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How To Get Ideas For Blog Posts

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We all experience bloggers block from time to time, but don’t let it stop you from giving your subscribers the content they’ve been waiting for.

Here are 7 ideas that will help you come up with blog posts worth reading.

 1) Test or Review Something And Post Your Results

 If you’re really stuck for ideas, why not give yourself a challenge and post the results? For example, in the personal development niche this could mean making a gratitude list each day and writing about the effects. Or you could try a new fitness program and write about how you’re dealing with it. In most cases, readers in any niche love to read real life case studies!

 2) Google It!

 Why not Google the main topic of your blog and see what appears? You don’t want to copy any other blogs, of course, but one idea will often lead to another. Have a read around blogs in your niche – maybe even blogs outside of your niche – and see what they’re writing about. Either use this as inspiration for your own topics or write a direct response to what’s already out there.

3) Find Helpful or Interesting Videos & Share Them With Your Readers

 Why not get surfing YouTube and see if there’s an interesting video you can share with your subscribers? Embed the video into a post where you give your own personal comments. This is a super-fast way to come up with content that’s still interesting.

 4) Use What Happens In Your Daily Life As Inspiration

 You might not be writing a personal blog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring personal experience into the posts you write. If you can relate personal experience to the topics you write about, then do so. Sometimes you have to get creative, but your blog posts will be more interesting as a result!

5) Ask Readers To Ask Questions

 What better way of coming up with content that your readers will enjoy than to invite them to ask questions? Write up a quick post one day asking them what they want to know, then post a follow up a few days later with all the answers. This last method is also an excellent way to connect with your audience.

0006_TRS_3DC6) Give Your Readers a Poll to Participate In.

Not everyone will ask questions, but if you give your readers a short, relevant poll to complete you can get some great feedback

7) Check Your Analytics to see what people are typing in their searches

 Checking your stats can leave you with a whole range of blog post ideas. Take a look at the keywords people are typing in to find your site. Chances are that some of the things they’re searching for aren’t on your blog yet. Why not use these keywords as ideas for future blog posts? You’ll also have the added benefit of knowing there’s a future audience for those posts!

Interactive Weather Maps – Australia

This post is really for my Australian viewers, or for those with an interest in the weather in Australia. With all the rain, floods &  cyclones recently, it’s good to have a place to go to see what might be coming up in a particular area, or in the country generally.

I’m not sure exactly how long these interactive weather and wave forecast maps have been available, but since I only found out about them recently from my daughter, I figured there are probably lots of others who don’t know either.

First of all, head for the Bureau of Metorology website  http://www.bom.gov.au and look for the map under the page header, sort of top centre middle of the page and click on the map.
click-on-map

This will open a page with several headings in the middle panel, you want the one labelled “Weather Maps” and the third item under that heading is “Interactive Weather and Wave  Forecasts“. Click on that link to open up the maps page.

 

Here there are lots of choices of what to show, the area, timezone and period, which can be 2, 3 or 7 days. With some “show” choices such as temperature and windspeed, you’ll also be able to select the level.

Once you’ve made your selections, click on the ‘Generate” button and go down to the grey bar to animate. weathermapYou can press the regular play arrow to give you an automatic time-lapse forecast, or click the + or – play arrows to step through the time zones one at a time.

The map to the left is a Surface Pressure and Rainfall map, while the one below is a Wind Waves map.

Best wishes
Trish

windwave

Easily Add a Banner to Your Blog

Adding a banner to your blog, at the top, middle or bottom of posts or in a sidebar has always been very time-consuming and a bit of a fiddle for me. Today I’ve tried out the Max Banner Ads plugin from maxblogpress.com and it is so simple, a beginner could get banners up in no ti,e at all. See the banner at the top of my home page.

Apart from being able to choose the poition of the banner, you can also have rotating ads, so that when you refresh or re-visit the page, there is a different banner being shown. There are various ways to add the banner, from a URL or upload from your PC.  If you are promoting an affiliate product and they give you html or java code, you  just select the option “Other Text Ads / Flash / Javascript ….” and paste the code in. Easy as pie and I had mine done in less than 2 minutes.

The free version shows “Powered by Max Banner Ads” underneath. Although you can remove this if you purchase the Pro version, you can easily embed your clickbank hoplink, so worth considering leaving it there.

The help is very detailed and easy to understand – there are “How to…” pages for just about anything you could think of such as:

  • How to add banner to your blog
  • How to add Adsense, Adbrite and other (text, flash, Javascript) Ads
  • How to add ads at the sidebar of the blog
  • How to add multiple groups of ads in the same placeHow to show banner to certain pages only
  • How to show & rotate more than one banner in the same zone …….

The video on how to use Max Banner Ads and all the features is extremely well done, runs for over 9 minutes and goes into all the detail  including  you need to get going. All in all, I find this to be a highly recommended plug-in for people wanting to maximise both their promotions and their time. Doesn’t that include all of us?

Best wishes,
Trish

Randy Smith’s Hacker Nightmare

One of the people I admire in the internet marketing industry is Randolf (Randy) Smith, one of many internet marketers out there who genuinely want to help others to succeed. Randy’s blog called “Randy’s Ramblings” is one that I read on a regular basis because it is down to earth, humorous and helpful. You won’t get any bullsh.. on this blog – Randy tells it like he sees it and if he doesn’t think a new product would be useful, he’ll say so or else it just won’t be mentioned at all.

Randy has, or should I say had, a number of websites and products but in early October, his sites were hacked and all his domains stolen. To read the story behind this nightmare, visit the blog at http://randolfsmith.com

If you feel sick, as I did, that one human could treat another in this way, just take note of the effort Randy put in to try to put right all the wrong being done to his customers, a time consuming and costly endeavour, and you’ll realise that this is a man that just won’t give in, he’ll keep doing what he believes is right. This is a man worth keeping in mind to buy products and services from.

Once he gets everything back up and running, there will again be links on his blog to his many services. In the meantime, here are the ones I have used and recommend:

Sales Letter ABC – www.salesletterabc.com
7 Key Elements – www.7keyelements.com
More Monthly (stolen) – now called More Monthly Pluswww.moremonthlyplus.info (more info on this site on my Online Resources Page http://r7-

sydney.webserversystems.com/~trishfin/online-business-resources)

I have not included an affiliate link in the list above, so I won’t profit if you buy from Randy, but I believe he deserves a break, so if what he offers is useful to you, buy from the man!

Best wishes
Trish

P.S. – there is always something to be learned from someone else’s misfortune, so to all out there with an internet business of any kind, make sure you back up your sites and your lists. You’ll be glad you did if a hacker comes your way, too.

Bing Search Engine

Bing, Yahoo and Google

Now, while Google still has by far the greatest amount of traffic at approx 62%, the agreement by Yahoo & Bing (Microsofts new search engine) to share resources, means that when their respective search shares of approx 19% & 13% is combined, it will provide much bigger opposition to google.

So should this concern you? Probably not unless your business uses search traffic to make sales. Lets assume for a moment that it does. And did you know that facebook search is powered by Bing?

What can you do to increase search traffic to your sites from Bing? Well first of all, you can submit your site to Bing here and submit a sitemap here.

Bing has just released their updated Webmaster tools, not as comprehensive yet as google’s webmaster tools, but definitely a step in the right direction. Open an account to access these tools using your Windows Live ID (or create one if you don’t already have one).

To see how Bing crawls and indexes your pages, you can add your sites to your account. How to do this is set out quite well in the section “Add a Site to Your Account” under “Sites List”. You can only add your own sites and you must verify ownership before they can be added – you don’t want other people looking at your results!

The only hitch I encountered was adding verification to a wordpress blog that didn’t reside in a public_html folder so meant I couldn’t just upload  the xml file, as suggested in Option 1. Using Option 2, I had to search around my blog admin section to find the file containing the <head> tag. In fact, it didn’t have one just like that, but it did have an </head> in the file header.php, so placing the <meta> tag just before that worked fine .

If you need more details, proceed as follows:

In your wordpress admin area, click on Appearance, then on Editor. This will bring up an open file with the html code showing. Go to the list on the right hand side under Templates and find Header (header.php) & click on this file. Now, have a look in this file for  </head>  something like this:

<?php wp_head(); ?>
</head>

Now paste the meta tag code copied from Bing in between these two lines and then click the Update File button at the bottom. Go back to Bing webmaster tools now and verify your site.

Newly added sites will take up to three days to begin showing data, assuming they are getting some traffic, of course.

Hope this helps someone.

Regards

Trish