Blogosphere Roundup, 4/1

Has anyone punk’d you yet for April Fool’s Day? Well this roundup ain’t no joke. I’ve got some seriously good stuff for you.

Blogging Tips

SEO 101. This is an awesome introductory guide to the very beginner basics of SEO. I am a SEO novice so I found this really helpful!  From Live Your Love.

Do You Need A Niche? Famous Bloggers asks the question you probably ask yourself. I asked it of myself, and answered No on my personal blog this week.

Big Panda. Google’s updated search algorithm has impacts on article writers and bloggers. Read how from Famous Bloggers.

Choosing A Domain Name. Daily Blog Tips talks about why your domain choice shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Browser Addons for Bloggers. The Link Medic, as you know, is one of my favorite how-to sites for bloggers. This article is superb as it suggests little apps you can add to your browser to make your life easier.

Social Media

Facebook Questions. We started using Facebook Questions this week. Here’s how you can get started with it for your Facebook fan page or personal account, from Jaypee Online.

Measuring Your Social Media Influence. There’s been a lot of talk about PostRank lately. This from the Work At Home Wife fleshes it out for you.

7 Types of Content Social Media Loves. VERY informative post from Shout Me Loud on what type of posts seem to do well in social media.

5 Tips to Increase Traffic with Twitter. This piece from WebTrafficROI has some good suggestions.

Mom Blogging News

Bloglovin, Not Blogscrapin‘. I took a look over at ShePosts at a new type of feed reader that turns Google Reader’s features on its side (and is a lot easier on the eyes). And, contrary to what you might think when you first look at it, it’s not blogscraping.

Be Honest About Your Numbers. This is a piece on why you shouldn’t try to inflate your blog numbers from Mom Blog Magazine.

Lucky Magazine Seeks Fashion/Beauty Bloggers. Lucky Magazine is looking for fashion and beauty bloggers for a new ad and content network. Check out the deets at ShePosts!

I have soooo much more to share this week but there’s no room here. I’ll try to stream some more articles in on our B2B Facebook fan page this weekend…keep your eyes out for that AND our 1st featured blogger tomorrow!

Happy weekend, everyone.

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The Puzzle of Promoting Your Posts

You have just written the One Post To Rule Them All. It took you hours. It is seriously killer.

Now what?

There are a dizzying number of ways and places that we can promote our blog posts – so much so that it can be a full-time job trying to do so.

When I first started blogging, I relied primarily on commenting on other blogs and blog networks to promote my own posts. I dabbled in Facebook a little bit, and finally succumbed to Twitter. And then, the whole world exploded: Kirtsy and StumbleUpon and Digg and retweets and….sigh. It’s enough to make a blogger quit before you ever start.

It’s a very elegant puzzle to be solved – the right (or wrong) combination of promotion sources can make or break your traffic – and the incredible thing is that no two bloggers will solve it the exact same way.

Statistics can be really helpful in determining where you are having success and where you might need to work a little harder (I’ll be doing some posts on stats soon). But they only tell part of the story.

Statistics don’t cover what you aren’t doing – obviously – and can’t tell you whether those uncharted territories are worth exploring. If you’ve never used Digg, how much time should you invest in finding out if it’s a piece of your puzzle?

I think a successful blog promotion strategy has to combine statistics with experimentation. I know from my stats that Twitter is one of my biggest traffic sources, so I continue to invest my limited time and resources in growing that area.

I also know that Facebook is the ugly stepchild of my blogging, and I don’t pay it nearly enough attention.

I’m currently running an experiment to leverage my Facebook page, and the Facebook pages of other bloggers, to grow my Facebook readership. It remains to be seen whether my efforts will be fruitful or not.

What I do know is that I’ve gained about 50 new Facebook fans since starting it two weeks ago, so that’s a plus. These aren’t new-to-me readers, but it does fatten up my Facebook stats. I still need to work harder at actually engaging with people on my Facebook page.

One area that has been an unexpected surprise for me is StumbleUpon. I host a weekly StumbleUpon group on my BlogFrog community that works to help bloggers promote one post per week via the StumbleUpon channel.  It’s very hit and miss, but one post that my group helped me Stumble garnered over 5000 page views in a month (it was about wine. Surprised?).

You’re all invited to join me, if you’ve never tried StumbleUpon out. It might be worth giving it a shot. My BlogFrog community starts off a new round of stumbling every Wednesday, so it’s a great day to join up and get started. Look for Week 28 – it should be posted sometime Wednesday the 30th (tomorrow if you’re reading Tuesday night; today if you’re reading…today).

I’m still trying to fit all of my puzzle pieces together in the right way. Just when I think I have it figured out, I discover another extra piece laying on the floor. It’s one of the things that makes blogging so exciting, and so frustrating, all at the same time.

How do you determine how you’re going to promote your posts? Do you have a tried-and-true method? What methods of promotion are on your “I gotta try” list?

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Hosting A Blog Series – Quick Tip Monday

Hosting a blog series can be a great way to encourage loyalty in your readers and boost your traffic.

When I say a “series,” I’m talking about a sequence of regularly-scheduled posts that all relate to the same general topic.

Today, I’d like to give a few tips to think about if you’d like to run a series on your blog.

1. Make sure you can commit. Have you ever had a great idea for your blog, that you’ve kicked off with a ton of gusto, only to find you don’t have the energy, time or creativity to continue it…and it fizzles? I have. Make sure you can commit to the series and see it through to completion.

2. Have a plan. Don’t start a series by just writing the first post and figuring out the rest as you go along. Take time to plan ahead. Map out how many posts you’ll have in the series, what day you’ll post them, what each post will cover specifically, and how you plan to market the series.

3. Think tiny servings, not heaping portions. I ran a 6-week blogging challenge last fall on my personal blog, where I wrote multiple posts every day on blogging for the entire 6 weeks. If I could change one thing about how I built out my series, it would be to break the posts into much smaller servings. I heaped too much information into each post, trying to cover it all. It was too much for my readers to digest every day.

Keep each post in the series TIGHTLY focused on one narrow topic and don’t stray from that. If you find your post expanding…try to break the post into two parts and make your SERIES longer…not the post!

4. Know your subject matter. Don’t do a series on something you don’t know much about and that requires tons of research. Write on something that you’re already good at, passionate about or that people recognize you for. Your knowledge and excitement for a topic will shine through and make the series much more readable.

5. Market your series. Think of creative ways to market your series. Create a twitter hashtag for the series and when you tweet out your posts, use the hashtag. Ask friends to share the posts on their Facebook fan pages. Ask someone to guest post for one post in the series to bring their traffic to you.

6. Look back and reassess. When your blog series is done, it’s worthwhile to take a look back. Reassess what you did and figure out what could have been done better or differently. Keep those in mind when you do another series.

That’s it! Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to writing a great series on your blog. And if you do a fun series that would be of interest to our readers, let us know – we can feature it on the B2B Facebook page!

Have a great blogging week.

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Announcing Our Newest Feature

We love our blogger members here at B2B, and many of you requested that we start introducing you to each other.

You ask, I deliver. A few weeks ago in a blogger email, we included an opportunity to submit your blog to be considered for our weekly blog feature.

Wow! Over 350 of you showed interest! That’ll keep me busy for 6 years.

I’ll be selecting bloggers from the list at random – because that seems to be fairest. We’ll be starting the new feature at the beginning of April:

April 2nd will feature our very first Saturday Spotlight blogger. Who will it be? You’ll have to read the blog to find out. Maybe it’ll be you. ‘Cause…I haven’t selected the first random blogger yet. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Blogosphere Roundup, 3/24

I gotta say, it’s been an awesome week. Beautiful weather here in Austin, my kids were in a talent show and some fun bloggy things happened, too. I also found another great set of content for this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

Blogging Tips

Get Your Blog Ready For The Big Time. Blog Engage gives some excellent tips on how to be ready for that moment when your blog gets noticed!

Facebook Tutorial for Social RSS. Cindi from Moomette’s Magnificents walks through a cool application called Social RSS that can help you get more visibility for your Facebook page.

Using Google Analytics to Improve Your SEO. This? Is brilliant. Such a simple tip. Use the data you already have to take old posts and make their SEO better. Love this from Shout Me Loud!

What’s Holding Your Blog Back? Is your blog not where you want it to be? AngelaPaige gives you some reasons as to why.

5 Principles of Blogging. 5 essentials to a good blog: and Pushing Social tells you what they are. I love this – it’s spot on.

Social Media News

Encouraging More Interaction on Facebook. I struggle so hard with my personal blog Facebook page and getting people engaged. It’s even harder now that Facebook has changed how it displays news in people’s feeds. This from Viral Blog will explain how you can kickstart your lagging fan page.

Writing Twitter Headlines. Copyblogger always makes it seem so easy.

6 Useful Social Media Monitoring Tools. Some great apps from Shout Me Loud to make social media easier. I use several already!

2011 Social Media Trends. We Blog Better shares what might be on the horizon.

Mom Blogging News

How PR Companies Choose Bloggers. Ever wonder how they do it? This article from ShePosts gives some insight.

Don’t Mess With Mom Bloggers. Learn what happened to one company that didn’t prepare for the power of mom bloggers…in more ways than one.

What Will You Use Your Voice For? A thoughtful article from Mom Blog Magazine about what you say as a blogger and how it can be used, interpreted and affect your future.

That’s it! Whew! I had to eliminate about 20 more articles from this list because it was a jam-packed week! Hope you have a fabulous first full weekend of Spring!

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