(With Comments)

I love, and I also love Daring Fireball with Comments (with Comments)…so I created (with Comments)!

Install the extension for Safari or Chrome and you’ll have Disqus-based comments on!

To help keep the conversation civil, rude words lead to moderated comments.  I look forward to our discussions.

– Zack Katz (with Comments) Safari Extension (with Comments) Chrome Extension

Blog Comments Now Pass Juice – No More `nofollow`

After lots of back and forth, I have decided to make comment links dofollow (removing nofollow); meaning that links users have in their comments will be followed by search engines. This adds value to the recipient’s site.

Please note:

  • If dofollow becomes a hassle, I will take it off
  • It’s easy for me to add nofollow to any comments, so please keep the conversation relevant. Manual link building sucks. But try hard to add value!
  • This blog uses Lucia’s Linky Love and always has, so post 3 or more times!

Enjoy, don’t abuse.

WordPress Comment Form 404 Error – Now Fixed!

Disabling the Cookies for Comments plugin broke the comments form.

On the recommendation of Matt Cutts, I added the Cookies for Comments plugin to this blog, and also added their recommended .htaccess modifications:

RewriteRule ^wp-comments-post.php - [F,L]

When I realized that Cookies for Comments was slowing down my blog considerably, I disabled the plugin, but did not think to  remove the .htaccess rewrite rule. The remaining .htaccess rules broke the comments on this blog (for two weeks now, could it be!?). Continue reading “WordPress Comment Form 404 Error – Now Fixed!”

Denver SEO Blog Hits 100,000 Visitors Hits 100,000 Visitors

I launched this blog in January 2008 – only 19 months ago. Since then, the blog has seen 100,000 visitors. I look forward to creating more posts that you find interesting.

Last year at this time:

  • The blog was averaging 18 readers per day. Now it averages 357.
  • The blog had 14,677 visitors. This month, we hit 100,000.

Most popular blog posts on SEO Denver Blog:

“Next year in Jerusalem Denver”, SEO Blog!

I’d love to see the blog continue to grow at this rate. That would mean that the site would hit:

  • 11,283 visitors per month, 376 visitors per day,  and 158,517 total visitors by next January
  • 14,313 visitors per month, 477 visitors per day,  and 253,436 total visitors by next July

For people who like statistics, this is the equation for the polynomial trendline. Check out the equation on Wolfram Alpha. My numbers may be off (I couldn’t stay awake in my 8am Statistics class in college!), but either way, I’m looking forward to checking in on the numbers in a year.  Thank you, readers!

Integrate Blogger Into your PHP Website using Includes

Blogger Banner

PHP includes for Blogger

Before writing this post, I looked online to see if others have written about this same topic. This might as well be Michael Gray’s “Integrating Blogger Into Your Website: Part II”, which he never wrote — though he did write Part I.

Step 1: Switch Blogger files to PHP

First, you need to update your publishing settings so that Blogger publishes your posts in PHP, not HTML (thanks to DevDoctor):

  1. Set up your blog to publish via FTP (on Publishing tab)
  2. Change the ‘Blog Filename’ to index.php
  3. Change ‘Archive Filename’ to archive.php (on Archiving tab)
  4. Finally, delete the old index.html file from the blog directory (otherwise it will probably take precedence over the new index.php)

Once you’ve got Blogger pushing out PHP, you’re able to do PHP stuff with the site:

  • Update the entire site at once – When I create a website, I always want to create the structure using PHP includes, so that I can set global site variables, and if I change it in one place, it changes across the whole website.
  • Set active navigation – Using SSI includes, I used to have to include a different file for each blog section on the site so that I could up. Here, I just send a variable to the navigation.php file, which tells it what page is active.

Next, I will show how to include these files. Continue reading “Integrate Blogger Into your PHP Website using Includes”

How to embed a private video on your blog

Whoops! You can't view a private video!

Embed videos that won’t be indexed by Google or viewable by the public.

You might want to create a video and put it on your website, but you don’t want the rest of the world to find it via search engines or YouTube.

You may have a blog, and you want to give a few people access to a video that no one else will be able to watch.

Here’s a protected video embedding solution: Continue reading “How to embed a private video on your blog” is new home of Denver Web Design & SEO Blog

Denver Web Design & SEO Blog has moved!

I’ve taken the plunge: the site is now mapped to, a domain I purchased last year. I’m not sure what the long-term plans are for this domain, but at least I’ll be building links to my own domain, not to…

This blog has great PageRank!

So I’ve been working on creating great content for everyone out there, which happens to include Google.  Well, it turns out that the Denver Web Design & Denver SEO Blog has been given a PageRank (their system of measuring the quality of a website) of 5/10…which is great.

I enjoy blogging for many reasons other than SEO, but it’s always nice when there’s a great reward, including good PageRank from Google.

Encouraging clients to write often…or using a blogging service?

Black keyboard letters
I’ve been working with the WordPress platform for a little while now, and I’ve been a regular blogger since January (though I had been promoting blogging for years earlier, and had my first blog in 2000 [yes, I’m a bit insecure about my blogging creds]).  I’ve created many sites with blogging capabilities, some of them based on integration, and others WordPress.

I’ve explained the benefits of blogging many times to my clients, made nagging phone calls reminding them to blog — all to little avail.  I even wrote an article about the importance of blogging to help explain myself. But still, the blogs remain silent.

What I tell my clients about the benefits of blogging

If my clients already know what a blog is, then I can dive into why it’s so important (other than people KNOW that it’s important).  I tell them the following:

Blogging is a great way to reach people who may not be searching for what you want them to be searching for. Let’s say you have a service for “healing touch,” but it’s not “therapeutic touch.”  With a normal website, you would not be able to rank well for the other key phrase. If you write an article on the differences between therapeutic touch and healing touch, you then will be able to rank for both phrases, even if your business only focuses on one service.

The more you write about what you know, the larger your online sphere of influence grows. By writing consistenly about topics important to you, you’re able to rank better in Google and other search engines, build a community of people who follow what you write, and become an authority on your topic.

There’s no other marketing medium like blogging where all you need to invest is your time, and you’ll get direct benefits. Fliers, radio, tv, newspaper, business chambers — they all take money.  Blogging is free to set up, and free to use.  You will get out of it what you put into it.

That’s the jist of what I tell people about blogging.  They generally get very excited, get a blog, and post a few times. One month later, cobwebs form on their admin login form.

Maybe try a professional blogging service?

One thing I’ve considered is writing the articles myself.  I’m no copywriting expert (I’m a Denver web designer), but I do know my clients’ business well.  If they don’t have the time or commitment to write their own articles, they should find someone to do it for them. There are many professional blog writing services out there, maybe I should start recommending them?

Does anyone have any experience using a professional blog writing service?

How to increase online exposure through social bookmarking

Are you having the exposure blues?

Do you write articles that few people read? It may be because they aren’t finding your article! Writing on your blog is not enough when you’re starting out. It’s important to spread the word.

Doing a little legwork after you write an article makes a large difference in the traffic you will get.

When you write a blog post, what happens?

Depending on the blogging platform you use (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type to name a few), when you write a post, a few things happen:

Upon posting:

  • Your sitemap will get updated
  • Search engines and other websites will be notified of the update
  • Your RSS feed will be updated
  • Gremlins dance a jig around a cauldron of boiling yam juice and frog eyes

These processes will notify the search engines, but in order to increase your website’s exposure, there are a some websites you should submit your article to. After writing an article, take 5 more minutes and submit your site to bookmarking websites.

Continue reading “How to increase online exposure through social bookmarking”

How to get more comments on your blog

I was asked a question by a potential client about blog comments.  She was concerned that some of the blog designs I’ve created have little user interaction.  She wrote (emphasis added by me):

I have been looking at the blogs you have created.  I am wondering why there aren’t many comments.  I want to use my blog to have extensive viral discussions; mainly to ask questions to moms that want to go back to the workplace.  I want my blog to be primarily questions with as many comments responding as possible.

The question is a good one: why aren’t more people interacting?  I wanted to dig deeper into the question: what contributes to comments? Continue reading “How to get more comments on your blog” finally updates to 2.5 — A review

A picture [of my cat] is worth a thousand words.

She's a jungle-catI’ve been waiting for to update the administration panel so that I can have galleries.  That is the main feature that I’ve been waiting for.  Now it’s here, I can finally upload pictures of my cat (and my wife 🙂 )  

This will also allow simpler embedding of video, audio, et al.  I’m glad it’s finally live.

EDIT: There seem to be a few kinks still with this feature — instead of having thumbnails, the site was loading the full images. This is obviously an issue. Until then, you get a thumbnail of my cat in the grass.

Auto-tagging is good too

2.5 also recommends what tags to use based on tags you’ve used in the past. Unfortunately, that part is less responsive than I would like.  It’s still neat to have available.

Much better text editor

The previous text editor for was so terrible, every time I tried to make a word bold, it added some round-about Safari-specific hack ( or something like that).  Now it uses the proper code (strong), and I’m quite grateful. Now, I can actually write posts online, instead of writing them in Dreamweaver and then pasting the code in to WordPress. Very much improved.

The text editor still does not create paragraphs when you view the HTML code; it displays paragraphs as line breaks.  This is frustrating, because in the past it often lost all formatting.  At least in this iteration, switching views between Visual and HTML keeps the formatting intact.

Very pleased with this update

The editor is a LOT more functional, the gallery is great, and well, what can I say?  It’s a great success.

Just wondering: who would want to use

Before this update, WordPress was just VERY superior to Blogger.  Now it’s outright in a league of it’s own.  I used blogger when it came out because, well, it was the originator of simple blogging.  But man, it’s really outdated.

Blogger is owned by Google, so you think it would be cutting edge, but every time I try to work with it, I end up hitting myself over the head.  What advantages does Blogger have, if any?

Is Blogging Really Worth the Time?

One reason to blog is traffic! [Image of traffic light]

Today, a business associate asked me “I know about blogging, and it seems like a waste of time. Why is blogging worth the time?” I was able to reply with some very convincing arguments — and in a way, I reminded myself about the value of blogging.

  1. Blogging establishes you as an expert in your field
  2. Search engine traffic dramatically increases
  3. Blogging is basically free marketing for your business: the only cost is your time.
  4. Blogging forces you to write about your life and your business

Continue reading “Is Blogging Really Worth the Time?”

Tumblr is a great website if you find blogging intimidating

Tumblr is a way-cool pseudo-blogging application

I was reading an article on A List Apart the other day and found a link to a website called Tumblr. It makes blogging really easy by making it less intimidating.

You choose what type of content you’d like to post, and then you do it!It’s one of the most simple signup forms around, and encourages you to post right away. I just wanted to test it out, but now I’m hooked (check out the KWD Tumblr Page).

If you’re too nervous to blog, Tumble!

Abusing Google Trends – Unethical blogging

Google Trends Snapshot

I stumbled upon the website BlogFlux today and found myself reading a blog titled Jehzlau Concepts. I found one of the articles very interesting about how to increase rank on your blog even if you don’t post often. You should check out the article.

The article says that a great way to get traffic is by riding many small, short waves of web popularity by using the cool tool, Google Trends, that shows you what people are searching for NOW. Not 10 minutes ago, but what is hot right now. For instance, today Google Trends shows that J-Lo had twins, a teacher sent illicit pics to students, the Philadelphia airport has delays, and there’s a Star Trek collection tour.

The post is very interesting, and the concept is intreaguing. Yes, it’s a great way to get some quick traffic to your blog, and depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your website, it might be right for you. I can see it working for a website whose revenue is based on quanitity, not quality of leads.

For some specialized industry, using Google Trends for industry news is great, but posting for the traffic alone, without any real interest, I believe it is unethical and a waste of time. That is, unless you’re a Star Trek fan…

Posting consistently

Set up a blogging schedule that aligns to your slacking habits 

If you find yourself not posting to your blog and letting your website stagnate, set up a schedule that fits your cycle of procrastinationWe all know how hard it can be to do anything consistently, but we manage when the results are immediate. 

  • Take out the garbage
  • Shaving/showering/washing dishes
  • Cleaning
  • Waking up!
Blogging is not as immediate.  Posts don’t always get comments, and there’s often no immediate gratification to blogging.  So how does one motivate themselves? I recommend this: in order to avoid “blog rot,” set a time aside on your calendar or during your day. 

When are you least productive? 

In order to find your blogging sweet spot, a great way is to do a little investigating. One way to tell when you are least productive is by answering this question: what time during the day do you read the most blogs? If you use Google for any services (Gmail, iGoogle, Finance, etc.) you have a Google Account.  With that account, you can enable a service called Google Reader. Google Reader lets you compile all of your favorite websites’ articles into one easy to use format. 

Least productive Fridays

My blog reading by hour of the dayMy reading by day of the weekBy looking at my Web History chart, it’s easy to see that:

  • I waste the most time from 10-11am, and 2pm.
  • I waste the most time on Tuesdays (by far!)

So, based on these statistics, I know that I should schedule a time for me to post on Tuesday around 11am each week.  Also, I should pencil in a daily posting time at 2pm to remind myself to post. Note: I started writing this post at 2:30 pm.  

 What about you?

How do you allocate time in your day to blog, and how effective is it?