Network Blogging Tips Has Moved

Network Blogging Tips is now a part of the Freelance Writing Jobs Network of Blogs. Please adjust your feeds and bookmarks.

Thanks!

- Deb

Use Keywords to Label Your Images for Increased Traffic

When I wrote for a music blog, I went from receiving a few hundred visitors a day to a few thousands visitors a day overnight. Did I hit it big on Digg? Get major Stumblage? No. I brought in thousands of readers through Google Image Search.

I know many bloggers and web writers label their images haphazardly or with little thought as to whether or not they’ll bring in search engine traffic. A picture labeled “snow122208″ probably won’t bring in as many search results as one labeled “snow conditions”, “snow boots”, “snow tires” or “snow boarding.”

In addition to saving your images using keywords, use keywords in your image descriptions and, if you can do it without looking spammy, your image captions. Start doing this and within a week or two your traffic numbers will rise.

Labeling your images properly is one small thing you can do to bring in big results!

Promoting Yourself in a Network Environment

One of the smartest moves that bloggers working in a network can make is to find ways to promote themselves. Your own personal brand can be moved from blog to blog, network to network, and if you are thinking about your own future in this business, you will want to focus on building your own personal brand in various ways to allow you to transfer it from site to site.

The most successful person that I know who was able to pull this off is Chris Garrett. At one point, he was writing on a number of great blogs and it was to the point where you couldn’t go to a popular blog without seeing one of his posts, but through all of that, he was able to promote himself, and in doing so, he now does very well in his online career.

What can you do to promote yourself?

Portfolio
First, you should have a site where you keep a portfolio of your work. If you have had a post on the front page of a social media site, quoted by a larger blog, or even published in print, you’ll want to post that on your own site so prospective companies can see the work you have done.

This also makes for a great resume of examples for getting raises at your current job, so continue to mark down all of your successes.

Biography or Byline
Are the blogs you are writing on giving you a spot to promote yourself? They should be! Something as basic as a Byline that includes your name, and links to your personal site is a good start, but I would recommend having the network give you a small biography section at the bottom of each post, or an author page somewhere on the site.

Blog networks that are trying to do the best they can for their writers will give you this space because building up brands within their network is good for business as well.

Link To Yourself
If you have said something great elsewhere, be it on another blog, or on your own portfolio site, and it is relevant to something you are posting on a network owned blog, you should be allowed to link to it. This is a fine line to walk on though, as you shouldn’t be spamming the site you work on with links to your own sites, but if it fits the site, and is done tactfully, then there shouldn’t be a problem with doing so from time to time.

Conclusion
Promoting yourself becomes infinitely more difficult in a multi-author blog situation, but there are still opportunities to take advantage of. Remember, the long term effect of building your personal brand is that it is usually transferrable. When you are the celebrity rock star of your niche, you can write on any blog, and a certain percentage of people will come to read what you have to say, just because it is “you”.

For blog network owners, this can be to your advantage as you can then hire on these strongly branded bloggers to launch more blogs for your network, expanding their little empire within your network and hopefully driving more advertising revenue early on than a blog started by an unknown.

Network Blogging for Beginners

If you’re looking to gain blogging experience and learn from established bloggers, a reputable blog network is a great way to go.

Here are some benefits of network blogging for beginners:

On the job training:  Your editors and managers provide plenty of traffic building and seo tips and ideas for helping you to succeed.

Technical Support: If you’d like to blog, but don’t know anything about choosing a platform or hosting, this is done for you at a blog network. All you need worry about is your content and community.

Community: Speaking of community, blog networks have built in community so your traffic is already flowing! You just have to help build up the traffic outside of the network. It takes some time at first, but with tips and support from the network, you’ll do well.

Experience: By working at a network you’re getting valuable experience. Soon, you can apply for other blogging and web wriitng gigs.

Pay: Pay helps! Perhaps it won’t be much at first but at least you’re earning something while gaining experience.

In what other ways does network blogging benefit begginers?

Network Blogging Tips to Join the Freelance Writing Jobs Network

We have some news! Network Blogging Tips is moving. We’ll joining the number one community for freelance writers, Freelance Writing Jobs. There are big changes a-coming for FWJ in the next couple of weeks and we’re excited to announce NBT will be a large part of the festivities.

We know this move will mean bigger and better things for us and look forward to seeing you there!

Is Blogging the Revenge of the Shy People?

Today on FWJ Radio we talked about blogging for a living. As we were talking, I noticed a certain phrase came up more than once, “I’m normally very shy…”. I hear this a lot from bloggers. In fact, for me blogging helped to overcome my shyness. There is no way ten years ago I’d be speaking at conferences or hosting weekly podcasts.

A decade ago, I would have sat in the back of the room trying not to draw too much attention to myself. Now I sit in front so I can be seen when I raise my hand to ask questions. In short, blogging has given me confidence.

What do you think, is blogging the revenge of the shy people? Has it given wallflowers an opportunity to to be heard?

Should You Blog for Youself or Someone Else?

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about how it’s more profitable to blog for yourself rather than to accept a low paying blogging opportunity that will take up most of your time. While I’m proof that there are high paying blogging gigs to be had, I also know you can earn a decent living by creating your own blog and keeping all the profits.

If you’re confused about whether or not you should blog for someone else, or how to get started with your own blog, maybe today we can answer your questions. Chris Garrett and David Peralty are my guests on FWJ Radio this morning at 11:00 EST.  We’re going to be discussing blogging for yourself vs. blogging for someone else.

The chat room will be open, and if there’s time we’ll also be taking calls from our listeners. Don’t be upset if you don’t get a chance to listen to the live broadcast, all BlogTalkRadio segments are automatically archived and the podcast is available on demand. Hope to see you there!

One Great Blogging Position and the Lamest Ad I’ve Seen All Week

So, should we go good ad first or lame?

The other day Deb posted a high paying blogging gig, which seems cool being that we’ve been talking about higher blogging pay here lately.

That said, in case you missed it, Problogger has an ad up right now that’s offering up to $100 per post. It’s not my sort of blog, but it’d be perfect for the right person.

Now for the lame ad:

I saw this on Craigslist. I’m actually all for CL, you can find some decent jobs there. This just isn’t one of them.

“Web saavy freelance writer needed for project 40 hours per week for two months – Flex hours. Work from home. Must be familiar with blog and forum interface. Must have consistent access to computer with high speed internet connection. Affinity for conservative political and/or religious subject matter very helpful. Ideal for a college student, smart mom or retiree.”

This ad is offensive to me in more ways than one, although, I’m not in the best mood today, so maybe it’s just me. My issue first off is that 40 hours a week is a lot. If you work 40 hours anywhere, you’re using up time that you need for other projects. It’d be ok, except for that this gig only lasts 2 months. It gives you little time to diversify and at a low rate. Even so, I was thinking, well, if you needed some extra holiday cash, you could make it work, it’s not the worst pay ever. But then they had to go and add in the “Ideal for a college student, smart mom or retiree” line.

So offensive! Smart moms, as opposed to what, all the stupid ones running around? I tell ya. Sometimes I just don’t know what people are thinking.

Good luck if you apply for the Problogger job!

BlogTalkRadio and Blog Action Day Unite for 12 Hour Talkathon

Are you blogging about poverty on Blog Action Day? If so, you could win a prize. If you hear your blog mentioned during BlogTalkRadio’s 12 hour Blog Action Day Talkathon for Poverty Relief, you will have an hour to call in to receive a prize.

The twelve hour online talkathon will feature interviews with activists, noteworthy bloggers and other talking points relating to poverty. The event will be hosted by event organizer, Easton Ellsworth along with many BlogTalkRadio hosts assisting throughout the day. Listeners can also participate in the chat room and even call in to chat with guests or co-hosts.

From the BlogTalkRadio blog:

Anchored live from Denver by Easton Ellsworth, U.S. director for Blog Action Day, the special will be co-hosted by BlogTalkRadio’s Eric Olsen and Shaun Daily of BlogTalkRadio Today, Dawn Olsen of Glosslip Radio, Tom D’Antoni of D’Antoni and Levine, Reuben Torres of Let’s Get Real, Charles Mattocks of The Poor Chef and other network personalities from throughout the U.S.

Leading bloggers – including Paul Chaney, president of the International Blogger and New Media Association, Liz Strauss, founder of SOBCon (Biz School for Blogging), Chris Garrett, co-author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, and social-media guru Beth Kanter – are scheduled to appear as guests on the United Nations Millennium Campaign-supported program, along with notables from the political, entertainment and literary arenas.

As you are probably aware, Blog Action Day was created to unite bloggers and have them discuss a single issue on a single day. This year’s topic is poverty. Bloggers who wish to participate in Blog Action Day 2008 can register for free at http://blogactionday.org.

I hope you’ll stop by and listen to the talkathon throughout the day. Many bloggers and podcasters are giving up their time to lend their voices to a worthy cause.

Applying for a Blogging Job: When to Blow Off Directions

In the previous post, Applying for Blogging Jobs - Do You Need A Resume? I noted that there are two times I’ll blow off directions when applying for a blogging job… One time is when I’m asked to submit newly written original clips. The second time is when I’m asked to quote a rate, but the ad is too vague regarding required tasks and hours.

This is my own personal preference. If you want to follow all the rules a client sets fourth in an ad, you surely can. In these two cases I just don’t think following the rules is a great idea.

Rule to break - sending new original clips:

If a client, in a job ad, asks for new original blog post samples, in order to see how I write, I send links to some of my previous work instead. Why? Well, one, I don’t work for free. I’m not going to sit around writing pretend blog posts when I’ve got hundreds of already published blog posts to my name. That’s an insane waste of my time. Two, in most cases, I apply for blog gigs that I know I’m a good fit for. That said, there’s a good chance I’ve written a previous clip that matches what the client is looking for.

If I wanted to break into say, fashion blogging, and saw a killer ad for a fashion blog job that asked for three new clips, I might take the time to write one new post, because I don’t have any fashion blogs to my name. I still wouldn’t write three original posts though. I’d send one nice new one, and two other well written clips.

Can you break this rule and still get a job: I have, plenty of times. Don’t work for free to get a basic blogging job. It’s unnecessary.

Rule to break - quoting rates:

I will quote a rate, if a potential client lists all the job requirements in the ad. If they write, “Looking for three blog posts per week, 250 words each, images included, and no networking required” I can give them a quote easily. However, in my experience, it’s rare for a client to explain the job perfectly in an ad. Most of the time, it’s something like this, “I need a blogger for a green blog. 10 posts a week minimum. Please send a rate quote.”

Um, ok. What I do in this case is I apply as I normally would, but instead of giving a set rate quote, I’ll say something like, “My typical rate for one blog post of 250 words with an image included is ______, if you require longer posts, networking or blog maintenance, let me know so I can offer you a more accurate quote.”

Can you break this rule and still get a job: I have twice, but I’m not the best example. Frankly, I don’t tend to apply for blogging gigs that fail to name a wage. In my experience, a client who doesn’t know what they want to pay, right up front, can be more trouble than they’re worth; not ALWAYS, but often. If the ad notes that pay is negotiable that’s fine with me, so long as negotiations don’t go on forever.

I know what I’ll accept as decent pay per post or per hour, and I honestly feel that a potential client should have some idea about what they’re willing to pay as well. Our ideas about pay may not be in sync, but I’d rather a potential client say straight up, “I’m not paying that much” then mess around and waste my time.

Again, you don’t have to break these rules at all. You can follow a blog job ad to the letter if you so choose. This is simply my own personal take.

Are there any rules you break when applying for blogging jobs?

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