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The Best of the Blogosphere: November 30, 2007

November 30, 2007

The Best of the BlogosphereIt’s Friday again, and apart from that, we’re getting ready to go into December. I find it shocking how quickly a year has went by, don’t you? But no matter the date, I’ve collected several great articles here for you to read to launch you into a great weekend, so enjoy them!

Use Images From Flickr For Your Blog by John TP.

How To Be A Happier, Healthier Blogger by ProBlogger.

Google Makes Paid Link Stance Official by Courtney Tuttle.

Writing for Multiple Blogs by Vandelay Website Design.

24 DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites That Actually Work by Caroline Middlebrook.

6 Ways To Make Your Blog Stand Out by Dott-Com.

Use Your Drawing Skills to Drive Traffic! by TechnoMoney.

10 Variables of Article Readability by Wayne Liew Dot Com.

Why You Should Use StumbleUpon by Marco Richter.

How to Write About What Everyone Else is Writing About by News Notion.

6 Ways To Help When Your Blog Is Down by Pro Blog Design.

13 Excellent Visual Styles For Windows XP by Brown Baron.

Getting Out of Blogger’s Block Or Whatever With Ease by Blogging Tips.

If you want to get in on the weekly link love too, then start commenting here on this blog and make your site stand out to me – if I notice a great article you’ve written and I think it will help the readers of this blog, then of course I’d be happy to link to you.

But if you’re just looking to increase your blog’s traffic, then don’t miss out on the great, limited-time offer here at Super Blogging where you can get a nofollow link for just $2.00! You can look at the TopSpots widget in the sidebar to see where your ad will go. Click here to purchase your spot, or learn more about it instead!

5 Things That Make Your Readers Scramble

November 29, 2007

running blog
Photo by Pensiero.

I’ve come across a lot of blogs in the time I’ve been in this business, and while many of them are great, quite a few aren’t. There are some qualities a blog can have that causes no one to want to read it and everyone to run away shielding their eyes. What if your blog has one of those lethal qualities, preventing you from success?

1. You Have Poor Writing Quality. If you’re going to run a website, you need to be able to write, and that is that. You need to capitalize words that need to be capitalized, spell words correctly, and use proper grammar and punctuation where required. Proofreading is always essential – even the best of us make mistakes! If this is a quality you are struggling with, I recommend that you read 10 Tips to Writing a Successful Blog Post.

2. You Sport An Ugly Design. Your design is what makes that essential first impression. If I come across your blog and think it looks ugly, I won’t torture my eyes – instead, I’ll just click right off of your page. Even the most fantastic content in the world will be ignored if it’s presented in a hideous fashion.

There are a lot of things that can make a blog ugly. Mainly, you want it to be organized and not too cluttered (learn how to unclutter your sidebar). You want the visitors to be able to navigate and find what they are looking for easily, and you want nice fonts and colors that complement each other and your site’s theme. Instead of going for intense rainbow colors, try to pick one or two complementing shades for your design and work with them. Instead of using ten different font types, try a couple throughout your blog. Go for balance.

3. You Show Too Many Ads. If a site has more advertisements than their content, I’ll be scrambling FAST. You don’t want a lot of ads, and you want to make the ads you DO have at least look nice. Make sure what you are advertising is relevant to your site, first thing. I see so many newbie blogs with all kinds of affiliate banners for dating sites and things like that – it won’t you earn you money and it won’t do your readers any favors. So ditch a lot of your ads if you have overflow, and make the remaining ones have nice, blending colors. Make them feel like a part of your design! If you have trouble in this area, read Don’t Cram Your Blog With Ads.

4. You Keep Distance From The Readers. I like a blog where the author replies to the comments I make and sends me emails when I have questions or concerns. I like a blog where the author gives back to the blogging community and invites interaction within their articles. Yes, I do like a blogger that is community involved. If you keep a distance from your readers and don’t talk to them, listen to what they have to say, and help them out, then they will maintain a very far distance from your site as well!

5. You Are Boring And Uninteresting. If you don’t offer something unique, why should someone read your blog? Let’s say your site is about training dogs to do tricks – there are thousands of sites like that out there. If the others are more interesting than yours and offer unique services or something that sets them apart, what reason would a person have to read your blog? That’s right – THEY WOULDN’T! Strive to make your site better than the others.

Yes, I could list dozens more reasons on how you can make your readers scramble, but I think you get the point. Look at other sites out there that are successful and see what qualities they posess that you do not. After you identify what you’re doing wrong, you can work on fixing it!

So make sure your style and quality of writing is up to par, that you have a nice design, not too many ads, maintain good relationships with your readers, and have something unique to offer. Also try to be consistent with your posting, provide breaking news first, and make sure the important elements of your blog are easily accessible. Try to limit the errors that arise on your site, and when they do happen, work quickly to fix them. I look forward to hearing any tips you have to offer in the comments! :)

How Long Have You Been Blogging?

November 28, 2007

how long been blogging

Once again, I have recently held another poll here at Super Blogging, asking How long have you been blogging? This was another thing I was interested in discovering about my readers because you need to know who you’re writing for. Should I write mainly for beginners, or can I feel free to cover more advanced topics and define the basic steps less? While I think it’s important to write for everyone who is interested in your niche and could possibly read your site, there are some statistics you’ve got to know and understand.

50% of voters said they’ve been blogging over a year. That surprises me, because I haven’t even blogging for a year yet and it seems like a lot of the advice I offer on this blog would already be known those experts. However, the second highest amount of voters told me they’ve been blogging less than three months (27%). The rest of the votes were split up between people who have blogging for three months to a year (23%). So, either I have a wide range of reader types or things are pretty inconsistent. Of course, you have to take it into mind that not a lot of people actually vote, but still…

So now I’m asking YOU this question: How long have YOU been blogging? This will give me a chance to learn some more facts that the poll didn’t cover, or give you a chance to respond if you missed that poll. If you want, tell me when exactly you started blogging, how you celebrated some of your blogging milestones (3 months, 6 months, etc.) Feel free to share any great things you’ve gone through (your first PageRank update, first social media traffic spike, etc.) or ANYTHING YOU LIKE. Mainly I want to know how long you’ve been blogging and some minor details on that, but I am all ears to any of your other experiences or any advice you’d like to share.

As for me, this is my first “serious” attempt at making blogs or websites online, and this blog turns a year old in mid-March 2008. I actually did get a PageRank in the first update I experienced, which occurred in April. I ranked a two. :) I never did any huge celebrations for my own blogging milestones, except for being personally happy, but I did make this post once upon a time. All in all, I’ve been blogging between six months and a year and I’ve been getting better at it all the time – practice makes perfect, that is definitely advice to live by!

Now how about you? How long have you been a blogger? :D

Gain Traffic and Make Money Online by Using Forums

November 27, 2007

traffic using forums
Photography by gaurang.

If you’ve tried everything imaginable to increase your site’s traffic, including even the tiniest little ideas, but you are still not getting the amount of visitors you were hoping for, then you might want to try forums.

A forum is basically an online discussion group, focused around one niche. The members of a forum can make posts and discuss everything related to their niche, ask and answer questions, and even private message each other. A forum is like a blog for the people!

For example, take Digital Point Forums. This is a forum I actively participate in the most, and it is for webmasters. There are separate boards in which you can discuss search engines, SEO, link building, domain names, HTML & web design, and a lot more.

The first thing you need to do is go to your favorite search engine and enter “[YOUR NICHE] forums”. For example, you might enter webmaster forums, technology forums, or even gardening forums. I will guarantee you that no matter what you blog about, there will be a forum out there you can join.

Once you find a forum you like (or even better, two or three) sign up for them all. Make your username your blog’s name or something equally catchy – and of course, your password something you will not forget. After you make and activate your account, go into your “User Panel” or whatever it might be called on the forum you signed up on. Add an avatar (a small icon which goes beside all of your posts and identifies you; can be changed later) and a signature (can also be changed later).

The signature is important; it is what helps you gain traffic! Make sure you read the rules associated to the forum, and if they permit it, link to your blog in your signature. Use catchy vocabulary and colors that will make people notice your signature and want to visit your site.

Then all you have to do now is get to posting! Make sure you add value to every conversation and don’t just take, give back to the community by answering questions you know about. DO NOT SPAM. Remember that your signature will be shown at the bottom of all your posts, so you want to make good replies with a lasting impression.

Remember how earlier I mentioned Digital Point Forums? Well, this is how the money-making comes into play. I recommended everyone who has a blog or website to join this forum – you can definitely learn a ton here, I know I have!

After you sign up on DP Forums, again you should add your avatar and signature. But this time, take note of their Buy, Sell, or Trade Forums. I’m pretty sure your account must be of a specific age and that you must to have made a certain number of posts to use these forums, but once you’ve done that they will be your best friend.

At times I have not been able to get the exposure I wanted for my advertising sales, and I can do that on DP Forums. If I’m selling banners or text link ads, I usually make a post on DP letting the other forum users know. In fact, most of my previous advertising sales have come about through negotiating on the DP Forums. Without using forums, I would not have made as much money as I have today.

Basically, using forums is ONE OF THE SMARTEST THINGS YOU CAN DO if you are a blogger or webmaster. You can reach a whole new range of people who might be interested in your site. You can gain plenty of traffic and, if you play your cards right, make a little money in the process as well.

But remember, for people to check out your site or trust you, you have to give back to the community. Spend time daily reading topics and replying to them with helpful information. People will see your signature and click on the link to your site. Whenever a question or post comes up that you have written about on your blog, link to your article! I have done this before and people have actually visited it and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. JUST DON’T SPAM. Be helpful and be honest and the favors will be returned.

Using Forums You Can:

  1. Reach a whole new group of people,
  2. Gain plenty of traffic,
  3. Possibly make money online,
  4. and learn a lot of new things about your niche!

What’s to lose? Get started and join some forums. :)

WidgetBucks is a Worthless SCAM!

November 26, 2007

widgetbucks logo
Surprise, surprise… It’s all a scam!

UPDATE: WidgetBucks has paid their members, but I still firmly believe they are a scam. Please read WidgetBucks Pays… But They’re Still A Scam to learn more.

WidgetBucks.com, the new competition for Google Adsense? Originally I thought so, but maybe not. Their motto is Ads suck, ours don’t. Okay, so maybe their ads don’t suck the least bit, but the way they run their company surely does.

Lately WidgetBucks have been realized to be worthless scammers, pretty freaking sneaky, and downright thieves. If you think I’m exaggerating, then you are DEAD WRONG. I am not the only one who thinks so. I have only been a member of WidgetBucks for a few days but have already been cheated by them. Just who do they think they are, anyway? Maybe they’re letting it go to their heads that people are saying they are the next Adsense.

I joined WidgetBucks for many reasons. The main one was because Adsense wasn’t making me much money when I had it installed, so I thought I would give WidgetBucks a go, hearing how their clicks can average around $0.50 each! My second reason was because upon joining, you get a free $25 to start you off – that sets your account halfway to the $50 payout! Why does WidgetBucks give away a free $25? Because you will never actually receive it. It’s just a gimmick!

Your account will never reach the minimum payout because all WidgetBucks does is wipe your money straight out from under you – that’s what they did to me. I had a couple dollars, and the next day it was gone. I originally installed one banner at the top of my homepage. It received some clicks, got me some earnings. The next day, I saw a big fat $0.00 staring right back at me. Where did my money go? Then the next thing I noticed was that the single person I had referred had also been erased from my account – I did not get credit for that either!

Do you know why WidgetBucks pays a lot more per click than Adsense does and why they give you free cash? Because you’re never going to get it. It’s all a scam to get you to sign up and refer others so THEY will get the money. Then you, their unsuspecting victim (and all those you told the site about) who has been advertising for them, suddenly logs on to find all your money gone or at least a huge chunk missing.

This is just a warning to all you folk out there who are using WidgetBucks – you are NEVER going to get anything in return! They offer a lot of extra money for various things and even have a referral system, but when they think you aren’t looking they delete your earnings records. This makes it so you will never reach that minimum $50 payout.

Don’t be caught supporting a phony program! Please share your opinions and let me know if you see anything fishy going on in YOUR WidgetBucks.com account. Who knows, I might be wrong, but it seems pretty suspicious that everyone’s earnings are just disappearing doesn’t it? Whatever’s going on here IS NOT honest.

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