Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Blogging Tips, Ideas and Simple Topics

Hello and welcome again! Have you done anything to promote your business this week? Because I am on social media everyday for my clients I, of course, spend time working on my own online presence.

I also blog.... I spend quite a bit of time blogging for others. Usually I write 4 blog posts at a time and my clients either schedule them on their own blogs or have me post them directly to their sites. Either way, I enjoy writing on a multitude of topics.  Of course I am also promoting what ever services or products my clients tell me are on special for that month. But that can't be the only thing your blog is about. You need to have a variety to keep people coming back and interested.


At times small business owners are stumped as to what to write about. So here is a short list of possible simple topics to get you started. You will quickly notice that many of these posts can be written in a few minutes.

Meet one of our employees 

Meet one of our customers 

Here’s an upcoming event you might be interested in. 

A quick tip 

One of our clients sent us this photo 

Something I read that you might find useful 

A couple of websites that can be helpful 

An industry trend we see developing 

Why did we start this company. 

What it is like to work for our company 

Something we are doing to support our community 

How our business was founded 

We had a client ask us this yesterday 

A new service we are offering 

A new product available 

How we make the ordering process simple for you. 

Meet our customer support team 

Find us on Facebook, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Twitter etc

Visit us at ________event

Sign up for our newsletter

In the News

Quote of the day

In the comments please share some of the blog tips/ideas you are currently using. If you simply don't have a blog or don't like writing, you can always contact me at www.LaMotheServices.com or email me to set up your own free 40 minute consultation!

CONFESSION--I spend so much time blogging for others my own blog is a little behind...like 2018 behind...I'm trying to make up for that now! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

5 Tips for Writing Comments that Build Your Blogging Brand in part by Ryan Biddulph


Whether you have a skillfully-branded blog, stellar online reputation or are a green blogging newbie you can build your blogging brand through commenting.

The secret is no secret. Move your attention from getting backlinks to adding value to posts. Move your focus from driving traffic to building friendships with authority bloggers.

1. Be Present
Take a deep breath. Your mind likely races to outcomes before you post a comment. You want traffic, or links, or any other self-serving outcome. Kick those thoughts out of your head.
Brand-building commentators are present. Being in the moment focuses your thoughts, feelings and actions on the process of building valuable comments instead of focusing on some outcome. Breathe deeply. Relax. Proceed to the next tip.
2. Write 5 to 6 Paragraphs
Treat comments like content. Publish mini guest post sized comments to make an impact. Length does not equal impact necessarily so create value along with depth.
Bloggers notice thorough, helpful comments because such comments add immense value/content to their posts.
Readers note such comments too. Expect to receive interview requests and guest post opportunities as well as increased traffic by posting thorough comments.
3. Be Nice and Personalize
Never troll. If you disagree share your thoughts kindly while acknowledging the points made by the blogger. Be nice.
In most cases you’ll agree with the post. Pick 1 or 2 points made – proving that you read the post – and expound on the ideas with your personal experience.
Address bloggers by name. Thank them for sharing their insight. Sign off with your name. The tiniest personalizing details make you stand out from the hurried, less than mindful crowd.
If you want to make influential blogging friends quickly address people by their first name. My first name is the best sounding word in my native tongue. You likely feel the same way.
4. Comment Only on Relevant Authority Blogs
Build your brand by associating with authority bloggers. Blogs like Daily Blog Tips are the perfect spot for publishing thoughtful, in-depth comments.
Follow the leader and comment on their blog. Impressed leading bloggers will form bonds with you and impressed readers will click your link to learn more.
Successful bloggers associate with other successful bloggers. Build your brand by being seen alongside authority folks from your niche.
Look at it this way; reaching a big audience requires you to hang with the big dogs.
Comment only on relevant blogs. Target incoming traffic and build mutually beneficial friendships with relevant pros. If your blog theme relates to blogging tips it makes sense to form a friendship with Daniel Scocco through blog commenting.
6. Comment on Every Post
Or comment on almost every new post. Program readers and bloggers with your valuable commenting message.
Persistent commentators appear to be all over the place. In truth they simply condition readers on a subconscious level.
Think of a TV commercial. Commercial advertisements tend to grow on you after repeated exposures. The same idea rings true for blog commenting.
Comment as much as humanly possible on authority, relevant blogs. Make an impact. Be thorough.
Your blog and brand will thank you.


Ryan Biddulph is an internet lifestyle junkie, freelance writer and blogger. He owns Blogging from Paradise.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Five Common Mistakes Bloggers Make When They Want More Readers … and How to Fix Them By by Ali Luke

Do you want more readers?

It’s a silly question. Almost every blogger does – whether they have 5 readers, 500 or 5,000.
However, some bloggers end up making big mistakes when they focus on growing their blog larger. These are five of the most common, though you may well have come across others (share your thoughts in the comments below).

Mistake #1: Not Building a Good Blog First

However great your promotional skills are, you’re not going to get far if your blog looks really amateur, contains only two posts, or has default text (like the WordPress sample page) still in place.
Imagine coming across a new blog for the first time, perhaps through a search or through social media. If it makes a poor impression on you, there’s a good chance you won’t be back.
Fix it: Before you start gaining readers, make sure your blog is in good shape. It certainly doesn’t need to be perfect – but you should have at least five posts in place, and at least one of those should have been published within the last month.

Mistake #2: Using Shady SEO Tactics

Some bloggers turn straight to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when they want new readers. And while being found in search engines is really important, it’s not a good idea to take shortcuts.
Dodgy tactics like writing hundreds of low-quality guest posts just for backlinks, participating in link exchanges, or stuffing your posts full of keywords probably won’t work, and if they do work in the short term, they’ll almost certainly see your site heavily penalized in the next Google update.
Fix it: By all means pay attention to SEO, but use “white hat” tactics that make your blog a better reading experience too. For instance, you could hand-craft descriptions for each post (using a plugin like All in One SEO Pack) and come up with keyword-rich titles that help readers know exactly what your post is about.

Mistake #3: Asking for Links (the Wrong Way)

Some new bloggers create lists of all the top blogs in their niche and promptly email everyone asking for a link.
While this might seem like a good idea at first glance, it’s not likely to result in links (large blogs are inundated with requests like these) and it may well annoy the people who you most want to impress.
Fix it: It’s OK to ask a blogger to link to you – but pick someone who you already have a good relationship with, and try to target someone who regularly includes links on their blog (either in a weekly roundup or in a blogroll).

Mistake #4: Leaving Loads of Blog Comments

While leaving comments is a great way to get involved in the blogging world and build relationships, it’s not a particularly good way to get readers – especially if your comments are all of the “Great post!” variety.
Many bloggers will edit or delete comments which use a keyword rather than your username, too, and some will delete comments that they feel aren't adding to the conversation.
Fix it: Go for quality not quantity in your comments. If you have a good point to add, by all means share it – this may encourage readers to click on your name and check out your blog. Remember that the most important thing is building a relationship with the person who owns the blog you’re commenting on.

Mistake #5: Thinking Great Content is Enough

Some bloggers don’t bother promoting their blog. They ignore SEO (maybe because they’re intimidated by it) and they rarely use social media, or comment on other blogs. In many ways, this is the opposite mistake to the above four.
These bloggers believe that by writing great content, they’ll eventually attract readers who’ll share their posts across the world. (This is the “if you build it, they will come” school of blogging.)
Fix it: Great content should absolutely be your first focus – but the blogging world is so busy and crowded that you need to market your content too.  Try cutting back your posting schedule so you have more time to promote your posts.


The key thing to remember when building an audience is that while there are no super-quick shortcuts, there are definitely methods which work well and consistently to grow your blog.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Six Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog – Without Getting Penalised by Google by Ali Luke


All these tips are ones that you can do right from day one … but they’ll also help you out if you’ve been blogging for years and struggling to get traffic.

#1: Write Content That People Want to Read and Link To

Before you put any other traffic-generation tips into practice, you need to make sure your content is as good as it can be.
To get traffic, you need to have content people want to read. It needs to be:
  • Useful or entertaining (or both!)
  • Well-written
  • Nicely formatted for easy reading
When other people link to your content – with no prompting from you – then you’ll know you’ve got it right. These links are also really valuable, as Google views them as natural and trustworthy.
Go further: It’s OK to occasionally ask someone for a link, but only do this for your very best posts. Don’t ask the same people all the time – and don’t target top A-list bloggers when you’re just starting out.

#2: Use Social Media

If you aren’t already on Twitter or Facebook, get started with one of them.
You don’t need to be on every network out there: focus on one or two that you’re comfortable with, and that are a good fit for your audience. (If you’ve got a business-focused blog, for instance, you might find your readers are more likely to hang out on LinkedIn.)
As well as getting traffic from links shared on social media, you’ll get new followers, plus some bloggers will use links they’ve tweeted as the basis of a weekly round-up of their niche.

#3: Leave Comments on Other Blogs

In the early weeks and months of blogging, leaving comments on other people’s blogs is a great way to get some extra traffic. You might only get a handful of visitors from a comment – but if you leave five comments every day, this will soon add up.
Make sure your comments add value to the conversation, and use your real name (or pseudonym) not a keyword.
Go further: Reply to other readers’ comments and questions, rather than just adding your own thoughts. This is a great way to connect with them as well as with the blogger.

#4: Be Generous in Linking Out

How often do you link to other bloggers? If it’s rarely – or never – then you’re not giving them much reason to link to you.
By being generous with your links, you’ll often find that a blogger will return the favour. You may also be able to strike up a relationship them, potentially helping one another out in other ways too.
Go further: Link to other bloggers in your guest posts (see #6); if they receive a link from a high-profile blog as a result, they’ll definitely be grateful.

#5: Use Your Email Signature

Email signatures are often overlooked as a source of traffic. Look at it this way: you probably send multiple emails every day, and some of those will be to people who don’t know about your blog (or who haven’t visited it in a while).
Include a link to your blog in your signature – perhaps with your tagline, or a few words describing what your blog is about.
Go further: Do the same with your signature on any forums you belong to, if this is allowed.

#6: Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

Guest posting is a great way to grow your blog fast. It gets your writing in front of a new (and usually much bigger) audience, and you’ll have a short bio at the end of your post to link to your blog, or a post on it.
You’ll get traffic directly from your guest post, but the link itself is valuable too and will help your blog rank more highly in search engines.
Google regularly cracks down on low-quality links, however, so make sure you’re only guest posting on high-quality, reputable sites.

Go further: List the top five sites in your niche that you want to guest post for, and study them carefully to find out what types of post they publish.

If you try to get traffic to your blog by dubious methods, Google will sooner or later crack down and you’ll find your traffic gone.

Quick definitions: “Traffic” means readers coming to your blog – the more, the better!
A “backlink” is a link from another site, pointing to your site. It might go to your homepage, to another page, or to a specific blog post.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Four Types of Popular Blog Post That Don’t Require Much Writing by Ali Luke

Do you wish you could produce great blog posts with a minimum of writing?
Well … you can! And they might even turn out to be some of the most popular posts on your blog.
I’m not talking about using video, audio or images here – though all of those can work very well. You can create a normal, text-based post without doing much writing at all.
Here are three types of blog post that often go down very with readers. You won’t need to write more than a few sentences for each (unless you want to).

#1: The Quotes Post

Lists of inspiring, motivational or useful quotes are hugely popular – with good reason. They offer bite-sized, easy-to-digest chunks of advice (or doses of humour).
To put one together, use sites like BrainyQuote and Goodreads to find great quotes on your topic. You might also collect quotes from books, websites, etc during the normal course of your reading and blogging: store them safely for future use.
Example:
How to Flourish: 17 Quotes On Living, Being and Doing (Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing)
This post had over 1,400 shares on Facebook – and I know it’s one of Charlie’s most popular pieces. Yet the only words he wrote are a single-line introduction, and a two-sentence conclusion linking to a follow-up piece.

#2: The Interview Post

If you’re not an expert yet, turn to the people who are. An interview post is a win-win-win: it gives you content you couldn’t have written yourself, it raises your interviewee’s profile, and it provides a fresh perspective for your readers.
Interview posts take time to put together, especially if you’re interviewing several people at once (which can make for a really good resource). Make sure you plan ahead and allow time for busy bloggers to get back to you with their answers.
Example:
Six Inspiring Experts Answer Five Questions on Writing and Blogging (Ali Luke, Zen Optimise)
I put together this post a few weeks ago for Zen Optimise (where I’m Head of Content). Although I wrote quite a long introduction, it only takes up a fraction of the post – each of the six interviewees provided generous, in-depth answers. Daniel’s one of them, so you may want to check out his tips!

#3: The Discussion Post

This type of post works best once your blog has been running long enough to build up a loyal audience of engaged readers. Instead of writing about a topic yourself, you simply pose a question – and watch the comments come in.
Discussion posts can build engagement and community, and they can also be a rich source of ideas for future posts. (You might write a post quoting some of the best comments, for instance – in a similar way to Great Guest Post Pitching Advice from Two DailyBlogTips Readers.)
Example:
DISCUSS: How Often Do You Redesign Your Blog? (Darren Rowse, ProBlogger)
Darren runs discussion posts on a regular basis, with readers adding their answers in the comments. Many readers will write quite in-depth comments – several sentences or a couple of paragraphs.

#4: The Recap Post

New readers often miss out on your older posts, and readers who’ve been around a while may not read every post. A recap post – covering the previous month, three months, six months, or a year – is a great way to showcase some of your best work … without doing much writing.
In your recap post, you’ll obviously put the titles of and links to previous posts, but you might also copy their opening lines or a key paragraph. Once you’ve created one post like this, you can reuse the format again and again – saving you even more time.
Example:
Don’t Miss Out: Read Our Five Top Posts from October 2013 (Ali Luke, DailyBlogTips)
This was a quick post to write, with a short introduction and conclusion, and a main body made up of the top five posts of October – each one has the title, date, and a short excerpt.


I’m sure there are a few tricks I've missed! Drop a comment below and let us know your ideas for creating posts without writing much.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Secrets to Great Blogs!!

Let me tell you a little secret about blogging: It’s very formulaic.


It’s more craft than art.

If you can internalize what’s required to write a solid blog post, you’ll beat out the competition in the same way someone with a black belt will usually win a fight against someone who hasn't trained and internalized fighting principles.

While getting a black belt in blogging doesn't guarantee you’ll become huge, it does significantly increase your chances.

Let’s examine some of the fundamentals you’ll need to master to receive your black belt in the craft of blogging.

1. Use Metaphors and Similes

Using metaphors and similes will increase the quality of your posts in two ways.

It helps your audience to easily understand a concept since you’ll be comparing the new concept with a concept they’re already familiar with.

It paints a picture in the minds of your readers which will engage and please them.

A metaphor I recently used was comparing water to focus. I explained to my audience that focusing on the negative is like randomly pouring water out of your canteen when you’re lost in a jungle and really need that water for survival.

Do you see how the above metaphor not only paints a picture that makes reading more enjoyable, but also instills the lesson with much greater impact than mere plain language does?

2. Be Succinct

Saying everything you want to say in fewer words requires more time than conveying the same message to your audience without concern of how many words you use.

It may seem odd that a shorter post often takes longer to write than a longer one, but it’s not.

When you strive to limit your word count without compromising your message, you have to be methodical in how you express your message. Conversely, when you’re indifferent about word count, you don’t need to make as much an effort in how you convey your message.

Just as a good martial artist strives to make every movement as efficient as possible with no wasted energy, likewise, you should make every post you write as short as possible without your message being compromised.

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).

Your readership will love you for being concise.

3. Be Entertaining

As Jon Morrow of Copyblogger has mentioned before, if all people wanted was information they’d buy a textbook.

One primary reason people read blogs is because they’re looking for a diversion from the mundaneness of life.

If you want to compete with the competition, discover and practice as many ways as possible to make your blog entertaining.

Here are some ways to do that:

Use metaphors and similes.

Share interesting experiences and how they relate to your message.

Use quotes from books, music bands, movies and TV shows to help illustrate your points.

Be hilarious.

Be controversial.

4. Be Diligent

Unlike a black belt in the martial arts, once you get your black belt in blogging, it can be taken away from you within a moment’s notice.

In martial arts, once you get your black belt, you don’t necessarily have to spar with anyone from that day forward and you’ll always remain a black belt.

Not so with blogging.

You see, we’re fighting every day. Every day we’re fighting for people’s attention and trying to convince them that we’re worth staying subscribed to and that the competition can’t offer what we do.

There’s really only two ways to keep your black belt and it requires tremendous discipline.

1. Read like your life depends on it

I currently read an hour and a half a day and consider my reading more important than content creation for the simple reason that you can create all day long, but if it doesn’t shine, what good is it?

Reading diligently, blogs and books, will ensure that ideas are constantly coming to you and that they’re the kind of ideas that will keep your readers craving more of what you have to offer.

When I fall short in my reading regiment, fewer ideas come to me and the quality of ideas diminish.

2. Write like your life depends on it

While I definitely think reading is even more important than writing, writing’s a close second.

For starters, if you’re not updating your blog on a regular basis you can hardly be considered a blogging black belt no matter how much talent you have.

Writing is also the best way for you to practice all the techniques you’ve learned. Even in martial arts, any serious black belt never becomes complacent once they get to this exalted level. They just want to keep getting better.

What else do you need to receive your black belt in blogging?

About the Author: Tick Tock Timer is an online timer that helps anyone serious about getting things done be more productive, created by Bamboo Forest.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Post Ideas and Topics for Your Small Business Website from The Small Business Survival Guide

Having new and updated content on your website is important. We are consistently reminding small business owners of the importance of keeping a blog aspect incorporated into their site as well as adding to it on a regular basis.

At times small business owners are stumped as to what to write about. So here is a short list of possible simple topics to get you started. You will quickly notice that many posts can be written in a few minutes.


Meet one of our employees

Meet one of our customers

Here’s an upcoming event you might be interested in.

A quick tip

One of our clients sent us this photo

Something I read that you might find useful

A couple of websites that can be helpful

An industry trend we see developing

Why did we start this company.

What it is like to work for our company

Something we are doing to support our community

How our business was founded

We had a client ask us this yesterday

A new service we are offering

A new product available

How we make the ordering process simple for you.

Meet our customer support team

Find us on Facebook, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Twitter etc

Visit us at ________event

Sign up for our newsletter

In the News


I added a few more ideas but if you need more help you can contact LaMothe Services!! We can brainstorm with you!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

8 Tips to Optimize Your Time for Blog Writing by Marko Saric

I regularly hear statements like I just don’t have time to work on my blog, I am too busy to get out there and promote the blog, I have to do this, I have to do that, plus many other excuses. What these people really mean is I prioritize something else.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay

Even though time is a limited resource, we still have 24 hours in a day, which is plenty of time, but it is a matter of reevaluating our priorities.

Most bloggers might have a job that takes some 9 hours daily, then you sleep some 7 hours and it leaves you with some 8 hours daily to do some house work, hang out with your friends and family or work on your hobbies.

That is why you have to learn to control your time, optimize it the best possible way and manage it wisely. There are the 8 ways that you can find more time to work on your blogging dreams.

Stop reading, take action

Reading and learning is important, but only to a point. It is important to stop and implement some of the things you have read about. If you don’t take your time to use what you have learned, nothing will change and you will stand still. Be a blog producer.

Stop checking the stats

If you are regularly stressing yourself checking your blog visitor stats, your RSS subscriber stats, your earning stats, stop. Checking them will not help, but actively working on things that will improve those stats will. Try not to check the stats more than once daily.

Focus on the tasks that have the highest impact

You must focus your energy on the tasks that have the highest impact on your goals. For bloggers, the goal usually is to increase the readership, and the task that will bring you closer to that goal is creating remarkable content and pulling your target audience to your blog.

Don’t get distracted

In the age of the Internet it is very easy to get distracted and waste several hours reading RSS, checking Facebook, sending tweets or reading Steve Pavlina’s blog (it happens to me every once in a while as Steve’s blog is so good). Shut out the distractions!
Throw away your television

Most of the people that say that they are too busy to be able to work on their blogs regularly, still seem to have enough time to watch hours of television every day. TV watching might be entertaining, but it is not going to bring you closer to your blogging goals.

Forget your strict schedule

Did you set yourself on a very strict schedule of having to produce regular blog posts? Forget about it. Your blog will not become extinct if you miss a day or two. The tight schedule just might strain you so much that you give up the blog. Writing one great post per week will have a much bigger impact than writing one average post daily.

Maximize your health

Eat healthy. Do some exercise. Get enough sleep. Leading a healthy lifestyle will definitely make you more energetic, fresh and will improve your productivity and will win you time.

Your passion motivates you

We always hear about the blog passion and it really is true. If your blog topic is something you really love, it is going to be so much easier to motivate yourself to work on it. You will not be able to fall asleep because you would want to blog, you would wake up very early energetic to get out of the bed and do even more blogging.

From passive viewing to active working

Majority of the “busy” bloggers are spending more time surfing the internet and watching TV than working on their blogs and at the end of another day they have nothing to show for. You must be disciplined and shift your focus from passive viewing into active working on your blogging targets and dreams. No one else but you can do it.

**You can always hire a "ghost blogger" from LaMothe Services. We offer monthly packages to help you keep up with the demands of your readers! Give us a call!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Blog at ALL? Top 6 Reasons By: Sharon LaMothe


I have had several people ask me about blogging...after all, setting up blogs is one of the many services I offer on LaMothe Services, LLC http://lamotheservices.com/. I thought it would be a great idea for me to post my answers here (on MY blog) for all to read...and decide if they, too, want to join the blog craze!


Why Blog at All? Top 6 Reasons
By: Sharon LaMothe

1) Think of a Personal blog as an on-line journal that you can share with your family or friends. You can post pictures of your latest vacation, your newest family member and chat about how the garden is growning. Whatever your interest you can blog about it!

2) A Business blog is a great FREE marketing asset that is a must have in this economy. Its a wonderful way to introduce new products or services or give Kudos to your best employees. You can run polls, have contests, and ask your clients for input and comments.

3) With almost everyone in the business world having computer access, there are a large number of people reading blogs. From professionals to potential customers or clients, blogs are here to stay and are even accused of taking the place of newspapers a crossed the country!

4) A blog offers credibility to you and your business. It also shows that you are on top of technology and not the "dinosaur" that some may accuse you of...

5) Blogs are viral (in a good way!) They attract regular visitors and subscribers...your blog can be RSSed (Real Simple Syndication) into your website and social networking pages.

6) Blogs not only offer a voice for you and your company but you can think of it as a form of communication of epic proportions along with the ability to "publish" anything you want at any time you want.

If you have any questions regarding blogging and how you can set one up, just contact me at SurroMatchFL@aol.com.

Sharon LaMothe
LaMothe Services, LLC

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Content is KING!

Now that your website is looking good, design wise, what about your content? What are you going to have on your website for your potential clients to read and learn about? You know what the most important part of the content is don't you? Good Writing! And to keep people coming back for more, updating your content often. Now when we are talking about a website for a service like surrogacy I don't believe that visitors are expecting to have something new on your site every time they visit. If you actually have a gallery of available surrogates and egg donors then, yes, that needs to be updated each time you have an approved candidate come on board. IP's especially will continue to check in and see if there is anyone new that they may be interested in. However, if you are running your program in a way where Intended Parents and Surrogates have to call for information on available matches then you need to have another way to keep your site fresh. Some suggestions are to have an events calendar and list all related conferences and seminars whether you are planning to attend or not. You can list birth announcements or even birthday announcements with the permission of your surrogates and IP's. You can have a surrogacy or ART in the news where you have hot links to articles that may be of interest to your visitors. Will your agency hold luncheons? Holiday parties? Meet and Greets? Have a place on the site, with photos, for these events. Why not add a blog? Fresh content is always available if you know where to look.

What about the pages that will not change as often? Your About Us page, Contact Us Page, your Home Page with your Mission Statement? Are you going to have a page that lists your services? Will that page also have your price list? Are you going to have separate pages for Intended Parents and Surrogates? Keep in mind that they WILL read each other's pages. Are you going to have a page to list professional links? (This will be good to have so that you can have a link exchange for your continued marketing) Are you going to list medical requirements for your surrogates? And legal aspects for your IP's? There is a lot to think about and your website can have several pages before it's all said and done.

Yes, there will be more to come, but your homework now is to list out what content you are planning on sharing with the rest of the world! Happy writing!

Sharon
http://lamotheservices.com/

Monday, August 15, 2011

5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment by Pat Flynn

If you enable comments on your blog (which I’m sure most of you do), then you obviously want your readers to interact by leaving comments after your post. Then why, I ask, does it usually end up being a one-sided conversation?

It’s like giving a presentation to a group of people and not responding to questions and comments from your audience. It just seems rude, but for some reason it has become standard for bloggers not to reply to comments made on their post.

So much for “interaction”.

For big-time bloggers with several comments on each post, it would obviously be tough to respond to each and every single comment. But you have to admit that it is nice to when the big names take the time to respond to some of the comments, right?

The truth is, most of us are not “big time” bloggers and we do have the time to respond. And yet – we don’t.

In Step #6 of 6 Steps To An Effective Guest Post, it mentions:

“If you are fortunate enough to get your site published, the work is not over yet. All your efforts should go into promoting that article and taking part in any comments that may be posted.

Why is this something that only guest posters should do? Every blogger should be doing it on their own posts too.

For the past several months, I’ve been doing my best to respond to each and every single comment on my own blog, just to see what would happen. The response has been nothing less than amazing. In fact, people have pointed out that they love that I respond to almost every comment, and some of my readers have even emailed me just to say thanks.

So what’s the real benefit? Why should you invest a few extra minutes to respond to your readers? Here are 5 reasons to do so:

1. It Encourages People To Comment

People don’t leave comments just so they can be left unread. By replying, you’re not only letting people know that you’re actively involved in reading the comments, but you’re encouraging them to come back and comment again later.

Furthermore, people who don’t normally comment may be happy to do so knowing that their comment will indeed be read.

2. It Adds to the Quality of Your Posts

A reply can often lead to side conversations within the commenting area that add to the content and overall quality of your post. Your points will be explained further, new points will be brought up, and questions that people may have get answered.

Also, new people will join the side conversations and add their own comments that they wouldn’t have normally made otherwise.

3. It Helps With Search Engine Optimization

Comments on your blog posts do in fact help with search engine optimization, although admittedly in a minimal way.

More comments, including your own, usually mean more instances of the keywords that you used in your blog post, which means you’re more likely to be found in the search engines for those terms.

Additionally, new terms that you did not use in your blog post will be brought up and discussed, which could potentially help you for those terms as well.

4. It Adds More Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people’s decisions are influenced by making the assumption that surrounding people know more about certain situations than you do.

For example, if you’re at the mall and you see a huge crowd of people around a particular store, chances are that you’re going to walk over and see what the big deal is. In a similar way, you might be more inclined to follow a certain blogger in a niche just because they have more subscribers and followers than others.

In most cases, your own comments will count towards the overall comment count of your post. Respond to 15 comments, and you’ll have a total comment count of 30, which looks more far more impressive and interesting to your readers and any new visitors to your blog.

5. It Helps You Build Authority and Credibility

Finally, by responding to each comment, you’re establishing yourself as a go-to expert in your niche. You become more “real” and are seen as someone who actually takes time to care for your readers, which adds value to you and your blog.

Because responding to comments is abnormal, you’ll stand out of the crowd like no other. And if you can leave thoughtful, meaningful comments, you’ll make that much more of an impact on your readers.

It doesn’t take very much extra time, and the return on investment can be phenomenal. So why not give it a shot?

Try responding to every comment and see what happens.

So What Do You Think?

How do you feel when a blogger responds to a comment you left on his or her blog? Do you think it’s worth the time and effort to do so, or are we just wasting our time?

Please leave a comment below, and tell me what you think.

Cheers!

About the Author: After getting laid off back in 2008, Pat Flynn has since created an online empire, starting multiple online businesses which earn him well over 6-figures a year in passive income. He writes about online business and blogging on The Smart Passive Income Blog. You can also download his free eBook, eBooks the $mart Way, which reveals all of Pat’s secrets to writing and automating a killer eBook for your blog or business.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Expand Your Business With Blogging

I obviously feel that blogging is important…I own several blogs myself and write for others…I design blogs for those who don’t have the time and I teach the ins and outs of posting, comment moderation and content writing to people who want to be independent and share their own ideas. This post below really hits home to the WHY of it all…blogs are here to stay so embrace all of the possibilities and open the door to Your World……and see who enters!
Sharon LaMothe
http://lamotheservices.com/

Expand Your Business With Blogging
Statistically speaking, you're likely reading this outside of normal business hours. Am I right, or am I right? Why? Because if you have a life (okay... admittedly many people don't) the majority of your time is spent away from the office and outside of normal business hours. Usually, when the sun goes down you are already out the door. Frazier has left the building.
But the sun never sets on the internet. It operates 24/7/365 for online and offline businesses both. There are no doors to unlock and no lights to turn on. The doors are always open and the lights are always on. No brick; no mortar; no time clocks.
There are so many important online tools for both marketing (presenting your company and product to the market) and sales (trading that product/service for revenue)... if you're not using them you're soon to be extinct.
Even the US government figured that out. Filed any corporate taxes lately? Most companies now do it online (it is called EFTPS, if you're at all curious).
Low-to-No Cost
Many of the online resources available for your business are usable with no cost and can offer great results. Calculate the ROI on that: small investment (mostly in your time) and great results. Infinite ROI? No, not quite. But as a business owner if you use these available tools correctly it will make a difference in your business.
Put another way, if you are not using online tools for your business, the wolves are at the door and your house is made of sticks. Not brick and mortar; sticks.
Blogging is increasingly being used to effectively to present businesses and products to the market. Websites like Blogger and Wordpress make it possible to share value - your knowledge and experience - through blog posts.
Helpful blog posts on relevant content establish you as a leader and creates a relationship that your consumers don't normally get from just visiting your website. Just today in a phone conversation a client said, "I was so glad to see you are a real person!" The personal touch works.
Need a great example? Go look at 3PAR's company blog called "StorageRap" (www.storagerap.com). No, I'm not associated with 3PAR in any way. But Marc Farley is awesome at what he does for the data storage industry. Take special note of the value that he delivers. Yes, it comes with a heavy dose of opinion, and more than a bit of controversy, but that is the whole point of blogging! Ever read a boring blog post... more than part-way? I rest my case.

About the Author: Brian Moore is a business coach and mentor that assists serious entrepreneurs in building a profitable online business with multiple incomes streams. Brian and his team have assisted hundreds of people in generating profits that exceed $250K or more in their first year. For more information and to contact Brian, visit: http://www.meetbrianmoore.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 Ways to Make Your Writing Clearer and More Engaging By Bamboo Forest

Your ideas may be superb while floating in your cranium. Once they get to paper, however, if they’re difficult to understand or blandly presented, their impact will be compromised. Blogging’s at its best when ideas are expressed clearly and compellingly.


The following three strategies will assist you:

1. Move confusing sentences to a clean page

Ever been whistling along with your blog post when suddenly you arrive at a thought you’re trying to express on paper, yet it’s being completely uncooperative like a toddler who refuses to eat his brussels sprouts?

If you’re dealing with a bratty sentence that doesn’t want to be clear and concise, don’t let it just sit there misbehaving. You have to discipline it. To do so, move the disorderly sentence away from your post, onto an empty page.

Once you’ve pasted the confusing sentence into clear, white space, begin formulating a new sentence underneath it. By moving the confusing sentence outside of your post and onto an empty page, you won’t be distracted by the rest of your writing. The singularity of focus gained will help you create a better, clearer sentence.

Sometimes it’s helpful when pasting the confusing sentence to include the surrounding sentences for context.

2. Replace a word used in consecutive sentences when it’s monotonous

I’ll use an example from a blog post I wrote that uses a river as a metaphor. Pay close attention to how the word ‘rushing’ is used in two consecutive sentences.

Here’s the original segment:

“Do you hear the sound of the water rushing over the rocks? Tell me… when you hear the rushing water, when are you hearing it; in the past or the future? Neither. It’s only possible to hear this precious sound in the now.”

Do you notice how the word ‘rushing’ used in these consecutive sentences sounds monotonous? Using this word consecutively dulls the delivery because it’s repetitive to the reader’s ear. Instead, it’s best to replace one of the usages of ‘rushing’ with a synonym or something close to it.

Look at the improved version with the second use of ‘rushing’ replaced with a new word:

“Do you hear the sound of the water rushing over the rocks? Tell me… when you hear the babbling water, when are you hearing it; in the past or the future? Neither. It’s only possible to hear this precious sound in the now.”

Much better sounding prose, no? In the aforementioned example, replacing one of the usages of ‘rushing’ actually fosters a more vivid picture in the reader’s mind. A thesaurus can help you come up with a good replacement for a word that’s detrimentally used twice in a row.

3. Don’t over explain

Our writing often gives enough information so that the reader will understand what you’re conveying even if you didn’t specify every last detail. If you’re determined to give information that your readers will discern without your help, you’ve bloated your writing and slowed its delivery.

In the book On Writing, Stephen King reminds us, “If I tell you that Carrie White is a high school outcast with bad complexion and a fashion-victim wardrobe, I think you can do the rest, can’t you? I don’t need to give you a pimple-by-pimple, skirt-by-skirt rundown.”

The above principle applies equally to non-fiction.

Earlier I told you that when you’re dealing with a confusing sentence, you should move it onto an empty page and construct a clearer sentence underneath to take its place.

I also added this:

“Sometimes it’s helpful when pasting the confusing sentence to include the surrounding sentences for context.”

You’ll notice I didn’t specify how many surrounding sentences you should include because that’s something you’ll determine yourself, right?

When writing for your audience, always make clarity and engagement the highest priority.

About the Author: Bamboo Forest created Tick Tock Timer, an online timer that helps bloggers increase their focus and get more work.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

5 Ways To Network Your Way To Blogging Success By Steve Roy

Networking has become a buzzword over the last few years and with the explosion of social media, it has become “the way” to build a business.
We all know the vast power of social media and the role it can play in your success as a blogger. However, there are still many, many blogggers who are not taking advantage of this phenomenon.

When I say taking advantage of it, I don’t mean posting your weekend activities on Facebook or tweeting out random thoughts you have throughout the day.

What I’m talking about is using social media to build relationships with your peers and with those who are in social circles that you want to be a part of

The Power Of Networking

Networking is especially important for a new blogger. If you think you can go it alone and see the same level of success, then by all means try it. However, if you want to speed up the process of building traffic and gaining new readers and subscribers, then you need to leverage other bloggers audiences. This is where networking comes in.

Great content is the starting point for a successful blog, but when you are just beginning, nobody is going to read it because you have no traffic. Building significant levels of traffic takes time and that’s part of the blogging process, but why not help yourself and begin networking with bloggers who have already achieved what you want?

For example, I have a fitness blog which has been running since 2008. It has never received more than 300 visitors in any given month. Why? Because I have not networked one bit. I have written my posts and done nothing to get people to read them.

Now take my current blog, I have focused my attention on building relationships through networking and have had much greater success. Here some of the things I have done which have helped grow my blog quite rapidly:

1. Use guest posting.

We have all heard that guest posting is a great way to reach out to more readers and build traffic. A few important things to keep in mind when using this method are:

Find a blog in a similar niche.I see a lot of bloggers who want to submit their post to a high traffic site even though it is in a completely different niche. Big mistake. Even if you get some traffic from it, chances are that they will have little interest in your topic. There is no point to driving traffic to your blog if nobody wants to read it or opt in to your newsletter.

Interact with those who comment on your guest post. Don’t just reply with a “thanks for the comment”, ask them questions and get them talking to each other, that’s how you will get them to come to your blog and become your readers too.

2. Use Twitter.

For months, I was resistant to Twitter because I thought it was a glorified chat room. When I was finally convinced to get on board by a friend, I discovered its potential. In my opinion, Twitter is themost powerful of all social media streams. Just in the last month, I have been in contact with “A” list bloggers and gotten their radar, formed relationships with very successful business owners and bloggers, and made several friends in the process. When used correctly, Twitter can be incredibly powerful and can have a huge impact on your business.

3. Be Useful.

Anyone can self promote and send link after link promoting their own stuff, but the real potential for massive traffic is when others start doing it for you. I can send out 20 tweets about my own most recent post and get a few visitors.

One tweet from someone like Pat Flynn, Brian Clark, or Yaro Starak will send 50 or 100 times the traffic that I could promoting myself. How do you get these big names to promote you? You need to get their attention. Email them something that will interest them, sell their products as an affiliate, send them a personal and unique Tweet, but you HAVE to provide value.

Successful bloggers are incredibly busy people and inundated with emails, calls, and everything else all day every day. You need to stand out, be different, and NOT be looking for a handout. “Please RT this” will not work with these folks.

4. Make Friends.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few people on Twitter who I can now call friends. It just so happens that these friends have blogs that are MUCH more successful than mine.

My intention is to build on those friendships and hopefully learn some things about blogging along the way. If you have a hidden agenda and are just using your “friendship” for your benefit only, it won’t last too long and you will have burned a very important bridge.

If we constantly ask our network to promote us, it will most likely ruin the relationship. However, if we are providing a good resource for people and our content is high quality, we may find that we get promoted without even asking. Just being mentioned in a high profile bloggers blog can send hundreds or thousands of visitors to our sites. The important thing here is to focus on building a network of friends, not promoters.

5. Give, Then Receive.

If you can adopt the philosophy that you need to give before receiving, you will be in a much better position in the long run.

If you can consistently promote high quality sites and valuable resources to your network, you will find that you will begin to build credibility and trust. These two things are absolutely critical to a building a successful blog.

People love to share information. It’s our job to share high quality and valuable information. If you find a new blogger who seems to have great ideas, by all means, send out a tweet. If you come across a fascinating article, share that too.

Don’t worry about others promoting you right now, that will come in time (assuming you have good content). Your focus should be on providing helpful resources and offering that information to your network. Over time and with a little luck, you may get the attention of the people whose blogs you have been promoting. That’s when great things can happen.

If you are not building your network in some capacity every day, you are severely limiting the growth of your blog. Make a commitment to building relationships with those in your niche and start building mutually beneficial relationships today!

You will be amazed at the difference it can make.

About the Author: Steve Roy is the owner of EndingTheGrind.com, a blog dedicated to helping people get out of their miserable jobs, build an online business, and live with passion!

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Get Your Black Belt in Blogging By Bamboo Forest

Let me tell you a little secret about blogging: It’s very formulaic.


It’s more craft than art.

If you can internalize what’s required to write a solid blog post, you’ll beat out the competition in the same way someone with a black belt will usually win a fight against someone who hasn’t trained and internalized fighting principles.

While getting a black belt in blogging doesn’t guarantee you’ll become huge, it does significantly increase your chances.

Let’s examine some of the fundamentals you’ll need to master to receive your black belt in the craft of blogging.

1. Use Metaphors and Similes

Using metaphors and similes will increase the quality of your posts in two ways.

It helps your audience to easily understand a concept since you’ll be comparing the new concept with a concept they’re already familiar with.

It paints a picture in the minds of your readers which will engage and please them.

A metaphor I recently used was comparing water to focus. I explained to my audience that focusing on the negative is like randomly pouring water out of your canteen when you’re lost in a jungle and really need that water for survival.

Do you see how the above metaphor not only paints a picture that makes reading more enjoyable, but also instills the lesson with much greater impact than mere plain language does?

2. Be Succinct

Saying everything you want to say in fewer words requires more time than conveying the same message to your audience without concern of how many words you use.

It may seem odd that a shorter post often takes longer to write than a longer one, but it’s not.

When you strive to limit your word count without compromising your message, you have to be methodical in how you express your message. Conversely, when you’re indifferent about word count, you don’t need to make as much an effort in how you convey your message.

Just as a good martial artist strives to make every movement as efficient as possible with no wasted energy, likewise, you should make every post you write as short as possible without your message being compromised.

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).

Your readership will love you for being concise.

3. Be Entertaining

As Jon Morrow of Copyblogger has mentioned before, if all people wanted was information they’d buy a textbook.

One primary reason people read blogs is because they’re looking for a diversion from the mundaneness of life.

If you want to compete with the competition, discover and practice as many ways as possible to make your blog entertaining.

Here are some ways to do that:

Use metaphors and similes.

Share interesting experiences and how they relate to your message.

Use quotes from books, music bands, movies and TV shows to help illustrate your points.

Be hilarious.

Be controversial.

4. Be Diligent

Unlike a black belt in the martial arts, once you get your black belt in blogging, it can be taken away from you within a moment’s notice.

In martial arts, once you get your black belt, you don’t necessarily have to spar with anyone from that day forward and you’ll always remain a black belt.

Not so with blogging.

You see, we’re fighting every day. Every day we’re fighting for people’s attention and trying to convince them that we’re worth staying subscribed to and that the competition can’t offer what we do.

There’s really only two ways to keep your black belt and it requires tremendous discipline.

1. Read like your life depends on it

I currently read an hour and a half a day and consider my reading more important than content creation for the simple reason that you can create all day long, but if it doesn’t shine, what good is it?

Reading diligently, blogs and books, will ensure that ideas are constantly coming to you and that they’re the kind of ideas that will keep your readers craving more of what you have to offer.

When I fall short in my reading regiment, fewer ideas come to me and the quality of ideas diminish.

2. Write like your life depends on it

While I definitely think reading is even more important than writing, writing’s a close second.

For starters, if you’re not updating your blog on a regular basis you can hardly be considered a blogging black belt no matter how much talent you have.

Writing is also the best way for you to practice all the techniques you’ve learned. Even in martial arts, any serious black belt never becomes complacent once they get to this exalted level. They just want to keep getting better.

What else do you need to receive your black belt in blogging?

About the Author: Tick Tock Timer is an online timer that helps anyone serious about getting things done be more productive, created by Bamboo Forest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is Your Coporate Blog Sabotaging Your Business? By Lisa Barone

The experts have long agreed: Creating a corporate blog is an important step in giving your company a voice, building brand, and establishing that all-important thought leadership.

Your blog is to be your hub, the place where all the rest of your social media marketing connects. It’s an opportunity to encourage users to connect and form attachments over their affection for your brand and what you represent. All of that is true and awesomesauce. Well, until your corporate blog attacks your business, kicks your customers in the face, and quietly sucks your sales dry. What, you didn’t know that could happen?

The surge in blogging over the past few years has resulted in some problems for business owners who blogged first, asked questions later. Because, for all its strengths as a communication platform, blogging can also help business owners shoot themselves in the foot if they’re not careful. Here are a few ways your blog may accidentally sabotage your business.

You dilute your link profile

If you’re reading this, you’re either someone who understands the power of search engine optimization and Internet marketing, or you just got very, very lost on the Internet (we’re sorry). Assuming it’s the former, you probably understand the importance of keywords and attracting links with a purpose.

You’re very deliberately trying to build links to your site and to your services pages to help them rank better and bring more awareness to your users. So imagine what it does to your link profile when you acquire 10,000 links to your home page for the very-useless term [lisa barone]. Imagine how that might throw off your rankings for the terms you actually wanted that page to rank for. Yeah. Welcome to me getting scolded by nearly every boss I’ve ever had.

One reason people pointed so many lisa barone-laden pieces of anchor text toward previous home pages was because there was no Lisa Barone page on the sites I blogged for. When someone wanted to reference me, they linked to the company that I worked for. Understandable, but counter-productive. Also make sure that you’re not diluting your own link profile by linking to your home page when you should be linking to your personal About page. Before you start a blog, take into account how the links coming into your site may affect it and have a plan for tackling that.

You make your blog your home page

When a new visitor lands on your site, they are there for a purpose. They’re looking for information about who you are, what services you provide, how you get the job done, why you’re different, what your rates are, and how they’re supposed to get in touch with you. The purpose of your home page is to answer these questions, show relevance, and to entice them to click and enter your conversion funnel. New visitors to your home page are not looking for your latest blog post. Serving them that will confuse them and leave them with no information about your business or what you offer.

Some businesses will make their blog their home page because that’s the page mostly frequently updated and where all the conversation is happening. However, it doesn’t mean that page best addresses your customers’ needs. And that’s what your home page should do. Instead of serving up your blog as your home page and making users figure out where they’re supposed to click, how they learn more, and who, exactly, you are, give them the home page they’re looking for.

It’s disconnected from the main site

Corporate blogs work best when they’re a natural extension of the rest of your Web site. When the content found on the blog serves to give more information/street cred to your services. And to do that, readers need to be able to see the connection that exists between to the two entities.

Your corporate blog fails when you put it on a separate domain and make it hard for people to tie back or access your site. It fails when your blog doesn’t link to any other pages on your site or reference your service offerings in any way. Sure, blogs shouldn’t be overly-promotional, but never mentioning your products or services is actually more awkward than giving people useful information as it’s relevant. If you treat your blog like a totally separate island, consider what value it’s really bringing to your company.

Your blog becomes your business

Blogging is a lot like working out – once you take to it, it’s addicting. You have to blog every day and you have to blog harder than everyone else around you. And that’s great if you’re a professional blogger and blogging is how you make money. But for most people, blogging is not their business. [Even professional bloggers have to worry about things like branding these days.] It’s one facet of much larger marketing strategy. Don’t forget about the rest of your marketing strategy just because your blog talks back to you.

Remind yourself about how your blog relates to your business, what its objective is, and what it’s supporting. If you’re involved in catering marketing, your blog may be one part of that. But you still have to figure out the rest of social media, network within your industry, and then, you know, find time to run your catering business. Don’t let your blog become a distraction, either because it’s more “fun” than your other work or because you like the way it makes your ego feel.

You don’t commit to it

As a small business owner myself, I can certainly understand how time consuming (and exhausting) it is to continually be producing content to publish so that you can publish it on your blog. However, showcasing a blog that you update once every you feel like it may not give the best impression to potential customers. It shows them that you do things without a plan and that you’re not always the most reliable service provider. If you can’t commit to blogging a regular basis (even if it’s just once a week), consider if it’s worth doing at all. What are you planning to get from it?

You don’t play well in the sandbox

As Outspoken’s Chief Branding Officer, I often recommend companies take on corporate blogs as a way to get their voice out there and to establish personality and a POD. If you can hook someone to your blog, you’re giving them a direct line to your company message and your way of thinking. Assuming they connect with that, you’re able to significantly lower the bar to winning them over as a customer.

Unless, you’re a jerk. One of the most awesome ways a corporate blog can sabotage your business is when you use it to attack, alienate, and annoy other people. If you don’t know how to play well with others and the idea of occasionally smiling for diplomacy offends you, then maybe a blog shouldn’t be your best friend. Because as Vitaly Borker found out, “crazy bully” isn’t a long-term business strategy. It’s only beneficial to let people “see the real you” when you think there’s a chance they’ll actually like the real you.


Lisa Barone is co-founder and chief branding officer of Outspoken Media, Inc.







 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogger or Mind-Reader? Six Ways to Give Your Audience Exactly What It Wants by Skellie and ProBlogger

ProBlogger readers are absolutely spoilt when it comes to great articles about coming up with post ideas. But what about thinking up the post topics your audience has been craving?

In this post I’ll be outlining six strategies you can use to determine exactly what kind of posts your audience wants to see on your blog.

1. Listen to comments

One thing you might have noticed is that commenters will sometimes ask you to expand on a section of your post. Either they wanted more information on a specific point, a more thorough exploration of one of your ideas or a clear explanation of something that’s confused them. Instead of answering in comment form, you can turn your answer in a post (and use the answer to drive more traffic back to your original article.)

2. Listen to emails

Part of being a blogger is receiving and answering reader questions by email. These questions can be a great source of ideas for posts your audience is craving.

After receiving the tenth or so email on how I find and use great Flickr images in posts on my own blog, I decided to write a complete guide to the process after sensing it was something a lot of readers were interested in. The resulting post went on to become one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written!

Listening to reader emails can result in some fantastic post ideas.

3. Ask them

A fairly obvious option, but one I don’t see many bloggers explore. Ask your readers to submit ideas for posts they’d like to see on your blog. Do this every couple of months and you’ll have a list of ideas you can turn to when your well of inspiration runs dry. If you notice several ideas on the same topic or area you can bet that it’s something quite a few of your readers would like to see more of.

4. Turn wants and needs into post-topics

Grab a notebook, open to a new page and put a pen in one hand. Write down all the possible niche-related wants and needs of your target audience.

If your target audience is interested in debt elimination, for example, their wants and needs cloud might look like this:

To develop a workable budget and stick to it.

To spend less without sacrificing quality of life.

To find cheaper versions of the things they need.

To find new ways to make a bit of extra money.

To avoid getting into future debt.

To become debt-free as soon as possible.

To eliminate unnecessary expenses.

If we give each want/need its own space on the page, we can start to branch out post ideas from each one. Because each of these post ideas is based on something our target audience wants, we can almost guarantee that it will be useful to them.

5. What do you want?

You’d be hard pressed to find a baseball blogger who’s not into baseball, a copywriting blogger who’s not into copywriting, a travel blogger who doesn’t like travel, and so on. You are part of your target audience. The things you’d like to see someone else in your niche write may just be what your target audience is also searching for.

Expanding on this premise, you can use your own niche experiences, problems and triumphs as fodder for blog posts. If you struggle with something related to your niche on a daily basis, maybe your readers are struggling with it too? If you’re worked out a solution to a problem related to your niche — something you were experiencing — maybe your readers would find the solution truly useful themselves?

If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, a problem you’ve always wanted to solve or a resource list you’ve always hoped to see, stop waiting for someone else to use your good idea, execute it yourself and turn the result into a truly useful blog post.

6. Reverse engineer what worked

Look at your blog’s top ten most popular post. They’re examples of posts that your target audience truly wanted to read. You can build on their success by adapting the same format to new content.

Let’s say one of your most popular posts was a list of ways to make money with eBay. You could capitalize on the success of the first article by creating an updated version (25 More Ways to Make Money With eBay), or invert the format by taking the opposite tack (25 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Lose Money With eBay) and outlining don’ts rather than dos.

Another effective strategy is to apply the same post format and headline formula to a new subject. Your list of 10 Insane Firefox Extensions for Web Designers could be followed by a list of 10 Insane Firefox Extensions for Entrepreneurs, or Journalists, or anything/anyone you can imagine (as long as it’s of interest to your target audience).

The crux of this strategy lies in combining what has worked well previously with something fresh, new and interesting.

Points to review:

Find ideas in comments.


Find ideas in emails.


Ask your readers what they want.


Use your audience’s wants and needs as a springboard for post topics.


Find inspiration in your own wants and needs.


Transfer the best qualities of your most popular posts into something new.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

10 Ways to Get Your Comments Blocked or Deleted From Daily Blog Tips

Leaving comments on other blogs is one of the most efficient ways to promote your own blog, and to network with fellow readers and blog owners.

Given the rise of blog spam, however, getting your comments approved is not as easy as it sounds. Below you’ll find 10 ways to get your comments blocked or deleted (so yeah, avoid them if you can).

1. Use a keyword as your name

The field “Name” on the comment form refers to your name. It doesn’t refer to your blog name, and it certainly doesn’t refer to keyword you are trying to optimize for. Writing something like “John Doe – CarsBlog.com” is fine for most blog owners, but “Cheap Car Parts” would flag you as spam from miles away.

2. Use sensitive keywords in your comment

Even if you comment is a legitimate one, you should avoid using sensitive keywords like viagra, loans, and blackjack, because the spam filter of the blog will probably block your comment.

3. Use HTML to make your comment stand out

Sure, you want to make sure that people will read your comment and visit your blog after that, but don’t try to achieve that by using the bold or italic typefaces throughout your comment.

4. Write in capital letters

The same is true for writing in CAPITAL LETTERS. The analogy for this would be people trying to have a nice conversation while you come screaming at them with your thoughts on the issue. The blog owner will probably just delete your comment.

5. Write a one-line comment

Maybe you are in a hurry, maybe you just want to get a link back to your blog. Either way, if all you write is “Great post!” or “I will certainly try to use that information!”, there are good chances that your comment will be deleted.

6. Write a comment before reading the post

If it becomes clear to the blog owner that you wrote your comment without even reading or understanding his post, he’ll probably just delete it. Even if he approves your comment you’ll look a bit stupid, so make sure to read the post before commenting.

7. Include a link to a dubious page in your comment

Including a link to a related post inside your comment is usually fine. However, you should clarify where the link is pointing to. If the blog owner gets suspicious about the link he’ll probably just delete the whole comment to be on the safe side.

8. Include a second link to your site at the end of your comment

Most blog platforms allow you to include the URL of your website when leaving a comment, and that URL will be used to link your name to your site. Some people, however, like to reinforce that by signing-off their comments with their name and with a second link to their sites. Needless to say this practice makes the comment look spammy.

9. Use foul language in your comment

Expressing your opinion is fine, but don’t include foul language in your comment, even if you are upset or annoyed by something in the post. This is one of the quickest ways to get your comment deleted.

10. Attack the author or other commenters

Criticism is fine, and even appreciated by most bloggers. Personal attacks and confrontations, however, will only make you sound like a troll, reducing the chances of getting your comments approved.

What else would you add to this list?

Monday, June 21, 2010

10 Things Your Blog Doesn’t Need by Jill Smokler

Adding things to your newly created blog is pretty cool, right? But be careful, there are things that you’d better leave out. Below you’ll find 10 of them.

1. Auto-Music: Nobody, and I mean, nobody wants to hear it. I vow never to subject you to my love of Barry Gibbs and Barbara Streisand duets and implore you to extend the same courtesy to me. Please.

2. Animated Gifs: Sure, they were cool in the late 90s. Now? Not so impressive. Let’s leave them over at My Space where they belong.

3. Tiny Type: If I have to strain my eyes to read your post, I’m just not going to. No matter how good your blog is.

4. Comment Verification: Install a spam preventing plug-in. It will take care of the spam and save people the effort of typing out nonsense words, or even worse, solve math problems just to leave a comment. Even if you’re on Blogger and have to delete a spam comment or two every now and then, it’s a small sacrifice and courteous to your readers. And it will keep them coming back and commenting again.

5. Spelling & Grammar Errors: Proofread. And then proofread again. Preview your post before you publish it. Even have someone else glance at it. Of course, we all make mistakes, but do your best to publish a post free of obvious errors.

6. Badges of prizes and awards you won: Sure, they’re flattering when you start blogging, but if you’ve been around a while your sidebars will start looking like Boy Scout vests. Dedicate a separate page for them and clean up those sidebars. You’ll look no less popular, and the sidebar police will thank you.

7. Regurgitated Content: If you said something that bears repeating, link back to that original post. Your readers will know if you keep spitting out the same old content and Google frowns upon duplicate posts. It’s bad idea all around.

8. Flashy Backgrounds: Your blog is not the Vegas strip. Black backgrounds with flashing lights and neon colors are not only hideous and hard to read, but they also take away what people are really at your blog to see: Great content.

9. Lies: It may be tempting to make things up to gain more traffic, but don’t. You will be found out, and you will look like an idiot.

10. Plagiarism: The only worse thing than blatantly making stuff up? Stealing other people’s stuff. It’s pretty much the biggest no-no there is in blog-land. If you want to quote someone, go for it and link back to them. Otherwise, you’re history.

Jill Smokler blogs about parenting; the good, the bad and the scary at Scary Mommy. She can be found at on Twitter as @scarymommy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

6 Ways to be Kind to Your Readers from Bamboo Forest

Kindness can go a long way, regardless of what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to build a popular blog, well, you might wanna be kind to your readers, as this will improve the chances of them coming back and becoming part of your community. Below you’ll find 6 tips for this purpose.

1. Kill or shorten introductions. They are often unnecessary and can make your post longer but not better. Every time you find yourself writing an intro, ask yourself if it’s necessary for the reader to understand what you’re trying to say. If it’s not, then just cut to the chase.

2. Champion quality over quantity. Sometimes the obsession for a certain amount of posts begins to infiltrate our consciousness. People are reading our posts for what they have to say, not because you just wrote another one. So if you’re only capable of writing one good post a week, then stick with that. Your readers will respect you for it. This concept is especially important to observe when you consider the competition. Your posts have to compete with other A-listers in your niche. How’s a mediocre post going to do that?

3. Commit to having every post be entertaining. For example, I had a long blogging hiatus. While I could have written a post explaining to my audience that it’s going to be a while before I write another post, I concluded that would be the most boring post in the world.

That said, when you just have to get that informational post out there–make it as entertaining as humanly possible regardless of the boring nature of the subject. Humor can work well here.

4. Write clearly. The sign of a great writer is when their readers can start from the beginning of the page and get to the bottom without having to read any sentence twice. Do you have that kind of clarity and simplicity in your writing?

5. Keep your posts as short as possible. Blogging is not about us the authors–it’s aboutthem, the readers. So if you have a post that “requires” 1000 words, see if you can be extremely concise and get it down to 700. Or to put it another way,

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”~Hans Hofmann

6. Step up your game. This isn’t the most conventional way to be kind to your readers, but blogging is highly competitive. Show your readers on a regular basis that your writing is getting more concise, more compelling as well as more entertaining. The best way to do this is to read more, write more and think more. Every few months your writing should not only get better, but it should also become more creative. You should be evolving all the time.

“You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless” says Seth Godin.

What will you do this week to show more kindness to your readers?

About the Author: Bamboo Forest created Tick Tock Timer, an online timer that helps make bloggers ridiculously productive. He also writes for Pun Intended, a blog that’s hilarious and enlightened.