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Efficient Blogging

One of the challenges of blogging is to come up with good posts that interest readers and keep them coming back. Sometimes I do not feel like I have good original wisdom. It is presumptuous to think I can have top quality original material all the time.

A second challenge is the time to weblog . I run a $1 Billion dollar company so when I decided to weblog I knew I needed to figure out how to do it efficiently. My weblog is mostly about efficiency and time management; these are topics I study.

These two challenges can be solved with a simple concept. Copy.

Ideas to use when copying are:

1 - attribution. Give the credit together with the link to the original author.

2 - look for something you can add to. Blogs can be synergistic. Take a concept or part of a weblog post and expend on it and give your opinions, insights or views. In many cases, this can start a flow of ideas that are enriched from the original post.

3 - You can use either the whole post or most usually just part of it and point people to the original.

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4 - I usually ask for permission which has never been denied. After all copying helps the original author and garners them some readership. And of course never copy copy written material without permission (and most blogs are not copy written).

5 - The simplest place to find material to use to copy is by weblog surfing although this can mean a lot of irrelevant material to filter. One source of free articles sorted by topic is www.isnare.com.

6 - In many cases the person you copy from will point a link back to you since it is flattering to them. Charles Caleb Colton said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" (one trick on quotes is to look them up on www.brainyquote.com). These links to you can increase your traffic.

In summary, copying saves time and increases the quality of material on your site. It can even lead to traffic since in many cases you will get link backs from the original site.

Related: Using Google Sitemaps - Google Sitemap

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Jim Estill is CEO of SYNNEX Canada a $1 Billion distributor of computer products. He is also a regular blogger at http://jimestill.blogspot.com/

Blogging for Business - Should You?

Peter Tarrida del Marmol

So you've heard that having a weblog is a good idea for your business, but are you sure WHY it's important? Understanding how blogs operate and how to use them for your business will give you great payoffs for your investment of time and energy. Not using your weblog effectively will simply waste this fantastic resource.

WHY SHOULD I 'BLOG FOR BUSINESS'?

Blogs are a great method for giving your business credibility. Whether you post about industry news, recommend links to related topics or post valuable inside information or experiences, your audience will view you not only as a commercial venue but as a business interested in its community.

You can also use your weblog to build traffic to your commercial site and to build a list of interested prospects. All of these issues are solid tools for marketing your product or service online.

WHY BLOGGING IS GREAT FOR CUSTOMERS

Blogs are not viewed the same as a typical web site or sales page. The postings are often less formal or are presenting readers with interesting tidbits that entertain or inform about your topic or industry. Regular postings that draw the attention of your target market will build interest in your product and establish you as an 'expert' as well as create a good relationship with your prospects.

Since you can offer subscriptions to your weblog through services like Bloglet.com, your prospects can easily receive notice of your recent postings right in their email inbox. By regularly posting relevant information your prospects will look to you first when needing the service or product you provide.

Since many blogs offer readers the ability to post comments you immediately provide an opportunity for feedback or questions. This can clue you in to what your market needs or thinks, which can quickly be responded to in your next post.

BLOGGING FOR TRAFFIC

There are several methods of traffic buildings with blogs. One method is through the weblog provider. Often the provider offers readers the option of searching for blogs with a word or phrase. Using that phrase in your weblog or title will bring interested visitors.

The other method is through search engines. Search engines love fresh content and blogs make this easy. Simply 'ping' your weblog to other media (this announces your update) and the search engines will pick it up. Using commonly searched words and phrases may give you the top ranking you were looking for. You can also link to your business web site with the phrase and increase traffic directly to your sales page.

Finally, you can add an RSS feature to your weblog . RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows other web sites to run the content from your weblog . Every time you make a post the information will be automatically updated on sites featuring your RSS. This is attractive to sites with topics related to yours since they will benefit from the fresh content and you will benefit from the exposure.

If you haven't jumped on the blogging bandwagon yet you've been missing out on one of the cheapest and smartest marketing tools available. Creating a weblog is easy and profitable - so make yours today!

Peter Tarrida del Mármol is a Spanish online and offline marketer. Get a FREE e-book about making business online EVERY WEEK by subscribing to his newsletter: http://www.auctionearnings.com

Blogging Can Help You Stick to That New Year's Resolution

Research shows that millions of Americans made at least one New Year's Resolution this year - but that the real trouble is in sticking to it. According to University of Scranton psychology professor John Norcross, PhD., the three leading resolutions are to lose weight, quit smoking, or exercise regularly. The problem is, less than thirty percent of the people that make a resolution are still working toward their goal thirty days later.

Resolution-makers try everything - going cold turkey with cigarettes, buying expensive gym memberships, even rewarding themselves with bribes for making it through a week without ice cream. Unfortunately, these methods fail more often than they succeed. However, thousands of people are finding that using an online diary, or weblog , can help them to stick with their resolutions and succeed in reaching their goals.

A weblog can help with your New Year's resolution in many ways. To start, use your weblog to write down exactly what your resolution is, and what the goals are that you hope to achieve. Plan out a timetable for reaching your goals, and put it in writing in your online diary. For instance, if your resolution is to quit smoking, start a journal today, with the first entry stating your goal and how long you expect to have to work to reach it. This clearly defines what your expectations are. More importantly, it records a concrete timeframe for what you are trying to accomplish - making it less likely that you will keep pushing your goal date back week after week.

As you work toward your goal, use your weblog to keep track of your progress. Each day, make an entry that tells what your successes or failures for that day were. If your resolution is to lose weight, include your weight in your daily diary entry, so you can clearly see what sort of progress you are making. This is particularly useful if you are working towards a long-term goal over several months, since you can check back through your weblog to monitor your progress. Changes that seem very small from one day to the next will take on a larger significance when you see them happening over many days and weeks in your weblog .

If you fall off the resolution wagon one day, be sure to record that as well. A weblog can be great for analyzing what went wrong on a particular day, by helping you see what else may have caused the problem. For instance, if your goal is to stop smoking, you may notice in your diary that you are still sneaking cigarettes every Tuesday, but only after the weekly staff meeting with your boss. Identifying the cause of your stress may help you to avoid or eliminate the problem, and get back on track with your resolution.

Finally, use your weblog as a support mechanism. Most online diary communities allow other members to leave notes to the weblog writer - which is a great way to receive support and encouragement from other people who are working toward a similar goal. A few friendly words from somebody else who is trying to exercise three times a week can go a long way towards getting you in the gym tomorrow. As you share your successes or failures with others, you may be surprised by the amount of advice and positive reinforcement you receive from the people who read your weblog .

By providing a tool for recording your goals, tracking your progress, and gathering personal support, a weblog can be invaluable in helping you stick to your New Year's resolution. If you don't already have a weblog , check out one of dozens of online diary sites - most of them are free, easy to use, and will provide you with everything you need to keep your own resolution diary.

Bruce Ableson is the founder and publisher of Open Diary, the original online diary community.

The Blog Factor: Everything you need to know to start blogging - today!

So what is this "blog factor"? Well, what a few thought was a novel idea some years ago has now morphed into something no one expected. There are currently nine million blogs out there with 40,000 new ones being added everyday. Some are informative and some are just downright a waste of your time. And while we hear a lot about blogging these days, what is blogging *really*? Blogging in its simplest term is like an online journal but much, much more powerful. Blogs (short for Web log) is a place where surfers can get up to the minute information on a topic or voyeur into someone's life. Some blogs are nothing more than a daily glimpse into someone's life, while others are so sophisticated, it's hard to tell them apart from an online news service.

Why Blogs Matter

Google, the #1 search engine on the net, loves blogs. So much so that if you do it right Google will spider the heck out of your site. What does it mean to "spider"? Well spidering is when Google, or the like, searches your site's content to establish ranking, and the more content you have (i.e. fresh content) the more Google will do its magic and push your site up the search engine. Another reason blogs matter is that they are interactive and, if you weblog on your book's topic, it will help to further your expert status on a particular issue. When we plan "Virtual Tours" for our authors, we include as many blogs as we can into a tour. Why? Because if you can get into a good weblog that's seeing a lot of traffic, you can really start to gain some exposure for your book.

What Would You Talk About?

This is the question we get asked most often. "If I start a weblog , what on earth would I talk about?" Well if your book is non-fiction it's pretty easy to figure out what your topic would be, but if your book is fiction it could get a bit tricky - but not impossible. An author I work with has a series of books starring one character - a private detective. I recommended that he "blog" this character, meaning that the character (not the author) would have the weblog . It could be the character's diary or adventures and stories - a glimpse into the life of a private detective. This would give the reader (and fans of this character) a reason to return to the weblog for an update on this ongoing adventure or story.

In another instance, I work with an author who wrote a fiction book about right and wrong with a new age/spirituality spin. I advised him to weblog on issues related to that - right and wrong in our society and his own personal "spin" on these issues. Some of his blogs might be controversial but that's okay, you want to create your own "voice," your own take on a certain issue and if that opinion is controversial, all the better for exposure and for getting people to interact on your weblog . Getting readers to respond to your posts is a great way to gain interest and momentum for your weblog and (more importantly) getting people to talk about it will grow your weblog like nothing else!

How to Start a Blog

Starting a weblog is super easy. All you have to do is register at a weblog site (like http://www.blogger.com) and get started. It's that easy. The weblog service will link to your site; you'll need to ask your Webmaster to add a button to your home page so people can find your weblog .

How to Blog Effectively

The best bloggers know that the more you add to your weblog , the more traffic you'll drive there. Some bloggers I know post daily, sometimes even multiple times a day while others post weekly. How much you post will probably depend on how much time you have to dedicate to this. The challenge will be that if you want to keep driving people to your weblog , you'll want fresh content. This doesn't mean you have to create this all yourself, in fact you can invite people onto your weblog and interview them, or you can just post a one paragraph "thought" on your topic. It doesn't have to be complicated or long, it just has to be fresh. Also be innovative, as we discussed earlier, be different with your weblog , have fun with it. It might seem complicated at first but once you get the hang of it, you'll quickly become a weblog expert!

Penny C. Sansevieri: Her most recent book: From Book to Bestseller was released in 2005 to rave reviews. Penny is a book marketing and media relations specialist. She also coaches authors on projects, manuscripts and marketing plans and instructs a variety of coursing on publishing and promotion. To learn more about her books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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