soup2nuts | Designer WordPress Blogs http://soup2nutsblogs.com Designer Wordpress Blogs & Social Media Design Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:29:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blogging Conference in New York City in June! http://soup2nutsblogs.com/blogging-conference-in-new-york-city-in-june-sofabuotr/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/blogging-conference-in-new-york-city-in-june-sofabuotr/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 01:11:15 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=1259 I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #SoFabUOTR #cbias I have been blogging for about 4 years and have never attended a blogging conference. Until now! I am a member of Collective Bias and they are having a one-day conference in New York City […]

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I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #SoFabUOTR #cbias

I'm going to SOFABU on the road in NYC!  #SoFabUOTR #cbias

I have been blogging for about 4 years and have never attended a blogging conference. Until now! I am a member of Collective Bias and they are having a one-day conference in New York City on June 20. Since it is only a couple hours away, I am finally going to a blogging conference!

SoFabU on the Road

What is SoFabU on the Road? SoFabU on the Road is a one-day event that allows bloggers to learn ways to set themselves apart from the rest. It features hands-on, interactive sessions for bloggers to implement what they learn right on the spot. The sessions are paired with a fun city-specific adventure where you’ll get to put your newly learned skills to test. The NYC adventure is a Photo Safari tour of the city. The events are open to all bloggers and are sponsored nationally by MüllerKraft and iBlog.

SoFabUOTR NYC Agenda at a Glance

If you join me in NYC, here is some of what you will do:

  • How to excel with Sponsored Posts’ panel discussion
  • Growing your Influence and Traffic with Email Marketing, by Phil Hollows, FeedBlitz
  • How to Use SEO to Supercharge Your Posts, by Jessica Woodbury
    SEO is SO important to our success and most of the SEO advice out there isn’t geared specifically towards single-contributor lifestyle blogs. Jessica will cover basic SEO and specific blogger strategies to work on building search traffic and how to increase domain authority.
    This session is for savvy bloggers. Most bloggers at this level are experienced at retaining regular readers and increasing traffic via social media. This presentation will help bloggers consider readers who are finding their blog from search, how to attract them, how to retain them, and how to increase domain authority with a specific SEO-posting strategy so all posts rise in search. This will focus less on technical things like alt tags and meta descriptions and more on writing and photo strategies.
  • How to incorporate and improve your Video Content by Josh Hicks
  • Afternoon Education Adventure: NYC Photo Safari
  • Happy Hour

Sounds like a great day and I can’t wait!

Date: June 20th
Registration: 8:30-9:00
Location: 54 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018

Can’t make it to NYC? See what other locations and dates are available on the SoFabU on the Road website.

Will you be attending a SoFabUOTR event this year?

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How to Make it Easy for Readers to Comment on Your Blog http://soup2nutsblogs.com/how-to-make-it-easy-for-readers-to-comment-on-your-blog/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/how-to-make-it-easy-for-readers-to-comment-on-your-blog/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:42:34 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=868 Not surprisingly, I visit many blogs during the day and read some great posts. If I really enjoy what I read, want to ask a question, or want to add to the discussion, I will comment on a blog post. Or, I should say, I TRY to comment. What do I mean? Well, it turns […]

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How to make it as easy as possible for readers to comment.

Not surprisingly, I visit many blogs during the day and read some great posts. If I really enjoy what I read, want to ask a question, or want to add to the discussion, I will comment on a blog post. Or, I should say, I TRY to comment. What do I mean? Well, it turns out that many bloggers don’t make it very easy for readers to comment.

Don’t ask your readers to give up their first born to comment

Some bloggers make you jump through hoops to contribute to the discussion. Although they may not ask for your first born, they may ask you to sign-up for a commenting system, do a math problem, or even require you to join a social media site to comment. Why do they do this? I’m sure most of them do it because they would like to prevent spam on their sites.

These ideas may prevent the spam, but they may also prevent real readers from commenting. Have you been asking yourself why more people don’t comment on your blog? Or do you only get comments from other bloggers in a reciprocal relationship? You may be making it too difficult for your readers to comment.
Make it easy for your readers to comment.

How to make it easy for readers to comment

If you are on WordPress, the simplest way for readers to comment is through the comment system provided by WordPress. This will usually require that a reader fill out their name and email before they comment (see my comment system below… and why not comment while you’re there?). Easy enough! So easy, that spammers find this type of comment system irresistible. This is why a good spam plugin like Akismet is essential for your WordPress blog. Akismet will weed out most of the spam and put it in a nice little folder waiting to be deleted!

How to allow guest comments in Disqus

disqus comments - make it easy for your readers to comment
Disqus is a commenting system that keeps track of where your readers comment and notifies them of any responses to their comments. This can create a community and bring people back to your site to read responses. However, some people may not want to sign up for Disqus and may just skip commenting. Or, they may register and then not like getting the email notifications, which will keep them from coming back to your site.

This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of Disqus. You can turn on guest commenting by going to Disqus admin > Settings > General page in the Guest Commenting setting. This will allow people to comment without creating an account. They will still need to provide a name and email.

How to allow guest comments in Jetpack

jetpack comments - make it easy for your readers to comment
If you are on WordPress.com or you are using Jetpack, you may have the Jetpack commenting system. This system allows people to comment using their WordPress.com login, Twitter, Facebook or Google+. It also allows guest comments. If you are using Jetpack comments and don’t see a way to leave a comment with just a name/email, check in WordPress under Settings > Discussion and make sure guest commenting is allowed.

How to allow guest comments in Blogger

blogger comments - make it easy for your readers to comment.
If you are on Blogger, you can allow guest commenting by going to Settings > Posts and Comments and for the question “Who can comment?” choose Anyone.

  • But how do I prevent spam? The answer is through moderation. You can set it up so that all comments need to be moderated before going up live.
  • But this can be time consuming isn’t there anything else I can do? The answer is yes. You can install Disqus on your Blogger blog. Just make sure that you allow guest commenting so you don’t lose out on comments!

How to allow guest comments in Comments Evolved Plugin

comments evolved plugin - make it easy for your readers to comment.

The Comments Evolved plugin (formerly Google+ Comments for WordPress) organizes your options for commenting into nice, neat tabs. To make sure that anyone can comment, allow WordPress commenting within the plugin. This adds a tab with the WordPress ‘W’ to the options. If you use this plugin, make sure that you make it obvious to your readers that they can comment using any of the tabs, not just the one that is currently showing. Although it may be obvious to you, it won’t be obvious to everyone.

What about social commenting?

Some blogs only allow readers to comment using Facebook. Or, they may only allow comments when logged into Google+. This means that not everyone can comment. Although most people will have either a Facebook or Google+ account, they may not feel comfortable leaving a comment using their actual name (which is required for FB and G+). This is especially true for posts of a very personal nature.

Give readers an option. If you want to include Facebook or Google+ commenting, also allow WordPress comments. Just make sure that you let your readers know they can comment in multiple ways. Some may not scroll below the FB comments to see they can comment without a FB account, and you miss out on comments.

Make it easy for your readers to comment, and they will!

Lastly, I want to address captcha boxes. This is when you require a reader to enter the word (or numbers) shown, or provide an answer to a simple question to prevent spam. This is a big deterrent for many would-be blog commenters. If you want more protection than Akismet provides, consider adding G.A.S.P. (or Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin). This plugin allows you to add a simple checkbox that must be checked prior to a comment being submitted. Readers are much more likely to check a box than to decipher letters.

If you make it easy for your readers to comment, they will be more likely to do it. It is also helpful if you ask them a question and then ask them to respond in the comments. It really works!

What is your favorite, or least favorite blog comment system? Share in the comments below. (see what I did there?)

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My Frugal Wife – Banner http://soup2nutsblogs.com/frugal-wife-banner/ Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:57:14 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=809 The post My Frugal Wife – Banner appeared first on soup2nuts | Designer Wordpress Blogs.

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My Frugal Wife – Banner #soup2nutsblogs

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Facebook Updates Options on Activity Log Scheduled Posts http://soup2nutsblogs.com/facebook-updates-options-activity-log-scheduled-posts/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/facebook-updates-options-activity-log-scheduled-posts/#respond Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:48:05 +0000 http://designerwordpressblogs.com/?p=622 Today I decided to actually get ahead a bit in my social media sharing – I know, crazy, right? While online I noticed a Facebook update that actually made me happy! On Facebook? I know, crazy, right? Reschedule and edit scheduled posts on Facebook You may be familiar with this annoying situation: You schedule a […]

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Today I decided to actually get ahead a bit in my social media sharing – I know, crazy, right? While online I noticed a Facebook update that actually made me happy! On Facebook? I know, crazy, right?

Check out the great update to Facebook scheduled posts!!!

Reschedule and edit scheduled posts on Facebook

You may be familiar with this annoying situation: You schedule a post on Facebook only to notice that you have a typo in it and you scheduled it for the wrong date! Up until now, you had to delete the scheduled post and schedule a new one – free of errors, and at the correct time. Well, today I noticed that I will no longer have to do this! I scheduled a couple of posts and then went to the Activity Log to view them. I was welcomed by this message…

Check out the great update to Facebook scheduled posts!!!

So, for today, I am happy with Facebook; but Google+ will always be my first love!

Don’t you love a good update?

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Raijean Stroud – Media Kit http://soup2nutsblogs.com/raijean-stroud-media-kit/ Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:56:06 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=807 The post Raijean Stroud – Media Kit appeared first on soup2nuts | Designer Wordpress Blogs.

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Raijean Stroud – Media Kit #soup2nutsblogs

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4 Blogger Tax Myths Debunked http://soup2nutsblogs.com/4-blogger-tax-myths-debunked/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/4-blogger-tax-myths-debunked/#respond Fri, 24 Jan 2014 04:27:42 +0000 http://designerwordpressblogs.com/?p=611 Let me preface this post by letting you know that I am not a tax professional. This post is solely informational and should not be construed as tax advice. You should contact a tax professional with any questions you may have to make sure that you are following the law. It is that time of […]

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Let me preface this post by letting you know that I am not a tax professional. This post is solely informational and should not be construed as tax advice. You should contact a tax professional with any questions you may have to make sure that you are following the law.

4 common myths about bloggers and taxes and why they are wrong

It is that time of year again. The time when everyone starts thinking about taxes and bloggers start asking questions of other bloggers. “Can I deduct this?” “Should I declare that?” There are so many questions and answers floating around that I get confused every year! So, I started scouring the internet to get my answers. Here are 4 common tax myths I have heard in blogging groups and why they are not true.

Myth #1: My blog is just a hobby, so I don’t have to declare it as income.

According to the IRS, you are considered a business “if you have a profit in at least three of the most recent five tax years.1 So, if you have ad revenue, sponsored posts, etc. and make more money than you spend on your “hobby,” you are considered a business. Basically, if you depend on the income from your blog you have a business and need to declare the income on your taxes.

So, if you believe your blog is a hobby, you don’t have to declare the small income you get, right? No. “If you blog for fun infrequently and you make money only occasionally, then it’s probably a hobby,” said Jennifer Rempe, tax analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Just remember that you still need to report this money as income on your tax return.2

Myth #2: I don’t have to declare review items as income.

Many bloggers receive products in exchange for writing a review on their blog, or sharing on their social media. Is this income? I think Sara F. Hawkins said it best in her post filled with tax tips for bloggers (this is a must read): “while many bloggers frequently talk about the cool products that just show up at their door, most products arrive with some expectation. The company or PR rep had to get your address or possibly exchanged emails with you regarding some expectations they may have with regard to sending you their product or service. If there has been conversation where you have agreed to try their product or service and then write about it, the brand or PR rep is sending it to you with the expectation of getting something in return. That is the fine line separating ‘random stuff dropped off by hot delivery guy’ (not taxable income) and ‘item provided for something in return’ (taxable income). If you’re sent a product for your use to help facilitate a giveaway you’ll be doing, that item you received is taxable income.3

Myth #3: If I donate my review products I don’t have to declare it as income.

This is definitely not true! Again, Sarah F. Hawkins says it well “Here’s the general rule: If you don’t report it as income, you don’t get to take the charitable deduction. That ugly sweater Aunt Martha gave you? Donate it all you want and take the charitable deduction. She gave it to you because she loves you. Nothing about it will be considered taxable. However, if the item would be taxable income you need to report it as such if you want to get the benefit of a charitable deduction. This is definitely one of those ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’ type of situations.3

Myth #4: I made less than $600 (or received a product that was less than $600) so I don’t have to declare that income.

This myth comes from the fact that businesses do not need to send a Form 1099 to bloggers who made less than $600 from them during the year. Just because you don’t receive a Form 1099, doesn’t mean you don’t have to declare the income. Yes, the IRS may not know about it, but it is still income and therefore needs to be treated as such.

And one last thing…

Although it is not a myth, I did learn something new as I was researching this article. As a blogger who makes money, I should be paying quarterly taxes. “If you are a self employed blogger and your blog is profitable, are you making periodic estimated tax payments to the government?  If not, you could potentially be charged interest and penalties depending on your situation.4 Eek! I should look into that more.

Do you have any blogger tax myths to share?


Online - H&R Block Free Edition #affiliate

Sources and recommended reading

  1. Tax Tips for Bloggers by Intuit (TurboTax)
  2. To Report or not to Report: Blogger Tax Tips by Teresa L. Clark, H&R Block
  3. Tax Tips for Bloggers by Sara F. Hawkins
  4. Financial Planning for Bloggers by Guest Author on Problogger
  5. Do You Barter? The IRS Wants Its Cut by Robert W. Wood
  6. Free expert advice included with H&R Block tax prep software (affiliate link)

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4 Fun Blogging and Social Media Valentines http://soup2nutsblogs.com/4-fun-blogging-social-media-valentines/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/4-fun-blogging-social-media-valentines/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:16:33 +0000 http://designerwordpressblogs.com/?p=599 As Valentine’s Day gets closer, people are scouring the internet for Valentines to use on their blog or to have their kids use for their classmates. There are tons of great Valentines out there for kids and adults alike. However, what about the blogging and social media nuts in your life? Here are 4 fun […]

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As Valentine’s Day gets closer, people are scouring the internet for Valentines to use on their blog or to have their kids use for their classmates. There are tons of great Valentines out there for kids and adults alike. However, what about the blogging and social media nuts in your life? Here are 4 fun Valentines I have created just for those people!

A Valentine for the Blogger in your life

A Valentine for the blogger in your life! #soup2nuts #valentines

For the Twitter user in your life

A Valentine for the Twitter user in your life! #soup2nuts #valentines

A Valentine for the Google+ user in your life

A Valentine for the Google+ user in your life! #soup2nuts #valentines

A Valentine for the Facebook user in your life

A Valentine for the Facebook user in your life! #soup2nuts #valentines

Or, you could share all 4 of them using the image below!

Valentines for the blogging and social media nuts in your life! #soup2nuts #valentines

Go ahead, share with your blogging and social media friends! Just hover over the image you want to share to pin it, or share via the links below this post.

Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with likes and +1s!

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How to Remove Facebook Page Invites http://soup2nutsblogs.com/remove-facebook-page-invites/ http://soup2nutsblogs.com/remove-facebook-page-invites/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 21:30:31 +0000 http://designerwordpressblogs.com/?p=589 I’m not sure if I am the only one who didn’t know how to do this, so I thought I would share what I (finally) figured out… Facebook is a great way to connect with friends or follow blogs and brands that you like. However, it isn’t always the most straightforward social media to use. […]

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I’m not sure if I am the only one who didn’t know how to do this, so I thought I would share what I (finally) figured out…

It isn't as obvious as some people may think! Here is how you remove Facebook page invites from your account.

Facebook is a great way to connect with friends or follow blogs and brands that you like. However, it isn’t always the most straightforward social media to use. Over the past 5 months, I have received, from various friends of mine, around 10 invites to like pages. I went to each page and decided whether I wanted to like them or not. Once I liked them, they were removed from my invite list. However, what if I didn’t want to like the page? I couldn’t find a way to remove the invite.

Okay, this is the point where some of you are saying “DUH” doesn’t everyone know how to do that? Well, let me show you why it may not be obvious to everyone. Take this page shown below as an example. Now, I have nothing against Tim McGraw, but if someone invited me to like his page, I wouldn’t do it.

How to remove Facebook invites. This is an example of why people may not know what to do.

So, I would hover over the image and wonder what to do. Maybe I would visit the page, come back and still wonder what to do. Then I might give up and just leave the invitation there while cursing the person who sent it to me. Damn Tim McGraw fan sending this invite… grr. Then every time I would login to Facebook I would see the little number next to “Like pages” reminding me that I have an invite to like Tim McGraw’s page. What is a non-country fan to do?

How to remove Facebook page invites

What you can’t see too well in the example above is that when you hover over the image on Facebook you actually get an “x” in the upper right-hand corner. Just click that “x” and the invite is removed. So easy! Yet, not always so obvious! Below is an example where it is REALLY obvious what you should do. But, c’mon, who wouldn’t want to like Cheezburger?

How to remove Facebook invites. This is an example of why people may not know what to do.

I hope that I have helped at least one person who may have been wondering the same thing that I was wondering!

Is there something you can’t figure out how to do on Facebook or any other social media account? Let me know, and maybe I can help you out!

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Passion for Savings – Facebook Cover http://soup2nutsblogs.com/passion-savings-facebook-cover/ Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:52:49 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=804  

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Passion for Savings – Facebook Cover #soup2nutsblogs

 

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Monthly Workout Record – Blog Printable http://soup2nutsblogs.com/monthly-workout-record-blog-printable/ Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:51:44 +0000 http://soup2nutsblogs.com/?p=802 The post Monthly Workout Record – Blog Printable appeared first on soup2nuts | Designer Wordpress Blogs.

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Monthly Workout Record – Blog Printable #soup2nutsblogs

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