Friday, April 25, 2008

Find work as a Freelance Blogger for small businesses

Today our department at work got a call for one of our companies customers about blogging. They wanted to start a blog, but didn't understand what it really was, had no one set up in their company to actually do the blogging, and weren't sure what they were going to actually blog about. Seth Godin calls this situation a "meatball sundae" where businesses think just because they start using newer web tools, their business will automatically benefit.

The good news for bloggers: There is a gap, as many of you who freelance already know, for bloggers to fill. Small businesses with a web presence or who are looking to get started with one need your help. Whether you offer them advice as a consultant or become their "ghost" blogger, this is an area of freelance writing I think will continue to grow.

Speaking of writing, if you write an article for Packt Publishing and they accept it, they will send you two copies of books published by them for free. A good way for writers who need references to get them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogger: Beyond the Basics at a discount

Want hundreds of pages of tips, tutorials, and worksheets about advanced Blogger techniques at a discount? Blogger: Beyond the Basics is now available for preorder from in e-book (under $23) and paperback format (under $32) They are both discounted 20% for early birds.

If you like to read books for free and then tell people what you think about them, you can also sign up to be a technical reviewer for Packt. It's fun, easy, and you get to read books before they are published.

Edit: Anyone who read the post earlier - The wrong book prices were on the Packt site. That's what I get for eagerly posting about it first thing in the morning.

If you'd like to review the book, I'll give the first three people who email me a free copy. Be sure to list your mailing address.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If you blog was a fruit, what would it be?

I was telling my personal trainer today all about Blogger and how a blog would be useful to a fitness professional like him. He could post articles about fitness and health, interact with potential clients, and build a reputation as an expert. This got me thinking of the different reasons people blog.

What kind of blog do you have now? Do you have a vision for what you want it to be like, and how you want other people to experience it? Below is the fruit "horoscope" for your blog.

Apple- Regular, down to earth, every day.
Peach - Simple, juicy, different but approachable
Pear - Refined, Corporate, formal, exclusive
Star Fruit - Unique, Geometric, Exotic, surprising

Friday, April 4, 2008

What's in a blog name?

While editing chapter 9 of the Blogger book, it struck me just how crucial good names are for a blog. Whenever I browse Blogger's blogs of note, it is the titles of the blogs that grab my attention first.

What is the key to a successful blog title? The title of your blog should explain the purpose of your blog clearly, but be short enough to type manually into a browser window and catchy enough to remember. One of my favorites is Cooking with Amy. She clearly describes the experience potential readers can expect when they visit her blog.

If you chose an awkward name for your blog, or if your blog URL no longer really fits, you can still edit the blog title and description. Changing those two items will also increase the chances of people finding you when they perform a search, and potentially improve your search engine rankings if the new title and description more closely match what your blog is about.