Monday, August 25, 2008

How Using StumbleUpon Got me New Friends on My BlogLog

MyBlogLog is a blog directory that doubles up as a social networking site for bloggers. I have been a member of MyBlogLog for a good while but I never really knew how to use this site; I still don't use it very much to tell the truth (I am much more active on BlogCatalog) but last week something strange happened to me.

After studying Caroline Middlebrook' Stumble Rush email course (only the first 10 lessons which are free, mind you, I am still too much of a cheapskate to buy the extra 10 lessons), I decided to become more active on StumbleUpon; I admit that I only skimmed through the e-course but nevertheless I started to use my StumbleUpon toolbar everyday, write more reviews of the sites that I liked and add a few more StumbleUpon friends.

Then I noticed that I was starting to get people following me on MyBlogLog; this seemed very strange to me as I never visit this site (I could hardly remember being a member!). When I logged into my account I checked my new followers' profiles, visited their blogs and added them as contacts (not sure what else I could do) and then I realized why I got this surge of new followers: my Stumbles and Diggs were showing up on my MyBlogLog profile!

I am not sure that this will really do much for my traffic, especially since I have been quite a lazy blogger lately, but I think this is a good thing; this feature is also on BlogCatalog and if you use MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog I think this can make it easier to find people who have the same interests as you.

Now all I need is an extra 10 hours a day (at least) to give me time to do a bit more social networking!

PS. If you are a member of MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog, you are welcome to add me as a friend; I will add you back.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Squidoo Lensrank Experiment

I have written about Squidoo in the past and the reasons why I find it a very exciting way to earn money online.

As far as I know there is no magic formula to get a good lensrank on Squidoo and get a popular Squidoo lens that gets lots of traffic which can in turn make it a good income source, even though many lensmasters have tried to "crack the code", but there are a few things you can do that really help achieving this goal.

All of these tentatives inspired me to create an all-new Squidoo lens which I called Squidoo Lensrank Experiment. As the name indicates, this is an experiment I am conducting to see if I can implement all of the tips I can find to get a good Squidoo lensrank but what makes my new lens original is that I am explaining in detail every single thing I am doing to try and make my lens popular, both in the making side but also the promotion side of things.

So far I have started with a lensrank of 641191 and have come to a lensrank of 8073 in just 3 days (the lower a squidoo lensrank is, the better).

If you want to know how I did it and more importantly if you would like to copy my method and get a good lensrank for your own Squidoo lenses, check it out here and bookmark it (Stumbles, Diggs or anything else you can spare would be greatly appreciated) because I have lots of great tips to add to it every day.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Much Of Your Working Time Do You Spend Actually Working?

I am sure there are hundreds of blogs featuring a post today on procastinating; with all the activities blogers are supposed to do on top of blogging itself, it can be vary easy losing track of time and actually spend a whole "day at the office" doing no constructive work.

I wish I could set a routine for myself firstly on actually sitting at my computer (I have 2 small kids and a house to look after and I also like to have my own time to relax before going to bed at night), but so far even though I have tried, I haven't yet managed to find a balance between work and play (if you consider cooking, cleaning and shopping as play).

Supposing you have set hours to sit at your computer to do some of the activities necessary to blogging and promoting a blog or whatever else it is you are trying to promote, you must find a further balance between your work and promoting it. You can easily fool yourself into thinking that a whole day spent reading and commenting on blogs, stumbling, digging, participating in forums is work but what is going to be left for you to promote (ie Stumbling and Digging) if you don't write a blog post or article?

While all this social nonsense (not to use a stronger word) is necessary to get exposure, it is more important to create content (blog posts, articles, Squidoo lenses for me) and because everything takes time, you should spend at least half of your daily working hours working (creating content).

The best way to make sure you are not going to over-socialize (and then not have enough time to write that article you have planned days ago) is to start your day by doing the constructive work; if you base your articles on what you find on other blogs or social bookmarking websites, just take notes on interesting content you read the day before and then make a point of writing about it first thing in the morning.

I find that breaking my time in hours for writing content, half-hours for reading blogs, commenting, using each social bookmarking website you are a member of, and 20 or even 15 minutes for each forum is a good balance. If you feel that after 30 minutes of Stumbling, you haven't found enough good sites (a very common occurence for me), don't worry, there is still tomorrow!

If, like me, you don't have 8 hours a day to spend online, try not to join too many social networking/bookmarking websites. My personal favourites are StumbleUpon, Digg and BlogCatalog. I would have added Propeller but they banned me just as I was starting to Digg their system (sorry for the miserable pun). I have accounts with Facebook, Furl, Reddit, Technorati and others I can't think of right now but I just can't find the time to use them at the moment.

To find the right constructive work/not so constructive work balance, you must be very disciplined. What works for me might not work for everybody, but if you treat your blog (or whatever your online source of income is) as a real job, you are on the path to finding the right balance and I wish you all the success you deserve.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Writing for Associated Content

I haven't updated this blog very frequently lately but this is mainly due to my children being on holidays. I have less time to myself as I haven't had to get up too early (Ok this is my own fault, but I also deserve a holiday!) and I have been spending more time with them; however, I am still working on my Squidoo lenses.

My latest lens is called Writing for Associated Content; I created it to help promote my Associated Content articles but it also includes excellent articles giving tips on increasing pageviews by other Associated Content producers.

The lens is not completely finished yet as there are lots more useful articles I want to include but it is worth taking a look, especially if you are familiar with the Associated Content website. If you like Writing for Associated Content, don't forget to bookmark it as I will be updating it as I find more helpful tips to help you promote your articles.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Buying a Used Car?

Recession, recession! Just because there is a recession doesn't mean that my car doesn't need replacing in the next year or so as this piece of junk that I am calling my car is more than ever nearly falling apart. Of course I can't afford a brand new car so I am looking into buying a reliable used car.

Being an Internet Junkie, I did a bit of online research and came out with great tips on how to buy a used car which prompted me to write an article on this topic.

If, like me, you are driving a piece of junk, or if you'd just like a change (with oil prices so high, how about a more economical car?), check out my last article: Things You Should Know Before Buying a Used Car.

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