responsiblecommenting.com

27Mar/120

The Taylor Swift Guide to Growing a Massive Fan Base

This guest post is by Jennifer Blanchard of InkyBites.

If you haven’t heard of Taylor Swift, you’ve probably been living in a cave the last few years. Swift is the teen country sensation who took on the music industry starting at the ripe age of 13, and became one of the biggest musical acts in the entire world only a few short years later.

On Twitter she has more than 10 million followers. On Facebook, she has a whopping 27.8 million likes—that’s more than all three of the Kardashian sisters combined!

Not only is Swift one of the most popular musicians in the world (her concerts usually sell out in under two minutes), but she’s also critically-acclaimed: she’s won two-thirds of the awards she’s been nominated for.

There’s a reason for all of Swift’s success. And it’s not because she’s the best singer-song writer in the world (although she’s actually pretty darn good at that, too).

It’s because she knows how to connect with people. She knows how to tug at their heart strings and wrap them around her finger. Funny thing is, she doesn’t do it with her music alone.

While she has received criticism for being just a tad too open with her personal life (she’s known for writing songs all about her exes), it’s being so open about her life that helps people connect with her. She sings of stories her fans have experienced, too. Her music has touched the lives of millions of people and she has become the voice of her generation. But even that isn’t why she has a massive fan base that supports her unconditionally.

She has a massive fan base because she’s mastered the one skill most people spend their lives ignoring: gratitude.

She lives gratitude day-in, day-out. She uses the words “thank you” more than any other phrase in her vocabulary. And she goes out of her way to show her fans how grateful she is for their love and support.

A couple years ago, Swift held a meet-and-greet for her fans where she stayed for 13 hours and met every single person who showed up to see her. Thirteen hours! How many celebrities do you think would do something like that? T

This is all part of what makes Swift special and what makes her fans love her and support her. If you want to grow a massive fan base of your own, here are some tips you can take straight from Swift:

1. Go above and beyond … and then go another mile

Swift’s fans will follow her anywhere, because she always meets them halfway. During her “Fearless” album tour, she went out into the crowd in the middle of two of her songs to hug fans and thank them for coming to the show.

And this was not an impromptu occurrence like you sometimes see at concerts. This was a planned walk into the crowd during the same two songs at every stop on her tour.

“It was really important for me to go out there and actually say hi to people and thank them for coming and be right there next to them … I’m always gonna wanna go the extra mile for them because I can’t believe the extra thousand miles they’re gone for me,” Swift said in the HUB Network documentary series, Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless.

If you want to grow your fan base, you have to figure out where your fans are and meet them there. Find ways to go above and beyond for them.

If your fans are all hanging out on Google+, that’s where you need to be. Host a series of Hangouts and invite them to join in. Or if your fans are all about Pinterest, logon and start building some boards for them to follow.

Post special content you only share in that one place or host special events for fans in that channel. Go out of your way to show your fans you appreciate each and every one of them.

The more you do this, the bigger your fan base will grow.

2. Reward your super-fans

Swift wanted a way to thank her super-fans, so she put together a T Party event that would happen after the show every night she was on tour. Each night during the concert, her crew went out into the crowd to find the craziest Taylor fans and give them passes to the T Party.

When the show was finished, the super-fans went backstage to the T Party area, which was a Moroccan-style tent set up like a living room with ping pong, TV, and pizza. Swift showed up shortly after the guests arrived to hang out, meet everyone, sign autographs, and thank them for being there.

“The T Party is a way for me to get to meet people after the show … who I just felt so grateful to have on my side. The T Party room gives me an opportunity to say that to them and to give them a hug,” Swift said in the same documentary series.

Do you have super-fans? You know, the people who buy everything you put out there and will drive a ridiculous distance to see you speak/play/perform? Show your super-fans how much they mean to you by personally reaching out to them and offering up something of value—a free coaching session, signed copies of all of your books, whatever it is you do.

When you show your fans—and especially your super-fans—how much they mean to you, you’re stoking the fire of building an incredible fan base.

3. Find ways to surprise people

One last way Swift showed fans how much they mean to her during her “Fearless” tour was she would pop up at the back of the arena during the intermission of the show and play one of her songs on the landing of the stairs, surrounded by fans who weren’t able to get seats up front.

Then she’d continue the show for a little while on a stage near the back of the arena before eventually going back to the front stage. She did this so the “worst seats in the house became the best seats in the house.”

How do you show up for your fans? Is there a way you can surprise them?

For example, if you’re on a blog book tour, do your reading, sign autographs, and then invite everyone who showed up to meet you at a restaurant nearby for dinner. Bonus if you pay for everyone’s meal.

There are literally thousands of ways you can go out of your way to make your fans feel loved and appreciated. Practice gratitude in your life, on your blog and in your business, and in no time you’ll be on your way to growing a Taylor Swift-style fan base.

How do you go out of your way for your fans? What have you done to show them how grateful you are for them?

Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of InkyBites, where she helps artists nourish their creativity by making simple diet and lifestyle changes. Visit the site to grab her free “Clarity Smoothies and Other Energy-Sustaining Snacks” eGuide.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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The Taylor Swift Guide to Growing a Massive Fan Base


@ProBlogger

26Mar/120

5 Epic Blogging Lessons Learned from Parenting Five Rowdy Kids

This guest post is by Ruth Zive Ruth Zive Copywriting.

Most of my readers and clients know me as a freelance copywriter and content marketing strategist. But the truth is, I’m operating under cover; my real identity is SuperMom to a brood of five rowdy children (including one that is a wee bit chromosomally enhanced).

I’m actually not that “super,” but I’m most certainly Mom, first and foremost. It’s a busy, messy, loud, hectic, demanding, and unbelievably rewarding job. Each of my five children has taught me valuable lessons that have informed all aspects of my life. Because of my kids, I am a better human being—and definitely a more effective professional.

There is a lot of crossover in my life—my work blends into my mom-related duties, and vice versa. My children have taught me a lot about blogging, writing, social media, and content marketing strategy (albeit an inadvertent effort on their part).

Hopefully these five epic blogging lessons, learned from parenting five rowdy children, will help you to gain traction and grow your online presence.

1. Stick to a schedule

Between dance lessons, basketball practice, speech therapy, school carpools, high school exams, doctor appointments, and parent-teacher interviews, it goes without saying that my head would explode if I didn’t stick to a schedule.

And forget about my sanity; my children thrive with a routine.

Takeaway

Similarly, you will create a sense of momentum with your blog if you settle into a routine—and you can incorporate this fundamental discipline in a variety of ways.  For instance, you’ll want to:

  • Map out an editorial calendar and write your posts predictably. Not only will you be more productive, your readers will come to appreciate your routine and will know when to visit your site for new content.
  • Plan your blogging time strategically—make sure to budget time for writing, reading, commenting and social media.
  • Work your blogging priorities into the rest of your daily schedule. Don’t forget to leave time for personal interests and priorities and other work-related responsibilities.

It took me a while to settle into a predictable routine (heck, life’s rarely predictable with five children).  But going through these motions helped me to be much more productive and focussed as a mom and a writer.

2. Know your audience

I often have to tailor my parenting style to the unique interests of the specific child I am addressing.

One of my kids will follow instructions only if we make eye contact and I resort to threats and bribery. My youngest daughter, on the other hand, needs a lot of handholding and coddling, no matter the circumstance. And the middle child will do pretty much anything as long as it involves chocolate.

Takeaway

Your blog readers will invariably share certain qualities and it’s important to know what those are; but remember that they also have unique interests. Segment your target market accordingly and be flexible in your style to accommodate their needs.

For instance, on my blog, I’m essentially appealing to three different target markets:

  • independent copywriters and bloggers
  • c-level and marketing executives
  • independent business owners and entrepreneurs.

All three groups are interested in learning more about content marketing strategy.

But I tweak my focus, depending on which group is on my radar.  When I’m speaking to the first group, I might write about landing copywriting clients, setting your fees and injecting personality into your writing.  But the second group, by contrast, is more interested in how to leverage the impact of social media to drive your content marketing campaign.

Same overarching intention, but a personalized and targeted approach based on the reader’s unique needs.

3. Get social

There is nothing my kids appreciate more than lively conversation around the dinner table, family game night, or a spontaneous adventure. The deeper the interaction, the more impactful. Mommy time trumps iPods, computer games, and the latest, must-have fashion accessory without fail.

And while my time is certainly limited, I seek out opportunities to engage with each child in a meaningful way.

Takeaway

You may have the most phenomenal content on your blog, but if you aren’t getting social, it’s a big fat waste of time!

Blogging is a big time suck, and it can be very hectic and overwhelming.  But starting now, every day, make sure that you:

  • take time to comment on other people’s blogs
  • cultivate relationships with prolific bloggers and industry experts
  • leverage the benefits of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

And most importantly, be authentic in your interaction.

I know what I’m talking about here.  Some of the best professional contacts that I’ve forged have been on Twitter.  It sounds ridiculous, but it’s 100% true. I was invited into a Mastermind group on Twitter; I was approached by someone on Twitter to edit an ebook; and I found a genius WordPress programmer on Twitter who solved some very troubling issues on my blog and saved me a small fortune. So don’t underestimate the importance of social.

4. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture

Some days, I feel that my time is entirely consumed with meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, carpooling—with some hysterics thrown in for good measure.

On those days, I have to remind myself that the time I invest in menial (and sometimes unpleasant) parenting tasks fuels the bigger picture payoff. Hopefully, because of my efforts, my children will emerge happy, secure, and confident with a sense that they can always rely on their Mom.

Takeaway

Blogging can be an exhausting, tedious, and slow process.

You have to do the grunt work if you’re going to reap the bigger picture benefits. Write often; read even more often; solicit feedback; invest in your blog’s design; learn how to optimize your site … do it all over again.

At first, it was hard for me to see the forest for the trees; my blogging experience seemed entirely mired in minutiae.  So I started to keep a journal—to track my progress from month to month, noting my higher level achievements so that I could have those in mind when I felt discouraged.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try keeping a journal so that you can maintain better perspective and not lose sight of the bigger picture.

5. Keep an open mind

Sometimes, no matter how well organized I am, irrespective of how much I’ve considered my children’s unique needs, and even with a perfectly planned schedule and a bigger picture focus, the stars misalign and my efforts are in vain.

Woody Allen once joked that if you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans. Things are bound to go awry with children, and with blogging!

Takeaway

Keep an open mind. Blogging is a journey (much like any entrepreneurial pursuit) and you learn along the way.

  • Plans transform.
  • Resources shrink or grow.
  • Goals evolve.

You need to be flexible and adapt to changes.

I’ve encountered this reality first-hand in a dramatic way.  After six months of blogging, my readership and subscriber base had skyrocketed.

I had faithfully cultivated relationships with other bloggers and using social media. I had great traction. But Danny Iny, of Firepole Marketing, recommended that I redo my site and position myself differently, to align my offline business and my online brand. It was tough advice to hear, but I very seriously considered his point of view, and after some strategic thinking, my old blog is no longer.

Poof.

But my new blog rocks even more than my old one. And making this transition required a very open mind on my part.

So I suppose I owe my blogging success to my children. And now, maybe you will too.

What do you think? Have your children helped your blogging journey? What have your relationships taught you about content marketing and social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ruth Zive is a freelance copywriter and content marketing strategist. Ruth works with B2B companies, across industries, to help them leverage their content to drive business results. Learn about my corporate workshops.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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5 Epic Blogging Lessons Learned from Parenting Five Rowdy Kids


@ProBlogger

25Mar/120

Keep Your Inbox Organized and Get Your Sanity Back with SaneBox



I’m no stranger to inbox insanity. My email always seems to be out of control and it often takes me 3-4 hours each day to get everything straightened out. Even worse, I end up missing most of my important messages because they get pushed down by all the junk. By the way, yes I am using Gmail’s Priority Inbox, and while it has helped somewhat, it’s no lifesaver.

Meet SaneBox, it’s much like Gmail’s Priority Inbox, but it adds quite a few other features as well and it works with almost all email clients. SaneBox works by separating the important email messages from the unimportant ones. Not only that, but it does much more like send you daily summaries of your new email messages, monitor your spam folder, send you reminders to follow up on email messages, and more.

So, let’s get started and see what SaneBox has to offer those with a messy inbox!

Getting Started

SaneBox is really easy to setup. First you’ll have to enter the email address that you want to use and it will detect which client you’re using. Once you give SaneBox permission to use your account, it will start separating your messages right away! That’s it, no plugins to install or anything else.

Supported Email Clients

SaneBox works with any email service that provides IMAP, WebDAV, or OWA such as: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, AOL, and more.

Where Are My Messages?

The messages that SaneBox thinks are important will remain in your inbox, everything else will be put into the @SaneLater folder (which is automatically created by the service). You’ll also get a daily summary of your unimportant email messages; you can customize the time of day to receive this summary in settings. If you want to receive a summary more than once a day, you can set this up in settings as well.

SaneBox: Important Messages in Inbox Unimportant Messages in SaneLater

If you find that there are messages in your inbox that shouldn’t be or messages in SaneLater that shouldn’t be, you can move them to the correct place. SaneBox will learn from your actions and won’t make those mistakes again.

SaneBox Uses Social Networks to Improve Accuracy

Also be sure to connect your social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) in SaneBox’s settings to help improve accuracy.

One-Click Unsubscribe

With SaneBox, unsubscribing from annoying newsletters or annoying people is easy. Their @SaneBlackHole folder is used as a place for you to place emails messages that you wish to unsubscribe from. After that, any new messages that you receive from those senders will be sent directly to Trash.

Enable the SaneBlackHole for One-Click Unsubscribing of Emails

The @SaneBlackHole folder is not enabled by default (neither are @SaneTomorrow or @SaneNextWeek, which we’ll talk about next). You’ll have to go to settings and click on “Show” to enable this folder.

Follow-up Reminders

The Sane RemindMe feature can send you reminders when emails that you specify are not responded back to within a specific time frame. You can either enable the @SaneTomorrow and/or @SaneNextWeek folders and put messages in there, or you can use the CC/BCC method.

With the CC/BCC method, when responding to an email message you can enter a time-frame@sanebox.com as an email address (in the CC or BCC field) in order to let SaneBox know when you want to be reminded to follow-up.

A few examples:

  • 1week@sanebox.com
  • 5minutes@sanebox.com
  • 24hours@sanebox.com
  • 2weeks@sanebox.com
  • April2@sanebox.com

If you use the CC/BCC method, SaneBox will create an @SaneRemindMe folder and all of those messages will be saved in there. You can also view all of your upcoming reminders in settings. That way you’ll know ahead of time what’s coming up!

View Upcoming Reminders from SaneRemindMe

Snooze Your Email

The Sane RemindMe feature can also be used to snooze any email message that you want to get out of the way, yet want to go back to at a later time to handle. Just move the message to @SaneTomorrow or @SaneNextWeek, or use the CC/BCC method. The message will then reappear at whatever time-frame you’ve chosen.

Spam Folder Monitoring

Have you ever had messages that accidentally wound up in your Spam folder and then you deleted them? That’s an honest mistake that can happen to the best of us and there’s no way to know that we’ve even missed it, unless the person who sent it asks us about it.

Enable SaneNotSpam SaneArchive SaneNews SaneBulk and SaneTop Folders

With @SaneNotSpam, you can enable this folder to monitor your spam folder. If any messages are found that shouldn’t be there, they’ll be put into the @SaneNotSpam folder. These messages will also be included in your daily summary.

This folder, along with a few others, can be enabled in settings under the “Folders you read” section.

Create Custom Folders

With SaneBox, you can even create your own custom folders and tell SaneBox what you want to go in them. This works much like email filters, except you don’t have to enter anything (except the folder name).

These folders are set up in SaneBox’s settings. You’ll have to train the folder by moving the desired email messages into those folders. It won’t take long for SaneBox to learn which message should go in there, since it’s so smart!

Pricing

SaneBox is usually .95/month, but from now until 4/1/12 you can get SaneBox free for 4 months! To get this deal, you’ll have to sign up through StackSocial, which is a deal site for apps, gadgets, and all things tech. Just click on “Free” (as seen below), sign up with StackSocial and then you’ll be all set.

Get SaneBox Free for 4 Months

What will happen is that you’ll get SaneBox free for 1-month and then you’ll have a .85 credit toward the service, which is equal to 3 months. So that’s 4 total months free! After your 4 months is up, you can cancel or renew the service.

Also note that you will not have to enter your credit card information at any time – until you’re ready to renew! So it’s a win/win deal.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, SaneBox is really a must-have tool for anyone who is fed up with their unorganized inbox. Plus it adds additional features to help boost productivity. Plus, you just can’t beat the 4-month trial period that you’ll have to test it out and see if you like it.

It may take some time to setup, but once you’re done you’ll have a nice clean inbox and you’ll never miss another message or forget to follow up again!


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips

24Mar/120

Tips from the Trenches: Best Blogger Productivity Tools

When we put together Blog Wise, I thought I would be the only blogger who didn’t use many (okay—any!) of the productivity apps I downloaded. As it turned out, very few of the pro bloggers we spoke to relied on any apps or tools other than Gmail, Google Calendar, and Evernote.

So I decided to ask some of my connections on social media what kinds of tools they use, and I got a great response. Here I’ve compiled the list so that, if you’re interested, you can try some of these tools for yourself. Of course, if you have other time-savers you’d like to add, let us know in the comments.

Software

WordPress plugins

Blogging software

Other services

Hardware

Don’t forget to give us your recommendations for productivity-boosting tools and tips in the comments!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Tips from the Trenches: Best Blogger Productivity Tools


@ProBlogger

23Mar/120

Helpful Tips for Writing About Controversial Topics



Writing is a human activity that often has to do with subjects that are controversial. While some writers may strictly offer information only, others add their opinion or interpretation to it. We live in a time and space where people are sensitive about a whole lot of issues, from religion and ideologies, to the movies and music they like. So when a writer puts his views out, there is a fair chance that a good number of people will not agree with it. Knowing how to write about topics that are controversial without offending people or getting into trouble is an essential skill for the contemporary writer. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Be sure of what you say

The weakest aspect of writing on controversial subjects is poor research. Make sure that anything that you are mentioning in your writing is based on fact. This will help keep you out of trouble in case anyone chooses to contest what you have said. In addition, it will lend credibility to your opinions and your writing.

Wherever possible, quote your sources or leave a reference note so that readers can validate what you are saying on their own. A great temptation that writers have to face is to twist facts in order to make their writing more exciting. While it may give you short term popularity, in the long run, you will be branded as a sensationalist.

2. Stay objective

Controversial topics are the perfect ground for a writer to lose perspective. This happens very naturally since typically these are subjects that the writer has strong personal opinions about. It is made worse when there have been personal life conflicts surrounding those topics. Keep your writing as objective as possible. It is a mark of professionalism to be able to present conflicting views on a subject without giving away your personal battles. Do not use your writing to settle personal grudges.

3. Use tact

Even the bitterest of medicine can be helped to go down with a spoonful of sugar. Be sensitive to the reader’s point of view. Remember that you do not get to choose your reader, but your reader can choose whether to continue reading your writing. Avoid hurtful or inflammatory statements. While humor is an excellent way to put across truths that may be unpleasant, be aware of the thin line between humor and ridicule or contempt.

4. Hold your horses

If you are writing about a controversial topic, learn to give enough time to yourself to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of what you have written. Words once uttered are hard to take back. The written word is even more dangerous than the spoken word, since once it is out there, there is no way you can even hope that people will forget about it.

Once you finish working on a piece of controversial writing, let it stand, and give yourself a break. It is possible that after you have slept over it for a while; you will want to tone down what you wrote.

5. Write from the heart

There can be two reasons for choosing a controversial topic to write about. If you have chosen it in order to create sensation and give a boost to your popularity by virtue of the topic you have chosen, play by the above rules and you should be fine. However, there are many writers who write about controversial topics because it is close to their heart, and they feel very strongly about it.

If the purpose of your writing is to create awareness and educate people about aspects of life that are controversial, you may find it difficult to be nice and diplomatic. In such cases you will want to weigh the cost of being forthright and blunt against the risk of losing the opportunity of carrying your message to a larger audience. Keep in mind that those who will not mind your vitriol possibly already agree with your point of view and it is the rest of the people who you need to target in your mission to create awareness. Being polite, prudent and proper will only help you reach out to a larger and broader readership.

It is not at all difficult to write about topics that are controversial. What is difficult though is to retain your readers and to attract new readers while you are at it. Using the tips outlined here will help you temper you writing with the right balance of forthrightness and diplomacy. Once you have practiced and mastered writing the way it has been suggested here, you will be able to handle controversial topics in a safe, effective and professional manner. Go ahead. Give it a try right now.

This guest post was written by Alia Haley, a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and autos. Beside this she is fond of cars and fancy dresses. Recently an article on New Android Apps attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on dyson air multiplier.


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips

22Mar/120

BusyFlow Brings Your Favorite Cloud Apps Together for Easy Collaboration



If you are in search of a collaboration tool for your team, BusyFlow is definitely recommended. It’s a new tool that creates workspaces for your team projects and lets you add different cloud apps for easy access. BusyFlow is great for school team projects, developer teams, blog networks, consultants, and power Internet users just to name a few.

Why should you use a new tool for collaboration and working with a team if you’re already using cloud apps like Dropbox and Google Docs? When you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense to introduce a new tool to your team that everyone will have to learn. It’s smarter to simply use a tool that combines all of these cloud tools so that you can use them all together, much like BusyFlow.

Getting Started

You can create an account with BusyFlow, using your name and email, or you can sign up using your Google account. BusyFlow refers to workspaces as “Hives” and you’ll need to create one to get started.

Upon signing up you’ll need to create a name for your first Hive. From there, you’ll be able to add apps and invite members to collaborate with.

Add Apps to Your BusyFlow Hive

Currently, there are only 6 apps that can be added to your Hives: Pivotal, Dropbox, Google Cal, Google Docs, Google Tasks, and GitHub. If you’re looking for more, you can always leave feedback and let them know what else you wanted added. In the near future they are also planning to add: Basecamp, Yammer, Evernote, Highrise, and Remember the Milk.

Adding and Using Apps

For my Hive, I chose to add Dropbox, Google Docs, and Google Tasks. Some apps will ask you for an API keys and others will use OAuth to link them to BusyFlow.

Linking Dropbox and Google Docs

For Dropbox, once I linked my account it asked me to select a Dropbox folder to associate with my Hive. Since you’re not able to create new folders here, your best bet is to create a folder first before linking your account – that is if you don’t want to use a Dropbox folder that you already have. Also, if you have folders within folders (sub-folders) in your Dropbox, you won’t be able to choose a sub-folder, you can only choose a parent folder.

Add Apps to Your Hive and Choose Folders

Likewise, when linking my Google account for Google Docs, again it asked me to choose a folder (aka collection) to associate with my Hive. So again, it’s a good idea to create your collection first before connecting your account. Once again, you cannot choose sub-folders here, it has to be a parent folder.

Using Dropbox and Google Docs

As you continue to add apps to your Hive, you’ll notice that each app creates a new tab on the left side of the workspace. This makes it easy to navigate back and forth from one app to another.

Dropbox App with a BusyFlow Hive

I decided to create test documents for each of my apps. With Dropbox, I added an image to the folder associated with my Hive. Once I clicked on that tab, the image appeared there with the option to open it up in a new tab. There’s a check-mark next to the file name and when checked you can click “Discuss on Wall” to add a comment to the item. That comment will then appear on your Hive wall, which everyone in the Hive can see.

You can also upload new items to your Dropbox folder from here and add new Dropbox folders sub-folders to go within the parent folder.

Google Docs App with a BusyFlow Hive

The Google Docs app is lacking a bit in features. You cannot add new documents via BusyFlow, but you can open docs in a new tab, download docs in PDF format, and discuss them (add a comment) for display on your Hive wall.

Using Google Tasks

Just to add, the Google Tasks app is pretty basic, but you can add new tasks right from your Hive. You can also edit and delete tasks. While it’s basic, being able to share and collab on tasks with other people on your team is a nice added bonus.

Adding Members to Your Hive

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how to add members to your Hive, since this is the main reason for using BusyFlow. It’s pretty simple.   From the main page of your Hive, you’ll see the option to add members in the right-hand column. Members can be invited by email only.

Homepage and Newsfeed for Hive on BusyFlow

Your Hive’s Homepage

On your Hive’s homepage under the invite box, you’ll also notice that you can see all recent additions (documents and tasks) to the Hive. In the main column you can see new posts, discussions, mentions, and more. Basically, this serves as a news feed for your workspace that allows you to keep up with everything that is going on, so no one will miss a thing – therefore no reason for excuses!

Final Thoughts

BusyFlow is promising and definitely a great collaboration tool for teams of all kinds. Even if you don’t have a team that you work with, it works pretty well as an aggregator as well – so that you can access all of your cloud apps in one place. I do like the ability to have a workspace for each team project, plus it’s very easy to navigate so you’ll be up and running in no time.

Tools like Wunderkit force users to switch to a new service for collaboration and then they must learn how to use it. BusyFlow brings all of your favorite cloud apps together in a single location. Sounds like a win/win to me!


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips

21Mar/120

Get More Comments: Use Energy to Spark Reader Response

This guest post is by Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic.

According to the legendary copywriter John Carlton, the best way to understand your reader is to visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move. You have to be interesting enough, inspiring enough, captivating enough to get them to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and do something.

The reason why most bloggers don’t get many comments is they fail the “Sloth Test.” Sure, their posts are useful, maybe even mildly entertaining, but that’s the equivalent of giving the sloth another sitcom to watch on TV. If you want them to go through the trouble of responding, you have to do more. Much more.

You have to give them the energy necessary to respond. Not just ideas, not just stories, not just advice. Energy. If you read posts that get hundreds of comments, the conclusions are so passionate, so full of energy that you can’t help feeling a little bit charged up after reading it. Through the magic of the written word, the writer transfers their energy to you, and it lifts you up and gives you the power to take action.

It’s like charging a dead car battery. You take a car with a good battery, run some jumper cables from it to the car with the dead battery, and rev the engine. And then “VROOM,” the dead battery comes to life. Same thing with blogging. To get lots of comments, you have to electrify your readers, and that, of course, requires you to be electrified yourself.

So, find your passion. Cultivate positive energy. Use that energy to inspire people. Do those things, and you won’t just get more comments. You’ll turn readers into raving fans.

In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Get More Comments: Use Energy to Spark Reader Response


@ProBlogger

20Mar/120

10 Tips for Building Great Landing Pages



Whether you are planning to sell a product, promote a service or simply get people to subscribe to your email newsletter one of the best tools you have available is a landing page.

Creating an effective landing page is not always easy, though, and if you have been struggling with it I recommend you to read an article that was published on Copyblogger last week, titled The 10 Commandments of Landing Pages That Work.

Here’s a quote from the first commandment:

1. Thy landing page shalt have but one goal

Thy landing page shalt have but one goal, and the number of the goals shall be one. Not two, not zero, but one.

If thy landing page hath zero goals, it is a “branding” page, and such vanities shall bear no fruit.

If thy landing page hath more than one goal, thou shalt confuse thy visitor, who shall leave thy site in disgust and anger.

Thy copy shalt not be divided amongst more than one goal, for such shall surely drive thy visitor to lamentation and thy copywriter to madness.

Make sure to check the article for the other 9 points.

Wanna make money with your website?


Original Post: 10 Tips for Building Great Landing Pages

Daily Blog Tips

19Mar/120

How Developers Are Driving the Business Adoption of WordPress



WordPress in now the most popular CMS program in use on the web, it is popular with all developers, both those that work for companies and those that freelance. The infographic below show some of the comparisons between how the two different types of developers are using WordPress. Let us take a quick look at some of these statistics. This information comes from a user survey performed by WordPress in 2011.

How developers are driving the business adoption of WordPress

Developers who work for companies……………………….29%

Developers who are freelance………………………………….71%

Company build sites total………………………………………….33

Freelancer built sites total…………………………………………18

Total company output based around WordPress……….59%

Percentage of freelance time spent with WordPress…48%

Are developers making a living with WordPress?

Developers working for companies

3.1% responded that they made their living with WordPress

5% responded that they made a partial living with WordPress

1.2% responded that they did not make their living with WordPress

Developers working as freelancers

1.2% responded that they made their living using WordPress

5% responded that they made part of their living using WordPress

3% responded that they did not make their living using WordPress

Developers were ask how they were most likely to use WordPress

1. Developers that work for companies are more likely to:

Write a Plugin

Attend a Wordcamp or meetup

Contribute to core or to the codex

2. Developers that are freelancers are more likely to:

Write a Theme from scratch

Submit a WordPress bug report

Answer a question in a WordPress forum

How do Developers use WordPress?

8% Use it for a Blog

61% Use it for CMS

31% Use it for both purposes

How much do developers customize their sites from the original install?

75% state that the front end is unrecognizable but nothing is changed in the admin

20% state that they change the theme and add plugins4% state that they customize everything, including the admin

1% state that they change nothing whatsoever


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips

18Mar/120

8 Sites that Reward You for Being Social



It looks as though social reward sites are becoming the new trend. I’m sure you’re already familiar with Klout and how they offer you perks (products and samples) based on your Klout score. There are now many other site that are offering similar rewards as well as gift cards and even cash just for doing what you normally do on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Not only is this great promotion for the brands offering rewards, but it gets you more involved on your social accounts.

Besides the obvious (Klout), let’s take a look at 8 other sites that reward you for being social.

Zuvvu

Much like Klout, Zuvvu will give you a score based on your social influence, once you connect your Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts. You’ll then see sponsored brand messages that you can share on your social networks.

Zuvvuu - Measure your social media influence and claim your rewards.

You’ll be rewarded whenever a user clicks, signs up, or makes a purchase through your link (depending on what is required for that sponsored message). Depending on your activities, you’ll earn cash or Gold and Plastic points; these points can be used to unlock different ranks and features on the site.

PeerPerks

PeerPerks is also similar to Klout Perks. To get started, you have to sign up with PeerIndex and you’ll then have access to the perks. You’ll then be able to claim perks that you’re eligible for (based on your PeerIndex score), get free stuff, and share it on your social networks.

PeerPerks - Get rewarded for being social.

Each perk has a “Check Now” button next to it and you’ll have to click on it and then connect your Twitter or Facebook account to see if you’re eligible.

Soovox

Soovox is “slated to be a consumer destination site where users can share their shopping experiences, get involved in an exclusive brand community, and influence brands through the power of their social voice, all the while getting rewarded for every action they perform on the site”.

Soovox - Get rewarded for every action you perform on the site.

Currently, an invite is required in order to use the site. It is said to be re-launching soon with an awesome new product.

Pongr

Pongr is a place to show off the brands that you love via photos, in order to unlock rewards. When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to choose 4 of your favorite brands. If you connect your Facebook or Twitter account upon signing up, you’ll also see some of your friends here who are already using the service; you can follow them if you’d like.

Pongr - Show off brands you love and unlock rewards.

Using the service is easy. Just take a photo of anything you want and upload it to earn Pongr points. Photos can be uploaded from your computer, Facebook, via email/text, or from the Web. It’s too bad they don’t have a mobile app since that would probably be the easiest way to upload photos.

Churp Churp

Churp Churp is unique in that it is only for users in certain countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Australia. It is said to be a community for social media addicts.

Churp Churp - Get cash rewards for sharing and discovering.

At Churp Churp you can get cash rewards for sharing brand messages, meeting new friends, and discovering content from other users.

Shopcade

At Shopcade you can connect with your friends (on Facebook), meet new people (on Facebook), recommend products, and get rewarded when someone purchases a product from your recommendation. As you may have guessed, yes it is a Facebook app.

Shopcade - Shop and recommend products and get rewarded for it.

Shopcade is more of a shopping app since it helps you to find deals on all kinds of products. However, these is a small incentive for using it, since each product you recommend can earn you a small commission if someone bites.

AMEX

You’ve probably already heard of the new American Express social feature that lets you connect your Twitter account, in order to earn exclusive Cardmemers offers. If you haven’t heard, American Express lets you sync your AMEX card with Twitter. You can then tweet special hashtags (posted by different brands) in order to load special rewards to your card.

AMEX - Tweet your way to savings with American Express.

For example, Amazon could possibly post a hashtag called #AmexAmazon and as soon you retweet it, you can get a cash back on your card when you make a or more purchase at Amazon.

SocialMoms

If you’re a Mom and love being social, you can join Social Moms for a chance to be rewarded for being part of their community.

SocialMoms - Get rewarded for being part of SocialMoms community.

They offer “exclusive, high-integrity blog sponsorships from the world’s leading brands”. You can also earn by contributed quality content to their different blog categories.

Is there a site missing? What site do you use, if any, to earn social rewards?


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips