How to Build Your Very First Link

How to Build Your Very First Link

So you built a website for your business. Awesome! Now you just have to sit back, relax, and wait for your customers to start knocking at your door. Right?

The truth is, you could build the world’s most beautiful, fully-featured, interactive masterpiece of a website… but if nobody knows it’s there, it won’t get you any customers.

The Internet is built on links. Google uses the trust passed down through millions of websites – from government organizations to renowned colleges and universities, all the way down to your site – in order to rank and categorize your website. But if you don’t have any links, your website is essentially an internet orphan. Google’s robots won’t know where to place you in their vast index – they won’t even know how to find you! And even if you submit your website directly to Google, as more and more time passes, a lack of links to your website is a glaring warning sign that it can’t be trusted. Why else would nobody link to it?

Do any search on Google and you’ll start to see some familiar names coming up time and time again. Wikipedia. Yahoo. WebMD. CNN. These sites have achieved an incredibly high level of trust from Google, in part because of all of the links they have earned from other trustworthy sites.

Fortunately, you can pretty easily get some of that trust for your own website, too. This post will teach you how to build your first link – maybe even your first five!

Interview: Liz Jazwiec, Author

Interview: Liz Jazwiec, Author

Our InterviewFX series rolls on! These interviews offer business owners and marketers important insight, advice, and ideas that will help grow their online presence and become more successful at what they do. To see past interviews, visit this page or click the “InterviewFX” button in our sidebar.

Today we interview internationally renowned speaker and author Liz Jazwiec. Liz’s books include “Eat That Cookie,” “Hey Cupcake! We Are All Leaders,” and her most recent, “Service Excellence is as Easy as P.I.E. (Perception is Everything).” Check out her advice on finding your internal customer, making client relationships personal, and what NOT to do when you have customers who are a little bit… well, crazy.

Case Study: 3 Famous Coca-Cola Marketing Campaigns

Case Study: 3 Famous Coca-Cola Marketing Campaigns

If you’re going to spotlight a historic company with tons of great marketing to learn from, who better than Coca-Cola?

This classic brand has been reminding us to “Drink Coca-Cola” since 1886 and now encourages millions around the world to “Open Happiness” every day. One thing that has remained constant throughout the history of Coke is the innovative marketing campaigns that have launched and re-launched the brand and its product to the world.

Here are just a few of my favorite Coca-Cola campaigns that both capture the essence of Coke’s brand and provide great learning tools for the rest of us to emulate.

How to Guest Post on Blogs: The Complete Guide

How to Guest Post on Blogs: The Complete Guide

Are you thinking about becoming a guest blogger as a way to increase your company’s visibility, attract more customers, or improve your site’s authority? If so, you’re in the right place. This complete guide to guest blogging was created to help you learn how to find, contact, and write for blogs in your industry.

Although community-powered websites and blogs have been around for many years, guest blogging may still very well be in its infancy. Contributing a post to an authoritative website in your industry can not only be beneficial for that site, if they’re struggling to come up with enough content, but also for you. The exposure and interest that a guest post brings can be fantastic for businesses or individuals in need of a little marketing boost.

But isn’t guest blogging dead?

RIP, guest blogging?
RIP, guest blogging?

Earlier this year, Google’s Matt Cutts declared guest blogging for SEO (that is, search engine optimization) dead, saying:

If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice.

… but guest blogging for visibility, leads, connections, and even just for the sheer thrill of seeing your name on other websites are all still valid, and probably always will be, unless Google decides to start issuing penalties for fun and profitability or something.

In fact, Cutts, later added this to his original post:

There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.

Yes, there are absolutely still link building benefits that will come out of a guest authorship opportunity. But if you’re one of those high-quality bloggers Cutts is talking about, you’re in it for the exposure and increased reach that guest blogging can bring to your business. That’s why we’ve put together this tutorial: to help you grow your business through guest posting.

Read on for a guest blogging tutorial that teaches the benefits of guest contributions, provides a five-step tutorial that walks you through the process of getting published, and even offers some ideas for being a “gracious guest,” ensuring you get invited back for another round!

Free Google Analytics Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier

Free Google Analytics Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier

Google offers us a lot of data to use with our website in one of the most important tools out there: Google Analytics. However, there is almost too much data available. Thankfully there are free Google Analytics reporting tools that give you a glance at important KPIs to keep you in the loop.

Chances are, you’ve wasted a lot of time wandering around your Analytics account just looking at numbers. It’s too easy to get lost in all the different data points that are just a few clicks away from each other. Rather than wasting my time every day or every month, I sought out a solution.

As it turns out, there are a few handy tools out there that save you valuable time to make important decisions rather than kill time by floating around your Google Analytics account. Let’s take a look!

The 8 Best Places to Find Free Photos for Your Blog

The 8 Best Places to Find Free Photos for Your Blog

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably already know how important it is to break up those big blocks of text with images. Since our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, a well-placed photo can help get your point across and keep your readers engaged.

But what do you do when your favorite stock photo site starts to look a little, well, repetitive? When the well finally runs dry, is the only choice to pay for photography?

Not so fast. There are plenty of websites out there that offer free, high-quality photos for your blog. I’ve picked out eight of my favorites — including a few that may be completely new to you – to help revitalize your blog content and give you some new options to choose from the next time you’re searching for that perfect photo.

These photo sources are split into two groups: no attribution required and attribution required. Read on to see the list and a sampling of the photos you can find on each site!