Google Friend Connect: Quick Tip Monday

Today and next Monday I’m going to talk about Google Friend Connect.

I’m going to share with you a neat little GFC feature that you might not know about.

Most of us keep a slim (or close) eye on our GFC follower numbers, right? It’s so exciting when your numbers start growing.

But do you get email notifications when someone follows you on GFC? Most people don’t…but it’s a setting in GFC that you can turn on and I’ll show you how.

How To Get New Follower Notifications in GFC

1. Go to the GFC widget on your blog. Make sure you are signed in to your Google account. Here’s a pic of the widget on my personal blog.

2. Click on the Options link under your avatar. A dropdown menu will appear. Click Site Settings.

3. A popup window with your GFC profile settings will appear. Click Messaging.

4. On the messaging screen, check the box that says “Notify me whenever someone new joins my site.”

5. Click Done and you’re all set!

6. Each time someone new follows you on GFC, you’ll get an email that looks like this.

Next week, I’ll show you how you can take this email and instantly engage your new follower in your blog!

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Blogosphere Roundup, Friday 1/28

Welcome to this week’s edition of Blogosphere Roundup!

I found some really great articles this week – have a look.

Blogging Tips

Does CommentLuv Leak Link Juice? This is a seriously good post over at Keep Up With The Web about whether using the CommentLuv plugin causes you to lose link juice. With Google Page Rank finally having updated last week, this is a must-read.

Get Over Writer’s Block. If you sit down to blog and nothing comes to you…this is a super list of techniques from SmartBloggerz to get the juices flowing again.

The Writing Rut. Now if you’re chock full of writing ideas, but they all involve a long narrative of daughter Susie’s soccer game on Saturday, check out this article by Adventuroo on how to take a different approach to your writing. (disclosure: one of my posts is mentioned!)

Social Media

The Future of Social Media. This article from The Atlantic speaks to the future of social   media – what we can expect to see as trends, and where the tech industry is at risk.

60 Signs You’re Addicted… Need a good laugh today? This will do it. The title says it all.

Is Social Media The Next Bubble? The San Francisco Chronicle thinks that it might very well be. Read on.

Using LinkedIn To Expand Your Blog Reach. This is by far one of the BEST, most helpful and most unusual articles I’ve read about blogging in a long time. I had no idea how many other ways I could link up my blog to my LinkedIn profile. It took me about 15 minutes to make the updates and I think it’ll really help my visibility (and my Klout score!)

Mom Blogosphere

What Are You Getting Paid? This is a must-read article for every mom blogger. If you don’t value your own worth, why would companies?

Google Updates Page Rank. Did you know that Google updated its page ranks for websites last week – its first major update in over 9 months? ShePosts walks you through the details.

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What Is Your Blogging Worth?

Photo Credit: MediaPost.com

Today’s topic is a touchy one and I hope it sparks some interesting conversation.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a post on Jessica Gottlieb’s blog which really got me thinking a lot about several aspects of blogging. Go read the post, because it’s excellent.

In the post, Gottlieb called out cereal brand Special K for a pitch it has made to mom bloggers in several cities in the U.S.

Special K retooled its two-week Special K Challenge this year, with a new theme of “What Will You Gain When You Lose?” As part of the challenge, selected mom bloggers were asked to appear at the Special K-sponsored event and perform a variety of blog and social media tasks for a stipend of $300.

The primary responsibility of the mom bloggers was to show up at the media event and step on a supersized scale to weigh themselves. Instead of a number appearing, each participant would receive an inspirational message word to help fuel their weight loss.

Bloggers were asked to promote this event multiple times prior to, during and after the weigh-in via various blog and social media channels. They were also expected to serve as on-site reporters, gathering reactions and if possible, live blogging during the event.

Definitely read Gottlieb’s take on this PR pitch. She had several issues with it (all very interesting and meriting their own discussions!), but the one I want to talk about here is her contention that $300 was far too little compensation for the tasks that bloggers were expected to perform.

As bloggers, do we put too little worth on our work?

Many of us hope to make money at blogging, whether it be by advertising, writing gigs, sponsorships, or something else. We want our work, our effort to be validated by someone telling us that it’s worth being paid for.

I think Jessica Gottlieb raises excellent points. I also think whether $300 to do what Special K was asking might be relative.

For a blogger who’s a single mom and needs the extra cash, the chance for the Special K event to perhaps lead to future paying opportunities might be worth $300.

For another blogger, it might not.

So, B2B members, what’s your take on the Special K event? Was $300 under-compensating the participants? Would you have done it? How do you assess what your blogging time is worth?

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Organizing Your Twitter Account: Quick Tip Monday

Everybody’s into organizing at the start of a new year. The signs are everywhere: plastic storage tubs getting featured placement at Target, magazine articles prodding you to get your life in order, a pained foot from stepping on one too many Legos left on the carpet.

So if you are doing a little housekeeping right now, you might want to consider organizing your Twitter account as well.  Today I’ll share a couple of tips on how to better manage your Twitter relationships.

1. Get a Twitter management application. If you are using Twitter.com to tweet, you’re not using your time as effectively as you could be. Twitter.com is incredibly hard to navigate when you have many people you’re trying to follow or engage with. Consider using either Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to Tweet going forward.

Both applications have their pros and cons. Hootsuite runs in a browser, so you can access it anywhere. Tweetdeck is a desktop (or iPhone) application that requires a download. I personally use Tweetdeck because I prefer the look of its interface.

Both take some getting used to, because your tweets are displayed in a multi-column format. It’s like having seven chat windows open side by side, all moving and updating at different times. But I promise that if you stick with it, you’ll find your Tweeting to be much more effective.

2. Have an Unfollow Day.  There are probably many people in your Twitter following who don’t need to be there. Either they’re spammers, or they tweet about things that are not relevant to you. Maybe they just annoy you to death.  Set aside some time to clean up your following.

I also like to periodically check who’s not following me anymore and stop following them if needed. Of course, I choose to follow some people whether they follow me or not. I like the application Just Unfollow to do this. With one click, I can view my list of non-followers and easily unfollow back if I wish.

3. Use lists. To cut through all of the noise that is Twitter, it’s essential to organize your followers into lists. This is easy in TweetDeck or Hootsuite, because you can create a column to follow each of your lists separately. Out of my full feed, I have a couple of different lists that I utilize. This is not an exhaustive list, but one to get you thinking about how you might set up your own.

* An Inner Circle List – this is a list for my “close” friends – people whose Tweets I don’t want to miss.  I include myself so I can keep track of my own tweets in the stream.

* A Brand List, where I can keep updated on the companies I love or have a relationship with. This is a great list to use if you’re working on approaching brands for pitches, sponsorships and the like.

* A Media List – where I can follow what’s going on in mom blogging, social media, technology and blog conferences.

Taking these three steps to organize your Twitter account will make your Twitter time more effective and impactful for your blogging. And we can ALL use a little extra time each day!

Tell me what things you do to organize YOUR Twitter account.

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Blogosphere Roundup, Friday 1/21

Happy Friday! We’re back with this week’s blogosphere roundup. It’s a great way to stay on top of what happened this week in blogging and social media.

If you write a post about blog tips, social media, or blogging in general, consider submitting it for submission in the weekly roundup! Email [email protected] with your piece!

Blogging Tips

Keyword Optimization Tool. I am loving the fairly new site called The Link Medic. He has awesome, practical and free tips on blog improvement. This past week, he introduced his readers to a tool called Keyword Eye, that gives you keyword ideas in a cloud format. Great for SEO!

Check names in multiple media. Learn how to check domain names and social media usernames in one fell swoop.

5 Overlooked Analytics Features. ProBlogger had a supersecret guest poster this week who talked about his five favorite, but often overlooked, features in Google Analytics.

3 Types of Readers That Will Visit Your Blog. Do you read blog posts word for word, or do you skim or just read the first line? This is a great article at BitRebels about how people read blogs and how you can structure your blog posts to appeal to every type of reader.

7 Colossal Mistakes Bloggers Make. While this article seems to be focused more on tech blogs that are trying to heavily monetize, there are definitely some nuggets of wisdom in here for us all.

Social Media

5 Questions and Answers About Facebook Marketing. If you have any interest in social media and how it affects your blog, you need to follow Dan Zarrella. He doesn’t just comment on social media, he digs deep into social media data and offers his readers great info on the whys and hows. In this article, he reveals 5 really surprising things about promoting on Facebook, like what day of the week gets the most “shares.” Fascinating stuff.

Quora: The Next Big Thing? Just when you thought you had Twitter figured out…here comes another social media platform. Grace Duffy from ShePosts gives the skinny on Quora.

Are You A Good Conversationalist? San Fiorella is another great guy to follow for social media. In this article, he asks some pointed questions of the reader to determine – are you a good online conversationalist?

More on Crowdtap. Since we talked about Crowdtap on Wednesday, I thought sharing this article from Mashable would shed some additional light.

Mom Blogging

Gadgets for Blogging. Mom Blog Magazine went to the Consumer Electronics Show this past week and found some great must-have gadgets to take your blogging business to the next level.

From Blogger to Marketing Pro. This is a great interview by Mom Blog Magazine with Lia Freitas on how she grew her blog into a career as a digital marketing professional. Fun read!

BlogFrog Gets Funding. BlogFrog got an undisclosed amount of investment funding this week and launched the biggest mommy-blog network. Read all the details on ShePosts.

That’s it for this week…have a fabulous weekend!

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