Syndication: Extending the reach of your blog.

You write to be read … correct? Here are a few simple tips to reach as many readers as possible.

extend the reach of your blog

Your Feed

Make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog feed (RSS). This will ensure they see new posts promptly and don’t have to visit your blog to read them. Offer your visitors subscription options, e.g. via a reader or by email.

blog feed subscription

Automate Twitter

Set up your feed so  that your Twitter account automatically tweets a link to your new blog post. This is easily done using Google’s Feedburner .  To optimize the effectiveness of this make sure this is not the only use of your Twitter profile!

Automate Facebook

Configure your Facebook Fan page so your blog posts are automatically posted there.  There are various ways to do this either using the Facebook Notes function or an app like Social RSS or networked Blogs.  It is amazing how many additional readers you will get via this approach.

Automate LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another great social network which can be automatically setup to display your blog posts. Log in to your account and select > edit profile,  scroll down to applications and click > add an application.  You will be presented with various apps,  if you have a WordPress blog select the WordPress, all other blog select Blog Link.

Syndicate your RSS where ever you can

There are many sites which allow you to syndicate your blog content e.g Technorati, Blog Catalog and even Amazon has opened it’s door for you to syndicate your blog to the Kindle.

©: 2011 Chicago Web Designer

Tips for Going Paperless

Since moving to Chicago I have made a concerted effort to go completely paperless. It was driven by a sheer horror of the amount of paper work that had built up over 10 years in business and a huge desire not to pack it all into boxes,  transport it all and then never unpack it. Who’d have thought a web and graphic design business could result in so much paperwork? So I purged big time,  my recycling bin overfloweth,  my shredder over heated and eventually kicked the bucket.  I pared down my paperwork from a huge ugly filing cabinet/cupboard, to a single, well organized draw. I gave away the unsightly filing monster so I could not revert to my old ways. It was so ugly the only person who wanted it was a scrap metal merchant.

Now five months down the road I am sticking to my guns and feeling liberated. Here are some of the things I do to keep the paperless system in smooth running order

  1. Sign up for paperless statements and  billing.  From utility companies to telephone providers. This has saved me a ton of unwanted paper and some companies will actually give you a credit for going paperless. Setting up accounts is generally a simple process and most offer an archive of statements, billing history etc, so it is easy to find everything and look up past bills.
  2. Organization. Just as a paper filing system works best when maintained in well thought out folders, the same is true for a paperless  system. It takes very little time to set up computer folders but is essential to have an effective system. Setting up email folders is a great way to keep track of automatic payments and statement alerts.
  3. Don’t download everything. When I first started my paperless campaign I felt the need to download every statement/invoice etc and file them away in my carefully crafted computer folders. But what is the point of filling up my hard drive when I can quite easily access everything I need via the accounts I set up online. Now I only download and file what is absolutely necessary.
  4. Backup. I backup on an external hard drive.
  5. Don’t print anything out unless you absolutely have to.

© 2011 Chicago web designer

Are you all blogged out? Chicago Web Designer’s tip of the day

If you are blogging for business, pleasure or both there will be days /weeks, when you come up empty in creating that next killer blog post. Welcome to Bloggers Block .
blogging block

Here are some of the tips I use to keep those creative juices flowing.

  1. Keep a running list of blog post ideas and add to it frequently – skim over your list and pick something that appeals to you.
  2. Think about recent interactions with clients. What types of questions have they asked. Can they be worked into a blog post?
  3. Got a new client, launched a new project or service? Blow your own trumpet and blog about it.
  4. Flick though a magazine or newsletter relevant to your business, industry or organization. An image or article may be all the inspiration needed.
  5. Member of any social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn? Check what’s happening with your friends/followers.
  6. Get away from your computer. Sitting in front of a blank “New Post” screen desperately thinking of something to share is not conducive to ideas. Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, crank up your favorite music on your ipod.
  7. Find inspiration from the natural world…everything from systems, processes, life cycles, shapes color, texture
  8. Lastly don’t sweat! While posting to a blog regularly is important missing the odd day or even week is not the end of the world.