Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Two New Blogs By Yours Truly

December 24, 2007

One of them isn’t really “new” but it’s been recently modified. What have I modified on it? Almost everything: theme, purpose, content, post length… See for yourselves: http://a1-fan-fun.com.

The other blog is aimed at all content producers. By “content producers” I mean writers, bloggers, webmasters, forum owners, social media users, videomakers etc. Abaminds is intended to be a repository of ideas and inspiration.

If you like Karen Zara Dwells Here and miss its updates, now you’ll find plenty of posts to keep you busy for quite some time. ;)

Many thanks for your continuous support! It means a lot to me. :D

Merry Christmas!

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Two great resources for bloggers and a new blog carnival

November 11, 2007

Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Social MediaSteven Snell has recently organised a social media group writing project. This is the final list of submitted articles. Some deal with specific sites, others deal with general social media.

Great Articles That Should Be ReadDiana Bajenaru has compiled a huge list of articles about blogging, writing, photography, security and other relevant subjects.

Resource For Bloggers – Here comes Diana again, this time with a brand new blog carnival. Submissions to the first edition are still open, but you should hurry up if you want to have your blogging-related articles included.

A blog in need of two weekly columnists

November 5, 2007

David from eXtra For Every Publisher is currently looking to hire two weekly columnists. If you have strong experience in subjects such as blogging, SEO, social networking, WordPress etc., you may contact David with your rates and blog URL.

It’s a pity I don’t qualify for this job. While I’d certainly be able to write two weekly articles of 500+ words on those topics, I don’t think I have the level of expertise he’s looking for. Anyway, if you decide to apply, I wish you good luck! :-)

You’ve Left Comments, Now I’ll Link Back

November 4, 2007

It’s been ages since I last replied to any comments here. I know, I know, this is one of the worst things a blogger can do: letting their commentators think they’ve been ignored. That wasn’t the case though, as I get (and read) all comments via email. And to show you all that you are very important to me, and that your comments are always welcome and valued, I’ve decided to link back to you.

Now some will say that linking back to other blogs has always been this place’s main trait. That’s right, but one thing I usually don’t do here is that sort of “weekly links” or “speed linking” posts. While I like them as a reader, I prefer listing a small amount of links on each of my posts, with a few exceptions. Well, it’s never too late to try new things (i. e., to mimic your fellow bloggers’ traditional practices).

Here is my thank you to all whom I owed replies to (in no particular order):

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* Frank C

Watch Out For This Comment Spam – A new type of comment spam is explained in this article.

5 More Ideas on Value Blogging – He tells an interesting personal experience.

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* Monika

RSS Explained – Lifting the Mystery of RSS FEEDS – Excellent guide for beginners.

100 Articles in 1 Month – My Journey – Read it and realise that it’s not impossible.

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* Simonne

15 Almost Free Opportunities To Make Money Online – Great post. Pity it’s only helpful to people living in English-speaking countries.

How To Make An Affiliate Shop Using Data Feeds In WordPress – This post, on the other hand, would be useful for any WordPress users.

***

* Sean

How To Make Your First ClickBank Sale – Some might argue that this post contains unethical tips. Others might disagree.

7 Reasons Why The Best Marketers Are Bloggers – A good list, but the 4th reason is by far my favourite, because of its amusing tone.

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* Steven Snell

The Pros and Cons of Writing for Other Blogs – Steven’s posts on guest blogging are all must-reads.

Vandelay Website Design Services – Actually not a blog post, but a page where you can get information on website design services.

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* Matt Jones

4 Steps Towards Successful Online Entrepreneurial Decision Making – Some simple ideas to help you decide what’s better for you, instead of letting others tell you what to do.

Story Behind The Sale Of Blogging Fingers – Yes, Matt has sold his blog. And turned his own story into an interesting case study.

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* Maki

Four Reasons Why the Entertainment Niche Is Great For Making Money – This article is very different from the usual guides you’d find on most make-money-online blogs.

Google PageRank Doesn’t Matter. Can We Stop Talking About It Now? – Sorry, Maki, but we can’t. Not yet. But this post is excellent all the same.

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* Karthik

172 ways to save the Environment – As you can tell, this was his Blog Action Day post.

9 Plugins to kick-start your WordPress blog – Plugins that help you build readership.

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* Eklavya

Related post plugin of WordPress : How to install it by running a SQL query – An in-depth tutorial that may help even those not so savvy bloggers.

Some Blogging trends which are here to stay! – I don’t really believe in “trends that are here to stay” because life is just too dynamic. Still this is a very interesting read.

***

* Mohsin

A Crash Course On Writing Search Engine Optimized Posts – Easy-to-follow instructions.

How To Turn Your Personal Blog Into a Semi-Pro Blog – The last item on this article made me a bit confused, because despite the fact that this is a freely-hosted blog, Mohsin has left a couple comments here.

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* Michael

Top 3 FREE Website Monitoring Tools – Many bloggers have been telling their readers not to obssess over stats, but tracking a site’s traffic is still very important and these tools may be of great help.

Top 10 Signs That You Have Monetized Blogitis –  It’s a funny article, and also an important alert.

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* Terry Didcott

Writing Honest Paid Reviews and “The Gonster” – Guess who “The Gonster” is?

Blogging Links – This explains why linking out is good for you and for your blog.

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Nick Bakewell

Promotion is Perseverance – It is indeed.

Get Indexed In Google In One Day – When replying to a comment I’d left on another post, Nick confirmed that this technique does work.

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* Webdrops

I don’t know this person’s name, but I assume he/she belongs to the team behind TaskBin, which seems to be a good task management service.

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* Michael Martin

Why You Should Use A Sideblog – This is the type of idea that could generate even more ideas.

Paid Theme Directory is Fine By Me – I guess this will become a hot topic very soon. Michael analyses its highs and lows.

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* A note to Alex from blogindiversity.com: I know you’ve commented on a few posts of mine, and I truly appreciate it. But I couldn’t link to any of your articles because I simply can’t access your blog. The other day my sister tried to visit it using a proxy server, and she succeeded in it. So I guess you have some sort of IP blocking in place. :(

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Hopefully my “comment reply debt” is paid now. :-P

I suspect that many — if not all — of the bloggers listed above won’t even remember that last month they posted comments I never responded to, but nevermind.

This list will keep you all busy for a long time (I can tell you it’s kept me busy for hours). I hope I haven’t skipped anyone, but in case I have, please let me know.

Design tips as examples of well-written articles

October 19, 2007

Let me tell you one basic fact about me: when it comes to web design, I’m a complete moron. I certainly know the difference between a horrible design and an acceptable one. But I wouldn’t be able to develop the latter myself. I’m afraid I wouldn’t even manage to do the former one. So, I was delighted to find an amazing design tip series on The Go MediaZine. It’s called “Seven Easy Principles to Becoming a Master Designer,” and so far there are 3 articles available (1st, 2nd and 3rd).

All of the posts are exceptionally well-written. If an amateur like me could fully understand those lessons, anyone can. Therefore, they are must-reads for all bloggers who want to learn how to write good content that is:

a) useful;

b) easy to understand;

c) appealing even to readers that don’t necessarily fit one’s target-audience.

You’ll also see:

1. how images can be wisely used in a post;

2. how to write proper examples when you want to explain a concept to your readers.

View it as a double task: go learn (or remember) some design basics and get inspiration from some truly good articles.

12 Reasons Why Bloggers Need to Become Better Writers

October 13, 2007

This article is part of Courtney Tuttle‘s Internet Marketers United Group Writing Project

Why do bloggers need to become better writers? Because blogging is about communication. We use words to communicate with our readers. So, why don’t you use words as powerful tools? What if you let them become your enemies? You don’t want that to happen to you, write? Oops! I mean, right? ;-)

You need to become a better writer if you want to do any of the following:

(more…)

Two blogging opportunities you shouldn’t miss

October 8, 2007

Now that the how-to-miss-a-great-opportunity thing has come to a happy end, it’s time to let you all know about two group writing projects that *you* shouldn’t miss.

1. Tutorial – Group Writing Project – by Monika, from TheWritersManifestoBlog. Any topic goes, as long as your post is written in a tutorial form. There are going to be 3 prizes.

2. Internet Marketers United Group Writing Project – by Court, from Courtney Tuttle. Hurry up, there’s not much time left. Several spots are still available, and you can write about related topics not mentioned in Court’s list.

If you take part in one of those — or both –, please leave me a comment, and I’ll gladly read and comment on your entries.

How to miss a great opportunity

October 6, 2007

If you want to miss the opportunity to take part in a great group writing project, express your ideas and get some exposure for your blog, follow these easy steps:

1. Stop reading the feeds you’re subscribed to for some days (3 or 4 days will do).

2. Spend that time working relentlessly on your personal projects, connecting with other bloggers and finding new blogs to read and subscribe to (although you won’t be checking your feed reader out for some days, as said above).

3. When you finally take a break from your projects and try to catch up with your favourite blogs’ news, make sure you’re exhausted due to work overload. That will prevent you from taking immediate action if you find out that a new group writing project will be going on for a very limited time.

4. After taking some (more than needed) rest, realise that both of the computers you might use to write an article for that group writing project are being used by other people. Wait until one of them is free again. In the meanwhile, outline the article you plan to submit, think about all the nice details and pieces of info you could add to it and keep on waiting.

5. When one of those computers is finally free for your use, visit the blog that hosts the writing project. You’ll most likely find out that the final list of articles and comments has already been published. In other words: you’ve just missed a great opportunity. It wasn’t really your fault, if we take into consideration the aforementioned circumstances. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’re out.

Why am I writing all this? Because it was only yesterday that I found out about DoshDosh’s Group Survey on the Best Way to Make Money Online. I haven’t checked Google Reader out for a few days, nor had I visited DoshDosh during that short period, therefore I wasn’t aware of that event.

At the time I read Maki’s post I felt much more like a zombie than like a human being, owing to exhaustion (this has been a tough week for me, as I’ve worked really hard on various online projects of mine, not to mention my day job). That definitely wasn’t a good time to post a decent comment nor to write a relevant article. So I just went to bed and slept as much as I could.

A few hours ago I woke up, thinking about the article I wanted to submit and hoping that then final list hadn’t been published yet. When I was finally able to put my hands on a computer, I visited DoshDosh again, and this is what I saw there: 63 Constructive Opinions on the Best Way to Make Money Online. *sighs* Yeah… better luck to me next time (and hopefully a fairer deadline). :-P

By the way, you should really read that post. It contains a plethora of good advice. Among the contributors there are some great guys and girls, like Steven Snell from Vandelay Design , Sean from Warrior Blog, Simonne from All Tips and Tricks, Sucker from Internet Marketing Sucks! and Monika from The Writer’s Manifesto and Blogging Web 2.0.

UPDATE (07/10/2007, 16:48, -3 GMT) –> I’ve made it into the list, thus the modification in the anchor text above. What can I say? I’m happy, grateful and… *insert more positive feelings here* :-)

Additional note: I’ve been meeting some cool bloggers thanks to that group survey. One of them is Matt from Blogging Fingers. As for the previously mentioned bloggers, you are all welcome. I wouldn’t have highlighted any you if you didn’t deserve it. ;-)

Two great articles from Pro Blog Design

September 30, 2007

I’ve just subscribed to Pro Blog Design’s RSS feed, and now that I’ve read the ten most recent articles, I’d like to highlight two of them:

When Ajax can Help Your Blog – I’ve been looking for this type of advice for a long time. I’d previously experimented with some of the resources mentioned in the post; it appears that I’ve been doing the right thing.

Is Ad Blocking Immoral? Does It Matter? – For me morals will always be above convenience. Note that I’m a dial-up user and therefore hate slow-loading pages, so I could personally benefit from ad blocking. Yet this is a big no-no for me.

Increasing comments and links on this blog

September 25, 2007

A recent article on Vandelay Website Design Blog ended in the following question:

What factors have you found to increase comments and links on your own blog?

So I thought I might write a whole article as an answer.

The (much embarrassing) problem is that I rarely get any comments and/or backlinks. Not that I’m entitled to complaint. After all, this is a mix of personal bookmark and public link list, therefore there’s nothing here that my readers couldn’t find by other means. This isn’t a “breaking news” site, it’s only a humble “see-what-I-enjoy-reading” blog. And I don’t promote it very well. What’s worse, I haven’t been networking with fellow bloggers as often as I should.

Still, that’s the key point: networking is my way to go when I want some exposure. Basically, I try to leave relevant comments on other blogs, and it seems that from time to time their owners not only like my comments but also are kind enough as to pay this place a visit. They don’t usually post comments here though (with a few honourable exceptions), probably because they don’t feel there’s much to be commented on this blog.

On the other hand, when bloggers get trackbacks from me (and it happens all the time due to this blog’s nature), they are much more likely to stop by and express themselves over here. I assume it’s a nice way to thank me for the free links. And for this I thank them all too. :)

So far I’ve only talked about getting comments, but the question also dealt with links. How do I get them? Well, here backlinks are even rarer than comments. The very few ones I’ve gotten so far have come from bloggers that, for one reason or another,  decided to link to my posts instead of linking directly to the websites I recommended on each of them.

The honourable exception came exactly from Vandelay Design. Apparently the blog’s active commenters are rewarded by having one of their articles linked on a post, and I have been included in their lastest Weekly Links list. :))) Pity I have no merits at all to get my articles featured anywhere… Anyway, I’ll never forget that moment: being recommended is great! And if you ask me, being (very) nice to your readers is an obvious yet often overlooked way to have them coming back and even promoting your sites for free.