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Grammar Basics For Blog Posts

grammar-basics-for-blog-postsWhile it’s true that you do not need to be an author or language expert to write a blog, you will be recognized as much more professional if you follow a few simple grammar rules.  Another benefit to avoiding these common grammar errors is that you’ll reduce the risk of distracting your readers from your valuable content. 

Mastering grammar basics for blog posts may also help with rankings and traffic.  Consider the impact with keyword phrases such as the difference between a web search for “the principles of accounting” (correct) vs. “the principals of accounting” (incorrect).  And do you really think people would share poorly written content on their social media networks?

I’m going to cover many of the most common grammar mistakes in this post but I suggest that if ever you’re in doubt, simply do web search for an instant answer.  English is my native language but everyone writing in English should be able to gain some insight here quite easily.   The only instance where a writer has creative freedom to ignore grammatical correctness is if they’re writing in a persona (child, pet, country hick, valley girl, etc.) and misusing language would be considered appropriate for the character.

Top 10 Grammar Tips For Blog Posts


1. A lot vs. Alot

A lot = Many

Example:  I have a lot of friends.

Alot is not a word!

2. Conscience vs. Conscious

Conscience = Our inner voice that tells us the difference between right and wrong.

Example: My guilty conscience kept my awake all night.

Conscious = We are aware of what is happening.

Example: I was conscious that I couldn’t sleep because I felt guilty.

3. There, Their and They’re

There = A place.

Example: The remote is over there on the couch.

Their = Belongs to one single entity or two or more persons.

Example: Their remote got lost under the couch.

They’re = They are.

Example: They’re annoyed by having to change the TV channels manually since the remote got lost.

4. e.g. vs. i.e.

e.g. = For example. 

Example: I love to shop for anything (e.g. groceries, clothes, housewares, etc.).

i.e. = That is to say.

Example: I love to shop for anything (i.e. I’m a shopaholic).

5. It’s vs. Its

It’s = It is. 

Example: It’s time to buy a new refrigerator.

Its = Belongs or pertains to it. 

Example: The refrigerator is on its last leg.

6. May vs. Might

May = A likely possibility.

Example: I may (likely will) have time to stop at the store on my way home.

Might = An uncertainty.

Example: I might (likely won’t) be able to stop at the store between appointments this afternoon.

7. Coincidence vs. Irony

Coincidence = Unlikely occurrences of random acts that seem to be but are not related. 

Example: Coincidently, I got into a fender-bender with my old driving instructor today.

Irony = Circumstances that result in the opposite of what is would be expected or what “should have” occurred.

Example: Ironically, the driving instructor that wouldn’t issue me a license, ran me over in the parking lot today.

8. Ambivalent vs. Indifferent

Ambivalent = Feelings of mixed emotions.

Example: I am ambivalent about continuing to visit Starbucks everyday since I love the taste of my iced latte but it’s getting too expensive to enjoy.

Indifferent = Do not care at all; no opinion whatsoever.

Example: I am indifferent about whichever bakery vendor Starbucks contracts because I never buy food there).

9. You’re vs. Your

You’re = You are.

Example: You’re the apple of my eye.

Your = Belongs to you.

Example: I used your apples to make pie.

10. Affect vs. Effect

Affect = To influence or produce a change. 

Example: Drinking red wine affects people differently.

Effect = A result or outcome of an action.

Example: The effects of drinking red wine vary from person to person.

A few other common grammar mistakes include using improper tenses, misplacement of punctuation marks, incorrect pluralization and misuse of the appropriate word entirely.  Misspelling continues to be an issue as well despite the fact that virtually every software program alerts the writer.  I know it’s impossible to be perfect (because I’m certainly not), but I hope this post keeps us on our toes!  As always, comments and questions are appreciated.

Thanks for visiting today,


Image Credit: Copyright: icetray / 123RF Stock Photo


Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

affiliate-marketing-for-beginnersAre you interested in monetizing your niche blog or website?  Then marketing as an affiliate may be the answer you’re seeking.  But you may have the impression that affiliate marketing for beginners, especially, is complicated and difficult to incorporate on your site.  Well, good news, it’s not at all.  Of course, there are some things you’ll want to know before getting started so I hope this post helps…

Affiliate Marketing Defined

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between a blogger, website owner or other internet marketer who promotes an outside vendor’s product or service through links and/or banners.  The affiliate receives a commission, at no additional cost to the customer, to promote the product or service based on the agreement with the vendor.  The commission might be earned for sending traffic, making a sale or obtaining a “sign-up” for additional information depending on the program.

Common Affiliate Commission Arrangements

Pay-Per-Sale – In this case, the affiliate is paid a commission (percentage of sale or fixed amount) when a customer clicks through to the merchant’s site and makes a purchase, generally within a specified time period. is a perfect example of a pay-per-sale affiliate program since it pays a percentage of sale commission if the customer makes the purchase within 24 hours. Most affiliate programs and networks (discussed below) offer a similar arrangement but generally allow a longer period of time for the customer to finalize the purchase by tracking the return visit via “cookies”.

Pay-Per-Lead –  To qualify as a lead, the customer must provide the requested information (such as their e-mail, phone number or physical address) at the vendor’s site.  Many times, the customer will receive something like an e-book, pamphlet, guide, etc. for free in exchange for the information.   Other times, the customer may be requesting to be contacted by the merchant to learn about a service/product they sell (such as home re-financing, debt counseling, computer training classes, etc.) The vendor uses the information to either make direct contact for a sale, send offers for products/services or simply to sell the information to other merchants.

Pay-Per-Click – These programs are designed essentially to drive traffic to the merchant’s site.  The affiliate receives the agreed upon commission each time a visitor uses (clicks on) the link or banner.  No purchase or information is required from the visitor.  Companies engage in pay-per-click campaigns as an alternative to organic search engine optimization which can take much longer to generate traffic.  Since these links or banner ads are related directly to a search query, in most cases, you’ll more likely see them on search engines and authority or high-traffic websites.

Of course, any merchant can make their own rules and there are a few other types of arrangements in existence like pay-per-impression where you’re paid when people see the ad on your site and two-tier approaches (Amway, Avon, Tupperware, etc) where you’re paid either to sell the product, recruit new “sales people” or both among others.  Also if the product/service supports ongoing purchases, you’ll likely receive a residual income stream as well.  For instance, if the customer is purchasing pet insurance at $20 per month, you should receive your commission for each and every month that the customer continues to stay with the company.

Affiliate Programs vs. Affiliate Networks

Programs – Some merchants choose to manage their own affiliate program and work directly with the affiliate website.  An interested candidate would apply directly to the merchant for affiliate status.  The merchant then either approves or denies the application.  The approval process can be simple or complex and the program may have certain requirements (most common is that the affiliate has a live niche-relevant website) as well as a service agreement.  Larger companies may have an easier time administering their own program.  To determine if a product or service has an affiliate program, you can just do a web search such as “product/service name + affiliate program”.

Networks – Since it can be quite complicated to manage an affiliate program, many companies choose to join a network (such as Commission Junction, ShareASale, Clickbank, etc.).  The affiliate applies to the network and, if accepted, has access to oodles of affiliate programs.  The networks also have requirements, service agreements and may require individual merchant approval for some or all vendors.  Networks are often attractive for smaller companies since they handle the administration but many large merchants like Walmart use the network approach as well.

In either case, applying is generally a simple process and the program/network should be free to join under most circumstances.  Acceptance is usually approved unless you cannot/will not meet the requirements or are operating a spammy website.

A Few Tips For Getting Started

Keep It Relevant – You’ll have the most chance of success by offering products or services directly related to your content.

Avoid Over-Promoting – Having too many affiliate links will directly affect your search engine optimization efforts.

Write Reviews – The most powerful promotion is always going to be your own review of the affiliate product or service.

Mix It Up – Use multiple programs and networks as well as try in-content links and banners to see what works best.

Do Your Research – If you’re not actually using the product/service and doing a review, make sure the promotion is legitimate by doing a web search, testing the link/banner for viruses, checking for complaints, etc.

In Summary

Now that we’ve got the basics of affiliate marketing covered, you may be longing for more information.  Well don’t worry, I won’t be stopping here.  Please check back for future posts or leave a comment/question today.  Now, I would be remiss not to mention that you can learn everything you need to know at Wealthy Affiliate.  Check it out for free…no credit card required.

See you soon,


Image Credit: By Ardfern (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Social Media Marketing With Facebook

social-media-marketing-with-facebookGetting back to this series, next up is social media marketing with Facebook.  Unlike I recommended for Google+, Pinterest and Twitter, I suggest using a Business instead of a Personal Page for Facebook.  Just think about it…do you want your old high school friends’ posts intermingled with your website marketing efforts?  I think not.  Assuming you have a Facebook account already, you can Create your Business Page after logging in by clicking on the ∇icon located on the far right of the top bar.  If for some reason you don’t have a Personal Page, you can sign up here.

Now, obviously, marketing on Facebook can get quite elaborate and time-consuming.  It’s up to you on how intricate you want to become.  If you are a beginner in niche marketing, please understand that your primary focus should be directed toward the building of your website.  Social media should be considered as a companion strategy to drive traffic to your site.

Why Use Facebook

1) It’s A Necessary Evil – Let’s face it, having a Facebook Page adds to your creditability as serious website owner.  Furthermore, the vast majority of people who might be interested in what you have to say (or sell) will definitely expect you to have a Facebook presence.

2) Branding – Because the Page will be focused entirely on your online business, you can create the image you want people to remember.  In many ways, Facebook is best at separating you (personally) from you (professionally).

3) To Establish Expertise – Being recognized as an expert in your niche is critical to your success.  On Facebook, you can share posts from related websites, current news and other articles with ease.  Being up-to-date and acknowledging valuable content shows that you know what you’re talking about.

4) Capture A Unique Audience –  As with all social media sites, Facebook will expose you to it’s own unique audience.  Even though you’re likely to market on multiple social networks, it’s very rare to have a lot of overlap.  People simply use the different sites for different things.

5) Fuel The Search Engines – Your Facebook Business Page posts can get rankings especially if you add the extra effort of using keywords.  Furthermore all roads lead back your website so to speak which continues to compound your relevant content.

Best Practices For Facebook

1) Create A Concept And Strategy –  Since you’ll be using Facebook as a Business Page, you won’t be able to get away with the randomness that you can on some of the other sites.  Creating a concept and strategy in advance will help you post what your audience would like to read as well as intermingle your own website links.

2) Follow A Schedule –  On Facebook, it’s extremely important to post frequently and regularly.  But you don’t want social media to drain all of your time.  Remember that social media marketing is important to your success but not as important to writing and publishing quality content on your blog.

3) Engage Socially – It’s important to keep your finger in your personal page as well since the two accounts will be connected, at least at first.  Another trick is to Like (from your Business Page) similar pages and engage (as your Business Page) in conversations there.  I don’t recommended linking to your own Page or website as you may get yourself banned as a spammer.

4) Experiment With Apps And Advertising –  Once you build a significant following where it would make sense to run a quiz, contest or event, try the many apps (yes, some are free) that can be used in conjunction with Facebook.  Budgeted advertising is also available.  Just don’t go crazy…start off slow and see what works before investing additional time and money.

5) Combine Images And Information – Variety is the spice of life.  Your fans are not going to want be bombarded with only links to your posts.  You’ll need to get creative and post relevant information that may or may not covered on your website as well as some images from related sites (be careful about copyright issues, of course).

I just wanted to add that I intentionally left out inviting your friends and family to Like your Page as a best practice but not because you should not do so.  It’s just that based on what I’ve seen, heard and discovered in my research, you’re not likely to get a whole lot of response.  Don’t take it personally and move on.

So are you ready to get started on Facebook?  I realize this is a basic overview but don’t worry, I’ll soon be diving into various aspects of the social media sites in much greater detail.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have at this time.

Wishing you good luck always,


Oh yeah, don’t forget to get your online-entrepreneur-educationstarted for free today!

Jaaxy Review, Best Keyword Search Tool

jaaxy-review-recapSo you must be looking for the best keyword search tool today, right?  Well then, I’m glad you discovered my Jaaxy review.  I use Jaaxy on daily basis as a Pro Member to find awesome keywords for both my websites.  And we all know that capitalizing on keywords is essential for search rankings which in turn brings traffic to our blogs and niche websites.  I’ll let you know upfront that my favorite things about Jaaxy are that it provides superfast relevant results that are easy to understand and apply directly to making money online.

I chose Jaaxy for a few simple reasons.  First of all, I used the free trial to ensure that I wasn’t going to get scammed into something that wasn’t going to be useful.  Secondly, I didn’t have to install any software that was only going to provide a lot of complex metrics that would waste my time trying to decipher. Finally, I was introduced to Jaaxy through the Wealthy Affiliate online program which is the whole reason why I even have the two websites.

An Inside Look At Jaaxy

Of course, most of the time you’ll be using Jaaxy to find keywords for posts/blogs that you’ll be writing within your niche.  In the screenshot below, however, I just did a random search with two words:  become transcriptionist.  This is not my niche at either one of my sites but I can use Jaaxy to research opening a new site that covers this or any other niche.  By the way, these results appeared on my screen in less than 20 seconds.


After I type my keyword phrase in and hit the orange search button (how easy is that?), Jaaxy instantly provides real information that I can use immediately without further analysis.  Let’s dive into the details:

1) Related Keywords are suggestions for further research branching out a little further than the keyword phrase initially requested.  These suggestions have proved useful to me time and time again as Jaaxy is letting me know what people are searching for that I may not have recognized.

2) Keywords list always begins with the phrase I searched for and continues on to list that same phrase in a number of other ways people have sought out the information.  I will normally use three to five of the “best” keywords in each post.

3) Monthly Searches are next with Estimated Traffic indicated as well.  Provided there is sufficient monthly searches on the keywords, I pay more attention to the estimated traffic as that is what I can reasonably expect to receive if the post gets ranked on the first page in Google.

4) QSR, KQI and SEO Power are what sets Jaaxy apart from the rest as this is where the program saves you time by instantly doing important analysis for you.  QSR refers to the number of competitors using the same keywords.  KQI (keyword quality indicator) is a visual look at whether your keywords are good (green), just okay (orange) or not great (red).  And the SEO Power is letting you know the likelihood of whether a post featuring that keyword would get a page one ranking (with unique content, of course).  In this example, “become transcriptionist” has a 90% chance!

5) Domain Search is another jewel of the Jaaxy program.  If you’re searching keywords to build a domain around, you can see which are available.  And remember all of the previous points are going to let you know if it’s even worth pursuing.

Besides those most valuable main functions Jaaxy has a lot more to offer.  You can simply create keyword lists that you can import and save for a later date.  You can check your site ranking for any page or post which is a function I use very often.  Reviewing the competition and finding affiliate programs are just another couple of ways Jaaxy can truly help you make money online.  In fact, all of this plus more is why Jaaxy is called “The World’s Most Advanced Keyword Search Tool”.

Jaaxy has three ways to join.  You can start with a free trial that includes 30 searches (which is what I recommend you take advantage of to use Jaaxy firsthand before spending any money, of course).  Once you try it, I’m sure you’ll want to, at least, upgrade to the Pro subscription which is what I joined for $19 per month.  If you’re going to be a power-user, you may want to consider the Enterprise subscription.  Keep in mind that you can always upgrade to that later on, if and when, you think you’re ready.  Discounted pricing is also available on annual subscriptions.  Here’s a graphic on the subscription offers.

My Review And Rating

When I launched my first website several months ago, I was a complete newbie and required pure simplicity.  That’s why I joined Wealthy Affiliate and Jaaxy shortly thereafter.  The Jaaxy website is so easy to use, it took me all of about 10 minutes after joining to start making use of the search results

Using Jaaxy also saves me very precious time.  As a beginning niche blogger, it is necessary to devote the majority of your time to writing pages/posts.  You need to publish relevant content and make proper use of keywords.  Finding adequate time for the many tasks you’ll face is often a problem but Jaaxy is the answer for keyword research.

And the fact that Jaaxy does the analyzing in the background, I receive only useful information.  I’m not left hanging to interpret data I may never need to understand.  All of the tools offered by Jaaxy provide relevant information that you can put into action right away!

Jaaxy Review Rating
Factor Rates Points Earned Notes, if any
Legitimacy Whether the product/service is what it claims to be. 20/20 Website offers exactly what is advertised.
Reliabiliy If the provider is reasonably qualified and trustworthy based on expertise. 20/20 Owners have been involved in internet marketing and education for 10+ years.
Usefulness Whether the product/service would likely add value to the customer. 18/20 Very useful as a keyword research tool but that alone will not ensure success.
User Friendliness How easy it is to use the product/service. 17/20 Website is intuitive as well as friendly but training could be expanded and improved.
Overall Value If the price is appropriate for what is provided. 20/20 Free trial account available and upgrades are priced right.
Overall Rating: 95/100 Points (Highly Recommended)
Ratings are based solely on my opinion and direct personal experience with the product/service.

The Pros And Cons

1) Online Keyword Research Tool (no software to install).
2) Provides relevant keyword data without the need to hyper-analyze the results.
3) Very quick search results.
1) Online success cannot be guaranteed simply by using Jaaxy.
2) Broad searches under the Affiliate Programs tab can be time-consuming. 
3) Although enough, only 4 training videos are available.


Try It, You’ll Like It

Jaaxy really does help me strategize and manage my online businesses.  So I hope you’ll sign-up for your free trial today. No credit card needed and there is no obligation or pressure to join one of the paid subscriptions if it’s not for you.  I know you will be pleased but don’t take my word for it!  Please feel free to leave any questions or comments in this post.

Bye for now,


Wealthy Affiliate University Review, A True Story

WA ReviewAre you looking for the real solution to make your online dreams come true?  If so, I encourage you to read this Wealthy Affiliate University Review, A True Story that I wrote with you in mind.  Just to give you a little background, I’ve been a Wealthy Affiliate member for about six months now.  I have two websites, growing and achieving success each and every day, that I would not have had today if I didn’t join Wealthy Affiliate!

When I first started I had the same questions as you do now, I’m sure.  You’re probably wondering is Wealthy Affiliate legit or (yet another) scam?  Does the Wealthy Affiliate program work?  Basically, is this going to be worth my time and effort?  By the time you’re through reading this review, you’ll have those answers.

Let’s Begin…What is Wealthy Affiliate?

A Complete Online Marketing University that includes:

Online Entrepreneur Certification – You will be shown step-by-step how to create, market and operate a website in any niche you desire.

Affiliate Bootcamp – These extensive courses focus on building and managing a website that promotes the Wealthy Affiliate program itself as well as other making money online programs.

Topic Classrooms and Tutorials – From Authoring Content to Everything WordPress to SEO and everything before, after and in-between, these trainings are literally endless.

Live Weekly Training –  You’ll gain hands-on insight with these videos on a wide variety of topics like “Using G+ Communties For Traffic” and “Core Fundamentals Of HTML”, for example.

24/7 Live Community Support – With over 190,000 members, you can ask questions, network and participate in thousands of discussions day and night.

Website(s) Platform and Hosting – You’ll be building your websites with the so easy to use WordPress templates and full web-hosting services are included at Wealthy Affiliate.

Earn While You Learn – Since it only takes 30 seconds to set-up your website, you’ll have that live in no time.  But you can also use your personal blog within Wealthy Affiliate to attract referrals.

Now Let’s See…Is Wealthy Affiliate Really Free?

The $0 Starter Account – While is it referred to as a starter account, it doesn’t have to be.  There’s absolutely no obligation to upgrade to premium ever.  You’ll receive 2 free websites on the Wealthy Affiliate domain (.siterubix), beginner training courses, Phase I of the Affiliate Bootcamp, access to 2 classrooms and much more.  And for the first 7 days, you’ll have access to the live support and 1 on 1 coaching that is offered to premium members.

The Premium Membership – If you decide that you’d like full access and to earn 2x the referral fee on your Wealthy Affiliate sales at any time, you can upgrade your membership.  The rate is $47 per month or you can receive a HUGE discount by paying yearly at $359 per year.  The premium membership offers full access to all training and support, of course, as well as hosting for unlimited websites on your own domain with hundreds of Wordpress theme choices.  Note, if you decide to upgrade to premium within the first 7 days, you’ll also receive your first month for only $19.

 Next Up…My Review and Rating

Finding and joining Wealthy Affiliate was a life-saver for me.  I was searching for ways to earn money at home and after looking at customer service, transcription, virtual assistant, etc. opportunities, I decided that a operating a website was more my style.  After all, I enjoy writing and helping others so it was a perfect match.  But I didn’t know the first thing about doing it.  I scoured the internet, read thousands of posts, eliminated countless scam offers and nearly gave up.  I stumbled on a Wealthy Affiliate offer while submitting sweepstakes entries and decided to check it out.

I’m so glad I did.  Since I could join for free and see firsthand what Wealthy Affiliate was all about, I jumped right in.  I decided to start off with the online entrepreneur route and had my first niche website ( opened with a few pages of content within 3 days.  I continued on with the courses learning each step and adding posts to my site over the next few days.  And on the 7th day, I joined premium.  It was clear to me that this was not another scam. Over the next few months, I completed the certification as well as many other training classes while continuing to build my site and before I knew it, I had an actual business on my hands.

Now that I had a strategy in place to continue building that site, I began taking the Affiliate Bootcamp courses and opened this site on that same day.  I was so impressed with Wealthy Affiliate all around that I felt compelled to help others find their future as well.  Being able to use the knowledge I’m gaining immediately is my favorite aspect of the Wealthy Affiliate education. Currently, I’m continuing on with that learning and growing both websites.  Remember, there are no additional charges to open unlimited websites at Wealthy Affiliate once you’ve gone premium.  And domain names are only about $10 per year at

Wealthy Affiliate Review Rating
Factor Rates Points Earned Notes, if any
Legitimacy Whether the product/service is what it claims to be. 20/20 Claims clearly demonstrated.
Reliability If the provider is reasonably qualified and trustworthy based on expertise. 20/20 Owners (Kyle and Carson) are actively involved and site was launched in 2005. 
Usefulness Whether the product/service would likely add value to the customer. 18/20 Just allowing for the few that might decide this is not right for them (it happens). 
User Friendliness How easy it is to use the product/service. 18/20 Website is generally very easy to use but term-specific searches can sometimes be frustrating.
Overall Value If the price is appropriate for what is provided. 20/20 Free account available and Premium cost is well worth it.
Overall Rating: 96/100 Points (Highly Recommended)
Ratings are based solely on my opinion and direct personal experience with the product/service.

Furthermore…The Pros And Cons

1) Complete online education for any level from newbie to entreprenuers interested in catapulting their dreams.
2) Thriving community of like-minded professionals and supporters.
3) Completely free to see for yourself.
1) Success is highly dependent on individual time commitment.
2) Unknown outcome requires a “leap of faith”.
3) You must be willing to learn, grow, change and be flexible.

Last But Not Least…My Encouragement To YOU!

I don’t really need to convince you to open a completely free account, do I?  Well just in case…you’ll never know if this is right for you if you don’t, at least, check it out.  I do encourage you to give it a try.  I know you’ll be impressed and even if you decide to just continue with the no-cost membership, you’ll learn so much more than you expect.  I’m here for you, so please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I will also follow you after you join and be available to help each and every day within the Wealthy Affiliate community.

Good Luck Always,


Social Media Marketing With Twitter

Twitter IconSo now, as I continue on with this series, it’s time to tackle Twitter.  Just like Google+ and Pinterest, my recommendation is to use an individual account on Twitter unless you have an established business or brand.  You’re certain to discover, in this post, that social media marketing with Twitter will be challenging yet hopefully worthwhile.

Right off the bat, please understand that Twitter operates like a news feed.  This does have some similarities to Facebook but Twitter members will be looking for tweets (it’s what they call posts) with a little more substance than what you’re making for dinner.  Plus the 140 character limitation will force you to be clear and concise.  You can open a Twitter account quickly at, if needed.

Why Use Twitter

1) The Viral Possibilities – Due to the ease of re-tweeting, the Twitter audience is best equipped to get you noticed in a hurry.  With one simple click, your followers and/or the public (through the search option) can share your content.  Not that it’s difficult on other social networking sites necessarily, but the constant streaming on Twitter can be extremely powerful.

2) Yet Another Community – Making money online involves exposure and Twitter will be your avenue into a whole other group of potential customers.  Sure they’ll be some that you could have connected with on other sites but in my experience, you’ll find a completely different audience on each social network.

3) Conversational Marketing – Interacting on social networks as a real human being allows you to soft-sell your product or service without annoying your followers.   This concept, by far, is your greatest asset to building trust which leads to what you really want…word of mouth traffic.

4) Stay In The Know –  With so many media members, Twitter happens to be a real good source for what is happening in the news, world and entertainment channels.  Use this to your advantage to determine what people are interested in (even if it’s only from one minute to the next).  You can also search for the latest within your niche.

5) Show Off Your Creativity –  The Twitter crowd is brilliant at being brief.  You’ll be surprised at how fun it is to fire off a quick thought within the 140 character limitation.  And the better you get at it, the more your tweets will get re-tweeted.

Best Practices For Twitter

1) Know Your Current Affairs – Much of what will be trending on Twitter will be related to current events.  You’ll want to be able to intelligently tweet out your thoughts in a hurry.  By the time you open a new tab to research what is going on, you’ll have lost your chance to get noticed on that topic.

2) Pop In Quickly But Frequently –  While the widely published peak time for Twitter is from 1pm-3pm, my trick is to pop in and out every couple of hours for about 5 minutes or so.  You’ll find that there’s always something different trending and it’s important to make 90% of your tweets non-promotional.  I find using trends and random tweets on stuff that interests me personally is the easiest way to accomplish that balance.

3) Work Your 140 Characters – Be appropriate and grammatically correct but be clever, cheeky, cute, humorous or whatever works best for you especially on your non-promotional tweets.  The Twitter feed is like rapid fire and you only have those 140 characters to get yourself noticed.  For your promotional tweets, sometimes you’ll just have enough room for the title of your post only and that’s okay.  (Tip:  use a free URL shortener like or to help minimize your link length).

4) Respect The Hashtag – When you send a tweet, it will go out to your followers automatically but you can also include the hashtag with a word or phrase that people search for like #fitness and #famousquotes, for example.  This helps to attract followers and get your tweets noticed outside your current group of followers.  But whatever you do, don’t hashtag it to an unrelated search term or you’ll be labeled a spammer.

5) Consider 3rd Party Apps – There are many tools and apps that can be used with Twitter for tracking, gaining followers, automated postings, etc.  I’m not going to go into detail here because it’s best to consider these after you’ve got yourself working Twitter like a pro on your own.  But click here for more information if you’re interested at this time.

By now I’m sure you’re wanting to get going and try Twitter out for yourself.  Well go ahead and have fun with it while you’re at it!  Please feel free to leave any questions or comments before you go.

Hope to see you again,


Social Media Marketing With Pinterest

Pinterest IconSo continuing on with the discussion of social networking for bloggers and niche websites, up now is social media marketing with Pinterest.  And again, this post will focus on using Pinterest as a person (trying to make money online) rather than brand name business marketing.  The best news about Pinterest is that of all the social media sites, I think it’s by far the easiest to use.  Especially for the socializing aspect that’s required to effectively promote a website.

If you don’t already have an account, you can sign-up at by either selecting to sign-up with Facebook or Email.  Originally, I signed up with Email and later linked to my Facebook account but then unlinked it.  I didn’t like that it leads to my personal Facebook page instead of my business pages.  And I’m not a big fan of Facebook but we’ll talk about that later.  As for your sign-up/linking, I’ll leave that up to you.

Why Use Pinterest

1) Visual Appeal – As you are aware, “a picture speaks a 1000 words” and Pinterest is all about showcasing images and videos.  Products, services, blogs and niches can be depicted easily with the proper imagery.  But don’t forget the hidden effect…when someone’s interest is piqued with a picture, their brain instantly wants to know more!

2) Simple Communication Expectations – Short descriptions with a link directly to your page or post is the norm in the Pinterest community.  So there’s no need to take extra time to tell the “long story”.  Even when you socialize through the Pins by leaving comments, it’s expected that you’ll be brief.  Liking and re-pinning are simply done with the click of a button.

3) Unique Demographic – Pinterest has the largest community of women who are known to be the decision-makers for spending money.  The network also has later peak times (2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 1am) when people would less likely be rushed by their daily activities and decide to “look at it later” (forgetting all about it, of course).

4) Gifts Section – By placing a price tag on your product(s) image, the Pin will get listed in the Gifts section where it can be purchased through a link to your website or even through an affiliate link (disclosure required, however).  Although it’s a brief window of opportunity as Pins are constantly being added, it’s still a nice quick hit to a direct sale.

5) Learn And Grow Yourself – Social engagement leads to learning from others, being exposed to new ideas and enriching your own perspective.  Use those wonderful benefits to grow your website.

Best Practices For Pinterest

1) Use Pictures That Pop – Of course if you’re trying to attract someone’s attention with an image, you’ll want to provoke emotion and pique interest in a big way.  Keep it relevant, however.  Nobody wants to be misled.

2) Board Yourself Up – Pins are the images you upload and Boards are where you place the Pins.  Set-up just one (maybe two) Boards for your niche promotions and several other Boards (that never include promotions) of related or personal areas of interest.  Be creative but properly descriptive for the Board name(s) and choose the appropriate category so people can find your Pins.

3) Strive To Be Original – As much as possible, add Pins that you find outside of Pinterest to get the best following.  Of course, your promotional Pins should be your original work but avoid simply re-pinning just to keep up your other Boards.  On Pinterest, you want to attract followers of many different types of interests to your profile so you’ve got to give them something new.

4) Don’t Sell, Socialize – Do occasionally re-pin if it’s something you want to save for yourself.  Otherwise, you could like or comment on a Pin which is a better way to attract followers with similar interests.  And while you are there viewing Pins, follow people with whom you share common interests.  For all your Pins (personal and promotional), add just one (maybe two) to your Boards at a time.  And you don’t need to update all your Boards each time you Pin…make it more natural and switch-off.

5) Get In and Get Out –  Since the purpose of engaging in social media marketing is to been seen and heard but not to annoy and monopolize, be smart about how often you’re there and how much time you spend per visit.  It’s usually best, however, that you are consistent with your appearances.  I visit Pinterest once or twice daily for about five minutes each visit.

Well that should get you going on your way to becoming a Pinterest powerhouse.  If you have any questions or comments, I’m always happy to help out in any way I can. 

Your friend,


Image Credit: By ( [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Social Media Marketing With Google Plus

Google Plus LogoAs promised in my pros and cons blog, today I’ll start by discussing social media marketing with Google Plus (aka Google+) and the best uses for networking your blog there.  While businesses are gaining much success with Google+, this post is geared towards us individuals interested in earning money online with a blog, niche website, affiliate marketing, etc.  Therefore, I am and assuming you will be using a personal page.

So our goal is then to socialize and build followers.  This should lead to traffic which in turn leads to sales.  In fact, I have discovered that I get more traffic to my websites when I engage in unrelated communities or post personal interest shares than when I link to my posts to the tune of 5:1.  Now I understand that is counterintuitive because social media requires an investment of time and we all want to see a return on that investment.  But the data doesn’t lie!

Why Use Google+

1) Improve Search Rankings – One of the unique benefits of Google+ is that Google (you know the search engine giant) operates it.  Therefore, your active participation, especially if you utilize keywords in your posts, on Google + gets recognized by Google which then helps with your search engine optimization.

2) Reach Different Audiences – Because the Google+ platform caters more so to business socializing and less to personal socializing, you can reach those that only frequent Google+.  But you can also connect with others you missed elsewhere who when on “that” site were too busy posting how many jelly beans they ate last night for dinner.

3) Brand Your Blog – Google+ is considered to be highly effective for making a name for your business (whether it be a niche blog, brand or other product/service) since it has a more professional ambiance.

4) Target Interested Parties – Using both Circles and Communities (as discussed below) will allow you to reach the people who might actually be interested in whatever you’re sharing.  Other Google+ features also help you to find those interested parties.

5) Get Insights And Ideas – Of course, communicating with people who share your same interests will help you shed blogger’s block in a quick hurry.

Best Practices For Google+

1) Create A Professional Profile – Since we’re using a personal page for our profile, we need to be ourselves but show that we are reputable and trustworthy.  If you have an existing Google+ account, update it as needed.  If you’re setting up a new account, be complete and keep in mind that eventually, you’re going to try to sell something.

2) Manage Your Circles Wisely – Set-up your Circles so that you know who will likely be interested in your various posts and promotions.  This is how you can truly target the right people and optimize that return on your time investment.

3) Join and Participate In Communities – Be active (share, 1+, comment, etc.) in those that are directly related to your website, closely related to it and some that simply tickle your fancy.  But avoid Communities that are nothing more than promotions (you’ll know when you view them)…it’s just a waste of your time.

4) Target Your Promotions – Again, consider your goal to be social networking and the traffic/sales that result as the achievement that goal.  Share your marketing posts only with the appropriate Circle(s) you’ve created.  I visit Google+ daily but only post a promotion from each of my sites no more than twice per week.

5) Limit And Schedule Your Time –  Since social media can easily take you away from doing other important tasks, you really need to stick to a schedule that works for you.  It’s generally considered best to socialize for 15-20 minutes per day or twice a day depending on your other social media efforts.

This is plenty to get started and you’ll be surprised at how well Google+ works to drive traffic.  As you get more and more involved with it, you’ll undoubtedly discover your own tips and tricks.  If you have any now, please do share in comments.  All other comments or questions welcomed as well.

Give it try,



Pros and Cons Of Social Media Marketing

Social MediaWhen looking at ways to drive traffic and make money with your blog, it’s important to begin with an overview of the pros and cons of social media marketing before you actually embark on that sort of campaign. 

Next you’ll want to look in depth at each site (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) to determine which, if any, are the right avenue(s) for you.  I’m starting out here with these need-to-knows, but will be shortly posting more in-depth articles.

The Pros

1. Social Media Sites Are Free – Well in terms of money that is, time expenditure will of course be at the top of the list of cons.  But nonetheless, it is a perfectly valid way to reach potential visitors without spending a dime.

2. Potential To Reach The Masses – I am not going to bore you with any statistical data here since we both know that millions of people frequent social media sites on a daily basis.

3. Branding – Being social means being yourself.  And being yourself is the best way to show your true colors, be remembered and stand out from the rest.

4. Teach And Learn – When social media marketing is done properly, you’ll build important relationships.  These relationships will develop naturally because you have your expertise to offer to others and others have their expertise to offer to you.

5. Word Of Mouth Growth – Not only are you inviting those that read your tweets and posts but the sharing that goes on in social media can easily catapult your exposure.

The Cons

1. The Value Of Time – Social media marketing is much more than just sharing your posts from time to time.  You’ll need to become social regularly in many more ways to get noticed.

2. The Social Distraction – Another component of the time investment is that while you’re on the social media sites, you are not doing something else (like writing fresh content) that is likely much more important to your future.

3.  Hiding Your True Purpose – To avoid being recognized as nothing more than a spammer, you’ll need to really engage off-topic in other areas of interest pretty much on a daily basis.

4.  Hit Or Miss – While there are some ways on each of the sites to attempt to reach a target audience, the nature of social media often leads to getting noticed only sometimes.  So many days, whatever time and effort you expended, may be a complete waste.

5.  Oh, The Tedium – You’ve probably used social media personally and like most are “really into it” some days but need your space away from it many other days.  That won’t fly as a marketing technique, however, because it will make you seem uncommitted to your business.

Overall, social media marketing is believed to be a decent source traffic and thereby potential sales for a blog/website. And I think as a result, you will want to try out a social campaign on at least one of the “big ones”.  The tip to take away from this post is to engage in social media daily but limit the time you spend.

Please share your comments or questions today.

Be back soon,


 By Paola peralta (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Importance Of Blog Comments

Comment IconI know it may seem like you are simply interacting with the other end of a computer. But one of the best tips I can offer to you is: do not underestimate the importance of blog comments. Whenever someone leaves you a comment, they are giving you the opportunity to start a relationship. Whenever you leave a comment on a site related to your niche, you are networking as well as marketing your own blog.

Besides the relationships and traffic you could potentially gain, you can also learn a lot from fellow bloggers and visitors that may help you provide much more quality content. And of course, quality content is the name of the game for any blogger particularly those seeking revenue. So follow these guidelines to be successful in harnessing the power of blog comments.

Encourage Comments

Every post and page on your website should encourage the visitor to leave a comment. The best ways to do this are to simply end the post by welcoming comments, ask a question related to the post, offer to respond to any questions and/or playfully request any thoughts. Now some posts will naturally receive more comments than others, so don’t get discouraged if every visitor doesn’t leave a comment.

Respond To All Comments

This is where you’ll begin that potential relationship and gain yourself the utmost creditability with all visitors. Although you should be monitoring your comments and not approving any that are too off-topic and inappropriate (I’ll cover using a Comment Policy in a future post), do not hesitate to respond even to a negative comment. Be professional, of course, but use it to make a stand and defend your position. Your other visitors just might agree with you.

Leave Appropriate Comments On Related Sites

Frequent blogs that are within your niche and leave comments including your web address in the appropriate field on the comment form. This provides a link for that site’s visitors back to your blog and creates a networking opportunity for you with a fellow blogger. Really capitalize on this technique by also trying very closely-related niches. For example, I visit sites on how to make money online, working from home and using WordPress sites for this blog.

Pay It Back, Baby

Since it’s a fairly common practice in the blogosphere, you will not be the only blogger out there searching for related sites on which to leave comments. So if you receive any comments on your site from anyone who provides their own URL, visit the site and leave them a comment. Again, this is another way to network and drive possible traffic to your own blog.

Learn Something In The Process

Of course, reading other related blogs will further your knowledge on your topic as well as spark your creativity for future posts in many cases. The comments left on your site will allow you to get a pulse on your visitors likes and dislikes. Questions left on your site will almost always give you additional ideas for new posts as well.

As a further but not so obvious benefit, Google “likes” sites with comment interaction! Comments left on your site increase it’s popularity consideration. When you exchange comments with other bloggers, it helps you both because the related links are also recognized.

At this point, I think you know I would love to hear from you today, obviously.

Take It Easy,