July 22, 2013

Why SEO Pros Should Be on Reddit

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There is no discussion necessary when it comes to the entertaining merits of Reddit. The front page of the Internet has a lot of subpages, to be sure, and depending on which page/s you frequent, you will have various experiences. The bottom line is that you can find yourself browsing and reading Reddit for hours on end without realizing it. The epitome of a timesink.

Reddit

But, aside from the entertaining value of the site, there are actually a lot of benefits to spending time on Reddit, especially for SEO professionals. It is no secret that search engine optimization, or SEO, has received a lot of flak over the years. While there are legit practices, there are some rotten apples (whether it’s an SEO company or individual) that have tainted the scene.

That is no reason to totally ignore SEO, though. The niche still has its merits and there are SEO pros who are actually good at what they do without having to resort to shady practices. If you’re one of these SEO pros, where do you go to interact with likeminded people? More so, where do you go to exchange ideas with people who are not shady at all?

Believe it or not, the answer is Reddit. read more

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July 19, 2013

Interview with Patrick O’Keefe, Author of Managing Online Forums

Is there a difference between building a community versus building an audience? If so, what are they?

They can be the same thing. A community is an audience. Some would grasp tightly to the idea that an audience watches and doesn’t contribute or interact, but that isn’t really true. Performers interact with audiences all the time. With my hosting of Soda Tasting, I’m building an audience, but I’m also building a community. It really can mean the same thing.

That said, if you wanted to draw a firm line, you could say that when you are the primary “performer,” you are building an audience. But if you are cultivating interactions between others, more so than interactions with you specifically, you are closer to building a more traditional community.

All communities, big or small, have that feeling of connection, and being part of something bigger. How do you foster that connection?

It helps to have a focus, to understand why you exist and who you exist to serve. What’s your goal? Who do you want to be? When I started KarateForums.com, we had a simple goal, which was to be a martial arts community that was work friendly (generally family friendly) where respect was very important. That goal has informed everything that we’ve done and 12 years later, the result is a community I am very proud of, where people speak to each other in a way that is incredible to watch and easy to appreciate. read more

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July 18, 2013

Telecommuting Made Easy – Learn how to Tackle and Deal with Productivity Drains

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telecommuting made easy

Telecommuting is getting a lot of attention lately. According to the Forrester Research, there are about 34 million Americans who telecommuted in 2009 alone. The report says that this will go up to about 63 million by the time that 2016 rolls in. Telecommuting can significantly improve employee recruitment efforts and other overhead costs. For telecommuters, this mean that they can work at home and save money in many areas, such as car repairs, dining out, travel expenses, clothes, etc.

However, having a telecommute job, whether it is on a part time basis or a full time job, is not without challenges. One of these problems is directly connected with productivity. So if you want to learn how to tackle and deal with productivity drains, here are some of the best ways to make telecommuting easier. read more

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July 17, 2013

The Money is in the List: Increasing Your Email Subscribers

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email subscribers

Blogging is a great way to build a community, and demonstrate your expertise. It’s also a great way to build a business whether it’s through the sale of digital or physical products and services, or consulting for example. One phrase often uttered in the marketing community is, “The money is in the list”. While blog subscribers are always great, email subscribers have helped to differentiate themselves, showing that not only do they have a larger interest in what you have to say, but also may be more likely to buy something from you.

Whether you sell info products, run an online store, or are even a dog trainer offering one-on-one sessions, increasing your email subscribers can help you to better connect with more serious individuals, and potentially increase future sales. read more

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July 15, 2013

Four Steps to Build a Community on Your Blog

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Build a community

Everyone wants to build a community on their blog, but many sadly fail. Maybe they’re attracting the wrong readers, and maybe they’re simply too focused on me, me, me. There are many different variables, but we first need to look at the difference between an audience, and a community. An audience is a group of people who may follow you, and (hopefully) enjoy what you have to say. A community is a group of people that not only follow you, but they have a larger interest, and are your most dedicated supporters.

When it comes to blogging, you want dedicated supporters, not just window shoppers. With anything, building something of value takes time. You cannot expect to build a community overnight, and you’ll be lucky to build one in mere months. However, the payoff is well worth it, and this community can follow you even if you completely change careers. read more

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July 12, 2013

PRISM , Big Data and the Future of Privacy

Spy Image

It’s been just over a month since The Guardian broke the story about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data collection program known as PRISM. The fervor has not died down and additional revelations about how the program works and similar systems existing in other countries have only stoked the flames

That anger has culminated in both “Restore the Fourth” rallies across the U.S., outrange online and a great deal of mockery as people turn to humor to best express their feelings. The nation, and indeed the world, has also turned its attention to the flight of Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who originally leaked information about the program to the media.

But in the midst of the anger, lawsuits and questions, a larger conversation is taking place, one that revolves around privacy online, how much information we put out about ourselves on the Web and who has access to it.

That is because, while the Internet has certainly made our lives more convenient, it has also made them more trackable. In our bid to communicate better and easier, we put out so much information about ourselves, both intentionally and unintentionally, that the discovery of the NSA’s program may be as much a moment of reevaluation of our own practices as well as our government.

After all, for the government to collect the information it does, someone else has to have it first and the government is not the only entity with a vested interest in tracking you and monitoring your activities. read more

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How to Find Blogs to Pitch Guest Posts

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Guest blogging can be a great way to grow your credibility and online presence (as well as giving links back to your website). Many potential clients and new acquaintances have connected with me through social media or my website after seeing a guest post I’ve written.  Besides connecting with readers that have read posts, it is also worthwhile to build strong relationships with the blog owners themselves.

By knowing several different bloggers that are in your industry, you can open yourself up to a variety of different possibilities– possible content for your own blog, sponsorship, partnerships, and more.

Finding Guest Posts

In order to find industry-specific guest posts, there are a string of search phrases you can use to find blogs. These include:

  • write for us + [industry keyword]
  • guest blogging + [industry keyword]
  • guest bloggers + [industry keyword]
  • contribute + [industry keyword]
  • guest post + [industry keyword]

These searches and related variations will help you find several different blogs that you can pitch to.

read more

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How to Kick Writer’s Block to the Curb

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As once said by comedian Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Writing is a major part of any blog, and most of the time you’ll have an idea that leads to cranking out a great post in no time flat. Other times you’ll be at a dead end, unsure of where the road lies ahead. You may even think to yourself, “There’s nothing else to write about it!” I know I do, and I write for a living.

Commonly referred to as writer’s block, there is no way of escaping it completely. No matter how skilled or creative you are, it will surface from time to time. Like a lonely puppy, it’ll keep bugging you until you do something. Unfortunately, most people let the hopeless feeling overwhelm them. They allow distractions which are oh so prevalent in this social media age we live in, to keep them from what needs to be done.

However, as crazy as this may sound, your best work is ahead of you. Us humans are very resourceful creatures, and we are designed to create. In fact, did you know that every two days we create as much information as we did up until 2003? To help put this into perspective, that’s around five exabytes or over five million terabytes of data. The craziest part? This statistic is from 2010, so hard telling what mind blowing figure we’re at now. read more

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July 11, 2013

How Google Glass Can Benefit Content Creators with Sarah Hill

Google Glass

On June 28, 2011, a new social network by the name of Google+ emerged. One feature called Hangouts made it stand out from the rest. For free and without any additional software, you can start or join a group video chat with up to 10 people. Later, the ability to stream live and record Hangouts was added. One person early to use them was Sarah Hill, a 12-time Emmy award winning anchor for KOMU-TV based out of Missouri.

Hangouts enabled her to offer a different perspective of the news room, allowing Google+ users from around the world to see what goes on behind the scenes. Eventually, Sarah moved on to work with the Veterans United Network where she tells stories about veterans, and military families. Recently, Sarah got her hands on Google Glass which is leading the charge in the next generation of wearable computing. In this interview, we talk about how Glass can benefit content creators, the future of content creation, and more.

How did you get involved with being one of the first recipients of Google Glass?

I volunteer for a project called “Veterans Virtual Tours”. We provide online tours to aging and terminally veterans who would like to see their memorial but are too sick to travel. I saw the Google+ post about Glass and decided to share my #ifIhadglass wish. read more

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July 9, 2013

Is the Death of Google Reader Bad for Blogs?

Google Reader

Throughout history, things come and go. What was once at the very top, ends up being replaced. When was the last time you made a call from a corded phone? How about listened to the radio? When did you read a newspaper last? The world is constantly evolving, and what’s the norm now may not be so five or 10 years from now.

On July 1, Google Reader saw its demise. Easily one of the most popular RSS readers on the planet, Google claimed declining usage was a factor in their decision to shut it down. Back in March when an announcement was made, bloggers and readers were extremely vocal. Most were very upset, and thought it was an incredibly stupid move on Google’s part.

However, the tech giant has a lot of products and services under its belt. For any business, you need to stay focused, and keep the money rolling in. Unfortunately, Reader simply wasn’t part of a focus anymore. With the shut down, many bloggers started to question what it meant for the industry. Was this the start of a major shift? Are blogs going by the wayside? read more

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