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All ProBlogger Ebooks Are $10 for the Next 10 Days Only

Today is my tenth anniversary of starting blogging and to celebrate I’m offering all ProBlogger ebooks at just $10 each—that’s a 50-90% saving on their normal price.

10 Years of Blogging

Ten years ago when I hit Publish on my first blog post, I could never imagined how that moment would change my life.

Having read my first blog only minutes before I spontaneously decided to give it a go myself—registered a Blogspot blog and quickly wrote my first post.

In that moment before I hit publish I had mixed feelings:

  • On one hand I felt excited by the potential of this new medium of blogging and wondered what it would happen.
  • On the other hand, I had many doubts—I had no technical experience, I wasn’t a great writer, I didn’t know if I had anything to say and wondered if anyone would ever read what I did write.

I had every reason not to start that first blog but for some reason felt compelled to hit Publish.

Fast-forward to today, ten years later, and I’m so glad I did!

Blogging has opened up some wonderful opportunities to meet great people, learn so much about the topics I write about and to travel and experience some amazing things.

That it has also become a business and the way that I feed my family is an unexpected bonus!

What’s made the last decade all the more satisfying to me is that I’ve been able to bring others along on the journey of making money through blogging—through starting ProBlogger in 2004.

Over 34 million readers have visited ProBlogger since that time—considerably more than the number of people who live here in Australia.

By no means has everyone of them become a full time blogger but almost every day I hear stories from readers telling me about the opportunities reading the blog posts and eBooks at ProBlogger has helped open up for them.

$10 ProBlogger Ebooks for 10 Days Only

So to help celebrate my ten-year anniversary of blogging, and to hopefully help you continue to grow in your blogging, I’ve decided to throw a little party on ProBlogger this week and to offer readers the opportunity to pick up ProBlogger ebooks at a price I’ve never gone to before.

It’s been ten years of blogging, so for the next ten days only I’m offering our ebooks at just $10 each.

Given our ebooks are normally priced at between $20 and $100, that’s a 50-90% discount, depending which ebooks you choose.

Buy them individually below or get the full library of eBooks for just $60 USD (a 76% discount).

Here are the ebooks you can choose from

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

31buy.jpgIf you have big dreams for your blog, but have been putting improving it in the “one day” basket, you’re not alone.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a downloadable ebook designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks that will all help to turn it into the pageview powerhouse you’ve always dreamed of.

Each day in the project contains:

  • A Task: something to do that day.
  • Teaching: each day, you’ll be given great instruction on both the why and how of the task of the day.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog has been downloaded by many thousands of bloggers and has been recently updated into a second edition for 2012—discover more about this best selling ebook here.

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

firstweekbuy.jpgThis ebook is all about helping bloggers who are in the first weeks of their blogging to get started on the right foot.

Bloggers starting out quickly discover that there’s a lot more to this medium than just setting up a blog and quickly slapping up a post or two. Your first post is just the beginning and you’re then faced with the tasks of finding readers, coming up with more post ideas and thinking about the long-term strategy of your blog.

This ebook is jam-packed with practical activities and exercises to do in your first week to make sure your blog is heading in the right direction.

Broken down into seven days, there are actually a total of 32 achievable tasks that will not only get your blog going, but that will help you develop the skills you need to achieve your potential as a blogger.

Learn more about this exciting new resource at ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging.

ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business

blog4bizbuy.jpgThis ebook was written for two groups of people:

  • business owners who wanted to harness the power of blogging to grow their business
  • those working for businesses who’ve been given the task of blogging—but don’t know where to start.

Written by Mark Hayward, a successful business owner, activist, and blogging coach, the guide takes readers step by step through how to set up a blog, thinking through goals for a blog, developing a content strategy, finding readers and growing traffic, establishing and growing a social media footprint, and much more.

Practical tasks at the end of each of the 12 chapters let you implement Mark’s mentoring in a way that suits your business, and your customers.

Learn more about ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business.

Blog Wise: How to Do More with Less

blogwise-buy.jpg If you have a blog and understand the basics but are struggling to find time, motivation, or focus, Blog Wise is for you.

One of the most common obstacles to successful blogging among our readers is simply finding time. So we sat down with nine prolific and successful bloggers to find out how they not only blog successfully, but balance that with busy work, family, and social lives.

Bloggers interviewed include Heather Armstrong from Dooce, Brian Clark from CopyBlogger, Abby Larson from Style Me Pretty, Leo Babauta from Zen Habits, Gretchen Rubin from the Happiness Project, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger and Digital Photography School, and more.

These bloggers juggle a lot, but they get things done and will give you insight into what it takes to run a successful blog but also how to use your time effectively.

Learn More about this powerful ebook here.

Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers

scorecardbuy.jpgThis ebook is designed to help you take the content featured on your blog up a notch.

Your blog posts are the cornerstone of your blog and will be the difference between you reaching your goals or not.

This scorecard resource is designed to help you analyze the most important elements of your content to make sure they’re engaging, readable, professional, and optimized for search engines.

It’s the ideal resource for all bloggers who are just starting out and want to learn the basics of SEO or those who’ve been at it a while but want to grow their search engine traffic.

Discover more about the Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers.

The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing

marketingbuy.jpgThis kit is all about helping you to turn your blog into a business.

The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing—31 Steps to a Profitable Blog is a comprehensive, 31-chapter blueprint for your blog’s ongoing profitability, from the ground up.

Backed by an extensive library of practical templates, printable worksheets, and in-practice example documents, this kit delivers all you need to make your blog turn a profit now, and over the long term.

Discover more about the Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing.


Blogging in Brief: Smart Writing Techniques, Swipe Files, and Myths Dispelled

This week, I’m kicking off a new, regular feature here on ProBlogger, called Blogging in Brief.

opinion_page_of_newspaper

Image courtesy stock.xchng user quil

The idea each time is to highlight a few cool, interesting, creative ideas that professional bloggers are implementing as potential inspiration for you.

ProBlogger’s based upon a philosophy of sharing stories and learning from each other, so every couple of weeks, I’ll take a look at some of the trends, ideas, and innovative new techniques various successful bloggers are using, and which you might like to test out for yourself.

Trying a new technique

Tommy Walker’s testing a new approach to writing blog posts at the moment—have a look at this one and you’ll see what I mean.

In the world of blogging, many bloggers tend to be attracted by a particular writing style, and then work to emulate that themselves. It’s great when a blogger really strikes out on their own with a radically different approach. Tommy’s preparing a piece for us to post here on ProBlogger next month, so I’m pretty excited to see where it leads!

More unexpected blogging

Corporate blogging may seem a worthy but potentially dry area. Think again. We recently came across a post on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blogs (tweeted by @kasthomas). The topic? Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.

It’s humorous, entertaining, and does a great job of presenting the CDC’s key message—being that they’re prepared for, and will respond to, any public health emergency—in a way that really opens up their blog’s audience. Great blogging!

Share your story

Chris Guillebeau’s now calling for stories as part of the research he’s doing for his next book. Maybe you have one to share?

The book is on the topic of “quests”—”a project of measurable challenge that you work toward over a long period of time.” If you think you might have a story to contribute, you can find out more here.

Cool idea: swipe file

I love this idea from Lynn Terry of ClickNewz.com. Lynn keeps what she calls a “swipe file” of marketing she sees that works, and calls on this when she needs ideas, tips, and inspiration.

It’s a really simple idea, and a great way to learn from others. You might have a blog post ideas list, or a product ideas file, but do you have an examples file—for marketing, blogging, or something else? Maybe it’s time to start one.

Dispelling blog freelancing myths

Tom Ewer, who’s written for us a few times now, is preparing to launch a new product which I think will be a real eye-opener for a lot of bloggers. This ebook is a practical guide to freelance blogging—something we’ve been talking about quit a lot here on ProBlogger recently.

Many of the posts you’ll see on this topic present freelance blogging as a simple, natural advance from blogging on your own blog, as a way to make money blogging … but that expectation can be a problem. An ability to write for your own blog doesn’t automatically make you a great freelancer. There’s a lot more to it than that.

This book (which our Content Manager Georgina has had a sneak preview of) tells it like it is as far as freelance blogging goes. Should be interesting to see the reaction from bloggers on this one!

Creating a better Internet, people

Finally, I came across this post by Allison Boyer this week and thought I’d share it. It’s got some great, basic advice I think we can all agree on. As Allison says, “Let’s create a better Internet, people.”

The news of Google’s launch of the Disavow Links tool, to help site owners who’ve suffered from bad backlinks claw back search rank, might help support the same cause.

What cool, creative things have you seen other bloggers doing this week? Share your links in the comments.

Grab Your BWE Virtual Ticket for $100 Off—24 Hours Left

Wish you could get to Blog World Expo this year, but can’t make it to New York? Me too.

I’ll be in Queensland with the winners of my blogging competition, but I know there are plenty of bloggers from other countries, as well as within the States, who won’t be able to attend Blog World this year.

Fortunately, you and I don’t need to miss out on the information and fun of the Expo (and if the speaker list for this year is anything to go by, the conference is going to be really impressive).

We “remote” bloggers can still “attend” on a BWE virtual ticket. And if we register by May 15 (that’s roughly 24 hours from now!), the good folks at Blog World will give us a $100 discount on the tickets.

That’s a great deal—the full virtual ticket price is $397, so this is a discount of 25%.

The virtual ticket includes access to every recorded session (including audio and the slides presented by the speaker), as well as various bonuses that the BWE team adds exclusively for those with virtual tickets—click here for full details of what’s included.

Don’t miss this great discount—grab your Blog World Expo virtual ticket here.

Get Your Blog World Expo Fix Here [#BWELA]

Get in on BlogWorldExpo!Over the last couple of days I’ve been in Los Angeles getting my annual fix of the wonderful Blog World Expo conference.

I wrote about why I come to BWE a few weeks ago but this year has been a great event. I’ve had a less hectic speaking session than usual which has allowed me to attend a heap of sessions. With still a full day to go I’ve already come away with pages of notes and ideas that I need to go home and put into action.

I also had a blast yesterday giving one of the track keynotes – the feedback was wonderful. I talked about blogging from the Heart…. but Smart (here’s a couple of live blogging recaps from my keynote).

There are hundreds of sessions running and over 300 speakers featured – way too much to take in in just 3 days – however I’ve secured a ‘virtual ticket’ which gives me access to all the recordings from the event.

The cool thing is that whether you’re hear in LA this week or not – you can access all the recordings too via this Virtual Ticket.

It gives you access to over 100 recorded sessions plus some extra interviews that are being recorded with speakers at the event. Each session goes from 45-60 minutes so really you’re getting enough content to be able to listen to a couple of hours worth of inspiration every week until next Blog World Expo (which is the way that I plan to listen to it all).

The Virtual ticket is currently $347 which sounds a lot – but at a bit over $3 per session it represents value (and when compared to coming along in person with travel, hotel and ticket prices its very reasonable). I’m also told that this price will increase in the coming day or two after the conference ends.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration and solid teaching to lift your blogging up a notch – check out the Blog World Expo Virtual Ticket here.

Google Analytics Real Time Stats Preview

Late last week I received an invitation to try out Google Analytics’ new Real Time Stats feature, which was announced a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure when it will be available to everyone, so thought I’d give a quick preview of it.

While it is very simple I can see this being very useful also—particularly when monitoring traffic events to which you might want to be able to react quickly.

I’m Going to Blog World Expo LA [PLUS: Who #BWELA is Good For]

In just over a month Blog World Expo will be happening in Los Angeles from 3-5 November – and I will be there – speaking at one of the Track Keynotes (topic TBA).

blog-world-expo.png

I didn’t think I would get there this year with a new baby in the house but the little guy is doing really well and so I’m coming.

If you’ve already booked your tickets to come I can’t wait to see you – and if you’re still not sure if BWELA is for you I’d encourage you to seriously consider it – particularly in the next couple of days because their Early Bird Discount ends on 30th September – PLUS if you use the coupon code of PROBLOGVIP you’ll get an additional 20% off (that’s around $500 off the full pass).

This is the 1 conference that I’m willing to commute for 15 hours (each way) to get to every year.

Who is #BWELA For?

Usually when I tell people I’m going to Blog World people ask me what type of blogger it is for? It’s a tricky one to answer because attendees come from around the world who blog in many many niches and who are at many levels – from beginner to advance.

So perhaps rather than trying to define a type of blogger – let me explore some of the ‘needs’ bloggers have that I think BWE helps* with.

Need Inspiration?

The thing I love about BWE is that almost every night after I get back to my hotel (and then again on the plane as I fly home) I find myself writing page after page of ideas and things that I want to try out for myself. I find it so inspiring to spend 3 days hearing the stories of other bloggers and always return home feeling very motivated to take my blogging to the next level.

Need Advice?

BWE is 3 days packed with so much teaching from amazing speakers that you just can’t take it all in. Some of the names listed on the speaker page you’ll have heard of and others you won’t know – but the variety of topics covered and the expertise of many of the speakers is sure to hit the spot for most bloggers. In addition to that – BWE is small enough that you can get to chat with speakers after their sessions – so there’s lots of opportunity to ask questions.

Need a Network?

Of course the expertise is not just up on stage – BWE is attended by several thousand bloggers who each have something important to share. The real magic of BWE often happens when you’re waiting for a session to begin and get to know the person sitting next to you. It often happens over lunch, coffee or at the parties and networking events in the evenings. It often happens in the exhibition hall or even while you’re lining up to get your badge. The opportunities for friendship, support and even collaboration are amazing – if you go with the right attitude*.

Need a Break?

Have you been working hard on your blog and are feeling a little burnt out? One of the reasons I get to BWE every year is that it actually gives me a little ‘space’ away from my normal routine and life to take a look at my business from a new perspective. It also gives me a little opportunity to relax and have some fun with others who understand what I do and who are also in need of a little unwinding. I am not really one for partying hard (I tend to be more into going out for dinner or smaller gatherings) – but the opportunity for a little fun towards the end of a big year is something I’m looking forward to.

*Will Blog World Expo Fulfil all these Needs?

BWE is a great event – you’ll get a lot out of it and come home with Inspiration, Advice and a great Network…. IF you go with the right attitude. The people who I see getting most out of Blog World Expo are those who are willing to step a little out of their comfort zone and those who are willing to not only attend and be impacted by the event – but who also go home and implement.

As with anything – BWE is not just about what you get – it’s also an opportunity to reach out to others like you to give encouragement and support. When you go with that attitude the experience comes alive all the more!

Secure Your Early Bird Discount to BWE Today

If the above fits with your needs as a blogger and you’re able to get to LA from 3-5 November I would love to meet you at Blog World Expo. Grab your ticket here today and don’t forget the PROBLOGVIP coupon code for a further 20% off.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for this event – but I’m also travelling half way around the world to attend it because I believe in what happens there.

10 Blogosphere Trends + 34 Handy Grammar Tips

Online retailer Zappos has recently seen a “substantial” increase in revenue after correcting the grammar and spelling of reviews on its site. The sentiment of the reviews was not changed, but New York University research has shown that well-written reviews—even negative ones—inspire confidence. Why does that matter? Because the same principles hold true on your blog. Good grammar can do more than just help you avoid admonishment in the comments; it can also help your blog build trust and authority.

Take our grammar quiz to see whether you’re guilty of some of the most common blogging errors. Here’s how: Take a look at the sentences below about the most blogged-about stories of July (according to Regator, those stories were: Rupert Murdoch, Debt Ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner, Harry Potter, Comic-Con, Amy Winehouse, Anders Behring Breivik, Casey Anthony, World Cup, and Space Shuttle), then determine how many grammar and spelling errors are in each. Try to find them all before you peek at the answers…

As the founder of News Corp, Amanda could care less how many pies Rupert Murdoch has thrown at him.

Problem 1: “The founder of News Corp” refers to Rupert Murdoch, but because of its location, it seems to be referring to Amanda. Tip: Put modifiers next to the noun they are modifying to avoid confusion.
Problem 2:
“Could care less” means that it would, in fact, be possible to care less and that the speaker does care to some degree. Tip: Use “could not care less” to indicate a total lack of concern.
Problem 3:
Passive voice, while not strictly incorrect, is often less direct and concise than active voice. Tip: Use active voice whenever possible. It conveys more information about who is performing the action.
Corrected:
Amanda could not care less how many pies protesters throw at Rupert Murdoch, the founder of News Corp.

The Republican’s believe the Democrat’s should of handled the debt ceiling crisis different then they did.

Problem 1: “Republican’s” and “Democrat’s” should not have apostrophes. Tip: Use apostrophes to create possessive forms, but never to create plurals. Check out the Apostrophe Abuse blog for grammar-nerd amusement.
Problem 2:
“Should of” is incorrect. Tip: Use “should have” rather than “should of.” The same goes for “would have” and “could have.”
Problem 3 (?):
This is murky water, but it could be argued that “debt ceiling crisis” should be hyphenated. Tip: When two or more words work together to modify another word, you have what’s called a compound modifier. Some stylebooks will tell you to hyphenate all compound modifiers, others tell you to refer to the dictionary for individual terms, and still others will tell you to use a hyphen only when it is needed to avoid confusion (for example, hyphenate “man-eating shark” to indicate that it’s a shark that eats guys as opposed to “man eating shark,” which could be interpreted as a guy who is eating a shark). Be consistent and hyphenate when not doing so would cause confusion. Oh, and there’s never a need to hyphenate when using an adverb ending in “ly” and an adjective (“extremely confused blogger,” for example).
Problem 4:
“Then” should be “than.” Tip: Use “then” when you are placing something after something else in time (I wrote this post then went to a party). Use “than” when you are comparing things (in this case, how the Democrats handled the crisis compared to how they should have).
Problem 5:
“Different” should be “differently.” Tip: Pay attention to whether you’re modifying a noun or verb to make sure you’re using the right modifier. In this case, we’re modifying a verb (“handled”), so we need the adverb rather than the adjective.
Corrected:
The Republicans believe that Democrats should have handled the debt-ceiling crisis differently.

House Speaker John Boehner’s Budget Control Act that aimed to raise the debt ceiling was put to a vote, for all intensive purposes the vote was successful.

Problem 1: The phrase “that aimed to raise the debt ceiling” should be enclosed in commas and “that” should be “which.” Tip: The phrase is what’s called a nonrestrictive clause, meaning that it could be removed from the sentence and the sentence would still make sense. Any time you have additional, non-essential information like this, use “which” rather than “that.” In these cases, enclose the phrase with commas.
Problem 2:
Instead of a comma, the two sentences should be separated by a period/full stop. Tip: When two or more sentences run together with commas in between them, the resulting monstrosity is known as a comma splice and is to be avoided at all costs. Commas are good at lots of things, but stringing sentences together isn’t one of them. (Note, in that last sentence, that the comma works with a preposition—“but”—to put two sentences together. Commas can work with their preposition pals to do this, but can’t do it on their own.)
Problem 3:
“All intensive purposes” is incorrect. Tip: The correct phrase is “all intents and purposes.”
Corrected:
The House of Representatives voted on House Speaker John Boehner’s Budget Control Act, which aimed to raise the debt ceiling. For all intents and purposes, the vote was successful.

Its hard to except that they’re will be no more Harry Potter movies. Fans literally cried their eyes out when they found out this film would be the last.

Problem 1: “Its” should be “It’s.” Tip: Remember that apostrophes stand for letters that are missing, so “it’s” means “it is” or “it has.” See the letters the apostrophe is replacing? Without the apostrophe, “its” is possessive and means “belonging to it.”
Problem 2:
“Except” should be “accept.” Tip: “Accept” is a verb that generally means to “to willingly receive, agree to, or hold something as true.”  “Except” is usually a preposition and means “excluding.” Imagine that the “A” in “accept” stands for “agree” and the “x” in “except” draws a big “X” over something that is not included.
Problem 3:
“They’re” should be “there.” Tip: Go back to the tip about apostrophes standing in for missing letters. “They’re” actually means “they are” or “they were.” You can see the letters that the apostrophe is replacing. “There” refers to a location. It has the word “here” inside of it, which might help you remember the difference between it and “their,” which is a possessive pronoun meaning “something that belongs to them.” “Their” also contains a word holds is a clue to its meaning: “heir,” which implies ownership.
Problem 4:
Fans did not literally cry their eyes out (I hope). Tip: Don’t say “literally” unless you actually truly mean exactly what you are saying. There is an entire blog devoted to the misuse of this word.
Corrected:
It’s hard to accept that there will be no more Harry Potter movies. Fans cried when they found out this film would be the last.

Comic-con is a place where a fan can get autographs from their favorite stars. The autograph sessions feature stars like the Green Lantern cast, including Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Ryan Reynolds, the Terra Nova cast, including Stephen Lang and Alex Graves, and the Immortals cast.

Problem 1: There’s a noun/pronoun agreement problem. “A fan” is singular but the pronoun “their” is plural. Tip: Things can get awkward when a writer is trying to use “their” rather than “his or her” to avoid gender bias. It does manage to avoid gender-specific language such as, “a place where a fan can get autographs from his favorite stars,” but it also makes a grammatical mess. In many cases, the best choice is to make the noun plural to match the plural pronoun. You could also eliminate the pronoun (“…a fan can get autographs from stars…”).
Problem 2:
“Like” should be “such as.” Tip: This is a nitpicky one, and few would be bothered if you used “like” in this situation. But technically, “like” means that there will be stars similar to the stars listed, whereas “such as” means that those exact stars will be in attendance.
Problem 3:
The commas after “Reynolds” and “Graves” should be semicolons. Tip: When you have a list of items with commas, separate those items with a semicolon for clarity. The Oatmeal calls this use the “super-comma.”
Problem 4:
The titles of movies and television shows should be italicized. Tip: Use italics for longer works such as novels, television series, albums, blogs, etc. Use quotation marks around the smaller works that make up those longer works, so things such as chapter titles, episode titles, song titles, blog posts, etc.
Corrected:
Comic-con is a place where fans can get autographs from their favorite stars. The autograph sessions feature stars such as the Green Lantern cast, including Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Ryan Reynolds; the Terra Nova cast, including Stephen Lang and Alex Graves; and the Immortals cast.

Irregardless of your opinion of her music we can all agree that Amy Winehouse, 27, died far to young.

Problem 1: “Irregardless” should be “regardless.” Tip: “Irregardless” is not a word—or at least not a standard word that is widely accepted and doesn’t make you sound silly.
Problem 2:
A comma is needed after “music.” Tip: Introductory phrases or words that come before the main clause, are separated from the main clause by commas. That’s a bit of an oversimplification. Purdue OWL has a fantastic and extensive page on comma rules if you want to geek out.
Problem 3:
“To” should be “too.” Tip: “Two” is the number after three. It’s the only one of the three homophones with a W, which, when flipped onto its side, looks a bit like a 3. “Too” means “also” or “excessively.” Let the extra O remind you that you’re adding onto something. “To” is the correct spelling for all other uses.
Corrected:
Regardless of your opinion of her music, we can all agree that Amy Winehouse, 27, died far too young.

Anders Behring Breivik says he will identify the terror cells he was working with if his “demands” are met. His demands include getting cigarettes, wearing civilian clothing, and the resignation of the entire Norwegian government.

Problem 1: The quotation marks around “demand” are not needed. Tip: Putting something that is not a title or direct quote in quotation marks implies that the term is false. With that in mind, check out the well-maintained Unnecessary Quotes blog for a laugh.
Problem 2:
The list’s structure is not parallel. Tip: When you make a list of items, they should all be the same part of speech.
Corrected:
Anders Behring Breivik says he will identify the terror cells he was working with if his demands are met. His demands include cigarettes, civilian clothing, and the resignation of the entire Norwegian government. (Second sentence could also be corrected as: “His demands include getting cigarettes, wearing civilian clothing, and seeing the resignation of the entire Norwegian government.” Either option fixes the parallel structure problem.)

The jurors in the Casey Anthony trial use to be frightened for their safety but the judge decided not allow the juror’s names to be released. Some are nervous anyways.

Problem 1: “Use to” should be “used to.” Tip: “Use to” is never correct. When said aloud, “used to” can sound a bit like “use to,” but remember that when you use this phrase, you’re talking about something in the past tense, which is why it ends in “ed.”
Problem 2:
There should be a comma after “safety.” Tip: As mentioned earlier, commas can’t put two sentences together on their own, but they can work with prepositions such as “but,” “and,” and “or” to join two sentences.
Problem 3:
The apostrophe in “juror’s” should come after the S rather than before it. Tip: If a word is both plural and possessive, put the apostrophe after the S unless the word is plural without an S (“children” for example).
Problem 4:
“Anyways” should be “anyway.” Tip: Banish “anyways” from your blog. It’s not a word.
Corrected:
The jurors in the Casey Anthony trial used to be frightened for their safety, but the judge decided not to allow jurors’ names to be released. Some are nervous anyway.

I wish I was better at betting on soccer. I layed money on the U.S. womens’ team, so I had to go to the ATM machine.

Problem 1: “Was” should be “were.” Tip: The term for this grammatical mood is the subjunctive, and it’s like the fairy-tale of grammar. You’ll find it where you’re talking about something wishful that has not yet happened, and in those cases, you’ll use “were” rather than “was.” Another example would be something like “If I were in charge, I’d do away with all these rules.” Though the second example doesn’t explicitly convey a wish, it is wishful thinking in action.
Problem 2:
“Layed” should be “laid.” Tip: “Layed” is not a word, so that makes this particular instance easy, but let’s not lie: The “lay” vs. “lie” thing isn’t simple. It’s a bit more problematic than some of the other easily confused words because the past tense of one is actually the same word as the present tense of the other. Confused? Me too. It’s my grammatical Achilles’ heel. The always-brilliant Grammar Girl wrote nearly 600 words on the topic, and her charts and examples will do a far better job of explaining than I can do in a brief space.
Problem 3:
The apostrophe in “women’s’” should go before the S rather than after it. Tip: We said above that if a word is both plural and possessive, the apostrophe goes after the S unless the world is plural without the S. In this case, the word “women” is plural without an S, so the apostrophe goes before the S.
Problem 4:
“ATM machine” should be “ATM.” Tip: The M in “ATM” stands for “machine,” so “ATM machine” is redundant. The same goes for “PIN number,” “HIV virus,” and “please RSVP.”
Corrected:
I wish I were better at betting on soccer. I laid money on the U.S. women’s team, so I had to go to the ATM.

The fumes, which were left from the Kennedy Center’s 135 space shuttle launches, will take thirty years and $96 million dollars to clean.

Problem 1: “Which” should be “that” and the commas should be removed from the first sentence. Tip: Without the clause explaining that the fumes were left over from the shuttle launches, we don’t know which fumes the sentence refers to; that means it is a necessary or restrictive clause. As you might recall from above, if you cannot remove the clause without losing the meaning of the sentence, the clause should be introduced with “that” rather than “which” and does not need to be set off by commas.
Problem 2:
The word “dollars” is unnecessary. Tip: Like “ATM machine” above, “$96 million dollars” is redundant because “dollars” is represented by the dollar sign.
Corrected:
The fumes that were left from the Kennedy Center’s 135 space shuttle launches will take thirty years and $96 million to clean.

Well, how’d you do? Were you able to find all 34 errors? Are there other common grammar errors that plague you? Share them in the comments!

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com, Regator for iPhone and the brand-new Regator Breaking News service for journalists and bloggers. She is also an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

June is ’31 Days to Build a Better Blog’ Challenge at SITSgirls – Join them Today

How to BlogIf you’ve been blogging for a while now but feel ‘stuck’ – there’s a group of bloggers about to take the ‘31 Days to Build a Better Blog‘ challenge that you really should consider joining.

The Group is SITSGirls – a blogging community with over 8000 women bloggers – and for the 2nd time they’re running #31DBBB. Last time around was amazing – by my count over 400 bloggers joined that challenge and the impact that I witnessed was pretty profound.

It was the first large group of bloggers that I saw walking through the eBook together and to see so many tackling the daily challenges together and supporting each other through them just highlighted how much more effective blogging can be when you take a communal approach to it. In addition to just working through the eBook there was lots of support in the forum area as well as on Twitter.

The SitsGirls challenge starts on 1 June and participants in the challenge get the eBook at 33% off. If you already have the eBook this is the ideal time to put it into action.

The coordinator of the challenge is Shelley from I’m still Standing – you can read her kick off post here.

PS: yes, there’s only 30 days in June – I guess they’ll extend it a little beyond and into August.

Sign Up for CopyBlogger’s Authority Rules Conference Today (closes Tuesday 17th)

If you haven’t signed up for Copyblogger’s Authority Rules conference yet, you still can… but only until Tuesday May 17 at 5:00 PM Pacific (U.S.) time.

authority rules

What’s Authority Rules? You can think of it as an intensive 30-day “boot camp” for your online business. It’s all based on the business model Brian Clark created over at Copyblogger. I’m one of the speakers who Brian has brought on to teach a complete, 360-degree view of his model. 

If your business is on track with:

  • Traffic
  • Links
  • SEO
  • Conversion of readers to paying customers
  • A sales process that works for you and your customers
  • Referral and repeat business
  • A focused social media strategy
  • Effective use of email marketing
  • A strong, coherent marketing message

… then you don’t need Authority Rules. 

But if you could use some improvement in any one of those areas, the sessions in Authority Rules will get you on track again… and that will easily repay the cost of the conference pass (and your investment of time) many times over. 

Here’s where you can go to snag your conference pass.

The conference kicked off this week with some fantastic sessions.

  • Brian Clark and Sonia Simone gave attendees the “5 As” of accelerating your business, from Attention to Acceleration. The 5As are a 30,000-foot view of your growth plan … because if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s a lot harder to get there!
  • John Jantsch and Sonia talked about creating a Referral Engine for your business, so you don’t have to just hope for referrals — you can plan for them. John also included templates for his “Perfect Referral” system, and a quick exercise you can do today to become more referable.
  • Michael Port and Sonia did a deep dive into the foundation of your marketing identity and the four elements you need for social media engagement (you’re probably already doing the first three — adding the fourth will get you the ROI you’ve been looking for).
  • Lee Odden and Brian talked about the “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” model of SEO, for rankings that won’t fly away the next time Google changes its algorithms. Don’t miss the PDF version of Lee’s slides, including his content marketing checklist so you can get seriously strategic about optimizing the content you’re creating.

You’ll get recordings and transcriptions of all of these – but there is a lot in the next week that you get live access to (including my session).

Next week they’re starting the “Engage” track, which is all about *keeping* all those clicks you get with your attention strategies.

They’ll talking about how to get a handle on your social media strategy with Amber Naslund, real-time marketing and PR with David Meerman Scott, how to infuse your web copy with authority by master copywriter Jeff Sexton, and I’ll be doing a talk with Authority Blogger Chris Garrett (at an Australian-friendly time of day) ;) on making online community a cornerstone of your business.

I’m also doing a session on ‘How to Make Online Community a Cornerstone of Your Business’ which I’m really looking forward to.

Chris Garrett, by the way, also has a fantastic optional coaching program available with the conference if you want to get more individualized attention. I can vouch for the fact that Chris really cares about his coaching clients, and he’ll do everything in his power to get you where you want to be. 

Grab your conference pass today so you can start diving into the material, and I hope to see you in a session or two this week! Remember, you need to jump in by Tuesday, May 17 at 5:00 PM Pacific — at that point they’re closing registration.