BloggingPro http://www.bloggingpro.com News, plugins and themes for blogging applications Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:00:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 The Exposure WordPress Theme Giveaway From ThemeFuse http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/03/02/the-exposure-wordpress-theme-giveaway-from-themefuse/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/03/02/the-exposure-wordpress-theme-giveaway-from-themefuse/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31947 exposure wordpress theme

Everyone knows WordPress, and almost as many know about the premium themes made available for WordPress by ThemeFuse. These are some of the most popular designs and tools, and three of our lucky readers have a chance to win the new Exposure WordPress theme absolutely free.

A good theme is a “make or break” feature, and those who rely on ThemeFuse know that it is a name to trust. All of the ThemeFuse.com products are well designed and very clearly meant to deliver optimal results to their users. Now, you too can have access to one of their designs, if you win one of the three vouchers that allow you to download and use this new photography-based theme.

The Exposure theme for WordPress is loaded with the kinds of features blog and website readers expect. It uses a Unyson framework – which is the core of all ThemeFuse themes. This provides a huge list of features and settings that give the user a tremendous amount of control over the final results. ThemeFuse actually developed Unyson in order to ensure it could allow the widest range of customization, and yet remain easy to use.

WordPress Unyson Framework

Thanks to the thoughtful design of this ThemeFuse resource, you can develop your website in a matter of minutes using drag and drop elements. The Visual page builder ensures that even the most complicated and feature rich pages are simple to create, even without skill or experience.

Exposure Theme Visual Page Builder

As an example, you can use the built-in calendar shortcode to give your readers instant information. Because it is part of the Visual drag & drop designing options, you can put such a powerful resource to work on any page.

Exposure Theme Events Calendar

Tired of “default” pages? Looking for a more customized range of pages for your audience? On top of all of those default blog pages, the Exposure photography WordPress theme features simple to use Visual drag & drop page builders that let you design unique pages whatever way you need or want.

Exposure WordPress Theme Layouts

Sliders are features that scare off some novice bloggers or web designers, but the Exposure theme has two different styles, and both are easy to use and incorporate into your pates. One is the typical design ideal to use as a portfolio and the other is meant to be static and suited to both photography and video.

Exposure WordPress Theme Sliders

The Giveaway

Once again, ThemeFuse is showing its generosity by allowing us to pick THREE lucky BloggingPro readers who will be able to download the Exposure WordPress Theme for absolutely free.

Here are things you remember in order to win:

  • The giveaway starts today, March 2, and ends on March 8. The winners will be announced on Monday, March 9.
  • You can tweet once a day, every day to get more entries.
  • And, to get even more entries, check out the additional options in the Rafflecopter widget below.
  • Visit the ThemeFuse Facebook page, and give them a like!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy tweeting, commenting, and sharing! Good luck!

WordPress Theme Roundup: February 2015

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, March 2, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/03/02/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-march-2-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/03/02/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-march-2-2015/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:00:30 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31943 Job board highlightsHow’s it going, everyone?

Here’s to a Monday that will be so good that you’ll be looking forward to the rest of the week! To help with that, here are more interesting gigs from the job board highlights.

Hiring Journalists and All Content Writers!

Farkie is a premium content marketplace which enables news publications and journalists to work together on one platform. Farkie is a very simple concept, join, choose a topic to write and get paid for it, it is as simple as that.

They only request our writers to write content regarding Entertainment, Gaming and Tech news, for example the latest Sims 4 news or the latest iPhone 6 information, you will simply choose a keyword from our automated list and once approved, you will be paid for it.

Military gear expert writer

Military equipment blog looking for more writers. They have a team of writers producing content on a daily basis and are continually seeking to expand. Topics range from equipment reviews to advice general usage guides. You should be familiar with military gear, specifically boots and clothing. If not familiar with military boots, you should be willing to learn about it in detail (and have a solid foundation of knowledge already). It won’t be good enough to just do a few minutes of research before you start writing.

Sports Team Hats Fanatic, with a focus on the sport of Baseball

Then MajorBaseballHats.com is a hat blog and website who helps people buy their MLB team hats online. They need a blogger who knows everything about:
– baseball hats
– Major League Baseball
– Hat manufacturers like New Era, 47 Brand, and Nike.

Paleo Recipe Developer

Thrive Market is looking for a talented Paleo recipe developer to help create original recipes for Thrive Market blog and promotional materials. This position is freelance or part time with full time potential. The ideal candidate would be responsible for developing recipes that are nutritious, delicious, easy and incorporate products that are available on ThriveMarket.com.

Freelance Contributing Content Writer for Home Decor Ecommerce

Dot & Bo is building a customer-centric company focused on reinventing the way people discover and buy things they love for their homes.

They are looking for a skilled freelance copywriter with creativity and smarts. You’ll help tell the stories behind their products and collections with crisp, compelling, witty copy. They’re especially interested in candidates with experience writing for the web – someone who can distill stories into clear, digestible content that will delight their audience.

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5 Free WordPress Alternatives That Focus on Your Writing http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/26/5-free-wordpress-alternatives-that-focus-on-your-writing/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/26/5-free-wordpress-alternatives-that-focus-on-your-writing/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31927 Blogging for Blogging's Sake: 5 Best Free WordPress Alternatives

There’s a reason why WordPress is arguably the most popular and used blogging platform. Its user-friendly features and wealth of plugins allow you to maximize your blog’s exposure to your readers.

But WordPress has outgrown its purpose as a platform strictly for bloggers. WordPress has provided businesses with more themes, plugins, and functions to get the most out of their websites. The blogging platform is now considered a content management system (CMS), a catch-all phrase that lets people create website that cater to their very needs.

While this is a good thing, you may want to keep things simple as a blogger. Instead of getting caught up with choosing the best plugins and themes, you can turn your focus into sharing your ideas to readers through words instead. This can be done by using the free and minimal WordPress alternatives below.

authpad

Authpad - wordpress alternatives

authpad’s”frictionless” approach to blogging help writers put emphasis in their writing. Create your posts and pages on Markdown or HTML. Choose from five basic themes and edit its CSS to achieve a unique look with it. Let visitors comment on your post using Disqus.

Pen.io

 

Pen.io   Publish a Beautiful Blog Post

What if you’ve always wanted to get things off your chest but don’t want to create and manage a blog for it. Enter Pen.io, a platform that allows people to create a one-off blog post without the hassle of signing up for a blog.

Aside from sharing your thoughts, there are other  fun ways on how you can use Pen online such as brainstorming for your next project, post short stories, and more.

Medium

Welcome to Medium — Medium - wordpress alternatives

Medium is the brainchild of former Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Their aim is to provide writers and bloggers a seamless experience of writing and sharing their work with an audience. The single column layout lets readers focus on the content. You can recommend, save, share, and embed the story on your other web properties if you wish. If your post is great, it can get featured on the front page of the site. Creating an account is also easy when you have a Twitter account.

postach.io

Postach.io   The Evernote powered blogging platform - wordpress alternatives

If you use Dropbox and Evernote, then blogging on postach.io is a no brainer. After signing up for an account, you can sync your postach.io with either apps. You will need a text editor in order to create and save a post on Dropbox before you can upload it on your blog. With Evernote, its built-in text editor lets you type out your post and upload it once you’re done.

Just like a good blogging platform, postach.io lets you choose from different themes, install Disqus commenting system, and edit the source code, among others.

Svbtle

Svbtle - wordpress alternatives

Everything on a web page is clutter with the exception of the content in the body. Svbtle follows this mantra by creating a distraction-free environment not only for readers, but also for writers. This way, they can put all their energy into writing their posts without getting sidetracked by other features. Like Medium, there’s a chance that your post can be featured on the front page of the site.

Final thoughts: While these WordPress alternatives shouldn’t convince you to abandon the CMS, it should still make you rethink your approach to blogging.

If you’re intention is to put out great content without worrying about anything else, then the platforms above provide minimalist approach for the sake of putting your post in the spotlight.

More on WordPress alternatives:

3 Scenarios: Blogging in a Post-WordPress World

WordPress and 10 Years of Relevancy

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WordPress Theme Roundup: February 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/24/wordpress-theme-roundup-february-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/24/wordpress-theme-roundup-february-2015/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31913 wordpressfebruary

WordPress Theme Roundup is a new feature on this blog to showcase the latest and best WordPress themes of the month. Every roundup will be published at the end of the month so expect the next post to be published the last week of next month.

Below are the newest themes you can purchase or download for free.

Everal

For image source, click here

For image source, click here

Everal is a freemium WordPress theme that you can download after following theme developer Cohhe on Twitter.

Features of Everal include:

  • Retina ready – images scale to hi-def screen down, providing visitors with a seamless user experience
  • Ultra responsive – When viewed on any device (desktop, mobile, tablet), the theme will adapt to the screen size for optimal viewing
  • Theme documentation – Refer to this file for a complete rundown of the theme while covering its most important functions

Aventurine

aventurine

For bloggers looking for a theme that focuses on the writing, then Aventurine is for you.

The name is inspired by the Italian phrase a ventura, which translates to “by chance.” A quick look at the theme would make you believe otherwise. The deceptively simple appearance of the theme harks back to the time when a blog is a platform to share your ideas through words.

Aventurine is a deliberate statement against supercharged themes by going the minimalist route.  There are no sidebar or widgets featured on the body of the theme. It does embrace the features of the Jetpack plugin (carousels, infinite scroll, Photon, etc.).

A1

For image source, click here.

For image source, click here.

WordPress themes need to strike the perfect balance between speed and appearance. Whether you’re running a personal blog or a business site, this theme will give you an elegant and fast site to impress and retain your visitors.

Businesses looking to build a mailing list, create sales funnel, and manage their online reputation will have a field day using this theme. A1 has a built-in funnel templates to organize how you can turn visitors into leads or customers. With the wealth of templates choices, you no longer need a third-party service like LeadPages to manage your sales process for you.

The Reputation Management feature lets you college testimonials and reviews about your products and services. You can then thank people for their positive feedback and rectify any negative criticism before it gets out to the public.

This is a paid theme. Click here for the price packages.

Auberge

For image source, click here.

For image source, click here.

If you want to build a website for your bar or restaurant, Auburge is a responsive and retine ready WordPress theme that you should try. It has a feature that lets you create a food recipe or menu of your restaurant using the JetPack plugin. It is an SEO-friendly theme that will help your site rank for your chosen keywords on search engines.

For the upgraded version, you can set up a recipes page using the WebMan Amplifier plugin, a multilingual website using the WPMR plugin, and more.

Note: For your online shops that run on WordPress, check out these responsive WooCommerce themes to help boost your sales and improve your customer experience.

If you have a new plugin and theme or posts about both that you want featured on our monthly roundup, please send them here.

More on WordPress theme:

WordPress Book Review: WordPress In Depth, The Dark Horse Among WordPress Books

WordPress Security – A Comprehensive Guide

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Farkie.com: For Freelance Writers Who Want a Steady Income and the Potential to Earn More http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/24/farkie-com-freelance-writers-want-steady-income-potential-earn/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/24/farkie-com-freelance-writers-want-steady-income-potential-earn/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31895 With the freedom that comes with freelance writing/blogging comes the uncertainty of income. Some are fortunate enough to have clients who provide consistent work at premium rates, but others have to constantly be on the prowl for work just to make ends meet.

journalist

Source

At the end of the day, we all want to have a reliable source of income and to earn more.

The obvious thing to do is to always look for work to replace gigs that have ended. While it can be touch and go, this strategy works as long as you’re determined – and smart – in your job search.

But there’s a new kid on the block that can help ease this burden: Farkie.com.

You may be thinking that it’s just another of those content platforms that hook writers with enticing promises and then fail to deliver.

If you are, I can’t really blame you. I’ve had my fair share of writing for several platforms without really earning anything because there’s no outright payment system.

With Farkie, however, you do get to earn without solely relying on page views and similar metrics.

Still skeptical?

How about I show you around, and then you can decide for yourself at the end of this post?

The basics

Farkie is a premium content network which can serve as an online portfolio for writers. Writers have to sign up to be part of the network, and they get paid for their work.

Why try Farkie?

Because it truly has a different setup than existing networks which “pay” freelance writers for creating pages, articles, or however they call it. Here are the highlights that you will want to know about Farkie.

  • Registration is FREE. You don’t pay a single cent.
  • There is a level system in place, which allows writers to earn more as they level up.
  • There is no minimum work required, neither is there a maximum limit. Work when you want. Rest when you want.
  • They have a wide array of topics to choose from, and you are not forced to write about anything you don’t want to.
  • They pay using PayPal and have a reputation for paying on time.

An inside look at Farkie

Now that you have a general idea how Farkie works, let me run you through the system.

Registration

First you have to visit their home page, enter your e-mail address, and click sign up.

Farkie

No fees. Nothing. All you need to do is upload your resume in PDF format. This is a required action, so make sure your resume is up to date.

You will then have to wait 24 hours for your account to be approved/activated. This is one of the things that I like about Farkie’s system: while they don’t require you to be a published author, they do vet their writers. For me, that means quality.

Your Dashboard

When your account is approved and activated, you will be taken to your dashboard. It will look like this the first time you log in.

Farkie dashboard

The notification at the top of the page is another indication that the platform puts a premium on quality. They have guidelines, and they require their writers to adhere to those. Hence, new signups have to read the Guidelines page. You’ll keep seeing that notification until you visit the page.

You’ll also see the quick stats displayed, so that when you start writing and earning, you can easily keep track of your articles and earnings. You can also see what articles are still pending and which ones have been rejected.

Your profile

Before you can proceed, you will need to fill out your profile.

Farkie profile

This is another requirement in order to be published. The way I see it, this is another way to ensure quality – your online identity will be linked to your Farkie work. This is also where Farkie as an online portfolio works. With your name associated to what you publish, you can easily use Farkie articles as samples to other clients.

Profile

Getting Jobs

To start getting jobs, you simply have to click the “Jobs” link on the left. You’ll then be taken to the page where available jobs are displayed.

Farkie jobs

Let’s take a close look at the elements on this page.

You’ll notice there are two main types: List Articles and Freelance Articles.

For List Articles, you get paid a flat rate of $30. Once you click “Create List”, you’ll have to confirm that you want to create a list. You’ll then be taken to another page where more details will be given.

Farkie list

If you want shorter news articles, you can opt for Freelance Articles, but these pay $3 per 1,000 visits.

You’ll also notice that there are specific topics which you can write about. Needless to say, I suggest you choose a topic you are familiar with.

Farkie topics

Say I wanted to write about Angry Birds. The popup tells you the rate (in this case $1 per 100 words) and how long you have to submit (12 hours). If you don’t submit within the time frame, your account will be suspended. Deadlines matter!

Additionally, if your article is not news about the chosen topic, your article will be rejected.

Now what about the BOUNTY tag?

That’s what you want to go for if you’re really familiar with the topic because BOUNTY topics pay out 20% more!

Levels, rejections, etc.

Farkie levels

What about levels?

I mentioned earlier that you can level up and earn more. In the previous section, you saw that an article paid out at $1 per 100 words. That’s because I am still at level 1.

This rate goes up progressively with levels. So, the more you write, the more you level up, and the more you earn.

Simple.as.that.

What if your articles get rejected?

First, make sure you read the Guidelines thoroughly. It’s very detailed – from SEO to Content to Quotes to Sources. If you’ve read and understood the Guidelines, you probably won’t have any rejected articles.

Also check out the FAQ.

Article promotion

The more eyeballs your articles get, the more earnings you make – especially for the News-type. The good news is that you don’t have to promote your own articles. Farkie has their own system for that.

However, if you really want more views and are proud of your work, promoting your own content is a no brainer!

The final analysis

Farkie.com has the potential to give freelance writers a steady stream of income, not to mention increase the amount of money coming in. While the rates may not meet the expectations of some freelancers, with a bit of effort and regular work, it is totally possible to have Farkie as your main “client”.

My recommendation: Visit Farkie now, and give it a try.

Let us know how it goes for you!

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, February 23, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/23/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-23-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/23/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-23-2015/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31893 Job board highlightsGood morning!

I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to take on the the last week of February.

Here are the job board highlights to help you end the month on a nice note.

Hiring Journalists and All Content Writers!

Farkie is a premium content marketplace which enables news publications and journalists to work
together on one platform. Farkie is a very simple concept, join, choose a topic to write and get paid for it, it is as simple as that.

They only request our writers to write content regarding Entertainment, Gaming and Tech news, for example the latest Sims 4 news or the latest iPhone 6 information, you will simply choose a keyword from our automated list and once approved, you will be paid for it.

Writers and bloggers sought on high Alexa rank sites

A media site is looking for writers and bloggers who publish on sites in the following niches that have an Alexa rank of 1 – 100,000:

  • News and politics
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Eco & green

American Writers, urgent, high and low volume, ongoing

A fast-growing content writing business, founded 2003 is looking for writers. Although they are based in the UK, much of their business is with American clients for whom they require American writers.

Copywriter for Commercial Webcontent

Greatcontent is an online content creation platform looking for high quality writers who can write… wait for it… great content! They currently have a high number of travel destination orders available to work on their website.

Genre Editors

If you are a freelance editor with expertise in historical, regency, erotica, contemporary, scifi, and fantasy genres, apply for this job. You’ll be responsible for copyediting a variety of manuscripts at the mechanical and substantive level and have experience using the Chicago Manual of Style (16e).

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Is Google Really Such an Evil Business? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/19/google-really-evil-business/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/19/google-really-evil-business/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31886 man sitting at the MacBook retina with site Google on the screen

Google has been the top search engine for years now. The changes that Google made with their algorithm throughout the years provided better and more relevant search results for users.

More than that, it has provided small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs a platform to compete against corporations by way of search engine optimization.

With an optimized website, a business can rank at the top page of search results, amassing thousands – if not millions – of traffic on a regular basis. They can turn the traffic into leads and customers, which will help sustain their business in the long run.

But with the many online business who has found success through Google, there are those whose business have for the very same reason.

Josh Bachynski launched an IndieGogo campaign that plans to create a documentary of businesses who have been decimated by Google’s business practices. Below is a teaser to the video.

The title of the documentary is “Don’t be Evil,” which is also Google’s company slogan (at least for now).

The campaign is still ongoing. If you want to contribute to the documentary in some capacity, click here to visit the campaign page.

But back to the question: Is Google evil?

Referring to the documentary, Google is deemed evil due to the algorithm changes that pushed online businesses down the SERPs. It can also refer to the competitive nature of SEO, where some would go as far as to destroy their competitors by way of negative SEO.

A strong argument can be made against these businesses – their dependency to Google and SEO cost them, plain and simple. Instead of expanding their avenues of getting leads and customers to their businesses, they put all their eggs into one basket.

Granted, SEO is relatively cheaper that TV adverts or print materials. Businesses are looking to cut back of spending and make the most out of resources.

But if they really want to succeed, businesses need to branch out soon enough to explore more avenues of growth instead of using the same old strategy.

Social media, content marketing, and marketing automation tools are proving to be viable avenues to strengthen their business processes and generate more sales in the long run.

What the documentary has yet to touch upon – and the biggest reason why people believe Google is indeed evil – is its ability to harvest user information to their benefit.

Google has become Big Brother. Once you’re logged in Google, all your online activity is observed, monitored, and recorded by the search engine giant.

They will use the information to feed you ads in line with your interests or the latest site you visited.

Google has reiterated that the reason for tracking your internet activity is to provide you a seamless online user experience. But there’s also cause to believe otherwise.

In fact, Google has formed a partnership with the National Security Agency. Who know what information Google is sharing about you to the NSA.

As users or business owners, there are two things that you can do:

Resist use of Google products

Abandon your Google account and switch to alternatives. Instead of Google Drive, use Dropbox. Instead of GMail, choose from these email services.

Bing and Yahoo are two of the closest competitors of Google so you would want to building your ranking on those sites.

Search the internet using Wolfram Alpha, DuckDuckGo, or other competent search engines that does not tracks its users.

Better yet, contribute to the IndieGogo campaign above.

If you think Google is as evil as people say they are, then doing these things will send a message to the search engine.

Embrace Google

Cooperate with Google. Abide by its algorithm changes and diversify your marketing strategy. Use other tactics aside from SEO to draw website traffic.

Fill out your Google+ so the search engine will provide you with a better user experience compared to other online services.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. As the campaign video tells us, only we can change Google’s business practices.

But the bigger question remains: which side are you on?

More on Google:

How Google Get You to Their Site – Top Lessons in Internet Marketing and ‘Real Company Stuff’ From Google

Blogging Pitfalls: How to Avoid Being Dropped By Google

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Apps to Make Your Blog Writing Suck Less http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/17/apps-make-blog-writing-suck-less/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/17/apps-make-blog-writing-suck-less/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31871 iStock_000039491798_Small

There are lots of things to worry about when writing on your blog.

You need to write your idea into sentences and paragraphs, each of which will transition into other ideas to form a cohesive whole.

You will also have to take into account what your readers want so they can keep visiting your blog.

But at the very core of good blog writing is correct grammar, spelling, and use of punctuation, not to mention unique content. Worry about these first and everything else will follow.

If you need help with writing error-free posts for your blog, use the tools listed below.

Calmly Writer

Calmly Writer  The Ultimate Distraction Free Writing Tool

A cause of writing errors is distraction. The more divided your attention is from writing, the more chances that you will commit grammatical spelling errors.

The Calmly Writer is a Google Chrome extension that will help you focus on writing your posts. Once opened, all the distraction from your screen will disappear. The “focus mode” will enable you to edit one paragraph at a time. You can choose from regular white mode to “dark mode.”

You can format the document and save it on Google Drive. The tool’s responsive design provides optimal viewing of your document on any device.

Grammarly

Grammarly   Instant Grammar Check   Plagiarism Checker   Online Proofreader

Grammarly is another Google Chrome extension that detects mistakes you have committed in your writing. The tool detects grammatical, contextual, and spelling errors. When writing your post on WordPress, Tumblr, or even on Facebook and Gmail, Grammarly will tell you the mistakes you’ve made and how you can correct them.

Hemingway

Hemingway

Another awesome writing tool, Hemigway cuts down the clutter in your writing to its bare essence. Inspired by the simplistic and effective writing of Ernest Hemigway, the tool detects hard to read sentence, passive voice, and adverbs. Paste the post on the editor to see the errors.

It also displays the readability index by referring to the grade level. The higher the grade level, the more difficult the post will be to read. Strive to make the readability index of post lower so that more people will be able to understand it.

Unplag

Unplag

When rewriting content on your blog, you must be wary of committing plagiarism. The rewritten post must not only be unique, but is also readable. That said, article spinners are out of the question.

By failing to make your post unique enough from its source materials, the post become duplicate content. As a result, your blog will get penalized by search engines and will lose significant amount of organic traffic.

To prevent this from happening, run your rewritten posts on Unplag. This plagiarism detection engine compares your post to 16 billion online pages and documents and informs you of any duplicate issues. Once the issues are found, you can reedit your post to make sure that it is unique before publishing.

Proofread Bot

If you write your post using a self-hosted WordPress blog, download this plugin.

After you have finished writing your post, click the Proofread Box button to see a report with style, grammar, and punctuation issues.

Users can only run one (1) free check a day with a maximum of 600 words. To enable more checks a day, you need to purchase the package of 1 cent for every analysis.

More on blog writing:

6 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog’s Writing

10 Commonly Done Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, February 16, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/16/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-16-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/16/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-16-2015/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:30:26 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31840 Job board highlightsGood morning!

Here are the job board highlights. Have a great week ahead!

Hiring Journalists and All Content Writers!

Farkie is a premium content marketplace which enables news publications and journalists to work
together on one platform. Farkie is a very simple concept, join, choose a topic to write and get paid for it, it is as simple as that.

They request our writers to write content regarding Entertainment, Gaming and Tech news, for example the latest Sims 4 news or the latest iPhone 6 information, you will simply choose a keyword from our automated list and once approved, you will be paid for it.

Writers and bloggers sought on high Alexa rank sites

Media Blast are looking for writers and bloggers who publish on sites in the following niches that have an Alexa rank of 1 – 100,000:

  • News and politics
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Eco & green

They are particularly interested in speaking to authors on popular news outlets and blogs.

Marketing, Social Media, SEO, Business Writer Needed

Grow are a well-respected UK marketing consultancy.

Can you write long, detailed blog posts like the ones you see on KISSmetrics, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and Hubspot?

Can you write engaging stories?

Are you a good researcher who can write articles on emerging topics and trends for small businesses?

You might be the one they’re looking for.

News Writer

The Conservative Tribune is looking to hire freelance writers who are willing to work hard, follow instructions and meet early morning deadlines. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Great!

They’re looking to hire bloggers who can quickly cover the news on a daily level for a very conservative audience.

Content Copywriter

This is an offsite freelance need that’s expected to be ongoing with hours increasing over time.

For this project, the client is looking for a Content Copywriter with long form copywriting experience to write for blogs and articles. Candidates will need to be able to research to develop articles. Estimated at least 4 articles per month.

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Email Marketing Basics: Building a List, Creating Responsive Emails, and More! http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/12/email-marketing-basics/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/12/email-marketing-basics/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31828 iStock_000031650012_Small

What is the biggest mistake that Yaro Starek, John Chow, and Jonathan Milligan have made with blogging?

According to this post, it’s building an email list.

You may be wondering, “What will I do with an email list if I don’t intend on making money with my blog or won’t sell anything?”

The idea of a blog is to share ideas and make your thoughts known to a wider audience. Getting your readers to sign up to your mailing list will allow you to send them your latest posts straight to their emails.

Now that people are reading their emails more on their mobile devices (even spam), sending out updates to your email list helps keep your readers more engaged with your blog.

Later on, should you decide on making money with your blog, you already have an email list ready at your disposal. You can run email campaigns promoting your products and services for sale on your site.

Besides, building an email list is as easy as following the steps below.

Build a list with SumoMe

SumoMe

Placing the signup form on your sidebar may not attract the attention of your visitors. But a triggered scroll box in which the form will appear from the bottom of the page or an opt-in box that will appear on the middle of the screen will.

Both these eye-catching options for your mailing list can be achieved using SumoMe.

The widget contains data on the number of times the signup form appears on the page and how many signed up. This allows you to play around with other opt-in form design to optimize the performance of your list.

Promote your list

No one will sign to your email list if you won’t share it to your audience. Simple things like writing a blog post about it and promoting the link on social media like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook should get you new subscribers to your list.

Launch an email campaign

There are lots of email marketing software to choose from. But if you want to keep things simple, you can manage your email campaigns using Streak for Gmail.

Streak - CRM in your Inbox 2015-02-13 03-53-57

You can send your emails straight from your inbox and track the performance of each. Streak will show how many leads, demo, and closed won you have through your campaign.

If you’re not selling anything at the moment, you can use your RSS feed to automatically generate content of your newsletter that will be sent out to subscribers. This way, you won’t have to log in every time you want to add your latest post on the email.

You can do this using Nourish. Using this tool, create multiple RSS campaigns, manage subscribers, and deliver the latest content to their emails. Take out the emails you collected using SumoMe to send your RSS feed.

Schedule the campaign to be sent out every week (provided that you have new posts every week) so subscribers can receive your latest posts on the emails.

If you’re promoting a product or service, you can create a new campaign and craft an email letter promoting and linking to your landing pages.

Additional tips

  • Create a responsive email template so that the newsletter is optimized when viewed on desktop or device
  • The secret to a successful email is a high conversion rate. This can be achieved by having strong copy on your email.
  • Learn the different headline strategies to increase click-through rate of your email campaigns.
  • Always look back at your campaign analytics. What is the open rate? How many clicked through the links on your email’s body? Tweak your upcoming campaigns based on the gathered data to create better emails in the future.

More on building an email list:

Email Marketing: How to Leverage the Ever-Evolving Gmail to Your Advantage

Evolution of Email

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How to Increase Your Influence By Organizing Local Events http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/11/increase-influence-organizing-local-events/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/11/increase-influence-organizing-local-events/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:30:03 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31783 increase your influence

Every blogger wants to be an influencer, but not everyone can reach the status enjoyed by those who got their foot in first. Today, the blogosphere is so crowded, with everyone trying to be someone online. Do you stand a chance to gain some influence?

Definitely.

However, you will probably have to do a lot of things differently. You’ll have to draw deep upon your creative well in order to jostle your way into an influential status. One of the things you can do to increase your influence is to go offline, get in touch with the real world, and organize local events. Doing so will expand your reach beyond the usual online suspects.

In this post, let’s look at specific things you can do to make your local events work out for you.

Make your branding visible.

First things first. Remember why you want to organize a local event. You want people to know about you and your brand.

Use offline marketing tools.

You’re probably already thinking of using Eventbrite to organize participants, tickets, etc. to your event. That’s well and good, but you also need to go back to your original idea: taking advantage of the offline “market”. While Eventbrite will certainly bring in people who are already active online, you also need to reach out to people who may not be familiar with such platforms.

What can you do?

increase your influence

One, have printed materials like tarps, standees, and flyers. Look for services like Aura Print Ltd, which may even sponsor your event.

Point participants back to your blog/site.

When using tangible marketing materials, make sure that people will easily find your site. Display your URL prominently. Use QR codes (with tracking) so it’s even easier. Print out business cards and hand them out. Include all your contact information as well.

Make your event an offer people can’t refuse.

Ask yourself: “If another person were holding this event, why would I want to participate?”

It’s a simple question that any event organizer should think about and know the answer to, but it is often overlooked by those who don’t do this by profession. As you plan your event, make sure that you have an ace up your sleeve that people won’t be able to resist.

Make it specific and related to your niche. If your blog is about eCommerce, then offer a free consultation/analysis of the participants’ current eCommerce web site, for example.

Reach out to local community organizations.

Don’t do things on your own. You may have a significant following online, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into the real world. Some of those online followers may help you and join you in your event, but it will be easier and more effective if you involve people in your community.

You can approach individuals you already know, who are connected to your niche in one way or another. Better yet, take stock of the local organizations in your area. You are bound to find at least a couple that will be willing to partner up with you. You might receive help in terms of manpower, goods, publicity, or even cash.

Back to you

Have you ever thought about going offline to increase your influence? Have you done something like this before? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments.

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More Video Content Hacks to Boost ROI http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/10/video-content-hacks-boost-roi/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/10/video-content-hacks-boost-roi/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31822 iStock_000017030531_Small

Video is such an effective form of visual content that it can hike up your sales.

According to this study by Conductor and Invodo, video viewers are 1.6x more likely to purchase than non-video viewers.

The link contains a free downloadable white paper on how to create SEO-friendly video content to improve your rate of investment.

By downloading the resource, you will understand:

  • how to refine your buyer’s journey with your video content
  • what “video green fields” mean and how to take advantage of them
  • what tags to include in your video sitemap to make them more discoverable

This white paper is the second part of Conductor’s video SEO research. We covered the first part on this blog in this post.

Here are additional video content hacks not mentioned in the white paper.

Turn slides into videos

If you have existing slideshow presentations from a conference or a trade show, convert them into videos and find a way to include them in your content marketing.

For Microsoft Office users, here’s a link that teaches you how to convert your slides. It also tells you how to add voice-over on your video slides to create a more dynamic presentation.

For non-Office users, you can try out SlideTalk and create video content using your slides.

Use company pictures as videos

Using pictures of employees during team buildings, parties, and events is a good way to humanize your brand. This also build trust with your target market who are looking for companies that are run by actual people.

Easy-to-use tools like Animoto and WeVideo should get you started with this.

Tap into the power of Instagram

This popular image sharing site also lets you create 16-second videos to share to your followers.

This Instagram marketing guide covers the basics (growing your followers, creating videos that engage) and advanced (running a contest) techniques of using this tool.

Record your webinars

You can use the recorded webinars as exclusive content on your site.

Create a landing page for each (or use the existing sign-up page of each webinar). For those who weren’t able to attend the event, they can view the video by filling up the form with their name and email address. Set up an autoresponder so that they will receive the link to the video on their email.

By doing this, you are able to acquire their personal information that you can include in your mailing list. You can then create specific campaigns for them to boost your ROI.

Why write if you can shoot a video?

Instead of writing a how-to or tutorial article, why don’t you just shoot a video that shows viewers how to get things done? Like using vodka as a cleansing agent.

Or how about teaching people how to do SEO the right way?

If you compare these videos to their written counterparts, you’ll notice how much more compelling and engaging videos. Which is why you should do more of these!

There is concern that these types of videos are difficult to create and time-consuming. But instead of focusing on the negatives, think of the positives that these will do for your business in the long run.

It’s all about changing the mindset and making video work for you, not the other way around.

Here’s a post that tackles with this very issue and how you can turn your conference room into a studio.

More on video content:

How Blogging Retailers Can Improve Online Video SEO

Turn Your Old Blog Post Into…a Video File

(Image from iStock)

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, February 9, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/09/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-9-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/09/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-9-2015/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:30:15 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31818 Job board highlightsGood Monday morning to you all.

Here are the job board highlights from which you can choose the best jobs to apply for. Have a great week ahead!

Freelance Copy Editor

Yoffie Life seeks an experienced freelance copy editor for 10-15 short health and wellness articles (400 words/article) and miscellaneous promotional copy every week.

Details:
Long-term, flexible, and consistent work — 5-10 hours per week
Work remotely

Writer/Researcher

Writer/ Researcher positions available for stealth mode project. Massinvestor, Inc. (www.massinvestor.com), a leading publisher of Venture Capital Databases, is looking for candidates with an interest in business and finance to help us launch an exciting new product in 2016. These are “virtual,” freelance positions, meaning you will be able to work from wherever you want, whenever you want.

Ghost blogger for Technology (Apple) blogs

A freelance blogger at multiple Apple and technology related sites is looking for an assistant to help with articles.

The candidate:
Should have an iPad or Android tablet (or be very good at researching online)
Should have experience in writing for online publications before
Should have perfect knowledge in English Grammar and spelling
Should have knowledge of SEO
Preferably have an Apple TV and a Mac too, but it is not necessary

Men’s Affordable Style Writer

Primer is a men’s lifestyle magazine that focuses on affordable style. They have over 20,000 subscribers and receive several million pageviews per month. They’re currently seeking talented contributors to write about all aspects of men’s style: Fit, basic principles, how-to’s, looks, and everything in between. Pieces are generally 1000-1500 words.

Writers and bloggers sought on high Alexa rank sites

We are looking for writers and bloggers who publish on sites in the following niches that have an Alexa rank of 1 – 100,000:

News and politics
Technology
Business
Eco & green

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Everybody’s Live Blogging, Should You Too? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/05/everybodys-live-blogging/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/05/everybodys-live-blogging/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31811 iStock_000008729248_Small

Super Bowl is more than just a sporting event. Its halftime shows and commercials have drawn millions of viewers to the spectacle.

Super Bowl 49 is no different. The game between the Seattle Jawhawks and New England Patriots was a close battle that was ultimately determined by ‘The Call.’

But everybody was just as excited at the current batch of ads to air throughout the game. Excited enough that websites like Marketing Land and Mashable did a live blog sharing their opinions about the commercials.

What is live blogging (and how to do it)

Live blogging is a great way to engage your target audience and discuss ongoing newsworthy events related to your industry.

When done correctly, live blogging can help drive more traffic to your site, increase your brand profile, and gain more subscribers.

Aside from sporting events, live blogging is done during breaking news by media outlets. Here’s a link of successful live blogging examples from BBC News, ITV News, and MSN, among others.

There are different ways on how to do live blogging. These guides from Hongkiat and Bleacher Report should cover all the important things you need to do during a live blog. Tips include preparing and promoting your live blog weeks before the actual event, taking photos of the event, and more.

When live blogging, you need to use tools that works well with your blog. ScribbleLive lets readers to share their thoughts about the event and participate in the live blog. Other tools include 24liveblog and liveblogpro. Try these different tools and see which one works best for you.

Now, onto the important question…

If you have a blog, should you also do a live blog?

The answer depends on how your audience engages with you during the live blog. But the only way to find this out is to try it.

The guides and tools mentioned above should prepare you to organize a successful live blog. What both were not able to properly discuss  are the events that you should cover on your live blog.

Here are suggestions to help you identify the kinds of events that you should cover for your live blog.

  • Find upcoming events within your industry. There are niches that don’t hold as many events and conferences. In that case, go to Meetup and join groups there related to your industry. RSVP on events that you can attend and cover on your blog. Also look for concerts and festivals to cover on Eventful.
  • Find television shows that you can cover.  For entertainment blogs, you can look for TV shows that other blogs aren’t covering and live blog about the show. The Wall Street Journal did it with The Walking Dead.
  • Subscribe to websites and watch out for upcoming events –  Some websites and small businesses launch different networking events to share ideas. You can take this opportunity to attend these events. Not only will it give you a topic to live blog about, but also form ties with people within your niche.
  • Attend webinars to live blog – Not sure if this has been done before, but it would be an interesting take on live blogging. Make sure to inform the webinar organizers about your intention of doing a live blog about the event.

More on live blogging:

The Dying Art of Live Blogging

The Art Of Live Blogging: Tips For Guru’s And New Comers

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Lovely Blogging Tips from Long-Lasting Relationships http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/03/lovely-blogging-tips-long-lasting-relationships/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/03/lovely-blogging-tips-long-lasting-relationships/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 13:53:37 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31711 Happy Senior Couple Looking To Sea on A Tropical Beach

Quick question: what’s the longest marriage on record this year in the country?

This distinction goes to Dale and Alice Rockey of Olathe, Kansas upon winning this year’s title for the Longest Married Couple Project.

The couple was married on December 29, 1933. That’s a mind-boggling 81 years together.

This annual event was sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encourage (WWME), one of the first faith-based enrichment programs in the US.

The project aims to show that it is possible to have a long-lasting marriage. Difficult, but possible.

It’s no secret that marriage takes hard work, patience, perseverance, and lots of love. That’s what retirees shared about their happy marriage to their respective spouses conducted by gerontologist Karl Pillemer upon conducting the Marriage Advice Project.

Below are the insights he gathered:

  • Follow your heart when choosing a spouse
  • Use your head
  • Look for someone with similar values
  • Talk, talk, talk
  • Tread carefully when discussing difficult topics
  • Put your relationship first
  • Lighten up on in-law relationships
  • Stay out of debt
  • Focus on small things to keep spark alive
  • Enjoy intimacy
  • Respect each other

Using these points above, we can apply the same thing between bloggers and their readers.

Follow your heart when choosing a blog topic

Never choose a topic because it’s the most profitable or popular.

When planning for a blog, you need to choose a topic that you’re passionate about. This will encourage you to carry out your content strategy even when the going gets tough.

Use your head

Blogging is difficult and time-consuming. But if you prepare yourself on how to blog the best way possible like using this checklist guide, you will succeed faster and more effectively.

Think like your audience

Find out what ticks them and use these ideas as talking points on your blog. Develop an editorial calendar from these ideas and publish them to drive more of your target audience to your blog.

Talk, talk, talk

Couple communicating in the park.

Respond to comments on your blog posts. Reply to tweets that mention your name. Reply to emails from your readers.

Never. Stop. Talking.

Always find a way to continue the conversation and keep them engaged.

Don’t be too controversial with your posts

Lighting the fire of your readers by supporting unpopular opinions is a good way to drive engagement in your blog. But don’t be controversial just for the sake of being controversial.

Always present the facts and never make claims without evidence. This way, you are able to respectfully carry out your relationship with readers even if you don’t see eye to eye on certain topics.

Put your readers first

Your subscriber list is your most valuable online possession. Always deliver content tailor-made to them. Never send them anything less. NEVER SOLICIT YOUR LIST.

Keep the spark alive

Make long-time readers feel part of your blog. Send them free ebooks, white papers, and exclusive content straight to their mail. Run a contest to your subscriber list to keep them from being more than just subscribers, but also brand advocates.

Respect

Every nurturing relationship is borne out of respect. Pay attention to what your readers want and give them that. Never disparage them for their opinions. Encourage them to speak up and tell you that you made a mistake.

More on relationships:

How To Resurrect Your Blogging Career

6 Reasons Why I Am Thankful for Blogging

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, February 2, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/02/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-2-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/02/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-february-2-2015/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 13:30:38 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31802 Job board highlightsHow are you faring after Super Bowl Sunday? Win or lose, I hope you’re all set for the week.

Here are some ads to look at – the job board highlights.

BloggingPro Job Board Highlights

TV/Film Writer for Geek Binge

Do you wake up in the middle of the night, screaming lines from your favorite movies into the dark? Do you spend every waking moment of your life thinking about video games, or breaking down the respective qualities of your favorite television shows?

No, no you don’t. No one does that. But if you DO like any of these three entertainment forms and have a knack for writing, Geek Binge wants you. They’re currently hiring a select group of writers to help out on their coverage on everything movies, TV, and video games.

The Walking Dead Reviewer For Geek Binge

Geek Binge is hiring someone to cover the next half season (and beyond, hopefully) of The Walking Dead! Yes, AMC’s The Walking Dead is one of the most popular show on television, and they need someone to step up and review it on a week-to-week basis for the website.

Writers and bloggers sought on high Alexa rank sites

We are looking for writers and bloggers who publish on sites in the following niches that have an Alexa rank of 1 – 100,000:

News and politics
Technology
Business
Eco & green

We are particularly interested in speaking to authors on popular news outlets and blogs.

Sports Betting Blogger

Are you able to take a stance on who’s going to win a game against the spread? Can you then form a technical article supporting that pick using stats and trends, custom built models, game philosophy or any other resources?

What’s your specialty? NCAAF, NFL, NBA, MLB, MMA, NHL, NASCAR, Cricket? ATS wants writers from all walks with unique and personable opinions.

Freelance Editors

Currently seeking experienced freelance editors for book-length manuscripts using the Chicago Manual of Style. Editors will be responsible for copyediting a variety of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts at the mechanical and substantive level.

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An Idiot’s Guide to Building Relationships with Customers Using Social Media http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/idiots-guide-building-relationships-customers-using-social-media/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/idiots-guide-building-relationships-customers-using-social-media/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:51:00 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31798 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The success of an ecommerce site does not end with converting visitors into customers. In fact, making a sale is just the beginning.

You want to keep first-time customers in the buying cycle so they will keep purchasing from your website. Doing this will not only make them long-term clients, but also brand advocates. Their unwavering belief in your products and services can influence others into becoming your customers, thus helping you make more money in the long run.

These can be achieved by running a relationship-building campaign on social media.

This online channel has become a source of revenue. A study by J.D. Power & Associates reveals that 87 percent of customers were “positively impacted” by their online interaction with the brand. This goes to show how your social media activity can dictate the chances of leads and potential customers to purchase from your site.

If you have yet to tap the power of social media to leverage relationships with your target market into more sales, here are a few things to get you started.

Supercharge Your Profiles

The images you upload on your Twitter, Google+, and Facebook pages are just as important as the information you fill out on your About page.

Without your profile pictures, cover photos, and feed images on your social media page, you miss out the chance to gain the undivided attention of visitors.

More importantly, potential clients won’t want to engage with a brand that has an incomplete social media page.

To show the best image on these features in your profiles, you need to observe the correct dimensions required for each feature. Here’s the link to a guide about the image sizes for each social media site.

Plan Your Posts

Filling your page with posts relevant to your target audience can boost engagement with them.

They don’t all have to be about your business — you can share links to pages from other sites as long as it interests them. Eighty percent of your social media posts should attempt to strike a conversation with your audience while 20 percent can be about promoting your products and services.

Mix the content types you will be publishing on your page. Aside from links, publish text, images, polls, and video posts and track which type receives the most impressions likes, and comments. Double your publishing efforts on content types that drive the most engagement.

To help you come up with engaging posts, use Digital Current to research your audience and craft authoritative messages on your website that can provoke conversation with them. The company also supplies businesses with the best practices on how to maximize their engagement and control reputation issues.

Funnel the posts down your social media management tool so you can schedule your posts in advance and measure the performance of each.

Run a Contest

Launch a sweepstakes or contest campaign using any of the tools here. Use this platform to increase brand profile and gain more followers to converse and engage with.

Follow the tips here to learn how to run a successful contest on social media.

Remember to launch a contest that provides real value to your audience. Don’t run sweepstakes only to not follow through with participants. This betrays the very fabric of using a contest campaign as an engagement tool.

Embrace Negative Feedback

Expect customers who are unhappy with the product and service they purchased from you. It can also be a social media follower who was offended by a post you published.

The worst thing that you can do is ignore their messages, which is what 71 percent of businesses are doing from their Twitter profiles. This speaks poorly of your ability to engage with your audience and only invites more criticism from them.

Take their criticism as an opportunity to turn doubters into followers. This can be achieved by responding to their messages in a quick and polite manner. Apologize to unhappy customers and provide an acceptable explanation to explain the incident. If necessary, give them a rebate or a discount on their next purchase to keep them as your loyal customers.

Their negative messages may also contain truth in them so also take everything in stride. You can use the feedback to improve your services to not only receive positive feedback in the future, but also more sales.

More about relationship building:

The Age of Link “Earning”: Why Link Building Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Tiered Link Building: Good or Bad for SEO?

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Forget What Google Thinks and Write for Actual Humans http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/forget-what-google-thinks-and-write-for-humans/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/forget-what-google-thinks-and-write-for-humans/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:30:04 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31776 Editor’s note: This post was written by Mickie E. Kennedy, founder of eReleases Press Releases Distribution based in Baltimore, MD.

write for humans

  • Keyword tool? Check.
  • Long tail keyword? Check.
  • Keywords at no more than 2.5% of total content? Check.

Congratulations. You’ve officially just set yourself up to write for a search engine.

The problem is, search engines don’t say “hmmm….” after they’ve read an especially thoughtful opinion piece. They don’t brush a tear from their electronic eye at the plight of a child with a rare disorder. On a more materialistic note, they don’t even become valuable customers for your brand or loyal readers of your blog.

Sure, writing for search engines might get your content seen by more eyes, but at what cost? (And P.S. – writing for search engines won’t even really do that anymore either.) Which brings me to…

Why You Should Write for Humans

The job of a search engine isn’t to reward the cleverest SEO-savvy wizard who has figured out the perfect keyword to game the system. The job of a search engine is to provide searchers with the content they are looking for – hopefully right there at the top of the search page. If the search engine doesn’t do its job, that searcher will go somewhere else and the search engine loses.

That’s why Google recently revamped their algorithm to penalize writing that appears to be written more for their crawlers than for actual humans. After the change, just like that, with a flick of the algorithm, zillions of sloppily written press releases, blog posts, articles and other content fell down, down, down in Google’s search ranks.

And it’s not just Google. Other search engines are following suit. As it turns out, the World Wide Web is made up of real people and they want to read articles that make them think, make them cry, or make them feel something. A keyword-laden screed just doesn’t do the job.

Untraining Yourself from Writing for Machines

write for humans

At this point, many of us don’t even realize that we are writing for machines. We’ve let the principals of good writing fall by the wayside in favor of shoehorning in those keywords.

So now it’s time to retrain. Before you write your next piece of content, do yourself a favor.

Revisit Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. This slim tome was originally published in 1959, but the truths it tells us stand strong today. It always pays to revisit Strunk & White from time to time.

Eliminate the unnecessary. When we were all writing with the goal of using certain keywords, we often had to stretch our sentences into convoluted messes in order to fit that long tailed keyword in. Now that keywords are no longer an issue, you can go back to writing sentences that would make Ernest Hemingway proud: short, sweet, and to the point.

Tell a story. People respond to stories. We’ve responded to stories ever since we heard our first one on grandma’s knee. Use elements of narrative, make your story personal, and don’t be afraid to throw in a little emotion or opinion. People want to read content written for people, not for a faceless machine.

Do you find yourself writing for machines? How have you retrained yourself?

More writing tips:

6 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog’s Writing

5 Things to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

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30-Point Checklist to Optimize Your Blog Content Creation http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/30-point-checklist-optimize-blog-content-creation/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/29/30-point-checklist-optimize-blog-content-creation/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:04:26 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31780 Content is king message concept

As a blogger, creating content is a priority.

Blog content creation involves a sophisticated process that lets you:

  • Produce high-quality content that will engage your target audience
  • Increase your reach by sharing content to the right online channels
  • Plan your future content based on how your current content has performed

By following the process above, you will be able to develop a reader base that you can monetize and convert into your customers later on!

In order to successfully execute the process above, below is a checklist of things that you ought to do.

Identify target audience

  • Have you determined what makes your blog different than your competitors?
  • Have you created an ideal profile of your target market (age, location, gender, income, education, occupation, etc.)?
  • What is the psychographics of your audience?
  • Are the profile and psychographics of your ideal target audience in line with your brand personality?
  • Have you enabled the Demographics and Interests feature on your Google Analytics? Data from here will help you deliver highly targeted content on your blog in the future.

Incorporate engagement strategies

  • Do you use these headline strategies to compel your market to click on your posts?
  • Are you employing visual storytelling to create compelling content that engages your audience?
  • Have you come up with evergreen content ideas to create posts that stay relevant over time?
  • Do you include calls to action on your content to increase ROI and bring your audience down your conversion funnel?
  • Do you follow this layout for your blog posts?

Distribute to appropriate channels

  • Have you joined different online communities (Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities) to engage and share content with your audience and industry experts?
  • Do you use Followerwonk to identify your audience on Twitter?
  • Do you use Facebook’s Boost Post or Promoted Posts to increase reach of your content?
  • Have you built a subscriber list that will receive the latest posts on your blog straight to their email?
  • Have you built trust and influence from these channels? The more trustworthy you are to other members, the more chances they will perform your desired action

Integrate with social media marketing

  • Do you use a social media dashboard like Hootsuite to manage all your accounts in one place?
  • Have you identified which social media channels boost your content’s traffic and social proof? Use Google Analytics if you haven’t yet
  • Do you know the best times to share content with your followers?
  • Do you curate content and share them with your audience? Doing this helps you deliver the best information that interests your followers
  • Do you reach out and share your content to influencers using Buzzsumo, Topsy, and Social Mention?

Track content performance

  • Have you set up goals using Google Analytics to measure how your content does in meeting your KPIs?
  • Have you set up a heatmap campaign using SumoMe or Clicky to see how visitors respond to certain parts of your content?
  • Are you keeping track of your content’s bounce rate and average time? Use data here to make better content in the future. Emulate content that got you less bounce rate and high average time.
  • Have you signed up for a Google Webmasters account to view search queries that your content is getting the most impressions and clicks from?
  • Have you signed up for a Bing Webmaster Tools account as well? Google isn’t the only game in town, after all.

Use automation tools

  • Do yo outsource your blog posts from premium content creators like the ones found in this list to improve your engagement?
  • Do you use content discovery tools like Outbrain to make your content appear at popular sites like CNN and The Huffington Post?
  • Do you use Sprout Social to automatically post your latest blog content to all your social media sites?
  • Do you use lead capture tools like Optinmonster to increase subscribers so you can send out email updates on your blog to more people?
  • Do you use enterprise tools like Searchmetrics and others to cover all your online marketing activity in one place?

To download the PDF file of this checklist, click here.

More on content marketing:

Premium Content Marketing Tools to Boost Engagement with Your Blog This 2015

A Blogger’s Resolution Checklist for Better Content in 2015

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Tips to Increasing Security of Your Personal Info in Social Media http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/27/tips-increasing-security-personal-info-social-media/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/27/tips-increasing-security-personal-info-social-media/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31771 iStock_000035258498_Small

Internet security is a funny thing. But not too funny for these industries that were hit by data breaches this past year.

Despite the extra precautions taken by these companies, their security were no match against the cyber criminals who passed through the cracks to steal personal information.

Big or small, your online business is a target to such threats.

According to IBM, there were 1.5 million monitored cyber attacks in the U.S. in 2013. From a business standpoint, security breaches cause 29% reputation and brand damage, 21% lost productivity, and 19% lost revenue.

Part of the lost revenue may come from your social media activity. Considering that social media is bound to unlock $1.3 trillion in value over the coming years, this channel must be included in your marketing plan.

But just like any online account, there’s a risk in getting hacked on social media. Just ask Burger King. Or Donald Trump.

As an online user, you need to keep your social media security tight to prevent data breaches from occurring. Here are some tips to keep your accounts safe.

Develop password management strategy

Come up with a strong password that includes symbols, numbers, and ambiguous characters. You can use a password generator for this.

To increase social media security, change your password every few months.

Also enable two-step verification. Upon entering your log-in details, the site will send a code to your smartphone. You will have to enter the code on the site to complete the process.

Streamline social media operations

It is normal for your social media team to register for different accounts to increase your reach. But there must be a way to moderate creation of new accounts. Get them to document all registered accounts so they can be accessed later on for editing. This also allows the team to delete social media accounts that aren’t working for you.

Assign point persons to be accountable to passwords of specific social media accounts. This way, when problems arise from your social media activity, you will refer to them.

Clean up apps linked to your social accounts

Signing in using your Google or Facebook when registering to apps is easier than creating an account and filling up your information. But apps connected to your social media can be culprits of security breach.

Snapchat experienced a breach when an unauthorized third-party app SnapSaved.com, which saves the messages sent on Snapchat, was hacked. The breach led to 500MB worth of images leaked to the public.

To prevent third-party apps from leaking personal information and data, use MyPermissions.org to see apps that your social media accounts are connected to. You can disconnect third-party apps you’re no longer using to decrease the chances of security breach.

Prepare for the worst

As mentioned, there is always a risk for your social media to get hacked. If it does happened, your best defense is a best offense.

Delete posts or tweets that slipped through the cracks and post a message explaining to your followers what just happened. Take the breach in stride and reply to those who were offended by the posts in a calm manner. Get your relations manager to fix the damage with your customers.

For more suggestions on how to prepare your crisis plan, download this free guide by HootSuite.

More on social media security:

How To Destroy Your Blog With Bad Social Media Engagement Practices

Follow Me: Social Media Solutions for Website Promotion

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, January 26, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/26/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-26-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/26/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-26-2015/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:30:11 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31754 Job board highlightsGood morning, job seekers.

Here are the BloggingPro job board highlights to start the week. Wishing you the best of luck!

BloggingPro job board highlights

Freelance Reporters

The Real Deal is looking for freelance reporters to help us expand our award-winning coverage of the New York City real estate industry. Experience in business journalism is a must, as is the ability to write clean copy with flair and on deadline.

Watch Blog Writer – WordPress Experience Required

An online watch e-commerce retailer is looking for an ongoing blog writer to form an integral part of a new content creation team creating high quality, relevant content. The goal is to take the level of content on the website to the next level by creating lots of unique engaging content which is not specifically aimed at selling.

Proofreader/Editor

ProofreadingServices.com hires part-time and full-time proofreaders who demonstrate superlative proofreading and editing skills.

Write WordPress Plugin Reviews

This is a quick and easy one-time job for anyone with WordPress experience.

WPscoop is a site for WordPress plugin comparisons. Recently, a user reviews feature was added to the site and to get it off the ground, the site is looking for people to write and submit paid reviews of WordPress plugins they have used or are using themselves.

Copywriter and Editor

Rate: Up to $50 per hour

A fitness tech company is looking for a talented and versatile copywriter and editor to help with their company text.

You can work either ONSITE or OFFSITE.

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Now’s the Time to Move Away from Facebook and Use Google+ for Your Business http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/22/nows-time-move-away-facebook-use-google-business/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/22/nows-time-move-away-facebook-use-google-business/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31724 iStock_000017315007_Small

Facebook has been active in updating its algorithm ever since. Some of the changes have brought good (less spam and ads, showing fewer hoaxes).

Others have cost the livelihood of some businesses.

The social networking site slashed organic reach of Pages to 1-2%.

If you have 100 fans on your Facebook Page, only two of them will see your updates on their News Feed.

This is a blow to businesses who use Facebook Page to share their posts and communicate with their audience. They can still reach out to all followers, but only through the site’s paid ads.

Because of the algorithm change, industry experts like Copyblogger denounced Facebook from their marketing strategy. (For perspective, Jon Loomer explains why Copyblogger’s Facebook Page wasn’t doing well in the first place and what it could have done to make its Page better.)

Many have provided guides on how to combat the change in organic reach and continue to deliver content to fans.

But instead of pulling hair for solutions to a problem that’s here to say, why not think outside the box?

Why not Google+?

iStock_000019475105_Small

When Google+ was launched in 2011, pundits declared it to be the Facebook killer. But over time, Google+ ended up as just another social media site.

Online users have been torn with Google+. Many saw the site as a ghost town, while some debunk this myth.

Its failure stems can be traced from the person to managed it – the unsociable and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

But the real problem with Google+ the perception of how it should be used. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Google+ is a different beast altogether. It may be not be used by people you know, but it doesn’t mean it’s useless.

This is where your role as publisher comes in.

Consider the following benefits that this social media site can offer you:

As a blogger or business owner, you won’t be using Google+ because your friends or family aren’t in it.

You should use Google+ to tap a segment of your audience that you haven’t engaged with before.

The features above give Google+ a certain edge over its contemporaries. These are something that you can use to further build an online community and interact with your target audience – something that Facebook may no longer offer.

In fact, here’s a challenge: replace Facebook with Google+ in your marketing strategy. Get your site and blog visitors to follow you on Google+ and take your interaction there.

This may take awhile, but your business will benefit from using Google+ in the long run. You sidestep the algorithm changes that take place in Facebook and get your entire audience to see your updates.

Google+ will never live up to the “Facebook killer” moniker. But if it will come close to the hype it got when it entered the social media scene, now is the chance for Google+ to do it.

More on Google+:

A Look Back: How Bloggers Can Optimize Google+ Hangouts Efforts

Using Google+ Sparks to Find Content to Blog and Grow Your Traffic

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5 WordPress Plugins for a Mobile-Friendlier Blog http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/wordpress-plugins-mobile-friendlier-blog/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/wordpress-plugins-mobile-friendlier-blog/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31715 iStock_000016305696_Small

Google is cracking down on mobile-unfriendly sites.

The search engine sent a warning on Google Webmasters Tools to site owners who have mobile ranking issues. This new algorithm has hit the news as early as November but will take shape in the coming weeks and months.

The age of mobile has arrived and it’s only growing stronger. According to this free guide from Smart Insights, mobile devices have outgrown desktop computers in Internet usage in 2014.

These reasons should empower you to set up a mobile-friendly version of your blog.

If you have a WordPress blog that still needs to be optimized for mobile viewing, use the plugins listed below.

Jetpack

06-jetpack

This free plugin offers a vast array of features to supercharge your blog. One that optimizes your blog for mobile viewing is the Mobile Theme feature.

By activating the Mobile Theme, you can either (a) show the excerpts or the full content of your blog posts on the homepage or (b) show a link at the footer of the page to the mobile-friendly version.

You can customize the header and background of your blog’s mobile version.

WP Touch

Create a beautiful mobile version of your WordPress site.

This paid plugin lets you choose from different WPtouch themes, all which loads 5x faster than a responsive blog design. WP Touch also gives you access to extensions that increase the mobile viewing experience such as Infinity Cache,  Responsive Images, Mobile Content, and more.

For a WordPress blog, you can buy a WP Touch license worth $59. If you own many blogs and website, you can order a license bundle at a higher price.

WP Mobile Detector

Websitez.com   WordPress Mobile – WordPress Mobile Themes – WordPress Themes

For $50, you can install this plugin to customize a mobile version of your blog.  The plugin also has 10 mobile themes to choose from that fit your brand.More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices.

More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices. WP Mobile Detector will show the version that best appears on each device. It automatically formats blog content and layout to fit any screen size. The Advanced Mobile Statistics will track blog visitors and mobile bots to see how much traffic you’re drawing with your mobile theme.

WP Mobile Edition

WordPress › WP Mobile Edition « WordPress Plugins

This plugin lets you create a speedy and lightweight version of your blog without compromising its design. It will adapt to any kind of device that shows your blog. Whether the device is in vertical or horizontal position, the nTheme feature will show the correct version of the blog.

You can set up the mobile version to load in two ways: (1) once visitors go to the blog or (a) once visitors enable the mobile version from the desktop version that loads on their device.

WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0

WordPress › WordPress Mobile Pack « WordPress Plugins

The plugin’s basic version will allow you to create a customized version of your blog for mobile viewing. The Premium version will give you access to unlimited content resources, themes, and applications.

Do you know other mobile-friendly plugins for a better viewing experience of your WordPress blog?

More on mobile-friendly:

How To Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

3 Ways To Monetize Your Mobile Loving Blog

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5 Reasons Your Company Blogger Needs IT Training http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/5-reasons-company-blogger-needs-training/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/5-reasons-company-blogger-needs-training/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:30:48 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31708 img_20140513_221055

Everyone thinks blogging is easy, until they try to do it and the results are dismal. That’s hopefully why you’ve hired a permanent blogger, whether as a freelancer or a permanent employee, but are they getting the support they need? They might not be used to your platform, the analytics you prefer, or the technology surrounding them in general. Bloggers, just like everyone else on your IT team, need both initial training and ongoing training in order to perform their best.

However, it’s easy to leave this on the back burner until it dries out and goes stale. Is your company blog really so important that the person in charge of it needs special training? Of course, especially considering the shocking business blog statistics Yahoo! recently released. Since companies with blogs have 97 percent more links and studies show users are 81 percent more likely to trust a business with a (good) blog, you can’t consider this a fun side project.

Here’s why your company blogger needs training pronto:

  1. Fake it ‘til they make it?

It can be pretty embarrassing for someone in an IT field like blogging to admit they don’t know something. However, it’s not just techies that will pretend they know more than they do and try “shortcuts” that can actually be a huge waste of time. A lot of people don’t know how to ask for help, and Inc. reports that there are some really common mistakes people make when doing so. Avoid any mis-communication and take care of training.

  1. They’re new to your technology

The odds of your blogger using the exact same technology, the same generation, and all in the same combination at a previous position is nil. Plus, even if they were in an identical environment, what are the odds that they got good, ongoing training there? It’s up to you to associate all your employees, including your blogger, with your tech and how to optimize it. If people don’t know how to make the most of it, they’re wasting your time and money.

  1. They’ll be more productive

Obviously, right? However, the more skilled your blogger is, the more productive they’ll be which can be a huge boon if they’re paid by the hour. Plus, the lack of frustration means they’ll be a lot happier, and that bodes well for your company, too. Productive employees aren’t easy to come by, but training provides a great foundation to get started.

  1. What if they’re not a one trick pony?

If it’s not in the budget to hire a blogger, and only a blogger, there’s a good chance they’ll be performing other tasks from social media optimization to tech support. In this case, this might be an entirely new job description and landscape for them. You never know when you might need to lean on your blogger to multi-task, and while it’s not a permanent solution (multi-tasking never works) it will be very helpful in a pinch.

  1. Tech is always changing

Is your blogger working with the latest generation of whatever technology you’re using? Even if they are, did they undergo adequate training for it when the upgrade was made available? Probably not, and now is a perfect time to acquaint everyone in the office with the latest changes. They could be minor, or they could be as big as Windows 7 vs. 8 (and as anyone who made that transition knows, it was a steep learning curve).

Your blogger is a key part of your IT team, so give them the support they need. In turn, they’ll provide you with the speed and quality you expect.

Top 30 Responsive WordPress Templates for Your Business

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5 Instant Blog Killers http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/5-instant-blog-killers/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/5-instant-blog-killers/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:05:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31703 flatline

When most blogs get abandoned and fail, you clearly need to stack the odds in your favor as a blogger. There are a lot of things you should be doing when creating a blog, but don’t forget about the things you shouldn’t be doing, too. Some seemingly innocent things can kill a blog faster that Kim Kardashian can break the internet. Speaking of the internet, that’s killer number one: If you don’t have reliable, fast internet, you’re probably not going to blog as much as you should.

Make serious considerations before you commit to a blog, because just like a marriage it will ideally go on for the rest of your life. Of course, this is only true if your blog is to build your business or brand (if it’s just to share your cat’s photo shoots, you can come and go as you please). To make sure you get your blog started on the right foot, make sure to avoid these common faux pas:

  1. Not enough time

Be honest with yourself and figure out if you have the time to commit to a blog (an ideal blog is between 3-7 postings per week, and it may take up to an hour from research to posting). Do you have 3-7 hours to spare each week for such a task? This can be especially difficult to gauge if you tend to pile your plate high, even if you are following Forbes’ tips for managing your time as a Type-A. If attending to a blog squeezes you too tightly, shelf it until there’s more room in your schedule.

  1. The wrong platform

There are many platforms for blogs, and some of the best ones are free such as WordPress or Blogger. However, choosing the wrong platform for you, your capabilities or your business can set you up for failure. Recently, Creative Bloq released their idea of the best WordPress themes of the year, and choosing both the right platform and theme can dictate the success of your blog.

  1. Expectations that are too high

You need to adjust to the fact that it could take weeks or months before you get your first comment, but that doesn’t mean your blog’s a failure. It takes time for any blog to gain traction, so tap into your patience well. However, ignorance isn’t bliss so also make sure you’re tracking your analytics. There might be a number of lurkers checking out your blogs but not sharing or commenting, and it’ll take some changes to encourage them to participate.

  1. Poor writing

Even if your blog is largely video- or image-based, there will be some aspects that depend on the written word. You don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer to have a great blog, but you do need spellcheck and preferably someone else to look over your work before you post. However, remember to lean on your talents whether it’s writing, video creation or graphic design. There’s no rule that blogs have to be mostly text.

  1. Not sharing

There aren’t many ways for people to find your blog if you’re not sharing it on social media, newsletters, your website, etc. and making the content shareable for others, too. Creating a blog is just part of the process. You also need to spread the word so you get as many eyes on it as possible. Otherwise, you might as well be writing a diary in an notebook then tucking it under your bed.

Not all blogs will succeed, but there are certainly ways to up your odds. Most importantly, make sure a blog is complementary to your goals, whether it’s becoming YouTube famous or upping your SEO factor.

Practice Being a Blogger Daily

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