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What Is Blogging?

how to become a bloggerThe internet hasn’t been around all that long, but it has quickly become a part of our daily lives. Even if we don’t go online every day, you can bet that the people and businesses we deal with do go online every day. But regardless of who is going online or why, it all comes down to one thing: communication. One of the most popular forms of this is the blog. But what is blogging? That’s a straightforward question, so let’s take a look at the answer.

The word ‘blog’ derives it name from a combination of the words ‘web log’. When they first started, that’s exactly what they were. Most people would use them as a form of an online journal of their daily lives, and many of them would only share their blogs with family and friends. Then came what are commonly called mommy blogs. These were blogs typically started by stay at home moms to communicate with other moms, but they also added some elements of making money to their blogs. Next were the flat-out money making blogs which tend to be more contrived; with each post being designed to maximize the revenue of the blog.

So, when someone asks “what is blogging?”, the best answer is “it depends”. That’s because each type of blog requires a different approach. However, there are several similarities between all blogs. Updating your blog on a regular basis, making it look good, and driving traffic to it are a few of the things most blogs have in common.

One of the best things about blogs is that you can start blogging for free. The WordPress and Blogger platforms are just two of the services that allow you to easily set up a blog and to do so for no cost at all. However, you will have to host your blog on their servers, and your domain name will contain “blogger” or “wordpress” as part of it. If you have a blog that’s meant for family and friends, then this should be okay. However, if you plan on making money with your blog, then you need to buy your own domain name and hosting.

To get started, figure out what you want your blog to be about. Once that’s done, you can think of a name for your blog. The next step is to go to whichever blogging site you want to try (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) and sign up for an account. If someone else already has used the same name for their blog (when using the free option), you will have to come up with a different name.

Now you’re ready to start posting to your blog. This is usually done by logging into your blogging account and then clicking on “new post”. Write your post, then click “submit”. There you go! You have just made your first post. Now if some asks you what is blogging, you can say it’s an easy way to have your own site online.

Simple Tips For Creating A Blog

tips for creating a blogSo, you have been thinking about creating a blog, but aren’t sure where to start. That’s okay, this article will fill you in on what you need to know before you get started. The good news is that blogs are very easy to set up, and you can put up a basic blog in a fairly short amount of time. Here some basic tips to get you on the path to blogging success.

1. Decide what type of blog you want to have. Will it be a personal blog that is meant to be read by your family and friends? Will it be blog about one of your favorite hobbies? Or will the purpose of it be to make money? Know the kind of blog you’ll have will determine a lot of the other things you need to do.

2. Pick a topic.
Once you know what type of blog you’ll have, you need to narrow it down to a more specific topic. Now, if this is just for family and friends, then it doesn’t matter all that much as you won’t be as concerned with how much traffic you get to your blog. If it’s a blog about a hobby, then you can keep it more general, or you can blog about a specific aspect of the hobby. However, if you will be creating a blog to make money, then you need to be more careful about the topic you choose.

3. Research. Assuming you are interested in making money with your blog, you need to start with research. First, you need to research who your target audience is; how many people are part of your target audience, what their problems are, what solutions they’re looking for, and how much they are willing to pay to solve their problems. Second, you need to research the best keywords for your blog. There are a few free keyword tools that should give you enough information to get started. However, it may be a good idea to find some paid keyword tools if you want to see even better results.

4. Keep your visitors in mind. This can be hard to do when you’re the one who’s creating a blog, but you have to do your best. Picture what your visitor sees when they first come to your blog. Are the colors to strong? Too dull? How are the graphics? Is everything laid out in a logical and intuitive manner? Are the posts easy to read? All of these things, and more, will make a big difference to your visitors. Needless to say, if they don’t like what they see, they will go to someone else’s blog. Therefore, it makes more sense to try to look at your blog through the eyes of your visitors.

5. Be yourself. What really keeps people coming back to a blog? In a word: personality. So, go ahead and let yourself come through in your posts. Some people may not like, but the ones that do could become some of your biggest fans, and will start recommending your blog to other people.

Best Blogging Advice

blogging adviceBlogs have been around for a while. And even though they have gone through some changes, they are still as popular as ever, if not more so. This may because it’s so simple to get started with blogging, because there are some good blogging platforms, or because people have figure out ways to make money with blogs. Whatever the reason for their continuing popularity, there is still a strong need for good blogging advice.

The first bit of blogging advice is to just do it. Yep, that’s it! Okay, what that really means is that there is no reason not to get started. There are several ways you can test the blogging waters for free; namely Blogger and WordPress. Both of these platforms give you plenty of options for customizing the appearance of your blog, and they make it easy to get up and running. Blogger allows some commercial content (such as AdSense), while WordPress doesn’t allow it if you host your blog using a free website address through their hosting. Which leads to the next bit of advice…

Get a domain name and paid hosting as soon as you can. If you already have them, then you don’t have to use the free address and hosting, and can set up your blog directly on your own domain name. Now, don’t freak out. You can get good hosting for around $10 a month, and a domain name usually costs around $10 per year. However, you can often find deals that bring the cost down by quite a bit. That being said, you also need to look at what you get for your money. For example, be sure your hosting package has everything you need.

You will also need to think about the topic of your blog. If you just want it to be for friends and family, then you blog about the events of your day, without giving it much thought. However if you are interested in making money with your blog, then you need to have a more narrow focus.

Whichever type of blog you decide to have, it will require you to update on a regular basis. The more often you post to it, the stronger your following will be; whether it’s family and friends, or potential customers. Posting every day or two is best, but once a week should be okay in most cases. Because you will have to update it often, it’s a good idea to select a topic that interests you. Otherwise it will become too much of a chore, and you will soon stop updating.

So, how do you make money with a blog? The two main ways are through Google AdSense and selling affiliate products. The best bit of blogging advice for making money with a blog is to treat it like a business. This means you need to invest some time and a little money to get it to start producing serious income for you. The good news is that blogging is pretty low maintenance and the costs for running it are very low.

Blogging Advice

blogging adviceThere was a time when blogs were the “latest and greatest” thing online. While they may not get as much media attention as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogs are still as popular as ever. The reasons for starting a blog may vary, but everybody can benefit from good blogging advice, regardless of how new or experienced they may be. The good news is that blogging is fairly easy to learn, but at the same time, there are always ways to improve. With that in mind, here some things that will help you get the most from your blogging efforts.

1. Get started for free. Yes, it is true that you can start blogging for no cost at all. WordPress and Blogger are just two of the more popular blogging platforms that you can use for free. This is a great way to start learning what blogging is all about. You can select various themes, customize it, and add plug-ins to give your blog added functionality. These are all things you should eventually know how to do. But…

2. Free is an option, but not the best option. You shouldn’t stick with the free option forever, especially if you are going to use you blog to make money. The problem with the no cost option is that you will be hosting your blog on their server. And that means they can close down your blog at any time for any reason. If you follow the rules, they probably won’t, but you should be aware that it can and does happen. You can take your chances if you will just be sharing your blog with family and friends, but it is essential to get your own domain name and hosting if you plan on using it for business purposes.

3. Choosing a topic is important. This bit of blogging advice is the most important for money-making sites. You need to take time researching a topic and finding out about your target audience. Keyword research is the bare minimum you need to do. But the more time you invest up front, the more your potential return will be. Consider every aspect of your blog and how your visitors are likely to respond. This step will be much easier if you are building a personal blog as you can write about almost anything; your thoughts, experiences, rants and raves are all fair game.

4. Post frequently. It’s a safe assumption that you want to start a blog so other people will read it. And if people don’t see new content when they check in, they will eventually stop coming back. Posting once every day or two should keep things fresh enough for most of your visitors. If you post less often than once a week, then you will have a very hard time getting people interested in coming back. So, the best blogging advice for this tip is to post as often as you can, but to not wait too long between posts.

Thoughts on Relationship Marketing Techniques

Symmetrical Composition #22I received an email from John Melanson and much to my surprise he didn’t try to stuff something down my throat. You know what I mean…..you’re on a couple of email lists and every email is some big promotion….something you can’t live without and if you buy it you’ll be successful beyond your wildest dreams. ………….I get so tired of that stuff.

Well…John is about to become a guest blogger and he doesn’t even know it :) I thought I’d paste his email here for you to read. I thought there were some great thoughts and if you simply apply them in your business…..I’m sure you’ll get more subscribers, more affiliate sales and….well, just more business.

Hi Scott,

Every day many of us sit down to our computers and we’re
bombarded with advertisements and sales pitches. The same
thing happens when we sit down to watch television in the
evening with our family. Just about everywhere we go we are
being sold to or pitched in some way. This tends to make us
what some refer to as “ad blind”, we just don’t hear the
pitch, we ignore it and move on.

The good news is that doesn’t apply when you’re using
relationship marketing techniques. We don’t want to hard sell.
Think about how you’d like to be sold to and use that
information in your marketing. Don’t do a hard sell. The
hard sell almost never works; and it just makes you look
obnoxious, too.

If your product is good, it will sell itself with a little
help from you. Simply tell the customer the benefits of your
service and why you’re better than a competitor, if possible,
and that should be all you need to do — again, if the price
is right, too.

Is your price high enough to establish its value, but low
enough to be reasonable? Sometimes, you’re not going to get
a sale no matter what you do if the price is too high for
what the product or service actually offers. That probably
makes sense, right? Conversely, though, you may also not get
a sale if the price is too low.

There’s something called “perceived market value” that clients
look for when they’re buying a product or service. And if the
price is too low, the client or customer isn’t going to think
the product or service is valuable enough to buy. So set your
price is right based upon the CLIENT’S point of view, too,
not just yours.

To Your Success,

John Melanson

You might find more info on relationship marketing at John’s site.

Social Networking: 7 Steps to More Traffic by Connecting and Repurposing Your Social Marketing

Copyright (c) 2008 OnlineBizU.com

I’m lazy by nature and like to do as little work as possible. Therefore, when I have the opportunity to automate tasks, I jump at it. As I started getting heavily involved in social networking, I quickly became frustrated with having to update my status at several sites, as well as trying to figure out how to introduce my blog, my articles, and my ezine to my social networking audiences.

After much trial and error, here’s how I connect and repurpose all of my social marketing strategies:

1. Set up accounts. Make sure that you have current accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, and any other social networking platforms you regularly use.

2. Open an account at Ping.fm. The Ping.fm service automatically updates your status on all of your social networking sites, 21 of them at the current count. Depending on the number of networks you use, it will take you 10-50 minutes to connect your Ping.fm account to your various social network accounts. However, once everything is set up, you simply log into your Ping account, post your status update (no more than 140 characters), and your status is automatically updated on all of your social networking profiles. Rather than posting updates directly on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace, I instead use Ping.fm as the starting place for my daily status updates.

3. Display Twitters on other accounts. If you go to your Setting tab in your Twitter account and then down to “More Info URL”, you will see a link to “Add Twitter to Your Site.” By clicking on this link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can add your tweets in a separate box (not the Status updates area) in your MySpace and Facebook profiles, on your blogger or Typepad blogs, or get the Flash or HTML widgets to add to other sites like Squidoo lenses or to your website. Just follow the instructions connected to each application. If you use Typepad for your blog, you can also do this through the Widget gallery by finding Twitter widget in the “Publishing Tools” section.

4. Connect your blogposts to Twitter. Twitter Feed, http://www.twitterfeed.com/, enables you to feed your blog posts to your Twitter account. Simply create an account, go to “Create New Twitter Feed”, and enter the RSS feed of your blog. You can control the frequency with which Twitter displays your blog post, as well as the text used to preface your blog feed. I use “Blog update” to preface my posts.

5. Connect your blogposts to Facebook. I use Typepad for my blogs, so if you use a WordPress blog, there are probably plugins that handle this, as well. When you create a new blog post, you can choose to send a link to that post into Facebook. These links will appear in your Mini-Feed on your Facebook profile, and may appear in your friends’ News Feeds.

In your Typepad account, go to Weblogs > Configure > Publicity, select “Prompt me to share new posts on Facebook.” When this item is selected, TypePad will automatically display a prompt from Facebook when you create and publish a new post on TypePad. The Facebook prompt will only appear if you have selected the option in your weblog’s publicity settings, and only when you create and publish a new post. The prompt will not appear when you save a post as draft, when you edit a post, or when you change the status of a post from Draft to Published.

6. Update your EzineArticles.com account. Article marketing is a smart and easy way to drive traffic to your site. If you’re submitting articles online to article directories, you definitely want to be using EzineArticles.com, the biggest and most popular article directory online. To connect to Twitter, click on “Profile Manager” in your account, then “Edit Author Bio” in your Author’s Area. Add your Twitter account information here. Each time a new article is accepted and published at EzineArticles, a post is automatically made to your Twitter account.

7. Update your aWeber account: I use aWeber as my email marketing service. You can now send an automatic Twitter post to all your followers on Twitter with a link to the HTML version of your ezine. When you create a broadcast in aWeber, select the option to publish a broadcast via RSS feed or to an archive, and then enter your Twitter account info, When your ezine is published, all of your Twitter followers will be notified.

There are probably others ways to connect the social networks and to repurpose content on social networks, but these 7 steps are all I need at the moment. Take 30 minutes out of your day to connect and repurpose your social networking, and watch your traffic and list begin to grow!

Online Business Manager and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com
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Blogger Has New Custom Theme Maker called The Blogger Template Designer

BloggerThemesFor all you Blogger Fans…..Have you seen the new template designer in blogger……big step forward and we can finally rid the net of those standard ugly templates!

The Blogger TEmplate Designer….

Here’s what some people are saying about the Blogger Template Designer

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The Blogger Template Designer allows you to create effectively infinite
number of designs templates instead of being restricted to a limited
number of rigid designs by making it easy to customize your blogs
design, layout, background and much more.
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That’s much better than working with html code. Thanks
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It’s good, just tested it.
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I’m really glad that it helps you.

I’m using it right now and I’m in awe about the possibilities and the neglectful time factor involved in creating really great looking blogs!
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Very cool…..I’ll have to give it a try. I really can’t stand those standard templates that come with blogger ….even if I’m using blogger for spider food.

I’ve been using free blogger templates that are custom….think I found some here or a link that led me there, they look so much better and its a simple matter of copy and paste to change out the code.

This new system looks like it will be user friendly for the noob …really hate that word but so many people using blogger are newbies…. they can now take a big giant step into website development

Anyway….kudo’s to blogger for taking a big step!

Do Free Money Making Opportunities Really Exist

Anyone who has even done the slightest bit of research on the wonderful worldwide web has realized that free money making opportunities are advertised abundantly. And it is basically true that anyone with a computer and a high-speed internet connection can earn money. And often you can do that without spending any money at all. . . but you will need to put in some time and effort.

This article serves as a brief introduction to just a few different options – I recommend that you do your own research as well to find what fits your personality, interests, skills and time-requirements best.

People browse the web for all different reasons: to shop, to access information, to entertain themselves and to network, among others. You can make money online by getting the attention of these people, even if you don’t have your own product or service and you will eventually need to learn how to influence them.

There are three free money making opportunities that I will mention here: taking surveys, selling your knowledge/expertise (consulting) and affiliate programs. I will just briefly go over taking surveys since this doesn’t require any sales or promotion of any kind. Filling out surveys is another way to earn money without spending any. You won’t make a lot of money doing this but it is just one way to get started while you learn other internet marketing strategies that you can really profit with.

If you have no product or service of your own, affiliate marketing is definitely the way to go. Just choose a product from one of the many affiliate marketplaces like Clickbank – make it something that generally interests you – and start promoting it in any of the free online sites like Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Squidoo, HubPages, EzineArticles, etc.

Is there something that all your friends and family can ask you advice about – a topic that you are considered to be an expert in? If so, you can start offering your advice to others for a price. Set up a free blog at Blogger.com and write a couple of articles about your service. Send anyone you know to that blog.

If the information that you provide is valuable and becomes popular, many companies will come to you and ask to advertise on your site. So that can add passive income to the profits you are already getting from your own sales.

Some people prefer to stick to just one of these to perfect it but, most internet marketers, combine all three of them for variety and greater earnings.

There are so many free money making opportunities available to you on the internet. The biggest advantage to starting an online business venture is that it doesn’t have to require any initial investment and the profits can be significant. Just pick something to start with and learn the others as you go.