Panning for Gold

As our blogs age, content gets buried in our archives. I suggest going through your older posts and find your favorites (find the gold) and pull them up for your audience. Your reader base has grown and many haven’t seen your older posts. I’m featuring a different post each week as I go through my older content. While doing this I ran into this timely advice on using the SEO Smartlinks wordpress plugin by Jack Spirko. I especially like his explanation on using custom links for your affiliate programs. I decided to make custom links for each featured older post as I replace it with a newly featured post. See the video.

Blog Hopping for Jewels

Rose Jewels
Photo by The Gifted Photographer

The internet is great. So much good stuff shared freely. You can learn how to do many things, whether it is making a diaper cake, a herbal education, visit places which use alternative energy, learn to do cool things on your blog, even online magazines. Blogs can contain videos, an audio podcast, enjoy beautiful photos from faraway lands. Families can use blogs to connect with their extended families, tell a story. Individual can use blogs to make a political statement, support a cause, express religious beliefs, to teach a group of people, inspire others, share their feelings.

So take some time today and visit some blogs, interact with others, add your thoughts to the conversation, you’ll find some jewels. Not sure where to go? Click on some of the links above, visit the ones below, read the comments, find a commenter you like, click on their name and visit their site, make new friends. Find a place you really like, bookmark it, subscribe to the rss feed, subscribe by email, digg it, stumble it, tweet, share on facebook, whatever fits your style.

I’d like to share a couple of gems I found today.

I’ve not visited Skelly’s blog in a while, almost forgot about it, except for her tip on using images from Flickr. But I’ve always liked everything I’ve read over there, past time to visit. I wasn’t disappointed. My kids are making decisions about school, career’s, life. I always advice them to find something they enjoy doing. To find their talents, passions. This applies to each of us, no matter what our age, our stories aren’t set in stone, still being written. In fact I have a new site in the works about this very subject. The HalfBaked Podcast. So Skellie’s post How to Find Your Hidden Talent was today’s must read. Check it out.

Christine Kane is always an inspiration. I love her post Extreme All-or-Nothing and Your Other Three Tires.

“A flat tire! On your brand new shiny car! How the heck did THAT happen?

What do you do?

Well, it is YOU after all. So you do the only logical thing.

You say, “Screw it.” You reach into your backpack, get out your camping knife – and slash the other three tires.

Hey, why even bother if they’re not all working?”

Visit Christine’s post and see what flat tires have to do with your dreams. While visiting, be sure to check out her music.

Be sure and share some of your favorite blog posts, whether by you or someone else, in the comments below. Let’s build a pile of jewels.

Update Your Website

I’ve posted Problogger’s 31 Day Challenge on a couple forums, but don’t think I’ve mentioned it on my blog. So for those of you who’d like to improve your blog, it isn’t too late to head on over and get started. Start at the beginning and work your way through.

My homework for Day 14 was to update a key page on your blog. I knew my about page needed updating, ’cause I put something like more information coming soon. Then I looked for my about page, contact page and realized that they were both hidden with my last theme update. I’d never added them back to my navigation links.

Updated and fixed. Even added a short little blurb on the sidebar for new visitors to get an idea about the website. At least readers could contact me on various social networks. I can think of several more tasks I can do to update my website. A work in progress, one step at a time.

Besides updating your website, every business should check and update their voice mail, printed material, etc. Imagine calling a company and the voice mail takes you to the box of an ex-employee. You assume they are still working there, leave a message, it never gets returned. You get frustrated and call a competing business and give them your business.

What if I Can’t Log into WordPress?

Funny things happen, which can be quite frustrating.

  • I changed internet providers and one of the few places I’d used that email address was on my blog. (Note good to use email not tied to isp, use your domain name, google, yahoo, anything else and no issue when your change isp’s)
  • I changed the email for my blog under options
  • My password is on my laptop, it’s monitor crashed, I backed up my data anyway, mailed back for warranty work.
  • Could not remember login, so hit link get new password
  • Link sent to new email, but doesn’t work. Invalid key
  • Searched and found link to reset password. 🙂
  • Followed through phpAdmin directions
  • Success!

Why Shouldn’t I Grab Photos from Google Images For My Blog?

Emerald Skies by Janusz L
Photo by Janusz L

Google Images, what a great way to find photos, just search on your keyword and the images appear. But should you just grab and freely use any image you find? Not unless you want copyright issues.

As a photographer (hobby) imagine my surprise to see my photo of a red rose with snow being used as the avatar of a young lady who said she was a photographer on a social networking group. No mention anywhere that the photo was not her own nor where she got it. Irked me! My photo, I want credit!

I checked with some professional photographers in one of the photography forums. Yes, my photos, even if I post online, are my property, copyrighted unless I say otherwise. I could press charges if I wished. Others have been known to give the offender bad press. Often it is done out of ignorance, best to educate your fans, if they weren’t a fan of your work, they wouldn’t be posting it on their site.

I strongly advise against grabbing any image from a google image search without permission. Unless it says otherwise, you don’t have permission to use it. My 11 year old daughter was working on a famous rock page. She wanted pictures of famous rocks, when I told her about needed permission to use she was frustrated, too many were not free to use.

Images add visual appeal to your blog posts. Not everyone is a photographer or graphic artist. I like using others photos along with my own. Today I was very happy to find a
A Complete Guide to Finding and Using Incredible Flickr Images
by Skellie. Check it out!

Thanks to her advice, y’all can enjoy and share the beauty created by others while spreading a little fame and link love.

Don’t Miss Blogging Seminar

“Blogging? I hear about blogging all the time. What is a blog?”
“How does having a blog help my business?”
“What do I need to do to get started blogging?”
I hear these questions all the time.

Want answers?
Check out next Thursday’s blogging seminar hosted by Beverly Mahone, expert media consultant.

This teleseminar is for you if:

  • You’ve been thinking about blogging but don’t know where to begin.
  • You’re not sure what to “blog” about.
  • You want to learn more about how to attract more readers.
  • You don’t quite understand the “technical” aspects
  • You want to make money from blogging
  • These are just a few of the topics that will be covered with a panel
    of experts:

    Heidi Caswell Connect Simply
    Betty Lynch My Country Kitchen
    Karlyn Karlyns
    Kathie Thomas VA Directory

    Details and sign up information can be found at Talk2Bev.

How to add BBClone to a WordPress Blog

I like being able to see the stats of my blog, who is visiting, amount of traffic, how do visitors find me, how long do they stay, which sites send me the most referrals, which keywords, etc. I was surprised to see my new blog Heidi’s Cards, place in the search engines for several phrases which included keywords from my category names and post titles. Just a trickle of traffic, but encouraging just the same.

Different stats program show different things, and I’ll be the first to admit there is much I don’t know about the various stats programs, what they do, how they work, which one is the best, etc. I’ll probably never be an expert at all of that. BBclone does what I want for now, which is good enough.

I’m posting this information here as I don’t want to lose the steps, and others may find it useful. As I moved to a new host, I wanted a web stats program, and discovered a quick easy way to add BBClone to the wordpress blogs I’ve moved to my new webhost . Now I know which pages visitors enter/leave, where they com from, I can even click in the detailed stats and see which search engines searches referred them to me, what keyword or phrase was used, whose site referred them, how long they visited, which pages, etc.