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May 2010

Change in RSS Feed

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Just a quick notice to everyone who has subscribed to the BlogWorld Expo blog feed: You may need to resubscribe! We switched servers and the new URL is https://www.blogworld.com. Please spread the news.

We’ve been undergoing several other changes and look for an entirely new blog design in the next few weeks – at this same URL of course!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Five Ways to Keep Up with all this New Media Crap

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So, if you’re reading this, you’re likely a blogger. The idea of a blog probably sounded pretty good when you started – the freedom and flexibility of a low cost publishing platform, whether to promote yourself, your businesses, or maybe you’re paid to blog and promote someone else’s businesses.

But now, you need to Tweet your posts, Retweet other people‚s posts, cultivate your Facebook Fan page, add your photos on the Flickr, submit your posts to Stumbleupon and Digg, record YouTube videos, and comment on other blogs. It’s not smelling like roses anymore, is it? Well, here are a few tips and suggestions for keeping up with all this new media crap (tongue-in-cheek).

Batch Your Work. Productivity gurus have long since said that batching your work is more efficient, and it is true. I use Hootsuite to spend 15 minutes every Monday and setup interesting tweets and Facebook updates for the week. Just like you sit down to read the newspaper, I sit down and go through my RSS feeds and pull out things of interest to others. Batching doesn’t hurt anybody and in fact offers you the opportunity to send out updates at a time more convenient for readers in another time zone than you.

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How To Follow Through on Your "How Can I Help You?"

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At Blogworld 2009, Social Media Marketing was still a concept in development. A few weeks later, Mashable declared that there were 15,740 “Social Media Experts” on Twitter – a number indicating that many people were claiming to be experts, and that few were. At Blogworld 2009 itself – the motto seemed to be “How can I help you?” The motto was touted by all of the big names as a means, I guess, of getting would-be social media enthusiasts into giving mode rather than receiving mode. The problem was – the phrase was too vague. “How can I help you?” became “let me show you how to retweet,” “here’s how you post a message on your friend’s wall,” and “follow me and I’ll follow you.” It’s no exaggeration – after Blogworld 2009, Twitter account’s bios all over the place started reading “how can I help you?” and no real concrete help was being given. So I propose an alternative: “What can I do for you?”

“What can I do for you” commits you to action. The word “do” implies that you’re willing to work with the person – not just tell them that about tools and very general concepts. It implies that you’re willing to sit with the person face-to-face, show them how to set up a Hootsuite account, and then show them what the best possible way to garner a following for their niche industry is. And then – show them how you maintain a schedule for that routine. It implies you’re willing to put some skin in the game.

Here are some things you can do to break the ice for yourself and really truly do something for someone:
Continue Reading

How To Follow Through on Your “How Can I Help You?”

Author:

At Blogworld 2009, Social Media Marketing was still a concept in development. A few weeks later, Mashable declared that there were 15,740 “Social Media Experts” on Twitter – a number indicating that many people were claiming to be experts, and that few were. At Blogworld 2009 itself – the motto seemed to be “How can I help you?” The motto was touted by all of the big names as a means, I guess, of getting would-be social media enthusiasts into giving mode rather than receiving mode. The problem was – the phrase was too vague. “How can I help you?” became “let me show you how to retweet,” “here’s how you post a message on your friend’s wall,” and “follow me and I’ll follow you.” It’s no exaggeration – after Blogworld 2009, Twitter account’s bios all over the place started reading “how can I help you?” and no real concrete help was being given. So I propose an alternative: “What can I do for you?”

“What can I do for you” commits you to action. The word “do” implies that you’re willing to work with the person – not just tell them that about tools and very general concepts. It implies that you’re willing to sit with the person face-to-face, show them how to set up a Hootsuite account, and then show them what the best possible way to garner a following for their niche industry is. And then – show them how you maintain a schedule for that routine. It implies you’re willing to put some skin in the game.

Here are some things you can do to break the ice for yourself and really truly do something for someone:
Continue Reading

BlogWorld Speaker Proposal Update

Author:

We had a couple of glitches with the speaker proposal form, but all is well now. If you submitted a speaker proposal but DID NOT get a confirmation email from me, feel free to submit again or contact me at deb@blogworldexpo.com.

Thanks all for your understanding and patience as we prepare for the best BlogWorld Ever!

How Domain Names are Like Real Estate

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Last  summer a major online media property inquired about buying my freelance writing blog. At the time, I wasn’t interested in selling, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever sell. You see, I’ve always thought about my web properties as real estate. That a significant brand was interested proves to me that I’m on the right track.

Like real estate, care of your domain is essential.

If you’re going to choose a handy man special, be sure you can fix it up

My husband and I bought our house almost eight years ago. It needed work, but as it was a starter house we figured we’d fix it up and sell it, using the profit to buy something bigger and more beautiful. Mr. Ng used to be a carpenter and is handy like that, and I had high hopes. So he gutted the master bath, pulled up the living room floor and de-wallpapered and primered the walls. Eight years later, I’m still without a master bath, my walls are still primer white gray, and we really need to do something about those floors. Though things are slowly coming together, right now in it’s gutted, half finished state, our house has a lower value than at the time of purchase.

Blogs and websites need similar upkeep. Unless a domain name is in demand and can sell on that name alone, blogs and websites require constant maintenance. They need to be updated and added to or they’ll languish, driving down the resale value. Though it often requires a major investment, most of us know the importance of nurturing and loving our online properties just as we would our offline properties. Curb appeal matters online too.

When I chose the domain for my freelance writing blog, I wanted “freelance writing jobs” the name of my blog. However, the owner of that blog wants tens of thousands of dollars to give up that name. Instead, I chose “freelancewritinggigs.com.” I maintain my blog every day, adding and promoting new content.. The owner of the expensive domain does not. Guess who is at the top of the search engines for “freelance writing jobs?” Guess which will eventually sell for more money?

No one wants to buy personal

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Now Accepting Speaker Proposals for BlogWorld '10

Author:

Ever since it was announced that I accepted the Conference Director gig, I’ve been inundated with emails, Skypes, Tweets and every sort of DM imaginable from folks wondering when we’ll be accepting speaker proposals.

“Soon,” I assured everyone. “The form will be ready in the next couple of weeks.”

I’m happy to report that soon is here and we’re ready to accept speaker proposals.

Before you rush to the form, take some time to read these tips:

But wait…you’re not done yet!

When you get to the form, please take the time to read all the tips, suggestions and guidelines, as they’re so important. Our attendees are making an investment to learn more about blogging and social media, so let’s be sure to give them their money’s worth!

Once again, here’s the link to the form.

I will do my best to let you all know the status of your proposal as soon as possible. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me at deb@blogworldexpo.com, or catch me on Twitter @debng.

Don’t forget to “like” our BlogWorld Facebook page to receive news and updates.

Deb Ng is the Conference Director for BlogWorld and Founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network.

Now Accepting Speaker Proposals for BlogWorld ’10

Author:

Ever since it was announced that I accepted the Conference Director gig, I’ve been inundated with emails, Skypes, Tweets and every sort of DM imaginable from folks wondering when we’ll be accepting speaker proposals.

“Soon,” I assured everyone. “The form will be ready in the next couple of weeks.”

I’m happy to report that soon is here and we’re ready to accept speaker proposals.

Before you rush to the form, take some time to read these tips:

But wait…you’re not done yet!

When you get to the form, please take the time to read all the tips, suggestions and guidelines, as they’re so important. Our attendees are making an investment to learn more about blogging and social media, so let’s be sure to give them their money’s worth!

Once again, here’s the link to the form.

I will do my best to let you all know the status of your proposal as soon as possible. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me at deb@blogworldexpo.com, or catch me on Twitter @debng.

Don’t forget to “like” our BlogWorld Facebook page to receive news and updates.

Deb Ng is the Conference Director for BlogWorld and Founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network.

Top 10 Most Popular WordPress Plugins

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Every time I create a new blog, there are several WordPress plugins I immediately download and implement. It got me thinking … what are the most popular plugins?

I put together a list of the top 10 most popular WordPress plugins below. No real big surprises. Most people want good Search Engine Optimization, the ability to track their statistics and user data, and to allow their users to feed their posts to their respective social media accounts. Are there any plugins you use that didn’t make the list?

  1. All in One SEO Pack: Automatically optimizes your blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization) – Downloads 4,905,994
  2. Google XML Sitemaps: Create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your blog – Downloads 3,559,033
  3. NextGEN Gallery: A full integrated Image Gallery WordPress plugin with a Flash slideshow option – Downloads 1,813,284
  4. Contact Form 7: Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible – Downloads 1,790,346
  5. WordPress.com Stats: You can have simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server by plugging into WordPress.com’s stat system – Downloads 1,545,853
  6. WP Super Cache: A very fast caching engine that produces static html files – Downloads 1,170,744
  7. Sociable: Automatically adds links to your favorite social bookmarking sites to your posts, pages and RSS feed – Downloads 980,301
  8. AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button: Help readers share, bookmark, and email your posts & pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg, Delicious and many more. – Downloads 896,691
  9. Google Analyticator: Adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics. Includes widgets for Analytics data display – Downloads 823,740
  10. WP-PageNavi: Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress site. – Downloads 758,678

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

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