Learn how to promote your blog worldwide


Setting up a blog site is very easy to do. All you will need is an Internet connection and a blog hosting service/platform like Blogger or WordPress and voila! You can now start blogging! But sooner or later you would want a different feel to your blog and your visitors may want to see some photos instead of plain text every day!

For those who’s about to start creating their photo blog, it is advised to read the following features below that your provider should have before engaging to it.

> Easy Organization. It should be quick and easy to create different albums within your photo blog.
> Text Narrative. It should allow you ample space to include headlines or captions for your photos.
> Fast Uploads and High Capacity. It should allow bulk uploads with a single click.
> High Resolution Uploads and Downloads. It makes much more sense to have a great quality photos!
> Full Screen Viewing. Your photos should be optimized so that you and those who are allowed to see your photos can quickly view large images of your photos. Options to view your photos in other sizes should be available as well!
> Image and Photo Hosting. Your photos should come with a URL link so you can share the link, email the link, or put the link in your blog or web site.
> Photo Management. It should let you edit, tag, and manage your photos in your online photo album.
> Privacy Controls. It should allow you to control exactly who sees your online albums.
> Instant Photo Viewing. It will instantly display your next and previous uploaded photos without refreshing your browser. You wouldn’t want your visitors to reload your page each time they want to see your next/previous photo!

Photo blogs give you the opportunity to show off your photos in their best possible light, and by having the above-mentioned features, you can be sure your friends and family will always be looking forward to your next online album.

Some bloggers (particularly those who blog for their business) believe that the quality of the content is the most important factor in selling their information product. The truth is there should be a balance between having a great content and having a great image to go along with it and more often than not, the best pictures were created through photo editing software.

There are lots of possibilities with a decent photo editing software that can improve the photo quality – you can crop, resize, rotate, but you can also add fun effects and change its color balance or exposure. Free is where we would normally like to begin, here are some of the most commended FREE online photo editors for you:

1. Sumo Paint (Pro version allows offline access to the app. with about $25 fee)
It has filters, brushes, layers and more in a snappy Web app that can be loaded without registration. However, registering with Sumo Paint gives you the benefit of saving files to the cloud.

2. Picnik (Paid accounts offer additional filters and features for a few dollars per month)
Picnik is not for robust image editing, but rather for touching up photos (makes it easy to do things such as balance a photo, remove red eye and crop) its simplicity makes it approachable by almost anyone. Doesn’t require registration to use it, but a free account makes it possible to save photos to the Web.

3. Pixlr
Similar to Sumo Paint both in features and in interface, powerful filters, brushes, the ability to edit layers and a slew of adjustment options, Pixlr has all of the features one might expect from a more advanced photo editing package in a free, online tool with absolutely no registration required.

4. Paint.net
It’s easy to use and provides a wealth of features for users who want to do more than simply resize or crop an image, such as creating layers, special effects and more — a completely free photo editing software application that can be used by people who use Windows-based computer systems.

5. ShrinkPictures.com
It is a completely free photo editing site that allows you to resize images and save them in jpeg format. ShrinkPictures.com is used online; you need to have a working Internet connection whenever you want to use it to edit images.

6. Aviary Phoenix
Phoenix still has most of the features one would need and, perhaps most importantly, is part of a much larger app suite that includes screen capture, audio editing, vector editing, markup and much more. Not quite as powerful as Plxlr or Sumo Paint and using some confusing terminology though. Registration is not required though registering will let you save, publish and embed images from the Web.

7. Gimp.org
The Gimp works similarly to expensive photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop in terms of its features and functionality. But if you’re looking for an advanced, free photo editing option, the Gimp is a great option. Downloads are available for both Windows and Mac users.

Author’s note: The list compiled above is not intended to be an endorsement by BLOGOOLA.COM, but just to give a comprehensive list of “online photo editors” for bloggers. You can always do your research to find the right one for you before you commit to anything.

Finding the right person to write your company/business blog can be really pain and challenging. You are lucky if you have an existing employee who knows your company and can write great blog content. But alas, that isn’t always the case.

Fortunately, there are many career websites and websites for freelance writers and bloggers who are actively seeking both virtual and in-house blogging jobs for businesses. Some of these sites offer ways for employers to publish open job postings. The following sites are a great place to start your search for a company blogger. Check out our list below.

1. MediaBistro: Jobs and recruiting for media professionals in journalism, on-line content, book publishing, etc. This is one of the more expensive places to publish a company blogger job, but the quality of applicants is likely to be higher than many writing sites or freelancer sites.

2. Elance: A very popular site for freelancers looking for work. You select the freelancer you want to work with and agree upon the pay. Once the freelancer is paid, Elance takes a percentage.

3. Odesk: Another site that works similarly to Elance, but freelancers are expected to track their work using a special tool which verifies their reported time.

4. Guru: Offers another place where you can publish a blogger job posting and get responses from bloggers who are looking for work.

5. CareerBuilder: One of the most popular career sites. If you have a bigger budget, then its huge audience makes it a great place to get your job posting seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

6. Craigslist: It’s free, and it’s a great way to target local candidates.

7. Scripted.com: A popular content company that offers blog posts starting at $39 and tweets starting at $2.

8. BloggingPro: Owned by Splashpress Media. Free and paid job postings are currently available.

9. Freelancer: Works similarly to Elance and Odesk. But, you are expected to pay a portion of the agreed upon quote when the first milestone of the project is completed.

10. FreelanceSwitch: A free job board owned by a group of freelancers whose goal is to connect freelancers, including bloggers, with employers.

In today’s post, we are going to share you some tips on picking the right blog host for your blog. You’ve made a great decision when you chose to host your own blog in the first place because it’s pivotal to being able to actually earn money blogging, so let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you choose the best host for your blog.

Consider the cost. Do some research, review the services offered by several blog hosts and find the one that matches your needs at the best price. Beware that blog host service packages change frequently, so it’s important to always check the blog host’s website for information about the company’s current package features and prices.

Choose a blog host that DOES keep its servers up at least 99% of the time. If you chose a host that DOES NOT… you just made a wrong choice and would have to take some reconsiderations. Remember that whenever the server is down, no one will be able to see your blog. They will just get an error message – not so good for business or even for your personal blog!

Good technical support. Choose the one that has good technical support so you won’t have a hard time getting help should you ever run into problems and need assistance.

Choose a blog host that you can rely on (speed and up-time). It’s extremely important to understand the up-time offered by your blog host. If the speed in accessing your blog is too slow because your blog host’s server has exceeded its capacity, visitors will become frustrated and click away from your blog. Look for a host whose servers are lighting fast. That means you’ll never have to worry about your website loading slowly or freezing up (crucial for running a business online). So make sure you evaluate blog hosts based on their reliability to ensure you and your visitors will actually get what you’re paying for.

Consider the space. Check the space allocations for the various hosting packages each blog host offers to make sure you’re selecting the best option for your needs and budget. Keep in mind that most typical bloggers don’t need terabytes of space, so don’t be swayed by packages that offer steep amounts of space.

In order to choose the best available options of blog hosting provider, jolt down your exact blogging requirements, preferences and aim of this section for your company. The reason behind being specific about your purpose would help in selecting the right service provider that can give the desired results.

If you are familiar with popular blogging services like Blogger and WordPress you may already be familiar with some of the most used blogging systems in the world. But for bloggers who are not yet… Here is the list of some blog hosting sites (besides WordPress and Blogger) where you can host your blog for FREE without spending a single penny.

1. Weebly.com – Allows you to create a site and blog, free hosting and change designs on the fly.

2. Blogdrive.com – Allows you to create a blog that is more like your own personal website. You can add photos, colors and anything else you like.

3. Blogstyles.com – Offers templates to help you create a blog and make it in the style you want. You don’t have to go through the hassle of designing your pages, use their templates and let them do it for you.

4. Livejournal.com – Lets you create a mini biography for your blog to make it more personal.

5. Xanga.com – A community where you can start your own free weblog, share photos and videos, and meet new friends too!

6. 20six.co.uk – Blogging with photos and templates. Get a guestbook too so your readers can leave comments when you use this blog hosting site.

7. Blogsome.com – Based out of Ireland, this site uses the WordPress MU platform, large choice of themes.

8. Tumblr.com – A blog platform with a focus on allowing media-rich posts.

9. Edublogs.com – WordPress powered blogging for educators.

10. Blogster.com – Offers free image hosting in addition to free blogs.

Author’s note: The list compiled above is not intended to be an endorsement by BLOGOOLA.COM, but just to give a comprehensive list of “blog hosting sites” for bloggers. You can always do your research to find the right one for you before you commit to anything.

What is Pinterest?

Simply it’s a social networking and social publishing site based on photos that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. It also allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, allowing them to share and interact with a broad community.

Pinterest is growing quickly and the audience is getting more diverse, even though it is currently used primarily by women with age bracket: 25-35. Businesses use Pinterest to show off customized product collections, and to show customers using their products. In short, there is room for everyone to use Pinterest for a wide variety of personal and business purposes. You must have to read their policy first though before engaging to it since they won’t allow blatant self-promotion tactics.

How it Can Help Drive Traffic to your Blog?

Sure Pinterest is an amazing tool for inspiration, creativity and sharing, but can you really use it to build free links and increase traffic to your blog? Absolutely YES you can! Simply add pins to your boards that link to your blog/site.

There are also some simple steps you can take to increase pins and links to your blog or site…

Step 1 Simple Pinning with the Bookmarklet Tool
Install the Bookmarket tool on to your browser then visit your blog and click Pin This. It will automatically include the link with the image you’ve pinned so that if anyone clicks on the image in Pinterest they’ll be taken to your blog.

Step 2 Add a “Pin This” Button to your Blog/Site
You can use the code provided in the About menu under Help. Choose Goodies and you’ll see a few options to add buttons to your site. If you have a WordPress blog there are also a few handy plug-ins that do the trick.

Step 3 Write a Pin Description
Depending on your goals this may be your preference. Type the link you want people to visit in the description area of your Pin so that when people re-pin your image, they can and will change the text in the description area to match their own needs and purposes. The link and description will remain intact only on your boards.

Step 4 Make your Blog/Site Pinterest Friendly
You won’t be adding Pins from your own site too often, rather others will be motivated to pin images from your site onto their boards. Make your blog/site Pinterest-friendly by making it visually interesting and adding Pin This buttons to your blog/site.

As discussed before there are lots of reasons why blogging is a great idea, and the fastest way to earn money online. But that’s not all about it… Sure there are several different blogging platforms that you can choose to write your blog through and they are free – another great bonus to blogging. But before you start there are a couple of must have’s when it comes to writing and publishing your blog… You must have a marketing plan to get blog traffic and make money.

So how do you optimize your blog for profits? What makes the most sense is to have a goal to consistently give the search engines the exact results they want. Consider the following below to help you have an idea on what to do first.

Product and Market Definition. What kind of content will you publish? How can your content help people? Keep in mind that your product is your blog content. Describe the marketplace where you’ll do business. What is the current blogging environment? What are people looking for that you can deliver better than any other blog or website, etc…

Identify your Brand Image. What does your blog assure to people? What is its unique value proposition? How is it positioned relative to competitive blogs and websites? Use the answers to these questions to identify your brand image, message, voice, and personality. Together, these elements make up your brand promise, and everything you do relate to your blog.

Identify your Competitors for Eyeballs and Advertising Revenue. What are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? What are they doing to get visitors? What kind of content are they publishing? Competitors could be direct such as other blogs and websites, or indirect such as Twitter profiles. Competition can also come from offline sources.

Your Target Audience. Do some analysis. Consider your target audience. Think through what different, logical areas you’re going to cover. What kind of content does they like or engages with? What are they passionate about? What don’t they like? Spend time listening to learn what their needs are and then create content and experiences to meet those needs.

Distribution Strategy
You can syndicate your blog through online and offline services. Display your feed on other blogs and websites or feed it to your Twitter or other social networking sites.

Perhaps the main benefit is that a short URL is easier for copying into a forum post, or into an email. Not to mention when posting on Twitter where the poster is limited to 140 characters for the entire post. Especially if you want a Twitter post to be passed along by others, you want the address to be as brief as possible to make room for their introductory words.

But are there other reasons why and why not we need to use these services? Here are the advantages and disadvantages to using URL shortener services.

Advantages:

> Shortened URLs can appear cleaner in the body of e-mail, rather than the long URL, which may break once you hit send.

> This is a great way to create a URL that is both short and memorable and reusable.

> URL shortener is also beneficial in using Twitter which allows only 140 characters per tweet, thus giving you ample space to briefly describe your webpage.

> Using this service means that their links can be reused. The service can then monitor the traffic that has used the link and provide statistics for you to use.

> You can brand your shortened links so they may contain keywords to help you remember or your own brand name to share with others.

> A shortener can hide a link, if you don’t want anyone to see the original URL. It also hides any unsightly links.

> If you are picky about which URL shortener service to use, then you can choose one which will have the redirect capability. It means that the shortener service will pass along page rank information to the target page by using 301 redirect. This way you don’t lose page ranking with search engines.

Disadvantages:

> Shortened URLs can be manipulated so that you think you are going one place when you really are being taken somewhere less desirable. Even if the short address hasn’t been manipulated, URL shorteners generate such a random group of characters that they don’t give you a clue as to your click-through destination.

> On many shortened URLs there is no text which creates a desire for any user to click on it. No one knows where the link leads to, so there is nothing to compel anyone to follow it.

> If the shortening service you used for any reasons decides to shut down, all of your created shortened links will no longer work.

> Some services do not provide a redirect and you lose SEO opportunities. In some instances, search engines do not recognize the redirect.

> Since there are so many phishing scams online people distrust the shortened URLs now.

If you ever have suffered with the breakdown of your Internet connection while you were typing away into your blogging software program then that would be a big factor why you should consider using an offline blog editor instead.

Below are seven of the most obliging reasons to make the switch to an offline blog editor.

1. No Internet Reliance
Seriously, you don’t need an Internet connection until you’re ready to publish the post you’ve written.

2. You Have a Backup
Even with all the safety measures, you cannot trust your server 100%. There’s always a chance of failure. Offline editors retain a copy of your published posts and even if something goes wrong, you can just upload content to the server and resume your blog. No more lost work!

3. Speed Matters
An offline blog editor is best tool for writing blog posts offline without any interruption like browser loading time delay etc. Since everything is done on your local computer, the only time you have to wait for your Internet connection to do anything is when you publish your final post.

4. Upload Video and Images Easily
Online editor takes time to upload an image or video clipping but if you write your blog post using offline blog post editor you can insert an image or a web clipping easily without any loading delay.

5. Easy to Publish Multiple Blogs
Not only is it faster to publish to multiple blogs because you don’t have to log in and out of various accounts to do so. An offline editor provides the option to manage your one or many blogs at single place.

6. Write Anywhere
What if a brilliant idea strikes your mind while you’re traveling (with your laptop, of course!)? Rather than joting it down, wouldn’t it be better to write a post about it directly?!

7. Copy and Paste without Extra Code
Online blogging software most likely adds in extra, useless code (if you try to copy and paste from Microsoft Word or another program) that causes your post to publish with a variety of font typefaces and sizes that you need to clean up. No more worrying about that problem with an offline blog editor. You can copy and paste without carrying any extra code.

If you are looking for a more flexible and sophisticated way to compose your posts there are a few blog editing tools you may want to have a look at.

While there are FREE keyword tools that can be a good way of giving you a head start as well as helping you save some money, let’s not forget the fact that PAID keyword tools are much better and are believed to have a great efficiency in terms of research and analysis.

The following are some of what we think the top PAID keyword tools for bloggers:

1. SpyFu – Monthly subscriptions start at $79, with a free trial version available. A niche keyword tool great for exploring which keywords are driving the most traffic to your competitors’ websites from Google AdWords and via the organic search results. Not only allows you to analyze the data textually, but also offers some awesome overlap graphs and charts to help you compare your competitors’ websites side-by-side, and easily identify hot opportunities you might be missing out on.

2. Wordtracker Keywords – Monthly subscriptions start at $69, with a 7-day free trial.
It provides access to Google’s keyword tool, as well as its own custom database comprised of search terms used by people searching some of the world’s most popular meta-search engines. This combination is great, because it allows you to identify profitable head keywords as well as long-tail search terms not found using Google free KW tool.

3. Keyword Discovery – Monthly subscriptions start at $69.95, with a limited free version available.
It provides a great deal of keyword suggestions and statistics from its own premium database, while also allowing you to search other major search engine databases independently. It also includes some basic competitive analysis features.

4. SEMRush – Monthly subscriptions start at $69.95, with a limited free version available.
It allows you to quickly analyze which websites are ranking for which keywords, as well as all of the top keywords a website is ranking for. You will be able to identify potential ad buyers and sellers, and view known AdWords ad copy for each search term a competitor is using.

5. Compete – Monthly subscriptions start at $199, with a limited free version available.
It provides audience profile and demographics information, subdomain data, and other site statistics and analytics data such as estimated pageviews, unique visitors, visits, average time-on-site, and a number of other helpful details. The major difference with this tool as opposed to the other competitive research tools is that it gets the bulk of its data from sampling the clickstream habits of a large number of web users.