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Our Top Tips on Social Media: The Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

Our Top Tips on Social Media the Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

With the ever-changing Facebook algorithm, nothing but crickets on Twitter, and Instagram being a slow-moving feast, we’ve seen a huge response to our posts on the topic of social media this year. It’s like a beast we’re all desperate to tame. In this roundup there are a couple of videos and a few step-by-step tutorials showing how the experts do it – I hope you find them useful.

Check back tomorrow for the most popular general blogging tips we’ve published (think productivity, traffic, engagement), and catch up on our most popular posts on creating content and monetization.

Our Top Tips on Social Media 2015

7 Effective tips to Grow Your Social Media the Right Way

7 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Presence The Right Way / problogger.net

This thorough post covers everything from measuring audience demographics to tools to help you get an advantage. Bring a pen and notepad and take notes!

How to Build an Effective Social Media Workflow to Increase Your Traffic

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/02/11/how-to-build-an-efficient-social-media-workflow-to-increase-your-traffic/

In this video, Darren shared his own personal social media strategy for Digital Photography School, and in only 20 minutes a day! No wonder it was popular.

3 Steps to Saving Time by Writing Social Media Updates in Batches

3 ways to increase your effectiveness on social media by creating your updates in batches.

I love this: “Scheduling updates in advance solves a number of social media’s most frustrating problems. It gives your routine newfound flexibility, and it can even make you a better blogger. But there’s one hurdle that scheduling alone doesn’t take care of for you: those updates still have to come from somewhere, and that means you have to write them.” – it’s so true! So Tom takes us through a bunch of ways we can cut down on the work for maximum social media results.

How I Use Edgar to Increase the Effectiveness of my Social Media Strategy

How I use Edgar to Increase the Effectiveness of My Social Media Strategy - ProBlogger

An update of sorts to the above article on Darren’s social media schedule – including ProBlogger’s social media (mostly Twitter) and a video tutorial to help you through creating a similar winning strategy.

The Step-by-Step Method of Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

The Step-by-Step Method of Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

Another fantastic tutorial on helping you get your content social-share ready. Includes ways to get around common mistakes bloggers make – don’t miss it.

Special Mentions:

What did you find most useful? Do you have a solid social media schedule? What are your favourite tips?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Our Top Tips on Monetization: The Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

Our Top Tips on Monetization: the Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

If you were here yesterday, you would know I’m rounding up the most popular posts on ProBlogger this year in the categories of content, social media, general tips, and today’s crowd favourite: Monetization! I hope if you missed them the first time around, that these posts push you in the right direction (or you learn something new you missed on initial reading!) Go forth and earn, my friends.

The Full Blog Monetization Menu: 60 Ways to Make Money with Your Blog

60+ Ways to make money on or with your blog problogger.net

Yes, sixty. Sixty whole ways of making money on or because of your blog. If standard affiliate/ad/sponsored post fare is not for you, you are almost guaranteed to find something on this list you’d rather do to earn some cash with your blog. So comprehensive! It’s a must-see.

Make Money Blogging For Real: 3 Must-Know Factors

cj-adv

  • How do you make money online?
  • How does AdSense work?
  • Should I attend this “make money online” course?

I’m sure you’ve asked or been asked these questions at some point in your blogging career. And while we can’t all be raking in millions of dollars every year, the fact remains you can make good money on your blog… if you heed these three tips.

5 Advanced Techniques I use to Make Money on My Blog

5 Advanced techniques to Monetize Your Blog on ProBlogger.net

The wonderful Erin from Travel With Bender pulled back the curtain to show us all that there is money to be made on travel blogs, and exactly how she does it.

Make Money Blogging: Start the New Year by Increasing Your Income Streams

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Well, it is that time of year! Darren outlined tons of great advice on how to make a legitimate, sustainable income on your blog by diversifying. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Top Tips for Getting the Most out of Monetizing Brand-Blog Relationships

Top Tips for Getting the Most out of Monetizing Brand-Blog Relationships

Louisa Claire stopped by ProBlogger HQ to spill all the secrets she’s learned from being both a blogger and the conduit between bloggers and brands. What are brands looking for? What kind of blog do you need? How do you get on a brand’s radar? What’s the first step when you think you might want to work with brands in a sponsored or ambassadorship capacity? Louisa tells all.

Special Mention:

So what do you think? Are you inspired now? Were you surprised by any of these? Which monetization model works best for you?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Our Top Tips on Creating Content: the Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

Our Top Tips on Creating Content: the Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

It’s been a great year here on ProBlogger, and as I advised (bullied you into?!) the other day – it’s time to look back on the year that was on your blog. I’ve been having a scroll through our analytics to dig out what posts you guys found most useful this year and I’ll be publishing the top five in the categories of content, monetization, social media, and the general tips we’ve shared across the rest of this week. Check back tomorrow for the next instalment!

Our Top Tips on Creating Content: The Most Popular ProBlogger Posts of 2015

Four Blogging Tools to Make Your Content Go Further

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.56.13 pm

Tools! You guys love tools. This post has four recommendations – on the subject of visual content, how to keep tabs on those blogging in your industry, how to manage your social media, and growing your influence. They’re pretty solid tips that will help you make the most of the content you create to make more of a mark in the blogging world.

3 Content Tweaks to Increase Your Blog Traffic Without Spending a Penny

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.56.13 pm

Oh how we adore a bargain! And nothing is cheaper than free. Guest contributor Jawad Khan shared three changes you can make to your existing and future blog content, without spending tons of money, to immediately start getting more traffic from search engines and social media websites. All that reward for very little work.

How to Get Top Bloggers to Share Your Content and Boost Your Traffic

RobbieRichards_roundup

This is a solid, lengthy post with great ideas on how to get your content in front of the right people – people with enough influence to send tons of traffic your way.

How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Longform Evergreen Content

How to Build Your Blog's Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content

Pulling from some fantastic Tim Ferriss advice, this post reminded you all to get back to basics if you want to increase your traffic. Is your content full of useful, evergreen advice? Are you strong on who your audience is and who you are writing to? Why long form anyway? All the answers are revealed…

Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content

How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content - on problogger.net

Google Mobilegeddon (the algorithm change that penalised websites that didn’t have mobile capabilities) frightened many of you into action. It was also the perfect time to reformat your content and publish it in varying ways. Mike gives a few pointers on how to breathe new life into old content.

Special Mentions:

So what worked for you? Which tips did you find most useful? Have you had an extra-good year on your blog content-wise? I’d love to chat in the comments!

I’m also taking bets on what you think were the most popular posts on monetisation, which will be revealed in tomorrow’s post!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

5 Ways I Use Habits to Stay Creative and Productive When Working From Home

5 Ways I Use Habits to Stay Creative and Productive When Working From Home: by Gretchen Rubin on ProBlogger.net

Folks, you’ll know today’s guest contributor author Gretchen Rubin from her bestselling books on happiness, habits, and human nature, her inspiring talks, and her popular daily blog GretchenRubin.com. Gretchen also shares practical, manageable advice on her podcast Happier With Gretchen Rubin, which iTunes just announced as one of the best of 2015. We are thrilled to have Gretchen on ProBlogger today, giving us her best tips on how good habits can help you stay sane and on track when your workplace is also your home. 

If you’re a blogger, and you work from home, it can be tough to stay productive and creative. You can always knock off some household chore – or take a nap on the sofa!

5 Ways I Use Habits to Stay Creative and Productive When Working From Home

In Better Than Before, my book about how to master habits, I identify the 21 strategies we can use to make or break our habits. I use many of these strategies on myself, to keep myself on track as a blogger.

1. I use the Strategy of Safeguards to put myself out of the reach of temptation.

To do the serious work of original writing—my most challenging kind of work—I take my laptop to a library that’s a block from my apartment, and there, I don’t connect to the internet. It’s easier physically to remove myself from the lure of my three monitors than to use self-control. Many people accomplish the same thing by using software to shut down the internet for certain intervals every day. Look for stumbling blocks, plan for failure!

2. I use the Strategy of Scheduling to do certain tasks at certain times.

It turns out that working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. So when I tell myself, “at 10:00 a.m., I’m going to write that blog post,” at 10:00 I don’t allow myself to think that while I’m writing, I can also clean my desk, check email, post on Twitter, go over my calendar, or indulge in my personal favorite, do “research.” At the designated time, I do the task that I’ve identified, or I stare at the ceiling. Even when I don’t feel like working, I soon buckle down, out of sheer boredom.

3. I use the Strategy of Foundation to make sure that I move around a lot during the day.

Some days I go to the gym, or take a yoga class, or have a strength-training session. We also just got a new puppy, so I’m going for many more short walks during the day. Research shows that exercise helps me stay energized and focused—and for me, it also helps me keep my rear in the chair when I’m working, because otherwise I get very restless. Plus, as Nietzsche wrote, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” I often find that I get a big insight or make an important connection when I’m out for a walk.

4. I use the Strategy of Monitoring to keep track of how much I’m posting.

How many posts am I really doing each week? We do a better job with just about everything (exercise, diet, spending, etc.) when we keep close track of what we’re doing.

Weirdly, I’ve found, it’s easier to post just about every day than to post some days. I usually post 5-6 times a week, so it’s part of my ordinary day. I don’t agonize, “Should I write something? I wrote yesterday and the day befofre, shouldn’t I get today off? I have a good idea for tomorrow, so should I take today off? I didn’t sleep well last night, I’ll write better tomorrow”, etc. But if I posted, say, three times a week, I’d go through that every time, I’m sure.

As it is, I just have to post. If you want a daily time log, to help you monitor how you’re spending your time each day, download it here.

5. I use the Strategy of Treats to make plenty of time to read.

The Strategy of Treats is the most fun We should load ourselves with healthy treats, because when we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves. Reading is my favorite thing to do, and when I give myself plenty of time to read for fun, I feel energized and cared for. Also, my reading gives me new ideas, illustrations, and insights, so it makes blogging easier, too. But I spend a good amount of time each week reading exactly what I want to read, not what I think I “should” read.

BONUS

Here’s a strategy that I don’t need, but many people do: the Strategy of Accountability. In Better Than Before, I divide people into four categories: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. (Take the quiz here.) For people who are “Obligers” (which is the largest category, by the way), the Strategy of Accountability is crucial. Key. Essential!

If you’re really good at meeting other people’s expectations, but find it hard to meet your expectations for yourself, you must give yourself outer accountability. Start an accountability group (starter kit here, if you want to start one) where people hold each other accountable. Work with a coach. Find a client. Report to a buddy. Do whatever it takes—because for many people, writing regularly on a blog is something that just won’t happen, no matter how much they want to do it, if there’s no external accountability. Know yourself, and plan accordingly!

If you’d like to read more about how to use habits to make your life happier, healthier, and more productive, check out my book, Better Than Before. It turns out that it’s not too hard to change your habits—when you know what to do.

Bonus Bonus!

The paperback of Better Than Before goes on sale on December 15. To say thanks to people who pre-order before that date, I’ll give you my “21 Days, 21 Strategies for Habit Change” email series for free. Lots of ideas about how to keep those New Year’s resolutions! But it’s only free until December 15. Info here.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited about the end of the year. I love Christmas, and I love a new year with its promise of a fresh start and new beginnings! If you have started your end-of-2015 blog audit to help you find your focus for 2016, maybe put it on pause for a bit and get stuck into this week’s inspiring links.

Subject Line Comparison: The Best and Worst Open Rates on Mailchimp // Mailchimp

This blew my mind. Everything I thought I knew is wrong!

The 5 Best Google Chrome Extensions for Content Marketing // Social Media Today

I definitely checked out RiteTag and DrumUp… I already use the Great Suspender for suspending open browser tabs to save battery, but these extensions are pretty bang-on.

How to Better Prepare Your Social Media for 2016 // Hootsuite

Don’t just dial in the dying weeks of 2015, go out with a bang!

How to Create Instagram Ads Using Facebook Ads Manager // Social Media Examiner

I noticed this the other day, the ability to create an Instagram ad from my Facebook dashboard. Kristi runs you step-by-step exactly how to do it. Have you created one there before?

Can Christmas Lights Really Play Havoc with Your WiFi? // News.com.au

Apparently yes, they can. But never mind, because…

Google’s AMP Will Make the Mobile Internet Faster Early next Year // Wired

In part an answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles, Google will be integrating Accelerated Mobile Pages into search results at the start of 2016. And pages will load faster – because we are ALL on our phones, and we want answers now.

Google+ Changes: What Marketers Need to Know // Social Media Examiner

Are you still on it? I can think of only a handful of people that are still making it work. But as Google is phasing it out, here’s what you should be aware of.

12 Awesome Instagram Features You’re Probably Not Using // Mashable

Upload > crop > brighten > filter. Not anymore! I think my favourite feature is the option to straighten your images. I am always taking photos on the fly and they are never as straight as they should be! Does anyone still use Hyperlapse?

Watch This! Video Dominates Social Media in 2015 // CNet

So what does this mean for 2016? What does it mean for bloggers who are writers and aren’t drawn to video? How do we compete? Have you embraced video or is it just that one more thing you can’t afford to spend your time on?

Why No-One is Reading Your Marketing Content // Harvard Business Review

We all know how much advertising has changed, and content, real-life content written by real-life people has become such a powerful way of connecting with a consumer. But people do tune out (hey, we’re only human), and HBR have nailed the reason why! Really foolproof tips here, I love that one about the value exchange.

After that, I hope you’re still reading this! Can you see where your content might be falling down? Are you going to start editing your Instagram images more? How about those Chrome extensions? Would love to hear what’s sparked something for you this week.

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Do an End of 2015 Blog Audit: Take Stock of What You’ve Achieved and Where You’re Headed

How to Do an End of 2015 Blog Audit: everything to set you up for a year of successful blogging

Hey you there, the one with the blog. Put down that wrapping paper (keep the eggnog, you’ll need sustenance), it’s time for you to take a quick look back at the year that was on your site, even though we’re heading into the busiest season of the year.

Why? Well, blog-wise it’s great to know what’s happened across 2015, give you an overview of your efforts, point you in the right direction for 2016, and give you a case of the warm and fuzzies when you see how far you’ve come in 12 short months.

Doing a blog audit can also help you create content for the months ahead and give you an advantage when it comes to your social media strategy. Who wouldn’t want to start the new year on the right foot (even if it does mean a few hard truths along the way – you don’t really want to hear that you’ve spent hours on Pinterest for little return, but it’s necessary hearing, right!)? Getting a sense of where you’re at is pretty important to help you know where you can expand next.

So where do you start? It’s such an overwhelming prospect when you think about going over every aspect of your blog with a fine-tooth comb, but as always, if you break it down into smaller tasks, it’s totally achievable. A pleasant beverage alongside wouldn’t hurt…

How to Do an End-of-2015 Blog Audit

Grab a pen and notebook, a fresh Google Doc, a spreadsheet if you’re into that sort of thing, or anything else you’re happy to take notes on or in, and go through each section of your blog thoroughly. What worked, what didn’t, what did you hate, what will you change for next year? As science historian James Burke said once “you can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been”. True dat.

“You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.” – James Burke

[Tweet That!]

So let’s get stuck in.

Content:

You’re going to have to look at some stats for this, so open your WordPress Jetpack or Google Analytics and be prepared to dive in. First though, a look through the posts themselves:

  • How long were posts? Did you have a variety of word lengths? All long? All short? Which performed better? What would you say your average post word count would be?
  • What were the most popular posts? Overall, and for each category of your blog?
  • What type of posts worked? What resonated with your audience?
  • What fell flat, or just quite didn’t make it?
  • Did you write to your niche? Or did you branch out? Was that a wise choice?
  • Were you helpful?
  • What posts got the most comments/emails? Which one seemed to touch a nerve in your audience?
  • What was shared most?
  • What did you enjoy writing?
  • Where are you sourcing images? Are you making or taking your own? Could you start? What other options are there (you can find a selection of places that have collections of free, no-attribution images here), what program are you using to create and personalise your images? Is it enough or should you try something new? What are your image sizes? Are they optimal? Have you changed blog layout and now some of them are poorly sized? Make a note of them so you can update later with a better image.
  • Which day of the week got the most traffic? What were you publishing on those days? Was it consistent with your brand?
  • Was your overarching theme this year consistent with your brand?
  • What search terms got the most people to your blog? are you providing content for them?
  • Does each post have a good image that’s formatted correctly, a keyword-rich headline, and is it pleasant to the eye? Is there enough white space, and are there calls to action where necessary?
  • Were you providing enough value?

How to Do an End of 2015 Blog Audit: everything to set you up for a year of successful blogging

Back End

The nitty-gritty that we usually ignore unless something has gone wrong. Do a cleanout!

  • Are your plugins still working for you? What can you delete? What needs updating?
  • What do you have as a 404 error message? Can you make it more useful to the reader who finds themselves there?
  • Do you have broken links? (one way to find out is to use a broken link checker, or install a plugin that will do it for you). Can you update them?
  • What is your SEO plan? Are you inserting key words in all the right places? If you have Yoast installed, is there a green light on the majority of your posts? What can you do to improve in the new year? (Moz has a pretty comprehensive post here on doing a full SEO audit if you feel you need that much depth, and a content audit here).
  • Have you filled out the alt-text field on all your images with keyword-rich descriptions? (remember, this is what Pinterest pulls so make it user-friendly)
  • What have you been using to track metrics/traffic? Is it working?
  • Create a Google Analytics report about what has happened on your site, and who is reading it (and on what device!) Darren has a great tutorial here on how to find the most useful stats in Google Analtyics and use that knowledge to set up your next year of blogging on the right foot.

Design

We eat with our eyes, as they say, and readers will make snap judgements about you and your blog based on how it looks when they get there. What does your design say?

  • Is it functional?
  • Is it reader-friendly?
  • Is it pleasing to the eye?
  • Does it describe you and your blog at a glance?
  • Have you stayed consistent with colours and fonts?
  • Are there any widgets that need removing?
  • How is your sidebar working? What can you shuffle around or delete entirely?
  • Are you making the most of the bottom-of-the-blog real estate?
  • Are the ads old? Can you write to the advertisers and offer them a new deal?
  • Are you making the most of your design to point to where you could make an affiliate sale?
  • Are there several points on the page where readers can follow you?
  • Is your newsletter signup box prominent? Do you have more than one?
  • Is that pop-up box worth it?
  • Are your social media icons in the right order (you might want to put your most popular sites at the front). Are they linked to the right place? Are they the right size or colour?
  • Do all the links on your homepage work?
  • What can you remove from the design to enhance the look of your blog?
  • What are you using for social sharing? Do you like it? are people using it? Can you find something that works better?
  • Personal branding: is it recognisable? Have you been using the same branding techniques on your post images?

Pages/Topics

The umbrella of what you’re about. How’s that workin’ for ya?

  • Are the pages and topics you’ve sorted your content into still relevant? Have you moved onto other things? Can you merge some? Nest them?
  • Did you share content equally across all or did you find you wrote on a particular topic the most?
  • Is the navigation streamlined and user-friendly?
  • Are your pages and topics easily accessed?

How to Do an End of 2015 Blog Audit: everything to set you up for a year of successful blogging

Social Media

Our home away from home!

  • On what platform did you see the biggest growth?
  • Where was the most engagement?
  • What did you enjoy the most?
  • Have you changed profile pictures and bios lately? How current are they?
  • What brought most return for your efforts?
  • Where would you like try in the new year?
  • Is it obvious on all of these platforms what you’re about? What you can offer people?
  • Do all your platforms link to your blog, and are these options obvious and easy to find?

Your promotional strategy

You can’t just “build it and they will come”. Because they’re busy reading someone else.

  • How did you get your blog in front of new readers?
  • How successful was that?
  • What wasn’t worth the time invested?
  • Where will you invest your time next year?
  • What have you got as an opt-in? Does it need upgrading?
  • How are you offering your newsletter or mailing list? Have you been consistent with it, have you been tracking open rates etc?
  • Did you guest post anywhere? Was that worth your time? Where could you try this year?
  • Did you try to get some traditional media coverage?
  • Did you try any collaborations or cross-promotions? Who could you work with in 2016?
  • Did you do any giveaways? How did they work?

How to Do an End of 2015 Blog Audit: everything to set you up for a year of successful blogging

Monetisation

  • What has been your strategy this year?
  • What monetization models were you using?
  • What has been the most lucrative?
  • What hasn’t been worth your time?
  • What will you spend your resources on next year?
  • What programs, ebooks or courses need updating?
  • Can you bundle them together and do a quick lead-up to christmas sale?
  • Can you release something quick in time for christmas or new year?
  • How has your audience reacted to each monetisation strategy?
  • What model have you most enjoyed using?
  • What would you consider for the future?

Your goals

  • Did you create any? did you meet them?
  • Were you too ambitious? Or not enough?
  • What did you have in mind for next year?
  • Have you written your future goals and a plan for how to get there?
  • How could you learn from the mistakes you’ve made this year to help you reach your goals now?

Your feelings

  • How did you feel overall?
  • What did you excel at?
  • Where did you feel you could have done better?
  • Did you enjoy blogging?
  • Do you still enjoy it?
  • Have you thought about quitting, moving on to something else (like podcasting, for example), do you want to write a book, open an online store… did you think about expanding or moving on?
  • What would you like to do on your blog for next year?
  • What will you be leaving behind?

A big job, huh? But worthwhile. I hope you finished your audit feeling organized and motivated for a fantastic year ahead!

(if not, there’s always eggnog…)

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Good morning! Welcome to your roundup of interesting titbits from around the web. Plenty to mull over here – tools, beta testing of our favourite social media sites, Google doing new Google things (who knew?!) and a cool script to help you tap into your blog audience’s personas. Enjoy!

5 Visual Content Tools to Boost Engagement // Social Media Examiner

If you’re on a tight budget (or let’s be honest: no budget) for graphics, these tools should help you up your visual content game. I love the Instagram collage idea.

Instagram Now Testing Support for Account Switching, No Logout Required // TechCrunch

Oh wouldn’t this be a boon for those of you who manage multiple accounts! Let’s cross our fingers that the choice proves popular in the beta testing and they keep it.

LinkedIn’s New Facebook-like App Arrives on iOS and Android // Mashable Australia

A much easier (and more eye-pleasing!) way to see who is sharing what on LinkedIn. I can imagine it would promote more engagement, which I’m all for. I have to admit, I don’t do much with my LinkedIn but I may be swayed by this!

How to Figure Out What Keywords Your Potential Customers are Using // Hubspot

And what your potential readers are searching for! This is a super-detailed piece – Bridget has taken a step back and started at SEO right from the start before launching into what tools you can use so you can be armed with all the knowledge to create a super campaign or tailored blog content.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant // Amy Lynn Andrews

I know plenty of us have “virtual assistant” on our Christmas lists, but for those of you who would like to be one (can be a great supplement to your blog income), Amy has recently updated her guide. Check it out!

image 2 tags snowmen

Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest with New Collections Feature // TechCrunch

It’s only for mobile (and those of you in the US), and it looks as though it’s a part of the sort-of-revamped Google+, but now when you find an image you want to keep for later in Google search, you can organise your own personal collections. Search results are filterable and it appears quite intuitive.

“Don’t Pursue Something That Someone Said You Should Want”: Derek Sivers at WDS // Chris Gillebeau

I loved attending the World Domination Summit in Portland this year, and Chris Gillebeau, master of it all, has started releasing videos from the amazing speakers across the weekend. This video is from one of my favourite speakers – Derek Sivers – who delivered kick-ass, no-bullshit business advice. I took SO MUCH away from his philosophy. Watch it, you won’t be sorry!

Persona Research in Under 5 Minutes // Moz

You know how much we love a reader profile around these parts. Who are you speaking to? What kind of people make up your core audience? More importantly – where are they hanging out? I love this script for nailing all this info in under 5 minutes.

8 Creative Ways to Add Christmas Spirit to Your Social Media // Jeff Bullas

I just spent 10 minutes trying to find the best christmas photo for my Facebook profile. It’s that time of year!

From YouTube to Persicope: The Evolution of Web Video [Infographic] // AdWeek

Crazy to see how far it’s come (and how much I suck at all of them). I wonder where web video (and indeed, how audiences consume it) is headed next. Any ideas?

Have you Christmasified your social media yet?!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Coming to you live from ProBlogger HQ, the interesting things we’ve found on the internet this week. May they help you blog better!

Is Blogging Finally Dead? // Blog Tyrant

I know. We’ve even talked about it too. And Dooce said she was over it. And then Mia Freedman jumped in. But there is no denying the landscape is changing. Ramsay gives us some stats that might get you thinking… and possibly Tumblr-ing…

Google Releases the Full Version of Their Search Quality Rating Guidelines // Search Engine Land

And it’s a behemoth. 160 pages packed with SEO goodness! If you’ve ever wanted to know the lowdown, now’s the time.

How Many Outbound Links Per Word or Page? [Original Study] // Northcutt

Is it however many are most useful for readers? Less than 100? None? Heaps? Carter Bowles tells us what his research has shown is optimal.

Click Here: 16 Hacks That’ll Get Your Call-to-Action Buttons Clicked // Neil Patel

With dowloadable cheat-sheet! You guyst know how much I love that.

moz.com

Image source: Moz

Announcing Moz’s New Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing // Moz

Are you part of the 70% of content marketers who are now making double the amount of content you were a year ago? Or are you keen to get stuck into the nut and bolts of content marketing? Moz has just released a huge guide (nine chapters worth!) to get you moving. With added Carl the Content Cat, of which I am a fan.

4 Ways Anand Sanwal Captures More than 1000 Signups a Month // Entrepreneur

That’s a number not to be sneezed at. The founder of analytics platform CB Insights gives us an insight into how he keeps on rolling in those potential-customer numbers.

6 Holiday Instagram Marketing tips for Businesses // Social Media Examiner

It’s that time of year again, trying to be seen among the consumerist din. How do you stand out? Try these tips and see!

Disappearing Act: Twitter Pulls Share Counts from Tweet Buttons // Marketing Land

I did not know they announced this in October, but I noticed the other day the count had disappeared here, and thought it was something wrong from our end. Twitter says it’s because the wanted to consolidate and simplify their platform… I’m not sure how I feel about this. My poor Tweet button looks empty and sad next to its other populated friends.

Of course there’s backlash, and with backlash comes a hashtag: #SaveOurShareCounts. If you’re annoyed, let ’em know!

How to Take Good Photos with Your Phone: 17 Tips and Tricks to Try // HubSpot

Taking a great photo on your smartphone is not as simple as pointing and shooting – as we’ve all learned the hard way. Simple tips will help you look like a pro in no time.

Meet the Director of Social Media Who Doubled Pitchfork’s Instagram Following // Hootsuite

All the Instagram secrets from Pitchfork’s manager of day to day social output across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and Tumblr, their quarterly print publication, and music festivals, and email marketing – a huge job where she’s learned a lot.

So what are your thoughts? Upset with Twitter? Think blogging’s not dead? How many outbound links are you comfortable with?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Plenty of stuff in here today to get you thinking! I’d love to hear your thoughts – let’s chat in the comments cos I seem to have a lot of opinions today!

11 Authors’ Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s Block // Mashable

Ah, it happens to the best of us. Nothing a few tips from the pros can’t overcome, though!

Why Manual Link Building will Never Be Obsolete // Search Engine Land

I’ve seen so much discussion about manual link building recently, and whether it should be done or not. This was food for thought.

4 Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence // Entrepreneur.com

I do number one the most – and I find it the most fun! It’s also super-revealing into the hearts and minds of your readers.

How to Create the Right Content at the Right Time: 6 Tips to Get You Started // HubSpot

Awesome basic tips to help you stay in the know if being current and timely and blogging on trends is your thing.

How to Create an Epic Mail Course as an Opt-In // By Regina

Well there’s something different to your standard free report/eBook/printable opt-in! A whole course. If you want to take the plunge, Regina’ll help you!

What I Learned (the Hard Way) About Becoming a Full-Time Writer // Jeff Goins

What happens when you’re always chasing your ‘big break’ (and never finding it!)

How to Use Periscope to Attract Followers // Chalene Johnson

Ok so it’s established itself as the next big thing that everyone’s jumping on – find your new audience there! (and find Darren here).

Twitter Says Hearts are a Success with 6% Increase in Usage over Stars // BBC

Did you even notice? Instead of “starring” a tweet to favourite it, the icon is now a heart. I always wanted something like a Facebook “thumbs up” to show that I liked a tweet, which sadly, I still don’t have. I use the “favourite” function to save favourites I can refer to later, even though I know lots of folk who use that as a virtual “like” button. Maybe this will help me psychologically move beyond the favouriting that’s always held me back and like a tweet for the sake of it! (but then I’ve still got a list of crap I need to wade through to find the thing I want… hm…)

Google’s New “About Me” Tool Lets You Control Personal Information Shown by Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and More // Venture Beat

Google Plus is now no longer a user requirement for anything Google-related, and so from last week, Google rolled out the new tool that allows you to modify how much personal info users see of you online.

Adam Gopnik on Darwin’s Brilliant Strategy for Preempting Criticism and the True Mark of Genius // Brainpickings

Oh if it’s one thing I’m sick of  doing, it’s preempting criticism. It can really strangle you as a writer, entrepreneur, or creative. Thinking of all counterarguments before you’ve even published anything is exhausting. And probably stupid in many blog cases, because you want conversations, not to be the final word on everything. It is difficult when people take issue with what you’ve written (especially if they’ve misinterpreted you), but I wonder about covering off every possible angle to ensure nobody can complain and if it’s necessary. But this article totally made me think… especially because the practice of criticising one’s own ideas is actually a very useful one, and not just to shut down arguments before they happen! What do you think?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.