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How to Blog Carnival – Blog Migration Tips

| Blogging | June 1, 2013

how to blogWelcome to the How to Blog Carnival – The Carnival that’s all about making your blog the best it can be! This week we have some fantastic articles from successful bloggers that are sure to help make you a better blogger. So read, share what you’ve learned, and Happy Blogging!

 

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Blogger or WordPress – Tips on How to Move – After my post How to Start a Blog – Tips for a Beginner (this post included tips on how to get your domain, self-hosting, etc. and reasons for why you should), I received several e-mails on how to switch from Blogger to WordPress. A lot of you also asked me what is better: Blogger or WordPress?

 

Mike @ The Financial Blogger writes Are Blog Comments a Waste of Time? – Should you even leave comments behind?

 

Robert @ Entrepreneurship Life writes How To Protect Your WordPress Blog From Hackers – WordPress popularity comes at a cost. WordPress is a big target for hackers. And if you run a WP blog, you may have noticed an increase in unauthorized log in attempts in last month.

 

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes Modern Home Bookkeeping with Less Effort and No Cost - This article provides the steps towards household bookkeeping using new technology and tools. If you are the one who manages the finances for your family then this article is for you to read to get rid of traditional pen and paper bookkeeping.

 

Jon Haver @ Authority Website Income writes Site Review Exchange – 12 Ways To Improve An Authority Website – Today I have a special post, Quinn from CubicleFree.com and myself have both been building authority websites and sharing all the details of the process on our sites. We have been emailing back and forth some suggestions on how to improve each other’s site and learning a lot.

 

Adam @ Money Bulldog writes Want to start a business? Just Do It! – Starting a business can be daunting and many things can put you off. Often the best and only way to start a business is to Just Do It!

 

John S @ Frugal Rules writes Even More Blogging Tips From a Beginner, Part II – Running a blog means that I learn something new nearly every week. One of the favorite aspects I enjoy about blogging is the community aspect that you can find in the blogosphere.

How to Blog Carnival – Even More Blogging Tips

| Blogging | May 25, 2013

How to Blog CarnivalWelcome to the How to Blog Carnival – The Carnival that’s all about making your blog the best it can be! This week we have some fantastic articles from successful bloggers that are sure to make you a better blogger. So read, share what you’ve learned, and Happy Blogging!

 

Cameron Chardukian @ Cameron Chardukian writes Why I Blog – To be successful at anything requires a purpose. There has to be a reason for why you do what you do. In this post Cameron Chardukian shares his reasons for blogging.

 

Buck Inspire @ Buck Inspire writes John Chow Guest Post Pain – When I first started blogging, I wanted more traffic quickly. One method is to guest post on a highly visited site. How does John Chow sound? I managed to get a guest post up, but I got way more than I bargained for.

 

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes How To Start A Blog – Tips for a Beginner – Ever since I started my extra income series, so many of you are very interested in increasing your income, doing something that you love (and being comfortable with it) and paying down debt faster with all of this new extra income.

 

MMD @ My Money Design writes Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 5 – Lately I’ve been struggling to crack the top 10 with my niche website, but my method for building these money earning sites may not be my problem.

 

Jon Haver @ Authority Website Income writes Negative SEO Attack Results in Record Traffic Growth – There are many factors that go into how much traffic comes to my site and although there has been a big increase in search traffic I believe the work done over the month including more relationship building and some high PR relevant links will have had a larger effect than thousands of crappy links.

 

John S @ Frugal Rules writes Even More Blogging Tips From a Beginner – One of the keys to managing a successful blog is working smarter and not harder. By following certain basic standards and making them your own you’ll be able to keep your posts fresh and your readers coming back for more.

 

If you would like to share an article you have written about blogging to the How to Blog Carnival, visit Blogger Carnivals and submit an article today!

How to Blog Carnival – More Blogging Tips

| Blogging | May 18, 2013

how to blog

Welcome to the How to Blog Carnival – The Carnival that’s all about making your blog the best it can be! This week we have some fantastic articles from successful bloggers that are sure to make you a better blogger. So read, share what you’ve learned, and Happy Blogging!

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland writes Blogging Tips for Beginners – You want to start a blog? Awesome. Read this first to get some tips on what I wish I had been told when I first got started.

John S @ Frugal Rules writes More Blogging Tips From a Beginner – It is no doubt that maintaining a blog can be a major time commitment. In order to avoid blogger fatigue, it’s key to write about what you’re passionate about while at the same time looking for ways to expand. These will help expand your audience as well as being good for the overall health of your blog.

Mike @ The Financial Blogger writes 5 Little Known Factors That Are Killing Your Business – Factors that can hurt your business growth.

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Why You Should Start a Blog – So Many Positives! – Every single day, many, many blogs are started. And it seems like there are more and more new blogs in the personal finance community.

Jacob @ Cash Cow Couple writes How to Make Money on Craigslist – I’ve been buying and selling goods online for almost 10 years. Let me show you how to make money on Craigslist!

Rich @ Simple Living Australia writes How to make money online – One of the main interests new bloggers want to know when they start off is – How can i make money from my blog. This article covers some of the more popular ways of monetizing a blog or website.

Robert @ My Multiple Incomes writes Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a Staff Writing Job – I thought it would be great to highlight some of the Do’s and Don’ts that I’ve seen in staff writers, coming from someone who has now screened over 100 applicants for the jobs I have listed.

David K. William @ The Web Writer Spotlight writes How to Pitch Articles to Major Web Publications: 11 Tips – Would you like to score media coverage on iconic news outlets like The Washington Post and the New York Times or popular blogs in your niche? If yes, hone your pitching skills. Pitching articles to big publications successfully can generate buzz and excitement about your expertise, product and business. These savvy pitching tips will help you craft a winning e-mail pitch and score media coverage on major web publications that you really want.

Jon Haver @ Authority Website Income writes My Authority Site – My Authority Site Now Has a Page Rank of 2 – Do I Care?

Adam @ Money Bulldog writes iPad vs Laptop ~ In the Hand or In the Lap? – The iPad is the ‘cool’ choice for many portable computer buyers, but how do they compare to laptops and which is right for your needs? Find out here.

If you would like to share an article you have written about blogging to the How to Blog Carnival, visit Blogger Carnivals and submit an article today!

 

 

Free Classified Ads

| Blogging | July 15, 2012

With the launch of Bloggers Classifieds a Free new service was made available to our friends in the blogging/internet fields. The idea behind Bloggers Classifieds was to provide a forum where those in the blogging and internet fields can connect and share products and services.

It’s free to search listings, free to browse, and free to contact sellers. Whether you are looking for help with SEO or writing or whether you offer website design services, Bloggers Classifieds is the source for all your blogging related needs.

 

Place a free classified ad today!

Bloggers Classifieds Launch – $125 Paypal Cash Giveaway

| Blogging | March 6, 2012

I am excited to announce the official launch of a new website called Bloggers Classifieds, that is dedicated to making it easier for individuals to connect and share blogging related products and services.

Some benefits of Bloggers Classifieds are:

  • Unlimited free ads
  • Free social promotion of your ads on Bloggers Classifieds Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Access to the only premier online marketplace dedicated to bloggers
  • The ability to promote your own ads via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites
  • The option to publish your pricing or have pricing negotiable
  • The ability to give customer feedback on services via rating system
  • Featured ads are available for added exposure

Before entering the giveaway, I encourage you to take a look around.  Check out the great services offered by some of the best people in the business.  Some of the services offered include writing, advertising services, blog migration, carnival submission, guest posting, ebook services, blog management, facebook & twitter page design, and more..  If you are new to blogging or just want to learn, I created a series titled “How to Blog” where I share some tips on how to be a better blogger.

The Giveaway…

Prize: $125 Paypal Cash – sponsored by The Frugal Toad and Sustainable Personal Finance


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sites to Test Website Speed and Performance

| Blogging | March 5, 2012

Site Speed

website speedSite speed is an important metric that any blogger should be concerned about as it can significantly affect the experience a user can have when visiting your site.   Google recently changed it’s search result’s algorythm to include site speed however it appears that for now, it will not be a major factor.  This is from Google’s official blog post announcing site speed will now be a factor in search results: “While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal”

WebPageTest.org –  Analyzes your domain for a number of tests related to webpage load time.  This powerful tool helps you to identify what is slowing your site down and provides information on what to do about it.

WebSiteOptimization.com - The script calculates the size of individual elements and sums up each type of web page component. Based on these page characteristics the script then offers advice on how to improve page load time. The script incorporates the latest best practices from Website Optimization Secrets, web page size guidelines and trends, and web site optimization techniques into its recommendations.

GTmetrix - GTmetrix uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix these issues.

Other Sites

ALEXA Site Information - View how popular a site is including reach, pageviews, and more.  Analytics shows you what terms are bringing traffic to a site. You can even get information about visitor demographics as well as information about where visitors came from and where they went after visiting.

SmartViper – A free web service that collects and analyzes data about domains and keywords.  Reports include information about your domain such as: keyword analysis, website health, website worth estimate, homepage link analysis, and html validation.

Pingdom – Monitors your website to make sure it is up and running and automatically notifies you via email, SMS(text), or twitter if your site goes down. First site is free.

Load Impact – Free online load test of your sites ability to handle high volumes of traffic.  Test simulates increased load on your site and it’s impact on your sites performance.

SEOBook – One of the best sites I have found on SEO.  There is literally too much on this site to list here but here are a few: keyword tool, competitive research, seo planning, keyword density, and more.

Check-Domains – Analyzes your website for a variety of factors including: pagerank, backlinks, social networking stats, SEOmoz stats, keyword research and more.

WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Should Have

| Blogging | March 3, 2012

wordpress pluginsChoosing the right plugins for your blog can have an impact on many aspects of your blog from SEO and Optimization, to monetization.  I have included what I think are some of the best WordPress plugins to help you operate a successful blog and a few that are helpful but not necessary.

Akismet - Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

Broken Link Checker-  This plugin monitors links in your posts, pages, comments, blogroll, and custom fields (optional). When a broken link is detected, you have the option to be notified via the dashboard or email.

Fast Secure Contact Form - A super customizable contact form that lets your visitors send you email. Blocks all automated spammers. No templates to mess with.

Google Analytics for WordPress – Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author and category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.

Growmap Anti Spambot - This plugin will add a client side generated checkbox to your comment form asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer. It is a lot less trouble to click a box than it is to enter a captcha and because the box is genereated via client side javascript that bots cannot see, it should stop 99% of all automated spam bots.

Link Within - LinkWithin is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive.

Network Publisher - Automatically publish your blog posts to multiple Social Networks including Twitter, Facebook Profile, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Blogger, Delicious, Foursquare, Tumblr, and more.

Old Post Promoter - The Old Post Promoter (OPP) is a WordPress plugin by the Blog Traffic Exchange. The purpose of the plugin is to promote old posts by sending them back onto the front page and into the RSS feed. It does it randomly choosing an eligible post and updating the publication timestamp. The post then appears to be the latest post on your WordPress blog.

Post Expirator - Allows you to add an expiration date to posts which you can configure to either delete the post, change it to a draft, or update the post categories.  This is great for sponsored posts as you can set the post to change to draft status after a specified number of days.

Sociable – One of the more popular social bookmarking plugins.  Sociable gives you the option of placing the icons above, below, or to the side as a Skyscraper Bar.

Tweet Old Post - Tweet Old Posts randomly picks your older post based on the interval specified by you. The primary function of this plugin is to promote older blog posts by tweeting about them and getting more traffic.

WhyDoWork Adsense - WhyDoWork Adsense allows you to insert Adsense ads on your blog without modifying the template with a variety of useful options.  One useful option is to set Adsense to display only after the post ages a certain number of days to give readers a chance to enjoy a period of ad-free reading.

WordPress Editorial Calendar - The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.

WordPress SEO  - WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

WP DB-Backup - WP DB-Backup allows you to automatically schedule a backup of your WordPress Database tables and have the backup emailed to you.

WP-Optimize- WP-Optimize is a WordPress 2.9++ database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn’t require PhpMyAdmin to optimize your database tables. It allows you to remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue, un-approved comments within few clicks.

WP Smush.it - Reduces image file sizes and improves performance.  Once you have it installed there is nothing left to do.  Images are compressed automatically when uploaded to your site.

WP Super Cache - This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.  By serving a static page WP Super Cache can speed up your site’s page load time dramatically.

How to Blog – Choosing a Domain Name

| Blogging | February 21, 2012

how to blog - choosing a domain nameI am going to assume that you have 1) chosen a topic you are knowledgable and passionate about,  2) have done keyword research and have a list of keywords with high volume and low competition and 3) an interest in making money with your blog.

Once you have identified keywords that have potential to generate traffic for your website, your next step is to research the available domains.  A Domain is simply a name that is assigned to a specific Internet Protocol or IP address by the Domain Name System or DNS. It is much easier for an internet user to remember a name than an IP address.

Search for Available Domain Names

Domai.nr

It can be difficult to find a domain name that ends in the popular .com, .net, or .org TLD.  Domainr helps you find other domain name configurations that have made sites like del.icio.us popular.

Domain Tools

Domain Tools is a popular site that not only can help you to search for available domain names but also information about other websites using the Whois search. You can even see the domain name ownership history, something that might be useful if you are considering purchasing a domain.  Domain Tools also has free ping, traceroot, and DNS Lookup services.

Dot-o-Mator

Dot-o-mator is a domain name service that suggests domain names based on prefixes and suffixes (keywords) that you enter.  You can also use a category of prefixes like (tech or games) and suffixes like (hardware or Web 2.0 words) and a list of suggested site names will be generated.

dnScoop

dnScoop is useful if the domain name you want is “for sale” and you are interested in trying to determine a fair value.  dnScoop tries to determine a value based on site traffic, links pointing to the domain, and other factors.

Register Domain Name

Once you decide on a domain name you will need to register it with a domain registrar and I would highly recommend using GoDaddy to register your domain.  There are literally thousands of domain name registrars out there and you should use ICANN to verify if your registrar is accredited.

The actual process of registering a domain name is very simple.  You create an account with your domain name registrar, enter the name of your domain, and pay a fee.  You have the option of renewing your registration automatically and I recommend this option.

Private Registration

You will also have the option for private registration for an extra fee, usually around $10 per year.  I highly recommend Private Registration as this will keep your name, address, email, and phone number from being published in the Whois database.

How to Blog – The First Steps

| Blogging | February 13, 2012

how to blogLearning how to blog can be an intimidating process.  This is the first part in a series on how to make money blogging and focuses on how to find a topic that has the potential to generate income.

What to Write About?

Choosing a topic you are interested in to write about is one of the most important factors in determining whether you will be successful in attracting readers to your blog, which after all are reasons why you are blogging right?  If you are not passionate about what you are writing it will come across to your readers and will make it difficult to grow your blog.

Can you see yourself writing 2-3 posts per week about a subject for the long-term, 2-3 years or more?  Find a topic that you are interested in and google it.  Read as many blogs as you can find on the subject and take notes about what blogs you enjoyed reading, you will use these notes later.

Are People Interested in the Topic?

I have found that Google Adwords Keyword Tool is the best (free) way to find out how many people are searching for information about specific topics, we’ll call them keywords.  If you are interested in attracting readers and making money with your blog you need to take keyword research seriously.  You can be a pulitzer prize winning author but if no one is searching for what you are blogging about you might as well be using a typewriter!

The basic process of using Google Adwords Keyword Tool is simple.  You enter keyword phrases into the keyword search box and matching search results are displayed.  These results are what people are typing into the Google search box.  This will give you an overall idea of how many monthly searches are being made on your topic.

If you are serious about creating a blog that will rank high in Google’s search results and you want to generate income as well I highly recommend you use Market Samurai to do your keyword research.  Market Samurai is worth the investment because it saves you time and gives you information about what keywords people are searching for, who is the competition, and how profitable the keyword is.

Who is the Competition?

If your goal is to attract lots of readers you need to know who your competition is.  One of the items in the Google Adwords Keyword Tool search results is the strength of the competition and it is listed as High, Medium, or Low.  Your goal is to find topics that have large monthly search volumes with Low competition.  If you are going to blog about a topic that has high competition you will have a difficult time attracting readers so I would advise to stay away from topics with high competition.

Choosing a Niche Topic

Lets say you are passionate about antique automobiles,  Model T Fords in particular.  You did a keyword search and find lots of people searching for that topic on Google however, you also discover that the keywords ‘antique automobiles’ have a high competition.  By narrowing your topic to Model T Ford, you may discover that there are plenty of people searching for information on that topic and there is less competition.  By refining your keyword research you may find a topic that you can blog about and be able to attract readers by ranking high on Google’s search results.

Can I Make Money?

Can you make money blogging about your topic?  It all depends if you can rank on the first page in Google’s search results.  According to a study conducted by Slingshot, the Top Google Ranking Captures 18.2% of Clicks , the top 10 search results get 54% of total clicks. Only 1.04% of clicks went to the website in the 10th place on Google’s search results.  What does this mean to you?  If you are not ranking on the first page of Google’s search results you will have a difficult time attracting enough traffic to make money.

Once you get traffic to your blog you want those visitors take some action that results in an income generating transaction.  Monetizing your blog can only occur once you have enough traffic so focus on writing quality content in the beginning.  There are several ways to monetize your blog: affiliate advertising, direct advertising, and e-commerce.  Affiliate advertising involves placing ad links on your blog that results in the visitor being taken to the advertisers website for the purpose of generating a sale.  You receive a commission for each sale.  Direct advertising can be a banner or link advertisement that is placed on your blog in exchange for a fee.  E-commerce is where you either sell a product or service directly from your website or use a storefront service like Amazon or eBay.  Going back to the topic of Model T Fords, you might be able to add a shopping cart or storefront to your blog and sell products related to Model T Fords.

Once you choose a topic to blog about the next step is not to setup your blog, it is to write quality content.  You will want to have at least five high quality posts ready to publish before setting up your blog.