Sunday, February 27, 2011

5 Lessons I learned from Writing Almost 300 Guest Posts in One Year By Onibalusi Bamidele

I started blogging in January of 2010, and I’ve decided to give what it takes to make my blog successful. This great desire and determination of mine has led me to do a lot of things, some quite surprising, which includes writing almost 300 guest posts in one year. After writing tons of guest posts I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Having Goals Matter

You probably have heard many bloggers say that having goals is critical to succeeding as a blogger; this same principle applies to guest blogging.

When I started guest blogging, I used the work hard approach instead of the work smart approach, I didn’t have a specific goal in mind and this led me to writing so many guest posts without tracking the results, it was after I have written so many guest posts that I discovered I’m not getting results.

Right from the onset, make sure you know what your purpose for guest blogging is because it will determine your approach. If your purpose for guest posting is to improve your search engine rankings your approach will be different from that of someone who wants to increase his/her blog subscribers.

2. Quality Beats Quantity

I wouldn’t have agreed with the above statement when I was still new to guest blogging, no wonder they say “experience is the best teacher”.

There were days I wrote as much as 6 guest posts and I write guest posts almost every day of the week, my main aim was to get my guest posts published on many blogs, which led to the quality of my guest posts suffering. I submitted most of these guest posts to small blogs and they ended up sending me very little traffic, some blogs didn’t even send me any traffic.

I didn’t discover the truth until one day, my guest post was published on an A-list blog which sent me thousands of visitors; it was then that I realized that quality beats quantity.

The bitter guest blogging truth many people might not want to hear is this, “submitting 5 guest posts to 5 “big” A-list blogs is better than submitting 100 guest posts to smaller blogs”. Most A-list blogs will send you thousands of visitors depending on the quality of your guest post while the majority of the small blogs will send you very little traffic, if at all.

3. Your Guest Post Will Determine How Much Traffic You Will Get

From my experience with telling people the benefits of guest blogging I’ve seen a lot of people who believe that writing valuable posts for other people’s blogs is a waste of time. They believe it’s better to have all their best posts on their blogs only.

The truth is, if you write an exceptional post on your blog it can go viral, but as far as blogs with little traffic are concerned, luck plays a very large role,

In order to get good results from your posts you must have a big audience, and one great way to do this is by writing for other, larger blogs. A guest post on a big blog can send you far more traffic than you’ll ever get in a week, no matter how great you think your blog posts are.

Another thing is that many people make a mistake of writing low quality guest posts for other blogs, as this ends up affecting them because it is either rejected or it underperforms on the blog they submit it to.

The better your guest post, the more traffic you get – and this factor might be even more important than the size of the blog you as publishing your post on.

4. It is Very Important to Work on Sustaining Your Traffic

When I wrote a guest post for an A-list blog that sent me thousands of visitors, I was so happy and I began to think I would be getting so many visitors from that period onward. How mistaken I was. A lot of factors will determine the percentage of visitors you’ll be able to sustain from your guest posts, some of these factors include the quality of your own content, your domain name and your design/user experience.

It is very important to work on getting as many visitors from your guest posts to subscribe to your blog because that is the best way to keep them returning over and over again.

5. Rejection Is Inevitable

One thing many people are afraid when they consider guest blogging is rejection. They wonder what will happen if the other person doesn’t like their posts. That is a pretty good question, but you should also know that being rejected is not the end of the world – as long as you will be guest posting you should always be prepared for rejection. What matters most is not the rejection but how you deal with it.

If a blogger rejects your guest post, try to face the reality and find out what can be responsible for your guest post being rejected. It can be because of your guest post’s quality, it can be because of too much grammar errors and it can be because your guest post is not in line with the style of that blog. If you can’t figure out what is responsible for your guest post being rejected try to get in touch with the blogger and ask him/her politely to tell you why your guest post was rejected so that you can improve on it in the future.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about guest blogging? If you were to start guest posting again what would you do differently? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

About the Author: Onibalusi Bamidele is a 16 year old entrepreneur and founder of YoungPrePro, a site with practical tips on achieving online success.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Instantly Kill Laziness and Boost Blogging Productivity By Bamboo Forest

Something terrible happened.

I got lazy and stopped attending to my daily writing and reading duties as an online entrepreneur. On one of my blogs I haven’t written a single post since December 2nd. To say I’ve dropped the ball is a massive understatement.

What the hell do you do when you have a few sites going that have tons of potential and are even gaining momentum, but suddenly, a mad scientist injects you with the lazy bug?

Do you just sit there and watch it all go down?

If you want to ensure your online properties have any hope for the future you can’t allow yourself to be sucked down the whirlpool of complacency and indifference. Doing so is guaranteed to make anything you’ve worked hard on go absolutely nowhere.

But that’s NOT what we’re in the game for, right? We’re not doing this for our health. Let’s be honest here, we’re writing post after post, reading books and blogs and all the rest of it so that we can gains tons of readers and make the bloody mula.

You with me on this?

Laziness can hit anyone

We may enjoy what we do. But that’s not enough. Let me tell you something… the lazy bug can infect any and all people regardless of passion. And if you let it, it can destroy your dreams. I wish I could say this laziness and complacency that overcame me was a result of my busy schedule, but the reality is, it was due to my lack of will.

To be perfectly honest, I hit rock bottom. Not on drugs or alcohol mind you. But on incessantly watching YouTube videos, reading tweets, and in general, wasting time like my life depended on it.

Hopefully you’ll never get as bad as I was. And luckily there’s a technique that can get you out of laziness and into productivity even if you haven’t reached rock bottom.

Overcome resistance to work with this technique

The solution to inertia is putting yourself in jail. Not the kind of jail you go to when you steal a Twix bar from the local 7-Eleven, of course. What I’m talking about is called the ‘jail of productivity’. This jail, my friend, will guarantee that you get serious work done. And the best part is, it won’t let you out until you’ve actually accomplished something.

All you need to do to put yourself in the jail of productivity is simply set a timer and work non-stop until it sounds. This technique permits no excuses and leaves you with nothing in its wake except hardcore productivity.

How setting a timer saved me from laziness

Realizing I was letting days go by without getting much work done, I committed myself to setting a timer every day and working non-stop until it sounded.

By doing the above, I eliminated all outs available to me. I couldn’t watch another YouTube video, I was on the clock! I couldn’t check twitter; that’s not allowed while the timer’s running. Using a timer took me from rock bottom laziness to becoming a diligent worker.

I began my laziness recovery program with setting a timer and reading important blogs for 20 minutes each day and writing 30 minutes each day. The timer guaranteed I got 50 minutes of focused work in every day. That may seem small to you, but it’s a testimony that I’m on my way to full and complete recovery from my laziness addiction.

Why setting a timer is the best way to get you to work

If you’re in the planning stage of getting to work, this can last for hours. “Preparation” can consist of watching YouTube videos, reading the news, eating, TV, almost anything.
But we all know the truth… the “preparation stage” to getting to work is nothing more than procrastination disguised as necessity. Setting a timer, on the other hand, kills preparation. Setting a timer gets you right to work!

It also makes the work you do concrete. If you merely say you’re going to work on something, you have no idea how much time you’ll be investing into working. When work time is undertermined, your mind gets discouraged because it begins wondering how long and dreadful it’ll end up being which leads to procrastination.

But when you set a timer, committed to working for an allotted time, you’ve created a time frame that’s absolutely concrete. There’s a glorious light at the end of the tunnel which continuously entices you toward completion of your goal.

Where to find an effective online timer

I’ve actually created an online timer called Tick Tock Timer.

It’s specifically designed to kill your procrastination and get you to work without all the nonsense. I know it’s ironic that the very creator of a tool to beat procrastination fell into a whirlpool of non-productivity.

But it just goes to show you, any tool at your disposal, no matter how effective, is useless when you’re not using it.
If you’ve contracted the lazy bug, putting yourself in the jail of productivity (setting a timer) just might be the solution.

Give it a try.

About the Author: Bamboo Forest created Tick Tock Timer, an online timer that helps you stop procrastinating, get to work, and stay focused.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Website Building, Size Matters: Tips on Font, Color and Text Size

It's the little things that people over look when they are building their own website like text, size and color of the font. You have to take into consideration the "mood" of your website and who your target audience is. These will be the customers reading all about you and your fantastic business! Some fonts come across more casual where others are more formal. Most do it yourself website builders have a large array of fonts to chose from. Do not fall into the habit of mixing your fonts just because you can. It makes your content harder to read and may send a mixed message. (Indecisive anyone?)

I can not stress how important readability is for your website. Contrast is very important so you need to assess your background color compared to your font color. Size is a big factor as well so please stay away from tiny font. Anything over 10 point is good but I really like to use size 12.

You can have color in your eCommerce website builder you just need to use it in the 'right' way. It can help establish your identity especially if it matches the colors used in your other marketing tools/materials such as your logo, business cards and brochures. You can also use color (and font styles such as bold) in your website to highlight important information for your visitors.

The great thing about designing and building your own website is that you are in full control and its your personality alone that will shine through as you add pages, photos and articles for your visitors to read and then, hopefully, be inspired to connect with you.