I am guessing that if you are reading this, you are a blogger. That also tells me, you are reading this because you either have heard of Gleam and are curious what it is or how it works; or you are curious if this new ‘thing’ (e.g. Gleam) is something that could benefit you or your blog. Let me introduce you to Gleam.
As a blogger who offers giveaways and a person who enters giveaways; I have found Gleam to be my favorite entry form.
As a blogger who offers giveaways… I feel it is a little time consuming to initially set up, but if you use the same entries over and over, you can copy the entries and make the necessary changes without redoing the entire form. (This is the same for any entry form I have used in the past.) Note, I said time consuming; not difficult, because it really is easy to set up. The set up reminds me of multiple choice. There are multiple choices for entries that you can choose, fill in the information necessary for that entry, and you’re done. One of the nice things I like about Gleam is that an entrant can ‘sign in’ using Facebook, Twitter, or their email. You can also have them input their birth date, making sure they are old enough to be entering your giveaway. In addition to different entry options, it also has templates set up for giveaways related to different social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
As a person who enters giveaways… I like to log in via my Twitter. Once I’m logged in, entering is a piece of cake and takes much less time than any other entry form I have used to enter a giveaway. For visiting a Facebook page, you do have to click it and it takes you to the Facebook page. Once you authorize Twitter and Instagram, all you have to do is click the entry button and it will automatically follow without having to leave the blog post. Tweeting a tweet for an entry is just as easy. One click of a button and done. I have to tell you, as a person entering giveaways using Gleam, I have become a little spoiled and actually get frustrated with the extra steps of copy/pasting my information while entering!
Have you ever gone onto one of your favorite blogs or another website and that box pops up, prompting you to subscribe via email or like their Facebook page? That, my friends, is called a capture. Gleam’s capture feature is in beta, but I have been using it for a couple weeks. I started using it after hearing many bloggers share how their subscribers increased after installing a capture; but let me tell you, finding a capture that was a good fit for me and my blog were not easy to come by! There are different captures, different layouts, different capture locations – too many decisions! I had tried a couple and wasn’t satisfied with how they look or how they acted. I ended up trying a few different options on Gleam and finally found one that fits perfectly for me and my blog. I was able to personalize it with my logo. I was able to set it up to capture what I wanted. I was able to place it where I wanted. It does what I wanted. (Mine is set up to pop up in the lower right hand corner so it does not take up the entire blog page and frustrate people. It is easily exited out of, and once you subscribe, it doesn’t return.) All in all, I have been extremely pleased using Gleam. Gleam is definitely at the top of my ‘must have blogger tools’ list!
Did you know that Pinterest boards and pins show up on Google? That means that you need to SEO your Pinterest boards too. Or maybe you just have a messy Pinterest account and you want to sort it all out but it just seems TOO overwhelming.
Mandi from Blog Assistant Media offers a Pinterest SEO service that might interest you.
Here is what Mandi’s Pinterest SEO service offers:
Take your Pinterest account to a new level with our most popular service offering: Pinterest SEO and Board Clean Up! Reorganize, refresh, and restyle your Pinterest account to attract new followers and drive more traffic to your blog! – Blog Assistant Media
If you think you could use that service well you’ll be happy to know that Mandi has offered to giveaway the service to 2 winners on this blog, free of charge! The service is worth $100 each.
You can enter to win below.
There are lots of ways to promote your blog but do not promote your blog these 5 ways.
Send an Email Asking for a Link
When blogs were new, emailing a blogger to ask if they would like to swap links in their blogroll was the thing to do. But that is so 2005. Most people don’t even have blogrolls anymore and if they do, it’s blogs they really and truly know and love. So please, do not email people, bloggers or otherwise and ask them to link to your blog, or even visit your blog.
Comment with a Link
It’s great to comment on blogs and it’s okay to put your blog url in the url section where you fill in your name, but it’s bad practice to put your url IN the comment. If someone likes your comment, they can click through your name to find your blog. Commenting, “Great post. You can visit me here at http://myblog.com” is bad practice.
Spam Your Social Media Accounts
Your social media accounts are there to help you promote your blog but that doesn’t mean that every tweet or Facebook message should be an ad for your blog. Share interesting content from other websites and blogs or update everyone on what you as a person are doing. Let us get to know the real you as well. There is nothing worse than a twitter account whose every tweet is an ad for a website or product.
Spam Someone Else’s Social Media Accounts
This should be a given but you should also not be spamming other people’s accounts. Leaving a message about where you found them from is cool but comment as your blog’s page if you want them to find you. Don’t spam Facebook walls with messages of, I followed you, now follow me back here.
Pay for Followers
Paying for social media followers is against the rules of most if not all social media platforms and is just plain wrong. Ignore any websites or emails you see about buying social media followers and gain followers and readers the fair way, just like everyone else.
So How DO You Promote? See Also:
Nofollow and dofollow: What’s the difference?
Nofollow and dofollow links look the same to the regular person. The html coding just tells Google not to use a nofollow link when deciding things like Pagerank.
PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. – Wikipedia
If you are linking to a site Google assumes you like it and gives that site more “link juice” because your site linked to it. The more sites that link to it, the more popular it must be. That is why backlinks are so important.
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page – Wikipedia
If you link to a site because you were paid to do so or received product (for a review) or because it could make you money (affiliate links) then Google doesn’t want that to count towards their rankings because it wouldn’t be accurate. If lots of people link to a site because they were paid to do so, it might make that site look more popular than it really is.
So you use the nofollow code to tell Google you were paid for the link, so please don’t use it when determining rankings. You do that by adding a little piece of code into the html of your website.
Quick HTML Lesson (skip to next section if you know basic HTML)
If you aren’t familiar with html, when you put a link into your blog, it looks something like this in html:
<a href=”http://www.website.com”>Text you want linked here</a>
Sometimes there are other pieces of code included like this one:
Those pieces of code would have to be between the < and > in order to work:
<a href=”http://www.website.com” target=”_blank”>Text you want linked here</a>
Adding Nofollow Code
A link by default is a dofollow link, without adding or taking anything away. If you want a link to be nofollow, you have to add this code in:
So a link that is nofollow would look like this:
<a href=”http://www.website.com” rel=”nofollow”>Text you want linked here</a>
Again it will look the same on the blog, it’s just in the html that it’s different.
Remember you want a balance of dofollow and nofollow links but as per Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, all paid links (including product and affiliates) must be nofollow.
That’s the very basics of dofollow vs nofollow. I hope that clears things up.
The Trick to Productivity is just to actually DO it.
This sounds like a duh but seriously, how many times do you…
- read about doing something
- think about doing something
- plan to do something
- write something on your to-do list
- try to do something while doing something else
- do something else before doing IT
- wonder if you should be doing IT
I find I get so much more done when I stop procrastinating and just DO it. It’s hard though! No I don’t need a snack first, or to adjust my music first, or plan a certain day to do it. Just DO IT.
That quote is good except for where it says intelligent planning. I don’t think too much planning is needed for productivity. When I REALLY clean my house or write a post, I don’t plan it. I just do it. When you need to do something and you find yourself thinking about it too much, remember Nike’s slogan of “Just Do It.”
Stay off Facebook and Twitter, stop rearranging your papers, getting a snack or talking to your family for just ONE hour and see how productive you can be.
Did you know that today, June 20 is World Productivity Day?
If you need some more tips on productivity I’ve written about it before including ways of blocking out distractions and tips like that. But even with those tips, ultimately, JUST DO IT!