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The 7 Cs of Business Communication: Make Your Posts Shareworthy Every Time

This guest post is by Marya of Writing Happiness.

When I finished my MBA degree about a decade ago, I undertook a course which taught me how to write great content for my blog.

Sceptical? I know what you are thinking: blogging wasn’t even around then! I know. Allow me to explain.

Doing MBA, I did many subjects like Marketing and Management which are great for anyone who is a webpreneur or looking to become one. That being said, Business Communication was, by far, the most enjoyable subject of the whole course. And I knew it would come in handy one day.

I just didn’t know that blogging would be the area that would benefit the most from it.

Time to dig through the dusty old boxes, locate the Business Communication textbook and revisit the well thumbed pages once again!

Blog writing is effective communication

We all agree that at the heart of great content lies effective communication. If you don’t, you are almost guaranteed to fail at whatever you are trying to accomplish with your posts.

To compose effective written or oral messages, there are certain principles that we need to apply. These also provide guidelines for your choice of content and style of presentation, be it a post or a video on your blog.

These are 7 Cs of communication:

Completeness

Your post is only complete when it contains all the info that your reader requires in order to have a reaction you want them to have.

Remember when you are writing a post, only you are aware of what’s happening inside your head—the readers don’t. They don’t have access to all the voices in your head. For them to interpret the message as you intend, make sure you provide them with all the necessary information.

That could be a back-story to your post; it could be the questions you were contemplating while that thought popped into your head to do your post. Readers need to know what motivated you to write your post. Answer all the questions that are bound to come up and relate to your purpose.

Give your readers the whole picture, laying down the benefits, and talking about the results to convince them. Bring your reader to the page where you begin, or much context will be lost or misinterpreted.

Conciseness

Ahh… I am really partial to this one—it’s easily my favourite child of them all!

Conciseness is saying what you have to say in the fewest possible words—without sacrificing the other C qualities. Pay attention to the last bit as this is gold. It won’t help you to write briefly if you haven’t provided complete information, lack clarity, and are not courteous.

A concise message saves time for both you, the blogger, and for your readers. By being concise you are showing respect for your readers’ time. You lay emphasis on important ideas by eliminating unnecessary words, including only relevant information and avoiding needless repetition.

Wordiness has been the bane of writers for ever. So avoid long introductions to your post, omit unnecessary explanations, and don’t insult your readers.

Cut down pompous words, trite explanations, and gushy exclamations. Stick to the purpose of your post. When combined with the “you view,” which I’ll explain in a moment, concise posts are that much more interesting to your readers.

Consideration

Write each post with your readers in mind. What do they need? How much of a difference will your post make in their lives? Be aware of their desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and expectations.

Put yourself in their shoes. This is “you view.”

Most new bloggers are actually surprised to find that the most important word in their posts is you and not I. Yes, it might seem contradictory; I mean, you started blogging to air your thoughts, right? Well, that’s probably not entirely true. Don’t let your posts become an exercise in navel-gazing: write with the goal of helping your readers in some way, be it educational or entertainment.

Show them the benefit of reading your posts, and gently encourage them to take the desired action—sharing your post, commenting on it, or buying something from you.

Clarity

Getting the meaning from your head into the head of your reader—accurately—is the purpose of clarity.

Choosing the right words to convey your message will work wonders for your writing.

Be conversational, and avoid being superior in your writing. Your writing doesn’t need to be pretentious to be taken seriously. It doesn’t matter how big your vocabulary is, you won’t achieve any results if nobody understands you. Use familiar language, and words that you are well versed in, and are appropriate for the situation.

Use short words if you have a choice between using long or short. Avoid using technical jargon and, when you have to, explain it once for people who might be beginners in this area.

Construct effective sentences and paragraphs by laying emphasis on the main idea. Generally, short length works best, and be sure to have unity and coherence in your sentence structure. Look into style elements if you feel you need some help in this regard.

Courtesy

Do you reply to your comments? Do you thank people for sharing your posts, tweeting them, and linking to them?

Your sincere “you attitude” makes you courteous—and it makes you likeable. Courtesy is politeness growing out of respect and concern for others.

Be thoughtful, appreciative, helpful, and truly respectful to your readers. Remember you are building a community here, so you want to promote values that define you as a person.

Concreteness

Be specific, definite, and vivid in your writing, rather than vague and general.

Use active verbs rather than passive, and choose image building words. Use analogies to make comparisons when appropriate, and avoid dull language. Show off your personality and your voice—that’s what makes readers hang on to every word.

And lastly, an extension of that is the final C.

Correctness

This issue is the easiest to fix, and should never ever see the light of the day—there is simply no excuse for it.

Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Check the accuracy of facts, figures, and words. For oral presentations, substitute spelling with speech etiquette. Enough said—you are a bright reader, I can tell.

Do you follow these 7 Cs of communication when you write your blog posts? Tell us your approach in the comments.

Marya is a communicator of ideas, exploring the human face of blogging. She offers quirky insights into personal development for bloggers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness.

Online Success Need Not Be Measured in Enemies

This guest post is by Margie Clayman of margieclayman.com.

One of my favorite Elvis Costello choruses goes like this:

“What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and understanding?”

I have always liked that song, but I never really thought I would live in a time where that question would resonate. I always thought, “Well, that was written when peace and love seemed hokey, perhaps, or maybe impossible. It was more than a rhetorical question when Elvis first sang it.”

And yet, as I sit here in the year 2011, I have to ask the same question. What is so funny ‘bout peace, love, and understanding? It sure seems like all three concepts are running into a PR crisis in the online world.

“You’re nice. That’s so boring.”

I have gotten picked on a bit over my year in the world of social media. Why? Because I’m nice. I’m lovey dovey. People have told me that it’s really boring listening to someone like me because I never ruffle any feathers.

To put it kindly, I think that’s a totally ridiculous sentiment.

Sure, you get a powerful response if you call someone out, bash someone, hurl insults, or say that someone is really stupid. There’s no question that ruffling feathers tends to be great for attention-grabbing and traffic spikes. So what?

If you want to entice people to read your blog posts, what about the concept of writing really good content? Really thought-provoking content? What about writing about something people aren’t writing a lot about? Like, I don’t know … like being nice, maybe? Why does excitement in the online world, or interest, have to be synonymous with cruelty or malicious intent? I’d rather be boring and nice than enjoy a modicum of success at the expense of others.

“If you don’t have haters, you’re doing something wrong.”

This is another phrase I’ve seen a lot in the online world over my year navigating the wild Internet waters, and I also think it’s utter nonsense. Why are we measuring success by how many people hate us? There is no other realm that I can think of in the human world where we measure success that way.

“Congratulations, Daisy. Everyone in your department hates you so we’re going to promote you now!” That just doesn’t happen. So why do we need to pull out haters instead of a yardstick when we talk about measuring online success? What is this need to have people attack us all about?

How do I measure my online success? I look at how many people say they enjoy my posts. I look at the solid relationships I have built. It’s not exactly a revolutionary concept, folks.

“Women can’t be successful because they can’t be narcissistic morons.”

My friend Sean McGinnis ran into a post that made this claim: that women may not find as much success in the world because women just can’t be egotistical or selfish enough.

First of all, let me tell you about some of the women I’ve encountered in my life. If you want to know about knife stabbing, in-it-for-herself, ruthless, downright cruel women, I could spin ya a yarn, sonny jim. That’s not an issue.

Second of all, what?!? Are we really saying that success rests on how much you make people want to throw up when they see you? I mean, that doesn’t sound like success to me. That sounds kind of like, I don’t know … crazy-sauce?

The glorification of “Ick!”

Next to the glorification of failure, I find the glorification of crassness or cruelty to be the most nauseating thing I’ve encountered on the Web. You should not be applauded for breaking your Censor button. You should not gain accolades because every other post has an f-bomb in it. Surely there is more to online success than being someone who invites comparisons to male and female genitalia? I mean, really. Can we aim a little higher?

Then again, maybe I’m just a boring nice person.

You tell me what this is all about.

Margie Clayman represents the third generation at her family’s marketing firm. She is the resident librarian at the Blog Library and is the resident blogger at www.margieclayman.com.

What’s Your Blog Worth? How to Value Web Properties

This guest post is by Sunil of Extra Money Blog.

I have sold an ecommerce website for $250,000 and several other niche websites for a five-figure price tag. I want to share with you one valuation method you can use to put a price on your web property today.

Whether a website owner or a blogger starts with the initial goal of selling their site one day, it is my belief that every successful blog owner has at some point thought about the potential of selling their web property. At least they will have wondered how much their web property is worth—especially when it begins to generate a decent amount of money.

valuing blogs

Copyright Jakub Krechowicz - Fotolia.com

In fact, I think almost no one thinks about a sale as an exit strategy when they first start. It’s usually a passion, hobby, or something other than a potential sale that motivates a person to get started making money online—unless of course they run an online business, such as an ecommerce website, from day one.

When a website becomes profitable, it has the potential to become saleable. You may deliberately be contemplating selling either because of boredom, because you’ve found a better alternative use of your time, because of a potential use of the financial proceeds, or any of several other reasons.

If so, do you know what your website is worth?

When a web property starts to generate profits, it becomes an income-producing asset, much like a rental property or a small business. Just like property and businesses are valued and sold in the open market, a website or blog can be too. Therefore, valuing a web property is not much different from valuing any other income-producing asset.

The quantitative aspect of web property valuation

The quantitative aspect of valuation is not rocket science, in my opinion.  You take a site’s current earnings and expenses, figure out what the net cash flows are, and then project a value based on an earnings multiplier.

The net earnings, or cash flows, is commonly referred to as EBITDA in the business world. That means: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.  The multiplier is applied to this number to come up with a value, or price, for the property.

Earnings and expenses are what they are: they are not subjective by any means. But where do you get an earnings multiplier from? Evaluate recent sales of websites that are similar to yours to get an idea of what kind of multiplier was paid for each one. This number will be larger in stronger economic times, and smaller in weaker economic times like those we’re in today.

There is no standard multiplier, however. Similar to real estate, if figures are available from recent blog sales, great. But if not, your website’s value is only as much as someone else is willing to bid for it. Obviously you have the option not to sell for what you might feel is a low-ball offer.

One more thing to consider is whether the website is as monetized as it can be today. Is there opportunity to add more private ads to the sidebar, and generate more profits on a residual basis, for example?  A buyer would definitely evaluate this monetization potential and factor it into their purchase decision.

The qualitative aspect of web property valuation

Here is where the subjectivity in blog valuation comes into play.  An active business sold at an earnings multiplier of two may not be comparable with a same-size passive business, because a passive business requires a lot less effort to manage and sustain. Consider how much cost and effort the owner of the web property will have to invest in the passive business to generate a dollar in profits. Then ask how this compares with an active business.

Factors such as effort, operating cost structure, sustainability, long-term relevancy, and prospects all play an important part in determining what the reasonable value of a particular web property should be. At the end of the day, none of this is exact science, but these are some ways to arrive at a justifiable or rational price.

For example, no one knew the long-term scalability of Google or LinkedIn. In fact, no one knows today.  The market had a certain estimate (multiplier) set at the time each company went public, and has a different one today. It will likely have another one by the time you are done reading and commenting on this post. Expect the multiplier to evolve, especially in an ever-changing and dynamic industry like this one.

A practical example

When I was initially solicited by an Ebay power seller to potentially sell my ecommerce business, the business was generating roughly $60,000 annually in profits. After weeks of discussion back and forth, we settled at a sale price of just under $250,000, or roughly four times the annual earnings of $60,000.

The quantitative piece of the deal was straightforward. The qualitative piece is what dragged out the negotiation.  The power seller had previously purchased a similar ecommerce business at an earnings multiple of three.  They had paid $90,000 for a business that was generating $30,000 in annual profits.  However, I was not willing to accept a price of $180,000, which was three times the annual earnings of my site.  Further, my business showed a consistent rising trend in terms of web traffic, customer acquisition, sales, and profits.  These qualitative measures needed to be “baked” in to the deal for it to be viable for me.  I was able to persuade the buyer of that, and we sealed the deal at four times the annual earnings.

The key lesson here is that although acquisitions based strictly on earnings multiples sound good in theory, they rarely work out practically, whether at my level or at the Fortune 500 level.  Our repeated attempts to narrow the nature of deal making to a pure science have never worked, and likely won’t in future.  Valuations, although driven mostly by the underlying financials, rely heavily on qualitative aspects that are subjective and unique to each buyer and seller.

What do you think of this valuation method? Do you have any alternatives to share? Is this a fair way to value your web property? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

If you want to be brave and bold and open your kimono to me and fellow readers: what do you believe your web property worth is today in the open market, if you use this valuation method?

Sunil owns over a dozen profitable niche websites and is the author of How to Go from $0 to $1,000 a month in Passive and Residual Income in Under 180 Days All in Your Spare Time, a FREE report you can download instantly from his Extra Money Blog, where he discusses how to create multiple streams of passive and residual income, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, blogging and personal finance.

How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan

This guest post is by Frank Angelone of SocialTechZone.com.

Have you ever lent a friend money? If so, was this someone you thought you could trust? If you answered in the affirmative, as they say in The Social Network, than you will want to keep reading.

The thought may already have crossed your mind, “how does lending money to a friend relate to blogging?” Well, I’m glad you asked because when it comes to guest blogging, the blog owner is lending you their blog just like when you lent money to your friend.

Let’s start off with a story and we’ll bring this all together later on.

The perils of lending property

Let’s dive right into this personal story of mine and I’ll show you the best practices to take when using my experience in your guest blogging ventures.

A friend of mine, who I once considered my “best friend” had been in multiple financial jams when it came to paying rent, bills, or (let’s be blunt!) anything with a due date.

So, like any friend would, I decided to lend him the money to help pay his half of the rent and any other bills.

Little did I know that this pattern would continue down a path of destruction. What started out as me helping out a “brother” turned into me supporting him.

There are two things to point out: I shouldn’t have been so oblivious that he was taking advantage of me, and I’m not the only culprit on his list of lenders.

My friend swindled me out of about $1,000. It became so bad that it was starting to affect my financial situation and the best thing that happened to me was finding a way out of that terrible situation by returning home.

When a friend takes advantage of multiple people who lend their resources, they’re obviously not a friend, but someone who gets by through manipulation. The bottom line, as the saying goes, is “If you want to lose a friend, lend them money.” It’s safe to say I don’t talk to this individual anymore.

Guest posting? You’re borrowing a blog

I mentioned in my story above that I loaned money. Well, when it comes to guest blogging, you need to be aware that the blog owner is lending their blog to you. Their resources, whether that be their audience, their reach in the blogosphere, or even their own reputation, are made available to you when you share your voice on their property.

The resources the blog owner gives to you are like a personal loan. You need to pay the blog owner back for giving you the opportunity to share your insight with his or her audience. Obviously you’re not paying back a monetary value, but you should still be looking to give back in some way.

I know most people are going to feel that you “pay back” the owner of the blog by writing a high-quality article for their audience. That’s not enough. It’s too generic a way to give back. Writing a great article should be understood as a basic part of the exchange, not an added bonus.

The last thing you want to do is disappoint the owner of a blog after they decide to publish your article on their site. This can ruin the relationship and ruin your personal reputation, just like my friend did by taking advantage of many of his so-called friends. Also, if you don’t return the favor of the individual who lends your their blog, that news can spread like wild fire among the popular bloggers—especially if you have an article published on an A-List site.

I want to pay back the blog owner. What should I do?

First and foremost, I always email the blog owner directly after seeing my guest post go live and thank them for the opportunity. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the strength of the the emotional connection you will hit with the blog owner in doing this.

They are expecting that you are using the guest post as a marketing strategy to bring traffic back to your blog. That’s understood because that’s what everyone is doing when it comes to guest blogging. However, you can take it a step beyond the publicity that you are being given, and work on continuing to build the relationship with that blog owner.

A personal email would be like the old-school version of mailing a letter. People like the written word, not a “thank you for the opportunity” message on Twitter. That’s not showing the effort, nor are you “paying” the owner back.

The personal email means more. Just think how you feel when someone emails you and thanks you for commenting on their blog. It sends a powerful message.

You can also ask the blog owner in the email if there’s anything you can do for them! Maybe they have a new product or post coming out and they need help promoting it. They may even have a service that they’d like you to test out. Anything of this nature that shows you are trying to make an effort to “repay your lender” is great, but do it in a genuine way—not just because you feel you have to.

Gain opportunities and build the relationship

There aren’t enough people who give back, in my opinion. My friend never gave back the money he owed me, nor did he really ever do anything to show our friendship meant something. The blog owner is looking for this same feeling of being your friend.

Everyone always wants more friends, and to develop new relationships. When you give back to them after they lend you their resources, then it can strengthen the friendship or business relationship.

You run an almost 100% guarantee of ruining the relationship if you screw over the blogger by not responding to comments left on your guest post or refraining from continuing to keep in touch with that blog owner. By doing so, they will know you were “using” them for one thing … one-time self promotion.

My friend used me and I was gullible enough to allow myself to be taken advantage of. Hopefully these insights along with the integration of my personal story paints a clear picture of how to give back to those who help you out.

What have you done after having a guest post of yours go live to “repay” the blog owner? What were the outcomes of those actions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Frank Angelone provides social media strategies and tech tips through personal stories on SocialTechZone.com. His goal is to help and give back to people from his own experiences. He would love to exchange personal interactions with you, so please subscribe to his newsletter and receive his free blueprint to improve the speed of your computer.

7 Steps to Setting Blogging Goals that Stick

This guest post is by Tim Brownson of A Daring Adventure.

I suspect that all the technical information you could ever need to be a successful blogger is out there in the public domain. If that is the case, why do the vast majority of blogs fail when it comes to providing the owner an income they can live comfortably on?

Dreaming goals

Copyright Mark Aplet - Fotolia.com

Firstly, I think many bloggers grossly underestimate the psychological side of blogging and what is needed to get their heads right in the first place.

Secondly, few bloggers that I speak to start off with any real plan or goal to keep them on track if and when things don’t go according to expectations. They simply dive into the process with no real idea of where it will take them.

Today I want to show you a seven-step process for goal setting that will exponentially improve your chances of succeeding with your blog.

You may well be familiar with the SMART method of goal setting because it’s been around for decades. Bear with me though as I expand on that process and make it way cooler and more useful for you—and far more likely to help you succeed.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with SMART, let me give it a quick run through.

Specific

Is your goal specific enough that somebody else could read it and know exactly what you mean? A goal of having a popular blog misses this aspect because it’s too vague and subjective.

I have a popular blog, but if I gave my readers to Darren and took his in return he’d be pretty unhappy with the deal—he has about 40 times more than I do.

“Owning a blog with at least 5,000 subscribers that earns $500 per month from AdSense” is the kind of goal that nails this element.

Measurable

Using the last example, you can see at any point in time where you are in your plan. If you have 2,500 subscribers, you are half-way there. If you are earning $400 per month, then you’re 80% of the way toward that goal. Having a measurable goal is important to keep your motivation going and for you to know whether things are working or not.

Action-oriented

Any goal, if it’s to be a real goal, requires input in some form from you. In other words, you have to act and actually do something to make it happen. Lying in bed hoping people are buying your ebook that you haven’t promoted properly isn’t a goal—it’s wish or a dream, and it’s almost certain to fail miserably.

Realistic

I’m not big on this aspect of the SMART method, because unless something is physically or scientifically impossible, then to me it’s still realistic.

If Darren had told people eight years ago that he intended starting a blog called ProBlogger and by 2011 he’d have 150,000 subscribers and be one of the top 2,000 websites in the world according to Alexa, people would have been lining up to tell him he was being unrealistic.

He wasn’t, so don’t worry too much about being realistic. Understand there is a huge difference between something being very difficult and being impossible. Landing on the moon was very difficult; landing on the sun is impossible (unless you go at night!).

Time-bound

This is probably the most under-appreciated element of SMART goals. Without a timeframe, goals have a habit of slipping.

Most people are busy and, as such, are responding and reacting to events. Therefore, without an end game in sight there will always be more pressing issues for you to attend to.

There is a great reason why people work more efficiently up to deadlines. It’s because the brain kicks off a mini fight-or-flight response, which allows them to focus more efficiently.

Okay, so that’s the traditional model and it’s all well and good, but I want to help you make your goals even more effective by turning SMART into SMARTER.

Ecology

When you’re setting goals you have to be aware of the effect they will have on you and those close to you. So you want to be a problogger and intend spending as many hours as necessary to achieve that?

How will that affect relationships with your loved ones? How will it impact your social life and your health? How will you pay the bills as you build up your following?

The answers aren’t reasons not to try, or to quit before you start. But they are things that need to be taken into consideration now, so they don’t trip you up further down the road.

Reward

This is the really big one as far as I’m concerned, and it’s the thing that so many people miss out on or just don’t get.

What is your reward for having a successful blog?

I’m not talking about money here: I’m at a deeper level than that. We are talking about values and what is fundamentally important to you at the level of your identity.

What really drives you? If you think that’s money, what does that money give you? Maybe it’s freedom, peace, security, significance, or maybe you want to leave a legacy.

It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you know. This is what’s going to motivate you if and when things get tough.

If you can’t come up with a reason that will get you out of bed at 5.00am enthusiastic about the day ahead, then there’s a high probability you will burn out sooner rather than later.

As an example, I am a Life Coach because I love helping people. I don’t earn as much money as I did when I worked in sales, but I’m way happier and, more importantly, I know why I’m doing what I’m doing. Do you?

Tim Brownson is a Professional Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and published author. He runs the A Daring Adventure blog where he writes about self development. If you would like a free copy of his book How Do I Set Goals That Work? Click the link.

Why the Road to Blog Success is Bumpy (and What to Do About It)

This guest post is by Jane of Find All Answers.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does it always happen to me?”

I am sure you have. It always happens. Whenever you have a shiny goal for your business project, or whenever you want to start a new business, you face them—challenges.

They are everywhere just waiting to welcome you. You don’t like them and you wonder why it always happens that you need to take the hard, bumpy road to success.

But wait. It’s not just you. Whoever travels the path to success for the first time faces this. The road is never smooth and it is never as expected.

Why is the road bumpy?

There are so many reasons. But the fact that it is bumpy doesn’t mean that it is bad. And it is also true that you will learn a lot of lessons by traveling down a bumpy road.

Let me discuss some of the causes of a bumpy road.

You are at it for the first time

Usually when it is your first time, it is rough. If you are in a project for a first time, if you are trying a new business idea, taking a new blogging initiative, and so on, you cannot expect a smooth road.

Your expertise, your ability to handle the outcomes, your capability to anticipate and develop alternate plans under pressure—all these factors depend on how well you know the ground. If you are in business for more than two years, you already know what to expect. You already have a Plan B for Issue X.

But if you’re starting a totally new business, say blogging for instance, you neither know Issue X nor Plan B. And there can be so many Xs in the whole process! All these make the road bumpy. You end up running like a headless chicken if you are not prepared for it.

But the road may not be bumpy just because you’re taking it for the first time. There may be another important reason…

You don’t have a plan

You can avoid a bumpy road—or at least anticipate it so that you sustain the least damage—if you have an action plan.

Whatever kind of business you’re in, you absolutely need an action plan. There are so many reasons to devising one, and one is to help you avoid at least some of the potholes in the bumpy road. Having a proper goal and an action plan will save you lot of hardship. This way, you work smarter, not harder.

You don’t learn from your mistakes

Let me make one thing clear. Here, I am not talking about those who start a business or a project without a proper goal or an action plan, then wander through all storms and deserts to get somewhere they never wished for.

Such persons invite the challenges for themselves. They don’t have a goal, so they don’t have a plan either. When they don’t know what exactly they want to achieve, they have not defined their own success.

But there are people who are really prepared for what’s ahead—who know what to achieve and how to achieve. However, since they are starting out in a new business, some unexpected events may occur. When they happen, they tell the individual that they have to learn a lesson.

So let’s say you take Plan A and execute it. With it comes Issue 1, which you never managed to anticipate. So you struggle somehow to manage the chaos, get Issue 1 solved, and get on with Plan A.

Now the next time you execute Plan A for a different purpose in your business, you now need to anticipate Issue 1 and incorporate it into your plan. Not just that, but you also have a solution to Issue 1. The second time, you’ll have learned from your previous execution of Plan A.

If you have failed to learn your lesson (you may be forgetful, negligent, or lazy), then you’ll have to face all the chaos the next time too!

What to do about bumpy roads

Anticipate them

This is a brilliant way to face an issue: expect the worst. You don’t have to be pessimistic or surround yourself and your business with negative thoughts. But always remember that you may have to face something bad, something serious, or something that could drive you totally mad.

If you have a plan, you could easily anticipate that problem.

Be flexible

This is another great thing to do. Face the hurdles, but don’t be hard on yourself. If things didn’t turn out as you planned, you don’t have to panic. Just stay calm and go with the flow.

Adjust yourself and your business to unexpected hard times. You will adapt to the trouble soon. Just don’t develop a comfortable attitude to hard times. If you do so, you will never travel smoothly.

Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors

Of course they don’t! If everything’s perfect from start to end, you won’t get smarter and sharper. You won’t learn skills or attitudes, and you won’t learn about your competition and your capabilities.

You have to have some hard roads in the beginning. These will make you learn skills that are needed to overcome issues. You may learn that you have a tough competitor in you business only after you face an issue.

You might learn what you are capable of only after you have attempted to do something beyond your limits, and failed.

You might learn that you need to develop a particular skill only once you realize that you are unable to develop a major part of your business.

The school of life

My Ph. D. supervisor Aneta Stefanovska used to tell me that life is a school. We learn lessons everyday. We learn all different sorts of lessons, and we always learn. This applies to our business, too.

A bumpy road teaches us a lot. Such a road is not always bad. Sometimes failures in your business are essential in helping you to get smarter and sharper, and preparing you for a tough ride the next time.

When you happen to come across a bumpy road, evaluate. Stay calm, evaluate the causes and see what you can learn from it. Find out ways in which you can take your blog to success along a road that gradually becomes smoother.

Jane writes about Blogging Tips, Relationships and Self Improvement at her blog Find All Answers. She wants to tell you that you absolutely need a blogging action plan.

Your Blog Is Not Seen by Over 2 Million Federal Workers!

This guest post is by Rick of www.morebettersmarts.com.

Filtering software may be blocking your blog from being accessed on government computers.

When I first put my blog online, I discovered that my friends on the local military base were prevented from viewing it by the government’s filtering service, Blue Coat.

As none of my posts contained any questionable content, I was interested to find out why my blog was blocked. More importantly, as there are literally millions of federal workers worldwide, I wanted to ensure blog was seen by this audience.

US flags

Copyright Paul Maguire - Fotolia.com

While this information pertains specifically to the Blue Coat filtering service, it no doubt applies to other filtering agencies. Blue Coat just seems to be one of the more popular services used by the Department of Defence (DoD) and other government agencies.

Also note the information provided isn’t a way to circumvent the filtering service. The method used is perfectly legal, and I worked through Blue Coat to get it resolved.

The problem

When my friends on the military base attempted to access my blog, a very official-looking page popped up with the heading, “ACCESS DENIED.” Further down the page explained that my site was blocked as its “Webfilter Category” was classified as “Blogs/Personal Pages.”

The page also included specific information about contacting the Blue Coat Webpage Review Site if there were any problems. That link is: http://sitereview.bluecoat.com/sitereview.jsp

Clicking the link took me to a simple form that allowed me to enter my URL to see how my blog was categorized. I entered my site name, and clicked Check Rating. Sure enough, my site was classified as Blogs/Personal Pages, and was thus blocked by the DoD computers.

The fix

In addition to seeing your site’s category, the review page also provides a form that you can use to easily request a review of your site. This is how you go about getting it reclassified.

There were several dozen categories to choose from via a drop-down menu, and I was initially unsure of which to choose. However, Blue Coat allows you to enter the name of any site to review, so I looked at a couple of blogs that I patterned mine after, to see how they were classified.

Several of these were classified as Reference, so I decided to use this category. I also checked with my friends on the military base that the sites using this classification could be accessed. They verified this, so I was good to go.

I selected “Reference” from the drop-down menu, and didn’t bother with the optional second category. In the comments, I wrote:

www.morebettersmarts.com has the stated mission of “Providing practical wisdom to improve your life and work, home, and play.” The site provides articles on health and fitness, public speaking, life hacks, and productivity. The site is currently listed as Blogs/Personal Pages, but should be classified as Reference. Thank you for your review.

I then clicked the box asking the results be sent to me via email, selected Blue Coat ProxySG as the filtering service, clicked the Submit for Review button, and crossed my fingers.

The actual review process only took a few hours, and I received an email stating my site was now reclassified as Reference. However, it took around 24-48 hours for the government servers to catch up to this change. After that, my blog was made available to several million federal workers. Now only if it would be viewed by several million federal workers, I could probably blog full-time…

A few issues

Of course, your site could also fall under one of the many other classifications regularly blocked by filtering software. For example, if your site is categorized as Political or Entertainment, it will most likely continue to be blocked, so you’re probably out of luck.

Additionally, a note you’ll see all over the Blue Coat site is the filtering service doesn’t decide which sites are filtered. It’s up to the agency or company to make this determination. For example, if the federal government wanted to allow sites classified as Blogs/Personal Pages, there wouldn’t have been an issue.

If you’re new to blogging, there’s a good chance your site is classified as a blog by these filtering services. Hopefully, this quick and legal fix will open your site to a great new source of traffic.

Rick is the owner/author of ‘More Better Smarts,’ supplying practical wisdom to help improve your life at work, home, and play. Visit Rick at www.morebettersmarts.com.

Stand Up to Live Before You Sit Down to Blog

This guest post is by Peter G. James Sinclair of MotivationalMemo.com.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”—Henry David Thoreau

I often reflect on the lifetime of experiences that I’ve tasted since landing on planet Earth to find myself in the arms of my mother.

Those experiences have in fact been the fuel that has ignited the written word that flows from my pen to the page, and from there, through the agency of my Motivational Memo blog into the hearts of men and women from 155 nations to date.

For unless I have lived it, there is no way that I have any authority to write it.

My response, whenever facing a particular challenge in my life has always been, “Well, at least it’s given me another story that I can write about.”

To be an expert, not an ex-spurt

When I write I never want to be the guy who is an “ex”’ or a “has-been” who is going to usher forth a “spurt.” Not an endearing picture is it?

If I’m going to write anything, or in fact do anything in my life, I want to position and prepare myself to become a guru, a leader, or an expert in that chosen field.

How does this come about?

I first sit at the feet of the experts who have gone before me and become their student. I become whom I associate with.

At first I may be as raw as the next guy, but in time, through continued study and practice I will find my voice and then begin to be recognized as an authority in my own right.

And if I have anything to “spurt” I trust that it brings life and refreshment to those who choose to partake of what I’ve learned.

To live, to write

We all have a story to tell and the blog medium is a wonderful place to express this. So go live first, and then return, even the same day if you wish, and recount what you have learned.

  • Speak about it and put it in audio format.
  • Communicate it through the use of video.
  • Share the written word with me, for we then become richer from the lessons you teach, the principles applied, and the experiences gained.

Write of your experiences, not of the experiences of others. Sure, use their experiences or their wisdom as your stepping stone, but then spring forth fearlessly with your own fresh voice and interpretation.

I don’t want to just hear the musty voices from ages past—as good as they are. I want to hear your spin. I want to ponder on your yarn. For herein lies the new insight and the sparkling discovery that adds value to our lives as we partake of this wondrous feast.

Long live your wonderful “communicated” life

So allow me to shout loud and clear, “Long live your wonderful life!”

May your life be recorded in a flourish of words—deposited into your unique blog—that in years to come will provide the springboard for yet another virgin writer to grasp hold of and spring forth on their own adventure of intellectual and spiritual discovery.

Share with us one recent experience that you have had, and are just bursting to share with the world through your blog.

Peter G. James Sinclair is in the “heart to heart” resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Receive your free copy of his latest eBook Personal Success Blueprint at http://www.motivationalmemo.com and add him on Twitter @PeterGJSinclair today!

52 Types of Blog Posts that Are Proven to Work

This guest post is by Karol K of Online Business Design blog.

Blogging is not only about putting together 400-2,000 words of text and publishing them on your WordPress site. As a blogger, you can choose from a much bigger variety of possible blog post types (and content in general).

Let me be honest and admit that I’ve wanted to compile this sort of list for a long time. Coming up with new ideas for posts every couple of days might lead you to a hard stop on a brick wall very quickly… I believe writer’s block is the more politically correct name for such a situation.

One of the most effective ways of fighting writer’s block is having a big resource file, containing lots of ideas and frameworks for new posts. Besides, writing standard, old-school blog posts can get boring very quickly. That’s why every blogger needs some variety in terms of content if they want to be doing this for a longer period of time.

This list is divided into a couple of sections depending on the purpose and characteristics of each content type. Feel free to treat it as a resource file ≠ñ you don’t have to go through the whole list at once.

Article style posts (aka standard blog posts)

1. How-to/tutorial posts

This is one of the most popular post types and one that arguably brings the most value to the reader. The most important thing to focus on while writing it, is to give some specific information on how to do/perform/attain/reach whatever is promised in the title of the post. Videos and images work very well as additional resources for how-to posts.

2. News posts

Typically used by bigger blogs, leaders in a given field that have their finger on the pulse at all times. They are usually short (less than 500 words) and share an important piece of news in a given market. There are a couple of downsides if you want to make them an important part of your publishing schedule: you have to be fast (there’s nothing worse than yesterday’s news), news has a short expiration date (it’s hard to turn a news post into a piece of evergreen content), and finally, you have to be publishing them at least once a day.

3. Definition posts

A.k.a. Wikipedia-style post. What you basically do is choose a term that has a significant importance in your field and define it using simple language, so the term is easy to understand for someone who’s new to the topic.

4. Standard list posts

List post is one of the most popular post types in use today (you’re reading one right now). The basic idea is that you take a topic or a problem and you try to come up with a number of separate solutions to it. List posts are so popular because they are extremely easy to follow. Each point is usually not related to the other ones, which means that even a distracted mind can get a lot of value from the whole post. List posts are also great for bookmarking or sharing with friends—precisely because of their reader-friendly construction.

5. Resource/link list posts

Very similar to standard list posts. The difference is that now you’re not coming up with the content on your own, but searching for valuable information elsewhere and, in the end, sharing links to what you have found. This type of list post is very popular lately and many successful bloggers are using it as one of the most important elements of their publishing schedule. This kind of posts tend to get a lot of backlinks due to the fact that people who have been featured often like to let their readers know about that fact, so they go ahead and mention it on their blogs.

6. Profile posts

A profile is a post focusing on a specific person, usually someone famous or important in a given field. Profiles usually cover things like: why the person in question became famous, what’s so special about them, what they have accomplished, and what’s their history and background. There are no specific rules of creating a good profile post. You have to choose your target, find as much interesting information about them as you can, and combine it into an article.

7. Case studies

Case studies present a way of solving a problem based on a real-life example. They are usually constructed in a step-by-step manner presenting each step in a detailed way, and explaining why this specific solution has been chosen. Case studies usually end with a roundup of everything that has been done and present the final results.

8. Problems-and-solutions posts

This is similar post type to case studies, only here, the solution doesn’t have to be one that has already been applied. It can be a description of a theoretical solution to a problem, or an idea worth considering for other people struggling with the same problem. For example, let’s look at amateur bodybuilding as a topic. One of the most common problems in that field is gaining lean (fat-free) body mass. A bodybuilder-blogger might create a post targeting this specific problem by giving a number of possible solutions, like introducing a special diet, different workout regime, different hours of sleep, and so on.

9. Comparison posts

Every field has some specific characteristics or problems that can be solved by many different means. Comparison posts take two or more possible solutions and compare them to one another. Various aspects of these solutions need to be taken into account if the whole post is to be valuable. It’s also good to point out a winner at the end. Some of the things you can compare against each other are: software, books, courses, companies, etc.—even people.

10. Stories

There’s nothing like a good story. Stories are ones of the most reader-friendly types of blog posts. We ñ humans ñ are used to hearing stories ever since we were children. The power of stories lies in their ability of disguising certain messages while describing seemingly unrelated situations. You can create a story about someone who wanted to do something but failed because they didn’t know the most important elements of X, where “X” is the thing you want to share with your readers… Just an example.

11. Controversial posts

The truth is people like to read controversial articles even if they don’t agree with the author. That being said, not every author has enough balls to write such a thing. Interestingly enough, creating a controversial post is not that difficult. The easiest way of doing it is to pick a topic, write down your thoughts about that topic, and then sharpen them up to the point of absurd. You can use some sarcasm while doing so. Here’s an example. Instead of saying “some Internet marketing tips published online have very few possible applications in real life,” say “every Internet marketer knows nothing about real-life business”—strong, to the point, and easy to disagree with.

12. Inspiring posts

Usually an inspiring story about someone (hopefully, an underdog) achieving something. The main message here is “if he can do it, so can I.” The only problem is that it’s not that easy to find something interesting enough to be turned into an inspiring post.

13. Research posts

A step-by-step guide on how you are (or someone else is) researching a specific topic. For example, you can share how you’re doing your keyword research, or how you’re searching for a virtual assistant to hire, or how you’re doing market research to come up with a list of potential partners and competitors.

14. “What others are saying” posts

This is a combination of a research post and a link list post. The main idea is to find a topic and find other people sharing their opinion on that topic. Sometimes it’s better to not pretend that you are the most knowledgeable person in a given field, but share the opinions of other experts instead. It’s the thing Napoleon Hill was famous for.

15. “What if” posts

A hypothetical post about something—”What would happen if X?” kind of thing. To start, choose an interesting topic, find an element that’s certain to exist in that field, and try to write a post about what might have happened if that element never existed. For example: “What if WordPress was never invented?”

16. Parody posts

A satirical view on a given topic. The easiest way of coming up with such a thing is to choose another publication about something, note down some of the ideas presented in it, and extend them to the point of absurd. For example, many building-a-successful-blog gurus tell you about the importance of commenting on other blogs. In response, you could write a post on “why you need to comment on 1,374 different blogs a day if you want to be successful.”

Unconventional blog posts

17. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) posts

I’m sure you know very well what this is about. The only problem with coming up with these kind of posts is the “frequently” part. If you want to create a FAQ style post you need to have an audience to get the questions from. Creating a fake FAQ containing only some imaginary “frequently” asked questions is the biggest sin of them all.

18. SAQ (Should Ask Questions) posts

A similar type to the previous one, but this time you, as the expert, provide a list of questions and answers your audience should be asking you. The trick here is that frequently asked questions are not always the ones that are the most important (that’s because people don’t know what they don’t know), so in a SAQ post you can present your expertise and deliver much value to your readers.

19. Reviews

There are tens of blogs that focus solely on reviews of various products and services, mostly in the tech/gadget niche. I’m not telling you to start posting only reviews from now on, but submitting one every now and then surely can’t hurt you. In addition, you can include your affiliate links and make some money along the way.

20. Interviews

I’m sure there’s a lot of potential people you can interview: experts, celebrities, ordinary people who have managed to do something significant, people sharing their success stories, companies, other bloggers. Just look around your niche and I’m sure you’ll find someone interesting.

The interview itself can be done in a couple of different ways. You can meet with someone in person (the traditional way). You can mail them your questions and they will mail you back the answers. You can call them via Skype or phone. You can do a twitter interview (tweeting back and forth questions and answers). Basically, there are no limits. Sometimes being creative pays a lot, so try to come up with your own ways of doing interviews.

21. Ebooks

Whenever you have a big library of resources, your own posts, notes, etc. you can combine them and turn into an ebook, and then announce its launch in a standard blog post. One of the best examples of using your existing blog posts to create an ebook is the work of Darren Rowse in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Once you have your ebook ready, the best way of delivering it is, of course, as a PDF download. In fact, creating ebooks can be fun—something I found out for myself when putting together my own ebook.

22. Special reports

It’s like an ebook, only smaller, usually focusing on just one aspect of a given field, and in most cases delivered free of charge. Other than that, you can approach it the same as creating a standard ebook, and once you have it ready, announce this fact in a blog post.

23. Cheat sheets

As Wikipedia defines it, “a cheat sheet is a concise set of notes used for quick reference,” and that’s exactly what it is. I’m sure that you can find many rules, tricks, methods of doing/using something that relates to your field or niche. You just have to put it all together in a neat PDF file and share it with your readers. Just to give you some examples of nice cheat sheets: Cheat Sheets & Quick Reference Cards for Developers.

24. Checklists

A checklist is a set of specific steps that need to be taken in order to complete a task. Next to the headline of each step there should be an empty box where the person using the checklist can put a tick once the step has been completed. This forces you to use the PDF format once again. Once you have the checklist ready, write a post describing what it’s for and how to use it.

25. Infographics

Infographics are very popular in today’s Internet. They are cool to look at, present information in an easy-to-digest manner, provide a lot of value, and have a high share-with-a-friend factor. The only downside is that they are very time consuming to create. And in most cases you have to delegate this work to someone (or work together with someone) if you want the final result to be exceptional. Nevertheless, they are worth to consider if you have the time and the resources. Here are some examples of great infographics: Infographics for Web Designers: Information You Ought to Know, 12 Amazing SEO Infographics.

26. Projects

In my opinion this is one of the biggest things you can do for your blog once you have a moderate readership. By “moderate” I don’t necessarily mean the numbers, but people’s engagement with your posts.

The basic idea is this. You announce a project that you will be participating in (or are an author of) and invite your readers to take part in it, and share their results. A great example is what Pat and Tyrone have done with the Niche Site Duel project.

27. Open questions to your readers

This is usually a very short post. Just a single question to your readers about whatever topic. But, of course, it has to be something related to your niche, and it has to be something that actually interests you, something you want to know … maybe as part of research for your upcoming post. Publishing this kind of post can help you tighten the relationship with your readers and encourage some of the quiet ones to speak up. The only downside is that you have to have a moderate readership in order to make this work.

28. Starting a debate

Similar to publishing an open question, only this time you are saying what’s your opinion at the beginning of the post, and let your readers pick a side, so they can share their own arguments in favor or against. One more time … you have to have an audience for this to work. Once you consider the debate finished you can shut down the comments and write a follow-up post pointing out some of the most important parts of the debate.

29. Presenting an existing debate

Let me just give you an example. A while ago, Corbett Barr published a post presenting a debate between Pat Flynn and Everett Bogue on whether or not you should allow comments on your blog. The debate has been prepared earlier by interviewing both sides giving them the same questions, and then letting them take a look at each other’s answers so they could react to them. This is a great idea and I have to implement it myself in the near future. I encourage you to do the same.

30. Surveys and polls

Yet another way of connecting with your audience. This time again you are the one asking questions. A simple poll consists of one question with a number of possible answers. For example: “Which member of the A-team do you like the most? 1. Hannibal, 2. Face, 3. Murdock, 4. B.A.” There’s a number of different WordPress plugins that can provide you with a possibility of creating a poll.

A survey is usually something a bit bigger. For instance, a questionnaire containing a number of poll-styled questions as well as essay questions, and simple fill-in-the-blanks. You can search the WordPress plugin directory to find an appropriate plugin for this too. Surveys surely provide much valuable information about your audience, which makes them worth considering once you have an engaged readership.

31. Crash courses/gathering posts

This is a kind of post consisting of links to other post within the same topic, and maybe some additional comment or content. For instance, this guitar blog sharing information on how to learn guitar chords. Each chord gets its own post, and at the end of the series there’s one big gathering post featuring the links to all the other posts and some additional tips and resources. In the end, the whole post looks like a kind of crash course on learning guitar chords.

32. Twitter posts

In order to create such a post what you need is a topic, preferably a trending/popular one, and some time. Just go to twitter search and find some interesting tweets about the topic. You may search by keywords or by hashtags. Once you have a set of 20+ tweets you can combine them into one “what people are saying” post. This may sound like an easy way out, but in reality these posts can be very informative and, in many cases, very funny.

33. Income/traffic/expense reports (monthly)

Very popular lately. Some of the best examples can be seen at Think Traffic and Smart Passive Income. What you do is simply take a look at your Google Analytics account as well as your bank account and report any changes comparing to the previous month. Of course, you have to be comfortable with sharing this kind of information. The other problem is that telling people that your traffic is at 346 per month and you income at $12 per month might not be the best social proof possible.

34. Contests

Contests are a great way of connecting with your audience or even getting an audience in the first place. The most important element of a contest is the prize. It has to be something worth competing for, which mean it involves spending some money or finding a sponsor. The theme of the contest can be anything. For example: “whoever sings the highest note wins an iPod”—you get the point. Entries can be submitted via email or, preferably, via a comment below the post. It’s up to you.

35. Draws

Something similar to a contest. The only difference is that the winner is not chosen by someone, but gets drawn randomly. Other than that, same rules apply.

36. Races

Another idea that’s similar to a contest. The main idea of a race is to give your audience a specific task to do, and the first person to complete it wins. It might be something like: “first person to publish 20 comments this month on my blog wins an iPod.” The main benefit of such a thing is that apart from the winner submitting 20 comments you may get the runner up submitting 18, two people submitting 17, and so on. So in the end, running a race might bring you many more comments than 20. Just an example. The rules of running a contest apply here too.

37. Quizzes

How is it any different from a poll or a survey? Well, a quiz is not a tool for you to find out something about your audience, but a tool for your audience to find out something about themselves, usually in a funny and entertaining way. A great example is a quiz that can be found at theoatmeal.com, titled How long could you survive chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor?. It turned out to be a big link bait for theoatmeal and resulted in #1 ranking in Google for the phrase “bunk bed”, whether it was intended or not. Plus, at the end of the quiz you receive a cool badge which you can include on your blog or share on Facebook. I’m sure you too can came up with something quiz-worthy in your niche.

38. Software, tools, scripts, plugins, themes, services

You can use a blog post to announce your new software, tool, plugin, service, etc. Share some information about the thing—what it can do, who it is for, how and when to get it, and so on. This might be a good way of notifying your readers of what’s going on in your business, what you’re up to, and what’s in it for them. You can get some ideas for new services or products by doing a brainstorm and researching what your audience might be interested in. Of course, to make it happen you have to know your audience first.

39. Comics

Every day more bloggers start to publish comics as a constant element of their publishing schedule. Take a look at Web Designer Depot. If you are, or can get, someone who can create the actual comics, it might be a good way for you to expand your audience and give them something that’s very easy to digest. It can be a nice link bait as well. Two examples of comics-only blogs: xkcd and Wulffmorgenthaler.

40. Jokes

No further explanation needed. Obviously, it’s not a good fit for every niche, but who knows? Maybe it’s perfect for yours.

41. Icons and other graphical freebies

This is something that works well in the design niche, which is not very surprising. Designers are always on the hunt for some fresh, preferably free, icons/buttons or other graphical tools. Try to adjust this strategy to your niche. For example, if you have a photography blog you might share some free stock photos on Creative Commons license. If you’re in the business development niche you could get some Microsoft Word templates designed for you and then share them with your audience. It’s not just about icons.

42. Presentations

If you’ve ever given a presentation on whatever topic I’m sure you still have the slides somewhere on your computer. You can upload them to Slide Share and then embed them in your blog post. Inside the post you can describe what the presentation is about, mention when and where you gave it, and encourage your readers to re-embed it on their own blogs.

Audio blog posts

43. Mp3 files (as a podcast)

First things first: what is a podcast? Quoting Wikipedia: “a podcast is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.” Translating it into plain English, a podcast can be a series of mp3s launched in a sequence. Probably the best idea is to register your podcast in iTunes and get some recognition there.

When it comes to the content itself, a podcast can contain whatever you want. You can give tutorials on various topics, tell jokes, even read poetry. Feel free to browse the iTunes directory to get some ideas.

44. Interviews

These are similar to text interviews, only this time you conduct them over the phone or Skype and record everything along the way. Then you share them as an mp3 on your blog or turn them into a podcast if you’re planning to release more than one interview.

Again, some people you can interview include: experts, celebrities, ordinary people who have managed to do something significant, people sharing their success stories, companies, and other bloggers in your niche.

45. Talks

Something similar to an interview, but this time you’re getting a number of people (three or four) on the line or Skype, and give them a topic to talk about. Of course, you record everything so you can share it with your audience later on. This kind of talk is more focused on a specific topic rather than on the people participating in the talk. This is a good idea if you have the possibility to convince a couple of influential people in your niche to take part in it.

46. Teleseminars

In order to pull this one off you need an engaged audience, or good marketing. The main idea is that first you announce you’ll be conducting a teleseminar on topic X and give people a link where they can sign up for it. Then when the time comes you give the seminar to a live audience. Of course, you can also record it and share as an mp3 later on.

The most popular way of running a teleseminar is to focus on a how-to topic. It should be something you can explain to your audience—something that’s really important to them, yet it’s not so easy to master alone.

Video blog posts

47. Talking head video

All video post types on this list have one thing in common: once you have the video made you can embed it in a normal blog post, or share it with your audience as a video podcast.

Now, the talking head video. It’s the simplest video to make. What you basically do is sit in front of a camera and talk about something. One of the most famous examples is Gary Vaynerchuk and the posts on his personal blog. Of course, the topic needs to be interesting if you want to have any kind of impact, and you have to be comfortable with the camera—something many people find challenging at first.

48. Screencast

Screencasting is another name for recording what’s happening on your screen. It can be done with software called Jing, for example. It’s a very easy-to-digest way of giving a tutorial on some technical things, like setting up WordPress or doing something in Photoshop. Sometimes it’s much easier to do a screencast than explain such things via text content. Usually the same amount of information can be delivered in a five-minute screencast as in 3,000 words of text. And the problem of you being uncomfortable with being in front of a camera doesn’t apply here, so it’s actually easier to make.

49. Presentation video

This is basically a kind of screencast. But it’s made by first creating a PowerPoint presentation (of course, you can use other software too), then firing it up and recording everything while you talk the viewers through the presentation. It’s very easy to make and the results can be great due to some of the PowerPoint’s fancy features.

50. Interviews

Nothing new here, except this time you’re not writing or recording audio, but shooting a video instead. Video interviews always look more professional because they have that TV-like feel to them.

51. How-to video

Shooting a how-to video is a good idea if you’re in a niche where it’s easier to actually show something than it is to describe it with words. The guitar niche is a great example. It’s much easier to show people how to play a specific chord than it is to describe this to them. The main problem here is that you have to be comfortable with being in front of a camera. If you’re nervous, people will notice.

52. Webinars

Similar to teleseminars, webinars use video as the main medium. Other than that, the same rules apply.

Recycling

The final advice I want to give you in this post is to recycle your content. Now, what do I mean by that? Whenever it’s possible and makes actual sense, try to take a piece of your content and repurpose it by turning it into a different medium.

For example, you can get your videos and mp3s transcribed and then share them as a regular blog post. You can also go the other way around: create an article first, then turn it into a script, and in the end shoot a video and upload it to your YouTube channel. Another idea is to take your email newsletter series, read every edition out loud and share the whole thing as an audio podcast on iTunes. I’m sure you get the idea by now. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

What’s on your list? Do you have any interesting blog post type ideas you want to share? What’s your favorite type? Speak up in the comments: your input is more than welcome!

Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a 20-something year old web 2.0 entrepreneur from Poland and a grad student at the Silesian University of Technology. He hates to do traditional business but loves to train capoeira. Tune in to get his advice on blogging and starting an online business.