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Eight Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Boost Your Blogging Creativity

Eight Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Boost Your Blogging Creativity

A lot of bloggers offer a list of traditional “tips for writing a great blog post.” I’ve done it too… it’s great information but not especially unique, just useful. Here are some tips I hope are fresh and new to you that you can do right now to boost your creativity.

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If You Are Not Using Google Alerts You are Missing Out!

If You Are Not Using Google Alerts You are Missing Out!

  Wouldn’t it be great if you were notified every time someone mentioned your domain name on-line?  How about if you could tell how often (and where) your competition is being featured so that you can add your own link to the discussion?  What about taking full advantage of the indexing features of Google?  All of these options are available to you through use of Google Alerts.  When setting up Google Alerts, keep the following in mind: There will be a lot of email headed your way.  You can designate how often you want Google Alerts to send you messages (daily/weekly) and some people even decide to create an additional email address specifically for receiving Google Alerts.  Then you can check the alerts as you have time and your regular inbox isn’t bombarded with alerts.  It’s Google, so you’ll need a Gmail account.  In your Account Settings, click on “alerts, then “my products.”  Set up the keywords you want monitored and then tell Google which email address to send the alerts to.  What kinds of alerts might be helpful? Product and Brand Alerts.  Be sure to include all your brand names (website title, domains, keywords, etc.) and their common misspellings if that is relevant.  You will then receive an email when someone mentions your brand.  This is a great way to reach out and thank others for mentioning your business; you might find that some great relationships are established starting with a simple “thank you.”  Set up “Someone Needs An Answer” Alert.  If you want to have the chance to be the first blogger to answer a question (and get a backlink to your page), you can set up a question query related to your field (i.e.  “what is the best motor oil?” or “the best tennis racket?”). With this alert, when Google finds a blog or website where this question has been asked, you’ll get an alert, and  you can go there and offer your expertise and link back to your blog or site. Competitor Alerts.  Create an alert to let you know when your competition (url, domain name, website name) is mentioned.  Include misspellings as well.  With these alerts, you can see who is talking about your competition and work towards getting your own blog mentioned as well.  Keyword Alerts.  Set up alerts for keywords or phrases specific to your blogging topic so that you can see what is trending, or discover new sites and blogs that come online in your niche… or get any news that appears about your topic.  Only your imagination will limit you when it comes to putting the powerful of Google to work for you via alerts....

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A Huge Mistake I See Even the Most Popular Bloggers Committing

A Huge Mistake I See Even the Most Popular Bloggers Committing

In this short post, I am going to share with you a simple (yet very powerful) tip.  There is a mistake I see even the BIGGEST AND MOST WELL-KNOWN bloggers on the Internet commit. The blunder is so basic and so obvious that I’m not sure whether to chuckle, be puzzled, reveal it to everyone, or keep it to myself.    Since I want you to be successful more than I want to keep my competitive edge concerning this mistake, I am going to share with you this simple – yet extremely important – tip. Files Names That Identify and Market When you deliver a file to a customer or reader (ebook, resource, presentation, brochure, whatever), give it a file name that continues to MARKET your product and name. For example, let’s say you create a fantastic eBook called: 24 Hours to a Better Blog By Joe Smith. You create the PDF and make it available to download. I buy it, download it, and it goes in a folder where I keep stuff like that.  A few weeks later, I’m looking in that folder to see what interests me to read for the day and run across a file named “24BB-JS-final-ver.pdf.” I have no clue what that file is, what it contains, or who wrote it. I’m not enticed to open it because I will have to spend additional time opening it, looking for the title and author’s name, and then deciding if it is what I want to read that day.  I may never open that file again until I get to the point where I’m cleaning out stuff and must open it to consider whether or not it should hit the trash can.  If you are lucky, your readers will rename the file for you when they save it (fixing your blunder for you).  But don’t count on it.  If this does happen, your readers will probably not pick as good of a file name as you could have given it yourself. File Names Are Headlines Now, let’s say you named the file: 24_Hours_to_a_Better_Blog_By_ Joe_Smith.pdf  or 24-Hours-to-a-Better-Blog-By- Joe-Smith.pdf Imagine that. How elementary.  If I see that file name: I know what it is, I know who wrote it, it continues to grab my attention, it’s easy to search for, and it perpetually markets both your name and your product. I’m AMAZED when I download an eBook or file from some well-known blog author with 100K+ subscribers and get file names like “ebk-0312ver2.pdf” or “gettraff7days-br.pdf.”  Really?  It would be almost as bad to create a sloppy file name with  bad capitalization or typos: “24hrs-2-beterblog-BJ.pdf.” Think of your file names like HEADLINES. Use them to your advantage.  You will...

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Generate Traffic With a Blog Contest or Promotion

Generating traffic for your blog is a challenging task that, at times, will need a lot of creativity on your part. As such, bloggers have been partnering with marketing companies to facilitate contests. This has been proven to be a very effective strategy to bring in new readers, especially for popular bloggers. Holding contests is definitely a great way to increase traffic for your blog. By giving away big-ticket prizes such as getaway trips, the latest smartphones, or even expensive beauty treatments, people have extra motivation to actively visit your blog and participate in your contests. The more enticing your prizes are, the more people will find good reasons to keep visiting your blog. Blog owners usually cannot afford to give away big-ticket prizes on their own. Most bloggers partner with marketing companies who provide the prizes. Since this is an indirect way to increase brand awareness, most marketing companies are usually interested in partnering with popular bloggers. Some marketing companies approach bloggers to suggest a product giveaway so they can in turn benefit from the free advertising and product exposure. You do not need to have expensive prizes to hold a contest.  Even a brand-new blogger can hold a fun contest with a small group of readers by giving away something like a $5 gift card to Itunes, Amazon, or something relevant to your blog theme.   A contest like this certainly might bring in new readers to your blog, but it also is a way to thank your current readers and let them know that you appreciate the time that they devote to your blog.  If you have products available on your website, you might offer one as a prize for your contest.  If you have an e-book available, offer free copies.  Be creative and work within your budget. The mechanics of the contests actually vary from blogger to blogger. The method of joining can either be through liking a photo, answering a random trivia question, submitting a video entry, or even recommending the blog site to five new friends. In fact, a popular way to facilitate a giveaway contest is through comment posting.  By leaving a comment to a blog post, you are automatically given a chance to win the prize. The nature of the contests is really dependent on the bloggers. Try to go with the easiest methods for people to sign up; the more steps people have to take, the less likely they are to actually participate in your contest. Social-networking sites are also effective platforms for product giveaways and contests. Since there are more active users on these websites, you can reach more people with your contest or promotion....

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Reader Question: Can you have the “full size image” open in a new window?

Reader Question: Can you have the “full size image” open in a new window?

A reader asks: First of all, thank you so much for all your help and answers to my past questions! On my blog when an image is put on a post, if you click on the image, it will open up to see a larger, closer view. This is great and I really appreciate that you can then see more details i the artwork that I do. However, is there a way where this can be done to open up into a new window? Like how you explained to add target=”_blank” to a link, so that it will open up in a new window. Can this be typed also into the images info on the HTML codes? Or is there some thing else that can be typed, so that this can be done? Answer: You can use “target=_blank” in ANY “<a>” tag no matter what the “<a>” tag encloses. You can wrap an image, text or other object in the “<a>” tag like this: <a href=”www.yourlink.com” target=”_blank”>Your text, image or object here</a> Just put “target=_blank” anywhere in the opening “a” tag to cause it to open to new window. If you use Blogger to upload an image, they put a lot of long attributes into the whole string, but that doesn’t matter. As long as the “target=_blank” is somewhere in the opening “a” tag, it will work. Here’s samples from a Blogger upload, and then a more simple one from WordPress (which is also just plain old standard HTML except for the “mce_href” which is WordPress specific). Check them out… Examples Blogger Produced Code Using Blogger Upload: <a target="_blank" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EClCPe6YvE8/SpVCv9UKhhI/AAAAAAAAA2E/RlHpWbX9YJQ/s1600-h/0215099.jpg" mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EClCPe6YvE8/SpVCv9UKhhI/AAAAAAAAA2E/RlHpWbX9YJQ/s1600-h/0215099.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5374275122016978450" style="cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 156px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EClCPe6YvE8/SpVCv9UKhhI/AAAAAAAAA2E/RlHpWbX9YJQ/s320/0215099.jpg" mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EClCPe6YvE8/SpVCv9UKhhI/AAAAAAAAA2E/RlHpWbX9YJQ/s320/0215099.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></a> WordPress and Standard HTML <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.brentriggs.com/blogpics/0215099.jpg”><img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-155″ title=”0215099″ src=”http://www.mcklinkyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/0215099-300×146.jpg” mce_src=”http://www.mcklinkyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/0215099-300×146.jpg” alt=”0215099″ width=”300″ height=”146″ /></a> Remember, you can link just about any object or piece of text in HTML. And if you can link it, the “target=_blank” will cause it to open in a new window....

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The Best Format for Creating eBooks

I am asked frequently what is the best way to create documents for mass distribution, such as an eBook, a report, a lesson, etc. That’s easy… PDF. Portable Document Format (PDF) is the universal standard for sharing public documents. It is read by the free and easily installed Adobe Reader. http://get.adobe.com/reader/ There are many choices in software to create PDF’s. Adobes’s professional software is Adobe Acrobat, but it’s not cheap, and probably is way more than what you need. The easiest type of PDF creator, installs a “PDF printer” on your computer. In other words, you just go to “PRINT” your document inside of whatever software you are using to create the document, and you’ll see “PDF” as one of the choices. Very simple. A file is saved in PDF format and then that file can be read by anyone with a PDF reader. The great thing about a PDF, is that it perfectly preserves all your formatting, spacing, layout and design, no matter what software you used to create it. The person reading your PDF does not have to have the software or fonts you have on your computer. All the necessary information is saved in the PDF file. There are lots of choices for PDF creation software, from FREE, to online, to purchasable software. Here’s a quick list of choices, but not even close to everything available: www.docudesk.comwww.pdfforge.orgwww.primopdf.comwww.pdf995.comwww.dopdf.comwww.freepdfcreator.org9-PDF-Pro.com What’s your questions about PDFs? For living examples, check out any of the PDF downloads on my own books,...

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