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Archive for November, 2010

6 Reasons Why I Am Thankful for Blogging

Americans around the world are gearing up for a day of family, friends, football and feasting; Thanksgiving Day is right around the bend. The holiday gives us a moment to shine the spotlight on the things we are grateful for. This year, I am particularly thankful for blogging. Let me tell you why…

- Blogging Reignited My Passion to Write. Early this century, my journalism degree was gathering dust. The digital revolution filled my professional and personal time to the point where I had no reason to write. But blogging opened a door to a world of writing…without an editor. My grammar might not be perfect and spelling errors, well, yeah, they happen. But removing the hurdle of having someone change what I wanted to say…a huge score!

- Blogging Builds Relationships. They may not be part of my inner circle, but I have formed some valuable and fulfilling relationships thanks to blogging. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogging Pitfalls: 5 Steps to Recapture Your Love for Blogging

Running a blog is a lot like a relationship. It requires a high level of commitment, honesty and and work to keep it going strong.

However, one of the most important elements of both our human and our blog relationships is keeping the spark alive and keeping ourselves “in love” with our partners.

This isn’t an easy task. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt and though one might not actually hate their site, they may not have quite the same passion for it that they once did. However, a lack of passion can easily kill a good site, not only is it one the “Three Ps” of a successful blog, but it is something that makes your blog and its writing much better when you have it.

So, in order to keep moving forward with your site, you need to find a way to make sure you are just as passionate about what you’re doing today as you were yesterday and the day before. But as the newness and excitement wears off, that can be more and more difficult, resulting in Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, General

Why WordPress Bloggers Need To Choose Premium Themes Over Free

In an age where everyone is trying to save some cash, many WordPress bloggers will for go the expense of paying for a premium theme and instead opt for the cheapest price available (hint: free).

While there are plenty of free themes available for WordPress users (thanks in part to generous designers), unless one is running a personal blog WordPress fans should always choose a premium theme over a free one (provided you have the funds of course).

Since some users will balk at the idea of paying for a theme in an age where quality software is available for free, here are 3 reasons why you need to choose premium themes over free handouts. Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes

Does Your Blog Need a Homepage?

Years ago, when I worked for a major retailer, one of the perks was getting free magazines. Once a periodical was considered outdated, an associate would be tasked with ripping off the covers and adding the “naked” magazines to a pile. Staff members were allowed to rummage through this stack.

I took my fair share magazines, but it was never easy figuring out which ones I wanted. Without the cover, it takes quite a bit of sifting to figure out if there’s an article that you want to read. Can the same be said for blogs? Do we need a “cover?”

Think about your favorite magazine. It’s those attractive pictures and pithy problem-solving questions that get you to crack open the publication. Without a cover, determining whether or not a magazine is worth our time becomes a laborious task. OK, so it’s not hard to leaf through several pages. But we already know that reading physical publications is much different than perusing electronic content. So the question I’d like to pose today…because I don’t know the answer…is whether or not your blog should have a homepage. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Who Are You Writing For? The Fine Line of SEO Content

To someone with little or no knowledge of the SEO and internet marketing industries this might seem like a no-brainer. Writing is for humans right? Hasn’t it been that way since we started making marks on cave walls?

With the amount of reader focused writing in circulation today (letters, emails, memos, magazines etc) it can be easy to assume that web content is written with the same purpose in mind.

However, in a bizarre, I, Robot-esque twist; many writers are now gearing their content almost solely toward keyword hungry machines; the all powerful search engines whose attention every internet marketer so desperately craves.

So who should you write for?

The answer – that you should write for both search engines and human readers – may seem fairly obvious, but sadly it’s much easier written than done. The very first thing we must understand is not who we’re writing for, but why we’re writing.

It’s fair to say that many professional bloggers, content writers, article marketers, press release authors and blog commentators write with the sole purpose of improving their search engine rankings. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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20 Easy Ways to Promote Your Blog Across the Social Web

One of the key points I explain in my book, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, is that for a business to succeed in building a brand and growing, it needs to surround consumers with branded online experiences, so those consumers can self-select how they want to engage with the brand.  The same theory holds true for bloggers who want to grow their own blog brands and audiences across the social web.

Following are 20 easy things you can do to promote your blog across the social web.  You’ll notice that many of the suggestions listed below require a one-time set-up and you’re done.  Some of the suggestions don’t even happen online!  Others require you to do a bit more work, but the end result is worth it in terms of directly and indirectly promoting your blog to a wider audience.  Take a look and try to implement as many of the suggestions listed below as possible to jump-start your blog promotion efforts.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Better WordPress for Clients

A series of three free ebooks about using WordPress for your clients. The first deals with customising WordPress, removing branding and unnecessary fields, the second book looks at how you can pitch WordPress to your clients and the third books has an intensive look at the options to secure WordPress.

All three books are must haves for the WordPress fan and thinkerer.

Read the complete entry, inclusively an interview with Automattic employee Tammy White, here.

Categories: Linking
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Disqus Comments Hook Users In

An interesting story about the way how the Disqus Comments system hooks its WordPress users in, by not communicating with the WP database when a comment has been marked as spam.

Bug or voluntarily hooking the users in by holding the cleanliness of the comment stream hostage?

It will be interesting to see if the Disqus community will fix this spam issue or whether this is a form of locking users in.

Read the complete entry here.

Categories: Linking
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Correct Coding for WP Sidebars

Great entry by Justin Tadlock, of Hybrid Theme fame, on the correct way to integrate sidebar into WordPress themes. Also contains a very detailed explanation of the term sidebar and its possible uses in WordPress Themes.

A must read for anyone who want to develop themes for WordPress: Read Justin’s entry here.

Categories: Linking, WordPress Tips, WordPress Tutorials
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3 Reasons Why WordPress Bloggers Need A Beta Site

One of the joys of blogging upon WordPress is the fact that there are thousands of excellent plugins and themes you can utilize upon your blog, giving you the ability to easily customize your site without having to dig too deeply into the code.

Unfortunately it seems that in their excitement to configure a blog to their liking, many users forget that many of the changes they are making behind the scenes are appearing live upon the site, which can confuse many of their readers (especially if your blog breaks).

While one should always seek out for new ways to improve the appearance and functionality of your blog, users might want to consider establishing a sand box (aka beta site) where they can test out new features “live” without damaging the appearance or functionality of their site. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tips