Blogging Equipment I Use in My RV Office

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Blogging equipment needs to be kept to a minimum if you’re an RV lifestyle or travel blogger, or someone who works in a VERY small office. :-)

I’ve been blogging from our RV for the past year, and I thought it would be fun to show you the office I’ve been working in, as well as provide you with a list of my blogging equipment, both necessary and nice-to-have.

blogging equipment

Must-Have Blogging Equipment

Computer

I bought a Sony Vaio All-in-One specifically to use while blogging on the road as I wanted a large screen and a full-sized keyboard, but didn’t want to deal with having to pack up a large computer every time we moved the RV to a different campground. As it is, I unplug all the components and throw the computer under the blankets on the bed when we travel.

When I have to fly somewhere and will be away long enough to need more functionality than provided by an iPad, I take my Surface PRO, which I carry in a neoprene carrying sleeve.

Internet Connection

I usually connect to the Internet through a Galaxy Broadband account using our satellite dish (see picture at the bottom of the post). I tend not to trust unsecured public connections (free Wifi) available at RV parks.

Keyboard, Mouse and Mouse Pad

To keep my hands, wrists and forearms healthy and pain-free, I use a Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard, just as I do in my home office. Both the keyboard and mouse are wired and plug into the USB hub (see below). The mousepad is by Marvelous Printing and personalized with a picture of Jasper the Chocolate Labrador as a puppy. Yes, Jasper has his own Facebook Page. :-)

Camera

I took the picture above with my Sony DX-HS60V. Taking your own pictures to use as featured images saves money on stock photo images.

Phone

Samsung Galaxy S6 in a case with a tempered glass screen protector. I’ll be upgrading to the Galaxy S7 in the near future, for improved camera quality and water resistance.

Chair

After 3.5 months of using the dining chair at the table in the RV; my neck, back and arms were protesting in pain, so I ordered the Better Posture Saddle Chair by Jobri from Amazon. It’s similar to the saddle chair that I use in my home office… when the house is finally ready. :-)

Ergonomic Chair

USB Hub

I use a powered USB hub in the RV.

Nice-to-Have Blogging Equipment

Printer

I have an HP Envy 5530. Normally I wouldn’t bother with having a full-sized printer in the RV, but because we anticipated having to print numerous documents related to the house-building project, I just took the home printer and stuck it on the dining room chair.

Water Bottle

After years of using what seems like SCORES of different water bottles, I finally found one that I LOVE — the metered Thermos Nissan Intak hydration system. Easy to drink from, no leaks and easy to clean. YAY!

GPS Enabled Watch

Shown in the picture above is my Garmin Forerunner, which when not in use is plugged into the USB hub to keep it powered up and to sync it with Garmin’s online activity tracker. Of course, you don’t NEED one of these, but it is a good reminder to get outside and play to keep your body fit and healthy so that you can blog another day.

That short list of equipment to run my affiliate marketing business from my RV should be proof positive that you don’t need a lot of either space or equipment to work as an online entrepreneur or an affiliate marketer.

Open Range RV

The picture above was taken at White Tank Mountain Regional Park just west of Phoenix in March 2016. To learn more about the places we camp, visit my personal blog.

Did you find this post informative and useful? If so, please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!

Cheers,
sig-ros


The post Blogging Equipment I Use in My RV Office appeared first on RosalindGardner.com.

May 20th 2016 blogging

Welcome to the Future Home of Serial Marketer

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Davidberkowitz01 (2)-001

In November 2005, ten and a half years ago, I launched the MarketersStudio.com blog.

The name was inspired by Inside the Actors Studio. The original idea was to build on the interviews I published at eMarketer from 2001-2004. I probably should have done a lot more of that.

Now, some change is coming. I will still keep up writing and blogging, but as I’ve started to do some consulting during this break from my agency tenure, I needed a new title. And with the new title, I needed a new brand. 

That brand is Serial Marketer. Since every good brand needs a good origin story to go with it, its birthday is today, May 16. Serial Marketer shares the same birthday as William Seward, Liberace, Henry Fonda, Tori Spelling, and Meg DeAngelis (the last one is a YouTube star; I have to throw a bone to Gen Z’ers who might not be so up to speed on Civil War cabinet members or 90210 cast members). 

As I mulled over what it means to have a brand I can own, I realized that the blog should be part and parcel of it. So, in the weeks (months?) ahead, you will see lots of cosmetic changes. I am hoping there aren’t any technical changes that surface on your end, but I will keep you posted here. In the meantime, www.serialmarketer.net redirects to this blog’s homepage. I’m still working on securing the .com (pointers are welcome for this parked domain).

I will be out and about during Internet Week New York this week, including at M1 Summit, OMMA Marketing Tech, and Flashtalking’s Art & Science Sessions. The latter two events mark the first time I am formally using the Serial Marketer name (Flashtalking gets the distinction by a few hours). Let me know if you’ll be there, as it’ll be fun to catch up. [One update: The Beancast podcast by Bob Knorpp, whose latest episode debuted as I wrote this, is actually the first time I'm officially using the name. Thanks, Bob.]

There’s someone I need to thank for the name. Aaron Strout, president of WCG, was kind enough to write about me in the series for HubSpot’s Inbound 2015 where speakers introduced fellow speakers. His headline was, “David Berkowitz: Serial Marketer (Not Killer).” It stuck with me. I used it in my Twitter bio for awhile. I wasn’t going to use it for anything more than that, but as I pondered a lot of other names, this one resonated. It felt ownable. It felt, in short, like a brand.

As for why it’s so ownable, well, it may have hit you over the head as soon as you saw it. It may have come to you a minute later. Or maybe you won’t get it without Googling it (which is refreshing, as far as I’m concerned). My online dating handle when I met my wife was “GoogleThis.” So Google this, and all shall be revealed.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

David Berkowitz
Principal
Serial Marketer

May 17th 2016 blogging, personal

Automattic to offer .blog domain names, WordPress not required

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New top-level domain will open for registrations later this year. Pricing not announced yet.



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

May 13th 2016 blogging

How Bloggers Can Fix a Manual Penalty Caused by Compensated Content & Reviews

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This past weekend Google sent out a round of manual penalty notices citing “unnatural outbound links” – later confirmed to be targeting sites publishing compensated content and reviews where the blogger is linking out to the brand or site that compensated them. If your site received the notice, you’ll find some advice for fixing your… Read More

The post How Bloggers Can Fix a Manual Penalty Caused by Compensated Content & Reviews appeared first on Sugarrae.

April 14th 2016 blogging, SEO

Medium wants to be publishers’ digital printing press, too

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On Tuesday, Medium introduced ways for publishers to host their content on the blogging platform and make money from native ads or paid subscriptions.



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

April 6th 2016 blogging

Merger of Experticity and ReadyPulse combines offline and online influencers

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Newly enlarged company says it is the first to provide an influencer service ranging from a passionate salesperson in a store to a product-touting Instagram post.



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

April 6th 2016 blogging

10 Simple Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Faster

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I’ve become obsessed with site speed over the last six months, systematically working through each of my sites to improve their speed. Supposed SEO benefits aside, the faster your site is, the better the user experience. And the better the user experience, the higher the conversion rate – sales, leads or newsletter subscribers; whatever a… Read More

The post 10 Simple Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Faster appeared first on Sugarrae.

March 26th 2016 blogging, Online Marketing

Medium Teases New Browsing Experience

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Medium announced that it is introducing a new browsing and reading experience, which it refers to as Collections. The goal is (of course) to make it easier to find content of interest on a personalized basis.

The feature is for both iOS and Android and integrates your own interest with “explorable threads of content” and “diverse viewpoints” across various topics.

Medium’s Katie Zhu explains, “Our new home experience is powered by a feature called Collections. The top list of sections on our home screen will be a mix of popular verticals (like Politics or Culture) and more specific, timely events (think the Oscars or Apple vs. the FBI). You’ll be able to find new Collections in these sections every day, curated by Medium and a handful of trusted testers—for now. If you’re interested, you can also read about our curation principles. Collections are homes for topic or theme-based content from Medium and beyond — they will allow users to bring together Medium stories, people and publications to follow, as well ideas from the rest of the web.”

“We believe that in order to create a great reading experience for humans, other humans should be part of that process,” she adds. “There’s a unique sensibility that individual curators bring, whether that’s a specific tone, voice, or simply good taste. They can help act as a filter for readers in guiding our limited time and attention to things that matter, calling out stories that haven’t yet been seen by many, helping to easily showcase the big stories of the day, or sometimes just adding a dose of weird and wonderful.”

For now, the experience is only open to a small group of people, but it will become available to all in time. You can stay updated by getting on the interest list.

Images via Medium

March 16th 2016 blogging, Social Media

What to do if the traffic on your blog is decreasing?

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If you maintain a blog, you would like the traffic to your blog to go up. But what if it doesn’t? What if the traffic on your blog is (slightly) decreasing? What do you do? In this post, I will give 5 tips on how to increase the traffic to your blog once again!

What to do when your site's traffic is decreasing

Is it a change in your rankings?

If the traffic to your blog is decreasing, you should first check your rankings. It could well be that something happened that changed your ranking in Google. That could definitely explain a (sudden) drop in traffic.

Read more: ‘What happened to my rankings? ’ »

But what if your ranking has stayed (relatively) the same? What strategies are there to improve your site’s traffic besides the SEO stuff?

1. Use of social media

Social media are a necessity for the growth and marketing of your blog. It depends on your (desired) audience and on your content which social media are best suited for your blog.

As social media become more popular, Google and other search engines can’t ignore them any longer. This means that your site’s popularity on social media is getting more and more important for your SEO. The reason for this is simple: if people talk about you, online or offline, you’re relevant to the topic at hand, and you’ll want to know about these conversations. Social media is the new marketplace, where people share questions and reviews about products and events, and you’d better make sure those are your products and events, right? Partaking in these conversations can be great for your brand and could lead to growth.

Keep reading: ‘Social media strategy: where to begin’ »

2. Commenting on other blogs

Another good way to get more exposure for your blog is by reacting and commenting on other blogs. Make sure to adapt the choices of the blogs you comment on to the audience you would like to address. If you read something interesting on such a blog, something you may have written about yourself as well, you should comment. In the comment you should share your view on the matter. You could also place a link to one of your own blogs. Make sure your comments are always nice and polite and make sure you only comment if your own post genuinely applies to the piece you are reading. You don’t want to end up in the spam filter.

3. Write more ‘success’ posts

If you want your audience to grow, check the analytics of your blog regularly. What articles are the ones that people seem to read the most? What are the most important landing pages? These posts are the ones your audience seems to enjoy. Could you write more of these posts?

4. Send out that newsletter

Email is a great way to increase your customers’ retention. What this means is that it’ll increase the amount of visitors to become recurring visitors. By emailing your customers on a regular basis, your brand will stay top of mind and they’ll return more quickly to read another post. Of course your emails would have to be interesting, enticing and engaging for this to really work!
A newsletter is relatively easy to set up through a service like Mailchimp. It’s also easy to target specific subgroups within your entire audience with a newsletter. It’s a great way to inform your readers that you have written new blogs and that they should come and visit your blog.

5. Start advertising

If you have a budget, you could also decide to place ads on for instance Facebook or Google to promote your blog. Facebook also has the possibility to boost your post, making sure it’ll get more exposure. Facebook actually allows you to really focus on the demographic you would like to reach with settings for age group, location and interests, making it quite easy to target your desired audience.

Conclusion: stay active

Sometimes, your blog just doesn’t get the attention and the traffic you want it to get. If your ranking nor your SEO have changed, you probably just need to put in a little bit of effort: be active on social media and other blogs, write posts similar to those that are loved by your audience and do not forget to send out that newsletter. Don’t give up!

Read on: ‘Blog SEO: make people stay and read your post ’ »

February 17th 2016 blogging, Marketing

Content Marketing: 5 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Content

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content-marketing-inspiration

Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: It’s beautiful from a distance, but full of weird insect parts up close.

Sorry, let me try that again. Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: Sometimes it seems like no matter how far you stretch, it flutters above your head, beautiful but just out of reach. Sure, you could sit perfectly still and wait for it to land, but your editorial calendar beckons. Few marketers have the free time to truly find their creative space. At the same time, you know that content with that creative spark will be far more compelling.

The next time your creative butterfly just won’t sit still long enough for you to get a good look at it, grab your butterfly net of proactivity and go after it. Here are five ways to get inspired when you’re stuck.

#1 – Stock Photo Sites

When you’re looking for a metaphor that will make your blog post come alive, start with a compelling image and build from there. Fire up your favorite stock photo site—I like Pixabay and StockSnap—and take a look at the recently uploaded photos. Both sites present a grid of photos devoid of context, of widely varying subject matter. Even if you don’t find the header image for your post, odds are you will get the spark of an idea that will make your post more lively.

#2 – Twitter’s Front Page

Most of us hardly ever see Twitter’s home page. If you elect to stay logged into the site, Twitter just drops you straight into your feed, where hours of distraction await. If you log out, though, you’ll see a dynamic grid of trending tweets that you can customize by topic. See what’s capturing people’s imagination in real time, and you can use the inspiration to write a topical post. For example, this Taylor Swift-themed post on MarketingProfs captured an of-the-moment metaphor to give sound marketing advice.

#3 – Mashable

Like the front page of Twitter, Mashable’s home page is a direct line to the Internet’s subconscious. It’s like Reddit, only you won’t risk getting fired for clicking the wrong link. The three columns on the page show what’s most shared, what’s trending, and the most recent stories uploaded, giving you three vantage points for finding a creative angle. I spent just a few minutes on the site, and I’m already outlining my “5 Content Marketing Lessons from the Isle of Wight Triceratops” post.

#4 – Outside

The first three items in my list are designed to spark inspiration by data input. But sometimes, what you need is the opposite: less data, fewer screens, less fluorescent light. Sometimes you have to get up and go for a walk outside—even if, like me, you live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Leave your smartphone at your desk (unless your coworkers are exceptionally shifty) so you won’t be tempted to Facebook on your walk. Allow yourself to be a little bored, if need be; boredom is a rare and prized commodity in the age of distraction.

You don’t need to go on an epic vision quest, so save your PTO—a five minute stroll should be enough to clear your mind and get your creative juices flowing.

#5 – This Trippy App

All distractions aside, your butterfly of creativity really lives inside your own head. Sometimes all it takes to generate an idea is to put yourself in the right mindset for a few minutes and see what surfaces. My go-to tool for this kind of meditation is an app called Pulsate. Click the screen to create circles that expand and contract, playing gentle chimes when they touch. The simple, mesmerizing visuals and the random-but-pleasant sound can get you to your creative space post-haste.

Don’t Let Your Butterfly Flutter By

I can say from experience that when you feel uncreative, it’s tempting to dive into social media and vegetate. I mean, how can you do creative work when you’re not feeling creative? Surely that butterfly will land eventually…until then, I can take this quiz and see once and for all which Power Ranger I am.

The trouble with procrastination is that it leads to stress, and stress leads to feeling less creative, which leads back to procrastinating. It’s a vicious cycle, ugly as a close-up picture of a butterfly’s mouth (seriously). So instead of stagnating, use the tips in this article to catch your creativity and put it to work.

At TopRank Marketing, our team uses awesome content and killer strategy to get results for our clients. How can we help?

Header image via Shutterstock


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February 16th 2016 blogging