Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Interview with a Successful 10 Year Old Blogger

31 Mar

I often get asked a lot about what it takes to make a blog, and if it’s really possible to make money online. The answer is always the same… it all depends on the amount of work and time you put into it. It is possible to build a business through blogging, affiliate marketing and have it become your full time job. The interview below is with Bradley Nordstrom, a 10 year old affiliate and blogger who is very well known for commenting on several Internet marketing blogs. While juggling his homework, after school activities and just being a kid… we were lucky enough to snag this exclusive interview and I think you’ll find that it is a very entertaining read and a great look into the life of one of the youngest affiliates and bloggers the world has ever known.

Tell us a little about your background info about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you? How long have you been using the Internet?
I am from Wellington, Florida and I still live there now. I am an awesome 10 year old and my birthday is October 20th. I have been using the internet for 5 years now. I first started blogging with my blog cthen when I turned 9 I got into affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is one of the most important things I do to make money now next to blogging. My parents and I also run an infotainment paper called “Tidbits”. You might have heard of it.

What accomplishments so far are you most proud of?
The accomplishments I am most proud of is being a young 10 year old that makes over $5,000 a month. I am also proud of being invited to People To People International which is a organization that picks kids from all over the world and those kids get to go to different countries. I will be going to Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland.

Your main website is How cool are you and how did you get to be so cool?
I am awesomely cool and I got this cool because I have a cool blog. My cool blog helped me get really cool because my blog has cool blog posts.

How did you get to be so good at creating websites at such a young age?
Well it all started at “StarBucks”. My dad owned a company that created websites. I was really bored at Starbucks so I asked my dad if he could teach me how to make a website and he said yes. So from that day on he kept teaching me all kinds of stuff I couldn’t even understand. From that day on whenever we went to the bookstore I got either a HTML or CSS book that taught me everything I needed to know to make my website the best in the world.

How did you come to learn about affiliate marketing? Is this something you want to do when you grow up?
I learned about affiliate marketing when I was 8 1/2. My dad was an affiliate marketer when he was young and he taught me some affiliate marketing. Everyday after school he would teach me one part about affiliate marketing.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an affiliate?
To be a successful affiliate you have to be able to sell at least one product a day. You also have to be able to like being an affiliate.

What have been your biggest failures and frustrations with your websites and schoolwork?
My biggest failure was not listening to my parents for my science project. I had a different answer than they had and I was wrong and they were of course right. My biggest frustration I had with my website bradleyiscool was not posting in 3 weeks! I was on vacation and had no access to the net so I just had to deal with it.

What have you been up to recently? What projects are you working on?
I am creating a business that is going to make wordpress blogs for people. The name of the business is WildWebPro.

What are your greatest strengths?
My greatest strengths are meeting people and making friends.

What are your greatest weaknesses?
Milk is probably my greatest weakness. I can’t stand the look and taste of milk.

What motivates you?
Being invited to special groups pretty much is the only thing that motivates me.

What is the best advice you’ve been given and try to apply it to your life?
My dad teaching me how to blog is the best advice I ever got in my life pretty much.

Who has impacted you most in your life, and how?
My dad because if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be getting this interview right now.

Where do you want to be 10 years from now?
I would like to be living on Hibiscus Island in Miami and have a few high end cars like maybe a 7 series BMW and a few Lambo’s and Ferrari’s. I would also like to make a million dollars a day. I actually know someone that does make a million dollars a day.

How do you like to spend you free time? What do you do for fun?
I like to spend my free time sleeping. What I do for fun is blog. Blogging to me is my favorite thing to do. It is fun and is easy to do. I can tell my fans that I have been to disney world or I can tell them about affiliate marketing.

As you get older, what career choices do you think you will make?
I will probably have the same career choice as a blogger and being an affiliate marketer. I think I might own a multi-blillion dollar business.

Feel free to leave any questions you may have for Bradley, as I’m sure he will be active in the comments area. You can also visit Bradley’s blog at

Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger. Find out more at


How to sustain a social media presence in 3 hours a week

18 Mar

When it rains on a weekend, I don’t bemoan my decision to live in the Pacific Northwest: I just know it’s time to queue up my blog posts and tweets for the week. That’s what I try to do in about two hours every weekend, and since folks often ask me how they can keep their social media presence alive in an efficient and sustainable way, I figure I’m long overdue to blog my system.

First, let me come clean. I don’t maintain my social media presence in just 3 hours a week; for me, it’s more like 40. But that is because social media is what I do, and I do a lot of it: I write for five different sites, contribute to seven different Twitter feeds, and aim to write at least 3 (typically 4 or 5) in-depth posts per week. All that social mediafying is the heart of my work, and more importantly, I love it. I would write that much even if it weren’t my work, so I’m just incredibly lucky that it is.

For most people, however, 40 hours a week would be overkill. And the same approach I use to maintain all my different social media activities can support a much more streamlined — but still very effective — presence. Three hours a week is enough to:

  1. Tweet original content 2-3x day, 5 days/week
  2. Publish 3 blog posts per week
  3. Reply to comments on your blog posts
  4. Reply, retweet and engage in conversation on Twitter

Let’s start with items #1 and #2 — which is what I spend about two hours tackling each weekend. If you’ve got your setup in place, that two hours is all you need to keep your social media presence alive and useful. By “useful”, I mean useful to the people you are trying to reach…which in turn makes it useful to you. The point isn’t to queue up a bunch of junk that keeps your blog and Twitter presence notionally alive: the point is to spend two hours teeing up some content that will provide real value to your target audience by speaking to the topic on which you are (or wish to be) an expert.

Here’s how:

  1. Open up Google Reader and look at the latest blog posts and news stories that are coming in through the custom searches you’ve set up and subscribed to. I’ve put my searches into a separate folder so it’s easy for me to see all latest results in one place:
  2. IRL searches viewed in Feedly

    Does my Google Reader look prettier than your Google reader? That's because I view my Google Reader feeds in Feedly.

    Quickly scan through the teasers for all the stories that look interesting, Command-clicking (that’s ctrl-clicking for you Windows users) on anything that looks interesting so it opens in a new tab. I do that until I have ten or fifteen tabs open:

    Many tabs open in Chrome

  3. Flip through the tabs and skim (or where warranted, read) each post or story in turn. It’s a sudden death system: as soon as I read something that makes me think that what I’m reading is too stale, too weird, too off-topic or too poorly written to share or respond to, I stop reading and close the tab.
  4. If you find something useful, queue it up as a tweet in HootSuite. If you’ve got the “hoot this” bookmarklet installed, it will likely pre-populate your tweet with the title of what you’re sharing:
  5. Hootsuite bookmarklet prepopulated with story title

    At this point your fastest option is to just hit the calendar icon and pick a date and time when you want your tweet to go out, but I like to customize at least half of my scheduled tweets so that they reflect my voice and are more intriguing:

    Hootsuite bookmarklet with tweet rewritten as "Disable chat (please!!!) plus 4 more tips on how to use Facebook without letting it take over your life!"

  6. Continue flipping through your tabs, skimming and tweeting, but watch out for scrapers. A lot of content you find online will be scraped (i.e.republished or stolen) from other sites. I can’t give you a hard-and-fast rule for spotting scraped content, but you’ll get a feel for it. For example, this page on Youth Service America just didn’t look like it matched the voice of a blog post about online dating. I selected a string of text, dropped it into Google search, and sure enough, it turned up as a blog post that originally appeared on the Social Citizens blog. (It looks like YSA republishes the Social Citizens blog in a totally legit way, but I’d like to share the original post, not the reprint.)
  7. Look for the most thought-provoking stories and posts. When you hit something that’s especially interesting, insightful or simply annoying — something that makes you want to share your own perspective — then don’t tweet it. Instead, use it as the jumping-off point for a short blog post. Your post can share an excerpt or two from the source of your inspiration, but should do more than link to the post. You need to add your own perspective on it, or simply share the questions it raises for you. A blog post like this, which might be 2-4 paragraphs long, can take 5-15 minutes to write. That means you can queue up 3 blog posts in under an hour. (Don’t believe me? My next post in this series will offer proof.)
  8. Schedule your blog posts to go out on 3 different days of the week by setting the publication date and time in WordPress:
    Publish immediately with "edit" link you can click to schedule Date and time fields to edit publication time in WordPress
    Click “edit” next to “Publish immediately”…. …and you can choose when to post.

    That might be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or perhaps Monday, Tuesday, Thursday; I often front-load my prewritten blog posts because I usually get inspired to write something here or there over the course of the week. I drop those longer, original posts into my schedule on the days I don’t have a post lined up, or I adjust my schedule to make room for them. I usually schedule my posts to go live between 9-10 am, when people in my time zone (Pacific) are at work and people on the east coast are ready for something to read over lunch.

  9. Queue up tweets about each of your blog posts on the day it’s scheduled to be published. Make sure you don’t link to the “preview post” URL you get while editing (where it says “post draft updated” when you save a draft) — that’s not the URL that will let people access your blog post once it’s published. Once you’ve got your post written and scheduled, WordPress will give you a new “preview post” link with the real URL for your post. You’ll know you’ve go the real URL if it doesn’t include the word “preview” in the address.

    Link to "preview post" next to "Post Scheduled"

    This links to the actual URL of your soon-to-be-published post.

  10. Review your “pending tweets” column in HootSuite (you may have to add it if it’s not already part of one of your HootSuite tabs) to see if your tweets are scheduled out evenly. You can click on any pending tweet to edit its text or scheduled time. Ideally you’ll have two or three tweets about other people’s content scheduled each day, and you will have the tweets about your own blog posts spaced out with tweets about other people’s content so that you’re never tweeting your own stuff twice in a row.

And that’s it! Well, almost. Remember items #3 and #4 at the top of this page — where I point out that you need to reply to your blog comments, Twitter mentions, and just generally participate in the Twitter conversation? That’s what your third social media hour is for.

I’m confident that you can queue up 3 blog posts and 10-15 tweets in just two hours each weekend. But that investment won’t do much for you unless you spend that additional hour — ideally as 10 or 15 minutes, 4-5 days a week — engaging with your community.

And yes, you will have a community. Because once you commit two hours a week to delivering real value to the audience you care about, you’re going to have people reading, tweeting and talking to you. So please, don’t forget to talk back.


Why You Shouldn’t Use Facebook Comments… Yet

17 Mar

Earlier this month, Facebook announced some significant upgrades to its commenting system for bloggers and other website owners.

The system is designed to compete with services like Disqus and Intense Debate by adding a Facebook-hosted commenting system to your site, one that can either replace or supplement your existing comment system.

To their credit, Facebook has given a lot of reasons to like the system. It’s clean, easy to look at, has good moderation tools, great stat reporting and is virtually spam-free since users have to have a Facebook account to comment.

Because of this, many sites, including TechCrunch, have begun either using or experimenting with Facebook comments.

However, this system is far from a match made in heaven and you won’t see it on my site, at least not in its current incarnation. Where it might be for some, it isn’t for mine and I will do my best to explain exactly why.

Problem 1: Out of Sync

With Disqus, which is what I currently use, and Intense Debate comments posted to your blog get put both in their database and yours. This means that, should you decide Disqus/ID is no longer right for you or if the company closes for some reason, you still have your comments.

With Facebook, the comments are simply stored in Facebook’s database and are served via an embed. If you ditch Facebook, you lose your comments, that simple.

Problem 2: JavaScript and SEO

For many sites, the comments is a significant percentage of the content on their page. However, Facebook displays that content in an embedded JavaScript that is not readable or indexable by search engines. This means you get no SEO benefit from your community.

Facebook comments is not SEO friendly and this is a problem both Disuqus and ID deal with gracefully, but putting the comments in your site in cleartext.

Problem 3: Limited Audience

It may be a surprise, but not everyone has a Facebook account and, those who do, not everyone is comfortable using their account to post comments on random sites. In short, you’re limiting your potential commenting pool to only those with Facebook accounts that trust you enough to use it on your site.

TechCrunch noted that, while Facebook Comments did help keep the trolls at bay and raise the level of discourse, the number of comments has fallen and this is on a very tech-savvy site where nearly every visitor will have a Facebook account.

Problem 4: Technical Difficulties

I attempted to set up Facebook Comments on my site temporarily to see it in action but failed completely. Even using a WordPress Plugin dedicated to the cause, I had no luck in getting it to work, even after disabling every other Facebook-related thing on my site.

Facebook Comments simply doesn’t play nice with a lot of other features and it seems others have had struggles with it as well.

Problem 5: Lack of Customization

Don’t like the way Disqus looks? Customize it. Don’t like the way Facebook Comments look? Tough.

Though the Facebook commenting system is far from ugly, if it doesn’t fit your theme you’re pretty much out of luck. You get what Facebook gives you and, apart from a few subtle changes you can make, there isn’t much anyone can do with it.

Bottom Line

To be clear, there is a lot that I do like about Facebook Comments and I have a lot of reason to want to play with it. But, right now, there are simply too many problems with it for me to consider using it, at least as my exclusive commenting system.

Obviously, I don’t need all of these above problems fixed (customization is not a major issue for me) but I would like to see better SEO handling and synchronization with my local database. Without those two things, Facebook and Facebook alone reaps the benefit of my comments section, leaving me with nothing.

It seems, however, that much of this comes from Facbeook’s tight control over everything that passes through it Facebook doesn’t like to share the information it gets with other domains, even when it comes from another site, and likes to be the sole determiner of how the information it gets is used, often to the chagrin of its members.

In short, until Facebook’s approach to commenting is a little more balanced. I don’t think I’ll be using it on my site, at least not as my main comment form.

Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger. Find out more at


How to Significanty Increase Your Blog Subscribers

09 Feb

Your most important asset as a blogger is not the people who visit your blog daily or those who comment on your blog but those who take the pain and time to subscribe to your blog so that they can be receiving more updates from you in the future. A lot of bloggers now make a very deadly blogging mistake of focusing on getting more daily visitors instead of subscribers. Your subscribers are the ones who trust you, they’re the ones who read your content regularly and truly know you and they are the ones that will most likely take action based on what you preach or buy from you in the nearest future. This post will be giving you some tips to significantly improve your blog subscribers.

Focus on Getting Quality Traffic

There are many factors that come into place as far as increasing your blog subscribers is concerned; one factor is conversion and another major factor is the quality of the traffic you get. You shouldn’t expect to see any significant conversion if your traffic are from paid to click sites, pop unders or other aggressive traffic generation strategies.  Trust is a major factor that has to be associated with any traffic you get before there can be any significant result; for example, if someone like Darren Rowse interviews me or writes a post in which he encourages his readers to visit and subscribe to my blog it will bring more results than from someone discovering my blog through a comment on another blog even if they result in the same number of visitors.

There are a lot of ways to get quality traffic and I wrote a post here recently on getting quality traffic – I suggest you read it. While tactics are great and sometimes important real results only come from trust. There will be more interaction and result when people start spreading the word about you and encouraging others to read your blog. This type of traffic can only be gotten by you producing great content that builds trust with your readers.

Have a Great Design

It doesn’t matter how great your content is you also need a great design. While you can give a lot of examples of people writing great content with bad design the truth is that many of these bloggers are getting less results than they would have gotten if they had a better design.

People need to be able to interact with your site and not just read your content. A great design makes it easy for people to share your content and spread the word about your blog, a great design makes it easy for people to locate your subscription options and subscribe to your blog and a great design makes your content more presentable.

I saw this in action recently when I paid a custom designer to help me make a unique design for my blog; this design was recently released and since its release I have noticed a significant increase in the number of people subscribing to my blog. In fact, the number of people subscribing to my blog daily have doubled and this was only possible because of the great design my blog has.

Be Transparent

The internet is a free world where any content can easily be circulated, the internet isn’t censored and anybody from anywhere in the world can easily set up a blog and begin to teach people what he/she knows nothing about. A great way to significantly increase the number of people subscribing to your blog is by letting people know that you can be trusted and the best way to do this is by being transparent on your blog.

I recently started displaying my income report on my blog every month, ever since then I have noticed a significant increase in my subscriber base (especially on the first day) and my first income report is my most popular post this year – it still keeps on getting links and traffic even after a month of me posting it.

You don’t necessarily need to be displaying your income report on your blog since our reasons and aims for blogging are different and what we want to achieve is different. All you need to do is look for a way to build credibility on your blog, this can be by showing live examples of the results you get, by doing a lot of things to prove that you truly know what you’re saying and by getting true expert endorsement for your work.

Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger. Find out more at


5 Things Magicians Can Teach You About Blogging

09 Sep

At some level, blogging is really just a stage show. We, as bloggers, are up on a virtual stage giving a performance that goes on for as long as we run our sites. Whether it is a stand-up comedy routine or a serious academic lecture, we’re talking to the world and hope that our audience, no matter how large or small, will listen.

On that front magicians are masters of the stage show. Using nothing but a few tricks, which can range from very simple to unbelievably complex, their charisma and whatever effects they have at their disposal, they have to keep a difficult audience entertained and enthralled through their entire act.

So maybe magicians can teach us bloggers a few things about showmanship and how to keep our audience glued to the screen, no matter what type of site we are trying to run.

On that front, here are five tips virtually any magician can tell you that can help make your blog a little bit better.

1. Have a Catchy Name

Good marketing starts with a good name and magicians understand this. You can tell a great deal about a magic act based on just the name it goes by and magicians are constantly honing and improving their brand by seeking publicity and getting their well-chosen name out there by any means necessary.

Application: Spend some time coming up with a good name that is easy to spell and pronounce but is also unique and describes what you are trying to do. Then, promote that brand vigorously and stand by it unless you have some urgent need to change.

2. Dress 1 Step Above Your Audience

Magicians have a general rule that one should dress one step above their audience. If you are performing in front of a completely casual audience, they will wear business casual, if the audience is business casual, they will dress in a suit, if the audience is wearing suits, they’ll wear a tux. The reason is that this gives the performer a sense of authority while making them approachable and relatable.

Application: Your dress is your writing and your language. Try writing your content one small step above what your audience would write, making it more authoritative than casual writing but still easily understood and approachable.

3. If You Mess Up, Be Honest, Break the Tension and Move On

Mistakes happen and when a Magician goofs they do so in a very public way. However, magicians rarely try to hide their mistakes, especially if they know their audience has caught on. Instead, they’ll admit to the mistake, go for a joke to break the tension and then move on quickly and confidently.

Application: Going for the joke may not always be appropriate but when you goof on your site you need to acknowledge the error, end the tension quickly (either with an apology, a joke or whatever is appropriate) and then move on. Don’t linger on your mistakes once you’ve dealt with them.

4. Make People Look Where You Want

Half of magic is about diversion and drawing attention where the magician wants it. A majority of magic tricks wouldn’t work at all if the audience was not looking at the right spot while the trick part takes place out of view. Magicians achieve this by using motion, colors, lighting and anything else at their disposal to distract and direct the audience to their will.

Application: Tell the readers what you want to look at, use subheads, lists, tables, images and other things that draw the eye to make them look at the information you deem most important. Use such tools sparingly, otherwise the eye doesn’t know where to go, but don’t force your readers to figure out what’s important on their own.

5. Know Which Secrets to Keep

Magic thrives on secrets. As the TV character Jonathan Creek was fond of saying, once explained what was once magic becomes mundane. Magicians keep their secrets closely guarded to keep the illusion of their tricks being actual magic. Though the illusion is fleeting, most people realize magic is just an illusion, the ability to deceive oneself for a moment is an important part of enjoying the show.

Application: Blogging isn’t nearly as secretive as magic but you do have to think long and hard about what information you want to give away and what you don’t. You need to ask yourself what information will help your readers better enjoy or learn from your site and what will confuse and complicate things needlessly. Keep the secrets that you need to in order to stay on target and be effective, don’t try to throw everything out.

Bottom Line

Though magic and blogging have many differences, blogging involves significantly fewer rabbits for one, there are definitely enough similarities so that we bloggers can pick up a few pointers, especially when it comes to keeping our audience entertained and informed.

It might be easy to not think of blogging as a public performance but, in reality, that’s exactly what it is, the most public kind of performance possible and the fact that it merely writing, audio or video doesn’t mean that many of the same rules don’t apply.

So let’s listen to the magicians, they might have a lesson or two for us.

Copyright © 2010 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.

5 Things Magicians Can Teach You About Blogging

Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger. Find out more at