Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fast and Easy Social Bookmarking With Badged.net!

It took a few wrong turns through the Web, but I finally found a quick, dirty, but not too ugly way to get a few social bookmarking apps on your blog with two typed lines and a copy and paste: Badged.net.

Badged lets you choose from the big guns of the bookmarking world -- Digg, Google, Del.icio.us, Technorati -- as well as others like Sphere, Reddit, Magnolia, Newsvine, Netscape (they're still around?!?), Blogmarks, Windows Live, and Tailrank. There are also options for browser favoriting and emailing your articles to friends. Once you type in your blog name and URL, click "Create Badges", copy the code below into your blog template, and that's it -- you've got a neat row of temptingly clickable app buttons.

Let me know if it helps!



Friday, October 31, 2008

If you blog, don't give up on revenue

For anyone who's been blogging for some time and hasn't gotten much revenue, I'd just like to say: don't give up.

It has taken me about three years to collect $109 from AdSense. Three years of burning electricity, experimenting, writing, cropping and uploading pictures, you name it. But AdSense finally deposited the funds. And recently I broke over $10 in a day for the first time ever.

For a long time I haven't made enough to even cover electricity. But thanks to ProBlogger, Joel Comm, HubPages, and now Aweber, my dreams of making money as a writer are starting to come true. I already have about a $15 head start on my next $100 and I'm planning to make it just three months before I get paid again. In the meantime I thank VillainTech.com for their writing assignments, ePinions for their residuals, and Digg, Technorati, CommentKahuna, Twitter, BlogHub, and StumbleUpon for their promotion of my blogs.

So as you can see, it's not just a solo effort. There are applications and programs out there to help. Just keep at it if you're discouraged. Look for advice in blogging forums, and if you have a question you can't find the answer to, ask it!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DIY Blog Templates for Blogger: PsycHo

I was digging around for some wacky blogs, so I typed in "psycho blog" in search. The result: another blog tool!

PsycHo offers virtually limitless possibilities for the beginning web designer who wants a unique combination of fonts, colors, text formatting, and helpful add-ons.

It offers:
  • Ease of use: PsycHo users can roll out their templates in 10 minutes or less.
  • HTML-free setup in a user-friendly Javascript setup.
  • Valid XHTML templates for preferential treatment from search engines.
  • Elimination of browser compatibility issues.
  • Improved loading time with div tags instead of laggy tables.
  • CSS base.
  • Blog code generation: save your project and modify it project later!
  • Open source accessibility as defined under GPL.
  • Fee-free use.
  • Blog template compress & save feature with PsycHodrama.
  • Updated blog features as they are added. Currently PsycHo has flexible column formats, RSS, email links, archives, link lists,
  • Help boxes for practically every feature: just click the question marks.

Aideen, the designer of PsycHo, recommends you copy your old template and save a backup, just in case these templates are not for you. Still, the way this tool looks, it should be very easy to create what you need for your own custom blog presence. If you can't add it here, just try a refresher from http://w3schools.com.

Check it out at http://psyc.horm.org/ and if you use it let me know how you like it!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aweber: Doing Your Mailing Dirty Work

There's idiot-proof. And then there's Aweber.

Talk about a generous set of ways to educate people how to use their service... tried-and-true web guides, downloadable PDFs, and a half-hour video... with a live presentation coming up to use the service, all available moments after I signed up tonight for a free test drive.

I've dragged my feet and dragged my feet about autoresponders. I've always felt that I had a grip on simply being able to cobble a list of visitors together. But looking at what Aweber offers, I'm glad to finally throw in the towel (and $20.00) to get a quality product that will be working on a much bigger scale than I've hoped.

Aweber
lets you assemble interested people together from your blog, so you can keep writing without having to constantly add and subtract from your mailing list. It's not just a simple application you drop your text into, like TinyUrl. It allows customizable basic text and HTML auto-responses and effortless web redirects when your readers sign up and unsubscribe. But not only is it flexible, but the learning curve won't even make a dent in your day. The video tutorial spells out enough to get you by, while saying where to get more help once you master the basics.

Well done, Aweber!


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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Get the word out with Zimbio.com!

Hi again everyone, Lionel here. Sorry it took so long to post again, but I'm starting to blog for a living now and if you're a blogger who needs help I'll be glad to keep posting on a regular basis.

I've been blogging about Second Life for some time, and building the layout of http://virtualmerchants.blogspot.com up, with link collections for cornerstone posts, as recommended by Problogger.net.

But I've also stumbled across a free blog service offered by Zimbio.com, which helps get the word out easily about your blog by importing your articles into their "wikizines" -- online collections anyone can contribute to -- and boasts the most timely media outlet possible, capturing news minutes after it breaks, filtering it, and posting it on-site.

Zimbio doesn't operate as a paying blog network, but I was impressed with the way it was able to lift and promote entire articles with a few clicks of its smooth interface. There's also a widget you can apply to your blog which will let people leave kudos for you, and I would think that Zimbio would feature its top kudos magnets, so who knows what signing up could do for you?

So far I'm at 14 impressions for the day, so I'm not that excited about its potential as a traffic builder, but I think the potential is still there as a networking tool, and as an indirect source of comments and feedback from other bloggers, I like it. Let me know what you think of it!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What Blog Widgets Do You Like?

I admit it. The next biggest step in getting my sites squared away is unifying the blog widgets as best as I can, but I'm stumbling about a little knowing what to use. I like Plurk's concept, but the widget is as big as a loaf of bread compared to others. Technorati has a ton of options I really need to explore. ShareThis will be key, I'm sure. But what sort of widgets are you using, and what has provided you the most success? What has really defied your attempts to make it work, and what do you think is the reason why?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting the word out: Plurk, Twitter, ShareThis

One of the weirdest (but coolest) assignments I got in school was to draw up a timeline for the evolution of man. For this fourth-grader to get a chronological perspective of how long it took for us to get where we are... empty gargantuan oceans of time separating the first changes from primal cells to multi-celled organisms, then other species interacting in man's history over time in shorter and shorter intervals...

Anyway, Plurk works along those (time) lines, in a way that at first seems very similar to Twitter: Post a little blurb, people see it, this time in a day-to-day timeline that stretches across a few screens.

One of the neater innovations is a Karma rating... and it reacts to your (in)actions 24/7! Talk about building brand loyalty! Good actions include thoughtful (I'm guessing long and don't contain links? :P ) posts ("Plurks"), and inviting friends and getting accepted, while bad karma comes from spammy Plurks and rejections from your "friends" (don't they know your Karma is at stake?).

I like the effort they've put into this, but I would really appreciate a little menu somewhere that lets you look back an hour, six hours, a day instead of dragging repeatedly until you get to what catches your eye. Time is pretty important these days and some efficiency would go a long way to helping me recommend the service. Still, it's cheap as free, and I like the widget option for now. Something smaller instead of the mailbox-sized widget they offer would be a help, but I think I'll incorporate it soon, as I'm looking to build up the blog first and focus on revenue second.

Twitter, to me, seems a little too ADD-encouraging, but now that I've looked at it, it really is a sign of the times. People don't have time to go to a webpage, edit HTML, publish it and go back to work just to let people know a tiny little bit of information. I'm still a little unclear about why posting what you had for dinner makes you worth following, but Joel Comm actually opened my eyes to what Twitter can do for you with his free report. Not only can you simply hand out blog link after blog link after blog link in a cynical fashion, but you can use the people following you for a sounding board, even networking and research purposes.

And ShareThis is a no- or low-brainer; it's an amalgamation of the biggest social media applications out there. While I suspect there is some debate about allowing Technorati to show up in a ShareThis button and its own widget (has anyone had experience with either side of the issue?), you can customize the services to use in a very easy-to-generate widget. Choose carefully and research; you may not want to post a link on relationships into a gaming application.

If you pick up one of these accounts, post your Plurk and Twitter links here as comments!

http://twitter.com/lioneloliva
http://www.plurk.com/user/sumosalesman


See you again soon!



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