Hola! Potential Bloggers!
If you do not already have a blog, are you ready to create a blog for your journey through 2012, with excerpts from your journal and other writing you may do?
There are some basic books you must have on your shelf if you are serious about your Blogging Practice. There is a wealth of material, references, and sources available to help you get a sense of the scale and power of this new digital universe. Search "Blog" and "Blogging" on Amazon and see which of the many available books speaks to you. I recommend the latest edition of the DUMMIES book on blogging, just because this series breaks everything down into simple, easy to understand steps.
What is most exciting of all is your potential role in this vast new frontier for positive social change. Of course, because I view both Blogging and Writing Practice as essentially spiritual disciplines, I recommend that you immediately establish a positive vision, motivating purpose and realistic goals for your work. But right now, surf, sail or fly on over to your nearest bookstore and get ready to explore the ever-expanding frontiers of the Blogosphere! cyber-camp.
What will be the theme of your blog? What title will it have? What is your audience? How will you make others aware of your blog? Which blogging service will you use? (I recommend Typepad, but there are many other good ones.)
Here are some useful books on Blogging but note that they are from about 5-6 years ago. As I state above, good idea to check out recent books on Amazon, as books on blogging have proliferated.
Blogging for Dummies: A Reference for the Rest of Us: Set Up, Publish, and Maintain a Blog That Draws Readers. Brad Hill. Wiley Publishing, New Jersey, 2006.
The Rough Guide to Blogging: Navigate the Blogosphere. Jonathan Yang. Rough Guides, Ltd., London. 2006.
BLOGOSPHERE: Best of the Blogs. Peter Kuhns & Adrienne Crew. Que, Indiana, 2006.
BLOG: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World: Why You Must Know How the Blogosphere Is Smashing the Old Media Monopoly and Giving Individuals Power in the Marketplace of Ideas. Hugh Hewitt. Thomas Nelson, Tennessee, 2005.
Alex Noble: Notes on Blogging and Leadership (2007)
The Blog Reformation:
Want to be a leader? Whatever your field of passion and expertise, to be an effective leader today you need to master a wide range of creative and technical skills. You need to know how to think creatively. You need to know how to express yourself with compelling words and images. You need to have fire in your belly to be the change you want to see in the world.
And now, you also need to master a range of internet skills to connect with, learn from and influence others. Enter the Blog!
Law Professor and Syndicated Columnist Hugh Hewitt has written a best-selling book on what can be called the Blog Revolution: BLOG: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World. (See www.HughHewitt.com) BLOG is all about “Why you must know how the blogosphere is smashing the old media monopoly and giving individuals power in the marketplace.”
Hewitt writes: “Millions of people are changing their habits when it comes to information acquisition. This has happened many times before – with the appearance of the printing press, then the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television and the internet. Now the blogosphere has appeared, and it has come so suddenly as to surprise even the most sophisticated of analysts.”
Hewitt continues: “Change isn’t coming. It is here. Information is being absorbed in new and startlingly different ways from new, and until recently, unknown sources. Your customer, your congregant, your critic is changing. You need to think that through. I can help.” I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to get a sense of the new territory out there, and the opportunities it brings to our desktops.
No longer do you need to feel powerless in the face of environmental destruction, human rights violations, corporate fraud and malfeasance, escalating violence against women and children, political scandals, rampant globalization, poisoning of our food supply, and the destruction of constitutional principles upon which our country is founded.
Nor do you need to feel that your voice does not have value in the global, ongoing human conversation that the blogosphere now makes possible. You have something to say, and you now have powerful technology on your desktop to enable you to say it, whether to an audience of one, of hundreds, or of millions.
Well over ten million people have visited Hugh Hewitt’s web site and read his opinions.”Why does this visitor traffic matter?” Hewitt asks. “People’s attentions are up for grabs. If you depend on the steady trust of others, suddenly you have an audience waiting to hear from you.”
Anyone can speak out today, and if they have ideas that are exciting and useful, the audience will gather.
Thousands upon thousands of bloggers have developed dynamic, lively communities, and are ready to “swarm” around current issues of significance when the need arises.
There are many examples from recent years of the history-changing power of a “blog swarm.”
Again, from Hewitt: “You should thus be persuaded that the last couple of years have been important for blogging. But it is much bigger than that. That’s like saying that 1517 was a big year for Martin Luther. Both statements are true but do not communicate the scope of the change that was initiated in those years.
“ To get a glimpse of what is coming, try examining what followed Luther’s challenge to the authority of Rome. As Luther was to Leo, so bloggers are to Main Stream Media, and Luther’s impact wasn’t limited to the Vatican.”
In the exponentially expanding influence of talented and persuasive bloggers, and the very size of this new blogosphere itself, I am reminded of Future Trends Analyst John Naisbitt’s predictive book: Global Paradox: The Bigger the World Economy, the More Powerful its Smallest Players.
This time is now here, and the opportunities for positive social change powered by passionate thinkers and bloggers are unlimited.
True self-publishing has come of age, right now, in our lifetimes. It is no longer enough to master just print and graphic media and turn your work over to a magazine, newspaper or network
You can now be your own publisher, network, and distribution system. The unimaginable power of the internet is right in front of you, on the same screen that you are reading from right now.
So what does all this mean for you if you want to be a thought-leader in today’s world? It means that you have to have a clear vision, purpose and passion, and are willing to do your homework. It means you must know how to write well and persuasively.
It means that you are willing to keep learning, reaching, stretching and growing so that what you have to say will be relevant, compelling, unique, useful, provocative, elegant, and strategic in terms of your vision and message.
It means that you will do whatever it takes to master the computer skills needed to become cyber-literate.
Scary, frustrating, crazy-making as it may be, you will buy guidebooks, take online courses, file help tickets, and call on friends and sometimes strangers, to help you become a Wizard. And it means that you will continue to learn, ongoing, everything you need to know to master the medium
This is exciting, and also motivating, when you really grasp the potential audience for your words. The numbers are beyond anyone’s imagination in terms of the audience you can reach. But you will not reach them unless you have mastery both of creative content and leading edge communication tools.
Your opportunity today to become a leader in world peace, politics, environmental reform, human rights, social justice, health, social responsibility, education, sustainable agriculture, spirituality, transformational media, the arts, or literature (and all areas of human endeavor) is bounded only by your energy, enthusiasm, and desire to contribute to a positive change of consciousness and right living on our planet.
Welcome to the blogosphere. History has been waiting for you. There is no better place to start speaking up than right here in our Shift Movement online cyberspace community. GO!
TIME'S BEST BLOGS OF 2010
101 TIPS ON BLOGGING
- Choose WordPress
- If you use blogspot, get your own domain
- Choose the right hosting provider
- If possible, have keywords in your domain
- Use dashes for long domain name
- Opt for .com or .net and avoid the rest
- Have the post-install checklist
- Optimize your permalink
- Plugins does wonder to your blog
- Choose the right plugins
- Too many plug-ins will slow down your blog
- Pick your niche carefully and stick with it
- Be passionate about what you write
- Aim to be an expert in your niche
- Don’t lose your credibility by faking it
- Be accountable to what you say write
- Posting frequency is over-rated
- Read more than you write. Organize your RSS subscription
- Avoid chunk of long article. Break it down into paragraph
- Use bold headings
- Use list
- Write long article to get traffic
- Picture speaks a thousand words. Use images
- Start and end with questions whenever possible
- Proofread twice before you publish
- Focus on keywords in post title
- Write for both readers and search engines
- Your readers come first, everything else second
- Learn the importance of keyword research
- Being #1 on Google doesn’t necessarily brings in the traffic
- Keywords must be searchable. Use MNF to check its average search volume
- Don’t be afraid to link out
- To get attention, link out to inner pages and not homepage
- Explain What is RSS? Not everyone is tech-savvy
- Use feedburner
- Offer email subscription
- Don’t display your subscribership too early
- The first 100 is the hardest. The next 100 is easier to achieve
- Back up your blog
- Speed up your blog
- Optimize your blog
- Design matters, first impression counts
- Get a premium theme (better yet, use Thesis)
- If budget isn’t an issue, get a custom theme
- Unclutter your sidebar
- Have an “About Me” page. It makes it more personal
- Don’t hide behind your blog
- Mascot is the trend but real picture improves your credibility
- Always have a “Contact Me” page
- Dofollow your blog to get your community off the ground
- And nofollow it when it gets too many spammy, useless, irrelevant comments (just like this blog)
- Promote your blog via commenting and article marketing.
- Leave relevant comments. One-line comments are frowned upon and often deleted.
- Get yourself a gravatar and see #48
- Link to inner pages when commenting
- Use Fast Blog Finder
- Be the first to comment
- Avoid A-list blogs when you are new since
- No one cares about your opinion unless you are John Chow (no pun intended!)
- Moderate your comments. Use Akismet.
- Always reply to comments
- Don’t underestimate the use of keywords on your comment
- Visit your commenters’ sites. Reciprocal commenting is the key
- Activate top commentator plugin (you have no idea what kind of comments this blog is getting each day, really)
- Enable “Subscribe to Comment“
- Join my PageRank list
- Learn the art of pin-point commenting
- Reward your top active commenters
- Don’t monetize too early
- Adsense isn’t going to make you rich overnight
- Adsense works best with organic traffic
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is higher on niche sites
- Subscribers don’t click ads
- Learn the art of affiliate marketing
- Write product review
- Setup Amazon Stores i.e Wii Fit Accessories, Kindle Covers or Kinect Games
- Check your stats
- Study your popular pages and monetize those pages
- Optimize your old articles for search traffic
- Learn basic SEO
- Make use of SEO tools
- Duplicate content is a myth
- Google sandbox is real
- Focus on one-way link building
- Have keywords on footer
- Write a guest post and invite guest posters
- Promote your blog site with article marketing
- Learn the power of outsourcing
- Use signature links on “dofollow” forums
- Join Twitter and use it creatively.
- Digg is useless
- Use Squidoo HubPages and promote with SheToldMe
- Join Technorati and claim your blog
- Be patient. There isn’t any shortcut to blogging success.
- Have perseverance. Your passion is your passport to success.
- Find out what people want and help them get it.
- For blogging tips, read ProBlogger
- For copywriting tips, read CopyBlogger
- For personal development tips, read Steve Pavlina
- The ‘gurus’ are not always right
- Create a 101 list
What blogging tips have you learned in 2008 2009? Share with us in the comments!
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