Archive for May, 2010
If you’ve written or blogged for at least a few months, you know that inspiration comes and goes. It’s not always lack of ideas that stop you from getting that next blog post out — often it’s having too many ideas and having doubts about what to write. Here are a few tips to spark some blogging inspiration, that have worked for me in the past.
Scanning For Ideas
The first step is scan for sources of ideas. Yeah, I know that I said you might have too many ideas, but we’ll take care of that in the next section.
- Scan the blogosphere. The first thing I usually do to start a blogging day is check my favorite aggregators and portals. I like to use Techmeme, Alltop, YourVersion, Google Reader. Depending on the niche that I’m blogging, I might check other similar tools or have my own custom aggregators that I’ve built in WordPress. Read More
Did you know there are some very simple things you can do on the social Web (and you might already be doing some of them) that can get you blacklisted, meaning you’ll be labeled as an annoyance, a person to avoid, or worse — a spammer?
Suffice it to say, if you want your blog and your foray into blogging to be successful, then you need to avoid the 5 ways to become a blacklisted blogger described below.
1. Fill your blog posts and comments on other blogs with links.
If you want to annoy people or be labeled a spammer, then fill your blog posts and the comments you leave on other blogs with links.Â This includes links back to your own site as well as affiliate links, text link ads, and so on.Â Links should enhance content.Â They should not detract from it making it impossible to find the links that are actually useful vs. those that are just self-promotional or revenue-generating.
2. Only talk about yourself.
Follow the 80-20 rule where 80% of the content and conversations you publish and participate in on the social Web are not self-promotional and 20% or less are self-promotional.Â No one wants to read what you have to say if all you ever do is talk about how great you are or your business is and try to sell your products or services. Read More
Jane Wells from Automattic published an update on the WordCamp How To blogtoday which is a warm welcome to anyone wanting to host a WordCamp. I have been lucky enough to help organize a WordCamp here in the Netherlands last year and hope to repeat that this year -yes, you’re all invited – and anything and everything is welcome to help make that a smoother experience for all attending.
The newly drafted guidelines are in fact pretty much straight forward on most topic such but there there are some questions it raises.
- Itâ€™s about everything WordPress. The guidelines state that it for 80% should be about WordPress.
- Open to all, easy to access, shared with community.WordCamps are meant to be low-key local gatherings that are affordable â€” cheap, even â€” to allow people from all walks of life to attend, meet, share, and learn.
- Locally organized and focused. Showcasing local talent and helping local practitioners connect is one of the best things about WordCamp. The best WordCamps tend to have both local and visiting speakers.
Everyone knows thatÂ images help make a good blog post great. Not only do they provide a much-needed visual element to break up the gray text, but they help your content stand out in RSS readers.
Unfortunately though, not everyone has the photography or art expertise to make an image for every post and, even those who do often lack the time or consistently apply it.
So bloggers routinely turn to other sources for their image. Some use screenshots or logos under fair use, others find press photos by the organizations they talk about and still others find licensed works from other aritists.
However, some make the mistake of finding their photos wherever they can and it is a mistake that has cost many bloggers dearly, both literally and figuratively. Read More
Niche is a hot buzz word these days, particularly as it relates to marketing and publishing. In simplest terms, a niche is a very specific area of focus. You can have a niche business or a niche blog, so why not join the two and have a powerful niche business blog? It’s brilliant, and many businesses have found great success on the social Web by defining and exploiting their niches via their business blogs. You can do it, too!
The Web is full of clutter, but you can stand out from the noise by establishing your niche and offering authoritative, reliable, and shareworthy content and conversations related to that niche on your business blog.
The first step is to define your niche by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Who is my target audience and what do they want from me?
Define your best audience, and then find out where they spend time online. Listen to their conversations and join those conversations to learn about what they want from a niche blog like yours. Then, create amazing content that meets those wants and needs. Read More
Regardless of whether you blog because of a passion or for profit, no blog post is complete without an image accompanying your post.
While grabbing an image off of Wikipedia or Flickr is can satisfy most bloggers, touching up an image yourself can be much more rewarding, especially if you are the type of blogger who enjoys creating original content.
Although you could always spend hundreds of dollars on a photo editing program (like Adobe Photoshop), it is much wiser (and cheaper) to simply use these free alternatives instead. Read More
One of the things I love about writing is that I can do it from anywhere. Whether I’m perched atop the Himalayas or laying poolside in Vegas, all I need is a pen and paper and a money-making creative purge is right around the corner. That’s a sexy thought, one that has spawned many people to consider blogging as a full-time career as office life dies a slow death.
As I write this post I am looking out on a calm river and swan-laden pond. The majestic green trees are punching through the blue sky and the peaceful sound of nearby waterfalls have lulled me into a Zen-like state.
The words are flowing.
All is right with the world.
Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Read More
Over the past few weeks I’ve had the
privilege of reading an excellent WordPress book titled, WordPress & Ajax by Ronald Huereca which has led me to write this in-depth review; and I must say that it has been added to my developer’s book arsenal. Being a developer myself, although new to Ajax, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more and advance my skills towards developing my own dynamic themes and plugins enhanced by Ajax.
Although it took me a few weeks to read because of my busy schedule, WordPress & Ajax is a mere 251 pages with 15 very relevant chapters. There is not a single page wasted as Ronald seeks to help his readers master the beautiful art of Ajax and WordPress. Read More
Not too long ago, I received an invitation from a teen-aged blogger to do a guest post on his blog.
I was flattered, but skeptical.
No disrespect intended, but frankly Iâ€™ve got shoes that have had more birthdays than this young fellaâ€™, (and more mileage).
But, when I clicked on to his site, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.
My initial chuckles turned into cheers!
Problogger’s Darren Rowse has a great article on the “unsexy truths” of monetizing your blogging. A lot of the truths that he mentions apply whether you’re monetizing directly or indirectly, whether you’re running advertising or selling products or services. Overall, I think that purpose and persistence are two of the fundamental keys of blogging success.
Why or For Whom Are You Blogging?
What Darren says, in a nutshell, is that persistence offers the potential (not the guarantee) of success online, but this often is the hardest aspect of blogging: that the return doesn’t come fast enough (item #2). This could be either because a blogging niche is difficult to monetize, or because not enough effort is made to promote, or several other reasons, including really sloppy or poor content. When you couple lack of ROI in a desirable timeframe with the loneliness (item #7) of blogging from home — which I’m guessing most bloggers do — and the challenge of long hours (sometimes, not always) and the lack of human contact together often mean one thing: giving up fairly quickly, if you’re blogging for yourself. Read More