Super-Easy Tactic For Increasing Reader Anticipation

Obviously, this tactic will only work if you do indeed future-post stuff. If you’re a “shoot from the hip” blogger who has no idea what you’re going to post until you post it, this won’t work. That said, you might want to pre-plan your content. Makes it easier in many ways, but a side benefit is that you can toy around with this simple idea.

May 24, 2010

Obviously, this tactic will only work if you do indeed future-post stuff. If you’re a “shoot from the hip” blogger who has no idea what you’re going to post until you post it, this won’t work. That said, you might want to pre-plan your content. Makes it easier in many ways, but a side benefit is that you can toy around with this simple idea. Leer más “Super-Easy Tactic For Increasing Reader Anticipation”

The Big 5 Huge Sucking Sounds For Your Time

Yesterday was an interesting day for me. Interesting in that I was in my office almost the entire day and got very little work done. Interesting because it pissed me off, yet I was in such a mental fog that the best thing for me to do was just to get up and leave.

hourglass We’ve all had days like this. You start the day, full of piss and vinegar and ready to tackle your business, only to get mired down by your own disorganization. At the end of the day, you wonder what happened.

Well, I’ve thought about it. And I’ve identified the big 5. These 5 things are the huge sucking sounds for our time. Unfortunately, too, bloggers are particularly prone to these big 5.

Yesterday was an interesting day for me. Interesting in that I was in my office almost the entire day and got very little work done. Interesting because it pissed me off, yet I was in such a mental fog that the best thing for me to do was just to get up and leave.

hourglass We’ve all had days like this. You start the day, full of piss and vinegar and ready to tackle your business, only to get mired down by your own disorganization. At the end of the day, you wonder what happened.

Well, I’ve thought about it. And I’ve identified the big 5. These 5 things are the huge sucking sounds for our time. Unfortunately, too, bloggers are particularly prone to these big 5. Leer más “The Big 5 Huge Sucking Sounds For Your Time”

Is The Facebook LIKE Button Totally Worthless?

Most of the time, when I’m on another blog, I see nobody has used the LIKE button. When I asked people if they use it, the answer is a resounding “no”.

At the same time, it seems it slows down the load-time on some sites. For me, it doesn’t seem to do that because it is in an IFRAME.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

The LIKE button was one of the big announcements out of the Facebook F8 conference. A way to expand into the rest of the web. Bloggers go crazy!

So, like a good little blogger, I installed it. Sit back and wait for the results. And….

Crickets. Leer más “Is The Facebook LIKE Button Totally Worthless?”

How To Reorganize Your Blog Categories

Using the filter criteria in this plug-in, you can go through your existing posts and shuffle them into your new category structure as you see fit. It is pretty convenient, actually. For example, select a category you are going to delete to pull up all the posts in that category. Then, under “Actions”, you’ll choose the category you want to add things to. Below, check off the posts you want to move over and press the “Add Selected Posts” button. Then, to remove those same posts from the old category location, you select the old category and hit “Remove Selected Posts”.

Wordpress Template Hierarchy.
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re anything like me, your blog’s category structure was evolved over time and got to be a bit of a mess.

You write a new post and think, “Well, this doesn’t seem to fit anywhere, so I’ll just make a new category.” Next thing you know, you’ve got an unwieldy list of categories. Some are too general and are loaded with posts while others have barely anything to them.

The solution is to reorganize. But, how? Leer más “How To Reorganize Your Blog Categories”

Why You Should Position Yourself As An Expert To The Media

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20:  A Bob the Builder toy...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

This is a guest post by Shelly Cone.

I absentmindedly drummed my pen against my keyboard waiting for that elusive muse to grant me some much needed inspiration. I had just accepted an assignment for a large trade magazine about what’s new in construction and manufacturing machines. Big machines. The extent of my knowledge of machines is what I’ve seen on Bob the Builder cartoons.

I needed an expert to tell me what the latest new thing in equipment was, but who is an expert in that?

Every field has its experts. When you read, watch or hear a news story the reporter isn’t the expert, it’s the person being quoted. But even then that person isn’t always the expert. A lot of times that person is simply the person who was consistent at building a relationship with that reporter, who got on their radar.

Most likely there is someone who is more of an expert than the person being interviewed, but when you are a reporter with a deadline looking for an expert for your story, any schmoe with enough knowledge about the subject to speak authoritatively can be an expert. As long as they are available for interviews.

I’m not knocking reporters by the way. After all, I’ve been one for many, many years. But let’s face it, when you are on deadline, the best source is sometimes the first one that comes to mind. That someone should be you.

How This Applies To You

Don’t discount the importance of offline media relationships to increase your exposure both online and off.

Media loves to use experts, so establish yourself as one. In my situation, I knew I could contact some construction company or any manufacturer or even the president of a contractors board or union — all of these people would know about their industry but they couldn’t tell me a thing about trends, or maybe they could but I wouldn’t have any specific questions to ask. I’d be fishing for information. And worse, I wouldn’t know exactly what information I was seeking.

Essentially the conversation would go like this:

“Hi, President of the Contractor’s Board. I’m Shelly Cone and I’m a reporter covering trends in machinery for a magazine. So what are the latest trends?”
And he’d say, after rolling his eyes and sighing in frustration, “What kind of machinery?”
And I’d say, “Big construction-type of equipment.”
Then, he’d want to hang up. But since he is the President of the Contractor’s Board, he’d say, “Well, it depends on the machine. And what do you mean by trends? I only work with front loaders.”

So instead of having this long drawn out conversation I knew I needed someone that I could ask that question to and wouldn’t be wasting their time. Someone that could fill me in, allowing me to ask some specific questions of the frustrated Contractor’s Board President.

My expert was someone in the field but someone also up on the latest buzz. Turns out ergonomics was the latest trend in machinery, in all types of manufacturing and construction equipment. You know, things like push buttons instead of levels and comfy seats. It was a great angle and when I talked to the manufacturers and board president, I had some very specific questions to ask.

So How Do You Establish Yourself As An Expert? Leer más “Why You Should Position Yourself As An Expert To The Media”

Crazy Tip For Overcoming Writer’s Block

Even with all the time I spend helping bloggers, there is one problem that has always stumped me: writer’s block.

I have the ability to pump out posts pretty quickly and it obviously comes in handy for me. However, many others that I work with get completely stumped when it comes to actually writing for their blog.

What do I write about? Will people care? Is it any good?

writersblock Leer más “Crazy Tip For Overcoming Writer’s Block”

21 Time Management Tips For Bloggers

Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.

Underlying the constant search for tactics by bloggers out there, there is a huge perceived lack of time.

You’ve got a day job. A family. A life. How are you supposed to have enough time to create a successful blog?

Personally, I think our perceptions of time are completely arbitrary (more on that viewpoint on time here). A lot of our approach to time comes from within, so time management tips are usually ways to outsmart ourselves into getting more done despite our self-imposed limitations of how much we can get done.

So, prefaced with my strongly-held belief that it ultimately comes down to mindset, I’ve compiled a list of 21 tips to help you with your efficiency as bloggers.

  1. checklist Don’t check email first thing in the morning. Get some work done first since mornings are often when we function best.
  2. Switch to Google Voice. An invite is required, yes, but it allows you to screen your calls and have messages delivered to your email. Phone interruptions are the worst.
  3. Disown Your Phone. Set up a voice mail message which explains your schedule for checking messages, then disconnect the phone to avoid interruptions. Train others to work with you on this for enhanced efficiency.
  4. Limit Reading Time. As I covered before, you cannot consume and produce at the same time. So, limit the amount you ingest in order to be able to output more. Information overload is an extremely controllable problem.
  5. Use Evernote. It is a free and awesome way to take notes, tag them, categorize them, etc. Don’t keep ideas in your head. Free your mind and store the details in Evernote so you can get them when you need to. Get an idea while reading a blog post? Record it in Evernote – don’t keep it in your head.
  6. Use Remember The Milk for online task management. Get the premium option (only $25/year) and you can sync with your mobile phone. Very handy.
  7. Practice Inbox Zero. Your email inbox should be just that – an INbox. Not a big collective storage place for forgotten BS. Learn to handle, delegate or move emails and get them out of your inbox.
  8. Practice TRAF. This is trash, refer, act, file. These are the 4 choices you have when dealing with any incoming communication or action item.
  9. Assign Times To Tasks. When adding a task to your todo list, assign a time estimate to it on how long it will take. Then schedule it in accordingly. Leer más “21 Time Management Tips For Bloggers”

Why Bloggers Shouldn’t Read Other Blogs | David Risley dot com

Bear with me a bit. What I’m about to say might seem a bit counter-intuitive, however it will all come together in a moment.

I was talking with another blogger recently. He was finding that he was paying so much attention to conversations happening on other blogs that he wasn’t getting enough work done. He’d find himself unable to resist chiming in with a comment and that would inevitably lead to more comments. You get sucked in. :)

Google Reader (1000 ) Another blogger recently commented on Twitter how he was slowly working his way through Google Reader. He expressed triumph at the idea of getting below that dreaded “1000+” count for unread items.

With the first blogger (won’t mention names), I shared what many bloggers may find as sacrilegious. But, since this is a “confessions” blog, here it is:

Don’t Worry About Reading Other Blogs!

Now, before you jump down my throat, let’s put this in perspective. :)

Of course I read other blogs. I’d be an idiot not to. However, look at this fact…

You’re either producing or you’re consuming. And you can’t do both.

In other words, when you spend that time buried in Google Reader, that’s time that you’re not producing. You’re not writing posts. You’re not working on building your list. You’re not working on any product offer. You’re really not working on a frickin thing that has much use to you, are ya?

One argument might be that you’re furthering your education and getting ideas. Fine, however you probably wouldn’t spend a few hours per day reading magazines, would you? Why are other blogs that different?

Blogs are a form of media and the medium is CRAMMED with content. There are so many bloggers producing great content that you can’t possibly keep up. SO WHY BOTHER?!

I actually don’t spend nearly as much time as many other bloggers digesting other bloggers’ content. It isn’t that I don’t care. It is just a choice I make so that I don’t get so distracted with all the shiny stuff that I don’t get my own stuff done. I really don’t have the mental fortitude to keep track of all the great bloggers out there and still keep up with my own stuff.

I tend to check Google Reader maybe once every week or two. I scan headlines and I use the “Mark Read” button an awful lot. In other words, I go into “reading mode” and I’ll purposely set aside time to read other blogs. Honestly, I’ll probably try to increase this and do it a bit more often, but it is controlled. Google Reader should NOT be treated the same as your email!

When I find some downtime and I’ve got my Iphone handy, I’ll check out Google Reader. I sometimes make use of the Regator Iphone app to keep tabs on things, too.

Get It Under Control!

If you’re constantly sucking on the spicket of other people’s content, you’re going to always be short on time to do your own stuff. You can’t eat and talk at the same time, can you?

So, my suggestion is:

  1. Set up a schedule for digesting other people’s content. And learn to abide by that schedule.
  2. Lean on the side of digesting LESS. Information overload is a HUGE problem for bloggers and part of the reason why is because they’re constantly sucking on that spicket. It leads you in a thousand directions at once, and if you haven’t yet decided on our own direction, you’ll find that all those other viewpoints just confuse you and you never get started.
  3. Do not keep Google Reader (or any RSS reader) open all the time. It isn’t email. And now that I think about it, you shouldn’t keep your email open all the time either.

We can all only process so much information at a time. We have a certain throughput. You need to learn to manage that throughput.

Of course, if you’re just an information junkie, then by all means, knock yourself out. I’ll just continue to laugh at you as I go cash my checks. ;)

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7 Keys to an Extraordinary Blog

This is a guest post by Maren Kate, of

There are millions upon millions of websites and blogs in the world, so in the beginning it can seem like there is an overwhelming chasm between your blog and true success.

I struggled with the overwhelming nature of the blogosphere for awhile when I began blogging, feeling like my voice was lost in an echo chamber.

Key & keyhole with light Then I began spending lots of time reading and watching other’s success which led me to gather together these 7 keys that, time after time, seem to contribute to extraordinary blogs. All you need is motivation, passion and the gumption to pull it together.

So if those characteristics ring a cord with you then cut the stumbling around in the dark and get to the place where you love your blog and your blog loves you. Leer más “7 Keys to an Extraordinary Blog”

The Twitter Manual – Relaunched

ecover_3d_XS Some time ago, I wrote up a quick, down-and-dirty manual for Twitter. I wrote it as a response to the growing hoards of people who either write it off as a fad or sit there and stare at it with no idea what to do with it. :)

This report has been buried in the archives of this blog for some time. So, I decided to bring it out again and launch it with it’s own landing page.

You can grab a copy at

If you like it or just want to help me spread the word, I’d be honored if you’d retweet it for me.

Let me be clear – this report is for newbies. If you are a long-time reader of mine who is already pretty clued in on Twitter, you probably won’t learn much from it. On the other hand, if I pretty much described you in my opening paragraph, perhaps you should take a look. :)

It is completely free. It is not part of any launch or marketing strategy. I just wanted to get it out there. You’ll just need to get on my email list to grab it.

You can grab a copy at

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How your blog can make the world a better place

This is a guest post by Jason Ulsrud, at Forty2Fifty.

I have found myself asking this question a lot lately. Am I providing purpose to the world?
Your blog can effect humanity in one of three ways:

  • Make the world better
  • Not change the world at all
  • Make the world worse

How your blog can make the world a better place

good_world Simply put, provide solutions. Every single person who comes to your blog is there for a reason, even your most avid readers, mom and dad. If you can provide even one person with a solution to their problem, then you’re making the world a better place. However, providing solutions without making money is not good business for a Problogger.

Capitalizing on the solutions you are providing to readers with products and services that will support your purpose or add to your readers lives can take you from hobby blogger to Problogger.

Leer más “How your blog can make the world a better place”

Ten Years In The Military Taught Me [Blogging]

This is a guest post by TheInfoPreneur, at

I joined the military when I was 16 years old. I served all over the world in a variety of roles. I have served along side some of the bravest, funniest and toughest people (men and women) in the world. Those 10 years have given me 10 lifetimes of memories. Some bad, some good and some downright scary.

Every event I have been involved in has taught me a valuable lesson. Sometimes I didn’t realize that straight away, but it taught me the fundamentals of success in any walk of life. Leer más “Ten Years In The Military Taught Me [Blogging]”

Which Is More Secure – The 9-5 Job Or Self-Employment?

In my wife’s interview of me, and in her blog post about what it’s like it being an entrepreneur’s wife, she asked me about how I plan for my “golden years”. In other words, am I planning for my retirement? Do I worry about not having a pension plan or a 401(k)? Do I worry about not having a steady paycheck? In her blog post, she says:

So I guess part of me does feel somewhat insecure about having a blogger for a husband.  I do think about what it will be like when we get old and have no 401k or any other income to fall on, I think about the $2500 we have to shell out of our pocket before the health insurance kicks in if any of us gets sick.  I think about the economy and how it is going to affect our small business.

She also mentions my small ordeal in getting approved to buy my first house. This is true. In retrospect, I may have stressed about it more than I needed to, but I did have to jump through a few more hoops to get approved for that mortgage because I did not have traditional pay stubs. Plus, they saw my income (from my tax returns) go from a small amount (due to a college job) to a full-time income even though I was technically unemployed. It didn’t make any sense to them because I didn’t fit the normal template. Who knows, maybe they thought I was a drug dealer or something. :) Leer más “Which Is More Secure – The 9-5 Job Or Self-Employment?”

Can a Blog Be Useful For Marketing an Offline Business?

A lot of people are looking into the potential of blogging as a form of marketing for their offline business. In fact, it seems that the 2009 economic factors are leading even more people to look to blogging as a way to make some money – and not all of it online. So, would it work?

Pretty woman with open sign I am an evangelist for internet business. I love it. However, most business still takes place offline. It is just a fact. So, if you are looking to promote your business online, you may look to blogging as a potential medium.

The thing to remember about a blog is that it is, in essence, a platform for:

  1. Communication
  2. Community building

The importance of communication in marketing isn’t anything new. Offline businesses have done direct mailings for years, so the idea of providing routine, free information and using it as a promotional vehicle is likely not news to anybody. Leer más “Can a Blog Be Useful For Marketing an Offline Business?”