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Guest blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert your field and can bring more traffic to your blog through search engine optimization by increasing the number of inbound links to your site.

But, only if your guest blogging pitch succeeds in getting your guest posts accepted.

I receive numerous guest blogging requests each and every day, and I’m sad to say that 99% of the pitches are a complete waste of my time to read and the potential guest blogger’s time to write.

With that in mind, here are the mistakes I see made most often in guest blogging pitches and what can be done to improve those pitches.

Guest Blogging Pitch Mistakes
  1. Failure to Notice “Guest Blogging” Links

    On this blog, there is a “Become a Guest Blogger” link which leads to a form, specifically constructed to help me approve guest post pitches more quickly.

    Most guest bloggers fail to look for these links, let alone use them, and therefore send their pitches by email.

    Much of my email tends to go directly to the SPAM folder, especially those with the Subject line, “Article Contribution”, which as you can see in the graphic below, remain unread.

    Pitches sent through my guest blogging link, have the subject line “Guest Blog Submission” and ALL of which I DO read.

  2. Targeting Blogs Not Relevant to Your Topic

    As much as this blog is about business – Internet and affiliate marketing business opportunities in particular – it does NOT lend itself out to promoting Australian lending companies. One of the recent pitches I received desired a link to the site listed in the graphic below.

    Nor does this blog deal with credit cards, debt consolidation, mortgage financing, insurance policies, dating or any of a number of irrelevant topics proposed by potential guest bloggers.

    Research the blogs you target for guest posts to make sure that they deal with the specific topics relevant to both their and YOUR blog.

  3. Using a Pre-Formatted Message

    I must assume that someone somewhere on the Internet has sold a guest blogging package with a formatted pitch, as I’ve received far too many with exactly the same text.

    Sorry to say that the folks who bought this package wasted their good money because the message does NOT convince any blog owner who does real business on the Internet to pay any heed to their emails.

    Here is the standard message that they send…

  4. Adding Contacts to a List without Permission

    Adding blog owners to a list without their permission is against the law.

    When I see ‘if you don’t want to receive any more emails, just click here, or “unsubscribe”, I know I’ve been added to a marketer’s list without my permission.

    These idiots are lucky that I just delete their emails and don’t report them.

  5. Not Including the Post/Post Idea

    So, you want to guest post on my blog? Not telling me what you plan to write about merits an quick trip to the trash bin for your email.

    When you don’t include a post idea, a potential blog article host can only speculate that you plan to write about sea turtles, heavy equipment or some other topic completely irrelevant to their blog.

  6. Suggesting Unoriginal Topic Ideas

    This blog has been in existence in one form or another since the beginning of the century and I’ve written most of the content myself. Because it has a distinct theme – Internet and Affiliate Marketing – I’ve written numerous articles about those topics with different slants.

    When a potential guest blogger suggests article ideas such as…

    • “How to Make Money Online”;
    • “How to Make Money Online as an Affiliate Marketer”;
    • “How to Make Money Online as Blogger”

    … I know they …

    • Haven’t read my basic guidelines about ‘original posts’;
    • Are (duh) trying to target ‘how to make money online’ as a keyword; and,
    • Don’t have the savvy to post a guest article on my blog.
  7. Not Including Links to Past Articles

    Any blogger who accepts guest posts on their site needs to see what you’ve previously written for either your own blog, or have been accepted as a guest blogger on other sites, to confirm that your writing style is up to par. Which brings me to the point…

  8. Having Poor Command of the Language

    If your pitch includes grammatical or spelling errors, don’t expect potential guest post sites to even respond to your idea.

  9. Harassing Your Potential Hosts

    Sending a pitch once is fine, especially if it’s done through proper channels.

    But repeatedly sending pitches to bloggers when they haven’t responded the first or second time to your emails, is a sure way to get your emails marked as SPAM, which is really bad for your online reputation.

In summary, guest blogging is a good way to become known in your industry and build a larger audience. However, your guest blogging pitches need to be thought through carefully as part of your blogging business plan. Don’t take shortcuts and respect those whom you pitch, as links from their well-known blogs may be links to your success.

Do you have comments, questions about guest blogging or experience with it? Please share by leaving a comment!

Cheers,

The post Guest Blogging Pitch Mistakes appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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Amazon OneLink allows affiliates to monetize their sites’ traffic from the U.K., Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Japan and neighboring countries all with just one text link.

OneLink automatically re-directs your international visitors to their country’s Amazon store to complete their purchase and you earn the commission on the sale.

So, if you are an Amazon affiliate who is tired of coding multiple links for your international visitors, or frustrated to be losing commissions because you don’t code additional links, it’s time to set up Amazon’s OneLink on your blog.

Amazon OneLink Setup Basics
  1. You must have a U.S. Amazon Associates account.

  2. You link your U.S. account to your international accounts. If you do not have international accounts, you must set up each one individually, i.e. Amazon Associates Canada, Amazon Associates U.K. etc.

  3. Choose between ‘Close Product’ and ‘Exact Product’ match.

    This step is optional. ‘Close Product Match’ is recommended, and what I chose for my blogs, as it increases the chances of earning a commission when the exact product match isn’t available in a country other than the United States.

  4. Copy the Amazon OneLink javascript “OneTag” code.

  5. Paste the Amazon OneLink javascript “OneTag” code into your blog’s footer.

    As I use StudioPress themes with Genesis and have the ‘Simple Hooks’ plugin installed, I simply pasted the code into the genesis_footer hook.

Amazon OneLink Advantages
  1. The code is backward compatible, meaning that the existing Amazon links on your site will also work to re-direct your International visitors.
  2. The code also works with your existing Amazon short links.
Amazon OneLink Drawbacks
  1. The OneTag code does NOT work with 3rd-party link shortener plugins and services, so you may want to re-code those links to gain the full OneLink advantage.
  2. OneLink works ONLY on websites / blogs on which you’ve installed the OneTag code in the footer. If you post Amazon affiliate links on other sites, e.g. Facebook, you should code the links to be geographically appropriate to the audience, or code multiple links.
  3. Amazon OneLink is not yet available for Amazon sites in Australia, Mexico, India, China or Brasil.

OneLink is a no-brainer for Amazon affiliates who want to satisfy their international visitors and increase commissions in the process.

Do you have comments, questions about OneLink or experience with it? Please share by leaving a comment!

Cheers,

The post Amazon OneLink: Monetize Global Traffic with Just One Affiliate Link appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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Rosalind Gardner's Blog by Rosalind Gardner - 8M ago

Are you looking for a better way to grab your audience’s attention? Get the impact you need though visuals – images, videos, illustrations, and even simple vectors can make webpages, documents, and presentations exciting and more interesting.

If you’re not a professional photographer or illustrator, don’t worry, it can be free or easy, or top quality and easy, the choice is up to you, but I would recommend purchasing stock content rather than downloading that free image you did a quick search for and here’s why…

  1. Quality. Free might sound good, but the quality and exclusivity of an image probably won’t be included. For example, iStock offers a range of top-quality stock that can be used not only online, but in print versions too. It’s a better option than a free stock download because you can have access to various sizes that help you complete a wider array of projects. From general images to very specific content (eg. a search for ‘Camping’ produces 96,573 photos, ‘Camping on Isle of Skye’ produces 85 photos). You will be able to find an image that helps you connect to a very specific audience, event, or location and one that has not been overused.
  2. Avoiding the Obvious. Nobody enjoys looking at Clip Art or bad, blue hue ‘office setting’ pictures that are meant to represent the masses. In fact, those types of images may even help drive your audience away! Paying for your stock images opens up a world of unique, quality content that will help encourage your readers to linger a while. For example, the illustration below about managing profits is targeted, beautiful, and impactful.
  3.  

  4. Cost. OK, so buying stock photos is obviously not free, however, prices are flexible and affordable, and cater to your needs. With a few credits to start out with, each download cost can be broken down into a certain amount of credits based on the size of file you need. iStock offers both Essential Collections (lowest price) and Signature Collections (highest quality), offering a wide scale of quality images for various budget sizes. 

    Credit pack options include 1,3,6,12,18, 24, etc up to 300 images (there’s even a discount on large credit pack purchases). Or if you think you will need more than a couple of downloads per month, a Subscription pack option may be the best option for you. You can buy annual or monthly subscriptions for 10, 25,50,100 or 250 images downloaded per month. Plus, if you’ve got an annual subscription or a subscription with auto-renew enabled, you can roll over up to 250 unused downloads month to month.

  5. Licensing. With free stock, there’s always a risk involved – do you really know if you’re allowed to use that image the way you want to? Paying for stock gives you peace of mind about licensing, you know the photo is yours to use how you wish without any copyright issues coming back to haunt you.
  6. Legal Guarantee. This is something that will NOT come with your free downloads. iStock images come with a $10,000 legal guarantee, so when you use content within the terms of the license agreement, there won’t be copyright infringements, trademark, intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights violations. That’s worth paying for!
  7. Branding. Once you buy an image from iStock, it’s yours to use on almost any project. Need some ideas? How about advertising, marketing, speaking events, billboards, apps, websites, social media, TV, film, homeschooling, presentations, newspapers, magazines, books, product packaging, cake decorating, etc.
Who is iStock?

iStock is a leading provider of the highest quality photography, illustrations, video clips and vector files online. Selling stock content since 2000, the library is bursting at the seams, the quality is leading-edge, and the easy to use Search and Filter options are fantastic. Being a leader in the business, iStock comes with additional member benefits and partnerships, legal rights and guarantees too- what’s not to love?

Get started today.

The post Why iStock vs. Free Stock appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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I AM SO done with asshole marketers, ESPECIALLY Canadian affiliate marketers who, while enjoying universal health care and brilliant education opportunities, take advantage of poor Americans, who do NOT have those advantages.

Just said THIS to a Canadian Internet/Affiliate Marketer on Facebook…

“What’s disgusting —–, is the fact that YOU, as a Canadian, support a vulgar, misogynistic, racist asshole like Trump and spew HIS white supremacist bullshit and hatred on the Internet.

YOU benefit from MUCH better policies than our clients south of the border, and you do NOTHING to help them find a better way of life (like we have) other than trying to suck up their dollars.

I personally do NOT accept American right-wing extremists as clients, but I’ll bet that they’re your favorites, cause they’re such easy pickings.

YOU, my friend, have NO morals.”

I am SO disgusted by rich Canadian entrepreneurs/opportunity marketers who take advantage of poor Americans, who are just trying to make ends meet in a very backward country (in 21st century terms).

Sorry… but THAT’s true.

In 2009, 58 countries had universal health care, but extremist right-wing GOP assholes in the United States have consistently refused to even consider that plan, because it’s ‘socialist’, which means ‘communist’ and you, if you have half a brain see where I’m going with this — is NOT good.

Add to that, their education system is a shambles and Betsy DeVos will make sure it gets worse… encouraging young poor Americans join the military to become cannon fodder for the Republican elite.

THAT is the Republican / right wing / GOP agenda…

Forget white picket fences, opportunities, and whatever other bullshit you’ve heard about the ‘American Dream’.. if you’re not already rich and powerful with connections in the States, you’re no better than cannon fodder.

END NOTE: THIS Canadian affiliate marketer likewise does NOT contribute to the Canadian economy, because although he waxes poetic about his White Rock, BC locale, he does NOT own his home, and therefore does NOT pay education taxes, which are deducted from PROPERTY taxes, from PROPERTY OWNERS. My guess is that he also has American bank account to avoid paying BASIC taxes in Canada.

WHY the note? Because this person’s response to anything other than pro-Trump support is “Blah, blah, blah, Hater’s Hate.”

He’s an uneducated idiot.

I LOVE people and care deeply that EVERYONE on the planet gets proper health care and education.

That’s the ONLY way forward for our species.

Basic stuff the greedy asshole does NOT get.

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When I first started blogging, I hoped that I would get everything at once. Bigger traffic numbers, wider audience, more engagement. However, many of my posts seemed to be unnoticed by both, people and search engines. What was I doing wrong? Well, many things, actually. The reality is you cannot become a good blogger (journalist, writer, or whoever you want to be) without improving your writing skills. Only after making hundreds of mistakes, you will figure out how to write the content that will get you noticed.

The good news is that with a few proven tips and tricks from my own experience, chances are you will get through this faster than I had to. Today I’m going to share with you several methods I used to boost my writing skills. They helped me, and they are sure to help you too!

  1. Typing Speed

    Let’s face it, fast and accurate typing is important, as this skill can save you a tremendous amount of time. Moreover, it can boost your productivity. Luckily, there are lots of typing classes and training software to developing this skill today, but my favorite one is Typisto. This unusual game app is just great for increasing your typing speed and improving your grammar, which is also crucial for any writer.

  2. Distinct Writing Style

    The signature writing style is one of those things every writer wants to achieve one day. However, it does not come easy and requires much of your time. Where to start? One of the methods I used at the beginning of my writing journey was imitating some of my favorite writers. No, it’s not about plagiarism; it’s about finding something you really like in other authors’ works and using it to improve your writing skills. Over time, you will start to develop your own distinct ‘voice’ and signature style.

  3. Writers’ Workshop

    These days, creative writing courses, meet-ups, workshops, and special groups for writers can be found in almost every city or small town. You can use Meetup to choose something interesting you want to join to in your area. Write something on the chosen topic, receive feedback from like-minded writers, and make your work better. It is not only a good way to boost your writing skills, but also a lot of fun and knowledge.

  4. Writing and Rewriting

    Before you start, keep in mind that writing requires time and dedication, so if you want to succeed in this endeavor, you should work hard. After all, the more you write, the better your writing skills are. First of all, create a writing schedule and stick to it. Remove any distractions and focus solely on your task. Carefully plan, draft, edit, and format each piece of writing to receive the better result. If you have any earlier works, review them to see how far you have progressed since that time.

  5. Reading Habit

    Reading more is also a great method to boost your writing skills. However, you should not read only what you really like to read. You should get out of your comfort zone and try more challenging material. It will expand your horizons and stretch your writing skills. Besides, this method will help you learn different genres of writing and challenge your way of thinking. That is why it is crucial to make reading your daily habit. After all, the more you read, the better writer you become.

  6. Specific Writing Techniques

    To become a good writer is impossible without practicing, but don’t focus on a single writing style at the beginning of your writing adventure. Instead, you should try different writing techniques. For example, include questions in your writing to engage the reader, add a more dynamic rhythm, experiment with metaphors, or do something else you have never done before. In addition to improving your writing skills, it will help you find your favorite style and develop your own writing voice.

  7. Grammar and Spelling

    Needless to say that the correct use of grammar and spelling is of utmost importance for every writer. Whether you write a blog, an article, or a novel, you need to be absolutely confident that your work is free of any mistakes and typos. Fortunately, there are many useful online tools that can help you boost your grammar skills and improve the quality of your work. As for me, I use Grammarly and Hemingway. These two make a great combination for every novice writer.

In conclusion, let me emphasize the most important point of this article: becoming a good writer takes practice and time. However, everyone can boost their writing skills if they want to. Moreover, with these simple yet effective methods I tried on myself, you can achieve your goal faster than you ever thought possible. Believe in yourself and your skills, and you are guaranteed to succeed!

The post 7 Methods to Boost Your Writing Skills: Tested appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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I get pitched several times a day, every day, by writers and SEO ‘specialists’ who want to “help me improve the visibility” of my various blogs.

Granted, with thousands of visitors per day, I wasn’t aware that my blogs had a problem with visibility, but OK, I’ll bite to see what they are offering.:-)

Sadly (for them), I ditch their pitch for one (or many) very obvious reasons 99.9% of the time. Here are just a few of the reasons their pitches fail:

  1. I have a name.

    It’s super easy to find, it’s my domain name. Feel free to use it and address me as such.

  2. Do YOU have a name?
    Then why don’t you use it? Standard business practice would suggest you have a signature line in all your emails, least of which includes your full name.

  3. Do YOU have a website?
    If so, why is your return email address @aol, @gmail or @hotmail, rather than your own domain name? Lack of a business website email address makes me wonder if you’re running a real business.

  4. Don’t try to baffle me with bullshit.
    You’ve been following my work? How so? What did you see that interested you and convinced you that I needed your help? Perhaps you might mention that ‘tidbit’ of information in the FIRST paragraph of your pitch!

  5. Don’t make me click for nothing.
    Rather than giving me a link to your pitch, which has some examples of your work, include links to your work samples in your email, so I don’t have to waste my time.

  6. Make sure your writing interests are relevant to my blog topics.
    This item should actually be at the top of the list. However, because you made me hunt for information I discover WAY too late that your preferred topic is about stocks – whereas NONE of my blogs have anything to do with investing in stocks.

  7. Learn to spell.

    Wow! A Fantastic Copywriting Affiliate Program with a 20% Lifetime Commission… I’m in!! Oh, wait. The world ‘commission’ is spelled incorrectly and you’re doing copywriting AND an affiliate program? UGH!! This does NOT bode well.

    SERIOUSLY…. Learn to spell.

    The topic could be right, but POND SHOP???? It’s a PAWN shop. Seriously, learn to spell or get a spell checker. Better yet, invest in Grammarly. Just sayin’.

If you are trying to build your reputation and business as a writer or SEO specialist, do some basic research and approach each potential client as an individual.

Cheers,

The post 7 Reasons I Ditched Your Pitch appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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GREAT news for affiliate marketers in States previously excluded by Amazon Associates.

In an email I received today, I learned that as of February 1st, Associates residing in Missouri, Rhode Island and Vermont will now be able to participate in the program.

Woohoo!

It’s not great news for Amazon customers, as in at least 10 states they will begin paying sales taxes on their website purchases for the first time ever. Tax collection begins February 1st in Mississippi, Missouri, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.

Tax collection already started in January in Louisiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Utah, and begins in Wyoming on March 1.

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!

Cheers,

The post Good News For Affiliates Previously Affected by Nexus appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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Although I’ve never been a big Panoramio fan, (prefering Flickr), a number of my friends have put all their pictures on the service.

It’s time for those Panoramio fans to move thier pics, according to the following notice….

Back in 2014, we announced our intention to retire Panoramio in order to invest our efforts into improving photo-sharing experiences directly inside Google Maps.  In response to your feedback, we postponed these plans and worked to add features to Maps that better support the level of engagement that you have enjoyed with Panoramio. Today, with photo upload tools in Google Maps and our Local Guides program, we are providing easy options for you to share your photos with an active and growing community. As such, we’ve decided to now close down Panoramio. To make this transition easier, we’ll provide several options to continue sharing photos through other services. If you choose, you can also export all your data and take it somewhere else.

Because you have linked your Panoramio profile with a Google account, all your Panoramio photos will be copied to the Google Album Archive at full resolution after Panoramio goes away. These copied photos will not use any of your Google storage quota.  However, unless you upgrade to a Google+ account, your Panoramio photos will stop appearing in Google Maps.  This is because Panoramio nicknames will no longer be supported, and all other photos in Maps are attributed to Google+ user names.

After November 4, 2016, you’ll continue to have access to your photos in Panoramio for a year, but you will no longer be able to add new photos, likes, or comments.  Below, we’ve included resources to help you manage or export your data.  You can visit your Panoramio profile to see what photos you’ve added.  If you have already linked your profile with a Google account, your Panoramio data will automatically be saved.

1) Keep your photos in Album Archive

Because you have a Google account linked with your Panoramio account, we will automatically copy your Panoramio photos to the Google Album Archive when Panoramio is retired in November 2017.

  • Copied photos will not use any of your Google storage quota.
  • If you activate Google+ on your account, then eligible images and your View Counts will be transferred into Google Maps and will be visible when you sign in to Maps and access the Contributions screen from the main menu.
2) Export your photos to a local zip file

Visit takeout.google.com and follow the instructions there.

3) Become a Local Guide to keep contributing 

To keep adding photos to Google Maps and engage with a growing community of photographers,join the Local Guides program. You can earn points and unlock rewards for photos submitted with a Google account when they are linked to a point of interest or business. Many of your Panoramio photos may already be counted.

If you prefer to no longer share your photos with Google Maps, you can delete your Panoramio photos or your entire account at any time.  

  • You can delete your Panoramio account (and photos) immediately by logging in, opening “Settings“, and clicking the “Delete your account” option.  You can also navigate to this page directly by using this link.
  • If you delete any photos (or delete your entire account) before Panoramio is retired in November 2017, that content will not be automatically copied to the Google Album Archive and will stop appearing in Google Maps.

Please see our Help Center article for more information and the various options you have to save, transfer, or delete your content. We’ve appreciated your contributions over the years and hope you will continue to share amazing photos with the world.

Thank you,

The Panoramio team

MOVE your pictures people!

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!

Cheers,

The post Panoramio to Die on November 4, 2016 appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

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