Fab Friday Blog Share Derby

fab friday blog share derbySeeing as how Churchill Downs will be the talk of the town tomorrow with the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, I thought I’d share a bit of Kentucky Derby trivia before my weekly blog shares. Now I’m not much of a horse racing fan as I’ve probably watched more movies about horses and horse racing than actual horse races.

You know movies like:

[Read more…]

How to Write Super Star Blog Content – Borrow

blog corkboardPart 6 of 7

In this edition we will mind our manners and talk about borrowing content and not stealing. The process of borrowing content is quite prevalent in the blogging community as it is important to keep your blog active, relative, and energized. For many this can be a challenge, whether it’s because they have limited time or they don’t feel they can write fresh quality content.

Sure they can outsource and hire professional writers, ghost writers, freelancers to write for them and BTW should you be looking for someone, drop me a line. I would be happy to help. But there is another great method for what you could call borrowing content and it is perfectly legit.

Using PLR for Blog Content

If you’re not familiar with the acronym PLR it stands for private label rights and it can be for many the answer for keeping your blog rich with quality content. You can find free PLR material but I’d advice staying clear of those sites as their articles are frequently poorly written and include grammatical and spelling errors at least as far as American English is concerned.

Another caution too, is that if you are offered or find a PLR pack that includes a ridiculously high number of articles such as 100, 300, or even 600 articles, you can be assured that the quality will be poor. Stay far, far away.

I recommend paying for PLR content, the quality is typically better, and the good news is that for the most part it is a very economical solution. Also, when looking for PLR opt for current content, if possible check the date when it was written as some floating around out there has been there for years.

There’s plenty of good PLR content available and I will share a couple great resources in a moment. Using PLR content can certainly be a time-saving measure and it can even be a means of stimulating your own creative juices. I have often found that simply reading quality PLR I purchased helps me expand upon their writing and occasionally one post may generate two or three additional blog posts that I create myself.

Now when you use PLR content by all means do not simply use it “as is”, remember you want your blog to fit your style, your voice, your personality so that you are still delivering what your reader is looking for. Yes it is true that when you purchase PLR content you typically have full rights to its content meaning that you can simply use it as is and place your name on it is the author. But it is highly unlikely that any other author writes exactly as you do. So by all means give a little rework.

PLR Resources

Now I mentioned that I would share a couple of excellent PLR resources, so here I give you –

PLR Productions – This site provides terrific articles written by Bonnie Gean and she sells 400 word articles for roughly $1 each – this is a super bargain. She
offers articles and reports on a variety of topics including product reviews. Check out this link to PLR Productions.

PLR Mini Mart – This site provides a huge library of PLR articles written by Tiffany Lambert who’s known as the Ghost Writer to the gurus. Tiffany has been writing and producing quality content for a number of years and it shows. Her topics cover everything from relationships to dieting, blogging to dog training. Whatever your niche her store is sure to have a PLR pack you can happily use. Check out this link to PLR Mini Mart.

Have you used PLR content in your blog?

Tomorrow in the final post in this series, How to Write Super Star Blog Content, we take a look at making a commitment.

Marilyn T

How to Write Super Star Blog Content – Steal

business-blog-writingPart 5 of 7

If you have children in the room I hope you didn’t read the blog title out loud, we wouldn’t want them to get the wrong idea. And I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, so let me explain.

I certainly don’t condone stealing someone else’s content and pretending that it is yours, instead I am in a sense recommending that you steal their ideas. Actually you are not stealing at all, you are assembling ideas.

At one point the painter Picasso said “good artists copy, great artists steal”. Now I can’t speak for Picasso but it is my assumption based on the quality of his work that he was referring more to the notion of stealing ideas to help nurture and invigorate our own masterpieces.

As bloggers we read a number of other blog posts on the topic of our blog, you can call them competitor blogs I suppose. When we read these blogs we are often looking for ways to educate ourselves and gather information which can also give us ideas for our own blog posts.

Even when you know what your blog topic will be, you may find it beneficial to read other posts on that topic. Take a look at how their post was presented, the information they shared, and if appropriate use similar concepts to compose your blog post in your own words. This may help to strengthen the quality of your blog post content.

This technique is especially useful when trying to come up with blog post ideas or titles. I’ll often have a blog topic in mind that I feel is too general and should be more focused and streamlined, so I’ll read various blog posts to help me narrow down the topic.

For example, I could have written one very long blog post titled “How to Write Superstar Blog Content” using two or three of the topics in this series. But that would have made the post very long and I’m sure I would have lost your interest fairly early on. Instead I read a few other blog posts regarding blog content and it helped me outline my titles and come up with a blog series as opposed to one very long and boring blog post.

Our mentors are great resources for stealing ideas and I hope they’ll understand if one of mine happens to be reading. In a sense when you do, you are doing exactly what they taught you – you are learning from their posts and using their material to enrich your own ideas. You are not simply duplicating their posts as posting it as your own, although you may use an excerpt and give them credit within your post. You are instead using their wisdom to help fill your idea pool with gold for writing super star blog content.

Where do you look for ideas, have you ever stolen – I mean assembled ideas?

Tomorrow in part six of the How to Write Super Star Blog Content series, we take a look at borrowing content, and yes with permission.

Marilyn T

How to Write Super Star Blog Content – Be Entertaining

blogPart 4 of 7

Today’s topic is about writing entertaining content and by that I mean writing content that is simply enjoyable to read. Content that is merely a regurgitation of information, that is dry and boring will be about as fun to read as a school textbook. Your blog needs to show life, show excitement, show a piece of you, and draw your audience in. In this way, it becomes entertaining and interesting to read.

Previously I mentioned the importance of finding your voice, finding your own style, and making it come forth in your blog posts. For me, you will find that I have a rather dry sense of humor and will from time to time add in an anecdote or two. In order to create superstar blog content you want your audience to get to know you and you can only do that by letting them see a bit of who you are.

Tell a story

Certainly it is true that not all blog topics lend themselves to a bit of humor and levity, but they can be nonetheless entertaining to read. You can do this by telling a story or by giving examples. For instance, if you had a personal experience regarding the topic of your blog post include that, online business people like to read about the successes and mistakes of fellow bloggers.

Take a look at the events in your everyday life and think about how they can be blended into your blog posts. There are often events in our lives that others can relate to and can be tied into the topic of our post. For example, in one of my Fab Friday Blog Shares I mentioned that I was talking to my dog Boomer as I often do, and he gave me the inspiration for that week’s shared topic. Now you’re right he can’t talk but he did go over to his water dish for a pretty extensive drink and that brought to mind the phrase a thirst for knowledge, which then became the blog post topic.

Sometime back I used the story of Joe Ades, a man who became a millionaire by selling a simple potato peeler and correlated his selling technique with facets of building online businesses. There are stories all around us, they can be about people we meet, movies we watch, or children’s recitals we attend. The important part is to use them to make your blog posts entertaining.

You-your-audience-your-contentStay on topic

Now telling a story works very well at engaging your audience and keeping their attention. But it’s only beneficial to your blog when you stay on topic. Writing about the antics of celebrities or the weekend sports may be entertaining but possibly not pertinent to the topic of your blog.

Always come back to the focus of your blog and make sure that the point of your story is still in context. Make sure that the topic relates to the reason your visitor came to your blog. For example, if your blog is about raising a dog to make them a member of the family by teaching them to play and properly interact, don’t include blog posts about specific dog health issues. Leave those for the more vet focused blogger to handle.

The bottom line when writing entertaining super star content is to keep it light and friendly. Make it interesting by combining a story that relates to your blog topic and exudes your special touch.

Please share your ideas in the comments below on how you make your blog entertaining.

See you soon when in part five of the How to Write Super Star Blog Content series, we take a look at stealing, you won’t want to miss it.

Marilyn T

How to Write Super Star Blog Content – the Importance of Focus

focusPart 3 of 7

So far in this seven part series we have looked at the importance of passion and believability in molding super star blog content. Today let’s take a look at focus and the significance it has in developing your captivating content.

Focus is an interesting word; the dictionary definition states “to create a clear image” as with a camera lens being adjusted for a clear picture, and “to concentrate on” as in needing to pay close attention. As bloggers building our online business we hear comments such as “I’ve lost my focus” or “I can’t seem to focus” and there are a slew of articles with a vast array of suggestions to help you bet your focus back on track.

When it comes to writing super star blog content, there are simply just two things you must focus on. There are solely two areas where you must concentrate and place your emphasis and they are:

  • Knowing the Purpose of your Blog
  • And Recognizing your Audience

Focus on Your Blog’s Purpose

When we talked about finding your blog passion we uncovered that captivating content comes from your dynamic interest in your blog topic. Your passion comes from your desire to share, educate, help, or coach your readers. It comes from your wanting to connect with them and give them viable information and targeted solutions. When you get in tune with how you will deliver this interest, you uncover your blog’s purpose.

The purpose of your blog acts much like a company’s mission statement; it defines their reason for existing and their direction. The same is true for your blogging career. It is important that you know the purpose of your blog and dig deep down to feel it come alive. The purpose of your blog is like its blood flow that keeps it thriving and your thoughts and energy focused.

Think back for a moment when you were going through one of those times that you lost focus, a time when you were searching for blog topics, and when you felt like you just couldn’t get anything done. Why do you think that happened? I believe it was because you didn’t have a clear vision of your blogs purpose. Am I right?

Don’t be concerned, it happens to us all but you will have the remedy; you will have the magic elixir to bring your focus back on track by the time you finish reading.

Focus on Your Blog’s Audience

In order to write super star content you need know your audience and be able to talk to them. Your blog posts must do more than simply provide information or answers, they must provide the information or answers that your audience is looking for. Your mission is to always have their needs in mind and when you start connecting with them they will help by providing you with topics to post about.

You see writing blog content becomes a two-way street. When you write informative, helpful, and entertaining articles with the WIIFM concept or actually the “what’s in it for them” concept, your audience will get involved. And when they do you get involved, you create a dialogue with them that helps you stay focused on providing the content that they are looking for.

So let’s create that magic elixir and put in writing your prescription to success for the next time you struggle with focus issues. Go back to that list you made in part one of this series when you identified your passion and the reason for wanting to maintain a blog. Combine that purpose with the recognition of your audience and create your mission statement, which in the blogging business is referred to in part as your tagline.

Your tagline states succinctly and directly the purpose of your blog and will bring your mind’s focus back around every time you read it. Keep it handy and read it often but also keep in mind that it is okay to revamp this tagline as you and your blog grow.

What is the focused tagline for your blog?

I’ll see you again tomorrow when we take a look at providing entertaining content for part four of the How to Write Super Star Blog Content.

Marilyn T

How to Write Super Star Blog Content – Believability

blogPart 2 of 7

Yesterday, in part one of this series we looked at finding the reason you blog. Not simply the reason, but instead the passion, the why you love to blog that will cause your super star content to flow.

Continuing with that, today we look at believability. To my way of thinking, passion and believability go hand-in-hand. When you are passionate about a topic it will come through in your style of writing, it will mean that you believe you can provide value and will become a treasured resource for your readers.

The ability to come across as believable I suppose can be learned without evoking passion, but in the end your reader comes to the conclusion that your heart really isn’t in it. In the world of online marketing this is quite prevalent. These snake oil types are not blogging because they’re passionate about the topic; instead they are passionate about taking your money. In time you recognize them for who they are and you stop following.

Becoming Believable

Believability creates trust and trust creates a following of readers who look forward to your superstar blog content. Interestingly, becoming believable is not really something that can be learned in books, although you can learn traits from believable people. Becoming believable is about opening up and becoming you. It’s about allowing yourself to write in a manner that evokes a piece of you.

When you listen to your true voice, you write in your own style of writing, and allow your personality to show. You could say you become comfortable. If you want to write superstar content you must let your reader get to know you. Not necessarily the details of our life, unless that’s your style, but how you think and how you want to help them.

As you do so you will find that you begin to change the look of your site helping it to reflect a bit of you and your personality. This is another step in your believability transformation.

Provide Value

Writing believable content though is about more than just sharing your personality. Your content must also provide value which can come in the form of delivering fact, and offering training or support. Your content must first and foremost be something that interests your reader, otherwise why would they be there. In the vast world of the Internet information abounds, we can all Google just about any topic to find answers and resources.

When you become one of these resources, your content will be read because it’s a blending of useful information mixed with your humor, compassion, and believability. It is entertaining. No not like a stage show, although if you can add a bit of song and dance to your words – go for it.

Think for a moment about other bloggers you follow, is it because their site is bland but full of information or is it because you like their style, their presentation – that something that makes the information they provide more entertaining and readable.

How about you – do you impart a bit of you in your blog?

Join us again tomorrow for part three of the How to Write Super Star Content, when we take a look at the importance of focus.

Marilyn T

How to Write Super Star Blog Content

Super star blogPart 1 of 7

So you have a blog and you’re pretty proud of it but it’s not getting the traffic that you wish it was. You feel like you’ve tried a gazillion things, WordPress apps, widgets, and maybe you’ve even paid for traffic, but there it sits collecting virtual dust. Well don’t feel disillusioned, you are certainly not alone, you are simply feeling the effects of the lonely blogger’s lament.

This is a place where most every blogger has been at one point or another, wondering what they can do to attract more visitors to their blog. Well let me tell you a not so secret, secret. If you want to be a professional blogger, it’s not really about finding ways to attract visitors – it’s more about creating superstar blog content. It is your content that will bring visitors to your blog and also give them reason to return.

Over the next seven days I’m going to help you pinpoint how to write superstar blog content.

Why Do You Want a Blog?

The first thing you have to do is ask yourself why you have a blog. Is it because you have a hobby and wish to share tips and advice, are you a WAH mom sharing family fun, recipes, and bargains, or are you blogging to provide financial tips and resources? Whatever the reason, you need to understand the true reason why you have a blog.

A professional blog is not simply something trendy that garners attention for a while. It should be something you believe in, something you want to do for a long, long time. It should be the type of blog you nurture, that grows as you grow. When you blog about something that resonates with you it will come through in your writing and the readers will follow. Don’t be concerned about how fancy your site looks, that will come. Be more concerned about the content of your posts.

Find Your Passion

Grab yourself a piece of paper and write down the first half a dozen reasons why you blog, if more come to mind then that’s even better. Now take a look at that list, even read it out loud, and highlight those parts that strike a chord because those words are going to help you know why you blog.

The list of reasons you have created should evoke emotion, they should uncover something you’re passionate about because that’s where superstar content comes from. Take that list and create a couple sentences that state this passion.

I’ll give you an example.

Say you’re in the dog niche, you could write:

  • “I blog about taking care of dogs from puppy training to senior care”

Or you could write:

  • “I’m passionate about helping you train, treat, and pamper your four-legged friend so you have a long happy life together”

The first sentence states the facts but has no emotion. The second exudes your enthusiasm, which will show in your writing and you will have no problem coming up with stellar content. Take a look at your list and illustrate your passion for your blog topic.

Please leave a comment below to let us know you’re on your way to writing super star blog content. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow when we look at part two in our series and talk about the importance of believability.

Marilyn T

Fab Friday Blog Share 22

Happy Friday!

To my friends in the U.S., I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving Day yesterday. It’s a wonderful time to take a moment to share the enjoyment of spending time with friends and family.

I decided to submit a couple articles to Squidoo this week, to take advantage of the Christmas season. One seems to have vanished into the Squidoo airwaves which I’ve never experienced before. The support team is looking into the mystery though. The other is about Christmas Dinnerware – you can check it out here if you wish. http://www.squidoo.com/christmas-dinnerware-favorites [Read more…]

Fab Friday Blog Share 21

Hello there!

The subject of this week’s Fab Friday Blog Share came from my dog. Yep, you read that right. I was talking to him this evening, something I do quite often, and I asked him “Boomer, what should be the topic of this week’s Fab Friday Blog Share”.

Well he stood there looking up at me with his big brown eyes and then came over for a big drink of water, looked up at me again, and meandered away. So I said, “water, no that can’t be it – thirst?” Got it! A thirst for knowledge, thanks Boomer. [Read more…]

Fab Friday Blog Share 20

Hello again!

Well, here it is Friday once again and you may have noticed that I have not uploaded a post all week. The reason for that is that I have been having troubles with backup /cloning software program and did not want to lose anything I submitted while working through the issues.

I haven’t been silent though. Instead I have been feverishly working on my other blog Positively You Can and have two books in the making. So it has been a busy week.

But no matter what is going on, I simply must post the weekly Fab Friday Blog Share.

Here are this week’s selections, please enjoy!

Some great points on blogs people like to read – http://blogandretire.com/blog/2013/11/6-types-of-blogs-people-love-to-read.html

I probably don’t pay as much attention to SEO factors as I should, I tend instead to post content that I feel my reader is looking for – http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/services/ranking-factors-2013/

I love this line “Show up, join in, get involved.” – http://bit.ly/17XN5WD

Once again we are reminded that success only comes to those who persevere – http://bit.ly/1auHtAT

Great website design tips from Mashable – http://mashable.com/2011/09/12/website-usability-tips/

 And of course, the entertainment portion of this week’s Fab Friday Share –

A fun video from some time ago – Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract

Marilyn T