Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busby SEO Test Winners

It is over. The winners of the Busby SEO Test competition was just announced. The top 10 are:
  1. kabonfootprint
  2. pinayspeak
  3. imfreakz
  4. dstudiobali
  5. umpcinfo
  6. garyviray
  7. enticegh
  8. ianimaru
  9. alwinclores
  10. rumahabi
Although Gary's entry did not made it to the top 5 winners, being able to sustain the entry since it entered page 1 last December 10 is a big feat (he joined last November 25) as the domain has zero pagerank and relatively new. This in comparison to everyone else who joined the competition who were more prepared. With that handicap, my hats off to you Gary.

The hard work that has been put in and the support of friends in the community also played a big factor for this contest. Thank you everyone.

Also persistent efforts in the contest has allowed Gary's site to have the following to date:
  • traffic of no less than 200 visitors a day - without any promotion. At its peak point with full promotion, the site hit almost 700 visitors a day.
  • Nearly 20,000 unique visitors since the start of the contest.
  • PR2 home page, more than a dozen PR 3 and 4 deep pages that were created during the contest.
Congratulations again to the organizers and winners. For the 3 Pinoys who made it to the list - Rich, Gary, and Alwin - Mabuhay kayo Pinoy SEO!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Create your own & add comics to your blog

An ideal blog post should have a complement of a photo, video, or audio to make it more lively and interesting to readers. However, if such is not available, one can opt to create a comics strip and add it to your blog right away.

A comics strip also allows you to express ideas without having type it in your blog entry. It can also spark your creativity the more you use and do it. I just discovered the site - Make Beliefs Comix - which I used to create my first comic strip below for Busby SEO Test.

It has been a bumpy ride as we move up and down the page one rankings several times a day for that contest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get a free delegate pass: Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009

Fiera de Manila Inc. and the Club just collaborated to organize the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009. This will be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue, Makati City on April 23 and 24, 2009.

We are giving away two (2) delegates pass to this event.

I'll be inviting more companies to contribute and increase the number of delegate passes to be given out in the weeks to come. Parties interested can e-mail me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com. Those who'll be giving passes, shall be properly recognized here and be cited in one of our weekly updates.

Should you like to participate and hope to get one of the passes, this is what you have to do:
  1. Make a blog entry about the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009 and cite why you like to attend this two-day event.

  2. Your blog post must have a link to Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009 at

  3. Post a comment to this blog entry and give me the url link where your entry can be found.
Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2009. We will list and link to all entries that get submitted here.

On 1st week of April, Fiera de Manila and passes donors shall review the submissions and picked their most-liked post.

The winner of the two passes shall be posted here on or before April 15. I hope you can join and see you at the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009!

Corporate Blogging, Blog Marketing & Advertising

This coming January 30 (Friday), I'll be holding a workshop on Corporate Blogging, Blog Marketing & Advertising at Netopia Internet Cafe, Ground Floor Greenbelt 1, Legaspi Street, Makati City from 9 am to 5 pm.

This hands-on workshop will give participants an appreciation on how blogging can be used to promote a company's products and services. It will also look into various ways that blogs can be tap as a medium to reach out to target market segments as a new advertising and marketing alternative.
  • Corporate Blogging Introduction and Uses
  • Creating a Corporate Blog
  • Corporate Blogging Guidelines
  • Blog Marketing
    • Tapping Blogs to Create Buzz (events, give-aways, promo)
    • Tapping Bloggers for Insight and Feedback (alerts)
    • Identifying target blogs
  • Blog Advertising
    • Direct advertising
    • 3rd party banner or text ads
    • Paid reviews
    • Paid features
    • Identifying target blogs
Training materials shall be posted at the Blogging from Home Online Workshop site for online interactive learning purposes. Club members can send participants for free on this training noting the following conditions:

  • Corporate members - 5 days (1 participant per day)
  • SME members - 3 days (1 participant per day)
  • Individual members can attend a one-day session
Non-club members (those who have not paid annual membership fee) can send a participant for three thousand pesos (P3000) per day, exclusive of VAT. Slot is confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Participants should fill-up the registration form and await slot confirmation. We can only accept a maximum of 20 participants per day.

This is part of the SEO, Content Writing, eStore Creation, e-Payments, and Blog Marketing Workshop Series this January 26 to 30.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Promote several blogs using one tinyurl with Sqworl

If you have several blogs like me, it is quite a challenge to promote them all. One way I've handled it is by sharing my post via Google Reader and this gets fed to various social media sites that accepts RSS feed.

Another way to do it is by promoting your blogs through Sqworl. This service allows you to promote several sites at once using one url (or like a tinyurl). It creates a page where all the sites you've added are linked.

What I like about the service so far is:

  1. Promote several sites at once. This can be your personal sites or perhaps you are making a report compilation showing a good number of blogs or websites. You can also edit it by removing or adding more links.

    I created several but for this post let me share my blogs and Blogging from Home features compilation.

  2. Allows you to add description and even assign a title for each url. This is where you can also use keywords that you may be working on in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).

  3. This can be useful when creating profiles in various websites and you can only put one url as identity reference.
If there is anything that bothers me though is the screen shot that appears as I add each site. Most of the homepage and deep link urls are shown with no appropriate screen shot. Although that is only temporary and it shows the real one after a while.

If you have tried the service and created a Sqworl, share it here, tell something about the compilation you have made, and will check it out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

eBook Web Publishing with Scribd

I have met a good number of bloggers last year contemplating of publishing their own book. I am very supportive of such an idea as book publishing has its own merits.

In my case, my challenge has always been with the old ones I have published, around 15 more or less at the moment, what happens to them after a few years. One program I am currently exploring is Scribd. This allows publishers to upload their work and share it to others. It also has a qualified publishers program where revenue sharing is possible as ads can be streamed as the book gets viewed within Scribd.

Another option, if you have programming experience, is to work with the Scribd application programming interface (API) so that those that gets viewed at your site will also be able to stream ads. This will require me to work with a developer or really take time to learn it myself.

I'm currently exploring it and hope that Scribd will also deal with self-publishers, not just companies. I will share my experience on this one soon.

DigitalFilipino Stats Report - Filipino Online Shopper (1st Issue)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Make Money by Adding Amazon aStore to your Blog is considered as the biggest online affiliate network with a variety of products being sold on its site. Blogs whose primary audience comes from the U.S. have a lot of potential to explore with this program.

Note that each Amazon affiliate member is allowed to create 100 aStores. I plan to fully maximize that this year as I try building blogs that caters to a variety of niches targeting international audience.

Here are 3 aStores I have done so far:

1. Influential Blogger bookstore
As I review a variety of books in that blog, the books I intend to feature are from authors whom I get to read on a regular basis.

2. Birthstones Jewelry Store
I created two variations. One for general audience and another for men. This is meant to complement my New Age Perspective blog.

I tackled some of my lessons learned in the creation of Amazon aStores at the Busby SEO Test blog. Additional insights worth sharing:
  • Make time
    An aStore is like a full-blown website. Time must be given to plan its structure.

  • Update your blog
    If an aStore is tied to your blog then the more important that it gets updated regularly. In the end, the quality of sales you get is dependent on the effort you have put in as well.

  • Be patient
    Don't expect instant returns right away as trust in your aStore is also tied to the amount of confidence set to your blog.

  • Use regular Amazon linking methods still
    If you are doing a book review, then don't hesitate to still link to the Amazon product page. I guess the reason for that also is that some products that end up getting purchased are not exactly the ones you recommended. But still you earn from it.

  • Explore other alternatives
    An affiliate program can be a source of passive or active income. It is up to you on what will be its role to you. Again, the income you'll gain will also be dependent on the effort you have put in developing and promoting it.

    On another note, payouts takes place quarterly and they only mail out checks if you earn more than UD$100 in commissions.
If you would like to learn more on how to create your own aStore, we will be having a workshop as well this January 28. I suggest you sign-up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Create Your Own or Join a Link Exchange Program

Like many bloggers and web site owners out there, I often get this weird reaction whenever I receive an e-mail asking to swap links. That is partly the reason why the Club was created. The least I want is be accused of being too selective and created the membership as an entry criteria to be linked.

Of course, there are usual ways where you can get linked by other blogs that includes:
  1. Submit your blog to directories.
  2. Organize or join contests or promotions.
  3. Post comments in blogs.
  4. Write a relevant post or comment and hope it will be re-blogged by another person.
  5. Write a guest post published in another blog.
  6. Join free banner ad programs like Entrecard.
However, if you have done the above and need more help, you can also explore joining or even create your own link exchange program.

Why should you join a link exchange program?

Once you have started accumulating a good number of blogs and web sites, managing the links can be quite complicated. Inter-linking within your blog network will only get you too far. It will still be helpful to get out of your usual family of websites and circle to reach new audiences.

There are paid and free link exchange networks out there that you can explore.

You can also get a freelancer who can do professional link building for a fee. This is usually pegged up to US$30 per hour. Subscribing to a tool or service is possible, the time needed to manage such also has its own cost that must be factored in.

Why create your own link exchange program?

Those who have a good number of websites in their network are in a best position to start their very own link exchange program. It has its advantages and challenges that includes:
  • Creating your own link exchange will give you flexibility to set the rules. This must be followed and updated regularly.
  • Build a relationship with network members as you monitor their sites regularly.
  • You may even earn a fee from it as some who will probably join may not have their own sites that can be used to host links.
I had past experiment with links trading such as creating my own webring, Internet directory, and outsourcing directory. The latest I have now is the DigitalFilipino link exchange network.

What if you got a lot of links to pass along?

I think this is not much of an issue at the moment as participants have their own blogs where they are also willing to post links. If it is a one-way pass-on, then that would a problem but in this case, it isn't.

Also, I use my family of sites and blogs as an initial fulfillment point (where the links are given back as soon as commitment is fulfilled). This gets removed as soon as link gets posted in the network.

Can I choose which blog will my link appear to?

As the whole service is free, there is not much flexibility at the moment. The link exchange network owner, which is me, gets to decide on this for now which is driven on a first-available spot basis.
Later on, when the service matures, and there is a software service built or acquired to support it, then there will be more control on where their links will appear.

Although there are some free link exchange networks that allows you to choose.

Why are links important anyway?

For blogs, the number 1 reason would be Technorati. A blog's authority is measured by the number of blogs linking to you. Although to prevent abuse, only the last 6 months is factored in.

Search engine ranking is also another reason as those who get linked by credible sites can attain better rankings. However, this can also be abused and that is why the duration of link exchanges in our system is only for 90 days.

So participating in a link exchange, even on a small scale, like 10 links, can still help but you should still consider doing the above 6 items I mentioned earlier. Link exchange is only one of the ways to get your blog promoted.

Now back to my Busby SEO Test entry.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Testimonial for Blogging from Home

I would like to thank friends and readers who gave their support for the Blogging from Home book project. Testimonials are more than welcome.

"All the information that a blogger needs to know is in this book. I have been blogging for more than three years now but I would never have discovered the power of blogging if not for this book! It was very helpful especially when I taught my mom, a retiree, how to set up her own blog." Mauie Flores, Living a Sugar-Free Sweet Life

"I'm a fan of DigitalFilipino and been a blogger for more than a year now. When I read this book (every bed time), I found so many insightful facts that made me realize "How to become a professional blogger". I'm giving a thumbs up for this book. Thank you Janette Toral!" - Isis "Aice" Lahora, Ice9Web.

"I finally got my own copy of the Blogging from Home book when I went to home to the Phils last Nov. It is such a useful book and has given me fresh ideas on how to blog better. Many thanks and more power to you and your service to the blogosphere!" - Arlene NS,

"I first encounter this book during Philippines WordCamp 2008. I didn't mind it then because I am not really fond of reading books. Later, my friend Cesar of informed me that he got this book and he is really impressed about the information given. He said that there are a lot of things that he learned from this book. Because of that, my curiosity was triggered. So, I eventually bought the book online, because there is no one in my area selling this book. I am from Iloilo. After reading the book, indeed my friend Cesar was right. There are a lot of things mentioned in the book worth absorbing. Thanks Janette!" - Junelle Caravana,

For those who want to get into blogging quick, Janette's Blogging from Home is the book to read. This is an easy to understand yet pretty substantial book on the subject of blogging with topics ranging from fundamentals to content development to blog promotion and blog ethics. I consider the book a useful resource with lots of practical tips and links to current blog tools. - Ronnie Ravelo

"There are two things I can say about Ms. Toral's book. Complete and easy to read. Her book definitely offers a very comprehensive look into blogging. But not only that, it offers first timers an easy and understandable guide on the what- to-do's and how to's. After reading it, I was able to get a much better grasp on how this phenomenon works." - Russell Ri, Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations

"All the questions that took me months to answer can now be found in a few minutes by reading 'Blogging from Home.' How I really wished to have found this book earlier!" - Ruby Ricafrente, Pinay Mommy Online

"I would just like to say I find your Blogging from Home book very useful. Tnx!!!" - Andre Quintos, CreativeAid

"I find the Blogging from Home book very informative. Its content is easy to read and understand, replete with guides and invaluable insights based on Janette's own experience. Indeed, Blogging from Home book is a gem!" - Dennis Rito, Vignettes

"I've been waiting for the launch of this book of yours. Your Blogging From Home book is a real treat as it has all the guides that I can refer to that will help improve my current blog and work me through creating new and better ones! Blogging can indeed be a business and it's a business that can be done from home. Mabuhay!" - Gwen Nava, The Grape Bunch

If you like your testimonial to be included here, just e-mail it to me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com with your photo holding a copy of the book and will post. Thank you.

Many thanks to the following as well who blogged about the book: