BlogRush Approval and Policies

Well the Monetizer is pleased to announce this blog here passed the rigorous and tough standards set forth by BlogRush. I was just a bit worried after reading a recent blog entry where the Cow was banned from BlogRush. However, BlogRush sent email to say The Monetizer blog met up with their quality control guidelines. Cool deal.

Despite this, recent postings on the BlogRush blog have indicated that BlogRush wants you to place the widget on your blog higher up, if it isn't already. They say if they discover you aren't pulling the "clicks" they want, they will remove you from the program. Hmmmm... While I like the concept of BlogRush, I don't think they should be dictating how their widget is placed or used, because it's being put on someone else's internet real estate. It's obvious that the bigger bloggers are going to get more traffic (ProBlogger, Shoemoney or John Chow). But placing this widget above your "recent posts" or "Archives" on the sidebar doesn't seem idealistic for the smaller blogger who wants people to read and visit their blog.

Hopefully BlogRush won't be too strict with this requirement on behalf of the "little bloggers" of the blogosphere. Also, it's been a long time they have been saying "we're working on a better statistics dashboard". Granted, this is a free widget/service that can benefit the user for free, but the people signing up for it will want to see what it's doing for their blog. Otherwise rolling out this Beta item just looks premature.

This post is just a mini-rant. Monetizer has heard people reporting a bit of extra traffic from the widget so it must be doing something!

Using Google's Free Services

Many people love using Google for its great search engine features. It offers some of the best, fine-tuned and accurate results of all the engines. However, many people may not be aware of the vast amount of great tools Google offers you, all for free. These tools range from blogging platforms, social media sites, to free web page creators and keyword/seo analysis tools.

It's highly recommended to start out by signing up for a free Gmail account. Use your name as the Gmail address or use your unique blog or site name, at Gmail.com. From there you can start to launch into these many other great FREE tools Google offers for bloggers and site owners.

Blogger - This is one most people know about, the free blogging platform of choice for the blog rookie and less-web savvy. Google took this over within the past year or so and Blogger has gone through some nice upgrades making it even easier for the novice to start blogging. Blogger's widget feature makes it easy for a new blogger to add link lists, pictures, html code and Adsense right onto their blog. Not bad for a free blogging platform where you can easily start to make money, without paying any to do so.

Google Adsense - Many people know of this one. A program that's free for site owners and blog owners to use, implement and profit from. Adsense gives you code to put into your site that matches contextual ads to your site's content. You get paid revenue based on ad impressions and clicks. Read Monetizer's "Introduction to Adsense 101" here.

Google Adwords - This is a program you will pay to use, but it can help you advertise your blog, site or product. You'll be buying ads on other sites and have to put in keyword research. The free tool this provides that is very useful to use is the Keyword Tool here as described below.

Google Base - Monetizer learned about this promotional tool in the past few weeks. According to the site: "Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we'll make searchable on Google (if your content isn't online yet, we'll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches". It's basically yet another place to advertise products and yes even a blog or website. It's free to list your product/site, and there's a Squidoo lens which explains how to do that here. (The lens discusses adding Squidoo pages to Google Base but you can substitute your blog or website in).

Google Analytics - An invaluable tool for all webmasters and bloggers this will track and measure your site traffic, visitor trends, top pages viewed and search engine results that brought you traffic. Very important to integrate this early into your blog or site and then monitor it to make the proper changes to your content and site. At Analytics you will provide your site domain and a few other pieces of info, then insert special Javascript code into your blog or site's HTML. Analytics will go to work soon after tracking your site stats. One tip is to keep an eye on any search engine traffic you might be getting. Focus on coverage of those topics if they tend to be highly searched terms bringing visitors to your site.

Google Reader - One of the better RSS feed readers or aggregators, it will collect all the RSS feeds you subscribe to in one nice, neat location. Makes for easy browsing and reading of all your favorite blogs and sites as they update. A tip here is to make sure you subscribe to your own RSS feed(s) and then you can monitor them as others will see them.

Google Page Creator - create your own free webpages. They will be hosted on the googlepages.com domain, so whatever you choose for the title will precede that. For example you may make a site called ParisHiltonFans, so the site will be http://parishiltonfans.googlepages.com. Despite that lengthy and ackward domain, you can still leverage this to create a website in conjunction with a free blog. It's great for novices who want to have their own site, and the great thing, Google does not place ads on your free pages, but you can do so.

Google Keyword Tool - A great free tool for Search Engine Optimization. Type in a few terms that you consider keywords for your blog or site and then let Keyword Tool go to work. This tool will list out other relevant keywords and phrases you may want to consider implementing in your SEO strategies. DoshDosh has a great post which discusses using this tool with longtail keyword phrase strategies.

Google Suggest - This tool comes from the Google labs and can be very helpful for your SEO strategies as well. As you type into the search box, Google will present suggested search phrases based on their popularity of search. What's neat is that it will show you the number of Google search results for their suggested terms as well. With that you can find good keyword phrases that might have low search results, and then use that to your advantage to rank high for search engine traffic on those terms. For example you may look up Paris Hilton and notice there is a popular Paris Hilton search phrase with only 100-1,000 or low results. Creating a clever blog entry with that phrase in the title just might bring you some nice search engine traffic.

Orkut - This is Google's social media answer to Myspace which many people have probably never heard of. While not as good looking or feature-packed as Facebook or Myspace can be, this site is in the top 10 consistently for Alexa's site traffic rank. It's worth checking out and maybe using as another free social media promotional tool.

Webmaster Tools - More helpful tools for the webmaster and blog owner. Submit your blog or site's sitemap. Analyze errors with the crawling Google does of your site and see how many of your blog or site pages are actually indexed in Google's search engine. Very helpful to make sure your site pages can be discovered in the Google search engines.

What's great about just about everything above, is they are FREE to use, and you can use them in some way to help with your online money making efforts. Why not enjoy the free services Google offers to set up a Blogger blog, cross-promote it with a free webpage on Page creator, and use Google's Webmaster Tools and Analytics to help revise and improve your rankings? It makes a ton of sense to sign up for these services for free and use them to your full advantage ASAP.

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