Author Archives: Tara

Take Action Now: Involve Your Readers

Hmm. Take action. That sounds like one more thing to do. Just what you don’t want – another thing to be added to your ever-growing “to do” list. But, this isn’t what you think.

Vinny Goldsmith, writing on SEOMOZ, penned a great article entitled, Give Your Readers Something To Do. It’s about writing content that gets your readers involved – gets them to take action. I agree with his thoughts. I love articles that are more than just news. I like to understand how the article relates to what I’m doing – and more importantly – how I can use what’s in the article to change something in my personal or professional life.

The other day, I made a post about Skellie’s article on 31 Days to Becoming a Better Blogger. I loved this article – as I’m sure thousands of others did as well. Why? Because it gave us actionable items. It added the urgency of time. It laid out steps. It gave us structure. For me, I work most effectively when I have such a structure – and if there isn’t one, I create one. Not only is this a great example of how to create content where you can get your readers involved, but also it’s a great template for you to use as you share your knowledge of your niche with your own readers.

Okay – time to implement. Your challenge, should you decide to accept it, is to write an actionable post for your blog this week. Next step – come back and share the results with us.


WordPress: More than a Blogging Platform

Andrew of Astereostudio in his Revive blog takes a look at WordPress as more than just a blog – using it as a CMS or content management system.  Take a look at some the creative ideas he puts forth on how people are taking this platform one step beyond ….  As I always say – repackage and repurpose.

Google Search: How to Make the Most of It

Nitin Pai over at Tech Tracer 2.0 posted a fantastic article about all the things you can do within Google Search. Let’s say you want to find a file by type – DOC, PDF or PPT. It’s as easy as typing in the subject of what you’re looking for followed by filetype: doc
Example: blogging filetype:ppt
Let’s say you need a definition of a word and you don’t want to trek over to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Just use the define keyword followed by your word and you’ll find just what you need.
Example: define: blogging
Need to determine the time anywhere in the world or want to check out the latest weather conditions? It’s easy to do with Google Search. If that’s not enough you’ll love the currency converter and its instant stock tracking capabilities – definitely a bonus for finance people like me.
Take a look at Nitin’s post and get the detail. He provides examples so you can see how to do each type of search. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and learn how to optimize your use of Google.

Be a Better Blogger: Skellie Shows You How in 31 Days

Skellie, writing over at NorthXEast, recently posted a fantastic article entitled, 31 Days to Becoming a Better Blogger.  Each day is a mini-assignment that you can undertake to make your blog the best it can be.  When you look through the list, it might seem a bit daunting at first – especially if you were to undertake this challenge day-by-day.
If you have a lot on your plate already, consider implementing one of these suggestions each week or every two weeks.  It might be a good idea to join forces with a friend who is also a blogger so you can support each other in working through each of these steps on your respective blogs.  Also, you can provide each other with valuable feedback on your daily or weekly accomplishments.  Buddy systems are great for inspiring you to accomplish more – and faster.
Another suggestion is to read through the list and do all the easy ones – and then check them off.  That alone will give you a great sense of accomplishment.  For example, it’s easy to create a strong password for your blog.  You can do that in a few minutes and check it off as “done.”  Another option would be to start with something simple that doesn’t even require you to do anything online.  For example, the suggestion for Day 17 –“ Think up 20 post ideas you can use” is a great place to start.
Is anyone up for the challenge?  Let us know if you plan to engage in working through Skellie’s magnificent list of ways to become a better blogger and which item you plan to start on first.
Wishing you the best of blogging.

Creative Business Ideas

Andy passed along an interesting post to me the other day – 10 Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas That Made Someone Rich. I don’t really know how stupid they are — some of them are rather interesting. My favorites were the SantaMail idea and the FitDeck. I know there are a lot of creative ideas out there and maybe some of these may serve as a starting point for you to come up with that winning idea of your own.

Andy Wibbels + Blog = 70

I was doing research for a client the other day and remembered a great site that hosts a compilation of the top marketing blogs.
Todd Andrlik has compiled the Power 150, a ranking of top marketing blogs. The list goes well beyond 150 blogs and actually includes 556 blogs. If you’re looking for some great sites to help boost your business, make sure to check out this site.
The ranking is based upon a variety of criteria including:
* Yahoo inbound links
* Technorati rank
* Technorati inbound blogs
* Technorati inbound links
* Alexa traffic ranking
* Bloglines subscribers
* Google page rank ranks at #70 out of 150.

Record + Cheap = Quality Podcast

Cheap.  That can be a welcomed word for those of who spend a lot of money on the latest and greatest software applicatons, computers, books, and ….  But thanks to MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey, you can create a podcast you’ll be proud of following his simple steps.   He will tell you how you can make high-quality podcast recordings with Skype and a little bit of creativity.  Our friends over at Lifehacker have all the details.

Track it Now: Conversations in the Blogosphere

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably subscribed to many others. And like many information-oriented folks, you probably subscribe to a number of blogs which cover many of your favorite topics of interest. I subscribe to several blogs about blogging. And then there are all those other blogs I subscribe to – new business and product development, marketing, branding, and on and on. I subscribe to about 20 blogs. And I barely have time to keep up with the headlines on those.
A lot of interesting conversations happen on these blogs – too many for me to follow. But alas, there’s a solution. Want to track conversations in the blogosphere on your favorite topic? Now you can. The folks over at Mashable have compiled yet another incredible list – this one all about tools for tracking discussions in the blogosphere. Check out this awesome list that includes such applications as or Memeorandum which tracks political conversation or Blogniscient which covers a wide variety of topics.

Success Takes Time: Be Patient

Ryan Caldwell, over at wrote a post entitled, The One Message No One Wants to Hear. Specifically, he talks about this message … that
Success Takes Time
I think it goes beyond the fact that no one wants to hear it. No one wants to believe it either. We try to project what we experience online (click a button and get results instantaneously) on to our lives. In reality, it just doesn’t work that way. We are complex beings living in a complex environment. While we use technology to speed up just about everything in our lives, human beings can only evolve so quickly and good luck in trying to control and manipulate everything in your environment to work according to your schedule!
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. I know and work with and for many successful men and women — in all types of businesses. And, in addition to that, I’ve interviewed over 80 entrepreneurs in the last 2 years on my television program, Michigan Entrepreneur. And there’s one thing all of them would tell you …. success did not happen over night.
Success required …
Hard work
A long-term perspective
Never giving up
A passion to succeed
It all took time — a lot of time. So my advice is to lock into a long-term mindset. Enjoy what you’re doing each day. Focus on what you’re passionate about. Surround yourself with people with whom you love to work.
If you’re not having fun, then redesign what you’re doing until you are. Life isn’t a race. True success is knowing that each day of your life has been spent with the people you love doing the things you enjoy.
Enjoy your success in the now.