Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sralos Fantasy Art Website Launched

As promised, I am taking everything that I've learned while creating this blog and applying it to a website featuring my artwork. 

The name of the site is Sralos Fantasy Art.  The url is, or you can just click on the link if you want to check out my progress so far. 

The last few weeks have been devoted to site design and layout, getting it ready for advertising.  This is a Wordpress blog on my own website, so I've been installing plugins to make the site function the way I need it to.  I know that a lot of people are plugin crazy, but my philosophy on them is less is more.  I try to get by with as few plugins as possible, because it cuts down on performance problems, and there are fewer chances of plugins conflicting with each other. 

Once the site layout was complete, I started researching keywords using Google's Adwords Keyword tool, then added the ones I chose to my Meta Tags, and placed those everywhere on my site with the All In One SEO plugin for Wordpress.  This plugin will also allow you to customize your keywords for each post. 

I also installed a social bookmarking plugin called Share and Follow.  This one allows you to put links to many social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter on your posts and pages.  I set mine up to put the buttons on every page and post, and there is a link to my Facebook fan page on the sidebar.  Not only does this plugin make it easy for visitors to share one of my posts with their friends, but it also allows me to update my Facebook fan page as well. 

Yesterday, I added Sralos Fantasy Art to the manual Traffic Exchanges I already belong to.  I haven't added it to the auto surf exchanges yet, but I plan to do that after I've had it on the manual for awhile. 

Today, I signed up to the affiliate programs of several digital art tools and websites.  Once that was done, I went to my blog and added ads and banners for Adobe Photoshop CS5, DAZ 3D, and Poser 8.  I'm still waiting to be approved by Renderosity, but since I've been a member and a customer for years and years, I think they'll approve me. :) 

Oh, and I'm adding a backlink to Sralos Fantasy Art right here on this blog!  And not just the ones in this post, either.  I've added a permanent link on the sidebar.

Tomorrow I plan to add into the rotations of the manual exchanges, and start surfing for credits to get it shown as many times as possible.  I also plan to start submitting the site to web directories. 

Hopefully, people will fall in love with my art and start buying it.  I'll keep you posted on what happens.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Article Marketing & Google's New Algorithm Change

For the last few weeks, I have been working with various article marketing tools in order to advertise my blog and websites.  During that time I used three different tools.  One to create the article, one to spin it, and the third to submit the article to 300 + sites.  The purpose for all of this was to get backlinks and therefore traffic to my sites. 

All of the tools performed more or less as expected, with the less going to the article creation tool.  This software was advertised as being able to generate unique articles quickly. All you had to do, according to the creator, is put your search phrase in, click on the research button, and then click a button and the tool would write a 300 word article for you from that research. 

First, there is the ethical issue.  Basically what the tool is doing is going through other people's published articles and taking a sentence or two from each of these, and then generate an entirely new article from it.  They call that plagiarism where I come from, and the very idea of it just doesn't sit well with me.  That being said, that part of the tool never worked properly anyway.  However another part of the tool, the one that creates paragraphs for a selected list of subtopics did work well.  Despite all of its ethical drawbacks, I personally found another part of the tool, the fact finder, to be very useful.  It allows you to do a lot of research from a lot of different sources very quickly, which is a time saver.  I simply pulled out the facts that I wanted to touch on, and used that as inspiration for my own, completely original article.  In addition, the tool has a synonym replacer, which is very helpful in completing the article.

The second tool, the spinner, performed exactly as expected, though not nearly as quickly as advertised.  Sure, there is an option to replace all found synonyms with either your own favorites or that of all the other users, but these are quite often out of the context of your original article, with the end result being a load of unrecognizable gibberish.  Of course, if you take the time to pick your synonyms, the results are fantastic, but this takes time.  The purpose of the spinner is to generate hundreds of unique versions of your article for submission to various article directories.

And that brings us to the final tool, an article submission program.  The object of this tool is to submit your spun articles to hundreds of article directories all over the Internet.  The tools performed again as expected.  It even created accounts for you at the various directories and also handled confirmation emails.  You could set a submission schedule, so that your article is only submitted to 30 sites a day, which appears more natural rather than hitting 300 sites at once.  Apparently, Google sees mass submissions like that as spam, and they dismiss it from their results for about six months.

A few days ago, Google tweaked its algorithm so as to reduce the importance of these so-called content farms.  Which means that it's pointless to submit an article to 300 + directories, because backlinks from these places no longer count as much as they once did.  And since that's true, it's not really necessary to generate hundreds of unique articles in order to market your site. 

So, where does that leave us?  Pretty much at square one.  To be clear, creating articles is still important for marketing your site, but now quality counts for more than quantity.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing.