Video is a great resource to add to your blog posts. You can develop a video yourself or you can search for just the right video on YouTube (www.youtube.com) There are other video resources out there, but YouTube is by far the largest. Give this tutorial a try and be sure to post below how it worked out for you.
Tired of each blog post taking the whole of your front page or your homepage? Try adding the MORE tag after the first paragraph or so. The MORE tag in WordPress allows reader to get a taste of your blog post and click on CONTINUE READING to read more of your post. I put this short video together for you to give you the step by step. Enjoy!
Today, I was discussing with my teenager how to begin a science research project. Later I realized this process applies to putting together a quality blogging. Here are the steps for both projects:
1. What is the question you want to answer?
For a science project, you’re looking for an area to research further either through experimentation or research. Putting the topic into a question format helps drive the next steps in the process.
For your blog, you want to answer a pressing question from your audience. Where is their greatest pain? What is it that is preventing action in your audience? [Read more…]
As an internet marketer and an amateur news hound, I come across lots of stories about life and social media every day. The recent suicide of a Rutgers University freshman made headlines. His roommate and another student posted a sex video of him online and then tweeted about it. Sadly, the victim reacted by jumping from a bridge. Charges are being levied against the students broadcasting the video. These “kids” could get up to 5 years in jail for something they probably considered a joke. Beyond being totally gross and upsetting, this case brings out what we parents must teach to our children about social media.
1. If your post contains something about someone else (picture, video or even words), have they given or would they give you permission to post? If not, STOP!
This is a difficult thought process for young people. It’s part of their development both mentally and physically. Where do they draw the line? Studies have shown the part of the brain controlling judgment doesn’t fully develop until the early-20’s. The general society around our youth help generate guidelines of acceptable behavior for every day living. However, the rapid growth of social media has provided a channel to communicate and express themselves with no pre-set limitations. It’s important for parents to talk about limitation for social media use. Otherwise, the youth don’t have any.
2. For this post you are about to make, would you want to have your grandmother (or grandchild) read it? Would they understand what you are talking about? If not, STOP!
Some posts are just plain silly, but silliness can get out of hand. Remember the words you use to describe a hobby, may be taken totally differently by someone not familiar with the hobby. My sons like to play aero-soft (a saner version of paintball). There is a massive amount of gear involved from various rifles and handguns to protective gear to keep you safe and hidden from your opponents. While I’m thankful they are out in the woods playing games instead of doing them on an X-box from the couch in the living room, it would be patently inappropriate to post pictures online with their guns or videos of their personal adventures. They also need to be careful of their word choices in sharing about their adventures online. Taken at a glance some of their uncensored comments could make them sound like they’re building a militia. This is not their intent and they’re just innocently playing around with each other.
3. Does this post best represent you? If not, STOP!
I believe in years to come, the majority of our reputation will be gathered from online materials. This process is already starting to happen as the Library of Congress catalogs our Twitter tweets and as employers search Facebook, blogs, and other resources to better screen prospective employee. Parents need to teach their youth of the permanence of their online postings. Even though the accounts have been cancelled on Twitter for the suicide case mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can still find it today in Google’s Cache. Even though it was cancelled, Twitter still retains the archive of the account and every tweet placed there.
Personally, I believe social media has made it much more difficult for our young people. With much freedom comes much responsibility. Social media provides an unprecedented amount of communication freedom, but much of our youth is unprepared and untrained to handle it. Take a few minutes at the dinner table tonight and chat about these three rules. You’ll be amazed what you learn from your youth.
In closing, I’d like to share a blog from a mother to her daughter. It was sent after reading of the tragic suicide at Rutgers. I’ve shared it with my boys and hope you can share it, too.
It focuses on the most important thing we can give our children in this social media age: love.
There are many types of blogs;
- diary blogs,
- commentary blogs,
- political blogs,
- cause-focused blogs
- travel blogs
- family blogs
but my focus is on helping businesses to use their blogs effectively.
Helping folks setup a new WordPress website is a blast. However, I’ve been a bit befuddled about tags and categories. I was attempting to find a simple way to explain them to my clients. What are tags and categories and why should I care?
My first thought was to explain tags and categories as keywords. Since most people have used Google, Yahoo, or Bing to do a search, they comprehend the need for keywords. Keywords are defined by the choice of words someone might use to search for your webpage or blog post. Keywords just doesn’t seem to be enough to clarify the difference between tags and categories.
WordPress has a great video on adding categories. Take a look
After a bit more research (and little remembering), I discovered WordPress used to ONLY list categories. The challenge with using ONLY categories was using too many sub-categories (called children of the parent category). Basically folks just made a list of keywords under a particular category. Because of those long lists of subcategories, the WordPress programmers, created tags.
With the creation of tags, categories became the more global keywords and tags became the detailed keywords. For example, for a blog post called Redesigning my Living Room, your category could be Interior Design and your keywords could be living room, furniture, color scheme, painting, layout, etc. Thus catgories become the parent and tags become the subcategories.
In the end, categories and tags do impact SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can learn more about it at:
There is value to categories and tags outside of SEO. They make it easier for our reader to find relevant blogs to their needs. By simply clicking on a category or a tag, the reader receives a listing of available blogs under that topic. A tag cloud also helps define what your blog is globally about simply by reviewing the higher priority (and larger) tag words.
Your tags and categories do make a difference on your blog. As you add them consider how they impact your SEO and how easy they make scanning your blog for your readers.
The other day, I was reading about the state of the blogsphere by the CEO of Technorati.com. The article is worth reading at: http://technorati.com/blogging/article/state-of-the-blogosphere-2009-introduction/
For me, the real benefit of this article is their survey of 2,900 bloggers from around the world. I enjoy statistics describing just about anything, but the ones on blogging were especially fascinating. Let’s look at the breakdown of WHO is blogging as shared in the article above:
- 72% – Hobbiest
- 15% – Part-Timers
- 9% – Self-Employed
- 4% – Pros
Isn’t it great that blogging is MOSTLY done by folks for fun (that’s the Hobbiest). The question I would like to ask the other 28% is HOW did they get started blogging. I would venture to say that many the blog for their businesses or companies got started by blogging as a hobby. Regular blogging gets those creative juices flowing and can grow into something that is supportive to your income.
Blogging has become an important business development and marketing tool in our growing social media society. More than 1 in 4 people in the survey blogged for business reasons and almost half of them are doing it full-time. Who would have thought a hobby could become a full-time business or position?