10 Tools for Researching Domain Names

If you are planning to start a new website and buy a domain name you will probably need to do some research on any domains that you are considering. This article does not focus on finding the right domain name, but rather the research that should be done once you’ve found a domain that you want to use.

The domain name that you purchase may or may not have a history, and that is what you need to know about. It’s possible that the domain has been penalized by Google or other search engines for the practices of previous owners, which is certainly something that you will want to avoid. A domain with a negative history can carry over when you start hosting your site on that domain.

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Returning to NoFollow

As some of you know this blog has been using the DoFollow plugin for several months to remove the nofollow tags on links to those who leave comments. The decision was originally made to encourage reader participation and to give something back to those who take the time to leave their feedback. The DoFollow status was never really promoted, so I am not sure how much of an influence it was to potential commenters.

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9 Ways to Gauge Your Visitors' Experience

Measuring tapeOne of the most important factors in the success of a website is the visitors’ opinions and experiences. A site that is liked by visitors will typically be successful, while those that aren’t liked by visitors will struggle. A challenge that all website owners face is determining how visitors feel about their experience on the site. In most cases you won’t have the option to speak directly with visitors to get their opinions.

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22 Resources to Easily Create CSS Layouts

Web designers are always looking for ways to save time and simplify the design process. Well, creating a basic layout doesn’t have to take any time at all. All of the resources listed here will help you to create the structure for CSS-based designs. None of these resources are templates that attempt to replace the need for a design; rather, they all aim to simplify the process by creating a skeleton that you will build upon.

Layout Gala – 40 different CSS-based layouts including fixed and fluid widths.

Layout Gala Screenshot

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Improving Your Blog Visitors' First Experience

A few weeks ago I wrote about several factors that influence the first impression of visitors to your website. Because first impressions are so powerful, you should always be trying to improve the experience for new visitors in a way that will encourage repeat visits. As a blogger, your visitors will come from all over. They’ll arrive through links from other websites and blogs, search engines, comments on other blogs, social media, etc. The majority of visitors will not arrive at your blog through your front page, but rather through a particular blog post.

It’s easy to sometimes forget about new visitors while you are trying to improve your blog by serving your subscribers, but in order to maximize the growth of your blog, you’ll also need to consider the needs of the first-time visitor.

What Will New Visitors to Your Blog Want to See?

1. What is your blog about?

Many first-time visitors will want to find an About page to find out more about the blog. Your blog should not only include an About page, but it should also be very easy for visitors to find. Using descriptive categories for your posts can also help new visitors to see the focus of your blog.

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An Equation for Explosive Blogging Growth: Content + Networking + Social Media

Growth: a young plantIt amazes me how some blogs take off and grow a very large and loyal audience so quickly. The rest of us can learn a lot from observing the success of others and evaluating what they are doing. There are any number of ways to build a blog, but most of them take more time than we would like.

There are 3 elements that can come together to drastically improve your growth, whether it’s a new blog or an existing one. Individually, these elements are powerful and important, but together they can help build on each other and create exponential growth.

CONTENT

Regardless of what strategy you use to grow your blog, quality content is essential. Even if you’re able to drive large volumes of traffic to your blog, visitors won’t stay on your blog or return later without high quality content. As a result, it is probably the most significant factor for long-term blogging success.

The quality of content involves factors like captivating headlines, readability of posts, the uniqueness of your writing, consistency, and more.

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Researching a Niche: Tools & Techniques

When looking to start a new website or blog, choosing a niche is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it may require some time and research. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and websites available that can help with the research. Throughout this article we’ll look at several of the most helpful resources to help you on your way, and we’ll also go over some items that can influence your decision to proceed in a particular niche or to keep searching for a better one.

Some niches are ultra-competitive and others have little to no real competition. Of course, those that are competitive tend to have the largest audiences, which means higher traffic (and most likely income) potential. Niches with less competition may not have the same potential, but they tend to be more realistic, and in many cases the traffic and subscribers will be more valuable.

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Monetizing a Website Without Alienating Your Visitors

One of the goals of most websites and blogs is to make money. Whether the intention is to build a profitable business or just to cover the costs to operate the site, most website owners need to get something back from their work monetarily to justify the effort that is going into the website.

Unfortunately, sometimes monetizing a website comes at the expense of its readers and visitors. Obviously, in order to maintain a successful web presence, the site must be monetized in a way that is acceptable to visitors.

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Blogging to Improve a Website: 3 Examples

A lot of times we throw websites and blogs into two separate categories. While blogs do have several characteristics, as well as different functionality, that distinguish them from standard websites, the two can be used together to create an even stronger and more effective web presence.

There are a number of websites that use blogs as a supplement to the primary content of the site. In fact, this website is an example. The primary purpose of the site is to offer design services and the blog helps to accomplish the overall objectives by driving more traffic to the site and increasing the exposure of the design services.

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Make Your Website Linkable

One of the most important aspects of marketing and promoting a website or blog is attracting inbound links. A great deal of effort goes into creating link bait and sometimes into directory submissions and requesting links from others. But before these link building attempts can truly be successful, your site or blog will need to be ready. Here are some tips to making your website more linkable:

CONTENT

Of course, the most important aspect of drawing links is the content. Typically when others link to you they are doing so because there is something on their site that they consider to be useful, interesting, funny, or entertaining. Link baiting focuses primarily on the content, and rightfully so. Without good content it will be hard to draw links regardless of the other factors involved.

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