Jimmie's Online Empire

by Jimmie

A compilation of all my articles and blogs and a peek into my strategy to create an online "empire" of content.

I started blogging in 2007 when hardly knew what a blog even was.  

I've come a long way, needless to say. Now I have two self-hosted blogs and publish articles at three different sites. I have contributed as a regular writer to two different blogs and guest posted on many others. I write reviews at Amazon and upload hundreds of photos to Flickr each year.

I have created what I think of as an "online empire." Yes, it's a rather grandiose term, but I try to envision all of my online content as an organic unit. Each individual URL supports and nurtures the greater whole. 

Welcome to an introduction to my online empire. I hope that my way of looking at my work will help you to see your own online work in a new light. 

Tips for Creating an Online Empire

#1 Interlink

Don't think of your online work as separate entities -- a blog, a Flickr account, Squidoo lenses, etc. Instead, think of each piece of content you create as part of a large web -- your empire. The way you web those pieces together is through interlinking.

For every post or article I write, I am always thinking in the back of my mind about other relevant articles that I can link to.  In the words of my blogging friend Barb, "I am my own best referral system." Make that happen with deliberate interlinking.

Use specific anchor text for every link.

I always use specific (keyword) text for my links.

BAD generic anchor text to find out more about science notebooking, click here.
GOOD specific anchor text to find out more, visit Science Notebooking.


Use links to add value to your content.

Obviously, you don't want random links just for the sake of linking. Links are most powerful when they are linking to other sites similar in content. I normally write my text and then read over it, looking for words that my reader may not understand or that I've explained more fully elsewhere. Those are the things I link to.

Don't overlink.

Too many links overwhelms the reader. Even if they don't click on a link, the visual impact of so many links slows reading. Each link causes a split-second, silent question, "Do I click or not?" Don't hamper your reader with too much of a good thing.

Link Lists and Sneeze Pages

Besides naturally interlinking your online work, two other powerful strategies are link list posts and sneeze pages. 

Link list posts are blog posts that are basically just a list of links. These are most effective when the title mentions a number, for example Ten Ideas for Summertime Projects. Write a brief introduction to your list as well as a short blurb for each link in your list. These are a great way to showcase your work on a single theme that spans various publishing platforms. 

Sneeze pages are resource pages on your blog that link to lots of content that may otherwise be hidden deep within your archives. Make the sneeze page itself have valuable content rather than just being a list of links.

Read Katinka's Marketing Spiritual Blog

I love all of her blog, but the post 20 tips on how to interlink your online properties is especially relevant. She gets far more technical that I have been here. Read the article a couple of times until you can understand it. Revisit it occasionally to make sure you are internalizing the principles.

If you use Etsy, be sure to read How to Build an Online Empire Starting with Etsy. I don't sell at Etsy, but the principles are the same for any site.

Jimmie's Collage

The Notebooking Fairy -- printables and how-tos with a pinch of pixie dust

Jimmie's Collage

My Personal Homeschooling Blog
In 2014 I gave my kitchen a major renovation. The entire room—linoleum to cabinets—was the original design from when the house was built in 1972. Although I never saw ...
I was compensated for my time to create this message. I am a long-time Lifeblood donor, and think everyone who can should donate blood. It’s a new season of life...
Our latest arithmetic topic has been factors, multiples, and primes. We used our Singapore math textbook and workbook as a supplement to these activities which formed ...

The Notebooking Fairy

My Notebooking Blog
Do you have kids who are reluctant writers because handwriting is a struggle? Are they hesitant to start notebooking because they’re intimidated by writing? Well...
Artist study is one of the more rewarding and relaxing parts of our homeschool. I admit that I like having an excuse to study art that I never made time for in years e...
I recently bought tickets to a performance of The Tempest by the Tennessee Shakespeare Company and realized that some theater notebooking pages would be great for afte...

My Articles

Squidoo, Hubpages, and Wizzley

Tips for Creating an Online Empire

#2 Generating Ideas for Articles and Blog Posts

I've noticed there are two kinds of online writers. Some struggle with generating ideas to write about. Others have lots of ideas but little time to write. (I certainly fall in the second camp.) I get ideas from everything and everywhere. 

Here is a list of inspiration sources for me. Your niches will be different, but try to apply the ideas to your own life and writing.

1. What we are doing in homeschool

  • books we read
  • activities we did
  • freebies we used

2. What I cooked today

Stop and take photos instead of rushing through the steps. And voila, a quick page!


3. Products I use

From the kitchen to the bathroom, a product review page is easy to write if you are passionate about the product.


4. Questions asked on forums

My entire narration problems series was based on a single thread at a homeschool forum I read. The questions and answers shared there provided a starting point for me to branch from. Obviously, I didn't copy the conversations. Instead I took those concepts and elaborated on them far beyond what was said in the forum. But the inspiration for the pages came from that simple discussion among moms.

5. My own questions

What am I wondering about? I have successfully turned my research into a page.

6. Places I go

Whether it's daily spots or special once in a lifetime places, each deserves a bit of online fame.


Books That Have Helped Me Formulate My Perspective

About Online Writing and Internet Marketing
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do ...
Crown Business
$16.99  $2.13
Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving So...
$10.23  $25.39
Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why i...
$10.1  $5.25
Crown Business
$9.62  $1.96

Tips for Creating an Online Empire

#3 Your Name

While you are building your online empire, try as much as possible to use your real name or at least a consistent pseudonym everywhere you write. Why? You are building a reputation or a brand through your work. A single name is more memorable than being multiple personas on different sites.

As your online work grows, your audience will come to recognize your name. If you've been delivering quality content all along, there will be a level of trust that comes along with your name. And you will be seen as an expert in your field

On the other hand, if people grow to associate your name with inferior content and half-hearted writing, they will not click over to see your latest post.

Remember your name is your brand.

Building an Online Empire
Building an Online Empire

Evidence that the Online Empire is Working

An Example You Can See

A comment on a Flickr photo says, "I had to finally comment because I've found this on every different search I've done. Any time I add 'notebooking' on my search bar, I find at least one link pointing back to you! (Whether it be from a squidoo lense, one of your sites, etc.) I think I need to just START with you and then figure out where to go."

Tips for Creating an Online Empire

#4 Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It should go without saying, but it truly needs to be said again and again: be persistent in building content online.

Don't let a week go by without creating something -- a blog post, a lens, a hub, a wizz. Time is precious, and we writers have so little of it. But the beauty of online work is that it builds incrementally with every new article you post. As you interlink them, you find that slowly your small drips are creating a sturdy web of an empire.

You can read more of my tips for Time Management for Online Writers.

Start today. And remember slow and steady wins the race. I am not the fastest writer. But I write quality, and I've been consistently adding to my empire for about four years.

More Help for Your Online Empire

How to Create a Demographics Survey for your Blog
I wanted to know more about my readers, so I created a demographics survey. This lens takes you step by step through the process of creating the survey using Google Docs.

How to Write a Review of Website
Writing a review of an online service is different from a product review. Here are things I learned through personal experience.

Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Writing Job
Don't be flattered into accepting a writing gig that doesn't build your online empire. Ask the right questions before committing.

The Difference Between a Hobby Blogger and a Professional Blogger
Is your blog a hobby blog or a professional blog? Read the characteristics of each and find out how to move into the professional arena.

Has a company approached you about doing a product review on your blog? Fantastic! But before you make a commitment, negotiate the product review so that you get maximum benefit.
Pinterest is a new site that allows you to pin images that you find interesting or beautiful. Use Pinterest to your advantage with these smart how-tos.
Updated: 06/25/2012, Jimmie
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BrendaReeves on 02/19/2013

Great article. I need to tape it on the wall above my computer.

Sheri_Oz on 03/21/2012

Thanks so much for these tips on developing a well-rounded online presence. It is helping me organize my thoughts so that instead of being overwhelmed with seemingly unrelated ideas I can systematize myself and be more efficient.

Bhavesh on 01/13/2012

An impressive entree to an equally impressive empire! I am inspired and educated. Thanks for sharing.

Yeirl on 11/19/2011

Great resources and inspiring...thank you.

bhthanks on 11/13/2011

These are very useful ideas for creating an online empire. I need to remember to go back and follow it! Thanks for this great page.

Thom on 08/23/2011

I really like the advice of not letting a week go without creating something. I've been online now for about three years and find it adds up over time.

spirituality on 06/20/2011

Thanks for the feature :) I think I'm on your referral list ;)

Guest on 06/16/2011

what a wonderful article and full of helpful tips!

vikksimmons on 06/15/2011

Totally agree with all you're saying. I'm a big fan of the web metaphor when it comes to online writing. I think writing like that snuggles down into the web Goggle has already created and becomes more easily identified by search engines/

ajgodinho on 06/09/2011

You sure have built quite an online empire in quite a few place on the web. Great to read about your online ventures and success!

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