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7 Old Post Revival Techniques You Won’t Believe You’re Overlooking

This guest post is by Ahmed Safwan of To Start Blogging.

Do you have hundreds of posts in your archive?

Most of them receiving a big zero in traffic?

You aren’t the only one who has this problem. Most of the bloggers, even pro ones, have this problem. That’s why this post was created.

Your old posts can generate additional visitors for you. Let’s see how.

1. Create internal links

You’ve heard me talk about internal linking before. This is because it’s very important.

When you link to your old posts, you are giving more value to your readers and also to Google itself.

You will be able to get traffic to your old posts, decrease bounce rates, increase average time on site per visitor, and increase your rankings. All this from just linking to your old posts!

So, whenever you write a new post, remember that your old posts can also give value, and link to them in your new post.

2. Update your old post and republish it

Do you notice how CopyBlogger republishes some of its old articles from time to time?

Doing this will let you catch a break, and also get a raft of traffic to your old content while making sure that content remains current over time.

3. Spread it on social media

Social media can also send more traffic to your old posts. Tweet more than one post each day, to get the best results.

As well as scheduling tweets for the upcoming week, see if you can’t theme your old post tweets around events that are happening in your niche, or the world in general. Depending on your topic, a post you wrote six month or a year ago may provide an interesting coutnerpoint or reminder for readers.

4. Create a follow-up post

Maybe you have an old post, but something has changed around that topic. Great: create a follow-up post that shows what’s changed since you wrote that old post, link back to it, and you will get traffic to it as well.

This can be especially effective if there are valuable comments on the old post, and you can pick up on those in the new one. Tactics like this, which weave the posts together, give readers a solid reason to look back at the past post.

5. Use a “related posts” widget

When your readers reach the end of a post, they want to know what to do next. Show them related posts from your archives. This revives your old posts and provides more context and information to your readers.

Remember, they can be your loyal readers forever, so always try to provide them with the content they need. Your archives should be chock-a-block with it!

6. Use cornerstone content

Do you have a number of posts on a similar topic? Create a single post that contains all of these posts, as a one-stop resource for your readers.

This way, you’ll get more traffic from search engines, and show your authority on this topic—which can only help build loyalty among the visitors you help.

7. Link to your old posts in an email series

Last week, I received an email from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. It’s an email that’s sent to all new subscribers after a given time, and in the email, he was promoting an old post. What a great idea.

Create autoresponders to send weekly to your new subscribers. In these emails, you can include links to your old posts and relevant tips. This is a great way to create a richer relationship with your new subscribers.

Do you have any other ideas?

These are the common ways to promote your old posts. If you have another idea, share it in the comments!

In addition to being a successful blogger and a talented freelance writer, Ahmed Safwan is on a mission to help bloggers who want to succeed build the blog that can help them to do so. If youíre one of them, check out his blog for more Blogging Tips that Help you make money.

7 Reasons Your New Blog Visitors Bounce, and How to Stop Them

This guest post is by Christian Schappel of Progressive Business Publications.

The last thing you want is for people to land on your website or blog only to immediately hit the Back button.

The vast majority of the time, it’s an avoidable scenario. Something on the page turned the visitor off to make him or her move on to another site.

To find out how likely your site or blog is to drive visitors away, consult this list of the top eight blunders that spark abandons and see if your blog guilty of any.

Your blog requires browser plugins (from the start)

Making visitors install new software just to access your site is the biggest turnoff of them all. From the time a person lands on your site, you’ve got about four seconds to connect with them, or they’re gone. Four seconds! That’s never going to happen if they have to install a plugin.

If you have to require a plugin to show off a product—or to satisfy a web designer’s lust to show off his or her creativity—don’t require it on a landing page.

Make sure your content gets visitors interested before you start making demands.

It asks for a browser upgrade

Unless someone’s using a browser from 2004, they should be able to view your content without any major problems.

It’s great that you’re on the cutting edge, but requiring a browser upgrade not only keeps you from connecting with visitors in four seconds or less, it sends the message that you’re not compatible with them. It also tells them they’ve done something wrong.

Test to make sure your site renders well on most semi-modern web browsers.

It auto-plays multimedia

Ever landed on a site that automatically started to play music and not reached for the volume controls to turn it down?

Music, sound effects and video that play automatically trigger people’s instincts to hit the Back button—even if just to spare those around them from the noise.

If these elements are vital to your introduction, add a button that says, Click to listen, rather than just assuming visitors want to hear them.

It presents long-winded introductory copy

Of course you have to explain what you do, but at a certain point your introductory copy begins to have a negative effect.

That point is at about 100 words.

Large blocks of gray text look daunting, and people would rather move on to the next site or blog than read a novel about what it is you do.

Even at 100 words, you’ve got to break copy up into bite-sized chunks.

Then make sure you use bullet points to make the rest of your website and blog copy scannable and easy to digest.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use short, one-sentence paragraphs.

It doesn’t provide full contact details

Three things that need to be on your site/blog, without question:

  • a phone number
  • your email address
  • a full postal address.

If the first page visitors land on is missing one of these, it gives them the impression that you’re hiding something. They begin to think, “Why don’t they want me to call or email?”

Bonus: Search engines love to see each of these elements on websites and blogs. They’ll improve your organic search ranking—especially for local searches.

It displays old dates

Your site or blog may have been built pre-Y2K, but it shouldn’t look like it.

Check the bottom of your pages. Do any say copyright 2011? If so, it’s time to update.

The only places dates 2011 or older are acceptable are buried deep in your blog or news feed.

Keeping an old copyright date tells visitors you’re asleep at the wheel.

It’s full of dead ends

Horizontal rules and separators, changes in background color, and even too much white space reduce scannability.

Remove anything that disrupts the flow of your blog. You don’t want anything to disrupt a visitor’s train of thought.

You’ll also want to check that each page of your site or blog links back to the homepage and contains navigation buttons of some kind. Pages that lead to a dead end and fail to include navigation options result in abandons.

Is your blog guilty of any of these issues? Do you have high bounce rates? Tell us in the comments.

Christian Schappel is the Editor-in-Chief of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter, which is published by Progressive Business Publications (PBP) to provide marketers with news, research and ideas to help them increase revenue. Connect with PBP on LinkedIn.

3 Lessons for Bloggers, Gangnam Style

This guest post is by Ali Zia Khan of http://zedblogger.com.

The PSY Gangnam Style video: you watched it … but missed some key points about blogging.

That’s right, blogging. As bloggers, we can learn extremely useful lessons from things that are unrelated to our topic.

Yesterday, I listened to the song. Replayed it, and replayed it again. I kept listening to the song for around half an hour.

Why did I keep listening to the song? Was there a marketing trick hidden in it?

I did some research and discovered three aspects of Gangnam Style which can be applied to your blog.

1. Innovate

Innovation was a major reason for my addiction to the song.

I’d never seen anyone getting inspiration from horse-back riders, and turn it into a dance move. That move is completely new, and people love new.

Look at your blog. Look at your competition. Is there a difference between you? When you are the same as others, how can you stand out of the crowd?

Innovation takes effort, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Focus on doing something extra that can be loved by your readers. Yes, you will have to think hard, but if your mind is caught by the right idea, you will be on fire like Gangnam style…

2. Never take anything as insignificant, even if it’s small

Another big cause of Gangnam Style’s popularity is Gangnam itself. Gangnam is a city in Korea which is not big. People never proclaim that they are from there. But now, everybody wants to be from Gangnam, and to have Gangnam Style. It’s a case of the small thing gone big.

Most of the bloggers follow the big trends that are mostly created by the top blogs in their niche. Yes, those topics might be trending, but there is problem: everyone is writing about the same topic, so it’s difficult to get attention by writing on it.

If you start writing about something else that is given little importance, you have the chance to create a new trend in your industry. This also leads back to innovation. The more innovative your idea is, the better your chances are that it will go viral.

3. Inspire the influencers

PSY was not a big pop star before. The thing that took him to that position was the fact that he inspired the influencers in the music world, who spread it all over social media.

You made an innovation. You’ve spent time thinking about it and developing it, but now you’re wasting that effort by keeping it limited to your blog only. Step outside your blog! Tell the big names in your niche. They might like it and tell their audience, too.

In a nutshell: you can learn a lot of things from the famous song Gangnam Style including the importance of innovation, never under-estimating the power of small things, and the potential to inspire the influencers in your niche.

Tell me now. Have you learned anything from Gangnam Style?

This guest post is by Ali Zia Khan who gives blogging tips on his blog. Recently, he also started a guide about starting a blog and his eBook is launching on 20th February.

Blogging in Brief: Ebooks, Print Books, Conferences and More

From what I can tell, most bloggers are off to a flying start this year. Lots of great discussions going on on social media, and some interesting plans in the works for many…

Launching an ebook in 2013?

If you answered “yes” to that question, take a look at this post from Shayne, who helps me with both dPS and ProBlogger products.

This post contains some key issues that I think most bloggers probably don’t look at in detail before we launch an ebook. We’re so excited to get our products out there that we could, unwittingly, be undermining their success.

Shayne looks at the issue from a really strategic viewpoint in this post. I hope it helps you!

Blogger in print … and on tour

Congratulations to Matt Kepnes, who’s released a print book through Penguin: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.

This is another great example of what can happen when you build a strong brand and following online. If it’s something that interests you, take a look at our guides for becoming a print book author:

Not only that, but Matt’s heading off on a book tour of the States during February. So if you’re in a city he’s visiting, head down and say hello—he’s published the tour dates on his blog. And tell him Darren sent you!

Conference planning 2013

We announced this week that this year’s ProBlogger Training Event will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. But we’re not the only ones to have released conference details recently.

7 Practices That Make You Look Like a Rookie Blogger

This guest post is by Lior Levin.

One of the main reasons why any company or individual starts a blog is to demonstrate expertise and professionalism while courting new leads and customers. So failing to customize your blog or to learn some basic website management practices could do more harm than good. Here are seven rookie mistakes to avoid on your blog.

1. Using a common, unchanged theme

There are plenty of free, high quality website themes that you can use with a blog CMS such as WordPress. You don’t have to stick with the default website theme your blogging service provides. In fact, you really shouldn’t, as there are plenty of rookie bloggers who leave their themes unchanged.

Instead, use a unique, professional theme and then add your own custom tweaks or hire an HTML company to customize it for you.

2. Low-quality stock images

Whether you use a free service like Stock Exchange or pay for an account with a premium service, using high-quality stock images with your posts will help set your blog apart from the competition. If you use watermarked, blurry, or irrelevant images with your blog posts, no one will take your website seriously. While a great image can’t save poor content, a bad image can discredit great content.

3. Poorly aligned images

Even if you do manage to add high-quality images to your website, you also need to learn the basics of aligning them with your text properly so that the text wraps around the images and the images don’t crowd into the sidebar. It’s not hard to modify images, but before you hit Publish, make sure you preview your posts to make sure the images appear in the correct position relative to your text. A blogging program such as Windows Live Writer makes cropping, resizing, and aligning images easy.

Most of the time, you’ll want to align your images to the left or to the right at the top of your post, but if your columns are narrow for your main content, you could resize your image so that it runs across the whole column.

4. Meta information in your sidebar

When you first load up your new blog, you may see a “meta” information section with links to the blog’s administration panel and feed. This is unnecessary. You should include the link to your feed at the top of your blog and bookmark the login page on your own browser. Blogger Brankica Underwood writes, “There is absolutely no need for that widget to be in your sidebar or footer, leak link juice, and confuse people.”

5. Large chunks of paragraph text

One of the most important tips for blog readability is to avoid large chunks of paragraph text. No matter how good your ideas may be, you’ll look like a rookie if every blog post has enormous chunks of unbroken text.

Blogging is not the same as English composition in college. Keep your paragraphs short, use bullet points, and incorporate sub-headings when you can. All of these simple practices will make your posts easier to read and make you look like a competent blogger.

6. Neglecting your pages

There are two essential pieces of information that every website should have: an About page and a Contact page. Missing either of them will make you look either unprofessional or disorganized—that is, besides simply making it hard for readers to find the information that many of them want to know.

If you add a new page to your website, but you don’t have time to fill it in completely, there’s no problem with writing some “placeholder” copy, such as “More information coming soon.” Just make sure you follow up and fill it in.

7. Spam comments

Depending on the blogging service you use, spam comments may become a problem on your blog that could make you look bad. That doesn’t mean you should inundate your readers with hoops they need to jump through in order to comment—such as illegible captcha phrases or requiring readers to register in order to comment.

By adding a professional comment management service such as Disqus, you’ll filter out the spam comments and make it easy for readers to both leave comments and to follow up on the discussion. In fact, the advantage of Disqus is that it notifies commenters of replies so that they are prompted to return to your blog.

Get a handle on the basics

While it’s incredibly easy to start a blog, it’s even easier to manage a blog poorly and to discredit yourself and your business in the process. By integrating some basic blog management tools and learning how to use them effectively, you’ll be able to use your blog to effectively build your online reputation.

Lior Levin is an adviser to startup that created a passbook solution to follow credit card charges. Lior is also and advisor to firm that offers a shopping cart abandonment tool for ecommerce websites all over the world.

Blogging in Brief: Goal-Setting … and Reaching!

It’s that time of year: we’re all setting goals and making plans for the next twelve months (if we haven’t already!). And the blogosphere is a great place to get inspiration for setting and meeting those goals…

Image courtesy Moyan_Brenn, licensed under Creative Commons


That time of year…

Many of our favorite blogs have published posts that either look back on the last year, or look forward to this one. Some are personal, while others provides hints and tips specifically for readers. I’ve found these ones, in particular, have provided great food for thought:

Of course, earlier this week we published our Top 20 from 2012, as well as the annual Bloggers to Watch list for the year ahead too. Did you publish a post that looked back on 2012, or forward to 2013 in some way? How did you make sure it stood out from the crowd? Let us know about it in the comments.

Time for a new (or updated) social media strategy?

Getting serious about social media in 2013? Alexis Grant has just released a short, sharp social media checklist that’s a great tool for helping you get a handle on all the aspects you’ll need to consider.

This checklist is a really handy download for anyone who’s trying to juggle improved social media among their other blogging tasks—and it’s free.

Get better at online marketing

If one of your goals for the year ahead is to improve your online marketing skills, you’re not alone. The realm of digital marketing is always changing, and while the basics might remain constant, the nuances of this space are always evolving.

So whether you’re a seasoned marketer, or in the early phases of your online marketing career, the new freebie from Copyblogger will help you brush up your skills.

Called The Best of Copyblogger, it’s a 20-part email series that encompasses the top advice from the blog, hand-picked and curated into a really worthwhile subscription. Why not subscribe? You know you can’t go wrong with Copyblogger.

Blog branding in 2013

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember that we talked about blog branding a bit in this column late last year. And earlier this week, Gab discussed the idea of keeping blog headers simple, to drive readers to your content instead.

I’ve been thinking about blog branding in light of these discussions and one thing that I keep coming back to is content. While I do think a blog needs a strong visual brand—not just a logo, but a strong visual identity (which you can probably tell from this blog!)—I don’t think branding ends there.

As bloggers, our brands are interwoven through our content, too. Look at really strongly branded blogs, like Brainpickings or The Onion, and you can see how strongly content itself communicates the brand—if it’s done well.

This is often a concern for bloggers who want to accept guest posts. I often hear bloggers asking if they should try to pick content that’s written in a voice that’s close to their own. Of course, voice is the only way to brand your content, but it is something that’s worth considering if you take this step.

One way to get ideas for how to do it well is to look at big blogs that have multiple writers—and which communicate brand really strongly through content. Try Gawker, Fast Company, or Wired, for example. Sites that have offline magazine counterparts are usually good bets for strongly branded content.

What trends do you think will influence blog branding this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

The ProBlogger Top 20 of 2012: What YOU Read Most This Year

Welcome to 2013! Are you ready for the year ahead? If you’re like me, and you’re just getting back into the swing of things (or still on break!), you might be scratching your head trying to remember all the important lessons you learned last year.

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Image courtesy Lore & Guille, licensed under Creative Commons

So to help you out, I’ve compiled this list of our 20 most popular articles from 2012. If you’re a die-hard ProBlogger reader, you might already have read them all—but this might be a good time to refresh your memory.

If not, I hope you’ll find some gems in this list. We do try to cover a range of topics on the blog, and meet the needs of bloggers at all stages of the blogging journey. So if, once you’ve had a look through this list, there’s something you’d like to see more of in the year ahead, be sure to mention it in the comments.

Now, without further ado, here are our top 20 articles from 2012!

20. Quality Vs. Volume: The Traffic Spectrum, and How You as Bloggers Can Harness It

If you’re looking at your blog stats this morning and wondering how you can ramp them up this year, read this post before you start. It might give you the insight you need to work smarter, rather than harder, to attract quality traffic to your blog.

Definitely check out the discussion on that post, too—some really interesting learnings are to be found there.

19. Blogging in Brief: Looking Good, Saving Face, Tags and Lags

My Blogging In Brief column was a bit of a hit last year with readers, and the next instalment comes out later this week.

In the meantime, this post from last year highlights a few interesting trends that readers were particularly interested in: how big blogs save face when they make mistakes, graphical blog headers, letting customers set the price for your next product, how promotions could be slowing your site, and the relevance (or otherwise!) of tag clouds.

18. The Diamond in the Rough System for Gaining Influence

We’ve all heard social media advisors tell us to target the influencers if we want to have an impact on social media. But how can you find the true influencers in your niche?

In this post, Jonathan Goodman shows you how—and his tips and experience are good for all aspects of blog promotion, not just social networking. Have a read!

17. Looking to 2013: A Commitment to Blogging Smarter … With a Little Help

In this post, I included a roundup of a series of posts on contracting out aspects of your blog. From maintenance and development to design and writing, the range of tasks you can outsource—if they’re not your strong suit, or you need to free up time to focus on other blogging jobs—is endless.

While this post is a starting point, I hope it’ll put you in a good position to blog smarter this year.

16. URL Be Sorry: Google Cuts Back on Top-ranking Exact-match Domains

While once, exact-match domains made a big difference to a blog’s search positioning, as Rob Henry explained here, Google’s changed its algorithm so that exact-match domains now carry much less weight.

As Rob reveals, this creates great opportunities for those with quality content hosted on a normal domain (i.e. one that’s not a domain that’s an exact match with a niche keyword).

15. Grow Your Blog Business: The Earn Millions in Your Flipflops Framework [Case Study]

This case study by Stephan Spencer really excited our readers, and it was great to hear from the case study’s subject, Susan Lassiter-Lyons, in the comments.

The post really sets out a solid framework for starting a profit-making blog. It’s a must-read if this is something you’re working on at the moment.

14. 3 Ways Cartoons Can Improve Your Blog

A picture tells a thousand words, as this post by Mark Anderson shows.

If you’re thinking that there’s no way you can possibly communicate your message in under 1,000 words or so, have a look at this thought-provoking, actionable post. You might just rethink your approach to blog content afterward!

13. WordPress Feature Review: New Features You Missed in 2012

If you’re a WP user, you’ll find this two-part series very helpful. In it, Michael Scott steps us through a raft of new features that, bloggers being as busy as we are, we may have missed in 2012 (I know I missed a few!).

Even a quick skim of this series is sure to turn up a few handy enhancements that will make your blogging easier and more enjoyable in 2012.

12. How to Find an SEO Goldmine for Your Blog

In this popular post, Elena Vakhromova presents a simple, clear, effective way to write keyword-relevant, quality blog posts to raise your search rankings.

Bloggers who have been scared to tackle keyword research were very pleased to find this guide, so if your keyword research could do with an overhaul, take a look at this post.

11. The 3 step Guide to Creating Pinterest-friendly Graphics for Your Blog

There’s a lot of heat and light around Pinterest right now, but few know how to harness the platform as well as Jade Craven, who’s helped me develop a strong audience there for dPS.

This post exposes her top advice for creating the types of graphics people love to pin on Pinterest. If you didn’t realise that was part of the battle of getting Pnterest traction, this article is definitely for you!

10. 6 Warning Signs That Your Blog is Deflating

Again, another handy post that provides invaluable pointers that help bloggers recognize a downturn and do something about it before it’s too late!

Ashkan’s advice here is clear and straightforward, and the suggestions offered by readers in the comments make a great addition to this post. Why not make it a monthly checklist for your blog in 2013?

9. WordPress Backups: Don’t Make These 9 Mistakes on Your Blog

We all need backups, but few of us know if we’re doing all we should to protect our online assets.

As Anders Vinther reveals, backups aren’t something that we should be leaving to our blog hosts, or our developers. This is a topic every blogger needs to be on top of, so if you’re not in that camp, check this post out now.

8. 4 WordPress Alternatives: The What, Where, and Why

You’ll have noticed a prevalence of WordPress-related posts on this list. But not everyone is on, or wants to use, that platform. Here, Matt Setter steps us through four handy, functional alternatives, explaining who they’re for, and what they do.

If you’re starting a new blog, or looking to move an existing blog, in 2013, maybe you’ll also look for different functionality and flexibility than WordPress offers. If so, this post is for you!

7. How to Write Emails that Get an Immediate Response

This is one of those topics that many would think is too obvious to get so much attention—but they’d be wrong.

Robert D. Smith shows even the most experienced email writer how to improve their technique in this short, sharp post that combines psychology, etiquette, and good old common sense. Are your emails getting the responses you want? Make sure they do in 2013!

6. Make Money From a Low-traffic Blog [Case Study]

Nathan Barry’s no-holds-barred story of how he build a product, and sold it strongly, from a blog with low traffic is nothing short of inspirational. One of the great things about it is how honest he is, and how clear he makes the path to success.

This is a must-read for anyone who’s put off by the traditional make-money-blogging stories and wants to get a head-start on generating income.

5. 15 Social Media Mistakes That Are Strangling Your Success

This post provides a full tour of social media mistakes that, surprisingly, we’re still making today.

In it, Georgina takes us back to basics in this post, which, again, would make a good checklist for bloggers to assess their social media efforts every so often.

4. Can you REALLY Make Money Blogging? [7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging]

Last year marked my tenth anniversary of blogging, and this post encapsulates the key learnings I’ve gained about making money over that time.

As you’ll see in the comments, the post resonated strongly with a broad cross-section of our readers, and provided much-needed inspiration for many. If you want the truth about making money blogging, look no further.

3. How to Set Up an Email Account that Uses Your Domain Name

Kashish hit a nerve with many readers with this post.

As you’ll know if you read post 7 above, having a legitimate email address is critical to being taken seriously online. This post—and the comments that follow—will help you set one up quickly and easily.

2. 10 Popular Affiliate Programs for Small and Medium-sized Blogs

Charles Dearing’s list of his favorite affiliate programs is supplemented in the comments by those of our experienced users.

Any blogger looking to add or ramp up affiliate income in the coming year would do well to look at this list and the advice Charles gives.

1. 40 Cool Things to Do With Your Posts *After* You Hit Publish

Our most popular post this year is one of our most recent! But it seems we all want to find innovative ways to use our quality content to expand our readership and online presence.

Steff Green’s list of 40 cool things isn’t just about promotion—in it, she provides tips for finding new content ideas, researching your audience, and more. Is it another checklist you could print and use in the coming year?

What were your top posts of 2012?

These were the top posts on ProBlogger—but what about elsewhere online? Link us to your favorite post in the comments below, and don’t forget to tell us why you loved it!

15 Bloggers to Watch in 2013

Welcome to the 2013 edition of Bloggers to Watch. My work has changed a lot over the past year—I’ve been focused a lot on the Australian blogger community, and on curators—so this post is very centered on those communities. This is the last time I’ll be writing this yearly round-up. It has been a blast exploring this project over the past four years.

So! Here are the 15 people that I’ll be keeping an eye on this year.

Tina Roth Eisenberg

Tina started swissmiss in 2005 as her “personal visual archive.” It eventually grew into a popular design journal with an average of 1 million unique visitors a month. I love that she was experimenting with visual curation before such a term even existed.

Many of you will argue that Tina shouldn´t be on such a list. She has been around for years and most of her projects don´t concern the blogging industry. Well, I disagree. I believe her archives have a lot to offer beginner bloggers. She is extremely talented at curation, and combines her community-building skills with a keen sense of strategy. She shows what you can achieve with your blog, and your life, if you step outside of the echo-chamber and pursue creative projects.

I also recommend that you check out Creative Mornings.

Jenny Lawson

This is the fourth year I have written this post. Every time, multiple people tell me that I should have included The Bloggess. I had read and devoured her blog, but didn´t know whether posts about taxidermied mice necessarily made someone worth watching. You guys would rather read about a hidden gem, right?

This year, after reading her book, I was able to realize why it is important that her blog gets acknowledged in this list. She helps normalize some of the icky stuff associated with mental illness. I have an anxiety disorder and, at times, it can consume my life. Jenny shows that brilliance can shine through, despite you feeling at your lowest. She shows that you can still leverage your power to amuse or help others despite feeling powerless.

We bloggers have a lot more power then we give ourselves credit for. Especially when convincing actors to post pictures of themselves holding cutlery and/or twine.

Gavin Aung Than

In early 2012, Gavin decided that he wanted to give cartooning a real chance. He quit his job, sold his house, and started “working on Zen Pencils to try to inspire myself and others.” (Source: The Viewspaper.)

Since then, he’s been able to attract the attention of many key influencers and mainstream media. I think he is really talented and that his story shows what you can achieve if you combine quality content with social media outreach.

I was at the ProBlogger Event when he told that story and I swear the room when silent. After six months, he reported that he was getting around 400,000 unique visitors a month, and had nearly 15,000 Facebook fans. I know so many people who would love those statistics. But few would sacrifice as much as Gavin has to achieve them.

Christina Butcher

Christina Butcher started Hair Romance as a side project but, in only 18 months, has turned her blog into her full-time job. She gets over 120, 000 visitors monthly and is very intuitive when it comes to trends. She has had a lot of success with the “31 days” ebook concept, tapping into the trend for her second ebook, too.

She is awesome because she serves as a guide to those who don´t understand the world of hairstyles. She is like a translator. She makes a complicated topic incredibly easy to understand and, frankly, is one of the nicest bloggers I´ve had the pleasure of talking to.

She has recently launched two new sites: Nail romance and Mr and Mrs Romance.

Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer is another person whose blog started out as a personal project and has grown into a popular resource in her community. She is the blogger behind Beauty and Bedlam, which she describes as an authentic look at intentional living through strengthening family ties,  encouraging meal time memories,  food/meal planning, couponing, personal finance, home decor and frugal fashion. Late in 2012, she launched her food blog 10 Minute Dinners.

I believe that both sites have a lot of potential, and that her profile will be growing a lot in 2013.

Emily Winters

I discovered Emily thanks to a recommendation by Pete Fazio on the 2012 list. He said:

She is a DIY blogger who started a blog a year ago for family and friends, was discovered by DIYNetwork, and is now their featured blogger. Amazing stuff.

I thought it was an awesome suggestion and immediately decided that she would go on this year’s list.

Her blog, Merrypad, started as a personal project that evolved into a source of inspiration for those wanting to embrace a DIY lifestyle. It is another example of someone acting as a translator for a topic that could seem overwhelming. In this case, however, she is differentiating her site by targeting a gender that may not necessarily consider DIY projects.

It´s a really solid case study about how to make it easy for people to connect with your blog. Her before and after page is a really user-friendly way of taking the reader through her DIY journey without manually going through her archives.

If you want to learn more about Emily, I recommend you check out her BlogStar Interview.

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi is one of my favourite people to learn from. He runs the site I Will Teach You To Be Rich and has written a bestselling book of the same name. He is incredibly strategic and practical. I´ve spent hours going through his archives and consistently return for inspiration. I love how usable his site is—look at how his blog headings lead to landing pages instead of categories.

Ramit shows what you can achieve as a result of in-depth research. He doesn´t write posts with the aim to go viral. He researches the heck out of his target audience and writes posts that answer their problems.

Rachel MacDonald

In Spaces Between is a shiny online space for bright sparks seeking inspiration and words on living a big, beautiful life. In little over a year, In Spaces Between has become the go-to blog for juicy inspiration, confidence building, fear fighting, and mindset shifting.

I think Rachel’s blog is pretty cool. What really intrigues me, though, is her attention to detail. Look at this custom graphic that was created for her interview with Nikki Parkinson. Her free ebook,
20 Ways to Create Your Best Life Ever

Antonia Murphy

I’d read anything she writes. She’s hilarious and very, very honest. She has a son who may have global developmental delay. She refers to him as a “tard” and an “alien,” which sounds harsh, but she does it in a way that works. I believe she’s taking the taboo away from these words; she’s making them powerless. She’s what I’d call a fearless writer.

I’ve fallen in love with her writing. She blogged about her sailing adventures at s/v Sereia and now writes about her land-based adventures in New Zealand at AntoniaMurphy.com. Hopefully we’ll see more writing from her in 2013.

Eden Riley

Eden is one of the coolest bloggers that I´ve had the pleasure of reading. She is tenacious and brilliant. Best of all, her logo is based on the mural in her office. She writes at Edenland.com

I admire her because she is a person that has gone through a lot of negative stuff—especially in the past year.  Despite her personal challenges, she continues to try and leverage her blog for good. This has included two overseas trips where she blogged about the food crisis in Niger and the slums of India. She also tries to challenge our perceptions—check out Ladies, It’s Time We Got Real About Being Beautiful.

Jen Gresham

Jen writes about career design at Everyday Bright. She encourages her readers to dare to shine:

…to define success on your own terms, to muster the courage to pursue your happiness, to create a life you love.

I love her blog because she sees career design as a process rather then something that can be solved with a quick fix. She follows the A-listers but doesn’t use the “trendy” techniques unless they are right for her blog. She is incredibly strategic and someone I think will be around for a long time in this community.

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer got a lot of attention in early 2012 with his article, The 100 Blogs You Need In Your Life. He was able to leverage the momentum to grow Leaving Work Behind to the point where he was making a decent income from freelance writing and ebook sales.

Now, I´m not putting Tom on here because of his list post efforts. I try not to focus on the blogging/marketing niche anymore as it can be incredibly formulaic. I think Tom is worth watching purely because of his networking and outreach efforts. He is incredibly skilled, and I’d love to see what he could accomplish in a different niche or platform.

Alex Beadon

 I discovered Alex Beadon Photography when pinning images for the Digital Photography School Pinterest account. I fell in love with the Pinterest-friendly graphics she had created to promote her post and lost myself for hours checking out her archives.

I love the attention she has put into the branding and design of her blog. Look at the images she created to promote her FAQ page. It´s a great example of how you can infuse your personality into what might otherwise be a boring subject.

Tip: Look at the graphics in the sidebar that link to the categories of her blog. Could you create something like that to spice up your design?

Cheryl Lin

Cheryl runs Business Chic, a fashion blog featuring photos of professionals and their workwear style in Melbourne, Australia. She is a great example of how you can create a quality local niche blog.

I´ve been watching Cheryl grow Business Chic over the past three years. It has been in the past 12 months that she has really hit her stride. She strives to go beyond a fashion/streetstyle blog. In 2012, she experimented with a year-long little black dress project. This year, she´ll be turning that project into a book and an exhibition at a popular fashion festival.

She is an extremely hard worker and attends a lot of events, despite her day job. I know that her dedication will really pay off this year and that it will be an enjoyable journey to watch.  I think that she´ll be enjoying a lot of momentum in 2013.

Sarah Von Bargen

Sarah runs the lifestyle blog Yes and Yes. She couldn’t find a blog “that addressed the many, many aspects of modern life and didn’t pigeon-hole women into different camps” so she created one herself. It’s a really fun blog and one that I enjoy reading.

I’ve become captivated by her recently launched small business blog and I believe that she will make a real impact in her community.

Over to you

I’ve had a lot of fun with this blogging series and always enjoy reading about who you guys are watching. Who do you think is worth watching over the coming you? Who knows—the people you recommend just may get featured on here in the future!

What Every Successful Blogger Should Do Before Breakfast

This guest post is by Julie Carr of Plagtracker.com.

Most people think that breakfast should be the first thing a person does in the morning, but the savvy minorities know that the time prior to breakfast can be the most productive.

This is because it is when a person may focus, because they have not yet encountered the worries and distractions that haunt the honest citizen’s day.

Here’s a way we bloggers can use this precious snippet of time in the most productive and efficient way.

The night before

We all have to-do lists, but the most effective to-do lists are written the night before.

Bullet point all the tasks you need to do before you have breakfast the next day. When the morning comes, you must go down the list, one bullet point at a time, until you reach the bullet point that says “breakfast.”

The trick is to single-mindedly complete each bullet point in turn. Do not try to do two at the same time, or try to change the order. Take on one task until it is done, then move onto the next.

Add to your ideas journal

This is a file into which you put all the ideas that come to you during the day. It contains notes and things to research that relate to your ideas.

How you make this file is up to you; you can create a list, or create a folder and put different folders inside for ideas, notes, research, questions, and so on.

If you have a smartphone or tablet, then create an ideas journal on there so that you can add to it during your day.

Check your mail

Once you have added any of your early morning ideas to your ideas journal, you should check your mail.

This is going to alert you to anything that may disrupt your day. It also keeps you up to date on what has been happening while you were asleep.

Plan your day

Spend a few minutes coming up with five tasks that you must complete today.

If you have the time free, then come up with a detailed plan, but just keep an eye on the time. You don’t want your breakfast to turn into lunch.

Create a comment answering window

If you have a successful blog, then you are going to get comments 24/7. These could take you forever to answer, but regularly replying to your comments is a very good way to keep the conversations alive on your blog.

So you need to section off a part of your morning to answer comments. Dedicate ten minutes to non-stop comment answering. You won’t get them all, but you will get enough so that you keep the online conversation moving (poke the fire a little).

You can do more commenting and give fuller answers to people’s comments later in the day, if and when you have the time.

Check for updates

We all hate updating Java, iTunes, WordPress plugins, and so on, but it must be done. So do it in the morning.

Pick something to update (you are often prompted by your computer) and set it in motion while you cook and eat your breakfast. By the time you have finished eating your breakfast it should be done.

If you keep your software updated, it’s less likely to be hacked, to run slowly, or to crash. This way, you are using your “down time” (while you’re eating) in a very efficient way.

What’s your morning routine?

How do you use the time before breakfast to set yourself up fro a full day (or less if you’re juggling other commitments) of blogging? Share your secrets with us in the comments.

This guest post is by Julie Carr of Plagtracker.com. Julie J Carr is a freelance writer. She writes for new free-to -use plagiarism checker - Plagtracker. She is keen on new technologies, adores flavoured coffee and books, and likes to visit places where she can enjoy the latter two at the same time. You can mail her at [email protected]