Wired.com How-To Wiki Is A Blog Content Dream Tool

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Illustration by Jason Lee

One of the top concerns expressed by fledgling bloggers as they decide whether to take the plunge into the blogosphere is “How will I ever find enough to write about on my blog?” One great tool that should alleviate that problem is Wired.com fantastic and fascinating How-To Wiki. Everything from how to copy a DVD to Greening your rooftop to tapping a phone line.

Just Like a Wiki

You too can add an article of your own how to to this wiki and collaborate with Wired editors “adding to our library of projects, hacks, tricks and tips.”

1. Create an Article guidelines here

2. Propose a How-To Article here

Where To Find Additional Content Ideas

3. Search the How-To Wiki here

4. Search 500 Categories here

Don’t Miss a Thing

Sign up and register to be a wired.com member and receive their valuable newsletter

#1 Tip For Blog Traffic To New Bloggers: You Have To Become A Social Networker

If one thing has helped to elevate my traffic, provide incoming links to my pages, and make my blog http://deansguide.wordpress.com more valuable to my marketing efforts, it is social networking. The best thing a new blogger can do is become a commenting social networker in their industry blogosphere niche.

According to SEO expert Courtney Tuttle, www.courtneytuttle.com, new bloggers must perform the following:

1. Write 50-60 touches per day via email requests or comments on blog posts with your blog’s url embedded within the comment.

2. Write articles based on prominent blogger’s positions on topics important to your niche

How Do I Start?

Identify then target the top bloggers in your niche and region of the country. You can Google search the top keyword phrases for your niche

Then What?

Leave comments on their latest articles aka posts. Always remember to leave your blog or website url so that others can follow the link back to your site

Last Idea

When you find an article you like or dislike utilize the subject as a basis for your own article. Compare and contrast, analyze, compliment, or present an opposing viewpoint.

Always link to the article, preferably from a prominent well established blogger, as a way of paying homage to that person’s effort. By doing this you may then quote or copy small passages into your blog article without plagerizing their work. Always give credit where credit is due

Final Analysis

If new bloggers are unwilling to spend the time it takes to perform these “touches” and socially network in the blogosphere, their efforts to gain readership will be greatly hampered. Imagine writing great information with no audience–because that is what awaits without a action plan for social networking

Blogging Realtor’s Traffic Tip #1: Stumble Upon Tutorial To Monster Readership

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This man’s name is Jason and if you adhere to his instructions you can bring instant readership and internet fame to you and your business. Jason is one of the writers of Gorilla Sushi a mashup of “humor, politics, technology, and culture”; a valuable source of business information when the mood strikes, Jason’s “Getting Stumble Upon Traffic” is by far the richest most information packed how to guide on Stumble Upon tactics available–as always it’s free. This is a overview so please reference Jason’s article for the indepth guide for your efforts.

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The following caveat is what drew my initial attention to Jason’s work:

“While I am not an expert on the subject, I have been using StumbleUpon to market myself for over a year and half, having made my fair share of mistakes and have had a few strong successes. Most recently I received over 76,000 hits on one post over the course of a week, including over 21,000 unique visitors in one day.”

What is StumbleUpon? SU is like a moving text and video dictionary of blog and web pages you can click through at your desired pace. When you land upon a page you particularly like or dislike you may vote a “thumbs up or thumbs down” for that page. You can also set your preferences so that the pages delivered with each click match what you are interested in viewing.

In addition StumbleUpon is a community of people. Within this community you have the ability to create your own page telling the world about you and your preferences–a social networking place in the vein of a less detailed Facebook or Linkedin. SU also rates their “Top Stumblers” which in turn helps develop you and your blog within the community.

Jason’s list of “tips and tricks” are broken down into three categories:

1. Become a StumbleUpon Member: SU has nearly 4.5 million members. SU matches high quality site pages, as you click the SU icon, to your preferences as you set them on the site.

Increase Your Standing In the Community:

*Stumble often, daily if possible
*Add a Review in addition to “thumbs up” when appropriate
*Discover new, quality sites
*StumbleUpon Photo Blog It
*Stumble Quality content-finding new quality sites and giving them “thumbs up” can add to your SU community reputation

2. Write Content That Is Going To Get Stumbled: As Jason advises ” There’s no sense in devoting every word that you write to the cause of Stumble fame but keeping SU’s potential in mind when composing a post can increase the likelyhood of getting multiple Stumbles.”

Types of Posts That Do Not Fare Well:

*Link dumps
*Personal posts require interest in the writer something the reader will not have developed
*Series Writing if it is not a one off or self contained then it will not work in this format
*News if it is not relevant in a month then it will not have legs

Types of Posts That Do Fare Well:

*How to Guides or Instructional type posts
*Detailed Posts with links, lists, pictures, something that appears to have taken time to build
*Poignant Posts that make a powerful point in a succinct, short manner
*Visually Interesting posts that bring pictures or artwork to life

3. Submitting Your Content: Writing a quality post is the best formula for Stumble success but here are a few tips Jason adds to help move the process forward.

*Use a Stumble Button on every post
*Place a Stumble Button in your sidebar to support the community
*Link to your StumbleUpon profile-placing it in your about page is a good spot
*Write a Post about StumbleUpon
*If you use Feedburner use the Stumble It FeedFlare

The following are crucial Tactics and Tips, regarding submitting content, which require more detail that can be found in Jason’s article:

*What and When
*Asking For a Discovery
*Your Vote
*The Bandwagon
*The Dark Side

Jason’s advise is simple  “Write something worth while and it will get Stumbled. Let the traffic come to you in a natural way otherwise your efforts will look spammy and garner you a negative reputation.” As always content quality is king-write well and they will come.

Top 20 deansguide Articles In 2007: Part 1 “Eclectic And Traffic”

My blog deansguide began as a suggestive challenge from one of my best friends and mentors Patrick Kitano. Pat made two visionary posits:

First the blogisphere will change the face of media as we know it. Second blogging will become “citizen journalism” leading to “radical transparency” and a new connectedness never before seen on a global scale. You were right Pat. Thank you for your help!

Consequently, Part 1 of deansguide year end review takes a look at the top 10 articles by traffic and buzz created in the blogisphere. Part 2 will take a look at the top 10 articles written about the real estate industry.

With little fanfare but much pride Part 1:

1. Hearst Mansion: “Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing–$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!” This was by far the most read article on deansguide in 2007. It was one of the shortest. Sometimes big things come in small packages. In the month of December this article has been viewed 1,009 times with a grand total since it’s publication, July 10, 2007, of over 6,000 views. Thank you all.

2. Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angels 50th Anniversary This was deansguide’s first article on March 30, 2007. It was my most eclectic and well read post until “Hearst Mansion.” Hell’s Angels vs Mafia in a who is more dangerous who is more honest-you might be surprised with my answers. This article averages 500 views per month.

3. “1031 Advance”: Private Exchange Company Missing In Action In Silicon Valley This is the firestorm article that started it all for deansguide. This article was the initial spark into the 1031 Exchange fiasco and rip offs that have shaken the industry to it’s core. My tip, from a very well connected source within the title industry, helped me announce the sleazy unannounced fly by night closing of San Jose based 1031 Advance- an Ed Okun holding. Just check out the picture of Michael Douglass as “Gordon Gecko.”

4. One of the 350 Victims of Ed Okun’s Bankrupt 1031 Exchange Tax Group Speaks Out: “The Most Compelling Case Yet For Action to be Taken!” This article launched deansguide as a conduit of information and a place for victims of the Ed Okun disaster and the Donald McGhan Southwest rip off to communicate. The driving force behind this communication is Elizabeth Callanan one of the 350 victims still awaiting a settlement.

Elizabeth has provided information that is vital to the awareness of events surrounding the settlement of this case. Her story is a sad cautionary tale and one that has averaged 400 views per month since it’s publication. Thank you Elizabeth!

5. Ode to “Chili Eye Charlie. . . November 11, 2006 In what was the most difficult yet most satisfying deansguide article to date, Ode to Chili Eye Charlie was my final farewell to my best friend the victim of throat cancer. Charles Barry Henderson died after a swift and painful fight for his life of 7 weeks. This article was meant for me and for those who have lost friends or family to cancer and live the pain on a daily basis.

Chili Eye was a former Hollywood special effects coordinator, back lot knock around, army veteran, and Harley enthusiast who lead a wild life with a compassionate conclusion–after years of searching he found his purpose in life and made good on it!

6. Tips for Maintaining Positive Energy written by author and inspirational speaker Susan Hanshaw, this article has found a huge following within the educational environment. It has been viewed over 2,500 times in the last 6 weeks with the majority of traffic originating from colleges, universities, and school district web sites nationwide.

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It is a compelling and instructional message that will help you reset your mind and focus going forward for 2008.

7. Breaking News–US Trustee In 1031 Tax Group Case Answers JPS Capital: “JPS Is Not Currently Offering $148 Million To Okun And The Creditors” This article was the culmination of the Joel Shapiro JPS Capital–Jerry McHale United States Trustee for the settlement of the Okun case saga.

This article invoked the kind wrath of Mr. Shapiro, the hearty thank you from Mr. McHale, and interest from Forbes magazine associate editor Michael Maiello. Thank you gentlemen for your input and communication.

8. Will Universities Adopt Blogging aka “Citizen Journalism” To Help Mold Perception and Create Their Brand? This article was both fun and serious. It outlines the stupid waste of student funds and UC Berkeley operating funds on a firm hired to provide branding and marketing expertise. I wrote a scathing review of why administrators should have utilized student, department, and faculty brain power in creating a branding strategy. Instead the school spent $200,000 on a contract that could have easily been handled by the aformentioned, created a slick hands on project for grad students, and created a Web 2.0 marketing bonanza for incoming applicants.

One of the most ridiculous decisions? Paying a consultant, $25,000, to change the name of Boalt Hall to U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

9. SRV: “Lookin back in front of me” In Step With Life In a very well received article, I examine legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. It’s a reminder piece that you must go and see that artist, musician, friend who inspires you. Go now before they are gone. Long live Stevie Ray-king of the machine gun rapid fire riff.

10. When a Stranger Calls: Rumors, Innuendo, and Whispers What Is Going On With The 1031 Disasters? This article pays homage to my “secret” tipster from Miami. The sinister nature of the street sounding, enforcer was enough to heighten my awareness as well as my own security. Traced to a cell phone in Miami, I only heard from my “deep-throated” friend 3 times. One of those instances, my source was right on the money a week before the announcement. This article was one of the top 5 views of the year.

The “F Shape”: The Most Important Concept in Creating and Maintaining Blog Traffic!

Blogs, aka Web logs, are revolutionizing internet marketing especially in the real estate market. A very effective concept in creating a successful blog is the “F Shape” a common reading pattern people employ to read a blog article. Real Estate Tomato’s Chris Hotz wrote a fantastic article on the “F Shape.”

“A recent study using eye-tracking equipment demonstrates how internet users navigate their way through search engines, websites and online data. After tracking how 232 users read thousands of web pages, one common attribute became apparent, an F-shaped reading pattern. This pattern is characterized by three common attributes:”

3 Common Attributes

Attribute #1: People reading your articles will begin by reading in a horizontal left to right movement across the top of the site. This becomes the top line of the “F” pattern. Consequently this is usually the “Headline” area.

Attribute #2: People read-browse down a bit and then move left to right across the page. This pattern fills in the lower section of the “F”shape and is usually where a writer wishes to make their “Killer Opening” statements.

Attribute #3: People will browse the left side of your article in a vertical up and down pattern looking for “Keywords.”

What Does The F Shape Theory Mean?

According to Hotz, this pattern teaches bloggers that readers do not read “everything” written in an article, the first two paragraphs of an article should contain the article’s most important points, and keywords need to be employed at natural breaks ie. bullet points-new paragraphs-sub headers-bold sentences.

The goal of most bloggers is to write articles which inform, provoke thought, and create return readers to the blog. By studying the “F Shape”, bloggers will have a better understanding how to make this concept a reality.