Technology

Ebook Writing Tips

5 Solid Tips For Writing An eBook That Won’t Hurt Your Brain


A great way of getting your name or brand out into the public arena is by writing an eBook about your expertise.

Ebooks and blogs are like two star-crossed lovers, walking hand in hand along the shore, warm sand filtering through their naked toes, strolling along the beach and off into the orange sunset.

This little romance between blogs and eBooks doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Writing an eBooks can be used as a comprehensive marketing brochure for business services, or as an introduction to your blog to be given away to new subscribers. Ebooks can of course be stories, novels and hit the bestseller lists of Amazon, earning you a nice paycheck.

Writing An eBook

Writing an eBook doesn’t have to be difficult even though it may seem a bit challenging at first.

But if you plan ahead, think about chapters and contents within an organized structure, you’ll make the writing process fly by quicker.

The following tips will help you write a well-received eBook of any form, whether it will be used as a giveaway, sold on Amazon or the beginning of your own version of The Hunger Games bestselling trilogy.

1. Have A Brainstorming Session

Before you start writing your eBook, you’d likely have a broad idea of the topic you want to cover. Get a comfortable chair or jump on the couch and brainstorm what you want to include in your eBook.

You might start with jotting down some titles for chapters. Write down all your ideas for chapters, and break each down into sub-chapters.

You might want to consider what topics will be covered within each chapter, or make each topic a chapter of itself.

When brainstorming about chapters, also write down what should *not* be included or left out for it’s own chapter or a whole new eBook. Why stop at one eBook if you can fill the pages of two!

It is important to try narrow down your major eBook topic as narrowly as possible. If a stranger asks you to describe what your eBook is about in just one word, what would that be?

Find your eBook niche and stick to it. Instead of writing a book about dogs, wouldn’t it be much better to focus on one aspect, perhaps dog training? Focusing your eBook’s topic will make it easier to market and sell.

2. Organize Your eBook

Pour over your brainstorming notes and collate all the good ideas onto a new piece of paper or page on your computer. You’ll need to get that mess of ideas into a neat and logical order.

Think about how a reader completely new to the topic would appreciate the eBook chapter layout. What chapter should be first? How should you conclude the eBook?

Each chapter should have a logical order. If your eBook discusses technical or how-to information, make sure all elements are explained before getting into the nitty-gritty.

This will help format your eBook into readable sections and serve as a table of contents that readers can easily navigate through.

Even with a how-to guide, approach your eBook writing as if you’re telling a story.

writing an ebook

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3. Write An Outline

Every book has a story to tell, even technical how-to guides. Each ebook must have a clear beginning, middle and an end.

Once you have divided your eBook into chapters, you can start with 10 bullet points you want to cover in each chapter.

Write an outline covering those bullet points and keep the outline organized in a logical order. You can write 100 to 500 words for each outline, which will help you get a very clear picture of the end result when it comes time to doing the hard yards.

Writing an outline before getting stuck right in to full writing mode is the most essential part of keeping yourself on track and having a finished, presentable eBook when you’re finished.

4. Write

Now that your have a clear outline and organized chapters of your eBook, you can focus on writing that specific topic. It may sound silly, but start writing from the start. Don’t write the conclusion first, or any middle sections. Your original outline is not set in stone and you’ll likely change it a bit as you go.

The outline keeps you focused and helps break down writing into manageable chunks. Take a break after completing each chapter.

Commit yourself to writing for 3 hours per day, or to writing one chapter per day. Having a writing calendar will help you stay on topic and stop you from burning out.

5. Edit, Re-Write

Editing your work is just as important as writing it in the first place. Some writer like to go over the chapter they’ve just completed and edit while it’s still fresh in their minds.

Other writers like to edit long after they’ve written the text to look upon it with fresh eyes. I tend to do both, but I admit it takes a fair bit more time. I could go over a single chapter 4 or 5 times before considering it ‘complete’.

Once you’ve written the entire eBook, you should back to the beginning and edit it fairly quickly. When editing:

  • Insert extra headlines to help separate large chunks of text,
  • Correct spelling and grammatical errors,
  • Fix bad sentence structure,
  • Cut down long sentences by splitting them into two or three,
  • Cut down big paragraphs by re-writing them concisely,
  • If something doesn’t make sense, re-write it,
  • If you can’t explain something concisely, consider removing it entirely.

If you feel writing is becoming a burden, just put it aside for a while and come back to it later.

Writing an eBook should be fun and can be quite rewarding financially or just knowing you’re helping people.

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Angry Face

7 Basic Human Emotions To Manipulate Readers


7 Basic Human Emotions To Manipulate Readers

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Basic human emotions have three primary components. The first are physiological changes such as increase in heart rate. Next there is a behavioral response, do I stay or do I go – the tendency to escape from or stay in contact with whatever is causing the emotion. Lastly, the subjective experience of feeling angry, happy, or sad – or somewhere inbetween.

Bloggers are no stranger to their own human emotions. There’s that anxious feeling of submitting a post wondering whether it would be enjoyed by their readers. The disgust in themselves seeing that their post has 0 likes, 0 tweets, 0 comments. That means zero love.

But don’t feel too bad. We’re all emotional every second of the day and bloggers should tap into the human emotions of their readers. If you have zero shares or comments, it’s not that your articles are trash or badly written. Maybe it’s just the emotional tone that needs a swift kick in the pants.

Our goal is to elicit emotions that excite or repulse the reader so much that they have to share your article with their social network. The reader is looking for confirmation from their peers that the way they are feeling is justified.

There are many types of human emotions. Here are seven that you can use to elicit sharing from your readers.

Human Emotions 1. Awe

What is awe? The definition from Google is “A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder”.

A great way to inspire awe in your reader is to write something truly remarkable. If your post is genuinely amazing in terms of it’s content or written style, reader’s won’t be able to resist sharing and commenting. Huge lists work very well – something like 101 Ways To Skin A Cat. This turn of phrase is just awful by the way. The word “awful” literally means “To be filled with awe”.

Human Emotions 2. Anger

basic human emotions

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Anger is one of the basic negative human emotions also epitomized in birds, apparently (joke). I don’t really recommend pissing people off but if you have a strong opinion about something, expressing it can draw out the trolls. But hey, they’ll tweet about it, write blog posts, and try get confirmation from their friends that you’re an awful person. You see, you would have filled them with awe!

Challenge your reader’s belief system or contradict common knowledge. Really rile them up!

Human Emotions 3. Anxiety

People don’t like feeling nervous and anxious. You can create anxiety by making the reader feel like they’re missing out on something.

Human Emotions 4. Fear

The strongest motivator to get someone to do something – even if they don’t particularly want to – is to elicit fear. Fear triggers the part of our brains that exists solely for our physical survival. It’s called the “reptilian brain” that makes up a part of the Basal Ganglia.

As an example, I used the emotion of fear in my article 8 Google SEO Mistakes That Will Choke Your Search Ranking to try make the reader feel they’ve made a mistake that could hurt their website.

Human Emotions 5. Joy

One of my favorite positive human emotions. There’s lots of things that make people happy. For instance, the video at the bottom of this page brings me a lot of joy deep in the cockles of my heart. Joy can be anything uplifting, funny or inspiring.

Human Emotions 6. Lust

positive human emotions

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“First you get the money. Then you get the power. Then you get the women.” People can lust after many things including money and fame. Of course, many people lust after sex or any intimate contact. Others lust after food. Personally, I lust after anything chocolate. Trigger lust in the reader by teasing them with the results they’re looking for.

Human Emotions 7. Surprise

Go against reader’s expectations and surprise them. You can challenge assumptions or prove them wrong. You can give away something for free unexpectedly.

All 7 Emotions Working Together Can Make Your Article Go Viral

The 2013 craze of the Harlem Shake has several emotional elements that helped it topple the Gangnum Style craze of 2012. Can you identify all 7 emotions being elicited while watching this video?

You can thank me later.

Tags:  copywritinghuman emotionsmanipulation

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wordpress-spam

Easy WordPress Spam Plugin To Cut Down Spam Comments

Receiving wordpress spam can become a huge time waster trying to sort through the legitimate comments from the spam comments.

When your website is built upon WordPress, you’ll encounter not just comment spam, but also registration spam – when a ‘spam bot’ registers as a user of your website.

What Is A WordPress Spam Bot?

A spam bot is an automated program that scours the internet for insecure and vulnerable WordPress installations to take advantage of.

When a spam bot discovers one of these sites, it’s program knows how to find the user registration form at http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php?action=register and automatically fills it out.

If the spam bot is sophisticated enough after a successful registration, it will automatically post comments without any intervention from the human spammer. It’s all programmed into the spam bot software.

Why Do WordPress Spam Bots Exists Anyway?

Some WordPress spam comments are so odd that you’d wonder what the purpose is. Comments may just look like random characters or junk jumbled words.

More often than not, the comment will contain a link to the spammer’s website. If the link is not in the body of the comment, it may be attached to the ‘name’ field. In default installations, the link will be included in the WordPress spam comment in some way or another.

The spammer does this to increase traffic to their website (which may be malicious) or for Search Engine Optimization purposes (not so malicious, but annoying none-the-less).

How To Prevent WordPress Spam Bots From Registering As A User

To tackle WordPress spam comments, first we’ll need to deal with the spam bots.

Install Captcha Plugin

Download the Captcha plugin here or search in WordPress admin dashboard under Plugins > Add New for ‘captcha’.

This plugin adds a simple maths problem to all forms on your website. Only a real thinking human will be able to solve the math problem and finish the registration process, effectively stomping on bots.

 

How To Prevent Malicious User Registrations

Next, it is recommended to tighten up the Discussion WordPress settings to prevent real people (as opposed to bots) from becoming annoying spam commenters.

From the WordPress admin dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion.

Make sure Users must be registered and logged in to comment is ticked.

Make sure Comment author must have a previously approved comment is ticked.

This means you will be able to approve any comments that come in and trash any that seem dodgy. Only previously approved commenters will be able to comment again without your approval each time.

Extra Spam Prevention From Akismet

WordPress usually bundles with a plugin called ‘Akismet’. If you don’t have it installed, search in WordPress admin dashboard under Plugins > Add New for ‘Akismet’ and activate it.

You will need a special API key in order to use Akismet, but that’s no issue. It’s still free to register so follow the prompts to get your API key.

Once you have the key, go to the Akismet Settings and enter it into the field and save the changes. If it’s all good, you should get the green light.

Akismet has already stopped hundreds of WordPress spam attempts from getting through the Inscribd website, so it seems to work very well.

How do you deal with spam?

Old Fax

Fax Via Internet Saves Your Business Money And The Environment Too

Fax via internet has revolutionized the business world, just the same as when fax machines were first introduced. From the mid-1970’s we’ve had the ability to send and receive documents almost instantaneously through the telephone line, without the need to use a courier or the snail mail service.

But nowadays with the introduction of fax via internet services, businesses no longer need a fax machine or even a telephone line.

Yet many offices still use this redundant technology, particularly governments, hospitals, schools and councils.

Some private businesses also remain in the dark ages, possibly due to a lack of knowledge about the more effective technologies available on today’s market and the many benefits that using an fax over internet can bring them.

But some individuals also still remained hooked on the old fashioned faxes, such as the British actor and author Stephen Fry, who said,

“I’m afraid I was very much the traditionalist. I went down on one knee and dictated a proposal which my secretary faxed over straight away.”

In order to move into the future and leave the 1980’s behind, let’s find out a bit more about using fax via the internet.

eFax and MyFax are two fax over internet service providers, both of whom cater for personal and business use. To use either of these services, all you will need is internet access, an email address and an account with either provider.

How Does Fax Via Internet Work?

Both eFax and MyFax work in similar ways. They give you a private phone number for people who have an old fashioned fax machine. They would still fax you in their usual way by entering your fax number when they need to send you a facsimile.

eFax and MyFax receive the fax and digitize it into an image, which is then sent within seconds to your email account, with the fax being in the form of an attachment, such as a PDF document.

From there you can read the document, do any editing, attach your digital signature and email a digital copy through the online fax service which automatically forwards your fax right back to the sender’s fax machine. That’s right, to their fax machine!

The recipient of your fax does not need to have email access, nor do they need to be a user of an online fax service.

9 Quick Benefits Of Fax Over Internet

Using eFax, MyFax or another fax via internet provider will give you plenty of benefits. These include:

  1. You don’t need a physical fax machine – keep that money in your pocket,
  2. Reduce your business costs as you will no longer need to buy paper,
  3. No need to purchase fax toner,
  4. No need to have a dedicated phone line for your fax machine,
  5. Save money on dialing international or interstate numbers (no dialing required at all with online faxes),
  6. Fax from anywhere you have internet access (not just from your office),
  7. Store all sent and received faxes digitally,
  8. No more shuffling papers and save the environment by reducing waste,
  9. Multiple fax accounts mean individuals in an organization can have their own fax line for privacy.

fax via internet

Bonnie Brady, an avid user of email to fax services said,

“I’m not tied to the fax machine. I can pull up faxes on any computer I can get access to. It’s streamlining my life”

But before you rush to take advantage of the free 30 day trial periods, let’s take a moment to compare some of the other features of eFax and MyFax side by side.

Smart Phone Apps iPhone and Android Apps  iPhone App
Digital Signature Available Not available
Security used when faxing Yes, encrypted server used Yes,  encrypted server used
Email address use Can send faxes from 5 email accounts Can send faxes from 5 email accounts
Able to send large files Yes, up to 1GB No
Number of countries available in Can send and receive faxes from 46 countries Can send and receive faxes from 48 countries
Free local or toll free fax numbers Yes Yes
Fax attachment file formats PDF, EXF, TIFF PDF, TIFF
Client packages available Personal, small business Personal, small business, corporate
Monthly pricing plans $12.95 plan $10, $20 and $40 plans
Free trial Yes, click here Yes, click here

eFax and MyFax both have a 30 day free trial period where you can try out their product obligation and risk free.

eFax’s 30 day free trial will allow you to send and receive 150 fax pages, gives you a personal fax number, free keyword searching of your faxes in archival storage and the ability to fax to multiple addresses at the same time.

The same benefits are then available for you for USD$12.95 per month, with any additional sent and received faxes being billable separately.

MyFax’s 30 day free trial allows you to send 200 and receive 100 fax pages, gives you a personal fax number, multiple address fax sending ability and fax archive searching ability.

The same benefits are then available for USD$10 per month. Two larger packages are also available for USD$20 and USD$40 if you use faxed documents more often and a corporate package is available on request.

Let us know how much your office environment has changed thanks to fax via internet services.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

Tags:  email to faxfacsimilefaxfax over internetfax to emailfax via internetfaxinginternet fax

Xbox One

Xbox One : Ugliest Device Ever

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Xbox One : Ugliest Device Ever

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Microsoft unveiled Xbox 360’s successor, the entertainment console named Xbox One on 21st May 2013. If the name isn’t confusing enough – being the 3rd generation, not the first – you’d be forgiven for thinking the Xbox team have been ignoring hardware design trends (see: iphone) with this ugly monstrosity.

For the rest of Microsoft’s target market – average folks – you’ll be expected to drop several hundred dollars on a big ugly black box. Surely, anyone who purchases the Xbox One will want to hide it away in their TV cabinet, right next to the old VCR.

Xbox One VCR Combo

Like two peas in a pod. Sweet.

One thing you won’t be able to hide away is the new Johnny 5 sensor… I mean Kinect sensor.

johnny5-kinect

Kinect is “always on” and listens to every word you say, for example “Xbox, watch Short Circuit 2”.

Changing between TV channels or menus is as easy as speaking to the Xbox One, giving it commands such as “Xbox On” and “Xbox Snap Mode” – a way to watch TV at the same time as chatting on Skype (amongst other features).

The Xbox One was described onstage by Microsoft’s Don Mattrick,

“Where all of your entertainment comes alive in one place … to design and build an all-in-one system to light up a new generation of games, TV and entertainment,” in a way that’s “simple, instant and complete”

The new Kinect is a complete redesign with a 1080p wide-field camera and enough processing power to handle 2Gb of data it collects every second and sensitive enough to detect your heartbeat (creepy?).

The new Xbox One has very similar internal hardware specifications as the Playstation 4 from Sony.

While the graphics of both next-gen consoles are truly astounding and a delight to watch, I wonder how soon Microsoft will reveal a new hardware design.

Full coverage can be read here at Techcrunch

You can watch the official videos and the Xbox One unveiling here

Tags:  xbox one

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Dropbox

The Best Alternative To Dropbox For Cloud File Sharing

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The Best Alternative To Dropbox For Cloud File Sharing

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Cloud based file storage, such as Dropbox is rapidly taking the place of the hard drives on our PC’s, laptops and portable media devices. You may be searching for an alternative to Dropbox and there are many available with equal features, packages and storage capacity.

With an alternative to Dropbox, you can store anything you want, access it from anywhere with any device and without the need to invest mega bucks in buying your own onsite storage.

Justin, in his article Future Predictions Of The Mobile Internet, made some great predictions about how he sees things progressing with our mobile devices and connections in the future.

Perhaps in twenty five years someone will comment on his foresight just like I am going to share some of Steve Jobs’ who said in Wired magazine (1996),

“The desktop metaphor was invented because one, you were a stand-alone device, and two, you had to manage your own storage. That’s a very big thing in a desktop world. And that may go away. You may not have to manage your own storage. You may not store much before too long.”

Well, was he on the money or what!

Cloud storage, frequently referred to as a dropbox because you are ‘dropping’ your files into a virtual box, is taking over as the default method of storage, whereas just a few years ago it was the act of burning CDs or DVDs or copying files to USB drive.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned that 70% of their staff are now using the cloud when they work and he expects that to rise to 90% within a year. Do you store data in the cloud

Alternative To Dropbox

There are plenty of dropbox alternatives such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive and FolderShare, for both personal and business cloud based storage.

YouSendIt is the little guy focused on security, versatility and quality over the other cloud storage companies, with both a small free single user and a business version, depending on your needs.

alternative to dropbox

YouSendIt (here’s a 14 day free trial) allows its users to send and receive large files as well as synchronize and digitally sign files from and to any internet connected media device.

Users can upload any file up to 2GB up to YouSendIt’s servers and the recipient is emailed a link to allow them to retrieve that file. No more emailing massive attachments that clog up the recipient’s mailbox! Zip up your big project files, videos, pictures into one file, instead of forcing your recipients to download each file one by one.

File Security

To ensure your files are transferred securely, it’s important for data to be encrypted while in transit and also while stored on the cloud server or device. This is done through the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. YouSendIt also offer a method to digitally sign documents as proof of receipt and also receive feedback from recipients about your submitted files. This is a vital business feature that not many other services offer.

Best Dropbox Alternative

Dropbox has made a name for itself by having all document’s uploaded synced across all your devices. If a document is updated, you always have the latest version at anytime, anywhere. YouSendIt does the same thing and will synchronize all documents for you, across all devices. No more having to carry around your laptop so you can access large files when you could just as easily view them on your tablet or smartphone.

File Sharing

File sharing is another great feature of YouSendIt.

This alternative to dropbox allows you to share files with your colleagues instantly. No more time consuming copying processes and potentially loosing or corrupting your files by having to burn them to CD or copy to USB stick.

If you’ve been in the business of hand delivering or posting CDs out to customers, using YouSendIt can seriously change your life and save you time and money.

Steve Jobs had no worries or problems about storing and transferring his files to cloud storage. He said,

“In the last 7 years, do you know how many times I’ve lost any personal data? Zero. Do you know how many times I’ve backed up my computer? Zero.”

What Steve was referring to was Apple’s automated cloud backup solution, storing all his data online.

Take advantage of YouSendIt’s 14 day free trial period where you will receive unlimited access, unlimited storage and unlimited number of files that you can send.

Tags:  alternative to dropboxdropboxdropbox alternativeFile Sharingyousendit

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Mag Glass

How To Submit Your Website To Search Engines Without The Hassle

Once you have put in all the effort of creating your beautiful new website, it’s time to submit your website to search engines. There’s an old saying “build it and they will come”. Well, this does not apply to the Internet. Not at all!

The importance of submitting your website to search engines cannot be overstated and there are many reasons why you’d want to do this quickly, but before you jump ahead, make sure you can answer “yes” to the following:

  • Is your website finished, or at least 90% there?
  • Does your website look professional enough to be considered respectable to new visitors?
  • Have you included a privacy policy within the contents of your website?
  • Do you have at least 5 pages of content or blog posts?
  • Do you have a sitemap of your website (a list of all page links)?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, rectify the problem immediately.

You may have been thrown a curve-ball by the privacy policy question. While this is not 100% essential for all types of websites, for most it is. Google wants to see that you care about your website visitor’s privacy, especially if you are collecting information for an e-commerce store, email subscriptions, have contact forms on your website or collect any other visitor data.

Without the privacy policy, indexing your website could be delayed by Google while they wait for other signals pertaining to your respectability.

Are You Ready To Submit Your Website To Search Engines?

Don’t expect results overnight, let me be clear right from the start. This may be a shocker but it may take up to 3 months for your website to be listed in any meaningful way after submitting it to the search engines.

Google and other search engines wait for other signals to determine whether your website is respectable enough to get a good ranking.

I’m only going to talk about two search engines and one directory, and you won’t need to submit your website to any others. Why?

Well, for the most part, these 3 cover 95%+ of all search traffic you’re likely to receive to your website. Also, because over time those other 5% will index your website without any intervention on your part.

Create A Sitemap

“What is a sitemap and why should I care?”, I hear you ask. A sitemap is simply a list of all the pages of your website. If you don’t have a WordPress website, you can create a sitemap manually using a text editor.

A simple sitemap just includes one link per line in a plain text file, for example:

http://www.mydomain.com/index.html
http://www.mydomain.com/page1.html
http://www.mydomain.com/page2.html
http://www.mydomain.com/contact.html
http://www.mydomain.com/privacy.html

You can name the file anything, let’s say sitemap.txt. Upload this file to your web hosting, sitting together with all other files in the main folder so that it can be accessed at http://www.mydomain.com/sitemap.txt

If your website is running on a CMS like Joomla or WordPress, a sitemap is already created for you automatically in XML format. You can find a WordPress sitemap, depending on your plugins, at http://www.mydomain.com/sitemap.xml or http://www.mydomain.com/sitemap_index.xml

So, that’s sitemaps. They’re important. Keep them up-to-date.

Now, let’s get to the fun bit so we’ll start with the obvious…

Add Your URL To Google

Submit your website to Google here

Pretty simple, right? Well, there’s something else you should do before ticking off ‘submitted to Google’.

Get yourself signed up for Google Webmaster Tools, add your website and verify it using the methods described.

Once your website is fully setup in Webmaster Tools, your domain should be listed on the Home page. Click on the domain to manage it, then click on the Optimization section.

Click on Sitemaps and then Add/Test Sitemap. Enter the full address of your sitemap and click Submit

You only need to do this once and Google will frequently check your sitemap for any updates automatically. This ensures all your website’s pages are included in Google’s index.

Google Webmaster Tools is great for checking your website’s performance in Google, providing different statistics than Google Analytics, so I recommend checking in there often.

Add Your URL To Bing

Submit your website to Bing here

Pretty simple, right? Well, just the same as what we did for Google, we’ll need to do for Bing, Microsoft’s search engine that powers Yahoo and Facebook search.

Go ahead and sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools

You will find a similar interface to Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Once you have added your website and verified it, your domain should be listed on the Home page. Click on the domain to manage it, then click on Configure My Site

Click on Sitemaps and then enter the full address of your sitemap and click Submit

Same as Google, you only need to do this once because Bing will frequently check your sitemap for any updates automatically.

Bing Webmaster Tools also has some interesting statistics to give you an idea about your website’s performance, so check in regularly.

But don’t just stop with Google and Bing…

DMOZ Open Directory Project

D-whats? Never heard of DMOZ? It’s a directory curated by humans where your submission is checked by a real-life, breathing human-being before being added to the directory.

DMOZ garners an enormous amount of respect and authority from Google and other search engines.

All search engines scan DMOZ for new additions to the directory and will add those websites to it’s own index.

Getting your website listed in DMOZ is a big deal. It’s also quite difficult.

I highly recommend reading How To Get A DMOZ Listing For Some Google SEO Love

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Tags:  submit to bingsubmit to googlesubmit your websitesubmit your website to search engines

Adwords Alternative Ad Networks

6 Adwords Alternative Networks To Spend Your Ad Dollars Better

Looking for an alternative to Adwords from Google? While Adwords remains the most popular Pay Per Click (PPC) based advertising, the high minimum bid price $1+ per click is making some of us look for a cheaper Adwords alternative to promote our products and services.

After all, we still need to advertise. We just need to do it at the right price.

Steuart Henderson Britt, author of Marketing Management and Administrative Action says,

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Adwords is Google’s billion dollar cashcow. An advertiser can sign up and place ads based on keywords they want to rank for alongside the search engine results and also within other websites across the web. Learn how you can earn back some of your advertising dollars here

The problems with Adwords is that it is becoming increasingly too difficult to rank for competitive keywords at a reasonable cost. For example, some keywords from the finance and legal industries can go for as much as $30 to $40 PER CLICK. Amazing… shocking!

Because of this, in order to run advertising at a reasonable cost, Adwords advertisers are opting for less popular keywords which has a negative effect on the amount of potential traffic they will receive overall, resulting in a poor click through rate for some keywords.

Adwords Alternative Networks

1. Bing Ads / Yahoo

Bing Ads is the largest Adwords alternative from Microsoft. Bing has partnered with Yahoo to bring PPC advertising to a larger audience.

Bing Ads is also complimentary to Adwords. Bing Ads claims to have 51 million people who do not search on Google, therefore you could reach a larger audience by using both Bing Ads and Adwords at the same time.

2. Facebook

Facebook offers advertisers a cheap way of targeting their ads to a specific audience for a low cost per click price.

The ads are placed on columns on an individual’s profile page and like Adwords, you have to bid to get your advertisement placed.

Because of the information shared by Facebook users, it is possible to target your advertisement according to gender, age, location, education, interests and relationship status.

However, Facebook Ads don’t have a high click through rate because users tend to be there for social reasons, as opposed to commercial reasons. This could be overcome with eye catching graphics and advertising your own Facebook page.

You could also chose to make your ad based on CPM (Cost Per Mile = 1000 ad impressions) where you pay a fee everytime the ad is viewed, not how many clicks it receives.

3. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

StumbleUpon is a web based discovery engine which sources and recommends websites to users based upon their interests.

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is where advertisers share their URL and select their targeted audience. The information is then used to recommend your website to users and you only pay when you get a unique visitor to you site via StumbleUpon.

Banner advertisements are not used on any websites and they guarantee targeted visitors straight to your URL without using any click throughs.

Pricing starts from $0.10 per stumble (when a user visits your website), but you often receive “free” stumbles along the way as well, which reduces the overall “per stumble” cost.

4. Outbrain

Outbrain offers another PPC form of advertising, but they publish website suggestions to viewers on well-known and respected websites such as CNN, GE and Time.

Outbrain Amplify is focused on small to medium sized web based businesses and makes reading suggestion based upon the types of articles the reader has been viewing.

However, Outbrain insists on advertising only engaging and quality content on your website, as that is how they choose whether or not to recommend your URL as a ‘related article’ that visitors see on the publisher’s website.

5. Clicksor

Clicksor is a contextual based advertising network making it a good Adwords alternative.

Clicksor chooses appropriate ads to be displayed based upon the website’s content.

The ads are placed on Clicksor’s affiliate websites where the position of the ad affects the bid price.

Clicksor offer four ways of paying for ads including the common CPC and CPM, as well as Cost Per Visit (CPV) and Cost Per Interstitial (CPI) advertisement. But Clicksor can also present advertisements in five different formats letting you choose the most appropriate one to meet your needs and budget.

6. BidVertiser

BidVertiser lets advertisers choose their own look and dimensions of ads so you can make yours stand out and maximize your conversion ratio.

BidVertiser allows advertisers to drive customers to their eBay listings, whereas some other networks don’t allow this. You can select your eBay item from within Bidvertiser and the ad is created automatically for you.

So whether you have a small or large budget, you will be able to find a suitable Adwords alternative that meets your advertisement needs.

It’s not tricky to find Adwords alternatives, but research carefully when choosing who to go with. Only give your money to respectable companies where it is obvious how they get visitors to your website.

Tags:  adwordsadwords alternativebidvertiserbing adsclicksorfacebook adsgoogle adwordsoutbrainstumbleupon paid discovery

Internet Switch

Web Hosting Explained In Layman’s Terms

During my day job as a web hosting provider, I’m frequently asked to explain in layman’s terms, “what is web hosting” and “do I need web hosting”? A client of mine, a web designer, was telling me a story about how utterly confused his clients became the more he tried to explain web hosting to them, using terms like domains, HTML, servers, web this and that. Eventually, his clients would just throw their hands in the air and accept it’s just beyond their understanding.

I told him, after years of trying to explain it myself, that most people will understand when you compare web hosting to something physical they can picture in their minds.

A web host is someone like Blue Host and Value Hosting.

I thought I’d share my story here and you’re most welcome to adopt it whenever you need to explain where web hosting and websites fit into the larger scope of the Internet.

Picture this.

Your Patch Of Dirt

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The internet gives everyone the ability to find a piece of vacant land, plant their shovel deep into the fertile earth and stake a claim of ownership.

The web hosting provider is like a local council that has set aside a fine piece of vacant land for residential development. The web host segregates the land into smaller blocks and pours the concrete foundations for which we can build a house. If we were able to peer underneath the soil and foundations, we’ll see that the land is connected to power, pipes and has adequate road access. All we need to start building a house is laid out for us.

In this picture, the web host is not our house. The web host is the local council who provides the land and foundations upon which we will build our house.

In real terms, this means the web host is responsible for the physical servers, associated equipment, operating systems and the connection to the Internet.

Let’s continue with the analogy.

Build A House Upon The Foundations

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Right, so the web host has set us up on a vacant block with the foundations already set. Next, we need a house. I’m sure you’ve guessed it. That’s our website.

Our website is the house that sits proudly in the middle of our property on top of the foundations built by the web host. In most cases, the web host will not build the house. Often, they’ll provide tools that we can use to build the house, but generally the house builder role goes to someone else.

Let’s give the role of master builder and architect to our web designer. The website/house is very important because this is our place of business, where we exchange goods or services for real world money. The web designer will take a look at the foundations provided by our web host, or choose a web host who has set up the foundations they are comfortable building upon. The web designer/architect/builder will construct the website/house to our specifications.

I’m sure by now I’m really stretching this analogy as far as it will go, but let’s persevere.

Street Frontage

social networking
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Now that we have a wonderful brand new house, we want to tell people to visit us. A domain name is like the street address to our property. For example, www.inscribd.com is the address of this website. Domains can be registered through companies like Go Daddy.

So, a domain name is not our website per se, just as much as our street address is not actually our house.

Many businesses focus solely on their own house (their website) and neglect the garden outside – that is, social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or YouTube.

When you engage your audience through social media, you can get a flood of new visitors and customers to your website.

Read A Social Media Garden Makes Your Website A Happy Home.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.
Beginners Circle Cover

The Beginners Guide To Blogging

Welcome to the world of blogging and entrepreneurship!

Our goal here at inscribd.com is to turn bloggers into entrepreneurs.

If you are planning to create a new blog or you’re already working on one, I recommend reading these key articles that explain the basics of blogging and what successful bloggers tend to do in the background. It’s not just about writing articles and there’s a lot more to it.

Reading through each of these selected articles in order should put you on the right path to blogging success.

1. Managing Expectations

I explain the right mindset bloggers should have when starting a new blog. When expectations are too far off course, disappointment is sure to follow. Hopefully this article will put you into the right frame of mind to ensure you keep blogging and don’t stop until you’re a success.

2. Choosing A Good Blog Name

Every successful blog is a brand unto itself and your blog should be no different. Even personal blogs should be branded and this article explains the importance of choosing a good name for your blog, which leads to reader loyalty and interest from advertisers.

3. Finding The Perfect Domain Name For Your Blog

Once you have chosen the perfect name for your blog, it’s time to put some money down and purchase a domain name. Actually, the two go hand-in-hand. Your chosen blog name needs to be available as a domain name. ie www.myblogname.com Getting this right is vital.

4. How To Choose The Best WordPress Theme

A huge majority of successful bloggers use WordPress as their blogging platform of choice. It’s a powerful content management system with thousands of plugins and themes to choose from. The theme you end up choosing could either give you lots of joy, or become a real pain in the neck. Choose wisely.

5. Using Images On Your Blog

Blogging is not just about the written word. The internet is a visual medium and likewise you should not ignore the power of images. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The use of images on your blog adds to the visual aesthetic and is highly recommended. However, using copyrighted photographs can get you into trouble, so read this article to discover where to get free images.

6. Crafting Awesome Blog Headlines And Titles

There are several reasons why the title of your blog posts are critically important and it’s not just a matter of being witty. A great title or headline will grab readers attention and also attract a better ranking in Google. There is a technique to crafting a great title and failing to do so will likely result in your work being ignored by readers.

7. Submitting Your New Website To Search Engines

Search Engines like Google are absolutely vital for your blogs success. While some blogs may get a lot of visitors from social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, it is far more likely that visitors would find your website through Google. This article explains how to make sure Google knows you exist.

8. The Importance Of Social Media

In this article we talk about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and all manner of social media. Your blog should not exist in isolation and using social media to promote your blog can lead to far more visitors and reader loyalty than by ignoring these big sites.

9. Our Free eBook

I am giving away my eBook about Twitter to all Inscribd readers. Increasing your Twitter follower count is important for many reasons, not just to build an audience. Download the eBook for free.

10. Getting Other Websites To Link To Your Blog

Your blog shouldn’t be the lonely kid standing in the corner at their high school prom. You’ve got to mingle with the crowd and make yourself known. Getting other websites to link to your blog is very important for your blog’s success.

11. Understanding Advertising

Some of us bloggers dream of making lots of money online and more often than not, grasping the advertising terminology and concepts can be a bit tricky. Without knowing all the lingo, making any headway (and dollars) can seem daunting.

12. Earning Some Money With Google AdSense

Google Adsense is the go-to advertising network for new bloggers. Adsense has the lowest barrier to entry of all the advertising networks. It is highly likely that your very first dollar made online will come from Adsense.

13. Earning Some Money Through Affiliate Marketing

Another form of advertising is dubbed Affiliate Marketing. If you have not heard this term before, you must read this article. Affiliate Marketing can become *the* most lucrative aspect of your blog and I can’t overstate the importance of understanding the fundamentals.

I sincerely hope Inscribd is helpful to you and I welcome you to comment below and introduce yourself and your blog.

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List of Quotes Inspiring You to Be Better and Gain Skills

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