Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Blog Launch Delayed!

It just goes to show you ... taking short cuts is great, but you need to know what you are cutting short in order to continue.

In my last posting I mentioned that I took up Nitro's offer to set up my new blog in Wordpress, thereby saving myself a lot of techie type grief ... I do have a left brain, but it seems to have atrophied from lack of use!!! Nitro, true to their promise set it all up for me --- that is everything that is needed was installed. Now it's like arriving at an unfamiliar place and not knowing where to go. Some things are obvious, such as posting. But before I started posting I wanted to re-arrange a few things and had no idea how to proceed!

PANIC!

The first thought that ran through my mind was why did I not just stay with Blogger, I have learned by pecking and picking how to work the back end admin area and am quite familiar with all the options and setups. Noooooo.... I had to start on some other system where the back end admin area is like walking in a maze, or so it appears to me right now.

PANIC AGAIN! I am sure that there are instructions on Wordpress as to how to use it properly, but when panic sets it, the fingers go flying all over the keyboard with no results! AHA! I thought. I HAVE AN IDEA!

Some time ago I had downloaded some blogging stuff from Yaro Starak! He is the blogger that Caroline Middlebrook speaks so highly of. YES! There it was, in my blogging file, a whole set of videos on how to set up Wordpress. Indeed there is a God!

Grounded myself, took a few deep breaths, poured myself a coffee, drank it deeply and settled my nerves. Watched the first four videos. Its like Wordpress for Dummies! Thank you. Thank You. Now I know what Nitro did for me. Yes, they did save me a lot of techie type grief!

Next. I am going for a walk. Will I watch the next videos today? Maybe - but probably not. I just checked Yaro's blog entrepreneurs-journey to see if those videos were still availabe but did not see them. But its worth the visit and the newsletter signup!

Blog On!

Quick Links
Yaro Starak's Blog: Entrepreneurs Journey
Nitro Marketing Blueprint
Caroline Middlebrook's Blogger's Bible

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Avoid Time Thieves - Focus on Blogging

Avoid time thieves, focus on the job at hand: Blogging.

Valentina, What are you talking about?

Read on.

If you have been trolling on the internet for a while dollars to donuts says that you get a lot of emails in your inbox every day. I know I get gazillions and while a part of my wants to scream "stop the SPAM!" another part of me knows that at least half of those emails - if not more - are there because I subscribed to them. I talk to extremely successful internet marketers and they all tell me that they too have overflowing inboxes and that they even pay attention to the spam because they want to see how others are marketing and sometimes, there might even be a good idea.

But you are not a guru (yet), and neither am I. ( Hint: The gurus have staff) These are all time thieves. Every course I have ever taken told me to apply the brakes to the emails. Emails are a distraction and take away from productivity. Kevin Wilke told us to be ruthless and to unsubscribe to everything.

Avoid these Time Thieves

- Jokes sent by your friends - don't forward, better yet, don't open. In fact send an email to your buddies and tell them that you are going to focus on a project online and that in an effort to keep emails down to a minimum, to please withold sending the jokes, the chain letters, the beautiful poetry and whatever else it is that clutters your inbox from your well meaning and loving friends.

- Newsletters that have nothing to do with Internet Marketing or better yet, with blogging. If there are some newsletters that you really enjoy reading, take note of the URLs, and then when your blogging muscles begin to strengthen, then you can start re-suscribing again, s-l-o-w-l-y, one at a time!

- Clicking on an item that caught your eye on MSN ... it probably has nothing to do with Internet Marketing.

You will be surprised at just how much time you will have carved out for yourself, time that you will now be able to put to good use and focus on your blogging. Time is the biggest investment you can make in this business and while it does not take actual hard cash out of your pocket, applied properly, it will put money in your bank. Now, is that good or good?

Keep the On Topic Stuff:

There are some things you should continue to subscribe to, a prime example would be if you are currently taking a course then you need to accept and read continuing updates, new material and so on. That is a given. If you are shadowing this blog and setting one up yourself, you need to subscribe to the RSS feed or the "follow me" button.

I am currently on three courses. They are all related and are specific to Blogging. What I write here is a distillation of the three. I am writing about the baby steps that I think are the best way to start your blogging career. They are all courses for a fee. I don't like to recommend things that I have not either actually done myself or at least reviewed in detail.

A Course Recommendation:

I will however share one of those courses with you today. I got the idea for this blog from Caroline Middlebrook. I admit it, I am plain out and out copycatting her (though not necessarily each step) - and I have told her so. If you want to blog along faster, I can certainly recommend her Bloggers Bible. She has both a free and a paid version. The paid version is delivered all in one go and you can proceed as fast as you want ... you'll be ahead of the postings on this blog and perhaps banking dollars a lot quicker.

Quick Links:
Kevin Wilke - Nitro Marketing Blueprint
Caroline Middlebrook - Bloggers Bible

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blog Ready to Launch

After considering all the options that are available to me re creating/hosting my new blog, I have made my decision based on the following:

1. Domain Name: to be announced when the blog is up & live (this coming week)

2. Niche Market: Money.
Whoa! That is not a niche market!!!! Yes, I know - this is one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" caveats. Indeed the Internet is flooded with blogs and sites on money, how to make it, how to manage it, how to invest it ... and much much more. My chances of becoming the Search Engines' Darling and be rewarded with top ranking are slim indeed. Having said that I am willing to take longer for this blog to become a money making site for me. The reasons I chose this very broad market are:

a. It is top of mind for just about everyone today.
b. The broad topic allows for many niches.
c. It is consistent with this blog, which is about making money blogging, so it builds on to an existing "product"
d. The niches lend themselves to my being able to promote some of my other existing businesses as options
e. Topic comfort - I write my own material so this will not be as time consuming as perhaps other narrower niches I was considering

3. Platform: Wordpress (paid version)
The reason I chose Wordpress is twofold:

a) Many more options available for development of blog especially as I intend to make this a signature blog. For this same reason I chose the paid version as it offers so many more features and functions that I will be growing into.
and,
b) Having taken a number of courses in Internet Marketing, I was able to capitalize on an offering by Nitro Marketing to set up my blog for free.

4. Host: Hostgator
While both Blue Host and HostGator are offer similar services and product I chose HostGator
because it is the host service that Nitro recommends.

OK.... I fudged a bit here. I was going to do the Wordpress thing from scratch - although I was definitely going for the paid version. Techie type stuff is not my strong suite. It would not be the best use of my time. I had other options for a "set it & post it" wordpress blog (I have a few of those with another program I purchased), but decided to go with Nitro. My experiences with Nitro Marketing courses have been that the content is always strong on detail, complete, and delivers great support. I have not had a blog set up by this group before so in a way I will be testing a new product. Actually you can sign up for their free newsletter. They have started to host free webinars which I highly recommend. You will be advised of those webinars in the newsletters.

Lets recap to date:
1. Topic/Niche selection
2. Domain Name
3. Ten Posts written & ready to post in weekly or semi-weekly intervals
4. Platform (Blogger or Wordpress)
5. Host (needed only if paid Wordpress selected).

Happy Blogging!

Quick Links:
Wordpress
HostGator
Nitro Marketing Blueprint

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blog Hosting - To Pay or Not To Pay

You can start up a blog without spending a dime and that is fine if your intention is to simply publish it as a journal on a topic of your choosing. But if you are serious about this blog being a business then you need to put up a professional presence. Professional presence does not mean a fancy header and all sorts of bells and whistles that only a webmaster would be able to put up – no, professional presence means that it doesn’t look like a hobby or a dalliance, you know, something you do when the spirit moves you or when a spare half hour or so grabs you. If you are going to be giving information or doing reviews on products then you need to do that with authority. Consider it as your virtual image.

How do you do that?

One you hang out a professional shingle. In the world of internet marketing that means a proper domain name. This was covered in my previous posting of January 25, Domain Name Selection

As an example, what looks better to you?
http://www.ripalongwithme.blogspot.com/ .
the “blogspot” in the domain points to a free domain & hosting

or

http://www.blogalongwithme.com/

As mentioned in a previous post, I had originally started this blog with a different intention than that into which it morphed. The Blogalong title is more appropriate to this blog’s new role and I bought the domain name Blog Along With Me. I thought it would be easy to replace the original “Ripalong” domain name with the new one but found that while I could use the new domain name in marketing and have it redirected to the original one, the display at the top of the blog page will always be the Ripalong URL. I toyed with the idea of starting a fresh blog, but decided to keep it as is as an example of what not to do.

Hosting is another one of those “professional presence” items. Actually if this is your first blog don’t worry so much about how you look, you may just continue with the free option whether you choose to use Blogger or Wordpress. In the free options there is minimal backend administration. I like that you do not have to be a whiz bang kid with HTML, c-panel, FTP (see, I told you)….

If on the other hand you’ve got a blog or two going and are comfortable with the basics, this is a good time to step up and have your blog hosted elsewhere. You just get so many more options that will be important for you as you progress, things such as instant guest book, forums, instant portals, Fantastico, and more … too much to list here. As with blog platforms there are several hosting options. I like both Blue Host, and Hostgator. Their basic program starts at $6.95 and $4.95 respectively. Both by the way, offer affiliate programs so once you decide which one to go with, you can also make some money promoting that host. Me? I haven’t decided yet.

See Ya Soon!

Quick links:
Domain Name Selection
Hostgater
Blue Host

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh Google My Google! Where has the Adsense Gone?

The Google Adsense has really got me in a knot ... I just came back to it after a nice walk along the beach, determined to make it work. Just fiddling around I came to a strange result:

1. When I log on to the regular URL http://ripalongwithme.blogspot.com or the redirect URL http://blogalongwithme.com, the result is a site with no Adsense on the sidebars, just blank space where it ought to be.

HOWEVER

2. When on the site, whether through the original blogspot URL or the redirect dot com URL (.com) ........and I click on any title of any of the posts, and voila! there is Google Adsense, clear as clear can be! The additional wierd thing is that it then comes up as a page of its own, but the address bar does not change to show it as a unique page (every page on the net has its own unique address, or URL).

OK..........I am going to leave this alone for the time being and check with someone who is a techie and let you know what the outcome is so that you do not have the same problem.

Good Grief Google!

In my last posting I set out a few goals for February one of which was to fix the Google "adsense" space on the sidebar of this blog. It appears very nicely at the end of each post, but for some reason the sidebar has given me nothing but grief. I fixed it for a nano second, or so it seems as it appeared for a while, then I went into my adsense management section in blogge to add another one and voila! It has disappeared again! Slavishly I have followed the instructions on how to activate it- but still no joy!!! aaaaarrrggghhhh!!!

Having said that I still think that Blogger is the easier platform upon which to build your blog. It is very forgiving and does not require you to learn anything about other types of software. So, if this is going to be your first blog or if you are new to blogging, it is Blogger hands down. .

On the other hand if you are a techie type or if in real life you find yourself gravitating towards Operations rather than Sales or Customer Service, then Wordpress is your platform - it is also the platform that most professional bloggers choose. For my next blog I have decided that I will use Wordpress, not because I am blessed with a left brain nor that I am a professional blogger - I am learning on the job in public view - but becuase I feel I need to stretch my muscles. Remember, if it doesn't scare you, its not much of a goal, just business as usual. If you don't exercise your muscles, atrophy sets in. Frequent visits to the gym builds healthy muscles.

I am being asked if I have selected my next niche topic and was I successful in finding a good domain name. Yes, and Yes. I am torn between revealing it now or waiting to make a full announcement as the new blog goes live. I think I'll defer this decision for a few more days.

Meanwhile if you are struggling between Blogger or Wordpress this may help: Blogger is free and money friendly, that is you can monetize it with Adsense and Affiliates; Wordpress has a free and paid version. The free version has limitations.

Till next time ...........

PS... sprinkled within this post are hints of the my next blog topic. See if you can find it and post in comments below:

REPLY WITH COMMENTS BELOW

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogging Results for January 2009

As promised, here are my results for the first month of my Project 2009 -





This is a modest start. When you start your blog, I venture that it too will have similar results at the beginning. Comments on the above chart:

1. Strong dates are Jan 08 when there were 21 visitors and again Jan 23, when there were 22 visitors. What happened on those two dates? Scrolling down the right hand sidebar you can see that the following posts were made:

January 08 - Blogging - How the Money is Made
January 23 - Choosing Your Niche Market

2. Average Time spent is 4 minutes and 4 seconds. I like this statistic, it means that visitors who stay are actually reading the content.

3. New Visits = 37.93% which means that returning visitors are slightly over 60%, which again is very encouraging as it tells me that there is a following forming with this blog.

There is another encouraging statistic form the screenshot below:


Once again, modest as the statistic is at 1.18%, search engines are beginning to take notice of this site.

My goal for February is to:
1. Double these results
2. Fix that annoying blank space on the side bars which should be google adsense.
3. Put up a prominant invitation to subscribe to blog updates
4. Launch the new blog
5. Add some valuable resources

Happy Blogging!

Quick Links:
Blogging - How the Money is Made
Choosing Your Niche Market

REPLY WITH YOUR COMMENTS