WANTED: Bloggers Interested in Collaborating to Increase Their Incomes

What if there were a group sharing how they make money? And helping each other. And it costs exactly nothing but your time and attention? There is – and you’re invited to join us.

Trello Blogger Resources board

Example of just one Trello Resources board and only one corner showing what is on it.

Blogging has evolved a lot since this blog went live in 2008. There are now many ways that bloggers can monetize that most haven’t seen yet. This is your invitation to find out what they are.

Blogger Mastermind Skype Group

We have a Blogger Mastermind Skype group with around 100 serious bloggers in it.  There is no reason for bloggers to individually research and learn every strategy they use when many already have those skills.

Joining has no time obligations; no regular meetings.
Just pop in when you need something or to join discussions.

Many times the best way to make money can be a private program you can never find – unless someone who is already in it gets you invited aboard. We share what works, and refer paid opportunities to each other.

Skype is free to use and works on all operating systems. You can get a free account at http://www.skype.com/. Search for growmap and request I connect with you. If you don’t know how, leave a comment or send me a regular tweet to @GrowMap. [Read more...]

How to Transform Your Blog from a Hobby Into a Business

According to research compiled by Social Media Today, 14% of bloggers earn a salary through blogging. Although that may not seem like a lot, since the same research found that there are over 12 million active bloggers, that means there over a million people around the world who are able to make a living from blogging.

 photo blogging_as_a_business_zps45684e40.jpg

If you currently view your blog as a hobby, you’re far from being alone. A significant number of bloggers enjoy spending just a couple of hours a week on this activity. The same is true if you consider yourself a part-time professional. Many people who start out as hobbyists realize that blogging is a great way to supplement their full-time job. [Read more...]

Bloggers: How to Fix Your Bounce Rates

Bloggers: How to Fix Bounce Rates from GrowMap.comThe more loyal your readers are the worse your bounce rate will be. Why? Because they already read your previous posts and are less likely to click on more pages. (Bounce rate is usually defined as only reading one page.)

The entire concept of bounce rate as defined makes little sense. If you write a comprehensive post about what someone wants to read, they have no need to go to another page.  So the better you target your pages, the worse your bounce rate will be. You CAN do something about it. [Read more...]

How to Reduce Images Using GIMP (Free program for any OS)

How to Scale Images

Many do not realize that photos have a physical size and also a size based on the number of pixels and storage space they require. Images used online should be reduced to low resolutions (low res). The easy way to do this is using a free program called GIMP. (Download GIMP free here – click “show other downloads” to find the Mac and Windows versions.)

How to Scale Images

  1. Point at the image and save it to your hard drive using “save image as”. Rename it to be descriptive of what is in the photo while you are saving it.
  2. Open the image in GIMP.
  3. Click Image, scale image.
  4. Change the width to what will fit in the blog you’re using. The image above is scaled to 520. If your blogging area is narrower, try 480. DO NOT unlink the width and height or you will distort the image.
  5. Set the X and Y resolutions to 72 pixels/in (72 dpi).
  6. Click Scale.

How to Reduce Image File Size

How to Reduce Images File Size

  1. Click File, Save As, and either rename the file or write over the original (only if you’re certain you did it correctly and no longer need the original, larger image).
  2. If you save the image as a .jpg it is easy to make it smaller. Most image types can be resaved as .jpg including .png and .gif.
  3. Click Show preview in image window (see image) and the pop-up will tell you the file size of the image. Move the image quality by either sliding the bar or reducing the number. Point at the image to move it out from under the pop-up so you can see it as you reduce the size. Do not click save yet.
  4. Make it as small as possible without distorting the image. Text only images can be made very small as shown in this example. The second image in this post is only 8.7 kb now. You can see this by right clicking on the image and clicking view image info. (The exact wording may vary depending on browser and operating system.)
  5. Once you are happy with the file size and clarity of the image then click Save.

Best Image Sizes for Blogs

Whether you prefer a large, rectangular image across the top of a post or a smaller more square image with text wrapped around it is a personal preference. A more square image will automatically display best on the home page. If you use larger, rectangular images in your blog posts you may have to make a separate thumbnail image to appear on the home page. Otherwise, only the center of the image will appear and any text may be truncated (cut off).

The larger images are better for pinterest. (Tall images work best on pinterest, but are not generally best for the top of a blog post.)  When you have a post you feel may do well, take the time to create an image with compelling wording to use on sites like Pinterest and to appear on Facebook and Google Plus.

Images in blog posts should be under 60 kb whenever possible. If you use more than one image in a post make them as small as you can without making them hard to read. Some infographics or detailed images may have to be more than 60 kb.

For more details on using images in posts, see:

If you need assistance learning to use GIMP, contact me on Skype (username growmap; Skype phone number 214-444-6247).

Benefits of Content Management Software for Bloggers

CMS (Content Management Software)Running a successful blog requires much more than publishing engaging posts. Many blog owners oversee their staff of contributors, run their own ad campaigns, and manage the blog’s general direction and layout. It can be a highly rewarding pursuit, but one that requires considerably more work than simply churning out content. For publishing posts, uploading pictures, and accomplishing the basic tasks of a blogger, tools like WordPress do the job and then some.

What some users are unaware of is [Read more...]