December 30, 2009

Creating a Free Personal Website at Google Sites and WordPress

Creating a Free Personal Website at Google Sites and WordPress













If you're thinking about creating a free personal website, consider creating one at either Google Sites or WordPress depending on how comfortable you are with HTML. Google Sites seems to be a little friendlier to people without HTML know-how while WordPress would be an excellent choice for those who are familiar with HTML and know how to use Cascading Style Sheets.

Creating a Free Personal Website at Google Sites and WordPress is a PDF document describing the author's experience of creating free personal web sites at both Google Sites and WordPress. Here are a few few excerpts from the document:

"I have created two personal websites with almost identical contents using free web building and hosting services, the first being hosted at Google Sites and the second at WordPress. Both Google Sites and WordPress provide excellent web building environments and tools to help non-technical web builders create visually appealing and useful websites.

If you're looking for a free hosting site where you can easily create a personal web and won't cost you a dime to maintain, check out what Google Sites has to offer to free website services users. While Google Sites has been designed for team web building suited for small companies and large projects, it's perfect for creating and hosting a medium sized personal web.

If you have been thinking of creating a website for free and that will be attractive and look professionally done, then your choice would be WordPress. Wordpress gives you a working environment where all the things that you will need are readily accessible. I would say that the WordPress service is more attuned to those who are already bloggers and not for the ordinary web surfer. Everything has been meticulously thought of and the needs of the blogger methodically anticipated.

I found out that more optimization work could be done on Google Sites since it at least allowed authors to write the contents of the description Meta tag on each page of the website. I may not know how to do it in WordPress but I found it extremely difficult to edit the contents of the Meta tags in WordPress."

You can download the Creating a Free Personal Website at Google Sites and WordPress PDF document from: http://www.esnips.com/doc/2f80644e-0de1-4e45-8843-66038d6a26e7/Creating-a-Free-Personal-Website-at-Google-Sites-and-WordPress.

Read my other article on creating a personal website at Google Sites at: https://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/creating-a-personal-web-at-google-sites.

Read my other article on choosing between Google Sites and Blogger for your personal web site at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/should-you-build-your-free-personal-web.html.


Read my other article on what to know if you want to create a personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-you-should-know-if-you-want-to.html.

Read an article on tips for staying safe on the Internet at: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/tips-for-staying-safe-on-the-internet.



December 28, 2009

Use Search Operators in your Query to Improve your Google Search Results

If you have been using only keywords separated by spaces in searching for information using Google Search, then you are only using the "and" operator in your searches. The "and" operator looks for web pages that contain all the words that you typed in the search bar of the Google Search page.

There are other search operators that you can use to narrow down or widen the scope of your search results. You don't have to memorize the operators and their functions; just know that there's a way to specify more exactly what information you're looking for.

The "or" operator specifies that either the word or phrase that precede or follows the operator should appear in the pages that should be included in the results. Enclose a phrase in double quotes to tell Google that the phrase should appear exactly as typed in the web page that you are looking for.

Use the minus sign immediately before a word or phrase to specify that this word or phrase should not appear in the web page you are interested in. Use the plus sign immediately before a word or phrase to tell Google that you are only interested in that particular word and not any other word that includes it or derives from it.

Use the tilde sign before a word to specify you would like to include web pages that contain the synonyms of this particular word. Include an asterisk between two words to tell Google that you're interested in the phrase that contains both the beginning and ending words with one or more words in between. You can also use the word filetype followed by a colon and then followed by the document extension to restrict the results to only certain document types like PDF or DOC.

You can also restrict the results to only documents that contain the keywords in specific locations in the document like for example in the URL, in the title or in the body of the document. Use allinurl, allintitle and allintext followed by a colon then followed by the keywords to tell Google that all keywords must appear in the URL, title or body of the document. To use the operator for a specific keyword only, use the word inurl, intitle or intext followed by a colon then followed by the keyword.

Do you know what the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button is for? Well, it you press that button instead of the Google Search button, you will be immediately brought to the first web page that Google found relevant to your search query.

To find out if Google has indexed your web page, type the word info followed by a colon then type the URL of the web page and press the enter key. To limit the search to a particular web site only, use the word site followed by a colon and then the URL of the site you're interested in.

Use the word link followed by a colon and the URL of a web site to find out the web pages that have links to this particular web site. And to find web sites that are related to particular web site, use the word related followed by a colon and then followed by the URL of the site you're interested in. You can also use the Search within results option to search only the results that have been generated in an earlier search.

Further to using the"and" operator which is implied when using keywords separated by spaces, I believe that using more keywords on the search query returns more exact documents than using fewer keywords for the search. Google had mentioned to use as fewer search keywords as possible on the search query but I take this to mean the fewest keyword that would return the desired information. I still think that on average, more specific documents will be returned by providing more keywords on the search query.

Now you know the different search operators that you can use in your search query to more specifically target the information you're looking for. Use them to narrow or widen the scope of your search results and specify more exactly the information you need.

Read my other article Google Search Engine Basics for Readers and Writers at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/basic-use-of-google-search-engine-for.html.



December 27, 2009

A Technique for Launching a Writing Activity

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of a writing task is how to start writing. The mind can often remain adamant at starting principally because it doesn't and cannot picture the whole write-up as completed. Indeed it would be difficult for the mind to imagine how it would look like since it does not yet have the building blocks from which to build the write-up. A pattern of a vicious cycle emerges from where there is no way out until in exasperation, the student gives up.

Don't let this happen to you. I have found an approach that might also work with you. I sometimes undergo a period that is wasted thinking about a topic on which to write on.

Writing can be one brain-intensive activity mainly because it needs a lot of controls as compared with speaking. Speaking is the first activity that we learn and writing is taught in the schools. Writing seems to be an artificial activity when you compare it with speaking.

Speaking is a very natural part of being human. Writing is not. You don't need to be able to write in order for you to survive. Writing is rather a sophisticated activity that may not be meant for everyone. So I believe that students should not be forced to write or come up with a written report. I think the policy should be you can either submit a paper or just present a verbal report.

Writing requires a lot of disciplined work from the brain. This work involves slowing down the speed at which the brain works so as to enable the hands to keep pace with what the brain is working on. The brain would fight all sorts of attempts to control it and this contributes to the difficulty of developing writing skills. I believe that nurturing the writing skills starts with learning to slow down the brain's thinking process.

Writing is such a personal matter that I don't think I can teach you how to write by showing you how I do it. May be you'll have an idea of how it is done but I think it is you that have to teach yourself how to do it in the way that you're most comfortable with. Alright maybe it would help if I show you how I do it but it doesn't end there. Knowing and doing are two different things.

Anyway, it happened once and I thought I could probably do it a second and third time. I just open a Notepad window on my computer and type away whatever comes to my mind, all sorts of things like phrases, words and sometimes sentences. Your mind will then realize that you want something to write on and start giving you a bunch of related phrases and sometimes complete sentences that will ultimately find their way into the article you're dreaming of writing.

When you find yourself writing complete sentences one after another, then you have found your topic. Just go on writing and never mind how your write-up is organized, just continue on writing. After a while, you will experience a pause and this would be the right time to save your work and organized what you have written so far. Now you know what you're writing about and you can confidently say what the title of your work is.

Your brain will naturally identify missing parts or gaps that you instinctively will work on and add to whatever it is that you have written already. Your work is almost complete at this point but there is one more thing that you need to do. You have to edit your work by correcting grammatical errors and rewriting sentences that are vague and by improving on how other sentences have been written.

I was just looking at the list of phrases that I'm compiling from Google Insights about future trends in search engine searches worldwide when something struck me. I opened a new Notepad window and here it is, I have a new article for one of my blogs at Blogger.com. I don't know how this article might be of use to you but maybe it will have some use so I might as well post it.

So anytime that you find yourself at a loss for a topic to write on, just start typing and who knows where it would lead you. Try it now.

Take a look at this article that came about just as I describe in this article: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-i-go-about-writing-articles-for-my.html.

Read my other article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.

Read an article comparing writing an article with packaging a gift for a dear friend at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/writing-article-for-your-website-is.html.



December 26, 2009

How to Write a Search Engine Optimized Article

What is the difference between writing a search engine optimized article and one that is not?

There is really very little difference between writing a search engine optimized article and one that is not. The small difference lies only in the use of different versions of the keyword phrase in various parts of the article.

Before starting to write, the article writer lists down about three or four keyword phrases that he will be using in the article and place in somewhere on his computer screen where he can readily refer to preferably at the top portion of where he is typing on.

The article writer proceeds as usual except that when it comes time to type in a generic phrase or something related, he uses any of the different phrases he has listed beforehand. The resulting output is a write-up that contains various mentions of the different keyword phrases distributed all over the article.

When the writer finishes writing the article, he goes over his written work once again and read the article aloud in his mind to test if the insertion of the keyword phrase has resulted in awkward sounding sentences. If it is, he proceeds to edit that part of the article to smoothen out any rough edges. He may decide not to use the keyword phrase in that particular part anymore or go on using the phrase but recasting how the sentence was formed.

This approach takes time before someone gets used to doing it. If the writer finds that it slows down his writing speed, the writer may just proceed with writing on the topic without regard to any of the keyword phrases that he is supposed to use in his article. Then, once he is finished, he is going to edit his own work by inserting the keyword phrases in places where he used the generic terms or something related to it. As it may involve recasting some sentences, this approach may prove more time-consuming than the first one.

The writer will typically start using the second approach and as he becomes more prolific at writing search engine optimized articles, he may as a matter of necessity adopt the first approach. Once he gets used to writing in that way, he then uses it every time and there will be no going back to the sub-optimized way that he had been used to do. The writer has then become a first rate search engine optimized writer.

A writer starting off in writing with search engine optimization in mind will find one obstacle that he needs to get over with. This involves the need for the search engine optimized output to have several repetitions of a certain keyword phrase.

Repetition of words or phrases gives the write-up a bit of monotony which diminishes the interesting character of the article and therefore needs to be avoided as much as possible. And yet, he is told not to avoid it but instead ensure that the keyword phrase is adequately repeated in the article. This, however, can be counter-balanced by using alternative keyword phrases that had been chosen to be likewise targeted.

I believe that the writing step in the production of a search engine optimized article is the easiest part of the process. The more difficult part I guess would be the research that needs to be done before any writing gets started. And this may become the Waterloo for some writers including myself.

Research demands an entirely different skill set and might require an adequate academic preparation. It could be easier to turn a researcher into a writer than for a writer to develop adequate expertise on research. I guess the best possible world would be teamwork between a good researcher and a good writer.

Now that you have an idea of how to write a search engine optimized article, do you still want to write one?

Read some of the lessons I learned while optimizing web pages at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-not-to-optimize-your-personal-web.html.

Read another article on letting the unconscious mind take care of search engine optimization at: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/letting-the-unconscious-mind-take-care-of-search-engine-optimization.

Read an article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html

Read an article on a generalized writing template for something that you want to write about at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/generalized-article-writing-template.html.



December 20, 2009

How not to optimize your Personal Web Page: Lessons Learned

How not to optimize your Personal Web Page: Lessons Learned documents the author's efforts at optimizing his own personal web pages including the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned. With today's competition at the Internet reaching new heights, owners of personal web sites must exert efforts to have their web pages optimized if their web pages are to remain afloat and avoid being cast into Internet oblivion.

How not to optimize your Personal Web Page: Lessons Learned combines three articles focusing on the author's personal web page optimization efforts. The articles describe what steps the author took to optimize his web pages and how he performed the web page optimization tasks. He also points out the mistakes he made and the resulting effects of those mistakes on the web page's performance on the search page results. Here are excerpts from the three articles included in the PDF document:

Lesson in Optimizing Web Page Using Keyword Density

"I recently optimized some of my web pages by increasing their keyword density and checking over a period of time how my pages performed in the Google's search results page. There were indeed some improvements so I came to conclude that search engine optimization (SEO) does work.

What I did was not SEO per se but just plain and simple optimization focusing mainly on keyword density or the number of times the keyword is repeated on a page. I found out how important it is that the phrase be typed exactly as how it appeared on the page or the results will not be acceptable."

Optimizing Personal Web Pages Using Author's Name as Target Keyword

"I recently undertook a small project to optimize the web pages on my websites using my full name as the keyword target.

I started by searching my web pages on Google using my full name as keyword and then identified those web pages that are the farthest away from page one of the search page results. I worked on these sub-optimized pages first, and then moved closer and closer to page one where the pages did not really need any optimization."

Optimizing a New Personal Web on a Budget

"Optimizing a personal web site for search engines presents a unique challenge as compared with business or commercial sites that need a whole team of SEO experts working on nothing else but to make sure that the web site is prominently positioned on search results returned for the keyword phrase being targeted.

Perhaps the most important factor that should be well taken care of beforehand is the clarity of the keyword phrase being targeted. This is to make sure that there are enough and definite keyword phrases to work on when building the landing pages."

You can download How not to optimize your Personal Web Page: Lessons Learned PDF document at: http://www.esnips.com/doc/83c3d509-ee9c-4df0-90f4-2372a66502de/How-not-to-optimize-your-Personal-Web-Page.

You can also read the articles separately by visiting these web pages:

http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/03/lesson-in-optimizing-web-page-using.html

http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/04/optimizing-personal-web-pages-using.html

http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/11/optimizing-new-personal-web-on-budget.html

You can also read my article on how to use the free Google tools to optimize your personal web site at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-use-free-google-tools-to.html.



December 19, 2009

Google Search and Publishing Tools for Web Writers

Snapshot of cover of the PDF ebook Google Search and Publishing Tools for Web Writers













Google provides indispensable tools for web writers looking to publish their works in the Internet. These tools include Google search, the keyword and monetization tools, web site and blog creation tools, and web page URL addition and removal tools. Writers intending to publish to the Web need to know what these tools are and how they can be used to be able to publish successfully in the Internet.

Google Search and Publishing Tools for Web Writers is a PDF document that contains two articles focusing on how the search and web publishing tools work. The articles aim to introduce aspiring Internet writers to what writing or publishing step the tools may be applied and on their basic functions. Here are some excerpts from the two articles:

Google Search Engine Basics for Readers and Writers

"Search engines are one of the most useful tools that are available in the Internet. Google is the number one search engine and the most used by searchers in the Web. It will be a good idea to make both readers and writers better acquainted with the Google search engine and adept at its use if the flow of information is to be facilitated in the Internet.

While writers do use the Google search engine to find out what materials have already been written on their topic of interest, they also use Google for other purposes that readers need not be concerned of. One particular use that writers make of the Google search engine is to find out whether their article had already been indexed by Google."

Google Tools that Web Writers Need to Know

"Writers can take advantage of using the web tools that Google makes available online for free use by anyone. They should make it a point to know how these tools work and be familiar on using them if they want their work to fare well on the Internet.

Fortunately, Google has made available a few online tools that the writer can use to accomplish the tasks that he needs to do. These include the Google search tool, the keyword tool, the web page creation tools, a monetization tool, the URL submit tool and the URL removal tool."

You can download the Google Search and Publishing Tools for Web Writers PDF document from: http://www.esnips.com/doc/5001ea8a-4d14-43f9-95a6-19f5bdc5336f/Google-Search-and-Publishing-Tools-for-Web-Writers.



December 15, 2009

Three Simple Ways to Promote your Personal Web Site For Free

If you're using your web site to generate income through Adsense or other advertising programs, you need to increase traffic to your site in every way possible. And since you might not have the budget to really market your site, you are looking for ways of promoting your web site for free. Here are three simple ways of promoting your personal web site for free.

First, you can write a highly optimized landing page and post it in your other web sites or blogs. The landing page should target the keyword phrases that you think users searching for your web site will use. If you think another keyword phrase would be popular, then you can write another landing page using an alternative keyword phrase. Just make sure that the new landing page is significantly different from the old one. Don't just change the title and the keywords in the new landing page. Insert new paragraphs and revise some sentences to make it significantly different from the old one.

Check that your landing pages have been indexed by the search engines. For Google, you can use the Google search tool by typing the word info plus colon then the URL of the landing page. Perform searches on your targeted keyword and make sure that it appears at least near the beginning of the search page results. If not, then do some more optimization until you're satisfied with the results. The landing page should have only one link going out and that link should bring the user to the web site you are promoting.

Next, look for the 2Digg web site and get yourself an account in this site. At 2Digg, submit as many stories about the web site you're promoting depending on how many keyword phrases you are targeting. You can only submit one story per day so you have to prioritize which story to submit first. Be ready with the following items for your stories: the target URL, the title of the story, a few sentence description of your site, the keyword phrase you are using and the category on which the story should be included.

2Digg is a very effective and easy to use promotional tool for web sites. You don't have to write a whole article where you can place your link like in other article submission sites. The content of the brief story is highly targeted so the page performs well on search engine results. However, you have to live with the limitations imposed on the number of stories you can submit and the amount of information you can provide. Be informed also that you can only submit one story for one URL and make sure that the URL you are using for your stories point directly to the web site you are promoting.

Thirdly, write a full-blown article on the theme of the web site that you are promoting, convert it to PDF and submit it to the DocStoc web site. The article should be a really useful article and not just a promotional brochure for your web site. In my case where I'm promoting a language learning site, I just took one lesson, converted it to PDF and posted it at DocStoc. When submitting your article, you should be ready with the following information: the file name of the article in your computer, the title of the document, the description of the document and the keywords that describe the contents of the document. Again, you can submit as many articles
depending on how many keyword phrases you are targeting for the site you are promoting.

DocStoc is a document submission site where you will find a lot of documents from all parts of the world in different languages. Make sure that your document will stand out from the rest by writing a highly optimized title, description and keywords that you need to submit together with the document. Combine the information about your web site with the information about the document that you are submitting. Make sure that there is a link that point to your web site inside the document that you submit together with the information that there are more of this type of information in the web site you are promoting.

I do not advise using article submission sites for promoting your web site. Your article will just end up at sites that have no real content to speak of and were just created to make money on advertisements. I think that your prestige in the industry you are working on will only be severely affected if people find your article in those sites. I did submit a few articles at Ezine but only for the purpose of having priority listing on the search engine results page.

So try using these simple ways of promoting your personal web site for free. Hopefully, they can make a difference in the traffic that will flow to the web site you are promoting.

Read an article on how to use Google Docs to promote articles in your personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-use-google-docs-to-promote.html.

Read my other article on how to promote personal web sites for free at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-promote-your-personal-web-site.html.

Read an article on how to use Google Docs to promote articles in your personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-use-google-docs-to-promote.html

Read an article on simple ways for writers to promote their blog or website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/simple-ways-for-writers-to-promote.html

Read an article on how to use feeds to promote your personal website or blog at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-use-feeds-to-promote-your.html.



Google Tools that Web Writers Need to Know

Writers can take advantage of using the web tools that Google makes available online for free use by anyone. They should make it a point to know how these tools work and be familiar on using them if they want their work to fare well on the Internet.

Web writing imposes additional concerns that the writer needs to address as compared with writing for the print of broadcast media. Aside from making sure that write-up adheres to grammatical and style rules, the writer needs to do ensure that the write-up will reach the intended audience and for this purpose the writer needs the help of the search engines.

Fortunately, Google has made available a few online tools that the writer can use to accomplish the tasks that he needs to do. These include the Google search tool, the keyword tool, the web page creation tools, a monetization tool, the URL submit tool and the URL removal tool.

When writing something that is intended for publication in the Internet, the first thing that a writer needs to do is search the web for materials that have already been written on the subject matter that the writer has chosen to write on. The Google search page is a fairly easy to use tool that can serve this need well. The search results gives the writer an idea of how many written text had been produced and posted on the Internet and can lead the writer to browse any of the materials the search engine has found. This information can lead the writer to sharpen his focus on the article he is planning to write or could give the writer an idea on from what angle he should approach the writing of his article.

The writer uses the Google keyword tool for many purposes. For one, he can use it to form a general idea on what the people are searching with regard to the topic that he is writing on. If the tool proves that the proposed topic the writer wants to write about does not receive that much interest, he may abandon writing about it or he may have had a better idea on an alternative topic to write on. Or, the writer may choose to proceed with the writing of his article but go on writing about it with an altogether different focus.

If the writer is interested in making money from his articles, he can use the keyword tool to find out how much advertisers are willing to pay if their advertisement is clicked when placed alongside an article on the web page. He can then focus his writing on subjects that provide a higher monetary reward in terms of income from advertisement clicks.

The keyword tool also provides information on how competitive the keyword is, giving the writer an indication of how many writers are already targeting their articles on that keyword. He may then decide to forget writing on that particular topic and instead look for subjects where there is less competition but more motivated users.

Google provides writers several ways to publish web sites on the Internet for free but the two most notable are the Google Blogger and the Google Sites. Blogger makes available an easy to use web page creator designed for people without any knowledge of HTML. One can create his own blog easily in a couple of minutes and starting writing about the things he is interested in. Google Sites allows the writer to create a true personal web site and gives him more leeway on the things that he can post on his web site. To be sure, there are still restrictions and limitations but the main thing is that the writer is able to publish his works for free. And he can even choose to make money on his writings by deciding to monetize his web site using advertisements from Google.

Adsense is the name of the marketing program that Google uses to place advertisements on any type of web sites. You need to have a Google email address to be able to use Adsense on your web site. You can choose from a variety of different ad formats to place on your web pages. Google provides the HTML codes that will display the advertisements on the pages of your web site. You will just insert the codes in the parts of your HTML where you want the advertisement to appear. You can also check anytime how much money you are getting from the views and clicks of your web page readers.

Google will not automatically index your site once it is created. You need to have a link outside of your web site from a site that Google has already indexed for the Google crawlers to be able to find your web site and index it. You can check if your web page is already on Google's data base by searching for your page using Google search using the keyword info then colon then your web site's URL. If Google has not yet indexed your page, you can ask Google to visit it using Google's URL submit tool. You can search for this tool in Google search and once the submit page, you can type in your URL and your page will be submitted for indexing by Google.

Finally, you might decide one day to delete entirely any web page that you have created and write a new one with better information and style. But you should not forget that the old web page still is present in the Google data base. Your readers will still be directed to the old page that you have deleted and will be shown a notice that you have deleted that page. To prevent this from happening, you need to use the Google URL removal tool so that your old page will stop appearing on searches made by your readers. You can search for this tool on Google and once you have logged in to this page, you can enter the URL of your deleted page and submit the URL for deletion on the Google data base.

Writers who use the Internet to publish their work need to be familiar and knowledgeable in using these tools for them to become effective in making their work readily accessible by their readers. Of what good is a high quality written work if it cannot be found by the intended readers? It would be a good idea for web writers to know and become expert users of these indispensable tools. They are available online for everyone to use for free, the only requirement being that you have a Google email address.

Read my other article on multi-platform web publishing using free software on Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/11/multi-platform-web-publishing-using.html.

Read my other article on writing and publishing content for the Internet at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/steps-to-writing-ang-publishing-content.html.

Read my article on how to use the free Google tools to optimize your personal web site at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-use-free-google-tools-to.html.