Saturday, January 16, 2010

Making a facebook fan page for use with Squidoo and business in general.

As usual, when I hear people talking enthusiastically about something I am tempted to try it myself. I already had a Facebook profile but was very reluctant to mention my lenses there, because it's more a place where I connect with friends, family, and colleagues.

Some lensmasters evidently look at it the other way around: they don't want to annoy their squidoo fans and connections with personal matters.

In either case, the solution may be to create a facebook page. I've got one now: Chapel.Hill.Fiddler on Facebook. I already feel freer to mention business related stuff and to drop a lot of links which my friends and family might consider spam!

I discovered something cool: if you add the application called "Static FBML" (FBML means Facebook Markup Language) you can make tabs or boxes using html, which means you can style them to look more like a webpage - you can have big pictures and links and embed stuff...

... and to make it even more fun, you can set one of the tabs you create to be your Facebook Landing Page, so when people surf to your URL for the first time, they see your special custom page (on subsequent visits they go to the wall page).

I made a landing page with links to a lot of my blogs, and to my squidoo lensography. If you haven't been there before, you should see a page with the heading "What's Going On Here" ? (Go on, go visit, you know you want to! And maybe become my fan while you're there!)

In other news, I've finally managed to get google to index my Best Wedding Songs blog, mainly by pointing to it from various other locations! And I've done a new lens full of research on Complaints Choirs, an absolutely hilarious concept. I'm starting one myself: Complaints Choir, Chapel Hill Headquarters.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Freelance Home Writer: Excellent Resource About Article Writing Sites

As I posted recently, I am looking for an article writing site to meet certain critieria. I have not found it yet and I am not sure it exists. Here are my criteria:

* Appear high in the search engines
* Are a good source of quality anchor text "DoFollow" links
* Send some traffic to my sites
* Pay some money
* Not require much "social networking"
* Be easy to use

Basically, I am looking for something like Ezinearticles or a GoArticles which pay money too. I have already ruled out several sites, including:

* Hubpags: If your hubs fall below a certain ranking, the links become NoFollow
* EHow: Resource Links are NoFollow
* Associated Content: Resource Links Are Nofollow
* Helium: Requires that you vote on other articles and others must vote on yours.

In the meantime I have located a very good source of information about article writing sites, called Freelance Home Writer. The blogger "Willow Sidhe" is a freelance writer. She checks out all of the paid article writing sites and reviews them. She even tells how much money she earns.

Willow appears to prefer EHow due to how much money she is earning. EHow does look like a good site, however, oddly their links are NoFollow. This rules Ehow out for me, as I want an article writing site which can go along with my Squidoo lenses and websites, sending traffic and links my way.

I will keep looking, but in the meantime Willow's blog is VERY useful. Check it out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Calling All Squids: Need Your Advice!!

Usually on Valley Of The Giants, Squid Giants are giving advice. I would like to turn tables and ask advice. I wonder if I will get any here?

I use article writing as a way to give some benefit to my websites and lenses, like traffic and quality links. I currently use Buzzle, GoArticles and PR Log. (Yes, I prefer GoArticles to EzineArticles) These sites are great, because articles I write appear high in the search engines and send some traffic to my websites. They are also easy to use and give quality anchor text links (except PR Log just gives regular links, not anchor text) without much requirements other than writing a quality article. There is little in the way of moderation and little waste of time.

I know that there are some sites out there that pay money as well and that is always attractive. But some of them are quite complicated and I would like to avoid that.

Sometime ago I joined Hubpages and I have been disappointed. You may not be aware but if your Hubpages fall below a certain ranking, the links become Nofollow links. In order to be above a certain ranking you need to meet some unknown qualifications. For example, I believe you need to get other hubbers to follow your sites. In order to do that, you need to follow their sites. It seems to be another one of these social networking sites and frankly, I just dont have time for another. Since I am not very involved in the Hub community, many of my hubpages are below the minimum threshhold and the links have have become Nofollow. This, despite the fact that many of my Hubpages have good quality information. I do not want to deal with another site where I have to invest time into social networking or figure out how to get popularity, etc. I just don't have time for more networking. I would prefer a site where it is just about creating quality content.

I have been thinking about some others:
Associated Content
etc, etc

But I am concerned these may also require social networking where you need to spend time getting people to give your articles a high ranking etc. I want to avoid sites where your articles or you must have a certain popularity in order to have value.

Does anyone know of any good websites that
* Appear high in the search engines
* Are a good source of quality anchor text links
* Send some traffic to my sites
* Pay some money
* Not require much "social networking"
* Be easy to use

Friday, January 8, 2010

Squidoo Strategy is WORKING!

I have been meaning to post this for sometime, but I wanted to be certain before making this exciting announcement. My Squidoo strategy seems to be working. If you do not know my Squidoo strategy, let me give you a brief outline. Here is what I do:

* Get my ideas for interesting products in interesting niche markets from sources such as Amazon Best Sellers, BuzzFeed, O-Magazine, etc.
* Make as many squidoo lens on the most interesting products using best guesses about what might be successful.
* Create links in order to draw traffic to the Squidoo pages.
* See what products are selling successfully.
* Based on Squidoo sales success, select a few topics and build websites around the topic.
* Use Popshops as the core of the websites in order to easily manage them.
* Create sub-niche Squidoo pages in order to offer not only links and traffic to the website's home page, but also deep-links and traffic to the website's subpages.

As a result, I earn Squidoo income from the Squidoo pages and affilate income from the websites.
This strategy has worked for my Footed Pajamas business, so I have now launched a brand new website called Slippers Shoes. The new website will offer cozy slippers. I have recently built this website and an now finalizing the content for it. I am also currently creating Squidoo pages based on each of the website's subpages. I am excited about the new website and also have plans for future websites.

I guess that this is not rocket science and that many Squids are pursuing a similar strategy. However, after nearly 3 years with Squidoo, this approach has only started coming into focus for me. Slow learner, perhaps?

I will keep you informed of my progress in upcoming posts here on Valley of the Giants.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Got My Website Back!!!

As I reported last week, I discovered that someone had taken the content of my lingerie party website. My wife and I spent a great deal of time creating a website to help people organize lingerie parties. But after more than a year, I realized that Google was only delivering search traffic to internal pages and completely ignoring the home page.

How did I discover the problem?? I did a google search on content from my home page and google delivered links to two websites, mine and another one; a website about lingerie parties. I contacted the owner of the website and asked that the content be removed. I waited a week and nothing happened. Two weeks went by, I heard nothing.

Frustated I decided to take the next steps. The rest of this post will document step by step what I did so you can do the same thing if you find that your website content had been copied.

I went to this whois website and entered the address of the website that had taken my content( and clicked search.

If you do that for any website ( lower down you should see information for the IP (Internet provider) something like this:
IP Location: San Francisco, United States
Website Server: Active
Server Type: Apache, blah, blah...

The number following IP: should be hyperlinked. If so, click on it. A page should come up telling you everything you need to know about the host, together with a contact email address. Hopefully the host is in the USA or some other friendly country. In my case it was in New York!!!! I struck GOLD!!!

I wrote an email to the owner of the website and I copied the email address of the IP company (internet provider) demanding that my content be removed. Within a couple of hours I got this response from the IP company:

"You will need to specify exactly which material (by completefilename, i.e. myimage1.jpg, myimage2.jpg, mypage.html, etc.) and you must swear under the penalty of perjury that you hold or you represent the holder of the copyright."

I sent back a simple email swearing under penalty of perjury, together with links to my site and the other site, as well as the content which had been taken.

Within 1 day I received an apologetic email from the Website owner (Finally!!) telling me that they were not aware that the content was taken from my site (Yeah, right) and that it would be removed shortly. The next day, I got a very nice email from the IP company asking me to confirm that my content had been removed. I checked and it was GONE!!!! Interestingly, I can see that there is other content on that website which is duplicate from other websites.

The other good news is that my website is receiving more traffic than before. It has a long way to go, but I am hopeful that things are getting better.

I hope you never need this information, but if you do, follow the steps provided above. Be sure to come back and let us know if it worked or not.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is Your Website Performing Poorly in Google? Maybe Someone Stole It!!!!

Is your website under performing in Google? One of the reasons could be that someone stole your content. I have a website called Lingerie Party. A couple of years ago, my wife and I created it. We put alot of work into the Lingerie Party website and were very proud of our efforts. We created lingerie party invitations, lingerie party games, lingerie party themes and uploaded everything to the website so that people who want to organize a lingerie party only need to go to the website and download everything for free. We spent several days making quality lingerie party invitations, creating quality photos to decorate the site, etc.

Although we got plenty of links to the Lingerie Party website, we were dismayed that the website got very little attention from Google. Strangely, Google delivers search to some of the internal pages but not to the home page. In fact, the homepage was pretty much ignored by Google.

Recently, I think I might have discovered why. I did a search on some of the content of the homepage and discovered that another website had copied the homepage word for word! I was astonished.

This may explain why Google is not sending traffic to my homepage. It is possible that Google sees the homepage as duplicate content and is ignoring it.

Here are the steps I have taken:

* I have removed the content from my home page, so that it can heal as soon as possible. I have created an internal page (Lingerie Party Ideas) and transferred the content there.

* I have created new content for the home page

* I wrote to the owner of the website via their website and asked them to remove the content. They ignored that friendly request.

* I went to the Whois website and gotten the name and email address of the owner of the website.

* I wrote an email to the owner and copied their intenet provider and demanded that they remove the content.

If they do not remove it now, I will call their internet provider and I will contact Google.

The efforts are already paying off. The homepage is already appearing on the 3rd page of Google for the keyords Lingerie Party and Lingerie parties. I am hoping that it will appear on the front page Google for the keyword Lingerie Party before long.

Lesson: If your website is underperforming in Google, put a few lines of your homepage into the Google search engine. Your website should be the ONLY site that Google has indexed with that content. If it is not, change the content or contact the offending party.