This is a summary of the points raised in Mark’s interview with Dave Taylor conducted during the World Internet Summit. Dave has been involved in the internet since 1980 (that's over 30 years!). He’s been a research scientist for Hewlett-Packard, involved in four start-ups, written 20 books and he’s been speaking publicly for well over a third of his years on the internet.
www.AskDaveTaylor.com (which receives between 250,000 and 300,000 visitors per month!)
www.Intuitive.com/blog (directed more at businesses).
A lot of people have an idea of what is or isn’t a "blog", but essentially " blogs" are just nice content management tools that allow you to add content to your site really easily. Actually, it’s just about as easy as sending an email -- you just fire up your blogging tool, write your content and submit it, and it will appear on your site. Your posts will be automatically linked to your other pages, and pretty search engine friendly.
The key thing that distinguishes a blog from a "regular" site is that regular sites are just built and then left alone. They remain static. Blogs, on the other hand, are constantly updated.
Dave opinion is that blogs are more likely to help "quality" affiliates as opposed to "quantity" affiliates. That is -- affiliates who are affiliated with just a few carefully selected products that they honestly regard as being good value, as opposed to affiliates who affiliate with everything and hope something happens. Blogs are useful for developing an authentic dialogue with your community, which is something this first group is interested in.
Search engines are looking for fresh, original content that is updated frequently. Blogging lets you create original content and update it frequently, so a lot of bloggers find they get pretty good search engine listings. With a blog you’re also able to separate your content from your blog "shell", so to speak. So if you want to tweak your "shell" for SEO purposes, the changes you make will apply to all the blog entries you’ve made, and all the ones you make in future, which is pretty convenient!
Dave himself doesn’t take too many pains with his search engine optimization, aside from utilizing what he calls "best practice" techniques.
Visit Google.com and find their webmaster resource section. In there, Google give you some pretty good pointers as to what you should and should not be doing with your website to get it ranking well in Google. They don’t spell it out... they just hint. (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769)
Dave himself uses Movable Type (http://www.movabletype.org), but this is quite a complex solution that you have to install on your own server. TypePad (http://www.sixapart.com/typepad/) is a more user- friendly version that you don’t have to host yourself. Both of these are products you need to pay for, but if you purchase a TypePad subscription and enter the promotional code "taylor " you receive a lifetime 10% discount!
Another useful blog tool is WordPress (http://www.wordpress.org) which is open source and free. The WordPress from www.wordpress.org is one that you need to install on your server yourself, while the WordPress from www.wordpress.com is an easier, "instant" version, but lacks some of the customization features of the server version.
One interesting thing that Dave does is write blog posts around long-tail search terms. It may take a little while, but eventually he will start coming up the top of the search engines for these search terms. With thousands of visitors per day coming to his site by these search terms, he’s in a good position to be earning money from AdSense ads.
For a closer look, visit www.AskDaveTaylor.com
BlogSmart is Dave Taylor’s "insiders guide to blogging" site. You can sign up to Dave’s BlogSmart free mailing list and receive weekly inspirational tips on blogging. Dave goes "behind the scenes" in the blog scene and shows you how to get some really good results with some surprising tricks. Dave has also teamed up with SEO expert Brad Fallon and put together a ten week course called "Exploding Your Business With Blogging" which has been receiving excellent reviews lately. That’s also available from www.BlogSmart.com.