Sunday, 8 May 2011

How To Get Traffic from Facebook Social Plugins

Social Plugins are a new initiative from Facebook to allow website owners to integrate their content into Facebook’s social graph. Put simply, that means if you start using their plugins on your blog, any interactions your visitors make with the plugins will be reflected in their Facebook profiles, and thus to their friends.

There are a bunch of plugins on offer which you can find more about here. Most of the plugins show visitors information about their friends on your pages, but two of them are great for bloggers looking to try and get back a little traffic love from Facebook.

·        Like Button: -


Facebook have fallen in love with “Like” buttons – you’ll start to see this as the action of choice for everything in Facebook, be it your friend’s comments, Facebook Pages, etcetera. You can now put a Like button on your web pages, which means when your visitors click it, your web page potentially shows up as a story in the user’s public profile when they click it, meaning their friends may see it and click as well.

If you’re running WordPress, it’s easy – there’s a plugin you can grab here which all the hard works for you.

If you need to implement the Like button manually, go this setup page where Facebook will generate code for a Like button for your site. You’ll have to put an address in (don’t worry we’ll hack that in a bit). Setup the other options (I’d recommend unchecking “Show Faces” to keep the size of this small) then click “Get Code” and copy the IFRAME version. This is the version of code you will need to put in your site. There’s an example below: -

You will need to change the URL part (highlighted) for every page you put this on, and I’d recommend adding the height constraint (also highlighted) which will keep the plugin from creating too much white space.

·        Like Box (for Facebook Pages)


The Like box is an option for Facebook Page owners to show a feed of information about your Page – recent stories, how many users like it, and the all important Like Button. Unlike the Like button for your web pages, this will create a permanent connection between the Facebook user and your Facebook page, which means any updates you make to your Facebook page, may be shown in the user’s main news feed, thus increasing the chances of them visiting your site again.

If you haven’t got a Facebook page for you Blog, I would highly recommend it, it’s free and can be created here. You can configure all sorts of options for your Facebook Page but even if you just publish your blog posts to your Facebook page, it is likely to drive you some traffic.

Once you’ve created your Facebook page you’ll need the number (id) of the page to paste in this page to create a Like Box. For example, from my page, it’s the last set of numbers on the url: -

Again, if you’re running WordPress there’s a plugin here, otherwise play with the options to create the Like Box, and copy the code for your site.


Unlike the many other plugins and widgets competing for space on your blog, these two plugins provide a real benefit by virally spreading your blog through the biggest Social Network on the web. From my perspective, that’s a very hard offer to turn down. Go check them out.

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Friday, 6 May 2011

Part Time Blogging

You may have read a lot about pro blogging and what it takes to become a full time blogger and earn more than enough to have a living. This is one of the most common topics among active bloggers and there are tons of nice articles that cover various aspects of the subject. With the huge amount of focus that is currently given on becoming a pro blogger, I think often the opportunity and benefits of becoming a profitable part-time blogger is widely overlooked. Earning a reasonable amount of money on a part time basis is actually more desirable than most people realize.

Part-Time Blogging: What Are the Benefit: -

·        Less Pressure on Yourself - If you are a part-time blogger then you will probably have a day job which entitles you with a full-time income. You won’t have to pressurize yourself to produce or to earn large sums of money from your blog right from the start. So you will be able to concentrate more on your ‘blogging’ rather than ‘making money’. If you’re able to live well from your full-time income, the income that your blog generates will be like extra money. If you come across a bad month when you don’t make as much as you would have hoped, it’s not that big of a deal.

·        Good Supplementary Income - Even though you don’t have the pressure to produce an income from your blog that can support your lifestyle, you do have some opportunity to earn a very good income even from being a part time blogger. I believe, one of the best reasons of blog part-time blogging is the opportunity to build an passive income that continues to grow, even when it’s just a part-time effort. If you are lucky you might come to a point where your supplementary income may be more than enough to consider giving up your day job and becoming a pro blogger, or you may choose to just continue part-time and enjoy the extra income.

·        Professional Status - If you have studied engineering to become an engineer or law to become a lawyer you can still be all if you are a part time blogger. You can peruse whatever carrier that you dreamed of and still enjoy part time blogging. You don’t need to quit your day job and jump in right away to blogging in order to become successful. Many full time bloggers don’t have that luxury to do so. They have given up their job and their carrier to become a full time blogger - and although they earn enough now to make a living, you don’t have to necessarily do the same thing.  As a part-time blogger you have the luxury of earning some money and building your business without the risk that would come along with going full-time right away.

·        Allows for Re-Investment - Blogging for Money  is a business like any other. Part of being in business is willingness to spend money and invest in the business. Most bloggers are very hesitant to spend any money for their blog and are always looking for free options. 
While being careful with your money is a good attitude, but having a willingness to re-invest some or all of your blogging income on your blog itself will give you a better chance of making more in the long run. Usually Part-time bloggers have a much greater ability to re-invest their earnings because in most cases they don’t rely on that income for necessary living expenses.

5 Tips for Part-Time Bloggers: -

1.   Always Have a Plan - This is especially necessary for part-time bloggers as it’s a very critical point. Always set a goal - Do you want to eventually earn a full-time income from your blog? Are you happy with what you are earning right now? Of course both your plan and goal can change over time, but it is important to have a working plan of where you want to go with your blog and the steps that you need to follow in order to get there.

2.   Use a Schedule - If you are a part time blogger, you only have a few hours available to spend on your blog. So being efficient and able to do proper time management is essential. In order for you to achieve maximum efficiency you will need to schedule your time to assure that you’re working on things that will produce solid results, rather than just wasting time surfing.

3.   Don’t Try to be the Jack of all trades - Many of us face the challenge of directing our efforts into one particular thing that we are good at. You probably have ideas for several new blogs that you are keen to start or several other online methods of making money. It’s always best to avoid the temptation to take on too much at one time. You’ll see better results by focusing your efforts and energy on one thing at a time. Be truthful and realistic with yourself about what you can handle and what you simply don’t have time for.

4.   Approach Part-Time Blogging as Asset Building - Part-time blogging is really all about building an asset online. From what I have seen in past, blogs that are popular are often sold for thousands of dollars. Whether you want to eventually sell the blog once it becomes popular or keep it, the blog is always an asset to you. If you start to look at your blogging efforts as asset building you’ll see more of the long-term benefits and payoffs and you’ll worry less on the hours that you’re losing for other activities.

5.   Always Re-Evaluate Your Goals - When you first started blogging you probably had some basic goals that were slightly different than they are now. This is a very natural thing. Once you start to learn about what’s involved with running a profitable blog and the various opportunities that exist, you may change your mind in some time in the middle and have a complete set of new goals. It’s always a good idea to sit down and evaluate why you are dedicating your time to blogging and where you are hoping to go with it.

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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

5 Tips for Bettering Your Blog

When it comes to your blog, articles, and your content in general, quality is the most important thing to keep in mind. Who wants to read something that’s confusing, misleading, or is simply a boring mess? Nobody, of course!  Below you will find some simple changes you can make to your blog that will surely increase the quality of your content, which could very well lead to an increase in traffic to your site.

·        Break it up with headings

One thing to keep in mind is that many people won’t read your blog word-for-word. People will generally skim a page for points of interest, and then read further once they’ve found something that catches their eye.  By breaking your post up into sections and creating headings or sub-sections, people will generally know what you’re saying with a quick glance.  The result of doing this will be an increase in the amount of time people spend on your site, because they can quickly find the information they’re interested in.  And obviously, the longer a visitor stays on your site, the better.

·        Get to know your readers

Whether the visitor to your site is there for the first time or is a regular reader, establishing a relationship with them is crucial to developing your audience.  Encourage readers to comment and be a part of discussions with one another.  If you occasionally join in on these conversations, you’re showing your readers that you care enough to take the time to talk with them about their thoughts and opinions.  This also gives you a forum in which to address the needs of your readers in a more personal and inviting way.

·        Write as though you’re in a conversation

As far as most people are concerned, a good writer is one who writes in a conversational manner and seems more personable and likable.  Keep in mind that just because you’re writing in a more friendly tone doesn’t mean that you should leave your grammar and spelling skills behind.  Always strive to use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar.  It’s the tone of what you’re writing that’s the most important factor. A friendly, conversational tone is so much more engaging, and easy to read and interact with than a technical sounding tone that sounds like it may be from an android!

·        Don’t post filler

It’s a very common and unfortunate mistake for new writers to feel as though they MUST upload content. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to matter to them if the content makes no sense and relates in no way to their website. They post simply for the sake of posting. The sole purpose of this type of posting is to take up space.  You know the old cliché, “It’s not the quantity that counts, but the quality,” and that couldn’t be more true in the case of the Internet.  A few well thought out and meaningful posts will get much more traffic and feedback than a bunch of filler with no relevance.

·        Get creative with your fonts

Of course, don’t go overboard and make your page look like it has no consistency, but try experimenting with different fonts. Depending on your blog’s theme and style, occasional font changes can really help to accent particular sentences and thoughts. If the headline font is slightly different from the rest of the text, it can grab the attention of someone who is skimming the page for interesting information. Without any font editing, you very well may have lost that reader.  Tweak your options a little bit and accent something on the page with the color red, highlight the background with yellow, make some text bold, or underline some text (sparingly).  You have the ability to spruce things up a lot with a few very simple methods. If you’re using a pre-made blogging system, your options may be limited as some websites opt to keep things very simple. Even in those situations, though, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any options for you. Look around for minor tweaks that you can make here and there.

In conclusion…

By experimenting with some of the methods above, mixing things up a bit can really impact the quality of your content, all while building an online reputation you can be proud of.  Never underestimate the power of establishing a friendly relationship with your readers, either!  After all, without readers, what is the point of any of this?  Take an objective look at your site and find little improvements that can be made here and there. The increase of your traffic and popularity will make everything you’ve done more than worthwhile.

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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

How to Choose a Web Hosting Plan

Whether you are an affiliate marketer looking to optimize your landing pages or you are a professional blogger looking for ways to enhance your WordPress-powered site, it pays to have good web hosting. Different people are going to have different needs, to be sure, but there are a few criteria that just about everyone will want to keep in mind.


When looking for the best web hosting, perhaps the most important characteristic is uptime. It doesn’t matter if all the other features are incredibly attractive if your site never loads reliably.

It can be difficult to determine the true reliability of a web hosting company without giving them a try for yourself, but you can look around the Internet for some reviews and feedback. This can give you some indication, but there will always be some individual differences with hosting experiences.


If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you can usually start out with one of the cheaper shared hosting plans. There are a number of providers who offer unlimited web hosting, but you have to take such claims with a grain of salt.

By definition, it is not possible for a web host to truly provide unlimited storage and bandwidth. The hard drive on the server is only so big. The server can only feed so much data at a time. However, the “virtually” unlimited plans will usually provide more than what most customers need.

If you expect relatively high levels of traffic for your site(s), then you may want to consider some beefier options. There are cloud-based hosting solutions, for instance, as well as dedicated servers and virtual private servers.


It really depends on the kinds of needs you have for your web hosting, but it pays to pay close attention to the features and compatibility of your chosen hosting plan. Do you need more than one MySQL database? Is the server compatible with your preferred software and content management system? Do you need multiple email addresses? Can you host more than one domain on a single account?


Many potential customers pay far too much attention on just the price of a hosting plan. It doesn’t matter if you manage to save a few bucks if you’ll ultimately be disappointed with what you get.

From customer service to bandwidth limits, uptime to feature sets, there’s a lot to think about before you give them your credit card information. You wouldn’t splurge on a new house without shopping around first, right? Why would your online real estate be any different?

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Monday, 2 May 2011

4 Tips To Help You Stay Focused on your Blog

Most people who blog also have a full time job or occupation (i.e., school), not to mention other personal activities (e.g., friends and family), so balancing everything can become tricky indeed.

In fact if you don’t plan well your blog is probably the one that is going to suffer first. That is, when things get messy or overwhelming, most people just abandon their blogs.

I think this is a mistake, because a blog is a great marketing tool for anyone. It helps you improve your writing, it expands your network of contacts, it builds an audience for your ideas, it allows you to establish expertise in your field and so on.

That is why I decide to write a post with 4 tips that will help you stay focused on your blog, even if your personal life is taking most of your time.

1.   Focus on the core activities

Writing blog posts, promoting blog posts, building links, creating social bookmarking profiles, promoting on Twitter, creating Facebook fan pages, experimenting with PPC ads, reading RSS feeds, creating eBooks, etc.

Trying to do everything I mentioned above would be possible, and it could help your blog, but it would also burn you out quickly.

If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to your blog, focus on the core activities only. The main one is writing content. If you only have time for one task, use it to write content. If in one day you happen to have some extra time, use it to promote your best posts.

That is it. If you write great content and promote it slightly your blog will grow naturally, and you’ll keep your sanity.

2.   Have fun with it

You need to have fun with your blog, else you’ll lose the motivation to keep it alive it very quickly.

The first step to achieve this is to choose a niche you are interested in. If you pick a niche only to make money you’ll find it painful to write the content no matter what.

Second, you need to make a compromise between what you like to write and what your readers like to read. Go too much with the former and your audience will go away. Go too much with the latter and you’ll lose motivation to write.

3.   Set milestones

You can’t improve what you can’t measure, and you can’t get motivated if you don’t think something is improving.

That is why milestones are important. They allow you to track the progress of your blog, and once you see things are getting better, you’ll get motivated to keep working on the blog.

Examples of milestones you could set: -

·        to reach 1,000 daily page views

·        to reach 1,000 RSS subscribers

·        to write a post that will receive 20 comments

·        to reach an Alexa rank of 100,000

4.   Monetize it

Like it or not, money is a very strong motivator. If you are not monetizing your blog yet, and are losing motivation to keep working at it, maybe you should put some ads or affiliate links around.

Don’t expect to get rich overnight, but I am sure that even $100 monthly would give you an extra incentive to write on your blog.

Apart from the immediate results you’ll also see potential there. You’ll realize that your blog can produce real money, and that the better the content you put there, the more money you’ll make.

It becomes a virtuous cycle, where you write more and better content to make more money, and the more money you make the more motivated you become to write more and better content.

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