Blogging Tools, Tips and Techniques

Write like Freddy

Danny Iny is also known as the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”. He started Firepole Marketing and has always had a love for blogs. One day he posted on Copyblogger and it generated over 200 comments, over 900 tweets, and a large amount of traffic back to his website. He posted to another site called Postblogger which lead to even more notoriety and traffic back to his website.

He continued to submit posts and the feedback he received was amazing which made his engines turn. Thousands of bloggers wanted to know what lead to his success and what his secret was to successful blogging. The name “Freddy Krueger” came from a comment that Danny received.
“Wow, Danny, it’s like you’re Freddy Krueger. Wherever I turn, you’re there!”

Therefore, he started to write, and write, and write, and write and from this www.writelikefreddy.com was born. He has learned some very important things regarding his experience. The value of posts from guests will help increase your drive and the amount of posts that you write. He found that you have to be different, stand out from the rest and literally, impress the blogging world.

He started to develop a system that would help others learn from his experiences. He wanted to implement many things into this system. For instance:

  • The ability to write large numbers of posts; the average of 5-30 per campaign that would all post in the same week.
  • Posts that would be high-quality. (Danny realized that this formula was essential in order for the results to be successful.)
  • His posts would have to be great and written quickly.
  • He wanted to pitch ideas to a large amount of blogs before starting his work, and wanted them be accepted.
  • The system would not allow for a loss of ideas or inspiration and would help with time management.

Write like Freddy promises to teach anyone the art of writing great posts. Advises how to get the posts published anywhere your heart desires and help get anyone the reputation, traffic, and sales that come along with it.

Danny started out over a year ago and had no reputation in the blogosphere and no traffic. Since his first break, he has had over 80 posts that have all done extremely well. He was not sure how he teach blogging or writing to anyone because his business was specifically geared towards marketing.

The Write like Freddy training system includes four training segments that will teach you how to create blogs that kick-ass and get you the attention you want. This will cause people to like and share your posts and increase your productivity. The classes are delivered via pre-recorded videos, worksheets, MP3 audio files, PDF slides, transcripts and other materials.

The curriculum will give you the ability to effectively change the way you blog. Some of the lessons include:

  • What the three major factors are before you post on a blog
  • Show how to write guest proposals that will get accepted on any blog
  • How to come up with a creative angle for your post
  • Helpful tips on how to never run out of ideas or inspiration
  • Picking the headline that will draw attention
  • Where to publish your posts
  • And so much more!

His testimonials speak for themselves. One in particular:

“Danny’s class was fast paced, action packed and always on point. In 4 short weeks he shows you how to target, research, request, write and be asked back for future guest posting opportunities.” -Kraig from www.ITManagerHQ.com

If you don’t think you can write or blog, then think again! According to Danny, this system can help anyone, even if you are not a great writer!

 

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

31 days to build a better blog

31dbbb_starburst_300px.jpegThe preeminent resource for successful bloggers, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog by Darren Rowse with ProBlogger is a must-have for beginner bloggers who have just begun their blogging journey and need information on how to build their blogs.

Expert bloggers can benefit from the workbook as well, whether they may be searching for ways to grow their blogs or have blogs where the ideas have stalled and need to be revamped. Over 19,000 bloggers have already implemented the steps set forth in this easy to follow workbook.

This invaluable tool for bloggers offers thirty one steps for the blogger to follow in working towards the ultimate goal of a successful blog. The steps lead rather than lecture, and guide the reader towards the following, among other tasks:

  • Learning various styles of posts
  • Developing working relationships with other bloggers
  • Planning the next month of posts
  • Enhancing the participation of readers
  • Promoting the blog

So many times, bloggers do not have the time to dedicate to build a blog, however, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is designed to be a task a day exercise, which can be tailored to the individual’s personal goals if the tasks need to be done weekly or monthly instead.

First published in 2008, the book is already in its second edition, with complete updates to the original material. The second edition also includes an additional seven days worth of tasks, packaged into a bonus mini e-book.

The updated version features examples of blogs that are following the suggestions in the workbook, as well as offering additional resources for independent study along with the exercises in the workbook. The 2012 update is also integrated with social media so that there is the opportunity for connection with other users who are also on the blogging journey.

Priced at $29.95, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a modest investment in growing a successful blog. Here is what bloggers who have used the workbook are saying:

  • Recently completed the workbook and the accompanying bootcamp with some comrades. This is new for me so the experience was full of learning! (N. R.)
  • Jim rated the book five stars
  • Awesome book. I had already implemented many of the suggestions in the workbook but the additional ideas were really good and easy to follow. (A. R.)
  • Wpbeginner calls it, “…the most important book in blogging” and states, “…it seems like a course that you will pay thousands of dollars for, but you don’t”.

The author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Darren Rowse, is an expert in the blogging field. He has been blogging for over ten years and earns a full time living via his blogs. He has done so since 2005.

The readers of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog are privy to the practical professional tips that helped make Darren Rowse a successful blogger. And with the low offering price of $29.95, he and ProBlogger also ensure that the knowledge is affordable to all aspiring successful bloggers.

 

The Best Blog Hosting Services For You

Blog Host Services Reaching the online community is best possible only when you consider blog hosting services in a serious manner. The very purpose of blogging is to provide valuable information on a chosen topic or event. There are bloggers all over the Internet who consider this aspect for a variety of purposes. Irrespective of the purposes one has got, it is the hosting provider chosen that plays an important role. There are a variety of hosts available (see my recommendations) for you offering attractive packages that you need to consider depending upon your diverse needs.

Free blog hosting services are provided by popular websites such as Blogger and WordPress. The difference lies in the themes and widgets provided to you. It is the convenience factor that matters to you the most in the end. A variety blogs are seen online these days that are known to provide you with unique advantages in terms of information and design.

If you plan to make money blogging, then using a paid blog hosting service is almost required. This will allow you to maximize the amount of revenue that will be earned in the form of commissions and direct sales. You can even contact advertisers on your own so that you could be paid solely. Optimum levels of profits could be earned in these situations, because you can have 100% control of the website you own. However, you will need to pay the service provider a certain percentage of money on a monthly or yearly basis depending upon the kind of package you choose. Making money is possible through free blog hosting services as well, but it can be more challenging. You need to make sure you fully comply with the terms of service of the free hosting provider, which change from time to time. So, check the resource page, with recommended blogging tools for all your hosting needs.

Windows Live Writer Plugins:The Text Template

 

are-you-there-500x275 [toc]

 

Introduction

This posts describes the very handy upgrade to Windows Live Writer – the plugin Text Template.  This easy to use feature allows you to set up a complete post template, as I do, or you can add  snip-its, sections of text and HTML coding that can be quickly added to your posts.

Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is a very useful tool for bloggers. It allows you to write blogs off-line in a cut-down Word environment. You can send your work directly to your blog, save the work to draft or you can save your work on your computer’s disk.

The interface is superior to that of the WordPress Add Post and Edit Post features. It allows formatting, linking, a great image handling facility, add video, emoticons, a quality spell-checker and much, much more.  I am now a convert and most of my posts, including this one, are now written using the package.

live-writer-screen

Using the Plugin

Really easy.

Click Insert on the top menu.

Click  the       Text Template icon in the  Plug-ins  section

live-writer-select-text-template

You’ll the see the Text Template displayed.

live-writer-text-template-screen

In my case I have only made one template  blogbasics-main.

Just a double click and the extensive template is then placed into my open  Live Writer document.

This template adds some hidden html to insert a table to layout out an image and a code that triggers a WordPress to process and insert a table of contents.

The template also contains some of my standard blog headings, such as Introduction.

Setting up a Template or Snip-it

Click Insert on the top menu.

Click  the       Text Template icon in the  Plug-ins  section

live-writer-select-text-template

You’ll the see the Text Template displayed.

live-writer-text-template-screen

Click        Add Template

live-writer-add-text-template

Add a title

Add Text and/or HTML

Unless you are going to add a large number of Snip-its I suggest ignoring the category, for classification and the icon.

Click the       Accept button.

An example

live-writer-add-text-template2

I’ve added the snip-it    Signature

Which provides the following signature

Happy Blogging

Paul Odtaa
Blogbasics.com

To Install the Plugin Text Template

 

Go direct the the Text Template link

Text Template  -  Download Link

Click  the      Download Now button

Follow the instructions and then activate the downloaded plugin, which will be installed on your computer.  You will need to approve the prompts given by the system.

Browse the plugins

Select the    Insert Menu

Click    Add plug-in

Scroll through plugins until you come across  Text Template

Click  the      Download Now button

Follow the instructions and then activate the downloaded plugin, which will be installed on your computer.  You will need to approve the prompts given by the system.

 

 

To Edit Your Text Template

 

Going through the same process as using the template.  That is

Click Insert on the top menu.

Click  the       Text Template icon in the  Plug-ins  section

The available templates will be displayed.

Select the appropriate template by clicking on it.

Click     Edit Template

Change text, add or remove code.

Click the       Accept button to confirm the changes.

 

To Delete a Template

 

Click Insert on the top menu.

Click  the       Text Template icon in the  Plug-ins  section

The available templates will be displayed.

Select the appropriate template by clicking on it.

Click     Delete Template

Confirm you want to delete the template.

Our Links

Blog Basics: Windows Live Writer overview

Blog Basics: Windows Live Writer – Managing Pictures

Live Write Basics:  A lot of useful tis on Live Writer

 

Over to You

Do you know any other good tips for Live Writer?   Do you know any other productivity tips for bloggers?  Are you likely to be using the plugin?

Windows Live Writer– Managing Images

golden-blogger

Introduction

Windows Live Writer is a very useful tool for bloggers.  It allows you to write blogs off-line in a cut-down Word environment.  You can send your work directly to your blog, save the work to draft or you can save your work on your computer’s disk.

The interface is superior to that of the WordPress Add Post and Edit Post features.  It allows formatting, such as bold, underline and italic; change font face, font size, font colour; set the alignment of text, set header styles; add hyperlinks, images and media;  a great spell checker, word counter and much more.  One of its great features is the added facilities for handling images.

Basic Image Control

 

First    Click your mouse    in the position you would like to insert the image.

Hint:  I usually size an compress my image with my trusty Fireworks graphics package before loading it into Live Writer or WordPress editors.

Fireworks allows me to precisely control the image size and then to prepare it for the web by reducing its loading time.

To insert an image there are two alternatives:

On the Home Menu

Click Picture   on the right hand – Insert section of the menu

or on the   Insert menu   Click  Picture

Select Option from

From your computer,  From the web,  Create online album, Add online album
(For this tutorial I’ll describe the ‘From your computer’ option).

From your computer

Prompts you to find the image from your computer’s disk drive.  When you select an image it will be displayed in the Live Writer document. So below is the image of my camper van.

bongo

Click on the image to activate the Picture Tools

Changing sizes

live-writer-control-image-sizes

You can change the size of the image by entering sizes in pixels in the width and height sections.  Click the   Lock aspect ratio  if you want to adjust both values.

Crop  lets you crop, cut away a section of the image.

live-writer-image-cropping

bongo

Adjust the clear section by dragging the controls on the side and then clicking   OK   to select.

Default Image Sizes

One of the most useful features  of the Picture Tools is the fact you can set up three default sizes.  Click  the little square with the arrows in the size box  and click  Set default sizes

live-writer-default-images

You can set the default sizes, (in pixels), for small, medium and large.  You can also select the Original size of the image. This is really useful for standardising your layouts.

Other Options

bongo

You have quite a lot of other options

  • Picture borders – you have a choice of bine different borders
  • Picture effects – including changing the colour, sharpening, blurring and embossing
  • Changing the Contrast and Brightness
  • Add a Watermark
  • Change Alignment – centre – no text, left, right and centre with text
  • Add margins – top, bottom, left, right – set in pixels

Conclusion

It is really worthwhile getting familiar with Live Writer’s image management system.  I’ve found it very useful to have set image sizes in many of my blogs.  For example for this blog I have a header image of most posts of 300 x 300 pixels.  This allows me to set up the post’s contents side by side.  For other images I use a maximum width of 550 pixels to fit on the page.

My Links

Blog Basics:  Overview of Live Writer, (including where to download).

Blog Basics:  Live Writer Plugin – Templates, (How to add templates and snip-its of text to Live Writer). To be written tomorrow.

Over to You

Do you use Live Writer?  Do you use any other text editor for your blogs?  Have you any other advice on blogging, productivity.

WordPress Jetpack: Powerful Plug-in

WordPress Jetpack

WordPress Jetpack Plugin

Problem with Jetpack seems to have been resolved
There were quite a few people having problems with the plugin, myself included. In particular the Stats package stopped working and complained that it was not connected to WordPress.com.

It now seems to have sorted itself out and I reckon the problem was that the system could not handle the huge rush of users. It now seems to be working OK.

Introduction

WordPress have just released the extremely powerful JetPack plug-in.  This feature will add quite a few useful utilities that were only available as a complete package to blogs on the company’s free blogging platform, WordPress.com.

It is clear that JetPack will be used by WordPress to add other features in the future in a similar way to aps on mobile phones.  There may be charges for some of these new added features in the future.

Features of Jetpack

  • Gravatar Hovercards: Find out who’s commenting on your posts with enhanced information for Gravatars (includes full name, bio, other web profiles).
  • WordPress.com Stats: Keep on top of your traffic with powerful and simple to understand statistics for your site.
  • Twitter Widget: Keep your readers more up to date by syncing your tweets to your site via a simple widget.
  • Shortcodes: Quickly add movies, images, and more to your posts and pages with a single line of code.
  • Shortlinks: Automatically creates an easy to copy/paste mini-url for any post on your site.
  • LaTeX: Use the famous markup language to quickly create beautiful mathematical expressions and equations.
  • Sharedaddy: Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks.
  • After the Deadline: Your writing will improve thanks to this artificial intelligence based spell, style, and grammar checker.

Installation of Jetpack

Installation of the package is relatively straightforward.  Once installed individual features need to be configured.

Login to the WordPress Dashboard

Click on the Plugin button

Plugin

WordPress Plugin

Click  Add New

Type in the search term  jetpack and click  Search Plugins button

Click   Install Now

Confirm that you want to install the plugin by clicking the    OK button

Click   Activate Plugin

You will see a message displayed at the top of the Plugin page the above message  Your Jetpack is almost ready with a green button Connect to WordPress.com on the right.

Click the Connect to the WordPress.com button.

WordPress account signin page

WordPress account sign-in page

If you have a WordPress account sign-in.  You will need to   Authorize the connection to your blog and then you can go to the plugin’s configuration.

Getting a WordPress Account

or Click   Need an Account link on the right

Join WordPress

Join WordPress

Enter your details and then press the   Sign up button

WordPress Profile

WordPress Profile

You will be sent an email.  You will need to confirm on the link in the email to join WordPress.com

This is optional: You will asked to add your profile

If you do then press     Submit button.

Once your account has been validated it is generally easier to go back to the WordPress Dashboard and click the  green       Connect of WordPress

Connect to WordPress

WordPress is then Installed

Setting up Jetpack