Using Numbers in Headlines: Is the Game Changing?

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I spent a couple of years working at FOX News where I had the opportunity to hone my headline copywriting skills.

My boss at the time would plead with us to read Reader’s Digest, claiming they had mastered the art of “catchy” headlines.

The way we digest our media has changed, but the tried and true methods of creating a powerful headline have not. Effective elements include… [Read more…]

What Can Bloggers Do to Help Haiti?

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A 7.0 magnitude earthquake (with over 100 aftershocks!) has rocked the western part of the island of Hispaniola, devastating Haiti in the process. Sitting here as a mere blogger in America, it’s easy to feel that there’s not much you can do. While it might not be as gratifying as saving lives, there are small things bloggers can do to pitch in. [Read more…]

Calculating Your Worth as a Blogger

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There is no magic calculator that will tell you how much your blogging services are worth. We each have an interdependent relationship with money that is uniquely our own. The $7.50 you just earned for that 500-word blog post might be worth your time. Or not.

During discussions with bloggers, I have found that the average blogger (not a superstar, but not a slouch) earns around $10 per 250-word post. Of course, most people exceed the word count to please their employer. (Heck, this post is contracted for 250 words and it’s closer to 500!).

So we’re looking at $.04 cents a word. But there are other factors that bring down that fee considerably. Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine if a blogging job is worth taking/keeping. [Read more…]

How Do You Define Being a Writer?

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My wife coerced me into watching Julia & Julia last night. It’s not a movie I recommend, but there was a line that got me thinking. One of the characters states that you’re not a writer unless you’re published (implying print publication). As someone who has been published – and blogs regularly – I think that statement it absolute rubbish.

Seeing your work in print no longer guarantees wide distribution. There are plenty of blogs and Websites that get traffic a published author can only dream of. It might be gratifying to see your name in print (at least it will be for your parents), but it is no longer a benchmark of true success for a writer. [Read more…]

Loeb Awards Add Online Commentary and Blogging Category

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image001For several decades the UCLA Anderson School of Management has presented the Gerald Loeb Awards program, an honor that puts the spotlight on journalists who make significant contributions to the understanding of business, finance and the economy.

And like any strong institution, The Loeb Awards are evolving. This year marks the addition of a new category, Online Commentary and Blogging. [Read more…]

Share Your 2010 Blogging Goals

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blog_goalsSetting goals is easy. Being held accountable for them is another story. Last year I set some serious blogging objectives for myself. And while I am pleased with the results, I recognize that I could have performed even better. All I needed was a cheerleader.

No, not the pom-pom wielding, short-skirt wearing type. (Though I wouldn’t complain!) But the fellow blogger who understands how important these items are to achieving my goal of going into business for myself.

Here were my 2009 blogging goals:

– Earn an additional $5k from freelance blogging
(I fell short by 35%; darn economy)

– Grow blog traffic by 10%
(Traffic grew by over 30%) [Read more…]

Blogging Is Better With Buddha

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budWhenever writing about a religion or philosophy, things get sticky, and that’s why I often avoid it. There are many arms of Buddhism, and I don’t pretend to be an expert – only an always-improving student.

Buddhism doesn’t care if you were born into another religion or whether or not you believe in a God. It is a practice rather than belief. I propose that you can improve your blogging skills if you travel the The Noble Eightfold Path as you write. This is the road Buddhists travel down as they strive for enlightenment.

RIGHT VIEW: Buddhism is based on the Four Noble Truths (1. There is suffering. 2. I recognize that there is suffering. 3. Suffering can be stopped. 4. The way to stop suffering is The Eightfold Path.)

As you write, look deeply at your subject and keep in mind that nothing is permanent. Understand the law of karma. Karma is determined by everything we do, say and think. By providing your audience with mindful blog posts, you will increase your Karma credit. (And this comes in handy, because no one is perfect!) [Read more…]

Prospecting for Blog Post Ideas

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metalAs an eleven-year-old boy I saved up my pennies for a metal detector. The thinking was that I’d easily make back the $80 by uncovering hidden treasures in the backyard or at the beach.

I never did snag that ancient relic to earn fortune and a morning spot on the Today Show. But I did find my fair shared of nails, barbed wire, loose change and dead batteries. This stuff might seem like junk now, but as a kid, I was fascinated by all of these ‘riches’
under our feet.

Ever notice that it sometimes takes more time to come up with a topic to blog about than to actually write a post? There’s a solution – dust off that metal detector and start searching. Here are a few ways I personally like to find buried treasure – aka – blog post ideas. [Read more…]

WordPress Posts On-the-Fly

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wThank you, WordPress.

WP has now made blogging-on-the-go even easier thanks to the Twitter API.

Post to your WordPress blogs or read your WordPress favorites via the Twitter API. Any app that uses an API URL will work.

With third-party apps on a meteoric rise, WordPress has wisely decided to embrace a macro/micro-blogging relationship.

Read more on the official WordPress blog.

One such app that ties WP and Twitter together is Tweetie2, arguably the most popular iPhone Twitter app. [Read more…]