Do you write a niche blog about food, spirits, Asia, clothes or science?Â If so, you’ll be interested in the social media icons highlighted in this post.Â Even if you don’t write a blog about one of those niche topics, you might like the social media icons featured below.Â They could add some color, visual appeal, and interest to any blog!
Check them out and see if the right social media icons to give your blog some zing are included in the list!
Let’s face it.
Blogging looks a lot easier than it actually is.
But just like other creative or professional endeavors, success requires strategy and a game plan.
It’s a must have.
I liken it to traveling unfamiliar territories without a road map. The more you know, the further you’ll go.
In the business world, a common acronym for evaluating employees’ performance is known as S.M.A.R.T.
This can also apply to blogging.
Take heed. Here are the components. Read More
I use a lot of free and paid tools to help me as a blogger, and today I’m going to share 10 of the free blogging tools I can’t live without.Â I had a hard time narrowing this list down to just 10 tools, but I think the following offers a diverse group of tools that every blogger should try.
Of course, I also can’t live without Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many, many more free tools, but the list below includes a more diverse selection than just the most well-known and expected tools that you’d normally find in this type of list.Â Note that this list is in no particular order.
So without further ado, here they are — 10 free blogging tools I can’t live without (or at least, that I don’t want to live without): Read More
Perhaps five years from now, the issue of typography would have been solved already– that is, web designers and blog template designers will be able to select any font of their liking and use it on the fly. (This is probably when the font-face property has received wide-spread support)
The Contextual Partnership Plugin For WordPress Provides Free Advertising To Help Promote Your Blog & Get You Noticedâ€¦
If youâ€™re looking for an effective solution to help get your blog noticed then the Contextual Partnership Plugin for WordPress bloggers could be well worth consideration. Perhaps the most attractive aspect is that there is no cost involved.
According to the developers the plugin is designed to;
Drive more targeted visitors to your blog (or blogs) by strategically linking your blog to and from other bloggers participating in the network. The exact method used to achieve this remains confidential but apparently itâ€™s not a basic reciprocal link exchange – nor the more common 3 way linking arrangement often seen between bloggers.
Enhance the user experience for your blog visitors by providing them with links to other high quality blogs for further information on subjects of interest (and it can do this without you actually loosing the visitor which is a great feature).
Indirectly increase your search engine rankings by building highly relevant incoming links to your blog for keyword terms you define, related to your own niche market.
Not a bad indirect benefit at all.
To better understand how the network works, first you need to know what a â€œcontextual linkâ€ actually is. A contextual link is simply a link â€œwithin contentâ€ of a blog post and â€œwithin contextâ€ of specific keyword terms in that post. For example the term â€œdog trainingâ€ found within a blog post becomes a link out to another blog (related to â€œdog trainingâ€) within the network. Contextual Links are found all over the internet â€“ bloggers interlink their own pages contextually, there are paid advertising programs that allow you to place contextual advertising links and earn per click, and bloggers naturally link out to other websites they find useful â€œcontextuallyâ€ as well.
This is the key to the â€œContextual Partnershipâ€. When you install and setup the WordPress Plugin, youâ€™re asked to provide the URLâ€™s you wish to advertise on other partners blogs, and the keyword terms you want those blogs to use to link back to your own. When a match is found within the network for the keyword terms you provide (and assuming it meets with the Contextual Partnershipâ€™s strategic linking methodology), a link back to your blog is assigned, and your account has a credit removed.
The amount of credits your account holds appears to be directly related to the number of links youâ€™re providing to other partners in the network for the keyword terms they themselves are looking to use to advertise. Apparently for every link you provide for another partner, you earn 1 credit. That 1 credit is then â€œcashed inâ€ to assign a link back to your own blog from other partners whenever a match is found for your own keyword terms. So if you already have 100 posts in your blog, and each of those pages finds a match to provide a link to another partner, then technically you could receive 100 incoming links to your blog as soon as youâ€™ve been approved to participate in the partnership. You also continually earn more points and incoming links as you continue to blog and add more posts just like you usually do.
Thatâ€™s the basic overview and youâ€™ll find more specific information on the plugin website including details of many features not mentioned here (like the ability to select specifically which blog posts you want to include â€“ or nor include in the network)…
Uptake by the blogger community seems to have been extremely good and this new service looks to become very popular. In the first two weeks of launch the partnership already had over 54,000 individual places to place links throughout the network, and within the first 4 weeks over 10,000 advertising links had been allocated between network partners. This is most likely a result to how easy it is to actually setup the plugin and participate â€“ it literally takes 5 minutes to install and setup – although approval can take anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the moderation queue as only high quality blogs are accepted to participate to keep out the splogs and spammers.
This seems to be one of those services worth giving a shot for a few months, and by the looks of things the developers have some exciting new features in the pipeline to make things even more effective for partners in the future.
You can find out full details and download the plugin belowâ€¦
Those who have switched microblogs from Twitter to Plurk have been disappointed at the lack of Firefox add-ons available. Need proof? Off the top of my head, without googling, I can name a few Twitter add-ons for our favorite browser: Twitterfox, Twitbin, TwitKit, Twitterbar and so many more. Plurk, on the other hand, has very little selections to speak of.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Plurk’s horizontal timeline scheme, and I try to use the mobile interface as often as I can. In fact, I was able to devise a way to use the mobile interface solely. I installed Mozilla Prism and made an application out of Plurk. But constantly updating it manually can be a pain. Read More
I’ve been a huge fan of GrooveShark for about a year now. I’ve never experienced being unsuccessful at finding a song or an artist everytime I hit its page. While I usually go to it through TinySong, I end up using GrooveShark Lite for my immediate online music needs.
Just today I’ve noticed something new. Before when I hit a song’s title, I get to add it to the GrooveShark lite playlist. But today after hovering the song title, I noticed a little icon fade in… saying “embed”. Hmmmm… that caught my attention. Ok so I pressed it… wow!
A page popped out to guide me through the “embedding process”. Starting from a basic widget appearance you are able to fix width, border, add more songs… AND THEN finally choose where to embed the widget at. There are around 50+ embedding possiblities from Friendster to Hi5, from TypePad to WordPress.com, Multiply, MySpace, Blogger, you name it. I’m thinking if you’re sharing a song on the web there is high chance GrooveShark can do the sharing for you.
Check it out for yourself. The only “drawback” I noticed is that I think it’s not WordPress widget sidebar loadable. You have to feed it your WordPress site address, a unique login and password and it will post the widget out for you… as a post! Umm… made me squint.
Try the basic embed option and choose “other sites” and you’d get an object and a java code to embed into your WordPress site or a regular site for that matter.
I’ve heard and read about people cramming to get their very own DropBox. Â I figured, “hey what’s that all about”, shrugging it off to a weekend check-up. Â Well it’s the weekend now and all I’ve done is head-off to the public beta site of DropBox to view their About Us video. Â See below:
I love it! Â I’m off to get my DropBox, pronto!
If you’re frequently sharing files, and like me you use services like YouSendIt or others… you’d find DropBox a breath of fresh air. Â Features include:
Honestly, this new feature reminded me a little bit of the Twitter environment. I say that because I first saw this type of feature at Twitter.com Â BUT NOW, it’s Blogger.com’s new Followers gadget. This gadget allows you to see who’s following/reading your blog AND has become a fan of it by adding it to their list of favorite blogs to visit. Â As you could see above, it uses their blogger.com avatar as part of the gadget display.
Take a peek at what you see as the blog owner in your blogger dashboard:
A neat summary of how many followers you have AND the ability to “pay-back” by following your followers blogs too. Â Now isn’t that useful? Â
At the dashboard you are given the ability to follow other blogs too, even if they’re not hosted at blogger.com. Â Just head on to your dashboard and click “add”, then type in the blog address to quickly add it to your favorites. Â If the blog you just followed is hosted at blogger.com your avatar will be included in that blog’s followers list.
Haven’t seen this added to WordPress 2.7 features yet. Â I hope the widget developers can also make a WordPress version soon?
WordPress.com announced that they have extended their support hours from 9AM to 4PM PDT to 24-hours weekdays… to 24/7! That is one huge commitment that this team has put on and I think deserves a standing ovation. Kudos to you guys!
When you send a support message to wordpress.com you’re assured there’s a real human being replying. If you send a support question and you don’t have a blog hosted at wordpress.com, it will be ignored. This is solely for wordpress.com hosted blogs. They’ve said that they would respond to any wordpress service question, so fire away. Just please be sure that you’ve exhausted time into their FAQs and FORUMs before you do. There’s a high chance that you’re question has already been discussed in length by experts and users like you.
I really think that support will define the successful online tool. There are many online products available and some are hands-down so useful that people like me use them (even if support is not good). WordPress.com is so spot-on in looking after the well-being of it’s users. I’m sure they’d get a ton of happy people blogging away. And because wordpress.com is ad-driven, the new support system will ultimately result in more blog pages to attach those ads to… good thinking guys! And congratulations.