After searching at length for a Joomla component that automatically adds links and tooltips to keywords in articles I couldn't find anything that suited my needs so I decided to develop the extension myself and learn a new skill at the same time.
The result is the Autolinks extension for Joomla which has been released today. If you are interested in using this extension it is free to download and use.
Developing this extension has refreshed my PHP programming skills and has taught me a lot about developing components and plugins for Joomla which is a skill I can use wherever I am so long as I have access to the web.
The bonus is that this is something I actually enjoy doing and am already planning enhancements to Autolinks and a number of new programming projects.
Over the last couple of weeks I have focussed on building content in livetocook.com and getting this content to display in search engines. This is not a quick process but I am starting to see some good results with traffic steadily building from essentially nothing to a couple of hundred page views a day.
The basic approach I am taking is to write a blog article for everything I cook on a day to day basis and optimise these articles so that they attract traffic for the most popular keyword searches relating to the recipe I am cooking. To help me achieve this I've started to use the keyword research tools at Jaaxy.com to save me a heap of time working out what people are searching for and how much competition I am up against for the keywords/phrases they are searching for.
So far this is working quite well for me and I am getting lots of impressions in major search engines but unfortunately I'm not getting as many visitors from these links as I would like so in addition to continuing to build quality content I am focussing on how to get this content to display in social media sites and search engines in a manner which encourages people who see a search result to click on it.
I've been busy over the last few days bringing www.livetocook.com back to life.
Cooking is my passion so I have been making my favourite foods and adding the recipes for these dishes to my website along with photographs of the results which were also added to flickr.
While doing this I have practiced my writing skills and learned a heap more than expected.
Given that my intent is to create a website that indulges my passion for food and cooking whilst attracting a lot of visitors. I decided that I needed to learn how to write Search Engined Optimised (SEO) content which will hopefully result in a lot of organic traffic to my website.
In the process of researching SEO I have realised there is a lot to be learned and that it is a skill which is valued by website owners and can be performed from anywhere in the world. Useful and portable skills I have learned in the last week include adding open graph metatags to web pages, setting up facebook comments on a Joomla site, and how to add structured data to a recipe.
In addition to this I have set up Google Analytics and google webmaster tools for livetocook.com so I can see how successful I have been.
Learning the art of SEO has been added to my todo list.
It's been a very productive first week but the rewards are yet to follow.