Friday, June 26, 2009

How To "Sitemap" - Thrive Learning Institute

For a website to be seen, it must be visible. That's about as simple as we can put it. In order to make sure people get to your website, it has have a good search engine ranking. If no one has any way of knowing that your website exists, how can you expect your site to succeed?

Now there are a lot of tips, tricks, and tools that you can use to make sure your website and web pages are visible. One of these tools is the Sitemap. So, what is a Sitemap, why does it help, and when is it useful?

What is a Sitemap?
Let me speak a foreign language here for a few seconds: A Sitemap is an HTML or XML file submitted to the search engines that includes the URL links for every single page and sub-page or your website and store. This allows web crawlers to find these sub-pages more easily.

In English: A Sitemap is essentially a list of all of the pages of your website. This will include your main pages (like your home page, about us page, contact us page, or anything else you have) as well as your store pages (and the individual products inside of your store). It has to be created in a certain "web code" format -- either XML or HTML.

This means, that in addition to everything else a Sitemap is, it is also pretty difficult to make. No worries, Thats why Thrive Learning Institute is here.

Why use a Sitemap?
So, if a Sitemap is a complicated piece of website code (which you probably don't know how to make off of the top of your head), then why bother using one? What are the benefits of having a Sitemap?

Well, there are several reasons, but it all boils down to one thing: It helps Google find and read pages that it wouldn't normally find or read.

So, what are those pages? To a list a few types of pages that are hard to read:
  • A page made in Flash or Javascript. Pages made in Flash or Javascript usually have some sort of "moving pictures" in them. As a result, though, the pages become "hard for Google to understand."
  • A database. If you have a large database -- let's say a list of all of the professional football players that have played in the last thirty years, their statistics, and their teams -- it will make your website, and specifically your sub-pages, very difficult for Google to find and understand.
  • A very large website. If you are running a multi-national corporation, your web-page may have 3000 pages. Google's crawler will "give up" before it reads all of them.
  • If your site doesn't have very good "internal links" (in other words, if you have a page that you want people to find, but you don't have a link to it in your website), Google may never find that page.
  • Your website is brand new and doesn't have links from any other websites. Google may not even realize your site exists, at least not for a while.
So, if your website falls into one of those categories, a Sitemap can be useful.

When should I use a Sitemap?

Since most of you who are reading this probably don't have a 3000 page website, a complex database, or a flash website, we'll focus on the last two "problems" that a Sitemap helps resolve.

First, if you don't have very good internal links, should you use a Sitemap? If this is a case, a Sitemap can help resolve this problem and help Google like you more. However, the far simpler solution is simply to put in good internal links.

Second, if you don't have links from other websites and are brand new, should you use a Sitemap? If this is the case, of course a Sitemap will let Google know you exist. Again, though, the simpler solution is to submit your website to the search engines, to directories, and/or to social bookmarking sites. Since this takes a lot less effort, it's usually the better solution.

With that being said, let me clarify: a Sitemap will never hurt your search engine ranking. Its benefits are relatively insignificant in the instances mentioned above, and may well not be worth your time. However, if you have the time for it, it certainly won't hurt either.

How do I make my sitemap?

So, you've decided your site deserves a Sitemap. Now we're to the complicated part. Making your Sitemap.

I won't go over the full directions in this blog, but generally speaking, you have two options.

Option #1: Use a Generator.
There are a lot of free XML generators on the web ( for instance). However, many of these will not actually find all of your website pages. Most of them are restricted in many of the same ways Google's crawler is restricted. Also, don't give your e-mail address to any generator site. I promise, they will sell it.
This option is fast, easy, and much less effective.

Option #2: Build a Full Version
Click HERE for Google's tool. They provide step-by-step directions on how to download their software, create your Sitemap, and submit it to them. This is quite complicated and very time consuming, and to those of you who have never used website code, it will also be pretty confusing. However you'll learn a lot from the process. Thrive Learning Institute recommends this option.
This option is difficult and can be confusing but far more thorough.

In Conclusion:
Is a Sitemap a good thing? Absolutely.
Is it easy to make a Sitemap? Absolutely not.
Is it worth it to make a Sitemap? Not Always.

For our clients, the only case where we recommend a Sitemap, is when your site is an e-commerce site that has a few hundred products or more. In this case the benefit is usually worth the investment, but in many other cases it simply isn't.

For more information on ways Thrive Learning Institute can help your online business achieve its goals, simply visit Learn how to make money offline by marketing online with Thrive Learning Institute

Monday, June 22, 2009

Link Baiting - Thrive Learning Institute

When it comes to SEO there are several factors than contribute in a major way to the webpage's strength in the search engines. Aside from on page optimization and probably more essential is the obtaining of backlinks. In this article from Thrive Learning Institute we'll discuss what backlinks are and the different strategies you can you use them to drive traffic and profits.

What are backlinks?

Back links are links from outside sources that link directly to your website or a page within your website. The more links you have from these outside sources the higher Google will rank you, the more traffic you'll and, if you're going for money, the more $ you'll make.

Because backlinks are an essential source of income for the online community, it's plain to see why so much has been written about it and why there is so much confusion about it. I'll attempt to shed some light on one section of the art and psychology of getting quality backlinks to your site.

Link Baiting

A popular way to build high quality backlinks to your website is to use a method called "Link baiting". Now we all write content for our websites and we try and make it good, useful content that people will find useful. Many times however we write a piece just for the sake of getting some text for on page SEO where you can stick your keywords for the crawler (programs that scan your site for keywords and content relevance). Link Baiting is the process of writing a piece of content with the intent of making it go viral so it spread across the net.

There are a few different kinds of content that are more apt to catch the imagination of net dwellers than others however.


Writing a humorous article and combining it with a funny picture or video is a great way to stir things up in your niche. Everyone has received those emails filled with ridiculous pictures before and it gets passed through friend networks forever. That is what you're going for with a humorous piece sans email. You want this to take hold on the social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and propeller and you want other bloggers in your niche to link to it and comment on it. So lighten things up a bit and let it fly!

Writing a post that is contrary to popular belief or principle is another awesome way to stir things up in the community. Nothing incites more buzz than a respected blogger saying something seemingly insane but then backing it up with data and evidence. This is probably one of the hardest things to do and because of that its also one of the most effective.

Take for example, Tim Ferriss. He wrote a great book, called The Four Hour Work Week, that basically attacks the corporate employee and the corporate lifestyle. Ridiculing it as a 40 year prison and then proceeded to show the way out. This book has been in bold rebellion of the societal norm and because of that reason he has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 2 years straight. I know this is an extreme example but it illustrated my point well. Be intelligently controversial and you could have your ticket to fame and see a dramatic increase in your income.

Creating a useful resource is an effective and easy way to get lots of backlinks. Look around your niche and find a need that hasn't been filled effectively and then put together a comprehensive resource that will be a great benefit to others in your niche. If its useful you'll see tons of new backlinks to your site as people discover your post or article.

The last method I've listed is that of writing news posts. The trick to this one is to be first. It doesn't necessarily have to be a perfect post but if you can get a thorough article out there about breaking news along with some analysis of your own it can spread like wildfire and build a LOT of valuable backlinks.

At Thrive Learning Institute we urge you to start implementing some of these strategies in the articles you write or posts for your blog and test them out. You'll find that you're better at some than others. The more you test the more successful you'll be so get to it and start building backlinks!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Simple SEO Tips - Thrive Learning Institute

Here are a few tips and simple rules from Thrive Learning Institute you should follow to improve easily your rankings in the different search engines. Nothing new and nothing very complex but good tips that work straight from the knowledge base of Thrive Learning Institute.

So, I hope you enjoy reading this little "SEO Beginner Guide" and I hope it helps you grow your traffic.

Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's a set of techniques and strategies to optimize websites for the search engines and get better rankings on the search results of those engines.

There are a few more abbreviations and terms you should now if you start learning SEO, among others:

  • SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages.

  • Anchor text: Text used as a link.

  • Backlink: Any link pointing to your web site. Also called Inbound link.

  • One-way link: When a site or page has a link to your site, and your doesn't have any link back to it.

  • Keywords density: Relation of a keyword to the other words in a web page element. For example, the web page title <>This is just an example for a web page title< / title > has a keyword density of 20% because 7 out of 35 characters in this title make the word "example".

  • Outbound link: Any link on your page pointing to another site.

  • So, let's start working on it right away!

    Tip 1 - Anchor text
    When you create a link to another page or another site of yours, don't just use "click here" or "go" as the anchor text. Basically, don't do this:

    To join our online HTML training, < href="001.html">click here< /a>.

    Instead, use the keywords related to that page:

    Join now our < href="online-html-training.html">online HTML training.

    Try also to use these keywords in the name of the HTML file.
    Search engines algorithms are taking into consideration the text used for the link itself. (anchor text)
    "click here" is meaningless. But "online HTML training" correspond exactly to your subject, and this specific page, even independantly of its content, will be considered as an interresting page for "online HTML training" by the search engines.

    Tip 2 - Backlinks
    Spend time to contact other webmasters who have a site about the same subject as yours and exchange text links.
    Again, use the keywords that you target in the anchor text of those links. Don't always use the same keywords but sometimes, use synonims and variations.
    Only consider a link exchange with sites treating the same subject. Try to get at least 40 backlinks on 40 different websites.

    Tip 3 - Pages title
    Give a different title to each page, use keywords related to the page.

    Tip 4 - Content
    Search engines (through their spiders) are indexing text content from your pages. So the first thing you have to do, is make sure you have plenty of text, related to the subject of your web site. The context of the words is also very important, so don't just list hundreds of keywords. Write correct sentences, repeating several times the words you want to focus on. Try to use all the synonyms you know. Eventually, don't correct your typos or mistakes, people will do the same typos when they do a research!

    Always set the value of the alt="" tag of your images.

    < src="html-training.jpg" alt="HTML Training">

    Set the description and keywords metas. If possible, write different metas for each page.

    < name="description" content="...">
    < name="keywords" content="...">

    Tip 5 - Content Actualization
    You have nice content? Plenty of backlinks and optimized pages? Great, but don't start sleeping on it.
    Update your content as often as possible. Add pages, articles, news... Grow your site.

    Tip 6 - Web Hosting
    Make sure your site loads fast and your hosting is good. A slow web site is no good.

    Tip 7 - Clean HTML code
    Try to have your HTML code as clean as possible. And try to reduce it a maximum. You should have a lot of text content and a bit of HTML code, not the contrary.

    Tip 8 - Directories
    Do not forget to post your web site to all the Internet directories related to your subject. These links are better than links exchanges as usually, directories do not require a link back to their site. These one-way links have a very good value for search engines.
    Also submit it to DMOZ directory. It will probably take a few months to get your sited indexed, but the backlinks you will get there are worth gold.

    Tip 9 - HTML tags H1, H2, B, U...
    Use the headers tags for your titles and subtitles, search engine will give more importance to those texts.

    <>HTML Training< /h1>

    The look of these tags is not so nice but you can use CSS to redefine it.

    h1 { color: #000000; font-family: Verdana; font-size: 14px }

    Tip 10 - Domain name
    The keywords used in the domain name have great importance for some search engines, such as Google. If possible, register a domain name with your target keywords.

    A domain name like has good chances to get ranked well on "buy flowers" with a bit of SEO and appropriate content.

    You can also try subdomains for your most important sections. Subdomains will usually get indexed much faster than the sub-pages and directories.
    Taking our example, you could create,, ... generating a kind of "mini-site" for each.

    Tip 11 - Inbound/Outbound links
    Make sure you have more inbound links than outbound links on your pages. If you have too much outbound links, search engines will devaluate the importance of your page, considering it's just making a gateway to other sites, without having a good value for the surfer.

    Tip 12 - Experiment!
    Try new things. Play with the keywords density, your site structure, HTML tags and elements.
    Some techniques work good with Google, not for Yahoo or MSN and vice-versa. And moreover, the search engine algorithms are changing all the time! Some old strategy might not work anymore but suddenly work great for one of them.

    Well, that's it for today! I think that covers most of the SEO Basics you need to know to start optimizing your site. Thrive Learning Institute thanks you for for reading!

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Utilizing Support Sites

    Support sites are great resources to two main things: build traffic and build back-links.

    What are support sites?

    Support sites are categorized primarily by their function. These are websites that you build to strengthen your primary, money site. A support site could be a website you build completely yourself, A support site could be a Hubpage or a Squidoo page. They can be ehow's or epinions or they can even be a Yahoo Answers answer.

    The support sites that you build on these user generated content sites are great because you can get listed in the search engines very quickly. These sites have a lot of authority and because of that authority if you link to your main money sites those links will carry a lot of strength from that website to yours.

    My personal favorite is Hubpages because they give you a cut of profits generated from adsense ads and amazon and eBay sales. In reality you could just focus on building tons of “hubs” and make a full-time living within a few months if you target profitable keywords. Here's an example of one of our Hubpages that brings in a considerable amount of traffic: Thrive Learning Institute - Ebay Feedback

    Imagine how much traffic and authority you'd receive if you were to hunker down and build 30 optimized Hubpages, 30 Squidoo Pages, 15 Ehow's and were active in answering questions in your niche on Yahoo Answers. People would stream to your websites because you provided them with the opportunities and inroads (links) to get there.

    Don't underestimate the power of building a tight network of optimized and useful support sites to build traffic and authority for your main money making website. To learn how to build offline income using internet marketing just click this link: Thrive Learning Institute

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Thrive Learning Institute Donates Time and Money in Cystic Fibrosis Walk

    PROVO UT – On June 6th Thrive Learning Institute proudly sponsored a team of volunteers, made up of employees, in Provo Utah's annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk organized and run by the United Way. Charlene Cummings a marketing assistant for Thrive organized and lead the team.

    “I decided to help with the walk because my friends niece has cystic Fibrosis and they're getting closer to a cure. If they don't find one she can only expect her niece to live to her 30's. I think that's really sad; I can't imagine if that were my niece.”

    Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the digestive system and lungs of nearly 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).

    The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955 very few children with CF lived to see elementary school but now, largely because of the steady, consistent effort of the Foundation, the average age of people with cystic fibrosis is 36.8 years!

    The Foundation is one of the most efficient organizations of its kind. In 2005, almost 90% of every dollar raised was available for investment in cystic fibrosis research, care and education programs. The National Institute of Health and other prestigious publications, including Forbes and USA Today, have heralded the Foundation, which fosters the discovery of progressive medications and developmental programs.

    When Thrive Learning Institute learned of it's employees involvement in the walk they were more than happy to pitch in and help out. Charlene Cummings at Thrive spoke highly of her company's contribution,

    “It's nice to be a part of a company that is so willing to contribute to a cause as great as this, with leadership that truly sees the need to give back to the community".”

    Thrive Learning Institute follows Google's mantra to "Not Be Evil" by focusing on providing industry leading service and setting a higher bar for local communities to be more involved in the communities that support them.

    Thrive Learning Institute PrLog
    Thrive Learning Institute FPR

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Time Is Precious

    “Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.”

    Let be honest with ourselves. We waste time, our most precious resource. Think of all the minutes that get thrown away spent on useless, shallow activities or events. The world is flooded with time-wasters and there is more and more fighting for our attention. Such an exponential growth is an attack upon our ability to make something of ourselves.

    In an age when time-wasting is so prevalent there presents innumerable opportunities for those will full enough to resist the urge to fritter away their lives on video games, soap operas or the latest iphone APP.

    What qualities do we need to utilize the fleeting time we have here and make something worthwhile of ourselves?



    “Discipline is remembering what you want.”

    Why is it that we do get stuck on things that waste our time? Its because we forget what we want. We forget who we are and where we want to be going. If we could always have at the fore front of our mind what our long term goals were would we really play Halo until 4 am? Would we really spend 2 hours a day watching the depressing news in the name of being “informed”? Would we really surf the net doing absolutely nothing interesting for 4 hours at work?

    No. No we would not.

    We would lay out a step by step process by which we would accomplish our goals. We would set intermediate goals and benchmarks to measure our progress. We would learn to say no to bar-hopping more often in exchange for more fulfilling pursuits.

    How is this accomplished? How do we jolt our selves to remember what it is we want? Well, first we need to know what we want in the first place. You can't remember anything that wasn't there int the first place. Write down specific detailed goals summarize them, then come with a sentence or catch phrase that you'll associate with all those goals. What do you think you can do to help yourself remember what it is you want and what is necessary to accomplish your goals?

    Is it posting your goals all over your house? I it reviewing them when you get up every morning? Meditating? Prayer? What is it? Write down your ideas and then implement them.

    Practice saying “No” when you're invited to do something fun. Really, I'm being serious. The next time someone invites you to a party or to do something fun just tell them “No”. Even if you felt like you were productive that day and deserved to relax a little bit this exercise will teach you that turning people not only isn't that hard, but that it is so helpful in being productive. After you turn them down, to justify your rejection do something worthwhile that furthers your goals.

    You must discipline yourself.

    “For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.”


    “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”

    I cant count how many times I've been pumped up to being extremely disciplined only to falter because I didn't see results as soon as I was expecting. Patience is possibly more important than discipline because discipline with out patience will whither and die in its infancy.

    Most things that are worth doing take longer than we want: Starting a business, writing articles, nurturing a relationship, getting in shape, winning a championship, inventing something (remember Thomas Edison?)

    The best way to build patience, just a like anything else, is to practice. Be aware of when you're losing you patience and then hold on for 10 minutes longer. More often than not the result we desire is just around the corner, just 10 minutes out of reach. What a shame it is that we give up when we're so close and lose all progress.

    Next time don't give up, keep going. When the desired result isn't enough to motivate you anymore do it in the name of building patience and you will achieve two goals. You'll have more patience and you'll have achieved your original goal.

    “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

    Treasure your time by cultivating these two qualities. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish with just 10% more discipline and patience. Then you will wonder what you could be with 50% more or 100% more. You dreams can be realized. Make them happen.

    Thrive Learning Institute is dedicated to helping everyone fulfill their dreams. Internet marketing can be used effectively to generate offline income as well as online.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Tips For Productivity from Thrive Learning Institute

    When we hear the word 'productivity' or we discuss ways to be productive or first instinct is to think about how to be more efficient; how to get more done. This is faulty thinking.

    Efficiency, getting a lot done in a small amount of time, means nothing if what were doing so efficiently is completely ineffective. Inversely, even if we do something that is effective (something important) inefficiently we get little done.

    The goal is balance and here's a little trick I've found that can help to produce both efficiency and effectiveness:

    1. At the beginning of each week write down the most important tasks for you to complete in the next week. Make sure you don't limit yourself to just work goals or just extracurricular goals. Include everything. Make sure these are things that you'd be proud of accomplishing after the week is over. Maybe its exercising 3 times a week or spending quality time with your kids 3 times that week. After you've created a list of 7-20 things you want to do choose 7, one for each day.

    2. Now you need to find a place to put these important tasks in your schedule. Do just one per day. You want to keep this simple and straight forward. If you place too many in one day you'll get overwhelmed quickly. The goal here is to create consistent, daily, small victories that will spur you on and build momentum and eventually solid habits.

    3. If you want to have a great day schedule the important tasks as early in the day as possible. If you can accomplish your goal for the day before 10am then the rest of the day will feel like smooth sailing even though its just like every other day. This will improve your attitude which will in turn improve your productivity throughout the rest of the day.

    4. The last step of this little exercise is just sit back and feel good about getting some important tasks and goals accomplished. Savor the feeling of not only efficiency but also of effectiveness. Then aim for the future bigger, better and more effective goals to accomplish in the coming week.

    Thrive Learning Institute knows that starting a business on the side while you have a full-time job and family responsibilities can be very taxing. For this reason we URGE you to develop a system where you work on your business a little bit each day. Doing a little bit every day will keep you sane and help you accomplish much more than trying to block all your responsibilities. Doing that will only cause problems and drama. So sit down take out a pen and do some basic prioritizing. Follow these steps and make your dreams come true!

    To learn how to make money offline with Internet Marketing check out this post.

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Press Release Guidelines

    Press Releases can do wonders for your marketing but many start-ups and individuals don't know exactly how to write an effective press release. If you can get a press release picked up by an editor or journalist you've hit that jackpot and there are certain rules you'll need to follow if you want that to happen.

    First we need to review what a press release actually is. Thrive Learning Institute defines a press release as a statement or story prepared to be distribution to the various media outlets. The underlying purpose of a press release is to give journalists information that is both accurate and interesting.

    There is a standard form and there are standard rules for writing a press release and once you get a handle of writing them, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. In fact the rules are so rigid that if you don't conform the set format then your press release probably won't even be read by journalists let alone be published. If you can get a pres release published with no changes to the content of the release then you know you've nailed it.

    Lets start with the title. The title needs to be short and to the point. There is no room for superfluous writing in the title or anywhere in press release for that matter. Keep it snappy and catchy explaining the body of the release in plain terms.

    The body of the release must contain the accurate and interesting story you're so eager to tell everyone about so they'll buy your stuff :) The beginning needs to start with the place and time the release originated. Very briefly, explain the who, what, where, why and how of the story.

    The first paragraph of the release should tell and very straight-forward terms exactly what the press release is about. It should be clear why this story is newsworthy. Tell them what the rest of the release is about and then back it up with the details in the ensuing paragraphs.

    The second paragraph explains the details. What individuals are involved? Where is the event happening? When? Why should the reader care? Also include a quote or two from participants or leaders of organizations to spice up the release and add a bit of down to earth realism. This is the paragraph you can repeat several times if necessary to get all the juicy details out there.

    The last paragraph needs to be a summary of the release with extra information about the organization releasing the story and what their mission is or you could add a bit of history to provide some context.

    Journalism's standards basic parameters to define the end of a press release. Its three pound symbols in a row, ###, centered directly underneath the last line of the release indicate the end of a press release.

    So the next time you are asked to write a press release for your company or if you are an individual and want to get the word out about your new website,fear not, the rules are clear and concise: Accurate and interesting information portrayed within the set journalistic guidelines.

    Recommended Article: Make Money Offline with Internet Marketing