Category Archives: Quick Notes

7 Things You Need to Know About Writing Lists That Work

Copyblogger is an expert when it comes to using the power of making list posts. He has done wonders with them, and so have many other bloggers, all thanks to the fact that none of us have any attention span.

Simply put, lists work because they conform to the idea of “Left-Brain Marketing”. Everyone has two sides of the brain, and each part controls a specific way of thinking. The left brain is analytical, and prefers a step-by-step approach (i.e. lists) while the right brain prefers to see the big picture first and then deal with the details later.

Television commercials take the right brain approach with highly-produced images and expensive repetition. On the other hand, the left brain list format has been a successful approach for many decades with direct marketers, magazine publishers, late-night comedians and more recently with Internet content producers and social media marketers.

Many social media users want to know exactly what they’re in for, and the list format caters specifically to that need. It lets them know up front in the headline what to expect and what the time commitment will be.

If you want to gain some attention to your blog, set up a few list posts about pretty much anything, and you will most likely see some decent return. I, for one, hate the longer 101 items lists, but give me a dozen points on being more productive, and I will probably read it.

Originally posted on March 1, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

Three Ways to Spice Up Any Blog Post

Brian Clark of Copyblogger writes some amazing posts, and in his most recent post, he talks about spicing up blog posts, something that some writers sorely need.

Use Sensuous Language – use words to bring things to life ala “the fear crawled down my spine creating an all encompassing shiver.”
Employ High Impact Wording – use words that aren’t being used in the everyday like monumental.
Be Entertaining – funny is hard, but when it works, it can create a strong connection between the writer and readers.

Check out more examples on Copyblogger.

Originally posted on January 18, 2011 @ 2:25 am

40+ Firefox Add-ons for High Speed Blogging

Mashable has a list of some great add-ons you can use with the Firefox web browser in order to blog faster and easier. Many of the items in the list are for specific blogging platforms like WordPress, LiveJournal and Blogger, but others are for dealing with photos, advertising, web development and search engine optimization.

Firefox works great on its own, but it’s the thousands of extensions that make it excel. We’ve pulled together more than 40 add-ons for Firefox that provide quick access to handy blogging tools. But whatever you do, don’t install them all at once.

Check out Mashable’s 40+ Firefox Add-ons for High Speed Blogging.

Originally posted on August 9, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

Blog Advertising Audit

Darren Rowse, of Problogger.net, has written a post as part of his 31 Days to a Better Blog project, in which he recommends that we all take some time and look over the advertising on our blog. You might find that you could be making much more money using a different advertiser or even just position advertisements differently.

A snippet from his post:

Pick one aspect of your blog’s ads to change and watch what happens to your ads performance once you have. I did this last week and increased the ad unit size of my AdSense ads on this blog from 300 x 250 to 336 x 280 and saw a jump in CTR without losing much in the way of readability. It’d been a year since I tweaked those ad sizes – just think about how much money I’ve lost in that time!

This is something that I try to do on all of my blogs every two or three months. People can quickly become blind to the advertisements on your blog, and so just changing the position, size or colours of those ads can increase their click through rate for a period of time.

Some people worry about moving things around and lowering the money they make, but as long as you make a backup of the files you are changing before you change them, you can always revert back to the way it was previously.

Advertising online is a tricky business, but with some time, experimentation, and research, there is no reason why any blog couldn’t make a bit more every month.

Originally posted on February 1, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

Too Many Choices, Too Much Content

Sarah Perez, a Grand Effect founder, wrote an amazing post on ReadWriteWeb about the issue plaguing many bloggers and social media fans currently: there are too many choices.

Sometimes it’s just hard to keep up. In this technology-focused niche we all live in there are new applications, new initiatives, and new platforms that spring up every day, not to mention constantly breaking news that fills our RSS readers. Take a day off and you’re behind. Take an hour off and you just missed 300 more blog posts. In addition to the everyday struggles of information overload the average computer user deals with – like the overflowing inbox, for example – those in the internet/new media/technology space aren’t just overwhelmed with new content, but also with new applications and choices to manage that content. What’s a web-app loving person to do?

I have found this to be a huge issue in my time as a full time blogger, and it was only made worse by all of the new sites and services that have been added. Check out the article, and just by scanning down through it quickly looking at all of the links added to the post, you can see the issue as bright as day.

Currently, there is no real solution that has come to light, but I have always tried to reduce the number of sites and services I am actively following and look for certain ways to filter out the news, posts, and content so that I don’t get too overloaded. It has been hard, and I have been unsuccessful a few times, but fighting to remain relevant while not overloaded is a never ending battle.

Originally posted on May 17, 2010 @ 5:59 pm