Archive for December, 2011

Rules for Successful Blogging…

By Robert Pagliarini

Are you passionate about something? Do you enjoy writing? Are you looking to distinguish yourself in a competitive job market? Would you like to spend a few hours a week writing about topics that excite you? If so, starting a blog may help you create a better, fuller, richer life.

If you have something to say, you can quickly and easily create a blog and start writing about it. Seriously, in about three minutes, you could have your very own blog. Time to break out the champagne bottles? Not so fast. Because any Tom, Dick, or Sally can author a blog, earning money from blogging is a challenge (but it is not impossible). In fact, there are almost as many people making a living as bloggers as there are lawyers, and there are more Americans making their primary income from blogging than Americans working as computer programmers, firefighters, or even bartenders. There are successful blogs on everything from new gadgets to gardening to Feng Shui, but if you want to be successful blogging, you need to follow these seven rules.

1. Create valuable content. This is rule numero uno. You must have something to say about a topic you are interested in and know something about. For your site to attract and keep visitors, you must provide those visitors with something worthwhile. If there were only two blogs on the Internet, you could probably get by with mediocre content. But there are millions of blogs just a click away. Your contentmust be worth reading.

2. Focus on a niche. To increase your chances of success, you have to blog about something you are passionate about and something that 10 million other bloggers aren’t already feverishly penning. Maybe you’re interested in celebrity gossip, but unless you’ve got an inside source to Britney or a unique perspective on the subject, chances are you won’t be able to offer anything to set you apart from the other million celebrity gossip bloggers. You need to find something to write about that will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, after watching the Golden Globes, Danielle Friedland was inspired to start a blog about pregnant celebrities. Her niche blog attracted advertisers such as McDonald’s and Eastman Kodak. Now her blog is under the People magazine umbrella.

3. Identify popular markets. You need a niche, but you also need a topic that is popular enough to get visitors and earn money. Blogging about adopting autistic kids from Indonesia is certainly a unique niche, and it may be something you are interested in, but even if you captured 100% of this market, your blog wouldn’t make enough money to pay your monthly website hosting fee.

4. Be opinionated. Whether you’re blogging, giving a speech, or on national TV, you’ve got to take a stand and provide an opinion. Nobody is interested in “on one hand…but on the other hand…” CYA double-talk. This doesn’t mean you need to be as obnoxious as most radio talk show hosts, but it does mean that you must clearly and unapologetically share and stand by your opinion, because, at the end of the day, your personality and opinions are what will make or break your blog.

5. Get Personal. A good blogger needs to open up. A blog needs to be more like a conversation between friends and less like a news report. Your readers want to know you. Help them discover who you are by sharing personal stories, challenges, defeats, and victories. I’ve found that too many people want to project a perfect image of themselves, but this isn’t effective when you’re blogging. Readers connect much better with “real” people — those who admit to mistakes and struggle with challenges — than they do with Mr. or Ms. Perfect.

6. Create a brand. A brand is the emotional reaction someone feels when they hear your name. What do you feel when you think about Oprah, Bill O’Reilly, Paris Hilton? You don’t have to be famous to have a brand. You have a brand right now. In fact, you probably have dozens of brands, and that’s the problem. You need to craft your own brand and communicate that brand to others. Before you write your first blog, consciously determine what your brand will be and make sure you are reinforcing that brand with each blog post.

7. Market the heck out of your blog. You have to get the word out to build traffic and a loyal following. For great marketing advice on how to build a tribe, look at Seth Godin‘s work.

Once you have a following, think about how you will monetize it. Ads? Maybe, but don’t get boxed into thinking that they are the only way to make a buck blogging. The most successful bloggers don’t rely on just one source of income. They have carefully crafted their blogs so that they provide several sources of income. And then there are other bloggers who don’t necessarily monetize their blogs in the traditional sense. They may use their blog as a platform in order to get paid speaking gigs, book deals, to sell products, or to attract the attention of potential employers. Happy blogging!

World News US

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Mastering an effortless style

By cj World News US

For the man trying to master an effortless style; this is achieved by understanding style and then creating a sense that you don’t actually pay much attention to the way you dress. My advice is don’t chase the whimsical winds of fashion. Develop your own sense of style by balancing the smart and casual aspects of your dress, mixing required formal wear with pieces of work, casual or less formal wear. You’re not just about color and textures, you’re mostly about comfort and function. You develop a carefree yet elegant style, often steering away from the latest trends in favor of traditional clothes; mixing casual accessories with formal or formal accessories with casual.  With a little practice you too can develop a simple yet individual style; using timeless garments creatively to develop a style unique to you. If done right the men around you will comment and borrow your style, the women will notice you; there are few thing more stimulating or appealing to a women then a man with style. Finally, the most important factor in determining your personal style is how do you want to appear to others. Paul Newman and JFK are two of the best examples of men; “Masters of an effortless style”. Their casual style was often perfectly executed, but still appeared spur of the moment.

Photo’s Paul Newman and JFK

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Celebrity Fashion Phenomenon

A lot of attention is placed on celebrity fashions. Many people, particularly teenagers, wish that they could dress and look like one of their favorite celebrities. While this feeling is quite common, it also leaves many others questioning why.

Explaining the celebrity fashion phenomenon it is difficult. Individuals want to look and dress like celebrities for different reasons. In essence though, there is a sense of idealism about celebrities, that they are living a life the rest of us could only dream of. Celebrities are like our alter-ego; we wish we could be just as beautiful and popular and it seems if we have what they have, we are closer to achieving our dream.

There is a downside to being so popular and well-known though. Many celebrities cannot leave their homes with out being recognised or followed by paparazzi everywhere they go. This seems to be the price of fame. However, there are many “everyday” individuals who wish that they had their own fan following or were as popular as their favourite star. Although dressing a certain way or carrying a certain handbag isn’t necessarily guaranteed to make you more popular, some people, both men and women, will go to great lengths to be seen in the latest celebrity fashion trends.

In recent years, celebrities have become very well-known for their fashion choices. Indeed some celebrities seem to be famous for not much more than that! Award shows have become all about the fashion and every star who walks the red carpet is asked “Who are you wearing?” It is considered a major coup to have your designs worn by today’s hottest star. And amazingly, cheap copies of the gowns worn at these shows are available to buy within 24 hours of the show being aired.

Finding celebrity gossip and information is becoming easier and easier. You can flip on the television and watch the latest celebrity news program or glance at the cover of a gossip magazine. But by far the biggest source of celebrity news and gossip is the internet and there are thousands of sites dedicated to exactly that purpose.

Although some might view the celebrity fashion phenomenon as an unhealthy obsession, there is actually really nothing wrong with keeping up with the latest in celebrity fashions. What you need to remember though is that just because it looks good on a celebrity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing will look good on you. While as a teenager you can get away with wearing practically anything, if you are in your 20s, 30s and beyond and still blindly following the latest fashion trend regardless of whether it suits your body shape, you might want to reconsider your fashion habits.

Also, do you really want to be seen wearing something that is instantly recognisable as being a certain brand and that a lot of other people will also be wearing? Having ‘style’ is about far more than just your clothes and it is important to dress in a way that truly suits not only your body but also your lifestyle and career.

Price is another issue. Many celebrities have unlimited financial resources so the cost of clothing and fashion accessories isn’t an issue for them, but it may for you. Of course you can dress like a celebrity if you want to, but you need to remember that celebrity fashions change regularly. It can become very costly trying to afford the “hottest” trend that may only last for a few weeks.

While the celebrity fashion phenomenon won’t be over anytime soon, you should approach with caution. Fame and fortune don’t necessarily equal good taste, so always choose clothes and accessories that are flattering for your body and appropriate for your lifestyle. Often you can find similar clothes and accessories at a much lower price, giving you the look of your favorite celebrity, while staying within your own budget and developing your own style.

World News US

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