How Kathie Thomas Gave Birth To Her First Blog

I was asked to investigate blogging for a client early 2005 but I didn’t really understand what it was about. So I set up my first blog at Blogger for my VA business to explore it. I had to put in a calendar reminder weekly to force myself to do it and I often had no idea what to write about – I would pick out a word from a jar of cards I had just for a topic.

Later that year I decided to set up a family one instead of my annual Christmas newsletter. I put up photos, wrote about my family but it wasn’t till I wrote about a cat of mine who had disappeared that suddenly something happened – people started leaving comments, asking about the cat. Strangers from the other side of the world reading about our family! That same cat passed away last week and I wrote a eulogy for him What you need to know is that I’m a writer – I have been writing since I was a kid. I love to see my name in print and a writer loves responses. I realised two things:

I had to write more in a more personal way, instead of stilted and formal like in my original business blog.
And I had to write to attract comments and return visitors.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a writer too, but it helps if you enjoy it as it doesn’t become a chore then, but a pleasure, although an addictive one I might add!

My VA blog is now one of the highest listed VA blogs at and I am listed in the Top 100 Australian Bloggers. That has come with time and effort. I get a lot of visitors to my main site via my blog – which is these days attached to my domain with a specially designed template to match. One of my other blogs, written in 2006 was turned into a book in 2007 and is now listed at Amazon – something I never anticipated or expected to happen.

I love WordPress and that is my preferred blogging platform but I still have some blogs at Blogger just to keep my hand in, so I can advise clients. And yes, I own multiple blogs (over 15). Some are just mine, others I have multiple contributors so that I’m not the only one providing content. And one of the ’secrets’ to having a successful blog is to keep it theme related. If you write about anything and everything on the one blog, unless your readers are personal friends or relatives, you’re unlikely to keep them for long. So the blog needs to be targeted to your audience if you want to build a readership.

I have information about blogging at both Virtual Assistant Blog and Soho-Life just look in the categories list in the menu sidebars. And I encourage you to join a bloggers forum so you are mixing and mingling with others who are blogging regularly in different platforms. You can learn much from them. I’m very active at AussieBloggers and have made lots of friends there. And another I know of that is also quite active is Bloggeries.

You can follow Kathie on Twitter

Your Blog Is Talking-But What Is It Saying?

Your blog is talking, but what is it saying? I just read an insightful post about how our site communicates to our readers. After reading it I decided to pay closer attention to what my site may be saying. When you  review these simple, yet powerful points you will, like me, pay closer attention to what your site is saying.

This post was written by a popular web designer who has combined some practical SEO tips into his 21 ways your site is talking with your visitors.

Directories vs Search Engines for Your Blog

Remember that old commercial “Is it live or is it Memorex?” Well that’s what comes to mind when looking at the difference between submitting your site to a search engine vs directory.

Here is my current assessment and I welcome anyone to add to this or make corrections.


Search Engines

1. Search engines use computer programs called Robots,spiders and worms to automatically go from page to page through the web, reading content, and adding it to their databases. This speeds up the process of getting your site indexed.
2. You usually only have to tell a Search Engine the URL (address) of your site and it takes care of the rest.
3. The “spiders, robots or worms” search in different ways – and different parts of the Internet. The same search with different engines will yield different results.
4. Some index words in the title, URL, introductory paragraphs, or full-text of all documents on a web site or blog. Some use a combination of these words and phrases, all of which are entered into the search engine’s database. has a super, I mean super comprehensive listing of search engines. Click Here

Search engines also LOVE blogs. Imagnine a tank full of hungry fish. As soon as new food comes they go for it. Your blog site entries are fresh food for the search engines. Whereas, static web pages, that change very little and often, cause little stir with the search engines.


1. Directories are run by humans, live people, who review web sites and categorize them within their directories.

2. The staff consists of webmasters,directory staff and or volunteers. Sometimes staff are subject experts; sometimes not.

3. Review of you site require significant human effort to develop and maintain. Hence, it may take longer for your site to be indexed.

4. Some charge and some do not. For example, Yahoo charges a non-refundable fee of $299 if you site does not have adult content. If it is adult content it is $600. However, the payment of the fee does not assure you acceptance. But if accepted it gives you great placement.

Check out , Libarians Index, DMOZ, Medweb and Yahoo’s Directory

Yahoo and DMOZ are the two biggest directories on the web, but other important directories include local directories for your state, town, chamber of commerce, etc.

Hope this helps to make it clearer for many folks who want to know.

4 Reasons to Use is an awesome site! You can actually understand it.

1. Powerful Search Analytics has pay-per-use search analytics tool lets you identify rival search marketing strategies to take your SEM and SEO efforts to the next level. However, when you register you get five free credits to your account to try it out.
2.  Comprehensive Site Analytics
Compete’s Site Analytics help you to measure the competition through site metrics and audience profiles for the top 1,000,000 web domains.
3.  Practical Tools
o The easy to install Compete Toolbar automatically creates three alerts for every web site you visit.
o The Compete iGoogle/Netvibes Widget tracks sites directly from your Google or Netvibes homepage.
o The Compete Site Profile extension tracks how any and every web site in the world is performing from your browser.

4. has a blog that gives you an insider view of the industry trends, interesting takes on their data, and updates to their services.

Well folks, I joined and hope you do too.