Awesome Blog Design with Dano Hart

Blog Design

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…]

Top Five Tips to Get on Popular Bloggers’ Radar

Popular Bloggers

Popular Bloggers

Popular bloggers can be a great inspiration, and good people to learn from. They have built a successful business around a typically simple idea, and have an active community of loyal supporters. Getting on the radar of anyone with some sort of notoriety, is no easy task. The reality is, most people completely blow it. They try too hard, come off as a stalker, or maybe ask for way too many favors..

Now, you might be thinking: why should I care about getting on the radar of popular bloggers? Well, first things first, you do not have to be interested. However, if you are active in the blogging world, and understand the value of networking, it can open doors to new opportunities. You can get access to their audience through opportunities like guest posting, for example. Most importantly though, you can forge a new relationship, which in of itself can be priceless.

Stop Being Generic

Every blog has its generic comments. “Great thoughts!,” “Really enjoyed this post!,” “Thanks for sharing!,” and the list goes on. These comments do nothing more than to serve as filler. They do not really add any value to the discussion, and do not drive discussion. To really stand out, move beyond the generic, and truly give your two cents. Also, do not be afraid to disagree. Disagreeing is a good thing, and makes conversations a heck of a lot more interesting. [Read more…]

How to Deal with Negative Blog Comments

Blog Comments

Blog Comments

Blog comments are welcomed by all, and give us an opportunity to create a discussion, further building a community in the process. Most of the time, they’re cool and collective, sometimes disagreeing with what you have to say, which is great. If we all agreed on everything, conversations would get pretty boring, pretty fast. However, things can go south, and the bigger your blog is or the more popular you are, the more you have to deal with “haters.”

Haters have no better way to spend their time than to spew nonsense, and not add any value to the conversation whatsoever. They move beyond criticism, and can get personal by calling you names. They are an unfortunate part of life, and really seem to enjoy spending a lot of time on YouTube. Haters have one simple goal: to get a rise out of you, and to get attention.

Understanding The Mindset

Haters are simply broken human beings, and usually going through some sort of problems in their own life. Just like a school bully, they unnecessarily take things out on other people. It is easy to get upset over blog comments that are uncalled for, and wanting to lash out. However, when you start to realize that the person spewing such hate is broken, and probably needs to be hugged more often, it kinda starts to get sad. [Read more…]

Facebook for Bloggers with Scott Ayres



Facebook is the world’s largest social network, and breaking through the noise is harder than ever. How do you get past the images with quotes, and reshares of funny photos?

I think it all depends on your goals for Facebook. Often times we fall into a pattern of just copying what everyone else is doing because that “worked”. But just because posting idiotic memes works for George Takei doesn’t mean it will work for me!

You have to be yourself and be consistent with that message. The challenge however is avoid the temptation to always post links to your product or company, especially when you’re in the online marketing world. Be human and interact with your followers/friends, and then every once in a while mix in a link or two. And yeah, sometimes posting a silly cat video is needed! [Read more…]

Are You Making These Six Deadly Writing Mistakes?

Writing Mistakes

Writing Mistakes

No one is perfect, and writing mistakes can number into the hundreds. Even established professionals have their days, and writing is constantly a learning experience. Maybe it’s punctuation, sentence structure or something as little as forgetting to add a comma in a couple places. Unlike our Grammar for Bloggers post, I’m not going to get super technical, and talk about things like pronouns or subject/verb disagreements.

In fact, I’m a walking contradiction, having done horribly in English class all through my school years, yet eventually becoming a writer. Rather than diving into the most basic of writing mistakes, here are six that can have a serious impact on your blog posts:

Writing For Search Engines, Not People

I touched on this topic briefly, and it is one of the easiest ways to kill interest. People can tell when you are forcing out some awkwardly worded, SEO-optimized mess of words. It has been drilled into our heads how important SEO is (which it is), and many take things a bit too far.

You do not need to have eight of the same keyword in a 350 word blog post, or always have the main keyword at the beginning of your title, often churning out yawn-inducing results. While search engines are your friend, they are not your target demographic. [Read more…]

Five Pros and Cons of Newsjacking


NewsjackingNewsjacking is a term coined by author David Meerman Scott, and is defined as “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.” The idea is very simple, and used by Fortune 500 companies to average people simply looking to grab attention. In some situations, it can prove to be rather effective while in other situations, it can be a very sad attempt.

One great example that most comes to mind is popular snack brand Oreo during Super Bowl XLVII. If you tuned in, towards the beginning of the third quarter, there was a power outage at the New Orleans’ Superdome. It lasted for 34 minutes, and a faulty power relay was later found to be the culprit. While the power outage left football fans sitting in the dark so to speak, Oreo posted this brilliant tweet:

[Read more…]

Rockin’ WordPress with Ryan Sullivan, Founder of WP Site Care


Before you founded WP Site Care, a premium WordPress support company, you offered consulting to small businesses, and were even the VP of Marketing for a home care company. What intrigued you so much about WordPress, and diving into it full-time?

I learned about WordPress when I was exploring options for our company’s website almost 5 years ago. It was still really immature but I loved how it put control in our hands when we wanted to launch new stuff. We didn’t have to wait on web developers, or edit 1,000 lines of code, etc., for the majority of the stuff we wanted to do and I loved that. We could come up with an idea and move ahead, which is how marketing on the web should be. [Read more…]

Is Google+ the Next Big Blogging Platform?



Google+ is no slouch in the social media space, commanding nearly 200 million active users in the stream as of May 2013. While it does offer unique features like Hangouts, group video chats with up to 10 people, it’s not too awful different from other social networks. You can follow or “Circle” people, segment the people you follow into specific circles (lists), share with specific circles or publicly, and so on.

You can create a community, start a page, and with cool features like Auto Awesome, upload the best looking photos possible. With any social network, the biggest defining factor is its community, many of which who span well beyond the tech geek stereotype. As Google+ continues to grow, so has the idea of it becoming a serious avenue for bloggers. [Read more…]

How Social Media Can Help Create Your Next Blog Post

Social Media

Social Media

Social media has taken over our daily lives, and over one billion people access Facebook alone on a monthly basis. While various platforms help us connect with others wherever, whenever, they can also be a serious killer of getting work done. From post to post, video to funny photo, an hour skimming through streams can feel like just a matter of minutes.

Blogging and social media both go hand in hand, and thanks to the explosion of major platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, we are able to reach people in a way that more easily facilitates content consumption. In other words, social networks are like RSS readers, minus the whole dying part. [Read more…]

Writing for Top Blogs with Nate Swanner, Editor at Android Authority



How did your writing career first get started?

I got started when I left a job I was terribly unhappy at. I was working myself to death, and had no respect or recognition for my efforts. I had no real goal in mind when leaving, other than I wanted to be happy again. I just wanted to live life and not feel beaten down by “the man” all the time! I started writing for a small Android gaming site for fun, and people liked my work. I was doing it for free (which anyone who is serious about blogging or writing should do), and really learning how things worked. From there, I saw that Android Authority was looking for writers. I sent my “elevator pitch” to those who are now my bosses, and the rest is really history at this point. [Read more…]