Tuesday, March 23, 2010


For the Blogger

  • Bear in mind that you’re writing for a global audience. Even though your blog may be a personal one, it’s still public and accessible to anyone.
  • Gone are the days when you could tell the world what you had for lunch or dinner, and whether you burped 10 times today. If you want an audience, write for a specific topic (or a few) which you believe you’re good at.
  • Be creative, don’t steal other people’s content. Just because you don’t have anything to write to maintain your blog, does not give you the right to copy and paste other people’s work onto yours.
  • Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. It doesn’t hurt to belong to one side of the fence. In fact, it might make your blog more interesting. If you’re afraid of criticism, you might need to think twice about keeping a blog.
  • Don't make your blog an excuse to make a personal attack on someone. Remember the old saying "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all."
  • Attribution. Always return credit where possible. If you are going to copy a text, or use an image, please return the credit and link back to where you found the material.
  • Don’t steal bandwidth. If you are going to use an image off a blog, save it on to your own image hosting site. It’s rude to copy the image source and link it directly to your own blog.
  • If you’re emotionally riled by a commenter, pause before you hit submit. You might regret what you wrote.

For the Blog Reader/Commenter

  • Post comments that are related to the entry. If you must post a hello to the writer, email it to them, or post it in their chat box (if any).
  • If you have your own blog, don’t blatantly promote yourself on other’s blogs. Especially if the entry is unrelated to you.
  • If you don’t like it, move on. If you don’t share a blogger’s opinions, don’t make it your mission to spam his/her blog with your vile personal attacks. There are so many blogs to choose from in the blogsphere, find a new one to frequent.
  • If you’ve accidentally posted repeat comments, apologize to the blog owner, preferably via email. You could post the apology with another comment, but be careful not to have it posted multiple times again.
  • Rude and childish behaviour just because you’re an anonymous commenter or are behind a pseudonym is unacceptable. As much as good manners is required in the real world, it works the same in the blogsphere.
  • If you’re emotionally riled by a blogger, pause before you hit submit. You might regret what you wrote.

For Both

  • Bear in mind your reputation. Even if you’re blogging or commenting under a pseudonym, there are possibilities that you will be found out one day. Blogs are not dispensable. Even after you’ve long deleted that embarrassing photo of your prom night, someone might just be able to dig it up years later on.
  • There will always be differing opinions to yours. Remember to always respect other’s views and opinions. If you want to share your own, do so in a mature debate. But bear in mind that you don’t need to change that person’s viewpoint.

If that's too many things to remember, just keep in mind these 3Rs - Be Responsible, Respect the person behind the other keyboard, and Relax. Open your mind, and you will enjoy the blogsphere’s endless possibilities.

Is the Topic Popular?

While the blogger’s interest is important it’s not enough on it’s own to build a popular blog. Another crucial ingredient is that people WANT to read information on the topic you’re writing on. The law of Supply and Demand is what most business students are taught in their first semester of of studying economics and it comes into play here also. You might be interested in your topic but unless others are also you’ll always have an uphill battle in building a highly read blog.

Of course keep in mind that you are writing in a medium with a global audience of many millions and as a result you don’t need a topic that everyone is searching, just one thatsome people are searching for because even it’s something that even a small percentage of people have an active interest in it can be a lucrative area.

Is the Topic one that is growing or shrinking?

Also keep in mind that popular topics change over time. Obviously it’s great to get on a topic before it becomes big rather than when it’s on the decline. This is not easy to do of course but predict the next big thing that people will be searching for and you could be onto a winner.

Get in the habit of being on the lookout for what people are into. I constantly ask myself ‘what will people be searching the web for in 6 to 12 months?’

Keep an eye on what people are into and what the latest trends are. Do this online but also keep an eye on TV, magazines, the papers and even the conversations you have with friends.

What competition is there?

One of the traps that some bloggers get sucked into when choosing a topic is to go for the most popular topics with no regard for the competition that they might face in those markets. The chances are if you have identified a niche that you think is ‘hot’ at the moment that someone else will have also. It’s demand and supply coming into play again – for any level of demand for information on a topic there will only be a certain number of sources of that information that will be needed on that topic.

The web is becoming a more and more cluttered place and sometimes it feels that there are no niches that are left open to blog about. While this is true in some of the more popular topics – remember that you don’t have to go for the topic that everyone is searching for. In fact sometimes it’s some of the less popular topics that have little or no competition that are the best earners.

I have one friend who after years of attempting to do well writing about gadgets swapped to ‘ride on lawn mowers’ (a topic he’d been researching for a purchase he was making). He was amazed to find that after just a couple of months of writing on his new topic that it was doing significantly more traffic (and making quite a bit more) than his gadget websites ever had.

As I’ve said many times before on this blog – become a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond.

Will you have enough Content?

One of the key features of successful blogs is that have the ability to continue to come up with fresh content on their topic for long periods of time. Conversely, one of the things that kills many blogs is that their authors run out of things to say.

Answering the question regarding whether there is enough content can be done on two levels:

· 1. Do YOU have enough content within YOU as an author? This really comes back to the question we asked above about your passion, interests and energy for the topic (so I’ll leave it at that).

· 2. Do you have access to enough other sources of content and inspiration? There are many web based tools around these days that can help you in coming up with content. Some places to check out on your topic to see what news is about include Google News.

Choose a Niche

At this point it’s time to choose a topic for your blog. It’s probably unlikely that you’ll find the perfect topic on all of the fronts above. While it’d be great to find a topic that you’re passionate about that just happens to have massive demand and no competition – but the reality is that most topics topics that you come up with will have at least one weakness to them. Don’t let this get you down – there comes a time when you just need to make a decision and start blogging. The key is being aware of what the weakness is so that you can work to overcome it.

7 Great Ways to Connect with Other Bloggers While You’re Out Reading Blogs

Some great ways to connect with other bloggers, ways that will get you positive attention and start relationships of mutual respect.

1. Look before you speak. When you’re on a new blog look around for minute, don’t just read a post and comment. Take in a bit about the blog and the blogger. Read the comments that came before yours as well. Think about what you’d say if you were in a discussion with all of them. Folks will recognize that your comment has substance and take you and your comment more seriously.

2. Listen also. Each blog has a culture, just as each person’s home does. Certain types of behavior are acceptable in one place and not another. Notice how folks talk to the blogger and to each other. Respect the rules of the house.

3. Know you’re a visitor. Be generous of spirit. Let the blogger be the star of the show. It’s his or her house. If you see an error in print send an email, or point out incorrect information softly by saying, “you might be interested to know that they’ve found out . . .”

4. Don’t leave links without knowing or asking. Sometimes a look around will tell you whether it’s okay to do so. Even so, a link without a comment is impolite. It says, “Come to my blog. I’ve nothing to say here.”

5. Come with the mind of a learner and you’ll be well rewarded. Bloggers are helpful, friendly people who love to solve problems. Expect things and you will be easily forgotten. Value the time and experience of the blogger who helps you, and you’ll have a relationship that will last.

6. Know that being clever or teasing folks in print is a talent, be sure to use a emoticon if you’re doing it. Feelings get hurt and thoughts get misunderstood. We all think we use words the same way. We do not.

7. If you leave a comment that argues a point or asks a question, do come back. Please allow us to answer. If you don’t return, it appears that you think you know more than anyone else does. I answer those comments and wonder about the people who left them . . . what did he or she think leaving the comment would do?

PLUS ONE: Relationships are about people. We write from one side of the computer. We feel alone talking to one other on the end of a long optic fiber, but we’re not. Our bodies are in the privacy of where we choose to be, but our words are in the openness of cyberspace. People — some not even born yet — will read what we write. We can’t ever forget them.

People who read us learn things, and get to know us. Sometimes they comment and a conversation starts. Next thing you know there’s a relationship happening. Some of those people become colleagues and friends for life.

(credit to : successful_blog.com)

Do you want your message to be reached?

Do you want to market your business?

Do you want to be hear?

What else…..

So the answer is START A BLOG.

What is a Blog?

The word is a loose contraction of the term, "Web Log." A blog is at a minimum "a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger," .

What is Blogging?

Blogging offers the opportunity for people to tell the world what's on their minds, to share their passions, or to simply inform them of current events, no matter how uniquely focused. Or, to tell them what's going on in their business. A blog is a hybrid newsletter that keeps you and your contacts in touch with each other.

Who is Blogging?
To find out who's blogging in your field, do a search at Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) for some of the keywords that you use on your own web site.

How do I start?

Creating a blog requires special software that is available.
Among the most popular blogging applications in use today, are Blogger (http://www.blogger.com), Movable Type (http://www.movabletype.org/), and Type Pad (http://www.typepad.com/).

Further removing the need to know HTML, blogging software allows you to choose a template (which you can customize) that gives all of your messages a consistent look. This could help you in branding yourself.

As example, from the standardize blog background, you can change it to the other background which is can define your concept…more, you can add the application in your blog according to the specification of your interest.

Finally, blogs offer the ultimate opportunities for networking. The attitude among bloggers is that "we're all doing this together." So exchanging links with like-minded sites is the norm rather than the exception.

Also, a company called Blogrolling (http://www.blogrolling.com) makes it possible for people to link to you "on the fly." You get a small piece of javascript code from them, place it in your blog template, and when people come to your site, they can click on the "Blogroll Me" link, and they immediately add your link to their site.
A blog will never replace e-mail—on a purely personal level. But a blog will help you to reach a larger audience than you thought possible with opt-in e-mail. Whether you sell information products, candles, or baseball cards, you'll find folks in the blogging world who are seeking exactly what you have to offer.

For me at least, a blog has provided the quickest way to reach the largest number of people. And every one of them is interested in hearing what I have to say next.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey, you’re an author.
You write for a living, and most likely do your writing sitting in front of a computer. All that time in front of a screen, who would want to take the time to blog and use social media sites?

There are so many benefits for authors using these online resources.

Increase your online presence. Exposure, exposure, exposure! How will you gain new readers if people can’t find you online? By creating a blog, you’re creating a web presence allowing people to find you, and if they like what they see, potentially buy your book!

Show off your writing skills and publish content real-time. Your readers have seen your writing skills first hand, but why not impress them on a regular basis? By blogging, you are publishing content between book releases to keep your readers interested in what you have to say. You can also use your words to attract new readers.

Create a forum. A blog allows readers and prospective readers to leave comments to offer thoughts and to ask questions and get answers from you. This forum will also allow you to receive feedback, both good and bad, about your book and your blog posts. Also, it’s a great way to get ideas for future books!

Create a brand
. When you think Nike, I’m sure you think about something athletic. When you think Clorox, you are probably thinking “clean.” This is why brand is so important. I know you’re not athletic apparel or a cleaning product, but you should show the world who you are by creating a trusted brand!

Blogs are the new source for news and information. More and more people are going to blogs to gather information as opposed to traditional search engines to find websites. It’s important to be where people are looking in order to be found. Be UP-TO-DATE!

Don’t just blog, create a blogsite. What is this you ask? It’s basically a website with a blogging platform. You can have the running blog with all the content you post, as well as tabs that are static (don’t change, like a regular website). These tabs can have general information about your book, your bio, excerpts, press releases, testimonials, contact information, resources you find useful. Simply put, it’s a hybrid between a blog and a website creating a one stop shop for people to learn about you and your book…the possibilities are endless!

So you’ve got a blog, now what? Get social about it!

Social media is a blog’s best friend. Social Media drives people to your blog…it gets more people reading the fresh new content you’re publishing on a regular basis. Social Media also helps reinforce the reasons you created a blog (mentioned above).

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tagged are invaluable resources for an author. They work with a blog to give you a web presence.