Archive for February, 2010

Blogging for Small Businesses

Feb
25

It’s something that I do for my job and something that I enjoy talking about with others. And apparently, after three years of doing it, it seems I am now in a position to share a little of what I’ve learned.

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed on this topic by Vanessa, the community manager at Partnerpedia. You can find the podcast here, if you’re interested in hearing me spout off about blogging and what everyone should consider before jumping into the blogosphere waters.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, I wrote a guest post for the BlogWorld blog about…you guessed it…the importance of small businesses blogging. I respond to the most frequently asked questions and objections that I hear when it comes to the topic of getting a business blog started.

(Also? If you’re on the fence about attending the BlogWorld conference, our company has been there the past three years and consider it one of the most important things we do.)

So, if you’re still wondering why your business needs a blog, between these two pieces, I have plenty of reasons. And only one of them rhymes with ‘boogle’.

Saving for a more Lijit day

Feb
22

Yesterday marked the start of America Saves week. If you’re like most Americans, this is one observance that probably passed you by. It’s not that we, the people, don’t like to save money (we don’t) but it’s more about how much we like to spend money (A LOT). I’m not just talking personally here. According to research, less than half of all Americans (41%) save regularly and three-quarters of households carry debt.

So what can we do to ready ourselves, and our bank accounts, for the worst?

Simply put, start saving. Whether you’ve set up your online bank account to automatically take money out of checking and put it into savings or you’re putting cash away into a piggy bank, the most important step is the first.

Additionally, that first step can also be the most difficult. For some people, saving money is more about living a frugal lifestyle than putting away a set amount each month. If you can shave a couple of dollars here and there on grocery bills, paying off credit card debt suddenly seems like a much more possible goal to achieve.

Fortunately, we have quite a few Lijit publishers who are currently blogging about how they’re saving money.

Take advantage of the wisdom of this group (Saving with Shellie, The Deal Fanatic, Canada Mom Deals, Bargain Hunting Moms, My Frugal Lifestyle, Saving in Akron, In Good Cents, BargainBriana, and Frugal Femina) by checking out the thrifty advice they offer.

And feel free to take advantage of the fact that all of the above publishers are using Lijit search to find even more money-saving tips.

Happy saving and here’s to your retirement!

In Search of the Sexy & A Book Giveaway

Feb
12

This is a special Valentine’s Day guest post from one of our most Lijit publishers, Kristen Chase. She blogs at both Motherhood Uncensored and Shredheads. We appreciate her support and her sense of humor.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the sex-related Lijit searches on my blog, and not just because I’m a sex columnist who recently penned a book about sex.

It seems there’s no shortage of folks searching for sex on the Internet. I can only imagine the disappointment when they click on the link for “sexy boobs” and find themselves at my mom blog.

But with Valentine’s day this weekend, the search for sex is pretty timely. Whether you’re a mom, dad, or a parent of pets, the “sexy” can still be pretty elusive thanks to busy schedules, lack of sleep, and well, life in general.

So why not use February 14th as a catalyst for change? It doesn’t matter if your battery is dead and needs a jumpstart or you need to trade-in your old junker of a libido for a newer model. Instead of the overprices flower fest and cheesy card exchange, invest in something that will sustain you way after you’ve eaten that entire box of Whitman’s chocolates.

And then save your searches for something more important, like mysterious body ailments and politician sex tapes.

**GIVEAWAY RULES**

To win an autographed copy of Kristen’s book, just share your funniest (and/or sexiest) Lijit search term in the comments and Kristen will pick her favorite. We’ll be running this giveaway until February 18th, at which time a winner will be announced. Only Lijit users are welcome to enter. So if you’re not using Lijit, get on it.

For tips, tricks and a little libido butt-kicking, check out “The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex”, Kristen Chase’s frank and funny new advice book. You can also read her bi-monthly sex column and listen to her weekly podcast “Morning Sex with the Mominatrix”. Or just search “Brad Pitt pubic hair”.

SurveyGizmo: Create Surveys Easily!

Feb
11

You’ve been told that it’s important to know about your audience. What audience? Oh, you know, just all those people that are visiting your site to read your fantastic content. With Lijit stats, you already have some of that information right at your fingertips. But let’s say you want to find out something specific about your readers or ask them a question…maybe you want to find out what they think you should be writing about or what color they think your theme should be.

Enter SurveyGizmo. And yes, they are another company here in Boulder that we love.

Founded in 2006, SurveyGizmo emerged to fill a gap in the survey software market between high-priced market research software and online tools that did not include the required flexibility or features to conduct complex surveys. They quickly found their niche and have been growing ever since.

But how can SurveyGizmo help you as a blogger? Simply put, you can use their software to understand your audience further by gathering data about your readers with surveys, polls and forms.

SurveyGizmo can act as a dynamic contact form for your site. For example, this embedded contact form on the SurveyGizmo site is an example of a super easy way to collect detailed contact information that you might be interested in. If you notice, as you click on each radio button, you can see how the contact form changes to accomodate each request type, and generally helps SurveyGizmo users gather more useful information about the people visiting your site.

Also, bloggers can choose to poll their readers about what content they’d like to see more of, such as this example…

The best part of all is that SurveyGizmo gives you a free trial so that you can test out their software on your own. With a variety of different plans available, from the most basic to the enterprise and dedicated levels, there’s sure to be something there to suit your surveying needs. And, should you run into trouble, SurveyGizmo’s customer service and support are top-notch.

Check out what our friends at SurveyGizmo have to offer and let them help you to understand your readers better!

Publisher Spotlight: Crumple It Up

Feb
9

When we saw an interesting blog called Crumple It Up create a Lijit account, we weren’t surprised. That kind of thing happens many times every single day around here. But when we looked closer and realized this interesting blog just happened to be representing a very large health insurance company, well, that was a surprise.

Crumple It Up has been creating amazing content designed to help motivate and encourage a healthy lifestyle. From their posts about corporate wellness to their suggestions of apps that can assist you in reaching your fitness goals, it’s obvious that Crumple It Up is on to something. We just wonder how a health insurance company went so long without having a blog.


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How to Apply For & Use Lijit Ad Tags

Feb
5

Lijit Ad Tags are an easy to install option for displaying targeted ads on your website or blog. In this video I’ll show you how to do it.

Lijit Website Design Updates

Feb
5

This month we launch another major update to the Lijit website.  We are rolling out a new design that focuses on what you want: more engaging, useful content based around your search results and ad revenue.  At Lijit we want our data to be as accessible and useful as possible, and with the continuing improvements to our website that is a major focus.

Changes this round include a new navigation style for the header and footer, home page and profile, along with a new color scheme and styles throughout the site; all of which fall in line with new features we are working on.  In the new design we wanted to highlight the search and data services we provide you by using a design that will compliment the presentation of your personalized data.

Lijit users will notice that your profile page has been cleaned up and organized to section your profile and search data better.  We want to make Lijit an unforgettable experience, from our stats email to how we present your unique stats, making you come back often to view your data.

Over the next few months we have many more improvements planned to make your entire “Lijit experience” easier and more useful.  You can look forward to an improved company & support section along with a completely revised way of how you view your stats.  As a Lijit user or even a guest, we value your opinion, so leave a comment on your thoughts about the new design. Whether you like it or not, we listen.

A most Happy and Lijit congratulations!

Feb
4

One of our Lijit users, Gretchen Rubin, recently published a book, The Happiness Project. She’s been test-driving different happiness tips for the past year and has been sharing her insights on her blog of the same name.

We’re excited to congratulate her on not only the culmination of all of her hard (but happy) work but also? She’s number one on the New York Times bestseller list for Hardcover Advice books. Nice job Gretchen!

(And if that doesn’t help with her happiness, I don’t know what would!)

I’d like to think I helped Gretchen with her spot on the bestseller list because, as you can see above, I purchased my copy of the book this past weekend and can’t wait to dig in. And, although she may not mention us by name in the book, I’m confident that Lijit has only brought her, and her blog, much happiness.

If you’re looking for a little more happiness in your life (and who isn’t really?), I suggest you invest in Gretchen’s book as well.

Finally, if you’re looking for a quick fix, you can follow Gretchen on Twitter for bite-size morsels of happiness or check out her blog and use her Lijit search to find out even more of what you’re seeking. We love celebrating with our publishers and thank Gretchen for her Lijit support!

Get to Know Lijit: Mud and Cowbells Edition

Feb
1

Greg, the blogger behind Mud and Cowbells and a HUGE Cyclocross racer, was a Lijit user before he came to work for us. I can remember him signing up a few years back and sending him the usual customized thank-you note that was par for the course back in the day. And instead of getting a few sentences back from him, I got a five paragraph email with tons of feedback, product requests and ideas for the future. Yep. Even back then, it was obvious this guy needed to work for us. Especially with a face like this…

Our dreams have come true because Greg is now Lijit’s VP of Product Management and regularly rocks our world (or at least our office) with his passion, enthusiasm and spot-on impressions. When he’s not racing bikes, talking bikes or watching bike races, he leads the Product team with his vision for what Lijit should be. Read on for his answers to the usual questions…

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