Archive for March, 2010
The warmer weather is here.Â That means there’s a good chance you’ll be busier than you were a few weeks ago.Â From beaches and barbecue to exercise and boating, the first thing that often gets sacrificed is the one thing that helped you get through the winter – blogging.Â Here are a few tips to help you maintain your blogging prowess during the 95 days of summer.
Schedule Your Time.
Just like you can’t show up at the doctor’s office unannounced, be sure to make an appointment with yourself.Â Look at carving out regular space early in the morning, late at night or even at work to take care of your blog obligations – just keep it consistent and show up to blog when you promised. Read More
It doesn’t matter what the aim of your is blog, whether you set out to become the next person getting rich in only 4 hours per week, want to run the hottest dating column in town, aim to take Arrington’s crown or just want to blog for fun, if you chose for WordPress there are some basics your blog needs.
You need a theme with solid, semantic code, and you will need some plugins to boost your setup. But before we proceed I have to disclaim that there are things I will not use a plugin for, or rely on WP for. Such as backup, I prefer having a cron based automated backup procedure
A Solid Theme
Before you start adding plugins to your setup, you should first consider a solid theme for your site. Of course you can always change your theme afterwards but often this will result in issues with sizes of embedded images, videos and so on. So better prepare yourself and start with a theme and stick with it for a while.
In the last 2 years the WordPress theme market has literally exploded and never have there been that many great themes to chose from. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to go with a paid theme or with a free theme, as long as your preferred theme is based upon semantical code, you will benefit a great SEO boost. I have had great success with multiple themes in the past and used k2, the first Mimbo theme, Cutline, Thematic, Notesblog just to name a few of the free themes I have worked with in the past and recommend to anyone.
Time to add the most essential plugins to your WordPress installation now. Read More
Not too long ago, I received a rejection letter from one of the top ranked blogs in the writing niche.
Weâ€™re talking about the â€œBMWâ€ of blogs, folks!
I admit that I was confused and hugely disappointed when it arrived.
Mind you that this rejection was on the heels of an Email where they had initially given high praise for my work, and simply requested a few revisions.
â€œYou write wellâ€ was what they wrote when they responded to my original submission.
In my mind, I followed their directions to the letter.
Heck, who wouldnâ€™t, given the high level of exposure that a guest post on this site would bring?
Still, they sent me a â€œDear Johnâ€ letter.
We would have no future together.
(Itâ€™s kind of like the breakup that you never saw coming).
Can you â€œfeel meâ€ here? Ouch! Read More
While many bloggers are quick to make their sites compatibleÂ across various internet browsers, only a small fraction are making their sites viewable upon mobile devices (both for smart phones and feature phones).
Although many smartphones today are equipped with “full featured” browsers, users may loathe reading your site on a tiny screen (which could translate into them visiting your rival).
Whether you host your site upon your own server or use an inexpensive platform, here are a few ways bloggers can make their site mobile friendly (at least upon WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger and Live Journal). Read More
Who am I? Good question.Â This isn’t a post exploring my identity, rather it’s my virtual hug to regular BloggingPro readers. Because before you read any of my posts, I think it’s important you know who I am.
I am not a blogging expert and I don’t pretend to be one.Â I do, however, consider myself a successful blogger.Â I’ve been able to supplement my income, satisfy my need to create compelling content, and most importantly, get people to think about topics in different ways.
My greatest blogging achievement has been building Jobacle.com, a career advice and employment news Website which has become a recognized voice in the niche, even garnering attention from major media outlets.Â I’ve worked for a few media companies myself: MTV Networks and FOX News.Â They sound much more glamorous than they are, and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure which had more liberals working for them. Read More
This is a guest post written by Ann Smarty, founder of My Blog Guest, a community for guest bloggers.
Accepting guest posts on your blog is a great way to give your site fresh insight and to offer some variety. Most of popular blogs in any niche take advantage of guest contributions for a few reasons:
- Guest authors bring in new ideas and unique style. They also contribute some new information you were not aware of (and thus make your blog comprehensive). Here’s a simple example: as a search expert I am aware of quite a few search tricks few people know or use. Therefore my post on using Google creatively to save money on a popular personal finance blog seemed so fresh and interesting to the blog author and the readers.
- Guest contributions allow you to take a day off. No, seriously, blogging is a continuous commitment. It is so refreshing to take some rest and relax while keeping your blog updated. I do agree you shouldn’t overuse that because your blog might lose voice but keeping one day a week for guest contributions is a great idea!
- Guest contributions can be an awesome source of inspiration. You blog daily and a day comes when you realize you don’t know what to write about. You have no ideas and everything that comes to mind have already been covered. Now imagine that a new person enters your community and offers something completely different. Or maybe he even writes something that you have already mentioned – but he uses a unique style, a different perspective and a new format. And your readers find that awesome! Now you feel inspired! You feel you know how to re-use your previously published ideas to find new ones and how to re-think your previously published opinions to spur new discussion.
So I guess, the benefits of accepting guest posts are quite clear. Now, let see how to do that painlessly, almost effortlessly and to the maximum efficiency. Read More
Last week was pretty sweet.
I had been contacted by a marketing firm as a result of a call for bloggers that I responded to. I had made the initial cut.
You better believe I was pretty geeked to hear from them within 48 hours of applying.
Though I dig blogging about many themes and things, this assignment was â€œmusic to my ears.â€
I was to pen a piece (500 words or more) on one of several recording artists for a jazz blog. Can you believe it?
So there I was, in my home office, kicked back, with a glass of sweet herbal tea and some chocolate, (too early for a glass of Chablis), reviewing some hot tracks from CDS by musician Boney James! Thinking to myselfâ€¦ it doesnâ€™t get much better than this.
I grooved, whistled while I worked, did some online research, then wrapped it up and invoiced the firm for thirty bucks.
When I later mentioned this gig to a fellow writer, she said, â€œYou get paid for blogging?â€
Apparently she didnâ€™t get the memo: Bloggers can earn pay for their say. And you can too. Read More
I sometimes hear bloggers say they don’t do keyword research. They have various reasons for ignoring this fundamental SEO strategy.
They say it’s too boring and laborious. They’re afraid it will make their writing too wooden and stiff. They believe it stifles their creativity as a wordsmith. They want to focus on their writing without resorting to a crutch.
They are similar to some of the writers I know who won’t use a thesaurus. (My response has always been, “Don’t you want to use every available writing tool?” I understand that it’s not good to use the thesaurus too much but I don’t see what’s wrong with using it occassionally.)
Many of these bloggers don’t really care about getting more search traffic so the traffic benefits from keyword research falls on deaf ears. But I’m here to tell you that keyword research, instead of stifling your writing, actually makes you a better writer.
Many people blog for fun while others blog to make money but at the end of the day most of us all have the same purpose in mind and the game is all about one thing, one word: traffic.
There are many different approaches to blogging and the best way to achieve long term success with your blog is to create valuable content but sometimes your entries need that small push to take off and you will have to promote your entries, often relying on friends/colleagues to get those first submissions/votes on social networks. On platforms such as StumbleUpon or Reddit verticals those first initial votes can make the difference between no referrals or thousands of visitors to your post.
So off you go hitting up all your friends on Twitter, Facebook and in Basecamp. Guilty as charged.
In this entry I am going to show you how you can easily set up a private network with WordPress and 3 plugins only, to promote your entries among, together with friends, hoping for those often crucial initial votes, submissions to the main social networks to maximally promote your awesome content. Read More
If there is anything I hate more than content thieves, it’s spammers!
Unlike the former who simply steal your content and claim it as their own, spammers attempt to destroy your site by linking to either “enhancements,” products or their own sad blog.
Since many bloggers power their weblogs with Blogger (aka BlogSpot) or WordPress (both WP.com and WP.org), here are 3 tips to help keep your blog free from spammers (and perhaps make them cry). Read More