Category Archives: Blogging Guide

How to Set Up a Virtual Office?

A virtual office is a setup that allows business owners and employees to work from any location they want, with the help of technology such as laptops, smartphones and internet.

A virtual office works much like a real office such as conducting meeting, conferences, documents exchanges etc. But instead of people present physically at the office and doing their job, they sit at their desired location and do everything online.

set up virtual office at home

In this way a business owner doesn’t need to lease an office space and recruit local people, and the employees can sit at home or any preferred location to do work.

There are surely many advantages of working from a virtual office, apart from freedom, flexibility and being at home. For a person trying to start his/her own business, setting up a virtual office will save them from costs of leasing an office space, buying or renting furniture and office equipments.

You can save time and fuel on driving and avoid stress due to traffic jams and pollution. This is not only good for your health but for the environment’s too. Also you can spend more time with your family and friends. This will in turn, increase your efficiency and motivation for work.

So, how can I set up a virtual office at home?

If you want to set up a virtual office, you need to do it in such a way so that you can attract more and more clients. These are few things you must do:

  • Get a phone line installed at your home. The cost will depend on the service type that you are going to provide. Like if your work is based on customer calls, you will get more incoming calls and if you are providing secretarial calls then you need to make calls from your side. So it is better to take a plan accordingly.
  • Internet is the most important thing, rather backbone of this virtual office thing. Get a plan for internet which is under budget but also gives good quality and speed.
  • For your office set-up, choose the part of home which is quiet and away from all the noises and interruptions.
  • To keep your important clients files, keep a secured locked cabinet. Set up a list of all client files on your computer as well for quick access of information as and when needed.
  • For the protection of your computer, install antivirus software as well as malware and always keep a back up for your important files.
  • Install a webcam on your PC so that you can carry out meetings and conferences with your clients. Dress properly for any meeting.
  • Keep furniture in your office which is comfortable and ergonomically made, so as to keep your body and health fine.
  • Set a work schedule and follow it strictly. Take coffee or lunch breaks at set timings. Working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional.

Once you have set up your office properly, start searching for clients which is the most tedious task. Take help of social networking sites and advertising on internet. Distribute business cards and ask your relatives and friends to talk about your newly started business. This can help to gather more and more clients.

Although it might seem difficult in the beginning, but with persistence and hard work, you can achieve what you want.

Image courtesy of BrianHolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What is Backlink and How to Get Backlinks to Your Blog?

So what is a backlink? Here is the definition in simple words. A backlink is a link which points from another website to a page of your website. It enables you to keep track of another pages on web that link to your posts.

How to get backlinks to your blog

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The benefits of backlinks to your blog

A backlink is very important in blogging world. If properly placed, it sends you traffic directly to your blog. It also increases value of your blog in search engines and thus improves your ranking in search engines.

This in turn promotes your blog and helps increase it’s popularity. So we can say that backlinks are building blocks of a successful blog.

There are so many benefits of backlinks in your blogs. The more the number of relevant backlinks to your page, the more is the indication to Google of the popularity of your website.

However, it doesn’t mean to have any random or low quality backlink. These should be of high quality otherwise they would be considered spam.

If both sites, yours and the one linking to yours, has content covering the same keyword topic, the backlink is considered relevant and has strong influence on the search engine rankings for your webpage that received the backlink.

How to get backlinks?

Now the question arises how to get backlinks to your blog? Well there are certain ways to create backlinks easily which are as follows:

Get backlinks from social bookmarking
Always try to get backlinks naturally. One way is through social bookmarking sites. You bookmark your content on these sites and get backlink in exchange. Not only that, you also get direct traffic from that social bookmarking site.

Leave comments on other blogs
Try to find out blogs in your niche and leave meaningful comments to add value to it. If you just try to get a backlink without adding any value to the comment, it will look like a spam. In that case, the blog owner may not approve your comment.

Tip: If you leave comments on CommentLuv enabled blogs, you will get a dofollow link!

Write valuable content on your own blog
Another way is through the content which you write on your blog. You should write your content in a unique style which attracts more visitors to it.

If other blogs owners find it useful, they will naturally link to your post!

Get backlinks from forums
Look for discussion forum related to your topic and participate in the discussion. Most of the forums allow you to add link to your blog in signature.

Tip: Don’t spam the forum otherwise you could be banned by moderators of the forum.

Write guest posts
Find out blogs in your niche and see if they allow guest posts. If they do, write a relevant blog post for them. In return, you can put a backlink or two in the author bio.

It’s true that the process of getting backlinks is very time consuming so you got to be very patient. It might take several weeks to create high quality backlinks manually but persistence and hardwork would certainly produce results.

How to Find Free Images for your Blog using Flickr

Images play an important role in making your website’s articles and blog posts interesting. It helps in attracting more and more readers to your website.

A blog full of text doesn’t look appealing at all and if you put even a single relevant image in it, it may give the whole idea of what you are trying to say. Therefore images not only augment your words but also make them more presentable and increase your blog’s chances of showing up in a search engine’s results.

Now the challenge here is to find good as well as free images for your blog. You would certainly want best images for your blog but if you obtain them illegally, knowingly or unknowingly, you might end up in unwanted trouble.

There are many websites available which offer variety of images, mostly photographed professionally and edited. One of the best websites among them is Flickr.

Flickr, a community for photo sharing used by both professionals and amateurs. You can find thousands of images on Flickr, some are paid but mostly free. You can modify them too but you will have to give the credit to the photographer.

find free images for blog

Searching for free images?

How to find free images on Flickr?

All photos on Flickr are protected by a license called Creative commons licence. Before using photos that you get on Flickr website, ensure that you understand fully what this licence is.

A creative common license protects the owner of the original photograph without full copyright application. It means others can also use the photographs for their commercial blogs, under certain restrictions. You will need to go through those instructions thoroughly before using the photographs.

Now here are the steps you have to take while searching the images on flickr:

1. Go to Flickr Advanced Search form and select the following options

a. Only search within Creative Commons-licensed photos
b. Find content to use commercially
c. Find content to modify, adapt, and build upon

2. Now type your search in the box, use words to describe that image in your mind. You can also search by default titles or by the tags which photographers have used for their images. If you are not getting the desired image, you can also experiment using different search terms.

3. Once you have selected the image, go to “some rights reserved” link in the sidebar on right hand-side. Doing that will take you to the image’s creative common license.

4. If the creative common license allows the use of the image, you are free to download and use it.

5. There is one more very important step. You will have to give credit to the original author. This can be done by putting a caption or line near your image in the given particular format.

So these were few simple steps and now you have got a nice desired image for your blog, of course without violating any copyrights. In this way you are not only bringing attention from readers to your blog but to the photographer who has done that wonderful image.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Deal with Blog Plagiarism

In the world of blogging, plagiarism means copying somebody else’s content bluntly and using it in someone’s own blog to make money or for some other purpose.

Blogging is all about creativity and originality and therefore, plagiarism is considered a very serious offense. It is just like taking advantage from somebody else’s effort and hardwork. Plagiarism is usually done by a person who does not take blogging as serious as taken by others or is not morally matured at all.

Why should you bother about plagiarism?

Now why is it important for you to protect your blog from plagiarism? Would you like someone to take credit of your work and get all the benefits by it? If the answer is ‘no’ then you should take necessary steps to protect your work from getting copied.

Blog plagiarism also affects your search engine rankings. The copied content may outrank the original ones in search results, thus getting more traffic. But some search engines like Google are smart enough to tackle with these copycats. They have got efficient algorithms which detect them and either report them spam or atleast do not give them high ranks.

blog plagiarism

How to find out if somebody has copied your content?

This can be done with the help of two most efficient tools present on the web, Copyscape and Copygator. You just have to fetch your URL to check if any content of your site is present on any other site. Or you can just copy a small portion of an article and search the part in Google, if someone copied your article it should be indexed on Google, so Google will tell you the rest of the story. There are many other efficient tools available on internet to choose from.

How to protect your Blog from Plagiarism?

You cannot let your ideas and creativity stolen by anybody so easily. You can kick out these copy cats through number of ways, such as:

Copyright your content

Everytime you create a blog, make sure you copyright your content. The best way to do that is to register at myfreecopyright.com. Also consider registering under the DMCA. It takes a short time and is effective in giving you ownership over all content that’s published.

Prevent hot linking for your images

This is another way you can use to protect your blog images from content thieves. This just requires a few code changes in your hosting .htacess files in the root domain folder.

Use copyright proof plugins

These plugins certify you as the authentic author and assigns copyright to you on all the content. In case anybody copies your content, you can always sue them.

Link back to your article

It is a WordPress trick in which any stolen post automatically links to the original content. You just need to add a simple code to your wordpress single.php.

Use Tynt service

This website is very effective in preventing people from copying your content. It automatically creates backlinks to your blog or website. Getting the backlinks promotes your websites SEO and hence traffic which automatically boosts your online rankings.

Apart from these, you can make your content such that anybody cannot copy it easily. Add personal touch to it, like your own experiences, stories and images. Try to avoid writing very long blogs as they are likely to be copied. If you find out your blog has been copied, then try to contact the plagiarist and ask him/her to give you credit. In case this not happens, you can report against them.

The Importance of Blogging for Personal Branding

What makes Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey or any other celebrity you could think off stand out of the crowd? Are they exceptionally good looking or are they are the best at what they do?

Probably none of them possess a talent that is unique or unattainable so what makes these people stand out of the crowd and make them what they are today?

When the world has come to an age where competition is fierce and monopoly is unheard of how could anyone, be it a product or a personality, stand out of the crowd?

Personal Branding is one such important tool that can help a person or his career to transform into a brand. This term, which has been popularized by Tom Peters, is an amalgamation of various processes that are not restricted to physical appearance, body, clothing etc. but uses all of them to make a remarkably distinguished imprint.

It is generally for people who want to promote their business or career & market themselves to the best available employers in the town.

Blogging is the retrenchment of words, which may refer to an information or discussion & is published on the World Wide Web to be read and shared by other users. A blog could be personal or been used as marketing tool for business, you could keep it for private viewing for yourself & trusted few or you could share with everybody.

blogging-personal-branding

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How can Blogging help in Personal Branding?

In the era when everything and everyone is on social media, you can’t lose out your chance of reaching out to millions in the most cost effective way. Personal Branding is all about uniquely positioning you in the market, virtual or otherwise, with a sole aim of promoting a brand called “YOU”.

Blogging is the most cost effective way of Branding. It can reach millions of users. Hosted personal blogs don’t comes for free and self hosted blogs costs you very little, something that can be ignored for a bigger cause.

Read here how to create a blog.

A blog caters to a vast audience and the audience is not gender or race specific, which would mean that almost all get a glimpse of the brand “You” without the personal bias.

Also, the blog is dynamic in nature; it can have pictures, videos or both, making it extremely easy for all kinds of people to stay hooked. You can include funny frames, interesting stories and keep your audience entertained.

It has been noticed that branding is not about money. Agreed, that big corporate set aside a large budget just to promote their products but even small businesses can do the same promotion in the most economic way i.e. blogging.

Personal Branding and Blogging: How to go about it?

You could start blogging by creating a very unique, eye catching username for your Personal branding blog. Design it with best available templates or themes and make the layout attractive yet simple so that the audience just don’t get carried away.

You could put this blog a part of your personal website or a separate identity. You could take the help of expert blogger or an experienced author to make your blog content rich.

Alternatively you could invite a famous blogger to introduce your blog or share the link of the same in his blog. That should surely get you some audience. Make sure your blog is relevant and doesn’t at any point of time uses substandard lingo to catch attention.

Always remember to be unique, plagiarism free and educate yourself to understand the ongoing market trends and use them effectively while blogging for Personal Branding.

Top 5 Blogging Mistakes You Must Avoid

Whether it is personal branding, writing down personal stories or marketing for others, blogs are everywhere. For many people, it is a vent out of their creative urges while for others, it is a means to get money or get noticed.

Blogging has been around for almost a decade but it is recently discovered how blogging can earn you good amount of money.

Money minting is one of the popular reasons why everyone is online now airing his/her opinion on anything & everything.

But then, like any other business, blogging too has its dos and don’ts. If you are an aspiring blogger you should know them and should consciously avoid them at any point of your blogging career.

So what are the Top 5 mistakes that every blogger should avoid?

Also read: How to start a blog.

blogging mistakes to avoid

Taking your audience for granted

Yes, blogging is surely about communicating your own thoughts, speaking about your rights and likes. However, unless you are using your blog as a personal diary, avoid taking your audience for granted.

While blogging, you have to keep in mind what is that your readers would like to read and what are the current hot topics. Blogging about current trends would earn you new followers and keep your current ones hooked.

Also, using abusive language or putting in misleading facts or speaking about something you don’t know is another blogging mistake anyone should avoid. You possibly have no idea that how seriously people take internet these days. So be responsible and don’t let anything overshadow the content.

Also read: Few Points to Consider before Starting a Blog.

Grammar horror

Misspelt words, poor punctuation and horrible grammar mistakes are an instant turn off. With so many grammar tutorials and proof reading tools available online, you could simply not afford to make a blogging mistake like this one.

Always cross check the post that you are about to publish.

Use spell checker to ensure that you use correct spellings. Use grammar correctly. It might be a small investment of time to make but in the long run it would help you earn an ardent fan following.

Mediocre Profile Page

First impression is the last impression. It holds true even in the case of blogging. You would be surprised to know that the most popular page on your blog is actually your “about me” page which possibly you left incomplete. Or didn’t bother to keep it as informative/witty as your blog articles.

If you want your audience to take you seriously, give due attention to such minute details. You don’t need to go over the top. Just a simple factual introduction would do the trick.

Infrequency in terms of posting articles

Unlike the office job, blogging doesn’t have any fixed working hours. No one expects you to post every day.

But for your own good, you should maintain a schedule and stick to it for posting new articles. This way you would have a good fan base and people would know what to expect from you and when.

This habit of posting regularly on your blog would increase its search engine rankings and would help your blog get better with each post.

Being Greedy

Okay, so you have started blogging to make money. So, what the time frame that you have set apart a week? A month?

Sorry, to burst the bubble, but sometimes it takes around a year’s time for your blog to bring you some money. It takes a consistent effort and proper networking to make your blog noticeable.

Don’t let advertisers take over every inch of visible space on your blog. Instead make it subtle and keep your audience and content in high regards.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Drive Traffic To Your Blog

I have been creating blogs on different topics since 2005. Some of them got decent traffic while others failed to do so.

But the good thing is that I was able to learn few lessons from the failed ones and apply it on other blogs.

In this article, I will share my own experience. Follow these steps and you would also be able to drive traffic to your blog.

A lot of people are now-a-days talking about driving traffic to blogs and similar phrases. What exactly does it mean? And does it take any special efforts to do so?

There is a difference between a good writer and a smart blogger. Which one are you? Someone who is good with words or someone who is a mediocre but has magic of marketing himself in a right way. No marks for guessing who eventually makes more money.

Yes! We all are passionate people and writing is a passion. So why not earn some money while you do what you love to do. Attracting more traffic to your blog would simply mean creating a market for your own self.

But how can I drive traffic to my blog?

To drive traffic to your blog in layman’s language is to make your blog more visible and to have as many followers as possible. More traffic could mean advertisers get more interested in your blog and that would lead to making you richer by a few dollars.

Now, is that an easy job? May be, may be not. It would all depend on how you look at it. For now you could just follow these points and see your followers increase every passing day.

How to drive traffic to your blog

Be Seen

Be there where it matters! At the right place and at the right time. If you don’t like the pompous way of marketing yourself, be subtle! Begin with visiting other people’s blog. Give your feedback or do some value addition if you know something about it.

Grow your network by adding people and following them. Today social media is big and if you are not present there, your existence is questionable. Use Facebook, Twitter to generate some noise, keep posting relevant content even if you feel no one cares.

Do not compromise on content

Content is the king, no matter how many plagiarized, poorly written articles you see online, don’t let that defer your faith in a good copy.

Good content always fetches money and is required to restore faith in the author. So make sure your product is well presented and well researched, followers or no followers. Make appropriate citations and let your work be all about content and good content.

Comment on other blogs

Commenting on other blogs does really help to get traffic back to your own blog. However, don’t just put any comment.

Be sure to write a thoughtful one that adds some value. It shouldn’t look like a spam otherwise the blog owner may not even approve it.

Guest post on other blogs

Figure out some good blogs in your niche who allow guest posts on their blogs. If you write a great post on their blog, it would do wonders to your blog in terms of driving traffic.

Don’t underestimate the power of SEO

Knowing the important and hot keywords is as important as knowing the audience you are writing for. Articles related to your target keyword and little help from SEO and you are good to go.

Your article or blog should be aligned to what is being talked about in recent times or more importantly, searched on Internet. Using new age keywords would surely drive audience to your blogs.

Similarly, tweaking your blog just in a way so as to rank higher in the search engine rankings would mean users getting to see your posts on the first page of the search engine’s search page. That means the chances of getting clicked increases considerably.

Read more SEO tips here.

Make Sharing Easy

If you want your product to be shared and talked about extensively, then make it easy for users to share it and repost it. You could add those little buttons to your blog space, that makes sharing on Facebook and Twitter etc. stress-free.

The more people share your blog, the more it will be talked about. Also, keep in mind that the process of sharing should be non-complicated, anything involving more than a few steps would send users running in another direction.

Post Frequently

May be you have heard this umpteen times, to reiterate – search engines love fresh content so do the followers. Latest topics or even topics that you have expertise in are anticipated. So make sure you follow a pattern of posting a blog, so that your followers would know when to expect your post.

Initially the more you post, the better. Slowly once you have garnered the trust, you could make it biweekly or weekly affair and concentrate on the marketing aspect of it.

These were few steps to drive traffic to your blog. By following these, you would be able to make sure that not only your blog is talked about, it would also deliver in terms of content. And the followers who come to visit your blog would also stay there.

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Select Best WordPress Theme for Your Blog

It’s very important to select the best WordPress theme for your blog and you should not ignore this step. In fact, this step has a great impact on the future of your blog.

A good theme leaves a great first impression on your blog’s visitors. It also makes it easy for readers to read the content, navigate through different pages and posts. A good WordPress theme also helps you to improve the SEO.

Also read: Why WordPress is Used for Blogging?
How to Install WordPress on Your Web Host?

Choose a WordPress Theme Related to Your Niche

This is important and obvious too! The WordPress theme that you select must be related to your industry, business and niche.

If your blog is about personal finance, don’t use a theme that was created for photography blogs. Similarly, if your blog is about gadgets, you would not want to have a real-estate site theme.

best wordpress themes

Don’t Forget Browser Compatibility

Keep it in mind that people use different Internet browsers. The theme that you choose must be compatible with all or most of the leading browsers.

If it’s not cross browser compatible, it will appear differently on different browsers. When you go to purchase or download a theme, most of them will clearly specify if they are cross browser compatible. If they are not compatible with all browsers, just move on to some other theme.

Try to Keep it Simple

Most of the free WordPress themes are really complex. The features, design, configuration and customization – everything is complex. They may be good looking but may not have great functionality. So it’s recommended to stick to simple themes with simple design and easy to customize.

How to Install your WordPress Theme

Installing a theme in WordPress is pretty simple. You just need to drop the files in right location and activate it from the dashboard. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Upload the Theme

Download the zipped file to your computer and unzip it. Upload the entire folder containing all the files to your WordPress installation and place it under following directory:
/wp-content/themes

2. Activate the Theme

Log on to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance -> Themes. Here you will be able to see the newly uploaded theme. Click on ‘Activate’.

That’s it. Your new theme is now in action!

How to Choose a Blog Topic

Choosing the topic of your blog is one of the initial steps when you are planning to create a blog. Once you have chosen a topic, you need to create the blog and write about that topic.

Therefore, choosing a good topic is key to success for every blog. Following are some key points you should consider while doing your research for blog topic selection.

blog-topic

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Also read: Points to Consider before Starting a Blog.

Blog Topic: You are Passionate About

If you are writing a blog, it is supposed to be updated frequently. Some bloggers update their blog daily while some other bloggers update it several times a day.

However, one should update the blog at-least two or three times a week. You will need to provide fresh content to your blog readers.

Hence, it is important to choose a topic for your blog you are passionate about. That way, you can keep your blog going and updated regularly.

If you are not passionate about your blog topic, soon you will feel bored and stale very quickly. To be able to stay motivated, choose a topic of your interest.

Blog Topic: That You Enjoy Researching

You will never run out of content if the topic you are writing about is something you would love to research. The ability to provide fresh and most updated contents to your readers is the key to success in blogging.

If you love to research on the topic, you would be having all latest updates and advancements in that area. Hence you should be able to provide relevant updates to the readers of your blog.

Blog Topic: You Would Like to Discuss

Blog requires two way conversation between blogger and readers. It is not meant for one way conversation.

Readers leave comments after reading the blog posts. The blogger should respond or discuss on that comment. You should be able to handle any debate in a healthy and professional manner. If you are able to create a sense of community through your blog, you will surely become successful.

These were the top factors you must consider when you choose your favorite topic for starting a blog.