A year and a half ago I started this blog. Mostly I just wanted a spot to upload a select few of my photos as I finished them and say a few words about them. There was no long-term ambition for my blog until about 6 months ago. That was when I officially retired from being a Real Estate Broker to follow my decades-long passion of photography.
It was then I decided that I did have some goals with this blog and I started learning a lot more about the blogging world. This includes SEO, WordPress best practices, metrics, keyword research, landing pages, marketing.. all that stuff that takes a long time to pick up, digest, and then implement. Along the way I even learned that there are special things that should be factored in for photography blogs.
I decided this week to make my website a dofollow blog. Let me tell you how that came about and why it’s important.
There are a ton of resources online to help out with this. Choosing what to read was a chore in itself but some things just kept floating to the top so I have come to rely on just a few sources for my information and then do further research when one of those sources points out something that I feel needs my attention or that I’m ready to implement. I would say that my two top resources are Hubspot.com and the blog by Kim Castleberry; Just-Ask-Kim.com. If you are a blogger, you can’t go wrong with these two resources. I know that there are plenty of others with really good information, I just happened to choose these and have a very high confidence level in the information they put out.
Sign up for their mailing list. Hubspot.com offers a bookshelf full of free eBooks all about inbound marketing, landing pages, SEO, and website design and their ebooks are very easy to read and understand. I first learned about Hubspot when I ran across a tool of their called “Website Grader.” You put in the URL of a website and Hubspot analyzed it and spit out a score along with tips where there is room for improvement. About 9 months ago, Hubspot replaced that tool with another one called “Marketing Grader.” This is a FABULOUS tool and it tells you where you’re good to go with your website and where you might want to spend some time making improvements. Use it early & often.
Kim Castleberry has a beautiful blog and it’s crammed with awesome information. She is really smart, especially about WordPress. Her posts are always relevant and if I need information on something I’m working on at the moment, a quick search of her blog will turn up the information I need. I love her videos, which she frequently embeds into her posts. She is quick and the video’s never drag on. I get so tired of finding videos where the speaker isn’t present or does not communicate well. You will never experience that form any of Kim’s videos.
Her expert knowledge of the WordPress blogging platform helps me anytime I have a need or am trying to find a way to do something with my blog. It’s great receiving her emails too because she is always on top of what’s new in WordPress so it’s easy for me to keep up with the upgrades and changes that happen almost daily. So, I would also suggest that you subscribe to her email updates if you have a WordPress blog.
Right now my project is optimizing my blog. This week I found that my current challenge is to get quality backlinks from other websites to mine in order to increase my authority with Google in the quest to reach page 1. Google still uses backlinks like a vote of confidence for the authority of a website. To get ranked higher by Google, you WANT more backlinks. Reading through Kim’s blog I learned that a really great way to is make the comments on my blog “dofollow.” What that means, is that when somebody comments on a post of mine that they will get a backlink to their blog or website that Google will follow, in a good way, and they get a little boost in their SEO. By doing this and being a good citizen online, my blog will, in turn, be given backlinks by some of those commentors. That’s just what the blogging community does for each other. By default, WordPress comments are always “Nofollow” so people who comment get no juice back to their sites.
To make your WordPress blog a Dofollow blog, there is a super simple plugin that you install that does it all completely automatically. Yup, the plugin is called Dofollow. It’s now installed on this blog so please feel free to find an article or photo that you like or want to comment on and get a quality backlink to YOUR website from mine. This blog is a page rank 2 by Google, which is pretty good for the time I’ve been working on it.
My girlfriend, Mai, has the same camera as I. A Nikon D-90. We always have a great time together photographing and she is really good, although she hasn’t grown into that fact yet. When I make my landscape photos I generally use my 11mm wide angle lens, while Mai likes to get in closer. She made this photo at Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs and I love the color contrast in it that we were seeing at dusk this particular evening. That yellow sky is especially unique.