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Blogosphere Trends – What Are Bloggers Writing About

kim.jpgToday we’re starting a new type of post here at ProBlogger – Blogosphere Trends – something we hope will become a regular feature of ProBlogger and a way for bloggers to keep up with the latest trends in the Blogosphere.

This column is written by Kimberly Turner (pictured right) from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts) – Darren

What were bloggers writing about last week? We used Regator’s trending topics for the week to generate a top ten list that shows you exactly that (click any trend to see posts on that story). But as Darren pointed out in his video post “11 Ways to Add to the Conversation of the Blogosphere and Stand Out from the Crowd,” it’s not enough to cover the stories that everyone else is covering: “Successful bloggers have something of their own to say.” So in addition to the trending topics for the week, we’ll take a look at some specific posts that managed to truly add to the conversation around these stories. Did you cover one of these stories in an innovative way that broke out of the echo chamber? Tell us about it in the comments.

  1. Sarah Palin – For “What Does the Future Hold for Sarah Palin? (Besides LL Cool J)”, Jezebel heeded Darren’s sixth piece of advice by considering the implications of the current story on future events.
  2. Hot Tub Time Machine – Though the post does contain spoilers, io9’s “Open Letter to the Writers and Director of ‘Hot Tub Time Machine,’ From a Physics Professor” is a refreshing take on a story that many bloggers covered with a simple review. Interviewing experts for posts is a great way to create original content—bonus points when you do it in such an unexpected way.
  3. Apple iPad – Like the Sarah Palin post, iPhoneCTO’s “iPad Misunderstood: 5 Ways Apple’s Uber Tablet Will Transform Business” looks into the future but, just as importantly, also takes a broad story and focuses it for the blog’s specific readership. Knowing your readers and shaping stories to meet their needs can help you craft unique content.
  4. Earth Hour – Earth Hour elicits its fair share of debate. Many bloggers approached the topic as devil’s advocates (more of Darren’s advice). Lifehacker’s “Forget Earth Hour and Do Something Useful Instead” not only argued against the effectiveness of the event but also provided alternate ways its readers could save energy.
  5. Ricky MartinAutostraddle’s “Cracking the Coming Out Code With Clues From Gay Ricky Martin, Infographics” analysed the star’s decision by putting it in the context of other gay celebrities and their experiences. Putting a specific story within a broader context is another way of adding to the conversation. The nifty infographics don’t hurt either. The good news is that, while they are eye-catching, they aren’t so elaborate that you’d require an art director do something similar for a story you’d like to explore in this way.
  6. Kids’ Choice Awards – While most posts covering this Nickelodeon event were pretty predictable, Videogum managed to elicit a giggle from me with its humorous presentation of the winners list in “Old People React to the Winners of the 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards.” A bit of well-placed humour can take a post on a story that everyone’s covering to the next level.
  7. Sandra Bullock – Rather than echoing the countless stories on the subject, “David Brooks + Sandra Bullock = Matrimania” from Living Single uses a New York Times opinion piece as a jumping off point to provide an alternate viewpoint and to look at the institution of marriage as a whole.
  8. Michael Steele – Another of Darren’s tips is to aggregate various opinions on a story. The Moderate Voice does this well in its post “How Long Will Michael Steele Last at the RNC?” The author gathers snippets of coverage from a number of major sources then goes a step further by adding his own opinion/analysis of each.
  9. Catholic Church“Are the Media Picking on the Catholic Church?” at Blogging Religiously uses a few bits of Darren’s advice. The author indicates what aspect of the story grabbed his attention—in this case the angle and nature of the media coverage—and then provides what he sees as missing information and answers to questions. Although he does quote from other sources, these techniques help him avoid the echo chamber.
  10. Large Hadron Collider – We’ve seen (iPad example) that taking a broad story and focusing it in for your audience can be very effective, but sometimes—particularly if you’re dealing with a complex subject such as the LHC—taking a very specific story and broadening it to provide background or additional explanation is an even better option. Ars Technica/Nobel Intent’s “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Particle Smashers (But Were Afraid to Ask)” illustrates this well.

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com and Regator for iPhone as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

The Online Profits Teaching Resource Opens its Doors to 300 More Students

It is that time of year when an amazing array of products and teaching resources are being released for those wanting to explore how to make a living online. I know as someone who covers the topic here on ProBlogger I’ve been pitched to write about many of them (at last count I’ve been pitched to write about and recommend over 20 this week alone).

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I’m pretty selective in the products that I recommend – one of those that I do suggest you check out has just reopened its doors to a new calls of 300 members – it’s called Online Profits.

Online Profits is the work of Daniel Scocco from a number of sites including ‘Daily Blog Tips’ and he’s one person in this game that I’ve come to respect a lot.

Online Profits is a comprehensive teaching course that covers 24 learning modules. After completing the course:

  • You’ll know Internet marketing inside out.
  • You’ll create your own online business.
  • You’ll take your existing websites to the next level.
  • You’ll discover the tools you need to succeed.
  • You’ll get access to a vibrant community of entrepreneurs.

The 24 modules cover a lot of ground and go way beyond just talking about blogging. Daniel and his team go through the basics like choosing domains and niches but get into a lot more detail including topics like SEO, affiliate marketing, developing and selling products and much more.

The best part about what Daniel has done though is in the group of mentors and teachers that he has assembled. He’s used people like Neil Patel, Chris Garrett, Yaro Starak, Zac Johnson and a lot more successful internet marketers to share what they know.

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If you want to get a taste of Daniel’s style – I recommend you do so by checking out his free report – 10 Deadly Business Mistakes You Should Avoid.

It’s a valuable report that will not only give you an insight into how Daniel goes about his business but it’ll give you a sample of his style.

Online Profits opened its doors minutes before I hit publish on this post and will be closed again once 300 new class members signup. It’s a worthwhile investment in your learning about internet marketing.

Download David Risley’s Six Figure Blogger Blueprint for Free Today

david-risley-darren-rowse.jpgIf you are interested in earning money from your blog and have a little spare time over the weekend – grab yourself a copy of the Six Figure Blogger Blueprint by David Risley.

It’s a free report that David re-released today and it talks Bloggers through some great introductory stuff on how to make money blogging – but not in the way that most bloggers do it.

David has been successfully blogging for a number of years now and making a good living from his blog PCMECH.COM and in the last year or so has also been making a real name for himself as a teacher of blogging. He’s a genuine guy who I respect a great deal and his blueprint is well worth the read.

We’ve met at Blog World Expo and David is as genuine in person as he is online – I have no hesitation in recommending his teaching and hope you have a moment to download his FREE Six Figure Blogger Blueprint.


Click Here To Get The Six Figure Blogger Blueprint


Shoemoney Launches – The Shoemoney System

If you’re looking to discover how to make money online in 2010 check out the Shoemoney System.

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Jeremy Schoemaker won’t be a stranger to most of you. His story is a real rags to riches story (as you’ll see in the intro video to the system) and he’s managed to build himself an amazing business since turning his life around 5 years ago.

What I like about the videos I’ve seen so far in Jeremy’s system is that they are:

  1. they are designed for real people who are at the beginning of their journey – he actually talks through many of the basics in simple language to a real person who is also at the beginning of their journey. Check out this example of the type of teaching included.
  2. they are holistic – Jeremy doesn’t just teach one way of making money online. While he has his own approach he’s one of those people who has tried many methods and gives a great introduction to them all.
  3. they are based upon his experience – as mentioned, Jeremy has tried a lot of stuff and his teaching comes out of real experience of someone who has actually made a lot of money online. He and his team have tried and tested the strategies he teaches – you’re not getting just theory here but an honest and experienced teaching based on what he’s done.
  4. It’s largely video teaching – I let this kind of stuff play while I’m working in the background most days.

The other thing I like about Jeremy is that he’s compiled some really useful tools to simplify a lot of what he does.

Anyway – if you’re interested in another proven online entrepreneur’s approach to making money online check out Shoemoney System.

Learn from 15 Successful Bloggers: Grab Your Copy of Beyond Blogging Today

What do these 15 bloggers have in common?beyondblogging3.png

  • Chris Brogan
  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Chris Guillebeau
  • David Risley
  • Penelope Trunk
  • Chris Garrett
  • Darren Rowse
  • Pete Cashmore
  • Jonathan Fields
  • Shama Kabani
  • Michael Dunlop
  • Steve Pavlina
  • iJustine
  • Brian Clark
  • John Chow

There are a number of commonalities between these people actually. They all blog, they’ve all had at least some level of success with their blogs, they all make a living (to some extent) from their blogs and they are all featured in a new resource – Beyond Blogging.

Beyond Blogging is a 200 page book pulled together by Nathan Hangan (a regular guest poster here) and Mike CJ. They’ve put a lot of work into getting into the inside of the above 15 bloggers heads and as a result have created something pretty special. It’s $47 or if you act quick you’ll also be able to secure it with some consulting with the authors for an extra $50.

Google and Amazon Partner Up to Integrate Amazon Associates Program into Blogger Blogs

In the last few minutes Blogger.com has flipped the switch on a new way for Blogger blogs to be monetized from within their system – an integration with Amazon Associates program. Expect an official announcement from Blogger/Google shortly on this new partnership (update: here it is) – but in the mean time, here’s the scoop.

Previously the ‘monetize’ tab on the back end of Blogger blogs only had options to set up AdSense – but today you can now do the same with Amazon.

If you’re a Blogger.com blogger log into your blog – click the monetize tab and choose Amazon Associates. Here’s what you’ll see:

Monetize Tab

You can either set up a new Amazon Associates account if you don’t have one or login with your existing one.

WIth it enabled you can enable a product finder in your blog editor which will enable you to add Amazon links and/or images as you’re posting blog posts.

Blogger Editor with Amazon Associates

I’ve only just tested it but it all seems pretty seamless and I’m sure for those wanting to make money from a Blogger blog it’ll be an appreciated new feature – particularly in the hottest buying season of the year.

It’s also an interesting story on the front that two major online players – Google and Amazon – are working together on this. It makes sense for it but as far as I know it’s the first time the two have done anything on this scale. It’ll be interesting to see if the partnership leads to any other areas of their empires.

Get 20% off Blog World Expo 2009

Join the top bloggers and new media experts in the world at BlogWorld Expo 2009 Are you coming to Blog World and New Media Expo 2009?

I’m really looking forward to being involved again this year. I’m booked to be on two panels already and am looking forward to a load of great teaching but also some amazing networking with other bloggers.

If you’re interested – you can get 20% discount by using the ‘PROBLOGVIP’ coupon code (that 20% discount is on top of any other discount offered on the BWE site).

Last year was my first year off attendance and it was well worth the 24 hours of transiting each way for me to be there. For me the highlight was simply the people I met – suddenly blogging wasn’t an insular experience of me sitting alone in the front room of my house dressed in my PJs (sounds a little more depressing than it is) – blogging suddenly became a whole lot more social and ‘real life’.

The caliber of the speakers presenting this year is again very high – the list includes:

  • Chris Brogan
  • Steve Rubel
  • Brian Clark
  • Mari Smith
  • Louis Gray
  • Dave Taylor
  • Chris Pirillo
  • Shawn Collins
  • Jeremy Owyang
  • Jeremy Shoemaker
  • Robert Scoble

The list goes on and on (I’ve literally just scratched the surface) and the expertise covers a wide array of topics on many aspects of both blogging and social media.

Speaking of topics – you can see a full 2009 schedule here including speaker names (looks like they still have to add a few of the keynote names).

Again – if you’re attending use the PROBLOGVIP coupon code and you’ll get a 20% discount on whatever BWE have the price currently advertised at on their site.

Learn to Be a Trust Agent

trust-agents.jpgTrust is something that is crucial if you want to build a blog that has influence. As a result I think it’s something that we as bloggers should be working hard to build but also be willing to invest a little into learning about.

As a result I want to recommend Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust to you. It’s a book that has just been released by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith and today it has skyrocketed up the Amazon best seller list (as I write this it is sitting at #34).

Why has it sold so many copies so quickly? The answer is simple – Chris Brogan is one of the most Trusted guys in social media that I know. He’s worked his butt off over the last couple of years building a presence (and more importantly building relationships) around the web. He doesn’t just build connections with the ‘A-list’ but with as many people as he can.

He injects himself into his blogging and other social media activities and as a result he’s widely regarded as a trusted source of information – the perfect guy to co-author this book.

I’ve started reading it and it’s great – please grab a copy today – Amazon currently have it at 34% off.

Get 2 Weeks Access to ‘Become a Blogger’ for $1 [Exclusive to ProBlogger Readers]

If you’re looking for some more training in building a blog after our 31 Day challenge I’ve got a special offer for you in this post.

Since finishing 31DBBB yesterday I’ve had a number of participants in the project email me to ask what other training that they can do to keep improving their blogs.

The realization that it seems many have had is that when you invest time and energy into your blog it does improve – our 31 day project has led many people to really step up their blogs and continue to see them improve.

become a blogger.pngAs a result of these reader questions I’ve approached Yaro Starak and Gideon Shalwick from the popular Become a Blogger course to see if they’d be willing to open up their course again to 31DBBB participants (and all ProBlogger readers). I chose Become a Blogger because I think it’s at a level that many 31DBBB participants will find useful.

Get Become a Blogger for $1 for 2 Weeks – Yaro and Gideon didn’t hesitate to agree and then blew me away by offering ProBlogger readers access to their course for just $1 so that people could sample what they offer and see if it’s something that they want to continue with.

The deal is simple – Become a Blogger is normally $77 a month (it goes for 6 months) but if you sign up as a ProBlogger reader you get a trial period of two weeks for $1. If you don’t want to continue just email Yaro and Gideon and canceling your membership.

What is Become a Blogger?

This is a course for those just starting out with blogging or who have started but are struggling to set it up a level. Here are the 8 modules covered in the video training:

  1. Get Your Blog Up And Running Fast And FREE
  2. How To Optimize Your Blog For Maximum Search Engine Performance
  3. How To Create Powerful Content For Your Blog, Consistently and Without Fail
  4. How To Use Images On Your Blog To Make You Stand Out From The Crowd
  5. How To Create A Different Dimension To Your Blog By Adding Audio
  6. How To Breathe Life Into Your Blog Using Online Video
  7. How To Create Multiple Streams of High Quality Traffic To Your Blog
  8. How To Make Money From Your Blog

There are a variety of good bonuses also on the sales page including a forum are and teleconferences to help you step it up.

You can read full details of what is included in the modules and bonuses on the sales page of Become a Blogger. They also have some free videos on that page to give you a feel for what the course is like.

PS – Don’t have a Blog?: if you don’t yet have a blog then this course is relevant for you as it does have a module on setting up blogs from scratch. Others who already have blogs will find modules 2-7 well worth their time.