Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grammar Matters

This couple is devastated by a typo they just found on your website.
After reading an article titled Nobody Cares about Spelling and Grammar Anymore by Tim Berry,  it got me thinking about whether or not that’s true.

I have to admit that I care … a lot, actually! If I find a grammatical error in anything I’ve written, whether it’s a personal email or published web content, I feel more than a little sick to my stomach. I guess I’m kind of a grammar nerd, but even with a keen interest in the subject, I know I’m still far from using perfect grammar. However, I do my best to make sure everything I write is spelled correctly and free from grammatical errors.

Do I suggest you do the same? Well, if you’re a blogger or a writer of web content, it’s important that you not only proofread your work, but know the grammar basics. I’m not saying you have to geek out on grammar, but it wouldn’t take long to do some light reading on the subject. Doing this will make sure your reader isn’t turned off by typos and it will make you a better writer in the long run.

I think everyone can benefit from brushing up on grammar basics, so check out the links below before you write your next blog and see if they help!

10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
Your Versus You’re

If you’ve been looking for a way to get more traffic to your blog or website, visit Voice of North America. Voice of North America will help you get found on the search engines and increase traffic to your website.

Get More Out of Social Media with Crowdbooster

Want to learn more about your social media followers? Try Crowdbooster!
If you have a business, product, or service that you’re currently promoting on Twitter or Facebook, you might be interested to learn about Crowdbooster.

Crowdbooster is a free (of course, you can also upgrade to a paid membership) site that analyzes your social media accounts and provides you with detailed feedback on how you can improve. Some of the data they’ll give you includes your follower growth, influential followers, recommendations on how you can improve your content and gain more readers, audience insights, and even a content scheduler that analyzes the best time for you to post updates and send tweets and then does it automatically for you!

Signing up is very simple – you log in with your Twitter or Facebook info and then create an account. Crowdbooster instantly starts analyzing your account and provides you with feedback very quickly. I think this could be a good tool if used regularly to learn how your company can better reach your target audience. What do you think?

Want to increase web traffic and brand exposure now? Visit Voice of North America.

RSS Feeds: Do You Need One?

Do you have an RSS feed on your blog? An RSS feed is a way for your readers to sign up to receive your blog posts by email or in their reader. It can be hard for people to remember all the blogs they like to read, so this is a quick and easy way to ensure your readers will be coming back for more.

Here’s an article I read today titled: BTW, WTF is RSS by Bob Dunn. It’s a good summary of what an RSS feed is, why you need it, and how you can implement it into your blog.

If you’re just starting out your blog, however, all the add-ons and widgets out there can be overwhelming. My blog is still a newbie and does not have an RSS feed just yet. When you're just starting out as a blogger, it’s hard to figure out which add-ons you really need or which your readers would even use or like. My advice is to not worry about it and just start out slow.

Build your blog a little each day and don’t worry about doing everything all at once. As you get the hang of things, you’ll feel more comfortable and you’ll begin to understand the type of add-ons and widgets that would be best for your particular blog and your audience.

Having trouble getting traffic to your blog or website? Voice of North America can help. Through Voice of North America, you’ll be able to post blogs and articles on a 50 domain network. This will help you get found in the search engines and increase your quality back links.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do You Have Social Media Cred?

She's smiling because her Klout score is higher than yours.
Did you know that every time you post a story, article, link, or comment on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, you’re influencing your followers? But wouldn’t you like to know exactly how much you’re influencing them and conversely, how much they’re influencing you?

There’s a new site out called Klout that lets you know just that. It gives you your “Klout Score” based on how many people you influence, how much you influence them, and how influential they are. It’s an interesting concept and pretty fun. You sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account and it gives you your score plus a detailed report. Right now, my Klout is only at 28.3%, clearly I need to work on that. Sad face.

Check it out and leave a comment letting me know what your Klout Score is!

Trying to grow your business? Don’t forget to check out Voice of North America to learn how you can start blogging in all 50 states, maximizing your exposure on the search engines, and driving more traffic to your website or blog.

Get the Latest Breaking News on . . . Twitter?

Poor weather man. Social media is taking over his job.
I’ve seen many articles lately about how social media has become an unlikely news source. Take for example the east coast earthquake that just occurred. Apparently Virginia residents began tweeting about the earthquake before it even had a chance to hit New York—leaving Twitter to claim it’s faster than an earthquake.

I can’t deny that my knowledge of major news stories occurring around the world have come directly from my friends’ Twitter and Facebook posts. I first learned that Osama Bin Laden and Michael Jackson had died from a Facebook post and heard about the Casey Anthony verdict on Twitter.

I think the reason that so many social media users immediately post on sites like Facebook and Twitter with news-worthy stories is because they simply want to be the first one among their friends to break the news. This way, they get all the shocked comments and get to enjoy the satisfaction of being the first one to report something big.

Here’s a few interesting articles I’ve seen lately on this topic:

East Coasters Turn to Twitter During Virginia Earthquake by Lauren Indvik

Timeline: How News of Osama Bin Laden’s Death Unfolded on Twitter by Brian Anthony Hernandez

Be sure to check out Voice of North America if you’re ready to grow your business and get noticed on search engines. Voice of North America allows you to blog in all 50 states about your business, product, services, or anything else you want to promote.

What’s Your Favorite Blog?

I bet she's tweeting about her favorite blog right now.
There are billions of blogs out there - how do you choose what to read? I think all of my favorite blogs have been introduced to me by a friend via Twitter or Facebook. I’ve noticed that many of my friends will put a link to a blog post they particularly like in a Twitter or Facebook update and encourage everyone to read it. If I end up liking the post, I will usually keep reading, and before you know it, I’m hooked on a blog I previously didn’t even know existed!

Here’s a few of my fave blogs right now, in no particular order.

The Fitnessista – The reason I love this blog is because it’s a personal take on healthy living. The Fitnessista is constantly posting about working out, eating healthy, new exercises to try, workout DVD reviews, recipes, workout plans, and so much more! She’s even made me crave more vegetables and fruit by posting pics of what she eats at every meal. And she does it all in a fun and friendly manner. She normally updates a few times a day, too, so it keeps me coming back regularly to read her tips.

Hyperbole and a Half -This blog kills me. Every time. It’s so weird but so funny. I love reading these posts and normally always laugh out loud at some point. The weird drawings only make it better. This was the post that a friend initially shared on Facebook that instantly had me coming back for more. This blog is witty, hilarious, and a little demented – just the way I like it!

Diva Marketing Blog – For a fun way to learn about various marketing topics, from social media to blogging, check out the Diva Marketing Blog. The writing is done in an easy-to-read yet interesting style, so you never get bored and a new blog post is always a welcome read!

Practical SEO – Read this blog to learn about SEO and everything SEO-related. From optimizing your blog to optimizing your website, you’ll learn tips and tricks for optimal success. Practical SEO also ventures into other related topics, like web development, content writing, and more, so you’ll never get bored and always learn something new.

Not sure how to get your blog or website noticed by the search engines? Check out Voice of North America – a blogging platform that lets you post about any topic you desire in all 50 states. You’ll get found by the search engines easier and get more traffic to your website or blog.

Are Keywords the Key to Blog Success?

Unlock blog success today!
Search engine optimization is a great tool for increasing exposure to your blog. If you put keywords into your content, the people searching for those topics on the web will find your blog and hopefully become regular readers.

Read on for tips on how you can incorporate SEO into your blog starting today! 

Research. You can search for relevant keywords with Google’s Adwords and find the most popular ones related to your specific industry. Remember, targeting specific keywords is the point; using too broad of keywords won’t help your intended audience find you. Check out Google’s keyword tool here

Read. Learning about search engine optimization is a great way to get better at it. There are countless informative blogs out there that will teach you how you can incorporate SEO into your blogs. Check out: SEOmoz for some good info.

Relax. Don’t go crazy with SEO! Use keywords in all of your blog posts, but don’t go overboard. You still want your blog posts to flow like they normally would and you don’t want to lose readers because you took search engine optimization to the extreme.

Remember. It’s important to remember that the key to becoming a successful blogger doesn’t depend on search engine optimization alone. There are many ingredients that go into the creation of a popular blog, from social media to syndication. Read How to Get More Blog Traffic – Real World Data by Tom Pick.

If you need help getting your business, product, service, or blog more exposure, visit Voice of North America -  Voice of North America is a platform that allows you to blog about any topic you desire in all 50 states. This will help you get found in the search engines and drive traffic to your website or blog.

Social Media, Blogging, and You

Even wild horses shouldn't be able to keep you away from social media.
Remember Myspace? It was pretty much the first social networking site to gain an enormous following. However, most Myspace users were young – my guess would be under 25 at least – with most being much younger. This would mean that only businesses whose products or services related to a younger demographic would benefit from having an account or advertising on there.

But with Twitter and Facebook now leading the pack, the game has completely changed. More and more adults are now using both social networking sites on a regular basis. In fact, I received a Facebook request from my Mom just a few days ago—the jury’s still out on whether or not I’m going to accept that request! My cousins (of ages ranging from 26-39) and aunts and uncles (ages 55+) are all on there as well.

Just today, I read an article titled Adult Use of Social Media Soars by Sarah E. Needleman. She noted that 65% of all U.S. adults now use social media accounts and on a typical day, 43% of those adults say they visit sites like Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re a business owner, this news should be very interesting to you. This means that you’re now able to reach a huge demographic through social media and effectively target your intended audience, no matter what their age range is. It seems that pretty much everyone is using social media sites—if your business isn’t represented on them, you’re losing out on exposure, consumer interaction, and potential profit. 

If you’re a blogger, promoting your blog on social media sites is a very valuable tool. Whether your blog is just for fun or for profit, marketing yourself on sites like Facebook and Twitter make for a more personal experience for your readers and help you gain more followers.

I read a blog that I love called The Fitnessista on a daily basis and I’ve made sure that I’m also a fan on her Facebook and a follower on her Twitter account. I know right away when she posts a new blog because she updates both accounts and she also posts different content on her social media sites that cannot be found on her blog. If you do the same, you’re going to gain exposure and keep your current readers engaged.

What social media sites beyond Twitter and Facebook have you found to be the most beneficial to you?

If you’re having trouble getting found on the search engines, you might want to consider enlisting some outside help by visiting Voice of North America is a great way to market your business, gain exposure, and reach potential customers. You’ll get to blog on their site in all 50 states, helping you get found on search engines and increase your web (or blog) traffic drastically! 

It's the Content That Counts . . . Right?

Is your blog as pretty as a picture?
I read an article today that I found interesting titled HOW TO: Build a More Beautiful Blog by Matt Silverman.

We’d all like to think that it’s the inside that counts, but when it comes down to it, do the aesthetics of a blog determine its success? This also led me to ponder if the jazzy book background I’ve chosen is enough to make you want to stay to read my blog posts or is it so annoying that it makes you want to leave and never return.

Personally, if I really loved someone’s content, but they had no interesting images to go with it and a boring background, it wouldn’t be enough for me to stop reading it. However, I can definitely see how a beautiful blog could enhance a reader’s experience. There are a few blogs I currently love reading and all of them have great images and backgrounds that do add to the overall blog experience.

If your blog is in need of an extreme makeover, check out the link above for some tips on how to snazzy up the place. And if you’re in the commenting mood, please let me know what you think of my book background, too.

On a side note, if you’re ready to grow your business (if you have one) check out:

Voice of North America gives you the power to blog about any topic you want in all 50 states, helping you reach potential customers and drive more traffic to your website or blog.

The Power of Proofreading

They're reading your blog post right now. Hope it doesn't have any errors!
Before you hit ‘publish’ on your next blog post, make sure you’ve proofread it.
If a post is riddled with errors, it’s not going to be well-received by your readers. Plus, if your goal is to ever have a blog post go viral or to simply have people linking to it in their own blogs or on social media accounts, it’s not going to happen if it’s filled with errors.

Here are a few simple tips to ensure your next blog post is easy to read and free from typos!

Take a break. After you finish writing a blog post, it’s always a good idea to take a short break and then come back to it and proofread. Once you’ve been staring at the same content for any length of time, it gets harder and harder to spot errors. Walk away and then proofread when you come back. You’ll be able to find more errors this way.

Talk to yourself
. Reading your blog posts out loud is a great way to find errors you normally may have missed. Once you’ve fixed the typos, you’ll have a post that flows better and reads smoothly.

Use a spell-checker
. Such a simple thing, but a surprising amount of people publish before doing this easy task. Maybe you think your post is already error-free and doesn’t need the help of a spell-checker, but it can’t hurt to find out! It takes two seconds and the spell-checker could find something your eyes overlooked.

Enlist a buddy. You may be a fantastic proofreader, but even the most typo-trained eye can miss errors. If you have a buddy you can ask, have them read your blog posts before you publish them.

Follow these tips for error-free blog posts and you’ll establish credibility with your readers! If you’re having trouble getting your blogs noticed, also check out Through Voice of North America, you can blog in all 50 states, which will help you get found on the search engines!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wherefore Art Thou, Comments?

Look at those fingers go! She can't type comments on your blog fast enough!
So you started a great blog, much like this one, filled with interesting and witty posts, yet you still haven’t received any comments. Don’t get too down . . . all blogs have to start somewhere, right? But instead of just constantly refreshing your screen waiting to see comments that never come, why not do something about it?

Here’s an idea—Find a few blogs that you like reading and comment on them regularly. I’m not talking about being a comment spammer, either. Most blog owners do not mind if you put a link to your own blog or website in your signature, but they do mind if your comments don’t seem genuine. Pointless comments like “Great post” don’t go over well because they’re clearly only placed there so you can get your link on their blog. Leave thoughtful and interesting comments that actually add something to the conversation and make sure to keep the convo going if people reply to your comments. This is a great way to gain exposure for your blog and increase the likelihood of building regular commenters of your own.

Once you start getting visitors and commenters to your blog, make sure you actually reply! Seems silly to ignore the visitors you’ve tried so hard to get, doesn’t it? But this is a common mistake many new bloggers make. Talk to your visitors, engage them with questions and polls, and by all means, respond when they comment on your posts. If a visitor leaves an especially interesting comment, maybe even give them a shout out in another blog post – this is a fantastic way to make your blog an interactive and rewarding experience for your visitors.

A way to reach as many blog visitors as possible (and get those commenters) is by checking out Voice of North America lets you blog in all 50 states, reaching people easily and quickly. Direct them back to your blog or your website and gain valuable exposure and watch those comments roll in!

Lastly, consider getting an add-on that lets your blog visitors sign up to be notified when a person replies to a comment they left. This will ensure they do not forget about your blog or the comments they’ve left! Here’s one I’ve heard of that works, ubt you’ll have to see if it works with the blog service you’re using first. 

I must say, my blog would like some comments, too. Feel free to add a comment or two or leave a tip on what you feel the best way to grow your blog follower and commenter database is.

Are You a Reader Or a Skimmer?

Do you think she's reading or skimming that newspaper?
When it comes to content, whether printed or on the web, there are two types of people, the Readers and the Skimmers. Which one are you? If you’re a Reader, most likely you thoroughly read blogs you enjoy and make it a point to post comments. You probably revel in replies to your comments and continually engage in blog conversations.

A Skimmer, on the other hand, might be a person who doesn’t have time to read blog posts in full and skims posts for interesting information. Skimmers probably don’t often leave comments because they are pressed for time.

If you have your own blog, which category do you feel most of your visitors fall in to? A great way to accommodate both the Readers and the Skimmers is to make your blog posts shorter and keep the content fun and informative without getting into too much detail.

You might want to:
  • Use bullet points (just like this one!)
  • Try out numbered lists
  • Add images throughout to keep visitors interested
  • Post questions or polls to engage visitors
If you’re having trouble getting people to visit your blog or getting link backs to your website, you may also want to check out - it’s a great way for bloggers to attract more web visitors and get maximum exposure on the web!

6 Tips for Increased Blog Traffic

Look at all those people heading over to your blog!!
Starting a blog is a great idea – no matter if it's a blog to share stories about your own life, to initiate convos on certain topics, or to help promote your business.
If no one is reading or commenting on your blog, however, it can get a bit lonely. If you’d like to attract visitors to your blog, read on for 6 tips on how you can do just that, starting today!

Do it on the daily. Blogging, that is. If you update your blog every day, you’re more likely to have people coming back to it again and again. Who remembers a blog that’s only updated once a month? Not many people. But who remembers a blog that’s updated daily with fresh, interesting, and informative content? Everyone! Yay!

Be social. Any by that, I mean engage in social media. Once you post a blog, update all your social media accounts with the link so all of your followers can go read it. This is a great way to gain exposure for your blog and hopefully get more followers for your social media accounts and more for your blog, too. Everybody wins!

Add a picture. Does every blog post absolutely have to have a picture to go with it? No … but it does make reading more fun. Blogs can look a little dull and routine without an image to go with the content, so check out royalty-free sites that offer images and spice things up a little!

Be a blog troll. Yes, I said it—get out there and troll some blogs! Find blogs that are of interest to you and comment on them. Include a link to your own blog if allowed and engage in convos on a regular basis. Don’t be spammy or a non comment-leaving lurker – just be you – and you’ll start to get some people linking in to your blog from comments you’ve left out in the blogosphere.

Post with a purpose. Decide what the nature of your blog is going to be and stick with it to ensure you’re able to target a clear audience of readers. For example, this blog is going to be about blogging. Hence, a blog within a blog. All topics will relate back in some way to blogging, or content writing, etc. Whether it’s family, fitness, search engine optimization, animals, or anything else, decide what the purpose of your blog is going to be and make sure all topics you post about are at least mildly relatable.

Add some add-ons. To make your blog more user-friendly, interactive, and fun, check out,, and And reach more blog readers in all 50 states by blogging at

If you liked this post, please feel free to link to it from your own site or blog!