Looking for Something?
Yearly Archives


12 Days of Blogging 2010: 5 Golden Rules


Five Golden Rules. Like Five Golden rings from the song. Get it? Hah!

Only what sounds like a great choices for today’s 12 Days of Blogging post really isn’t, simply because there aren’t just five things that magically come together to make a blog successful. I could probably write about thirty different “Golden Rules” of blogging. Cue Allison pouting because “5 Golden Rules” is a clever play on the real fifth day of Christmas.

As I started to compile topics for this series, though, it became pretty clear to me that there are five golden rules after all. Pretty much everything you do as a blogger to be successful can be put under one of these categories. It’s a Christmas miracle – I get to use my play on words!

(It’s the little things, folks. It’s been a long 2010.)

In my opinion, the 5 Golden Rules of Blogging are as follows:

1. Time Management

Blogging is hard. Really hard. And it takes time. A lot of time. You need time every day to actually do the work, and you need to have patience that over time your blog will grow. You need time for social media. You need time for in-person events, like BlogWorld. You need time to read other blogs in your niche.

Ironically, many people start blogs that they intend to monetize because they want a 4-hour work week. Maybe that’s possible for some, but to be honest, the super successful bloggers I know all put in a lot of time.

2. Passion

I’ve written before about the passion debate. Essentially, the debate is this: One side says that if you’re a good writer and smart business person, you can blog about anything and be successful. The other side says that you need to be passionate about your topic to have a successful blog about said topic.

I’ve seen some totally non-passionate bloggers find success. And that’s wonderful. In my opinion, though, it doesn’t make sense to get into any industry if you’re not passionate. All the money in the world isn’t worth waking up every morning and hating what you do when there could be something amazing out there that would make you excited to jump out of bed.

3. Networking

“If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t really work anymore. Even if you’re an SEO god, you can only get so far with that mindset. I don’t want a ceiling to my success! Networking gives you infinite possibilities. You can network online (think about all the new people you’ve met on Twitter, for example) or you can network in-person (BlogWorld, anyone?). You can network with the sole purpose of expanding your fanbase or you can network to find JV partners.

Networking is a must. It’s only a matter of choosing your poison. (Mine is Twitter.)

4. Branding

Branding originally had nothing to do with blogging, but we’re adaptive little creatures, so today, its hard not to hear branding and blogging in the same breath, even from traditional marketers. Whenever you’re using new media tools, you’re branding yourself. Your blog design is part of your brand. You can help (or hurt) your brand at in-person events. Hell, branding is even about how you write your blog posts (formal? edgy? informative? emotional? nurturing? humorous? …?)

A blogger who doesn’t pay attention to branding is a blogger that will have a hard time succeeding. People want to connect with you, and your brand gives them a quick snapshot as to what they can expect from you and your blog.

5. Analysis of Failure and Self Doubt

Lastly, to be better, strong bloggers, we have to admit it when we’ve failed, analyze our shortcomings, understand how to overcome weaknesses, and give self-doubt a sucker punch. I think this is where a lot of bloggers go wrong – they never think they’re wrong. They are successful by whatever standards they have, but they aren’t willing (or maybe even able) to think about mistakes.

We all feel like a failure from time to time. The best bloggers out there face their problems head-on and, more importantly, share their stories so that we can all learn. It’s about growth and forward motion, not about perfection.

Because today’s topic (5 Golden Rules) is so important, I didn’t think it was fair to you, my wonderful readers, to highlight just five posts. Dozens of bloggers have written about these topics. Hundreds, even. Maybe thousands. So instead, each Golden Rule is getting its own post. After all, the most important “life” golden rule is “Do unto others” and if I was a reader, I’d want more than just one post about each topic!

Here’s where you can find the 5 Golden Rules posts, along with five amazing bloggers highlighted for each rule:

Time Management

  • Featuring: Sid Savara, Jimi Jones, Sonia Simone, Matt Cheuvront, Nathan Hangen, and more!


  • Featuring: Chris Guillebeau, Tyler Tervooren, Dave Murr, Collin Vine, and Matthew Kimberley


  • Featuring: Jade Craven, Karol Gajda, Amy Parmenter, Denise Wakeman, Jill Felska, and Judy Helfand


  • Featuring: Chris Brogan, Mars Dorian, Chris Ducker, Danielle LaPorte, and Lara Solomon


  • Featuring: Erica Douglass, Miss Brit, Marissa Bracke, Kelly Diels, and Chris Garrett

Woah mama, this is a star line up. Head to specific posts to read more!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 6 Launchers Launching


Earlier in the 12 Days of Blogging series, I gave you 8 Affiliates Selling – and while it is awesome to make money promoting products that your readers can use, it’s even better to promote your own products! Most bloggers start by launching some kind of informational product, like an ebook or video course, but you could also sell tangible products or even work with publisher to launch a print book.

So, today, I’m going to talk about launching. Or, more correctly, a bunch of really brilliant bloggers are going to talk about launching and I’m going to give up a little commentary while letting them shine.

Remember, if you’ve written a post about launching a product (or launching a website), leave a comment with your link!

1. 7 Things You MUST Do To Make Your Product Launch Easier by Dave Navarro at The Launch Coach

When it comes to launching Dave Navarro is pretty much a one-stop shop for all the information you need to know about launching a product. along with a ton of posts worth reading, he has four free workbooks available for download, as well as a paid ebook called How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook, which has gotten glowing reviews from Darren Rowse of Problogger, Michael Martine of Remarkablogger, and more. I chose this post to highlight because it’s a good place to start. From the post:

Sure, launching can lead to a pretty sweet spike in sales, but it isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Ask anyone who’s run a successful launch, and they’ll be sure to tell you “Damn, I’m glad that’s over.”  Again, the money is good, but it’s like running a marathon – you don’t come out the other end without being drenched in sweat.

But, just like a marathon, it isn’t impossible – as long as you put your “training time” in up front.

This post goes on to list the lessons he’s learned as a launcher. You can read more at The Launch Coach and follow Dave on Twitter @RockYourDay.

UPDATE: Since writing this post, there have been reports of people being unhappy with Dave’s business and personal choices, so do your research before hiring or working with him. I have personally never worked with Dave, nor do I know him personally, so I cannot speak about these matters.

2. How to Suck at Launching a Product by Adam Baker at Man Vs. Debt

I love this post because it makes me feel like my own failures are not so stupid. Launching a product is hard. Hard. Adam Baker’s post teaches readers about the mistakes he made – as well as some of the things he did right. It’s a post with a lot of meat, and totally worth reading if you intend to launch a product. From the post:

I’ve failed.

I set a big, perfectly attainable goal for my business.  I worked hard, but not smart.  And I failed.  I fell short.  I came up way short, actually.

Most of you know that two weeks ago I launched my second premium product, Sell Your Crap. I’ve talked a lot about it recently, so I won’t be going into specific details regarding the product again here.

What most of you don’t know (unless you are in my inner circle) was my goal for the launch. My goal was to sell 200 copies in the first two weeks.  I wanted to break $10,000 gross in that time frame. For some of you that may seem really high.  Others may think thats low.  That’s cool, but I will let you know that those number are completely reasonable.  Meaning not impossible, not automatic.  Reasonable.

Well, I failed.

To read more, head to Man Vs. Debt, and follow Baker on Twitter @ManVsDebt.

3. How to Launch When You’re Not Really Here by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein at Live Your Truth

Earlier this year, Elizabeth’s family went through a difficult time when her daughter had some serious medical problems. Since she didn’t have time to do a huge launch, but still wanted to make some money, EPW did a smaller launch – and this post gives her best tips on making such a launch successful. From the post:

Yesterday I finally got through 2 months of email. I’ve been contacting coaching clients to set up their calls. Delivering more content to Build Your Tribe. Writing new blog posts and making videos. Finishing up an ebook & putting it on sale.

And finally, next week (Aug 31 – Sept 2) I’m launching something – Live Your Truth on Video. (Because dude, this isn’t a non-profit.)

But since I don’t have the time or capacity to do the big huge launch, I’m having to be a bit more strategic about this one.

I highly recommend checking out the rest of Live Your Truth and connecting with Elizabeth on Twitter @ElizabethPW.

4. How I Write Sales Pages by Catherine Caine at Be Awesome Online

During BlogWorld 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting Catherine Caine from Be Awesome Online and her relatively new site Cash and Joy. In this post, she talks about something that super important to any product launch you do – writing the sales page. Everyone has their own special formula for sales pages, so after checking out Catherine’s post, check out a few other sales letters out there and then mash it all together to come up with your own perfect version. From Catherine’s post:

There are two layers to a sales page. Underneath is the structure, which is important – and dull.

On top is your voice, which is where things get awesome.

The structure matters in the sales page, and when you’re getting that to flow your writing will likely be dull.You’re ticking all the boxes.

Read more and show Catherine some love at Be Awesome Online and follow her on Twitter @CatherineCaine.

5. Etsy Success: Launching a Product Line by Danielle on Etsy’s The Storque

Like I mentioned before, not every product launch if an informational product like an ebook. This post focuses more on physical items, and although it is specific to selling on Etsy, it has some good advice for anyone interested in launching a product line. From the post:

I’ve seen many now very successful sellers launch a creative, cohesive product line and a full-time business all in the same go; it’s a great place to start. Composing a balanced line of work can get you thinking about target markets, your brand aesthetic, packaging and making a plan to get the press you deserve. I asked Etsy sellers for their top tips on creating a product line; let’s see what they came up with…

Check out more from the Etsy blog and follow the company on Twitter @etsy. You can also check out Danielle’s Etsy shop to support the author!

6. 7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business by Maren Kate at Escaping the 9 to 5

Maren was another person I got to meet at BlogWorld 2010, and my initial reaction upon checking out her site when I got home was, “Holy crap. How did I not know this existed?!?!” Maren writes about using virtual assistants, owning your own business, staying motivated to ditch the 9 to 5, and more – and I wanted to end today’s list with this post because it’s something every would-be blogger out there needs to read. If you’re going to start a blog with the hope of making money from it, your blog is a business. And starting a business is hard. Writes Maren:

Today Virtual Zeta is live! After months of hard work & determination my baby was finally born into the world wide web and I couldn’t be more excited, or scared!So today’s post is not just to announce Virtual Zeta, a site that will connect you with the perfect virtual assistant to fit your needs (guaranteed!), but also to help anyone out who wants to start a business by outlining the 7 things you should know beforehand that will save you a lot of headache & hopefully make your business a lot more profitable!

Head to Escaping the 9 to 5 for more career and business advice, and make sure to check out Maren on Twitter @MarenKate.

A huge thank you to all the bloggers who’ve written such great posts about launching! Remember, if you’ve covered this topic, leave your link in the comments section so we can all learn from you – and don’t forget to hit the like/retweet button to pass on the love for all of these awesome bloggers!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)


12 Days of Blogging 2010: 7 Facebook Users Updating


For today’s 12 Days of Blogging post, I decided to feature a topic that’s perhaps even more popular than Twitter: Facebook! I found so many blog posts on this topic that I had a hard time deciding on just seven posts to highlight – so along with these seven, you can scroll to the bottom to read tons more about Facebook.

Oh, and as always, please leave a comment with a link to your own post if you’ve written about Facebook this year. Come on – when else are you encouraged to comment with links? The more people who add links, the better this series will be for everyone!

And now, today’s posts:

1. R.I.P. 3 Ways Facebook is Killing Your Website by Jay Baer at Convince and Convert

Jay Baer’s presentation at BlogWorld 2010 (with Amber Naslund) was easily one of my favorites, and I was happy to meet him briefly at the UnMarketing Tweet-Up the day before BlogWorld started. He always has something interesting to say on Convince and Converge, so I wanted to highlight his unique take on the topic of Facebook. Jay writes:

The game used to be relatively simple. Build a website. Make it useful and at least moderately pleasing to the eye. Keep it updated. Make your content at least semi-friendly for search engines. Bingo! A digital marketing success story.

Not now.

Like print newspapers, basketball players under 6 feet tall, and the McRib sandwich, the website as we know it will soon be a thing of the past – a quaint reminder of the original Internet era.

Who killed the website? Facebook, of course.

If you aren’t subscribed to Convince and Convert already, I highly recommend it! It’s definitely one of those blogs on my must-read list. You can also follow Jay on Twitter @jaybaer.

2. Facebook Advertising – Soup to Nuts Guide by Jeremy Schoemaker at ShoeMoney

There are two main approaches to Facebook, in my opinion – use it to make money or use it to build your fanbase. The best bloggers combine the two! In this post, Jeremy Schoemaker (you know, ShoeMoney) gives us the presentation he gave at Affiliate Summit East this year. He’s an Internet marketer more than a blogger, so he approaches Facebook from a business perspective – and those of us who are bloggers first and moneitzation-ers second can really learn a lot from that. This is a video rather than a post, so head directly there to check it out, and make sure to spend some time on the ShoeMoney blog while you’re there – he has a lot to teach bloggers about making money online! You can also follow him on Twitter @shoemoney.

3. How Myrtle Beach Double Their Facebook Fans in Just 5 Months by Mike Stenger

I had the pleasure of spending time with Mike at BlogWorld, and when I was compiling this series, I knew I wanted to highlight this post by him. He worked with Myrtle Beach (a popular vacation destination on the east coast of the United States) during 2010, and this post is a case study of sorts (and I love case studies), showing you who he got crazy results for their Facebook page in just a few months. From the post:

When it comes to Facebook pages, they weren’t doing bad at all necessarily. The page wasn’t being updated consistently and there wasn’t a ton going on, but they were averaging anywhere from 1200-1500 fans per week organically.

However, they had a goal to build it up and get it growing. Now, being that they had around 110,000 fans when we got started, there was definitely a need to build up engagement and interaction with the existing community.

Not only that, but if we could simply get a small fraction of the fans to share with their friends, we could get the page to grow more.

To read the entire story of how he helped their Facebook grow, check out MikeStenger.com, and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @mikestenger. Seriously, folks, you want to follow this guy. He’s hands down one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and super smart when it comes to social media.

4. 10 Top Facebook Pages and Why They’re Successful by Amy Porterfield at Social Media Examiner

Amy is the Facebook manager for Social Media Examiner, so what better person to write about this platform? Like I’ve said before, I love a good case study, and this post has ten mini ones! Writes Amy,

Each of these pages has incorporated unique features that have attracted hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions!) of fans and attracted the notice of major media publications. That’s a pretty big feat, considering there are thousands of new pages popping up on Facebook daily!

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, check out what others are doing and tweak these strategies to make them your own!

You can read more great posts about new media at Social Media Examiner, and make sure you stop by the nomination post for their second annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs list. You can follow Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner on Twitter @Mike_Stelzner and you can follow post author Amy on Twitter @amyporterfield. She also blogs at AmyPorterfield.com.

5. Facebook Contests: Seven Tips for Flawless Execution by Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks

Facebook contests can really help boost your traffic, but so many don’t work very well. I’ve tried to participate in some of them; I know. In this post at Spin Sucks, Gini Dietich talks about a recent Facebook contest their site held for fans, and what went wrong. These tips can help you run a contest that works well on your page. From the post:

All-in-all, it was a great contest and lots of fun (my face on a body builder’s body is really pretty funny!) and we had a TON of community engagement. But we also learned that if the contest isn’t executed flawlessly, it won’t matter what kind of prize you give away or how much fun people are having, you’ll end up losing some of your fans.

You can read more at Spin Sucks and follow the site on Twitter @spinsucks.

6. Google and the Rise of Facebook by Brian Solis

I used to joke that someday Google would own the Internet. Not dominate the Internet. Own it. Now, I’m not so sure because there’s another force to be reckoned with – Facebook, of course. In this post, Brian Solis talks about how Facebook is slowly gaining momentum to crush Google – and why this is important to you as a blogger, business owner, or social media manager. Writes Brian:

Facebook started out as a social network, but it is officially growing into a full-fledged personal OS, where friends and experiences are interconnected inside and outside of Facebook. And, at the center of everything is you. Facebook is a platform where relationships create the construct for the 3C’s of information commerce. The acts of sharing and consuming content in social media represent the social dealings between people and set the stage for interaction and education.But, it is the platform that offers a sandbox for development and also a solid foundation for social architecture. It is the sites that feature Facebook interconnects that weave the fabrics of relationships and the ties and interests that bind us.

Check out the full post on BrianSolis.com and follow him on Twitter @briansolis.

7. 10 Ways to Rock Your Facebook Campaign by Deb Ng at Kommein

This last post is by a name you all hopefully know and love, BlogWorld’s conference director Deb Ng. Her post on Kommein is all about combining promotion with engagement to actually get results on this platform. It simply isn’t enough to sign up for a page and wait for thousands of fans to run it for you! These are ten quick tips that can take your page to a whole other level. From the post:

Now that your business is on Facebook, what are you doing with it? Did you just set up a “like” page and hope people click your button? If that’s all you’re doing, you may as well not have a Facebook presence at all. When it comes to the social networks, it’s all about engagement, interaction and promotion. With the right combination, your Facebook campaign can become a major success.

You can read more about social media on Kommein, and make sure to follow Deb on Twitter @debng.

Like I said at the beginning of this post – we aren’t done yet. Although the above seven posts were some of my favorite Facebook-related posts of the year, dozens of bloggers are talking about this topic. Here are some more that are definitely worth reading (in alphabetical order):

Ok – your turn. What awesome posts about Facebook-related topics have I misses?

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 8 Affiliates Selling


And we’re back with another day of the 12 Days of Blogging 2010! I know it’s a ton of information to digest, but I hope that you’ve found some new bloggers and learned a few new things along the way. Today, the topic is affiliate sales. You can be an affiliate for national companies (like Amazon), work with individuals who offer products to sale, or even launch your own products and offer an affiliate program for others. We’ll talk about that last one later when we get to 6 Launchers Launching; for today, let’s look at some awesome advice about making money being an affiliate for other people or companies.

Affiliate advice falls into two main categories: 1) advice for people who want to start or who run blogs specifically with the purpose of making money by promoting affiliate products and 2) advice for people who run a blogs and want to add affiliate links occasionally to add another stream of income.

The links I’ve chosen to highlight in this post cover both topics – hopefully you’ll find some useful blogs no matter what your affiliate goals.

1. A Rare Guide to Affiliate Marketing in 2877 Words – Part 1 by Jase at ZealingMoney.com

As the title says, this is just part one. If you’re brand new to affiliate marketing, I highly recommend the entire series, which starts with this post on what it is and goes on to talk about getting started, promoting your affiliate program, and tracking your efforts. In other words, it’s everything you need to get started. From the post:

The beauty of affiliate marketing is the fact that you don’t need even a penny to start making money. But, if you can invest some money, definitely your return will be multiplied several times.

Ok, just relax and take a deep breath. I promise you that I will give you the most important facts you need to know to be a successful affiliate. Even if you are already an affiliate marketer, this guide will be helpful to you also. Do you have the desire to see heavy checks coming to your bank account? Are you willing to make an effort to make it a reality? Then it is just a matter of time making it a reality.

You can read the rest of the post at ZealingMoney.com and follow the site on Twitter @zealingmoney.

2. Bras and Affiliate Marketing by Brent Coppieters at DotComSecrets.com

Brent Coppieters is the affiliate manager for DotComSecrets.com – so it makes sense that he would write some awesome posts on topic. This is another great post for beginners – and you should also check out the other posts on this site if you’re interested in knowing more about affiliate marketing. From Brent’s post:

More businesses now than ever rely on affiliate programs to help generate more sales/leads.  What’s great for them is that they can have hundreds or thousands of “online salespeople” referring others to their site or product.  They only pay a commission when some type of action is taken.  This action that triggers a commission might be a click of the link, a sale, or a lead. Business owners agree to pay a commission when someone takes action.

Check out DotComSecrets.com for more about affiliate marketing and make sure to follow the sites’s founder, Russell Brunson on Twitter @RussellBrunson.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Espionage by Mark Thompson on JonathanVolk.com

Ok, I’ve listed some beginner’s guides to affiliate marketing…this one is a little more advanced. Ok, a lot more advanced. But, if you’re not new to affiliate marketing, this is for you. It talks about how to promote your products, how to identify the most valuable keywords, how to rank organically when you want to sell a product, and more. From the post:

Being able to spy on your competitors and capitalize on opportunities that are backed up with research and data, can really help you to make lots of money online. There are a number of tactics and tools you can use to help you better understand opportunities, your competitors and how they are going about marketing products.

You can read more on JonathanVolk.com and follow Johnathan on Twitter @jonathanvolk. This post’s author is on Twitter @m_thompson, and runs a SEO blog called StayOnSearch.

4. Top 10 Tips For Affiliate Promotions by Michael Dunlop at Income Diary

If you’re interested in using your email list to sell affiliate products (which can be highly effective is you’ve built a strong list), this is a post you should read. Michael Dunlop is on smart cookie, and he’s broken down the process in easy-to-do steps. From the post:

Now I appreciate some of you will be thinking — I don’t have much of a list or much of a following – so how can I go about promoting a product launch.

Well of course in theory the bigger the list you have the more sales you will have – but let me make another point. Some of the most successful affiliates for the Pre-Launch of PopUp Domination actually had relatively small lists but what they had that more than made up for it was a very responsive list.

He goes on to talk about how to build that responsive list – and then, more importantly, what to do once ya got it. Read more at Income Diary and follow Michael on Twitter @michaeldunlop.

5. How I Made Over $2000 From One Blog Post by Chris Guthrie at Make Money on the Internet

Chris Guthrie first came onto my radar at BlogWorld when I momentarily met him while doing a BlogWorld interview, and I was reminded to check him out when he did a BlogcastFM interview about how he makes money online using Amazon’s affiliate program. This is just one of the extremely useful posts on his website if you’re a blogger who wants to use this type of program to make money with your website. Chris writes:

During late 2009 I published a story showing that a highly anticipated camera was finally available for purchase on Amazon.com. I knew from my own blog that it would be a hit with the readers and that I would get an uptick in orders and increased commissions. What I didn’t expect is that several large blogs would end up linking to my story and in some cases – using my Amazon affiliate link to show their readers where they could find the product!

I love a success story – especially one complete with tips on how I can replicate that success myself! Check out Make Money on the Internet for more and follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisGuthrie.

6. Lessons Learning in Using Video for Affiliates by Shawn Collins at Affiliate Tip

This post is actually a video presentation from Affiliate Summit East 2008, when Jonathan Stefansky, EVP Sales and Marketing, Qoof, talked about using video for higher conversion rates. No excerpt, since it’s a video, but I highly recommend watching it! Affiliate Summit East and Affiliate Summit West are two conferences I highly recommend if you’re considering getting involved more with affiliate marketing. You can check out more at Affiliate Tip and follow blogger Shawn Collins on Twitter @AffiliateTip.

7. Are You Practicing “Spray and Pray” Affiliate Marketing? by David Risley

David Risley is one of the smartest bloggers out there when it comes to making money online, and this post is a good analysis of why some affiliate marketing programs aren’t as successful as others. Writes David,

Typically, a blogger will simply post something about an affiliate product and maybe email it to their list. If they have a good relationship with their audience and the product is truly relevant, then this can work (and often does).However, this could be called the “spray and pray” approach. In other words, you just spray the message out there and see who bites. It isn’t really targeted beyond the fact that it is relevant. It doesn’t take into account that a pretty huge portion of your audience isn’t really in the mood to buy anything. Plus, it depends on you HAVING a decent-size audience already.

If you’ve been frustrated with your lack of affiliate sales, this article could give you some insight as to what you’re doing wrong. Check out DavidRisley.com for more make money online tips and check him out on Twitter @DavidRisley.

8. Should You Feel Guilty Pushing Slightly Shady Affiliate Offers? by Zac Johnson

The final post I wanted to feature today is from Zac Johnson, and it’s a discussion of shady affiliate programs. Should you promote something even if its a questionable product or service? What if you don’t use it yourself? What if it might trick your reader (such as a trial offer that auto-renews at a much higher price every month)? What if…

Well, there are a lot of “what if” that you’re going to have to consider if you want to be an affiliate. I think Zac does a good job at sparking the debate here, and whether or not you agree with him (I certainly don’t agree with everything in this post), it’ll give you some things to consider. From the post:

One of the many decisions you will have to make as an affiliate is what type of offers you will run to make money. The good thing is you literally have a limitless supply of offers to choose from. Offers range from anything as simple as entering a sweepstakes, completing a free trial offer or even earning a commission on a purchase. On the flip side, you also have offers which bring little value to the user, but are still good money makers.

The comments on this post are pretty good, since people are weighing in with lots of different opinions, so make sure to check them out. Read more at ZacJohnson.com and follow him on Twitter @moneyreign.

BONUS: Because it’s an important topic, I wanted to include a bonus post for you all to check out. This one is from Rosalind Gardner at Net Profits Today and is called WordPress.com Free Hosting is NOT for Affiliate Marketers” – something that I think is true for anyone attempting to make money online. Rosalind is on Twitter @rosalindgardner.

If you’ve written a post about affiliate marketing, please share it with a comment below. The more people who share, the more valuable this 12 Days of Blogging series for everyone! Don’t forget to hit the retweet and like buttons!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

BlogWorld ’10: More Women Than Ever


2010 was BlogWorld’s Year of the Woman. We worked hard to make sure we had the best possible content for our conference and almost 50% of our speakers were women. You see, though our most important goal was to ensure you had the best educational experience possible, we were also under pressure to make sure women were being heard. Even without a goal of 50% we managed to have almost that many women speaking. That we had so many amazing woman speakers must mean there are more strong, influential women in social media than ever.

We’re so proud.

Before BlogWorld ’10 we heard from women who were afraid BlogWorld wasn’t a very “woman friendly” event. We took issue to this. We’re very “woman friendly.” In fact, almost everyone working for BlogWorld are women.

The problem was that many women weren’t choosing to attend. Some, with limited budgets to only choose one or two conferences a year, were going to BlogHer a very woman friendly event, or SXSW a bigger event. However, it seemed to me for a while that if there were fewer woman coming to BlogWorld it was because there were fewer women in social media.

Still, we work hard to make sure women know they’re wanted and welcome at BlogWorld.

2010 showed amazing growth for our event. Not only did more people come, but many more women were in attendance. In 2009, 35% of our attendees were women. In 2010, women made up 41% of those in attendance. Obviously there are still fewer women than men, but you can’t deny we’re closing the gap.

Again, our goal is to bring together folks from the blogging and social media communities regardless of gender, race, creed or preference. That we have such a diverse group of attendees shows us that we accomplished what we set out for. BlogWorld ’10 had more women than ever.

Let’s see if we can’t reach 50% at BlogWorld ’11!

Image via John Hewitt

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 9 SEOers Optimizing


SEO is not my strong suit. And by “not my strong suit,” I mean that I know the basics of it and am waaaaay not into it. Some bloggers hate adding tags. Some bloggers hate working with photos. I hate SEO.

Yes, there. I said it already. I hate SEO.

Not to be confused with SEOers (or rather, the people who are super good at and love SEO). I love SEOers! They make my life easier and happier because they figure crap out. And then they tell the rest of us, in posts like the ones below.

As always, please feel free to leave a link in the comments if you recently read or wrote a post about search engine optimization.

Without further ago, today’s 12 Days of Blogging 2010: 9 SEOers Optimizing!

1. How to Explain SEO to a Client by Brett Alan at StartSEOCompany.com

I picked this post to highlight not because I think most of you need help explaining SEO to clients, but because I think that this will help you clarify what exactly SEO is and why it is important if you’re new (or even just new-ish) to blogging. Brett’s post simplifies the concept of SEO in a way that’s easy to digest, so you can understand it even if you barely know anything about blogging. From the post:

Explaining how search-engine optimization works to a complete newb (or client) can be one of the toughest and frustrating tasks for an SEO professional.

This isn’t a jab at client intelligence either. There’s a lot to wrap your head around especially if you’re new to marketing online. And with all the misinformation out there, I totally get how beginners would be confused.

Seriously, don’t feel stupid if you need this post. My own knowledge of SEO extends about…that far. I’m making it a goal to learn more about SEO in 2010, but it’s only one part of blogging – don’t feel down on yourself if you don’t quite get it yet! Head to StartSEOCompany.com to learn more about search engine optimization, and catch Brett on Twitter @brettalanseo.

2. The Most Popular Organic SEO Columns Of 2010 by Elisabeth Osmeloski at Search Engine Land

Ooo, it’s a list within a list. How meta of me. Search Engine Land is a really great resource if you want to learn more about search engines, bt upon going to the homepage, three words come to mind: Intimidating. As. Hell. If you’re a blogger, not an SEOer, chances are that you might be overwhelmed a bit by the sheer volume of information at Search Engine Land. Elizabeth’s post gives you a great places to state. From the post:

We’re fortunate enough to have some of the most brilliant minds and SEO practitioners writing for us here at Search Engine Land, and as I’ve run through the data on our most read stories, I’ve been consistently reminded just how amazing our talent pool is in this industry. The quality of our contributors’ advice, their keen insights and depth of experiences are so well respected across the industry and across the globe, that they deserve another look as we close out the year, and look forward to an even more productive 2011.

I highly recommend Search Engine Land if you want to learn more about SEO practices and news, and you can follow the blog on Twitter @SearchEngineLand. Elizabeth can also be found at Downhill Divas, and she’s on Twitter @elisabethos.

3. Back to Basics: Search Engine Marketing, SEO, and Paid Search by Arturas Kvederis from SEO Capo

Search engine optimization is actually just part of a bigger monster called search engine marketing. Arturas’ post talks about how SEO fits into that machine and why it is relevant to your. From the post:

Too often I have seen small business owners tempted with the instant results that PPC advertising can deliver – you must be careful when putting together your SEM strategy and ideally there should be a fine balance between PPC and SEO. So if someone asks me what is the best Search Engine Strategy PPC or SEO? The answer is both.

Check out SEO Capo for the full post. You can also follow Arturas on Twitter @godzhesas.

4. Social Media vs. SEO: My Approach by Darren Rowse at Problogger

Earlier this week, I posted something else that Darren had written at Twitip, but most of you probably know him best from Problogger. This post by Darren talks about the great debate between people who love social media and people who love search engine optimization, a debate which I’ve seen get rather heated at times. Writes Darren:

A number of readers asked for my own opinion: which camp do I stand in?

I’m going to annoy some people with this but the reality is that I’ve got a foot in both camps. Let me throw a few random thoughts out there in the hope that it’ll show why I’m a fan of both social media and SEO.

Problogger is a site that every blogger out there should read, so go check it out if you haven’t already. They also have a membership community that you might find useful if you’re looking for more advice on blogging and want to connect with other bloggers. You can also follow Darren on Twitter @problogger.

5. Bad SEO Advice by Vanessa Fox at Nine By Blue

Once you’ve gotten a handle on exactly what SEO is all about, it’s pretty easier to keep the advice from experts in mind as you write blog posts. Except sometimes, advice from well-meaning idiots is just that – advice from well-meaning idiots. If you’re new to SEO, like I am, you might not be able to pick out the real tips from the crap. This article can help. Writes Vanessa:

I come across bad SEO advice all the time. Much of it may seem obvious to those of us who have been involved in search for any length of time, but for people who haven’t, it can be difficult to know what’s concrete advice, what’s speculation, and what’s just plain terrible. For that matter, it can be difficult for those outside of SEO to know what’s smart and what’s considered search engine manipulation.

The Nine By Blue blog is a great blog to check out for more SEO and general online marketing advice, and you can follow Vanessa on Twitter @vanessafox.

6. How to Get Your Website on Google by Daniel Scocco at How to Make a Website

I’ve actually been a fan of Daniel’s for some time, since I’m a regular reader at Daily Blog Tips, and his How to Make a Website site is a great nuts-and-bolts guide for beginners. This gem is posted there – it talks about how to get a search engine to notice what you’re doing. From the post:

One common mistake webmasters make is to search on Google for the name of their website, expecting to find it there right away. When they don’t, they freak out and start thinking that something is wrong.

For example, let’s suppose that you just launched a website called SuperCars.com. You put some content there, get some backlinks, and then you use the “site:” parameter to see if it is indexed. It is. You then search on Google for “super cars,” hoping to find your site there, but it is nowhere to be found, even when you look on the second, third and fourth page of results.

Is there something wrong here? No. This is a perfectly normal pattern, and people call it “the sandbox effect.”

Learn more at How to Make a Website, check out Daily Blog Tips for digestible bits of blogging information gold on a regular basis, and follow Daniel @danielscocco.

7. Most Companies Still Don’t Get SEO – Yet They Want To Go Social? by Adam Singer at The Future Buzz

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this post. That’s part of the reason why I like it. As I mentioned previously when I linked you to Darren’s post on Problogger, there’s a great debate regarding SEO and social media. The discussion is an interesting one, and although this post talks specifically about businesses, but it can be applicable to bloggers as well. Writes Adam:

The search marketing industry is far more mature than the social media marketing industry – if this company doesn’t bother grasping search, it makes little sense to skip to social.  Search is a core function of the web, and should come first.

The order matters, because search and social programs have an intersection, but to really activate this your core web presence and social content needs to be optimized.  Otherwise, all that effort of directing a community for the outcome of growing search KPIs falls short.  It’s analogous to building a skyscraper but wanting to create the top first without having any sort of base.

There’s a pretty good discussion going on in the comments of that post as well, so head to The Future Buzz to check it out and weigh in with your opinion. You can also find Adam on Twitter @AdamSinger.

8. How My Phone Helped Me Land On The First Page of Google by Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn is another one of those bloggers who is popping up everywhere. I wanted to include this post of his because it is a little different from the typical SEO post. It’s not about keywords and links and such, but rather about how to build quality content no matter what keyword you’re targeting so that all those SEO techniques you put into effect actually mean something. He talks about his initial idea to build a site around a topic that he knew nothing about. From the post:

How did I find the content?

Naturally, the first thing I did was search through Google. I was finding some of the information I needed from several sources, but only bits and pieces. I wanted the whole thing.

Plus, the sources were not reliable. Many of them said conflicting things, so instead of wasting my time gathering information that was potentially flat out wrong, I did something I never thought I’d do to help my niche site:

I used my phone.

Head to Smart Passive Income to read more and learn from Pat about making money online. You can also follow Pat on Twitter @PatFlynn.

9. How to Spot Keyword Trends by Peter Da Vanzo at SEO Book

For my final recommendation today, I chose this post by Peter Da Vanzo because it’s so darn comprehensive and easy to understand. It makes me want to go out and become an SEOer. Almost. Nah, not really, BUT it is literally packed with keyword trend tips that I can use to boost what I’m already doing on my own sites. From the post:

Given that search engine ranking has a long lead time, it pays to think about keyword trends well ahead of time.

The problem with the future is that it is difficult to predict. However, spotting trends is somewhat easier, and gives us an insight into how our niche is likely to develop. Trends typically follow a gradual, predictable pattern.

Let’s take a look at a few tools you can use to help spot long term keyword trends.

To find out about those tools, you’ll have to go to SEO Book. Don’t forget to also follow Peter on Twitter @peterdavanzo.

Remember, I need your help! In addition to the 9 SEOers Optimizing that I’ve listed above, I would absolutely love to read your post about this topic. Even if you’re a relatively new blogger, we all have something to learn from one another! Leave a comment with your link below, if you have one – or just comment with your best SEO tip.

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

What is a Blog Meme and Why Should I Join One?


I’m a huge fan of blog outreach and meeting other bloggers in my industry topic – which is why I participate in Blog Memes. But many people don’t even know what a blog meme is, or how to join or start one of their own.

What is a Meme?
A meme (in this sense) is defined as an idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve. On a blog it usually exists as a question, or list of questions, that you answer on your blog – linking back to the original Meme post and adding to the list. The memes that I do on my personal blog (which is book and writing oriented) are weekly. We have Monday “In Your Mailbox”, Tuesday Teaser, Waiting on Wednesday, etc. Memes can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even the occasional one-off quiz – depending on the topic.

Why Join a Blog Meme?

Memes can provide you with an immediate editorial calendar and topic to write about! If you’re ever in a creative slump, just search out a meme to join. Just keep it relative to your blog content.

And memes also give you link-backs. The creator gets several link backs, but if you participate you also fall into the chain – allowing others to link back to you and also from the original meme itself.

Where Do I Find a Meme?
You can find a variety of blog memes at The Daily Meme – or Google your industry with the word “meme” to see what topic specific memes appear.

Why Start a Meme?
If you have an idea for a meme theme that doesn’t exist, go ahead and start it yourself! The worst that can happen is nobody participates. The best that can happen is you get links from a variety of places and start a creative topic.

To start a meme – first post your question(s) and any rules. Some memes ask you to answer the questions and then select five other bloggers to continue moving it forward. You can implement rules, add a badge, or think of other ways to make your meme unique. After you’ve begun the post on your blog, reach out to other bloggers who might be interested in the topic! Sit back, and watch it go viral.

Image Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA-MSFC)

What to do When Your Blog Becomes An Attack Site?


I woke up Wednesday morning to, went to log on to my personal blog and saw this:

A nightmare come true. I immediately clicked to find out why it was being tagged as an attack site, and part of the response was:

Of the 22 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 6 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2010-12-14, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-12-14. Malicious software is hosted on 6 domain(s), including razumtds.ws/, onlline.info/, atcheckpc.cz.cc/.

Yeah, remember how I posted this post about not using free WordPress themes? That’s what happens. I’ve had this blog forever and never got around to swapping out the theme. I had deleted out the footer but never thought to actually check the source code. Lo-and-behold, this is what I saw – all in my footer…

Now I had to take the steps to remedy the situation. I first upgraded WordPress to the latest version (since I was still back on version Neanderthal) and installed Genesis. After that, I followed these instructions from the Attack Site warning:

If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google Webmaster Tools.

From there you click on Request Reconsideration of your site. If you have not yet added yourself as an owner of your site, you will need to follow the steps to do so (this usually requires uploading a file or editing the html to prove ownership).

In my request for reconsideration I added the following comment:

My blog was reported as an attack site because of malicious footer tags in my WordPress theme. I have since removed the theme and replaced with Genesis. All malicious html code has been removed.

And then … two days later and a lot of hitting refresh … my site was back and “Attack Site” free!

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments