How to Not be ‘That Guy’ in the Blogging Community

Blogging Tips

Blogging Tips

Every crowd has “that guy” or “that gal” who are often the subject of annoyance, and the blogging community is no exception. Here is just a small lists of don’ts, and we’d love to hear some of your annoyances in the comments below…

Don’t Ask To Exchange Links

If you have a good or decently ranked blog, chances are you’ve received requests to “exchange links,” which is basically a fancy way of saying promote me on your blog, and I’ll promote you back. Link exchanges happen all the time, and is often to help with SEO even though Google has openly commented on such practices. Other times, it’s just to try and get free promotion.

However, it’s an incredibly ineffective approach, and 99 percent of the time, the site that someone wants linked is complete crap. Back in the day, I remember getting requests for sites that had absolutely nothing to do with my own. If someone naturally enjoys your blog, and/or is inspired by something you write, they will link to you. That’s not always the case though, and asking to “exchange links” is a quick way for someone to exchange your email for something more important, like a chain email from their Aunt Betty. [Read more…]

Blogging Like a Rockstar with Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker is an entrepreneur, and Founder/CEO of Virtual Staff Finder and Live2Sell. In 2010, Chris ventured into blogging, and quickly became the outsourcing authority. In this interview, we talk about how he amassed a large following, the biggest blogging mistakes and more.

You’ve been very successful in business, most notably with Live2Sell, and it wasn’t until 2010 that you got serious about blogging. Were there tips/best practices that you applied from the business world?

Being original is number one in business. If you want to do anything in business now, you’ve got to be as original as possible because it’s becoming more and more complex. The second thing is just be consistent in what you’re doing whether it’s a podcast, building out a YouTube channel, or creating a blog.

I decided to make a quality design of the blog (Virtual Business Lifestyle) apparent from the outset. I didn’t want it to look just like any other blog out there. I wanted to try and stand out, and be as original as I possibly could. When I first started Virtual Business Lifestyle, I was blogging three times a week pretty religiously for almost a year, and it certainly helped to drive more traffic to the site, increase opt-ins, and overall get the blog in front of as many people as possible. [Read more…]

Geek Out with ForeverGeek’s Kickstarter Store

Kickstarter

Kickstarter

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter is one of the world’s largest crowdfunding sites, with over 51,000 projects successfully funded, and nearly $900 million raised. It, like many other similar sites, has helped thousands of people make ideas or concepts a reality. Our sister site, ForeverGeek, covers exactly what you’d expect: geeky news from Doctor Who to cool gaming setups.

Last week, ForeverGeek launched its Kickstarter store, and here’s the basic idea:

While you may like to get in early and fund projects yourself, there is something to be said about being able to make purchases and receive the goods without waiting for the Kickstarter campaign to end, production to finish, and shipping to commence. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to look at Kickstarter to find cool projects that have been successfully funded and ready to ship their products. [Read more…]

Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Video

WordPress Plugins

Video has taken over the web, and according to Diode Digital, the average Internet user watches 186 videos each month. For those of us with easy access throughout the day to sites like YouTube, that number can grow exponentially. While, yes, you can easily embed some code into your blog post, there are many WordPress plugins designed specifically for video. From helping you share self-hosted videos to displaying videos from YouTube or Vimeo in a beautiful way, there’s something for everyone.

YouTube

WordPress Plugins

If YouTube is your go-to video site, this plugin will help you save time. You can search and directly embed videos, view analytics and even see what people across the web are saying about a video. Its settings page also allows you to automatically set defaults for videos you embed, and here are just a few:

  • Hide YouTube logo while playing
  • Show/hide related videos at the end
  • Show/hide the video title and other info
  • Show/hide annotations by default
  • Loop video
  • Force HD quality when available

Instead of copying and pasting HTML code, all you have to do is copy and paste the YouTube video URL into your post. That means no more messing around with code, and with the proper dimensions for video embeds set in the defaults, no need to edit that either. [Read more…]

How Google+ Hangouts Can Enhance Podcasts

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts enable anyone to host a group video chat, and with the On Air component, anyone can record and stream live to their YouTube account. When I first joined Google+ on its second day of existence, Hangouts really stood out. While, let’s be honest, a lot of the functionality of Google’s own social network is similar to Facebook and Twitter, no other social network offers such a robust group video chat tool…for absolutely free.

In the early days, the service had its ups and downs. There would be crashes, performance issues on Macs, and were even some cases of Hangouts On Airs completely failing to record. Yeah, not something you’re happy to find out after having an hour long conversation that’s now in Internet purgatory. However, those days have quickly been left in the dust, and Google+ Hangouts are more robust than ever.

In the past several years, bloggers have really embraced podcasting. With faster broadband connections, including affordable mics and high quality webcams, many have also incorporated video. While you can use a service like Skype to chat with guests, it comes at a price. You have to buy software to record conversations, the connection quality can be hit or miss, and video chat with more than two people requires a paid Premium account. [Read more…]

The Power of Repost with Founder and CEO John Pettitt

Repost

Repost

John Pettitt is the founder and CEO of Repost, a content syndication platform that allows you to easily republish content without it losing attribution, advertising and more. A veteran of the tech space, John has successfully lead two companies into an IPO, including CyberSource which was acquired by Visa for $2 billion.

What makes Repost a great tool for content creators?

Repost means you don’t have to create all the content yourself, and your original content can serve you beyond your own site generating audience and revenue. There is a very clear relationship between posting more and getting more traffic. In fact, traffic scales pretty linearly with the number of posts you make. Repost gives you a way of adding more content easily and quickly. Some examples – a hyperlocal site could add movie reviews from Fandango or a news site could add analysis from the Christian Science Monitor or The Economist. Sports sites can add national coverage from Fox Sports, SB Nation, FanIQ, and Bloomberg Sports.

On the outbound side, the best ad for your content is your content. Every time somebody embeds one of your articles it generates ad revenue, traffic, and brand exposure. Readers of embedded articles are 95%+ new to that publisher’s content. Where else can you get that exposure and great CTR’s with an asset you’ve already paid for? [Read more…]

Top 5 WordPress Plugins to Kill Spam

WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins

Spam may be a delicious treat depending on who you ask, but in its digital form by way of your WordPress blog, not so much. No matter what you do, spammers will find your blog. Granted, you can easily blacklist IP addresses, but that doesn’t always keep them from coming back. When most people think of a spammer, they think of some person sitting behind a keyboard. However, with the power of software and sophisticated systems, many spammers are actually scripts or bots that automate the work which used to be done manually.

Akismet

WordPress Plugins

Akismet needs no introduction. Included in every WordPress install, it is the original comment spam blocker. According to its website, Akismet has blocked nearly 100 billion comments. Free for personal use, there are several paid plans to choose from, starting as low as $5 per month for businesses. For many bloggers, Akismet gets the job done, but it offers very basic functionality. [Read more…]

The Big Benefit of Google Authorship and How to Setup in Seconds

Google Authorship

Google Authorship

Google Authorship made its first appearance in June 2011, and allows writers or bloggers to “connect” with their content across the web. Any webpage that has the proper Authorship markup will display basic info from your public Google+ profile, including your photo. Now, before you start worrying, the good news is you don’t have to be active on Google+ in order to take advantage of this feature. It’s a great social network, but definitely not necessary. All you need is a properly filled out profile, and you’re ready to rock.

Despite being available for over two years, there are still many who have yet to add the necessary code to their website or websites. Is it because setting it all up is too difficult? If that’s the case, we’ll be diving into a method which requires zero coding at all. If it’s because many still don’t know about it, that could definitely be the case, too. Earlier this month, Jeff Bullas published a post by Joana Ferreira titled, “Why Aren’t More Bloggers Claiming Ownership of Their Content?[Read more…]

How to Easily Create a WordPress-Powered Sales Page

WordPress

WordPress

WordPress powers millions of blogs, and is used in a wide variety of situations. Thanks to its flexibility, many companies use it in place of a traditionally designed website, and with the many themes and plugins available, you can do some pretty cool stuff with multimedia. If you’ve been on the interwebs for any length of time, you’re familiar with the sales page. Usually it starts out with bold, bright text, and is followed by pages of why you need to buy XYZ product or service.

For the average blogger, if you’re trying to sell your own product or service, having a dedicated sales page may be a bit overkill. In fact, there are many sales pages that are just whipped up on a new page. However, if you’d like a bit more control with something, there is an easy way to create a WordPress-powered sales page. As with any self-hosted blog, you’ll need to pay for hosting, but the theme mentioned in this post is free. Created by Syamsul Alam, it installs just like any other theme. First, you’ll need to go here, and click the download link at the very top. I’ve inspected the code, and nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. [Read more…]

Top 5 WordPress Plugins for SEO

WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins come in all different shapes, and sizes. Whether you need to rotate ads or better protect your blog from hackers, there is something for everyone. SEO still has a stranglehold on every website hoping to get in front of the right people, and algorithms are constantly changing. While the algorithms may be outside of your control, making sure your blog can rank well is not. [Read more…]