General Blogging Stuff

Why I Moved Everything Into The Cloud

Following a catastrophic hard drive failure a couple of years ago, I vowed that I would gradually migrate my entire computer system (and my wife’s) into the cloud. We chose to go with Google as our provider, mainly because we were well “into” Google already, as we use Goggle apps to host our domain emails. More recently Microsoft have come up with a credible competitor in the form on Office online, but we’re happy to stick to the Big G.

Google  read more »

Convert PDF Documents To Word

PDF (portable document format) is a widely used application online. It allows you to send quite large documents, compress images, and include a load of information which makes sure the document is always displayed as the writer intended it.

Investintech

Until recently, creating your own PDFs needed software, or a web based converter, but these days both Microsoft’s Office and Open Office offer native converters, so it’s relatively easy to convert anything you produce into a PDF.

But going the “other way” remains a problem!  read more »

How To Cope With Your Email Overload

If you’re a blogger, you’re an “online person,” which probably means you get a lot of email!

Email

How much time do you waste in your inbox?

One of the biggest time wasters with email is procrastination. How often do you read an email, then choose to leave it in the inbox to come back to later? If that’s your habit, when you do come back, you’ll end up reading it again, and perhaps doing exactly the same thing! If you do the same email 3 or 4 times before actioning it, and multiply that by the hundreds you might receive in a week, you’re wasting a huge amount of time.  read more »

Be Cautious About Statistics

One of the best things about using the web is the level of information you can glean from things like Google Analytics. You know where your readers are coming from, the path they follow through your website and the point at which they’ve had enough and decide to move on.

As a marketer, the information is amazing and I use it every day for my own websites, and for those of my customers.

Stats

But I want to inject some caution here. The stats don’t lie, but they can bend the truth!  read more »

The Single Most Important Ingredient For A Successful Blog

Let’s start by agreeing that successful means on your terms, not mine. You might want to make a fortune from your blog, but perhaps you’re not interested in money and you just want traffic. Or affection from your readers. Maybe you just want to write to get things out of your system.

It doesn’t matter how you define your success. There is one ingredient which will help you achieve it, and it’s the one that so very many people who start blogs don’t have.

Perseverance.

Perseverance  read more »

Am I A Writer?

There’s a massive snobbery around the word “writer.” People who write every day waste time wringing their hands wondering if they dare call themselves “writers.”

Where they feel they can’t, they adopt terms like “bloggers” or “content creators.”

The whole debate online has been fuelled recently by endless discussion about what constitutes “quality content,” with Google adding more to the flames by telling us that’s what they are working hard to surface in their ubiquitous search engine algorithm. People complain that the web is too “dumbed down.”

Typewriter  read more »

A Checklist For Making Your Best Posts More Effective

At this time of year I always carry out my analysis of what has happened to my blogs over the preceding 12 months. Part of that includes listing the top ten performing posts (in terms of visits) on the site during the period. Listing them will give you a good indicator of the posts which attract the most search traffic to your site. These posts are also likely to have a high bounce rate as people arrive, get the information they want, and quickly move on.

Shop Window

Each of these “top performing” posts give you two big opportunities:  read more »

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

Interaction is the buzzword of Web 2.0. Any blog or social media platform is only as good as the interaction it has with its readers.

Quiz

And questions or quizzes are a fantastic way to get things going, so I was delighted when I came across Interact. They are a company who provide a very simple platform which allows you to create and embed a quiz onto any website. You can write your own, or choose from a range of standard quizzes.

But here’s the really clever part: You can set up your quiz to ask people to subscribe to your email newsletter list in order to get the results.  read more »

Don't Forget To Link From Your Website To Great Content!

You’ll often hear the phrase that “links are the currency of the internet.” And they still are.

Link

But social media, rather perversely, has dramatically reduced the number of useful links around the web. The problem is that it’s so quick and easy to share content via social media, that doing so has become the default, where once the only way to do so was with our own websites.

That’s a problem, because links on Twitter and Facebook have almost no SEO value – all they are good for is the initial hit of traffic that they send to your content.

But a link on a blog with a decent readership has on-going long term value to any website.  read more »

Book Review - Burn Wild, A writer's guide to creative breakthrough

They say that everyone has a novel in them. I’m not sure I subscribe to that theory, but I do believe there are many, many potentially great writers out there, who never actually publish anything in their lives, perhaps because:

  • They never find the time
  • They are scared to fail
  • They don’t know how to start
  • They’ve tried and not been satisfied with the results
  • They don’t understand how to “tap into” what’s in their heads

I’ve recently read a book that could help people in that situation. As you’d expect, it’s extremely well written, and I think it could become a “meeting point” for the would-be writers of the world.

Christi

Burn Wild – A writer’s guide to creative breakthrough is by Christie Krug, who is an accomplished writer and who is also a writing coach.

I think part of the foreword best sums up the book:  read more »

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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."

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