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How to Rapidly Increase Your Subscriber List

How to Rapidly Increase Your Subscriber List

Building your email subscriber list is PRIORITY ONE for a successful blog. If you want to bring a lot of high-quality visitors to your blog, quickly, then you need to pay very close attention to these two words…

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Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes!

Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes!

As an online business owner (yes, your blog is your business if you want to monetize it in any way), you need to make sure that you are reaching out to your audience through whichever social-media platforms your audience favors.  Keeping up with social media can be very time-consuming and you might be tempted to “cheat” the system or spread yourself too thin by posting information that is not helpful to your audience.   Whether or not you use it, and how you use it, should depend on how you best communicate with your readers and how they like to communicate with you.  If you do decide that social media can benefit your online business (which is the case for most bloggers), please keep in mind that your well-earned blogging reputation can quickly evaporate if you commit the following social-media mistakes: Buying fans or followers.  It is possible (and might be tempting) to purchase a following on the major social-media sites like Twitter or Facebook.  What you will end up with is a bunch of fake profiles (created by the people that sold you the following) or a pile of people that have no interest in your business and will not stick around.  The point of social media is to have interaction with YOUR audience; if you have a quality blog with relevant, helpful information, you will earn a real following.  Over-posting.  If you run around online and put your link all over the place without making any meaningful comments or connections, it will be very clear that you are a “spammer” and that reputation will follow you back to your blog.   You can and should use social networks to interact and build relationships by posting thoughtful and helpful comments.  If you think you can truly benefit the conversation of another blogger on a social-media site, consider contacting them directly to build that relationship and ask if you can exchange guest posts.  Over-scheduling.  Most of your posts, tweets, etc., can be scheduled.  When you are setting up your scheduled content, make sure you don’t send out too many in a row; people will delete you and hit unsubscribe faster that you can schedule your next Tweet. Think about your own experience with social media… how many tweets or Facebook updates do you read from the same people every day, or multiple times a day? Don’t you end up ignoring most of them? Now think of that person who you have great expectation of reading, who posts or updates once a week or less and you are eager to read their stuff. Stealing content.  It is really easy to repost something or re-tweet something without...

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Type Unto Others As You Would Have Them Type Unto You

Type Unto Others As You Would Have Them Type Unto You

How many times have you seen a comment on a blog post, or a social-media thread, that is clearly meant to demean and insult another person or their skills?  Too many times… maybe some have been directed at you.  People love to hide behind a keyboard using a fake name or as “anonymous” and become incredibly brave, saying things they wouldn’t have the guts to say in person or if they had to be accountable. People lash out, criticize, and berate without much thought of the consequences.  What the blog world needs is a good dose of the Golden Keyboard Rule:  Type stuff to others as you would have them type stuff to you.  That’s pretty clear.  It’s a simple measure:  do not write a comment or send an email you would not write or send if the recipient were standing in the room with you.    Now some people just simply don’t care and they enjoy hiding behind a keyboard to be a jerk. To those folks, this post won’t make a difference. But if you do care, then here’s what you need to do: never send a negative comment or email, or an upset knee-jerk reaction, without sleeping on it overnight.  I have found that (almost always), you wake up the next morning in a better mood, realizing it was not that big of deal or deciding your response isn’t going to help the situation. Think about your own online behavior:  do you tend to put things in print on the Internet that you wouldn’t consider saying to the person next to you?  When you are “reviewing” products or services, do you have the same level of respect in your comments that you would like given to you?  As bloggers, one of our main goals is to expand our audience and our influence through our online presence.  What impact will we make if we leave hurtful comments on Facebook or bash others when commenting on their blog posts?  What if we get into a public feud or an escalating tit-for-tat insult-fest for the whole world to read? Don’t think the DELETE button will save you. If it gets online, IT STAYS ONLINE one way or another. On the contrary, what impact will we make if we leave genuine, thoughtful comments or even in some cases, respectful criticism?  When you are leaving comments around the internet, think of each one as a mini-advertisement for your online business.  You can strengthen or weaken your reputation with every comment.       We also need to keep in mind that our reputation affects our online business.  If we want people to spend their hard-earned money on our products...

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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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Tips to Write Faster and Better

Tips to Write Faster and Better

  Unless you have an abundance of “free time,” you are going to need to write your blog material quickly and concisely so you can get back to the other 20 things you either should be doing, or would rather be doing.  I typical have a thousand other things I should be doing instead of doing posts or working on a book, so I make the most of my writing time.   Here’s a short list of ways that will help speed up your writing time (while also improving the quality of your blog posts) by utilizing a little advance preparation: Watch for Great Quotes.  In your daily reading of other blog material, books, and magazines, you are going to come across quotes from other people that make a brilliant point.  Even if it’s not something you are currently working on, copy down the quote (with source reference) so that you start accumulating a little library of wisdom that you can pull from later.  I will even go into my blog and set up a DRAFT blog post and put the quote there so that I have it handy when I get time to do a post. Watch for Helpful Links.  You’ll also come across links that you want to share with your audience.  Create a document to store these links so you can easily go in and grab them during your writing time. Or, using your favorite browser, create a bookmarks folder that is specifically for “links to share in blog posts.” Be Ready.  Inspiration for a blog post can strike at any time so you’ll need to make sure you always have access to something to write on so that you don’t lose your good ideas.    Save notes on your smart phone, carry a little notebook, a voice recorder . . .  just try not to rely on your memory for all the brilliant ideas that you are bound to forget.  Especially at night,  when you wake up with an inspiration, NEVER think “oh, that’s such a great idea, I’ll remember that for sure!” You won’t. Keep a notepad or your phone by the bed. Write down what you need to make sure you’ll remember. I usually text or email myself so I’ll have it at my desk. Great Headlines Make Great Posts. This is one of my favorite tricks: when you read a great headline, STOP. Don’t read the article or the post. It will bias your writing. Go create a DRAFT blog post, and rewrite the headline in your own words. Then, write down an outline or bullets points from your own original thoughts about that headline.  If you read...

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Should I Pay to Backup My Blog?

Should I Pay to Backup My Blog?

I recently received the following questions from a reader with a fairly new blog (6 months old, about 80 subscribers, not yet income-generating): How important is online back-up for small bloggers?  Which companies do you recommend for online back-up? The answers to these questions are something that all bloggers need to think about. My answer:  Consider how much time, aggravation, and money it would cost you if you lost everything on your blog tomorrow. Would it be worth paying a back-up service $5/month? $15?  $25?  Only you can decide. For a small blog, posting once a week or less: you can manually back up your database every time you post; no big deal, just a couple of clicks… and you can download a copy of your blog files every time you make a template or page change.  There are some great free plugins for this. Just search “backup”  from your plugins page inside your WordPress admin area.  For a big blog that is constantly changing, produces lots of posts, and has significant traffic:   it is definitely worth it to spend $20-$30/month to make sure your blog is perpetually backed up.  Or, if you just simply want a “set it and forget” solution for the sake of convenience, then a paid service is definitely worth the expense. Who do I use? While I’m sure there are lots of other good services out there, I use Code Guard and I’m very happy with them.  They back up my database and files and have already saved my butt a couple of times when a bad plugin or a one-time hacker took my blog down. – – – – – – – – – – – – Good service, convenience, and reliability can come with a price. A lot of bloggers don’t want to invest in their success or safety online, and have to learn the hard way that BACKING UP is a necessity. It’s not a question of IF you will need a backup, but WHEN and HOW OFTEN. Don’t wait until you lose weeks or months worth of work to learn this valuable...

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The Internet is a Great Place to be the NEW GUY

The Internet is a Great Place to be the NEW GUY

I get a lot of e-mails from people who see the mountains of bloggers ahead of them (more like the Mount Everest of bloggers) and do not even want to start blogging. They think they missed the boat. They are too far behind. They are starting in the ten millionth position of a race. What’s the use? Too late. Right? Wrong.

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The Myth of Multitasking and Constant Connectivity

The Myth of Multitasking and Constant Connectivity

Now that just about everyone has a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop, Google glasses, Buck Rogers watches, Star Trek Communicators, embedded chips in the brain, etc., it’s no surprise that the average person is doing too many things at once, elegantly referred to as “multitasking”. We are slaves to connectivity. Here are some suggestions for managing this new lifestyle of the 21st century…

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15 Suggestions to Immediately Improve Your Blog Posts! What Is Your Suggestion?

15 Suggestions to Immediately Improve Your Blog Posts! What Is Your Suggestion?

Blogging means writing blog posts that capture more readers’ attention and make a memorable impact. Read this list of 15 things you can do right now to improve your blog and posts, then share your ideas to our thousands of readers and get a link to your blog.

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Get More Readers – Your Idea Submissions

Get More Readers – Your Idea Submissions

In my last post I invited folks to submit their ideas for getting more readers for their blog. Any submissions I publish also get a link and blurb. So here they are…

Be sure to visit their blogs… what comes around goes around. Maybe it might be YOUR idea listed here next and you’ll want people to visit your blog.

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