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101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger

101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger
Blogging

    I have noticed that the most successful bloggers online have all taken similar steps in becoming great bloggers. After lots
    of research and study, I can also tell you that blogging is much more complex than it seems to be on the surface. However, with a bit of effort, I believe anyone can become a successful blogger.

    Here are 101 steps to becoming a better blogger…

    1. First, I’m going to assume you’re using WordPress. You are using WordPress aren’t you? The built-in SEO and pinging functions make WordPress a search engine machine.

    2. Sign up for Feedburner.

    3. Post at least once a day.

    4. Optimize your blog for the search engines.

    5. Make sure you have an “About Me” page.

    6. Submit your blog to 9Rules.

    7. Submit your blog to NewsNow.

    8. Let your readers see the REAL you. Blogging is more personal than conventional websites. Don’t be afraid to tell a few
    stories from your own life. By being real and personal, you will build a relationship with your readers based on loyalty and trust.

    9. Blog and ping.

    10. Submit your blog to rss and blog directories.

    11. Use trackbacks.

    12. Get involved in the blogosphere. Being a blogger is about being part of a community. Leave comments on other
    blogs and get to know your favorite bloggers.

    13. Give your blog it’s own unique voice… You!

    14. Spend 99% of your time focused on creating unique, quality content. Content is King; or as John Reese says, “content is King Kong”.

    15. Add a large RSS subscription button to your site.

    16. Place an RSS feed link at the bottom of every post.

    17. Set up a MyBlogLog Widget.

    18. Encourage social bookmarking after every post.

    Install these plugins to optimize your blog:

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    19. Akismet – This plugin helps eliminate comment spam.

    20. Optimal Title – This plugin allows you to optimize the title of your blog post in order to improve your search engine rankings.

    21. Ultimate Tag Warrior – The best tag system for WordPress.

    22. Google Sitemap Generator – This plugin will enable you to automatically generate a Google sitemap for your blog.

    23. Show Top Commentators – This plugin encourages feedback and discussion by rewarding the top commentators with a link back to their site in the sidebar.

    24. Related Posts – This plugin will find other blog posts that are related to the current post. This encourages extra page views and keeps readers at your blog for a longer period of time.

    25. Super Archive – One of the best archives system.

    26. WP-Cache – This plugin is an extremely efficient caching system that will make your site much faster.

    27. WP-ContactForm – This plugin allows your readers to easily email you. It also helps avoid spam.

    28. Popularity Contest – This plugin determines which of your posts are most popular and then puts them in the sidebar.

    29. Adsense Deluxe – This plugin makes it easy to implement Adsense into your blog.

    30. Sociable – This plugin helps you spread your content through social bookmarking sites like Digg, del.icio.us,reddit, and others.

    31. Feedburner Feed Replacement – This plugin directs all of your feed traffic to Feedburner, ensuring accurate readership stats. This plugin will also convert any existing subscribers from the old feed to the FeedBurner
    one.

    32. Create a custom blog design. Your blog is a symbol of your brand. Make it uniquely you.

    33. Add photos to each of your posts.

    34. Use tagging.

    35. Share the link love.

    36. Publish a full feed instead of a partial feed.

    37. Consider approaching newspapers with a story about your blog. Remember, journalists are hungry for content and if
    you can come up with a unique twist, then you could get some great coverage.

    38. Persistence is the key. Give your blog at least 6 months before you start expecting great returns on all of your hard work. Believe me, it will pay off in the long run.

    39. Submit exclusive content to high-profile sites.

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    40. Syndicate a press release. Take some time to craft a truly compelling and newsworthy press release and send it to some of the top journalists and bloggers. You can then submit it to the main press release sites, including PRWeb and PRLeap.

    41. Turn your articles into podcasts.

    42. Turn your articles into videos using PowerPoint to create an entertaining slideshow. Submit your video to all of the
    popular video sites, including Google Video, YouTube, and others.

    43. Submit to blog carnivals.

    44. Participate in and submit to social web 2.0 sites, including Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Netscape, and Stumble Upon.

    45. Turn your articles into downloadable reports/ebooks.

    46. Join Blogburst.

    47. Syndicate your articles to EzineArticles, GoArticles, iSnare,
    American Chronicle, and other high-profile article directories.

    48. Exchange guest posts with other bloggers.

    49. Participate in group writing projects and memes.

    50. Create a Squidoo lens that links back to your blog and established you as an industry expert in your chosen field.

    51. Interview industry experts. This is one of the best ways to create original, engaging content.

    52. Offer an e-mail newsletter in addition to RSS. An email newsletter allows you to form a closer relationship with
    your visitors and picks up those who still aren’t comfortable with RSS technology.

    53. Ask your visitors for suggestions on how to improve your website’s content because in the end, it’s really all about your readers.

    54. Create a customized 404 page.

    55. Claim your blog on Technorati.

    56. Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.

    57. If someone mentions your website on their blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post and send them a thank you note. You can monitor any mentions of your blog using Google Alerts, Technorati, and Blogpulse.

    58. Make contact with related bloggers online as well as offline.

    59. Build up the readership of your blog using StumbleUpon Ads.

    60. Edit yourself ruthlessly.

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    61. Translate your site into multiple languages. This is one tactic that few sites are taking advantage of.

    62. Have your blog reviewed by ReviewMe.

    63. Become a Guest Blogger.

    64. Use Google Analytics.

    65. Validate your feeds.

    66. Claim your blog at Feedster.

    67. Interact with your readers. Blogging is a two-way communication tool. The most successful bloggers interact with their readers. They answer reader emails and comments and ask for feedback and suggestions on a regular basis.

    68. Write about something that you love. You will not succeed if you are working at something you don’t enjoy. As Dale
    Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

    69. Attend blogging conferences.

    70. Invite your readers to submit articles.

    Top Ways to Monetize Your Blog:

    71. Kontera ContentLink

    72. Text Link Ads

    73. BlogAds

    74. Ad Brite

    75. Direct Ad sales & Sponsorships

    76. Affiliate Sales

    77. Google Adsense

    78. ReviewMe

    79. Bidvertiser

    80. AuctionAds

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    81. Some of the best ways to monetize your RSS feed include the FeedBurner Ad Network and Text Link Ads.

    Blog Writing Tips:

    82. Learn to write great headlines.

    83. Make your articles scannable. People don’t read on the Internet. They scan.

    84. Use numbers in your titles to attract attention.

    85. Vary your content. Be unique. Create a quiz. Interview a fellow blogger. Poll your readers. Review a book. Shake it
    up a bit to keep your readers interested.

    86. Edit your writing ruthlessly.

    87. Write like you talk.

    88. Write with passion. It will come through in your writing.

    89. Say something worth reading.

    90. Always write with your reader in mind. Imagine that you are chatting with them over lunch at a local cafe.

    91. Make your important points up front.

    92. Include bullet point lists.

    93. Create a “top 10” list.

    94. Create a “How To” article.

    95. Create a weekly or monthly roundup of great posts from around the blogosphere.

    96. Watch for trends in your industry.

    97. Read voraciously and bring your readers the golden nuggets of everything you learn.

    98. If you ever find yourself with writer’s block, check out 101 Great Posting Ideas.

    99. Leave your readers hungry for more. Give them a quick preview of what you’ll be posting the next day. They
    are much more likely to come back if they are already excited about the next days post. Anticipation is
    one of the greatest marketing tactic.

    100. Have fun! Blogging doesn’t always have to be serious. Feel free to make your posts fun and entertaining.

    101. If you’re still looking for blogging tips, then here are some great resources: ProBlogger, JohnChow, and Successful Blog.

    Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and
    Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2019

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

    I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

    One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

    Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

    The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

    And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

    What to Write Down

    Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

    Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

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    Dates of Events

    Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

    For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

    Names of People

    Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

    Theories or Frameworks

    Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

    Definitions

    Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

    Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

    Arguments and Debates

    Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

    This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

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    Images

    Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

    Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

    Other Stuff

    Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

    Your Own Questions

    Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

    3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

    1. Outlining

    Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

    Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

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    For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

    2. Mind-Mapping

    For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

    Here’s the idea:

    In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

    The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

    If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

    You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

    3. The Cornell System

    The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

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    About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

    You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

    In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

    You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

    The Bottom Line

    I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

    I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

    More About Note-Taking

    Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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