Blogs Get Scraped
You may have noticed that on each blog entry I do, I have a signature at the bottom that includes links to my website and details about me. I do this for a reason. There are robots out there in the world that will take and "scrape" your blog for articles relevant to what the site is that they are searching for content for. They will then (without permission) post your blog on their site so as to drive traffic to their site.
Now, I have a Google Alerts that keeps track of when my name, my company name, or the name of my book comes up on the web. So when I get scraped (and it happens often), I can find out where it went. And, if they didn't maintain my links intact, then I can comment on the post and ask that they reinstate the links.
Let Them Have the Post
Notice I DIDN'T say that I could ask them to remove the posting. Because I don't want them to. Sure, they stole my content. But they could have had it for the asking if they kept the links in place. I am perfectly happy to have my stuff show up everywhere - with my links in place. Why? Two reasons.
Driving Traffic Directly From Scraping Site
Perhaps someone will find my site as a result of reading the article on their site. After all, they're scraping all sorts of relevant content - they should reach some of my target market too.
Driving Up Your SEO
And, more importantly, each incoming link to my site increases my SEO. A link about real estate training to my real estate training web page. A link about real estate products to my real estate product page. A link for real estate coaching to my real estate coaching page. A link about internet training, to my Web 2.0 Training for Realtors (sign up before the end of December and save $100.) web page. How great is that? (And did you notice the little trick I just did with putting all of those links in? Now when this post gets scraped, my SEO will go up even more.)
While We're On The Subject
Don't forget to put a copyright notice in the footer of your pages to protect you. And, if you have one already, remember that you need to change it to 2009 in a few days. We want to be accurate.
Remember also that your blog is advertising. Use it to convert lurkers into leads. Add a conversion tool like the one I have below. It references a free training program I have available online. All you have to do is tell me who you are and give me a valid email address. If you have a white paper or recorded class you can trade to buyers or sellers in exchange for their email address, then you're styling too.
Include a Share, Digg, or Delicious Button
You want people to be able to tell others about the cool things they read on your blog. Make it easy for them to do so using a simple button. Getting your posts included in these directories also does wonders for your SEO.
And - here it is - my signature...
Do you want information on how to coach your clients through the sales process? Sign up for my FREE 10-Part Audio training program.
Kelle Sparta, author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent, is one of the top innovators in the industry. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides products, coaching and training to empower agents and brokers to create lives and businesses they can love. For more information, visit her website at http://www.spartasuccess.com/. © 2008, Kelle Sparta.
UPDATE! March 2009
I learned something new recently. You want to keep your signature small. You'll notice that on my more recent posts, I've removed this signature entirely. The reason is because of a conversation that I had with our own Brad Andersohn. He bet me 50,000 points that if I took my signature off my blog more people would subscribe to it. Well, I have gotten a few more subcriptions - but I can't tell if those are from the lack of a signature or the couple of posts I've had featured. But I will say that I'm getting more comments. You'll notice that the signature (which I left in above to preserve the original intent of this post) is significantly shorter than the post just before it. So if you are going to use a signature, make it short and sweet and not too salesy. It seems that any sales content is considered taboo. According to Brad "if they want to know more about you, they'll go to your profile page" and all of our selling content should be there. Live and learn!