I’ve always preferred a minimalist approach to life. If a program can be written in 500 lines, then it should. Does this make me a stingy person? No, it doesn’t. I see myself as a pragmatic person. Bring me in to solve a problem… one specific problem. Everything else is either unrelated or should be tackled differently.

Believe it or not, being pragmatic is very profitable. I’m always referred to when there’s a problem to be solved. However, those who are closest to me soon understand that I’m not a fixer but a coach; I don’t solve your problem, I teach you how to solve that specific problem so you won’t do it again.

I charge a lot for my services because undoing a problem is not as exciting as creating them in the first place. Nevertheless, it is an important business process. Without learning how to undo a problem and also avoid causing them in the future clients are doomed to repeating them ad infinitum.

This is another reason why I charge a flat fee. I don’t believe in charging by the hour or some other periodical calculations. Should it matter if I could show you how your problem happened in 10 minutes or 10 hours? I don’t think so. The important thing is that the objective in hiring me is met.

I should be taking the same approach with my blogging. I’m pretty sure that I overuse words a lot in my posts. Let’s see if I can improve in this area.

What about you? Are you a wordy person when it comes to your blogging?

I’ll be straight to the point; I need help! Specifically, I need some advice on the ideal writing environment. I have a couple of ideas that I want to put into writing but every time I’m at the keyboard, the words just won’t flow from the idea to my head and ultimately onto the keyboard. I’m stumped.

I’m sure that if you’re a blogger, you’d surely have fallen into this trap a few times. More importantly, I’m very sure that you’ve overcome this problem. Would you help a fellow blogger out of this trap? I hope you would and I would be grateful if you share some pointers by commenting below.

Here’s a few experiments in blogging environment that I’ve tried:

  • Writing in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep
  • Writing during lunch breaks, when most colleagues are out
  • Waking up very early in the morning and start writing

All of the above work some of the time, but not consistent enough. What’s your ideal environment?

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about some search engine ranking myths that are still prevalent nowadays. I concluded that post by stating that I will be sharing two things that can significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Believe it or not, these two things are very easy to implement that almost anyone can reap the benefits. Continue reading if you want to know what they are.

Implement A Robust Internal Linking Structure

There’s one category of links that you have 100% control over, and that is your internal links. Internal links are links to pages within your own web site.

Most modern blogging and CMS software have decent archiving functions that organises pages into categories, tags or some other archive format.

WordPress, which is what I run HTNet on, is a very robust blogging platform that takes care of my internal linking structure very well. Since this is done automagically, I can concentrate more on generating content, instead of getting my hands dirty with internal link-building.

If you run your blog or web site on WordPress, here are some internal linking tips I find useful:

  1. Forget about the weekly, monthly, yearly archives. Displaying them just takes up space and doesn’t contribute much to the user experience. Do you sieve through monthly archives of your favourite blogs? Do you expect others to do the same with yours?
  2. Make sure your categories archives are easily accessable. If you have only a handful of them, then you might as well stick it on every page. On the other hand, if you’re pretty much an open-mic blog, then you might want to consider dedicating a special page to list your categories; like what I’m doing with my HTNet Tags page.
  3. Link to posts or pages you’re especially proud of in every page of your blog. This will help it gain a significant SEO boost.
  4. The Related Posts plugin should be installed if you have over 100 posts in your blog. It helps spread the link-love around.

Get Stable Web Hosting

This is an often overlooked area for webmasters moving on from free hosting. There are plenty of quality free web and blog hosting services. TripodWordPress.com and Bloggercomes to mind pretty easily.

Eventhough these services are free, they are built on highly-tuned hardware, and connected to solid Internet backbone links… and this is not something you’ll get easily when it comes to commercial web hosting. Unfortunately, if you want to be taken seriously in the online world, you got to have your own domain name and paid web hosting.

Maybe you are already asking, “What has servers got to do with SEO?”A whole lot!Regardless of how well you’re getting linked, that incoming PR is worth nothing if your server is down when search engine spiders are trying to crawl your web site.

Imagine, months of link building going to waste just because your server was down when it matters most (from an SEO standpoint). This is not theory, it is very much real. If you want to talk to someone who has experienced it first hand, I’d suggest you talk to Joneh who runs Papajoneh.com as well as JonehRC.com; two web sites that faced different fortunes in the server stability front.

To sum up, you need to focus on these two areas first before doing crazy SEO ninja stuff. Personally, I think that these are the two foundations of SEO. Once you have these two in control, you’ll have more freedom to experiment with other SEO techniques.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Don’t forget to subscribe to HTNet’s RSS feed to be informed of new updates.

As the monetizing of web content becomes easier and its tentacles spread globally, anyone who has a blog will sooner or later have this thought pop inside their head; “Wow, imagine if I were to do this full time!”.

Some not only entertain this evil voices in their heads, but actually follows what it tells them to do!

I’m not saying that being a problogger is bad. I blog myself but I will never even considerbeing a problogger. Blogging is not a useful skill that you could use in life. It’s a hobby; something you do in your pastime. For me, it’s a marriage of my two main hobbies; writing and web technologies.

Earning your living by blogging is what I don’t recommend others to do; and here are four reasons why.

No Useful Work Experience

If you’re young and just graduated, being a problogger is one of the worst thing you could be. Now is a time where you’re expected to gain useful work experience. Contrary to what the Web 2.0 sheeps say, useful job experience doesn’t include RSS subscription, trackback and pingback proficiency, linkbaiting and meme participation.

Anybody can start a blog, there are tens of millions around already. Just because you’re making money from yours doesn’t mean that you should be blogging full time. Contrary to popular thinking, money is not why you should be working. It’s the experience that matters.

Getting a real job is part of of one’s self development. To be brutally honest, the janitor or maintenance guy in the office building will have a better insight to life compared to any problogger. A major reason is that they see the world with their own eyes, and not via some 22-inch monitor they bought from their AdSense income.

The probloggers in you didn’t like to know that, but deep down, you know it is absolutely true.

No Company Perks

Sure, you will “run your own business” if you choose to call your blog a business. Hey, whatever floats your boat mate 🙂

Believe it or not, there are lots of goodies that good companies provide for their staff. Company trips, annual dinners, training and self development are some that comes to mind quite easily. Then there are the “little things” such as unlimited coffee and tea, paid season parking and petrol allowances.

I guess probloggers won’t need those too much since most of them are still leaching off mommy 🙂

Lack of Life Beyond Cyberspace

Take away the thousands of feed subscribers, you’ll soon see that most probloggers are just a lonely person with no life outside of his network of blogrolls.

Somehow, someway, during their journey into problogging, money becomes everything. It starts of as a benchmark of sorts on how the wannabe problogger stacks up against real probloggers. When it reaches a certain point, the first thing that comes to this person’s mind is “It’s time to go pro!”.

I pity such people. Being a problogger means that your interaction with human beings outside the Internet would be close to zero. This is especially worse if you’re a nerd or geek of some genre or another. You’ll be inundated with worshippers who think that you’re the best thing since sliced bread.

Egos will expand and it will get to your head. The bad thing is, you’ll forget how to interact with a real life person. At least the garbage collector has real friends he has lunch with. He also gets the occasional “Hello!” from friendly housewives.

The problogger? Emails and IMs. I guess it’ll do for a desktop potato. Do you really want this for yourself?

Lose The Ability To Communicate Beyond Blog Commenting, Emails and IM

You know you’ve spent way too much time online when your parting words are something like:

  • Email me, OK!
  • Catch you on Y!M later tonight!
  • Skype you later!
  • I’ll comment on your post soon

In those rare moments where you’ll actually need to write a proper letter, you find yourself typing or writing IANAL, TTFN and ROFL more often than you should.

And God forbid should you actually need to talk to someone! You’re lucky if you could even look at the person’s eyes and actually say something intelligent without referring to something that has dot com in it.