Tips on Getting the Family/Blogging Balance Right

One of the things that attracted me to blogging as a way to earn an income was the flexibility that it gave me and the opportunity it gives me to work from home and be involved in the lives of my young family. While my wife is the primary care giver and I’m full time as a blogger I am pretty hands on where I can be and there are days (like today) where I look after the boys.

Of course working at home – whether the work is blogging or something else – is not only a great opportunity but also a challenge. The line behind work and family can sometimes blur.
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11 Ways to Add to the Conversation of the Blogosphere and Stand Out from the Crowd

One problem that I see a lot of bloggers falling into the trap of doing is simply writing what everyone else is writing about on their blog – and doing it in the same way everyone else is. The term ‘echo chamber’ comes to mind.

I think we’ve all done it (or have been tempted to) – a news story breaks, we report the news, perhaps with a quote and link from another source and we’re tempted to leave it at just that.

In this video I share 11 ways to add to the conversation happening in the blogosphere by adding something extra to the topics everyone else is reporting on. In doing so you add something unique and raise yourself and your blog out of the echo chamber.

Watch this video at full size at How to Add to Conversation in the Blogosphere.

5 Tips for Getting Readers Viewing Your Old Blog Posts

Over on Twitter last week @JapanNewbie asked me about how to get people viewing old posts on your blog once they drop off the front page. In this video I tackle the question with 5 suggestions including using:

  • Best of Sections
  • Autoresponders
  • Related Links
  • Best of Posts
  • Repost Old Content

I’d love to hear your suggestions on how you drive people back to your older blog posts?
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7 Questions to Ask On Your Blog to Get More Reader Engagement

Have you ever been ‘talked at’ instead of had someone ‘talk with’ you in a real life conversation? It doesn’t feel good to have someone talk AT you.

It leaves you feeling like you might as well not have been there at all.

Blogs can be like that and in this post we explore the power of asking questions on your blog and I share 7 types of questions you can ask to increase reader engagement.

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Warning: Watching This Video May Lead to Work! [But It’ll Also Improve Your Blog]

What’s your blogging Vice?

Most bloggers that I know have at least one – whether it be compulsively checking blog stats, constantly tweaking template designs, obsessing over plugins and widgets, spending hour after hour ‘networking’ on Twitter, becoming preoccupied with SEO and… even allowing ourselves to become consumed by learning about blogging…. and not doing much of it.

The reality is that as bloggers there are many tasks that compete for our attention. Many of them are important and can bring a lot of life to our blogs but most of them can also become distractions and counter productive to our blogging if we allow them.
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Yes! A Great Book for Bloggers

Over the last few days I’ve been digging into a great little book called Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.

I’m only halfway through it but of the 25 or so chapters that I’ve read so far I have jotted down 50 or so ideas for my own blogs – both ideas for content, ideas for next time I try a promotion and just general ideas. You see being persuasive is something bloggers of all kinds could do well to be whether it is

  • persuading people to subscribe to your blog
  • persuading readers to take action on a post you’ve written
  • persuading readers to buy a product you have
  • persuading readers to buy an affiliate product you’re promoting
  • persuading another blog to link up to you
  • persuading a reader to pass on your content to their own network

Not everything in the book will apply to every blogger but there’s plenty in this book to draw on as you develop your blog.

Books – How to Expand your Blog #2

See the full sized version of this video at YouTubeExpand Your Blog By Adding a Book.

A couple of weeks back I introduced a brainstorming exercise that gets bloggers to think about how to expand their blog. I followed that post up with an exploration of adding a forum to a blog as one good way to expand your blog.

Today In this video I continue this exploration of how to expand a blog by looking at adding a book to a blog. In it we look at the example of PostSecret and their new book PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God.

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How to Promote a Blog with Social Media

Last year I wrote a post exploring how I use Social Media to promote my blogs – the post looked at the idea of creating Home bases and Outposts (a metaphor that I picked up from Chris Brogan).

In this video I extend the idea a little and talk about the importance of not only develping a presence on social media sites but also making connections with and developing a presence on other people’s home bases. You can see the full sized version of this video at How I Use Social Media to Promote My Blogs.
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How to Use Google’s Wonder Wheel to Find Topics to Write about

Stuck for ideas to write about? Here’s a quick and easy to use tool from Google to help you identify topics within most niches.

View this video at full size to get all the visual details in the video here on Facebook.

PS: a number of people have been asking about how I made this video and what microphone I am using. The mic is a Rode Podcaster USB microphone which I only recently have received. It’s not a small microphone but the quality it has produced is excellent.

The software I used to record the video and screen capture is a Mac tool called ScreenFlow. This is the first time I’ve used it and I there’s a lot more I could have done with it – I’m still learning to use its features.