Thursday, August 13, 2009

What Should I Write About on My Blog?

When I write or talk about blogging, one of the first questions I am asked is, "What should I write about on my blog?" My immediate answer is – write about whatever you are passionate about; whatever information you would really like to share.

When a subject has been decided upon, the second question often is, “What do I write when I run out of information?”

The second question is easier to answer than the first because only you know what your interests are and what you would feel comfortable blogging about. But collecting information and publishing it on your blog is simple – a slam dunk. Do you know what Article Directories are?

Article directories are similar to online magazines where professional and sometimes not-so-professional writers can submit articles based on specific topics. These directories are sometimes called ezines and they can host hundreds or even thousands of articles related to almost any subject you can imagine.

One of the most important factors in becoming a successful blogger is content. Not just any verbiage but unique, well-written content that will lure readers to your blog again and again. This is where article directories are most valuable. You can publish any of the articles you find in the directories on your blog without any cost as long as you keep them intact with the “resource box” at the bottom of the article mentioning the author and related information.

Here are three of the article directories I can recommend since I regularly submit articles to them and am familiar with the level of professionalism in the articles they publish.,, and Go forth and search those directories for articles that would contribute additional content to your blog.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

If you Don't Tweet on Twitter You're in Trubble

Why should you use Twitter as part of your marketing plan for your blog? Here's 10 reasons:

Reason #1 - According to a Nielsen Report, in February 2009, Twitter had nearly 7.1 million users. That's a lot of viewers to read your marketing message - especially when it costs you nothing.

Reason #2 through 10 - See Reason #1 above.

Once you become a Twitter user and tweet (post) regularly within the 140 character limit, you are hooked. It's a cross between blogging and instant messaging. You add value to your tweet by including links to your blogs and websites.

You gain exposure for your sites, market your products or services, ask and/or answer questions, share tips and resources, meet and connect with others.

Go to and get your own Twitter account today. Because 140 spaces is so easy to fill, you will want to shorten your blog name as much as possible. Here are some possibilities. Go to (8 spaces), or (5 spaces) or even (4 spaces) to make your URL as short as possible. Example: my blog: becomes giving me 14 additional spaces to work with.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Picking a Topic and a Name for Your Blog

Now that you have decided on a free host, you have to ask yourself two questions.
1) What topic should I write about?
2) What should I call my blog?
Search engines search for content – what you write – so take some time to think about this. What is your passion? What subject do you like to talk about?
What topic(s) do you know a lot about?
Is your line of work fascinating? Do you have an amusing hobby or avocation?
Do you want to blog about the places you’ve been when traveling?
How about interesting books or magazine articles you have read?
Or amazing movies you love and watch time and time again?
Have you found ways to save money that you would like to share? Or ways to spend it?
Stories about your amazing, lovable dog. or your curious, independent cat?
Exotic animals and their curious habits like the platypus and the wallaroo (combination of wallaby and kangaroo)?

Your name should have some relevance to the contents of your blog. Your name should be short and easy for folks to remember. Not only is a short name easier to remember, but it will be to your advantage when you are counting words on Twitter (limit – 140 spaces) which you will be using to advertise your blog. More on advertising with free Tweets in my next post.

Your name should also be easy to spell and not confusing when spoken. If you heard, would you know how to spell it? Although I admit it hasn’t hampered the Pfister Faucet Company even tho I’m tempted to spell it “pfaucets.”

In the past, bloggers tried to invent domain names containing keywords. Now search engines are smarter and your name contributes only a small percentage toward your page ranking – where you are listed on Google and other search engines. On the free hosts, Blogger and Wordpress, you will have a name or URL. Most people think of when they are looking for a website. It takes more energy to remember,, and the others.

In the future, if you want to purchase your own URL without the or extension, you can purchase a name. Here are several registrars of domain names where you can learn if your name is available.,,,, Costs vary from $9.75 to $26.33 per year. For now, however, concentrate on writing your content in your free host with your free domain name.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Have you selected your free web host?

Then now is the time to get serious about your blog. What topic or topics are you going to be blogging about? Will yours be a blog about celebrity escapades? Who did What to Whom? Why? How? and Where did it happen?

Or a more personal blog about a topic you are passionate about: recipes, gardening, your family, movies, books, art, American Idol winners, American Idol losers who became winners, TV shows, Susan Boyle? You get the idea.

Or are you interested in selling your professional services, as a consultant, resume writer, life coach, career consultant, whatever?

When you blog, content is king. You may not post (write) every day. But you do have to have content. Content is what you blog about. Are your posts creative, interesting, informative, worthwhile, serious, humorous, unusual, practical, memorable? Or all of the above? Would the reader want to return to your site?

Do you keep the reader in mind with everything you write? Be aware that all of us are constantly listening to an internal radio station: W I I – F M - What’s In It For Me. Your content has to show your readers what’s in it for them.
My next post will focus on your domain name. If you have any “newbie” blogger questions, please post them as comments. I'll give you the best answers I know.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What topic should I blog about?

What is a blog? What is a niche?
Before you select a topic, do you know what a blog is and where the word came from?
If you’re new to blogging, you may be wondering what the word, blog, actually means. The word comes from weblog, a term used to describe a log written for the web. In time, weblog was shortened to blog. Not long ago blogs were used predominately as personal journals where you might share your thoughts, your recipes, your opinions, your rants for others to read.

Nowadays, Twitter with its 140 spaces per Tweet can adequately fill your need to let the world know you had eggs Benedict for breakfast, or you think Adam should have been the American Idol. More about using Twitter to make money in a future post. There are some bloggers who still write posts (entries) as diaries or personal journals. But on this site we’ll be focusing on the majority who write blogs in order to earn money.

So. what should you write your blog about? There are blogs on every topic known to man and woman and you can publish your content as often as you desire. But you want to discover a niche to write about – something for which you are best fitted. How do you discover your niche? Answer these two questions.
What are you most passionate about?
What do you have experience or background in that you could write about that would interest other people?

Why are blogs more popular than “static websites”?
Websites don’t change that much (the reason they are called static) and because they don’t get updated regularly like blogs and are not generally interactive, the search engines don’t search them regularly. When you write a blog, you can request comments which cause your blog to become more interesting to your readers. More updating and more contents produce more traffic and that attracts the search engines to rank you higher.

Why should I use a free host instead of a paid website?
Because blogs are now easy to set up on free hosts like Google and Wordpress. You don’t need html technical knowledge. If you can click on buttons and use a computer keyboard, you’re in business. And the most important reason – you don’t need to invest any money if you choose a free host. Down the road, when you’re making money, you can select a paid host for $5.95 to $6.95 a month, and purchase a domain name for about $10 per year. Now, while you’re getting started, Google or Wordpress work just fine and they will help you to select an available domain name.

Should my domain name (my URL) be the same as my blog name?
In a perfect world, having the same domain name as your website would make life a little easier. When people think of your name they would also know the name of your blog or website. Unfortunately, today many of the names you might select as your first choices are already taken. Which brings us to the next question:

Should I use dot com, dot org, dot net?
Blog writers have strong opinions regarding this question. Most say, get the “.com” extension only. They cite these two reasons among others: 1 - search engine browsers search for .com names before they look at other extensions like .org, or .net.
2 – the .com extension is the most common so many people will just type the name and assume your extension is .com without typing it. As an example, if your domain name is, make sure you advertise your site as bloggingforbucksdotnet or folks will be traveling to your competitor who has the dot com extension. There are also country-specific extensions like .us (U.S.), .ca (Canada) or .uk (United Kingdom). Be aware though that some people might think your site caters only to that country.

What if my heart is set on a domain name that is already taken?
If you have an existing name that you have spent time and money to establish, you can try to buy the domain name you seek that is now owned by someone else. Go to and click on Domains. Then click on WHOIS Lookup. You will find all the information you need on how to contact the current owner of the domain name. More about choosing your domain name in my next post.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask them as a comment and I’ll try to answer. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Should you use Blogger or WordPress as your free host?

I use both Blogger and WordPress for my blogs. Here’s some of what I’ve learned so you can make your own choice:

How and when did Blogger and WordPress start?
Blogger was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs offering free blog-hosting services and was purchased by Google in 2003. You need to have a Google email address (which is free) in order to start using Blogger. Although its website is, the blogs it hosts are all sub-domains of In 2007 Blogger was ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors.

WordPress was started in 2003 and claims it has become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world with hundreds of thousands of sites as a blog-publishing platform ( In 2005 they began offering a free blog hosting service ( with a version of the original WordPress software As a newbie blogger, it took more time than is reasonable to learn that is the software which you can purchase, and is their host platform which is free (and uses free WordPress software).

So how do you get started with your own blog?
Getting started is easy. The tough part involves choosing a domain name that will be used as your blog’s address. For Blogger blogs, you will use “” at the end of your domain name. For WordPress blogs, you will have domains ending with “” You will choose your own domain name which appears before the suffix. I’ll share more info about selecting domain names in a separate future post.

How easy is it to use Blogger or WordPress?
Both free hosting platforms offer a choice of templates – the theme or look of your blog - that you can choose with just a click of a button. Blogger, at present has 31 ready-made themes and WordPress has 66 templates.
Blogger is very easy to use, perhaps due to the fact that it doesn’t have as many options for advanced information management. WordPress is simple, too, but may require more investigation on your part because of its many options.

What about creating and editing my blog?
Both hosts offer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing, and both also include the ability to upload or link to images for inclusion in your posts.
Both services feature commenting (comments from readers of your blog) as well as support for comment moderation. You can decide whether or not to publish any specific comment on your blog.

Where are blogs published?
Blogger and WordPress save the content of your blog on their servers. Both hosts also allow you the option of publishing the pages to your own server (paid hosting service) so you can fully host the blog with your own domain name, eliminating the need to use a or address.

How about managing multiple blogs?
Blogger allows you to manage multiple blogs from a single dashboard making it easier to post and track the content of your blog. has added the ability to manage multiple blogs from a single account.
Note to Newbies: When I first saw the word, ‘dashboard,’ I thought of an automobile dashboard. A blog dashboard is very similar. It’s like a menu that organizes and displays information in a way that is easy to read.

What about adding widgets? is the most restrictive as it does not allow most external widgets to be embedded in your posts without special codes. Many widgets must be approved by prior to working. You can search for widgets on to get more information on what works and what doesn’t.
Blogger is more liberal than as far as allowing widgets. You can add widgets to your template for display on all pages. You can also add most standard embed codes to your posts. Blogger’s page element features also allow you to add images and slideshows to your blog layout.
Note to Newbies: A widget, also called gadget, is a chunk of code that can be installed on your blog. They often take the form of on-screen tools like clocks, calendars, weather info, calorie counters, etc.

What about monetizing my blog with Advertising?
At present, does not allow third-party ad serving services like AdSense to be present on their blogs. This, of course, could change in the future.
Since Blogger is owned by Google, they completely support AdSense advertising on blogs and even include an easy page element to assist you when adding and editing AdSense ads.

Both of these free hosting services are viable options if you want to start blogging. But if you want to start making money from your blog, it has to be monetized with AdSense and other advertisers. Blogger, therefore, is the logical choice. (to be continued)
Didja know that laughter is very good for your health? Check out my new blog:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gmail Tips for Newbie Bloggers

Did you know you can have multiple email addresses with Gmail without changing your basic user name?

I discovered a hidden feature about Gmail that most people don't know. Here's how it works.

If you don't have a Gmail address, go to Google Mail and set up a free acount. Now suppose you want to have a number of email addresses so you can track or archive the source of different incoming emails but you don't want to change your basic Gmail name.

First method - Add a plus (+) sign and any combination of words or numbers after your email address. Example: if your email address is, you could also use something like Or The emails will all come to your basic address.

Second method - Use one or several dots (periods) anywhere you like in your email address. Gmail doesn't care where you put the dot. It will recognize and send your emails to your basic email address. Example: You could use, or, or

The next post will feature a comparison of Blogger vs. Wordpress as your free host.

Do you know anyone involved in active job search? Tell them to go to Barnes & Noble ( to read Chapter One of "Much of What You Know about Job Seach Just Ain't So," my latest book.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Would You Like to Make $5,000 or More a Month Posting Links on Google?

Make $5,00 a month? Of course you would So would I.

This headline and blog has been appearing all over the web on various websites as well as Twitter since the beginning of the year. So I investigated. Wouldn’t you.

It’s a downright, outright scam. I located five websites offering the same “Google Cash Kit” with information for $1 or $1.97.or $2.95. There may be many more.

The websites I located are: (Josh Parker) (Scott Hunter) (Kevin Hoeffer) (Danny Goldberg) (Joan Falletta)

Each website is practically identical with regard to the copy and the offer. Josh and Scott have different names but the same photo.

All lost their jobs recently and are making money (?) with the Kit. The copies of supposed $5,000 checks each received are identical and spurious, not genuine. (I love that word. ‘Spurius’ in French means bastard.) The checks shown on separate websites all have the same date, same amount, and same check number. What an amazing coincidence.

One more thing – the routing number on the check is fictitious.
Although the offer states you will pay only $1 to $2.95 for the kit, you will find your credit card charged for $49, $59 or $99 with additional monthly charges thereafter. Even so, many buyers never receive any Cash Kit.

If you have encountered anything like this, please make a comment and tell me about your experience – it may help others.

I know I promised to tell you all I know and learn about being a newbie blogger but when I discovered these sites, I was furious. How dare these folks (it may be only one ‘folk’ with numerous aliases) scam readers who only want to find a way to make some additional money in these difficult times.

I’ll get back to blogging tips and strategies with my next post. Stay well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


How can I make money with my blog without investing a cent?

How can I get a FREE web host and a FREE domain name (URL)?

How can I make money with ads on my blog without any cost on my part?

How can I get the most traffic to my blog?

How can I add my Twitter tweets to my blog? and more.

Hello, if you're a newbie blogger -- new to the world of blogging -- like me. I've had 4 blogs running for almost a year now and by doing exceptional, sometimes tedious, research on the web, I've learned how to do all the above, and make money. I'm not a techie in any sense of the word. I always thought that a 'code' is what you have when your 'node' is stuffed up. But I'm grateful for what I've learned and willing to share this information with you for FREE.

I'll tackle each subject in separate posts and try to post at least weekly. Your comments will be very important to me as we can each learn from them. I've learned most of what I know from folks I call the blogging experts who have been on the web for some time. But I also find new, rewarding information from those who comment on what the 'experts' say.

My background has been eclectic: psychologist, copywriter, marketing VP, training and development, executive coach, career consultant, and motivational speaker. Now I'm a successful blogger and enjoying this newest money-making career.

Okay. Here's one of the first free strategies I learned: selecting a web host and url (your domain name) without paying a monthly fee - no cost whatsoever for the hosting and your name. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it?

The best free hosts I've discoveed are Google Blogger (Blogspot) and WordPress. I use both. Blogspot seems to be easier for me when adding Adsense and Widgets (more about them later), but I use both. Check out my blogs to make your own decision. Both hosts have a number of clean-looking templates that you can choose.

(to be continued)