It is easy to create and publish your blog. But when you talk about website traffic, readership and inter-activity with other bloggers- this is where the hard work comes. There are many blogs around giving free and useful advice on these essential subjects. I am still a neophyte blogger and so I won't dare give you any advice on the matter. But what I can do is rob you of some fun in surfing the web and discovering new sites by sharing with you a list of some of the helpful sites I have visited to cut your surfing time. Cheers!
Here is my initial list of websites which I believe can be of great help to all upstart bloggers. (Site description adapted from http://Go2Web20.net)
1. zemanta.com Making Blogging Fun Again Have your browser understand what you are blogging about and suggest pictures, links, articles and tags to make your posts more vibrant.
2.blogcatalog.com A Social Community for Bloggers BlogCatalog's purpose it to list Blogs available on the Internet. The goal is to provide a service that drives traffic to Blog owner's sites as well as give users searching for Blog's an easy way to find them.
3. mybloglog.com For all This Talk of a Global Conversation Throughout the Blogosphere MyBlogLog is a communities service to empower authors and readers to operate at the same level. For the first time, everyone who reads a web site or blog can learn about and engage with one another, and in the process take the conversation to a whole new level.
4. blogrush.com Your Blog Syndication Network BlogRush is a free service that was created to help bloggers solve their #1 need: More Readers For Their Blog. By adding the BlogRush Widget to a blog, a blogger can get instant distribution for their latest blog post titles across a network of related blogs.
5.technorati.com Explore the blogosphere Technorati is the authority on what's going on in the world of weblogs. The power of weblogs is that they allow millions of people to easily publish their ideas, and millions more to comment on them. Blogs are a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a 'conversation' than to a library — which is how the Web has often been described in the past. With an increasing number of people reading, writing, and commenting on blogs, the way we use the Web is shifting in a fundamental way. Instead of being passive consumers of information, more and more Internet users are becoming active participants. Weblogs let everyone have a voice.
6. feedblitz.com Email your blogs, boost your readership FeedBlitz is a service that monitors blogs, RSS feeds and Web URLs to provide greater reach for feed publishers. FeedBlitz takes all the headache out of converting feed and blog updates into email digests, delivered daily to subscribers' inboxes. NEW LAYOUT!
7. bloglovin.com New Blog Posts from your Favourite Blogs in one Place bloglovin´ gathers new blog posts from your favourite blogs in one place. Just add all the blogs you want to follow, and then you’ll get notified every time one of your favourite blogs has written a new blog post.
8.business.blinkweb.com Website Creation Tool Want a website to sell your product, but don't know where to begin? If you know how to point and click, you can create your very own professional, "sales letter style" website or blog in minutes.
10.edicy.com Build and Edit Websites with Ease Create a fresh site with nice design and web hosting on any domain in seconds. It’s seamless, all in one and unprecedentedly easy to use. Oh, and it’s free too.
11. madmimi.com Simple. Lovely. Email Marketing. Mad Mimi is a simple, intelligent and powerful email marketing utility that anyone can use. Mad Mimi makes email marketing easy for the creator, and easier on the eyes for the receiver. With ground-breaking technology, Mad Mimi is the simplest way to create branded, well-designed newsletters and promotions. Sign up free today and get started with simple, lovely email marketing.
12.tineye.com Image Search Engine TinEye is an image search engine on the web to use image identification technology. Given an image to search for, TinEye tells you where and how that image appears all over the we - even if it has been modified.
13.addtoany.com Subscribe and Bookmark Widgets that Include Every Service for Your Visitors Add to Any's "Subscribe" and "Bookmark" widgets let your visitors subscribe using any feed reader, bookmark using any bookmark manager, and share using any social service. Widgets contain a searchable menu of every applicable service, with the most popular displayed by default.
14. disqus.com Track your Comments and Replies Disqus is a new, distributed comment system for blogs and websites. The comment system works hand-in-hand with a dedicated forum backend, so the conversations are never fragmented.
15.lijit.com A Better Way to Search for Information Lijit Creates a social network search, based on your blog(s), your opml, and your social networks and web 2.0 sites including digg, flickr, reddit, myspace, linkedin, and youtube. It creates a Google CSE using an Google account you provide.
16.hyplet.com Your Online Signature Hyplets are FREE personal IDs and online Flyers, which you can easily add to emails and Web pages, allowing you to enhance your online presence and promote your content with a single click.
17.blogmailr.com Publishing to your Blog Made Easy BlogMailr is all about making publishing to your blog easy. There is nothing to download, nothing to install, it’s free for personal use, and works with all popular blogging software. BlogMailr allows you to publish to your blog from anything that can send an email whether it’s your PC, Mac, Phone, PDA … you name it. If you can send an email you’ve got everything you need to use BlogMailr.
18tellafriend.socialtwist.com Leverage Word of Mouth Marketing Tell-a-Friend is a complimentary tool that lets readers recommend and share content directly with their friends word of mouth style via any method: e-mail, IM, social networks, Twitter or even their blog. Without taking readers' attention away from the content page, Tell-a-Friend taps their internal address book to access their lists of friends from each of the supported networks and contact them individually or as a group.
19. findmeon.com The Cure for Multiple Web Personality Disorder FindMeOn is an online profile management service that connects your identities across social networks, blogs & more. Instead of collapsing all of your network identities onto one site, FindMeOn helps you manage your circles of friends, family, colleagues and others… respecting the divisions of your real life online.
20.askablogr.com A Free Blor Q & A Widget Askablogr is an integrated blog question and answer (Q&A) service that: - Makes it easy for blog readers to submit questions to their favorite bloggers - Makes it easy for bloggers to answer some questions and decline others - Automagically publishes these Q&A exchanges to the blogger's blog - Creates a master index of all the participating bloggers, readers and Q&A sessions.
What a way to start the week! I got an e-mail from entrecard saying my accounts have been deleted for multiple violations. At first I panicked! 45% of my daily site hits come from entrecard members dropping ec's on my site! I frantically tried to contact support to try to appeal the case. One of the reasons they deleted my account was for having a pop-up advertisement that plays audio on openning. Actually I wasn't aware of such an ad but I do know I have a linkword ad with Linkworth which was just recently approved. I received an email saying the ads will be coming out soon. I never really see the ads. I presume the ads are one of those that pops up only for selected ip addresses. Other than this, I don't know of any applications or widgets or posts in my sites that plays automatic audio. I tried posting a video from Floglo one time but when I noticed it affected the loading time of the site, I deleted the post. The other reason they gave me is for copying content from another site (plagiarism?). In one of my posts (THE BILL AYERS FACTOR IN THE COMING ELECTIONS!), I quoted sections from Wikipedia but I was careful enough to cite the source and even put a link to the site. But, ahh, they still considered this as plagiarism. (I thought Wikipedia is public domain and you are free to cite data and information sources from it?). The other reason they gave me is for not having original content....for plagiarising myself! I have two mirror sites for Swirling Thoughts and they are deleting my EC account for posting similar contents on all three. (I would have gladly deleted my mirror sites had they asked me!) My intention was to nurse all three sites until I am able to generate sufficient readership for each one of them for me to decide to spin them off with their own unique content and identity. And it's kind of funny that EC had to do this to me after that controversial post on Bill Ayers and his links to Obama when I have had my EC account for the past two months..
Anyway, after a while of pondering and sulking for a while, I went to my site analytics and saw that there is still the other 55% non-entrecard visits. My hopes surged once more. A close look at the stats showed that these are unique visits - Mostly coming from my Blog Catalog and Mybloglog communities. These visits are real visits...with purpose...to look at the site that attracted them on the onset from the dashboards of the two social networks.
This made me realize that EC is not a great loss after all. In fact, EC provides artificial website traffic since 90% of the visits are for EC dropping only and the droppers would be in your site only for a few seconds and that's it! To me, this defeats the purpose of blogging. So, I am now back to basics....which is to keep on writing good posts that are relevant and would rouse the interest of site visitors. I believe there is no better way than this because people visit a site a second and a third time (even subscribe to its feed) because they like the content.
I did some SEO work on all three sites and subscribed to Google analytics. I also decided that this will be my last common post on all three sites. I will start creating a unique identity for each of my sites. Swirling Thoughts (http://bigdaddyrichard.blogspot.com/) will be about my random thoughts on life and will delved on general topics of interest to all - sort of a personal journal. Traders Hub (http://bigdaddyrichard-swirlingthoughts.blogspot.com/) shall have contents solely about online investing, foreign currency trading, and forex scam. Big Daddy's Trunkated Ideas (http://bigdaddyrichard.wordpress.com/) will deal on general business topics and political insights.
So for those who have been following my blogs and my topics you may need to visit all three sites after this post to get all of Big Daddy's ideas (LOL)! But ahh, I will install my content widgets on all three sites so that if there is any post that may interest you from myother sites you can just click on the link!
I wish to thank all those who have supported my blogs for the past two months and hope that you will continue visiting my sites. I will strive harder to bring you contents which will be useful and of interest to all of you.
This is definitely a 'must have' tool for all bloggers!
Every time I write a post, I have to do a google search for images to use to spice up my write-ups. I also often struggle to choose the right tags that will optimize the visibility of my posts with various search engines. Many times, when I do a google web master tool analysis of my sites, I am always swamped with error messages that say the labels I used are preventing google bots from effectively crawling my sites. At times the google bots return "url not found" crawl errors. Well, all these will be history from now on (I hope) because I literally "Stumbled" on a website which provides an amazing application that works well with any hosting platform. This is Zemanta!
Zemanta is a free ware browser plug-in which creates smart links, provides contextual pictures and images, suggest proper tags to use for your post. The most beautiful thing about this plug-in is that it does all of the above as you are typing your write up. So,by the time you finish up typing, you have the links, the tags,and the images all ready to be selected with a simple mouse click. Cool indeed! Zemanta makes blogging effortless and fun! Downloading the plug-in and installing it is also a breeze.
This is my first post using Zemanta and I hardly can wait to see how the end product turns out. Try it yourself and see what I mean. Here is the link to the website where you can download the plug-in - http://www.zemanta.com/. You will never regret installing this application! But please do me a favor and return to this post to give me your feedbacks/comments on how you are doing with Zemanta. (You can always uninstall it anyway in case you find it not to your liking.) Cheers!
Important Note For Bloggers: When you click a Zemanta suggested image from the Zemanta sidebar for use in your post and publish it for the first time, you will always get an error that says "your HTML can not be accepted". Simply click the box just below this error message that says 'Stop showing title or body HTML errors for this post" and click the publish button once again.
(YOU DON'T HAVE ONE? I'LL MAKE ONE FOR YOU FOR FREE!)
I am barely two months now as a blogger. And like any other upstart blogger, I want to improve traffic to my site and at the same time improve my ranking with such sites as Technorati, Alexa, Google, etc. (You guessed it right! I also want to monetize my blog.) My membership with Entrecard (with their "U drop I follow promo) is helping my daily traffic a lot up to now. (A million thanks to all of my regular EC droppers!) My Mybloglog and Blogcatalog memberships are also doing me a lot of good in accumulating quality readers, gaining good friends and establishing new contacts. To help myself and other upstart bloggers just like me who visits this site, I thought of adopting a "Banner Exchange" program of my own and make the visit worth your while. I found out about this from being a co-sponsor to a blogger friend's blog contest (Help Children - Win EC credits - see the post below with the same title). When the contest got underway and banners and linkages were posted, my ranking improved a lot. From an Alexa ranking of 1,036,00, it improved to 782,000 while my Technorati Authority jumped from 4 to 14!
It is simple and it will do wonders for your blogs. We exchange banners and our links become more permanent and more visible to Search Engines. (I noticed that subscription to rss feeds is not really helping much to boost our ranking.) All you need to do is reserve a section in your side bar or your footer and post my banner code there. I will even make it easier for you by making the banner for you - I will make the banner for you using a screenshot of your site ( or your EC banner if you have one, or you can send me your chosen graphiccs via email!) Here's what you need to do:
1. Copy the code of any of my banners below and paste it in your site. 2. Click "comments" at the end of this post and post a comment indicating whether you want a new banner or if you want me to use your EC banner ( if you have any). Please post your URL and email address too. 3. Post a message in my shoutbox (at the sidebar) after you've done steps 1 & 2 and you are done.
Every time a new member subscribes to our exchange, I will be sending all of you an updated code so you can update your own. For this site, I placed the banner exchange at the footer!
THE CONGRESSIONAL DILEMMA ON THE $700M BAIL-OUT PLAN
What a nasty situation U.S. congressmen are finding themselves in courtesy of the $700M financial bail-out plan. The U.S. senate has now passed on the ball to the U.S. Congress after approving a sweetened version of EESA to force another showdown at the lower house. Lobbying is being done around the clock to insure the passage of the bill. Concessions from both parties are being offered and accepted without hesitation or second thoughts. And why not, everyone was a given a terrifying preview of what might happen again if approval of the modified Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is once more derailed. The 778 points Dow dive last Monday after Congress failed to pass the bill, sent a terrifying reminder to everyone concerned. The spill off effect in other bourses worldwide was just as unnerving.
A lot of finger pointing ensued in the aftermath of the failed passage of the bill. Had the congressmen simply done their jobs clean without the unnecessary political grand standing and uncalled for fire brand speeches aimed at gaining political advantage over the issue, the Dow would not have dropped that much. The current scenario is a chilling reminder of the stock market crash of 1929. Stocks started to nose dive on October 24, 1929 - Black Thursday. Leading Wall Street Bankers tried to remedy the situation by pooling their resources together. Their efforts failed resulting into the now infamous Black Tuesday Stock Market Crash of October 29, 1929. This pulled down the country into the era of the Great Depression.
We may really see a repeat of 1929 , and, what a friend and fellow blogger aptly termed as "The Collapse of The House of Card." The effect will be felt in all corners of the globe and will be long lasting. Recovery will be slow and painful.
The congress men who will once again shoot down this bill come Friday will be praised by the growing number of their discontented constituency. But, will they be willing to put in their hands the blame for not doing anything to prevent another Black Friday scenario in the U.S. I doubt it. On the other hand if they choose to support the bill and pass it, they may prevent a world wide financial crisis but they risk the chance of not being voted back into office by their disgruntled constituents.