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Topic: free blog

Free WordPress Theme

WordPress is an Open Source Blog Package.  I write about it occasionally, but really should more often.  I spend a lot of time playing with WordPress, customizing it, setting it up, etc.

One challenge is always to find good Free WordPress Themes.

WordPress Themes are a package of templates, images and style sheets that you upload to a specific folder and unzip.  Then you can activate it and customize it via the admin interface of WordPress.

So via Twitter I found this Free WordPress Theme called Apollo today – please note that I have not installed it yet, but is looks very clean and nice.  I am looking forward to giving it a try.  Go look at all the great layouts and they even provide a bunch of generic logos.

I have paid for good themes in the past.  I do not mind doing that, but with more and more quality free themes coming out, the days of paying for a theme seem numbered.

Internet Marketing

10 Internet marketing Secrets the experts don’t want you to know

  1. Free Blogs and Websites can improve your internet marketing results a lot.
  2. WordPress is a great Internet marketing tool that is free, other than hosting.
  3. WordPress has great free Internet marketing and SEO plugins.
  4. The Internet Marketing Formula is simple and not an all or nothing proposition.
  5. Good, regular writing is important to internet marketing success.
  6. It is easier to get results with affiliates that are active instead of developing new people.
  7. Employee Evangelism can super-charge your internet marketing.
  8. Capturing relationships is critical – Use email marketing.
  9. Use open source – It is unlikely you need big custom development projects.
  10. Internet Marketing is most successful when you build an audience of people that respect you and want to hear from you.  That is hard to do with an old-style business website.

Bonus: Sure twitter seems silly, but it is generating great internet marketing results at times, and takes very little effort.  You should use it once in a while.

Free Blog Software

Amsterdam servercluster in its own rack I frequently get asked about the many free blog software options that are out there.

First, let me explain something.  Free blog software is not the same as free blog hosting.  I have never used blog software that I have had to pay for.  WordPress is free to download and install on your server.

Where people get confused is whether to pay to host their blog someplace or to use a free blog platform like wordpress.com or blogger.com.

Both places will host your blog for free.  The issue is ownership, customization and security.  When you set up a blog, you want to be able to truely build an audience that keeps coming back for your valuable information.

The issue with the free blog hosting options is that they can take down your blog any time they want.  If they believe you are spamming or abusing their system, they can simply remove your blog.  Also, while wordpress.com is free, it is not free if you want to customize things more.

To avoid the risk of losing all your hard work, you should host your blog on a web host.  This gives you full control and you cannot be shut down as long as you are not breaking any laws.

Does that mean you should not set up free blogs too?  Absolutely not.  Go ahead and set up blogs on those free sites.  Write summaries of your posts on your main blog and use those free blog sites to send traffic and links your way.

Remember, free blog software is not the issue.  Owning the space and developing an audience is how your blog will succeed.

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Z-List Update

A while back I wrote about the z-list, which has vastly improved my technorati ranking.

Chris Brown did a new version of the list with descriptions and I thought it was simple yet valuable, so I am reposting it here.  Thanks Chris.

—————————————

Thanks to Gavin Heaton, Sharon Sarmiento and Becky Carroll for creating the full Z-list as a Download Zlist-categorised.doc or Download zlist_by_category.xls.

Calico Monkey
Focuses on the ToonBoom software to create animation.
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Art-focused, including thoughts on the art that Tammy produces.
Woolgathering
Looking, thinking, drawing, being
World Blog Collection
Blog listings categorized by type; goal to add 1000 links in ’07.
Blogging Secret
Part personal but mostly blogging related site.
Blogging to Fame
All aspects of online business from SEO to usability and blogging.
Blog-Op
How to improve your blogging by Chris and others.
Daily Blog Tips
Tips to improve your blogging from tools to design.
Mike’s Money Making Mission
Making money using free blogs.
One Reader at a Time
One blogger’s experiment in building and engaging with online communities.
Ruminate this site
Reviews blogs and sites so that we don’t have to.
SMogger Social Media Blog
The ethical use of social media for bloggers and other web users.
SuccessCREEations
Blog Consultant bringing the twin passions of business and blogging together.
Successful Blog
The legendary Liz Strauss, blogger extraordinaire and creator of the SOB award.
Troy Worman’s Blog
Focus on writing, ideas and connections
Copywriter’s Crucible
The importance of copy in corporate blogging
Copywriting Tuneups
How to measure reading effectiveness and why it is important in the blogosphere
Dipping into the Blogpond
Blogging about starting an Internet company in the Sutherland Shire.
BrandSizzle
Broad and deep insight into the branding process.
Own Your Brand!
Blog to help businesses re-imagine their brands.
The Emerging Brand
Corporate branding blog focused on leadership.
The Engaging Brand
Using technology and marketing knowledge to improve business communications.
What is Brand?
Japanese readers/speakers? Anyone?
Presentation Zen
(Site in English) Tips for great presentations, marketing, and business communications.
Bob Sutton
Discussions of “jerks” in business.
Perspective
Health, wealth and the freedom to choose. Archived blog. New one is jugaad (http://www.nitibhan.com/jugaad).
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full
Views on business life.
Simplicity Mary’s Blog
Business development, marketing troubleshooting
Funny Business
Wide ranging discussion on business with a funny and pictorial approach.
Creative Think
Fun Ideas to stimulate your creativity.
The Copywriting Maven
marketing and SEO copywriting tips.
Brain Based Biz
Tips for stirring creativity in business.
Experienceology
How to create great customer experiences on the web and in the “real” world.
QAQNA
Business blog on call centers, quality assessment, and customer service.
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
The irrepressible Tim MasiGuy Jackson and Co’s slant on bicycle marketing.
MineThatData
Tips for database marketing from the viewpoint of a DM wiz.
Design Sojourn
How to do good design and create clever products.
aialone
Design, innovation, as well as Jon’s cartoons!
Frozen Puck
Making cool stuff with expensive toys
Africa Unchained
Discussing issues and solutions in Africa.
Energy Blog
News, information and updates on the Energy generation industry.
Movie Marketing Madness
Marketing with a focus on Hollywood. No info on About page.
gDiapers
Corporate blog discussing environmental issues.
Time to Budget
How to gain financial freedom by controlling your finances.
Soloride
A project raising awareness and funds for children with dyslexia and learning differences
Girls Swimsuits
The name says it all, new site, small archive.
Home Business Wiz
Collection of resources about home business.
Working at Home on the Internet
Home business entrepreneurs and making money from home
Kristie T
Fun, mom-geared work-at-home tips and advice on making money on the net.
Asia Inspection Community
Blog for Inspection Engineers based in Asia. Includes job board.
Employment Law Colorado
Resource for employers and employees on Colorado employment law
Leading Questions
Real life leadership, organisational tranformation and practical tips for leaders of all kinds.
Steve Olson
Chronicling one family’s quest for personal freedom.
Make It Great!
How to take your life from good to great by focusing on relationships.
You Already Know This Stuff
Reminding us all that what we need to know is already in our minds and hearts.
HolyMama!
Funny perspective on life from a stay at home Christian mom.
My Marrakesh
Expatriate American with an eye for style, architecture and good living
Gangster Sonny
Fascinated with all things mafia … from movies to weapons.
Talking Story
Management and leadership, Hawaiian style.
AENDirect
Freelance art director’s view on creativity and advertising
Being Peter Kim
Personal insights from the depths of Forrester (note: this is his personal, not Forrester, blog).
BizandBuzz
Brand building and marketing from an Italian perspective
bizsolutionsplus
A passionate and respected author, marketer and activist.
Blog Till You Drop!
Marketing, advertising, branding, blogging
Branding & Marketing
Designed for business professionals with an interest in branding and marketing.
Business Garden
French readers/speakers?
Buzz Canuck
Passionate exponent of word of mouth from Canada.
Buzzoodle
Creating buzz with word of mouth marketing.
Christine Kane
A recording artist, Christine harnesses the power of community to reach her audience.
CKs Blog
Clever strategies, the new best practices, and the smart marketers behind them.
Conversation Agent
Connecting ideas and people—how talk can change our lives
converstations
Known as the blogging yoda (for insight not looks), Mike is a conversation generator.
CrapHammer
Marketing using new media.
Customers Rock!
Marketing the customer experience; its importance for businesses.
Diva Marketing
The Diva herself, aligning technology, marketing and branding for businesses.
Dmitry Linkov
Everyday and business issues
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Where strategy and passion collide
eSoup
Productivity, marketing, web media, small biz development and other stuff entrepreneurs ought to know.
Flooring the Consumer
Improving the consumer experience, particularly in flooring (carpeting)
Get Shouty!
Digital strategy and thoughts on blogging.
Golden Practices
Thoughts on marketing for professional services firms, including lawyers and CPAs.
Hee-Haw Marketing
There is no box. New media marketing strategy thrown together with a few cuss words and a dash of panache.
Hola! Oi! Hi!
Thoughts of a Brazilian newly arrived in the US with a marketer’s point of view.
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
A marketing-business oriented blog on website development.
John Wagner
News and views on marketing, advertising, media, PR and grass-roots communications
Kinetic Ideas
Marketing tips, ideas, strategies, and musings for small businesses.
Logic + Emotion
The intersection of marketing, brand engagement and experience design. How to turn your passive consumers into active brand participants.
Marketing Hipster
Online oriented blog on marketing and web 2.0 tools.
Marketing Nirvana
How corporate marketers can leverage the web & social media for better results
Mindblob
Using alien intelligence to follow the path of ideas as they come to life.
Multi-Cult Classics
Musings on Multiculturalism in the Ad Industry and Beyond.
Nick Rice
Marketing strategy combined with creative thinking and design.
On Influence & Automation
A marketing and technology blog
OTOInsights
Corporate blog focusing on using technology to create and sustain customer conversations.
Pardon My French
Online strategy and marketing with great case studies of real projects.
Pow! Right Between The Eyes!
The importance of surprise in business
Purple Wren
Tools and techniques for communicating life through print and images.
Servant of Chaos
Gavin’s rant on the world of branding and storytelling.
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Musings on marketing and related ideas.
Small Business Blogging
Using web media to market your business
Tell Ten Friends
Marketing using new media to make connections.
The Branding Blog
Branding principals, opinions and prejudices he’s developed
The Experience Curve
Social media and marketing from an experiential point of view.
The Instigator Blog
Entrepreneurial focus on marketing, ideas and building your business
The Marketing Minute
Expert insight into marketing and branding. And Drew loves Disneyland.
The Viral Garden
Mr Community leads the way in using technology to create conversation.
Two Hat Marketing
Views on targeted marketing.
Unconventional Thinking
The art and science of growing businesses
Viaspire
Marketing and Communications consulting firm blog
Popcorn n Roses
Movie industry blog with reviews and musings.
Current World news
“Breaking” news across a couple of categories. Small archive.
Choice at Your Fingertips
News and tips for making money blogging. No archive.
Blogtrepreneur
How to be an online entrepreneur and also build community!
Can I Make Big Money Online
Tips for making money online including research, design and blogging.
Dosh Dosh
Trying to source legitimate methods for making money online.
Internet Bazaar
Tips and ideas for making money online.
Kumiko’s Cash Quest
Trying to make money online and sharing the experience.
Million Dollar Experiment heads Down Under
Can thinking positively make you a cool mill? Rob hopes so.
Quest to make money on the internet
Currently up to £128, this site makes money by letting out its posting space.
Above Popular
Motivated to make the world a better place.
Critical Fluff
Ranks various things in life with mulligans, crabapples, and pineapples.
Forged Euphoria
Some sponsored links.
OrbitNow!
Miscellaneous musings
The Sartorialist
Photos of fashion on the streets, geared to inspire designers.
Bullshitobserver
Politics and commentary.
New Millenium PR
Bringing business, branding, marketing and PR together.
The New PR
Public relations in the online world.
Carpe Factum
Blog that focuses on the things you need to do to accomplish things. Especially big things.
Work, in Plain English
A design and marketing focused blog on project management. Interesting mix!
turned out
Minister blogging to connect everyone with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Evolution…not just a theory anymore
Creation vs evolution, commentary and archaeology by an independent scholar.
SEO Blog
New site on SEO and use of blogs to improve rankings.
Flee the Cube
Starting up a small business in web design.
Community Guy
Online and offline community building tips and tricks.
A Free and Decent Blog Host
Technology news focusing on blogs and blog software
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Changing the world with little bits of knowledge
Connected Internet
All things to do with technology, mobile phones and gaming.
darrenbarefoot.com
Tech news, writing and marketing
Deepak
Focuses on the technology of the Internet and loves Google.
MapleLeaf 2.0
Tech news stories relating to Canada
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Musings on technology, IT management, and online community.
Small Surfaces
Interaction design, user interface design, user experience, usability and social trends related to mobile devices.
TechBuzz
Tech new and reviews written by 17 year old in India. Awesome.
Masey.com
Design and photography blog.
Through the Lenses
Travel/photography blog includes stunning shots and photography tips.
Travel And Vacation On Blog
Lightweight travel guide/destination information on selected cities. Needs more.
The Best Guides to eCommerce with Favor
Viral marketing tools, memes and SEO tips.
Web Metrics Guru
Web analytics, in particular for blogs
The Future of the Web
Use of new technologies for the web.
Social Media on the fly
Learning social media on the fly
http://asyuu.asablo.jp/blog/
Japanese readers/speakers? Anyone?

Making Money with Blogs

If you have not figured it out yet, Blogs are a good marketing tool. Blogs can also make you money.

If you want to be see how much money a blog can make you, read this cnn article.

Thanks to Dan Barker of Barker Software & Consulting for pointing it out to me.

Before you think you are going to get rich with your blog, consider some things.

  • It takes a while to build an audience, unless you are Guy Kawasaki.
  • Millions of blogs are being created. The good thing is most will fizzle.
  • You have to enjoy writing every day, or pay someone else to.
  • While their are free blog sites, you should pay for one. I have been trapped here at blogger for a long time because I do not have the time to migrate.

Making a little money with blogs is not hard. Generating leads and speaking engagements with your blog is not hard. It does take time and you should keep in mind that the people in those articles are the exception. Start your blog because you love to write, you are passionate about the topic and you want to be seen as an expert on your topic in your industry. You might be making money with your blog in a year, but have realistic expectations in the beginning.

10 No-Cost Tools to Create Buzz on the Web

Here are ten no-cost items that you can use to create some buzz online and meet more people. It takes more than signing up, you have to think about what the people using these tools will be likely to notice.

  • Blogger [http://www.blogger.com/] – Free Blog Service that will get you noticed if you create regular, quality content on focused topic.
  • Squidoo [http://www.squidoo.com/] – Build an expert lens and focus people to your site.
  • Del.icio.us [http://del.icio.us/] – Social Bookmarking for your sites and resources
  • Digg [http://www.digg.com/] – Publish an IT related resource and watch the buzz grow in this social rating system for news.
  • Shoutwire [http://www.shoutwire.com/] – Another social rating system but the news topics are broader.
  • ODEO [http://www.odeo.com/] – Make podcasts and share them with the world.
  • PR Web [http://www.prweb.com/] – Send free press releases out to the world. Pay for higher ranking if desired.
  • LinkedIn [http://www.linkedin.com/] – Build and network with your extended network.
  • Yahoo Groups [groups.yahoo.com] – Join a group that interests you and participate.
  • Email - There are plenty of free emails out there. Email is a powerful tool. Make a habit of researching and emailing one person per day that you do not know but would like to. People do not mind email from a stranger as long as it is personal and well intended.

While all of these tools are free, they do require an effort on the part of the user. Just like the Buzzoodle system, it only works if you work it.

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 10

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization.

Buzzoodle Buzz marketing Challenge # 10

15 Minutes. How do you create buzz in 15 minutes?

Since this is our last Buzz marketing challenge, this one is under 15 minutes, but per day several times a week. Decide what you are good at and become a world wide expert. It is not as difficult as you think.

  • You can develop a free blog on Blogger and post several times per week.
  • Create a Squidoo Lens
  • Write articles and post them to online article directories.
  • Submit articles to magazines and newspapers.

It does not have to be job related. Even if your organization is full of experts on Poodles and video games, you are going to meet a lot more people than if you would have kept your expertise quiet. And any communication you have is a potential buzz opportunity.

Happy Buzzing.

Guerrilla Marketing and Buzz Marketing

How does Guerrilla marketing and Buzz marketing compare?

Guerrilla marketing is usually low cost or free marketing that promotes the product or service in a creative way.

Buzz marketing can be inexpensive or very expensive in an effort to create something worth talking about and generating lots of word of mouth.

Buzzoodle Buzz marketing combines Guerrilla marketing and Buzz marketing by utilizing businesses employees and other advocates to create word of mouth and buzz in a guerrilla fashion.

Example One: Employee Email Challenge

Buzzoodle often challenges employees to follow up with people they have not talked to recently and see how they are doing. Imagine if a company of 500 people followed up with one more person each week. What if signatures in those emails were made to sing and get noticed?

Guerrilla marketing Tactic: Email is cheap and no one is less productive sending one email more each week.

Buzz marketing Tactic: Five hundred people more per week hear about the company. Soon people notice a difference. Your company is friendlier, more responsive, better connected.

Example Two: Employee Blog Posts

Buzzoodle encourages active online participation of employees with computers and internet access. What happens if every employee starts either writing a blog or commenting on other people’s blogs? Much higher visibility, inbound links and curiosity about the company. Plus the public feels your company is more accessible.

Guerrilla marketing Tactic: Free blogs and comments have no cost. Time to post on them is minimal and they will create more visibility for the website.

Buzz marketing Tactic: With so much more visibility on the web, people will notice the buzz and start paying attention. One of the most powerful aspects of Buzzoodle Buzz marketing is when people start seeing your company name and message in various places.

Example Three: Better Networking

Buzzoodle encourages every employee in an organization to understand the power of word of mouth and start becoming better networked. Some will do this better than others, but everyone increasing their network, even by just one new person a month, adds value to the company.

Guerrilla marketing Tactic: Utilizing free events, and employees networking in their free time allows a company to get greater value per employee and helps the employee be more successful in the future.

Buzz marketing Tactic: Some of the people that employees meet will be well connected and enjoy talking about the company and the people they know. Once a few of these people know people at your company, they will create incredible buzz about the products and services you have to offer.

Example Four: Write to a Media Professional

Buzzoodle encourages employees to reach out to their favorite authors, radio hosts, reporters and TV anchors. Send them email or letters of ideas and praise. Be sure to mention where you work.

Guerrilla marketing Tactic: Inexpensive and can result in huge visibility if your company is talked about in the press.

Buzz marketing Tactic: One quick email can result in a jackpot of PR if you end up in the news or on a well known author’s blog.

These are just four examples of how Buzzoodle challenges employees to create more buzz for the company they work for. It is part Guerrilla marketing and part Buzz marketing, but most of all it is just plain smart. Find out more: http://www.buzzoodle.com

If you knew the buzz was coming on Oprah

Our friend Laura Leggett found out a new MLM product is going to be featured on Oprah soon as part of a self development book. She asked us to set up site that could get her out in front of the buzz, so we did a quick, free blog for her. Low cost and the chance to capitalize on something big. How fast can you react to something if you know buzz is coming?

Arbonne Buzz Blog

Online Lead Generation