4/28/2011

Why You Should Add A Podcast To Your Blog

Why You Should Add A Podcast To Your Blog  阅读原文»

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Blog podcastWhile podcasting is much bigger than it was a few years ago, it's still not as big as a could be. Many bloggers have yet to get into the art of podcasting. Some are shy and aren't ready to take that next step, while others want to, but just don't know how to take that step.

Whatever your reason may be for not adding a podcast to your blog, you may want to consider the benefits. Podcasting is not just a marketing tool, it's also a way to set yourself apart from the competition and really get in touch with your subscribers. So before counting it out, take a look over these reasons why you should add a podcast to your blog.

Educate Yourself

Having a weekly podcast can be a great learning experience for you because you'll get to learn about new topics from the people that you talk to and interview. What better way to expand your knowledge than by talking to experts in that area? Your new-found knowledge is also a great way of increasing your authority and establishing yourself as a great source and leader in your industry. You'll be able to expound in greater detail on the topics that you cover on your blog and build more trust with your readers.

Expand Your Reach

Through your podcast you'll be able to network, connect and get noticed by new people. You'll really get to do a lot of expanding because the people that you invite on your podcast will of course share the podcast with their network. It only gets better from there because some of those people will then share the podcast with their networks and so on.

Also, with the ability to publish podcasts for free on iTunes and other places, you're bound to reach an entirely new audience. It's a great way to build your brand and increase your exposure. People that may have never even heard of your will come across your podcast just by searching or browsing within your category.

Convenience

Your readers will now become listeners and they'll really appreciate the convenience of being able to listen to your content on the go (via a mobile device) or while multitasking right at home or in the office. Listening actually takes less cognitive effort than reading, plus the Web has really made people more lazy. So, it's only natural that your readers will enjoy listening to your podcasts because it will save them time and energy.

Build Relationships

Your podcast will give you the ability to improve your relationship with your current readers and build new relationships as well. It’s much easier to build a personal connection to a human voice than from writing; text can be so impersonal. Hearing your voice will let your listeners into your life and get to know the real you. You can also interact with them more and even respond to questions, remarks or feedback that they send.

If you’re now ready to take that next step, there are numerous resources on the Web to help you get started. Some methods are easier than other; so just be sure to find the method that best suits your needs and you'll be a podcasting pro in no time!

About the Author

This post was written by Lior who advises to a live chat support software company called iAdvize. Lior Also works for an MA in Israel studies program.


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4/27/2011

Starting The Article Writing Process

Starting The Article Writing Process  阅读原文»

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Article Writing TipsArticle writing is more than just sitting down and writing out your thoughts. In order to get people to keep on reading you have to almost instantly capture their interest. You must get your reader interested enough and curious enough to be able to get your message across to them.

The most important ingredient in putting together an article is creativity. Some people are just naturally very creative, while others go crazy while suffering from a seemingly endless bout of writer’s block. It can be extremely frustrating and aggravating when the words that you are looking for just don’t seem to want to come. But you must learn to relax and let them come.

Writing words that magically transform themselves into an image in the mind of the reader is an art form in and of itself. Your words need to be crisp, clear, and concise. You can use metaphors to help yourself out, but the way an article is woven together word by word and sentence by sentence is how it develops its essence and personality.

You are sitting there and you just can’t seem to get any words to come to mind, what do you do now? Since the beginning of the written word, all writers have faced this situation. There is no perfect or guaranteed answer to the problem of writers block. One secret that I use, as well as a lot of other writers, is to keep a notebook near you at all times and write down any ideas as they come to you. Write down everything you think of, everything you see, and everything you hear that might prove useful. You can use this notebook for future reference when you are in need of an idea.

Another thing that you can try is to simply relax and empty your mind. We all from time to time end up with a head full of life’s little worries. If you are having some sort of problem or difficulty in your life it will make it very hard for you to concentrate and keep focused on what you are trying to do. Every time you sit down to write, take a moment to relax and clear those troubling thoughts from your mind.

The area in which you work is very important and can have a direct effect on the quality of your work. A cluttered workspace can be a distraction and hinder your productivity. This doesn’t mean however that you have to have a sterile and drab work area. Put up some pictures that inspire you. Place some small objects on your desk the bring back those kinds of memories that you just can’t help but smile when you think of them. A peaceful work area will greatly increase your output.

Figure out how you work best

A good place to start is the speed with which you write. Some writers once they get going, the words just fly across the paper. Other writers are much slower and more methodical. You need to find your own pace. Some writers having a never-ending cup of coffee always on the desk, while some have been known to sip on a glass of wine or put away a few beers while they write. There is no right or wrong way, there is only you finding your own way.

And if it all gets to be too much, and no matter how hard you should try the words just won’t come, get up and walk away from it. Take a break, go for a walk, do something that is unusual and will break up your normal routine. Once you have let go of all those little things that are bothering you, the writing process will flow effortlessly.

About the Author

Thomas Alling runs a blog where he writes about how you can make money from blogging. He also writes articles in the internet marketing niche. To read more from Mr. Alling, visit his blog MakeMoneyHelper.com


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4/26/2011

WordPress Essentials: All in One SEO Pack vs WP SEO by Yoast

WordPress Essentials: All in One SEO Pack vs WP SEO by Yoast  阅读原文»

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For those people who have been using WordPress for years, the first plugin that they would recommend anyone starting out with the WordPress format would be the All in One SEO Pack. All in One SEO Pack was one of the first comprehensive WordPress plugins and since it was launched has been downloaded over 8 million times. It is without doubt the daddy of all WordPress plugins and the one most people download first when they set up their WordPress blog.

All in One SEO Pack allows you to quickly and simply configure the meta tags, meta description and Title for each and every post that you write for your WordPress site. This is particularly useful because WordPress will use your blog tag as a keyword. Thus the plugin is brilliant for customizing every post or webpage to get the maximum benefits of optimization. This automation of the SEO process is brilliant for beginners, because it not only generates the correct tags but it also avoids duplicate content.

However, the problem with being the top dog is that someone always comes along and tries to steal your crown. And lately another SEO package has been getting a lot of attention. The WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most recent, and certainly most discussed, SEO plugin around. Boasting a whole raft of new features it promised to be less high maintenance than All in One SEO Pack. And it comes with a good pedigree with Yoast and his team being a reliable source and having been downloaded a great deal as well.

Indeed it is well designed and very easy to use with a bunch of great options for tweaking your search engine optimisation settings. The page that takes the place of the old All in One SEO Pack page works extremely well and allows you to simply customize the titles for differing page views, with numerous options for flexibility. However, there are also some problems with Yoast at this stage, that still need ironing out. Some category tags and templates didn't work once the plugin was enabled, and after the installation of the plugin the category permalinks also stopped working. In addition there were problems with sitemap functionality and a few other minor teething problems that still need to be sorted out.

To be fair Yoast’s SEO plugin has not been around anywhere near the same length of time as All in One SEO Pack so it needs some time to bed in. But for a plugin that does one basic job � generating and organizing meta description, title and keyword tags � and does it well, All in One SEO Pack is still the only plugin worth installing.

About the Author

Alex Simmonds is a copywriter and journalist based in the UK.


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4/13/2011

Community Chat: Time for a Blogsessive Redesign

Community Chat: Time for a Blogsessive Redesign  阅读原文»

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Hello friends and readers of Blogsessive! Today I have an announcement to make and with this occasion, launch a debate with you, Blogsessive’s community.

Blogsessive has been around for a while, sometimes more active, sometimes less active, but right now it’s time for a major change. And this change will start off with a redesign of the blog.

Since I’ve always treasured the voice of my community, I’m launching an open debate (this post will remain sticky) on this step in Blogsessive’s existence with a few questions:

  • What do you like and dislike most about the current design?
  • What would you want to see implemented in the future design?
  • Are there any elements/functionalities that you find hard to access right now?

Aside from these questions, feel free and encourage to express your opinions as feedback is always kindly appreciated. Also, another change of policy is to open up Blogsessive to more guest post articles. It is an excellent way to help Blogsessive’s readers get to know each other better and I am 100% positive that everyone has a wonderful point of view, experience and tips to share with us all. So, go ahead and write a wonderful guest post and contact me.

Lets talk

Looking forward to reading your comments and setting the base of Blogsessive’s future together!


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4/12/2011

Build Your Audience with Facebook and Blogging

Build Your Audience with Facebook and Blogging  阅读原文»

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Facebook blogging audienceFacebook and blogging, if both are done right, can be a powerful combination. Linking up your Facebook Page with your blog is a great way to get your blog readers more involved with your Facebook community, and it's also a great chance to let your Facebook fans know what's going on over on your blog.

It's not difficult to link up your Facebook Page and your blog, in fact some of it can be set once and then will automatically continue to work for you. It's just a matter of getting the pieces in place so that both your blog and your Facebook Page are communicating with each other and your people can easily connect with you where they are most comfortable interacting.

Let's start with some things you can do on your Facebook Page.

Automatically Post Your Blog Updates

Every time you write a new blog post, you can have Facebook automatically publish that on your Facebook Page. This is a great way to let your fans know that there is new content over on the blog, and they can get a quick sneak peek to see if it's something they want to check out or not.

All you need is a Facebook Page app that posts from an RSS feed. RSS Graffiti is a good example of one that is completely free and easy to set up.

Blog Directly In Facebook

Most bloggers will want to continue to have an external blog outside of Facebook, however, Facebook's Notes app can act like a blog inside Facebook. With Notes you can write and post an article, include images and links, and post it right to your Facebook Page Wall. The Notes app is automatically added to any new Page, so you can easily find it by going in to the Apps section in your Edit Page backend.

The Notes app can also be used to import your blog and works great if your blog is primarily written. {Videos do not import properly, so if your blog has a lot of video, then I recommend just using the RSS Graffiti app for your blog.} The Notes app will import your new blog posts right into Notes, so that it's now in your Facebook Page and your fans can comment on it there.

There are also a number of things you can set up on your blog to point to and connect to your Facebook Page.

Facebook Share Button

There are a number of good plugins for WordPress that add a Facebook Share button to each post on your blog. You can have one that shows the number of shares, or one that simply has the Share button with no count.

A Facebook Share button is a quick and easy way for readers to share your post if they like it. They are able to add their own comment, and Facebook pulls in the title, URL, short description and thumbnail, so it gives your blog some great exposure to the Share-er's friends.

Facebook Comments

Adding Facebook comments to your blog can be a great way to bring some more interactivity with Facebook to your site. Facebook comments sync between your blog and Facebook so that user's comments are posted to their Personal Profile when they comment.

Readers who are not on Facebook are not able to comment, however, so some people use Facebook Comments alongside the regular WordPress comments, or only use the Facebook Comments on certain pages of their blog.

Facebook Like

You can also add a simple Like button to each blog post. When readers click Like, it publishes a quick story to their profile saying that they Like it. The Like button also typically shows readers if any of their friends already like the post, so it can be a great way to show them that their friends are already interacting with your blog {if they actually are, of course}.

The Like button doesn't let them add a comment or share the actual post, but it does give your post just a bit of visibility on Facebook. And visibility equals new fans and more interaction from current fans. Use it as well as the Facebook Share button to give your readers two easy ways give you some Facebook love.

Facebook Page Icon or Like Box

Many of your blog readers would love to be fans on Facebook, as well. Give them the option to do so right from your blog with a Facebook Page Like Box, which has the Like button right on your site, so they don't have to leave your blog.

Or if you prefer to have them leave your site to go to Facebook, then use a Facebook icon that links to your Facebook Page. You can use just a plain text link, too, but if people are looking for how to connect with you on Facebook, they'll be looking for the blue Facebook "F". Don't be shy about displaying that icon!

How to Find Apps and Plugins

If you're not familiar with finding and installing new Facebook Page apps and WordPress plugins, just start doing some searching. You can use the search bar in Facebook to search for apps – just start typing what you're looking for and Facebook will show you a list of suggestions. If looking for WordPress plugins, you can do a search on WordPress.org for plugins.

And don't forget that Google is your best friend. You can search for Facebook apps and WordPress plugins right in Google, as well, and will find recommendations from others, as well as the actual apps and plugins on Facebook and WordPress.

Your Turn

Are you already using some of these tools and techniques? Which new ones are you going to start implementing? And are there any other techniques that you would like to add to the list? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Image Credit: Anirudh Koul

About the Author

Jess is a quirky entrepreneur who helps fellow quirks EXPLODE their business on Facebook. She loves all things Facebook and being able to help business owners learn how to build an active audience to grow their business through Facebook. If you’d like to learn more, you can attend her FREE webinar, The Facebook Explosion Blueprint, or join The Facebook Explosion community on Facebook. You can also follow Jess’ blog and website over at www.jessilicious.com.


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4/11/2011

That’s Why I Have Just Deleted Your Business Opportunity Email

That's Why I Have Just Deleted Your Business Opportunity Email  阅读原文»

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Delete business opportunity emailHello everyone! My name is Alex. Most of you, readers of Blogsessive know my name and clearly know what this blog is all about and that’s great. Others don’t and that’s fine too. But there are those cases in which not knowing who I am is a bad thing, and yes, now I’m talking to you Mr./Ms. Internet/Email Marketer. Unfortunately, I have absolutely NO idea what your big business opportunity was all about because I have just deleted your email. Why, you ask? Because…

My name is Alex

Not admin, not webmaster. I have a name and if you really want to reach ME, think of me as a person with an identity. I am not defined by my status in regards to how I technically operate this blog or website, but by my thoughts, actions, writing and virtually all that in the end constitutes my identity in the eyes of my community. You can start by simply using my name.

My blog is called Blogsessive

Not http://blogsessive.com, not ‘your website’ – the one that you ‘stumbled’ across by some sort of accident and decided to pitch me. Call me arrogant but I love my blog and have put a lot of work and passion into it. Show me respect by using its name, just like you should when addressing me. It is part of my identity and if you did not get it by now, I couldn’t care less about what you have to propose as long as you show that you have no idea who I am, what my blog is about and I’m basically just another ID in your database of contacts.

You did not pitch me with a win-win

The second you decide to pitch me it is clear that you have something to gain. In case you don’t realize, like it or not most times that puts me in a position of power. Make sure you clearly state what you offer and make sure it’s at least decent. Under certain circumstances I will promote stuff out of my own belief because you pointed it out, but statistics say that most likely I’m not running a charity, nor pushing big amounts of BS to my community. Thus, all you have to do is to follow these simple rules:

  • Offer something of value to me and my community;
  • Offer something of virtually the same value with what you are asking for;
  • If you cannot provide any of the above, make sure you state why and think of alternatives.

You did not pitch me with something fit

If you take a moment to browse my blog, you’ll see what it is all about and see if your proposal fits in. I will not go out of my way to help you with something and by doing that, disrupt the flow of this blog. Make sure you pitch me with the right stuff.

So, the next time you pitch me via email and don’t get a reply, know that it went straight to the trash bin and that’s why I have just deleted your business opportunity email.

What should you do?

Other than following the 4 common sense rules above? You could first consider the following relational pattern: Me <-> My blog <-> My community. If you get that, I’m sure you’ll be able to personalize your business opportunity email in less than 5 minutes and chances are that I’ll read it and reply. Also, let me give you an example of how it’s done.

A couple of days ago I was approached by a person offering a subscription to a pretty major website, asking for a review of their service. They used my blog’s name in their pitch and their offer clearly stated what I had to win out if it. A decent free subscription. Yet, their service is not that new to me as it relates to my job of over a decade – a web designer. Being a member of similar services, out of courtesy and respect of their approach I replied back asking for a similar subscription to offer one of my readers too in a contest after I’d review their site. Of course, we came to an agreement and everyone will be happy. It’s just a matter of common sense. And with this, stay tuned to Blogsessive in the next couple of weeks as I’m preparing the contest I previously mentioned.

Photo credits to Dan Mulligan


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4/07/2011

6 Habits of Successful Writers

6 Habits of Successful Writers  阅读原文»

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Writing habitsIn most industrialized nations, literacy is well over 98%. This means that nearly everyone is capable of reading and writing and, as such, are capable of being writers.

However, only a very small fraction of people who can write ever attempt to actually become serious writers and, of those who do, only a fraction ever become successful at it.

There are many reasons for this, some of which include natural talent, time and other issues over which there is little control. However, there are several habits that separate those who become successful writers from those who never go anywhere with their writing.

In short, while taking on these habits may not guarantee that you'll become a successful writer, not having them will virtually guarantee that you won't. As such, they are crucial for any writer to have if they want to make a career or even a reputation out of their writing.

1. Writing

Successful writers write almost constantly. It's important to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) at least once a day to keep your mind in the writing mindset.

Try to set a word count goal for yourself every day, even if it is a low one at first, and try to hit it. Not only is this a great way to tackle longer projects, such as a novel, but it forces you to write even if you don't have a deadline looming, letting you work on projects along and along rather than rushing to completion.

2. Editing

Most great writers are also avid editors. While it's important to have others read your work and to take their suggestions humbly, you have to be your own best editor.

Learn how to edit your work carefully, reading the words aloud as you go back over it or even reading it backwards to ensure you take your time and look at what was said. Very few great works come out as diamonds in the first draft and most need a lot of polish to make them shine.

3. Reading

To be a successful writer, one has to read as much, if not more, than they write. Reading not only lets you see what works and what doesn't but also lets you feel the natural cadence of the written language and bring that into your work.

It's important, however, to read a variety of content. Newspapers, books, blog posts, etc. all have different styles and different elements that you can incorporate into your work. Exposing yourself to all of the content you can is crucial to having a broad understanding of writing and being able to bring in the best of all worlds.

4. Focus

Writing is hard work and there are many distractions that can cause you to lose your focus. Finding ways to keep on target and keep putting words on the page is crucial to completing projects, which, in turn is essential for being a successful writer.

Whether you use a full screen word processor or just sheer willpower, finding a way to stay focused on your words will help you immensely as you try to hone and improve your writing.

5. Self Promotion

This one is a problem for many writers as marketing is not a skill that comes naturally with writing talents. However, in order to go from being a talented writer to a successful one, one has to be prepared to tastefully trumpet themselves.

Marketing and promotion is far from easy, but the quicker one masters it, the faster their career will grow.

6. Delivery

Finally, all of the above habits mean nothing if the writer isn't capable of delivering what they promise on time every time.

A writer who hasn't submitted a completed work hasn't written anything at all. So getting into the habit of meeting deadlines and constantly turning out excellent work when you do is the habit that will build your reputation and help you climb the ladder of success.

Conclusions

All in all, there's no real magic to becoming a great writer. It's all about working hard at your craft and constantly churning out high quality work in a timely fashion.

However, these are not skills that one develops so much as they are habits, habits that become ingrained by making an effort to do them over and over again.

Once that happens, there's almost nothing that can stop you from finding success as a writer. At that point it is only a matter of time and patience.

About the Author

This was a guest post by Lior who works for an applicant tracking software and who also advises to a neon signs store.


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4/04/2011

A Newbie’s Guide to Social Media

A Newbie's Guide to Social Media  阅读原文»

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New technology seems to arrive at the speed of thought, and it can be difficult for the casual web user to keep up with all of it. If you have ever shied away from a conversation that steered toward anything web-related or have ever shrugged your shoulders when you heard terms like social networking, tweeting, status updates, wikis, blogs, or social media, you are not alone, and this guide should help you get a basic overview of what social media is and how it is used.

A clear definition

The first problem with social media is that it means different things to different people, but it is important for someone trying to understand it to have a clear definition of what it means. Social media, in this context, refers to any site on the web that relies on participatory input and interaction among its visitors. Part or all of the content is created by the users.

Social media has taken over the web in a very short amount of time. Nearly all of the top sites on the web are participatory in essence, excluding the search engines, and nearly all sites have at least some participatory elements (such as comments).

Types of Social Media

While there are many forms social media can take, one can basically divide them into five categories, and each category has several sub-categories with accompanying examples:

1. Collaboration:

  • Wikis — Easily editable encyclopedias. Often open to any users, although some are more restrictive.
    • Example: Wikipedia
  • Open Content — Content licensed for reuse and sharing
    • Example: Creative Commons
  • Social Bookmarking — Sites that allow users to bookmark, share, and discover websites.
    • Examples: Delicious, Google Bookmarks, Stumbleupon
  • Social News — Share links to news and comment on stories
    • Examples: Digg, Slashdot, Reddit

2. Communication:

  • Blogs — Services or software for easy user publishing, comments, and more
    • Example: WordPress, Blogger
  • Micro-blogging — Very brief blog updates, often shorter than 140 characters
    • Examples: Twitter, Identi.ca
  • Social networking — General social interaction, sharing, and friendship building.
    • Example: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn

3. Multimedia:

  • Photo sharing — Publish photos for the world to see, comment, and share
    • Examples: Flickr, Smugmug, Picasa
  • Video sharing — Publish your own videos online
    • Examples: YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion
  • Live streaming — Stream live videos
    • Examples: Livevideo, Justin.tv, USTREAM
  • Audio and Music sharing — Share favorite music streams
    • Examples: Last.fm, Like.fm

4. Reviews and Opinions:

  • Product Reviews — Rate products for quality and price
    • Examples: Epinions
  • Questions and Answers — Anyone can ask and answer questions
    • Examples: Yahoo Answers
  • Employer/Educator reviews — Find out how good an employer, professor, or other authority figure is
    • Example: Rate My Professor
  • Real Estate — Rate apartments, houses, neighborhoods, and commercial property
    • Examples: ApartmentRatings, Neighborhood Scout

5. Entertainment:

  • Virtual Worlds — Create avatars and live out virtual lives
    • Example: Second Life
  • Social Gaming– Play games online with other players
    • Examples: Browser-based games like Farmville and MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games like World of Warcraft

Beyond websites and services specifically designed for social media, many personal, non-profit, and commercial websites incorporate social media elements. For example, many shopping sites like Amazon.com and eBay allow users to review products, rate them, and even resell items. Most news sites, even from corporate media, now give readers the ability to comment on articles, audio, and video. Furthermore, many sites incorporate elements from established social media sites. For example, a site may have a Facebook "Like" button or a Twitter sharing button. Some may even allow you to share their content on several different social media sites.

Although social media as a concept is relatively new, the actual implementation of online participatory elements predates the term. Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), for example, date back to the 1970s, and chat rooms have been a part of the Internet from the beginning. With a steady evolution, most interactive features of the Internet (such as email) are now integrated into the web. Because of this, some people use computers and never close their web browsers.

According to web experts at UK dedicated hosting 34SP.com, when the web was created, it was intended to be a participatory tool that anyone could use to create and innovate. Social media is just a step in the direction of realizing that vision of a participatory culture, where a free exchange of ideas and knowledge flourishes.

About the Author

Tavis J. Hampton is a librarian and writer with a decade of experience in information technology, web hosting, and Linux system administration. His freelance services include writing, editing, tech training, and information architecture.


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