March 22nd, 2009 by admin
It’s not a secret that we are huge WordPress secrets for blogging, especially since we have been offerring SEO blog templates for WordPress for years. If you are an expert you already know that WordPress has Meta tags and other built in amazing tools for SEO. You know that WordPress.org offers the MU (Multi-User), and the blogging software for FREE. Which always catapults the most feature rich blogging tool in to being #1.
So Why is WordPress.com the best blogging platform? Because it helps you setup a blog on your own domain for custom hosting within minutes and only $15/year (yes that is a year), DID WE MENTION INCLUDING THE DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION? YES, THAT IS TRUE.
Some of us are not technical, and so the fact that WordPress.com hosts our free blogs is great, but we really want to be professional and blogging on our own domain allows us all to do that. So the fact that it is super easy is another best feature. Folks, I tried and spent hours on TypePad the (self proclaimed professional blog), it stinks. I was willing to pay the $149/year (thank god they did not charge my credit card), but it was too rigid, templates were not professional enough, and the SEO was weak. I expected so much more, but I would have just settled for an easy interface, but they simply made things hard for me to navigate. Also TYPEPAD fees are non-refundable, so DO NOT BUY or Pay full in advance they do not prorate your monthly payments. After the 14 day trial, you are literally hosed, stuck with their weaker blogging system.
Blogger and Blogspot are easy and Ok, they also allow domain hosting, for free I think. Blogger blogging platform, is owned by Google, so it’s not that bad, nothing Google does is bad. It simply does not have the features and customization that WordPress.com blogging has.
Anyway, It’s taken me a few days to blog about this topic as I have been busy blogging about my wife’s book Mommy’s Little Money$Maker, an Inspiration Guide for Mom’s to start a business or earn a part time income. Check it out at MomBite.com, she has been blogging their every day. She plans to provide a daily MomBite, a featured business owned and started by a Mom that can help to inspire other Mom’s. Enjoy and don’t be afraid to pass it on to other Mom’s. Thanks!
Posted in blog, Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Don'ts, Blogging Techniques, Blogging Terms, blogspot, Books | No Comments »
August 13th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Many people have realized the value and potential benefits of blogging, but they struggle when it’s time to actually write their posts and create their content. After all, it’s tough to maintain a blog and post interesting things day in and day out. However, the web is full of ideas and ways to set your creative capabilities on fire.
One way to generate new ideas and give life to old ones is use the social bookmarking and tagging sites to find new perspectives in your niche. Digg, del.icio.us, stumble upon, flickr, youtube, and other sites all have tons of user-submitted content, organized by tags. This system is referred to as a “folksonomy” – the practice and method of collective collaboration using freely chosen keywords known as “tags”. Users tag content with descriptive phrases and terms in order to share it more effectively with people who are interested in the same topics.
It’s important to see what others in your niche are talking about, and one way to find this out is to see what’s been tagged with your keywords on the various social media sites. You may be wondering, however, does this translate into posts on your blog? Here are five things you can do with knowledge gleaned from the social media.
1. Write a response to another blogger. Did you disagree with what they said? Want to add to their thoughts and bring a new point of view into the conversation? Use your blog to share your insights, and be sure to link to the inspiring post so the original blogger is aware of you (one caveat – keep your criticism constructive and respective – flame wars have no place on a business blog).
2. Create a round-up of interesting links. Did you discover all sorts of all cool sites and articles? Chances are your readers might be interested in them too, so why not post them on your blog? Don’t forget to write a sentence or two about each link so they know what they are clicking on.
3.Compliment another blogger. Come across another blogger or website that is simply amazing? Write a post about why they are so incredible and if it applies, use them as an example of a blogging success. Maybe even interview them and tell your readers their story.
4.Share what you’ve learned. Find an informative article or how-to that you really learned something from? Elaborate on that for your audience. Bonus points if you can post pictures or your own experience of following the original article’s advice.
5. Post a funny, creative, or intriguing video. When you’re simply at a loss for blogging words, youtube, vimeo, and other video sites can be your saviors. After all, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video has got to be worth at least a million.
What do you do when you suffer from blogger’s block?
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Link Building, Social Media Networks, Web 2.0, Writing | 3 Comments »
August 2nd, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Inspiration and creativity are tricky. Sometimes the ideas are flowing and you’re on fire, sometimes it feels like your well has temporarily dried up. That’s when it’s time to look outside your niche or domain for fresh content.
It can be extremely beneficial to look outside of your general topic area for ideas – to concentrate on making associations, to figuring out how some seemingly disparate ideas are linked. Figuring out how to link widely varied topics or thoughts together in a coherent way is also an excellent mental workout (and hey, so is blogging), and you might as well boost your critical thinking skills along with your blog.
Now, I know you have a wide variety of interests outside of your blogging niche, so take a look at your favorite subjects and see if you can make any connections between them. For instance, I’m a major football fan, so I occasionally use football metaphors and stories in my writing, especially in the fall. Can you relate your favorite sport to your business/blog topic area somehow? Are there any lessons to be learned on the field/court/ice/etc. that translate to the rest of the world?
What about hobbies? Are you particularly crafty, or do you love to bake? How are these skills related to your blog? If you’re an aspiring gourmet and passionate about quality food, share your passion with your readers. Can you use a cooking metaphor (e.g. spending hours slow cooking barbeque or Bolognese sauce that has to simmer all day – someone who actually loves to cook can probably come up with a better one) to tell a story about how careful, meticulous work is worth it in the end? Or you could talk about how experimenting with a recipe turned out incredibly well, and compare that to trying out new marketing concepts for your business?
This could even apply to other individuals – is there anyone you admire in a different field than your own? A look at why they are worthy of admiration could still be valuable advice for your readers even if they’re in a different niche. A smart, talented individual might have insights and knowledge that prove useful to people in a whole variety of fields. For instance, if you own a small business, is there another business owner in your community that you could interview (whether you are in the same niche or not)? Whether or not they have a blog or website of their own, it’s excellent way to participate in the community and add some inspiring content to your site.
You could also write about a favorite author, a family pet, or a beloved spot in your hometown. Really, the possibilities are endless once you remove any self-imposed limits to going off-topic. Just be sure to tie it in to your main topic(s) somehow, and be sure to get some of your keywords in there as well. After all, going temporarily off-topic is one thing, but don’t derail your blog completely.
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Stories, Writing | 2 Comments »
July 30th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Next time you’re sitting in front of a blank screen, the cursor blinking like a cruel taunt saying “aren’t you supposed to be the brilliant creative one? Why can’t you think of something to write about?” (or maybe that’s just me), try writing about something you’ve bought recently. It doesn’t matter if it was as small as a cup of coffee or as large as a new home, just as long as it was remarkable.
1. Write about a delicious meal. Writing about a fabulous restaurant or great little cafe can be an excellent move even if you’re not a foodie blogger. For instance, if you own a store of any kind, tell your readers about the best “hidden gem” eateries in the area. Hey, it’ll encourage them to check out the neighborhood and establish you as a local authority. Besides, it’s a good way to help out another business owner.
2. Write about a book or magazine. Have you picked up a new book or discovered a new magazine lately? Why did you buy it? Link to other articles about the book, explain why this particular book appealed to you, review it if you’re already read it, etc. If you come across an excellent new resource in your topic area, tell other people about it.
3. Write about a new gadget. Did you get a new computer, phone, camera, or other fun shiny object recently? Share your experience, talk about it’s functions, explain how the gadget is valuable to you. Try to make it relevant to your niche by telling readers how this particular shiny object makes your life and business better.
4. Write about an experience. Did you go to a cool concert or attend an interesting seminar? Why not write it up for your readers? Don’t forget to check out YouTube for clips of the event in question, especially if you know it was being recorded. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least a million.
5. Write about excellent customer service. Did a company impress you with their amazing customer service? Talk about it! Relate it to your business (almost everyone has customers/clients to deal with), use it as a stellar example how a company succeeded. Of course, the flip side to this is to blog about poor customer service, and if you do that, take the opportunity to deliver some constructive criticism instead of just complaining.
So if you’re ever at a loss for blogging words, think about the last few things you spent money on, or the last remarkable customer service you had. Recommending quality products and experiences is just one more way to establish authority, after all, and if something improved your life and business, your readers want to know about it.
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Stories, Writing | No Comments »
July 23rd, 2007 by Blogging Coach
If you read blogs on a regular basis, you’ll probably notice that popular or well established bloggers often take the time to interact with their readers, in the comments section or by replying to emailed questions. There’s no doubt that one of the things that differentiates writing for the web from traditional media – on the net, your readers can (and will) participate, respond, and offer their own viewpoints.
I’ve written before about how bloggers should take the time to answer questions from their readers, but it’s also possible to use questions as more fodder for your blog. Here’s a list of five ways to use Q&A’s to beat blogger’s block.
1. Reply to a reader-submitted question in the form of a post. If one of your readers makes an interesting inquiry through email, chances are they aren’t the only one who could benefit from reading the answer. You don’t necessarily have to post the entire exchange, but writing a post as a follow-up to a query can be an excellent to interact with your readers while adding compelling content to your blog.
2. Answer a real life question. Are there a few questions that customers and clients ask on a regular basis? Create a FAQ for them. Did someone ask you a really intriguing question? Write a response to them on your blog, where you can be more thoughtful and detailed than you can in person (plus you can link to sources).
3. Respond to another blogger. Bloggers often pose questions to their readers. If you come across a good one that inspires you to write a lengthy comment, try making it into a post instead. Don’t forget to link to the original question so that the other blogger and readers can follow the conversation through trackbacks. Also, check out forums that are related to your niche and make note of any common questions, because they might make good blog posts.
4. Follow up on search engine queries. Look at your stats and the search terms that brought traffic to your blog. Are there any relevant questions there? If you consistently rank for search terms that ask who, what, where, when, why, or how, write a post or two responding to them.
5. Turn the tables and answer yourself. Is there something that you recently looked up? Did you find an excellent resource or come across something great in the course of your research? Others in your niche may have the similar questions and appreciate it when you share your findings.
Next time you find yourself suffering from blogger’s block, think about the questions you’ve recently asked and answered, and you may find yourself overflowing with ideas. You could even answer a more complex question with a whole series of posts. Besides, responding to your readers and other bloggers sends a positive message of openness, helpfulness, and general goodwill. Now, do you have any questions?
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, Writing | 1 Comment »
July 16th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Traditional media does have a place in the blogosphere – it gives bloggers something to talk about. This week’s installment of how to beat blogger’s block involves reviewing, criticizing, and discussing items from old school formats.
1. Review a book. Has anything interesting been published in your niche lately? Is there a book that everyone’s talking about it? Read it and share your opinions. Go into detail – if you loved it, explain why you think it’s great. Ditto if you hated it. Quote the parts you like and give your readers an idea of what they find in the book. If you’re in PR, for example, cover a recently published book like The New PR: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the Face of Public Relations by Phil Hall.
2. Critique a newspaper article. Whether it is your local paper or the NY Times, chances are someone has written something about your blog’s topic. Link to the article if you can (or provide a summary if you can’t find it online), and tell your readers how you felt about it. Did the reporters get it right? Write an op-ed style response or just point your readers in the direction of an awesome piece. One possibility is for a sports blogger to link to their local paper and provide more detailed coverage of their favorite team (hey, on the web, you’re not limited by column inches).
3. Comment on a TV Show. Television counts when it comes to media (in fact, it’s the most popular form in the U.S.), so if there is a show that’s related to your blog’s topic, talk about it. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent, comment on Flip That House or one of the many home improvement shows. Did you see anything really innovative or completely unrealistic? Be the expert opinion, and don’t forget to search for clips on You Tube to add dimension to your blog.
4. Provide an overview of a magazine. Look at any newstand and you’ll see tons of different publications, and chances are there are there are related to your niche. Pick out the best for your readers and let them know what’s in that month’s issue (chances are you read magazines that cover your field anyways, so why not use that as blog fodder?), or write an in-depth review of a particular article. Do you own a trendy boutique? Check out the editorials in the latest glossies, and compare them to your shop’s current offerings, or if you’re a stylist, offer less expensive alternatives to the high end pieces that are often featured.
5. Respond to a radio show. If you hear something interesting on the radio, make note of it and talk about it later on your blog. Don’t be afraid to respond in kind by creating a podcast as well (but be sure to write too, because you can’t use your keywords in a way that matters to search engines in podcasts). Be sure to check out the radio station’s website to see if they have more information on the program.
When you’re working on your blog, don’t be afraid to look outside the blogosphere for potential blog fodder. After all, there’s a whole world of media out there that’s just full of ideas.
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging Techniques, Books, General, Stories | No Comments »
July 9th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Inspiration is a tricky thing. Sometimes you’re firing on all cylinders and you just have tons of great ideas that you can’t wait to share with the world, but other times you end up staring a blank screen wondering what in the world to write about today. I know that I’ve definitely been there.
Since it has been established that No One Cares What You Had For Lunch (a book of ideas for blog posts that I’d definitely recommend, if only to kickstart your creative side once in a while), how do you pull a quality post out of your hat? Starting today, on Mondays I’m going to post a list of creative tips to help you beat blogger’s block and write something awesome. After all, even the best of us need a little creative spark from time to time.
1. Write about a recent triumph, whether it was large or small. For instance, did you land a great new client or any kind of award? This can be anything from selling a beautiful piece of property if you’re a real estate agent to having something published if you’re a writer or photographer (be sure to link to the piece if possible).
2. Share some handy tips. Did you figure any new time-saving tricks, productivity boosts, or life hacks that might help someone else out? Check out sites like Zen Habits and Pick the Brain for more ideas here.
3. Interview someone – a colleague, a satisfied client, someone prominent in your field. Hint: most bloggers like to be interviewed provided it doesn’t take tons of their time, so contact other bloggers in your niche, particularly ones who get more traffic, and ask if they’d like to be interviewed. An added bonus: they’ll probably link to your interview at their own site, sending some traffic your way.
4. Make a list. As evidenced by the many lists I’ve posted in this blog, I like lists. Other people like lists too, because they are scannable and instantly let the reader know what they are getting into. Lists can cover any topic; for instance, five ways to solve a particular problem or seven reasons why a certain item is a must-have.
5. Link the news. Have any good articles or blog posts been written about your niche lately? The web is vast enough that there is probably something interesting out there, so find a few things and link to them. Be sure to put the links in context with a short description through, otherwise your readers won’t know what they are clicking on (so they probably won’t).
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Books, Creating Content, marketing, public relations, Writing | No Comments »