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How to Increase your Amazon Affiliate Earnings for the Holidays

How to Increase your Amazon Affiliate Earnings for the Holidays

If you’re anything like most of the western world at the moment, you’ve got shopping on the brain.

Chances are, so do your readers!

The peak consumption time around Christmas is usually a peak earning time for those of us who are affiliate sellers. I always have a spike of income around December (and to a lesser extent, November and January), because people are always on the lookout for gift for friends and loved ones, and they find what they’re looking for through my posts.

If you were listening to episode 53 of the ProBlogger podcast, you would know I’ve earned over half a million dollars with the Amazon Affiliate program, which has been bolstered by the work I do over the Christmas period to drive traffic to the Amazon site. In the below video I have a reply of a livestream I did recently about how to really boost your income over the Christmas period with affiliate earnings.

At this time of year I would be putting Amazon affiliate links into at least every second post to help give my readers maximum exposure without overdoing it.

In this video I give five tips on how to make the most of the program in the Christmas period. Briefly, they are:

  • Get people in the door (Amazon is very good at getting people to buy if you can just get them to click over)
  • Promote the sales (sounds obvious, right?! but you’d be surprised!)
  • Bestseller lists (I have a full podcast here on how exactly to create great bestseller lists that successfully convert into sales here)
  • Buying guides (slightly different to the bestseller list, almost like mini-reviews of different items at different price points)
  • Hypotheticals (a little challenge you can issue readers that helps with tip number one – see an example here)

I’d love to hear your thoughts – does the theory hold true for you that your readers are in a buying mood? Are you seeing a spike in your earnings this time of year? I hope these tips are successful for you.

You might also want to check out the other tips I have for affiliates:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BONUS

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

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

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

Bonus Bonus!

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

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Give Your Blog Design a Spring Clean

How to Give Your Blog Design a Spring Clean

In this next instalment of the #TodayNotSomeday series on the podcast, we’re moving away from creating email lists, optimising signups, and creating autoresponder mailouts, and focusing on the first thing people see when they come to your blog: the design.

As you know, the series is working through challenges that help you do things today that you’ve been putting off, even though they have huge benefits for your blog in the long term. One of those things is design tweaks. You know the things that niggle at you that you never get around to – the font isn’t quite right, the sidebar needs work, your header could do with an upgrade – but you’ll sort them out one day. Except that day is today!

The way your blog looks, what it makes people feel, what it calls people to do is vital, and it has a huge impact on your blog and how it’s seen.

Today, with a little work on re-optimizing your design, you have the potential to turn more first-time visitors into long-term readers, you invite the reader to stick around longer, you up the chance of them clicking on affiliate links or advertising, comment more, investigate your ebooks, and have a higher chance of them seeing your offered services. All from just a few minutes’ work on your part!

In this episode I discuss the things you should do today that will help you achieve these gains. Of course it depends on what your aims are for the site, so the advice will be slightly different for everyone, but in general, we go through actual steps to optimise your sidebar, navigation, calls to action, and decisions about your entire design. I also share the top 5 things I think every blog should have to make their design eye-catching and user-friendly.

What changes will you make? Share your progress with the #TodayNotSomeday hashtag, and find the show notes for this episode here.

Further Reading:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Do an End-of-2015 Blog Audit

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

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

[Tweet That!]

So let’s get stuck in.

Content:

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

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

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

Back End

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

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

Design

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

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

Pages/Topics

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

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

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

Social Media

Our home away from home!

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

Your promotional strategy

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

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

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

Monetisation

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

Your goals

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

Your feelings

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

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

(if not, there’s always eggnog…)

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

Do it #TodayNotSomeday: Create an Autoresponder Series

Do it #TodayNotSomeday: Create an Autoresponder Series (and tips on how to rock it!)

Yes, it can seem like a lot of work on top of an already-overflowing to-do list, but creating an autoresponder series has huge potential to pay off for you in both the short and the long term. So this episode of the ProBlogger podcast is all about moving that “someday” plan to create a series onto your task list today.

It can take as little as an hour of your time, but can really ramp up traffic (and potentially daily profit!) for your blog.

In the last couple of episodes of the #TodayNotSomeday series on the podcast, we discussed setting up an email list (and how to grow it), and creating an incentive for people to sign up to it. Now we move onto how you can deliver fantastic content to your readers through it, via an autoresponder.

In this episode I discuss everything you need to know from “ok but what is an autoresponder?!” to their (many) benefits, the variety of content you could send, the flow of emails, how often to send them, tips to create mailouts that get high engagement, and of course how create an autoresponder series that’s successful. I want you to think about the journey you want your readers to go on, and how you will provide them with useful, practical info along the way.

Don’t forget to share your progress on today’s challenge with the hashtag “TodayNotSomeday”, check out the show notes here, and sign up to get your free trial month with Edgar (the sponsor of this series) here. Now get mapping!

Further Reading:

 

Build a Better Blog for 2016: Grab 50% Off Our Best Selling eBook This Week Only

31_days_to_build_a_better_blog_offer

Can you believe 2016 is only 24 sleeps away?

If you’ve been following along with the current series of ProBlogger podcasts, you’ll know this past few months for me has been all about getting things off my ‘someday list’ list and putting them onto my ‘today list’.

I’ve realised that there are a number of things in my own blogging here at ProBlogger that need to improve in 2016 and have spent the last couple of months preparing to make some big changes.

As I’ve shared that journey on the podcast I am really excited to see others joining in and getting serious about making similar preparations for a big year next year.

To assist in that journey I decided yesterday to do something that will hopefully help you get your blog in top shape for the new year.

As of today and for the next week only our best selling eBook – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – is available for 50% off when you use the coupon code GOODBYE2015.

31dbbbgroup 3d books

This eBook (and the free bonus week) is designed to help you get your blogging into gear and to work on some key areas of blogging including writing great content, getting off your blog to find new readers and to build engagement with the readers who come your way.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog Has Helped Tens Thousands of Bloggers

The idea behind 31DBBB is simple. Every day for 31 days I give you a little bit of teaching and a challenge to do something simple that has the potential to improve your blog.

31DBBB started its life back in 2005 as a series of blog posts here on ProBlogger. That first year several thousand bloggers took the challenge. I repeated the series in 2007 with another 5000 bloggers joining in and in 2009 we hit 13,000 participants.

In 2009 I turned the series into an eBook and it quickly became the most popular eBook (or book) I’ve ever written.

Since that time we’ve launched a 2nd edition of the eBook and it’s sold over 21,000 copies, and worked through it as a 31 part podcast series, which has been downloaded just over a quarter of a million times.

I pinch myself that something I’ve created has been used so many times but what excites me most is the feedback from those who use it send me. I’ve lost count of the messages, emails and reviews I’ve seen letting me know how the series of 31 daily challenges and teaching have helped bloggers improve their blogs.

Screen Shot 2015 12 08 at 10 29 08 AM

I love that 31DBBB not only helps beginners but more experienced bloggers to find new energy and direction for their blogs – so it’s my pleasure to make it a little more accessible to more bloggers this week with a 50% discount.

To get the discount simply use the coupon code GOODBYE2015 in the checkout process. It’ll make the price $14.99 USD.

This discount lasts for this week only and will end on Monday 14 December. Get 31 Days to Build a Better Blog here, and don’t forget the coupon code to get your copy at half price!

How to Be a Lucky Entrepreneur: Are You Developing These 7 Habits?

Darren Rowse speaks at HubSpot's Inbound conference on the topic of "lucky" entrepreneurs and their 7 habits.

Image credit: Inbound

I was in the right place at the right time.

It was November 2002, and I received an email from a friend that changed my life in ways I could never have imagined.

Without receiving, reading, and taking action on that email, I would never have started blogging or built the business I have built.

I often reflect on this serendipitous start to the current chapter of my life – what would have happened if I’d not opened that email?
[Read more…]

Create an Opt-In Incentive to Increase Your Email Subscriber Numbers

How to Create an Opt-In Incentive to Increase your Email Subscriber Numbers // on ProBlogger.net

If you were listening to the previous ProBlogger podcast episode about my top tips for building your email subscriber list, you would have heard me talking about creating an opt-in as an incentive for people to sign up.

In this next instalment of the #TodayNotSomeday podcast, I’m going to talk you through exactly how to do that!

Creating an opt-in has the potential to significantly increase your subscriber numbers by offering something truly valuable in exchange for the reader’s email address. They are sometimes called lead magnets, and you’ll have seen them on plenty of other blogs and sites you visit.

Even though creating an opt-in and working on building your email list is one of the most important things you can do as a blogger, I know there are plenty of you who put it off to worry about another time. I know this, because I’ve done it myself! We’ve only recently started offering something similar on Digital Photography School despite being aware it is something I should have done much sooner.

You’ll also notice I don’t have a lead magnet or opt-in here on the ProBlogger blog, but you’ll hopefully see us get this task off our “someday” list in the new year.

Today’s challenge isn’t just for those of you without a lead magnet – if you’ve already got one on offer, you might want to consider upgrading or determining if it’s time to create another? Something more up-to-date, something that will appeal to a different audience, something specific to one of your site categories, or something that could boost your current list?

In today’s episode I also discuss why you should create an opt-in, and the potential it has to grow your blog. We go over how to deliver your opt-in, what format it could take, and how you can figure out something that incentivises your readers to sign up to your list and stay engaged. There is also the option of considering a longer-term strategy or offering as opposed to a one-off incentive, and I give a few ideas here. I also go through the purpose it needs to serve, how you can create your offering, tools and services I’ve used, and that all-important aspect: getting the signup!

So good luck with today’s challenge of creating an opt-in for your email list. What opt-in will you be creating? What will it be about, and how will you deliver it? Be sure to use the hashtag #TodayNotSomeday when you share your efforts to social media so we can see how you’re all doing.

Further Reading:

 

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Become a Virtual Assistant // Amy Lynn Andrews

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

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

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

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

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

Persona Research in Under 5 Minutes // Moz

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

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

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

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

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

Have you Christmasified your social media yet?!

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