Posts tagged as:

General

48 indispensable blogging resources

by Dean on November 13, 2009

This blog is now part of The Good Content Company. Thanks for stopping by!

Someone asked me the other day what blogging resources and tools I use as a full-time freelance writer. So I sat down with a giant mug of tea, had a think about it, and came up with the following list of useful websites, resources and tools.

Useful websites about blogging

Problogger

1. Problogger
Darren Rowse is a well-established professional blogger and the Problogger site features daily updates on how to be a better writer and how to make money online.

2. Copyblogger
Like Problogger, but skewed firmly towards how to write content. Copyblogger offers copywriting advice for bloggers and online marketers a-like.

3. Skelliewag
Another useful blogging advice site with regular tips and tutorials on how to grow and develop your blog.

4. Daily Blog Tips
As its name suggests, here you’ll find miscellaneous ‘daily blog tips’ covering blog design, promotion, search engine optimization and writing content.

5. Karmic Consulting
Ian Hollander’s website is a fantastic read for web entrepreneurs with some of the longest post titles I’ve ever seen. Check this one out: “The Art of Outrageousness – What Online Dating Taught me About Killer Copy That Converts Like Crazy (No Gurus Required)”.

Online blogging resources

Wordpress

6. Hostgator
Because website hosting doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

7. godaddy.com
Because domain names don’t have to cost a fortune. Did you know you can typically pick up a .info domain for less than $1?

8. Wordpress.org
The web’s most popular blogging system and CMS. It’s reassuringly stable, flexible and expandable with all sorts of plug-ins. You can download it here.

9. Google Keyword Tool
Keyword research starts here.

10. Google Trends
See whether your chosen keywords are part of a topic that’s peaking in popularity or dangerously on the slide.

11. Google Analytics
One of the essential blogging resources for your blog or website, which shows you how many visitors you’re getting, where they’re coming from and what they typed to get there.

12. Google Alerts
Monitor your reputation online (and any mentions of your blog or website) by setting up a series of keyword-focused Google Alerts.

13. Aweber
Popular autoresponder and email marketing software that’s vital if you want to automate some of your business promotion and build a list of loyal customers online.

Stock XChng

14. stock.xchng
Royalty-free photos that are perfect for jazzing up your blog posts.

15. Feedburner
RSS management and tracking made easy.

16. Copyscape
Plagiarism checker and duplicate content tracker. Find who’s ripped off your content fast.

17. Website Grader
How optimised is your website or blog? Run it through Website Grader and see what impact your SEO efforts have had.

18. Alexa
Track the rank of your website on a global scale and see how it compares against your rivals.

19. Montastic
Free website monitoring service that alerts you when your website hosting falls over.

Promotional tools

Squidoo

20. Ezinearticles
The daddy of article directories. Useful for site promotion and backlink generation thanks to a PageRank of 7. Submit 10+ articles to qualify for unlimited Platinum membership.

21. Squidoo
Another great promotional tool with a PR7. Sign up and create a mini-website or ‘lens’ on any topic you want to, then link out to boost the rankings of your blog.

22. Hubpages
Like Squidoo, Hubpages is an alternative to a website or blog, a flexible online space where you can write about anything and everything. Use it to build link authority for a blog or try farming it for AdSense clicks.

23. Wetpaint
Another Web 2.0 property, enabling you to quickly build a small website within the larger Wetpaint site. Again, this is useful for promoting your own website or blog by generating a quality backlink.

24. Weebly
Like Wetpaint, Weebly is another idiot-proof blog creation site, featuring drag-and-drop construction and an easy-to-use interface.

25. Twitter
The darling of the Web 2.0 age. First there was blogging, now there is ‘micro-blogging’. Say what you want, when you want, as long as it fits into 140 characters. Then link your blog to Twitter with Twitterfeed.

Monetization options

Affiliate Window

26. Clickbank
The web’s leading information marketplace and ebook bazaar, filled with hundreds of products (from weight loss systems to magic blogging formulas) that you can promote as an affiliate.

27. Amazon Associates
Amazon’s own affiliate program enables you to direct customers to Amazon’s website and take a cut of any sales generated during the visit.

28. Commission Junction
Promote hundreds of real products from hundreds of Commission Junction partners and make affiliate commissions along the way.

29. Affiliate Window
UK affiliate site with some big-name clients that include Marks & Spencer, Boots, Comet, John Lewis, New Look and PC World.

30. Offervault
A handy affiliate program aggregator, enabling you to search for products to promote across multiple affiliate networks.

31. Paypal
The easiest way to manage electronic transactions and for banking affiliate commissions. Also ideal if you want to start selling your own products.

32. Adsense
Top up your cash flow with context-aware advertising from Google.

Essential Wordpress plugins

All in One SEO Pack

33. All in One SEO Pack
Optimises your Wordpress blog for search engines by rewriting page titles and auto-generating META tags.

34. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate an XML sitemap designed to help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog.

35. Internal Link Building
Define a list of global keywords and the Internal Link Building plugin automatically adds them to your website pages. Like Wikipedia, every time a keyword occurs, it links to the page previously defined.

36. YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin)
Display related posts at the bottom of your blog entries. Improves SEO and encourages visitors to browse deeper into your site.

Downloadable applications

Keyword Elite 2.0

37. Dark Room
Eliminate distractions and keep your writing on track with this minimalist, screen-dominating word processor. Yes, it looks suspiciously like it’s been resurrected from the 1980s.

38. Keyword Elite 2.0
While the Google Keyword Tool is perfectly adequate for basic keyword research, more advanced tools like Keyword Elite enable you to focus in on high profit, low competition phrases with ease.

39. Mass Article Control
This time-saving package features two separate programs – Mass Article Creator (for generating content) and Mass Article Submitter (for firing that content off into hundreds of article directories like Ezinearticles).

40. Bookmarkingdemon
Automatically bookmark your website on hundreds of social networks and bookmarking sites, generating exposure and backlinks for your blog.

41. IrfranView
Freeware graphic viewer and image-resizer for Windows.

42. The Gimp
Freeware image editing program for Windows. It’s a bit fiddly, but very powerful and flexible once you know your way around the menus.

43. OpenOffice
Free alternative to Microsoft Office featuring word processor, spreadsheet and presentation apps. It’s worth the download for the PDF export function alone.

44. Filezilla
Excellent FTP program for uploading data to your web host.

Useful books

Blogging To The Bank 3.0

45. One Week Marketing Action Plan
“How a frustrated, over-worked Georgia mom accidentally stumbled upon the exact steps to making $154,819.96 a year as a super affiliate…”

46. Blogging to the Bank 3.0
“An ingeniously simple formula to create cash on demand without a product or website of your own.”

47. Desperate Buyer’s Only
A great guide to planning, researching and writing an ebook.

48. Blog Profit Blueprint
Yago Starak’s free report that opens the way to his Blog Mastermind coaching program. One of the most highly-respected blogging resources around.

{ 4 comments }

Hands up. Who’s making money with blogs?

by Dean on November 12, 2009

making money with blogs Hands up. Whos making money with blogs?

Almost everyone who thinks about making money with blogs will have been tempted by a ’system’. Google Sniper, Google Snatch Ultimatum, Affiliate X

You have probably seen the sales pages. They often tell an improbable rags-to-riches story of an average Joe who stumbled across a magic blogging formula and now rakes in $56,754 per week on autopilot.

Great. But how truthful is it? And is there anything to these get-rich-quick schemes? After all, when you read around the subject, you quickly work out that there’s no substitute for original content, helpful advice and lots of hard work.

Do blogging systems actually work?

It is easy to draw a parallel with the snake oil sellers that drifted the American Wild West. They sold miracle ointments and embrocations that claimed to be miracle cures for all sorts of illnesses. Snake Oil is only one example. Travelling medicine men often sang the restorative praises of Tiger Balm and Bear Bile.

With this in mind, it’s easy to dismiss the various blogging systems that appear, promising to help you annihilate or dominate Google and to crank out astounding profits while you sleep.

Do they have compelling testimonials? Check. And limited time offers? Check. It all sounds suspiciously like 19th century quackery reinvented for the Internet age.

Why some money-making systems can be useful

But hold on a moment… When a modern version of Snake Oil was analysed, it actually contained beneficial ingredients such as menthol, clove oil and camphor. Admittedly, 75% of modern Chinese Snake Oil is just a plain carrier oil. But there’s evidence that the remaining 25% diluted within this carrier oil can actually do you some good.

Relate this to modern Internet marketing promotions and there’s always some benefit to studying a so-called blogging system. If you’re serious about making money with blogs, these systems are effectively step-by-step guides that encompass core skills such as: niche identification, keyword research, SEO content creation, traffic generation and successful affiliate marketing.

How to pick a system that works

All of which begs the question: how do you tell whether a product is a genuine blogging system or just a virtual bottle of Snake Oil?

The answer is simple. You try them out. Internet marketers typically offer generous, risk-free, get-your-money-back guarantees with their offers. George Brown’s Google Sniper, for example, comes with a 60-day refund period. No questions asked.

In contrast, the Snail Oil peddlers of the old Wild West didn’t hang around for their claims to be tested. They usually skipped town before they were caught out.

{ 0 comments }