help4newbies

A Simple Blog from a 'newbie' who is trying to learn all this Social Media stuff and wants other 'newbies' to share the learning!

You Tube For Bloggers – Get On There!

A great post by Angie Nelson at www.http://theworkathomewife.com/youtube-for-bloggers/

youtube for bloggers

For the past two years I have read that “this is the year for video.” Usually, the year comes and goes and another “THIS is the year” message!

If you are making money online through affiliate marketing or third-party ads, you may have noticed some cool changes going on depending on your advertisers. The past few months, one of my affiliate programs has been making YouTube videos of t

heir products in action available with our affiliate links embedded in the video. When affiliates embed these on our sites and a reader clicks through the video, we get a commission. AdSense also announced recently that video ads were now available. These things are important because if the people spending money to make money are investing in this type of marketing, it means it converts. If it converts for them, it can convert for you as a blogger or business owner.e soon follows. As 2013 started, I watched this cycle repeat. But, I think this year they may be right.

Why Should I Use YouTube as a Blogger?

YouTube is a Google property and it ranks well. If you can’t get to Page 1 with text content for a keyword, you may get there with a YouTube video.

“Short and Sweet” is the name of the game. Videos under 3 minutes seem to do the best, but this can be a blessing and a curse…for me. I ramble and it can be difficult to make some tutorials this short. You can create a series of videos however and that means more pageviews.

Want to go viral? Make your videos embeddable so that more camera-shy bloggers can share your videos. It’s kind of like guest blogging but it requires far less work on your part. No soliciting guest spots. No making the time to promote their website or answer comments. You put up the video and others are free to grab and share it as they please.

You have options! One of my biggest fears in the beginning (and still is) is getting my face on that screen. Something about that moment being frozen in time for eternity on the internet for someone to watch 20 years from now creeps me out. But, you can also upload photos to make slideshows or you can screen capture tutorials. You don’t always have to be a “talking head.”

It’s a Google property, therefore it easily integrates with other Google offerings. If you are a Google+ user, you have likely noticed a YouTube tab on your profile. If you link up your YT account, new uploads will be automatically shared on your profile.

Perhaps the primary reason I became interested in YouTube again, passive income. You can monetize your videos with AdSense and Google hosted ads.

 

Keys to YouTube Success

Search Engine Optimization is essential if you want your videos found and shared by those outside of your community. YouTube does have a keyword toolavailable though I have found it rather worthless. Since these videos show up in Google SERPs, stick with a more useful tool like Jaaxy (which, by the way, will tell you if YT videos are ranking highly for a specific keyword) and scope out your competition. Remember to use Tags!

Convert that traffic into regular subscribers. I have not started using Annotations yet, but rumor has it that subtlety is key here. What this does is add a little Call to Action at the end of your videos that can link internally (subscribe to your channel) or externally (link to your blog). Like I said, I have not experimented with this feature yet. Currently I have just been leaving a link to my blog or a related post at the beginning of the description. Let me know in the comments if you use Annotations and your experience.

 

Tools of the Trade

If you intend to conquer video with an iron fist, you will probably want to invest in editing software like Camtasia. As a beginner, I use the free option from Screencast-o-matic for my screen capturing and uploading. They offer a Pro version with more features for only $15/year. If you will be making your onscreen debut, you will obviously need either a webcam or good quality camera.

As you are not hosting your videos on your own site with YouTube, you will want to store a copy for yourself in case something happens. And things do happen on occasion. Get yourself a free Dropbox account for storage and you are good to go!

Are you using YouTube to promote your blog? What tips can you add?

 

Five Reasons Why You Should Spend More Time Reading Other Blogs Than Writing

A great post by Harshit Singhal at www.blggingtips.com

When I started out as a newbie blogger, I believed my writing skills would help me succeed in blogging and my blog would become popular in no time! As time passed on and I came across some truly outstanding b

logs on the internet, I began to realize that my self proclaimed writing talent was perhaps not as good as I had presumed it to be!

This urged me to start reading those blogs and now that I have become addicted to the RSS updates of several awesome blogs, I can v


1. Gain New Perspectives
ouch for the fact that reading them has helped me immensely in several aspects related to blogging. So let me share my experience with you and give you the top 5 reasons why you should spending a good amount of time reading other blogs:

One of the main reasons I tend to read a number of blogs related to my niche daily is that it gives me insights into the thought process and perspective of a variety of people, which in turn enhances my own knowledge and gives me some food for thought.

While it’s not necessary that every new post on other blogs will be useful, and in fact you will come across a lot of recycled content in the process, even if you manage to digest one quality post, you might be able to get some new information that you were previously unaware of.

2. Become Aware of Trending Topics

We as bloggers sometimes experience periods when we just don’t know what to write about on our blogs. This especially happens when you reach a stage as a blogger when you’ve written about most of the topics that are related to your niche, and very little remains to write, if at all.

It is at such times when reading other blogs comes to your rescue. Not only would you be able to come across trending topics that are currently running hot, you might be able to put in your view-point and publish a post related to that on your blog, thereby cashing in on some of the traffic too!

3. Come Across New Opportunities

If you are a blogger or run any other online business, you would be well aware that there is a plethora of opportunities to be had online. Though we tend to think that we know most methods of revenue generation, there is always a new opportunity that crops up from time to time.

If you go into a shell and just keep publishing regurgitated content on your blog, you stand a great chance of losing out on all the evolving things in your industry. Conversely when you go out and read other blogs in your niche, you might find something that interests you, and there you go – you just got to know about another income generating method!

4. Enhance Your Writing Skills

The more you read, the more you will be able to enhance & hone your writing skills as you will come across a variety of new words that will remain in your subconscious mind. Not only that, since the writing style differs from person to person, you will find new ways of presenting your ideas and your overall writing skills will improve with time.

Reading also exposes you to many phrases that you can use while writing on your blog, thereby making your writing effective and creating a lasting impression on your readers.

5. Get Ideas For Your Blog Posts

Last but not the least, as you might be aware, creating quality content on a regular basis is not as easy as it sounds, which is probably the reason why most bloggers struggle to come up with creative ideas for their blog posts.

However if you are in the habit of reading quality blogs related to your niche, you will never run short of ideas and your creative juices will start flowing all over again.

While I hope that the above mentioned points encourage you to start reading other blogs, I certainly don’t intend to give you a reason to procrastinate on writing posts for your own blog, so make sure to maintain the right balance between the two.

This guest post was written by freelance writer, passionate blogger and gadget lover, Harshit Singhal loves writing on a variety of niches and mainly blogs at Exceptional Blogger
Read more at http://www.bloggingtips.com/2012/12/04/5-reasons-why-you-should-spend-more-time-reading-other-blogs-than-writing/#B35Lqp4bfUK6LlMO.99

How To Grow Your Blog’s Audience

how to market your blog

Starting up a blog can be a fun and exciting venture, whether it is for personal or business blogging. But how do you grow your audience when you first start your brand new blog?

Having a blog that sits there with five followers who happen to be the family members you bribed/forced to follow your blog can be quite disheartening to a new blogger.  Also comparing your blog to other similar blogs that seem to grow overnight is a no-no. Your blog is unique and so are you so stop comparing and start working on growing that audience via social media and other means.

The best way to start this is to determine your target audience. What age group, gender, nationality, interest groups would be drawn to your blog and your content? Some blogs market to specific niche groups but this can be difficult when you first start out. Start a little broader to begin with and you can always narrow it down later on.

The first thing to do is to promote your blog everywhere! Get some business cards give them to anyone and everyone. Join Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites to start to garner readership through these sites.  I actually have more readers on my Facebook page than on my Google Friend Connect!

Find forums and other blogs or websites that are similar to yours and reach out to these people. Leave comments on like-minded blogs, see if other bloggers will let you guest post on their blog and leave your links on forum and website posts.

blogging tips

I have personally found that blog give-aways are a great way to draw in new readers and followers to your blog. You can make it a condition of entry into the give-away that the person follows your blog. Give-aways promoted on Twitter and give-away sites can bring in bigger numbers but you need to find give-away sites suitable for your blog’s market. The downfall of this is that some people only follow your blog to enter the give-away and then drop off the radar as soon as the give-away is drawn. This is the sad reality of the online world but something you must accept as a blogger.

Next is content. Make sure your content is well written with appropriate images. Keeping a schedule is important for blogging and blogging regularly will also help grow your blog as readers can see you are committed and not just writing when you feel like it.

Lastly make sure you have options for people to follow your blog. Be it Google Friend Connect, RSS, email and any other methods make sure these are visible to your readers!

Growing an audience for your blog doesn’t happen overnight and requires consistency and commitment. By following the advice above you should be able to reach your target audience in no time.

Image one courtesy of: http://www.britannica.com
Image two courtesy of: http://marketing-expert.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/guest-blogging-challenges-
and-how-to.html#.UOuKU2-kqIg
Read more at http://www.bloggingtips.com/2013/01/09/how-to-grow-your-blogs-audience/#T61l5BD0dhfWPoBJ.99

How to Audit your Website for Improved SEO

 

A great post by Rebecca Churt @ www.blog.hubspot.com

stethoscope on laptop

When was the last time you gave your website a checkup? Website audits are extremely valuable and absolutely necessary before beginning any large-scale SEO or website redesign projects. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it’s optimized to achieve your goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.

So if you’ve never audited your website before, it’s been a while since you have, or if you’re planning a website redesign in the near future, use this post as your go-to website audit checklist to make sure your website is primed for maximum SEO and conversion results. Keep in mind that in most cases, you’ll probably want to pair up with someone with a technical brain for this, whether that be someone in your in-house IT department or an outsourced party.

The Benefits of a Website Audit

Before we dive into the things you should be keeping an eye out for as you’re auditing your website, let’s review some of the benefits of doing one. Here are some of the top benefits from a marketing perspective:

  • Improving Website Performance: Website audits usually evaluate a site not only for its content but also for its technical performance. As a result, an audit will give you a chance to inspect the robustness of your website’s technical framework and infrastructure, assess how friendly your website is to search engines, and determine how easy it is for users to navigate and intuitively find content on your website.
  • Enhancing SEO: By conducting a website audit, you’ll be able to identify any missed SEO opportunities and remedy any misguided or poorly executed SEO pitfalls (e.g. keyword stuffing, exact match anchor text links, etc.) throughout the content of your website. It will also allow you to re-focus your SEO efforts on users first, and search engines second. This will safeguard you from constantly chasing changes to search ranking algorithms, meaning you won’t be applying misguided practices just to show up in the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Improving Conversion: Finally, website audits enable you re-evaluate the effectiveness of your website in terms of lead generation and conversion. As a result, you’ll be able to spot any previously overlooked opportunities to convert visitors into leads so you can add relevant CTAs, and you’ll be able to identify deficiencies in your landing pages so you can optimize them to boost conversions.

As you can see, assessing both the content and technical aspects of your website will open up opportunities to drastically improve the traffic and conversions your website generates. Now let’s talk about what you should specifically be checking for in this two part website audit.

1) The Content Assessment 

In the first part of your website audit, you should be focusing on the content housed on your website, from landing pages, to blog posts, to any other web pages on your site. Make a list of the pages on your website, and ask yourself the following questions to evaluate them for content optimization opportunities.

Is your website content high quality?

As you evaluate your content for quality, think about it from your target audience’s perspective. Did this information leave me satisfied? Did it answer all of my questions? Does it give me all the resources relevant to this topic? Do I know what to do next?

Keep in mind that quality content should appeal to the interests, needs, and problems of your buyer personas; be interesting and well-written, provide valuable, thorough and detailed information about a particular topic; and leave the reader with next steps (such as calls-to-action, links to resources, etc.). If you’re still not sure if your content is high quality, evaluate it with this checklist: “How to Tell if Your Marketing Content Is Actually Valuable.”

Is your website content search engine optimized?

Make sure all your web pages are following on-page SEO best practices. To audit your content for on-page SEO, conduct a keyword analysis in which you do the following:

  • Consult your analytics to review keyword performance. Which keywords are giving you the biggest gains in traffic and leads?
  • Assess how well you’re factoring keyword performance into your content strategy. How much relevant content are you adding to your website to target those keywords?
  • Review basic on-page SEO elements like URLs, page titles, meta description, and copy. Make sure keywords are included where relevant.

To help you conduct an on-page SEO audit of your content, read the “Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless On-Page SEO,” which also includes a free downloadable on-page SEO template to keep you on track.

Is your website optimized for maximum usability?

The more visitors you can attract to your website, the more opportunities you’ll have to generate leads, and ultimately, customers. But only if your website does its job well. As I’m sure you can imagine, just having a website does not guarantee results. As part of determining the overall efficiency of your website, your audit should check to make sure your site is designed with your visitors in mind. The design and overall navigability of your website should correspond with what a person would come to the site to seek out, such as more information on a business-related topic, resources, product/pricing information, testimonials, etc. This will largely depend on your individual business. The main goal here is to make it easy for people to get to the information they’re looking for. As a result, you’ll likely see conversion rates improve on their own.

To audit your website for usability, consider the following:

  • Are all the main value propositions of our business easily accessible via our main navigations/menu items?
  • Do we have a simple yet intuitive website design and page layout? Make sure pages aren’t too cluttered; littered with ads, CTAs, or links; or void of internal links altogether.
  • Are your conversion paths and/or shopping cart or checkout processes intuitive? Are there a ton of distractions along the way that could be creating friction for your site visitors?

You might also consider doing some user testing with members of your target audience to ensure that you’re effectively surfacing the content they’re looking for, and that they find it easy to navigate to the parts of your website they’re interested in.

Is your website content optimized for lead generation and conversions?

While high-quality, search engine optimized content is a great way to boost your traffic numbers, it’s what happens once those visitors are on your website that really counts. Unless of course, you don’t care about conversions (ha!). This is where optimized calls-to-action (CTAs), marketing offers, and landing pages play a major role in the performance of your website. Not only do they offer you opportunities to capture visitors’ information so you can follow up with leads, but they also keep your visitors engaged with your content and your brand.

To audit your website content for maximum conversion potential, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many marketing offers do I have in my content arsenal to gate behind landing pages?
  • Do I have a variety of marketing offers that appeal to all my different buyer personas?
  • Do I have any landing pages/conversion forms on my website to begin with?
  • How optimized are those landing pages?
  • Do I have conversion opportunities for visitors in varying stages of the funnel?
  • Am I using calls-to-action effectively? Am I missing opportunities to include calls-to-action on various pages of my website?

To learn more about CTA selection, check out our post, “How to Select the Right CTA for Every Page on Your Website.”

2) The Technical Assessment

The technical assessment of your website audit is the part where you may actually want to loop in a developer or someone from your IT department. You could also hire an outside agency — just be sure to do your homework first. Keep in mind that there may be some overlap between the two different assessment — content and technical. The goals, however, are the same: improved technicality will result in an improved user experience.

Here’s what you should be looking for in your technical audit …

Is your website design responsive?

Does your website have a responsive design? Meaning, is it a mobile-friendly website? The usage of smartphones to access the internet is only growing. In fact, according to Microsoft Tagmobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. As a result, websites must be compatible with that growing demand. For more on mobile compatibility, check out our “Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering Mobile Marketing.”

Is your website error message free?

Are response code errors popping up all over your website where there shouldn’t be any? Calling out 302-, 404-, and 500-level response codes can be useful to tell users that — Oops! Something’s wrong! — however, having this happen is also an indication that someone isn’t cleaning up broken links and as a result, leading users to dead ends. Find those error messages and clean up your broken links. Tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools or Xenu’s Link Sleuth can be very helpful for this.

Are your website URLs optimized?

Does your site have URLs of excessive length due to keyword stuffing? Do they contain session IDs and/or include tons of dynamic parameters? In some cases, these URLs are difficult for search engines to index and result in lower clickthrough rates from search results. Learn more about SEO-friendly URL syntax practices in this helpful postfrom Search Engine Land.

Does your website have too much Flash or JavaScript?

Identify areas of your navigation that are entirely Flash or JavaScript. Search engines have challenges reading and accessing these, which could prevent your site from getting indexed. Furthermore, these elements present problems from a usability perspective. Visitors are often looking for a very specific piece of information when visiting your site; if they have to sit through a 10-second visual introduction before they can find your hours of operation, you’re going to have a pretty frustrated visitor on your hands.

Is your site structure optimized for search engines?

We already talked about site structure as it relates to accessing content and usability for users, but it’s also important to make sure your site structure is optimal for search engines. If pages on your site are not internally linked to from other pages on your site, those pages are less likely to be indexed. Learn more about effective site structure for SEO in this Search Engine Land article.

How is your website’s overall performance?

Are there excessive page sizes and/or long page load and server response times? Does your site go down frequently? Site speed can be impacted when image files are too large or HTML and CSS needs to be cleaned up, all of which can drastically improve your site speed. Ultimately, fast-loading and optimized pages will lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions.

Are you defining how your web pages are crawled and indexed by search engines?

This can be done through various methods that can include everything from robots file and tags, to sitemaps. These measures are a way for you to guide search engines toward your website’s most useful content.

Robots Files or Tags:

The robots meta tag lets you utilize a granular, page-specific approach to controlling how an individual page should be indexed and served to users in search results. These tags should sit in the <head> section of a given page.

The robots.txt file, on the other hand, is a text file that allows you to specify how you would like your site to be crawled. Before crawling a website, search engine crawlers will generally request the robots.txt file from a server. Within the robots.txt file, you can include sections for specific (or all) crawlers with instructions (“directives”) that let them know which parts should or should not be crawled.

Public and XML Sitemaps:

Your website should also have public and XML Sitemap files. The public sitemap is one that users can access to review the pages of your site, like the index of a book.

The XML Sitemap is for search engines to review pages that get added to your site, all in one place. The usual location of a sitemap.xml file is www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml. The XML Sitemap is something every website should have; it offers an opportunity to tell Google and the other search engines what pages on your site you want to be crawled and indexed. While  search engines don’t guarantee they will abide by your sitemap, anecdotal evidence has proven time and time again that XML Sitemaps help provide insurance that your pages are found, and found faster, especially if your sitemap(s) dynamically update your new web pages.

Are you defining canonicalization of content?

The canonicalization of your website content is the final major technical consideration to make. To gain more control over how your URLs appear in search results, and to minimize issues related to duplicate content, it’s recommended that you pick a canonical (preferred) URL as the preferred version of the page. You can indicate your preference to Google in a number of ways. One such way is to set the Canonical Tag (rel=”canonical”) in an HTTP header of a page. Be sure to have someone check that the Canonical Tag is properly implemented across the site by making sure it points to the correct page, and that every page doesn’t point to the homepage.

It’s important to establish an audit framework early on. Ask yourself questions ideally centered around gauging “How am I doing?” These questions may also include things like, “How does this compare to others, especially my competitors?”

Website audits aren’t easy, especially if you’re not totally tech-savvy. For additional resources, check out this article by Distilled, which highlights a list of tools to use as you conduct your technical audit, as well as this complete site audit checklist by SEER. I also recommend passing the Google Webmaster’s Guide along to anyone implementing this kind of work.

When was the last time you gave your website a checkup?

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34088/How-to-Audit-Your-Website-for-Improved-SEO-and-Conversions.aspx#ixzz2JdK5QlBw

6 Tips For Creating Content That Spreads naturally

We’ve all been there — you hit publish on a blog post and expect the social shares, page views, and agreeable comments to start rolling in. But sometimes you get pure silence — crickets, even — in response.

Using social media and content to market your business isn’t a new concept, so just doing the bare minimum won’t cut it. I mean, think about how often content is shared across the web — there are one billion Facebook users, and according to Twitter itself, there are about one billion tweets sent every two and a half days. That means there’s a lot of content … and also, a ton of noise.

So it takes more effort than simply publishing content and doing your typical marketing to reach your audience and generate leads. There needs to be some stuff built into your content itself that helps it stand out from the crowd and get found. To help set you up for success from the get-go, here are six ways to cut through all that noise and make sure your content comes out on top every time … no additional marketing effort required.

If you’re interested in learning more about these concepts, join the author for a webinar with HubSpot, How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012, December 10th at 2PM EST.

6 Ways to Create Content That Markets Itself

1) Don’t try something new.

Wait. What?

Seriously. There’s no reason why you’d need to start from scratch with a completely new approach every time you blog. You already have content that’s getting discovered on its own over and over again. Learn from those trends so you can work smart, not hard.

Go into your analytics and take a look at the posts that are generating the most views, shares, and leads, and figure out how you can replicate that success. Here at Shareaholic, for instance, we use our Top Content report to identify our blog’s sweet spots; HubSpot does something similar with their Blog Analytics. From there, we create a blog editorial calendar with topics that will help us replicate past successes — whether it’s due to that post’s format, subject matter, title, author, or something else entirely.

2) Surprise people.

… Or make them happy, sad, afraid, angry, even disgusted! A recent study of 7,500 New York Times articles completed by the Wharton Business School tried to identify factors that made content viral. Guess what they discovered? A strong relationship between virality and emotion. The study’s most-shared content garnered a strong connection in the reader, igniting one of six key emotions: surprise, fear, joy, sadness, anger, or disgust.

While I’m sure disgust or anger aren’t really the kinds of reactions you want associated with your brand, that’s not exactly the point here. The lesson is that content will be able to market itself if it provokes a strong emotional reaction in the reader. After they consume your content, they just have to share it with others so they have the opportuntity to feel that same emotion — or if that emotion is evoked in the title, they just have to click it!

Consider what content you’ve read or created that provoked an action, and use this idea to create some seriously emotion-provoking content.

3) Nail your headline.

Shareaholic studied 200,000 publisher websites in October, 2012 and learned that 27.27% of those websites’ traffic came from social media referrals. That means when content is shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms, there is a huge opportunity for it to get discovered by others, as well.

So how can you increase the likelihood someone will click a link to your content when a shared link flows down a person’s social stream? Well, what makes you click on a particular link you see shared on social media? Chances are, it’s a great headline that catches your attention and earns your click. That means no matter what the subject, a great headline will help that piece of content spread further.

So … what makes a great headline? It’s similar to writing a great subject line for email marketing. Think about the four “U’s” that Copyblogger teaches us about great subject lines and headlines:

  • Useful: Why is the blog post valuable?
  • Ultra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?
  • Unique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique?
  • Urgent: Why should I read this NOW?

Be sure to incorporate all four of these qualities in every headline that you write, and people will be more prone to continue sharing your content across social media.

4) Don’t tell me; show me.

Our latest content data shows that in October 2012, Pinterest was the fourth leading source of traffic to publisher websites, even exceeding Yahoo! organic traffic and Google referrals. Not to be outpaced, Facebook sent 5.50% of traffic to publisher sites, which was more than double Pinterest’s 2.38%. Plus, recent data from HubSpotshows that photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post.

What’s the marketing takeaway? Today’s social media platforms reward visual content. It should be a major piece of your content strategy.

The best Shareaholic publishers pay close attention to visuals in their content, especially the little details like branding their visuals. For example, PBfingers, a fitness blogger, does this with her posts, always including her blog’s brand name somewhere on the visual. This way when visuals are pinned on Pinterest or shared on Facebook, her awareness continues to grow.

There’s other was you can incorporate visuals into your marketing to increase shares and engagement. For example, having attractive featured images on your content polishes the overall look of your shares to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, increasing conversions by offering a more descriptive and therefore appealing presentation of the content.

 

IMG5

 

So who can master this? Don’t worry, it’s okay if you’re not a design junky. It turns out you don’t need Photoshop or ninja design skills to create great visuals for your content. There are plenty of free visual tools that are simple to use to create great visuals for your content – check out this blog post for 13 of them!

5) Enable your blog to market your content.

More social media referral traffic coming to your site means an increasing number of new visitors arriving via that content for the very first time. However, that also means these new visitors don’t know much about you yet, and you need to capture their interest and gain their respect before they are ready to become evangelists of your content, too.

Consider how you can use your blog’s real estate to improve the presentation of your content and offer further content recommendations that will earn new visitors’ attention. A personalized content recommendations tool like Shareaholic Recommendations will suggest additional articles at the bottom of every post, contextually tailoring the recommendations to increase page views, time on site, and engagement. There are a handful of different recommendation widgets you can grab for your blog, but here’s an example of what the Shareaholic Recommendations looks like on one of our publisher sites, Civilized Caveman Cooking:

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In addition to recommendation widgets, there are, of course, the social follow and sharing modules that every single blog should have. It’s critical that you make it easy for readers to share your content on social media, and get access to more of your great content from following you on social media. I mean, have you every tried to tweet an article that didn’t have a tweet button? It’s a total pain. Who wants to 1) copy a URL, 2) open another tab, 3) go to a link shortener, 4) paste that link in, 5) click the shorten button, 6) copy that link, 7) go to their Twitter account, 8) paste that link in there, 9) look up the Twitter handle of the publisher, 10) and then add custom copy for the tweet.

I’m exhausted just typing it out. Make life easier on your readers, and they’ll do a lot of the marketing of your content for you.

Finally, make sure you’re making blog subscription easy. Your blog should have a subscribe module so people can receive email alerts when you publish new content — or, if they prefer, set themselves up with an RSS subscription. What better way to drive email traffic to your content without lifting a finger (except for the finger you use to press ‘Publish,’ of course) than growing a giant base of blog subscribers?

6) Don’t forget about SEO.

Every time you publish a blog post, you’re creating a new page on your site that’s being indexed in the SERPs. I mean, at that point, Google is marketing your content for you. For free. Forever. (Well, at least until the end of search engines.)

The act of blogging alone is inherently helping you market your content — but if you pay attention to SEO, you can make self-marketing content even stronger that it already is. That means you should be including keyword research in your content strategy and optimizing your blog content to be found more in the SERPs. And you know what? It totally works, too — the blog content that speaks to people’s needs (particularly needs that express themselves in long-tail keyword phrases that you write blog posts around) will continue to drive traffic month after month — new traffic that can convert into leads, all just because you wrote and optimized one blog post months, or even years, ago!

This article is by Janet Aronica, the head of marketing for Shareaholic, a company that makes content easier to discover for 300 million readers through a global publisher network of 200,000 websites.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33906/6-Tips-for-Creating-Content-That-Spreads-Naturally.aspx#ixzz2EXuugxBx

Crucial Tips For Those Beginning A New Blog!

A good post from http://socialmediamarketeers.imrtl.com

Many aspects of online technology can be very intimidating to newcomers, but blogging does not need to be one of them. Everyone can benefit from learning how to effectively inform and entertain visitors that come to their website, through the art of blogging. Take some tips from this article to make your blogs come alive and have the desired effect on readers.

Post on your blog regularly. By making consistent contributions to your blog, you will be able to build up a regular readership. If you lack consistency, your readers will lose faith in you and will quit checking back to see what’s new. Make sure you write a post a day, even if they are just short posts sometimes. In this way, your readers will know you haven’t forgotten about them.

Finding a blog is very important for traffic, so make sure that you select a catchy, relevant name for your blog. If you’re blogging about sports, you obviously want a topic that’s closely related with the sport you’re representing. Think about playing off of your favorite team or athlete’s name and come up with something catchy.

Link building is a great way to traffic to your blog. In order to generate enough quality links you need to submit your blog to web directories like DMOZ, Aviva and other blog directories. Doing this creates incoming links which help your site get spidered, indexed and ranked higher by search engines, all of which drives more traffic to your blog.

Pay attention to grammar! While a blog is a fairly casual form of writing, it is still important to pay close attention to your spelling and grammar. Nothing will erode your credibility with your readers faster than a blog filled with typos and poor spelling. Failure to proofread and edit your posts will cause your blog to appear sloppy and you to appear lazy or uncaring – driving readers away.

Writing a list of topics that you can blog about is a good idea so that you are not left scrambling at the last minute trying to figure something to say. You will be organized and your users will not feel that you are just rambling on for no reason.

When you are writing a blog, it is important that your blog is not simply repeating points that other sites have already made. Instead, you should try to include points and angles that other sites have not talked about. This is important for getting the interest of your readers.

Use stirring titles that will generate responses or debates. Make your titles intriguing enough to entice your readers to continue reading, and voice their opinion, or ask questions that beg the reader to include their thoughts. Do not be drawn into conflict whenever possible, but moderate the conversation with your own input.

Utilize blog directories to promote your blog. Make sure you post your blog into a variety of directories that are related to your niche. This is a wonderful way to promote your site and will help you get a ton of traffic to your site in no time at all.

Conduct some interviews with other bloggers to learn how they have been successful with this line of work. This will also generate more links which will bring about more traffic for you. A lot of times you will find that other bloggers like the attention that they will get, and probably link your interview post.

So you now see that blogging can be an enjoyable way to communicate online, without the typical formality that exists when conducting business. When your site visitors are relaxed and well informed, they will be more likely to trust you and invest in your products or services. Take the insights gained here and put them to work in your own blogging efforts.

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