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.
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 »
If you’re a blogger, you’re an “online person,” which probably means you get a lot of 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 »
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.
But I want to inject some caution here. The stats don’t lie, but they can bend the truth! read more »
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.
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.”
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.
Each of these “top performing” posts give you two big opportunities: read more »
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.
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 »
You’ll often hear the phrase that “links are the currency of the internet.” And they still are.
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 »
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:
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.
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 »
This is a guest post from Sue Almond. Her connection with me is explained in the post, and when I read it, I felt I wanted to add my own viewpoint. Social media has been an extraordinary revolution in the way we all communicate, and it has enabled so many of us to dramatically increase the number of friends we have around the world. Many people think these are superficial friendships, and of course the vast majority of them are just that. But over the last five years using Facebook and Twitter, amongst all the acquaintances, I can honestly say I have established genuine and lasting friendships with people all over the globe. These are people who I can call on for advice, help and a chat – I “know” their families, what’s going on in their work and love lives, and they know as much about me.
We live in a fabulous time.
Over to Sue:
They say you are lucky if you have six real friends, people you could count on, who are there for you no matter what. Have we devalued the word 'friend' by using it so freely to mean 'contacts' on social networking sites like Facebook? Not necessarily I don't think as sometimes, in a variety of ways, those contacts are invaluable.
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