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Do-It-Yourself SEO for small Business

00:51

Do-It Yourself SEO for small Business


DIY SEO for small business owners - Targeting Your Ideal Customer's Searches

The secret to success for small businesses online is simple…wait for it…drum roll…

Show up in Google when they search for things you sell.
It really is that simple. The hard part is getting into that search. Throwing up a website and waiting for the phones to ring just doesn’t happen.

Regardless of how nice you website is. Regardless of how valuable the content is and how desirable the product/service is. And, regardless of how much Google says it values quality websites. Here is a fact of generating business from the Internet:

You will not get any visitors without helping Google find and value your website.
That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in. What’s even better were going to give you a Do-It-Yourself guide to SEO.

1. Use WordPress.


Create your website on the WordPress platform. It does 90% of what you need for small business SEO out of the box. And the other 10% is easier with WordPress, like: XML Sitemaps, proper Title tags, meta-data, HTML structure, etc.

2. Site Architecture/Design

  • How you organize web pages on website!

  • How web pages link to each other!
  • How your site is coded!

These are very important points which will have influence on search engine rankings. Using keywords in navigation can give website a rankings boost. Navigation should be coded in way that search engine spiders can read it as text.


3. Research and pick your keywords


Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool to identify and select keywords that your target customers are using to search for products and services related to your business. Focus on the keywords that are relevant, but have less competition.

Choosing the right keyword will help you rank your website ranking in search results. The high competition keywords will not be easy to rank a new business, because search results are always the highest priority. Analyse alternate keywords, review competitor’s web sites and start writing.

Use MajecticSEO or ahrefs to explore and analyse the Backlinks of competitor’s website.

Here are The Best SEO Tips and Resources you can use.

4. Writing Content and On-Page Optimization


After deciding the keywords we will be targeting on which web page, Write title tag, Meta description tag, write eye catchy headlines and subheadings, and create the main text for the web page.

Use good (keyword) titles, URLs, anchor text, and HTML structure (H1, H2, H3).


If you listened to my advice on number 2 then you have this pretty well covered. If not, here is the short version:


  • Use keywords in you title, but make them human readable and interesting

  • URLs should be simple and human readable too, with keywords

  • Text that is hyper-linked should always be a keyword (not Click Here)

  • Use headings and subheadings to make your content more readable to your customers and Google. Do them in order—H1 for the Website title, H2 for the article title, H3 for sub-headings

Here is Complete On-Page Optimization Check-list

Google loves good content. If you are routinely adding fresh and relevant content to your website, content focused on your customer’s questions, then Google will reward you with higher search position.

5. Use Google Analytics


Go right now and sign-up and install Google Analytics on your website. If you can’t track who is visiting and where they came from all the rest is useless. Remember the old saying: “You can only improve what you measure.”

6. Publish a Sitemap.


This is not as important as it once was, but I still think the easier you make it for Google to read your website the better. So, create, publish, and register with Google and Bing an XML sitemap.

If you use WordPress there is a handy plug-in called XML Sitemap.

7. Start Promoting by telling your friends and neighbours.


One of the best ways to improve your search engine rankings is to simply get the word out. Telling friends, neighbours, and business partners is a great way to get new traffic and spread the word that you are online. However, the big SEO impact happens when these folks start linking and referring to you.

That is as simple as them linking to your website as a business partner, sharing your website via Facebook, or sharing an article via one of the hundreds of social networks out there.

Don’t forget to ask them to do some of these things when you first introduce the website. Even better, include how to do that in an email you send to them announcing your website launch.

8. Use Social Media To Boost Business.


Why use social media?
A recent study by "Internet Advertising Bureau UK have revealed that nearly 80% of consumers would be more intrested in buying from a brand which has social media presence.

Once you get your social media marketing strategy right in place then you need to think how to convert that into sales.

9. Get listed in local directories and online forums.


Every town, big or little has a multitude of local directories and forums that lists and discusses local businesses. Get listed. Often you can sign-up yourself. If not email the Webmaster and ask him to add your website (and a link to it).

10. Link Building


The quality (important) and quantity of backlinks will determine your websites search results. On-page optimization alone cannot provide result in high ranking sites unless your website has sufficient backlinks to beat the competitors.

11. Claim Your Business On Google Places.


Claim or add your business in Google’s local business directory—Google Places. Local search is becoming a very powerful marketing tool for small businesses. You will very likely rank immediately on Google Maps and in relevant searches via the Places search inset.

Try it out. Search for your product or service in your town or city. Something like: Pizza in Flat Rock, MI.

12. Track How You're Doing.


In addition to Google Analytics, you should do simple Google searches of your keywords and track (in a spreadsheet) who shows up. Hopefully, one of them will be you in the near future. Compare these results from week to week and see if you’re moving up (or down).
Do-It-Yourself SEO for small Business Do-It-Yourself SEO for small Business Reviewed by wof on 00:51 Rating: 5

How to Understand and Manage Blog Comments

05:30
Blog comments can be very gratifying but also stressful. You want comments that are thoughtful and (let’s be honest) that make your business look good. Not in a shallow, flattering manner, but because a great discussion makes people feel positive about your brand. Conversely, a negative discussion makes people feel negatively towards your brand and even changes their opinion of the post that contains negative comments.



Comments are content


Another important puzzle piece comes from something I heard Liz Strauss say at SOBCon 2009, and it’s stuck with me ever since: “Comments are content.

Let that one sink in for a moment: comments are content.

I’d spoil this by talking about it too much. It’s simple enough.

Comments are an Investment


Why do people comment on your blog  posts?

  • Because they enjoy it, because they’re stimulated by the discussion and they have something valuable to share.
  • Because they’ve become emotional and they’re reacting.
  • Because they have a question, suggestion or want to point out a mistake.
  • Because they’re on the prowl to “generate traffic” or backlinks and they’re engaging in SEO spam.
  • Because they’re trolls and think you’re easy prey.

There are many reasons, but the above are some of the biggies. Knowing why someone comments can help you decide how to manage their comments or their presence on your blog. Repeat commentators are making an investment in you: they enjoy your blog posts and enjoy engaging with you. They’re not just about getting traffic for themselves. They value their relationship with you. Do you value your relationship with them?

Comments are work


When your blog is new and you’re not getting much traffic or comments, all your work goes into building your network and creating content. Once the ball gets rolling, what you’ll find is that managing comments is a lot of work. It can easily take just as much if not more time than writing blog posts. It doesn’t matter how you decide to manage them (moderated or not, you reply to all of them or not). Because comments are valuable content, and because they represent a valuable investment in you from your readers, you can’t phone this in. If you’ve decided you want to respond to your readers’ comments, I believe you should put as much work into your responses as they did in their comments. I believe in meeting people halfway.

Comments are community


Your frequent commentators are just as much a part of your brand as you are. Visitors to your site are going to be affected by what they read in the comments on your blog posts. An impression will be made. Hopefully, it will be a positive one. Your frequent commentators are your highly visible core community. Treat them with respect. They’re also likely to be your best customers. Not only will you get to know them, they’ll get to know each other, too. Never take them for granted.

Choosing a system


There’s nothing wrong at all with WordPress’s native comment functionality. I like the features and functionality of Disqus and choose to use that service. Some people really like Livefyre or Facebook comments. Triberr comments are another alternative you can use. Various plugins can enhance WordPress comments very nicely, such as providing an easy way for people to have new comments to the post emailed to them and subscribing to your newsletter at the same time. A quick search of the WordPress plugins directory will reveal all kinds of goodies you can use if you want to. The reasons why I like third party comment services is that they combine what would otherwise be a Frankenstein’s monster mish-mash of other plugins and a lot of work into a seamless interface.

Moderation in all things


One important decision you need to make if you’re going to allow comments (not everyone does) is whether or not you’re going to moderate them. Moderating blog comments means no comment is published to your post until you’ve read it and approved it. I don’t moderate comments in this way because I don’t want to hold up the discussion if I’m not free to approve comments. I’d rather come in afterward and clean up the few spam or unintelligible comments that make it through. What can happen if you don’t stay on top of comment moderation is that you’ll get like five people who all think they’re the first to respond to the post. You can choose settings in WordPress that will cause some comments to be held for moderation based on criteria such as containing links or certain words. If you place a link in your comment text on WayToBlogging, your comment will automatically be held for moderation until I can take a look at it. If someone is offensive enough (whether in language or tactics such as spam), you can ban them entirely from your site. This is easily done with Disqus, which I’m using for my commenting system as of this post. It can also be done in “regular” WordPress. Here’s some information straight from WordPress on combating comment spam. There are also plugins for dealing with comments. I will moderate comments that are inane or nonsensical. Empty flattery does not contribute to the discussion at hand. If I can’t even understand what is written, then that person’s English is so bad there can be no real conversation… or they’re using a “spin” program or a translator program to spam worthless content.

Responding to comments


I try to respond to every comment I receive. I want you to know your efforts at commenting are acknowledged. That you’re not just speaking into the void.

If you put a lot of effort into your comment, I will likely put a lot of effort into my reply. If you don’t, I’ll still acknowledge you.


Do this enough, and you’ll begin to feel like you’re repeating yourself. Most people don’t like that feeling. But each person who comments deserves their reply and often that means you’re saying the same things over and over, like “Glad you liked it,” and such. There are only so many ways to say these things, it’s inevitable.


Don’t take your commentators for granted, if you don’t like feeling repetitive, too bad. First world problems, and all that.


Suck it up.


People will always debate whether or not it’s okay to swear on a blog. I swear here all the time and if you swear in the comments, I’m fine with that as long as you’re not being lazy or trying to shock people for its own sake.


But swearing and being nasty or mean to people are two completely different things. As soon as anyone gets nasty and becomes insulting or engaging in personal attacks, they’re gone. Argue about ideas and facts and opinions. Don’t allow personal attacks.


You’ll also run up against arguments and disagreements. These can degenerate into unpleasantness because often people don’t know how to debate without employing logical fallacies or getting overly emotional–and then they start to get personal. Make sure you can recognize and deal with logical fallacies. The same wisdom people apply to email applies to blog comments: don’t respond in kind, and don’t respond when you’re angry.

What works for you?


I’ve shared a lot with you about how I manage comments in order to give you a good overview of comment management. What works for me won’t always work for you, but at least you’ve got a framework for understanding comments and managing them. What’s your approach to managing comments?
How to Understand and Manage Blog Comments How to Understand and Manage Blog Comments Reviewed by wof on 05:30 Rating: 5

Best Way To Use Forums to Grow Your Blog

11:45
For new bloggers who are looking to find more readers and grow their blog, forums can be a valuable resource. While forums may not directly result in large numbers of visitors to your blog, there are substantial benefits from participating in forums.



Why Are Forums Useful?


1.  You can learn from others and get your questions answered. The information you gain may make the difference between having an average blog and a standout blog.


2.  You can help others by answering their questions. If you are able to be a valuable source of information to others they will remember you and will be more likely to become a reader or refer other readers to you.


3.  Forums are an excellent way to network with other bloggers. Blogging is very community-oriented by nature. All successful bloggers have effectively networked with others. Your network can be a source of information, advice, and links.


4.  You can use a signature that includes a link to your blog. If you actively participate on forums with a link in your signature, some other users will click-through to visit your blog. While this type of traffic is nice, it is not the best that forums have to offer.


5.  You may be able to promote your blog posts. Most forums have specific places where you are permitted to advertise or promote your own work. Like point #4, this traffic is beneficial, but it should not be your focus when you are using forums.



How Can You Effectively Use Forums?


As we have seen already, there is a lot of potential with forums. However, most bloggers who are trying to drive traffic through forums don’t use the most effective methods. While there are ways to get visitors to your blog directly from forums (points 4 and 5 above) that traffic is very unlikely to amount to anything significant. Most forum users are not there to find other blogs to read, so it is difficult to generate big results with this approach.

Instead, here are some tips for maximizing the potential of forums.


1.  Schedule time to use them.While forums are an excellent resource for bloggers, they can also be a huge time-consuming activity if you aren’t careful. If you plan your activities ahead you can be sure to participate on forums without sacrificing time that you need for other priorities.


2.  Provide help and feedback to others.This is the best way to be recognized at forums and to get others to notice you. Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions of others, but focus on providing assistance and you’ll quickly increase your value to other forum members.


3.  Focus on networking, not direct traffic. The key to effectively using forums is to focus on building relationships with other bloggers. Earlier we mentioned that click-through traffic was not the best that forums have to offer, networking is. Forums may not show up in your statistics as large sources of traffic, but you may meet other bloggers at forums that will wind up linking to you, or will be willing to post one of your articles on their blog. This is where forums really become valuable and this is where efforts should be.


4.  Ask for feedback from other forum users. Most forums will have an area for you to introduce yourself and get feedback from other users. Blogging-related forums often have a place to provide a link to your blog and get the opinions of the other users about your blog design and content. Be careful to solicit this feedback in the appropriate places. Some forums are not friendly towards this type of communication if it is not in the designated areas. When I was designing my blog WayToBloggingI got some valuable feedback from others that I was able to use to improve the design (some of it I still haven’t gotten to yet).


5.  Use an effective signature file.As you post to forums you messages will include a signature file that can (and should) include a link to your blog. Rather than just providing a link to your blog, give a quick description of the blog or something else that will interest others.


6.  Follow your messages and build ongoing communications. Most forums will email you when someone has replied to one of your messages. Be sure to read the responses and try to engage in a continuing dialogue. This is a big part of networking.


7.  Be polite. This one should be obvious, but sometimes it’s not the norm. If your goal is to network and build relationships you can quickly ruin those opportunities if you are rude or demeaning to others.


8.  Focus on one or two forums.With the large number of forums available it’s tempting to try to use them all. What usually happens if you try this approach is that you will not use any of the forums enough to really be able to network effectively with the other users. At least when you are first getting started with forums you should focus on one or two. The focused approach will allow for the best networking potential. Once you have used a particular forum for a while and you feel like you could be more effective somewhere else, move on and try one of the other forums.


9.  Use an avatar or picture if possible.With an avatar other users are more likely to remember seeing you on other parts of the forum. It helps to build your identity.


10.  Focus on the subjects that you know well. Most forums will cover a wide variety of topics. If you are looking to network by providing help and assistance to others, you’ll have the best results if you focus on topics that you know the best.


11.  Look for win-win opportunities.One of the keys to effective networking is finding win-win situations. If you meet other bloggers that write on the same topics as you, try to find areas where you can help each other. Maybe you can write a guest post for another blogger and a particular topic that you know well. This would be good exposure for you and it would provide valuable content for the other blogger. Link exchanges are also common.

If you are looking for some forums for bloggers, here are a few to get you started:

Best Way To Use Forums to Grow Your Blog Best Way To Use Forums to Grow Your Blog Reviewed by wof on 11:45 Rating: 5

3 Simple Reasons To Not Sync Your Facebook/Twitter Status

11:37
There are many applications out there that help you update your social networking statuses all in one place (such as TweetDeck, etc.), but there are some disadvantages of updating your Twitter and Facebook simultaneously so that they mirror one another. I have provided these reasons below:
  1. Relevance – When you update your status on both services, the events and people that you specify in your status may not be relevant and pertain to the users on one social network, but not to the other.
  2. Twitter Jargon – When updating your status on Twitter, your friends on Facebook may not understand the different terms that are native to Twitter‘s jargon, such as hash-tags (e.g. #blogging) and @ symbol user tagging.
  3. Repetition – With people knowing that you update your status on both social networks, it may detract friends from visiting your account on either network. This is why it is key to have some variety in your statuses on both networks, even if you paraphrase one status differently than the other.
If you are an on-the-go type person, syncing both statuses to the mentioned social networks may be the only way to update your friends about your happenings; however, I am sure there are users out there that would agree with the above premises.
Happy Blogging!
3 Simple Reasons To Not Sync Your Facebook/Twitter Status 3 Simple Reasons To Not Sync Your Facebook/Twitter Status Reviewed by wof on 11:37 Rating: 5

The 5 Types of Blog Posts that Experts Write

10:00
If you want to be an expert in something, it takes dedication and a lot of work. If you want to be known as an expert in something, you also have to know how present yourself as one. Bloggers who are known experts write in way that enforces that image. There are 5 basic types of posts that experts write, and you can apply these to your own blogging.

Type 1: The Definition Post
 
The definition post is a long-standing method for presenting yourself as an expert. In this type of post, you define terms, a concept, a practice, often with examples and links. For example, if I were running a landscaping company and I had a blog, I could write a post that defines common landscaping approaches. If I was a search engine marketer, I could write a post defining some of the more esoteric search marketing terms. Sometimes these kinds of posts are almost like miniature glossaries. As such, they often get good search traffic and backlinks (links back to the post from other sites).

Here’s an example shamelessly pulled from my own blog. The post is called What is a blog? Yes, I have the gall to define what a blog is, even though it’s been done before by many others. This shows how well I understand blogs and blogging, and this helps to establish that I’m an expert. This is one of the most popular posts on my blog and gets great search traffic.

Type 2: The Resource Post
 
Experts have links to great resources that beginners are always looking for. Here’s a great example of this type of resource post from
SEO Book.

The most common form of resource post contains one or more links to other online resources. The less well-known but powerful these resources are, the better for your reputation as an expert. You can also go for completeness: an exhaustive list of resources will attract visitors and links. For example, here’s Mashable’s 17 AdSense Plugins forWordPress.

Type 3: The Tutorial Post
 
Providing step-by-step instructions shows you are an authority on what you’re teaching. This is especially true if your tutorial covers something not many people know how to do. Small Potato, a WordPress theme designer wrote a post on
how to do hover menus in WordPress themes. Not all tutorial posts have to be detailed step-by-step instructions. Often, you can provide more general instruction just as well, though this might depend on your audience.

There’s been a growing trend towards video tutorials. Compared to all the writing and screenshots needed for a written tutorial, a video tutorial can be a great teaching tool. Here’s a tutorial video on how to make sushi rice.

Type 4: The Story Post
 
Relating a story that showcases how you work and how people benefit from working with you is an important tool for experts. In
You Get What You Pay For, Thomas of English Cut tells a story as a lesson that reinforces why bespoke tailoring costs more than ready-to-wear.

Type 5: The Opinion Post
 
Opinion posts are the kind of posts amateurs tend to write when they don’t have much knowledge or experience! But when an expert writes an opinion post, that opinion is based on knowledge and experience. An expert will refer to her knowledge and experience in her post as a way to give credit to her opinion. A great example of this type of post is at business guru
Sunesh‘ blog. Tom has an incredible wealth of experience helping business succeed and he uses that knowledge and experience to inform opinions on things that aren’t pure business, but which affect and are affected by business.

Your Challenge
Write a new post in one (or all!) of the expert types and share the links to them via the comments. Be sure to tell us what type of expert post you chose.
The 5 Types of Blog Posts that Experts Write The 5 Types of Blog Posts that Experts Write Reviewed by wof on 10:00 Rating: 5

6 Easy Methods to Find Blogs for Guest Posting

07:17
It is a fact that an effective guest blogging leaves good impact on the traffic of your blog. When you realize the importance of guest posting then first thing that you need to do is to find some good blogs for guest posting. In case you have just started guest blogging and need a help in locating some good blogs related to your niche then I’m here to provide you the details of six ways, which let you to locate blogs in an effortless manner.

Find Blog for Guest Post

Method No. 1 Search Blogs on Google

I think Google is one of the best ways of finding blogs for guest posting. This search engine giant helps you in your guest blogging process but you should know how to use Google in a proper way. Actually, when I started guest blogging for my blog then I located guest blogging sites by searching terms that are mentioned below:
blogging+Write for Us
blogging + Be my guest
blogging+ guest bloggers
blogging+ guest post
blogging + guest post written by
blogging+ guest blogger guidelines
blogging +looking for guest bloggers
blogging+ guest blogger welcome
blogging+ guest post submission
You don’t believe but I found around 50 blogs related to blogging through these search terms. Your task is to “replace your keyword with blogging” while you are finding some guest blogging sites. You will surely find many good blogs through Google search.
Method No.2 Check Forums
There are many forums that are dedicated for webmasters, bloggers and internet marketers. I would like to share the name of some good forums where you can easily find other bloggers who are ready to accept your guest posts. Check the name below:
Check Forums
You should join these forums, if you want to post on high PR blogs. After joining, you can create your thread that highlights clearly that you are offering guest post free of cost. You should provide information of your blog and niche along with blog PR, if you want quick response. You will get many replies from bloggers who are always ready to accept guest post from good bloggers.
You can also locate some blogs by searching the forums. Actually, many blog owners want a guest blogger especially when they are busy somewhere else. Your task is to locate such threads and contact with owner with a “Informative and interesting guest post”.

Method No.3 About.com

I really like about.com since I’m able to find information literally about anything from here. When I began guest blogging, I felt it hard to locate the best blogs. Thanks to about.com blogging forum. You must check this forum because you are able to locate a list of blogs that are ready to accept guest posts.
In case you have idea about some blogs that are allowing guest post or you are going to accept guest posts then you should add blog here.

Method No.4 MyBlogGuest

It is a community of bloggers that is mainly designed to connect guest bloggers with blog owners.When you become a part of this community then you can not only find bloggers but you can also contact them. It’s quite simple to avail benefits from this community. Sign up, add the details of your website and start searching the blogs.

You can contact every blog owner personally. I think becoming a part of My BlogGuest is indeed vital for a blogger who is trying to reach diverse audience in a limited time period. Actually, this website has a list of different niches blogs, one can locate a blog related to one’s niche with a simple search. Want to register? Check here.

Method No.5 Blogger Linkup

Another easy way of locating many blogs for guest posting is to register for Blogger Linkup. Once you get registered for the website, your task is to offer your guest post. It’s quite simple. If someone is interested in your guest post then he will contact you.

You can use it in a different manner, either. Actually, when you register your account then you will get an email from Cathy Stucker usually on Monday and Wednesday. When you open an email then you will be able to see a list of different blogs that are either accepting guest posts or offering guest posts.
Your task is to find your niche blog and check its details, which is also given in the email. When you check details, you can find the email address of blog owner. Your task is to contact with owner with an offer of “free guest post”. Go and check here.

Method No.6 Join Blogging Social Groups

Another way of locating good blogs for guest posting is to become a member of guest blogging or simple blogging groups of LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook. You are able to find a number of groups related to blogging or some specific niche blogs. For example, you can find Travel blog network or health blog network. Your task is to join these groups, communicate with other blogs owners and offer your guest posts. You will get two benefits, if you do this.

  1. Your post will be published on a high PR blog
  2. You will be able to expand your social network by joining hands with other bloggers.
I also used the same approach. I suggest you to join following groups, if you want to locate good blogs in a quick way.
  • Guest Blogging Portal (Facebook)
  • BetterBloggerNetwork (Google plus)
  • The Blog Zone-A Community For bloggers (LinkedIn)

Wrap Up

If you need more help then let me know. I’m sure that when you will try these methods then it will be quite simple for you to find a blog related to your niche. I also invite other bloggers to share some other methods that I forget to mention because we are here to help others. When you have found some good blogs related to your niche then you should check a quick list of 10 guest blogging mistakes. This list will make your guest blogging journey very comfortable as you will be able to send good proposal of guest posting to other blogs by avoiding the mistakes, which I have highlighted in the article.
6 Easy Methods to Find Blogs for Guest Posting 6 Easy Methods to Find Blogs for Guest Posting Reviewed by wof on 07:17 Rating: 5

Get More Time for Social Media and Blogging by Improving Your Workflow

07:30
It’s not a matter of how much time you have, because we all have exactly the same amount.

No, it’s a matter of how you choose to use your time.

Let me share several “out-of-the-box” ways you can use your time. Before you know it, you’ll crankin’ out more blog posts (and good ones, at that) than you ever thought possible.

Loosen Up Time

First of all, you may be laboring under too strict a notion of what a good blog post should be.

Each blog post you write does not have to be the “ultimate.” If people are good at anything, it’s over-complicating things. Your readers will appreciate just getting one clear, distilled thought, once in a while, instead of an entire instruction manual.
  • Instead of making many points in a post, make shorter posts out of each of the one points, or several points that naturally group together.
  • Write shorter posts, anyway.
  • You don’t have to do all the work. Get the ball rolling and have your community help you out by posing questions on social media. Come back later and copy the responses into your post (be sure to give credit).
  • Your posts also don’t have be hardly any words, at all. Shoot a quick video or take some pictures if that fits in with your niche. You don’t need to prattle on, just add enough text to give context and for SEO reasons.

Strike When the Iron is Hot

The only time you have to write blog posts is not when you are sitting in front of your computer. I’ve seen bloggers make videos while they were driving or sitting in their cars. Why? Because that’s when the idea hit, that’s where they were, and at that moment they had time so they made some magic happen.

There’s no reason why you can’t do that, too. Video is for everyone, now.

But it doesn’t have to be just video.
  • Buy a little notebook and keep it with you to jot down ideas.
  • Buy a digital voice recorder (the ones built into phones are often awkward to get going) and keep it handy. You can record whole damn podcasts while you’re driving to work, going to grocery store, or waiting to pick up your kids from school.
  • Use your smartphone and/or tablet to jot down notes, observations, and ideas in Evernote or similar.
The important thing is do not let those little thoughts get away from you, because you will lose them forever.

The “coral reef” method

If you’re constantly collecting links and jotting down notes and ideas, you will build up a collection of fodder for use in your posts. Let me give you an example from my own site. Every Saturday I publish a WordPress Weekend post. The material for these mostly comes from me surfing the resources I’ve found and followed. I star them in Google Reader or create notes about them in Evernote.

Eventually, I collect enough material to start loosely categorizing it. Whenever I want to create a post, I find all my notes and bookmarks that seem to have a certain theme to them and copy them into WordPress. I can create a great post out of that raw material in a very short time because I did all the detective work, already.

This method takes a while to get off the ground. It starts out slow, but eventually, bit by bit, you build up a repository of links, resources, and ideas. Kind of like how a coral reef builds itself slowly over time.

This is an example of how thinking ahead and taking the right steps can save you tons of time and improve the quality of your posts simultaneously. Whereas if you just tried to “go faster,” you get sloppy and your quality is poor. Take a small amount of time to bookmark or create a note in Evernote. Take a small amount of time to tag and organize your notes. Get back a huge amount of efficiency, essentially giving you more time to blog.

Use a feed reader

Many people don’t know what RSS is or what news feeds are. That means they also don’t know about programs & services designed to let you use them. There are many, but I prefer to use Google Reader. I can scan through between 500 and a thousand headlines/articles a day (no exaggeration). I can star things for later or copy stuff into Evernote. I use keyboard shortcuts to navigate it even faster.

Use a social media dashboard

Adroit social media marketing has two requirements: a central place to manage multiple accounts, and the ability to schedule postings in advance. I get both with HootSuite, but there are other such services. I can manage Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ services from a single dashboard.
Because of HootSuite’s “autoschedule” feature, I can enter a barrage of postings in a short time and have them post in a more naturally spread-out fashion throughout the day.

Use automatic posting tools

WordPress plugins like Tweet Old Post and services like Twitterfeed or SocialPublish offer powerful ways to automate your social media content so you don’t have to spend time after setting it up.

Batch your tasks – do similar tasks together instead of consecutively

Batching is a powerful time-saving idea. Here’s the gist: instead of…
  • Writing a blog post and scheduling it
  • Then setting up your automated social media posts in HootSuite for that same post
  • Then creating your email about the post in Aweber to send at a certain time
You…
  • Write several posts in a row
  • Schedule social media posts for those posts in a single session
  • Create and schedule your emails all in a single session
Batching improves your efficiency by reducing all the mental and logistical “switching of gears” involved in starting a task and then ending it in order to do something different. As you warm up to the tasks you can work more quickly and efficiently because of the repetition. If you have a hard time staying focused, try using a timer.

Share your tips/questions

Have any time-saving tips of your own you’d like to share? Please leave a comment, everyone will benefit by sharing our wisdom and experiences. Any questions about how to do these things? Ask away!
Get More Time for Social Media and Blogging by Improving Your Workflow Get More Time for Social Media and Blogging by Improving Your Workflow Reviewed by wof on 07:30 Rating: 5
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