First I have to apologise for the delay in producing this blog. I currently have my leg in plaster and it is awkward to work at my computer.
Last week I attended a marketing seminar run by my publisher. It was very informative and interesting. I have a lot of action points for when my leg is out of plaster and I am able to drive again.
One thing I found during discussions with fellow authors on the seminar was there were a high proportion that did not know where to start with regard to producing their own webpage.
I spent some time discussing the options open to them (during the breaks of course). The discussions prompted me to add a couple of pages to my Partnership Publishing website discussing setting up a website using both a Mac and PC.
Please go over to my other site and let me know what you think. If you know of other options open to the beginner then please contact me and let me know.
As I have my leg in plaster I am virtually tied to my computer. I decided that I might investigate the many programs available that are reportedly designed to increase the traffic to a website.
I looked carefully and found that most require a monthly subscription. Some as much as $40 a month!! I thought that was rather excessive for something that to my mind was slightly dubious and could result in issues with Google.
I found one ‘free’ program that was designed to increase traffic to a website by using targeted keywords. It takes the keywords and produces a webpage for each keyword.
You research keywords that are relevant to your website. Once you have your keyword list you have to edit them to remove irrelevant ones and ones that do not make sense such as Publishing Self instead of Self Publishing.
It is then necessary to put the keywords into groups that have a similar context. The next task is to produce a couple of paragraphs of text that each group of keywords fits into so that when each keyword of the group is inserted into the text it (almost) makes sense.
After editing the keywords that I had obtained for my test (I had searched Partnership Publishing) I was left with about 175 usable ones. These I split into three context groups and wrote three versions of the text to fit around them. I was careful to keep it relevant to the keyword groups and the content of my website. The Traffic Hurricane sales pitch is that you can produce thousands of relevant pages easily. God knows what some of them must read like. With out careful keyword editing most pages would probably be rubbish.
One cornerstone of Traffic Hurricane is that it produces these ‘thousands’ of pages and they are all different keeping the search engines happy. It did not really work that way. I had three different context folders for the keywords. In reality this produced 98 pages using one version of the text (page content) 53 pages of the second version and 24 pages for the final group
The instructions recommend that you use a different domain name for the Traffic Hurricane pages. When the software produces each page it links it to your main website using a normal URL link in a prominent position. The reason for the separate domain name is ‘just in case’ the search engines smell a rat and delist the domain the Hurricane pages sit on.
The software was uploaded to my new domain folder and I followed through the process of producing the Hurricane pages. I have to admit it was easy to do. The default template pages Hurricane comes with were OK but not anything to write home about.
So after a little experimentation I had 175 Traffic Hurricane pages sitting in three separate folders. I was concerned that other than the keywords each page was not much different from another.
The next concern I had was that they looked to me a little like Doorway Pages. Something Google frowns upon.
The big killer for me was that as I had the Light version there were adverts controlled by the agent who supplied the software. They were large and obtrusive, they did not fit the page correctly and most were advertising Asian Women!!! Yep I REALLY want my website associated with that!!
On the bottom of the page was a large banner advert for the designer and main supplier of Traffic Hurricane. So are you going to tell me that having over a hundred pages with links back to the Traffic Hurricane designer is not going to get noticed by the Google web crawlers?
If you want a version that does not display the suppliers adverts then you pay $192 for the Pro version and you can add your own advertisements. I bet you a pound to a pinch of shit that there is still a banner advert for Traffic Hurricane on the ‘Pro’ version!
So would I pay $192 for something that produces hundreds of pages containing almost the same content and looks suspiciously like Doorway Pages? No I certainly would not! Have I kept the Light version running? No, once I saw the garish and unsavoury advertisements I had no control of as well as the sameness of the content I deleted it all and parked my new domain name.
Having such things coupled to my website was a risk that I did not want to take. So in conclusion the only way to increase traffic is by having genuine content and something people want to read.
Guardian Two Word count 23400 (Oh dear must get on with it!!!)
I happened to be sitting in my garden yesterday afternoon sipping my Arran Sunset real ale when I noticed there were no bees. The garden is full of flowers at this time of year. The afternoon was warm and sunny with a light breeze. Normally there would be many bees working on the flowers. There were none! Other than a couple of bumble bees and other insects there was nothing, not one bee.
This morning was a beautiful sunny morning so I looked round the garden carefully. Again not one bee could I see!
My father mentioned it last week that there were very few bees in his Garden. I have to say I did not think much of it at the time. Now that I have noticed the lack of bees in my garden it has got me thinking. He lives a good four hundred miles from me so it is not a local phenomenon.
So what has happened to the bees? Where have they gone? They are so small and in the background that they are not noticed as they busily go about their work pollinating the flowers. Because they are not noticed they are not missed.
The news is so full of global warming, nuclear proliferation, rogue states and corrupt politicians that perhaps the most important thing is going unmentioned. Where would we be without the humble little Honey Bee? On the edge of a global Extinction Level Event that’s where!
Most plants, which include the majority of the world’s food, rely on bees for pollination. No pollination, no plants, no food!
It is ironic when we are worrying about the big picture and the big events that perhaps the most dangerous threat to our world is happening unnoticed right under our noses, the decline of the bee.
Has anyone else noticed the lack of bees? If they are declining is there something being done to prevent this potential global disaster? Personally I doubt it.
What do you think?