Archive for June 2010

LinkWithin Review

I mentioned trying linkwithin a few posts ago and I've neglected to write a follow-up post.   Here goes: 

LinkWithin gets a definite "thumbs up" from me.  I've been following my stats, and LinkWithin has definitely breathed new life into my blogs.  Sometimes it even causes me to go back and look at some of my old posts I've long since forgotten.

It has been great from a technical standpoint, too--the widget has worked flawlessly on all of my blogs.  I'd recommend it for anyone who has been blogging long enough to build a collection of articles.

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Here's a service you may be interested in:

Here's the way it works: 

1. You can click here and sign up. 

2. Put their code on your website.  The best place is under the content of the blog posts.  This is the least intrusive but also encourages people to click on the banners.

3. You can add your own posts into the system.  You'll have to provide them with an image related to the post (you'll have to be able to give them a separate url for the image).

4.  If your post is accepted by the moderator it will be added to the system.  Some of the post I've added have received thousands of hits. 

I've used this with some success over at my fitness blog.  The key is to give them posts/images that are attention-getting:  something people will click.

2leep is not for every blog.  It wouldn't work on my personal blog because I don't have anything there that is viral in nature (and I couldn't add anything like that without completely changing the focus).  But some of my post over at my fitness blog are a good fit (like pictures showing extreme weight loss). 

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Crush It Gary Vaynerchuk (Review)

Here's a first for Beginner Blogger Tips--a book review and recommendation. I just read Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion.

Gary Vaynerchuk explains how he used the internet and social media to expand his business in this fast-paced, easy-to-read book (I read it all in one afternoon).

I'll point out just a couple of things I liked about it:

First and foremost, I liked the motivational component.  Vaynerchuk explained how is family moved to the USA with very little and learned to succeed through hard work.  He also argues that now, as never before, there are ways for us regular, non-celebrity types to make a living based on our passions.

I also liked the practical information.  This author talks a lot about using the Internet and social media to network and get our message to the masses (there were a lot of really practical ideas here).  He doesn't present this as some "get rich quick" scheme.  He argues, in fact, that you'll have to put a lot of work into being your own boss.  It won't necessarily cost much money, but it will cost time and energy.

Vaynerchuk also explains "personal branding, " a concept I didn't quite get until I read this book.  He basically argues that your "brand" is your reputation, your passions, etc--the overall persona you project through whatever outlets you choose.   In other words, it is the overall "package" you present to potential employers, advertisers, business partners, etc. 

This is a very helpful read--especially for bloggers.  It encouraged me to keep going with my fitness blog, where I teach people the best way to build muscle and and get in shape.  This is one of my main passions in life. 

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Rapid Site Check

Here's a pretty cool website I found:

It allows you to check page rank, backlinks, and other information--without and annoying captcha.


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Adgitize--12 Bucks a Month

I just noticed a new deal over at Adgitize.

The cost is only 12 bucks a month if you buy a year at a time.  Considering the number of impressions you get, this is a really good deal. 

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iPad Review

 It’s time for me to write my humble iPad review.

Before I get going, let me tell you a little bit about myself (and explain why I decided to try the iPad).

I’m not really a hardcore tech geek, so you’ll be disappointed if you are looking for that kind of review. I’m just a blogger who happened to switch to Mac a couple of years ago. I don’t have an iPhone or an iPod touch—this is my first time to use this kind of device (I do have a couple of iPods, but that’s about it).

I was intrigued by the idea of something I could use to watch videos, read digital books, check email, and surf the internet—something a little less cumbersome than my MacBook.  

The Apple store was sold out, but I found a brand new 16g Wi-Fi model on craigslist and bought it.

I loaded it up with videos before a long flight. Having my own personal video player made the trip (and layovers) much more palatable. The screen does tend to show your reflection, especially in well-light rooms. But I found this wasn’t hard to deal with—I just adjusted my viewing angle a big. The viewing was even better in the dark interior of the airplane.

The kindle application was one of the main selling points for me. I’ve thought about buying a kindle, but it seemed like a lot of money to shell out for something that just allows you to read books. I wasn’t even sure I’d like this way of reading in the first place. But reading this new-fashioned way was easy to get used to. I’m about halfway through one book I bought on I haven’t really used iBooks very much, but I did find an ESV Bible for free.

The iPad is pretty easy to use for reading emails and websites. The touchpad keyboard works pretty well for typing out a few lines (enough for twitter, etc). I would need to buy the external keypad if I really wanted to use it for blogging, etc.

Like other users, I found the iPad’s battery can go for about 10-11 hours (just a guestimate). This is another plus for the before-mentioned long airplane rides.

I found this device to be easy to use, even though I’m a newbie to touch screens.

Conclusion: The iPad gets a “thumbs-up” from me. It will not replace my laptop, but I didn’t expect it to.

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