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Reinvigorating My Blogging at Blog Engage

I built my first website in 2006. I just woke one morning and thought I should know how to build a website. I started learning HTML and then CSS. It was fun to publish to the Internet – something that has become so normal for me and many others.

Build and They Don’t Come

I was not satisfied with publishing a site that no one visited. 2006 was Stone Age in web term, no real social media, Facebook was still to dominate, Twitter was only starting and still a toddler. So how was I to promote my website, (as I thought it was great).

SEO

I don’t remember where or when I first came across the term search engine optimisation. My very basic understanding of it in 2006 was getting listed on other websites. So I did – but not just any websites. As I did not know better I emailed and begged all the top sites in my niche to add me to their links page – remember links pages?

I pursued this strategy so well the site I built was number 1 in its niche by Christmas and the site had about 20,000 visitors per month. I thought I was so smart; I have had various points in my journey thinking I was smart only to discover how much information I still needed grasp.

My early success was helped enormously by ignorantly buying an exact match domain – a stroke of luck. I added a couple more sites to my portfolio and then life changed. I moved country and had to earn money.

Becoming a SEO Consultant

By mid 2007 I believed I was able and knowledgeable enough to setup as a SEO consultant. I put up my site and started looking around for work. Again I was very lucky to find a consulting gig with an agency where I was still self-employed and could develop my own business. I learned a great deal from them on running a business and pricing services.

The above relationship ran for nearly two years and then we all fell out over money. I wanted more.

Search optimisation was much easier between 2006 and 2011 – when Panda first arrived. On the 23rd of Feb 2011 my world was rocked and many of the websites I worked on were torn apart. Along with many others I hadn’t considered the 350 words per page model stuffed with keywords. I was so busy publishing rubbish the idea of value only ever applied to my first site, which was always my baby.

Don’t become a SEO consultant. I strongly believe that knowledge of optimisation is important; however branding yourself in SEO is not a good future strategy. Looking at Google trends you can see searches for SEO peaked in 2011 and searches for digital marketing is rising rapidly – SEO by another more acceptable name.

Losing Touch and Being Anonymous

I started working for a client mid 2010, a relationship that lasted for 4 years and kept paying the bills. I essentially ended up being the out-sourced employee. That relationship finished due to changing market conditions for them. However I look back during this last 4 years at a host of mistakes I would like to learn from; and one of the main motivation for joining Blog Engage.

  • Stopping investment in my brand / business
  • Ignoring social media
  • Not developing contacts

It would have been quite easy, in retrospect, to keep building and writing blog posts. But laziness won out. I ignored much of social media and stopped developing contact – even though I enjoy helping people.

The Future

In some ways I feel like I am starting over. However I do have a few advantages. My first website is going strong and earns okay, I have a few older websites that can be built out, and my business site is still there and ranking on the second page.

I like the mix between a handful of clients and my own online revenue. There is a feeling of security to having both, it does mean splitting time and the potential of each is slower to realise.

My aim with Blog Engage is to develop contacts. It attracted me due to its size; not too big and not too small. If I can help in any way go ahead and ask – I will do the same.

About Leslie Gilmour

I work in online marketing mainly with Irish and UK companies and have been doing this since 2007. I have the pleasure of living between Prague, Glasgow and Dublin.

Another Winner, Another Month DTFP Giveaway

Hi everyone, I’m very excited to announce another winner of the Blog Engage DTFP Marketing Package Giveaway. In case you don’t know, we give away two DTFP Marketing Packages per month, we host two giveaways ending on the 15th and last day of each month.

This month our lucky winner is Suprabhat Mondal from Money Gossips. He is the winner of the following amazing services and it’s all free.

Featured Spotlight: We will write about you and your blog, feature you here on Blog Engage in front all our blog readers.

Direct To Front Page: 1 post every 24 hours will be syndicated from your blog, direct to the Blog Engage home page.

Banner Ad Rotation: We will create banners for your blog and include them into our banner ad rotator exposing your blog to tons of direct traffic from Blog Engage.

Newsletter Marketing: Blog Engage will send your featured spotlight article to our entire mailing list of over 3000 bloggers.

We are also hosting another contest for another lucky member or blog visitor to win. This giveaway will be offering the winner 1 month of our Direct To Front Page Marketing Package. This is one of the most unique online marketing strategies for bloggers, whoever wins this will see a large benefits directly to their blog readership and blog traffic.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter for your chance to win all you have is follow the guidelines above and your name will automatically be entered for a chance to win. Make sure to post a comment, say hello and what this contest could mean for you, and your blog.

Best of luck everyone!

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Community Spotlight With Jackson Nwachukwu (a.k.a The Worth Blogger)

Hi everyone and welcome to our amazing community spotlight. This week we are happy to have Jackson Nwachukwu (a.k.a The Worth Blogger) here with us and we are very excited to share his blog and story with you our members. I first meet Jackson via Enstine on Facebook. I knew right away he was going to be a good fit in the Blog Engage community.

Jackson has a really great high quality blog that I just know all our members will learn from and benefit reading and subscribing too. Jackson is always sharing his personal online experiences with his readers, both positive and negative. I feel a blog such as this would be great specifically for our new members who are still trying to find their way online.

Reviews You Can Trust

One of my favorite things about online blogging is to have the ability to read reviews about products or services prior to using them. I find Jackson offers a really great and up to date review section. He has some really fantastic online reviews and is always looking out for his fellow bloggers best interests. Thinking about making your next purchase decision then make sure to give a search over in Jackson’s review section to see if he’s reviewed that product or service.

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Real Make Money Suggestions

Jackson has a lot of experience making money with his blog, he’s even started a specific Make Money section to help his readers learn from his own personal experiences. As we all know making money is NOT easy so it’s nice to have an honest blogger out there helping the new ones and guiding them to the real ways to make money. Make sure to visit Jackson’s blog and subscribe so when he hits that gold mine, you will be the first in line to learn about it and to start making money as well.

How to Start Blogging

Are you new to blogging? Trying to understand the concept? The Worth Blogger How To Blog section will help you grow and achieve your online blogging goals. The How to Blog drop down menu has options from all sorts including, Blog Promotion, Blogging Tips, WordPress Blogging and much more.

Connect With Jackson

Like in real life connecting with other bloggers is what will helps you make a success. Building relationships is so important to your online success. Take a moment and comment with Jackson on Twitter, Facebook and Blog Engage. Visit his Blog Engage wall and send him a direct message to start the connection.

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Modern Web Design Trends For WordPress Bloggers

Working on a website’s design, many people use a large background image to impress the audience at the first sight and convey their business purposes more efficiently.

As web technologies are constantly changing, designers apply new techniques to give a contemporary touch to their sites. Following modern web design trends, they can make their platforms more effective and appealing, which will catch fancy of every visitor. Some designers resort to creative details like circles or ribbons while others try to achieve a desirable result with a proper color scheme, e.g. polychromatic, one-color or black and white. Many of them also focus on adding a large background image to designs of their platforms.

Formerly, the latter tactic was primarily avoided, as it took too long for a page to load. It pissed off many people, and they left a site before it could load. For the reason of traffic losses, many designers refused from the idea to attach large images to backgrounds of their web resources. Now, everything has changed due to high-speed Internet and screens with ultra-high resolutions. Loading a page with big pictures is much faster today than it used to be a few years ago, that’s why this trend is getting more popular in the web design community.

If you are considering an idea to give large background images a try, but still can’t make up your mind, find out below how you will be able to benefit from this tendency.

Create a Favorable First Impression

One of the most important goals pursued by every designer is to produce a great first impression on the target audience, as it determines a further course of events. Guided by this influential factor, customers decide whether to deal with a certain service provider or to search for someone else. Choosing the right background image, you’ll have an opportunity to emphasize the imagery of your website and, therefore, impress everyone who takes a look at it. Thus, visitors of your platform will have a wish to linger there and look through your offerings.

Boast of Your Products and Services

By means of large background images, it’s easy to deliver an instant message before people even proceed to reading the first line of your text. For example, you can effectively introduce your company to the audience and show your products to their best advantage. In such a way, you will intrigue customers with your offerings, which will increase a chance that they’ll decide to acquire something in the end.

Motivate Customers to Read Your Content

Using big pictures in the background, you can also drop a hint at what your content is about, which will stimulate visitors of your site to read your posts with greater curiosity. In a large image, it’s easy to accentuate some minor details that are vital for promotion of your business. With a picture spreading throughout the entire layout of your site, people are likely to examine its every corner so that nothing important goes unnoticed.

All the mentioned pros have turned usage of large backgrounds into one of the most popular trends in web design in 2014. If you believe it’s about time to use big pictures on your platform, but need some inspiration, here are some fabulous designs that will excite your imagination and help you come up with brilliant ideas for your resource.

Travel Agency

Another example of successful implementation of large backgrounds can be seen in this Travel Agency theme. Travelers who like spending their vacations at the seaside will be excited to resort to its services after they take a look at an inspirational image of starfish and seashell under the azure blue sky.

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Dating Agency

Featuring ingenious drawings, the background of this Dating Agency theme targets singles who appreciate traditional values of rendezvous like sitting on benches or walking arm in arm. The picture can add a classic touch of romance to the image of any dating organization.

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Beach Volleyball Club

The background of the Beach Volleyball Club theme will arouse enthusiasm of everyone keen on this game. Looking at a large picture reflecting fun in the sun, people will be motivated to put on shorts, take a ball, and go play with it on the golden sand.

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Night Club

Loud colors of this Night Club theme’s background can let people feel the drive of a nonstop party before they even step over the threshold of the place where it’s held. Staring at this image, clubbers will be energized to visit the promoted establishment to plunge into the atmosphere of boisterous fun there.

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Photographer Portfolio

As black and white designs will never go out of date, this color scheme has been added to the background of the Photographer Portfolio theme. Due to its successfully chosen palette and image, artists will accentuate their professionalism so that customers would think of them as of photography masters.

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Wedding Agency

To plan their wedding days, couples resort only to the agencies that can organize unforgettable marriage ceremonies. The Wedding Agency theme can easily create such an impression with the help of its beautiful background image of elegantly adorned settings.

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Premium Water

The Premium Water template is also remarkable for its fantastic background picture. Aimed at promoting water cleaners, the theme can create an impression that the company behind it offers sophisticated technology providing crystal clear water. Thus, it’ll be easy to produce a favorable first impression on the audience.

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Sea Restaurant

The last example of implementing a big picture in the background is the Sea Restaurant theme. By means of its seafood drawings, people will get an idea about the dishes served at the promoted place once they enter its web resource.

As you see, large backgrounds can dramatically enhance the visual appeal of your platform as well as communicate your message to customers more clearly. Just add a catchy picture to the background of your site, and it will ideally highlight your content. If you have any remarks about this web design trend, feel free to drop a line in the comments below.

3 Management Hacks to Prevent Employee Burnout

Every manager knows the constant struggle of keeping employees happy, motivated, and productive. Furthermore, they also know how hard it is to jumpstart a burnt out employee. Staff suffering from burnout are far less creative, driven, or productive, because they’re dealing with a frustrating and long-term emotional ailment.

Thankfully, burnt out employees don’t have to stay that way. In fact, they don’t even need to switch jobs or take time off to shake their burnout. A lot of the power to eliminate burnout lies in the hands of the manager.

Use these three strategies to keep your employees from getting burnt out and to revive those who already are.

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Give Back Control

While part of a manager’s responsibility is to oversee employees’ work, taking too much control can make for low quality work and aggravated staff. Everyone needs a little control and autonomy in their professional life, even lower level members of your team. Put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll quickly understand.

Make an effort to give each employee some independence. A little bit of extra breathing room can go a long way toward keeping everyone happy and avoiding workplace burnout.

Set Attainable Goals and Reasonable Expectations

There’s a fine line between being ambitious and being unrealistic. Granted, managers should want the best from themselves and their employees, but aiming too high can be a real detriment.

Setting goals for employees that exceed their abilities isn’t effective at motivating or inspiring them. On the contrary, it makes the work feel unattainable, too big to conquer. Consequently, working toward those goals quickly becomes a tiring, discouraging endeavor, one which will eventually lead to severe burnout.

Avoid the pitfalls of overly ambitious goal setting by keeping your expectations realistic and your goals attainable. By making each goal a little easier, employees get to taste victory in their positions a little more often – great for morale and even better for productivity.

Acknowledge Hard Work

Nobody likes being unappreciated. Regardless of working conditions – fun, glamour, pay (or lack thereof) – occupying a thankless position can quickly cause employees to feel burnt out.

A thoughtful “thank you” is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of cultivating positive manager-employee relationships, boosting productivity, and combating burnout. In fact, research has shown that employees who are recognized for their accomplishments tend to have lower levels of burnout. There’s really no excuse not to show some appreciation for the hard work your team puts in every day. Take the time to acknowledge it.

Use these three tips along with your existing management knowledge and expertise to keep your team happy, emotionally healthy, and motivated. The difference they can make might surprise you!

Image credit: Magnus

About

Carrie is an avid writer, who spends her spare time biking and hiking the Appalachian Mountain trails near her home.

Blog Engage Profile Page Improvements

I am very happy to announce the upgrade and redesign of the Blog Engage profile pages. You will find the pages are now easier to navigate and present your profile data and information in a much more attractive way. Overall it’s been a complete redesign and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

We have also integrated the Status Wall Module into the profile page unlike past options which found the data at the bottom of your profile making it inconvenient to use and enjoy.

First look to the top right hand screen of Blog Engage for the Howdy, your name link. This drop down will have a link name profile, click it and you will be sent to the all new Blog Engage profile page and design. The changes are really fantastic I’m sure you will really enjoy them.

profile

The idea here is to allow users to easily connect with one another. I find the status wall integration will help us achieve this goal. Similar to Twitter you will only see updates in this area if you are actually following users on Blog Engage. Updates on this page will include latest comments and story submissions of status updates from users you followed or added as a friend. Users you send @messages to will in fact get e-mail notifications with a link to the status update and their profile pages.

status

profile-info

One of my personal favorite upgrades is how our stories, comments, votes etc are being displayed. You will find ti all under the same area, this helps for loading pages and easier navigation while looking at your online activity. I’m sure you will also be very impressed with the new layout of our stories submitted onto Blog Engage.

profile-stories

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Boutique WordPress Theme by Elegant Themes

Last Wednesday I introduced you to the Argentum Theme by Woo Themes as a good choice for an ecommerce theme for your WordPress site. If this isn’t a good fit for your site, I have found another great theme that might work for you and its by Elegant Themes.

Don’t get me wrong, Woo Themes is a great product but their themes may not work for everyone. If this is the case and you are looking for a WordPress powered online store for your site, you might want to take a look at the Boutique Theme by Elegant Themes.

Boutique Features

The Boutique Theme is a powerful online storefront that can be integrated with some of the most popular ecommerce plugins. This great for those that already have a ecommerce plugin in place and do not want to switch to theme that is only designed to work with one ecommerce Plugin.

Unlimited Color Schemes

The themes come with several background textures and adjustable background and font colors. With these options, your color scheme will only be limited by your imagination.

Choose a Different Font

If the default fonts aren’t your favorites, then change them! The Boutique theme comes with a variety of fonts to choose from for the body of the text and the header.

Alternative Blog Layout

If you want to run a blog in addition to the product pages, you can run a blog that does not include product info.

Automated Thumbnail Resizing

The theme uses timthumb to automatically resize your images.

User and Author Ratings

Boutique has the option for users and readers to rate each product in your collection.

Advertising System

The theme also comes with an advertising management system. You can add 125×125 banners and the sidebar and 468×60 add in your post pages.

What eCommerce Plugins Work With Boutique?

The boutique works with wp-ecommerce, shopp, eshop, cart66, and simple paypal shoopingcart.

For more information or to test drive the Boutique Theme, check out Elegant Themes’ information page.

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Another One Month DTFP Giveaway

Hi everyone, I’m happy to announce the winner of our One Month DTFP giveaway.

The winner is Jackson Nwachukwu from WorthBlogger. This marketing package has a lot of value to it including some of the following.

Featured Spotlight: We will write about you and your blog, feature you here on Blog Engage in front all our blog readers.

Direct To Front Page: 1 post every 24 hours will be syndicated from your blog, direct to the Blog Engage home page.

Banner Ad Rotation: We will create banners for your blog and include them into our banner ad rotator exposing your blog to tons of direct traffic from Blog Engage.

Newsletter Marketing: Blog Engage will send your featured spotlight article to our entire mailing list of over 3000 bloggers.

We are also hosting another contest for another lucky member or blog visitor to win. This giveaway will be offering the winner 1 month of our Direct To Front Page Marketing Package. This is one of the most unique online marketing strategies for bloggers, whoever wins this will see a large benefits directly to their blog readership and blog traffic.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter for your chance to win all you have is follow the guidelines above and your name will automatically be entered for a chance to win. Make sure to post a comment, say hello and what this contest could mean for you, and your blog.

Best of luck everyone!

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.