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Archive for June, 2011

How Many Guest Bloggers are Too Many?

Thinking of using guest bloggers to diversify the content on your site? Find out how many guest bloggers is too many.

For most bloggers, accepting guest posts has a dual purpose.  In the short term, guest blogging affords bloggers a much-needed break from their writing schedule, while allowing divergent opinions that can get a conversation going (or keep an existing one alive).  In the long term, guest blogging allows bloggers to build relationships with other writers and industry professionals who may be valuable connections at a later time.

It goes without saying that there are also multiple benefits for the guest blogger.  At the very least, guest bloggers receive exposure for themselves, their product or service.  In many cases, the guest blogger can receive a backlink for their website (which is good for SEO) or even financial remuneration.   Nevertheless, there is an overabundance of writers who are looking for a platform, and a smaller number of quality blogs willing to accept guest posts. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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5 Places to Get Ideas for Writing Articles and Blog Posts

Writer’s block can happen to anyone.   It could happen to me right now as I write this post.   But there are several things you can do to get out of it and to come up with some captivating topics that your readers will enjoy.  And even if you don’t get writer’s block it can be difficult to know exactly what to write about next.

Once you know your audience you can move on to the next step of finding something to write about.  Here are some helpful tips that I use all the time. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Tumblr Users Upset About Dashboard Change?

It looks like the mighty Tumblr has decided to spice up their dashboard a bit in order to make it easier for fans to use.

Or at least that was their intention as apparently users are voicing their complaints upon Tumblr as well as Twitter regarding the change.

While yours truly loves the new interface (as it makes it easier to switch between different blogs), many users are upset that the new default dashboard does not display how many followers one has as well as hiding the messages inbox (among other things).

Note: You can see follower counts, as well as most of the information from the previous dashboard by selecting the specific blog’s dashboard.

Although Tumblr’s change seems suited to making the service even easier to use, they also seems to be promoting their Explore feature by placing it in a prominent spot upon the sidebar (a strategy that seems to geared to helping new comers find new blogs to follow).

For those of you who are fans of Tumblr, what are your thoughts regarding the latest changes? Also, what would you add to the current dashboard on Tumblr if you could?

Categories: Blogging News
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Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Should Update Your Themes (and Use Child Themes)

Twenty Eleven ImageMost bloggers and webmasters who use WordPress understand that you need to keep their core files up to date and also update any plugins that they may have. Fortunately, WordPress makes the process of doing so very easy and painless, usually just a click away, and most users seem to do it without thinking about it.

Unfortunately, most users don’t feel nearly as strongly about their themes. Among many WordPress users, there’s a mentality to equate “theme” with “design” and it is unfortunate because modern WordPress themes are much more than HTML and CSS. PHP, JavaScript and tighter integration with WordPress means that themes are capable of much more than laying out a page.

To drive this point home, prominent WordPress core developer Mark Jaquith said in a recent talk at WordCamp Phoenix 2011 that “The themes of today are pretty much like plugins in terms of what they can do.”

In short, the functionality of themes and plugins overlap greatly as even “basic” themes include additional elements that manipulate WordPress by adding new options and settings.

However, while all of this new functionality is a great thing for bloggers, especially those who want to easily design a great site, it’s bad news for security. WordPress themes are a potential security risk, just as with any plugin, and they require maintenance and testing to make sure they are still safe.

Unfortunately, few people give their themes such weighty consideration, possibly leading to major problems down the road.

Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes
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WordPress Embraces Social Commenting, Are Google Accounts Next?

Lovers of WordPress.com can finally allow readers to comment using their Facebook and Twitter credentials without having to install IntenseDebate.

As an important touch, we let you stay logged in to multiple services. This means you can stay logged in to Facebook for convenience, but still leave a comment through Twitter or your WordPress.com account. Just click whichever identity you’d like to use, and the selected one will be associated with your comment when it is published. You’re in control of your identity, as you should be. (Official WordPress.com Blog)

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) is planning on porting this feature for self hosted blogs via JetPack, which should help fill a gap for bloggers who want social commenting without having to embrace third party options like Disqus or Facebook.

Currently there is no option to post a comment using your Google account, although the team may consider the search engine giant in the not so distant future (depending upon demand of course).

For those of you powering your blogs via WordPress.com, have you activated social commenting upon your sites? Also what other services (aside from Google) would you like to see added?

Categories: WordPress News
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VaultPress To WordPress Fans: Got Hosting Woes? We’ll Be In Touch

VaultPress (a real time backup and security service by Automattic) has released a new feature that will alert self hosting WordPress fans if their site is experiencing any problems staying online.

We’ve just enabled a new feature for all VaultPress customers that will now automatically notify you via email when we detect a connection error between VaultPress and your site. [...]

If VaultPress is unable to contact your site for five consecutive hours, we’ll send an initial alert email to you. We’ll send additional follow-up alerts to you and then to our concierge support team so we can work with you to make sure your site is protected. (Official VaultPress Blog) Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Tumblr Flys Past 20 Million Blogs

It’s been only 15 days Tumblr sprinted past 19 million blogs, and now the micro blogging service is now hosting over 20 million blogs upon their servers.

Tumblr’s latest feat puts the service within striking distance of WordPress.com, who recently passed the 20 million blog milestone last month. Read More

Categories: Blogging News
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+1, Like or Send? Which Will be the Best Button for Bloggers?

Since Facebook launched their iconic “Like” button last year, they brought about the dawn of the modern social plugin. Visit most blogs and article sites and you will see a virtual minefield of buttons to social networks and bookmarking sites that offer you a myriad of ways to promote the author’s work to the world.

In 2011 both Google and Facebook have announced the imminent launch of a shiny new button that you can add to your website or blog that people can use to tell all of their friends about your site. In the Google corner we have +1, a button that is set to evolve into something that mirrors Facebook’s hugely successful Like button. In the Facebook corner we have another new button, “Send”, bringing in a standard button with which you can click and send a link to the website or blog to specific friends who will be interested in a particular subject.

Throw in all the other buttons for Twitter, as well as those for the likes of Reddit and Delicious and you could soon end up with more plugins that text. So what should you keep, what should you install and what should you ditch? Let’s take a look at all of the pretenders and see which plugins will be best for bloggers. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Would You Ditch Your Blog For Facebook Notes?

Believe it or not the worlds largest social network actually boasts a blog utility to it (which in retrospect isn’t surprising as Facebook is heavily courting bloggers nowadays).

Simply dubbed Notes, this Facebook utility allows users to easily create lengthy posts (beyond the 420 character status limit), as well as easily format texts and insert media.

Although it’s not surprising to see Facebook boast a blog utility within its domain, it is surprising to see how popular Notes has become (at least among many of my friends), especially in light of more powerful options such as WordPress and Blogger.

For those of you seriously considering using Notes as your main blog platform, here are a few reasons why you may love (as well as hate) powering your blog via Facebook. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Tumblr Gives Music Lovers Another Reason To Switch

Although there are plenty of options available for music lovers when it comes to choosing a blog service or software, it looks like Tumblr may have edged out rivals with their latest partnership.

[W]e’re so excited to finally announce that we’ve hooked up with SoundCloud to bring their network of sound (music, podcasts, standup, journalism, and pretty much anything audible) to Tumblr.

Not only can you cut-and-paste any SoundCloud track URL into your Audio posts, now you can search SoundCloud from the comfort of Tumblr! (Tumblr Staff Blog) Read More

Categories: Blogging News
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