Taking the Mystery Out of Image File Types

We all know the benefits of using images and video in our social content. And then there’s the question of what to use in eBooks, presentations, on our websites, in blog posts and more.

I’ve recently begun teaching myself how to use Pixlr to do some of my own image editing and save my graphic designer’s time for things that absolutely require his talent.

So the question kept coming up for me. Which image file type should I be saving things as?

I tried asking my designer, but I have to admit… This is something that gets those guys jacked up, and I was lost after just a few sentences…

However, when you need it, the answer comes, right? [Read more…]

5 Tools to Manage Your Social Media Content

Part of building your online presence, whether you’re an author, business owner, consultant, speaker or even an astronaut, is to keep it flowing with interesting content.

It’s all well and good to set up your profiles on each of the hot social networks out there, but then what do you do with them?

This topic came up recently in a Facebook group I’m part of, so I thought I’d share with my readers some of the tools and techniques I use to keep content flowing smoothly, even when my schedule is choppy.

Keep in mind that every social network has a different posting etiquette. Twitter, with its speed, requires more posts in a day to remain visible and relevant than, say, Facebook (although there are some studies that show that’s beginning to change to combat Facebook’s reticence to share page posts).

So, the tools I use are configured in such a way to ensure that I’m posting to the appropriate network at a pace and on a schedule that suits that social network.

That said, here are 5 tools and techniques I use for maintaining a flow of content for my followers. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Getting Hacked

Not too long ago, I was writing a blog post and including a link to a friend’s website. When I tested the link and went to my friend’s site, I noticed something unusual.

Directly below the header and above the menu bar was an innocuous line of text.hacked site

“Viagra professional scam.”

Hmm…

That seemed a bit out of place…

I immediately notified my friend, who happened to be traveling at the time, and we discovered that his site was infected.

Bummer!

It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

However, there are things that every website administrator can do to ensure their site is better protected. [Read more…]

Giving the Gift of Significance

Too often our days are filled with To Dos and appointments, running here and there, and we forget to stop and notice the needs of others. We become so focused on getting things done or on trying to pay the bills or on being successful that we forget to take the time to give back.

Participating in a mastermind group is great for many things. I’ve outlined 5 Powerful Reasons for Joining a Mastermind Group in an earlier post. However, today’s post isn’t about what you can get out of a mastermind group. It’s about the opportunities it affords you to give back. When you give the Gift of Significance to others, the rewards are immeasurable!

Take a listen to this simple story and you’ll see what I mean.

And if you have any interest in learning more about The Best is Yet to Come Mastermind Series, you can request more information here. You’ll be sent a brochure that outlines the format of the mastermind series, and will be put on a mailing list to receive more information once the dates are set.

 

What Inspires You to Create a Breakthrough Mindset?

Woman Holding the Sun in the Palm of Her Hand - Photographer unknownNo matter what you do or who you are, there are times in our lives where our own weaknesses and inabilities can limit what we accomplish. To achieve more, we need to learn something new or overcome a limiting mindset.

And it’s not just one area of our life we need to focus on. Every day, we fill multiple roles. We’re in business. We’re a friend or family member. We’re a parent. We’re a colleague. We’re a role model or we’re being mentored.

There are so many different facets to a life that it can be hard to be intentional about all of them all of the time. But it’s important to be aware of what we do well and where we can use some improvement.

I think that’s one of the reasons that I enjoy the wisdom of people like Zig Ziglar and Les Brown so much. They are very real individuals, who understand what it means to be human and to overcome challenges. Their inspiration can yield better business partners as well as better parents. [Read more…]

Researching Killer Topics Using KindleSpy

KindleSpyEarlier this week, I came across to the new tool that quickly has become my favorite new toy. It’s called KindleSpy.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, KindleSpy allows you to research book ideas and competing titles on Amazon.

Consider this, perhaps you’ve got a few different ideas for the next book you want to write. But where should you spend your time and effort? KindleSpy can help you answer that question quickly and easily.

This tool comes as a Google Chrome extension. When you use it to access Amazon, you can research any category or author page to learn vital information about the books that are selling there.

Not only that, KindleSpy can gather information about the best-selling titles in a category and show you the top five words used in those best-selling titles. With a little wordplay, you can use those five words to create a potentially best-selling title of your own.

With the information the KindleSpy shows you, you can research your various book ideas and determine which ones are most likely to earn you money. [Read more…]

5 Powerful Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group

5 Powerful Reasons to Join a Mastermind GroupAs of today, we’re half-way through 2014. Have you accomplished at least 50% of the goals you started out the year with? I know I haven’t!

I knew at the time I set my goals that they were aggressive, and it was going to take a lot of time, effort and focus to achieve them. But I chose to stretch myself instead of staying in my comfort zone, and I tied each goal to specific monthly milestones in my Sales and Marketing Plan so that I could assess my progress along the way.

Thankfully, even when we find ourselves a bit behind where we want to be, there are ways to surge ahead.

In my experience, participating in a mastermind group is key! I have never met an extremely successful person who hasn’t had a mastermind group to help them accomplish their goals. [Read more…]

Using Trello to Manage Your Activities

I don’t know about you, but a common characteristic I see in authors (and professionals, and busy people in general) is that they’re not quite as organized as they could be.

Trello logoIt’s not that they’re incapable of being organized (for the most part), but that there are so many little details they’re trying to keep track of, that things tend to fall through the cracks. It’s not intentional. It just happens.

Even when I’m doing a repetitive project, like formatting a book interior or creating a website, having a checklist of things to do so that I don’t forget anything is extremely helpful. I can focus on the “doing” instead of the “remembering what I’d intended to do” part.

Whenever I run into a consistent problem area in my life, rather than letting it remain an issue, I look for a solution. And, in this case, I found Trello.

Have you ever heard of it?

Not only does it solve my own organizational issues, but it also is a great collaboration tool! [Read more…]

My Long-Awaited Story Cartel Results

Story Cartel logoEarlier this year, I wrote about my experiences using Story Cartel, a service that connects willing reviewers with authors in need of honest reviews for their books.

I discussed my reasons for giving away my book for free and how I got more book reviews using Story Cartel.

Since the first of those posts covered my thoughts prior to trying the service, and the latter was my perspective of things as the experience was drawing to an end, I promised that I would post one final wrap-up post for those who wanted to hear the final outcome.

Unfortunately, I got busy with other subjects and never came back to pull together all the numbers that you might be interested in.

Hoping you’ll feel that it’s better late than never, I’m finally pulling that information together for you. [Read more…]

What is Google Authorship and Why Should You Care?

As content creators, we want to have our work viewed by as many eyes as possible. Getting the word out there about what we’ve written, what we’re doing, and where we’re going is important, right?

We like to think that if we create great content, Google will love us and will give us all of the credit that we’re due for being such wonderful innovators of ideas.

The sad truth is, unless you give Google a reason to know who you are, it’s not going to notice…

To put it bluntly, you are nobody to Google until you’re somebody.

Google is great at being able to judge the authority of a domain (a website) based on a number of key factors like traffic, engagement, authority, etc. However, it has no idea who you are or what you’re writing until you stand up and say “Here I am!”

That’s why they introduced the Google Authorship program. [Read more…]