Infographic

Blogging Tips And Infographic Love ? I Wonder What Dr. Phil Would Say About That

Infographic Popularity

Infographics I Am Popular On The Internet

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Considering the steady rise in popularity regarding infographics that exist today, you may as well call it love or something. People love reading visual content. Now if I'm asking myself the question as to whether I would rather read a book littered with words or look at something visual complimented with words, I'll take something visual. Visuals are going to keep me just as engaged as I'm sure they would if the same scenario were applied to someone else. I want something that is going to grab my attention, pull me in and basically compel me to read what's in front of me. That's my kind of content and that's why we are all, for the most part, guilty of being in love with infographics. Who knows.. Dr. Phil might even endorse the normality of such good feelings about visual content too.

A single search in Google for infographics yields over 60 million results. Sixty million pages covering the query "infographics".. now that's pretty amazing. What's even more interesting is that people in general want information, but even if the information isn't the creme de la creme, infographics still get a lions share of attention from people across the web.

I Am So Confused I Don't Understand

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From a blogging perspective, I don't understand why there aren't more people taking advantage of creating infographics.

Infographics And Blogging Tips

Nevertheless, with that said and beyond the love, lets get into some infographic blogging tips. Now if there's one thing that my blog is known for is the focus on sharing and talking about blog tips. Granted, I will never articulate that as a blogger that I feel I do this better than anyone else. I think one of the benefits of blogging is realizing that there is so much more to learn and there's always more that can be done to reach your readers, to interact with other bloggers and the understanding that learning never stops. Blogging to me is pretty insightful and rewarding even though there's a lot of work that goes into it, but regardless of the work, it remains worth the late nights and maintenance that is necessary.. Avoiding the failures that so many experience in the infancy of their blogs won't be a shared fate here as others have experienced in tempting blogging paths.

Infographic I

Blogging Stats Infographic

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The informative details in this infographic really just speak to the fact that many enter blogging with unrealistic expectations or just simply enter it uninformed. When you consider that years ago, you could start a blog and without too much trouble within months, take a blog that may be full of information and a decent audience from little to no revenue into thousands of dollars per month are still stories that people embrace looking to replicate the very same thing. However, those golden days are gone. The search engines are wiser, the algorithms have become more complex and quite frankly it's going to take more work and patience than it used to in order to get to a place of worthy recognition and monetary dividends.

Make Funny Money Blogging

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The bulk of money that is made in blogging is made by those that have positioned themselves remarkably well, presumably are doing it the best and are considered the authorities in the industry. That's pretty astounding actually, but it certainly doesn't mean that there isn't room for newcomers either. There are blogs that are consistently showing up out of nowhere and it's not happening by accident, but there's no doubt that there is a lot of work that goes into it as well. I have read over and over that blogging is not for the faint of heart. Statements like that tell me that blogging is serious business and that if you want to compete, you have to be ready to take your passion about writing and sharing information with others to a new level to be taken seriously. I learned very early on that being casual about this just isn't going to get the job done.

The question to ask yourself is are you ready to get your game face on, get in the trenches and do this ? I can't say for sure that I was truly ready for blogging per se, but what I can tell you is that I was prepared to put in the work.

Infographic 2

Blogging Tips Blogging Success And Money Infographic

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I think it's fair to say that when someone asks you how serious you are about anything, it really is a pretty relative term. How serious one person is may be on a completely different level when you ask someone else, but what can be appreciated and loved about this infographic is that it gets right to the point. Laying out the questions that need to be asked that you may not have asked yourself yet. Typically if it's something that you want to do, you're not sitting around asking yourself how serious you are about it.

Hmmm Lets Chat About The Facts

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If we have a real conversation about this infographic, chronologically as it moves from where and how you should be spending your time, the facts are concise and the steps are given in short and broad strokes as to what should be done before moving onto the next step in the cycle. The design isn't overly busy and it's bright. It is informative and it provides talking points for discussion and feedback for those that view the infographic. From the start, in addressing the seriousness of the blogger, to the steps needed to take from concept, to action to revenue, the graphic provides substance and value to hopefully a targeted audience or reader.

Sure, this can be achieved to a "degree" without the assistance of an infographic, but embedding these kind of visuals into your content is without question, good constructive use of your time and benefits your audience too. This blog provides tips for bloggers in their blogging endeavors and in most instances that message is conveyed in text accompanied by primarily a number of visuals and occasionally other media. This is an effective strategy and still leads to social shares, conversation and reader feedback.

Infographic 3

Blogging Tips Infographic

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In spite of the fact that seemingly regardless of the format, the information still gets shared, what cannot be dismissed is that as stated earlier in the post, people do love infographics and for many (not all), the engagement changes and the interest in the content changes from one format to the other.

The high degree of interest behind infographics isn't soley about visual content, but the speed at which the information can be absorbed in the format that it is delivered is also very appealing. If there's one thing that there never seems to be enough of, it would have to be time. The one valuable resource that as an individual you cannot get back in the sea of information that we are all exposed to, it's no wonder why visual content, the aggregators and directories are so prevalent now.

Information is everywhere and knowledge often times is a critical measure between experiencing success and alternatively bismal disappointment. As a blogger, you find yourself in a position to be able to provide resources to readers that can have a direct impact that may lead to any number of outcomes for that individual. Take care to delivery information in the best format possible whether it is through words on a page, a message in video, annotating your photos or using infographics. Understand that as your audience grows, someone is always hanging on to your every word and while you may never know the impact you're making, someone's life is benefiting from the effort that you've invested into what you do.

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#candidwriter #infographic #blog

Blogging Grammar Check Featuring Copyblogger Infographic

Blogging Grammar Good Grammar Usage And Style

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Blogging Grammar

In this age of content marketing, blogging grammar is one of those fundamental things you've got to invest time into doing well. Now don't get me wrong, not everyone is a literary novelist. Not everyone can work their way in and out of the English language with ease and write like a professional. This even holds true for many people where English is their native language. However there are realities that simply must be accepted if you're reaching out to people through the written word (e.g. content marketing)... blogging and grammar go hand in hand and even if your readers don't tell you.. it's a pretty big deal.

An Unlikely Comparison

Blogging Grammar Writing Thoughts And Unlikely Comparison

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With that said, lets take traditional introductions between people for instance. Yes, yes.. I realize that it might be a stretch to use people and make the connection, but humor me for a moment okay.

When you meet someone, regardless of what they wear, regardless of the hairdo they've chosen to sport that day, regardless of how much money they make.. regardless of anything, an impression is made based on what they present you with in terms of their physical appearance right ? We're talking about what you see (e.g. the visual) when you meet someone in person.

You make an assessment based on the visual regardless of any other attributes that person may have. Lets assume that based on the "visual" you're very impressed with what you see. This could be a great person.. someone that could mean something significant in your life ? But what happens if their grammar completely ruins everything you thought about them based on what you saw ?

Grammar, usage of grammar, your writing style and the way you put your thoughts together, have the power to change what could have been a curious and potentially avid fan of yours into someone that can't get past the grammatical mistakes in your writing, the way you use your words or your writing style. The very same impressions that people can make on us when we meet them for the first time is very similar to the impressions we get the first time we read someone's blog post. Grammar can draw us into a situation we're interested in and create a sense of curiosity and need for more or leave us wondering why we wasted our time in the first place.

Copyblogger On Grammar Usage And Grammatical Errors

I came across a post by Copyblogger highlighting grammatical errors that can make you look silly in front of your readers in an appealing infographic depicted below:

Blogging Grammar Mistakes In Usage And Writing Style Infographic

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Navigating the English language can be tricky. It's certainly no cakewalk even for those of us that have a track history of speaking it well over many years. The likelihood of stumbling from time to time conveying thoughts and ideas still happens despite our best efforts.

Blogging Grammar You Do Not Have To Be Perfect

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Is blogging grammar about being perfect ? Not at all.. In fact, I think it may be reasonable to say that aiming for perfection may actually turn some of your readers off that simply want to read something that's "good", but that's not to say that you shouldn't strive to produce "your best work". Each person that invests the time to write has their own unique voice and the reality is that what you do is going to resonate with some and not with others. Nevertheless, blogging and the time that you invest into it is a product that you are creating. You have a responsibility to care for that product as well. Addressing the small things will ultimately protect your investment that is the blog itself.

The Copyblogger infographic may seem very simplistic in nature, but the items that are addressed are significant. Lets explore a few things that were in the graphic:

  • Your and you're - are you proficient at using them effectively in your content ?
  • There, their, they're - are you confused about how to use them correctly in your content ?
  • Affect, effect - how often have you confused these two or do you just look for other words to use instead for fear of using them wrong ?
  • Could've, would've, should've - are you more prone to use "could of", "would of" or "should of" instead ?

Correct "usage" of these words carries the ability to heighten credibility, respect and interest in reading what you have to write. Your readers can forgive the occasional typo, but incorrect usage in what you are writing about can make a blog post feel unprofessional and neglected.

Blogging grammar can make a blogger feel nauseous.. ohhhh the pressure, but remember, we're not after perfection. Truly, just exerting effort still may lend itself to many mistakes, but that effort will lead to an increased level of skill in writing and that will lead to greater confidence which will improve your ability to write comprehensively. As a blogger, the message that you're conveying in your writing isn't likely to reach your audience the way you would hope if the means by which you're communicating isn't at a level where you are able to effectively reach the people you're delivering the message to. 

Blogging Grammar Tools

Blogging Grammar Tools Your Writers Toolbox

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There isn't a person alive today that doesn't have an area where they feel they struggle. We all have our share of struggles.. things that we aren't good at. However, there are tools that can be used to build those areas where we struggle and beef them up a bit. In the area of blogging grammar, these are tools worth serious consideration and worth adding to your grammar toolkit:

  • Grammarly - Dubbed as the world's best instant grammar checker online.. basically a personal grammar coach. (free to try for 7 days).
  • Dictionary - for those times when you need to know the definition of a word or to see if you've spelled it write.
  • Thesaurus - I particularly enjoy this website because when I need to add a little extra to what I'm writing about in my content, this website gives me other options that I may not have thought about before.
  • Grammar Girl - Known as one of the best websites to go to for writers. This website provides insightful tips to help you improve your writing.

While tools can "assist" in your goals to improve your ability to write they can't do all the work for you. There is no substitute for effort. There is no easy route to improving how you write. There is no easy route to a comprehensive understanding of grammar usage and how to use words correctly within the body of your content. However, keeping your audience at the forefront of the investment of your time and energy that you put into publishing content that is free or nearly free of error is a quality representation of who you are as a blogger and will contribute to your image and credibility as an individual, business and/or brand.

What you write about and how you deliver that message will resonate with the people that read what you have to say.

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#candidwriter #blog #writing

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Alt Text Underutilized Image SEO To Optimize Images Discussion

Alt Text Image SEO

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Tactics

If there's one thing that we can all agree on is the reality that there is a ton of competition online. We're all vying for the top spots, desperately looking for more eyes on the things we write about, the things we believe are important and want to share with others. It's a tough battlefield amongst all the spammers, the black hatters, the blue hatters, grey hatters, search engine manipulation and SEO tactics galore. I could find a more delicate way to say this, but I find this phrase far more fitting.. it sucks.

The bright side is that even if you're behind the eight ball so to speak all is not lost. I don't want to give the impression that "all" tactics in SEO are a bad thing. Clearly, there are strategies that are used in order to make some headway in getting ranked. As there should be, it all depends on how you use them. There are those that are good, there are those that are bad and there are those that are questionable. It's that simple..

Optimization

As you may already be aware, on page optimization, while tedious is still a very necessary component of SEO for your page titles, your page descriptions, your page url, your keywords, links and meta tags (for the time being, I still ignore those that say that meta's don't matter anymore).

SEO On Page Optimization Infographic

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It's All About The Image

Notice the alt tag reference in the infographic ? The alt tag is just another way of saying alt text but it still means the same thing. In short, it's tagging your photos with keywords that others may be searching for that help you create another way to access your website through search. The same principles that you use in on page optimization for your pages are also applicable to your images too. Granted, not every aspect of on page seo can be used on an image, but where they can be are the areas where you need to give special attention to.

For the purpose of this post, the most important aspect of the image in SEO is the file name. Every image has a file name and this is an area that is commonly overlooked in image seo. For example, if you have an image of a computer, you wouldn't give it a name like image1.jpg would you ? Often times, I see this being done. I see arbitrary names given to photos and there's absolutely no relevance or relationship. You're missing a golden opportunity here. This is very simple to change. Taking any image and right clicking on that image will bring up a dialogue box that will give you the option to "rename" it. Simply change the name to a more relevant keyword. This needs to be done before you upload the photo as part of your content.

Now while I have labeled this the "file name". This file name is the same name that you should use as your alt text. Depending on the html editor, css editor or software that you use to create your website pages, you may get an additional box that is labeled specifically for your alt text. If you can't find it, then I would advise performing a search for how to use alt text with your software.

Relevance is important to the image that you're naming, but keep in mind that this is still a keyword or keyword phrase that you're applying to this photo. With that said, you want to make sure that you're applying a keyword that people are actually searching for, otherwise what's the point of applying alt text to the photo in the first place. You will find that I have done this for many of my images and specific alt text has been applied after I've done my own share of keyword research to determine whether it's a keyword that I want to use as my alt text for that particular image.

The Research

As I conduct keyword research for the alt text for my images, I can tell you that a keyword like "seo", generates 90k searches per month and a keyword like "seo degree" generates only 40 searches per month. Needless to say, the research is important. My tool of choice that helps me determine what keywords I want to use in my image seo is: Long Tail Pro which I have referenced in another post on keyword research. This information is quite necessary for meaningful image seo as you determine the alt text for the photos in your posts and your webpage content. Additionally, determining the alt tag for your photos is not about just throwing a label on your photos so employ your keyword research diligently and meaningfully to get the most mileage out of your photos and it will pay dividends in time in more traffic coming to your site not only from the content that you write about, but from your photos too.

If you're a person that enjoys using captions, make sure that you utilize that as another opportunity to embed your keywords as well. However, do not just simply stick your keywords into the caption. Do well to add context to your caption and include your keywords into your captions message.

Before I conclude this little chat on alt text, please ensure that you're also placing images next to content that is relevant to that image. Your content should make connections to your images and vice versa. Just as people make connections to content and the media that is used in the content that you're writing about and promoting, the same can be said about the media and what it is connected to on your page. Image seo is arguably one of the most underutilized methods to get more traffic to your website. It's certainly not instantaneous, but it is worthwhile especially if you're looking at the longevity of your website. If you haven't employed much image seo, I would encourage you to go back through your content and start to add your alt text or revise what you already have in place. It's an easy fix that can lead to more traffic to your website in the weeks, months and years ahead.

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How To Grow Social Power Like Buzzblogger With JustREtweet

How To Promote Social Content

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Social And Everything Else

The tough reality about being online is that you're basically one peanut in a village of millions of other peanuts. Strange analogy right ? I know, I know.. but just hang in there with me on this. With that said, there's no denying how hard it is to stand out online especially if you're in a competitive niche. Additionally, the game has changed and developing a presence online isn't achieved with the same tactics that have been used in the past either. When you hear people say things like SEO is changing and social is your best bet to have any chance at getting eyeballs on your website, your content and your brand, there's plenty of truth to that.  There's no shortage of advice being touted in the industry that resembles more of a paradigm shift in our way of thinking with respect to "how to" achieve internet success and visibility nowadays.

The support for such thinking isn't about something so fickle as mere speculation when you look at the data that paints a pretty vivid picture on the significance of social and it's impact overall. As a blogger or website owner, prime real estate is everything and with respect to your content and your products, you're looking for premiere spaces that will allow you to promote in aims to give your business massive exposure. The easiest way to do that is to go where the traffic is... think "heavily populated" areas people. Consider the following....

Social Insight

The numbers are pretty staggering with respect to what goes on in Twitter land. In a nutshell, what these numbers should tell you is that Twitter is worth your time. My goals for any project I constitute are always pretty conservative, so even if I only saw 10 to 20 visitors a day from Twitter, in my mind, that makes the investment of time for that platform to me worthwhile. However, we're talking social and the real nugget here is that what I'm hoping for is that my tweet gets retweeted to other people's lists and their followers to get additional exposure for the content associated with my tweet that's been shared to other people. Wow.. now that's a mouthful, but hopefully you get the gist of what I'm saying.

Sharing is a pretty legitimate measuring stick in assessing whether people like your content or not. I mean, lets be real here.. of course you're not going to publish anything that hasn't received your bonafide stamp of approval, but just because you like it doesn't mean anyone else is going to. Additionally, it's not like you can force people to share your products or your content either. The online community and people in general.. we don't like to share garbage, nonsense, overly promotional material, folks that are in it for a quick buck and a host of other things. People have a greater sense of seeking value, probably moreso now than ever before and can sniff out anything less than that miles away.

Easier Sharing Is Here

A content sharing platform that has been getting it's lions share of attention has been a website called Justretweet. While I do personally use this website, one of the more confirming attributes about it was knowing that other established bloggers were using the same platform, hence the title of this post in referencing Kim Roach of Buzzblogger, who has a wealth of knowledge about traffic generation. Realizing that someone of her reputation and credibility uses Justretweet was proof enough that this wasn't your run of the mill destination online.

Justretweet, a website started by Chris Fong is a content sharing website that will share content to Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. At the time of writing this post, when you sign up to the website, you will be credited with 100 free credits to your account. They use a credit system whereby the activities that you engage in will help you earn credits. These credits can in turn be used to get your content pushed out to any or all of the 3 major social networks that I spoke of before (e.g. Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter).

One of the most unique and attractive qualities about the website is that all content submitted for sharing is manually reviewed which is great for many and not so great for others. In short, this means that for example if you are purely an affiliate website, this likely would not be a good fit for you as these kind of websites are heavily focused on products and not on content. Justretweet prides itself on publishing and promoting quality content. However, like many other places on the web, embedding affiliate products into your "high quality" content is just fine from what I have noticed in my own tests. Nevertheless, I would still strongly advise that you truly evaluate what is quality content before attempting to hastily submit a tweet for sharing without understanding what would be acceptable in their system.

While some may have a different take on this, longer posts do tend to  get shared more often. In another post I've written I talk about the length of articles and content in a reply to a KissMetrics article that I read online. Follow my post here: Dear KissMetrics.

You should also realize that getting other people involved in sharing your content starts with what they are going to be sharing in the first place. When you've written something meaningful and I would recommend at least 500 words that isn't full of fluff, then the likelihood of getting your content shared improves drastically. At the core of sharing in general, people want to share information that they believe other people will find useful and interesting and hey, if it's funny, that will go a long way with people too.

Not that I'm into promotional plugs, but for a new blogger or even one that's been around for quite some time, Justretweet is one of the best content sharing platforms currently available to marketers, bloggers and website owners alike. This platform improves your ability to get your content in front of other people you wouldn't have access to otherwise, especially in such a competitive times with respect to building your brand and presence online.

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The SEO Whitehat vs Blackhat Battlefield

Whitehat vs Blackhat SEO

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What's That ???

Whitehat and blackhat sounds strange enough to be interesting. The titles by sheer nature of being what they are do attract some level of curiosity. In the world of SEO, these are two important terms to familiarize yourself with because as you develop your website with intentions to link build and strategize a plan to Google prominence, your efforts will be aligned more or less towards one or the other so called SEO "hat" methods.

These methods have been around for quite some time. Interestingly enough, the weight and effectiveness for each has changed over the years and throughout many Google updates. However, as the adage goes, "slow and steady wins the race.." and certainly is something to keep in mind as we explore this further.

The People & More

There's no question that search engines have become increasingly more intelligent. Their ability to read code and recognize who's trying to game the system and who's actually playing by the rules has continued to evolve. Relevance, value in information and results are becoming the staple of what consumers are after online. Consumers want to feel that they matter. Consumers want to visit online destinations and find helpful answers to their questions and problems. The very same consumers are much more aware of the websites that are more focused on revenue than the quality of their products.. informational, physical, electronic or otherwise.

The upside to pleasing your visitors is dramatic while the alternative is placid and uninspiring. With so much at stake why consider one strategy over the other. As in life, there are realities about SEO that are the same and the immediacy of results and success is at the top of the list. Optimizing pages and your website for the sake of better ranking organically is "not" an instant process. More specifically, it is a "process" and with that being said.. that process takes time before you see the fruition of your time, energy and work invested into it. This is not attractive to most. We live in a society where "getting it now" is a far more common mindset than it has ever been before with the help of greater access to information that has led to the reality that we live today. Toiling away for years before experiencing success is no longer the norm.

Lets Get Into The Hat's

It's not hard to understand why blackhat is attractive and has the audience that it does. If you've ever dabbled in blackhat methods here's the truth.. often times it works and on top of that results, good or bad are typically more immediate than whitehat methods. It's that simple... Summarily, we're talking short term gains and a losing long term strategy. It almost becomes a question of ethics to some degree. Do you believe that link manipulation is okay ? Does it bother you at all ? Would you do anything to get the almighty backlink ? Would you steal content and spin it and call the content your own ? These are relevant questions to consider if the blackhat option is of interest to you. As you can imagine, there are many people out there willing to pursue the blackhat option because it could mean a faster opportunity to earn quick dollars.

Conversely it's also not hard to understand why whitehat is attractive and receives the accolades that it does. While whitehat methods are slower and the "instant gratification" is not something you're likely to experience going this route, it does provide you opportunities that you do not get through blackhat channels. These opportunities come as a result of simply put.. "not having anything to hide", following Google best practices and not violating their TOS.

Blackhat vs Whitehat SEO

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As seen in the Infographic, there are several items located in the blackhat and whitehat sections. To address a small selection of them, lets start with hidden text.

Hidden text is a blackhat strategy that is uncommon these days, but there are still traces of the method being used. Text placed on a page for the search engines to view but not intended for your user to see in aims to garner a higher ranking for one or more keywords. Low value method and low return because it will lead to a Google penalty and possible de-indexing of the website completely from search engine results.

If you're a person that enjoys using "automated" software beware of link farms. Automated programs that claim to do all the link building for you are typically pulling sources from the same places and posting to the same destinations or targets. For all you know, you may have a link on a page with someone that has absolutely no relevance to your niche altogether which could impact your rankings and get you penalized as well.

In this day and age of SEO where relevance is critically important, knowing where your links are placed and who else is on the same page as your website is something that can't be and shouldn't be ignored. Link farms can also be found in directories. While there's a growing set of opinions on directories and whether an individual or business should submit links to them anymore, the answer to this is easy. Directories still matter, but "many" of them truly are a waste of your time and should be left alone.

On the other hand, there's guest blogging and conceptually this is a great idea.. bloggers helping other bloggers by writing posts for another's blog for the benefit of a backlink. Unfortunately, this method did get abused and while it still has value, it's not as easy as it used to be. However, when this is done right, as far as whitehat goes, this is a golden strategy and a win-win for everyone.

Guest blogging (aka guest posting) goes hand in hand with quality content. Quality content that is constructed with the audience as your priority is a long term strategy that may not seem worthwhile in it's infancy but pays big dividends as your website develops authority and a presence online. This is a tough pill to swallow for many because patience, perseverance and trust are qualities that are needed to see this through to the goal line.

Beyond the infographic, building links organically as opposed to paying for links. Buying links for the purposes of getting listed on a page where others have done the same thing in hopes to get page rank, page authority and/or domain authority passed on to your site is a short term strategy that is again a losing long term effort that can lead to penalties and de-indexing from the search engine.

While there's no argument that traffic is important, being overly concerned about the "I've got to have traffic now" mindset can lead to poor decisions that may in fact provide you that satisfaction that you're looking for in the moment but ultimately leads to no benefit at all in the long run. Focusing on the development of more meaningful content is the winning "whitehat" strategy that will require more time but ultimately leads to greater benefits for you, your business and brand for the future.

Even if the argument can be made that blackhat strategies have their place depending on your goals, these often ill conceived and unethical methods dilute the internet and toxify the user experience. Whitehat, in spite of it's lack of "instant gratification" experience promotes a better avenue to pursue for everyone online for individuals, businesses and the system of connectivity that is the internet all in all.

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