10 Things Bloggers must Check Before Publishing a Post

checklist Many a times, after hitting the ‘publish’ button, I realized what I missed out or what additional things could have been done to attract more visitors. Later on, I realized the need of a checklist that I should make use of before hitting the ‘publish’ button. I discovered that the checklist really helped me out, as such I wanted to write about it, to help budding bloggers and other Co-authors of this blog.

  • Catchy Headline:
    To attract maximum people to read an article, an article must have a good, simple and a catchy headline.
  • Opening Contents:
    You must avoid writing off-the-topic and bogus things on the opening lines of your post, specially in the first paragraph. If you do so, many readers will go away from your blog ultimately affecting your blog and its credibility.
  • Spell Check:
    This is another important aspect, every blogger must practice. If yuo mkae scuh splleing erorrs, agian it mya aeffect yuor bolg. You can imagine how annoying spelling errors are, from the preceding line. ;) So, you must never forget to run spell check before you feel, your post is ready to be published.
  • Grammatical Errors:
    Again, by this point your readers will judge you and your writing skills which ultimately would affect your earnings and revenue. So, after you complete writing the whole article, read it back atleast once to find any grammatical errors.
  • Bullets & Text Formatting:
    Readers usually tend to read the whole articles in brief, as such highlighting important things and making use of bullets should really help.
  • Images:
    There’s a famous saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” and I too feel the same. If you make use of a related image, it will further add stars to your article. Also, do never forget to rename the image relating to the contents of your blog as it is good for SEO.
  • Alignments:
    To make your post look decent and give an appealing look, I strongly feel, you should never publish your post leaving the whole text unaligned. For aligning the article you should prefer ‘Justify’ option. Also, if any images are used you must align them with proper margins and wrapping.
  • Back-Links:
    On the bottom of every post, you must add links of various things your wrote about in the whole article. For example if I am writing an article about ‘Opening a new Gmail account’ then on the bottom of post I should link to related pages like Gmail | Registration | About
  • Sources, Credentials and Related Articles
    Never forget to add links and give credits to those blogs or websites where you basically saw the articles you are writing about. By this your readers may not blame you, upto some extent, if the information you blogged about is false. Also adding up related articles on the bottom of every post is another tactic many pro blogger follow. This way, you can keep your readers stuck to your blog ultimately resulting in increase of your revenue and profits. ;)
  • Categories and Tags:
    Not to mention, this is the most important thing you must look. This will help your blog reader to browser your blog posts category wise and would also be helpful for locating similar articles.

Related: Windows Live Writer – Best Desktop Blogging Client For Offline Blogging

Image Credits: Trianglerentacar

Under Sea Cable Cut Disrupts Internet in Middle East and South Asia

internet-cable-cut Since last one day or two, I noticed that my BSNL broadband connection was too slow and I was wondering whether there is some problem in my local exchange, in the mean time I came across an article where in it was mentioned about the faulty optical fibres that prevented Internet users to have a consistent and speedy Internet connectivity. Also, those optical fibres break resulted in disruption of International telephone services.

As per the statement:

Breaks in three submarine cables which link Europe and the Middle East have disrupted Internet and telephone services in the Middle East and South Asia, officials said on Saturday. The disruption reduced Egypt’s Internet capacity by about 80 percent. Technicians were restoring some capacity by diverting communications traffic through the Red Sea.

So, not only India, people of many other countries as well, are suffering from Internet outage atleast, if not long distance phone calls. Though, the exact cause of break in sub-marine cables is not yet known, but according to experts, due to such disruption in services, the economy of these countries will surely be affected. The statement added, it may take few more days to the respective agencies to fix those faulty lines.

So all internet users out there, are requested not to panic if you too are suffering from slow internet connection, and wait until it takes the respective officials to restore the connectivity to normal condition. :-)

Image Credits: Techshout

Google Image Search Just Got Even Better

Few days ago, Google announced the launch of a new feature in their Image Search Engine, using which one can search exclusively for faces and later on they released photo search feature. But now, they realized to do something even better and the output is what I am going to write about.

Now Google have included features to search for Line Drawings and Clip arts as well. So, if you are looking for some specific formats or types of images, then you can now easily locate the images you are looking for using these new options in Google Image Search.

Google Image search1

To check out these new options, I personally tried searching images using the different options for the Keyword ‘Christmas’ and here are those images.

Google Image search_photo

Google Image search_line 

Google Image search_clip art

If you remember, few days ago I mentioned a feature in Live image search using which we were able to find images using similar images. This new updates by Google, seems to be a reply to those guys at Microsoft. :-)

Link: Google Image Search

Related: Use Images to Find Similar Images

Now Easily Search Your Friends On Orkut!

Actually this is not technically a new feature Orkut has introduced, but this recent small change will make an old feature more usable for sure.

As you can see below, there is a new search box on your Orkut Homepage now called search friends in addition to old search orkut…

Orkut new search feature

Now lets do a quick analysis of these two search boxes:

Search Orkut

This is good for searching entire orkut. Results are gathered from all orkut profiles, communities and also topics posted in communities.

It support AJAX interface or in simple words, suggest results as you start typing. Suggested results are restricted to friends, so this can be used to search friends as well!

Below are 2 sample searches I made. You can see how easy to find your friend using old box too, if you are searching by their name.

image

Search Friends

You might be wondering why do you need this as we just used old search-box to search our friends nicely. Well if you are impressed with AJAX-based-suggest feature then its available with this new search box too!

But as I highlighted above, old search orkut box can be used only if you are searching your friends by their name. It doesn’t work if you want to use different search criteria.

Consider this… You are free this weekend and like to go for a new date. So why not search some good options in your city, right in your Orkut friend list!  ;-)

image

If you get 189 results like me you can narrow it by using additional keywords! Check now…

image

image One things I have noticed with this “Search Friend” feature is that results are slightly older. Some people I have removed from my friend-list 3-4 days back are still appearing while some recently added friends are missing.

Another thing I didn’t like is placement of two search boxes. They are too close to each other, disturbing aesthetics of homepage where you spend most of your time. Also the width of search friend box is more than needed. I found two ways where search friends box will look better which I have highlighted in mock screenshot at the right.

Finally, search friends feature is important for orkut users who have large number of friends. I myself have more than 650+ friends. I just can’t imagine browsing through all of them manually!

So this is our complete analysis of new search friends box. Actually this feature was there, without AJAX-based-suggest, from long time on friend-list page, reachable by clicking “view-all” link. (not highlighted, but can be seen at bottom in screenshot at the right)

Related: Orkut Apps and Features you can use this holiday season

Orkut’s Christmas Special Theme!

Just a day before, I concluded a post about Orkut’s treat for this holiday season with words,

… If you like themes on Orkut, keep an eye on themes tab as special holiday theme will appear anytime…

and just checked Orkut to see Christmas special theme is there!

Orkut Christmas Theme

You can find it under themes tab on orkut…

image

I personally don’t find theme option much attractive, but this Christmas theme is really nice. You can see it in action below on my Orkut homepage…

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I hope new year theme will be equally nice which is not yet released!

Link: Orkut Apps and Features you can use this holiday season

How to Make More Readers and Money This Holiday Season

image In my recent posts, I wrote how Orkut (Google’s social network) and Kontera (in-text advertising network) are planning to cash out coming holiday season! If planned well you can also squeeze some juice for your blogs/websites. :-)

From my more than 2 years experience of blogging, I know few things about these holiday seasons which can be used to make some extra bucks. So here I am posting part of my TO-DO lists, of-course in more organized manner.

Two major changes during holiday season…

  • Traffic: A tech-blog like this gets higher traffic. We are expecting 2-3 time more unique visitor in last week of December. Unless you are blogging about investments or stock markets, you can expect more or little rise in your blogs traffic.
  • Advertising: As more people come online for shopping, advertisers compete more to grab ad-slots. Obvious result is direct increase in revenue. Keep watching your AdSense eCPM over next 2 weeks and you will see the difference!

How to handle rise in traffic!

Its time to put your best foot forward! Find what posts are getting maximum traffic from search engine. When you discover them…

  • Update them to make them more relevant, more readable.
  • Try to stuff links to other posts which you think your visitors will find useful.
  • Also check if you have any unanswered comments. Its better if you answer them.

Above TO-DO list is for individual blog posts. There are things you can do blog-wide…

  • Add prominent email as well as feed subscription options.
  • Make your most popular, favorite posts, etc easily accessible.
  • Use caching plugins/techniques to sustain rise in traffic. WordPress users can go for wp-super-cache plugin!

If you want to analyze your traffic, nothing beats Google Analytics. Even if you don’t use it, its better to start using it right now. You will gather enough data before Christmas and that will help you optimize your website for last week of December, when traffic will be at peak!

How to make those extra bucks…

As its holiday season, you will need some extra bucks to party hard! Thankfully advertisers spend extra on advertising during season as people do a lot of online shopping.

If you are running a travel or products blog you should go for as many affiliate program as possible. Not a single product should be referred for free! ;-)

Try following tricks for AdSense

  • Keep only one single ad-unit on a page, above the fold.
  • Do not surround AdSense block with anything. Not even feed subscription box, etc.
  • No matter how ugly it will make your theme, go for one of rectangle ad-format like 336×280, 300×250.
  • Also follow usual AdSense tips like blending ads with your site, using section-targeting, etc.

There are reason for each of above tactic but I will explain them in detail some other day. For time being note that, above all highlight AdSense block in ways that will attract more clicks! Why???

  • You get more new visitors in holiday season. They are also in hurry!
  • When you visit a site quite often, you develop ad-blindness for it. So you almost never follow ads. But a new visitor, that’s too in hurry, if find himself on wrong site, will give AdSense links a try in attempt to find next direction.
  • You can notice whitespace beside AdSense block on top of post pages which I can reduce by using ad-format 468×80. But that will make AdSense less prominent and will expose main content too early to a visitor. Thou shall never expose more than needed! ;-)

Of course, all of above are based on my personal observations. I am following these things myself. For example, there was a box listing related, most-popular posts & recent posts on top of every post. That was pushing my dear AdSense block little-down. Now I moved that box below the post to give AdSense more room!

Different things works for different blogs. The best way to get best for you is to keep trying! So go on trying and let us know your findings! :-)

Recommended: Get $25 Cash Bonus by Joining Kontera before Jan 15

(Image credit: iStockPhoto)

Orkut Scrap Notification Emails Just Got Better!

Story 1: Around 3 months back, Orkut improved its email notifications for activities like someone send you a friend request, post a scrap in your scrapbook, etc.

Story 2: At OrkutFeeds, our service which provide updates for Orkut scrapbooks in RSS feeds format, user demanded we should offer an email alert service where they can get complete scrapbook updates. They wanted emails with actual content of scraps!

Now a new update by Orkut connects these two stories. Orkut has improved email notification for scraps, again!

image

As you can see, above email notification screenshot contains, actual content of scrap as well as display pic of sender.

The only problem with display pic if you are a Gmail user is: you have to enable display of images in every scarp notification email you will get. It would have better if Orkut has used same common email ID to send all notifications.

Anyway this is real treat for users who don’t use Orkut much. Thanks Sreejoy. :-)

Useful Link: OrkutFeeds – Get RSS Feed for Orkut Scrapbooks

Blogger Introduced New Feature: ‘Geotagging’

Blogger (Also called blogspot) in draft has recently announced a new feature called Geotagging or location labels which enables you to add locations to each of your post through Google Maps. It is similar to time stamps of blogger posts which help to browse using specific date/month whereas Geotag give your readers a way to browse posts near a specific location.

As per official blog of Blogger in draft

We’ve just added geotagging to the new post editor on Blogger in draft. With geotagging, you can add a location to your each of your blog posts. Just as time stamps help readers find posts from a certain date or time, geotags give your readers a way to browse posts near a specific location.

Adding a geotag to your post is easy. Log into draft.blogger.com, open the post editor, and click the ‘add location’ link below the main text field.

Use the location editor to search, drag, click and zoom on a map to choose and save a location. Google says- “We’ll try to label the location you choose using our reverse geocoder, which looks up a name for a point on the map”. You can also edit the location name by clicking the blue location name text below the search field.

As said earlier, you can see clearly, this feature is integrated with Google Maps:

blogger

Link : Blogger in Draft

Get $25 Cash Bonus by Joining Kontera before Jan 15!

In my last post, I wrote how Orkut is trying to cash holiday season! Now comes turn of Kontera, one of our best performing ad-network. Actually its your turn! ;-)

If you are looking for new ways to monetize your blog/website in coming new year 2009, Kontera can be a good choice. You will not only get decent direct revenue from traffic but you will also get $25 bonus!

Get $25 Cash Bonus by Joining Kontera before Jan 15!

To get $25 bonus…

  1. Join Kontera before January 15, 2009 via this special link.
  2. Just paste Kontera code on your site and relax. Kontera is simplest ad-network to implement.
  3. When your earnings will reach $75, Kontera will round it off to $100 and you will receive your first payment from Kontera.

Kontera also offers $25 whenever you invite your friends to join Kontera. More details about kontera are here. If you have any questions, feel free to use following comment form. Thanks Vered. :-)

Link: Join Kontera using this special link

Enjoy Holiday Season on Orkut!

Like everyone else, team Orkut is all set to squeeze maximum juice out of this holiday season! Just logged on orkut to see following message…

Feeling jolly? Get into the holiday spirit with these special treats on orkut! 

image When you click on it, it takes you to a page where Orkut recommends (read promotes) some of its feature and applications which you can use this holiday season.

Apart from albums and videos, the other feature orkut is promoting with maximum efforts is their newly launched events feature.

Three holiday applications they have listed are BuddyPoke, My Music and Christmas Tree.

Also, we can expect different homepage designs on Xmas and New Year. If you like themes on Orkut, keep an eye on themes tab as special holiday theme will appear anytime!

Thats All! Enjoy holiday season on Orkut! :-)