Tag Archives: blogs

Does Your Hobby Blog Eclipse Your Pro Blog?

dangers of assuming on freelance jobsby Joe Wallace

If your hobby blog is overtaking your professional blog, getting more hits and more attention, ask yourself a couple of important questions. After all, we all want our pro blogs to do well and make money–but some people find their pro blogs lagging behind the ones they do for fun.

And there lies the answer, I suspect.

Hobby blogs are often more informal, more fun to read, and definitely more fun to write than pro blogs. I think pro blogs could take a lesson here–at least the ones that don’t seem to be able to compete. I run Turntabling.net, which is a lot more snarky, informal and goofy than Freelance-Zone.com. While Turntabling isn’t a hobby blog per se–I do try to earn some coin on it–I don’t worry nearly as much about content there because it’s far more opinionated and as such is easier to write. While there are opinions here, I find striking a balance between information and opinion more crucial to the success of FZ in general.

If your hobby blog is outpacing your pro blog, ask a few questions of your work:

  • What makes the hobby blog fun to read? What is it you do there that you DON’T do on the pro blog?
  • Is your pro blogging work too long? Too densely packed with information? Or is it “skimmable”?
  • What is the central idea of your pro blog? Can you sum it up in two sentences or less?
  • Look at the visual presentation of your pro blog. Is it easy on the eyes? Or is it a cluttery mess?
  • Give your blog the Who Cares? test for all your most recent posts. The So What? test is also a good one.

These are only a few of the things you can try, I’ll cover some additional ways to give your pro blog a good, hard look in another post. Continue reading

Helpful Tips on Staying in the Loop

Roller Coaster

By Amanda Smyth Connor

Who has enough hours in the day to work and stay on top of all of the industry trends? It’s tough, but not impossible.

Helpful Tips on Staying in the Loop:

5. Use your Google Reader. You have the lovely world of Google Reader right at your fingertips. You can add the URL of every website that you follow and Google Reader will create an RSS feed for you based on the sites you add. I’ve got NPR, CNN, Freelance-Zone and various other blogs on my reader list. This way, whenever I have a few free minutes, I can open Reader like a newspaper and see all of the blog and site updates without having to visit each and every site.

4. Make life easier – Follow Guy Kawasaki. He is doing most of the footwork for you by filtering out the best blogs for various industries, including social media and freelance writing. He also has some great humor blogs listed on his site (check out The Bloggess, she’s amazing.)

3. Read Freelance-Zone. (Guess you can cross that one off the list.)

2. TWEET. TWEET LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! Sure, we all remember a few years ago when Twitter was born. It was new and weird and seemed pointless. Today far too few freelance writers are taking advantage of Twitter. No time to read all of the blog updates of the day? I guarantee every blog and news organization you follow has a Twitter handle. Follow them and many will Tweet only their best blogs/stories of the day. This helps you filter through the muck.

Everyone is using Twitter. You can job hunt through Twitter, make friends in the writing industry, get insider news, market yourself, learn about new trends, market yourself and oh….market yourself. If you AREN’T using Twitter to market yourself you are missing one of the best opportunities for free marketing…of…all…time. It’s FREE. FREE MARKETING! Please tell me you are all using it and are following people other than Obama and The Onion. And don’t bother being modest. Showcase yourself. No one ever got hired for their “respectable use of modesty.” Be a Diva and let the Twitterverse know that you freakin’ rule.

1. Don’t be afraid to jump on new trends. If you’ve heard through the grapevine that a new networking site has popped up, or a new piece of useful technology is floating around, (Hello Google Buzz) give it a try. I get invited to 10 new networking sites every week. Will they all last? Probably not. Does it hurt to give them a shot? Certainly not. Some might even make your life a little easier, and who knows where that next client might be lurking.

Blogger Beware!

199 laptops bill kurtis AT&Tby Joe Wallace

I literally just got off the phone with one of my writing pals who was filling me in on the latest gossip; she told me a story that should serve as a cautionary tale for new writers and bloggers, so I’m sharing it here (with all names and vital details changed, of course.)

Since I got this information second hand, regardless of the source I must relate it in a way that screams “fiction” instead of “reportage!” So bear with me.

And please note that I did NOT write “bare with me” as so many of the kids today seem wont to do. Continue reading

Content Marketing: Here’s a Cat, and Here’s the Bag

iBook_plastic_letters_float

Wired.com has a section called the How-To Wiki. On January 10, 2010 an entry called Internet Article Marketing showed up there, detailing how you can market your blog by creating articles and posting them in places like Squidoo and Associated Content.

The idea is simple; put an article with a one-way link back to your low-ranked site from a higher ranked site and you can earn yourself more Google clout in the process. That potentially means better placement in search results.

This is nothing new, blog-for-money how-to sites like the Green Ninja talk about this stuff all the time.

What IS new is that the practice has finally crept into the mainstream with Wired letting the cat out of the bag.

What this tells me is that it’s entirely possible that “Internet article marketing” days are numbered. I have nothing concrete to base this on, just a hunch that those who don’t change their game in 2010 will end up on the losing team in the end.

Google has this funny habit of modifying itself to stay a step ahead of the masses. When certain “tolerated” practices became more widely used, Google just mutated and made those practices “sandbox” worthy. (As in, do those things and Google will probably dump your site at the bottom of the search rankings.)

Continue reading

TutorialBlog: Tools To Make Your Life Easier

tblog

by Catherine L. Tully

I stumbled across TutorialBlog while doing some mindless surfing and bookmarked it to share with Freelance-Zone readers. This site can come in handy for freelance writers as it has a wide range of tutorials that will help with everything from blogs to Photoshop techniques. There is information on there about freelancing, self-promotion and equipment as well as writing and editing advice.