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by Diane

Why is it Important to Disclose your Affiliate Relationship?”

January 26, 2011 in Blog Education by Diane

Having a game plan as a blogger, also means knowing when to be able to adapt your plans for whatever reason.
The business of Ethics, Blogging Ethics
Case in point, I had intended to continue with the series Having a game plan today, but because of a question being asked on the Megatraffick.TK forum, I have decided to answer Dorothy Sander’s question here.  Dorothy by the way, is a very cool lady who owns the Blog Aging Abundantly.  she is a great writer which will either inspire you or will give you food for thought.   That by the way was my plug for Dorothy and my disclosure is ” I am not getting paid to say nice things about Aging Abundantly and my association with Dorothy and her blog comes from just liking her/it
Disclosure..an interesting topic that is being talked about by many people and most recently by Danny Brown on his blog.
Yesterday on MegaTraffic ( a ning forum that I like going to), I had posted about Danny Browns post titled “Why Affiliate Vendors Need to Start Taking the Rap“.  to me it was a very important post not just to bloggers but also the vendors who should be telling their affiliates to make sure they disclose what they are doing.
In that forum Dorothy wrote: “I have a question: Why is it important to disclose your an affiliate relationship?
It was such a good question that I decided to answer it here, rather than on the actual forum.
Funny enough back in 2008, On Success BlogNet I had written a post on the very topic of disclosures, which I then updated this last November (2010) The title was “Disclosure Policy – A Tool – A Necessity!” and while this post is an important read and to my way of thinking a necessity, it does not answer..at least not properly, Dorothy’s important question “why?
So here is my answer Dorothy ( long and drawn out – lol, but I got there).   To me it is important to disclose what you are doing because it gives you credibility, it gives you authenticity and it is showing that you are being transparent in all that you do in your blogging life.   In plain and simple language it is all about ethics and being professional.
From the standpoint of a blogger, here is a great explanation about what this all really means to you Dorothy and to everyone else who is blogging and was done by Whitney Hoffman on her blog Reading Whitney on Oct 6,2009.
This is a longish post by the way, but a MUST read to fully understand the scope and the meaning to understanding about endorsements and disclosure.
In part what she says is: no longer as bloggers can we go around saying this or that and get paid for doing it (or be given gifts) and NOT SAY ANYTHING  We need to be and act as  professionals just like any big time company.
“The whole point of having FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials is to try to ensure truth in advertising, so that if the typical consumer sees an ad on TV, in a magazine, or online, they are aware it is an ad, and that the information contained within it is reasonably truthful and reliable.”
When you become an affiliate in any way, then just  do the right thing, disclose, disclose….DISCLOSE!
Have I explained well enough… Do any of  you have any questions?

by Diane

You Need a Game Plan ( Part Two)

January 20, 2011 in Blog Thoughts, Blog Tools by Diane

Sometimes I think having a game plan is pretty much like being a teenager asking “what do I want to do with my life” with so many choices and directions it can make a persons head swim!
It is the same for blogging
For those of you who have a blog and are focused on your niche or topic, congratulations and I encourage you to keep reading to get further ideas to help you with your game plan.
For those of you who  are still saying… “I want to be a blogger” or”I kind of know what I want to write about” or “I have a blog but I dont’ know where to go with it” then read on
Being a blogger with a game plan means having the end result at the very beginning.
With that being said here are a few questions to ask yourself
1. Do you enjoy writing? Its not such a silly question as you might think.  Not everyone is a writer, in fact some people hate writing with a passion and yet are very successful bloggers.  For myself, I tend to write in two ways…one as a researcher/lecturer( writing facts and giving information) or I “visualise” in my mind that I am talking to somebody (you)just having a conversation about something.  For others blogging means using images to convey their topic and then there are the people who vlog( creating video blogs) or audio blogs.  there are many choices and you need to find out which would work for you.
2.I know you have heard this so many times..but – Do you have something that you are passionate about? Keeping the game plan in mind means knowing that you will be able to write about something for a long time – that it will hold YOUR interest, never mind your readers ( did I just say that? well it is true!)
3. Are you blogging to make money? Well… it was nice talking to you!  Seriously here is a reality check for everyone..If you are starting a blog to make money, you are going to fail and worse your game plan will be in ruins before you even start! I am not saying that you cant create an income with a blog, but it takes a lot of time and the competition is going to be fierce!  Get your priorities straight at the very beginning and that is content, consistent content and even more content with a lot of connecting to others via social networks, learning new skills and other methods to get yourself noticed.
ok  enough of the lecture..onword with a good game plan
You have answered the question of why you are blogging and you have an idea of what you want to blog about, but you really cant see the forest for the trees in terms of  where you want to go with your blog niche.  What has helped me is brainstorming , either with others or writing things down, but there is another way that might be of use to you. create a Mind Map!
A great definition to explain a mind map can be found at Wikipedia
Basically “a mind map is a  is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.”
I have to say that brainstorming using mind mapping tools are just very satisfying and visual.  They can be used for so many ideas or projects.  When you type in a search “mind mapping tools”  You will get oodles of places to look at, but to give you a starting point I have picked three (3) services to get you started:
Mindmeister mind mapping tool
Quickly build your own mind maps using our intuitive, award-winning interface – absolutely no learning required! Access them online whenever you like, export them to other formats, or import your own existing maps. All you need is a standard web browser, no plugins or additional software required.” ( Free and paid services)

“Mind42 is a free online mindmap collaboration tool.  Keep track of all your ideas,whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world. browser based online mind mappMind42.com is aing application”


“Wise Mapping is the web mind mapping tool that leverages the power of Mind Maps mixing new technologies like vectorial languages (SVG and VML) and the power of the whole Web 2.0 concept. No pluggin required.”
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Well thats it for today.  Come back tomorrow and I will share with you how to keep your game plan going with blog set up, categories and other such methods.  As always your thoughts and your view point is needed to help me with my game plan ;-)

by Diane

21 Blog Interview Questions

March 8, 2009 in Blog tips by Diane

See full size image

While there are many ways to add content to your blog, today I want to talk about blog interviews.
Blog interviews are a fantastic way to create linking for yourself as well as to the person that you are interviewing.
While this may sound simple, many people hesitate to go this route, simply because they don’t know what to ask, how to ask it and where to find people to interview.

Where to Find people to do blog interviews:

1. Friends. In the different social communities or forums that you belong to, there are sure to be those people whose work that you admire. Ask them! People really do like talking about themselves as well as the work they are in.

2.Bloggers that you are following. I am sure that there are those blogs that you follow day after day for a variety of reasons including keeping up with topics in your niche. By interviewing these people, you have created a good resource for your niche, you have also created important linking for yourself as well as your fellow blogger.

21 Questions to ask in a blog Interview Read the rest of this entry →

by Diane

Alexa Ranking – A Great Conversion Strategy

February 12, 2009 in Blog Tools, Market your Blog by Diane

Alexa- User Reviews,Traffic Rank and site Info

All businesses that have taken up online marketing aim at improving their conversion rate. Now, there are different ways of attracting targeted traffic. Some go for a good place in the SERPs, others like to know that their site receives heavy traffic. Either way, everybody has this goal of achieving financial success.

But, while scoring high with Google may seem to certain business people the only way to make themselves known and thus reaching their goal, there are others that think that a good place in the Alexa ranking system might benefit them just as well.

What is Alexa Ranking? Read the rest of this entry →

by Diane

Explaining Bandwidth in Simple English

January 29, 2009 in Blog Education by Diane

How many of you have ever seen this message when you have gone to your blog to post an article?

509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

Trying to figure out how to explain bandwidth to people is not easy, considering how everything is very  technical.  So I searched around asking different people to help me come up with a way to explain in words what is bandwidth ,what is exceeded bandwidth and what can be done to save yourself from having to see 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded.

Tim Southernwood the CEO of this site as well as BlogNet Awards came up with this analogy.

“Compare it to a funnel. As long as the amount of liquid (data) flowing through the funnel isn’t so excessive that it flows over.. all is well!

If it flows over..you’ve exceeded bandwidth  – it’s a drain on server resources and accounts are structured with specific allotments for obvious reasons. So those with the most information flowing carry a greater share of cost.  If you exceed your allotment, your site is disabled until the flow is reduced, or the pipe (your bandwidth) is enlarged (increased).”

For those of you  who would like to know more about  bandwidth and the speed of bandwidth I found this great article by Leo Notenboom that you should read.  It is called ” What is bandwidth?”

One simple way of reducing your bandwidth is by minimizing the size of images. By minimizing the size of your images, whether by resizing, cropping, or altering quality settings, this method will result in a direct decrease in bandwidth.

If you have other tips or tricks, then be sure to let us know :-)

To Your Success,

Success BlogNet  Team