July 31, 2013
When LinkedIn was launched in 2003, the average person probably didn’t give it a second thought. Today, the social networking platform in the main venue where professionals want their profile to be found. It has become the de facto tool for professional networking.
Of course, there are still people who do not use LinkedIn to their advantage and see it as merely another social network. If you are in the market for a job, though, or you simply want to highlight your professional life, LinkedIn is an indispensable tool. But have you ever thought of using the platform to send some love your blog’s way? read more
Tags: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, networking, referral traffic
The Federal Bureau of Investigation or the FBI, as they are more commonly known, is notorious for their covert surveillance activities which have frequently caused public outcries. The Bureau’s history with Magic Lantern is one such example. Soon after the arrest of crime boss Nicodemo S. Scarfo in 1999, the agency, which was previously thought to have the best interest of citizens at heart, began development of Magic Lantern when it realized it needed a more comprehensive monitoring solution to aid in their investigations of harassment, extortion and identity theft. read more
Tags: Infographics, PRISM, Privacy, Security, surveillance
July 30, 2013
Unless you do it for a living, SEO is probably one of your less favorite activities. Optimizing your WordPress blog for search engines is very time consuming, and with Google updating its algorithms all the time, you need to stay alert. For example, Panda which was a major update to Google’s search results ranking algorithm, launched in February 2011, and has since went through around 25 updates.
Thankfully, despite the landscape constantly evolving, you don’t have to be an SEO expert to keep your blog in shape. WordPress is designed to be simple right out of the box, and here are some general guidelines to follow:
Are You Properly Defined?
Every website or webpage has a title, description and keywords. When you first created your blog, this information was necessary to get started. Problem is, we change over time, and maybe the direction you originally headed is different from where you are now. Whenever you go through any changes, it’s very important to keep how you define your blog, updated. read more
Tags: blog seo, seo tips, WordPress
July 29, 2013
While your blog doesn’t necessarily have to be Pulitzer-prize worthy, it should certainly be value-laden. When readers finish the post, they should feel that they’ve either learned something from it or have been thoroughly entertained.
But with so many businesses now realising the value of blogging, we’re starting to see the same old stuff being churned out time and again. Recurring topics are hardly surprising given the amount of updates required of a well-maintained company blog. read more
Tags: Business Blogging, Company Blogging
July 26, 2013
Allison Boyer is a freelance writer who is most known for her work with New Media Expo. New Media Expo or NMX for short, is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for online content creators. Make sure you stay tuned for the end of this post as Allison has a special surprise for Blog Herald readers :-)
How did you first get involved with freelance writing/blogging?
When I was a senior in college, I kind of freaked out because I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to write for a newspaper or teach. What else do you do with an English degree? I had no idea. What I did know is that I enjoyed the part-time freelance work I did from time to time. So I decided to give it a go as a full time freelancer. From there, blogging kind of fell into my lap when I just happened to get a job working for a blog network. The pay was horrible, but I really loved the conversational style. So, I slowly phased out other types of writing jobs and started working exclusively as a blogger, both for clients and for my own blogs.
One thing I noticed early on is just how difficult it can be to break through all the noise, and establish consistent work for yourself. What’s some advice you have to those wanting to make a career out of writing or blogging for a living?
What worked for me is to start on the very lowest rung and climb up. No one wants to work for $10 an hour, but hard work pays off in the end. If you’re a new writer, it doesn’t matter what you think you are worth. People who hire bloggers need to see a return on their investment, so you have to prove yourself first. If you do an amazing job every single time without fail, you’ll soon find that you don’t have to look for work anymore. Opportunities will come your way because people recommend you. And remember, it’s about more than just being able to write. Without a strong work ethic, it doesn’t matter how well you write. read more
Tags: Allison Boyer, blog writing tips, freelance writing, how to write, New Media Expo, NMX, writing tips
July 25, 2013
Back in the day, you didn’t have nearly as many options when it came to sharing new blog posts. Mostly, you relied off of RSS subscribers to swing on by, email subscribers, or for people to discover your content through search engines. While all of those still ring true today, social media has given all of us the ability to more easily share our content with the world. There are no shortage of social networks to choose from, and it can be a daily struggle just to keep up with everything.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a massive following to do well. We so often get caught up in numbers, believing the bigger the number, the better. To be honest, having a big following is awesome, but you know what matters even more? A quality following, and people that are your biggest fans. Those are the people who will share your content on a consistent basis.
However, just posting your blog post’s headline and adding a link isn’t enough. You can of course stick to the way most people do it, or you can make some little changes that will get your content even more attention when shared.
Better Pique Interest
Thanks to social media, our attention spans have been spread very thin. Content is hitting us at every single direction, and it’s incredibly easy to skip over things without a second thought. Unless you write seriously good headlines, your followers are likely skipping over your posts. read more
Tags: Social Media, Social Media Tips
Maybe you’ve read an article with this same or a similar title before. You know Twitter and Facebook are important for your brand, yet you just haven’t made yourself sign up for Twitter yet. And your LinkedIn profile is barren, with an incomplete job history and no portfolio examples. Your blog seems to be doing OK, but you know it could be better.
If this is you– I challenge you to get set-up with social media ASAP. And once you’ve done that, create time in your daily routine for social media. Even 15 minutes per day can help you craft a regular online presence.
You know you should be on social media, but if you are a blogger or representing any of your work online, not having a regular social media presence can hurt not only your blog traffic, but your online persona as well.
Tags: Bloggers, Blogging, freelance writing, google authorship, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter
July 24, 2013
When The Guardian broke the NSA Prism scandal back in early June, the uproar on the Internet was both immediate and widespread. The Internet, as we talked about two weeks ago, has not let the scandal die down and it remains a hot-button issue today.
However, whenever a major scandal like this emerges, it inevitably has unintended consequences on other debates and discussions. The Web community, in the most broad sense of the word, tends to be laser-focused on whatever issue is most prevalent on any given day.
Issues that aren’t so prevalent, however, take a back seat.
One such example of this is the copyright debates. Though copyright became a hot button issue in early 2012 with the SOPA/PIPA protests, it had been a focal point of the tech community for a long time before.
Today though, much of that attention is gone and many of the tech sites and authors that focused heavily, or even almost exclusively, on copyright issues have shifted their aim to government-related issues. This move has quieted an online debate that is still very much active in courtrooms and legislatures all over the world and one that could easily play an important role in the PRISM/NSA discussion.
Unfortunately though, the reasons for this are straightforward and there isn’t much that can be done about it, at least not without breaking the laws of physics. read more
July 23, 2013
Blog readers expect consistency, and if you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you understand the importance of keeping content fresh and interesting. However, once a new post is out in the world, most of us are already working on the next idea, topic or tips. While this is a good thing, and it can also be a bad thing. Since we are focused on moving forward with future content, we tend to neglect posts of the past.
We promote them shortly after publishing, and then they tend to lay around unless they are discovered through a variety of different means. When we truly work on improving our writing, our stories, ourselves, our best content lies ahead of us. Although that is the case, our past content likely offered up great value as well.
Failing to provide an easy way to access it is a shame after putting in so many hours to get said content out there to the world. This situation can be quickly remedied in several different ways…
Focus On Functionality
Everyone will tell you that good design is important. However, if your site is not functional, the design could really matter less. Functionality is just as, if not more important than a great design, and when you have a functional site, people will be more inclined to spend time on your site. Make it super easy for users to dive into different categories, and maybe even guide them to your more popular content. read more
Tags: blog readers, blog tips, blogging tips
July 22, 2013
One of the main reasons bloggers enjoy writing posts is to generate comments from their content that they’ve published. However, for new blogs, it can be hard to begin generating the steady traffic that also is commenting regularly. Here are some ways you can encourage commenting and participation on your blog posts.
Write About Controversial Topics
When you decide on blog topics, always pick the most controversial. If you are in an industry where there is some leeway on best practices, focus on that grey area. Organizing your content in areas where people have the most questions will more than likely start getting you more views and users that are going to want to comment.
Tags: blog comments, blog discussion, commenting