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Re-Tweeted – 73 Top Posts from the Last Week

Earlier this morning I did a little experiment on Twitter and asked my followers to nominate their best post from the last week with a URL and Title. I said that I’d ‘Re-Tweet’ the best of them.

I did this because I was feeling a little uninspired (I’ve been sick) and needed to read some great content to get my creative juices flowing.

What resulted was an avalanche of great posts being submitted. There were 50 in just a few minutes – so instead of re-tweeting just a few of them I thought I’d compile them here with the hope that it might inspire readers to see what a variety of other bloggers have put together in the last week.

The list is rather random and eclectic in terms of topics as you’d expect – enjoy the following 73 links (I hope I got everyone):

@CleverUserName - A tale of resurrection
@jdevalkPageRank sculpting – Siloing and more
@ajvchuk - Yep these are my Twitter friends….
@frankmartinFocus Groups – Part 4
@mjkeliherThe Shankman FTW: Facebook failing as favorite Web hub
@ninjapoodles - Life In The Slow Lane–WITH CHICKENS
@travelrantsTips for a healthy and Safe holiday
@johnhoodCats, Jelly Babies, FeedBurner and an iPhone wallpaper!
@spyjournalWindows Home Server and SBS2003
@eMom - Facing the Empty Nest of My Blog and My Brand
@jdrohn74Ways To Knock Your Competitors Cold
@joetechHow to Replace a Broken Screen on a Casio Exilim Z60 Camera
@ColinWalker - Social media – when real life gets in the way
@VultoorGata, Blogovat s-a incheiat (Romanian)
@45n5Affiliate Rapping
@markcoruk - We are on Reuters
@myrnaweinreichBreath With Eckhark & Oprah On ‘A New Earth’ Chapter 4
@cmiddlebrook - 6 Months in Business – How Am I Doing?
@theunguruWhat Tool Do You Use For Reading Newsgroups?
@ianternetI dont do any sort of video blogging
@MartyJQuery Types – Figuring out Keyword Intent
@sduffyphotosHow To: Multi-Shot Panoramic HDR Photos
@WingnutSEO helps everyone
@splitbrainMy Photography Equipment
@mrscrumley - Highlight Number 2: Atlanta Children’s Museum
@radix33 - Being Reciprocal
@deege15 beer factoids that will make you look smart
@shaicogginsSigma EX 30mm f1.4 DC HSM
@cdhintonMac vs PC
@PSPrint_TrishLet Sleeping Husbands and Cats Lie
@CaseStevensHow To Write Great Email Follow Up Series
@micah#1 Rule of Running From Zombies…Dont Look Back
@moneycoachGood Friday: economics and cruxifixions
@deborahcarraro - The Everything Outside Nature Challenge
@megfowlernine things
@DebNg - 35 Accessories Made from Recycled Materials
@remarkabloggerWhat Twitter Does for Me
@chris24Why Turning Off Comments Would Suck
@TwisterMcUbuntu is one Geeky OS
@MWGblogPodcasting – It’s a Community Not an Industry
@sorenjEven at the risk of being heroes….
@ikaronet - How To Replace Cable Television With Internet TV For Free: A Real Evidence
@trib - Real commitment or lipstick on a pig?
@amypalko4×4 Sources of Writing Inspiration: Unpopulated Places
@TomRoyceWhy Banks Need To Work Hard Communicating With Potential Foreclosures to Avoid Serious Damage To Homes
@uberaffiliateThe Mindset Of A Millionaire
@theotherdrummerHow to manage less by reducing more
@blantoniousSuccessful Social Media Marketing Requires Personal Involvement
@jenniferchait - 60 Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Spring
@EverywhereTrip - The Great Ocean Road
@digitalfilipinoCreating Valuable Free Prizes to Boost Success Chances
@andrea_r25 New and different ways to use WordPressMU
@idesignstudios6 Phases of the Web Design & Development Process
@GrantGriffithsThe Pros and Cons of Working from Home — Revisited
@soultravelers3Kid’s View of Florence!
@waltw - Pairing Coffee and Cigars: Science or Serendipity?
@cashflowcoAre You Ready, World Math Day is Coming?
@GorillaSushiNew Media Attention Whore
@queenofkaosAre You a Perpetual Student? WHAM Podcast #6
@sijtBe the Jerry Springer of Blogging!
@arobertsBest broadband deals in the UK Market
@fsechzer - How To Buy A Home Without A Real Estate Agent
@AGoodHusbandWhen a Husband Gets Praise and Compliments
@MenwithPens13.2 Easy Ways to Build a Thriving Blog Community
@mrinal_desaiWho is Your Chauffeur?
@Rachelskirts - Best Egg Hunt Ever
@tomjohnson1492 - 10 Alternate Tests for Evaluating Technical Writing Job Candidates — A List for Hiring Managers
@daveatkinsMarketing and Politics
@rachelpulido01Talk about Tuesday – Goals
@ScrapNancyWhy did you loan me money if you think I’m that dumb?
@RoadHog - Earthlings — A Discourse on Compassion
@palinodefive years and two months
@carterfsmithDear John, Where’s the Beef?

Note: if you submitted 2 I just used your first one.

Thanks to my Twitter Followers for brightening my day! Link up to, pass on, stumble (etc) your favorites.

PS: I’ve got an idea for doing this again next week (a little more focused) – to participate make sure you’re following me on Twitter.

Welcome to Firepow – Premium Sponsor

FirepowOver the last few weeks while I’ve been traveling you may have noticed a new sponsor on ProBlogger in the headline banner position. Where as previously we’d kept this position for internal advertising this month we’ve launched a premium sponsorship package which was quickly snapped up by new sponsor Firepow.

Firepow is a new (well actually it’s soon to be released) software developed by a fellow Aussie Hansen that aims to help you make your blogging and niche site marketing a more profitable experience.

Firepow will be launched on 30 April and Andrew is currently building a prelaunch notification list so that you can be informed of it’s developments over the coming weeks.

I’m yet to use Firepow but have had Andrew walk me through some of it’s features and aims and from what I can see it is designed to help bloggers with three main challenges:

  1. Creating Blogs – it helps you set up a WordPress blog, with themes, SEO, plugins,
  2. Marketing Blogs - through a variety of methods including social media
  3. Managing Blogs – monitoring of how blogs are going from one central control panel, split testing, monitoring competitors, watch SEO efforts and more

As I mention, Firepow is yet to launch so I can’t say that I’ve seen it in action but it looks like a tool designed to help bloggers get started and expand their blogging ventures. Learn more about it and sign up to be on the notification list at Firepow.

Group Video Project – ‘Why I Blog’

OK – so today I want to launch something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. It’s a little like my previous group writing projects but it’s all about video.

Here’s how it’ll work.

I’m going to name a topic/theme (see it below) and invite everyone and anyone to put together a video on that topic. I’ll then get you to upload it to your favorite video sharing tool and will then share them all on the one post as a mega video mashup exploring the chosen topic.

I know this will mainly appeal to those of you with video capabilities – but then again I guess my previous ‘writing projects’ only ever appealed to those into text – so lets see what happens.

Are you interested in participating?

  • No – no problem, stay tuned for my next post here at ProBlogger.
  • Yes – read on for the ‘rules’/guidelines in how to participate.

How to Participate in the Great ProBlogger Group Video Project

1. The Topic - The Topic for this first (and maybe only) Group Video Project is – ‘Why I Blog’.

2. Make a Video – You now have 1 week to put together a video on that topic. Your video can be in any style that you choose – a rant, poetry, music video clip, interview, comedy, drama, song, talking head…. get as creative as you like. It can be at any length you choose it to be. All I ask is that it relates to the topic at hand in some way.

3. Upload your Video - Once you’ve made your video upload it to a video sharing site. It needs to be one that has the ability for the video to be embedded on other sites. YouTube or Revver are two that you might like to choose from.

4. Share Your Video With Us – Once it’s uploaded – you’ll need to share it’s location with me so that I can add it to the final mashup page. To do this simply leave a link to your video on the video sharing site in the comments on this page. Also include the word ‘videoproject’ in your comment so that we can ensure nothing gets filtered as a spam comment. Also include your blog’s URL in your comment so we can point back to it. One Entry per blogger please.

5. Deadline - You have just under a week to get your video submitted. I’ll close submissions on Tuesday 1 April at midday (my time, here in Australia). No it’s not an April Fools thing – just so happens to coincide :-)

6. Mashup Post - Next Wednesday I’ll pull together all of the submitted videos and put them together in one post here at ProBlogger for everyone to enjoy.

7. What You Don’t Have to Do - if the topic isn’t one that is relevant to your blog, don’t feel you have to post it on your blog. I understand that it won’t be relevant to everyone’s audience – so feel free just to make the video and put it on a video sharing site. Also feel under no obligation to link to this project or ProBlogger. While you’re welcome to spread the news of it to your readers/viewers, linking in is not a requirement of entry at all.

My hope with this project is that it’ll be fun, drive a little traffic back to your blogs, that it’ll help us each learn more from one another about the video medium and that it’ll evangelize blogging a little in the process and shed some light on why and how people are using blogging.

How I Use Twitter to Promote My Blog

How Can Twitter be used to promote a blog? In this guest post Chris Brogan gives a few tips on blog promotion.

Twitter is a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, it’s a virtual water cooler. For others, it’s a great way to get answers to questions. Since I started using Twitter, I have more than doubled my blog traffic over the last several months, and I can tell you how.

Some people just dump their blog posts into Twitter automatically, with a simple “New Blog Post: Money is Better Than Dirt” and away you go. I’ve found a way of using Twitter to encourage participation on my website, and it’s better than easy; it’s tasteful.

Ask a Question

Instead of telling your Twitter audience that you’ve published a new post, ask them their opinion on the core topic you’ve covered. “Do you think banner ads are dead?” followed by a link to your site is much more appealing than posting to Twitter, “Banner Ads Are Not Dead.” Asking a question engages your Twitter followers and solicits their experience.

If Comments Flow, Remark on It

I genuinely believe that the comments section of my blog is better than anything I write on my own. To that end, when a topic seems to take off, I send a note to Twitter alerting people to the quality of the conversation in the comments. It’s not pitchy in nature. I’m simply sharing that the best stuff came after the initial post.

Sometimes, I Even Dare to Ask for a Stumble

My number two referrer to my site on most slow-medium traffic days is StumbleUpon. Because I seem to get “better” response from people who visit from that site than from other traffic sources, I sometimes will send a third post to Twitter, asking if someone thinks X post is worth a Stumble. Because I do a lot of sharing and promoting and helping others, I usually get a lot of willing people to Stumble something for me from time to time.

I don’t over-do it, and I know that not every day is a “killer blog post” day. With that in mind, when I do ask, it makes a huge difference.

Those Three Touches Help Lots

So in the end, I ask my following in Twitter for love three times: once when I post the blog, again if it takes off well in the comments section, and sometimes a third time if I want to really amp the traffic via StumbleUpon. I mix these requests in liberally with all the various ways I help others using Twitter, and so it doesn’t come off like I’m perpetually pitching my own stuff. My current monthly rate of pitching others vs. promoting my own site is 75 / 25 in other people’s favor. That sounds fair, right?

Have you experimented with Twitter in this way? How did it work for you? What other tips did I miss?

– Chris Brogan writes about social media business strategy and tools at [chrisbrogan.com]. He enjoyed the heck out of meeting Darren at SXSWi in Austin, TX.

Further Reading

Read more about how to use Twitter to grow your online presence in Darren’s post – How to Use Twitter – Tips for Bloggers.

The Greatest Blogging Skill

The following guest post was submitted by Easton Ellsworth from Visionary Blogging.

Spiral StaircaseWhat is the greatest blogging skill?

It’s not the ability to produce excellent blog content.

It’s not the ability to build a strong blog community.

It’s not the ability to monetize every page view, click and pixel.

It’s not even the ability to improve your content or your community or your monetization or anything else.

The greatest blogging skill is:

Meta-improvement.

Meta-improvement is the improvement of improvement.

It’s not just self-improvement. It’s self-self-improvement-improvement.

In other words: Becoming a better blogger faster and faster.

Why Meta-Improvement?

Picture 3 runners in a race. All start at the same speed.

Runner #1 never changes speed. Flat line. No improvement.
Runner #2 speeds up at a constant rate. Upward slope. Improvement.
Runner #3 speeds up at a constantly increasing rate. Upward curve. Meta-improvement.

Guess who wins?

3 Keys to Blogger Meta-Improvement

Self-Awareness. (See Metacognition.) Consider your personal efforts to improve your blogging skills. What’s your routine? Do you madly surf the intertubes for tasty blogging tips on how to boost any skill about which you’re momentarily feeling insecure? Or is there more of a method to your madness? Begin now to think about how you think about how to improve.

Focus. This meta stuff can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time. Each week or month, consider your blogging skills one by one: content creation, design, community building, monetization, email ninja-ness, etc. Pick the one that you need to improve most urgently in order to meet your blogging goals. And keep that sucker in your sights until it’s licked.

Relentlessness. Never give up trying to become a faster improver. Lather, rinse, repeat. How quickly do you apply the blogging wisdom that you discover? How easily do you let your skills relapse?

The Blogger Meta-Improvement Motto

“I will do my best to improve more today than I improved yesterday.”

Meta-improvement is hard. It’s much harder than improvement alone. But it’s also worth the struggle. Your struggle is its oxygen.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Dive beneath the surface and you’ll find a never-ending series of layers: meta-meta-improvement, meta-meta-meta-improvement, etc.

Your mind can probably only wrap itself around that first submarine layer. But take the dive; it’s well worth it.

May this help you begin to see yourself in a new way and become a better blogger – faster.

Photo: Upward spiral by gerriet

How to Breathe Life Back into Your Blog

Thinking about quitting your blog? Dee Stewart examines some way to give it a new lease of life.

Thinking about cutting the plug on your blog?

I almost did last year after I found myself busy with other projects, my Adsense and Chitika checks were waining and especially after I noticed that many of my blog friends had shut down their blogs or were barely using them. At first I wondered was I kissing a dinosaur? Should I stop blogging and move onto something better?

But for some odd reason my blog would not go gentle into that goodnight.

Furthermore, as a host of niche book blog I still had tons of books to review, local and national book events planned, authors penned in my interview calendar and book news to get out. I couldn’t end things, if I wanted to.

So I went back through some of the blog comments to get another perspective on the matter. To my surprise, I discovered the blog, had ideas, plans and things to share with me about our future. We began to reconnect and slowly CFB has brought back that blogging feeling to me. Perhaps your blog wants to do that to you.

Here are 5 things your blog comments provide that can help breathe life back into your blog.

1. Go back and read your blogs comments

I spent one day wading through many of my old blog comments. I noticed the comments shifted from a basic love of books, to help me guide my writing life; from kudos to prayer requests, from thanks to questioning my faith. The blog was no longer an extension of my writing life, but my personal life, as well. I discovered my blog entries didn’t reflect those changes. My new focus would.

2. Take Cues from Negative Comments

Negative Comments are great sources for new blog entries. You can:

* Debunk a Myth told by a Commenter, which increases your credibility.

* Ask the Commenter to become a guest blogger and speak on that subject, which drives a different, but complimentary demographic to your site.

* Use it to build a poll, so that your readers can participate, which makes your blog more organic.

3. Use Unique Comments for Blog Series

Some times you get comments on your post that wow you. “Oh, I never thought of that” Moments I call them. An actor friend of mine gave me information about a national stage play he was a part of I posted the information and I received so many private emails and comments about this play that I realized that people are searching for this information. Now once a month I promote a touring stage play.

4. Post Comments for Weekend Feedback

I use a Weekend Chatterbox feature on the weekend that opens commenters up to discuss whatever is my question for the weekend. This question usually comes from a comment from the blog that peaked my interest for further discussion. This Chatterbox spills into your readers blogs, which is a great way to build a blog movement.

5. Farm Guestbloggers

As you continue to receive more comments, you will build subscribers and foster friendships with some of the commenters. They will follow you all over the blogosphere and comment wherever you land. Those subscribers are like baby chicks. They know your land. They know what works. They will email you and give you suggestions, but more importantly, they will jump at the chance to guestblog. Daren doesn’t know it, but he’s farming thousands, including me. :)

Bonus: After I reconnected with my blog some wild things happened. My Amazon sales went up, CPCs rose, subscribers increased, I received more writing gigs and a new opportunity as Entertainment Editor for a national womens print magazine…the blog begin to pulse again.

Dee Stewart is a multimedia journalist, freelance editor, News Editor for Hope for Women Magazine, book critic and Gospel Diva Mama of a seven-year-old Georgia Peach. Visit her at Christian Fiction Blog.

Blog Promotion – Reader Submitted Tips

Last week I ran a series with five tactics for promoting a blog that I’d use if I were starting out again in blogging. To finish it off I asked readers to submit their own blog promotion tips of things that I didn’t include. The comments left were great and I wanted to highlight a few that particularly caught my attention (comments in italics are mine):

1. Frugal Dad writes – “Here are some tips learned with Frugal Dad:

  • Spent too much time trying to get attention from “big name” bloggers (link exchanges, etc.). Should have partnered with small-medium size blogs in my niche, or related niche earlier on.
  • Invested too much time commenting, making attempts to network, etc. Should have been writing more, and focusing on good content.
  • I completely ignored the power of social networking sites for the first 60 days, and it cost me in slow readership growth the first couple months.
  • Spent too much time fooling around with advertising links, banners and Adsense before I had the traffic to justify it. I put the cart before the horse.”

From Darren – I agree with Frugal Dad that sometimes it’s better to aim a little ‘lower’ when networking and interact with other bloggers on a similar level than the so called ‘A-list’ who are constantly bombarded with attempts at networking. I also think that getting the balance between promotional activities and writing good content is key. Spend too much time doing non writing activities and your blog will suffer. A holistic approach to blogging is key.

2. THAT Painter Lady writes – “My most successful blog is one where I have a big button that leads to a “ask a question” page.

I can’t keep up with the questions! And everyone loves to see their question and the answer posted on the internet… they will send their friends to view it.”

From Darren – this is a ‘secret’ that a number of bloggers that I’ve been interacting with lately have stumbled upon. Allowing readers to ask questions and then featuring their answers is great for a whole range of reasons. For starters it acknowledges your readers, secondly it gives you relevant content, thirdly it creates a more interactive blog…. the list goes on.

3. Jeff – Science Says writes – “One thing that I realized very early on was that I was getting much more traffic from web searches than anything else – in writing about conservation and environmental issues, I find myself covering a lot of current events, and I found out from my search engine hits that it really pays to sweat the details. The articles that were most successful:

  • Naming my sources – right up front in the text, instead of just providing a link (e.g. I found that “CNN” and “Slate” were common additions to the content) – When I test-searched on Google, my rank was hundreds of pages higher for searches including the source name in addition to the content.
  • Using proper names – including the names of both the author and the main subjects or experts in the stories I covered made a big difference (eg, covering the shark-diving accident, including the dive-guide’s name, Jim Abernathy, doubled my hits)
  • Touching on all the major points – a short summary of the story I’m covering, even if I’m only focusing on a small part of it, brings in more search engine traffic.
  • Making Digg links prominent – submitting my first posts to Digg was almost useless, because they dropped off the Upcoming page in minutes. However, the posts that got high search engine traffic, jumped up on Digg too..”

From Darren – one of the most searched for things online are ‘names’. Whether they be people’s names, product names, brand names, business names…. names are included in many searches via search engines. As a result they are well worth including in your posts and particularly the titles of your posts. More on this topic at Product and Brand Names are Best Keywords.

How to Promote Yourself (and Your Blog) at a Conference


Conferences can be a prime space for bloggers to recruit new readers. Last week at SXSWi it was fascinating to watch hundreds of bloggers attempt to standout from the crowd, network and develop fruitful relationships with others there. In this video I point out 5 of the better tips and strategies that I saw:

[Read more...]

ProBlogger Streaming Chat Now On

I’m doing a quick impromptu Ustream Q&A chat right now on the ProBlogger Channel on UStream.

Come by and say hi!

update: the stream is now over but there is a recording of it on the ProBlogger Channel link above.