When writing content something we are all guilty of is “second guessing“, if you don’t understand what I mean think about this – When you blog about something you think people will want to read, you are second guessing the wants of your audience. Second guessing can be good and bad, it depends how well you know your audience.

Some great examples of having fun with second guesses come on April Fools day, one of the best this year was by outdoor sports company CheapTents who have an audience of outdoor enthusiasts – so what did they write for a blog post on April fools? Take a look for yourself, its here, pretty well matched and thought out.

Second Guessing happens when you are pushed to write a post, pushed for time or pushed because you don’t know what to write. Which ever it is, think twice and Reflect!

Reflection is a lovely word. It can mean what you see in the mirror or how you see that thing. Reflection in these sense I mean is more akin to the later, and the spiritual sense of finding ones self. When writing content reflection for most is just skim reading it again or proof reading, but that isn’t what you should be doing. You should be taking a look at your posts, its tone, its topic and then look at other blogs in your niche … are you really doing your blog justice with this post, is the question. Take a deeper look and see what you can add or detract from the post … quantity isn’t everything.

So reflect on your current writing, and then reflect with Feedback on your older works.

Feedback is a vital tool to any website designer, copy writter, blogger, journalist, web editor or otherwise (the list could go on and on). Listening to your users means you don’t always have to second guess what they want, you reflect on your content with the help of your users – this is how you can continue to improve your website, your blog, your forum posting, commenting, tweeting and generally being webby.

Go on – Second Guess, Reflect, and Listen.

With Social Media booming, the world of Personal Branding on the web has become something of a hot topic for myself when talking to some clients. Indeed, lets just say there are some interesting thoughts and experiments coming out of these discussions. Today I want us to think about Personal Branding (or public relations) and how it fits with SEO. Now, lets take a look at the strategies of each simplified:

Personal Branding / Public Relations

Building a list of journalist, writers, editors etc

Targeting each piece (if its a politician each piece is about something they have done, is happening or otherwise – basically each piece has its own little audience)

Targeting each piece to contact list (editing bits of a piece to appeal to a certain contact or audience they represent)

Send It (getting it out into the wild)

Measure success (was it published, covered by a newspaper etc)

SEO (eg Link Building)

Find a few sites in your niche

Gather a group of keywords based on your niche (eg website design)

Write Blogs / Send Emails ( focusing on the keyword / key phrase)

Measure success (was it published, visitors make it to your site etc)

Ok, so by now I hope it’s pretty clear that SEO and Personal Branding online are well matched, one can play into the other very well. And with the world of social media bringing more people to potential news sources, combining SEO and Branding in this way will certainly continue to grow and form the future of only personal branding and corporate branding.

If your anything like myself or most the people I work with, then you will probably use Google multiple times in any given day. However, unless you are some kind of geek there will be certain tricks you will have missed that could vastly speed up your search for information … and also prevent you typing 20 searches to get what you want.

So to help you out I’ve decided to make a Top 10 list of Google Tricks – now these are from my own experience the most useful, but there are many many more of this kind of thing floating around.

Exact Phrases – if your looking for an exact term or phrase simply put quotation marks around the phrase your searching for. (eg. “i’m searching for this”)

Exclude a Word or Phrase – now if your searching for something but really don’t want a certain word or phrase to turn up, simply place a – just before the word or phrase without a space. (eg. i want to search -this)

Search Similar Terms – if you have an exact phrase but you want to find something similar then search the term with a ~ just before it (eg. ~professional)

Site Specific Search – we all know that on site searches can be a little tricky so let google do it use site: http://example.com search term to search a site for something specific.

Search for a Document – by adding filetype:ppt you are asking google to search for a powerpoint presentation … (eg. “professional chef” filetype:ppt) other examples are doc & xls for word documents and excel sheets respectively.

Get a Definition – want to look up a word but can’t be bothered loading some software or going to find a dictionary site? simply enter define: aword and google will grab you a definition (usually from princeton).

Calculate This – stuck on a maths question? let google do the hard work for you as a calculator (eg. 2854 * 150)

Get the Latest Stock Pricing – check stocks by entering the ticker symbol (eg. GOOG )

This OR That? – want to find something or something else but not both? simply enter OR between the two terms. (eg searching google OR searching bing)

Get a Local Time – Google knows the time in every country simple enter “time in xyz” where xyz is a country (eg. time in Hong Kong)

May these lovely tips and tricks help you search that little bit faster 10 Tips to Quick Searching on Google in short