Blogging Tips http://www.bloggingtips.com Blog Themes, Blog Design & Daily Blog Tips Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:51:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 15 Vital Tools for the Content Creator’s Arsenal http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/22/15-vital-tools-content-creators-arsenal/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/22/15-vital-tools-content-creators-arsenal/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:51:32 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35286 Every writer knows the feeling. You sit down to work on a project and … nothing. Nada. Zip. Your deadline is approaching and your page is blank. You have encountered, once again, the content creator’s arch nemesis: writer’s block. As awful as writer’s block can be, there may be something worse. Even after all is said and done, you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and you put your work out there for the world to enjoy, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. In this Digital Era content is about much more than the words on the page. The endless possibilities for formatting, images and interactive elements are enough to make anyone’s head spin. But take heart! You’re not on your own. The following 15 apps and programs will do just about everything you need to create outstanding content. And best of all, most of them are ...

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Every writer knows the feeling. You sit down to work on a project and … nothing. Nada. Zip. Your deadline is approaching and your page is blank. You have encountered, once again, the content creator’s arch nemesis: writer’s block.

As awful as writer’s block can be, there may be something worse. Even after all is said and done, you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and you put your work out there for the world to enjoy, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. In this Digital Era content is about much more than the words on the page. The endless possibilities for formatting, images and interactive elements are enough to make anyone’s head spin.

But take heart! You’re not on your own. The following 15 apps and programs will do just about everything you need to create outstanding content. And best of all, most of them are free. From writing content to choosing fonts to taking screenshots to editing graphics to creating video, this arsenal of tools will set you up for the success your hard work deserves.

Writing and Content Creation

Online content may be more than just text, but the actual words on the page are a necessary foundation. Content must be clearly written, well-worded and free of typos and grammatical mistakes. These tools will help you build a solid foundation for your content.

Write or Die

writeordie

Whether you are best motivated by the promise of reward or the fear of punishment, Write or Die will offer the necessary incentives to keep you on task as you are writing. Inspire yourself with music and background images in Stimulus Mode, incentivize yourself with cute puppies in Reward Mode, or risk losing all your vowels if you don’t meet your goals in Consequence Mode. Try the web version for free or buy the desktop version.

GoProofReading

goproofreading

Even the most talented writer misses a typo now and then, and few things are more frustrating than finding an error right after posting your finished work. GoProofreading is an online proofreading service to the rescue. In addition to checking spelling and grammar, Goproofreading can check for plagiarism and even makes style and vocabulary suggestions to improve your writing. Also you can use free proofreading analogue  – paperrater.com.

EssayMama

essaymama

If you find yourself up against an impossible deadline and the words just won’t come, put EssayMama’s team of expert writers to work on your project. EssayMama writers are highly educated native English speakers just waiting to provide you with research and writing assistance for the perfect essay. Check out their competitive pricing for writing assignments, or visit the EssayMama blog for free tips and resources.

Quabel

quabel

For the easily distracted writer, Quabel eliminates all the bells and whistles of most word processing programs. Using the straightforward online interface a writer can set goals, track progress, and simply get it done. When you are done writing and ready to add in all the fancy formatting, Quabel allows you to export documents in multiple file types.

Styles and Fonts

Before readers can become captivated by your brilliant content, you first have to catch their attention. Displaying your content in a unique font is a perfect way to do just that. You can increase the immediate visual appeal of your content by using a memorable and distinctive font—and the options are practically endless.

Dafont

dafont

If you’re bored with the dozens of fonts available in MS Word, check out Dafont and choose from over 25,000 fonts. You can sort the fonts by popularity to see what’s hot right now, or find that one-of-a-kind font by browsing themes such as Graffiti or Decorative.

Google Fonts

google font

What if instead of browsing all the options you could just do a quick Google search and find your perfect font? Well, Google Fonts essentially lets you do just that. Pick your category (Serif, Sans Serif, etc.), specify your desired thickness, slant and width, and watch as Google presents you with an eye-catching font to match your writing.

Tools for Screenshots

Screenshots often provide a necessary supplement to your content. Whether you are writing a how-to article or sharing an entertaining Facebook comment on your blog, a screenshot elevates your text to the next level. Do more than just hit the Print Screen button your keyboard with these free programs.

Monosnap

monosnap

Monosnap is a free, easy-to-use app for capturing and editing screenshots. It allows you to capture all or part of your screen, add text and arrows, blur parts of the screenshot to keep them private, and save your final product to the cloud or to your device. You can even capture short videos of what you are doing on your screen.

Awesome Screenshot

awesomescreenshot

If you need to capture all or part of a web browser page (including more than just the portion visible on your screen), Awesome Screenshot will do just that. This browser add-on also lets you modify your screenshot with text, arrows and blurring. Upload your customized screenshot to the app’s website and access and share it via a unique URL.

Jing

jing

Jing allows you to capture still images, animation and basic video up to five minutes long from your screen. Enhance your image with captions, and share it quickly and easily via IM, email or social media.

Images and Design

Every content creator is likely to have a project that requires more graphics than just screenshots. The following tools allow you to add a professional-looking graphic design touch to your work without paying for a complicated design program. Free and simple-it doesn’t get any better than that.

Canva

canva

Canva is a free online tool that makes design straightforward and accessible. Simply create your free account and get started making stunning graphic designs with your own photos or Canva’s library of hundreds of images and fonts.

ThingLink

thinglink

Take your graphics straight from Canva to ThingLink to create interactive images to make your content stand out. ThingLink allows you to create links within your image and embed it in a website or social media. Readers can interact with additional information via your graphic without ever leaving your page.

PicMonkey

picmonkey

PicMonkey lets you edit and touch up photos, design pictures for banners, cards, etc., and create collages. The PicMonkey Blog has dozens of tutorials and how-to articles to provide tips on both the basics and more in-depth use of PicMonkey.

Infographic and Video Creation

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Put the finishing touches on your content with these free tools for creating infographics and video. Your work is sure to leave its mark.

Vizualize.Me

vizualize.me

Do you love to write cover letters and resumes? No? Welcome to Visualize.Me. This site is a free tool to create a visual resume. Skip the conventional bullet points and present your skills and qualifications in a unique, unforgettable infographic.

Wideo

wimeo

Wideo markets itself as an online video tool that is both easy and fun. Users can choose from a selection of video templates to customize or start from scratch to create and share animated videos. Wideo provides tutorial videos and easy step-by-step instructions to create the ideal video for your project.

Piktochart

piktochart

Transform your plain text into a memorable, interactive infographic. Piktochart offers 100% customizable themes to create your own infographics and build your brand. When how you say something is just as important as what you say, Piktochart can help your content go the extra mile.

Now that you have an arsenal full of tools to defeat writer’s block, boring formatting and lackluster text, go forth and create awesome content for the world to enjoy!

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Meet Gini Dietrich of SpinSucks.com http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/21/meet-gini-dietrich-spinsuckscom/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/21/meet-gini-dietrich-spinsuckscom/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:29:43 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35296 New blogs are going live every second. Some from individuals, but many are business and brand related as well. Gini started her blog at SpinSucks.com over eight years ago as a component of her existing communications business. Years later and it’s evolved into such much more and a huge asset to both her personal brand, business and company. Read on to discover how Gini is making the most out her blog in this latest installment of Meet the Bloggers. 1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging? Truthfully, we started blogging eight years ago to see if it was something we could include in communications campaigns for clients. We didn’t go into it thinking we’d have this blog that people actually read. 2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche? The blog is called Spin Sucks because, as a ...

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New blogs are going live every second. Some from individuals, but many are business and brand related as well. Gini started her blog at SpinSucks.com over eight years ago as a component of her existing communications business. Years later and it’s evolved into such much more and a huge asset to both her personal brand, business and company.

Read on to discover how Gini is making the most out her blog in this latest installment of Meet the Bloggers.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Gini Dietrich Truthfully, we started blogging eight years ago to see if it was something we could include in communications campaigns for clients. We didn’t go into it thinking we’d have this blog that people actually read.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

The blog is called Spin Sucks because, as a communicator by trade, it drives me crazy that the perception of the PR industry is one of liars or spin doctors. While the industry has some unethical people (doesn’t every industry?), most of us are pretty ethical and don’t lie for a living. So it’s written to change that perception and the good majority of our audience are other communicators.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

I own a communications firm and Spin Sucks drives about 80 percent of our new business there. We also have sponsorships, which generates a bit of revenue.

SpinSucks

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

SO MUCH! I wish I knew how to categorize blog posts, how to optimize for search, how to think about content strategically, how to write for an audience…pretty much everything we learned by doing.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

Medium because I love the varying topics and different voices; James Altucher because he’s smart, funny, and very self-deprecating; and Six Pixels of Separation because Mitch Joel makes me think about things in my industry differently.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

I use Google + the keyword planner with every, single blog post to help me optimize and find the exact, right words to use. I use the social networks for distribution—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest. And I use my iPhone to take photos that we own.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Just jump in! No one’s first few blog posts are good. In fact, ours were so bad, I republish them on our anniversary every year just to remind people you have to just start. If you wait for the perfect topic or until you feel like you’ve learned as much as you can, you’ll never do it.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

Stand true to your mission or vision. A few years ago, I got wrapped up in the blogosphere popularity contest and, while it was fun for my ego, it did nothing for our readers.

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

On a custom-designed theme.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

The best place is on the blog at spinsucks.com. All of our social networks and various ways to contact us are there.

Thanks again Gini for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.

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Meet Richard Marriott of Clambr.com http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/20/meet-richard-marriott-clambrcom/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/20/meet-richard-marriott-clambrcom/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:02:43 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35289 With over a billion sites on the internet, they are all unique in their own way. Blogging is one of the most exciting areas to be in right now because you can create content based on whatever you like. Some of the best blogs out there today are ones that walk through the steps and process of finding success. New people are finding out about the power of the internet for marketing, business and much more and a blog is a great way for them to share their stories, document their learning process and also building a brand for themselves in the process. This is exactly what Richard Marriott of Clambr.com did with his own blog — reading everything he could on SEO, then starting a resource site of his own. All of this and more in the latest interview in the Meet the Bloggers series. 1.) Please tell us ...

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With over a billion sites on the internet, they are all unique in their own way. Blogging is one of the most exciting areas to be in right now because you can create content based on whatever you like. Some of the best blogs out there today are ones that walk through the steps and process of finding success. New people are finding out about the power of the internet for marketing, business and much more and a blog is a great way for them to share their stories, document their learning process and also building a brand for themselves in the process.

This is exactly what Richard Marriott of Clambr.com did with his own blog — reading everything he could on SEO, then starting a resource site of his own. All of this and more in the latest interview in the Meet the Bloggers series.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Richard MarriottI didn’t even know what blogging was until I stumbled across Quick Sprout in the summer of 2012. Up until then I’d never even thought about making money online and was happy to just order a “Gong Bao Chicken” and watch prank videos on YouTube after the daily 9 to 5 grind. But Quick Sprout opened my eyes to a world I’d never dreamed was possible – and I wanted in.
One year later – after reading literally every guide on blogging and SEO under the sun – I launched my first blog in March 2013. It’s called clambr.com and it’s all about clambering up Google!

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

My first few posts were a mixture of jokes and weird ramblings. I had no idea what I was doing. The blog was supposed to document my clamber to wealth online but instead I was talking about fish balls.
But then…after stumbling across a guide written by Brian Dean and Neil Patel I found focus. I decided to concentrate on SEO case studies and my first case study would be about making my blog appear out of nowhere by doing an expert roundup on link building tools.
Loads of legends got involved, including Zac (much appreciated mate!) and clambr suddenly got on the map.

After that I continued to focus around the SEO / link building side of things and recently launched a couple of videos revealing how I build links.

Clambr Blog

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

The blog makes the bulk of its money from affiliate links in a couple of expert roundup posts and link building tutorial videos.
In the roundups I asked dozens of expert bloggers to reveal their favourite tools for link building and blog promotion. The result was two lists withthe top tools for success (like this one):
Top link building tools
I then added my affiliate links into the list of top tools, ranked the posts on Google and now consistently make commissions when anyone finds those posts and buys those tools.
But…this is not how I intend to continue making money from the blog. VERY soon I will be working on building a heavily engaged email list (more info on that below) and promoting products through that with high quality training.
I’ve been building lists in other niches and have found emailing to be the most profitable way of piling up the casheesh!

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

I wish I’d built my blogs upside down. As in…I wish I’d created content beneath the surface first – that only subscribers have access to – rather than creating the content that attracts traffic to the blog first.
Let me explain…
If you wanted to open a pizza restaurant would it make business sense to send flyers around town advertising your restaurant before you’ve even built it? Before you have any actual pizzas to give your customers? NO!
Instead you build the restaurant first and have everything ready to go before your very first customer steps in the door. You build the business first – then attract the customers.
This may sound obvious but believe me – SO many blogs are guilty of not doing this – myself included. In fact I’m blushing as I type this because currently clambr.com has no engaged mailing list.
That’s right. I focussed on getting traffic through the doors first. On being the next best thing. And I’m paying for it. Because there’s no business behind the site. There’s no more iceberg beneath the tip!
Sure, I make a few sales from cold traffic, but it’s not a business – it’s more like a lemonade stand set up by a bunch of kids on a hot summer’s day.
Anyway, I had this big “A-Ha” moment a few months ago when I was scratching my head wondering why the HELL none of my sites were really banking much, despite my ability to get lots of organic traffic like this:
Traffic Since Rebrand
So what’s the solution?
Create all your “membership” content and your sequence of 30~ emails BEFORE you even launch. I’m talking ebooks, video tutorials, private training, whatever it is you want to sell. Do all this before you even begin designing your blog!
Then, the very day you launch, you can be pretty certain that if you can get people to sign up – you can start making money – rather than spending weeks or months on trying to attract people to an empty pizza restaurant with nothing to sell them except a few cups of lemonade outside.
Since having this big “A-Ha” moment, I launched my first highly targeted email list a couple of weeks ago on a niche site of mine. There’s this one post on the site that gets an average of 1,500 of visitors each day so I found out what their main pain was and created a mini-course around solving that pain (exclusive to subscribers) with a product recommendation to go one step further.
That one blog post generates around 120 confirmed subscribers per day now and an average of $150 per day in commissions…
You can probably guess how much that post was making before I implemented this right?
Yup, zero dollars and zero cents ;)
So it just goes to show the POWER of a highly targeted list.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

Backlinko – Brian Dean inspired me to do my first ever expert roundup post, walked me through the whole link building process and then featuredthe results of my roundup as a case study on his blog. He’s a legend and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance.
Selfmadebusinessman.com – This is a relatively new and fast growing blog by Dave Schneider. I love it because Dave packs it full of case studies all about getting traffic to your blog and increasing conversions. It’s kind of like a case study within a case study.
MatthewWoodward.co.uk – Matt is a master when it comes to SEO and his video tutorials blow everyone else’s out the water. If you want to learn how to build a heavily engaged audience and make a ton of money in the process, he’s the guy to follow.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

I use SEMRush to find out what keywords bring in my competitors the most traffic…
Ahrefs to crawl all the backlinks pointing to my competitors’ sites…
And BuzzStream to reach out to people linking to those sites and land links on the same pages.
I don’t use any tools for social media because I find emailing people directly and nudging them to share my stuff gets all the shares I need.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Choose a niche where you can constantly recommend new products. Don’t choose a niche where one product solves ALL their problems.
Stop thinking about how you’re going to make the most dazzling, amazing, blow your socks off epic blog out there. In fact don’t think about YOU at all. Just think about your customers.
Step into their shoes. Become your ideal customer.
Work out what your ideal customer REALLY wants. Get to the bottom of their pains, their desires and the barriers that are preventing them from getting to where they want to be.
This cannot be guessed. It requires digging.
Forums are a great place to start. Just dig, dig, dig until you have a clear picture of your target audience, because once you know what they’re struggling with and what they really want, they’ll eat up your copy like a shoal of hungry piranhas!
And then simply show them step by step how to get to what they want and you will have them.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

Get good at emailing people – I mean REAL good.
It’s literally all you need to do to get all the shares and links you desire.
If you’re worried about p*ssing people off simply use an alias! I go under many names…including Elena, Bonnie, Damon and Klaus (all characters from the Vampire Diaries which I’m embarrassed to admit I used to watch).
Pretty lame right? ;)

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

It’s funny because I actually started out with only $100.
Spend $10 on a domain name, $6/pm on hosting, $60 on the Genesis Framework, $19/pm on an auto responder service like Aweber and the remaining $5 on an ice cold beer!

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

Head on over to clambr.com and follow me on Twitter @clambr.
Thanks again Richard for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.

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The Importance of Responsive Web Design http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/19/importance-responsive-web-design/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/19/importance-responsive-web-design/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:40:14 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35321 Responsive web design is quickly changing how sites are viewed on the internet and on mobile devices. Back when I first started making money online in the mid 90s, everything was so basic and simple with web design… it was pretty much all HTML. Then in 2007 I started using WordPress to create my first blog and the rest of my sites there after. However, this was only the beginning. Now with everyone so focused on using mobile and other various devices to browse the internet and with the wide range of desktop sizes for viewing, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you have a site that is capable with all solutions. I still find it amazing that I can look up sites on my phone or iPad and still come across sites that aren’t mobile optimized or that don’t load correctly. It’s quite a shame and ...

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Responsive web design is quickly changing how sites are viewed on the internet and on mobile devices. Back when I first started making money online in the mid 90s, everything was so basic and simple with web design… it was pretty much all HTML.

Then in 2007 I started using WordPress to create my first blog and the rest of my sites there after.

However, this was only the beginning. Now with everyone so focused on using mobile and other various devices to browse the internet and with the wide range of desktop sizes for viewing, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you have a site that is capable with all solutions.

I still find it amazing that I can look up sites on my phone or iPad and still come across sites that aren’t mobile optimized or that don’t load correctly. It’s quite a shame and something that really needs to be fixed immediately. Statistics show that 25% of internet users only access the internet via a mobile device. Have you checked how your site loads on a mobile device lately?

Thus bringing us to responsive web design

Responsive web design refers to a website designed to adapt to whatever device a visitor is using. The same applies for desktop viewing as well. You can make the browser bigger or smaller and the content on the site will continue to adapt to your viewing solution.

Most premium wordpress themes are now responsive as well, as it’s almost become a requirement for site owners now.

When it comes to designing and coding wordpress themes, I’m the last guy that wants to deal with these issues. Fortunately there are designers and teams dedicated to mastering the art of design and wordpress.

For those of you who are wondering how responsive sites are created and the various tech specs involved, be sure to check out the infographic below from verveuk.eu.

What is Responsive Web Design

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How to Boost Your Email Subscribers? Tip #3 http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/19/boost-email-subscribers-tip-3/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/19/boost-email-subscribers-tip-3/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:29:23 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35283 Getting more email subscribers. Building an email list is what you’re after, if you’re a smart blogger. If you’re not building your email list, then sorry to say that you’re dumb. If you’re building it, welcome smart blogger. But it’s a hard thing, it’s very hard especially for beginners, it takes a lot of hard work to grab your first 1000 subscribers than it’s to grab the next 2 or 3000 subscribers. That’s why I’ve created this series of posts, where every week, I’ll share a post with you and each post contains one specific tip, why to apply it and how to apply it. In this post, I’ll share with you the 3rd tip to boost your email subscribers lists. If you had missed any of the previous posts, make sure to read them, here are the links for previous posts:   Why Email is Important to Build Sustainable ...

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Getting more email subscribers.

Building an email list is what you’re after, if you’re a smart blogger.

If you’re not building your email list, then sorry to say that you’re dumb.

If you’re building it, welcome smart blogger.

But it’s a hard thing, it’s very hard especially for beginners, it takes a lot of hard work to grab your first 1000 subscribers than it’s to grab the next 2 or 3000 subscribers.

That’s why I’ve created this series of posts, where every week, I’ll share a post with you and each post contains one specific tip, why to apply it and how to apply it.

In this post, I’ll share with you the 3rd tip to boost your email subscribers lists.

If you had missed any of the previous posts, make sure to read them, here are the links for previous posts:

 

It was easy to get a subscriber

In the old decades of the internet, people were pumped to subscribe to any newsletter. Email was a new thing and they were getting a small amount of emails.

It was enough to have a newsletter where you email people weekly or so on and people will subscribe, conversion rates was huge at that time.

Now, in this busy internet marketing world, we receive a lot of emails. People now guard their email list as gold.

That’s why you need to bribe them to subscribe to your email list.

You need to offer them an incentive to give it to them when they enter their email address and subscribe.

Today’s tip: Offer a narrow-niche incentive:

People now get tens or hundreds or even thousands of emails each day. Tim ferriss get 4000 emails each and every day.

To be able to convince people to subscribe to your email list, you need to have an incentive to get them subscribe to your blog.

But there’s one thing here, offer a narrow-niche incentive, don’t go broad with topics like internet marketing, self development, personal finance and so on.

Instead, go with very narrow topics like blogging to boost your internet marketing, or even go with how to build your email list.

Got the idea? You could even go deeper with topics like how to write your about page and so on.

The format isn’t that important. People use ebooks, I don’t prefer it, because it became very popular. Try to stand out from the rest, but if you’re starting and you don’t love to do video or audio, no problem with going with ebooks.

Don’t make this stop you from creating it.

What to do now?

  1. Think of the topic you want to cover as your incentive, try to be as narrow as possible, you don’t need to write 100-pages ebook about broad topic.
  2. Think of the format that would be best for you to create and for your audience to absorb the info.
  3. Set a deadline for when to finish it.
  4. Do the planning in one day and then try to finish all the other stuff in less than a week.

And that’s your plan.

So what are you planning to do? What is the topic that you think would be great for your readers to cover as an incentive for them to subscribe?

Share your answers below, I’d be happy to give you my feedback.

 

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Premium WordPress Themes at TeslaThemes http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/18/teslathemes/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/18/teslathemes/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:43:37 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35277 When you think of the word Tesla, you probably think of one of the most innovative cars ever created and it’s gaining in popularity every day. This is probably the same feeling that bloggers have about their own web site and how they would like to be perceived by others. One of the best ways to make a lasting impression when someone visits your blog, is to make sure you have an amazing WordPress theme. This is exactly why TeslaThemes created their site, along with their assortment of quality and custom WordPress theme. Remember Your First Premium WordPress Theme? As a blogger, we have a lot of pivotable points during the long journey of blogging. These consist of the first time we register our domain name, going live with our first article, seeing visitors come to our site and also when we find the time or money to invest into ...

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When you think of the word Tesla, you probably think of one of the most innovative cars ever created and it’s gaining in popularity every day. This is probably the same feeling that bloggers have about their own web site and how they would like to be perceived by others.

One of the best ways to make a lasting impression when someone visits your blog, is to make sure you have an amazing WordPress theme. This is exactly why TeslaThemes created their site, along with their assortment of quality and custom WordPress theme.

Remember Your First Premium WordPress Theme?

As a blogger, we have a lot of pivotable points during the long journey of blogging. These consist of the first time we register our domain name, going live with our first article, seeing visitors come to our site and also when we find the time or money to invest into a quality WordPress theme.

Inspiration Behind Your Blog

Bloggers always have a lot on their minds… especially WP content and themes!

The reason why everyone wants to invest time and money into a premium WordPress theme is because no one wants to fall into the crowd and get lost. With out a billion sites on the internet and thousands  of new WordPress blogs going live daily, it’s now more important than ever to spend some extra time and money on your blog to make sure it’s not only professional, but worth the time your visitors are putting into it.

With that said… we can now take a look at some of the exciting themes available though TeslaThemes.com.

Premium WordPress Themes at TeslaThemes

As with all WordPress theme sites, the type of themes available and their unique designs mean everything. TeslaThemes has a great selection of 20+ themes on their site, covering all niches from food, sports, photography and news sites, to WordPress resource and Magazine based theme designs.

Once you browse through each of the themes in the gallery, you will also get some neat ideas on how customize each of them to match the existing look and feel for your site or business.

TeslaThemes

Each theme is also running off the TeslaThemes Framework, which allows you to easily manage custom ports (such as navigation and sliders), use pre-defined templates and designs, have easy customization of colors throughout the theme, integrate social media profiles, contact info and more.

How much do TeslaThemes cost?

There are currently four different pricing structures for TeslaThemes. Whether you want to purchase one theme ($39) or have access to all themes ($49-$69/year), there is a package on their site that is right for you. If you are a designer or own multiple sites, you can also purchase a lifetime membership for only $345, which gives lifetime access to all themes, usage on unlimited domains, tech support, PSD files and more.

Before spending a few hours browsing the various WordPress theme sites on the internet, be sure to check out TeslaThemes and see what they have to offer.

 

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How to Remove Bad Backlinks that Penalized Your Website http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/18/how-to-remove-bad-backlinks/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/18/how-to-remove-bad-backlinks/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:47:35 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35267 The success of the internet and its search engine King, Google, is built on links. Links are what the ‘web’ is made of, and, without them navigation would be impossible. It is a search engine’s responsibility to stay on top of how these links work and what they are communicating about sites. Google’s PageRank is the most-famous system for link rating; it uses links to decipher which sites are more authoritative than others, making Google’s search listing an accurate and worthy place to be found. However, what if Google takes a look at the links connected to your website and decides that they are not worthy? If the search engine finds a link they consider to be ‘spammy’ you’re increasing your chances of being penalized. This penalty will negatively affect your position in the search engine results and, in turn affect the number of users that will make their way ...

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The success of the internet and its search engine King, Google, is built on links. Links are what the ‘web’ is made of, and, without them navigation would be impossible. It is a search engine’s responsibility to stay on top of how these links work and what they are communicating about sites. Google’s PageRank is the most-famous system for link rating; it uses links to decipher which sites are more authoritative than others, making Google’s search listing an accurate and worthy place to be found.

However, what if Google takes a look at the links connected to your website and decides that they are not worthy? If the search engine finds a link they consider to be ‘spammy’ you’re increasing your chances of being penalized. This penalty will negatively affect your position in the search engine results and, in turn affect the number of users that will make their way to your website when searching relevant search terms. A Google penalty is a search marketers’ nightmare; SEO efforts require long-term attention and penalization can undo months of work.

Been penalized? Don’t try a quick fix

If you have been hit with a Google penalty, set a firm marketing objective – clean your site link profile. Try fighting Google’s latest algorithm with a quick fix and things will only get more complicated for you. It is rarely worth trying shortcuts; if a penalty has been given, there is a high probability your site has other frowned-upon backlinks that are soon to be acknowledged. Plus, the traffic you will be missing out on due to a Google penalty is far too valuable to waste on risky shortcuts.

Show Google you are doing everything you can to cleanse bad backlinks and you will be on your way back into their favor.

Bad backlink removal requires a methodical and structured approach, with lots of research. Here is an in-depth approach that has worked for us:

Identify your penalization

Identify the Problem

Is it a manual penalty?

A manual penalty will be straightforward to identify. In your Google Webmaster Tools account, you will receive an ‘Unnatural Link Warning.’ If you do not receive this notice, but your traffic has fallen with no clear reason, check under the Webmaster Tools “Search Traffic” tab – here you can see if you have any Manual Actions. The typical manual action warnings are:

  • warning against your site’s performance in organic search
  • warning against inbound links, rather than on your site

It is worth recognizing that manual action penalties used to have a fixed duration (30, 60,or 90 days were common) but, now manual penalties are likely to be continuous, which means if you do not work to remove the penalty; your site is not likely to ever recover its previous Google ranking.

Manual penalties can impact on your site in the following ways:

  • One or more of your site’s pages disappear from Google’s search results
  • Your whole website has a drop in organic impressions across all search terms
  • Your site disappears from Google’s search results when searching your brand-related terms, including brand name
  • You receive a fixed demotion of a certain number of places (50 places is common)
  • Your site is removed from Google’s index (de-indexation)

The resolution for manual penalties is to submit your site for reconsideration when you can outline exactly which steps you have taken to rectify the issues.

Is it an algorithmic penalty?

Google makes a staggering number of changes to its search algorithm each year and, with algorithmic changes, algorithmic penalties are inevitable. We find that following a major Google algorithm update – such as the introduction of Google Penguin in 2012 – a site is affected for specific keywords or landing page.

Unfortunately, algorithmic penalties last indefinitely. You will need to look closer at your Google Analytics data to understand your penalty in full.

Find and review link data

To get the most-comprehensive understanding of your link data, there are three data sources we’d recommend:

MajesticSEO

Majestic SEO – This should be your starting point. It has crawled over four trillion unique URLs so far. You can choose from the Historic Index or the Fresh Index (the best choice following a Penguin penalty).

Google Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools - Next, download any links showing in your Google Webmaster tools account. It will rarely show all links in Google’s index and it is often out of date, however it will show a large proportion of your ‘bad’ links and it is possible that Majestic can miss some of these. Add this missed data to your Majestic list.

Moz

Moz – Though Moz has a smaller database than Majestic, there are times when Majestic will miss links, and Moz is another source to consider.

When you’ve used all three sources, carry out the de-duplication so that each link is listed just once.

Have you been working on your link building with an SEO agency? If so, now is the time to dig out any link reports they have produced for your site. If you do not have a record of their link building activity, get in touch and ask if they can assist.

When you have your link data available, next it is time to review your links and find out which ones are the spammy culprits. This is the hardest part of backlink removal and, it can be extremely long-winded. So, sit tight. You need to have some technical know-how and a good understanding of Google’s guidelines. If not, it is worth investing in professional help. If you are doing it alone, here’s what you are looking for:

  • links that serve no other purpose than for the passing of ‘page rank’
  • links that have been paid for and were not using the ‘Nofollow’ tag
  • too many links that contain identical anchor text
  • links to sites that host malware or adult content

Keep in mind that some links are considered ‘low quality’ but are not breaking any of Google’s guidelines and are not responsible for your penalization. You only want to remove truly ‘bad’ links.

Remove/change links that violate Google’s policies

When you have made a list of all the links that are violating Google’s policies, you need to contact the site owner and ask them to change or remove the link.

As you approach webmasters, you should stress that bad links can be damaging to their site as well as yours. Provide details of the link/s or ask that all links to your site are removed from their site.

Keep details of all communications with webmasters, you’ll need these records when submitting a reconsideration request. You may need to make contact a few times before you receive a response. Don’t be disheartened by low response or link removal rates. On average, we find that we only have removal by one-third of the webmasters we contact.

When it is not possible to remove offending links, you will need to use the Google Disavow tool – which will nullify unwanted links. It can take up to six weeks for this re-crawl to take effect.

Google Disavow Tool

If applicable, submit a reconsideration request

For those whose site has been hit by a manual penalty, you will want to submit a reconsideration request. In this request, you must recognize you have broken Google’s guidelines. Create a document that details exactly what you have done to rectify the issue;

  • project overview & summary of activity
  • all links found
  • all links you have tried to remove
  • all links successfully removed
  • all relevant email communications
  • a list of links you could not remove and have added to the disavow tool

Upload this document to Google docs and make it available to “anyone with the link.”

Then include this link with your covering letter explaining your penalty and the action you have tried to take, along with a request for reconsideration.

Finally, wait. The response time can vary from a few days to several weeks but, if you have worked meticulously, the chances are you’ll have your penalty lifted and, your extensive efforts to remove bad backlinks will be rewarded.

For more in-depth advice on removing any penalty and getting back into Google, I recommend reading the Receptional guide to removing a Google link penalty.

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How to Stop Shopping Cart Abandonment http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/15/stop-shopping-cart-abandonment/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/15/stop-shopping-cart-abandonment/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:46:59 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35231 Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems for online retailers. It’s also something that we are all guilty of — we visit a site and find something we like, we start filling out the order form and then when it’s time to put in our credit card we end up leaving the site all together. This can happen for a variety of reasons: distractions loss of interaction change of heart looking for coupon code No matter the reason why people fill out only a portion of their information and then leave your site, it’s still costing online retail and lead generation sites billions of dollars every year. It’s not just the online retail industry and lead generation space that are feeling the hurt from lost ROI from cart abandonment, but also many of the blogs on the internet that were created simply to bring awareness to services, products ...

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Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems for online retailers. It’s also something that we are all guilty of — we visit a site and find something we like, we start filling out the order form and then when it’s time to put in our credit card we end up leaving the site all together.

This can happen for a variety of reasons:

  • distractions
  • loss of interaction
  • change of heart
  • looking for coupon code

No matter the reason why people fill out only a portion of their information and then leave your site, it’s still costing online retail and lead generation sites billions of dollars every year. It’s not just the online retail industry and lead generation space that are feeling the hurt from lost ROI from cart abandonment, but also many of the blogs on the internet that were created simply to bring awareness to services, products and brands online.

The practice of increasing conversion rates and getting people to complete their shopping cart process is something companies spend millions of dollars on every year. Amazon.com in particular is one of the leaders on making the process seamless and easier to complete. Just the smallest fraction of a percent in improvement can result in millions of dollars in profit (instead of loss) for many of the largest retailers online. During peak holiday shopping hours, Amazon.com can have over 500+ orders being placed on their site per second!

In the infographic below provided by Monetate, they’ve listed some of the best ways to avoid shopping cart abandonment. I’ve also listed a summary of the best methods that you can implement on your site and check out process right now.

  • Don’t force customers to register on your site
  • Always provide the shipping costs and don’t try to hide it
  • Remove any coupon code areas, as people will look for codes and never come back
  • Provide a trustworthy price and support guarantee to keep customers happy
  • Run your site and checkout process with a reliable system
  • Allow users to save their shopping cart progress if they wish to continually browse your site
  • Post customer testimonials to improve conversions, engagement and confidence

Shopping Cart Abandoment

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How to Effectively Use Social Media for Blog Interaction? http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/15/effectively-social-media-blog-interaction/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/15/effectively-social-media-blog-interaction/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:50:00 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35207 Social media is something that every blog would require in order to grow their reader base. With the ability to concentrate on a wide userbase and their problems, social media works like a magic wand. If this magical wand is used appropriately, it can make your blog readers stick with you for long. Let’s see how you can effectively use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for blog interaction.  Advantages of Using Social Media for Blog Interaction There are three: Provides common interface to interact with various users through social media. Readers are actively using social media. It has the ability to bring in valuable readers. How to Effectively Use Social Media for Blog Interaction? Now, it’s time to talk about the strategies that you should follow in order to gain interaction from your followers. 1) Investment of Time in Social Media Most of the readers are already active ...

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Social media is something that every blog would require in order to grow their reader base.

With the ability to concentrate on a wide userbase and their problems, social media works like a magic wand. If this magical wand is used appropriately, it can make your blog readers stick with you for long.

Let’s see how you can effectively use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for blog interaction.

 Advantages of Using Social Media for Blog Interaction

There are three:

  • Provides common interface to interact with various users through social media.
  • Readers are actively using social media.
  • It has the ability to bring in valuable readers.

How to Effectively Use Social Media for Blog Interaction?

Now, it’s time to talk about the strategies that you should follow in order to gain interaction from your followers.

Social Media to Increase Blog Traffic

Social Media to Increase Blog Traffic

1) Investment of Time in Social Media

Most of the readers are already active on social media and investing your time in the interaction with them would give beneficiary results.

Before investing your time, you must get some knowledge, do research and find out what are the techniques that are best suitable your blog. What are the ways that are making your blog interaction more productive? What is the time when you get most reactions/interaction from your readers?

These are the questions that you should ask yourself before investing your valuable time.

Once you’ve the answers to such questions, you yourself would be able to decide on number of hours that you should allot to your social media blog readers.

2) Presentation

There are quite a few techniques to present your or start your interaction. The best way to know which techniques are working out – TRY THEM ALL!

For example, when Facebook comes in picture, a simple status update might not get attention but a status update along with an eye catchy image might attract attention and trigger your interaction. In case of Twitter, there aren’t many choices left but what about having a catchy headline?

This task isn’t simple but requires thorough trials. Things that did work in the past for one social media may not work for another. You got to keep trying and at the same time, keep an eye on which style worked well.

3) Meaningful Reader Interaction

At the end of the day, what counts is that the blog readers are satisfied with the kind of content delivered by your blog. Focus on making the content reader-friendly and engaging.

Once the reader initiates interaction, you should ensure to make it lively.

Endnote

Social media is driven by PEOPLE who are eventually your blog readers. If they like your blog engagement then there is a possibility of spreading word about the same.

You must be aware how important a Facebook Like is? If gone viral, it can reach thousands of people in few minutes. In the same way, other social media platforms also have their own advantages. The only thing you need to dig in is how to use them perfectly.

The biggest mistake most of the bloggers make is sharing on social media without knowing what their readers love.

Finally, I would simply suggest to research thoroughly and put your time and money on the right strategy to build and manage blog reader relationship as it is the backbone for the blog’s success.

Use every social media network at your disposal.

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Using Social Media Profiles to Rank Higher in Search Results http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/social-media-profiles-rank-higher-search-results/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/social-media-profiles-rank-higher-search-results/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 01:56:42 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35256 Experts in digital marketing often specialize in search engine optimization, social media outreach and online reputation management. While providing professional services, such Internet gurus also use Web-based platforms for personal use. Social network pages allow successful IT entrepreneurs to connect with friends, relatives and co-workers. On a personal profile, it’s still a good idea to post official information about employment history and current status. Social network users sometimes seek services provided by fellow friends. In a sense, personal social media profile pages allow individuals to make professional connections. At the same time, such profiles could also be used to make friendly connections with fellow colleagues and co-workers. These days, it’s common for employers to find out more about each other by checking out social network pages. Additionally, social networks allow co-workers to stay in touch with each other in an indirect way. Making direct phone calls to newly acquainted co-workers ...

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Experts in digital marketing often specialize in search engine optimization, social media outreach and online reputation management. While providing professional services, such Internet gurus also use Web-based platforms for personal use. Social network pages allow successful IT entrepreneurs to connect with friends, relatives and co-workers. On a personal profile, it’s still a good idea to post official information about employment history and current status. Social network users sometimes seek services provided by fellow friends.

In a sense, personal social media profile pages allow individuals to make professional connections. At the same time, such profiles could also be used to make friendly connections with fellow colleagues and co-workers. These days, it’s common for employers to find out more about each other by checking out social network pages. Additionally, social networks allow co-workers to stay in touch with each other in an indirect way. Making direct phone calls to newly acquainted co-workers might be considered somewhat disruptive, but browsing online is quick and discreet.

social media and blogging

When it comes to getting online exposure, entrepreneurs should understand that their professional websites and other profile pages should overshadow personal ones. When people search for specific businesses online, official websites are expected to appear on the search engine results page. Potential customers can confidently contact businesspeople and ask about the services offered. By contrast, it would be inappropriate to contact a business owner via a personal profile page on social media.

An entrepreneur like Brent Franson and other businessmen are examples of SEO experts who use social media for personal and professional reasons. If you were to search for “brant franson” in the search results, you would clearly see the power of social media profile ranking and how it helps your name or brand stand out from others who might have the same name as you.

brent franson google results

Search engine optimization is used to ensure that official websites and networking profiles appear on the top of results pages in search engines. There is usually no need to buy advertisements for keywords that only contain the name of a business person. Instead, organic SEO methods can be used to enhance professional sites. HTML tags can be optimized with proper descriptions that clearly identify the person being featured on a site. It’s also important to put an actual human face on the landing page of a professional website for a business person. High-quality images featuring head shots should be embedded into landing pages that provide brief information.

Entrepreneurs should ideally use a nickname or alias for their personal profile pages on social networks. This allows the professional sites and networking pages to have better chances of appearing on the results pages of search engines. When a user searches for a full name of a businessman, the social network profiles with aliases would not appear in the results. A virtual alias creates a barrier between personal and official identity online. It’s sometimes important for businesspeople to protect their privacy in order to prevent any scandalous accusations and rumors with the abuse of controversial personal photos or statements.

Social media can also be used to do much more than just provide official contact information for an entrepreneur or business. Calls of action can be posted on official profile pages that promote products and services offered online and in local brick-and-mortar establishments. High-quality images and descriptive articles can be posted on social media pages that are dedicated to building a loyal customer base.

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Meet Joe Williams of ZenOptimise.com http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/meet-joe-williams-zenoptimisecom/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/meet-joe-williams-zenoptimisecom/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 23:00:52 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35229 Many successful bloggers first find their way into the world of blogging, thanks to the current industry that they are working. This can often be the case when working with a business, brand or organization and they realize the power of blogging and they need to hire someone to take on the task of building out the company blog… the same holds true with anything relating to online marketing, such as SEO, social media and viral marketing. Taking the knowledge you learn from these experiences is a great concept for building out a blog of your own, and this is exactly what Joe Williams did and explains in the latest post in the Meet the Bloggers series. 1.)  Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging? I’m Joe from Zen Optimise and I live in London. I stumbled into blogging back in 2006 when an old employer ...

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Many successful bloggers first find their way into the world of blogging, thanks to the current industry that they are working. This can often be the case when working with a business, brand or organization and they realize the power of blogging and they need to hire someone to take on the task of building out the company blog… the same holds true with anything relating to online marketing, such as SEO, social media and viral marketing. Taking the knowledge you learn from these experiences is a great concept for building out a blog of your own, and this is exactly what Joe Williams did and explains in the latest post in the Meet the Bloggers series.

1.)  Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Joe Williams I’m Joe from Zen Optimise and I live in London. I stumbled into blogging back in 2006 when an old employer asked me to write a monthly SEO newsletter. It was a fun paid gig and I thought it would be good to turn it into a blog.

2.)  What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

It’s mainly an SEO blog that also covers Social Media and Content Marketing.

The first website I built was in 2005. It was hand-built and called openinghours.net. Back then it was hard to find opening hours on Google or on the big retailors’ websites. So I built a website to help with that and made some money through affiliate marketing. I later sold the website and discovered my love for SEO was more than building websites.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

Zen Optimise offers in-person digital marketing courses. This is mainly in London and it’s where all our income comes from. Around 75% of our customers come from SEO traffic and the blog plays a big role in SEO.

ZenOptimise

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

I wish I took more of a systematic process e.g. 25% of my time planning posts (headline and outline), 50% writing and 25% editing. Ali Luke blogs for us and she is great at this – and she explains how to do it in an in-depth writing process for bloggers video.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

  1. Moz is great for SEO and Inbound Marketing advice.
  2. Search Engine Land for staying up-to-date on Search Engine news.
  3. Nuzzel isn’t a blog but it curates blog posts based on what people you follow on Twitter are sharing.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

  1. Buzzsumo is great for researching competitors most shared content.
  2. Headline Hacks is a free ebook helping you write killer headlines for your blog posts.
  3. Keywordtool.io is handy keyword suggestion tool.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Write about topics you’re passionate and interested in.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

It’s like any skill. The more you do the better you become!

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

1.    $25 on a one-month membership on Lynda.com. It offers online courses in things like blogging, SEO, social media and writing well.

2.     Use WordPress.org as your blogging platform and install Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin (both free)

3.     $10 on picking the right domain name

4.     $50 for annual self-hosting for your WordPress site

5.     Any leftovers spent on further education

$100 will get you so far. If money is an issue, I’d consider freelancing to build up more income e.g. copywriting, design, SEO or any other talent that you have that people are willing to pay for.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

You can visit our digital marketing blog, follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thanks again Joe for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.

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The Only WordPress Framework You’ll Ever Need…and that’s NOT Genesis or Thesis! http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/the-only-wordpress-framework-you-need/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/14/the-only-wordpress-framework-you-need/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:15:50 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35238 Thesis came and passed into oblivion swiftly. Does anyone even use the Thesis framework? In the theme war between Thesis and Genesis, the latter succeeded. Genesis offers a WordPress framework, with varied child themes and site functionalities. From creating agency sites to magazine-style blogs, Genesis offers a complete setup. Genesis is somewhat expensive but its features are worth it! I use Genesis for all my blogs and I felt satisfied with it until I came across this new WordPress framework which just bowled me over! The only WordPress framework you’ll ever need, and that’s neither Genesis nor Thesis, is the X framework. It’s marketed as a ‘theme’ but I consider it to be a complete ‘framework’. My piece isn’t a review per se but a rendition of what makes the X theme superior than the rest. In the last few months, a lot of blogs have covered the X WordPress ...

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Thesis came and passed into oblivion swiftly. Does anyone even use the Thesis framework?

In the theme war between Thesis and Genesis, the latter succeeded. Genesis offers a WordPress framework, with varied child themes and site functionalities. From creating agency sites to magazine-style blogs, Genesis offers a complete setup.

Genesis is somewhat expensive but its features are worth it!

I use Genesis for all my blogs and I felt satisfied with it until I came across this new WordPress framework which just bowled me over!

The only WordPress framework you’ll ever need, and that’s neither Genesis nor Thesis, is the X framework.

WordPress Framework

It’s marketed as a ‘theme’ but I consider it to be a complete ‘framework’. My piece isn’t a review per se but a rendition of what makes the X theme superior than the rest.

In the last few months, a lot of blogs have covered the X WordPress framework. Let’s look at it more comprehensively.

The Idea behind X WordPress Framework

As the name signifies, the ‘X’ theme was created to be the ultimate of all WordPress themes. It was created to be the last theme any WordPress user would ever need! Judging by their impressive benefits and customizations, I am inclined to agree with them.

WordPress users are always in constant search of themes which are user-friendly; mobile-friendly, SEO friendly, fast loading and more. The X WordPress framework fulfills all the necessities.

The theme was created after receiving inputs from 9 industry leaders.

X Theme ‘Stacks’

The X theme introduces the concept of ‘stacks’. The stacks are the layouts in-built in the framework. Unlike other WordPress themes, you install X only once, flip through the stacks and activate the design as per your need. Think of the stacks as like individual themes built into the larger X theme.

Each stack possesses multiple unique designs. Right now, there are four stacks available with X.

•      Stack 1: Integrity

Integrity

Integrity is crafted for professionals and creative people. The layout is elegant and smooth. It has an all-purpose design, ability to create single-page websites and it comes with an inclusive darker version.

•      Stack 2: Renew

Renew

Flat designs are ‘in’ right now. If you’re looking for a clean and minimalistic theme for creating blogs and portfolio sites, use the Renew stack. It solely focuses on the content in a concise and clear manner.

•      Stack 3: Ethos

Ethos

This stack is ideal for newspaper and magazine sites. The display is designed to enhance audience engagement and increase the CTR. The stack features alternative index titles, real-time category filtering and a featured carousel.

•      Stack 4: Icon

icon

Icon focuses on the written word. There are extensive optimization options and various layouts for it to suit your blog idea. It is inspired by modern blogging networks. It has unique layout options, custom colors for post formats and a minimal and modern design.

Flip and Use

Usually, when you switch WordPress themes, you’ve to re-customize a lot of options. But, with the X theme stacks, you just have to flip and use….it’s that easy.

Installing the X WordPress Framework

You install the X theme like any other WordPress theme. After activation, it will prompt to install and activate complementary plugins:

  • X Shortcodes
  • WP Bakery Visual Composer
  • Revolution Slider

After this, you can view the Customizer option on the WordPress dashboard. The X control panel looks like this:

X Control Panel

Go to individual options and adjust them as necessary.

The X framework has various layouts styles too.

Layout 1:

Layout Options 1

Layout 2: 

Layout Options 2

You can create floating bars too!

Is X Suitable for eCommerce Sites?

The X theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce platform and includes four unique shop designs. Use the WooCommerce plugin with X to convert the domain into an eCommerce site.

8 Benefits of X WordPress Framework

Some benefits of the X WordPress framework are mentioned below.

•      Responsive Design

The theme auto-adjusts itself according to the device type: desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

•      Retina Ready

Retina ready means that your X-enabled site will look awesome on retina devices like Mac and iPad.

•      Maximum Loading Speed

Even with so many customization options, you need not worry about speed because the theme is lightweight and won’t impact your search engine rankings.

•      Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The X WordPress framework uses latest HTML 5 semantics and special shortcodes to increase site CTR.

•      Styling

You pay for the theme only once and get future updates free of cost. These updates include multiple stylization options. Presently, there are more than 30 style options featured on the site as demos. Just download any of them and use it.

•      Typography

The theme uses over 600 Google fonts of various weights to offer a seamless user experience and site performance.

•      Social Shares

There are built-in options to share site content on social media platforms quickly and efficiently.

•      Demo Data

The purchase of X gives you access to demo data where dozens of unique layouts are illustrated in detail.

Endnote

To me, X signifies ONE THEME, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES. Check out its demo here.

It’s the only WordPress framework you’ll ever need!

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Meet Adam Connell of BloggingWizard.com http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/13/meet-adam-connell-bloggingwizardcom/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/13/meet-adam-connell-bloggingwizardcom/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 15:15:27 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35227 Everyone finds their way into the world of blogging in one way or another. Some dive into the space to fuel the fire for their passions and what their hobbies are, while others start a blog with the end goal to make money. At the end of the day, blogging is what you want it to be and the more work you put in, the more you will get out of it. Another great thing about the world of blogging is that it’s a very tight niche and open community where others help new bloggers along the way, while also sharing their own blogging stories of how they got started. This is a similar story to Adam Connell’s, who accidently found himself in the world of blogging and is now featured in this latest Meet the Bloggers interview series. 1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging? Hey, I’m Adam, ...

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Everyone finds their way into the world of blogging in one way or another. Some dive into the space to fuel the fire for their passions and what their hobbies are, while others start a blog with the end goal to make money. At the end of the day, blogging is what you want it to be and the more work you put in, the more you will get out of it. Another great thing about the world of blogging is that it’s a very tight niche and open community where others help new bloggers along the way, while also sharing their own blogging stories of how they got started. This is a similar story to Adam Connell’s, who accidently found himself in the world of blogging and is now featured in this latest Meet the Bloggers interview series.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Adam-Connell-Blogging-WizardHey, I’m Adam, I used to manage a marketing agency and I’m the founder of BloggingWizard.com.

I got into blogging by accident and it was something that I never thought I would ever do.

When I was at college, I started a non-profit record label to help promote my music and some friend’s music.

I started off trying to build a custom website in Dreamweaver; it was slow going and tedious.

After 2 different variations of the website, I decided to move to WordPress which made the process a lot easier. As I started to publish more and more releases, using the blogging element of WordPress made a lot of sense, so I changed things up and started blogging.

Within 6 months we had racked up over 100,000 downloads with a combination of blogging and other promotional tactics – this later turned into 2.5 million+ downloads.

A combination of the results I had with the record label and the inspiration from one of my university lecturers spurred me on to continue down this path.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

The focus of my blog is on blogging, it started off purely as an outlet to share what was working for me and my team at the marketing agency I used to run.

At the time my focus was more on SEO and there was (and still is) a lot of bad advice out there so I wanted to point people in the right direction.

Over the last year or so I shifted my focus towards more actionable blogging tactics – I noticed a lot of posts being published all about the kind of stuff bloggers should be doing but most of it wasn’t actionable and wouldn’t make much a difference to anyone.

There are plenty of great ideas but more often than not, it’s the implementation that people struggle with – that’s what I wanted to focus on helping other bloggers with.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

Right now I’m mostly monetizing by promoting affiliate products that solve key problems for bloggers.

Most of the products are ones I use myself or have used in the past.

I made the choice to hold off from offering services so I can focus more on producing more actionable content as well as working on courses and other products.

BloggingWizard

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

There are a few different things:

Launch with a product ready to sell – I wish I had a product ready to sell before I launched my blog, it’s been on my list for a long time but because of other projects I have had to spend my time adding new content, rather than working on a product to sell.

Before launching a blog, it’s easy to underestimate how much time you will need to devote to it.

When I launched, I was also working 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week managing a marketing agency. This left very little time to focus on the blog.

The downside is that I have lost out on almost 2 years of potential revenue but because of the work I’ve put on, I’m now in a position to focus on getting products rolled out.

Email should come before social media – There is a lot of hype around social media, and it’s understandable why. It’s a great promotional channel and it’s been an incredible tool for developing relationships with influential people.

But when I first started out, it seemed like all the social media guru’s thought you had to have like boxes, tweet widgets and every other social widget in your sidebar.

The truth is that you don’t.

And now having a large social media following isn’t as valuable as it once was.

Especially seeing how organic reach on Facebook has declined – now just reaching 5% of your followers can sometimes be a challenge.

Email isn’t as effective as it once was, but it’s still more effective at reaching your fans than social media.

It’s personal and it’s immediate.

By having my sidebar full of social media widgets I was just giving people an easy way of exiting my website – and when you think about it, you want to social media to drive traffic to your blog, not from it right?

Sure, you could send them over to Facebook to like your fan page, then you’ll have a 5% chance of them ever seeing your updates.

That’s why I have shifted my focus more towards email, although I still use social networks, I build my following mostly without the use of my blog. People can still find their way to my social accounts, but I now stick with basic social icons in my footer.

Done is better than perfect – I’m a perfectionist by nature, so I’m still working on this. But, I originally thought everything had to be perfect.

The reality is that while perfect would be awesome, it’s too easy to obsess over minor details. This slows down our progress.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

There aren’t 3 blogs that I visit every day, but I regularly visit:

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging? (search tools, keywords, content, social)

I use a lot of tools, but out of all of them, I find the following the most useful:

  • SEMRush – Knowledge is power and knowing what keywords your competitors are ranking for is incredibly useful. SEMrush also has some other helpful features such as rank tracking, site auditing and more.
  • LeadPages – I use LeadPages to create most of my landing pages, it’s easy to use and has some great features like LeadBoxes and asset delivery.
  • OptinMonster – This has to be one of the most effective list building plugins available, it’s easy to use and allows you to add opt-in forms in all the important places on your blog.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

There are a few pieces of advice that come to mind:

  • If you want to make money; make sure you have a good idea on how you’re going to make money – too many bloggers choose a niche only to find that they can’t make money.
  • Have a goal and a plan for how you are going to get there. Consider which promotional channels will help you and which will be the most important to you – you need to prioritize them.
  • Build your list from day one – whether you feel like the time isn’t right or not, start straight away otherwise you will be missing opportunities. And forget Feedburner, choose a proper email marketing tool like GetResponse or MailChimp.
  • Start guest posting early on – identify the big sites in your niche (or related to your niche) and pitch them an idea for a post. Make sure it’s your best stuff though. If you pick the right sites you’ll get a huge head start and increase your visibility.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things – testing to find what works is a necessity, don’t just drop a tactic you’ve read about because you tried it once and it doesn’t work. Focus on figuring out why it doesn’t work and how you can make it work.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

The best advice I’ve found is simple but effective: Test to find what works.

Reading other people’s advice is all well and good; you could learn a thing or two. You could potentially be getting bad advice too (most blogging advice is wrong).

Ultimately it’s up to you to take the advice, apply it and get it to work.

Never be afraid to do your own experiments – you’ll learn a lot and it’ll give you an edge over other bloggers in your niche.

Remember that what works in one niche, doesn’t always work in another – test, tweak, refine, and repeat.

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

I’d spend the money on two things:

  • A premium WordPress theme that looks really smart and professional – design matters and better designs will raise eye-brows.
  • Decent web hosting – if your web host is slow, your blog will crash and burn before it’s even got off the ground. Loading times are important.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you? (social/blog urls)

You can find me over on Twitter or Google+.

Or head over to BloggingWizard.com (that’s the best place to catch me).

 

Thanks again Adam for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.

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Increase Traffic and Engagement with Facebook Contests http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/12/increase-traffic-engagement-facebook-contests/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/12/increase-traffic-engagement-facebook-contests/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:08:24 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35225 Facebook contests are often talked about, but many blogs and brands still have yet to actually set up their first promotion. The good news is that Facebook is still growing by thousands of new users every minute, so never think that it’s too late for you to jump right in! With the holidays and shopping seasons about to go into full swing, it’s a great time for blogs and e-tailers to start planning on how they can bring a boost in traffic and engagement to their online properties. Not only is social media a great way to bring attention to your brand and blog, but also a great way to stir up some social engagement along the way as well. This can clearly be seen by some of the top brands on Facebook who are using Fan Pages to increase engagement. This is where Facebook contests come into play. Shortstack, a Facebook contest ...

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Facebook contests are often talked about, but many blogs and brands still have yet to actually set up their first promotion. The good news is that Facebook is still growing by thousands of new users every minute, so never think that it’s too late for you to jump right in!

With the holidays and shopping seasons about to go into full swing, it’s a great time for blogs and e-tailers to start planning on how they can bring a boost in traffic and engagement to their online properties. Not only is social media a great way to bring attention to your brand and blog, but also a great way to stir up some social engagement along the way as well. This can clearly be seen by some of the top brands on Facebook who are using Fan Pages to increase engagement.

This is where Facebook contests come into play.

Facebook Engagement

Shortstack, a Facebook contest app, recently came out with an infographic that breaks down 18 different tips for finding success with Facebook contests and promotions. I’ve highlighted their list for you below.

  1. Set goals.
  2. Choose a campaign builder with three essential features (flexibility, embeddable capabilities, mobile readiness).
  3. Make sure the campaign builder is budget-friendly.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s policies and guidelines.
  5. Design the right type of contest.
  6. Pick a relevant prize.
  7. Make it worthwhile.
  8. Create hashtags for your contest.
  9. Know what you want.
  10. Action-gate your contest.
  11. Keep it simple.
  12. Incentivize people to share more.
  13. Encourage entrants to follow you on social media.
  14. Tell the world about it.
  15. Advertise.
  16. Mine the data.
  17. Follow up.
  18. Be consistent.

As with all content and promotional campaigns on the internet, the most important thing is to always make sure you are targeting the right audience. Where most brands are getting this wrong is that they are giving away big ticket prizes such as Apple iPads and getting everyone under the sun to enter their contest — thus killing their conversions on participants who are actually interested in their site content or becoming a customer.

People love Facebook and everyone likes to try and win stuff. So with that being said, don’t be afraid to start up your own Facebook contest no matter how big or small the prize.

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Blogging to Blog… or Blogging to Make Money? http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/10/blogging-blog-blogging-money/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/09/10/blogging-blog-blogging-money/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:26:40 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=35222 So if I asked you today, are you blogging to blog, or blogging to make money, what would be your answer? In most cases, many people would say they are blogging because they want to make money. However, most people would also likely say that they aren’t making money with their blog, even if they are writing 2-3 posts per day! It’s all about the PASSION… I mean PROFITS! How many times have you heard, follow your passion and the money will follow? I’m sure you’ve heard it a lot and it’s something everyone in the world of blogging likes to say… especially anyone who has already found success in blogging and making money! Unfortunately this usually isn’t the case… probably more like 98% of the time. One of the main reasons why passion is so important with blogging is because it takes a lot of time and effort and ...

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So if I asked you today, are you blogging to blog, or blogging to make money, what would be your answer?

In most cases, many people would say they are blogging because they want to make money. However, most people would also likely say that they aren’t making money with their blog, even if they are writing 2-3 posts per day!

It’s all about the PASSION… I mean PROFITS!

How many times have you heard, follow your passion and the money will follow? I’m sure you’ve heard it a lot and it’s something everyone in the world of blogging likes to say… especially anyone who has already found success in blogging and making money!

Unfortunately this usually isn’t the case… probably more like 98% of the time.

Blogging for Money

One of the main reasons why passion is so important with blogging is because it takes a lot of time and effort and if you don’t care about what you are writing about, then you will quickly lose interest.

It’s much easier to make money with a financial blog and talk about boring topics such as increasing your credit score or how to get a new home loan — but no one really wants to write about that.

The money is in the Call to Action!

Instead bloggers need to look at their blogs as sales copy and a call to action, while also making it resourceful and informative for the people visiting your site.

People use the internet for three reasons, which one of these fits in with your blog?

  1. To be entertained
  2. To buy something
  3. To fing information

Many people fall into the top category of being entertained, and this is one of the hardest areas to monetize.

If you have a blog that helps someone find reviews before buying something, this is a great place to be in for making money.

The last category is all about information, and something that could do very well with Google Adsense and affiliate marketing if done right.

Is your blog worth your time and your visitors time?

If you are still struggling to make money with your blog and your content, then it might be a good idea for you to step back for a moment and look at the big picture. If you were a visitor to your site, would have find any value in reading it’s content, and is it actually providing any value?

Time is Money

Not making money with your blog is one of the biggest turn offs for long term success and you really need to have a plan of attack in place. Blogging takes a lot of time and resources, so the last thing you want is to keep digging yourself in a bigger hole for time and money and not sure where you and your blog might end up in a year from now.

So I ask again… are you blogging to blog, or blogging for money?

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