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Perfecting Your Blog Design Is the Wrong Place to Start

Blog Design WrongThere is no perfect blog theme or customization. It doesn’t exist. No matter how much you adjust and futz and tweek, there will always be something that’s not quite right. And you can spend endless hours in search of the perfect background, the optimum header, the most compelling title font.

That’s all well and good — unless you’re spending time that should be used to create quality content and generate targeted traffic.

Back in the day, the only theme going was Kubrick. It was plain and boring and blue. And that’s the way it was. And we all got on blogging in spite of the generic nature of it all.

Today, there are thousands and thousands of themes — and many can be customized to the hilt. It’s great to be free to create just the looks we want. (I use the ultimate Thesis theme on all my blogs and it’s part of the Expert Blogging Package.) But I’ve seen more than my share of new bloggers whose work comes to a screeching halt while they fuss with tiny details — details that won’t matter one iota in the successful monetization of their blogs. Perfecting Your Blog Design Is the Wrong Place to Start continued


Make Money With Your Blog Workshop 3 Scheduled

The third Make Money With Your Blog Workshop was just made available for registration! It’s an intense, three-hour presentation discussing the methods and sources for turning your blog into a money making activity.

You will learn:

  • The 10 requirements for a money blog
  • My 10 favorite ways to make money with my blog
  • Overcoming the two biggest blogging hurdles on a shoestring
  • 1 hour Q&A

The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Lindon, Utah.

For more details and to register, please go to Make Money With Your Blog 3.


Using the WordPress Video Tutorials

All members of the PopCred Network have access to an updated set of video tutorials to help you create the perfect site for your niche blog. To access these videos, login at your dashboard.

Subdomain: http://yoursite.popcred.net/wp-login.php

Mapped domain: http://yoursite/wp-login.php

PopCred Login


Click on the Video Tutorials tab in your left nav bar. Using the WordPress Video Tutorials continued

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Home Business Distractions

Home Business DistractionsLast week I taught a workshop on how to make money blogging. As the evening progressed, I realized that a workshop on how to work from home may also be helpful.

I’ve been working from home since 1987. And I have six kids. And I homeschool. And I have a life. Working from home meant learning self-discipline in a way I was never required in a job with a both breathing down my neck.

Aside from all the bureaucratic hoops to jump through, recognize that making your business work requires you to make yourself work. Here are some of the main distractions people tell me keep them from getting their (home) work done and a few ways to avoid them. Home Business Distractions continued


Make Money With Your Blog Workshop 2 Scheduled

The second Make Money With Your Blog Workshop was just made available for registration! It’s an intense, three-hour presentation discussing the methods and sources for turning your blog into a money making activity.

You will learn:

  • The 10 requirements for a money blog
  • My 10 favorite ways to make money with my blog
  • Overcoming the two biggest blogging hurdles on a shoestring
  • 1 hour Q&A

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Lindon, Utah.

For more details and to register, please go to Make Money With Your Blog 2.

Update: This workshop is sold out.


Make Money Blogging Workshop 1 Complete

In spite of winter storms creating near white out conditions in some parts of the Wasatch front, we had a full-house at the first Make Money With Your Blog Workshop last night. Three hours, I discovered, is a long time to talk, but we were able to cover the material and had a good question and answer period.

Thanks to all who came out. We’ve had good feedback and welcome more.

If there are particular topics you’d like covered in future workshops, please comment below. We’ll try to offer as many as we can, based on interest.


Make Money With Your Blog Workshop 1 Scheduled

The first Make Money With Your Blog Workshop was just made available for registration! It’s an intense, three-hour presentation discussing the methods and sources for turning your blog into a money making activity.

You will learn:

  • The 10 requirements for a money blog — what you need to get started
  • My 10 favorite ways to make money with my blogs — the methods I use to make money and even more ideas
  • Documentation — detailed contacts and resources
  • Troubleshooting — how to overcome the two biggest blogging hurdles on a shoestring

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, in Lindon, Utah.

For more details and to register, please go to Make Money With Your Blog 1.

Update: This workshop is sold out.


Social SEO

Over a year ago, I wrote about cheap search engine optimization and some easy ways to start on the path to getting ranked for some long-tail keywords. Those are my favorite, tried and true, classic methods for on-page SEO. But maybe you’re ready to move beyond your own site to bring in the traffic. If so, here’s how social media works with regard to search engine optimization.

  1. You create a fabulous post with quality content
  2. You share the post on various social sites
  3. Other people recognize your amazing content and share with others
  4. Repeat steps 2–4

Remember the old shampoo commercial showing the exponential growth of on person sharing the fabulosity of her hair care products with two people who share it with two peeople, and so on and so on and so on? OK, so I’m ancient and this was way before your time. Here you go:

Not only does that commercial explain the concept of viral marketing, but the commercial itself is an example of the power of social media. Now — well over 30 years since Heather Locklear touted organic shampoo — the commercial is still being shared and viewed, over 11,000 time so far. For free. Social SEO continued


Work from Home Sanity

Work from Home SanitySince 1987 — when we had our first child — I’ve been working from home. Yes, I’ve been a mom and a homemaker, but I’ve also run a home business, so that’s home work on top of home work. With a business degree from college, the entrepreneurial spirit is deep in my soul and being home allowed me to delve in without the negative impact being gone most of the day would have.

When my kids were young, I would simply work when they slept. Naptime and a child’s relatively early bedtime gave me ample time to work and learn new skills. But as the kids got older, they slept less and didn’t necessarily require less attention — just different kinds of attention. Work from Home Sanity continued


Boys and Guns

By Val Flores

Yesterday, I walked into a co-worker’s office to discuss a business issue and I noticed that she had http://www.expertsatellite.com/ pulled up on her computer. She said she was learning about satellite television. From that initiation statement, our conversation turned to television programming for children. She has two young boys and I have four grandsons. We discussed parental controls and educational viewing and what her sons like to watch. Boys are innately programmed to like playing with guns. They enjoy movies that include shooting, whether the guns fire because of hunting in the woods or because there are cops and robbers or murderers and thieves.

As parents, it is important to help them understand how dangerous guns are, even when using them legally and adhering to the usage laws. While we try to shelter them from the evening news and all that is bad in the world, sometimes it is necessary that they hear about shootings, even and especially the accidental shootings that are fatal and sad, in order to understand just how dangerous they are.


What’s Your Best Blogging Income Advice?

Blog Money AdviceA couple of weeks ago, a friend teased me on an email list, saying she had better ways to spend her hours than “wasting them blogging.” Now the truth is, she has no idea how much time I spend online, but I responded:

I guess it depends on how much money you make doing it.

The response was utterly flippant, but the result was a swarm of emails — 131 so far, to be exact — asking how I make money blogging. What’s Your Best Blogging Income Advice? continued


Welcome to the PopCred Newtork

PopCred was born today. Although the site won’t be announced to the world for a month, today marks the official launch of the site dedicated to helping regular people make money with blogs.

One blogger makes millions per month. Tens of bloggers make hundreds of thousands month. Hundreds of bloggers make tens of thousands per month. Thousands of blogger make thousands per month. Tens of thousands make hundreds per month. Hundreds of thousands make tens of dollars per month. And millions of blogger make next to nothing.

This aren’t scientifically correlated statistics. They arrive from my years of anecdotal experience in the market, But I’d guess they are spot on.

Where are the odds you’ll make money blogging? Not very good if you look at the numbers. But, again from experience, I’m convinced that the proper tools — combined with a sincere willingness to learn and a commitment to work — most anyone with basic skills and equipment can get themselves into the thousands who make thousands group.

I’m not blogging about blogging because it’s sexy. I’m blogging about it because I’ve done it myself.

The PopCred Network is here to:

  • Provide the technical expertise so blogging is easy
  • Provide the premium tools so blogging is efficient and fun
  • Provide the supportive community needed to get traffic and establish a real blogging presence quickly
  • And to do it all on a shoestring budget

Join the PopCred Network and make money with your blog!


Digital Marketing

In the early 90s I started a home-based educational products company targeted at homeschoolers. It was called Bright Spark Press. In 1994 I created my first website, which was an online catalog for the company. No bells or whistles. No CSS. Just very plain, table-based design.

Given that I was bootstrapping the company, I couldn’t afford to plaster direct mail advertisements all over the country. Even with a site, the infant internet wasn’t a place you could just google for the best results. You found sites mostly by having someone give you the direct URL.

I used AOL message boards and chats as a lead generator and sent people to my fledgling web site. Once I had leads, I used a local web press to print the catalog, printed labels and attached them to each catalog, hand sorted, and used bulk mail for shipments.

Having done things the “old way” (read that: the hard way), having a viable digital medium for advertising opens up a world of possibilities, especially for companies that don’t have an advertising budget to speak of.

And it is not just in the United States. Paid search in the Middle East, for example, is skyrocketing. Marketing opportunities for businesses are available worldwide.

If you’re looking at a business to reach your goals, take the time to learn all you can about digital marketing. It’s an effective and affordable way to reach your customers.


Mixed Media Marketing

Mixed Media Marketing

If you have expertise in a topic of interest to others and you can write and communicate reasonably well, the biggest hurdle is getting people to see what you have to offer. Promoting your website is the most difficult thing for most bloggers I work with.

Mixed media marketing — using many different venues, both old tech and new tech (or not tech at all!) — to reach your target audience makes sense. For example, consider these: Mixed Media Marketing continued


Keep Government Out of the Internet

We don’t need more government intrusion in our lives. Defeat this bill!


Pain and Productivity

If you spend many, many hours on the computer to make a living, like I do, you may  have noticed twinges of pain in your arms or hands. Some days I have a hard time using a can opener with that incessant twisting motion. I don’t know the cause (although I have my suspicions), but I do know that chronic pain can keep you from working, playing, and enjoying life to the fullest.

If you have a pain or discomfort stemming from inflammation, you should know that it can be a major cause of health problems.  Scientific evidence has shown rare antioxidants, called Betalains, reduce inflammation.

Great information, but how do you get your hands on a supply of betalains?

Pain and Productivity continued


See Clearly

See ClearlyI finally got new glasses. OK, I didn’t. I went to the eye doctor, had a checkup, got a prescription, and ordered my glasses. (Hallelujah, I only need reading glasses!) They are ready and I just need to pick them up. So I don’t actually have them yet, but I will soon. Honest. It’s become a matter of productivity. I need to see better to do my best work.

When deciding what about all the eyeglass options, there were all sorts of options to consider. One of the newer ones (at least new to me, considering my penchant to avoid eye doctors) is oleophobic coating. See Clearly continued


Own Company

Guest written by our friend Trent Horton

Having my own company is one of the prouder things I’ve ever done in my life. I really wanted something that would be flexible enough for us to have another baby but it was hard with a 9-5…there was just no way I was going to be able to do it all AND take care of the kids. I got a clear wireless internet connection and I just went for it – all out on my own – and it’s taken a year but I’m finally just where I want to be when it comes to work. I love having clients and all kinds of free time and flexibility but better yet I just love being able to say I’m a small business owner. After all those years I spent in that cube working my fingers to the bone it’s nice to say I’ve made it on my own and that things are better than ever. Who would have thought it would be this seamless a transition for me and my family?


Make Money Helping Others with SEO – Ethically

I’ve long been planning a post on ways to make money using your blog. For the past year, I’ve had more work than I can handle and have had to pass up a number of good opportunities to focus on the best. That post is still under production, but today I learned of a site where bloggers or other internet users can make money by offering their services to others.

Affordable SEO service gigs can add up to a lot of extra cash. Some offerings include article translation, programming, social networking, twitter following, blog reviews, article writing, etc. Completing some of these assignments can add a nice cash flow to your online business.

If you do check out this company, however, please stick to the golden rule. Some of the offers include “blackhat/bulk links” and forum and blog linking. This morning I spent way too much time deleting over 4,600 spam comments from my blog — all from #@$%! people trying to get high-ranking links to their sites. (And I have 10,600 spam comments deal with on my lifestyle design blog. Not happy about that.)  [click to continue…]


Glasses for Work Efficiency

Work GlassesWhen I was 43-years-old — I propped myself up in bed to read. I rubbed my eyes a few times, thinking I had some vaseline left on them from removing my makeup. Then I wiped with a tissue. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of the blur.

I straightened up in bed and, completely by accident, realized that moving the book further away from my face made it all come into focus. In a flash all the middle-aged jokes about arms not being long enough made perfect sense.

Ugh. Glasses for Work Efficiency continued