The A to Z Guide for Beginner Bloggers

A. Aim to be a better blogger Alienation  every day. Always try to learn something different and new. Here is a great site that will help you build your site by personally developing yourself along with your blog. Either you keep up with the times/technology or your blog will eventually fade into the black-hole of the blogosphere and be but a forgotten memory.A. Aim to be a better blogger every day. Always try to learn something different and new. Here is a great site that will help you build your site by personally developing yourself along with your blog. Either you keep up with the times/technology or your blog will eventually fade into the black-hole of the blogosphere and be but a forgotten memory.beginner
B. Be yourself! Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. People will see right through it. Readers of your blog will be able to connect easier and relate to you in many ways. Being yourself lets the readers know that you are sincere and helpful at the same time. Your personality will show through your blogging and the people will love you for just being yourself!
C. Caring about what you blog will make you a more sincere blogger to your cause. Whether it may be helping people with HTML or fixing cars, you will be able to write better articles and will be knowledgeable in your field.
D. Don’t ever copy anyone else’s works on the net. Plagiarism is frowned upon and you will never live it down if you are found to have copied another person’s works. Not only that but you might find yourself in a legal battle that you don’t need.
E. Entertain your readers! Entertaining your readers with great articles, tips, and free stuff will always keep them coming back for more. People love a site they can have fun with and learn at the same time. Use your imagination, when we were kids we were able to do anything right (at least in our minds)? That imagination will help connect you to your inner-self and let you grow freely with your blog.
F. Find your niche carefully. Finding a niche where you fit in is critical as this will help you as a starting blogger. Your knowledge, of course, will depend on your experiences and how much you care to expand your knowledge of that subject. We are all experts in our field, but can still master new ways of approaching problems and fixing them.
G. Great articles. Great articles are the gateway to your massive traffic building. Write great authoritative articles and share information with your readers. They, in turn, will keep coming back for your advice and share their information with you that they think might help you.
H. Help out new blogger sites. Helping out new blogger sites and inexperienced persons will build you great character. Your readers will know deep down in their hearts that you are willing to take a time to help them and are once again, sincere about it. Helping out other people also makes a world of difference; you might even need help from one of them in the future!
I. Implement all the learning and plans that you have made for your blog. Find that “master plan”, gather all the advice you have read and tips given to you and IMPLEMENT them. If you don’t your success rate will drop dramatically.
J. Join articles submission sites. If you are a great writer, let the world know about it. Submitting to article submission sites will drive massive traffic to your site and earn you a reputation as a knowledgeable author in your field. Use sites like EzineArticles, Stumble and the other directories.
K. Knowledge on the blogosphere. Keep up to date with your knowledge from the blogosphere. Always find new methods that will save you time and money. Know how to work with all the aspects of blogging, from traffic building, readership, RSS feeds, link building etc.
L. Limitations are nothing on the web. There are no limitations on the web. You can always get help from other like minded individuals and experts in your field. If you don’t know how to do something, just ask. Most blogger sites are willing to help you or will point you in the right direction. Link building is one of those areas where there are no limitations, with over 50 million sites and more being made every day, there are no shortages of links!
M. Make friends with the top blogger sites. Making friends with the popular blogger sites will help you get an inner perspective on their workings and how they achieve the things they did with their blog. Brainstorming with these experts gives you a lot of advantages and in time maybe you can contribute to their sites also, earning you authority and links for your own site! Imagine what ideas you could come up with if you had Steve Pavlina and Darren Rowse (just to name a few) in your corner.
N. Network with as many people as you can. Even if the person you are networking with is just beginning their blog, they might eventually become a PR 5 or higher blog. Networking is a great way to increase your rankings and PR for your blog. Networking can be done “on” and “off” line.bloggers
O. Offer great tips, free advice and other free stuff that your users/readers will be able to take with them and that makes a difference to them. Offering material that they cannot get from another site will have you one up on the other sites. They will love you for it and as a bonus come back often to see what they can get again.
P. Page rank. Your page rank will not increase unless you have useful links, hundreds and/or thousands of them pointing to your page. Page rank can be obtained by having an informative blog. A blog where people can keep coming back for more and refer other people to your site. Page rank should come second to writing great articles for your readers. Always put your readers first, PR will come eventually if you have a great blog.
Q. Question everything about your blog. Are you using an easy layout that people can easily navigate through? Is your color scheme easy on the eyes and not blinding people or make people wonder what happened to the text when they scroll through your site? Are all your links working? Is ad placement optimal, if that’s the way you’re going with your blog? There are many aspects to blogging that you must always question to yourself.
R. Read other peoples blogs! Reading other peoples blogs will increase your knowledge and you might learn something that you didn’t know before. Reading also gives you great ideas, maybe you can out-do someone or write an even better article on the subject. Reading forums, how to’s and personal development sites are a great way to answer some of your questions also.
S. Special style of your blog. You got to have your own style. That’s what makes your blog unique. Your writing style and layout of your page will be remembered easier by people if it’s not in the “norm” of other blogger sites. Have a great looking graphic on your home page, write with passion and sincerity. Great first impressions last a long time. Slim-lining your blog will also create a more user-friendly site and get rid of the stuff that just clutters your site making for a more eye-pleasing site.
T. Tools and training. Suggest web tools like SiteMeter and Google Web Tools etc. that users can use for free when checking their links, traffic, ranking or site building. Train other people in your field that are just getting started. You will have a loyal following and can do site sessions/reviews of each others’ blogs on what needs to be overhauled with blogs, what can be done better and so forth. As you are the more experienced person in your group, you will be responsible for being a leader to the others.
U. Understand the needs of your readers. Understanding the needs and what they crave will help you to build a better site for your readers. User-friendly, easy to navigate pages and TONS of informative articles will do wonders for your blog! Understanding your readers will also help to maintain your reader author relationship in the long run and you will have loyal subscribers that keep coming back. Don’t be afraid to ask your readers what they want more of.
V. Verify all sources used in article writing. Verifying your sources will help you keep from “looking like a fool” and “looking like a liar”. Be sure of your sources first before publishing your article. No one likes to read one thing and it turns out to be the total opposite of what you published! Author expertise is a must for blogging. If you are not sure about it, don’t even publish it.
W. Who, what, where, when and why. Ok, I’m having a 6th-grade flashback to my English creative writing labs, oh no! Actually, these are the 5 points that you should cover for any article written by you. If there is anything that pertains to these 5 points about the subject you are covering, then you should include it in your article. This basic guideline will help you also cover the basics of the articles, insert your interesting facts after the basics are done!
X. X-ray your blog. Yep, that’s exactly what I suggested. Just like we use x-rays to find broken bones in our body, x-saying your blog is just taking time out to find broken links and URL’s that don’t work. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking a link and going nowhere! It only takes a little time but will show your readers that great care goes into your blog maintenance.
Y. Your blog is your soul. What you write about will give people/readers their personal assessment of you. It’s like meeting a complete stranger through your blog and seeing if you can connect with that person. Have an outstanding and caring blog, and the people will come back.
Z. “Zone” out in a place where you can get ideas. Zoning out can be daydreaming, or just sitting by yourself with a pad and pen and writing/jotting down ideas or articles you would like to incorporate into your blog. The best ideas come to us when we have no distractions and our minds are free to flow with ideas and imagination!guide
By following this list, you will have an alliance when Traffic Building, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Article Writing, PR (Page Rank) building and Monetizing. Just follow these tips and they will open doors to the above-mentioned site elements that will help you achieve your goals. I wish you the best success!

Twelve Bloggers’ Block Busters

Do you suffer from the Attendant Design  blogger blogs block? Do you sometimes struggle to just get your blog ideas down on paper, let alone write a full blog post? In this article, we’ll discuss how bloggers can overcome it – there are ways to push through blogger blogs block and get writing prolifically again!

1. Get To Grips With Google Alerts

Google Alerts can really help you find articles that spark ideas for your own content and Google indexes thousands of articles on a daily basis – sign up for Google Alerts and you can add and delete alert topics at any time based on projects you’re working on. Include keywords relevant to your blogging goals in your alerts.

2. Go Back To School!

Online webinars, in-person seminars, and workshops, you name it there is a plethora of free or subsidized training and education out there which will enable you to acquire new material to write about but which will also introduce you to new developments and directions. Seek out online directories of mailing lists detailing upcoming webinars and events in your industry.

3. Podcast Your Net

Podcasts are packed with information on every topic under the sun and best of all you can listen at your own pace, in your own time – behind the wheel, on a train, cooking a meal, on the treadmill or your daily jog or dog walk, you name it they literally are accessible anytime, anywhere.

They really can be a fun and stimulating way not only to glean new knowledge or brush up on your existing know-how, but the very act of listening to them potentially offers a wealth of thought-provoking insights to inspire your writing. Why not record your own Podcast or better still series of Podcasts to get your creative juices flowing again and eliminate blogger blogs’ block?

4. Self-Impose Deadlines

Writing takes time and it can become all too easy to put the task off. Deadlines help you to sort the wheat from the chaff and force you to focus on completing an article. Rather than picking a date far in the future, commit to a ‘pre-deadline’ prior to a blog post or article’s official submission date to concentrate your thoughts and curb the temptation to write too much and go off topic.

5. Be A LinkedIn Groupie

Being the sole source of content for your blog can be quite a weight on your shoulders. Share knowledge, ideas, feedback, and questions on topics of common interest with other group members. You can see what people talk about and use the information or trends you spot as a writing prompt to help get you started on a new piece of content. Group comment boards can also be a very effective resource for a new article or blog post.block

6. Readers’ Questions

Revisit questions on your blog and social media channels. More often than not, whilst only one reader may have taken the time to post a question there will be others who would also benefit from the answer you provide. Questions can help stimulate ideas for future articles.

If they are a fellow blogger blogs or a thought leader you aspire to, why not interview them for fresh, dynamic content for your blog?

7. Introduce Yourself to Infographics

A correctly placed of pertinent inform rapid can convey in a picture what it would take a thousand words to say! It is also a savvy way of visually and therefore simpler way of getting across and conveying complicated concepts or discussions with text to pepper it and compliment it. Google image is a great tool for finding clever graphics of online topics or discussions. Image based or visual social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are also rich pickings for the same.

Alternatively, why not create your own info graphics to help you mind map complex ideas or topics – after all, info graphics are the social media equivalent of mind mapping.busters

8. Nail Those Notebook Ideas

Whether it’s a handwoven, moleskin affair or a simple school-style notebook, keep track of your thoughts as they occur or flow, even better, keep it with you when you’re on the move to capture your thoughts and inspirational ideas. Or better still, record them electronically. Where you capture your thoughts is immaterial, but the material you record certainly isn’t!

An old idea is never a lost idea and themes are more often than not cyclical. If you find yourself going through a bit of a writing drought, refer back to them. You may even find some cohesion and a thread of continuity for your seemingly disconnected mind map! Revisiting old ideas may just create or inspire new ones.

9. Quotations

Aside from the obvious benefit of illustrating or quantifying what you are trying to say, quotations are a useful way of padding out your blog or article if you are struggling too, but perhaps, more importantly, they are a powerful way to enhance your writing and ideas and also provide you with the opportunity to link back to their owners, assuming they are alive and online of course! Regardless, on social media networks at least, quotations are also one of the most shared pieces of content.

10. Hot Desk!

Something as simple as changing your environment can really reactive and stimulate your senses. And if you can’t or don’t want to physically move you can still very easily achieve the same effect by enhancing your environment with sounds or smells to refocus your writing and re-engage your mind. Familiarity does breed contempt – try a change of scenery or ambient sound to refocus your mind and recharge your writing.

11. Don’t Move The Goalposts

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by goals and deadlines, it would be futile to create further ones, unless you are merely resetting existing ones, of course. What I mean by this is re-examining those you have set and seeing if they are realistic and achievable – if not, do something about it. This could be as simple as splitting a seemingly unobtainable target into bite sized chunks which themselves have mini deadlines.

12. Become A Research Fellow

Use insight from Nielsen, Brand Republic, Gallup and others – a wide range of research findings can make excellent topics and references for a wide range blogs and articles. Of course, some or all of these isn’t relevant or helpful for your own niche or specialists, but take the time to find out who is doing research relevant to your industry and take steps to see the reports when they’re first released. Even if you just redistribute their findings to your own networks and followers with some introductory text, you will still be pointing people in the direction of useful and thought to provoke text which they will thank you for, hopefully by posting comments to your blog!

There’s no denying that writer’s block can be difficult to overcome regardless of whether you are writing on paper or online. The beauty of online writing, however, is the plethora of media available to create new methods of content when you are experiencing bloggers block; podcasts, video casts, infographics, top tips, how to guides, interviews and so on.

Whilst there is no one-fits-all tried and tested method for all bloggers, finding new ways of sharing your knowledge and reaching new audiences which put you out of your comfort zone may be just that you need to overcome your own bloggers’ block.

What methods have you tried to overcome bloggers’ block? What do you think other bloggers would also find useful? We’d love to read your comments below.

Why Most Blogger Fails: Myth and Facts

Every blogger that start a blog want to be a professional blogger, fact that writing a blog is a simple manner are wrong. Why Atticus Blog most blog writer fails before the journey ends, why the new blogger fails to achieve their target. Below some of the reason why many bloggers fail.blogger

1 – Motivated By Money.

Myth: I can make huge income and money with blog, just start writing anything and put some ads. Just wait for the money pour in.

Fact: If motivated by money, go ahead for 6 month and yet just make a dollar a days with your ads network. The chance is sure you will give up before your blog achieved 10 months old.

Solution: Just blogging like usual, enjoying what you are doing now, put a passion along side without get motivated by money, place just a minimal ads not a big problem. The money will slowly generate by it self after that.

2 – Maintaining Too Many Blog.

Myth: If the A blogger can make $10k a month with just 1 blog maybe I can make even bigger income than that if I write a 5 different blogs. Let’s say with 5 blogs maybe I can make $20k a month.

Facts: The blogger that make $10K a month know what his doing and achieve it with his passion on that blog. If you concentrate to maintain 5 blogs without know what you are doing – you are on suicide way. Jumping to many blogs without potential will waste your time, money for hosting and your energy that you put on your first blog.

Solution: Just concentrate maintaining just 1 niche blog that you had a passion on, focus on what you are doing now without thinking to maintain another niche blog. Give some time to that blog to succeed.

3 – Write Just For You Not The Readers.

Myth: I just want to write about my personal life and there is no readers want to read my life story.fails

Facts: Blogger that write for himself usually with neglected all the grammar, all the basic rules of blogging, and what other readers need. They just write what ever they want without show a care to other readers. When other post a comment you don’t reply it, when other contact you just ignore it. Here you’re wrong because even you write about your life other still want to read it, just communicate with other and make the story interesting. There are blogger that write about personal life succeed.

Solution: Communicate with the readers even you write about your personal life. Remember this; blogging is two ways process, if you put something valuable in your post sure other will stick to your blog.

4 – Write for Google not for Readers.

Myth: I must write a niche blog just for Google since Google will drive the traffics and reader to me. The readers will come if they reach my pages in Google.

Facts: If you write for Google, you’re totally wrong and put the blog in a graveyard. When writing you put all the effort to make the post get ranked higher in Search Engine, all the linkbait you use, all the problogger technique you try out but still no readers. Why this happen? Ask yourself. Actually Google follow readers, if your post write for readers, even your blog look sucks, and its still can attract readers.

Solution: Successful blogger must write for the readers because high traffics blog know what the readers want. Why the readers visit the blog and what they want is your main target. Must put the value and good content in the post first, after that you can make it more with Google or other search engine optimization.

5 – Not Socialized

Myth: Waste time to join the socialized community like MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog and other social community. If I write a good content there is no need to join such community.

Facts: If you don’t join these social communities likely you’re the only person will read your own post. Social community directories actually will expose your blog to other blogger. If you write a good post, luckily the other tends to linkback to your blog.

Solution: Actively join the discussion, add other to your community and give some visit to other blog in the community. Give your comments in other blog. That the way other will notice you.

6 – Ignore Blog Update.

Myth: Just write 10 article pillar articles that can increase my traffic and readers in a month, after that I don’t have to update my blog since I already post a great pillar article.myths

Facts: What makes blog and traditional website different is the blog ability to update the content often. That is why blog get more traffic exposure than traditional website. If you not updated your blog often, all the reader and subscriber that stick to you will go away. Why should they give a visit to your blog since there is no updated, just a crap of all post.

Solution: Just publish a post a day that enough because your readers know that you’re still maintain that blog with nice post. Just write a 200 words post likely make your blog alive.

7 – Blog About Make Money Online.

Myth: I want to blog about make money online, I had the experience, I had the tools and I already signup with cool ads network. This is my time to blog about make money online.

Facts: Blog about make money online is the hardest topics a new blogger choose. If you’re new starter blogger, don’t write about make money online unless you can proved you’re already make the big cash online. Prove is what hard to give to new blogger.

Solution: Don’t blog about make money online if you only blog for 3 month. If you start blog about make money online then you’re likely 90% to fails.

8 – Being Totally Copycat.

Myth: It’s easy to write a blog, just copy other blog article and post it in my blog.

Facts: Try to 100% copy other content and publish it in your post. Just wait the time when the real author notices your act and make a report against you. Your post also will be ignore by Google.

Solution: You can copy other idea or content; BUT, please elaborated with your own words and give your own comments to make it more uniquely. Don’t just copy and paste other content and material – do it yourself.

9 – Not Entertain Comments.

Myth: Comments is only a comment, let it be there – just ignore it.

Facts: Blog is two ways communication that involved the reader and the writer. That what make blog unique where readers can leave comments to express feelings. Better ways is to reply and answer the comments. Its enough to say “thanks you”.

Solution: To make comments better you can install these plug-in. That is reward plug-in for top commentators- and the Brian Threaded Comments plug-in.

Before You Hire a Blogger, You Must Read This

You simply Dba Press  do not have the time to keep fresh new content posted to your blog, so you are going to hire someone to do that for you. Here are some helpful topics to consider when you are prepared to select that person.blogger

Write out a list of the work you want to be done. What are your expectations?

The time utilized writing down what you want or expect from a blogger sign in will go a long way in getting you exactly who you want. Ask yourself, how many posts per week? How many comments to answer? A number of page views? How about a minimum number of incoming links a week?

Write a job description.

Review your written remarks from the paragraph above then condense those comments to help you write out a job description. Be sure to address the issue as to who will moderate and answer comments.

What style of writing do you want for your blog?

Ask yourself what style you want your blogger sign in to attain. You should encourage creativity and a passion for writing. You want to find a writer that is unlikely to tire of the daily or weekly post-to-post routine. A creative attitude will work wonders for your blog.

Ask for examples of their work.

Ask for links to their past work. Go online and read their past posts and answers. Do those examples imitate the work contained in their written resume? If not, you need to ask why not. You need to be sure that the person you are dealing with is the same person who actually wrote those blog posts. Do they write well? Is English a second language for them? Does their style of writing satisfy the needs of your readers? It’s one thing to put up with distinctions of the English language, but you need not put up with poor grammar or spelling.hire

Good grammar and proofreading skills are essential.

You need to put up posts that your readers will find engaging. You must have well written original content that is grammatically correct, free from spelling errors and importantly, translates like they were written by someone who knows what they are doing.

Is this applicant adept at using social media?

You want to employ a blogger who understands AND uses social networking or social bookmarking sites. The applicant will have and should provide to you, a list of their affiliation with sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter. I know that my expertise in these areas is limited, so I want my blogger to sign in to have a full grasp of how to use these social media sites.

Your blogger sign in needs to demonstrate a good understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Ask the blogger applicant to write a paragraph on what SEO means to them. Ask for their creative comments on how SEO is important to drive traffic to your blog. Now ask them how they plan to find readers. Ask them to read your existing blog and comment on what they would change.

Does the applicant express experience in the topic of your blog?

You need to locate a blogger who knows enough about your niche to keep your blog readers engaged. The approach of “faking it until you make it” is not going to garner you an audience of faithful readers. And, what is a blog without readers? Not much!

Don’t hire the first person who answers your ads.

I hired a writer from PeoplePerHour as I was so enthused with their resume. Had I not hired the first person who answered my ad, I could have had the work done for half the price. Yes, you get what you pay for, but it may not always be the best deal around. Be patient; let your blogging job opening populate the Internet for a few days. Reading those resumes will be the good experience for you. Then, consider re-writing your ads.read

Hire a writer, not a blogger.

There are good reasons to hire a writer, not a blogger. Bloggers often break good grammar rules and their past work may reflect this tendency. Most writers can blog; not all bloggers can write! But keep in mind; most bloggers are more practiced at using social media!

Did the blogger applicant send to you a generic version of their resume, or did they bother to make it a document directed especially for you?

Those “canned” resumes are fine for most applications, but demand a higher standard for your use. You want to engage a writer who will send to you original content. Their resume will tell you quite a lot about the type of writer (blogger) they profess to be.

Is the applicant able to follow instructions?

Write a nonsensical requirement in the job application instructions. This is a good way to “weed-out” those who are unwilling or unable to follow simple instructions. From my past writing experience, I know that nonprofit foundations will ask for an unusual type or font just to see who is paying attention.

How do I know what to pay my blogger?

This is a good question! My experience suggests that you get what you pay for. A $7 blog post is about as good as a $12 blog post and neither one of them are worth much. Sure, if you are getting someone who is just starting out, they might do a good job at that price. A good rule of thumb is that a tri-weekly blog posting routine to include some social media interaction should cost you about $300 – $400 USD a month, in 2011 dollars. Remember, you get what you pay for!

Should I base pay on performance?

Absolutely! If you are getting a nice surge in website traffic, you are going to want to hold on to that blogger. When you negotiate your first agreement, do so for say a three or six month trial period. After that, you can arrange any additional compensation that may be warranted.

Top 10 Traffic Strategies For New Bloggers

Nowadays competition is Tessla  stiff in almost any niche! If you’re a new blogger you really can’t expect to become world famous quickly or just because of your blog regularly.bloggers

As a new blogger, you need to know that people are not watching everything you do. Some people don’t even care and most aren’t aware of you or your business.

This is why so many new bloggers are struggling with traffic. Don’t live in a bubble, take action and change your situation.

A good way to start is to build traffic the right way. Follow these 10 Traffic Strategies and start driving traffic to your site today!

Traffic Strategy #1 Distribute Viral eBooks for New Bloggers

New Bloggers creating an eBook that you write and produce once can drive traffic to your site for a very long time. How do you ask? By putting your name, website address and email or phone number on each page.

Pick a topic that your readers would happily pay for. Then write the eBook and then give it away for FREE! Yes, I said FREE! Have the topic relate to what you are doing, what your website is about. Tell people who get your eBook to share it with their friends, share it with everyone they know.

Remember all of your contact information is listed on each page of your eBook. This will bring traffic to your website. People will want to see what else you have to share with them. They will come to your site because they received this great eBook from you for FREE!

Traffic Strategy #2 Self Promotion for New Bloggers

There are so many little things that new bloggers can do to help promote you that many can be overlooked. Everything you can do to promote you, you can also use to promote your website which is better.

Keep in mind you may not be able to drive large amounts of traffic with these methods, you just never know what will happen with that handful of visitors.new

Add a link to your website in your email, share links to your posts and of course your business cards are just a few ways to self-promote you and your website.

Traffic Strategy #3 Quality Content for New Bloggers

Now as a new blogger you may think that quality content has nothing to do with getting traffic to your website. The impact of quality content can be very substantial.

Visitors come to your website to find out what you have to offer and read your information. If they like what you have, what they read, they will subscribe to your RSS feed, sign up for your newsletter and of course tell their friends about your great website/blog.

Remember content is king!, Blogs are a fantastic tool for creating quality content on a regular basis. Each time you add a post you increase your blog content which turns is creating a smorgasbord of relevant content that Google and other search engines really love!

Traffic Strategy #4 Article Marketing for New Bloggers

As a new blogger, you may think why do I need to write an article? I’ve been told article marketing no longer works! There are far too many articles out there, what could I possibly have to say that hasn’t already been said before?

I personally use article marketing to drive traffic to my website, to increase the visitors to my website/blog. Some of them (the visitors) will turn into customers/clients. The time spent writing and promoting the articles is time well spent.

New Bloggers article marketing will continue to work as long as people need information. Think…how you can as a new blogger fit in by contributing that information…into articles.

Article marketing is one of my favorite traffic strategies which does not take months to see results. You can start to generate traffic within days. Write articles that are targeted to your market, your niche. Submit your articles to the top 5 to 10 article sites including your name and website URL.

Traffic Strategy #5 Social Networking for New Bloggers

Social Networking sites are popping up everywhere. You can join groups of like-minded people that are bloggers or entrepreneurs.

As new bloggers don’t let all the social networking sites overwhelm you! A few of the top sites to join are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Start with these first and then add later when you get comfortable.

As a new blogger, it is important to remember is start with your profile, invite your friends and start connecting with like-minded people.traffic

You have a website/blog it is important to not only create a personal Facebook page; you also need a Fan Page for your business. Facebook Fan Pages are really starting to take off as a method of traffic generation for your website/blog.

Keep in mind start with a couple social networking sites…get to know them, how they work etc. Get really good with those networks before joining more. Quality time is more important than quantity. As new bloggers joining a ton of social networks and not participating will not generate traffic. You will feel overwhelmed and just give up.

Social Networking only works if you participate regularly…Relationshipping with people. This is a relationship building business.

Traffic Strategy #6 SEO and Keywords for New Bloggers

What you write whether articles or content for our website/blog you need to use relevant keywords. A keyword density of 3-8% is a good target for getting higher page rankings in Google and other search engines.

Research your keywords to find the most popular words used in the search engines for you target market, your niche. Use tags and keywords in your posts will help you move up in the search engines.

All photos and also add an alt tag using your keywords helps in the search engines.

As you write your posts you want to optimize your pages for both your human readers as well as search engines. Some say that if you make it work and rank for your keywords that your website/blog will be a search engine magnet.

You can write naturally and the search engines will notice if you know which keywords to target. Search engines do need time to work so don’t expect instant results.

Traffic Strategy #7 Social Bookmarking for New Bloggers

Being a new blogger you may be wondering what is Social Bookmarking?

How do I use Social Bookmarking?

What do I Social Bookmark?

With Social Bookmarking you submit your posts to the top social bookmarking sites. This allows others who are members of those sites to visit your website/blog. Taking this time to submit your posts to social bookmarking is a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your website/blog.

Social Bookmarking is all about people sharing their posts or posts that interest them at your website/blog. In other words your visitors if they like your posts they can also bookmark your posts…they can share with others through social bookmarking.

Put a plugin on your website/blog to the top social bookmarking sites, this will help your visitors to bookmark your posts or pages quickly and easily.

WordPress has several different social bookmarking plugins to use…one favorite is Sexy Bookmarks. Sexy Bookmarks has several of the top site to pick from. Add this plugin to your posts and pages and make it easy for your visitor to bookmark your website/blog.

Traffic Strategy #8 Document Sharing for New Bloggers

New Bloggers every document, article, post that you write is by my definition a marketing document. These documents present an image of your business, your website/blog.

It’s important to reuse your articles and posts…turn them into PDF’s and upload them to the top 10 to 15 document sharing sites. Why you may ask?

The reason is the top document sharing sites have thousands of people visiting daily, looking and reading and finding your articles and will, in turn, visit your website/blog for more information.

Each article needs to have your contact information, your name, your website/blog URL. Set up your profile at each of the document sharing sites with your website/blog URL as well.

What you are doing is creating backlinks to your website/blog and generating traffic.

Sharing information is what they internet is all about. Document sharing sites are a boom and a great way to generate FREE traffic to your website/blog. Be creative add pictures, increase the font size of your header and add color to your articles before you turn them into PDF’s.

Traffic Strategy #9 Video Marketing for New Bloggers

Listen up new bloggers Google and other search engines love videos! Video on your website is becoming more and more an effective method to help continue to grow your business, your online presence.

Here’s some trivia. A school of business stated a well-produced video increases information retention by 50% and it also speeds up buying decisions by 72% over a printed brochure.

Video marketing is quickly becoming the medium for branding and online communications. This is an important traffic strategy that you need to incorporate into your business put on your website/blog.

The most popular video marketing websites are YouTube which is owned by Google! See why Google loves videos?

Produce your quality videos; upload to YouTube plus at least 10 to 15 other top video marketing sharing sites and of course your website/blog. Always making sure your website/blog url is listed in your video. You want to send people back to your website/blog. This is also creating quality backlinks to your website/blog and this is generating free traffic.

Traffic Strategy #10 Syndicate Your Blog for New Bloggers

Setting up an RSS feed and putting a button on your website/blog makes it easy for you visitors to read your blog each time you publish new content.

As a new blogger it’s important to give your visitors ways to know you’ve added new content. You don’t want to rely on people’s memory, to remember where your website/blog is located. To remember to come back now to your website/blog; then to visit and see if you have add new content or not, everyone is busy so give them a way to remember!

For new bloggers and all bloggers who are growing a business online, making money by selling products or services, visitors are important and returning visitor the lifeline of your business.

Setting up an RSS feed for you website/blog is very quick and easy and another avenue for generating FREE traffic to you website/blog.

Conclusion to Traffic Strategies for New Bloggers

I want you as new bloggers to know that there are several more ways to promote your website/blog, to generate more traffic than what was mentioned in this article. It is just a matter of creativity and diligence.

Some traffic strategy methods work better than others. Some traffic strategies sources will send and generate more traffic for you website/blog.

Remember all traffic strategies take time don’t expect overnight riches or millions of visitors. Consistency is important, don’t just do each of these traffic strategies once or partially and expect tons of traffic. You will see traffic and it will continue to increase as long as you continue to follow the traffic strategies you put into place.

Regular traffic to your website/blog will continue and will increase if you as new bloggers continue adding new quality content to your website/blog and if you consistently continue these and other traffic strategies. I know I said that before but it is worth repeating.

What Habits Make a Great Blogger?

What Habits Make a Great Blogger?

I have been chasing The Haze  various blogs for some time now, and during that time, I have come to believe that what separates an ordinary blogger from a fantastic blogger is the power to be proactive.Of course, you want to have a passion for your niche, a good grasp of language and writing, and be an expert on what you are blogging about.All of these go into maximizing your opportunity for successful blogging. Not to mention that it takes about hard work, loyalty and uninterrupted growing of your blog.blogger

The proactive blogger performs all of this and then goes on to aggressively hunt down new opportunities, data and means of executing things that others will either sidestep or overlook. The proactive blogger is working when others have shut down for the day. With any ability, gift or connection, blogging is one of those things that take practice, practice, practice. It takes a someone who is devoted to put out that excess sweat and do it repeatedly over time. There are tons of unusual methods for producing revenue with a blog. What separates those who say from those who succeed is action. Proactive bloggers are constantly in motion, leading step-by-step actions to carry better news, information and the up-to-date in whatever niche they’re blogging in.

Information and software are so easy to obtain nowadays that making money is not nearly as hard as it used to be. With that overflow of information also follows the need to filter. Choose a spot that is interesting, then jump in and learn as you go. Filter out those things which are not a part of your niche, and continue to plow ahead, making connections and networking as you go.

4 Tips to Proactive Blogging

Tip #1 – Network. Blogging is social. As you blog, you will by nature grow an electronic network of like-minded bloggers. Networking with other bloggers can be positive in a variety ways including There is no limitation to what you can attain when you network with others.habits

One of the greatest ways to meet other bloggers is to take a proactive approach. Go in with the knowledge that other bloggers are ever interested in other quality bloggers in their niche. What normally keeps people back from being proactive is a dread of failure or rejection. Stride right past that concern. It’s normal.
It’s actually the fear of the unknown, and it’s important to recognize that the worst that can come about is they can say, “No.” It’s called Fail Forward to Success and it’s a numbers game. You need to get 20 “No thanks” in succession before you should step back and look at your approach. It is virtually impossible to get 20 of them in a row, by the way.

Tip #2 – Learn From Your Errors. If you don’t try, you will never learn. Being proactive means that you should be open to both succeed and fail. In each instance, you will learn and keep going. In actuality, it’s better to fail first, take from experience and then succeed. When touching others, it is always about given and take.

Tip #3 – Learn More – Learn Better. We all have different ways that we learn and learning to be proactive is no different. Learning from mistakes is one way. Another good way is to learn via online tutorials. There are online for just about everything from graphic design software like Photoshop and Illustrator to how to effectively internet market and blog. Nowadays, you can acquire videos on almost anything and your learning curve is about 5x faster through video than reading.

Proactive bloggers have a much higher level of learning simply because their activity and interactivity is that much higher. As you learn things, your learning curve will reduce simply because you are building on what you already know. You will end up adding to your present and future efforts quickly as a result.

Tip #4 – You Will Achieve Long Term Goals
Begin taking steps towards reaching your long-range goals by executing more than that is absolutely essential. In order to grow and carry out goals quicker, errors will be made, but you will go much further because of your willingness to take action through the long haul.

Feel you are already proactive? Well here are great ways to increase your proactivity!

#1 – Start. Get Moving. Get Up and Move
Probably one of the easiest and often disregarded methods of getting proactive and starting a blog falls under making those first steps. If you want to operate a blog, sign up for web hosting, figure and register a domain name, and set up a blog.

#2 – Write For Others
Guest posts are your best way towards establishing networks with other bloggers. After you have your blog up and going, drop a line for other blogs and you’ll automatically learn individuals better. Other bloggers are always looking for premium content, and if you contact them for guest blogging privileges, it will automatically get you incoming links to your blog and a contact at the other blog.

#3 – Comment on others blog posts
Blogging is totally about the conversation. If you see a post that is especially interesting, comment on it. Others will set out to comment on your blog in return and it starts a conversation. If you do this on a regular basis, people will begin to take notice and do likewise. Think of it as a conversation. If you never say hello, the other person doesn’t say hello, there is silence. This is just a form of saying hello.

#4 – Social Media is the new platform
Getting involved in social media is a marvelous way to spring into the blogger flow. If you want to get to know other bloggers, their blogs, and viewpoints, use social media networks like StumbleUpon, Digg and others. StumbleUpon is especially good for networking, and you can get traffic quickly to your site through just this one social media network.great

There are truly a number of gains to being proactive. Blogging is about getting your views and thoughts about your niche out there. You want to provide info and viewpoints, instructions if you have it and beliefs. It is learning, evolving entity that you have control over. With practice, it will become second nature to you, and your incoming traffic will step-up as a result.

Women Power Bloggers

According to the Pew Internet The Info Blog Project’s PIP Blogging Report, 46% of bloggers are female and the numbers are growing every day. However, many woman bloggers are a slightly upset with the lack of recognition in their industry. After a week of research, I finally asked myself why aren’t women more prominent on the web? Of all the blog ranking lists, except fashion and celebrity blogs, an average of 12% of women appear in the top 100 of each list. And some sources have the nerve to think that fashion blogs are “personal diaries of style”. After doing some research I realized why so many bloggers and readers today perceive women bloggers differently than men:Women

Many men bloggers don’t link to women bloggers
Less than 10% of women are political bloggers
60% of women created blogs are categorized as “personal diaries”
Nearly 88% of top bloggers are white American men.
Some guys don’t appreciate being lectured by women
Instead of analyzing RSS feeds and researching list after list, I decided to go directly to the source to get more answers and find out how women power bloggers reached success, how they reach their readers, and what they think about the discrimination towards professional women bloggers in today’s blogging community.

I communicated with four very different women bloggers (Chanel Ward/Hip Candy, Charlene Li/Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer) and asked them the same five questions:

What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?
If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?
How has blogging advanced your career?
On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?
If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?
After talking with these women I realized that a “power blogger” has nothing to do with your ranking on a list but the quality of your posts, the awareness of your reader’s needs, and the ability to look beyond fame and fortune and stay true to your subject matter. This is part one of a two part series featuring women bloggers who have changed the way the world views them and their readers. Today’s featured blogger is Chanel Ward from Hip Candy and Charlene Li from Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies.power

Chanel Ward / Hip Candy

It’s hard to pick one of my favorite blogs, but Hip Candy is very close to my heart. From the tag line, “sweet… but not in that fattening kind a way” to the blog’s owner, Chanel Ward, Hip Candy is fresh, exciting and new.

Fashion designer/graphic artist/writer Chanel Ward was featured as 225 Magazine’s Top People To Watch in 2008 and for good reason. After being the voice for the America’s Next Top Model Interviews and one of the finalists for Project Runaway’s fan favorite blogs this fashionista was invited to experience and write about Fashion Week and is soon launching the much-anticipated clothing line Hip Couture. Blazing a trail of personality and style her blog and her career has a life of its own, but don’t take my word for it.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus of Hip Candy is my tagline. Fashion. Celebrity. Entertainment. Me. That’s basically what I blog about in a nutshell! I like to think of my blog as fashionably fun! I chose this niche because my background is in Fashion Design (graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, 1999 – http://www.fidm.com) and I’ve always been intrigued by celebrity culture, so I just thought it would be an adventure to start a fun site that would focus on those things, and at the same time, it would keep me abreast of what was happening in the [fashion] industry. Hip Candy is a fun forum for readers to come and share their opinions on fashion, (the latest trends, fashion donuts…) celebrity (what they were wearing, what were they thinking?!) the latest happenings in entertainment, with a little bit of what’s going on with me thrown in for good measure.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

I was surprised to learn recently that some of my readers are as young as 12! But I also have more “seasoned” readers, women over 50 and beyond as well as every age (and gender) in between. Hip Candy readers are very opinionated. Even though most of them usually agree with most things I opine, and “wax poetic” about, they don’t always agree with everything I put down, and that’s okay! Having a difference of opinion is what makes us unique! One of my most commented posts (69 comments at last count) has a firestorm of strong opinions on it from start to finish (http://hipcandy.blogspot.com/2007/03/style-verdict-hetero-men-in-heels.html) Anyone who takes time out of their busy day to click onto to Hip Candy, read a post and share their opinions is more than alright with me.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?

Wow. That’s such a loaded question! I’d never really considered myself a “writer”, but after starting Hip Candy, I slowly began to allow myself think otherwise. My blog has already reached levels that I wouldn’t have imagined when I started it. I figured it would just be a fun hobby. The response since I started it has been phenomenal already! It’s very humbling. Some of the more noteworthy advancements have been 1) exposure to the masses from conducting the “Top Model” interviews 2) getting credentialed and being invited to Fashion Week from my fashion coverage on the blog coupled with solid readership 3) That same solid readership translating into monthly ad revenue generated on Hip Candy 4) all-expense paid trips to cover trade shows and events ([http://blogs.dreambrizo.com/kbis_2007/]) 5) recognition and acknowledgement from magazines, and finally and ultimately, 6) built in name recognition for a future clothing launch! Blogging has truly been a surprise and a blessing and I look forward to more in 2008!blogger

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I hadn’t heard this statistic before, but it’s pretty staggering given that I did hear that about half of the people blogging right now are women. I don’t really know why more women aren’t considered top bloggers. I’d love to find that out myself. I’d love to find out what we as women could do to level the playing field. I’m not as privy as I’d like to be on how blog ranking works. I’ve made a couple lists in the past, ([http://www.fashioniq.com/wordpress/2007/04/23/top-50-fashion-blogs-in-the-us/]) (http://www.customizedgirl.com/blog/) but unless you’re a site like Technorati who ranks blogs on several different statistically based criteria, I’m not sure how much weight it holds. That being said, I’m always grateful to be included on people’s “Top” list, whatever the criteria!

5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

My word of advice to women bloggers would be to not give up! So many of us who may have a strong voice on whatever subject, fall by the wayside after starting blogs and don’t ever see the full fruit of what could have been. Unless you are a celebrity, nobody ever starts out with millions of readers! I’m still striving for that myself! So it’s definitely a process, and growing pains are a part of that process. I can remember back when my mom and a few of my friends made up the entirety of my readership. But if you’re putting out good content, readers will always follow. Have faith in yourself and what you’re doing! Especially if you love it.

Charlene Li / Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies

Charlene Li knows what she’s talking about and she is passionate about it. Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies is one of the best-written blogs on the web, period. Charlene is an expert on technologies like blogs and social networking and uses this knowledge to lead the marketing and research team at Forrester.

Charlene doesn’t just write about her passion, she consults others about trends and methods surrounding her niche. She is one of the most quoted analysts and has appeared on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, CNN, NPR, and BBC, as well as The Wall Street, Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek. As a matter of fact, while writing this biography and researching Charlene’s accomplishments, a commercial for 60 minutes segment on Facebook was advertised, Charlene provided background on that story. Reading Charlene’s blog has personally advanced my career as a technology leader within my company and has kept me fully up to date on innovative marketing solutions through social networks and blogging. I am very honored to have her take the time to reach out my readers on the topic of women and blogging.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus is developments in interactive and social technologies primarily for marketing purposes. Most recently, the focus is on the use of social technologies and supports a new book that I’m publishing in April 2008. The blog is an extension of my work at Forrester Research.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

I have three very specific readers: 1) Businesspeople interested in leverage interactive and social technologies, primarily in marketing; 2) Influential press and bloggers; 3) Thought leaders in the field, whom I can tap for research purposes.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?

Oh, in so many ways! It’s given me visibility beyond the limited Forrester client base and extended my influence tremendously. I have contacts that I would never have developed without the blog. And I rely on it consistently to conduct research amongst a community that doesn’t exist anywhere else. As such, I have access to better research faster than anyone else in the industry.

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I’m assuming that you mean only 12% of top bloggers are women. This is partly a matter of who does the listing. And frankly, why does it matter if you’re a “top” blogger? The most important thing is to know who your reader is and to hyper-serve them better than anyone else. I’m unlikely to ever make it on the Technorati 100 list, but I’m clearly considered a “top blogger” in my field.

The other way to look at it is do women consider themselves to be a top blogger? If the state is 12% of women bloggers consider themselves to be top bloggers, then we have a self-esteem problem!

Blogger Or WordPress – How They Compare

Bloggers: Should You Use Blogger.com or WordPress?

Blogger.com (also known as Blogspot) and The Know It Guy  WordPress are the two most commonly used blogging platforms today. Blogger.com was a pioneer in the blogging industry, allowing users to set up accounts and blog for free beginning in 1999. Blogger.com was purchased by Google in 2003, which enabled it to grow using Google’s resources. Today, Blogger.com has an undisclosed number of millions of users blogging on their system.blogger

WordPress began in 2003 as the successor to another (now relatively unknown) blogging system. It has since become the blog platform of choice for most blogging professionals. There are currently over two million people who are active users of WordPress.com, and there are millions of others who have downloaded various versions of the WordPress code.

Using the Blogger setup mandates that your blog be hosted on their servers. In comparison, blogs running on WordPress’ platform can be hosted at WordPress.com, or the WordPress software can be downloaded and used on your choice of web hosts. Below are some of the key features of Blogger.com versus the two versions of WordPress setups.

Blogger.com Features
Free hosting for up to 1 GB worth of space
Blog content is maintained on Blogger.com web servers
Ability to choose and customize templates (limited flexibility)
Easy to get started; easy to use
Upload and store image files and video files

WordPress.com Features
Free hosting for up to 3GB worth of space
Blog content is maintained on WordPress.com web servers
Ability to choose and customize templates (limited flexibility)
Easy to get started; easy to use
Upload and store image, video, and other (limited) file formats

WordPress Self-Hosted Features
Blog content is maintained on user’s preferred web host
Nearly unlimited ability to choose and customize templates and widgets
Takes some technical ability to setup and configure
Files support limited only by web server, which likely means virtually unlimited

Who Uses Which
A quick perusal of a few the various blogs running on the Blogspot.com domain versus those that use one of the WordPress setups (accounts on WordPress.com and self-hosted blogs using WordPress software) indicates that Blogspot.com is more commonly used for people who blog about their families, pets, and other personal kinds of topics. Compared to WordPress users, Blogger.com users are typically not “professional” bloggers, although there are plenty of Common Joe bloggers who monetize their Blogspot blogs and make a living doing it.wordpress

Self-hosted WordPress blogs lean more toward professional entities who have an IT person or department who handles their maintenance. They are often more formal. Because WordPress.com is similar in its functionality to Blogger.com, blogs using WordPress.com are similar to Blogger blogs in content, naturally more casual or personal than self-hosted WordPress blogs.

Cost
Blogspot accounts are free. So are accounts on WordPress.com. However, if you want to do any significant customization of your WordPress.com-hosted blog, you’ll have to pay to upgrade to their Custom CSS membership, which costs $14.97 per year. WordPress.com accounts can be upgraded to give you additional disk space($19.97/year for 5GB up to $89.97/year for 25GB), unlimited user accounts for your blog($29.97/year), and the ability to add videos (Blogger.com naturally has this support built in.) to your blog ($59.97/year). If your blog runs on the WordPress platform downloadable from WordPress.org, your costs are dependent upon your hosting account, which could cost as little as $5.00 per month or as much as hundreds of dollars monthly.

Flexibility
Because WordPress is open source software, it gives experienced bloggers much more flexibility when it comes to customizing a blog. When you download and install WordPress, you have full access to the database and the PHP, CSS, and image files that comprise the WordPress blogging platform. In contrast to Blogger’s platform, having development access to the entire system allows users to be as creative as they want to be. This flexibility does not exist to nearly the extent with accounts that are hosted on WordPress.com. One bonus that WordPress.com does provide is the ability to host files other than simply images. MS PowerPoint files, Word (.doc) and Open Office (.odt) word processing files, and PDF files can be uploaded and stored for use on a WordPress.com account.

Although Blogger allows and encourages users to their setup to customize their blogs adding Google gadgets and changing layouts, I’ve found that there is a lot of guesswork involved when trying to figure out how to manipulate their XML schema, which is used to customize templates beyond adding gadgets and changing layouts. When I customize blogs hosted on Blogger’s system, I often feel like I’m abstracted from their lower level setup. Some of Blogger’s XML tags are documented, but that documentation is sparse. When I’m customizing a Blogspot blog, it’s as if I’m throwing my work over a wall, and then checking to see what I get back. This interface can be frustrating.

A comparison that is noteworthy between each of these blog platforms is the ability to categorize posts. Greater flexibility exists with both WordPress.com-hosted blogs and self-hosted ones using the WordPress software than with Blogger.com. Categories are created using Labels on Blogger.com blogs. This setup does not allow for sub-categories on Blogger account. Sub-categories are a natural part of both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress blogs.

Ease of Use
For the layman blogger, getting started with blogging on Blogger’s platform is the simplest of tasks. You simply create an account, choose a template, and start writing away. The interface is very straight forward for users of Blogger. WordPress.com is similar, slightly more complicated. WordPress self-hosted blogs require a user to download the software, upload it to a server, configure database settings, and run the installation program included with the software. This process is pretty straightforward for someone with IT experience, but for most other people it is a little intimidating.

Once a blog is a setup with any of these platforms, using it is simple enough regardless of which one you choose. However, of all the interfaces, Blogger.com is probably the easiest to understand and navigate.compare

Security and Updates
WordPress has had a history of vulnerability to hacks. To minimize that risk, it is recommended that users of WordPress be vigilant about maintaining their sites. Specifically, WordPress blog owners hosting their own blogs are encouraged to keep up with current updates.

Blogger users can essentially allow the Blogger development team to worry about hacks. Because the blog data is kept on Blogger’s servers, there is much less likely that Blogger sites can be hacked.

Which One’s Best for Me
If your intentions are simply to publish your information to the world without hassling with intense customization and continuing updates, Blogger.com is the way to go. Because most run-of-the-mill bloggers fit into this category, Blogger has the largest number (although nobody knows how many that is) of blogs on the Internet today.

If you have the resources and desire to be more sophisticated in your blogging habits, WordPress is what you should use. Accessibility to the inner workings of WordPress allows it to be used for much more than just a simple online journal. I recently talked to someone who told me his company uses WordPress software as a content management system, performing many of the functions of a CMS such as Joomla.

Blogger Book Giveaways

As the owner of a company that Top Theto  provides book reviews and operates a book contest, I’ve long been aware that there are many bogus contests and reviewers out there. I’ve also promoted blog tours for authors, and I firmly believe that having your own blog and being a guest on someone else’s blog is a great way to get the word out about your book. But not all blogs and bloggers are created the same, and worse, some are not very honest.blogger

Recently, I became aware of a new trend among bloggers to offer giveaways to their readers. Sadly, many of these purported giveaways are scams, or at least, they are not completely honest or providing what they claim they will provide for the book’s author. Following are some examples and guidelines to follow before providing your book to bloggers who are offering giveaways.

First, let’s look at the book giveaway process and what may motivate bloggers to offer a regular book giveaway. The blogger’s requests authors and often other owners of various products to send them the products so that they can review them. Next, they read the book or use the product and write a review of the product, posting the product information on their blog. They then ask people to submit their names through some electronic form or via email for a random drawing for a giveaway of the product. The product is then mailed to the winner. Sounds simple enough.

But it’s actually more complicated than that. The blogger isn’t going to go through all this work without getting something in return. Often, the blogger will post an image of the product with a link to where it can be purchased, such as an online bookstore that not only sells the product but also has a referral program where the blogger receives a commission on all products sold when people click through from the blogger’s site to the seller’s site and buy the product.

That is even reasonable and there’s nothing wrong with people being paid for their work. The possibility of unethical and scamming behavior comes, however, in various, sometimes small, but nevertheless serious ways. Before you submit your book to a blogger, here are some things to watch out for:

1. FTC Disclosure-It is the law now that anyone who receives a profit when he or she endorses a product must disclose that upfront. A legitimate website will have an FTC disclosure statement on it that the owner is receiving a commission (whether through click-thru or the direct payment by the author or product owner) for promoting the work. That does not mean the blogger is being dishonest in providing a good review of the product. In fact, if the FTC disclosure is there, it’s a good sign the blogger believes in being honest about the product. If the FTC disclosure is not there, don’t participate.

2. Product Reviews-Before you send your book to someone to review it, look at the past reviews at the site. A lot of bloggers (and book reviewers) claim that they review books when, in fact, they simply copy the product description as it appears on the author’s or an online bookstore’s website, or they copy the back cover description and post that as a review. That is not a legitimate book review because it does not reflect the blogger’s personal opinion of the book and it’s a good sign the blogger didn’t even bother to read the book to find out whether it deserves to be endorsed. The blogger is simply trying to get as many products featured on the blog as possible so more commission can be earned.book

3. Multiple Copies-If bloggers request more than two copies of the book, it’s unlikely they want the books for review or giveaway. It’s understandable the blogger might want a book to read and then another to send to the giveaway winner. However, it’s much more sensible for the blogger to request only one copy and then after the giveaway’s winner is named, request that the author personally send the winner an autographed copy. If a blogger requests more than two copies, it’s likely the blogger is collecting inventory to resell-perhaps to a local used bookstore, or perhaps at an online store, thereby making a profit off copies of books he didn’t pay for and that the author thought would be given away.

4. Drawing Results-An honest blogger running a book giveaway is going to disclose the names of the winners, although, for privacy’s sake, it might just say Amanda W., Syracuse, NY or George T, Salt Lake City, UT. What is suspicious is not giving any indication that there are winners.

If you are still unsure whether to submit your book to a blogger’s book giveaway, contact the authors of some of the previous giveaways and ask them whether it helped them or they ever heard from any of the readers. If the blogger is running a legitimate contest and gives the author the email and mailing address of the giveaway winner, you can contact the person and rest assured that your book is going where it should. If the blogger is mailing out the copies himself, you don’t have proof the books are being mailed out. In fact, I’ve heard from some authors who have participated in such giveaways multiple times that they have never received a thank you or any feedback from the people who supposedly received their books. While not receiving feedback is not necessarily a sign of dishonesty, when you do receive feedback it’s a sign that everything is functioning as it should.

Will a book giveaway help promote your book and give you publicity? It could if the blog gets a lot of traffic, and if the blogger truly is giving away the books, you may at least find one new fan. The blogger, of course, may tell you how the blog receives tens of thousands of views, and if that’s true, it’s great because then a lot of people will hear about your book, and if they are interested and do not win it in the giveaway, hopefully, they will buy it.giveaways

If you do get scammed, you’ll only lose out on the costs of the few books you give away, but that said, no one wants to be scammed, so do a little research before you decide to give away your books and you can rest assured that the readers whom you want your books to reach will be the ones benefiting from the book giveaway rather than solely a blogger who is out to make money without ethics.