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Zen Habits with over 26,000 readers has published a e-book called “Zen To Done”. Zen To Done takes some of the best aspects of a few popular productivity systems (GTD, Stephen Covey and others) and combines them with the mandate of simplicity. It makes things as simple as possible, and no more. Zen To Done is a simple system to get you more organized and productive, and keep your life saner and less stressed, with a set of habits. ZTD teaches you:

The key habits needed to be productive, organized, and simplified … and no more than that.
How to implement these key habits … tips on forming a habit.
How to organize these habits into a simple system that will keep everything in your life in its place.
How to simplify what you need to do.
Minimal ZTD. Also includes an even simpler version called Minimal ZTD.

Dozens of readers have written comments about how ZTD has changed their lives, made them more organized and less stressed, and has worked better than other productivity systems. It’s definitely worth a try.

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Source: Get a Copy Now

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If you’re having trouble bringing in a sustainable income online, it might be because you’re emulating approaches taken by people who got in early on a particular model. The problem is that the nature of these models makes it difficult if not impossible for new players to achieve the level of success they want.

The key to avoiding this kind of frustration is to see where things are going and become an early-adopter in the next big wave of the commercial Internet. Of course, even if you’re already doing well, it never hurts to take a look forward, right?

This free Teaching Sells report from 10-year online marketer Brian Clark is your guide to what’s coming next, and what some savvy online entrepreneurs are succeeding with right now. Here’s What You’ll Learn When You Enroll in the Teaching Sells Training Program (All Five Courses are Included):

  • Course One: Multimedia content strategies that result in valuable paid courses and a sustainable business
  • Course Two: Detailed marketing methods that work without wasteful spending on advertising
  • Course Three: Tools and techniques for producing dazzling interactive content that creates happy repeat customers
  • Course Four: Multiple business models to choose from in order to best achieve your revenue and lifestyle goals
  • Course Five: Easy instructions for building airtight interactive learning environments and membership websites
  • Plus: Forum access to instructors and a step-by-step methodology to build your first paid interactive content site.

Source: Get Free Teching Sells Report Now

Many bloggers are unconsciously making it hard for new visitors to decide to stick around. They’re not selling themselves, nor are they selling their blogs.

If marketers behaved in the same way, nobody would ever buy anything and we’d all live like Zen monks! (Though maybe that’s not such a bad thing…)

In this post, I want to explain how you can use lessons learned studying how marketers sell products to convert more new visitors into loyal readers.

Selling the maker

Just as a company invests millions of dollars into its brand image, you need to emphasize the qualities of the person who makes the product. You!

A blog might promise to provide life-changing advice and suggestions, but for this promise to be effective, the visitor needs to trust that the author is worth listening to.

While personal information about your interests and your family is important (it helps show visitors you’re a normal person and not some kind of scam artist), many bloggers forget to sell themselves.

Use your About page to tell visitors why you’re worth listening to, and why the content you create is likely to be of a high quality. Here are some questions you can answer — though you want to filter out answers that don’t help to sell you.

  • How long have you been involved in the field you’re writing in?
  • Do you have any formal qualifications relating to the topics you write about?
  • Has any of your writing ever been linked to by a popular blog visitors are likely to recognize?
  • Has something you’ve written ever been very successful on social media?
  • Can you demonstrate that you have a passion for what you write about, even if you don’t have formal qualifications? For example, you might not have had a story published, but what if you’ve completed NaNoWriMo five times? That’s worth mentioning.

When a company markets a product it often markets itself alongside the product. By doing one, you’re doing the other. If you think of your blog as a product, you need to emphasize the strengths behind the maker of that product.

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. People are used of it. It might seem like boasting to you, but it’s the kind of information readers are hungry for. They want to know that you’re a capable and trustworthy source of information.

Selling the product

When companies sell a product, they don’t focus on its innate qualities alone. Instead, they focus on ends: what the product can do for you. People aren’t interested in an iPod just because it’s an iPod. They’re interested in what it can do for them (and what it will allow them to do).

New visitors approach your blog with the same mindset. They ask themselves: what will I get out of reading this blog? What does it have to offer me?

When selling your blog to new visitors, you need to convince them that it has something to offer. You should start with your About page. This stuff needs to go at the top, right above where you sell yourself.

  • What does this blog offer?
  • What kinds of people will benefit?
  • Why is it worth reading?
  • Has your blog been very successful on social media?
  • Has is been linked to by a popular blog?
  • Have you written for other well-known blogs?

All this information engages new visitors and helps convince them that your blog has something to offer. You can take your answers to these questions even further.

What can you offer?

You can convince new visitors of the worth of your blog outside of your About page, too.

Showcasing your most popular content (or what you think is your best content) helps to do this, because it puts your best selling points right under the noses of each new visitor. Just like a store will put the products it most wants to sell in the front window, giving lots of exposure to your best stuff will draw people into your blog.

Tag-lines can also be an effective place to sell your blog. In a sentence or two you can make a statement about what your blog has to offer and who it’s written for. You can also do the same thing with a little ‘About’ blurb on your main page (but I don’t think this is ever a substitute for a dedicated ‘About’ page).

Packaging is key

Even if you don’t have a budget for design, it’s worth investing as much time as is needed to finding a really nice theme for your blog.

Brands pour millions into packaging. That’s because decades of studies and focus-groups have shown that packaging matters. People will judge your product by the care that’s taken in the packaging it comes in.

Luckily, when it comes to finding a quality theme for your blog, you’re in the right place :-) .

And remember: don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new themes, re-jig your About page, add new selling points to your blog and refine existing ones. Don’t feel obliged to stick with something just because it’s what your readers are used to.

Unless your blog is growing at a cracking pace, change is the only way you’ll be able to breathe new life into your blog’s growth.

Thank you Skellie for Writing this amazing post on Blog Perfume

rockstar.jpgThere are a lot to learn from FreelanceSwitch which has gained over 17,500 subscribers within 3 months. FreelanceSwitch has released a official FreelanceSwitch Ebook called How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer.

The book covers everything from getting started to expanding your business. Written by Collis & Cyan Ta’eed – the founders of the site – it’s packed with new information, advice and insights not covered on the blog.

The book is available now as an eBook for $29 and will shortly be on Lulu as a paperback.

Source: Click here to view more details

When I tell my readers about the advantages of guest-posting on popular blogs, I often get a response along these lines: “A popular blog would never publish something I’ve written. I’m just not well-known enough.”

There are two things wrong with this response. Firstly, to say that a popular blog wouldn’t publish something you wrote is an assumption. You haven’t tried, so you don’t know.

The second flaw: “I’m just not well-known enough.” If you approach the blogger in the right way with a good idea, how well-known you are simply doesn’t matter. I wrote my first article for ProBlogger, a Technorati Top 100 blog, when I had less than 200 subscribers.

Bloggers aren’t interested in your profile. They’re interested in the content you can bring them.

In this post, I want to share the strategies I used to secure guest-posting spots at three Technorati Top 100 blogs (ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Zen Habits) without any prior contact with the owner. I don’t include that information to boast — I simply want to show you that these methods work. If they worked for me, they can work for you.

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Photo by jurvetson

Why guest post on popular blogs?

Guest posting benefits you in two ways: it builds your niche profile and sends you traffic. The bigger the blog, the greater the benefits.

While you stand to gain much more when writing for a popular blog, you’ll also be faced with a few challenges:

  • Popular blogs have a high editorial standard.
  • They receive a lot of guest-post submissions, so you’ll be competing with many others.
  • Popular bloggers have little time to spend talking you through the process.

The following tips are designed to make these challenges as manageable as possible.

Choosing where to guest post

Make a short-list of popular sites likely to be visited by your target audience. Rather than aiming for the top of your niche straight away, you might want to try to be published on the second or third most popular site, just so you have somewhere to go once you succeed.

Each blog has its own style of content. It’s important to pick one with a content style you have the ability to emulate. If what you write is too different to the kind of ‘style’ the blog has established, it won’t be accepted.

Coming up with the perfect idea

Resist the temptation to come up with a low-involvement idea because you don’t like the thought of spending time on content for someone else’s blog. If your article is of a high quality, you get a number of benefits:

  • More people will want to click back to your blog.
  • If you want to guest post again in future, you’re likely to be instantly accepted.
  • People are more likely to remember who you are.

When thinking of an idea, make sure that it fits into one of the blog’s topic categories, that it’s of interest to the blog’s target audience, and most importantly, that it’s something the blogger hasn’t written about before. Do a keyword search to narrow the chances that you’re repeating what’s already been said.

For inspiration, try looking at the blog’s list of popular posts, if it has one. Can you explore one of those ideas further? Can you put a unique twist on one of those formulas?

Gulp: pitching your post!

Don’t write the article before it’s been accepted. Sending the pitch and the article all at once requires the blogger to make a decision too quickly. They’re likely to file away your email and never get back to it.

Also, if your article is for some reason rejected, it might be difficult to find another place to publish it.

The idea pitch approach works because it requires only a light commitment from the blogger. It’s the method I’ve used to secure all my guest posts. As you’re writing your email pitch, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be clear. Barring a short introduction, you should keep your email consistently on point.
  • Be brief. Popular bloggers get so much email that they’ll file away anything that looks too hard to tackle. You really can’t be too brief.
  • Sell your idea. Explain why it would work well for their blog.
  • Sell yourself. Throw down a link to the best blog post you’ve ever written. Sell yourself as well as your idea. Let the blogger know you’re capable of something remarkable.
  • Ask for minimum commitment. Don’t ask the blogger if they want to publish your post — that’s asking for too much commitment too early. Ask them if they’d be willing to simply look the post over if you write it. This might sound like a weak commitment, but I’ve never had a blogger who said ‘Yes’ to this refuse to publish the post after they’d seen it.

If you want some firmer guidance, here’s a simple template you can use:

Hi ____,

My name is ____ and I blog at ______. I would love the opportunity to guest post for your readers and I have an idea I think would go down really well.

The post would be about _______________. If that sounds good to you, I’d be happy to send along the finished post for your consideration.

Cheers,
______

Unless the idea is too similar to something the blogger has already written about before, or if it’s not well-suited to their target audience, the blogger will probably be happy to see what you come up with.

Once again, you haven’t asked for a final answer. All you’ve requested is that the blogger look over what you write. Once you reach this stage, your chances of being published are very high. At worst, the blogger might request that you edit the post.

Opportunities to look out for

There are certain situations which make a blogger more likely to accept a guest post.

1. If the blogger mentions they’re feeling sick. Offer to write a guest-post so they can get some rest. You will need to produce something quickly, though, as most people don’t stay sick for too long!

2. If the blogger mentions that they’re going on vacation. Usually this will be followed by a call for guest-posts, but once the call goes out, you’ll have heaps of competition. Get in early by making your pitch as soon as your targeted blogger starts to mention sandy beaches and palm trees.

3. If the blogger hasn’t been posting as much as they used to. Emphasize with their being busy and offer to take some of the load off. Most bloggers who haven’t been able to post consistently will feel that, to some extent, they’re neglecting their audience… making them all the more likely to publish a guest post.

And remember:

Those people who say that it’s impossible to write for a popular blog probably haven’t tried. Once you become confident enough to make your pitch, you’d be surprised at how easy it really is!

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Thank you Skellie for Writing this amazing post on Blog Perfume

Thank you Adii that he has featured BlogPerfume on his 53 Top Blog Designs of 2007. All of them look really nice and I am sure you can get inspiration from looking at these amazing blogs. Most of them have some really nice content as well. Make sure you do not miss them.

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Source: http://www.adii.co.za/2007/12/10/my-53-top-blog-designs-of-2007/

Small Potato has written a really nice article about “Premium Theme Buying Tips“. This article isn’t about not trusting your favorite free-theme author; it’s about protecting yourself and making sure your money will be well spent. I think buying themes can really save you lots of time, you can concentrate more on the content itself. Buying themes is a trend, and you just need to do it properly and worthwhile. Here are some of the tips of buying premium themes from WPDesigner.

  • Do you recognize the theme author?
  • Is everything within this theme…legal?
  • What are the features and hidden options?
  • Is there a FAQ and how’s the support?
  • Is there a live demo or preview?

And More…

Source: http://www.wpdesigner.com/2007/11/27/premium-theme-buying-tips/

WordPress was originally created as a weblog or blog platform. But now WordPress has grown so powerful that you can use it to create any type of website and use it as a Content Management System (CMS). WordPress has made it so easy that even a non-programmer can build a wonderful website.

In WordPress Theme Hacks, Nick La is going to share some of his WordPress tricks with you on how to make a better WordPress theme. He will focus more on the frontend development.

Source: http://www.webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/wordpress-theme-hacks/

Blogging is the new national pastime–not just for Americans, but for Internet-connected people all over the world. It’s an activity that spans all age groups and occupations. There are personal blogs, social blogs, and professional blogs. Whatever the topic, someone has probably blogged it. Some of us get paid to blog and others pay for the privilege of blogging (on a particular site or with particular software).

The Internet made it possible for anyone to publish content to a worldwide audience. The Web log, or blog format, has made it easier and more convenient. But all blogs are not created equal. Some draw an eager following and others languish in obscurity. Regardless of your reason for blogging, you can make your blog better, more readable and–if it’s what you want–more popular.

View the full article on 10 ways to become a better blogger.

Source: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com…

It’s not so easy finding quality graphic design authors. So to make things easier for you, here David Airey has presented his top 50 graphic design blogs. He has categorised these blogs by their Google PageRank (PR), which is Google’s way of determining the authority of a website / blog.

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Source: http://www.davidairey.com/top-50-graphic-design-blogs/

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