. If you’re
     unsure which is which, then make sure you contact your theme
     author. There are too many examples for me to go through
     them all here.

     Turn Off Comment Pages

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     Unless you receive hundreds of comments per post (or you’re
     really, really picky about page speed), there really is no need to
     have paginated comments on your site. Older versions of
     Wordpress never had this, but if you recently installed
     Wordpress 2.7 from scratch, you’ll find that paginated
     comments are the default option.
     These can be turned off in Settings >> Discussion and will
     ensure that your site doesn’t have tons of duplicate pages that
     are all showing very little unique content.

     Sign-Up to Google Webmaster Tools

     Google Webmaster Tools is a must-use service for anyone who
     cares about search engine traffic to their sites. Not only will it
     tell you which keyphrases you are ranking highly for in Google,
     but it will also notify you when your site has been hacked, or if
     you have any broken links.
     Sometimes you may find that another blogger has linked to you
     incorrectly and that a lot of visitors are landing on a 404 page.
     Because GWT makes you aware of this, you can redirect that
     page somewhere relevant to keep the link value and keep the
     visitors who are landing on your site.

     Building Backlinks (On-Site SEO)

     I have been studying SEO day and night since I was 16 and
     I’ve ranked on the first page of Google for some of the most
     competitive keyphrases in the world. Therefore, I like to think I
     know quite a bit about the topic and can provide some insights
     in this space.
     For those of you who don’t know why links are important, let me
     just say that if you want to get traffic from the major search
     engines, they’re crucial. Links from other sites to your site are
     basically a ‘vote’ that tell search engines you are trusted and
     you are a good resource for whatever your content is about.
     As I mentioned earlier, a large percentage of my income to
     affiliate sites is from traffic via Google, and the difference
     between ranking 2nd and ranking 1st can literally be thousands
     of dollars extra on my bottom line.

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     Instead of just telling you to do this or do that that many link
     building guides do, I also want to share a few principles that I
     believe are crucial in building a website that attracts thousands
     of high quality links. A few years ago you could take a robotic
     approach to SEO, but the web is now far too social to rely on
     old tactics to help your website rank higher.

     Build a Site for People

     I can’t remember who said this phrase but it’s one of my
     favourites: “search engines follow people.”
     Not only does following this motto steer you in the direction of
     build an honest, legitimate website, it’s also a very true way to
     get links to your site.
     Have you noticed how Wikipedia absolutely dominates Google
     search results? I don’t believe they should be ranking for 50%
     of the phrases that they do, but Jimmy Wales built a site for
     people. It is a resource that millions of people naturally want to
     use, and because of that, people talk about them. For a lot of
     competitive keyphrases online you’ll also find popular blogs,
     forums and niche social networks ranking highly. If you can get
     enough real people to care about what you’re doing, then you
     can’t go far wrong.
     When people talk about you online, links follow.

     Be Useful

     Pretty much every legitimate site on the Internet serves some
     useful purpose to it’s users. Facebook lets you keep in touch
     with friends and family. Google lets you find awesome
     websites. Digg lets you find news that you know hundreds of
     other people recommend. Youtube provides educational value,
     entertainment, product reviews and much more. These are
     some high profile examples, but there are literally millions of
     useful sites online. This blog helps people leave the rat race
     and make a living online. PluginID helped people be who they
     want to be and deal with the issues that come up on the path to
     get there. Ask yourself whether your site is helping people to fill
     a need. If it’s not, then why should people care about you? This

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     might not sound great but everyone active online in any space
     online is generally just thinking about what’s in it for them.
     If you can give people what they want, you can receive what
     you want.

     Check Competitors Backlinks

     When I talk about competitors, I simply mean people trying to rank
     for the same keywords / phrases as you in Google. For example, this
     site is “trying” to rank for the phrase viral marketing. I put trying in
     quotes as I’m only implementing a small number of these strategies as
     I’m not too bothered about ranking.
     If I wanted to find great sources of links though, I could simply see
     which sites are ranking well for the phrase and where their links are
     coming from. As an example, a site ranking 2nd for me right now is a
     page on Wilson Web. If I take that URL and do a link search in Yahoo
     (they shows more backlinks than Google) I can find link sources I can
     also use:

     The operator I use in Yahoo is simply “link:pageurl” (no quotes) obviously changing the parts in
     bold for the site that is actually ranking for your keyphrase.
     Check your competitors to see if there are freely available link
     sources that you can also get for your own site. After all, if
     they’re helping that site rank, they’ll probably help you.

     Leave Blog Comments

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     Most blog comments are nofollowed (this means search
     engines aren’t supposed to give weight to the link, though I
     believe Yahoo and Bing still do) so they don’t provide much link
     juice directly.
     I like using blog comments as an indirect way to get links back
     to your site. For example, if I contact a big blogger out of the
     blue and ask them to link to my latest article, it’s probably not
     going to happen.
     Yet, if I’ve spent some time interacting with their community and
     leaving comments, it’s more likely that they will fulfil the request
     (as long as your resource is relevant, and awesome).
     Blog comments also drive visitors to your site, which goes back
     to the point of search engines following people.

     Check Flippa Auctions

     One of my favourite ways to find awesome sources for links is
     to check the Flippa marketplace. Flippa is a place for people to
     buy and sell websites and has a very interactive community.
     Even if you’re not looking to buy or sell sites though, it can be a
     great way to find links.
     If you take the time to look around, you’ll find a number of
     repeat sellers who are selling websites that have ranked well in
     Google very quickly. In some cases, these sites are ranking for
     phrases that bring in thousands of dollars, just in a few short
     Looking at these sites and finding where their backlinks are
     coming from has provided me with a lot of easy-to-duplicate
     tactics and links that Google clearly love.

     Write Awesome Content

     A few years ago you could write an awesome post and it would
     receive hundreds of links. Look at the trackbacks on old
     Copyblogger or Steve Pavlina posts and you’ll see what I’m
     talking about. With the introduction of Twitter and sites like
     StumbleUpon, people are more inclined to ’share’ sites, rather
     than link to them from their own blogs.

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     The amount of links you can get for awesome content has
     definitely decreased, but by no means has it stopped. My post
     on Wordpress SEO picked up a lot of blog links and is getting
     new ones all the time. My friend Danny also noticed the
     decrease in bloggers linking out and started a mini-campaign
     about it.
     “Awesome” content means a lot of different things to different
     people. In terms of this site, it might be a great resource post.
     For a humor blog, it may be a funny image. For your Gadget
     blog, it may be announcing a new product before anyone else.
     If you know your niche well enough, you should know what
     people want.

     Participate on Social Bookmarking Sites

     I really don’t like this tactic if I’m honest, but I can’t deny that
     social bookmarking links are helping a number of my sites rank.
     Bookmarking sites like Delicious simply give people a place to
     store their favourite links an organisable archive, which is
     generally far more useful than your browsers bookmark bar.
     They’re also available from any computer anywhere in the
     world, so a lot of these sites have popped up due to their
     usefulness. Many of these sites offer dofollow links and custom
     anchor text, although they aren’t the best links in the world to
     pick up.
     You can automate the process using something like
     Bookmarking Demon (not an affiliate link – none of those here)
     or you can even pay someone on Digitalpoint to submit to
     hundreds of sites manually.
     To utilise this tactic in a more ethical manner, simply sign-up on
     a few sites you really want to use and bookmark your favourite
     links from around the web. Just don’t forget to link to your own
     site as well.

     Add Links to Your Forum Signatures

     Unlike blogs where you get nofollow links for contributing to the
     discussion, most forums allow you to have a (followed) link in
     your signature, every time you make a post. If you’re already

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     active on some communities online, see if you can put a link in
     your signature.
     I really don’t recommend you sign up on lots of sites just to get
     links, but if there are sites that you’re really interested in and
     want to participate, then link back to your site. Note that if you
     have 10,000 posts on a forum already and add a link there,
     that’s not going to be anywhere near as powerful as 10,000
     links where each is from a different site. It’s far better to have
     links from different domains, rather than lots from the same

     Utilise Free Content Sites

     Another link source that I don’t really love but I see doing well
     for a lot of sites is utilising free content sites like Squidoo,
     Gather and Hubpages. These sites basically allow you to sign-
     up, write about whatever you please, and link to yourself
     however you want.
     Hubpages is very unpoliced and they’ll basically allow anything
     to stay on their site, but Squidoo (owned by Seth Godin)
     recently removed thousands of spammy pages from their site
     and are constantly policing them.
     If you are going to use sites like this, at least take the time to to
     create a good resource for users, rather than just throwing links
     to all of your sites in there. Not only will that make your link
     more valuable (more relelvant and on a page with lots of
     content) but its better for these communities.

     Use Article Directories

     A much better source of links if you want to receive them in
     return for your content is using article directories. There are a
     lot of awful, highly spammed directories out there, but there are
     definitely a few worth looking for.
     My favourites include Ezine articles, Article Dashboard and Go
     Articles. Ezine and a number of other sites review articles
     manually first so you’re not going to be able to spam them
     (which you shouldn’t want to, anyway). However, if you write
     good content, or pay someone else to, then you can get a great
     link in return.
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     Ezine is definitely the most trusted and you’ll actually find the
     page you write the article on can rank quite well, quite quickly.
     Once you’ve inserted your article content, you’re given the
     opportunity to fill in an Author Box and you can put your links in

     Collaborate with Influencers

     Some of the most popular posts on PluginID were the ones
     where I collaborated with other influences in the personal
     development niche. Examples include the Face-Off series that I
     ran and times where I would ask the same question to multiple
     If your idea is unique and interesting, you’ll find that the people
     involved are often happy to share the
     piece via social media sites and even link to it from their own

     Interview Someone Important

     Similar to the last idea, interviewing someone in your industry or
     someone high profile is likely to get you a lot of attention. There
     are two ways to gain links via this method.
     First of all, you can interview people who you hope will link back
     to the interview from their own sites. Or, you can utilise your
     connections (or hustle, hard) and interview someone the
     average person couldn’t get to answer their questions.
     I personally tried to interview Eckhart Tolle (an author who has
     been featured on Oprah and sold millions of books) but didn’t
     get very far. If I had managed to land the interview though, I
     know a lot of people would have linked to it naturally.

     Design a Unique, Beautiful Site

     There are many ways to have a good looking website. I
     personally like to buy templates from the likes of Theme Forest
     and customise them heavily (like I did with ViperChill). You
     could also hire a designer like Reese to create something
     custom that looks amazing.
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     Once you have a beautiful site in place, there are literally
     thousands of link opportunities. “Where?” I hear you ask. “CSS
     and design directories”, is my answer. There are tons of sites
     which showcase beautiful designs and offer a link to the site so
     people can view the real thing, rather than a screenshot or
     Many of these have a lot of authority in Google so if you want to
     find some, here’s a good place to start.

     Create a Great Resource

     There are a number of personal development bloggers giving
     sitewide (links from every page) links to PluginID because I
     created an amazing resource. That resource was a list of top
     blogs in my industry, but yours doesn’t have to be the same.
     Can you create a free eBook that answers a need? What about
     a resource on 101 ways to do ‘X’? How about a list of other
     sites which offer great advice on a popular topic? Think about
     something that you know your readers would want but
     would take a lot of work for you to put together.
     That’s the resource you should be creating.

     What Not To Do

     Now that we’ve covered some of my favourite ways to get links
     to a site, I quickly want to run through some things you
     shouldn’t be doing. While search engines generally reward sites
     with a lot of links by giving them high rankings, there’s also a
     few things they don’t like.
     Remember: search engines want to show the best results to
     their users. If you’re manipulating link counts heavily and don’t
     really deserve to rank for your phrase, then they don’t want you
     Here are a few things to watch out for:

     • Building Links too Fast – Build links very quickly is usually
     unnatural. There may be times where write a post that gets
     hundreds of links overnight and that’s not going to penalise you,
     but just be careful about building too many links for your site as
     a whole. I’m not a search engine, so I can’t give exact numbers,
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     but if you think you might be going a bit over the top, then you
     probably are.

     • Using Spammy Resources – Not all links are created equal.
     It would be far more powerful for Alexiskenne to have a
     homepage link from Problogger than it would be to have a link
     from Hubpages or an automated link farm. You can’t control
     who links to you, but just be careful where you focus your link
     building time.

     • Taking Part in Link Exchanges – If you want to add sites to
     your blogroll or resources page then add them, but don’t just do
     it because people are linking to you. Link exchanges worked
     well about 2 years ago, but are a very dated technique that
     search engines are well aware of.

     • Building Links Around One Phrase – You might have a
     phrase that you want to rank for and the best way to do that is
     to get links with that phrase as an anchor text, but only having
     links with that phrase is very unnatural.
     Most links help your rankings in general, so don’t be afraid to
     get links for different phrases or even your domain as a whole,

     Combining the Two

     Now that we've covered on-site SEO and off-site SEO, you can
     look at how to combine the two. In the Wordpress SEO section
     I mentioned that you should focus on choosing a speficic
     keyphrase to try to rank your website for. If you overlooked that
     section then go back and read it now. I think it's crucial to not
     only defining your site, but helping you get more search engine
     Instead of just focusing on one phrase though, you can focus
     on many. Through using keyword tools, I found phrases like
     'Wordpress SEO' and 'Social Media Strategy' were popular, and
     relevant to my industry. I wrote some great articles on the two
     topics, and then built as many links to them as I could.
     Those two terms have become some of the most popular
     sources of traffic for my site.
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     Don't think that your SEO work just has to stop with one phrase.
     Constantly work to expand how many pages your site has, how
     many links you have, and the types of phrases you're trying to
     rank for. Search engine traffic is something that you can
     generally work for over a period of time, and then reap the
     benefits of for a long time to come. Don't neglect this piece of
     the quadrant, and you'll likely go far.

     Let's Connect

     I really hope that you've learned a lot from this eBook and have
     enough information to go away with and take your blog to the
     next level. Though we are at the end of the guide, I hope this
     isn't the end of our relationship. There are (if you're interested)
     a few more ways to connect with me:
     • Subscribe to the blog by Email or RSS
     • Become a fan of Alexiskenne on Facebook
     • Follow Alexiskenne on Twitter
     • Add me as a friend on Facebook
     Before my blog was more popular, I loved being able to
     communicate with people via email, but I simply get far too
     many of them now to respond to every single one. I'm happy to
     interact with you in any of the ways above, though.

     Thanks for checking out the guide. Just don't forget about me
     when you join the A-list ranks!

     Alexis Kenne
     Special Unadvertised Bonus Access Below

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Description: There are literally hundreds of ways to grow your audience, as many lists online will show you. Just because there are a lot of ways to do something though, it doesn't mean that you should try to focus on all of them, or even most of them.