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Blogger and WordPress – Free Hosted Blogs Can Be Shutdown – So Own Your Own Blog

If you have a blog at a free host, such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com, then it can be shutdown by the free host if you violate its Terms Of Service (TOS). You can prevent this by owning your own blog.

The trouble with a blog hosted on a free service like Blogger.com or WordPress.com is that you must agree to the free host’s TOS. If you violate the TOS, then the free host can pull the plug on your blog by shutting it down. Note: It is important to know that WordPress has a free service (which is WordPress.com), besides the self-hosted version of WordPress that is installed at your web host. See WordPress.org for the self-hosted version of WordPress.

It does not matter how much hard work and effort you put into your free blog, or how much income you might be earning from it, or how popular it is. If you violate the free host’s TOS, then poof! Overnight, your blog may disappear with no warning.

I was recently busy searching for a WordPress theme for a client, when I followed a link to a blog about themes I wanted to check out. I had found the link on the second page results of a Google search, and I thought it might have something of interest for my client. To my surprise, instead of the blog appearing, the WordPress.com TOS Blog Shutdown notice appeared on my computer screen. I have no idea what this free WordPress.com blog did to get shutdown, but I imagine it somehow violated the WordPress.com TOS.

The one thing I know for sure is that WordPress.com pulled the plug on this blog… it’s gone. This would not have happened if the person who had the free hosted WordPress.com blog about WordPress themes instead had owned his or her own blog.

It is my opinion that if you are going to start blogging, and if you plan to put a lot of effort into your blog, then you should own your own blog and not depend on a free blog hosting service. I strongly recommend you own your own blog. Only then are you the captain of your blogging ship, you will have complete control over all things regarding your blog.

How to own your own blog:

  • Self-host. Purchase a web hosting plan from a web hosting service.
  • Register a domain name at a domain registrar.
  • Use the WordPress blogging platform available from WordPress.org.

A blog you own is a self-hosted blog you install at your chosen web hosting service. A self-hosted blog is often referred to as a paid blog. A self-hosted blog will usually, and should have, its own unique domain name (a URL – Uniform Resource Locator) associated with it. The WordPress blogging platform works wonderfully and is very, very popular amongst bloggers.

I happen to have some blogs that I own. I self-host and pay for my web hosting, and I have registered domain names for each of these blogs. In each blog, I use WordPress as my blogging platform. These are all standalone blogs. I own my own blogs and I am the only one who can choose to shut them down, assuming of course that I keep paying my web hosting account fees! By the way, web hosting and domain registration fees are very affordable.

If you are going to have a blog, and if you plan to make it an endeavor where you put valuable time, energy, effort, and thought into it, if you plan or hope to make money from the blog, if you are going to provide a service, or sell goods and merchandise, if you want to establish professionalism and credibility, then for goodness sakes own your own blog. Don’t be at the mercy of a free blog service’s Terms Of Service.

Do yourself a favor, own your own WordPress blog if you are going to be serious about blogging. Have your own registered domain name and use a web host of your choosing. This gives you complete control over your blog. You are the Big Kahuna, the Supreme Dictator, of this type of blog because you own it. You control how your blog looks, what gets posted, what topics you cover, what features the blog has, and… well, everything!

Own your own blog and you are the one who decides its fate and future. It’s really that simple.

How to Master Blog Marketing

The idea behind a conventional, commercial blog is find a money-making marketing niche and then post large amounts of high-quality, original content related to that niche on a very regular basis. If you are an excellent writer who is an expert in the subject of that blog, you might be able to post new content on a daily basis. If you don’t do this, your blog will slip in the search engine rankings and no longer be a profitable venture. So, by starting a commercial blog, you have just signed up for a full-time profession as a writer and webmaster. It would seem that a single person, regardless of how much of an expert they might be, would run out of new ideas for posts at some time and then the blog would fail for lack of new content. At some point, you might want to think about adding posts from sources other than yourself, as long as the content is original. Original content that you did not write yourself is very difficult to find unless you pay other people to create it for you.

You must also monetize your blog, meaning that you must place banner and text ads for products closely related to your blog theme. The idea there is that you will have already attracted highly targeted web traffic to your blog for the very products you are selling.

In order to have this targeted traffic in sufficient quantities to sell enough products to make all your hard work worthwhile you must do the things needed to rank high in the search engines for the best keywords for your blog. Your blog should be optimized for the search engines and you must build as many quality backlinks as you are able in as many locations as possible, all of them pointing back to your blog.

This may include submitting lots of articles related to your blog theme to different article marketing sites. You should optimize your articles to contain your foremost keyword or keywords in a ratio of 1 to 4 percent of the total words in the article. The “self-serving” links you will be permitted at the end of your article will be converted into powerful backlinks for you in the years to come. You might also want to think about paid advertising such as Google AdWords but I would not recommend that because of the high “cost to result ratio,” particularly when you are just beginning with no profits yet to pay for the advertising.

You can also post positive and pertinent comments to closely-related blogs and forums. After all this additional work is done, you may want to think about adding a squeeze page to your blog, building an opt-in email marketing list and formulating email campaigns with the purpose of encouraging visitors to return to your blog and obtain your products.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is and I have simply been talking, so far, about keeping and promoting a single blog related to a single theme and selling only products closely related to that theme. Under the theory that more is better and pretending that you are some sort of gifted being with endless time on your hands, why not create another blog on another popular but different theme and double your profits. How about 4 blogs, thus quadrupling your returns or 7 or 16 or 32 or even 64 blogs and becoming staggeringly wealthy in the process?

I’m sure, by this time, you can deduce where all this is leading: How is a single person going to be ever able to achieve this? This brings me to the subject matter of auto blogging. Auto blogging software was invented to automate the process of periodic blog posting to numerous blogs. At first blush, it sounds like a miracle but it is, upon close inspection, far from a perfect solution. Auto blogging software goes out onto the web and locates articles and videos that can be legally reproduced and which match the keywords related to your niche. You input these keywords into the software during the process of setting up each blog.

After this is complete, you then have to decide whether to let the software robotically post up to a specified number of articles or videos on an hourly or daily basis. Alternatively, you have the option of simply collecting those prospective posts in a folder where they will wait for your personal review. You can then pick which articles and videos will actually be posted on the blog and which will be erased. Using this option will improve the quality of your blogs considerably. It will also take more of your time.

It is crucial not to have the software post automatically. If you automate the process, you will just get a lot of rubbish on your blogs, some of which does not even apply to the individual themes of your blogs. You will be creating a bunch of blogs that no one will want to read. To make matters worse, the search engines will never list your blogs high enough that they will be seen in the listings. In short, all of your blogs will probably fail and you will have wasted all your time and money.

The good news is that there exists a middle-ground alternative to pure auto blogging and that is to post all the articles and videos by hand. It should be understood that the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are biased strongly in favor of blogs using purely-original, high-quality content. As we have already discussed, making such a blog is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming venture but it is frequently rewarded with listings on the first page of search engines in some of the niches that relate to your keywords. These keywords should appear frequently (up to 4%) in your posts to exhibit relevancy to your blog theme.

If you go the auto blogging route but thoroughly screen your posts before permitting them to appear publically, you will increase your odds of excellent search engine rankings. However, you will be still saddled with the search engines determining that your content is not original. The search engines will know that it has showed up elsewhere on the web previously to being posted on your blog. If you keep your content pertinent to your theme and of the highest quality and post systematically (preferably 7 days a week), you can still magnetize an abundance of traffic and fairly high search engine rankings. If you add in some absolutely original articles that you have written, your search engine rankings should go even a bit higher.

Admittedly, you are making a compromise here between top-quality content and saving time and work. Modified auto blogging provides you with a means of making up for using somewhat less-than-original content: You will now have the opportunity to build multiple blogs on different themes and hence promote different types of products in larger quantities. The perception is that while no one blog will perform as well as if it were made up totally of high-quality, original material, some or most of the blogs will, in due course, bring in some amount of cash each day. As an example, if you maintained 50 blogs averaging only $10 each in sales a day, you be raking in $500 each day, on average. That would equate to annual gross sales of $182,500 a year. If your 50 blogs averaged $100 each a day, the annual amount would be $1,825,000. No lone blog is going to provide that for you.

In actuality, you will soon discover that a number of your blogs perform very well in the long run while others bring in no income at all. Even with partial automation, posting to 50 blogs each day and promoting them all simultaneously is going to end up being more than you can manage if you hope to do the best possible job with each individual blog.

When you initially set up your blogs, take care that each is set up to be tracked by Google Analytics so that you can periodically observe and record the progress of each blog in terms of traffic. Keep a spreadsheet of these traffic results and update it frequently. After a couple months of systematically posting to all of your blogs, you will find out that some are beginning to perform very well while others are a big disappointment. You need to give this process sufficient time for your blogs to be discovered and followed.

At this point in time you must cull or get rid of all blogs that are performing below a certain standard while keeping the more lively ones. If you did away with twenty blogs out of your original 50 you could slash your total daily posting time considerably while giving complete support to just high-performing blogs. After a period of time, you might decide to remove even more and replace them with new blogs promoting new products and see how those perform.

Look at it this way: Which is better, 50 blogs bringing in $10 each a day ($500) or ten blogs earning $50 each a day ($500)? The answer is obviously ten blogs each bringing in $50 a day because the labor and time required to accomplish that is just 20% of the first option. Look at the entire process of arriving at that point like planting a garden, waiting for the plants to grow, finding the strongest plants and then weeding out all the lesser plants to provide the sturdy ones the best opportunity to grow while cutting your labor to the bone. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Bob Gillespie

© 2011 Robert M. Gillespie, Jr.

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Hard Money Commercial Loans – A Critical Overview

Getting a Hard Money Commercial Loan isn’t the simplest task in the world, but in this modern era of technology, it’s a lot simpler than it used to be 15 years ago. However, in order to get a loan like this there are certain things you’ll need to be aware of, that will make you navigate through the rough waters much easier. Once you read this article you’ll be on the pulse of what’s going on.

Why Would Someone Want Hard Money Commercial Loans?

The main reasons are that these types of money financing solutions are so notable is the pliability. I’ve heard of companies offering this type of business loan collectively unsecured, with no collateral. But these loans are under 500k. Business Cash Loans of 500k to One Billion are most frequently backed by Real Estate.

People tend to use these Hard Money Commercial Loans as Procurement or “Bridge Loans”. They want to fuse the imperfection meaning they will tend to use this commercial finance loan while they wait for their traditional financing kicks in. The problem with these loans is that they start at rates of 11-16%. This is relatively 5 points more than a conventional loan.

What Types of Hard Money Loans are out there?

You can acquire a loan like this for commercial property. This can be anything from a Strip Mall to a Grocery Store to a small office suite. You can also use them for a residential investment such as a tract home development. I’ve heard of loans $100,000,000 and more just for one loan of this type. The Industrial Hard Money Commercial Loan is also very popular.

Hard Money Commercial Loans cover everything from Office Land to Technology Parks. Technology parks are becoming more popular in urban and suburban areas. These are basically warehouses and factories. If you’ve ever been in an area where you’ll see a computer warehouse, next to it a warehouse selling motorcycle parts, then next to that a carpet warehouse, that’s a technology park.

Hard Money Commercial Loans also go by exclusive factors such as a Favorable Credit Score, Preferable Proceeds and other determinants. This obviously affects rates as well. The more your score, the more your LTV. LTV stands for Loan to Value Ratio which is the prime factor of the value of the property the bank is willing to loan on. When applying for a outrageous loan of this type your Credit Score and tangible history isn’t weighted as much as how long you’ve been in business. Is your enterprise is prosperous, massively prosperous or failing?

The logic the rates on Hard Money Commercial Loans are so high is because they have to listen to the possibility of the borrower going into default. These financial loans don’t shield the Investor or the Banks from the large failure rates on behalf of the borrower.

But it’s important to note that these types of loans are closed everyday. Business moves on and the world moves on accordingly. When trying to find a lender that will help you acquire money financing of this type, make sure you at least setup an conference. This doesn’t have to be an in person interview, since many lenders are nationwide now. A telephone interview should be satisfactory in most cases.

People get Commercial Finance loans at high risk because they tend to make a lot of money regardless, so if you can justify the high interest rates of this type of loan, and can work it out on paper where your company will receive a high profit margin regardless, go ahead and give it a shot!

Whether you’re looking for Prime Rates or Commercial Finance Options there is definitely a viable solution for you.

Small Commercial Loans – The “Middle Child Syndrome”

Remember Jan Brady. Ignored and always overshadowed by her older and prettier sister Marcia? Borrowers seeking small commercial loans will face the same challenges as Jane. Small commercial loan requests will have all of the typical commercial loan challenges, and yet have one more major hurdle – being ignored and neglected. Commercial bank loan officers and commercial mortgage brokers will in most cases simply ignore the borrower’s small commercial loan. Bottom line, there is the same amount of work involved, without the decent payday.

This often comes to a shock to many borrowers that are use to residential loan officers competing hot and heavy on their $150,000 home mortgage. The differences here are many but it’s not uncommon for a residential broker to make 3 or 4 points on a loan, while the commercial mortgage brokers is often expect to make only 1 point. These borrowers often become frustrated when they can’t get their messages returned on a $400,000 loan.

Besides the money, most commercial brokers and bank officers have a bit of an ego and will not want to admit to their peers, or bosses that they have spent 2 months working on a $300,000 small commercial loan. Most will not acknowledge and or mention a loan closing that is less than $1,000,000. $1,000,000 and above is considered respectable.

So borrowers seeking small commercial loan options will in most cases be treated as the “Jan” deal and will have to overcome this factor. It’s best to try to work with companies that are actively marketing and want to work on these smaller commercial loans than to try to egg a broker on that is not interested. The rub here is finding the commercial mortgage broker that has the experience needed to complete the transaction and yet will still be interested in working on the small commercial loan.