Sunday, February 22, 2009

RankChecker Firefox plugin

If you have followed my blog for a while, you would have noticed that there are some tips and tutorials on how to improve your blog’s ranking in search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN). Now today I wanted to share this Firefox plugin created by that could track how well you rank on search engines (and whether or not your all efforts give expected results). RankChecker can display your blog’s rank on each keyword you specify. The screenshot below shows Rank Checker tracking this blog’s rank in Google for the keywords I specify.

blog rank checker

To install Rank Checker go to the official website and follow the instructions given there. After installing you should restart your Firefox or else the plugin will not work. Before you launch it for the first time, you should configure it to get the most accurate data. Go to Tools > Add-ons. From the given list select RankChecker and click on ‘Options’. The option window should appear. What you need to do is to tick the ‘Don’t use Google personalized search results if any’. This will prevent RankChecker to obtain the results that have been personalized by you, in many case this will alter the real rank of your blog. One more thing is to set the ‘Delay between queries’ to be no less than 2. The smaller the value, the faster RankChecker obtains the results, but this may cause Google (or any other search engines) to block you. The full explanation can be read at

Using the extension is pretty straightforward, just enter your blog’s URL in the Domain text box and the keyword in the ‘Keywords’ box. Try not to use the http:// prefix for Domain, it will cause several errors. You can add a keyword and a domain one at a time, but if you want to check one domain for several keywords, use the ‘Add Multiple Keywords’ button. Hit the ‘Start’ button to start the check. After you are done, you can save the result by using the ‘Export results to CSV’. RankChecker will generate a .csv file which you can open using Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet software.

And before I forget, RankChecker will display a ‘-‘ in case your blog ranks below the top 200 for the keyword. Now armed with this information, it should be easier to push your blog even higher to the top of the search results!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tips to increase blog traffic

Does your blog lacking traffics? Here are simple tips you can use to significantly increase your traffic. Some of the tips in the list are either based on my own experience or researched from the 'Net. Ready? Here we go:

  1. Participate in conversations – What I mean by conversation could be as simple as a comment to a mailing list. For starters, comment on other’s blog and leave your URL in the comment. You can also participate in discussion forums. Try to join the Google Blogger group or Bloggerforum, and under every post you made, leave your blog URL there. This technique is proven to be very effective to kick-start your traffic.
  2. Write good contents – I know that this is an *ancient* trick, but it still works, believe me. By writing many good stuffs, people WILL come back to read more. 3-5 posts per week is ideal to grab traffics, but that depends on what you are writing about. If you are reviewing automobiles, 1 post per week is enough. But if you are blogging about the local news in your state, I would recommend 5-7 posts per week, as news is always updated fast.
  3. Reply to reader’s comments – When a reader leaves a comment at one of your post, MAKE SURE THAT YOU REPLY IT! This is very important to build trust between you and your readers. They wouldn’t want their comments to be ignored. And besides, people will come back to your blog to see if the comment have been answered or not. If not, the chances are that they wouldn’t want to come back for a second time.
  4. Shorten your feeds – This little tip, although frequently underestimated, could give quite a boost to your traffic. How it works is actually very simple. When you write a new post, be it only two or three paragraphs, the readers who followed you will only see the ‘excerpt’ of it, and to read it fully they will have to visit your blog. Simple right? For Blogger users just go to Dashboard > Settings > Site Feeds, and choose ‘Short’ in ‘Allow Blog Feeds’.
  5. Allow readers to bookmark you – Put a button that could let your readers to Digg you, or to save your blog in their Delicious bookmark. Buttons like ShareThis works well with blogs. People will be able to see you and hopefully visit it. See my other tutorial here to create your own ShareThis button.

Well, that’s all for now folks. Hopefully this 5 tips could give a boost to your traffic, but one thing for sure: it won’t happen overnight. You must work hard for it. I’ll post more of these soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blogger or Wordpress?

Many of you have heard of Wordpress, either the downloadable script or the service available at If you don’t know, is similar to, it offers free blog service to people and if you are bored with Blogger, you might as well give it a shot. I know that many of you are wondering whether to use Blogger or Wordpress. The answer is actually quite simple: use whichever you like. Anyway, in this article I’ll try to help you to choose the correct one. Please feel free to comment if you have any suggestions or corrections.

Now, the easiest way to determine which one you’ll choose is to use them at the same time. Make two blogs, one using Blogger while the other one uses Wordpress. You’ll get a practical experience with the two that will help you to decide. But of course the method described just now is more or less time consuming, and are not suited for busy bloggers.

Ok, to make the comparison easier, below are the top 3 descriptions about those two.

Indexing Time – Indexing is the process in which Google (or any other search engine), registers your blog pages into its database. Your blog can only be shown in search results only after it is indexed. For indexing time, Blogger is the winner. Why? It is because Blogger is one of Google’s service, of course Google will want to index its own blogs first.

Categories – You know what this means. In Blogger we used to call it labels or tags. In terms of the categories flexibility, Wordpress is over Blogger. Wordpress offers an effective and  customizable labeling system.

Theme – This ought to be the main topic for most bloggers. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the winner here is Wordpress. Wordpress offers a TON of templates which you can apply in a single click. But Blogger users fear not, by learning a bit about HTML and CSS, you’ll be able to customize your blog to look just as attractive.

Finally the decision is yours to make. My suggestions is, if you have some time to spare, stick with the first method, try both simultaneously, as this is the most effective way to choose between Blogger and Wordpress. There are many reviews out there about Blogger and Wordpress, just search with Google if you need further reference.

Reference: Thanks a lot!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Adding a 'Share This' button

You might have noticed the 'Share This' button that appears below each of my posts. In today's tutorial we'll create this button for your blog. Why bother to use it? Well, with the 'Share this' button visitors will be able to share your content with their friends or community, and you know yourself what will happen. Loads of visitors will be coming to your blog!

Ok, without any further ado, open in your browser. Browse quickly through the page to see what it has got to offer you. If you have used this service before click on the 'Sign in' link at the top-right of the page, otherwise click 'Register' and create your new account.

After you've created your account, sign in, and enter In this page you can customize your button to your need. First be sure that you've chosen the 'ShareThis Button for other websites' in the 'Pick your platform' section. I know, there is the Blogger option on the drop-down list, but we are using the raw script for better flexibility. After you are done tailoring the button, just click on 'Get ShareThis code' on the bottom of the page. You should now see the code for the button, copy it.

The next step is to add the button to each and every post on our blog. No, I don't want you to go edit all your post and paste the code on each one, that would be an idiotic waste of time. Instead, go to Dashboard > Layout > Edit HTML. Make sure you've ticked the 'Expand Widget Templates' checkbox. Use your browser's search function to find the code:

Paste the code you've copied earlier after the </p> tag. It should look like this:
<p><data:post.body/></p><script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
Save the template. That's all! If you have done it correctly you should now see the 'Share This' button at the end of every post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dangers in changing blog URL

Changing your blog's URL may be the stupidest thing you can do, especially when you have gained some readerships (that is, visitors). Ok, in today's tip let me shortly outline the dangers of changing your blog address. I urge myself to write this article when I realized that many of our fellow bloggers have unconsciously made this mistake.

First thing first, why would someone change their blog address? One main reason is that they did not plan their blog properly from the beginning. For example, they made their blog in 2008 and use the URL '' (only example!) and suddenly they found out that today is already 2009! So will do they do? In order to keep their blog 'up-to-date', they'll change the URL to ''.

Now imagine that the owner have worked very hard to get visitors, and let's say that the blog gets 200-300 visits a day. Many people are following and have bookmarked the blog. They like to visit the blog daily because it is always up-to-date (remember, it's only an example). Suddenly, the blog is no longer accessible! And when they try to open '', Blogger will only return the Blog not Found page!

After a few days, the unknowing owner of the blog did not see any more comments nor followers appearing in the blog. And guess what? He has just lost all his visitors! It's pretty terrifiying and I'm quite sure that you won't like it if that happens to you.

Another danger lies within search engines' result page. As you already know, when you click on one of the search results, you'll be taken to that specific page. And say that someone click on the URL '' because they found it is related to what they are searching for. Without the need to think, you'll spontaneously know that the page no longer exist! That means that the owner of the blog has just lost some potential visitors from search engines. This may not be much, but imagine if it is 3 visitors a day, it will result in 1095 visitors lost at the end of the year!

All in all, changing your blog URL is a risky thing to do. My suggestion to you is the usual phrase 'think before you act'.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Create a Quiz for visitors

Are you tired of the default polls that doesn't do any good? Or is it better to make something like this?

Interested? Just follow the steps given below:
  1. Firstly, you must have a Quibblo account, as this quiz uses their service. If you do not have an account yet, go to and click on the 'Become a member' link at the top right of the page. After you register, you'll need to confirm your email address.
  2. Login with your email and password to access your personal Quibblo page. Then put your cursor on the top of the 'Create a Quiz' tab, but don't click it yet. A list of option should appear, and for now just select 'Scored Survey' (you can try the different types later).
  3. In this page you can create your questions and answers. It'll look similar to the screenshot below:
    Fill in the Quiz title with the title of your quiz, and fill in a short description of it in the Introduction box. For now just ignore the "Upload an Image for Your Quiz Title". In the Quiz Question section, fill in your questions and answers. Use the 'Add an Answer' button to add more answers to one question, and thus making it tougher. If you want more questions, use the 'Add Another Question' button. After you're done, hit Continue.
  4. The next page will require you to fill in the details about your new quiz. Fill in all the blanks, and if you do not want this quiz to appear in the Quibblo's list of quiz, don't forget to click on the 'Advance Option' and ticking the 'Don't list this quiz on' checkbox. Click on 'Preview my quiz' to continue.
  5. After you are satisfied with your new quiz, hit the 'Create my quiz' button. In the next page find the HTML code for the quiz and copy it. Now go to your Blogger Dashboard > Layout > Add a Gadget and choose html/javascript. Paste the copied code there and hit Save. You are done, and just go back to step 2 if you would like to create another quiz. Have fun!