September 19, 2013

Are Comments a Measure of a Blog’s Success?

CommentsIn December 1997, Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog.” It combined the word “web” and “log,” and at the time such “weblogs” were incredibly basic. There were no push button services at the time, and not just anyone could start plugging away. Eventually, “weblog” got shortened to “blog” sometime around the year 2000, and we have seen massive changes ever since. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and others have made it super easy for anyone to start creating content, helping to make their voice heard.

As blogs started to evolve, so did the level of interaction around them. The rise of search engines made content easy to discover for the first time ever, and commenting systems made it so that posts were no longer one-sided. Now, thanks to the age of social media, search engines are no longer the main source of discovery. Despite getting my start at blogging around 2008 when Facebook and Twitter were really beginning to gain traction, I always valued comments. read more

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September 17, 2013

How Competition Actually Benefits Your Blog

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Competition

When it comes to competition, we often look at people or businesses in our respective niches as enemies, and those we must beat. No matter what you blog about, chances are there is more than a small handful of people writing about the same thing. And if you sell ebooks, courses, consulting, etc., you can be sure others are as well. Naturally, we are designed to compete because before the days of modern science and technology, if we lost, we died.

Quite frankly, looking at your competition as enemies or “the bad guys,” is an absolutely backwards line of thinking. It is perfectly normal to think that way, but you are doing yourself and your blog a total disservice by not using competition to your benefit.

Gain Valuable Insight

No matter how smart or “on top of things” you think you are, there are people out there who will prove you wrong. Sometimes, there might be areas that you have overlooked, or ways of interacting with your audience for example that you never thought about before. Also, there could be valuable tools you never heard of, and maybe even ways of crafting your content to keep readers more engaged. read more

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4 iPhone Apps to Increase Your Blogging Productivity

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iphone apps
There we go again with the “P” word. Whether you’re a blogger, a social media expert, or a professional copywriter, productivity always seems to come up. I suppose the same can be said of any person who holds a job. At the end of the day, we are measured by how much we produce and the quality of what we produce.

As a full-time blogger, the chances are that you do not have to answer to a boss in the traditional sense. However, there are your readers to consider. There is the revenue. There is that personal sense of having gotten things done.

And we come back to where we started: productivity. read more

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September 16, 2013

Organizing a Bloggers’ Meet-Up Party? Check Out These 5 Tips

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SF-Blogger-meetup2

You’ve planned a party for local bloggers and you’re not sure how to make it successful. The good news is that it’s easier than you think. After all, bloggers are people too.

People who love to party, whether they’re bloggers or not, tend to share common interests at parties. Here are five tips that will make your bloggers’ party a hit. read more

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September 13, 2013

How to Take Advantage of Offline Activities to Benefit Your Blog

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blogging
It’s so easy to get drowned in the convenience of living online. While we always hear about the “dangers” of neglecting “real” life because of online activities, it still is easy to fall into the trap of not going outside and interacting virtually most of the time.

For bloggers and other online professionals, the case may even be worse. Marketing, analysing stats, commenting, looking for exposure, updating – the list of online activities goes on and on. But have you ever thought about going out in the real world and taking engaging in some offline activities – not only to enjoy yourself but also to benefit your blog? read more

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How to Pick Out the Perfect WordPress Theme

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WordPress Theme

Finding the right WordPress theme is like shopping for a car. There are tons of choices, and you can end up going back and forth before settling on the right one. Fortunately though, unlike taking out a loan for a new car, you can grab a new theme for as low as the price of free! However, just because WordPress is so customizable, and there are thousands of simple to install themes right at your fingerprints, does not make the process any easier.

Your website design is a very serious investment, and your first impression to grabbing a visitor’s attention, and directing them to where you want them to go. Also, you have to factor in speed, functionality, and something that is optimized for SEO, not contributing to any problems down the road. To pick out the perfect WordPress theme, follow these five tips:

Stick With Reliable Sources

There are hundreds of marketplaces offering up themes for the taking, but do you truly know what you are getting? Some themes can be full of messy code, while others can potentially contain malware, hurting your visitors, and your reputation. Personally, I’ve had good success with Elegant Themes, WooThemes, and Theme Forest. All their themes are paid, but you tend to know that you are getting a high quality product, which is worth the rather small price to pay. read more

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September 12, 2013

5 Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Blog’s SEO

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Many people start blogs because they are passionate about a topic and want to tell people about it. However, in order for a blog to be successful, we must go beyond writing about what interests us and focusing on the little things that make a big impact on SEO. Some tasks, like allowing for email subscription and verifying your blog’s URL with the major search engines, only take a few minutes but can create a huge difference in traffic, engagement, and overall growth.

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September 10, 2013

Three Quick Questions Before Starting Your Next Blogging Adventure

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Blogging

The blogging realm is constantly buzzing along, and according to Technorati, two new blogs are creating every second. The craziest part is that statistic was published in 2006, a time when blogs were in their infancy, and very few were creating successful businesses from them. I’m not sure about you, but when I had my first idea for a blog, or any ideas for that matter, I get really excited. I start thinking of possibilities, how to structure the site, and so on.

Also, my aspirations can get the best of me, and I feel that it’s going to be a huge success right out of the gate. However, success is not something that just happens, but takes time to manifest based on a bunch of different factors. Before kicking off your next blogging adventure, don’t go too crazy, and jump off the deep end. First, ask yourself these three questions:

Do I want to make money, or do I just want to build something for fun?

Depending on your goals, you may want to monetize, or just start up a new pet project. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with monetizing a blog, but if your main aspiration is to make money, you’re going to have a bad time. Making money blogging has no eight step program, and there sure as heck is no such thing as a “set and forget” system. read more

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September 6, 2013

How Much Should You Charge For Sponsored Blog Posts?

what should you charge for sponsored blog posts?

Because of the increase emphasis on the value of content when it comes to your search engine marketing strategy, bloggers are getting more and more requests for sponsored posts. This puts bloggers who, up until recently, have been writing content out of their own passion and interests, in the position of figuring out how much they should charge for sponsored blog posts.

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Awesome Blog Design with Dano Hart

Blog Design

People like to say content is king, but how important is design in the overall process?

If they can’t read your content, then it doesn’t matter how great your content is. Many blogs a few years ago, in trying to make a full-time living, got cluttered with ads, and images that made the reading experience horrible. I think the internet has grown to where there’s a great balance of content, and other items that help pay the bills. Ultimately, we’re seeing a trend in going back to simpler designs because a simple design gets to the point, and that point is good quality content.

Through years of owning a blog, a lot of bloggers have taught themselves how to do basic design, and many how to code. Do you think everyone should learn or do you think it requires a certain kind of person?

Everyone CAN learn how to code, and it’d probably save some bloggers some money in the long run to read up on some basic HTML and CSS skills. I say go for it, but always keep in mind the tasks that you are passionate about. If editing your website layout isn’t your thing, then leave that up to someone that is driven by creating, and editing design elements for the web. read more

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