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Creating Audio Versions Of Your Posts With Soundgecko.com

16 Aug

After chatting with a fellow blogger about the pros and cons of having an audio version of each post on your blog I came across an awesome online service that will allow you to create a really impressive recording of your post in minutes. SoundGecko is a free service ( not sure if that will change) and an awesome one at that.

Some people may struggle reading text on screens or have little time spare to read or simply by chose decide that they do not want to read and would rather listen to your posts as Podcasts. By not having an audio version that can be downloaded, listened to later and shared you are missing out on a really good method of building a following for your blog.

On our main site I published an easy to follow step by step guide on how to create and install an audio version of your own blog posts using SoundgGecko and PodPress plugin. Click the image above or the link below to read the full post and see for yourself how easy it really is. you will have audio versions of your posts in no time!

Creating Audio Versions Of Your Posts With Soundgecko.com

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Our latest and greatest blog post

2 Aug

I have been busy recently, writing eBooks and reports, creating videos, newsletters and a whole lot more. So I have not been adding stuff to here for a while but I have been adding stuff to the main site so here is a short list of some of our latest and greatest posts. Please feel free to go and take a proper look. 

How To Make A Podcast For FREE

In this post I go into great detail showing you how to make Podcasts for free. Podcasts are excellent for communicating your thoughts and ideas to your readers and followers. They make great content for blogs, they make great products, they can be given away for free or sold. Ideal for traffic and very easy to make, is it time you had a go at making your own Podcasts?

http://www.timsminions.com/690/how-to-make-a-podcast/#

Blogging Tips: Why YOU need to be your blog!

In this post I talk about why it is important to have a personality behind your blog. A blog without it can and will be seen as a faceless money sucking corporation un-contactable and potentially un-trustworthy. So, do you add any personality to your site? If not is it time to start?

http://www.timsminions.com/673/blogging-tips-why-you-need-to-be-your-blog/#

10 Real Make Money Online Ideas eBook

This is a wonderful eBook I put together; I say it’s wonderful not to be big headed even though it is good J but because we Minions compiled 10 great ways to make money from home starting as soon as you have finished reading it and for very little start-up costs. Some require none. It is worth getting and downloading, have a read and start something or at least share it on. J

http://www.timsminions.com/666/10-real-make-money-online-ideas-ebook/#

Internet Business Opportunities: Turning $5 into $50 and more.

Another post full of great ideas that could be turned into an online business relatively cheaply and quickly using other people to do the bulk of the work for you. You become the middleman and cream off profits from putting the needs and skills of two separate parties together.

http://www.timsminions.com/644/internet-business-opportunities/#

TweetAdder Review: Building a List of Followers on Autopilot!

This is a video review of an awesome piece of software that we use with Twitter. I love it and I think you need to see it in action to understand what this software can do for you.

http://www.timsminions.com/637/tweetadder-review-building-a-list-of-followers-on-autopilot/#

How to Create and Format an eBook

Another one of my longer and seriously helpful posts, this one comes with a downloadable version on PDF and also comes with an eBook template for you to download so you can start to create your own eBook following our guide. Very easy to do, once you have read how to create your eBook with our report there will be nothing stopping you!!

http://www.timsminions.com/628/how-to-create-and-format-an-ebook/#

Tim’s Minions Interviews – Yaro Starak

We Minion’s were very lucky to get an interview with the legendary Yaro Starak, I could say something about him here but no, I urge you to read the interview. It is awesome, and seriously inspiring. J

http://www.timsminions.com/619/tims-minions-interviews-yaro-starak/#

Andi Leeman Interview – How To Get Started By Getting A Blogging Job

And finally, I wasn’t going to add this as it is self-promotion but here is the written interview I did for Matt Smith on his Online Income Teacher site J

http://onlineincometeacher.com/interviews/andi-leeman-interview/

Tim’s Minions Video Tutorials: Creating a Header in Paint.net.

9 May

Here we show you how to create a great header graphic for free using a cool FREE arts package called Paint.net. Available for PCs, not sure if there is a Mac version sorry.

The Newbies Guide to Guest Blogging

19 Apr

The Newbies Guide to Guest Blogging

"tim lowe" "tims minions" "guest blogger"

So it seems Google is on a rampage trying to clear the web of spam in favour of a web full of great content. You still need links back to your site and with Google killing of link farms and networks while overlooking  article directories, what is left?

Guest blogging, this is a perfect win-win scenario, Google gets high quality content and you get valuable links back to your site. With the bonus of having a ready-made readership who will see your link for free.

[Affiliate marketing – Why you should have an affiliate marketing blog]

Here is how you can get the best out of the traffic generating, link building guest blogging method.

Build a portfolio of your content

Blog owners that you contact for a guest posting will more likely want to see some past content so they can review your skills and writing styles. If you are new to this and do not have any previous guest posts to show them, use your own blog as your quality content portfolio.

If you have other websites that you write for, articles on directories or content that you have had published on sites elsewhere make sure you provide these to the person who you want to consider you for a guest blogging post. The more samples of quality content that you provide will give you a much greater chance of having your posts accepted.

Finding the best blogs to guest on

There are several ways that you can find good blogs to guest write for.

Google Search is your first port of call, type in your niche keyword with words such as ‘guest post, guest post by, guest blogging, guest bloggers, and write for us’ these will throw up results of sites that are accepting guest bloggers.

If you follow a certain person and you know they do a lot of guest blogging, type their name into Google with ‘guest post’ or ‘guest post by’ and again you should get a result of sites that are taking guest posts.

Twitter is another great place to do a search, like before, type the suggested keywords into Twitters search bar and hit search. This will bring you back Tweets and People who have said they are looking for guest bloggers.

Check the backlinks of websites in your niche that you know or believe get a lot of their links from guest blogging. Use Open Site Explorer and look at the links to find blogs that are accepting guest posts.

Every site will give you different ‘link juice’ strength. This is down to factors such as PageRank and domain authority. As a newbie this may be all new to you so before you have mastered site statistics here are a few pointers to get started that can result in better ‘link juice’ quickly.

Blog posts that have your author bio and link at the top before the content, has a better link value than blogs that put the author bio and link below the post at the bottom. The author bio below the post is better than having it placed as a comment below the post.

A blog that has your link and author bio on the same post page is better than having them on an author page. This is better for getting clicks through to your website.

Where people have to click on your name only to be sent to an author page where they see your bio and links will result in a far less CTR.

A blog that offers more than one link in the author bio is better as you can link to more than one site, or two different pages of the site. If you find blogs that offer two links then that is excellent as you can have a link to the homepage (for SEO purposes) and another to a free report or top post as a traffic enticer.

A bonus is if you get a blog that allows you to link to your social media profiles where the reader can follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ etc. At least if they decide not to click through to your site you might still get them as a follower which is still good as you are able still to direct them to your site later.

Avoid nofollows, blogs that mark the links in your author bio as nofollow will not count to your Backlinking profile and you have wasted a lot of time and effort creating a great post.

Organising your guest blogging strategy

When you find new blogs who take guest blogging posts, you want to take a note of them for future projects. You may get turned down at first due to them being fully booked up with guest post but a few months later there may be spaces available.  They may want you to write more posts for them in the future and if you do loads of postings to many sites but do not keep a record you may just forget who they were and where to find them.

It is wise to keep a record of all the posts that you have written that have been published along with the site and the article URL. I use a spread sheet were I keep the details of the sites that I have contacted, their answers, and any dates.

I also keep a record of which article was sent where and when and if they were accepted or not. If they were not accepted for whatever reason I know that I can send it off to someone else.

It could be advantageous to log the contact name and details of the person you will be dealing with, any guidelines that the site wants you to adhere to.

Build a relationship with the blog owner or editor

When you have made contact with several blogs or at least found some you would like to write for, you will need to connect with them through Facebook and Twitter and start to interact and comment on their posts. Comment on the posts on their blog as well to open up dialogue with them.

It is well know that people are more likely to pass work to those that they know and like. So it is important that you build up a relationship with these people. It can take time but once the relationship is built it is a good footing for becoming a guest writer for them.

Obviously some people may offer you a post from the start on the strength of your past content and writing skills so do not ‘not’ send them your stuff asking for a guest post position before starting connecting. We do that if we need to work on being accepted.

Once accepted you should carry on connecting, it’s very important that you do not just use them and dump then, after all, if you get good traffic from their site, wouldn’t you want to do it again?

If you know people who write for blogs you are interested in writing for, gently try and get your friend to introduce your content to the blog owner. Being recommended by one of the sites regular writers will launch your status higher than just another email in the inbox requesting contact.

There is the normal offline networking method but how many blogging or IM networking events do you go to? If you are able to go to many network events then brilliant, get talking to people, swap cards and then contact them later. Remind them where you met and what you chatted about, that will help them recognise you as a person again lifting you higher than just a stranger asking for a posting. 

Learning the art of guest blogging

It is advised that before you contact any blog about a guest posting you go through their guidelines and make sure you understand what it is that they want and do not want. Every site has their own requirements.

Some blogs may require you to email your posts to them in a specific format like Word or Text file, whereas others require you to set up an account and submit it through the dashboard fully formatted and ready to publish.

Some blogs may take what you have pre written or they may want you to write a topic of their choice. Because you want to write about a topic doesn’t meant the blog wants it. It might just not fit their style of website or maybe they recently did a post of that nature and want something different for the next few months.

Take a look at the word length of the articles on the site, a 500 word post will not be accepted on a site that generally has posts that are 1000+. The same applies for sites that thrive on short snappy posts, a long in depth post would be a turn off for them. Write accordingly.

Look for their link policy, if they do not allow any at all, it’s not worth considering writing for them.

Submitting your best guest post

Once you know what type of post you are submitting in topic and length you need to write a high quality and easy to read post that is customized for that extra bit of blog loving. Do a search of the blog and look for one or two articles that are similar to the one you are submitting and link to these articles in the body of your text.

Do not link to your articles; this is for the site where your guest post will be published. If you are allowed to link to your site in the post then go for it but this is about pleasing the blog owner, making a good post, building up a relationship and hopefully a future where you will be asked back.

If you are asked to or you are able to, format the post to match the rest on the site. Adding the same calls to actions at the end of the post, adding images and same style headings will make it look like it was written by the blog owner. Again this will help it get accepted.

If your post is going to be a helpful tutorial type that recommends resources then make sure that the resources that you link to are current. There is nothing worse than clicking through a link to try out a ‘screen capture’ software only to find out that it has been offline for the last year.

Writing the all-important author bio for conversions and link building

As important as the post is, for you the most vitally important part is your author bio. The best way to do this is to take a look at other posts and see how their authors have their bios. Copy them, have the same amount of words and links in as they do. You know it should be accepted if it matches those that already have.

What is important is having your bio stand out to the blogs readers. If your site is all about martial arts but your post is being published on a site dedicated to Karate, put in your bio a Karate related reason for them to visit your site. Sounds obvious, it is but it is also overlooked by many.

For example you could use a standard bio of ‘ Andi Leeman  is the author of Martial Arts World, the website for the world of  Martial Arts.’ Or you could go for the more reader enticing ‘Andi Leeman is the author of Martial Arts World, A blog full of Karate news & tutorials.’

Google is clamping down on over optimization so try not to use your chosen keyword ‘anchor text’ every time. Mix it up a bit, use a non-keyword based anchor text like your name, business name and link to the homepage or link to another page on your site with similar material.

Now it is time to start to build up your backlinks and drive traffic to your site. For every post on your blog, you may want to write 4 or 5 as guest posts for other sites that drive traffic to your own site.  So now all I have left to say is go out there and start writing. Quentin Minion

 

Google, Ibiza Bob and ‘The Story Of Ibiza.’

15 Mar

Catchy title isn’t it. I hope you weren’t too excited, expecting me to break some news about an incredible Google backed music event on the White Isle.  Unfortunately I am not, and Ibiza Bob isn’t one of the founding superstar DJs that helped make Ibiza the clubbing capital of the world it is today.

the story of Ibiza 3

What I want to talk about is the surprise I had when I discovered that my previous article ‘Why WE are sometimes our own worst enemy: The story of Ibiza Bob’ suddenly ranked high in Google.

It ranked for the search term ‘The story of Ibiza.’ A term I used once and had not planned to use for any SEO reasons.

The article was about a guy that I knew who wanted to go to Ibiza but because of his life choices had never managed to go in the last 22 years. The article did not have anything to with the story or history of Ibiza at all.

I was going through some of the Tim’s Minions website stats, looking at where people were coming from and what searches they used. I noticed that people were coming to our site from Google after typing in the term ‘the story of Ibiza’.

Now this baffled me, the article they were sent to was the one about Ibiza Bob, I decided to do some digging. I went to Google and typed in the search term’ The Story of Ibiza’. When the results came back I was No 4 on the first page of Google.

The story of Ibiza

 

At first I was very excited but remembered that Google send back results based on more than just relevant sites and keywords, my computer is constantly going to the Tim’s Minions site and Google will use that to create a more targeted result.

I went over to our ‘special’ laptop that clears its cache when it’s turned off and records no cookies or has never been used to visit our site. I typed in the same search term and the result I got back was less biased, this time I was in 4th position on page 2 of Google.

If you look at the image above you will see Google says that there were 25,700,000 competing pages on that term yet I was on page 2 for a non-related Ibiza article.

Now I am very happy with this, I know ‘the story of Ibiza’ is a term that isn’t search for by many. Looking at the Google keyword tool it is searched for roughly 1000 times a month as a broad term (loosely associated words) but an exact match (the complete phrase as is) is less than 10 people a month. However, I still beat a potential 25,700,000 other sites of content. Well, minus those few in front of me.

the story of Ibiza 2

But what I am really interested about is this, I didn’t write the article to be keyword rich, I wasn’t trying to get high in Google, all I was doing was trying to give good quality content. Content that is my own and which I add to the site regularly.

Getting high in Google for an Ibiza based keyword was just ‘The Cherry on the Top’. A fantastic unexpected bonus.

I did as all bloggers should do when they do a new post, Tweeted the article and posted links to it on our satellite sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Google+ to drive traffic to the site.

What we can and should take from this is the importance of creating fresh and unique content that we add to our site regularly. When we add a new article to our site and we drive traffic to it via our satellite sites and social media accounts we are keeping Google happy.

They love websites that are being used. They love it when people visit sites and the owners add content, they reward us for it by putting us up higher in the search rankings. Often surprising people, like me, who suddenly find that we are ranking high for unexpected search term.

It will be interesting to see how high I rank soon after posting this keyword rich article. The keyword may not be one that is used for a lot of searchers and those who do search for Ibiza related history may not be our target market but it is interesting to see that we have and are constantly opening up new back doors to our site from nothing more than writing interesting off topic articles.

Something that I believe you should think about too. – Andi the Minion

Self Publishing Tips: Blogging to the Book Store and the Bank.

12 Mar

After hearing yet another success story that has grown from the world of self-publishing authors I decided to do another post on the subject. I wanted to talk about why having a blog has helped self-published

Blogging to the Book Store and the Bank

 authors and how they can help you too.

Today I read about Clair Ridgway, she is a self-published author who recently published her first non-fiction book ‘The Anne Boleyn Collection’. Within 3 weeks she had sold 1024 copies. It was available as a paperback and digital format on Amazon.

What I found interesting about this book is this; the book is 260 pages long made up of the best articles from her own successful blog www.theanneboleynfiles.com. The blog is a historical blog telling the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and the Tudors.

Now what is important here is this, even though I find history interesting to a degree, I and many of my close friends and family will not spend hours reading about the Tudor times.

In fact I know people who would rather stick their face against freshly painted walls just so they could really enjoy the mind bending excitement that comes from watching it dry.

There are people though who do enjoy history, but not all history, they prefer one small specific part of history. It is fair to say that it probably is a relatively small amount of people who enjoy learning about the Tudors.

However,

Ms Ridgway had built a blog around a very specific niche and made it successful. She, like every other blog owner, would write and upload new posts regularly. These posts are available to everyone on a daily basis. The people who visit the blog regularly can read them as many times as they want.

But here is the incredible thing, after creating a book from the best posts on the blog, she went on to sell over 1000 copies in 3 weeks. To who though? I am sure there will be buyers who have never seen the blog, there may have been some marketing and Social Media pushes going on but I believe it is safe to say that the majority of buyers are regular readers of the blog.

So why would anyone buy something that they have access to for free?

The same reason that our Glorious Leader likes to sell DVDs, people like to have something to hold, something to take with them. A book can be read on a train or late at night tucked up in bed. There are no connection issues, having to lug around a big laptop, getting annoyed by flashing adverts or simply getting stuck on Facebook and Twitter.

Even though people have access to your content for free they are happy to buy it in a condensed collection.

The other great point I want to get across is that by building up a successful blog you create a following of loyal fans, who see you as a trustworthy authority figure and like all other types of fans (think of music for instance, fans will buy several live versions of the same song even though they may not sound as good as the studio version) they will buy more of your stuff.

Having a blog not only builds you up a fan base but having a fan base builds you up more opportunities to sell your own stuff. Like a collection of best blog posts maybe? 🙂

John Locke is another successful self-published author who used his blog and Twitter creatively to create exposure for his books. He wrote and published a short 550 word blog post called ’Why I Love Joe Paterno and My Mom!’ The article was about the head coach of the American football team the Penn State Nittany Lions. John Locke chose Joe Paterno because he is a huge fan of the man and also there was an important game approaching.

He then did a search on Twitter for the term Penn State, he found hundreds of people were Tweeting about the forth coming game, he took the first 100 people, sent them a message telling them that he thought they might be interested in the post he wrote.

People went to the blog and shared his message with friends and family. After visiting the post people would look around his blog at other things he had written, they would see his books and noticed a similar style of writing to his blog posts.

People started to buy his books and sharing the links, things started to change for John, as he said in an interview with the Daily Mail ‘One day I wrote the blog, the next day I was successful,

Self-publishing is no different to any other form of Internet Marketing. It is all about exposure. Getting as much exposure as possible and leaving a memorable impression on people.

Traffic Generation tips For Self Published Authors

Thinking of what John Locke did, any blog can have a page dedicated to trending news, thoughts or quotes. Quotes are often searched for, so a page of quotes from the world’s best authors can have people coming to your site for free, reading the quotes then looking around the rest of your site.

Another self-published author with his own blog is Kerry Wilkinson. His blog is a straight forward author blog and can be found sitting nicely at the top slot in Google for his name.  But it’s not his blog that I want to talk about.

Kerry Wilkinson is a 31 year old sports journalist who has now signed a six book deal with a publishing house after his first 3 self-published books became Amazon best sellers. He started writing books only a year ago and sold 250,000 copies after six months. He did no formal advertising to promote the books.

His reason for writing his first book?

‘I never wrote these books to be published as such, I wrote them to show myself that I could. Basically, for something to do.’ – Kerry Wilkinson

His first book ‘Locked In’ was sold for only £0.99, it was sold cheap to attract further readers for his following books. It has sold over 150,000 copies to date.

There are many great tried and tested methods that can get you exposure, some are free and in the case of Kerry Wilkinson, he got paid to build his fan base. Now that cannot be a bad thing can it?

I believe that if you truly want to use the internet to make money you should seriously consider having a blog. Writing to it regularly not only gets you exposure, recognised as an authority but can in fact, over time, create you a book ready to sell on Amazon.

How to write your first blog posts; and the rest after that.

1 Mar

If you wasn’t already aware by now I am a big lover of blogging for many reasons, you will find many of those reasons lovingly crafted into Pulitzer Prize winning posts on this very site. Blogging is a great way

tims minions typing

 to get into the Internet Marketing and make money online world. With professional bloggers like Pat Flynn, regularly making up to $30,000 a month… Yes that is right, a month! Blogging can be very lucrative indeed.

If you struggle with a lot of the American style full of hype and over the top sales patter that is associated with many Internet Marketers and their Clickbank product launches then blogging is probably THE best way to get into online marketing as it can be highly ethical. You will supply quality content to people who will thank you for it and eventually you will be awarded for it too.

A professional blog requires a lot of time invested into it and hard work. Sorry to bust your bubble but nothing in life is easily achievable without hard work or at least some level of work. Why not pop over to smartpassiveincome.com and ask Pat if the work from home lifestyle and several thousand dollars a month he makes isn’t worth all the work.

So how do you make a quality professional blog?  First and foremost you will need to start adding content for readers to see. If you manage to get any visitors to your site in the early days and have very little or no content then they will not stay around for long or do a repeat visit.

Writing the content to be posted to your blog is the scary bit, especially when you have never written posts before. It’s probably also a long time since you did any long writing; the last time for many people was when they were at school. So today I am going to give you a couple of tips for writing content for your blog, things that I do and, well let’s just say, get away with. 

1.Google Alerts

I love Google alerts; I use it primarily for finding great posts to share with our Twitter followers. Google send you loads of fresh quality articles and posts either by email or to a Google RSS feed.  All articles and posts are pulled from the internet based on any terms I chose so for instance I have a feed based on ‘blogging tips’, any new articles or posts that are written about blogging tips, I get them.

 

I open up the links and read through the articles to see if they are worth sharing. I also get great ideas for articles and posts if I am running a bit short of my own.  Just the other day I found an article using the phrase ‘work from home’ that was the inspiration for some writing that is currently a guest post on a friend’s site

 

After reading several articles around a certain topic you will find that your head is buzzing and ready to start writing. You could copy and paste several into a text document, change the font colour and then use them as a reference. Reference only though, no copying!

 

2.Start Writing

You might think step two is write out a plan, well if you can think of a plan then that is great, do it, I have at times, however, what I tend to do is start writing. Why? Well it gets things down on paper (or screen) it is easier to edit stuff that is written down rather than editing what is in your head. You can start to see ‘stuff’ on the screen which makes it easier to see what needs elaborating on or taking out.

 

It really doesn’t matter if you write loads; you can soon edit it or reuse it another day perhaps. The most important thing is to get started. Get stuff written down. You will stop and re read all that you have written, and you will edit it till you are happy.

 

Writing down is in fact a plan of its own; you will see where you need to move things back and forth.  You will also feel more satisfied with actually doing something. Writing your first posts can be daunting which in many people can lead to it not being done at all.

 

It is easy to get distracted and not get started. In fact when people want to do something but they are scared of it they will actually seek out distractions to avoid the pain of fear. But at the end of the day the fear of doing will be replaced with the feelings of failure and disappointment that you have not got done what you wanted to do. Which is worse?

 

Simply getting started is really the only way to get into the habit of writing and overcoming any excuses and blocks that you may have preventing you from creating your content. Does it matter that your first posts are not brilliant? No, you will do the best that you are capable of doing at that time.

It is also wise to remember that not everyone thinks the same. You may think that an article isn’t that good whereas ten or fifteen readers may love it and thank you for enlightening them about a topic. So get it written and get it posted. It is a step in the right direction at least.