Use NetworkedBlogs to Promote Your Blogs in Facebook

Facebook already has more than 200 million users worldwide. Because of this, marketers and businesses have Facebook accounts to take advantage of its wide exposure. Bloggers should also take advantage of the exposure that Facebook has to offer. All serious bloggers should open an account in Facebook, not only for exposure, but also for added interactivity with your visitors. Another reason is that Facebook have a great number of potential readers that you could tap to go visit your blogs.

I, for one, already have a Facebook account and I can say that it helped me reach to out to more people and gave me better connection with other bloggers. Facebook has many tools that could help a blogger reach his/her audience. One tool that I use is the NetworkedBlogs.

NetworkedBlogs is Facebook Application (App) that is useful for bloggers. It is useful because NetworkedBlogs allows your blog to be included in the NetworkedBlogs network of blogs that could be seen by hundreds of Facebook users.

The advantage of this is that your blog may be followed by any Facebook user even if you are not friends. This is great because you can promote your blog in Facebook, not only to your friends or Facebook contacts, but also those people who want to follow your blog without necessarily inviting you to be their friend in Facebook.

This advantage of NetworkedBlogs is made possible by the badge that you can place on your blog. Here is the sample of a NetworkedBlogs badge I placed on my persona-travel blog:
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By clicking the NetworkedBlogs badge, visitors of your blog will be able to receive the updates from your blogs on their Facebook account without them inviting you as their contact in Facebook.

So, what are you waiting for? Go no to NetworkedBlogs and have your blogs listed in their network. Don’t forget to place a NetworkedBlogs badge on your blog so that visitors and blog readers will be able to receive real-time updates on their Facebook.
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Facebook VS Twitter VS Friendster

There are many means that a blogger could use to promote his/her blog. Some of these are by commenting on other blogs, sending e-mail to anyone in your address book, or by using the old means of promotion like posters, advertisement on newspapers and magazines. Another way of promoting one’s blogs is by using the so-called Social Media sites.

Social Media sites are websites that allows the subscribers or members of that website to socialize with one another through the sharing of comments, pictures, videos, and other online interactive activities. There are numerous social media websites that are present in the World Wide Web. Each of these websites caters to various groups and has their own strengths and weaknesses. Some of social media websites that I encountered through the years are Friendster, Facebook, Twitter, Multiply, Yahoo 360, and Plurk.

Social Media Optimization, or SMO, is the process of creating awareness of your blog through the use of social media websites. It is opposed to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that focuses more on increasing the rank of a blog in search engines. Because of the continued prominence of social media websites, successful bloggers utilized them to promote their blogs and reach out to more readers.

I also use SMO to promote my blog posts. The social media websites that I currently use for my SMO are Facebook, Twitter, and Friendster. Prominent bloggers already attested the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter as SMO tool. I have not seen any review for Friendster.

Friendster
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Friendster is one of the leading social websites in the Philippines and it still boasts of thousands of active Filipino users. Though, many of its veteran members shifted to Facebook. I observed that very few bloggers use Friendster as a blogging tool. 

The main page that is fronted to other Friendster users is the Profile page. This page contains the self-description of the Friendster user and the comments made by his/her friends. The profile page is the main page where a blogger can leave links leading to his/her blog. Bloggers could also use the Friendster bulletin for blog promotion.

Facebook
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Facebook picked up the comment elements of Friendster and expanded it. Interactivity in Facebook is through posts that are posted by the Facebook user and is visible to all of his/her friend’s Facebook main page. His/her post can be commented by his/her friends and the comments are showed in a nested form. This ingenious mode in Facebook promotes online conversation because commenters reply to one another.

Facebook is more blogger friendly because it is easy to post links that lead to your blogs. An added bonus is the use of Networked Blogs that automatically pull your blog post and is ready to be posted on Facebook.

Twitter
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Twitter is almost similar with Facebook in that it also uses the posting system that could be found in Facebook. The main difference is that you are limited to 140 characters (space included) for your posts or more popularly known as tweets. This limitation is not a disadvantage though because many people subscribed for this websites and that includes successful bloggers. Leaving a tweet could even be made through SMS messaging of mobile phones.

Comparison of Facebook, Twitter and Friendster

Of the three social media websites that I used, Friendster is the least effective, which is followed by Twitter. The most effective is Facebook. Friendster contributed 17% of the readers coming from social media sites, while Twitter contributed 33%. Facebook, meanwhile, contributed 50% of the visitors.

This simple statistics only shows that Friendster is not a good platform for social media optimization. The possible cause of this is that the facilities where I place links to my blogs is usually ignored by Friendster users. Whatever the reason, it only means that Friendster has to redefine itself to be more blogger friendly.

For better social media optimization, I suggest that you both use Facebook and Twitter. These two websites were somehow compatible with one another. An example of this compatibility is a Facebook application that posts your tweets on your Facebook wall. 

You can stay away from Friendster when doing social media optimization and you will not be missing anything.

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For more information on how to use Friendster as a blogging tool please read “How to Get Inbound Links to our Blog.”

Further comparison of Facebook and Friendster could be found at my article “Facebook vs Friendster.

Logos of Facebook, Friendster, and witter are under the copyright of their respective owners.
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Spice Up with Facebook Chat Emoticons

The chat box is one of the cool features of Facebook. Once you are logged-in in your Facebook account, you could send and receive instant message from your contacts and friends. And just like other chat boxes, like in Gmail and Yahoo Messenger, Facebook chat can also use chat emoticons or smileys. Facebook chat emoticons are not just ordinary smilies. Facebook has a load of cute chat emoticons that you could use to spice up your chat or you could use to amaze your friends.

Some of the Facebook chat emoticons that are available are the usual emoticons like the :-), :-(, and :-P. A variety of Facebook chat emoticons can also be used and some of them are animals like the penguin and shark.

Here are some Facebook chat emoticons:
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I just came across this list of Facebook emoticons on one of my friend’s Facebook wall. It is good to use, especially, to “WOW” your friends.

So, what could you say about the Facebook chat emoticons? They are quite cool right? Now is the time to amaze your friends. And while you are at it, add me as your friend in Facebook.

For more Facebook chat emoticons, go to this website.
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Things that You should not Do in Facebook

In the previous post, I talked about some ways to ensure the safety of your Facebook account from hackers and identity thieves. Now, we will talk about some things that a Facebook user should/must not do on their Facebook accounts.

As the Facebook increases its popularity in the Philippines, peculiar news related to this social networking site are becoming more common. I heard of a news report of a woman who complained to the police that someone is scattering her naked photos online. She admitted that she uploaded her naked photos so that her foreigner friend in Facebook could see it.
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There other news like that and many of those incidents could have been avoided if they just followed these tips:

1. Don’t post status updates or comments that you may regret later.

News today is abuzz with a certain Mai Mislang, who is a speechwriter of President Noynoy Aquino. Mislang was in hot water after posting tweets that takes pun of Vietnam during the president’s state visit at that country. Mislang’s tweet not only shamed herself but also shamed the president, who is now out defending her.

What happened to Mai Mislang is also applicable to all Facebook users. Never post status or comments that you will be ashamed of in the future. Never post status or comments that is incriminating and might be used to sue you.

Before posting anything, always think what your love ones or even your children (or grandchildren) will think of you once they read those posts.

2. Don’t Upload Naked Photos of Yourself

I talked about a certain woman who is now ashamed because somebody is scattering her naked photos in the Internet. The rule of the thumb is to never upload any of your private photos in Facebook, especially those photos that shows you naked or doing private “activities.”

Facebook may have security features that you could use to restrict the persons that could view your private or naked photos. However, always remember that there are times when bugs and other problems arise in Facebook that could disable these security features and will leave your private or naked photos exposed to the public.

3. Don’t Let Applications or Add-ons Access Your Account

There are so many applications in Facebook. Some offer fun games and other give perks to the users of that application. There is catch with those applications, however, because these applications will always require you to let the application access all of your personal information, even those that are protected by security settings.
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Be wary of these Facebook applications because phishers use these applications to gather personal and private information and sell those information to interested buyers.

4. Don’t Place Detailed Personal Information

Join Facebook just for the fun of it and don’t place detailed information of your life there. In the address info, placing your current city and country would be enough. Don’t place your full address. 

Facebook may require you to place your cellphone number and e-mail address. That is fine because that is a requirement, but you must make sure to adjust your privacy settings so as to keep those information from being seen be people other than your friends.

Also, don’t overshare information. Your contacts or friends might want to know your thoughts or what you are doing, but I guess it is not ok to put in Facebook that you are in the CR and defecating. You should also remember that your Facebook wall is open to all of your Facebook contacts. Never post anything that is just intended for a few people. You could always use private messaging for those things.

5. Don’t be too Trusting

Many people became victims of criminals in Facebook because they are too trusting. Wake up! Their many posers and pretenders in Facebook. The profile picture that you will see may not be the actual person who owns the Facebook account. Many sexual predators befriend women and children in Facebook and lure them into meeting up with them.

Be careful with the people you meet in Facebook. Don’t give your 100% trust to anyone in Facebook if you just met or befriended that person in Facebook.

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These are just few things that you should not do on Facebook. Of course, there is so much more things that you should avoid. If you have more of these things in mind, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Noise to Signal Cartoon came from GetElastic.
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Why is Your Blog Showing Public Service Ads?

For whole week, I noticed something weird on my blog. The weird thing is that I noticed that my blog Before the Eastern Sunset is showing public service ads from Adsense. That problem is not exclusive to that blog alone but is also shown on this blog.

I observed it for one whole week and did not do anything because I thought Google Adsense is just having problems. I also thought that Google Adsense blocked my blogs for reasons unknown. I just let the public service ads be because I don’t have much time to fix it until this weekend.
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Look at the Kiva Microfinance ad at the upper-left corner.

I visited my Google Adsense account and I saw this warning:
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The problem is that I forgot to input my Adsense PIN to my account. I received my PIN more three months ago through mail but I somehow forgot it. Thankfully, I did not lost it and updated my Google Adsense account.

Now, the Adsense ads on my blogs are back to normal again.
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Protect Your Facebook Account

A year ago, when I am doing my usual rush walks around a mall, I overheard to SM salesladies talking about the Internet. I thought that they are talking about their work until I heard someone of them say: “Nakapag-harvest na nga ako sa Farmville eh” (I already done harvesting in Farmville).

That statement surprised me because even simple people in the Philippines are already hooked up with Facebook. Now, the trend is the continuous rise on the number of Filipinos opening an account on Facebook and it is estimated that the trend will continue in the coming years. In the Internet shops in my village, I noticed that people are giving more time to the Internet (specifically Facebook) than the popular online games.

The rise of the number of Filipino Facebook users also lead to an increase of identity theft and account hacking. I have seen many news items about it and many people are unaware how to protect their Facebook accounts.

Keeping your Facebook account from being hacked is easy and there are simple ways that you could do to prevent it.

1. Uncheck that Button and Don’t Autosave

A small check box (with the label “Keep me logged in”) could be found below the “email” field. Make sure that you had it unchecked before logging in to your account. You must do this precautionary measure whenever you are using other people’s computer, or a shared computer, or when you are surfing in an Internet cafĂ©.


If you keep the box checked, then your account will not be logged off even if you close the browser or even if you turn the computer off.

Aside from unchecking the box, you must also make sure that your browser is not saving your login information.

2. Heighten Your Facebook Security

Hackers can do many things when they know some of your personal information, specifically your email address. By default, Facebook displays most of your personal information on your Facebook profile publicly. Everyone, even those who are not on your friends’ list, can see your e-mail address.

To restrict people from seeing your personal information, you must heighten your privacy settings. You could do this by clicking on the “Privacy Settings” link, which could be found on the “Account” tab on the upper right corner of your Facebook page.

The “Privacy Settings” link will take you to a page that lets you control what information you want to be shared publicly, to your friends only, or just known only to you.

3. Clear Browser History and Clear Private Data

Aside from auto-saving, browsers also store the history of the pages you viewed while surfing the Internet. So, when using Facebook, it is advisable that you clear browsing history and private data before leaving the computer shop.

For Firefox, click Tools >> Clear Private Data. A window will pop up and will ask you what information you want to be cleared. For Internet Explorer, you should click Tools >> Delete Browsing History. For Google Chrome, click the wrench symbol found on the upper right corner of the Google Chrome Window and then click Options. A window will pop out on which you should click the Under the Hood Tab and click on “Clear browsing data...” button.

4. Don’t Disclose Your Password to Anyone

I have a friend on Facebook who wants to give her password to me so that I could manage her account whenever she is not online. I did not accede to what she wants and told her not to give her login information to anyone.

Your Facebook account is your personal page and you should be the only one who could access it.

5. Always Log Out

This is the most obvious way of preventing your Facebook account from being hacked. However, I have encountered in many Internet cafes that some people forget to log off their accounts.

Remember that turning off the browser is not an assurance that your Facebook account will be logged out. Always make sure that you log off your Facebook account.

6. Create Strong Passwords

When creating a password for your Facebook account, it is better that you use both numbers and letters; and capital and non-capital letters. This will make your password hard to be guessed by would be hackers. 

Also, create different passwords for your different accounts. Use different passwords for your Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, etc. so that if one of your accounts was compromised then your other accounts will be safe.

7. Never Hesitate to Change Password

If you doubt that your Facebook account was compromised, then you should change your password immediately. It is better to be sure that your Facebook account was safe than otherwise.

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So there you have it, some of the tips that you could use to protect your Facebook account. If you have more tips, then please leave a comment.

I also wrote an article related to this in Ahab Reviews and Tips, which give tips on how to prevent identity theft when surfing in an Internet cafe.

How to Get Inbound Links to Your Blog - Part II

In the first part of this post, we talked about some “slow way” of getting links to your blog. Today, we will talk about some “easier ways” to plant inbound links on other websites.

As I had said in the first part of this post, our goal is to place our links on websites in a way that our links will not be ignored by the robots of the search engines. There are many websites out there that you could use to place your links on, however, there are only few of them that could be planted with links that are not ignored by Google.

1. Use Your Friendster Account

Many people said that Friendster is dead, especially now that majority of its users are migrating to Facebook. However, I still view Friendster as an important tool for my blogs. My first reason is that Friendster is still a popular website and has high rank in Google. My second reason is that public profiles in Friendster can be crawled on by robots. Because of this, Friendster is a valuable site to plant your link on.

For starters, I placed the link of my blogs on my Friendster account. I made sure that my Facebook profile is open to public so as not to restrict Google’s robots from crawling. Next is to place a comment or testimonial on the profile of your Friendster contacts. Just make sure that your links are included in the comment. Imagine if you commented on 100 Friendster users then you have 100 links to your blog.

2. Sign those Guest Books

Guestbooks are usually placed by website administrators as a way to get feedbacks from their visitors. The problem with guest books is that they are usually not open to the robots. However, there are some of them that are open publicly and could be crawled on by robots. Most of these “open” guest books are found on government websites. You will know if the guestbook is open if the comments in the guestbook are shown in search engine results.

3. Submit Your Blog to Blog Directories

There are many blog directories out there and they could be found with just a click from Google. However, you must search for blog directories that do not demand payment from you or ask you to place widget or link on your blog. Their widget will serve as an outgoing link on your blog and will negatively affect your page rank. Look for free blog directories that have pages that could be crawled on by search engine robots.

4. Create Blog Templates

I was wondering why many people are offering free blog templates. Are they so generous to exert time and effort to give us free templates? The answer is no. Creators of free blog templates place the links of their sites on their templates. Thus, if hundreds of people used their free blog templates, then they are guaranteed with 100 free inbound links to their site.

These are just few of the methods available to plant inbound links on other blogs or websites. There are other methods out there that you could use. If you know other techniques, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

How to Get Inbound Links to Your Blog – Part 1

Inbound link is a blogger’s treasure because it helps the blog get a good page rank and a chance to land to the front page of search results in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Thus, many bloggers are working very hard to get inbound links from other blogs or websites to their blogs.

There are many ways to get inbound links but before we get into the meat of this topic, let us understand how links and linking works. Links serves as a doorway from one page in the Internet to another page in the Internet. People who are surfing the net clicks the link to get to another page. Therefore, links is an important tool to bring in readers to your blog. This is the reason why Google is putting heavy weight on inbound links in calculating the page rank.

However, not all links are treated as equal and some of the inbound links are totally ignored by search engines. Links on the comments page of blogs are ignored by Google, thus inbound links from there do not matter. Google made this policy to prevent bloggers to spam the comment pages with links to their blog. Another thing is that inbound links on popular website or blogs have much weight in page rank calculations than inbound links on obscure blogs or websites. Google have complex way of calculating the weight of a link to your blog but the simple principle is that the more links you have the better and the links on popular website are the most valuable.

Google indexes all the websites in the Internet using what they call as robots. Robots crawl the web pages and follow the link located on those pages. The robots were programmed to follow specific types of links. As I had said, there are links that are ignored by Google like the links on comment page of blogs. Links with “no follow” attribute are also ignored by robots.

Therefore, in your quest to put inbound link to your blogs on other webpages, be sure that those links are not ignored by Google.

There are many ways to get inbound links for your blogs. For my blogs, I used varied websites to plant my inbound links on. Here are some of the methods that I observed as a good way to get inbound links.

1. Exchange Links

Exchange link is done by asking other bloggers to place your link on their blog in exchange for placing their link on their blog. This is good especially if the other blogs have higher page ranks than your blog. However, Google disapproved of this racket and put a little weight on links placed on the sidebar.

Other bloggers may also ask you for exchange link. Be careful when accepting this kind of offer. I have experienced that those asking for exchange links usually delete your link on their blog after a month or so. So if you do not check their blog, you will never know that they just tricked you so they could get one-way link to their blog. I suggest that you don’t accept invitations for exchange links from bloggers who just recently visited your site.

2. Befriend and be a Friend

One of the best ways to get inbound link is when your blog is linked by other people on their blogs. However, getting inbound links through this way is not easy because it entails you to engage in continuous communication with other bloggers. For more than three years of blogging, I have been linked by my blogger friends for so many times. However, conversing with other bloggers through their blogs is quite engaging to the point that I just consider inbound links from them as bonuses. Currently, I have scores of blogger friends through my travel and personal blog. There are times that some of them link to me through their posts. Links on the blog of your blogger friends is not only for your Google page rank but also help introduce you to their readers, which will help you add more readers to your blog.

3. Be an Authoritative Blogger

Blogging is all about sharing information to other people in the Internet. Thus, when you a start a blog, make it your goal to be an authority to the niche that your blog covers. If other people and blogger see you as an authority within that niche then many people will cite your blog and place your link on their sites.

4. Link from Your Other Blogs

If you have other blogs or websites, make sure that you will include the link of your blog to those other blogs of yours. If you are talking about a topic on one of your blog that has a related post on your other blog, then link your blog to the related post on your other blog. This is not just helpful in putting inbound links for your blog but it also help in increasing the exposure of your other blogs.

Other bloggers use this technique, especially if they own a blog that is paid-hosted. They create blogs on free hosting sites like Blogger. Their free-hosted blogs will serve as their platform to place inbound links to their paid-hosted blogs.

 I just outlined here the “slow way” of getting inbound links to your blog. In the next post, we will talk about some “faster ways” that I used to have inbound links to my blogs.
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Google Reader Turns Off Track Changes Feature

Google Reader is one of the useful tools created by Google. I use this tool to show me all the updates of the all the websites and blogs that I follow all on in one page. Before I discovered Google Reader, I usually do bloghopping to check if the blogs of my friends are updated. Bloghopping is time consuming because I visit all the blogs even if they do not have new updates. Sometimes, I consumed hours bloghopping, which sacrifice my time for other activities.

Google Reader change all that. Updates from my favorite websites and blogs are delivered in real time and all of those are collected in one application. You could also read those updates directly from Google Reader and without going the the blog or website. Google Reader was able to do this by getting the RSS feeds of the blogs that you are reading. However, there are some blogs that do not have RSS feeds. For those kinds of blogs, Google Reader uses the "track changes feature."

The "track changes feature" monitors blogs and alerts users of Google Reader that an update was made on the blog. However, Google decided to deactivate this feature last September 30, 2010.

As a remedy, users can use a tool to convert Google Track changes feeds to Page2RSS feeds. For instruction in converting feeds, visit the Google Reader Blog.

Now that this feature was removed by Google, I will have a hard time checking up on some blogs that do not have RSS feeds. I do hope that Page2RSS will be useful, but I prefer that Google Reader return the track changes feature.
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Link Old Blog Posts with Link Within

One of the characteristic of a blogs is that it is like a diary. Its pages are sorted by the time and day that the blog post was posted, with the latest blog post placed in the first page of the blog and the older blog posts are placed on the next pages. Consequently, the older blog posts are not seen by the readers and authors of blogs that have too many posts forgets some of his/her old blog posts.

Old blog posts are important, especially if you have a new blog post that is related to that old blog post. There is important information that visitors to your blog could read and make his/her visit to your blog post more informal. It is also good that new readers will read your blog posts from the past.

The best way to re-connect to your older blog post is by linking to that blog post. One of the way to this is by using Linkwithin.

Linkwithin is a free application or widget that you could place to your blog. This widget automatically pulls related older blog posts and places them on the page of the new blog post. The application decides on what blog posts to feature by looking at the tags, relevance, and currency of the featured blog posts.

As of now, the application only generate up to five links. However, unlike its competitors, Linkwithin features a link with a thumbnail that have a picture from the featured blog post. This set-up of Linkwithin boosts the promotion of your old blog posts and is more attractive compared to its competitors.
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 A blog post with LinkWithin widget

Setting-Up Linkwithin

Installing the Linkwithin widget is easy. The widget could be downloaded for free from the LinkWithin website. You just have to provide your e-mail address, the link to your blog, the platform of your blog, and the number of link that you want for each blog post.

Linkwithin supports Blogger, self-hosted site in Wordpress, and Typepad. A new window that contains instruction for installing the widget will appear. The instructions are easy to follow.

You have to wait for a while before the links will appear on your blog posts. The more blog posts that you have, the longer time you have to wait for the links to appear.

Internal linking, or linking to your blog posts in your blog is a good way to promote your blog posts and increase its rankings on search engines. This will also enable you to keep your old blog post from falling to obscurity. Linkwithin is a good way to do internal linking as it is automatic and has more attractive to look at.
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The Importance of Internal Linking

Links are important elements or factors that are being considered by search engines like Google and Yahoo in ranking every website in the World Wide Web. Basically, the greater the number of incoming links that the site has, the higher its ranking will be in the search engines.

Because of this, bloggers do their best in scattering the links to their blogs in the internet by trying to place their links in other blogs or websites. Linking your blogs to other websites or blogs is called as external linking. There are many ways to do external linking like asking other bloggers to place your blogs link on their blogs, which is called as exchange link. Leaving comments is also helpful in leaving links on other people blogs or websites. 

There is another type of linking that many bloggers ignore. This is internal linking.

Internal linking is done by placing a link or links in a page of blog or website that is referred to another page or pages that are also within your blog or website. For a blog, this is done when links were placed on a new blog post that are referred to the older blog posts that are related to the topic of the new blog post.

For example, you are writing a blog post about Siamese cats and you remembered that you posted a blog post about Persian cats in the past. It will be a good idea if you will place a link on your Siamese cats blog post that refers to your blog post about Persian cats. Doing that is what we call as internal linking.

Importance of Internal Links

1. Higher Pagerank

Search engines do not only rate blogs as a whole but it also ranks each page of a blog. This means that one of your blog posts may rank higher than your other blog posts. Just like in ranking websites, search engines rank pages by looking on the different factors like the number of visitors that the page receives, the number of incoming links that the page has, and many more. Doing internal linking will help individual pages or blog posts to garner higher pageranks.

2. Longer Visitor Stay

Links are doorways to other pages and it will be good if that doorway will lead the visitors of your blogs to your other blog posts, thus making them stay longer in your blog. Placing links of your other related blog posts will also show the readers that you have more to say about the topic that they interested in, thus making you more credible in the eyes of your visitors.

3. Old Blog Posts are not Forgotten

Because of the diary-like set-up of blogs, old blog posts are being buried under new blog posts and many of them are forgotten. This should not happen to any blog posts and bloggers must ensure that old blog posts will still be visited by readers. Internal linking is great way of resurrecting old blog posts.


Automated Way to Place Internal Links

There are many ways to automate the placing of internal links on your blog posts. Many widgets are available and are free to use and download. One of them is the LinkWithin, which on my travel and personal blog and my tips and review blog.

You should also know what is the best color of links to make it work better for your blogs.
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The Best Color of Hyperlink

The creation of the Internet also entailed the creation of the hyperlink. The hyperlink is a character, word, or phrase on a webpage that takes the reader from the current webpage to another webpage. In HTML coding, the hyperlink is created by using the anchor tag that is referred to the Internet address of the webpage.

The hyperlink is an important blogging tool. It is used by bloggers to link to their favorite websites and websites of their advertisers on their blogs. It also serves as the venue for new readers to reach your blog after they clicked on the hyperlink (referred to your blog) from other blogs. This is the reason why many bloggers are asking for link exchange from other bloggers.

According to a study made by Chitika, Internet users usually associate characters, words, and phrase in blue font or color with hyperlink. The study explains that since the inception of the Internet, the color of the hyperlink had been blue. Because of this, Internet users had been “trained” to think all blue colored words on a webpage as hyperlinks. Because of this, the blue-colored hyperlink has a higher probability of being clicked than other hyperlinks of other color.

Thus, it best to keep you hyperlinks colored as blue on blog, especially the links of the ads on your site. Blue-colored hyperlink will generate more income than green-colored hyperlink, or any hyperlink with other color.
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How to Open Multiple Accounts Simultaneaously

As a blogger and as an Internet addict, I have many accounts on many social networking sites. I have an account in Twitter, Facebook, Multiply, Friendster, and Plurk, not to mention my e-mail addresses and other website for blogging and other activities. The sheer number of accounts is overwhelming especially if you are like me who have two accounts for Facebook and Friendster and four e-mail addresses. I have a personal account and an account for blogging in Facebook. I have an e-mail for blogging, an e-mail for work, and another e-mail address for personal matters.

Managing these accounts poses some problems and one of these problems is if you want to open those accounts simultaneously. In your browser (be it Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer), you can only open one Facebook, for example. Even if you open another tab, it would only show the account

So how can you open your multiple accounts simultaneously?

The only trick is to have more than browser in your computer.

I, for instance, have two browsers in my computer. These are Firefox and Google Chrome. I open one of my Facebook and e-mail accounts in one browser and then I open my other accounts in Firefox.

There are also other browsers out there if you want to open three, four, or higher number of accounts simultaneously. All you have to do is to download those browsers. Here are the browsers that I usually use (click on the link to go to the download page): Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera.

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Found this post informative, helpful or quite the opposite? Please leave your thoughts. You can also ask me questions through my comment box.

Request Your Google Adsense PIN to Cash Out

Last month, I have seen an error on my Adsense account that goes like this:


According to the error, Google Adsense is now requiring publishers to verify their Adsense account by inputting their Personal Identification Number (PIN). Getting the Adsense PIN is important because Google requires it before the publisher could cash out from his/her account.

I guess Google’s insistence on verifying the Adsense account is in connection with the measure of the US government to put tax on online incomes of US citizens.

To get your Adsense PIN, all you have to do is to request for your PIN and fill out your address information in your Adsense Account. Your Adsense PIN will come by mail within three weeks after you filed your request.

My letter from Google containing my Adsense PIN.


After receiving your Adsense PIN via mail, all you have to do is to input your PIN so to enable you to cash out from your account.

Make Commenting as a Powerful Blogging Tool

Bloggers love to see comments on their blogs. Comments serves as a proof that there is indeed someone who read the bloggers blog post. But that is not the only reason, comments also gives the bloggers indication that the commenting reader wants to have an active interaction with the blogger. Through comments, the reader sends their reactions – be it a question, a disagreement with contents of the blog post, or an appreciation to the information posted by the blogger. Comments also show how the audience receives the blog posts and could be used as a tool to change the blogger’s strategy in marketing their blogs. A blog with active readers is an indication that the blog captured a set of core readers that can serve as start of streams of traffic trickling to the blog.

Whatever the reason is, comments are valuable to the bloggers. And because of this, many bloggers tried many ways to make the passive readers leave a comment on their blogs. Some well-established have schemes like online contests to foster commenting and attract hordes of traffic. However, those kinds of scheme are beyond the reach of newbie bloggers and young blogs.

Blogging is a mode of communicating and connecting with other people. Commenting, as a tool of blogging, is a simple way of initiating conversation. It is also a good way of developing good relationships with other bloggers.

Tips on Making Comments a Powerful Blogging Tool


1) Initiate the Conversation First

This is the first thing that I did when I started blogging. Instead of just waiting for someone to comment on my blog, I started to visit other blogs and leave a comment on those blogs. And it is not just any blogs that I went to. I make sure that my blog have something in common with the blogs I am visiting, or that I have something in common with the blogger who owned the blog I am visiting. For my Before the Eastern Sunset blog, I started visiting blogs owned by bloggers who also live in my hometown. By doing this, I know that I have something to relate to with the blogger.

Initiating the conversation first is just like visiting the houses in your new neighborhood and saying hello to the homeowners.

2) Leave Meaningful Comments

Many bloggers do not like seeing comments that do not add value to the conversation. Short comments like “LOL,” “That’s great!,” or “Nice post,” are examples of such comments. Bloggers who receive such comments can only reply short comments that in no way continue the conversation. You can only use such comments if you already have an established relationship with the blogger you are commenting to and simple words like these are enough to convey your message. But if you are a new visitor, never leave such comments.

Reading the blog post is also important. Leaving comments that are off topic is a big no-no. Comments that only contain advertisements or promotion of commenter’s blogs are also a big no-no and comments like these are likely to be ignored or, worse, deleted by bloggers.

Leaving a meaningful comment shows you value to the blogger whom you are commenting to. It shows that you want to spark a meaningful conversation with the blogger. Leaving meaningful comments also have an added benefit because comments like these attracts the attention of other readers. If the blogger and the readers find you comments meaningful, then there is a great chance that they will also visit your blog to know more about your blog. 

3) Follow Up On Comments

Leaving on comment on a blog is not the end of conversation. If the blogger or other reader answered your comment, then it is good that you also answer their replies. Following up on comments only shows that you are interested in conversing with them.

However, monitoring replies to each of your comments is quite hard to do. Thankfully, there are ways to automatically know if your comment had been replied to.

Blogger, for instance, allows you to subscribe on the comments of the blog posts you commented on. For other blog platform, there are Disqus and Intense Debate which are installed by bloggers to foster interactivity in their blogs. Do not fail to take advantage of such facilities in the blogs you are commenting on.

4) Answer Comments on Your Blogs

If a visitor commented on your blog, then the best thing to do is to reply to their comment. This is the best way of rewarding readers who took their time to write a comment on your blog. Replying on your reader’s comment also shows that you are interested in conversing with your readers. It adds interactivity to your site and make develops a personal relationship with your readers.

If your visitor left a question, then answer the question to the best of your knowledge and as soon as possible. It is also best if you go out of your way to research the answer to the questions so that your readers will look at you as a person who personally knows the topic in question. This will raise your value to the blogosphere and will attract more readers through the word of mouth of commenters who got their questions answered.

Commenting is a powerful blogging tool and the best way of developing strong relationship with your readers. Use the tips I included herein and good things will be coming your way.

Leave a comment. If you have questions, reactions, or clarification about this article then please leave a comment. All comments will be replied to, personally, as soon as possible.
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What is the Best Blog Platform: Blogspot or Wordpress?

Creating a new blog can be an overwhelming feat, especially if you are just new in blogging and do not have any idea about the vital elements in blogging. One of the questions that confront new bloggers is what blog platform he/she should use when setting up a blog.

There are quite a number of blog platforms out there but the most popular are Blogger and Wordpress. New bloggers usually narrow down their choices of blog platforms between Blogger and Wordpress. So, for your new blog, what blog platform should you choose? Is it Wordpress? Or is it Blogger?

Blogger or Blogspot


Blogger is owned by the Internet giant Google. Large number of free hosted blogs uses Blogger as the blog platform. Blogger is easy to learn and use. It uses the “what you see is what you get” principle in designing. Publishing your blog post is easy and you could either compose your blog post by manually typing HTML tags or automate tagging their composer.
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Dashboard of my Blogger account.

What I like about blogger is that there are many free templates that could be found in the Internet. My templates for this blog and my travel and personal blog were just downloaded for free. Another good thing is that there many available widgets that you could download for free to make your blog look better.

The best bit is that you could place advertisements on your blog without even applying for paid hosting in the Blogger blog platform. All of my blogs using Blogger blog platform has Google Adsense and other ads from other advertising services.


Wordpress


I like Wordpress for its professional look and feel. This is the reason why I use it for my socio-political blog. Wordpress is the blog platform of choice for bloggers who want to have a .com site. For bloggers who just want to have free hosted blog, Wordpress is also recommendable as a blog platform. However, free hosted blogs is given some limitations by Wordpress. One limitation is that free hosted blogs is not allowed to have any ads. Any blogger who do not follow this rule have their free hosted blogs closed down by Wordpress.

Because of this restriction, I recommend Wordpress for those bloggers who just want to have a blog without the intention of monetizing it. For a free hosted blog to have ads, the only advice is to have pay for the hosting of your blog.

Sans the restriction, Wordpress is a good blog platform. One of the things that made it great is its dashboard that shows the statistics of your blog for free. The Wordpress dashboard can show the number of visitors of your blog, most popular blog post, most clicked links, and a graph showing the number of your blog visitors over time.


Another thing that I like about Wordpress is that you could create categories for blog post, aside from having tags for the blog post. Blogger do not have such functionality and its users are just limited to tags (or labels).

These some advantages and disadvantages of using Wordpress and Blogger. For better reference, here is the summary of advantages and disadvantages of the two blog platforms:
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Table showing the pros and cons of Wordpress and Blogger.

How about you? What can you say about Wordpress or Blogger? What is your blog platform of choice?

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Missing Comments on Blogger

This night (July 6, Philippine time zone), I was dismayed to discover that some of the comments from blogger friends are not showing up on my blog. No matter how I try to refresh the page, no comments are being shown. An example of the blog post that is experiencing this kind of problem is my blog post entitled, "Tips on Taking UPCAT, ACET, DLSUCET and other College Entrance Exams."

My friend Nicxter posted a comment on that post and I approved it just this night. I received an e-mail that notified me that the comment was posted.

However, when I go to to my blog, the comment is missing. I tried posting comments on that post but my own comments are also missing. I opened my blog both on Firefox and Google Chrome but the problem persisted. I somehow proved that the problem is not on the browser but on Blogger.

When I go to Blogger's forum page, I discovered that I am not the only one who is experiencing this problem. There many bloggers who also have comments missing on their blogs and many thread were opened to find the solution to this problem. However, there is still no solution and I was just consigned to report to Blogger my problem through the Blogger forum and "Report Problem" page.

The "Missing Comment" problem is a systemwide problem of Blogger. The company said that their engineers are now working to fix the "Missing Comment" problem. I just do hope their solution will not make the comments of my readers to be deleted.

How about you? Did you experienced the same problem? Do you have a solution for the problem of missing comments? Please share it with us.

Some Truths About Our Digital Footprints

One Pinoy blogger lamented that his grandfather left his memories through the letters that he wrote and through the many pictures of his that he left behind for his children and grandchildren. Now, in our age, we will be remembered not only through our handwritten memories or the still pictures that we had but also through our activities in the Internet. They will remember us through our blogs post that we uploaded. They will watch our videos that we uploaded in Youtube. They can read our tweets from the archives of US Congress of Library. We could also continue existing through our Facebook accounts.

That is how powerful our Digital Footprint is. It is as tangible as our handwritten letters and printed pictures. It is more widespread thanks to capability of the Internet to share information.

Our digital footprint leaves a great mark on our legacy. Because of this, we must always consider how will our grandchildren perceive us if they see the pictures and videos that we uploaded, read the tweets and blog post that we share. It is will also be the basis of other people to know your personality. By just searching your name in Google, they will mine many information based on your digital footprints that the search engine showed.

When we are surfing the net, we have the tendency to forget how our online activities it will affect our life. Many ignorant rant about their life for the people to see. Some people can’t get jobs because companies unearthed their negative digital footprints.

The tip here is for you to be mindful of your online activities and make sure that your digital footprint is clean. When you are online, you should always consider the nature of the Internet when it comes to coverage and permanence.

Coverage of the Internet and Its Effect to Your Digital Footprint

The Internet is as vast as the ocean and because of its vastness; people tend to be lost in it. Aside from being vast, the exchange of communication in the Internet is fast. In just a matter of seconds, the information you posted may spread to other websites and will be known by hundreds of people. Because of this nature of the Internet, many people’s personal information scattered fast. An example of this is the sex scandal videos that easily spread throughout the Internet. When you are online, do consider this nature and be mindful so that information that you want to be seen by other people is safe.

Permanence of the Internet

Digital footprints may last longer than the person because of Internet’s nature of permanence. Once your information went out to the Internet, many websites will copy that information and many people will download that information. Thus, it is possible that what I posted on this blog today might be seen by my great grandchildren even I am already for years.

Many people were victimized by their own ignorance to the Internet. As a precaution, be always mindful with what you write, post, and share in the Internet so that your digital footprint will not be your shame in the coming years.