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17 Ways That I Find Stories For My Blog

January 31, 2007

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger asked the question:

“Where do you Find Stories for Your Blog?”

Here is my answer:

1. My Life
I find a lot of stories for this blog from my everyday life. For example, last week I was trying to do keyword research on Overture. This lead to my post on the death of the Overture Search Tool.

2. Reader Comments
Jill and I often get comments on our blogs that are questions. If I feel like it would make a good post, I will answer the question in a separate post.

3. Other Blogs and Websites
Many times I will see some cool tidbit of information on another blog and it inspires me to write a new post. When you do this, be sure to give credit where credit is due.

4. Darren Rowse’s Group Writing Projects
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger occasionaly runs group writing projects that inspire me to write a good post. In fact, most of my best posts on this blog were inspried by Darren’s group writing projects. I hope he has another one soon!

5. Searching YouTube
For my wife Jill’s American Idol blog, she spends time searching YouTube for videos of the contestants. Videos make great content. Based on the search statistics of our blogs, videos also bring in extra traffic.

6. Searching Forums for Questions

Visiting forums is a GREAT way to come up with content! I haven’t used this method in a while, but I used to do it a lot. What I do is visit forums related to a topic that I cover on my blog. Then I find out what other people are talking about in my area of expertise and I answer their questions on my blog.

7. Searching Yahoo Answers for Questions
I sometimes go to Yahoo Answers and search for questions people are asking about topics that I write about. I then go and write a post answering their questions.

8. Giving Polls
On occasion I put up polls on my blog. When I close the poll, I give my analysis of the poll results. Polls can be a great way to find something to write about.

9. Taking Polls
Answering polls on other websites or blogs can also give you inspiration for a post. I sometimes answer polls and my answer to one or more of the questions inspires me to write a new post.

10. Interviews
While my wife and I have only conducted a handful of interviews, interviews are a great way to get content for your blog. Additionaly, I sometimes come up with more posts based on the answers given in the interview.

11. E-mails
I often get asked questions in emails and sometimes I use my answers as the basis for a post at a later point in time.

12. Brainstorming
Sometimes, I just sit down and ask myself questions like:

“What would my readers really want me to write about?”
“What would be a really cool thing to write about?”
“What could I write about that would get a lot of links?”
“Why even bother writing anything?” ūüôā

13. Creating Lists

Sometimes, I find stories to write about by coming up with a lists. For instance when watching a tv show, I might write a list like:

“My favorite scenes from the show”
“Funniest moments in the show”
“Favorite Quote from the show”
“Worst Moments in the show”
“Ten Most Interesting Questions from the show”

14. Keyword Research
Sometimes I do keyword research to see what people are searching for about the niche my blog covers. This will often inspire me to write a post about what people are searching for.

15. Watching Television
On our tv blogs it’s obvious that I get stories from the television to write about. However, sometimes I am inspired to write a blog post by a news story I see on television.

16. Listening to the Radio
Sometimes I am listening to talk radio and a topic comes up that I think, “Wow, I have to blog about that.”

17. Having a Dreamer Personality Type
You can’t really teach this. I have a dreamer personality type, which means that by nature I am creative. I don’t really have much of a problem coming up with ideas for posts. My real problem is having enough time to write everything I come up with.

Those are some of the ways I come up with stories for my blog. You can use these same techniques (except for maybe #17) to come up with content for your blog, website, ebook, etc.

PS. Thanks so much for the question Darren!

PPS. I was hoping to come up with a list of 20 ways that I find stories for my blog, but I had writer’s block…

Overture Search Tool Update

January 31, 2007

Brian Queenan (via Aaron Wall – SEOBook) just let me know about a new FREE search term tool by wordtracker. I took a look at it and it looks like a good replacement for the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool. I was pleasantly surprised with the wordtracker tool’s speed. It sure seemed to run a lot faster than the Overture tool used to run.

One major difference between the two tools is that the wordtracker tool estimates DAILY search volume, where as the Overture tool used to estimate the MONTHLY search volume.

You can take the free wordtracker search tool for a test drive by clicking here.

Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool Is Dead?

January 30, 2007

For the past week, I have been trying to use the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool and haven’t been able to get the site to come up. So I did a search today and sure enough, other people are having the same problem. It looks like Yahoo is phasing it out.

Here are a couple of places I found that are talking about it:


Now, I will have to decide whether to use a different free tool for quick keyword research or whether or not to go ahead and shell out some money for a monthly membership with wordtracker (aff), nichebot, etc.

That’s a bummer, because I really liked using the Overture Search Tool. Oh well…

Do You Want To Buy My Blog?

January 29, 2007

I have seen this before and never tried it, but Garry reminded me of this tool that tries to determine the monetary value of your blog. I decided to go ahead and try it.

I entered the URL for this blog and it said:

your blog,, is worth $46,856.82. See picture below:

My blog is worth $46,856.82.
How much is your blog worth?

That number certainly seems a bit high to me. If anyone wants to buy this blog for that amount, please let me know!

Marketing Tips and News from the Net – January 26 2007

January 26, 2007

Here are some of the most interesting blog posts and articles that I read this week:

Work Life Balance is a Myth

New Google Penalty (warning: some colorful language in this post)

66 Succesful Bloggers via Daniel at Daily Blog Tips

Forbes List of Top 25 Web Celebs via Jason

Lastly, for all of us who have forgetten to renew our domain name, even big companies sometime forget:

Google forgets to Renew Domain Name via Darren


Much Ado About MyBlogLog

January 25, 2007

The other day, I decided I would do a quick experiment with MyBlogLog. For one hour, I visited as many profiles as I could. Added contacts and joined communities. In that hour time period, I added 19 contacts and joined 23 communities. (I meant to add more contacts, but I must have messed up).

According to my web server’s statistics program, I had 10 new visitors from MyBlogLog. Not exactly awe inspring, but it could be if you are a beginner. Overall, my traffic from MyBlogLog has been ok. It is in no way, shape, or form the best way to increase your blog traffic.

However, there is a really good reason to use MyBlogLog…

To Build Relationships

My primary reason for joining MyBlogLog, was to build new online relationships with bloggers who write on similar topics to mine. During my experiment, I found some really excellent blogs that I had never seen before. Overall, I think it is a very useful website if you are a blogger.

That said, I would not recommend you spend hours every day on it unless your goal is to get publicity for having the most contacts, or the most community members, etc.

I think that MyBlogLog can increase your blog’s exposure. However, when all is said and done, long term sucess on the Internet is all about content.


If you have excellent content, you are going to get links from other people, your visitors are going to keep coming back, you are going to make money.

So here is my recommendation:

Instead of asking yourself, “How many friends can I get on MyBlogLog, ask yourself “How can I create AWESOME content?”

My guess is that answering the latter question, will be much better in the long run.

Why Do You Blog?

January 24, 2007

There is a really interesting new survey site called “”. Answering the survey questions helped me gain a little insight into the reasons that I blog.

Anyway, If you are a blogger you should go check it out. You can win prizes for taking it.

So, why do you blog?

Found via: Chris Garret of Performancing.

JV Cash – Ebook Review

January 24, 2007

If you want to make momey online, one of the best ways to jumpstart your business is through the RIGHT joint ventures. While I was on vacation in florida, I had several joint venture offers. One of them was an ebook about joint ventures called JV Cash…Anytime.

The author is a homeschooling Dad (like me), so I had to check it out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. JV Cash…Anytime is a really good read.

In JV Cash…Anytime Rob Richards reveals some of the best ways to find joint venture partners and avoid costly mistakes along the way.

I think that anyone wanting to understand the fundamentals of Joint Ventures would do well to read this ebook.

You can click here to check it out.

Teens Get Rich with smart ideas and…

January 24, 2007

USA Today has a real interesting article about teens making money from the Internet. Go check out the article, “Teens get rich with smart ideas, hard work, good advice”. It’s a fairly quick read.

The main point of the article is that if you want to make money online you need to:

1. Have a Good Idea
2. Get a Mentor
3. Work Hard

Seems like good advice to me. What do you think?

Are You Driving Your Business Or Is It Driving You?

January 23, 2007

This past weekend, Jill and I took the kids to the Natural History Museum in Houston. It was one of the last days that they were showing a traveling exhibit about Benjamin Franklin. There was a game you could play (that the kids loved playing with), where you tried to figure out which quotes were from Benjamin Franklin and which ones weren’t.

Anyway, a few of Benjamin Franklin’s quotes really stood out to me. I am going to talk about one of his quotes today and I might talk about some of the other ones in the future.

“Drive thy business or it will drive thee.” – Benjamin Franklin

When I saw that quote, I asked myself the question,

“Am I driving my business or is it driving me?”

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t thrilled with the answer. While I sometimes drive my business, I sometimes let it drive me. I don’t plan on letting that happen anymore. I recommend that you also not let your business drive you.

1. Come up with a vision for your business
Coming up with a vision of your business is a very important step in driving your business.

2. Make a business plan
There are many places online that you can learn about creating a business plan. You need to have a description of your business, do market research, develop a marketing strategy, make business goals, etc.

3. Make an action plan

Make a plan to take action on your business plan. Create a daily/weekly/monthly schedule that lays out what you are going to do to accomplish your goals.

4. Follow the action plan

Pretty simple, but sometimes the hardest thing to do. I have heard it said time and time again, but it bears repeating…

People are LAZY!

That is why those of us who take action and are persistent, have a really high chance of succeeding in business.

If you follow the steps above, you will be driving your business, instead of your business driving you.

Akismet Ate Your Comment

January 22, 2007

I just recovered a couple of people’s comment from the WordPress Akismet spam folder on this blog.

Sometimes I forget to check through it, because quite frankly it’s boring and tedious. I can’t just leave it alone, because I find that about 1 legitmate comment gets marked as spam by Akismet for every 100 comments that are marked as spam. Akismet does a great job of catching spam, but it’s not perfect.

If your comment is ever put in moderation on this blog for a long time, you can just assume that Akismet ate it. If that’s the case, email me at info @ mantyweb. com and I will try to recover it.

The latest comments to be eaten by Akismet on my blog were from Daniel and DotMySpot.

PS. Daniel, I plan on posting a response to your question, when I do more experimenting with MyBlogLog.

Some Marketing Tidbits for This Week

January 19, 2007

I thought I would send out some of my favorite Internet Marketing blog posts from the week (in no particular order):

How to Make the Technorati Top 100,000 in 90 Days

Yaro’s recent blogging series (which I consider a must read for bloggers, because what he says is something I started realizing towards the end of last year):

Is Professional Blogging A Sustainable Business Model?

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Professional Blogger?

The Advantages Top Bloggers Have That You Don’t

The key resource for a sustainable blogging business

And for some fun:

Now on the comic page

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