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Blogging w/ WordPress at MindFlow Cafe

Blogging Effectively

Being a Virtual Assistant I don’t often get to be in front of my clients. Since using MindFlow Cafe as my WiFi ‘go-to’ place until I leave for The BROAD journey, not only have I picked up a steady client, but I got the opportunity to join forces with their mission and teach a class on Blogging with WordPress.

Today I taught some new bloggers the in’s and out’s and the tips and tricks of blogging. We covered a great many aspect of beginner and intermediate blogging.

Ursula teaching a Blogging ClassSetting Up Your Blog

Posting w/ Pics and Vids

Back Links, Keywords, Open in New Window

Search for Yourself

Be Unique but not too Far Out

Reading your Stats

Oh the list goes on and on. Blogging is a great tool for sharing information on any subject you find interesting, and believe me, if you like there’s others that will too. Reaching your target audience can take a little time and effort, but with the right knowledge and self determination; you’ll be a Blogging Guru in no time.

I guess I forget that not everybody knows what SEO is; Search Engine Optimization. Folks really found great value in the SEO portion of the session and in the fact that you really need to be sure at least the first 150 words of anything you post should always be unique. Typically this would be the case naturally, but with some businesses they think if they recycle the same message over and again, they make their lives easy. NOT SO!!!  You simply find yourself lost in the Google Sandbox or becoming a “bad neighbor” and will not make your way to the top of search engines.

Oh so much information, but I really enjoyed teaching this class and I greatly appreciate the opportunity that MindFlow presented me. In fact, I’ve been working from MindFlow for well over a month and have even gotten a client out of the deal.

So yeah, score one for The Write Hand and for MindFlow – network, network, network.

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Ursula teaching a Blogging Class

 

 
 

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Out of the Google Sandbox and to the Top of the Search

Introduction to Sandbox

For a considerably long period, Google happened to provide new sites with a temporary boost, known as “fresh boost” or “new site bonus.” But recently this search giant seems to have set a new trend in place for Search Engine Page Rankings (SEPRs). It was found that that Google SERPs of brand new sites turned out to be pretty pathetic after the initial glorious days at the top of the search rankings. This phenomenon is popularly referred to as Google’s Sandbox.

Google’s Sandbox is like quicksand

Though “Sandbox” sounds pretty pleasant, it very much resembles a quicksand than a playground as suggested by its name to many web professionals.

When a new website is indexed in Google, it gets propelled to the top of the SERPs charts for a short yet glorious time, and then, slides downhill only to be buried deeply in the sand at Google. In other words, Google’s Sandbox is about a brand new website being placed on probation, or a hiatus or in a moratorium and kept lower than expected in searches, before being given full value for its incoming links and content.

How does Sandbox affect your website?

The Google’s Sandbox is said to be a filter placed on new websites to discourage spam sites from rising quickly, getting banned, and repeating the process. Websites in the Sandbox does not receive good rankings for its most important keywords and keyword phrases. The new website will be there in the result pages, but it does not rank well no matter how much original, well optimized the content is and how many quality inbound links the site does have.

Which websites are vulnerable to the Sandbox?

While all types of sites can be placed in the Sandbox barring a few exceptions. The problem appears grave for new websites seeking rankings for highly competitive keyword phrases. More competitive keyword driven Websites seeking rankings in highly competitive searches are likely to be in for a much longer duration.

How long does a site remain buried in the Sandbox?

Hiatus in the Sandbox varies from one to six months, with three to four months being the average stay time frame. It has been observed that less competitive searches are given the much shorter stay, whereas hyper-competitive keywords often get sojourn in the sand for six months. The most frequent time of burial is said to be about three months for most search terms.

What distinguishes sites trapped in the sandbox with Google’s penalty?

Sandbox is a Google-only event. Many folks while they see good rankings in Yahoo and MSN Search of their sites mistakenly believe that they have triggered a Google penalty. However this is generally not the case in point.

Sites penalized by Google do not appear in the Google search engine results pages for even the less important searches. Moreover, sites which have invited the wrath of Google show no page rank, and have a grey bar on the Google Toolbar. And none is true in case of sites mired in the Sandbox.

Google’s Sandbox: Letting website grow to its natural evolution

Google is looking ahead for Websites that offer quality content. It is an effort to prevent spammers from creating web sites that are just a flash in the pan, and to discourage the violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which was not an exception in the past, to say the least.

Google’s Sandbox has deliberately been instituted to put a check on the use of throw away spam sites to build early traffic, and to slow down the purchase of expired domain names, among other things.

Google continues to strive that its ranking algorithm, inbound links, original content rich with keywords, and the use of anchor text are not tampered with for a short term gain severely affecting its credibility and quality standards. This stand is driven by the vision of Google that Website should grow gradually to its natural evolution.

Getting grounds before getting grounded in Sandbox

Getting grounded in the Sandbox is almost near-universal for sites. So, it is the best to be prepared for the eventuality. Planning ahead to be buried in the Sandbox may lessen the damage, using the time to your best advantage. To keep the Sandbox filter from causing severe harm to your online, and even your offline business, employ the following strategies:

– The sojourn in the sand may be cut short to a degree by purchasing and sending live a website, before it is ready for prime time.

– Make it sure that you add as many incoming links as possible to get keep on adding content to your site. Do anything but increase your site’s appearance on the Internet

– Purchase and register a domain name and park it. By so doing, some of the sand time will be run through the Google hourglass, before your site is ready for launch. In the meantime, you can be preparing content when your site goes public

– Plan the time of your website launch to have the Sandbox time period passed off when your site needs high search engines rankings the most. Plan for entering the Sandbox by putting your site live at least three months earlier than expected.

Rising from the moratorium: Key strategies that really work!

All your apprehension and concern apart, your stay in the Sandbox is simply an excellent opportunity to improve upon your site, and enrich it the way Google will never ever refute to accept in the top rankings. You can dig in the sand to carve out a niche in your site optimization.

Here’s how you embark …

– Use the time in the quicksand to add incoming links to your website whilst you are in Sandbox. Better still, if you can employ a link exchange strategy right at this time.

– Reach out to useful directories as good sources of one-way links, additional Page Rank, and potential visitor traffic. Submitting to the various Internet directories, including The Open Directory Project, is quite advantageous in the long term

– Design and develop promotional and marketing strategies for your website to raise and maintain traffic levels during your hibernation in the sand.

– Building a community, or building strong inbound links through partnerships pays better off. If you establish traffic sources outside of search engines, you will see a welcome increase in your traffic levels once you get out       of Sandbox.

– When you got trapped in Google’s sand, you may put aside a budget for an Adwords Program, i.e., Google’s pay per click advertising program. This will, of course, help you out in getting exposed and promoted on Google as well as many search and contextual partner sites

– Prefer not to discount traffic from other search engines such as Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and MSN, all of which do not seem to have any type of Sandbox. It may work pretty fine because sites that have well “on the page” search engine optimization do very well in these engines.

What do you need the most while in the Sandbox?

Right Strategy Mix, Time and Patience

The Sandbox is not something you are eventually doomed to. It is not the ringing of death knell for your site either. It is not aimed to hold you back from succeeding.

Time and patience are your best friends while faced with this predicament providing that you execute the right strategy mix. You may not need to pull all the hair out of your head. Adding some powerful incoming links, with strong link anchor text, and adding relevant and rich keyword, and fresh content will help your site rise from the Sandbox, sooner than the later.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Marketing and SEO

 

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Growing (Slowly) but Growing INDEED

My new client for Virtual Admin work is a real gem and I’m learning a great deal from her. Paula owns and operates East End Business Solutions out of Long Island, NY. I was blessed when she hired me as her VA, not just for the obvious reason that I finally have a recurring gig, but because she is the ideal 1st client for my full-time venture into entrepreneurship. Paula has proven to be an up-beat, kind-hearted woman with a deep desire to succeed and flourish. She has taken the time to recognize that I am a very smart and eager individual and while I do not know everything she needs me to know, she has given me guidance and sent me along my way without micromanaging and with intent to see that we flourish together.

New New New and Good Good Good ~ Despite the slow rate of speed at which my clients are growing, they are growing. My capital will be all gone as of the next round of personal payments, so very soon it’ll be skin of the teeth, praying harder than ever, and getting creative with Ramen Noodles (hehehe). I have always believed in the barter and trade system, and now I’m actually making it work in one instance. You see, I sit at my desk for hours and hours, sometimes 10, 12, or more hours a day. Needless to say, it can be grueling and painful. Since being laid-off and being on a strict budget, many luxuries have been cut (case in point: my massages).

Here’s the barter and trade… My massage therapist (and good friend) is also building his independent business because he’s giving more to chiropractors in fees than he’s keeping himself for his services. His company, Saffron and Cedar Wellness, much like my business, needs some marketing. So I have created his blog and write his content based on subject matter he suggests. This takes me about 2 hours a week and in return I get an in-home 1+ hour massage session to help what ails me. Now, if only I could find a trade-off for somebody to steam clean my carpets (hehehehe).

That’s all for now… Time for a snack ;-)~

 

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Office Mates Matter…

As I finished up the work day at nearly midnight last evening, I was listening to my office mate whimper in her sleep. Chasing squirrels perhaps? Taking that long walk in the woods maybe? Who knows what she was dreaming of, and since she’s not the best conversationalist, I surely couldn’t get a clear answer.

Conversations or not, this little beast is by far my biggest fan.

World…. meet B.B. Girl.

B. B. is a teacup poodle, weighing in at a whopping 4.5 pounds. She is 10 years old as of March 8th, she’s full of grey hair, and missing several teeth. But this little girl is the sweetest, most dedicated friend in the world.

Since I truly sat down to focus on building my business 4 weeks ago this weekend, she has been right by my side the entire time. She used to get the privilege of sitting in my lap when I was at the computer, but now the work is more focused, not so much for fun; and the hours are very long. So she has taken up residence on the bar stool with one of her favorite blankies and sometimes her stuffed bunny/squirrel.

B.B. takes breaks with me to get a snack, a meal, a fresh beverage, check the mail, or whatever little household task may be at hand. But otherwise, together – PARTNERS IN CRIME – we sit at this desk together until all hours of the night.

Now don’t you go thinking that B.B. is a workaholic – OH NO…  From time to time she just has to jump on the Harley and take a ride to clear to her head.She has her own doggie backpack and Momma takes her on rides as often as possible.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Blogging, Creative Writing

 

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Rico Love ~ Interview Transcription

I woke up this morning with only one ghostwriting project on my plate and it was mostly finished other than jazzing up some verbiage, proofreading, and linking. So when I saw an email in my guru.com inbox from Sean Williams at Page21Magazine, I was tickled to have work from him again. I’m really diggin’ this new subject matter and I enjoy checking out the artists and hearing new songs as I transcribe the interviews.

Rico Love used to make his coin rapping and singing … now he’s gone big time as the CEO of Division1, writing songs, developing talent, producing for and collaborating with artists like Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs, Emjay, Cherlise, Teairra MariAmeriie, Usher, Beyonce, and many more.

Rico Love has certainly taken his talent beyond rap music and is making his way to the top of the charts in what is bound to be a successful career. And as always, I cannot divulge the content of the interview but there’s plenty to be excited about, so follow Page21 Magazine for the latest greatest buzz …

 

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Transcription

 

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Blogging Just Comes Natural

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Since I was very young, I’ve always loved to write and use the English language. I began with poetry, have written one short story, and have chronicled much of my life in diaries and letters. I’m such a nut for grammar that I used to proofread love notes from my former spouse. (Hope Your Having a Great Day – ugh, it’s You’re)  Ok, so maybe that was a bit over the top, but it just comes natural. I find mistakes in all sorts of printed and online material and I just want to fix it. How can they publish that? Who’s writing for them? Don’t they have proofreaders?

So now that my business is starting to pop, I had a wonderful mentor #HireShai that introduce me to blogging. She has unleashed an animal. What better way to make a living than doing what I love? Writing as a freelancer and blogging for others is a magnificent way to make my love work for me.

I’m looking forward to a lot more #writing as a #freelancer and #blogging for others. Until you read again….. Have a Fan-Tabulous Weekend!!

 

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