Business Speaker on Internet and Blog Directories
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational keynote speaker whose topics include internet directories, blog directories and submission services. He’s a leading authority on self-employment and the author of Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley). The 38th and 39th chapters of this award-winning book (2012 Small Business Book Awards) are entitled Internet Directories and Blog Directories respectively (in Part 4 of the book: Populate Internet Properties) and they are both included below for your review. The book has a total of 80 short chapters, each ending with an Implementation Checklist. Also, Patrick’s perspective on online directories and the value they offer, especially in light of the Panda and Penguin updates to the Google algorithm, is provided below.
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Keynote Speech about Blog and Internet Directories
Ever since Google’s Panda release, internet directories don’t offer the same SEO opportunities as they once did. Nevertheless, there are benefits to getting your blog or website listed and Patrick has used directory submission services extensively over the years. With the social media revolution in full swing, the opportunities lie with having your blog be listed in all the places where readers might go looking for it. Obviously, the search engines are at the top of the list but there are also massive blogging communities that can contribute significant traffic, particularly during the early phases. Let us know if you would like internet directories and blog directories to be covered in Patrick’s general session or keynote address. He can deliver the content in an accessible and actionable way, allowing your attendees to leave feeling confident and empowered to capitalize on the opportunities.
Chapter 38: Internet Directories
Are Internet directories useless?
There was a time when you could accumulate valuable one-way inbound links by registering your website on many online directories. Those days are gone. The search engines no longer give much credence to directory links. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. The Open Directory Project (also known as DMOZ from directory.mozilla.org), for example, still offers a valuable link—and there are others. These directories are still worth registering with, but they’re not the reason for this chapter.
There are more and more directories that list companies operating within one industry or another. Dentists, chiropractors, hauling companies, real estate agents, insurance brokers, contractors, and salons all come to mind. A single industry is often referred to as a “vertical.” Getting listed on directories within your vertical can be very valuable, primarily because prospective customers are finding these directories and using them the way people once used the Yellow Pages. In many cases, getting registered within these directories doesn’t cost anything because the websites hosting them want to cultivate a complete list, making their directory more valuable and attracting more visitors as a result.
Go to Google and search for your keywords along with the word “directory.” Browse through the first five or ten pages and see what you can find. Within an hour, you’ll probably find two or three directories—maybe more. Get your company listed along with a link to your website. Various directories will be set up slightly differently but look for links like “get registered,” “create an account,” “submit a link,” or “add your listing” to submit your information. A few years ago, people registered with online directories to get inbound links. Today, the search engine algorithms have diminished that opportunity. But the more specific directories still offer value—not for search engines but for humans. Getting listed within niche directories can bring you customers.
Your local Chamber of Commerce is another example of a niche directory. Of course, membership in a Chamber of Commerce isn’t free but their directories are specific to your location, making them more relevant to users. Other community organizations like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions have similar directories for their members. Check with the associations operating in your industry or clubs that cater to your profession. They all offer directories where your listing can attract qualified prospects. Allocate a few hours to search for these directories and register with as many as you can. Make note of the ones that aren’t free and prioritize your list for future consideration. Maybe you can afford to get listed with a few right away. Maybe not. Either way, these directories can play a major role in helping you establish your online identity.
Internet Directories: Implementation Checklist
Google your keywords plus “directory.”
Try to find directories within your vertical.
Register your company on the free directories.
Make note of those that aren’t free.
Register with paid directories when your budget allows.
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce.
Find local Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions clubs.
Determine the fee and member base.
Check the prominence of their websites.
Join if it would add to your online presence.
Check for associations in your industry.
Check for clubs serving your profession.
Compare notes and ideas with a colleague.
Chapter 39: Blog Directories
Does anyone know you exist?
If you’re like most bloggers, the answer is no. A lot of talented “content creators” publish inspiring blog posts that nobody ever reads! Sad but true. The next few chapters discuss blogging best practices and how you can share your brilliance with a global audience. It all begins with awareness. If nobody knows you exist, they have no way of endorsing your content and sharing it with their friends.
Today’s Internet offers ever-expanding social media platforms where you can share your content with the world. But before we talk about those platforms in detail, we need to address the basics. There are hundreds of free blog directories on the Internet. You need to get registered on as many of those as you can. Blog directories are similar to the niche directories we discussed in the previous chapter. You won’t get a lot of SEO benefits from the directory links. The main benefit is simply to populate the world of bloggers with your existence. Will the directories drive hundreds of unique visitors to your site? No, they won’t. But they announce to the Internet world that you are there. Bottom line: you want to be listed in any place where somebody might find you.
In preparation for the project, you need to put some thought into your blog title and description. Even for those who have already finalized these details, it’s worth taking a minute to rethink them. The description, in particular, is extremely valuable real estate and you want it to pull readers in by making them curious. Every blog directory requests your blog title and your blog description. Make sure you have these two pieces of information prepared before you get started.
Not surprisingly, there are a few blog directories that are more important than others. The top sites you should check out first include Technorati.com, BlogCatalog.com, and MyBlogLog.com.
Technorati is much more than just a blog directory; it’s a major player in the blogosphere and you should begin your journey by getting listed there. BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog are both online communities where you can accumulate friends and connect with other bloggers. And to give you an idea how big these communities are, there are successful bloggers whose only marketing efforts take place on these platforms.
There are many services that will register your blog with all the major directories for a fee. These fees range from $2 to $200. To find these services, search for “blog directory submission” on Google.
Building a blog is like building a house. You have to start with the foundation. Most bloggers start their blog by installing double-pane windows and decorative planters. Don’t make the mistake of focusing first on the cosmetic frills. Start with the foundation. Get your blog listed on all the major directories. After that, there’s a long list of things you can do. We’ll talk about some items for your to-do list in the coming chapters.
Blog Directories: Implementation Checklist
Optimize your blog title and description.
Register your blog at Technorati.com.
Register your blog at BlogCatalog.com.
Register your blog at MyBlogLog.com.
Search for submission services on Google.
Consider using a service to get listed.
Announce to the Internet that you exist!
Compare notes and ideas with a colleague.
End of chapter – click here to buy the book on Amazon.