Can I Use Your Content?...............................................................61
Table Of Contents
Introduction…………………..…………………………………………………..………3 What Is A Blog……………………………………………….…………………..……….5 Getting Started……………………..……………………………………………………6 Free Blog Hosting Services…………………………………………….. 7 Paid Blog Hosting Services.………………………………….…..……11 Blog Publishing Software……………………………….…..12 Hosting Options……………………………...…………….…..15 Why I Chose Wordpress…………………….…….….…………….…….....……24 Blogging Essentials…………..……..……….……………….……….……………..25 Social Networking……………………………..………………….………………….31 Blog Tips……………………….…………………………………..……………………...39 Consistency………………………………………………….….…………….39 Networking………………………………………………….…….………….40 Relating To Readers………………………………………....…………..41 Video Posts……………………………………………………….........……42 Designing Your Blog……………………….………..……………………….……...48 Branding…………………………………….…………………………………….……….52 Monetizing Your Blog………………………...…………………………….………54 Monetizing Tips…………………………………………………….………54 Monetizing Options………………………………………………….…..55
Feedback………………………….………………………………………………..……..61 If You Donated…………………………………………………………………..……..61
Blogging On My Mind
This book is written by Nabil Khan who is a part-time blogger at
Enkay Blog. He is a 20 year old who decided at the age of 14 that conventional jobs for teenagers such as working at fast food chains or local grocery stores were too unadventurous. He then decided to start his own web design company and over the course of almost 5 years, he worked with over 25 small and medium businesses to help develop their online presence.
This may not sound too convincing until you consider the fact that Nabil also attended a prestigious public school while running his web design company and graduated in the top tier with a near perfect GPA. Currently, Nabil attends the University of Houston as a full-time student on a scholarship. He is pursuing a double major in Accounting and Marketing as well as a Masters in Accounting. He still has a near perfect GPA and has been on the Dean’s List each semester that he has completed at the University. All this while still maintaining his popular blog.
This eBook was written mainly to help individuals get an insight into blogging. It not only helps them get started with the basics of setting up a blog but also provides them with tips and hints to do so without any road blocks.
The concept of the eBook is derived from Nabil’s personal experiences and hardships in starting up the blog. Nabil is known for telling it like it is and this eBook will not paint any utopian
pictures but will hope to give you a helping hand into the world of blogs. The eBook is free because I think that you shouldn’t have to pay for something unless you really don’t know what it contains. It all boils down to the fact that if you find this eBook interesting or even half way worth it, I’d really like you to subscribe to my blog. Furthermore, by not charging for the eBook I have another way that you can “pay” for the eBook and that is by donating to Save The Children. If you feel like this eBook should be worth something, then I’d really like you to donate that particular amount to Save The Children. If you’d like more information about the organization, visit their website by clicking here.
A Blog is a shortened form of the word “Weblog” and when you look up Blog in a dictionary you see the following entry:
a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer
Today, Blogs are used for much more than thoughts on a web page and in fact there are many ways that you can use your blog as an avenue into a profession. It is a known fact that blogs are now the main source of income for several people and in this eBook you will see some ways in which you can monetize your blog and you’ll find some tips on doing so. Aside from blogs turning into money making machines, there has been a branch out into what are called “vlogs” or video blogs which are exactly what you’d expect. They’re blogs except in video format where the author records a post or entry with the use of a camera. There are many other forms of blogs that you will find but essentially, it is up to you as to what you decide the fate of your blog is. Keeping that in mind, let’s move on the next step and talk about how you can get started.
Blogging On My Mind
Getting started with a blog can be very simple considering the number of resources there are. You have an option when it comes to starting your own blog. You can either go for a completely free blog or buy a hosting package and manage the blog at your own domain. If you want to start a blog to see whether you will like it or not, then I’d recommend a free blog hosting service as you can always move on to a paid host later. The disadvantage of doing so is losing any rankings and incoming links from other bloggers or websites. However, if you feel that you can be passionate about your blog and don’t mind spending $5-$8 per month, then paid hosting options will help you in better planning for the future. Let’s take a look at the free blog hosting services first and then at the paid hosting options after that.
Blogging On My Mind
Free Blog Hosting Services
Before we get into the free blog hosting services, lets take a look at the Pros and Cons of using a free resource. Pros:
No out-of-pocket expenses – there really aren’t any costs such as hosting or domain costs associated with a free blog.
Get to experience blogging – this is the basic concept of try it before you buy it so if you don’t like it, you have no regrets
Worry-free in terms of hosting and reliability – you don’t have to worry about having server downtime because its all managed by the blog host themselves.
No real domain name – Your blog will always be yourblog.something.com and all your rankings and incoming links will be associated with that.
No avenue of expanding your blog – After a certain point, if you decide to grow, then the opportunities are limited
Not truly customizable – There isn’t a really unique way to customize a blog that is not hosted by your own host and customization options are limited also.
Blogging On My Mind
Blogger is probably one of the most popular free blog resources out there. It is very easy to get started and it literally takes five minutes. Blogger offers the following features:
Easy-To-Use User Interface Ability to Publish Photos Several Template Designs To Choose From Ability To Access Using A Mobile Device Easy and Quick Sign Up Process
Blogger was started up in 1999 by three friends from San Francisco and was later bought by Google. It’s one of the largest free blog hosting companies out there and Is known for its ease of use. If you’d like to sign up for Blogger, click here.
Wordpress.com is operated by the Wordpress Blogging Software which is a highly popular blog publishing platform.
Wordpress offers the following features:
Very Easy Sign Up Process Several Great Looking Themes Auto-Save Features To Prevent Loss of Posts Add Photos & Videos Easy Widgets To Incorporate Flickr, Meebo, del.icio.us Ability To Create Pages
Wordpress was started in 2003 and although it is not quite as popular as Blogger, it is still a great resource to consider if you want to later move on to a paid hosting service. If you’d like to sign up for Wordpress, click here.
LiveJournal is not as popular as Blogger or Wordpress but it is still has millions of users. They offer free and paid services however if you really have to upgrade, you might as well look into paid blog hosting.
LiveJournal offers the following features:
Ability To Create or Join Communities By Category Comprehensive Page To Display Friend’s Posts & RSS Voice Posting & Text Messaging Supported Create Customized Designs Insert Youtube & Photobucket Images
Live Journal was also founded in 1999 like Blogger by a high school student. It is currently run by a Russian company called SUP. If you’d like to sign up for Live Journal, click here.
When you opt for hosting your own blog, you will need two things. A blog publishing software and a good host. Lets take a look at the breakdown of the different blog publishing software and hosts that you will find in the next few pages. Blog Publishing Software:
Wordpress has grown to become one of the most popular blog publishing platforms out there. Its highly customizable designs and large plugin database is what makes Wordpress popular, apart from the fact that most bloggers who don’t have a custom platform,use Wordpress. Download Wordpress: Click Here Installation Documentation: Click Here Pros: Large Plugin and Theme Database Very Customizable Regular Updates Impressive List of Features Multiple Author Support Quick & Fairly Simple Installation Cons: Not as User-Friendly For Beginners
Rating: Wordpress gets a rating of 4.5/5 mainly because its not as user-friendly for new users. If you want to customize the design, you have to know how to work your way around PHP. Other than that, it’s one of the most powerful blog publishing softwares out there.
MovableType is one of the oldest blog publishing softwares and I used to personally use it about 6 years ago. The fact that Movable Type includes several Wordpress plugins out of the box is also a big plus. Also being around longer than Wordpress means that theres more help available if so needed. Download MovableType: Click Here Installation Documentation: Click Here Pros: Fully Featured Out-Of-The-Box Simpler <$MT> Tags Instead of PHP Multiple Blogs On A Single Installation More Help/Documentation Available Cons: Long / Annoying Installation Process Unattractive Default Design Spam Protection Not As Powerful Rating: Movable Type gets a rating of 4/5 because there are only a few things that set apart Movable Type from Wordpress. Movable Type’s downsides are the installation process that can be difficult for beginners as well as spam protection that isn’t as full featured as the Akismet plugin for Wordpress.
B2Evolution is not as popular as Wordpress or Movable Type but it is an option if you are not satisfied with Wordpress or Movable Type. B2Evolution is not as popular due to the lack of development but is still useful for smaller blogs. Download B2Evolution: Click Here Installation Documentation: Click Here Pros: Ability To Host Multiple Blogs Easy Installation Easy-To-User Admin interface Contact Form Out-Of-The-Box Cons: Available Designs/Skins Are Dull In Comparison URLs not as pleasing Weak Spam Protection Rating: B2Evolution gets a rating of 3/5 stars because its user base is not as active meaning that the plugins and skins that are available will not be able to compete with those of Movable Type or Wordpress. The lack of development has led people to move from B2Evolution. It is still a powerful publishing tool but if you want to develop your blog, pick Movable Type or Wordpress.
When it comes to looking for hosting, you have to rely on recommendations and ratings from other bloggers and users. I have selected eight of the most popular hosting companies that most bloggers use. I only have personal experience with a few of them but I will be providing ratings unbiasedly based on average ratings provided by current customers and best bang for the buck. Some things to note:
Just because a hosting package is more expensive per month, doesn’t mean that their service is just as good.
Average Customer Ratings are derived by my research and reviews by current/prior customers.
The best bang for the buck is a rating based on the number of features you get for the price you pay. It is not an indiciation of how good the company is.
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Hosting Options – 1and1
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2 Free Domains 120 GB Space 1200 GB Bandwidth 1200 Email Accounts $100 in Marketing Vouchers PHP & MYSQL Included 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
Bang For The Buck : Avg. Customer Rating : Sign Up For 1and1 Hosting
I personally use Wordpress on my blog and there are several reasons why I picked Wordpress and why I like Wordpress. I picked Wordpress because:
• Most of the blogs I was familiar with used Wordpress and I figured that if I ever needed help, I’d atleast know someone to assist me.
• I felt it was much easier to install compared to MovableType which was the blogging software that I had previously used.
• Although the user interface is now similar to Movable Type, at the time that I started to use it, I felt it was more easy to navigate for a first time user.
• There were many great pre-designed themes available for me to download unlike the B2Evolution themes that just pale in comparison. Furthermore, Installing those themes was very simple on the Wordpress platform.
• The Wordpress plugin database allowed me to customize my blog with features that I wanted.
• I felt that the PHP based template system compared to Movable Type’s MT Tags was easier to customize.
• Their spam protection was superior to the other blogging platforms and over half a million spam comments later, I’m thankful for it.
There are several blogging essentials that you need to get familiar with and these include everything from blog popularity tools to social networking websites. Signing up for these websites really helps you advance your blog by not only allowing you to see how you progress, in terms of ranking, but also build a network with your readers and your peers.
Technorati Technorati is a great tool for all bloggers because it helps you keep a track as to who has linked to your blog and is also a ranking tool in case you decide to monetize your blog later on, which we will talk about a little later. Technorati allows you to “claim your blog” by authenticating that you are the owner of a particular blog by either placing a hidden link or providing them with your username and password. When someone links to you, it displays it on your Technorati page as a “blog reaction” and your ranking is adjusted accordingly.
You are provided an authority which is a way of showing how many incoming links you have. The greater the number of incoming links you have, the higher your blog reaction and authority are. If the website that is linking to you has a greater Technorati rank, it has a greater effect on your ranking.
The higher your authority, the better it is for your overall rank. These rankings are used by many companies as a way to
determine the price of ads, reviews or anything of that sort. Below is an example of Technorati rankings:
Click here to Sign Up for Technorati Alexa Alexa is a company that is owned by Amazon and provides you with a ranking based on the amount of traffic you have. Alexa has also received a lot of criticism regarding its ranking method but nevertheless, it is also an essential tool used by companies in calculating the price of advertising. Usually, most people just wait for their Alexa rankings to display however there are many ways that you can help expedite this process. For example, my first blog took 5 weeks to finally receive an Alexa rank however by following the tips listed below I was able to receive an Alexa rank within 10 days on one of my newer blogs. Lets take a look at these tips: 1.Submitting a link report - The first thing you should do is
perform an Alexa link report. By doing so, your website will get added to Alexa’s database much faster and that way you can start improving your traffic faster. 2. Installing The Widget - Usually once you are able to see your website/blog on Alexa after performing the link report, you are faced with an inactive graph because your rankings are not high enough. The way to help your rankings is by including the Alexa widget which you can see below:
If you click on the image above, you will be able to view what the Alexa page for my blog looks like. This widget can be created by clicking here and have worked for most bloggers in helping their rankigns. 3. Installing The Toolbar - The third tip is to install the Alexa toolbar. If all else fails, then installing the toolbar is another way that you can boost your rankings. This method seems to have worked for many individuals who were not able to get their website rankings to go up. Although I haven’t had to use this method the last time, it is definitely recommended to use if your rankings remain stagnant. You can download the Alexa toolbar by clicking here.
MyBlogLog MyBlogLog is a great tool that many bloggers implement on their websites in order to maintain a sense of community. The basic idea with MyBlogLog or MBL Is that you get to put a face to the name of the readers on your blog. Almost all blogs have a MBL widget that looks like this below:
MyBlogLog also allows you to create a community so that readers who really enjoy your content can join in and communicate with you. There is a plug-in that we will discuss later called MyAvatars that will allow you to integrate the avatar of your readers next to a comment that they leave on your posts. Personally, I find MBL very useful because now I don’t even have to look at names to
realize who has left me a comment. Usually I just look at the avatar and I am able to tell who it is. It helps create a sense of community and lets you better connect to other readers by way allowing me to associate an image with a name.
Click Here To Sign Up For MyBlogLog
Feedburner As the name might suggest, Feedburner has a lot to do with your RSS Feed. The number of RSS Feed Subscribers you have helps determine how much the price of advertising will be on your website, whether its banner ads, 125x125 ads or even a review. Feedburner is a tool that allows you to do more with an ordinary feed.
My first suggestion would be to not use your actual RSS feed URL to get people to sign up but to do it through Feedburner instead. When you sign up for Feedburner, you will provide them with details regarding your website and they will create a new RSS Feed URL for you. The URL should look something like mine:
You will get to pick the phrase or word that will go at the end of the URL instead of “enkay” since that is the phrase I picked. Now that you have your Feed URL, Feedburner allows you see how many total RSS Subscribers you have and all the statistics associated with that such as where they’re from, what kind of RSS reader they use, etc.
Aside from that, you will also have access to several other features which I’ll be talking about below:
Allow your feed to be compatible with most of the different typed of feed readers out there
Add icons to digg, email, stumble to your posts. There are many more icons you can add but those are the most popular.
You can start offering email subscriptions allowing you to expand from the conventional forms of subcription which is through a feed reader
You can have them automatically ping services such as Yahoo, Bloglines, Technorati and Alexa, among others, to let them know about your new posts.
You can display a ticker that shows how many total subscribers you have
All in all, Feedburner is almost a requirement for every blogger. If you already have a Wordpress blog and you don’t have Feedburner integrated but fear that switching over will cause you to lose your current subscribers, then don’t worry. There is a plugin calling FeedSmith that we will be talking about later that will help transfer over your current RSS subcribers to your Feedburner generated Feed.
Blogging On My Mind
Social Networking websites have been very common and the more you look around, you’ll see bloggers using them to communicate with their readers. Many of the social networking websites I will be mentioning will help you stay in touch with readers and communicate with them on a more personal level. Some of them you may already have and use but others are newer but we will be discussing all of them. I will also be providing links to my profiles on these networks so that you can add me and send me email or messages. Anyway, lets start by looking at our first social networking website called Twitter.
Twitter Twitter has been one of the fastest growing social networking sites and is especially popular amongst bloggers. The basic concept of twitter is that it allows you to write short messages as to your whereabouts so that people know what you’re doing. It sounds very simple but its another way for people to keep in touch with each other. Twitter is also accessible through a mobile device using wifi or text messaging and so you can be constantly updated no matter where you are. You can follow people who you like and in turn others can follow you so that they will receive updates as to what you are upto.
Blogging On My Mind
That is how you actually update your twitter page and your friends and followers can even reply to your update. Now lets take a look at what an actual twitter page will look like:
Now that you have seen what Twitter is like, you can sign up by clicking here. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter then , click here.
Plurk I was first introduced to Plurk by Syed Balkhi from Balkhis.com. It is similar to Twitter however it’s a newer social networking tool so there aren’t as many common faces, as you will discover. Plurk is different because it allows you to see updates made by fellow friends by way of a timeline. Plurk also allows readers to gain Karma points which is a way you improve your rankings on plurk. You gain Karma points by writing updates, referring friends, posting smileys/pictures, etc. It is quite a user friendly interface just like twitter and is also accessibly through a mobile device which makes your updates on the go that much easier. Its an interesting concept and I actually prefer how users can respond to updates on Plurk when compared to Twitter. Here is what that looks like:
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Now that you’ve seen that, lets take a look at my Plurk page so you can see how the time line fits in.
It’s a very neat looking page and if this sparks your interest then consider signing up for Plurk by clicking here and adding me as a friend by clicking here. Digg Its hard to have been on the internet for even a few months and not come across Digg. Digg is one of the most popular social sharing networks out there. The idea of Digg is that you and millions of other users share interesting articles, pictures or videos that they come across on the internet and other users are allowed to vote on your picks. Each vote is referred to as a “digg” in the
sense that “do you digg it or not?”. Getting on the front page of Digg means that millions of visitors will be able to see your content and provide you with feedback. Lets take a look at the front page:
Signing up for Digg is a no brainer and there really isn’t much to explain considering Digg was almost purchased by Google for $200 million earlier this year. Signing up for Digg, digging articles and submitting articles will help you in the long run. So if my testimonial has already made you consider signing up for Digg, then do so by clicking here and visit my Digg page and add me as a friend!
StumbleUpon StumbleUpon is similar to Digg in that it helps showcase interesting websites, videos, pictures and other sorts of media
however the big difference is that StumbleUpon only displays pages that are listed as your interests. You install the Stumble Upon Toolbar which allows you to click the “Stumble” button and displays a website based on your interests. Clicking the button will direct you to a new website and you can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Your vote along with the votes of million others determine what is best for you. Here is what the toolbar looks like:
If a post on your blog gets Stumbled that automatically means lots of traffic and new readers. The idea is to contribute to StumbleUpon and create networks online with other members so that when you submit articles to StumbleUpon or “Stumble” other pages, then you build up that many more contacts. I would suggest StumbleUpon as a great tool for gaining exposure.
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If I’ve got you interested, then sign up for StumbleUpon by clicking here and check out my StumbleUpon page to add me as a friend.
Facebook If you have kids or you go to school or college, then you should have heard about Facebook. Facebook was the idea of Mark Zuckerberg and started off as a networking tool for friends who have gone off to college and universities in different states and countries. Today, Facebook is open to everyone and allows you to network with other bloggers and internet entrepreneurs by sending messages, writing short notes or even chatting online. Facebook has grown tremendously over the past couple of years and is a very robust networking tool. It allows you to create a community and members of Facebook are able to join in that community. Many bloggers have created a community for their blog on Facebook which not only brings them more exposure but helps them reach a larger audience of potential readers and subcribers. Facebook also features a chat feature where you can chat one-on-one with other Facebook friends when they are online. The advantage with the Facebook chat feature is when you come across other bloggers and internet entrepreneurs as it allows you to communicate with them and talk about matters of mutual interest. Without further adieu, here is what my Facebook page looks like:
As you can see, it’s a very well laid out page and in my opinion, it helps me stay in touch with my friends easily. If you’d like to sign up for Facebook, click here and add me as a friend by clicking here
Blog Tips Considering that I’ve been on the Internet for over 8 years now and I have had a few blogs in the past, I think it would only be useful to you if I can help pass on some tips to help you become a good blogger. I’m not here to teach you how to make your millions BUT consider this, if your blog is not appealing to a reader then there is no use in implementing techniques and programs to make money off of it. Its almost a waste of time if you think that you’d be able to lure in cash cows while running a crappy blog. I don’t want your blog to be crappy and so this section will have some of my favorite tips that I give to new bloggers. Consistency Consistency is one of the key reasons why most blogs fail. You have to create a schedule to blog and you really can’t blog only when you feel like it, as long as you want to be successful. If you write one post a day, then do that. Don’t write 3 posts in one day and no posts for the next two days. There are a few reasons why consistency is such a big issue and how you can help resolve the issue: 1) First of all, your readers have developed a certain expectation. If you posted every day and went on to posting only once a week after that, then your readers realize that they don’t need to visit every day. Think about it, why waste your time when you realize that the new posts are only made once a week. Sooner or later, they’ll just stop visiting.
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2) Create a schedule to help you out if you need it. I created a schedule and I have a set time that I blog even when I have school. Your schedule isn’t always supposed to be strict and you can change it depending on work or school or other commitments but always remember to save some time for your blog. Don’t ignore it otherwise it will be too late. 3) If you come up with several good ideas for a blog post then don’t blog about it all at once or put it off until later. Write the posts are “timestamp” it so that you don’t overload or deprive your readers. Timestamping allows you to basically create an alarm where you pick a date and the time in Wordpress and your post will automatically be published at that specified date and time. This allows you to not let good posts go to waste. Networking This is one blogging tip that most bloggers fail to mention however, networking plays a big role in how well your blog does. Who you communicate with, send emails to and blogs you comment on, help you gain exposure based on that. I have already mentioned quite a few social networking websites above and its essential to sign up for them and add your blogging friends. Why? Why you ask, well lets think about this. Lets say someone visits your blog and comments on one of your posts. If you don’t take the time to go to their blog and see their content, then whats the point of them visiting and taking the time and effort to post a comment? If you visit back and write
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comment then they’re more likely to return and comment on other posts. It helps create a sense of community. Think about the time when you need someone to Digg a post of yours or Stumble it, then asking your readers and contacts can help you get that accomplished. This even applies to things such as asking someone for help or feedback. Your readers and will be more likely to assist you If they feel that you have made an honest effort in communicating with them. Either way, it never hurts to mingle with others in your profession. You can always discuss things that affect both of you. In this case, that can comprise of things such as an advertising opportunities, blogging tips, new ad networks, etc. It helps you stay more informed and get reviews regarding certain programs, ad networks and the like. Relating To Readers Relating to readers is something that helps create that initial networking with your readers. If you write a blog post, then relating to your readers would be to ask them a question at the end or ask them for their opinion or input. Doing this allows them to be more open in expressing their opinions. Your duty as a blogger is to read their comments and respond to them so that they know that you are listening to them. If you constantly ignore comments or don’t find it necessary to really respond then they feel that they cannot connect to you or relate
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to you, for that matter. You need your readers to be able to relate to you otherwise they won’t find it necessary to visit your if their opinions and comments are unnoticed. Don’t appear to be “better” than anyone because that will only hurt your readership in the long run. Your readers want a personable and human figure rather than someone who is sitting on a throne. Video Posts I have extensively talked about video posts on my blog and I have even done quite a few video posts. For refernece, here is my first video post that you can visit. Since video posts can become a big part of any blog, I’ll be breaking this section down into subsections to make it easier to follow along. First, lets discuss the challenges of video posts. Challenges of Video Posts 1 - Video Posts Take Time - Its true that a 4 minute video could take an hour to put together mainly because of the time it takes to record the video and edit it. You have to willing to put forth the amount of effort into editing the video to make it not only look better but also so that you can include such things as names of people or urls onto the video frames.
2 - Small Things Matter - Small things such as the lighting, how fast you talk, the tone of your voice all make a difference. The lighting of a room can lead to a video looking dull or if the light source is behind you then it makes you look like a silhouette.
Things such as how fast you talk also result in how well your message is communicated to your audience. You have to watch for these things with videos.
3 - Body Language Adds Into The Equation - When you blog, theres only the text aspect that your reader sees but when you have video, your body language becomes a part of your message too. How your body responds to a message can send your reader a sense of connection to the message. If you’re body language is low and you look disconnected then it shows that you’re not truly committed to the topic at hand.
4 - Using Your Voice For Emphasis - This is something that goes unnoticed but some bloggers use bold terms or italicized terms to emphasize something but when you have a video camera in front of you then the emphasis to such items depends on how you stress it by using your voice.
5 - Third Party Noises - I call this third party noises as it can be anything from noises resulting due to action of people around you or environmental noises such as birds or rain, etc. You have to watch for these as you want to be able to hear yourself during the video playback. There was a video that someone had posted where you could clearly hear the vacuum cleaner in the background and that causes a diversion of attention which you want to avoid. Advantages of Video Posts 1 - Video Is More Visual - Well the simple fact of the matter is that
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video is more visually appealing. It can show a reader whats happening instead of having them visualize something by reading a post in text format.
2 - Helps You Network/Connect Better - It really helps to see the person behind the blog. It gives readers a face and a voice to recognize compared to just writing style. The idea of having video can eventually help you connect better to your readers if they are able to see you and how you speak, act, etc.
3 - Helps Get Your Point Across Faster - Its true! Video Posts that are 3-5 minutes long usually get your point across faster than a post thats a page long. Its the idea that people would rather watch and listen to something than read it for themselves.
4 - Keep Readers Longer - Video posts also keep readers on your page for longer than usual. As you saw in point #3, Video posts help you get your point across faster but usually when you have a post in text format, people read some and skim some and disregard the rest. With a video post they tend to watch all of it and therefore they stay on your page longer. The longer the stay, the better it is for you.
5 - People Tend To Remember Better - Isn’t it true that when you hear something its easier for you to remember it? Ex. If you were listening to a song theres a higher probability of you remembering some of the words rather than reading the lyrics directly. The point is that when you hear someone talk, rather than reading
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something, you tend to remember it better. Lighting In Video Posts This is the last section that we will discuss under video posts and I will help you visualize the errors people make in terms of lighting. The proper method of lighting is where the camera is placed between the light source and the person. Here is a diagram:
Scroll to the next page to see some images of how you can make errors by not using lighting to your advantage.
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Now lets look at some examples of how you can make an error. Lets start by taking a look at a room in which there was no lighting at all or very low lighting. Here is what that looks like:
Now lets take a look at a room in which the light source was behind the person. This usually makes it very difficult to see the person when the light source (such as the sun or a lamp, etc) is behind you. Here is an example of that:
Blogging On My Mind
Now lets take a look at my first video post as a good example of using the light source properly. This is an actual screen shot from the video so here it is:
Designing Your Blog There are several places where some designers go wrong. I have extensive experience in the web design field so I know what is generally acceptable and what is usually frowned upon. There are many things aside from the content, such as design, that can affect how successful your blog is. Since, this is my ebook, I want to give you the tips to help you, so lets look at several design cues that you need to keep in mind to avoid making your blog look unprofessional and to help gain readers. Advertisement Placement The biggest mistake you can make is to get “ad happy”. Meaning, don’t cover your page in ads. Limit yourself to a few ads and a few ads only. There are many of us that will agree that when we come upon a blog where there are too many ads, even if the content is good, we probably won’t come back. 1. Make sure that your ads aren’t covering up your content either because that gets really annoying, really quickly. 2. Skyscraper ads are okay as long as you don’t have them several of them in your sidebar. 3. Pop-over and Pop-under ads are pretty much unacceptable on blogs and I wouldn’t recommend you using them. 4. Six to eight 125x125 ads are acceptable. If you have more than ten then you need to reconsider doing away with a few of them.
Blogging On My Mind
5. Its not really considered good advertising if you have a lot of empty ad spots saying “Advertise Here”. If you don’t have advertisers to fill the spots then reduce the number of spots till you have enough advertisers because you can always add more spots later. Navigation Bar There are a few things about your navigation bar that is similar to the RSS button location. It has to be easily visible on your page without the need for much searching. Think about this situation for example, an advertiser visits your blog and wants to send you an email through your contact page but they can’t seem to find your navigation bar. This will most likely result in them turning away and you don’t want that. So here are some tips to help you avoid such situations. 1. Keep your navigation bar visible and towards the top without any unncessary graphics or flash as you don’t want people who don’t have flash to not be able to see it. Also make sure that your text in the navigation bar stands out against the background instead of blending in with the background. 2. Remove any unncessary links from the navigation bar. You only need the important links in the navigation bar such as Home, About, Contact Us, Advertise and anything else that is important. There isn’t a need to put links to other blogs in your navigation bar.
Blogging On My Mind
3. Don’t place ads directly under your navigation bar hoping to make a quick buck because you may just lose your readers if they find it too obtrusive. RSS Button Placement Your RSS Button is critical and 99% of established bloggers would agree that your RSS Button should be visible and be located in the top fold of your page. This means that as soon as I load up your blog in my browser, I should be able to see your RSS Button without having to scroll down the page to find it. Heres an example of my blog so you can see the placement I’ve used:
You can see how I’ve placed the RSS button in the upper portion of the page and made it easily noticeable. You shouldn’t expect readers to scroll or hunt for your RSS button so the best location
Blogging On My Mind
would be at the top of the page. If they read a post or two and they figure they should subscribe then make it easy for them!
Blogging On My Mind
Branding Branding is used by many bloggers to help identify themselves with their readers. The way you brand your blog determines how you are remembered and so this is one of the most important things if you want your visitors to return. So lets take a look at a few tips related to branding. 1. Your branding should be distinguishable from other bloggers. Trying to “copy” or “imitate” other bloggers in the way you design your logo or brand will not help you in the long run. Be unique and stand out from the crowd. 2. Use yourself as a brand for your blog. My picture has become the brand of my blog. Most people see my image and know who it is. You can use a picture of yourself and use it to create your branding. 3. Using a mascot is another popular method. Some bloggers use animals or cartoon designed versions of themselves to create the brand. This method is very popular and has worked very well for the bloggers that currently use mascots. 4. Your brand has to be related. This means that you cannot use a picture of a cat as your brand image if your blog is about technology. The two things don’t go together. Make sure that if you use a particular image as part of your branding strategy that it is somewhat related to the topic of your blog.
Blogging On My Mind
5. Make your brand memorable. Its like when you see the logo for your favorite fast food chain, you immediately link it with its name. That’s how you need to design your brand. You need people to be able to recognize it just by looking at the logo or a picture of you. It will help you become more recognizable as time goes on.
Blogging On My Mind
Monetizing Your Blog Monetizing is a step in your blogging career that is very important for many new bloggers. It is probably one of the more exciting phases as you start to get advertisers onto your blog however before we get into the different advertising websites and methods out there, lets talk about a few monetizing tips. Monetizing Tips 1. Don’t monetize your blog too quickly. If you started a blog today, you shouldn’t expect to have ad spots and ad blocks by next week. It’s a gradual process and should only be started when the time is right and you have created a place for yourself in your niche. 2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You shouldn’t just rely solely on one method of advertising for your income. Spread it out between different advertising networks to help diversify your income source. 3. Experiment with different ads. When you delve into monetizing your blog, experiment with different types of ads and ad networks before you start picking out the ones that work for you best. Don’t knock something before you try it. See what works best with your blog and use that. You don’t have to keep ads on your blog that aren’t performing well. 4. Give It Time – Don’t expect results overnight. Be patient and let the ads sell themelves. You shouldn’t check your earnings every
Blogging On My Mind
couple hours. Your earnings will slowly pick up only if you let it. 5. Don’t Beg for Clicks – Its usually not a good idea to ask or request people to click on ads for you. Its most probably unauthorized by your ad network and plus its not really smart on your part. It shows that you’re desperate for money and that’s not a good thing. Monetizing Options Now that we’ve talked about the tips, lets look at the different types of ad networks you can look into. Adsense Google Adsense is usually the first monetization route that most bloggers go. It is probably one of the easiest in terms of implementation and payments are made after you reach a certain amount. There are a variety of options to pick for in terms of ads such as the size of the ads, the colors, text or image. All these options make it easy for anyone to implement Adsense. Another big plus about Adsense is that most readers are somewhat used to Adsense as long as you don’t over do it. Most bloggers have a 300x250 Ad block embedded in their posts and that is very common. When you add Adsense, it won’t be something that your readers will despise. Sign Up For Google Adsense
ReviewMe ReviewMe is probably the most popular paid-to-blog services. The concept of ReviewMe is that advertisers can pay you a certain amount of money to review them or to write a recommendation for their product or service. With ReviewMe, however, an advertiser that has come by your blog can decide to buy a review. This is different because usually you, the blogger, has to sort through a list of offers and decide which one you want to blog about. ReviewMe is very simple and pays by Paypal. Here are a few payments I’ve received from ReviewMe.
Sign Up For ReviewMe
SponsoredReviews SponsoredReviews is similar to ReviewMe however you get to bid on review offers. The way this works is that you see a list of offers from advertisers who would like you to review them. Once you pick an offer you can decide the amount that you will accept for the review. This gives the blogger more freedom in deciding what price is the best for them.
To avoid price gouging, the price of a review is valued on your blog so you cannot bid over that amount. Also, recently, SponsoredReviews allows advertisers to counteroffer and in my opinion, the counter offer has generally been much less than most would expect. It is still a great way to diversity your “paid-to-blog” income source.
Sign Up For SponsoredReviews Text Link Ads Text Link Ads is one other way to add to your income stream. As the name states, you sell text links on your website which are usually placed in your sidebar. Text Link Ads has been around for a long time but lately most bloggers are opting to do away with them and sell text links on their own which is basically cutting out the middleman. This step can be difficult for many new bloggers so Text Link Ads may be your only choice. I actually was able to sell one link through Text Link Ads when I had them and that too was for only 2 weeks. Here is proof of
payment from Text Link Ads when I did sell an ad. The payment came in portions but it came on time so either way, I didn’t mind. I do have to mention that it did take quite a few months before I sold an ad.
Sign Up For Text Link Ads
Kontera Kontera is a different type of advertising known as “in-text” advertising. The way this works is that when you hover over certain text, an ad box pops up and if your reader clicks on it, then you get paid. Here is what it looks like:
The reason that some blogs won’t use Kontera is because it can get frustrating for your readers. I have used Kontera for the past 6 months and it works fine although I still get questions about why I use it. It depends on whether you want to use it or not but I don’t seem to mind it at all. Sign Up For Kontera InfoLinks I was contacted by InfoLinks a few months ago as I was previously using Kontera and was offered a really good deal with them. I jumped onto the InfoLinks bandwagon and have been quite content. InfoLinks seems to pay higher than Kontera although it is not as popular since it is quite new. InfoLinks also has ads that look very similar to Kontera
InfoLinks may have ads that are slightly larger so its all up to you to decide which one to go for, InfoLinks or Kontera, or whether you want in-text advertising at all. Either way, if you’re going to
give it a shot, then both of them will be able to satisfy your need. Sign Up For InfoLinks Market Leverage Market Leverage is one of the hottest affiliate marketing networks out there. They have the best staff and their offers are very tempting. I was contacted by them a few months ago and ever since then, I have been committed to them. They really look after their publishers and make sure that they are satisfied. Affiliate Marketing is a little bit more involved when compared to some of the other methods but it can lead to a much bigger payout. It also requires an input of money however the returns are more than worth it. I know several individuals who are making several thousand dollars a month with affiliate marketing. Whenever you decide to give Affiliate Marketing a change, definitely consider Market Leverage. Sign Up For Market Leverage
Feedback This concludes my ebook and I want to know what you thought of it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to visit http://www.enkayblog.com/ebook and use the contact form to send me feedback about the book. If you need any help or have any questions about anything that I’ve mentioned in the book then I am gladly willing to help you with anything that you may need. Feel free to send me an email through the form on my ebook website or send an email to enkayblog (at) gmail [dot] com.
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