Tools Of The Trade
This post will be covering - LIVE! - the key points made at the Nuffnang Blogopolist Conference during Class 1: Tools Of The Trade.
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For all the key points made during each of the seven classes, check out the Nuffnang Blogopolis 2011 schedule, complete with links to each classes notes.

Class 1: Tools Of The Trade

Speakers: Nicole Avery of Planning With Kids, Michael Aulia of Craving Tech and Arnold Aranez of Mr Gadget.

Tips and points made by myself will be indicated with [Bree].

[UPDATE: For a full list of tools & resources mentioned – with URLs – see here]

Key Points…

  •  Nicole… RSS allows content to come to the reader, to do that you need to use a reader such as Google Reader.
  • Recommend to use a service such as Feedburner – a Google Product.
  • Feedburner gives you lots of data. By default FB email subscriptions isn’t activated, so make sure you do that.
  • It’s a  good tool to understand what’s happening with your readers. Eg: to see who subscribes or unsubscribes. Gives you a hint what your audience likes.
  • Have a look at how your feeds are set up.
  • Look at the optimize section in feedburner. Feedflare makes it easy for your readers to engage with the content. You want people to promote and share.
  • Full or partial feed? Partial requires you to click through – Nicole doesn’t like them (neither do I!). People sign up because they want the full information.
  • Nicole uses WP RSS footer plugin to add stuff to bottom of RSS before it goes out. You can add a link and short description.
  • Add the title of post and full blog name to the RSS footer so people know where the content is coming from, should it be scraped.
  • Important to look at your subscriber reach so you know how many RSS emails are being opened.
  • Newsletter services can be used to promote your blog. It’s direct email marketing, separate to your RSS.
  • People start a newsletter because they eventually want to sell a product. How to Launch the #### out of Your Ebook is recommended.
  • Take the time to build a relationship with your readers.
  • There are lots of newsletter services. Nicole uses Mail Chimp. Think long term what you want from the service, don’t just consider cost.
  • Test your newsletter before sending it out. Look for templates that are easy to edit.
  • Auto responders are pre-drafted emails that go out at a certain point after you’ve signed up. Great way to automatically engage with people. Eg: Offer a discount on your ebook.
  • Sign up for other emails and don’t just stick with your niche. Look at them for ideas. Nicole suggests signing up for’s newsletter.
  • Create a free download works really well in order for you to get signups. Eg: A report or PDF.
  • Let people know what they’re getting when they sign up, so it can’t be a surprise.
  • Think about your title or people won’t open them
  • If you use images, take the time to include a URL so people have something to click on.
  • Back to basics with Michael… the most popluar platforms are Blogger and WordPress
  • I heart WordPrss [Bree]
  • Blogger is pretty much “safe” being with Google… BUT… Google can control what you can or can’t do.
  • With WordPress you have full control, it’s owned by you can you have total flexibility  [So true!!!]
  • You can sell a WP blog in the future.
  • There are so many plugins for WP – plugins to add newsletter subscribe option under each post. There are plugins to back up your blog etc. There are so many!
  • Not ready for WP? At least get your own Domain name [Can’t stress this enough – Bree]
  • You can do a workaround redirecting your domain, name but it’s best to start now…
  • Own domain name looks more professional.
  • Stats? They can tell you where your visitors are coming from, the browsers they use etc. Stats also give you something to do while sipping coffee ;)
  • You can also get ideas from your next blog post from the keywords people are searching for.
  • Michael recommends Google Analytics [Bree – me too. Love the overlay feature]
  • W3 Total Cache is a recommended WordPress plugin.
  • A CDN is a content delivery network. It spreads your content across servers around the world. So visitors get the content quicker. It also means your blog never goes offline. Michael recommends It also offers an extra layer of protection from spammers.
  • Smush.It is good if you use a lot of photos on your blog post – compresses the data. If you use WP use the plugin.
  • Wisestamp is a great browser addon. [Bree – I use  it too]
  • Michael Recommends the Windows Live Writer.
  • He also likes the Click Bump SEO Plugin [Oooh, haven’t tried that :) ]
  • Now for Arnold to speak… He likes the cheeky tweets :)
  • Anyone can become a blogger, and anyone can achieve! Arnold won Best Geek Blog.
  • LG flew him to Vegas to Blog.
  • You can spend hours creating a beautiful blog, but if you haven’t done much sharing, no one will find it
  • The goal of SEO is for people to find you via a search engine.
  • Ideally you want to be top 10 of Google search.
  • SEO tip 1: Establish keywords. What keywords describe your website? Come up with at least five single or double keywords.  Eg: for his cases blog: Leather cases blog, luxury leather cases… Ideally you will find his blog via google using these search terms.
  • SEO Tip 2: Emphasise those key words – add them to your Meta Data (title, text, keywords etc).
  • Add the keyword to your title, content and tag.
  • SEO tip 3: Share your blog posts. Share it via all the main SM streams: Twitter, FB email and NOW Google+
  • Use a social bookmarking tool from sites such as StumbleUpon. You can get some good traffic and they provide links back to your blogpost. Ranking not only means having an optimised post, but having links coming back to you.
  • SEO tip 4: Review your performance regularly. Use Google Analytics. View at least once per week…
  • SEO Tip 5: Automate. It can take a lot to write a blog post. Try all in one SEO WP plugin. Install sharing options on each blog post. [Bree – there are loads of plugins for this]
  • Establish friends online who will share your posts with you.
  • SEO Tip 6: Some don’ts. Don’t just spam keywords all over your website.
  • Don’t give up!!!


>> Back to the Nuffnang Blogopolis conference schedule


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10 Responses to Tools Of The Trade

  1. I feel like I’m there now!! Thanks for this! Was supposed to be there but laying on lounge with bad back.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for this! I couldn’t attend due to family commitments but thanks to you, I feel like I’m somewhat part of the learning. Thank you.

  3. […] Email distribution and bookmarking on the likes of Stumbleupon can also be effective (“You can get some good traffic and they provide links back to your blogpost. Ranking not only means having an optimised post, but having links coming back to you” – extra notes courtesy of The Blog Stylist). […]

  4. Have just finished reading the series of articles from Blogopolis, you have done a great job of sharing the love – much appreciated!!!

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