The Top 10 Blogs For Writers: A Blogger’s Resource Library

If you need tips on how to become a better writer, you may be acquinted with Copyblogger. If you need more resources to help your writing, the following Top 10 list is sure to provide the content you are looking to read. Michael Steltzner the author behind WritingWhitePapers.com chose his “Top 10 Blogs for Writers-The 2009/2010 Winners” awards. This list can be a content library unto itself. Congratulations to Coppyblogger the winner of this years competition.

Michael Steltzner’s Top 10 Blogs for Writers

The following is Michael’s list in his own words on why he chose each site:

Copyblogger award

  1. Copyblogger: This site is the heavyweight champion of the world four years running (and one of the top blogs on the planet)!  The brain-child of Brian Clark, his blog keeps winning because of its insightful articles.
  2. Men With Pens: James Chartrand and Harry McLeod maintain the number two slot with their inspiring content and rich community discussion.
  3. Write to Done: This blog nearly always delivers a home run with its excellent articles for all writers and is the product of top blogger Leo Babauta.
  4. Editor Unleashed: Inspired by the former Editor-in-Chief of Writer’s Digest, Maria Schneider explores writing, social media and community on her excellent blog.
  5. Freelance Writing Jobs: This site is the first stop for freelance writers seeking new work and great articles (and it remains a top winner since this contest began).  Congrats Deb Ng!
  6. Confident Writing: Joanna Young delivers rich and useful articles that will help you take your writing to the next level.
  7. Urban Muse: Susan Johnston covers a wide range of excellent topics that all writers will enjoy.
  8. WordCount: Journalist Michelle Vranizan Rafter explores the challenges freelance writers face on her excellent blog.
  9. Quips & Tips for Successful Writers: A true cornucopia of ideas for writers, Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen provides endless content and freelancing tips.
  10. Fuel Your Writing: This site will certainly fuel you! Michelle Krasniak Oxman and her huge team of contributors provide great content for writers.

Create A Workshop As A Strategy For Conquering Fear of Public Speaking

A modern day speaker addressing an audience through microphones

Courtesy Public Speaking Wiki: This young man looks a bit uncomfortable?

What is the #1 fear Americans try to avoid everyday? It is not flying, not going to the dentist, not heights, nor is it reaching 30 without a wedding ring. The #1 fear for Americans is public speaking. We hate to stand up and voice our opinions in front of people. This is odd considering the “loud Americans” tag we carry throughout Europe when people think of our countrymen.

The following information will provide a strategy for overcoming the fear of public speaking and it will illustrate the benefits of creating a workshop.

Workshops: A Strategy for Beginning Public Speakers

A great strategy to overcoming your fear of public speaking is to create your own workshop. A workshop allows the creator a far easier path as a beginning foray into public speaking:

Benefits of Workshops for Creating Confidence in Your Public Speaking

1. Participation: The majority of a workshop is speaker-audience participation. This allows the audience to interact and create content for the speaker. In turn this takes some of the pressure off the speaker

2. Memorization: Unlike keynote speeches or seminars which require large blocks of information memorization, workshops only really require that an introduction and setup be memorized

3. Notes: It is perfectly acceptable for the workshop facilitator to browse and refer to their notes while presenting their material.

Workshops are a creation of your own which become a tool for both you and your audience. The original idea is to create a tool which will deliver your “value” give. The Randy Pausch “head fake learning” value is that you learn about yourself, your ability to overcome obstacles, and your willingness to put yourself “out there.”

Benefits of Creating Your Workshop

1. Research makes you smarter. When you create a workshop you usually perform research

2. Writing your workshop becomes content for your blog or newsletter

3. Establish your public speaking platform

4. Instant exposure for you and your message

5. Opportunity to receive testimonials

7. Opportunity to receive Linkedin.com recommendations

Outbound Link Strategy: Drudgereport Success Changing Perception


Courtesy the drudgereport.com

Perception in the real world is often reality. In the online world of websites and blogs it is often the rule that people rely upon to much. The perception that a blogger who provides too many links in a post will lose his audience is simply a myth. The best case study supporting this statement is the famous and very popular drudgereport.com. The drudgereport is an aggregates news feeds and links to some of the best sources available. They then position small amounts of text (description) around the outbound links. Yet with all of these pathways that lead away from the site, people flock(Alexa ranking 728) to the drudgereport for their daily fix of news.

My deansguide article (9-19-08) “Drudge Report: Proof Outbound Link Strategy Keeps Readers Coming Back” and the concept behind the article may be worth another look. The premise that most experts support:

1. Do not send your readers away from your site by providing outbound links

2. Sending readers away from your site means they will not come back to your site

3. You will be converting your readers into somebody else’s readers by linking outbound

Reality

1. Outbound linking does not mean your readers will always leave on each visit

2. Readers that leave will come back because you have established your site as a place that provides value and answers

3. Other site’s content becomes your strength as you help people find quality information

4. Outbound links will bring readership back to your site from the sites you link to

5. Time spent on your site will actually increase as readers bounce back from the outbound links to find additional information

The article published at the Business and Finance page on Reuters.com and on deansguide

Job Seeker’s Employment Campaign: Differentiate and Brand “You”

Courtesy dotdoubledot at Flickr.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article October 8, 2008

Now is the time to take action in this challenging and changing employment environment. If you are a job seeker, a soon to be laid off ex-employee, or someone simply worried about your job security, this message is for you. Your greatest strategy to employment is to utilize Web 2.0 tools, network within the Social Media system, and join the global conversation by establishing your own blog.

“Blogging to Employment” is a hands on powerful workshop that provides the job seeker the tool to showcase:

  • Differentiating Factor: Stand out from the non blogging job seekers
  • Knowledge to Expertise: Showcase your business intelligence and assets
  • Employment Campaign: Chronicle your search strategies and answer the hiring manager’s question: “What have you been doing during the past (insert your timeframe) to find employment?”
  • Writing Platform: Establish the brand “You”, improve your writing skills through practice, and create content that hiring managers want to see
  • New Skill Sets: Learn to blog and utilize Web 2.0 Social Media Systems
  • Networking: Network globally, within your niche, and to your local market
  • Google Presence: Manage your search placement by populating your top 2 pages on a Google query of your name or business name
  • Reputation Management: Respond, correct, or defend against erroneous information about you online
  • “Living” Resume: Position your blog as an extension of your resume, a landing page where you send people to view your current activities

4 Strategies to Employment

  • Scenario Solution: take on a company’s challenge, posit your solutions, or review actionable steps that showcase how you might solve their challenge
  • Promote Linkedin Profile: Place a Linkedin widget on your blog that links to your Linkedin profile; place a link within your profile on Linkedin to send readers back to your blog
  • Profile Linking: Link all your profiles on each Social Media site to one another. Also link from these profiles back to your blog
  • What Are You Doing Now?: Promote and tell the world about your employment campaign and writing by placing links on Linkedin and Twitter. Linkedin has a message board and twitter is a “what are you doing now” message board

Related Blogging Services:

Business Blogging Basics

Business Blogging Strategies

Blogburst.com: Create Your Writing Platform On a Global Scale

The example below provides information on Blogburst.com, what a published post looks like when placed on a mass media site, how to apply for membership, the value of the service, the benefits to bloggers, the benefits to your marketing efforts, and the benefits associated with building your writing platform for your business.

Reuters.com’s Finance and Business section has published the latest deansguide article describing the ongoing Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group scandal “Ed Okun Tax Group Scandal Reaching Climax: Is Recover of Monies in The Cards?”: article

Blogburst.com

If you have a stand alone blog not connected to Active Rain, if your stand alone blog has traffic numbers that measure up, and if you want more exposure for your writing and your business consider submitting your application for membership to Blogburst.

Blogburst Overview

This overview is a 10,000 foot view of how the site works and how it works with your blog. It is very benefitial as this section provides you with the reasons why this is such a fun and powerful membership for your blogging efforts

How Does it Work?

1. Guidelines: go here to learn about what Blogburst looks for in their member blogs. Information about the type of content, the news agencies that are looking at the content, timely content, fair and ethical content that does not jeopardize the publishers, and more information that will help you to determine your chances of membership

2. Tips and Selection: this criteria list is very important and it should be reviewed closely. Give yourself the best chance for inclusion by following this advice

3. Technical Criteria: this is simple and basic criteria like having a RSS feed on your blog. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row and review this section

FAQ

The FAQ section is where most of your questions will be answered as others have had the same concerns or curiousities.

Mass Media Syndication

The following is an example of some of the mass media partner sites with US and global reach:

Chicago Sun-Times

Customers include:

Countrychasehomes.com Splog Site Has Been Reported To Google Spam-Black Hat SEO Department For “De-Indexing”

One of the best hyper local bloggers in the country, sent me what could be the solution to my splogger problem with countrychasehomes.com. The solution is a link to Google to report not only spammers but Black Hat SEO and rip off artists alike.

Here is the link to Google’s Spam Report: form. If anybody is plagerizing, outright stealing, spamming, utilizing cloaking, Black Hat SEO, or sending you fake traffic from a traffic generating software you can report these activities to the one place that matters the most–Google.

Let’s see how stupid these guys really are when it comes to monitoring countrychasehomes.com. They already placed my article announcing they are a splog. Let’s see if they place this article on their site announcing my attempts to have them de-indexed aka declassified and removed from Google search engine placement.

Networking The Right Way Part 2: #1 Method to Networking Success

In our last adventure our fragile business networker was accosted by the unseamly hardsell tactics of Superman during a networking event. Superman was the epitome of the hardsell, offer nothing, talking to much, and in general acting like the blowhard we all try to avoid.

Don’t Be A Joker!

Director Tim Burton specifically refers to this image as "the duel of the freaks".

Courtesy Jack Nicholson Wiki

#1 Method To Networking Success

“Give something that others Value, give it often, and give it WITHOUT asking for anything in return” -Jeffrey Gitomer

If you give people what they value, continuously give it to them, without asking for something in return or trying to sell them–you will have mastered the method to networking success: The Give

The Ann Tardy Story: A Case Study for Giving

Ann Tardy left a successful law practice as well as her CPA business to establish Lifemoxie.com. Ann is a powerful keynote and workshop facilitator. I attended her workshop “20 Ideas To Relentlessly Self Promote You and Your Business.

The Approach: It’s All About Giving

Shortly upon the conclusion of Ann’s workshop I met her face to face and offered:

1. To give my feedback on her presentation

2. To write an article praising her work for my blog

3. To provide her a free consultation on blogging, blog marketing, and social media networking

The Rest of The Story

After staying in contact with Ann, and many communications and networking referrals, we finally had the opportunity to meet for lunch 2 months after our initial conversation at her presentation. We were pleasantly surprised with the story Ann related to us:

“I was in New York City last week as a guest presenter at a Women Entrepreneur’s Conference. An audience member approached me after my keynote to tell me that she attended the workshop because of a review she read from a blogger. That blogger turned out to be you dean and your deansguide review. As a result of your wonderful review this woman attended and brought a friend with her.”

The Result of Giving

1. Referral-Gifts: Ann has provided our Inner Architect business with 17 amazing contacts which have led to 12 speaking engagements for author Susan Hanshaw

2. Relationship: Ann has become a trusted friend and source of business

3. Evangelist: Ann is now an “evangelist” for our company and Susan’s work. She spreads the word aka viral marketing helping people understand our work

4. Reference Point: Ann is a well respected national keynote speaker with incredible name recognition. Her willingness to validate our business mission lends added credibility to our reputation and public perception

5. Mentor: Ann is walking the path we intend to walk. Her mentorship and direction have been an integral part of our business growth and expansion

Brand “You” By Establishing Your Writing and Public Speaking Platforms

“People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything-products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, and worldviews.” -Dustin Wax Lifehack

Throughout your business career if you have worked for a corporation or small company you have probably “towed the company line.” That is to say you learn the products, services, and culture inside out and you are able to repeat the benefits and features of your employer to anyone interested in listening-or not.

How Do I Brand Me?

“The good news — and it is largely good news — is that everyone has a chance to stand out. Everyone has a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark.”-Tom Peters “The Brand Called You” Fastcompany.com

1. Differentiating Factors: what is your Differentiating Factor? Do you have great experience in your niche, well known company experience, negotiating success, or any other accomplishments that help you stand out from the crowd?

What Do I Do To Brand Me?

“Politicians brand you. So do marketers-and your boss and co-workers. If you don’t take control of your brand, you’ll forever be stuck with how the world judges you.” -Diane Brady BusinessWeek

1. Writing: create a writing platform within your business. Whether you are an employee of a large firm or an agent in a brokerage begin writing.

a.) How To: write step by step guides on how to do things

b.) Lists: write top 10 lists or 5 things that will help people. . .

c.) Profiles: write about other industry professionals, your clients, or your niche

d.) Analysis: analyze your industry, a new product or service, or anything in the news about your industry

2. Vehicle to Deliver: establish a blog. This is the best method to deliver your message. If you will not write a blog then produce a weekly newsletter for email distribution as well as hard copy distribution. Trade magazines or ezines, prominent bloggers in your niche who will allow you to become a contributor

3. Public Speaking: create a public speaking-workshop platform within your business.

a.) How To: utilize your writing platform for scripts or workshop content for your speaking platform

b.) Research: your niche for effective speakers; evaluate their topics, create a list of workshops of value

4. Approach Organizations: offer your keynote or workshop for free. Speak at Rotary, Lions Clubs, industry meetings, your company, affiliates, career fairs, employment groups, schools, womens organizations, networking groups, or on a soap box in the parking lot of your local 7-11. JUST SPEAK! Get out and do it. Your practice will lead to confort and exposure

Results

1. Writing provides a constant flow of information about you, about your expertise, and it becomes your moving “living” resume. It demonstrates your ability to communicate on a level most people will appreciate. Your helpful writing give people the perception you are there to help

2. Speaking provides quick exposure and viral marketing word of mouth opportunities. Do a good job and your audience becomes your instant “commercial” to their friends and family.

10 Skills You Need To Succeed At Almost Anything: Content From A Continent Away

Dustin Wax of Lifehack

An Italian blogger in Torino, Italy, who subscribes to deansguide because he thinks we may be related (joke), sent me a link to his bookmark (digg) 10 Skills of Life You Need To Succeed at Almost Anything.” The original blogger? The mighty and powerful lifehack’s Dustin Wax.

This is the reason why I love to blog. It is the most important business and social networking task I perform daily?. Here is a perfect example of 6 degrees of separation.

A big thank you goes to my “friend” from Italy who found me on my blog directory Mybloglog. The other big thank you goes to Dustin for compiling a great list; I am proud to say that #1, #2, #4, #5, #8 have been constant themes I write about here on AR: Public Speaking, Writing, Networking, Critical Thinking, and Research

Here are Dustin’s list and my list. What would your 10 Skills list include?

10 Skills You Need To Succeed at Almost Anything according to Dustin Wax

1. Public Speaking

2. Writing

3. Self Management

4. Networking

5. Critical Thinking

6. Decision Making

7. Math

8. Research

9. Relaxation

10. Basic Accounting

10 Skills You Need To Succeed at Almost Anything according to Dean

1. Writing: Competent writing skills are the #1 sought after skill over looked in today’s educational system

2. Public Speaking: This is the differentiating factor that can push you over the top

3. Timing: There are opportune and inopportune times; it’s the people that know when who have an advantage

4. Networking: It’s not who you know but who knows you according to Jeffrey Gitomer

5. Listening: This is an ignored skill that gives you the most information. Our society is all about being heard but if you watch the Godfather–he rarely speaks but he always listens!

6. Research: Do it well and it becomes a tool to educate you

7. Brainstorming: Ideas are commodities. If you don’t stretch your imagination you lose your sense of attaining the impossible

8. Giving: Give first, give often, and give value

9. Time Management: You can’t buy it and you can’t get it back so use it wisely!

10. Athletics: I have made friends, stayed in shape, and been recognized for the sports I enjoy participating in and watching

“Hyper Local” Blog Strategy Is Realtor’s #1 Weapon Of Mass Introduction

The following is a brief description and outline for Realtors to consider when formulating strategies for their blogging efforts, considering SEO tactics, and preparing an action plan for their next generation online marketing campaign.

What Is Hyper Local Content?

Hyper local content is content that describes a community’s characteristics, assets, and overall climate. It is a method of blogging that produces a wide variety of information about a community not restricted to real estate subjects.

Hyper Local Content Topic Examples

Schools; Political scene; Dining; Parks; Festivals; New businesses; Local businesses; Concerts; weather; community services; non profits, charities; local heros; historical buildings; WiFi access; coffee houses; public transportation; city planning; sports teams; where are they now segments; and the list goes on and on

How about this for hyper local content: Realtor John Harper’s brother Craig and friends jam for fun and profit

Why Is It Important?

1. Become an expert on your area

2. Perception as community go-to source of information

3. Search Engine Optimization on multiple topics provides exposure during multiple topic searches

What Does It Mean To Your Blog?

1. Never ending source of content

2. Well rounded content

3. Internal linking strategy

4. Multiple subjects provides multiple “Guest Contributors” possibilities

5. Opportunities to provide exposure to community businesses, citizens, and policies

Hyper Local Blogging “Superstars”

1. Teresa Boardman St.PaulRealestateblog.com

2. Kevin Boer 3oceansrealestate.com

3. John Harper theharperteam.com