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Google Tools to Enhance your Blog

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googleAside from Google’s Blogger platform, there are several tools you can use to enhance your blog and overall writing experience. From interactive maps you can embed in your blog pages to an online notepad to organize your thoughts and ideas, Google offers us many free tools and services which can help us blog better and interact with our readers to a greater extent.

In this article, I’ll offer an overview of Google’s  most useful services and tools to enhance your blog – no matter which platform you are using to publish your articles online.

Google Gadgets

gadgetsGadgets are small objects which enable you to add dynamic content to your blog pages, either in the sidebar, footer or directly within your blog pages.

These are similar to “widgets” which you may already be familiar with through your blogging platform (eg: Blogger, WordPress, Typepad).

There are literally thousands of Gadgets available through Google which you can add to your blog by simply copying and pasting a few lines of code. Here is a selection of the most popular and useful Gadgets for bloggers:

  • Map: Add an interactive map to your post or sidebar
  • Google Translate my Page: Ideal for readers to translate your articles into their native language
  • Multiple RSS Reader: Add headlines from your favorite blogs like an enhanced interactive blogroll
  • Day Calendar: Add the date and time to your sidebar
  • Quick Email: Enable readers to email you from your blog without having to open up their email client

To add a Google Gadget to your blog, simply browse or search the Gadget directory for the item you would like to add. Click the “Add to my webpage” button, and you will see a preview of how your gadget will appear.

You can then alter the dimensions and color scheme of the gadget to suit your blog design and preview the changes on the page. When you have finished making any alterations, click the “Get the code” button and copy the code offered into your blog sidebar, post or page.

If you use Blogger to publish your blog, it is even easier to add Google Gadgets to your layout. Simply go to Layout>Page Elements in your Blogger dashboard and click the area where you would like to add your gadget.

On the pop-up page, you will be given the option to add a Google Gadget as well as the regular Blogger widgets to your layout. Simply choose the Gadget option, search for your favored item, and add it to your layout in the usual manner.

Google Friend Connect

A relatively new service, Google Friend Connect allows you to add rich social features to your site which enable readers to interact and engage with your site content to a much greater extent. From becoming “members” to adding comments, tags and media, Friend Connect offers a range of services which can help grow a relationship with your blog visitors and develop a simple blog into a community based site.

To get started with Friend Connect, you will first need to set up your blog by uploading two core files to your root hosting. Those using Blogger may be interested to read Antonio Lupetti’s article about adding Friend Connect functionality to Blogger templates instead.

Once you have set up your site, you can choose from various options and widgets to add interactivity to your blog, including dynamic comments, a message board where readers can tag and add media, and even a log-in feature which would enable you to provide content only for registered members of your blog.

To learn more about Friend Connect, take a look at the Friend Connect pages and FAQ.

Google Calendar

calendarGoogle Calendar offers an online means of organizing your schedule. You can set up any number of calendars, both personal and public, and can choose to share your calendar with friends and family.

Many bloggers like to share their calendar with readers. One useful possibility is to offer a schedule of future posts/important events for your blog readers.

While WordPress and other platforms may offer plugins to display a calendar within blog pages, it is even easier to utilize Google Calendar for this purpose by creating a public calendar which can be embedded in any page or post (including Blogger-based blogs) using a few lines of iframe code.

To achieve this, simply log in to Google Calendar and create/edit your calendar as required. If you do not already have a Google account, you will need to create one before you can create your first calendar.

Next, choose your calendar from the menu in the left-hand sidebar and click the “Settings” link.

On this page, you need to click the name of your calendar which will bring up a page of advanced settings for this calendar. Then scroll down the page a little until you see the “Embed this Calendar” section. From here you can edit the appearance (dimensions and color scheme) as preferred and acquire the correct iframe code to embed your calendar in your blog.

Once you have added your calendar to your blog, this will update automatically to reflect each new entry and the passing of time.

To get started with Google Calendar, take a look at the main calendar page.

Google Apps for your Domain

If you own your own domain name but don’t want to pay for extra email/calendar features from your domain provider, you can utilize Google Apps for Your Domain to map your domain name to your email address, Google Calendar and more.

Essentially this offers a more professional approach to your blogging and professional persona: as most web professionals would agree, an email address like your-name@yourdomain.com is far more preferable to yourname@free-email-provider.com! What’s more, it can save you money as you won’t have to pay extra monthly or yearly fees for a service which Google provides for free!

When using Google Apps for Your Domain, Google does not become your domain host. Instead, your domain name is mapped to the Google services you choose to associate it with (for example, your gMail account. You will still manage your domain name and registration from your domain provider.

To get started with Google Apps for your domain, take a look at the six steps required for set-up on the Google Apps page or have a look at this video:

Google Maps

maps-bt-postOne feature I have personally found useful in recent weeks is integrating Google Maps with my blogs. If you have a business site, you can use Google Maps to show customers exactly where your business is based (with useful driving directions and street views); travel bloggers or local interest writers can offer their readers interactive maps to explain exactly where their articles are based or written.

Google Maps can be inserted into blog pages (or posts) or anywhere in your blog layout you choose to add them. There are many different methods you could use to add Google Maps to your blog, many of which offer unique features to tweak the appearance of your maps to the greatest degree.

My personal preference is to use the simplest option: look up the location for your map on Google Maps and embed this in the blog as an iframe.

To embed a Google Map in your blog, visit Google Maps and search for the location you wish to display. Then click on “Link” at the top right of your map. This will display a small pop-out section which includes the default iFrame code to embed this map, or a link to help you customize the appearance of your map to suit your blog’s overall design.

Google Notebook

notebookDuring the course of your everyday browsing, chances are you’ll come across sites or articles you’d like to reference in your blog posts later. Rather than keep a messy handwritten notepad or disorganized bookmarks in your browser, why not use Google’s Notebook service instead?

Using Google Notebook enables you to take “clippings”, write notes and even organize media while you are browsing the web, and organize this for later use. It’s much easier and quicker to use Notepad than other forms of organizing web clippings, especially if you make use of the Firefox extension (which enables you to organize your notes without having to navigate away from the page you are on!).

To get started with Google Notebook, simply visit the Notebook page and log in with your Google account. You can then create any number of notebooks (for example, one for each planned blog post, another for interesting sites and one other for inspiration and ideas) and organize your clippings and media for later use:

Overview

Google offers a huge variety of free tools and services which can be utilized to enhance your own blogging experience and for the benefit of readers of your blog. Here we have discussed several of Google’s most useful services and tools for bloggers, with explanations of how they can be best used in the context of better blogging.

Since all of Google’s services are (currently) free for anyone to use and hosted on reliable servers, these tools are perfectly accessible and offer greater interactivity for your blog which can in turn, help generate a wider readership of your blog posts.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Please feel free to leave your comments and opinions below.

Image Credits: Google Einstein by DannySullivan, Gadgets by jblyberg, Calendar by Joe LanmanGoogle Maps by zone41, Notebook by Marcin Wichary. All via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

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Blogging for Money: How to Increase Your Profits

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Gordon Gekko embodied blogging for money. He said what is worth doing is worth doing for money.

I agree with that idea. Not with his insider trading.

Old GG clues you in to how to boost blogging profits.

If you blog you should make money blogging because you live a worldly life.

I see monks on alms every morning here in Northern Thailand. Monks do not need money. Buddhists give to the cloth, supplying monks with food and goods. A dazzling looking wat, or temple, sits 1 minute from the house. I hear gongs each evening at 6 PM, bringing the monks to some ritual. You should hear it too; quite serene and commanding, at the same time. I love living in foreign lands.

Blogging for Money

If you live like a monk you can shun money because you shun material things and a life of leisure. If you choose a worldly life just get comfortable receiving money through your blog. Or receiving more money through your blog.

Money helped me travel to New Zealand, where I snapped this dazzling photo.

blogging for money

Money is a car, a home, my plane tickets to Thailand, food, movie tickets, all that good stuff.

Blogging for money simply helps you live your dreams through blogging.

Whether you made millions online or are in a different tax bracket the same tips apply to making money with your blog.

See yourself as being successful. Money flows from within. I see this more daily. I feel good about my prospering. Money flows to me. My outside world reflects my focus on success. Feel successful. See your blogging wins. Observe your blogging wins, success and profits expand beautifully.

1: Focus on Money Flowing to You Easily

Million dollar bloggers and billion dollar entrepreneurs believe clearly that money flows to them easily. I concur.

Money is an inner game. Money begins in mind. As Bob Proctor says; money is in consciousness.

Warren Buffet has been one of the richest people on earth for decades. He said he never doubted he’d be really rich. His belief became so.

See money flowing to you easily. Visualize it. I do this multiple times daily. I affirm freely. I feel money flowing to me easily and see money around me, appearing out of the ethers.

Money flows to me easily these days. Plus money making ideas flow to me easily. I execute the ideas. The results rock.

My blog post ranks on Page 1 Position 3 for “advanced blogging tips” super quickly. I just published the post a few days ago.

Click here to read the post:

Advanced Blogging Tips

Plus I noticed how I nailed down 5 positions on page 2 of Google for “pro blogging tips” the other day.

Why?

I affirmed my wealth, felt more and more money flowing to me easily and saw more money flowing to me easily.

Do this is you are a 6 figure earner looking for greater profits. Money is an inner belief.

2: Learn How to Make Money Blogging From Top Pros

Top pros teach you how to become successful, full time bloggers.

Top pros teach successful, full time bloggers how to make more and more money.

Study wealth acquisition from wealthy people who live their dreams. Acquire wealth. Simple and quite easy way to prosper freely.

This tip is how most bloggers gain wealth quickly. They focus on advice offered by prospering bloggers and follow it from an abundant, dream-focused, success conscious vibe.

Read pro blogs. Invest money in pro courses. Hire pros to coach you. Profit.

I learned from top pro Alonzo Pichardo to create content and let it do what it does. Have posture. Know you succeed, now. Know your content will carry far and wide.

I shared this success conscious view with my readers via this video, which Alonzo promoted to his Facebook Page:

Pros remind you success and prospering is your birthright. Top pros offer proven practical tips for prospering but share the most important mindset tips to align you with blogging profits. Listen to them.

3: Count Money Wins

Count every single money win you recall from the past few years. Making $1 is a money win. Making $1,000,000.00 is a money win. Money loves you. Money loves being recognized. Recognize money. See your wealth acquired.

Sit down right now. Count your clients, course sales, affiliate sales and eBook sales. Be thorough. Money loves if you love noting money you made.  Where your attention and energy goes, grows.

Give your attention to money you manifested to make more money through your blog. Make more money.

4: Create on Topic and Inspire

Create on topic content to inspire your readers.

Stick to your niche. Be known in specific blogging circles.

Inspire readers to live their dreams through your:

  • blog posts
  • live broadcasts
  • podcasts

always infusing your positive, can do, success conscious energy into your posts.

Me by a massive yacht during my trip to Qatar. Pretty sweet boat.

I love adding my tropics selfies to every blog post. I make sure my readers soak up my life here in this sleepy, tropical village in Northern Thailand, pausing for a few minutes during videos between advice offered. Top bloggers love my delivery because many still seek the key to freedom; I help boost their profits and free them from a successful but confining lifestyle.

I also inspire top bloggers who live their dreams vicariously through me; maybe a few even decide to up and travel as well.

As these big dawg blogging pros promote me I boost my blogging profits.

Success Is Yours by Default

You are born into success.

Success is yours by default.

Seize your heritage.

Profit through your blog.

Develop your money mindset. Your energy and focus dictate your blogging income more than anything else. Successful bloggers speak their success into existence by visualizing their good and calmly, confidently seeing their success come into form. New mind, new blog. New mind, greater blogging profits.

Go within to see a new world. Go within to change the without.

All of your blogging success is an inside game. Since you succeed by default you simply go within, see your dream life unfolding before your eyes, in your imagination, and you know it will be so.

Prosper.

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Pro Blogging Advice: How to Filter Opportunities

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pro blogging advice

I ensure that freedom is A1 in my life. Take this pro blogging advice to the bank. Literally.

Freedom helps you make more money, help more folks and feel good as your success expands. Freedom means making freeing choices all day long.

Freedom means filtering blogging opportunities according to:

  • giving energy only to opportunities promoting your freedom, success and dreams
  • giving no energy to all other opportunities flowing your way through email or Messenger or wherever

I spent a few minutes this morning making the bedroom in Thailand nice and cool. Freedom. Considering outside temps are toasty I figured having a cooler work space feels better, more freeing and helps me work from a chill – literally – relaxed, prospering energy. I had the time to do that because I only pick a select few opportunities flowing to me daily.

Pro Blogging Advice

Imagine Gordon Gekko’s line; I see 100 opportunities daily and choose 1.

I see quite a few and choose only successful opportunities that work for me and the other party.

Here I am during one of my Thailand trips.

This is how to filter opportunities to accelerate your blogging success. Give all of your attention and energy to:

  • success
  • opportunities vibing with your dreams
  • love
  • fun
  • harmony
  • peace

as you filter through:

  • pitches
  • asks
  • co-creating opportunities
  • interview requests

and you will become more successful while enjoying the ride and having tons of time offline to do what you love doing offline. Or to engineer your room in Thailand to make it cooler.

Pro bloggers save themselves hours daily and accelerate their success by only giving their energy to success and freedom expanding opportunities.

Every filter is a personal, intimate choice. If something feels fun to you, assess how you see the opportunity expanding your growth. Does it feel like it’s a way to expand your success and dreams? Seize the opportunity from a detached, chill, energy. You’ll see more success.

If the opportunity feels like it cannot expand your success then give it zero energy. Save yourself time, energy and the heavy, burdened feeling weighing down most bloggers who give more than a bit of their attention and energy to anything other than their success and dreams.

How to Filter Opportunities

Let’s say you just opened Messenger or your email inbox.

Scan the title of the first email. Within 1-2 seconds you instantly know if the opportunity moves you toward greater success and happiness and freedom. Respond with 1-2 lines if this is the case. Give no energy to any other opportunity.

If the Message or email feels like fear, give it no energy after 1-2 seconds of scanning. If it lacks clarity, give it a few seconds of scanning. If you vibe with the core message, respond. If not, release.

I tend to give most of my inbox no energy and a few opportunities minimal energy to save literally weeks of email time over years. You instantly know what to respond to and what to let go after a few seconds of scanning. We all do.

A Few Pointers

Keep these ideas in mind:

  • only pursue opportunities with positive, success-focused bloggers
  • only pursue opportunities that feel fun and freeing and success promoting
  • partner only with heart-centered bloggers
  • give your attention and energy to success-seeking newbies who literally put their money where their mouth is
  • think through how much time and energy interviews require before agreeing to do interviews with any blogger

For me, for an hour long interview, Tim Ferriss or Joe Rogan will do. Leveraging.

If not, that hour is best spent at the movies or going out to eat here in Thailand or writing an SEO-optimized post. Rest and relaxation and offline play is the foundation of all my pro blogging success. Getting a life makes you a successful blogger; you vibe abundantly by having a well-rounded, peaceful, abundant, interesting, fascinating, multi dimensional life, as all genuinely successful bloggers have.

I do not gobble up any opportunity. I clearly see if the opportunity aligns me with greater success and more successful folks because where your energy goes, grows.

This is a chief reason why I have circled the globe and lived a movie worthy life for 8 years. I give my attention and energy to success so success expands.

Success Seeking New Bloggers

Have blogging posture.

Sprint up the energetic ladder and see greater success by going to the top of your niche, networking solely with top bloggers in your niche.

Network with bloggers like Jeff Goins. Learn from him. Make an impression. Promote him. Move into higher blogging circles. Learning from the best and following their advice is a way to cut your learning curve by years.

It makes perfect sense to:

  • surround yourself only with highly successful folks
  • learn from only highly successful folks
  • align with only highly successful folks

If you seek health you seek out a highly skilled, successful doctor.

If you seek blogging health and success you seek out only highly skilled, successful bloggers.

Networking only with successful bloggers puts you on their radar, inspires you to practice writing, influences you to create and connect and you will see how your opportunity filter mirrors a pro’s filter; you learn from the best so do as the best do.

Only make room for blogging success.

Pursue success-expanding opportunities.

Network with successful bloggers.

Filter out all else.

Where your energy goes, grows.

Blogging Course

Mindset is everything in blogging. Buy my course to get the right blogging mindset.

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Blogging Mindset: 2 Tips for Increased Success

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Developing a winning blogging mindset precedes your success.

First you feel successful and count your successes, or blogging wins. Devoting your energy to success allows this success to appear in greater amounts on the worldly plane.

Blogging Mindset

Two specific blogging mindset tips accelerate your blogging success.

The first tip vibes nicely with my chill evening here in Thailand. I watched Showtime online for quite a bit. Netflix next. Earlier today I watched the Game of Thrones premier, being a huge fan of the show.

GAL

Get A Life.

Look at the featured image for this post. Me in Cyprus. Look at this image below. Me in Bali.

blogging mindset

Successful bloggers lived well-rounded lives. Successful bloggers spend hours away from blogging because freedom is the #1 blogging goal we all tend to aim for.

Earlier today I saw many of my blogging buddies excited for the Game of Thrones episode, as was I. I also observed some blogging buddies who had no interest in the show. Different strokes for different folks.

However; some bloggers pride themselves on doing nothing but blogging 12 hours daily, shunning TV shows, movies and all forms of entertainment. Most of these bloggers fail, being filled with tension, force, stress and basically having no life. Bloggers who manifest worldly success with such an approach make tons of money but miss out on life. You cannot be successful unless you enjoy a well-rounded ride because your spirit is not one dimensional.

I chose to succeed and to enjoy my Netflix, Game of Thrones, basketball, traveling and other hobbies. You can have it all but get a life to detach some from blogging, to enjoy the richness of a rounded human experience and to accelerate your success.

Develop the blogging mindset of someone who is calm, confident, knowing of their success and detached from results. Watch TV, exercise, do yoga, go to the movies and get excited about season premiers. Top bloggers play online and play offline to vibe high, to be creative and to reach the pinnacle of their niche, because their chill, peaceful, confident, successful energy says so.

GWL

Go. Where. Loved.

Go where people love you. Give your attention to love and success. Love and success expand. You accelerate your blogging success.

Example

I respond to each person who Likes or comments on one of my Facebook posts. Likes and commentors love me. Or show me love. I respond to people who show me love because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give energy to love and love expands. Success expands as love expands. Simple.

I responded to all comments on my blog. Give energy to love and success expands. Quite easy.

Reach out to successful bloggers you vibe with. Read their posts. Comment genuinely. Go where folks would love you and observe how friendships blossom.

Successful bloggers think like successes. Successes go where they are loved and waste no time giving energy to anything but love. Keep going back to where dear friends fill your well. Prosper. Simple formula.

Take care of your tribe. Befriend your readers. Bond with your customers. Keep showing love to people who show your love. Since where your energy goes, grows, the love grows as does your success.

How Living Both Acronyms Develop Your Mindset

As for getting a life, I just spent a few hours blogging earlier this morning having fun online from a chill vibe. After the blogging play I spent 4 hours out with Kelli. We enjoyed lunch here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have a life. I go shopping and eat out and watch movies and spend a few hours daily on Netflix. I also exercise and do deep yin yoga. Everything factors into my success.

Living in Fiji for 4 months factored in to my blogging success too.

Doing these things – aka having a life outside of blogging – works for me in a few ways:

  • I emit an abundant, calm, confident successful vibe, resulting in greater worldly success
  • top bloggers who also vibe success and abundance – who live rich lives offline – align with me

Observe John Chow. He is super successful. Does he work 20 hours daily? Nope. He leverages online and spends a ton of time offline, going out to eat, buying sweet cars and homes and living an abundant, balanced, rich life. He exudes abundance. He aligns with other top bloggers. No wonder why he is incredibly successful.

Getting a life helps you feel rested, recharged, calm, confident and success conscious. Perfect energy for reaching the top of your blogging niche.

As for going where loved, this is simple success energy in action. People love you and your blog. Give 100% of your attention to people who love you. Love expands. Your tribe grows. Your tribe becomes more loyal. You see more success because you give your energy to people who see you as successful. Simple. Easy too, because giving love to people who show love requires little effort.

See your success. Now.

Feel good about all of your blogging wins. If you experienced it, it is a blogging win for it brought you to today.

Get a life. Be like a pro blogger. Spend time offline. Emit a calm, detached, confident vibe irresistible to success.

Go where you are loved. Engage followers and fans on your blog and via social media. Give all of your attention to people who love you. Things will grow quite swiftly for bloggers 100% focused on engaging fans because where your energy goes, grows.

I gotta go guys; I just bought a container of fresh mangosteen here in Thailand. You should see how brilliant the skin looks. Incredibly tasty super fruit too with oodles of health benefits.

Time to enjoy this refreshing and filling super fruit.

 

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