Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is Microblogging Still A Fad?

If you have found your way to Everything Blog Magazine then you are most likely interested in blogs and blogging. I've been running websites for a long time now and got back into blogging a couple of months ago. When I came across microblogging, I thought it was just a fad that would probably fade away after a couple of years. Obviously that is not the case.

Microblogging has not faded and in fact, with the success of Twitter, it seems like it is here to stay. But why does writing 160 characters or less appeal to so many people?

I think the small messages people send on these microblogging services appeals to every ones fast paced life style. Basically these little messages we send through these services are just text messages sent online. And in fact there are a few programs that allow you to use Twitter with your phone like TwitterFon, Twittelator, and TwitterBerry.

With the millions of people using microblogging services it is probably a good idea to join a few of the services to stay connected with your readers and other bloggers from around the world.

Twitter isn't the only microblog service either. Plurk is the other popular service that a lot of people have joined. But there are still others including Jaiku which Google acquired last year. Although like Gmail when it first came out, you can only join Jaiku if an existing member invites you. Don't know anyone on Jaiku? Go to and ask for an invite. Pownce and are a couple less popular services and Rejaw is a brand new one. Do you know of other microblogging services I missed? Then please comment below.

On top of the microblogging services there are services that can update all your microblog and social network statuses at the same time. HelloTxt is probably the most popular one but new ones are being created all the time. A similar service called kwippy shares your statuses with the world but in a different way. By adding kwippy to your instant message service you share your statuses and receive comments on them.

If the microblog services that are around just do not work for you, how about you check out Twingr. Twingr allows you to create your own microblog community. Your new microblog community will be hosted on their site and it can be about anything you want.

All these services just aren't enough, but there is also a microblog wiki, a site dedicated to microblog news Microblink, and even a social media site like Digg or Reddit at which gives you the opportunity to submit and vote on microblog news.

There are just so many ways to get involved with microblogging and so many people using it that it is something you should absolutely contribute to if you run a blog or a site.

If you enjoyed this post please comment or show some love and submit it to Digg or Reddit or some other social bookmarking site.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Social Networks: Most Important Thing On The Internet?

Social networks are probably the most important "inventions" on the Internet. And with so many of them it's next to impossible to not connect online with anyone you have ever met in your life.

I'm a member of a few different social networks and try to keep them updated and talk with people on them regularly, but sometimes it's hard to talk with everyone. But every once in a while someone will find you online and you will be able to reconnect with them.

Now there are other ways to reconnect with people online like email and instant messaging, but unless you have their email address and/or IM name, you will be unable to find them without some serious searching. Social networks allow you to search for peoples real names and find long lost friends.

My girlfriend doesn't understand the whole reconnecting and talking online, or even the power of social networks. She is on Facebook and MySpace but rarely talks to anyone on either. But here is a cool story that just recently happened to me...

I have been a member of Facebook for a long time. I found it in 2005 or so in my sophomore year of college and became friends with 100's of people I knew through school. Now I had transfered to Oregon State after one year at Western Oregon University but still kept in contact with some people from WOU.

Since leaving Oregon State last year I have been working and not staying in contact with the people on Facebook as much. But my roommate from WOU joined and friended me. I talked to him a few times, catching up, but that was it. Two weeks ago I applied and received the JV Boys Basketball coach at Forks High School.

I talked about it a little on Facebook where you can say what you are doing. My freshman roommate from WOU wrote on my wall saying that he is coaching for a small high school. Now Forks High School is very small and we travel about 3 hours to every game we play. His high school is one of the ones we play and he is actually traveling here to play this Saturday.

He coaches the JV girls and so I will be able to connect with him this weekend after talking with him on Facebook. Social networks are an amazing thing and if you don't have a profile on any, check out my big list of social networks and my post on the importance of creating a social network profile.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Helping New Bloggers Beat The Odds

I'm always looking around the web for different topics to write about and what other bloggers are saying. Just about every day I find a new blog to follow. I use these blogs for topic ideas and information on what the rest of the blogosphere is writing about blogging. I will then usually add my opinions on certain topics but I sometimes come across an article that needs nothing added to it.

Today I came across a blog called Motivate Thyself by Eric Hamm. He has some very good articles and tips but one of his popular posts is titled 10 Tips To Help New Bloggers Beat The Odds and Push Past Their Rookie Status. It's a mouthful but one of the best articles I've read in a long time.

He goes through 10 things you can do keep yourself motivated and push through the immense wall separating you from success. It's a long article but well worth it.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Newsletter Subscription Pop-up's Are Very Annoying

Newsletters sent by e-mail can be a great way to connect more with your readers and offer them a little bit more information than is available on your blog. You can give them secret tips and tricks that you either will not post about on your blog, or send through the newsletter early. A lot of people sign up for newsletters and I receive a few everyday.

By sending out newsletters you will be adding to your site. You can also monetize them and even provide affiliate links to products that can earn you even more money. It's also something that doesn't have to be sent out every day as most people don't expect them that often. It is not uncommon for them to be sent out weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly but make sure to have a decent amount of information in each one.

The problem that I have been seeing lately is the way some people are trying to gain more subscribers. Pop-ups. It is very intrusive and I will always close it. It looks unprofessional, but some of the most popular bloggers started to do it.

Darren Rowse has a pop-up on his blog about photography, Digital Photography School and wrote about how to drastically increase email newsletter subscribers over at ProBlogger. Even Jeremy Schoemaker over at ShoeMoney had the pop-up.

Will this be a new trend? I hope not because I see others reading about the increase in subscribers and then start doing it on their blog. So how do you increase your subscribers without the intrusive pop-up?

First, you must have an informative newsletter that comes out pretty often. Make sure to have the subscriber form or link above the fold where it is easily found. Have a little snippet about subscribing to your newsletter either at the end of every post or at the beginning. Talk about the insider tips and special deals you can receive when you sign up and either bold it or italicize it.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures


We have all seen these ads around the internet and the commercials on TV boasting about how they know all the secrets to making millions of dollars working only part time. Get rick quick schemes are every where and in times like these you might consider forking out that $60 to buy the system.

Don't. Seth wrote about the overnight millionaire scams yesterday and I thought I would talk a little bit more about it.

If someone had the secrets to making a million dollars why would they tell everyone about it? Wouldn't they just use their secrets to make them loads of money? Haven't you always heard that if something is to good to be true, it probably isn't?

To quote E-40...
You want that fast quarter, I want that slow nickel.

It's better to work hard for your money as it will feel more rewarding and most likely that money will be with you for a while. We can take this approach to that of getting money from your blog. Don't look to receive a bunch of money at first. It will come eventually.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Submit Articles, Increase Traffic, And No Penalty From Search Engines

Writing articles and submitting them to article directories to either get paid or gain traffic is popular but there is a right way to do it.

Search engines are working diligently to erase duplicate content and if you submit the same article to many different sites and use it on yours, you could potentially be penalized or even banned. That is something that all of us don't want to happen. So how do you submit articles and continue to do it effectively without being penalized?

As I stated above don't send the same article to many different sites and especially don't post it on yours. Not only could you get penalized but it looks tacky if a readers reads your article at some site and then comes to yours because they liked it and see the same article on the front page.

The best way to submit articles and still receive that traffic we all desire is to create a series of articles. Writing a part one, two, and three will allow you to submit part one to an article directory and then post part two and three on your site. Make sure to include links on the article you submitted to your site where the other parts of the series are. Also include a link on your site to the article submitted so your readers can read all parts.

Here are a few sites to submit articles too..
Constant Content
Ezine Article Submission eZine digest and database
Article City
Go Articles
Article Alley
SitePoint forum thread with hundreds more links to article submission sites
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Importance Of Creating A Social Network Profile

Most people have some sort of social network profile out there on the web. Whether thats a profile that's personal on MySpace or Facebook, or a profile on Twitter or Plurk for your website.

There are a few questions about social networking and creating a profile and I will try and answer them here.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Rozgonyi

Question 1: Why do I need to create a social network profile?
Creating and updating a social network profile will connect you with more people than just those searching through Google or Yahoo. Most social networking sites allow you to become friends with people which will connect you even more with them. Creating profiles at multiple sites can also bring more visitors to your site.

Question 2: How will this profile improve my site?
These profiles will allow you to create a community surrounding your site. Not only will people be able to comment on your site but they will be able to contact you through other means than email. This sort of contact is a lot more intimate than email. This community will follow your site and be loyal readers as most social networking websites will allow you to link your site.

Once you start to market your site through your social network profile, start marketing your social network profile through your site. This way they are interconnected and will expose them to the most people.

Question 3: Okay, so I made one, when do I combine my real life profile and my blogs social profile?
That is a very tricky question. It depends on if you are just blogging to express your opinions and ideas or you are trying to start a business. If your goal is to start a business than I would say combine them. You want to start building a brand (something I will talk about in a future post) and combing your two profiles will help start this. If you are just blogging to express your opinions and ideas than I would say keep them separate.

Question 4: Which social networking sites do I join and how many?
Basically if you spend a lot of time online than you can join multiple social networking sites and create profiles. But you want to make sure you can update them all. Don't create a Plurk profile and then never use it. You won't gain any friends nor will you help your site. This doesn't mean you need to update it multiple times a day like some people do, but at least keep it updated.

The kind of social networking sites depends on what niche your site is in. Facebook profiles and MySpace profiles will work for any site, but check out my big list of social networking websites and join a few that interest you and a few that are in your niche.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twitter VS. Plurk: The Breakdown.

Micro-blogging services have exploded lately and more and more people are using the two big ones, Twitter and Plurk. It's basically like texting but everyone you are friends with can see what you write. Most people are members of both but I'm going to lay out the differences of the two services.

Simplicity of making friends or accepting followers.
Twitter makes this very easy by allowing you to follow someone which means you can receive their tweets. If they follow you back then you are basically friends and you will both receive each others tweets.

Plurk has a system thats a little different. You can be a fan of someone and receive their plurks but they will not receive yours. With Plurk you have to ask to be someones friend just like other social networks. This system is very familiar to most people and I feel is the better of the two. Although, it seems to take a day or so for a new friend to show up on my friends list.

Tools, tools, applications, and more tools.
If you want to use some sort of tool or application with your micro-blogger service, then Twitter is your obvious choice. Tyler over at SMM Guru compiled a master list of Twitter tools and applications. Are this many tools necessary? No. It makes things way to complicated.

There are a few tools for Plurk, but for the most part, it's unnecessary. Plurk's messaging service allows you to reply to other people's messages directly in a little chat box and every time you login, it tells you how many new replies there are. The tools for Plurk in the link above just add a few new things to Plurk like polls or pictures while the tools for Twitter change the whole dynamic.

Very different layouts.
I am just going to come right out and say that Twitter's layout sucks. It's very bland and annoying. Yes you can use a tool instead of the actual Twitter site and you can change colors and add a picture to the background, but ultimately the programmers didn't design a great layout.

Plurk's layout on the other hand is very innovative and fun. The time line layout makes the messages easy to read and the ability to reply to each one allows for better communication. The karma idea isn't a new one to the internet as forums have started using it to try and deal with trolls, but it's a cool idea none the less. The higher karma you have the better options you have access too. It's quite easy to improve your karma which doesn't alienate those who have few friends.

They are both great assets in helping build your social persona and being apart of both is most likely your best option. But, in my opinion Plurk is the better looking of the two. There are more people on Twitter but Plurk is steadily gaining ground. If you aren't a member of either you probably should be.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do's And Don'ts Of Starting A Website Or Blog

DO: Have everything programmed and set up before having the site go live. The design should be finished and all the links and pages should work. If your site isn't finished when people visit, they most likely won't return.

DO NOT: Expect a lot of visitors when you first start out. Your site is new and probably not in the search engines yet, but give it time. If you promote it correctly than the people will come.

DO: Attempt to start a community around your site. Blogs and forums with a large following are highly profitable. I've read of numerous sites being sold for over $50,000 all the way up to over 12 million dollars.

DO NOT: Start spamming your site every where once your site goes live. Generally people like to find new sites but if they see you posting comments with your link it on every site they visit or find you in every forum that frequent, that person won't come visit your site.

DO: Start social networking as soon as possible, hopefully before you start the site. Join social networks like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites that fit into your niche. Be active in them and this will enable you to have a social presence before your site goes live and possibly give you a small loyal readership in the beginning that can evolve into a large loyal readership.

DO NOT: Spend money on a domain or hosting unless you are going to be in it for the long haul. Domain names are relatively cheap but hosting can milk your bank account. So unless you plan on at least making some money with the site there is no reason to spend money.

DO: Write great original content that people will want to read. I've said it before and I will say it again, your site needs great content.

DO NOT: Steal content from other writers. It will make you look very bad and could prevent you from many future endeavors. Information on the internet spreads quickly and your reputation will be tarnished.

DO: Use other peoples content to enhance your site but ALWAYS give credit. I'm not saying use their words or the entire post, but if you can add a different perspective of a post you saw on another blog, link to it.


DO NOT: Give up. Your site will be small at first, but stick with it. The readers will come if you keep writing great stuff. The links will come if you immerse yourself into the online community.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Differences Between Hobby Bloggers And Professional Bloggers Work Spaces

Whether on a laptop in the living room or on a company computer during brief periods of busy work, the place where you blog can have a huge impact on the quality of posts. A lot of bloggers that do this as a hobby generally type their posts in a very relaxed and comfortable manner.

I started a thread at my favorite blogging forum, Bloggeries, where I asked where people sat and blogged. Most of them blog as a hobby and the answers reflected that. Here are a few of their answers...
ghing - I usually blog at my desk in our office..

sometimes on the pantry.. hehe...
I don't have PC at home so I usually blog in our office...

cjharley - I sit on my couch with my laptop appropriately in my lap while the TV is on in the background.

sadiessay-so - During the week when you see me post during the day I'm at work waiting on the other accountants to process more payments. At night, like now. I'm laying back on my couch with my laptop watching TV.

napkinpirate - I say at work in the middle of checking people in and out of the hotel...or at home afterwards on my bed with my laptop...

Now, lets switch gears and think about the people who run very successful blogs and/or blog for a living. Forgetting those people who are technically journalists but run a blog off a news site, most professional bloggers write at their desk in an office. Here are a few pictures of professional bloggers work spaces...

Images are of Zac Johnson, Super Affiliate's workspace.

Image is of Jeremy Schoemaker of's workspace.

As you can see once it becomes more of a job and the stakes are higher, blogging on your laptop while sitting on the couch with the TV on in the background just won't cut it.

I still sometimes blog on my couch while watching the television (like I am doing now), but found that I focused better while sitting at our kitchen table which is acting like our desk. The TV is out of eyesight so it cannot distract me and I can concentrate more on writing.

Where do you sit and blog? Please comment...
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