Archive for January, 2012
As a visual person I like to create content on my websites that not only allows for a good read but also provides my readers with visual stimulation. However once my readers begin to engage with my content offsite I have found in the past that my content didn’t live up to expectations. To be honest I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to constantly tweak my social media sites to offer nice graphical interfaces.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when the team at InstaBG approached our team about a new program that allows users to automatically cull images from Instagram and feature them as Twitter backgrounds. The best part of the program? It can change your background daily based on the Instagram criteria you provide.
To start using InstaBG users simply click on the large “Sign in with Twitter Account” button that appears on the InstaBG.com front page.
Once you have authorized the account the following setup options will be shown:
Back in the good old days when blogging first started all you needed to do was WRITE great content and you were set. These days however the web has come a long way, making it simple for bloggers to create dynamic content that can grab a users imagination both on-site and off-site.
Whether you’re writing a political blog, a blog about technology or managing a site about healthy eating these five types of content can help better engage your audience while providing more ways to reach new followers.
1. HD Video
I recently purchased a new HD (1080P) camcorder from Samsung for $250 and it’s the best investment I’ve made in years. These days readers want to put a face with content and if possible they want to see example for what you write about (sweeping landscapes for a travel blog, tech reviews for a technology website, etc). HD video allows users to become even more engaged since they are likely to watch your videos in full screen mode which means they are giving you their full attention. Read More
You’ve heard about Search Engine Optimization, more commonly called SEO, and you know it’s important for your business’ website, but do you really understand the concept and process behind it?
In short, SEO is the process of optimizing a website by tweaking both internal and external factors to drive website traffic that originates from search engines.
Here’s a brief rundown of SEO and what takes place when a website is made search engine friendly. Read More
Working with an open-source platform that provides open-source plugins means it’s often cheap to build and maintain a website using WordPress, however because the platform and plugins are often open source it can also create a security headache for site administrators and that’s where Ultimate Security Checker comes into play.
The program is simple to use, essentially users simply search for “Ultimate Security Checker” in the WordPress repository and upload it to their server or they just install it direct from the WordPress plugins search section inside the admin area of their websites WordPress setup.
Once installed the program will ask you to run a diagnostic at which time Ultimate Security Checker will examine your blocks file settings, server settings, WordPress database and required plugin updates for stability. Read More
Several months ago President Obama signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) into law by decree of an executive order. While SOPA and PIPA turned the spotlight away from what the President calls a “matter of national security” various new petitions have circulated in which questions have been rightfully raised over the legality of the bills passing.
To circumvent a congress unlikely to pass the measure without public scrutiny President Obama signed an “executive agreement” which basically gives the President the ability to sign the treaty (by not calling it a treaty) while limiting the ability of the agreement to bind congress.
Currently circulating petitions in the meantime point out that executives agreements are only covered by things that fall solely under the President’s mandate, therefore an executive agreement that impacts the ability of Congress controlled items would be unconstitutional. Because intellectual property is protected under Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution along with Congresses responsibility to control such issue it would be an issue for Congress to discuss and pass or reject and not the President.
In the meantime the petition filed on the WhiteHouse.gov petition website has grown to more than 1000 people at this time while various other petitions have also circulated around the internet with thousands of signatures while asking that ACTA be stopped in the United States and in other countries where it has already or will soon be enacted. Read More
If you blog long enough and get enough traffic, you’ll inevitably find yourself on the mailing list for various companies that send out press releases. This moment comes with a strange mix of emotions as it is both annoying to be getting a lot of seemingly spammy email and flattering to be thought of as important enough to target.
However, as someone who came from a journalism background, I had been trained to distrust press releases. To many journalists, press releases are only useful for lazy reporters who don’t want to do their own reporting or can’t find out about news themselves. Instead of using the company’s press release, you were supposed to call and get your own quote.
But while that approach is certainly ideal, and maybe even practical for reporters at major publications, it certainly isn’t feasible for most bloggers. Not only do most of us lack the access to trivially call up a relevant company and get a quick response, but if we do the response is, usually, the exact same one in the press release.
The reason for this is simple. While companies want to engage bloggers and other thought-leaders, there’s just too many of them to sit down and answer questions from all of them. So, if you want to be alerted to the latest news in your field and have multiple viewpoints in your posts, you need to learn to stop worrying and start loving press releases. There simply is no other way. Read More
As someone who has been a guest blogger on approximately 80 different blogs, I feel as though I’ve seen it all when it comes to feedback. I have been asked to create an outline, articles have been sent back to me full of red and purple markings, articles have been completely ignored, and some of my articles have received nothing but a “no thank you” (no name, not greeting, just those three little words). As a writer, I have personal preferences as to how I think feedback should be handled. However, I also work on the flip side—I run a blog that accepts guests posts and I am constantly in a position to give feedback. Oddly enough, the way I give feedback to guest bloggers as an editor and the way I want to get feedback as a writer are completely different.
As a writer, I like it when an editor just tells me in one sentence why my article doesn’t work for their blog so I can send it somewhere else. I am not interested in seeing the hundreds of little comments an editor makes. If they have an idea about something that could make the article better then that’s great, but in general I am interested in getting my articles posted in a timely fashion. I am not offended (usually) if an editor doesn’t like my article, I will just try better next time.
First it was strong written content, then it was killer podcasts and now it’s video. The web and specifically blogging is still in an infancy period and for that reason bloggers tend to jump from one type of medium to another in terms of how they present their content to readers.
The truth is while video is great for supplementing a post and podcasts can be taken on the road and to various other locations there’s still no substitute for the written word.
Using video as part of your content creation won’t kill your blog, however if utilized incorrectly video can become an annoying hindrance that drivers users away. Let’s take a look at several ways video can kill your blog. Read More
A question which is asked quite often is: ‘When my website goes live, how do I market it?’ As we all know, getting visitors to your website within the first 3 – 6 months can be an uphill battle with very little reward.
We are going to talk through the steps needed to get your website seen by the most relevant audience, from offline marketing, all the way through to search engine optimisation (SEO). Read More
TGIF! What are your plans for the weekend? I am looking forward to a lot of things, and that helps in getting through the entire day! I wish you all a really good weekend!
Are you a versatile writer who is passionate about shop/fashion/retail trends/style/commerce? If you can switch topics and styles as quickly as you can blink, apply for this Las Vegas-based job! Read More