Integrating LinkedIn Long-Form Posts in Your Blogging Strategy

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In 2012, LinkedIn launched Influencers, a publishing platform for users to share their knowledge about their field of expertise. It paved way for people like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Guy Kawasaki, among countless others, to build a readership from this social networking site through the content they create.

Originally, aside from people established in their respective industries, Influencers handpicked other regular users to publish content and build their personal branding through this platform. While it is no longer accepting applications to their Influencers , however, LinkedIn has allowed all members the opportunity to  write long-form posts.

While it doesn’t bear the same weight as Influencers, you as a blogger can still find use to the LinkedIn long-form posts feature, especially if you have a blog. Below are ways on how you can do it.

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Cloud-Based Tools to Stake Your Business Blog on

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Businesses that run on the cloud understand the benefits of working remote. Owners don’t have infrastructure, office space, and equipment associated with a business in the strictest sense. But cloud-based tools will help them run their company instead without compromising their performance. Doing this lets them operate their business in its bare essentials so they can maximize their earnings.

The same principles apply to running a business blog. This online activity has been elevated to a marketing tactic due to its ability to reach out to your target audience with ideas shared in your posts. It is also possible to monetize your blog by applying the best practices so you don’t have to work a job at an office.

To get to this stage in your career as a business blogger, you need to hire people who will help realize your dreams for you. You don’t have to make sure your team goes to an office so you can monitor their progress.  Managing writers, designers, programmers, and developers to run your multiple blogs will be difficult, but not impossible thanks to these cloud-based tools.

Time-tracking tool: Toggl

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There are cloud-based time tracking tools that lets your team clock in the time just like they would in an office despite working from a distance. One of these tools is Togglr, a free time tracking online tool that lets them enter the times they’ve worked and the tasks they’ve accomplished during the day.

Once your team members have entered their hours, they can send you a visual report of the tasks they’ve finished during the day, week, or month. They can record their time by visiting the site from your browser or you can download the desktop and mobile app to log in their work hours.

While the app is free for use, it can only accommodate five team members. Purchasing the Pro or Business plan will let you include unlimited members who can record time and send you regular reports, aside from other features.

Project management tool: Asana

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Who’s supposed to write a post to be published later this afternoon? When should the blog redesign be finished? Where are the updated files of the brief provided by the client?

These are some of the questions you’ll be asking yourself without a project management system in place. Asana is a free tool that will help organize your projects, tasks, and members to keep your blogging business running in tip-top shape.

You can create projects and place actionable tasks to be assigned to specific members in your team. You can describe the brief of the tasks at hand and place a deadline on each so team members are aware of what needs to be prioritized. Other features include create visual milestones, receive updates straight to your inbox, and third-part integration, and more.

Online meeting tool: ClickMeeting

Sometimes, you’ll need to gather your team at the same time to discuss plans you have in store with your blog. You will also need to receive updates about the tasks assigned to each on your project management tool. Taking the option of online chat, while free and cost-effective, will take time to finish since typing your message is neither the fastest nor the most efficient way of communication.

For a more dynamic approach, you should go with holding online meetings using ClickMeeting. You can conduct an audio and video conference (if not both) with your team so you can discuss your blogging plans like you would a face-to-face meeting. You can also hold a moderated Q&A session so you can filter out questions from team members to discuss in the public chat. If you have prepared a presentation or want to show whatever’s appearing on your screen, you can enable the full desktop sharing and control to engage your team.

Other features include the ability to record your meetings, meeting room rebranding, and more.

Final thoughts: The cloud-based tools featured above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running your business blog. There are even collaboration tools to help you build a community with your blog. Nonetheless, these should help run your blog efficiently while making the most out of your earnings.

More on cloud-based tools:

4 Key Points on Cloud Computing

Clear Skies Ahead – The Shift to Cloud Computing

Creating More Engaging Blog Content: 14 Resources

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The goal of every blog is to build a highly engaged readership. Doing this will allow you as blogger to interact with your target audience and gain greater insight to their interest, desires, and others. Knowing these will provide you information that you can use to create more targeted content to further engage your audience.

The more connected your audience is with you blog, the better your chances of meeting your other goals such as turning visitors into leads or customers. (Click Here to Tweet This Quote!)

To reach this point with your blog, you need to ensure that every post you publish from hereon out is optimized to maximize engagement with your audience.
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5 Site Metrics to Use for Comparing Blog Performance

5 Site Metrics to Gauge Blog Performance

Part of the process of building your blog is the ability to measure its progress over time. You can’t expect your blog to grow at your preferred rate if you don’t bother to check out its data and insights. Doing so will allow you to determine the things you need to do to get your blog back on track.

For blog owners, installing Google Analytics before launching your blog should cover all the data you need to monitor your blog’s performance. It will reveal to you valuable metrics such as bounce rate and conversion rate, among others, as well create goal tracking to keep an eye on particular pages of your blog.

However, what if you want to monitor the performance of your competitor’s blogs? Since you can only access the analytics of a blog if you have access to its dashboard, you are pretty much in the dark when it comes to your competitor’s data.

Are they receiving more traffic than you do? Are their visitors staying longer on their blog pages than yours? Which among their pages are receiving the most traffic?

Instead of beating yourself up with data that you will never get your hands on, there is a way you can take to determine which among your blog and your competitors’ are performing much better. Below are site metrics that you should refer to for comparison and review.

Alexa Global Rank

Alexa is a web analytics tool similar to Google Analytics that provide you comprehensive data of your blog and your competitors’. The tool details the audience geography and their engagement, link profile, and more (especially if you purchase any of their Competitive and On-Site Analytics packages).

However, the most useful metric provided by Alexa is its Global Rank. This refers to your overall ranking among all websites in the world in terms of the amount of visitors. The highest rank is 1, so the farther you are away from this number, the lesser your traffic is.

Comparing your blog with your competitors’ using the Global Rank should give you an idea on how much traffic your blog  is receiving as opposed to others.

Keep in mind that the Alexa Global Rank is just an estimate of your actual score. In fact, the metric is not as accurate as you would have wanted it to be. Nonetheless, Alexa’s Global Rank is a decent indicator on how you blog is positioned online.

Domain and Page Authority

According to Moz, the inbound marketing agency that developed both metrics, Domain Authority “predicts how well a website will rank on search engines” while Page Authority “predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines.” This can be viewed when entering your blog URL at Open Site Explorer.

Both are made up of aggregated metrics from different sources, so it will be difficult to find a way to influence your score from these metrics. Nonetheless, both provide reliable estimates that you can refer to when determining which among the blogs you’re comparing is the best. On the scale of 0-100, the higher a blog’s score on either is, the more authoritative it is.

Link Profile

Referring again to the data provided by Open Site Explorer, it reveals to you the number of backlinks or inbound links from different domains your blog has. Breaking it down further, you will see the backlinks that pass equity down to your blog, and the types of links you have in your domain (internal and external).

Since backlinks are huge off-page SEO factors that help shape its Domain and Page Authorities, blogs with lots of equity-passing links pointing to their respective domains are much more authoritative compared to those with less of this link type.

Social Score

The number of times your blog has been shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter reveal to you its popularity in this specific channel. More shares means more people are visiting your site. You can enter your blog URL on sites like ShareTally to show you the number of shares you currently have.

The social score also works as a social proof – the higher your score is, the more it makes your blog more trustworthy in the eyes of visitors.

Overall Metric

This refers to the metric developed by EatonWeb, a paid blog directory that also computes for the blog’s authority online. The Overall Metric is comprised of the Strength (“measures over a dozen individual web metrics collected from a variety of sources”) and Momentum (“measurement of any given blog’s relative growth over time).

Strong blogs that are in fast decline are penalized, while weak (or fresh) blog that are growing are prioritized by the metric.

This is an interesting metric because it provides a fresh take on blog performance, despite not revealing how the metric is computed. This gives you a chance to analyze your blog, which will lead you to finding ways on how you can improve its progress.

Final thoughts: While these site metrics are hardly dead-ringers to the kind of data provided by Google Analytics and other tools that provide more comprehensive data, using the ones featured above provided reliable data that should allow you to compare and contrast your blog’s performance against others. 

More on site metrics:

Your Aging Website: When and How to Get a Web Design Facelift

Should a Blogger Pay To Post Content on a Website?

How to Use Your Blog to Connect With Your Audience

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By now everybody knows that if your want your company to succeed one of the things you need most is to have a company blog. Company blogs are important! They showcase a company’s personality, help endear the business to readers, show off expertise and commitment to their communities, etc. This is something everybody knows. What not everybody knows is how to do the company blog “thing” well.

It’s relatively easy to set up your company’s blog. While many believe that WordPress isn’t the best idea for professional blogs, a simple WordPress installation and rerouting of your domain name servers takes less than an hour to set up. Viola! You’re done! Except….now you have to fill that blog with content. Here are some tips for how to do that. [Read more…]

Approaching SEO Like the Dating Game

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The objective of search engine optimization is simple: get atop search rankings for your target keywords. However, as with all simple things, the process of ranking on the first page of search results is quite complicated.

By observing on- and off-page optimization practices over a period of time and implementing different SEO campaigns, you’ll eventually reach the first page of search results.

For those new to the SEO game, you will need to learn the technical aspects involved in applying the best practices and campaigns . This can be achieved much quicker if you can associate the process of SEO to a common activity that you have found yourself doing over and over.

If you have experience in the dating game, then SEO is definitely right up your alley.

Using the analogy of dating with SEO, you will understand the foundations that make for an effective SEO practice and campaign. [Read more…]

Ways to Find Out if a Ghost Blogger is Right for You

5 Ways to Find Out if a Ghost Blogger is Right for You

As a webmaster or marketer, your priority is to come up with a content and marketing plan that will be used for building your website or blog. By developing a content strategy that contains your SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies, you can build a highly targeted site with laser-focused content that caters to your audience. You can also promote your website or blog using your preferred social media channels and get it to rank for your target keyword on search results.

Even if you have covered the planning and the marketing of your website, the writing and publishing of content is a different animal. Aside from the ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a clear manner, you must possess the best web writing techniques such as the application of on-page optimization practices, use of visual content, composition of compelling copy for your CTA, and more.

For this, you may want to consider getting a ghost blogger to help you produce the content you need for your site or blog.

A ghost blogger is a writer willing to write on your behalf. He or she will provide the content from your plan you prepared without you lifting a finger.

You can find outsourced writers from this list of content writing sites and job board sites over at Socialnomics. Also, the Omnipapers.com blog for writers features a list of essay writing services that you can also use for building content for your site, especially if you are in the education niche.

With these resources in tow, should you hire ghost bloggers to write for you on your own site or blog? Below are possible reasons that you should consider when looking for the right writer for the job.

Develop online brand in your niche

Building content will be a problem if you are a non-writer. You can develop writing skills over time so you can produce articles on your own. But this could take months – if not years – to master, which could prove disadvantageous to you if you want to reap the benefits of your marketing plan now.

Through a constant stream of content from the ghost blogger you hired, you can build your online reputation as an influencer in your field and proceed with the progress of your site.

Has an impressive resume or portfolio

If you have posted the ghost blogging job for your business, expect to receive applications from different writers. To help you filter out which among the submissions you should highly consider, it all depends on the quality of work they produce.

Upon visiting their online portfolio to read their sample works, you should get a better idea on their writing style and see if this matches the tone of voice and communication skills that you want to build for your site or blog as well as your online profile.

Has a professional demeanor

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Writers are a volatile bunch. Since writing requires them to develop a creative process to become productive, each has a unique approach on how they write articles. However, what should differentiate good writers from the rest is how they conduct business with their clients.

Do they respond to your emails within 24 hours or are they available for chatting?

Can they deliver on time or do they inform you ahead of time why they can’t? If not, do they have a legitimate reason to excuse them from doing the assigned tasks?

There are many other factors to consider that will determine their professionalism, but how they present themselves to client should be deal-breaker, especially if they can’t deliver their end of the deal.

Provides guarantees

A ghost blogger understands that the satisfaction of their clients is of utmost importance. Therefore, the bloggers must be willing to do the job before receiving the total pay. Also, they should offer unlimited number of times that they will edit the written works according to your specifications after you review them.

Ensuring these from the ghost bloggers you will hire should help protect you from them submitting an unsatisfactory work because their pay is dependent on the quality of the work they will send.

As common practice, you need to deposit 50% of the total pay so that they have incentive to do the work for you.

Final thoughts: Hiring a ghost blogger can determine the success of your site or blog. By using the factors mentioned above to determine whether or not to hire this type of blogger for your website, you will be able to find the best one possible.

More on ghost blogger:

Ghost Bloggers Growing in Popularity?

The Outing of a Blogger: Social Transparency or Violation?

Why You SHOULDN’T Use WordPress as Your Blogging Platform

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In case you missed out previous post, the resurgence of minimalist blogging platforms is a reaction to the decentralization of content as the primary focus of a website or blog.

By using the platforms mentioned in that post, you will easily see their simplistic but sophisticated layout that favors content instead of the bells and whistles featured in other robust platforms.

Of course, when we say “robust platform,” we are referring to WordPress.

An argument can be made that the alternative blogging platforms are a backlash to the bulky CMS that WordPress has become. Originally started out as a publishing platform for writers, WordPress has exploded into popularity due to the flexibility and customization that it offers webmasters, not to mention the host of free plugins and themes you can download, to help boost their site performance.

While these advantages will sway any beginning blogger to build their site using WordPress, there are also a lot of reasons why it’s better to choose another platform to build your site on.

Just to be clear, I love WordPress as the platform to build site and blogs on due to the very same reasons mentioned above. Also, this post is not contrarian just for the sake of being one. There are indeed legitimate arguments as to why WordPress as a blogging platform may not be your cup of tea.

It is not a “blogging” platform

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If WordPress was the standard of blogging platform, then blogging as a writing activity is no longer about writing.

Blogging, in the strictest and purest sense, is the process writing and publishing content from your site. The main point of blogging is not to drive more subscribers to your email list, increase your social media followers, or shill for a product or service in the hopes of earning money from it.

Not that there’s anything bad about these things, but there’s a perfectly understandable reason for wanting to separate your professional life from your blogging endeavors. Besides, if you want to write for money, you can just find one from a writers job board for your financial fix.

In other words, blogging is all about communication and sharing of ideas to your audience.

That’s why WordPress is awesome because it does the reasons stated above using different plugins and applying certain marketing tactics to make it work.

Those are also the reasons why WordPress will no longer be a “blogging” platform.

If you want to blog for blogging’s sake, then you may want to try on another platform that puts the writing back in its rightful place online.

You may lose your online identity

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It could be difficult to stand out from the pack if you’re using WordPress as your platform.

As of writing, there are 74,652,825 sites (and counting) that run on WordPress. If you use this CMS, you will be one of the millions who will reap the benefits that come along with it.

However, this also means that you will be using the same tools that knowledgeable WordPress users will deploy on their site to achieve the feel and appearance they want.

While the chances are slim, there’s a possibility of a site that looks and feels exactly like yours.

As a blogger, you may want a platform that will let your personality and brand shine brighter. The sheer fact that over 74 million webmasters are using WordPress no longer makes you unique in the first place.

This is where the aforementioned minimalist blogging platforms come in – they allow you to make a more effective online presence through the content you produce, which is the emphasis of these sites. It is true that the design and layout offered in these platforms lend themselves to homogeneity. However, since the content remains the focus, there’s a tendency for the design to become moot at this point.

If you wish for a legitimate WordPress alternative, you can try out Joomla and Drupal, both of which are less popular CMSs capable of providing familiar features offered in WordPress, and then some. For more information on how to build your blog using either platform, check out this resource site.

Final thoughts: Blogging should never be complicated as long as you’re fully aware that the real reason to become a blogger is that you want to write and express your ideas to others. While WordPress as a blogging platform allows you to do this, it’s clear that it’s no longer the publishing tool that it once was. This is not meant to be as a bad thing, but if you want a simple and straightforward blogging platform, then you’re probably better off using other platforms out there.

More on WordPress alternatives:

How an Industry-Specific Writer Can Improve Your Company’s Blogging

5 Best Online Interviews About Blogging You Haven’t Read Yet

5 Best Online Interviews About Blogging You Haven’t Read Yet

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As a blogger, it is important that you keep abreast of blogging updates so that you are informed of the best practices and tactics that you should incorporate in your strategy.

Aside from dedicating time to read posts about blogging from trustworthy sites, you can also read up on interviews of the best and top bloggers within your niche.

If you have been doing exactly this to improve your craft, then you need to read the ones featured below to give you a better idea on what blogging is and how more it can be for you.

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Don’t Feed The Trolls: How to Stop Haters from Infiltrating Your Blog

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As your blog demands attention, everybody will take heed of your posts. This not only includes your target audience, but also trolls, who by far as the worst kind of people to interact with on your blog. You don’t even have to attract them – if trolls see something they can feast on your blog, they’ll do so without hesitation.

They take part in your blog by offering inane and useless vitriol for the sake of commenting on your posts. While most of your readers will deliver constructive criticism if they disagree with any of your ideas or thoughts, trolls will pounce on you using sweeping generalizations, poor sentence construction, and f-bombs that would make a sailor proud.

The psychology of trolls is traced to the sense of disinhibition they possess at the moment. Because their real identities are hidden behind an ambiguous username, they feel the compulsion to let go of social inhibitions and just unleash their true, inarticulate feelings against a blog.

It’s easy to give in and stoop down to their level especially when trolling comments come in droves. But before doing anything rash, below are some things that you should keep in mind to counter against these pesky online users.

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