Author Archives: Arnold Zafra

Add That “ReTweet This” Button on Your Blogs Now

This post is to remind you that if you haven’t added  the Facebook sharing and Retweet This buttons in your blog, you might want to do so now. It’s a proven tactic for increasing page views and traffic to your blogs. If you have accumulated “unwanted followings/followers” in your Twitter account, now is the time to make use of them. Continue reading

Five Blogging Lessons from Julie Powell

I just finished watching the movie Julie and Julia as recommended by Juned in a previous post here in XFEP. Indeed it was a very inspiring movie – for writers and bloggers. Julie Powell may not be the best blogger in the world, but she definitely excels in one important thing that all of us bloggers should learn to do (if you’re not yet doing it) – talk to our audience when we write blog posts.

Taking the other important things that we can all learn from Julie Powell, here are five blogging lessons that we can learn from Julie Powell from the movie Julie and Julia.

Be Passionate About What You Are Writing

Julie adores and loves Julia Child. She was her hero, icon, semi-god. And like Julia, Julie loves cooking. At some point in the movie, when Julie was talking about blogging she asked her husband what she should write about. Somewhere in their discussion – the niche came out – Julie will cook all the recipes in Julia Powell’s cookbook and blog about it. So she did. Continue reading

5 Useful Online Writing Tools to Make You More Productive

In my more than two years of  writing for various blogs, I’ve grown accustomed to using various online tools that  helped me become a more efficient and more productive blogger.  Here are five of these useful online tools to help you with your writing/blogging chores.

Windows Live Writer – Never mind if you’re not a Microsoft fan. But Live Writer is definitely a very robust, useful and dependable blogging tool. It could be the best among the lot. Live Writer lets you set multiple blogs and directly publish post to them.

Microsoft Research ESL Assistant – A useful tool for non-English-as-a first-language bloggers.  This tool provides correction suggestions for typical ESL (English as a Second Language) errors including choice of determiners and propositions, as well as word choice suggestions.

Google Translate – If you’re like me who covers netbook news, I usually encounter news items in various languages including French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and others. And if a foreign-language site is your only source of information about a particular new gadget, you have no other recourse but to use Google’s Translation tool. It may not be the most accurate translation but it’s enough to give you the gist of what the news is all about. More than enough to you to compose  a decent news blog post.

Google’s Currency Converter – Again another useful online tool for tech bloggers. If you’re writing about new products and gadgets which you sourced out from foreign-language blogs, you simply type the price plus the currency’s name in Google’s search box,  hit enter and you’ll be given the U.S. Dollar equivalent.

Google Docs – Who doesn’t use Google Docs yet? Ever heard of cloud computing? Google Docs is a very good and useful example of a cloud storage service. I use it for drafting long posts which I need to edit from time to time even when I’m using different computers.

Honorable Mention:

Copyscape – If you’re not sure if you are plagiarizing other people’s content, especially true if you’re writing about original topics and not regurgitating news items, Copyscape is an invaluable tool.

Other Tech News
North Korea denies ‘righteous’ hack attack on Sony
The Japanese comfort women issue still rages on

Earning Money Online via In-Tweet Advertising

When I was still new with blogging, I remeber quite clearly this debate about bloggers getting into the “sponsored” type of blogging. Hence the likes of IZEA’s SponsoredPosts, ReviewMe, and there’s another site which I couldn’t recall anymore. Anyway, the point is, these kind of making money online received quite a number of  flaks from those who advocate freedom of expression unbiased writing.  Frankly, I didn’t know what happened the issue died a natural death, until now.

This time the “sponsored” type of model takes the form of today’s most popular online communication facility – Twitter and an attempt to push income-generating schema to it through in-tweet advertising. Continue reading

Short and Yet Hard Lesson on Choosing a Blog Host

This is just a quick reminder on the importance of choosing a hosting service when you are creating a new blog.  Don’t under estimate the bandwith requirements of your new blog because you’ll never know when it will hit or miss. It’s better to be sure than be sorry.

Here’s the story. When I created this blog, I never thought that I would exceed the 1GB bandwith limit offered by the free hosting service that comes with my domain registration. I was planning to upgrade to a free hosting after one year – just in time for the renewal of my domain. Continue reading