5 Free Photo Sources for Your Blog or Website

There are many sources for free photos on the internet. And let’s face it, a majority of them hold vast banks of antiseptic, generic images. If you want pictures that are well-composed, and have both creativity AND attitude, then allow me to suggest five of my favorites.
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crashed airplane

How to Keep Your Blog from Crashing and Burning

We’ve all gone through it: that sinking feeling just before the blog you once loved with a passion loses altitude and crashes headfirst into the ground, devoid of all momentum, inspiration, and velocity. It’s that moment when you realize you don’t have the energy, the ideas or even the motivation to continue the blog. Which only means it’s about to sputter and crash to its inevitable death. But there are two ways to keep this from happening.
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But aren’t Blogs Nothing but Online Diaries?

Every now and then a client who is new to the idea of blogging will ask me: “But isn’t a blog nothing more than a diary that’s online?” And I realize that while the content marketing world may be growing by leaps and bounds, there are still small business owners who feel it strange to use blogs — a tool once equated with personal journals — to help promote their brand and their business. Here are a few thoughts that should lay it to rest.
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Third Niche by Mathias Klang

The 5 C’s of Defining Your Blog’s Niche

In Monday’s blog post, I talked about one simple way to build your blog: to define your niche, whether you’re a personal blogger or a small business trying to market its services to the world.

Well, Problogger has three gorgeously simple approaches to defining your niche, and I reword them here so they all start with the letter “C” and at the end I’ve added two more tips of my own:
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5 Steps to Creating a Well-Written Blog

The idea of beginning and then maintaining a well-written blog is daunting. Perhaps because you feel like there’s nothing to write about. Or you feel your small business doesn’t really need a blog. (Sorry to burst your bubble, it does.)

But the huge roadblock that faces many a newbie blogger is the massive investment in learning the blogging software, learning the ins and outs of promoting the blog, and then building a content engine so that your posts come like clockwork, and you have a system in place that can sustain the publishing schedule.
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Which Content Topic Ideas Go On the Blog vs. the Website?

I had an interesting discussion with a client today, going over possible topics for her company blog. She had outlined a list of content topic ideas, picked with great care to best showcase her company’s unique selling proposition. However, I had to gently inform her that, no, “why you should pick X company over others” isn’t a very strategic blog post. It could be incorporated into a larger topic sure, but would never really stand alone as a good piece.

“Why? What’s the difference?” came her question. “What topics make up a good blog post versus a website page?”

Here is my own quick rule of thumb:

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Content Strategy Makes “Boring” Industries Come Alive

Content strategy is a hurdle that a lot of organizations struggle with. I’ve met with quite a few business owners who ask me: “But how much web content can we realistically create around our business? Our industry is pretty boring.” To which I answer:

“Look, your product solves a real problem. It may not be glamorous, but it sure isn’t boring to the people struggling with that pain.”

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The Death of RSS Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

With Google shutting down Google Reader by July 1st, 2013, rumors of the impending death of RSS have sprung up… yet again. This is silly. RSS is not dying. If anything, it’s probably headed for an extreme makeover that will vastly improve its adoption by casual users. In this I agree with Dave Winer, noted software developer, who wrote:

“I don’t doubt that people will be well-served by a newly revitalized market for RSS products, now that the dominant product, the 800-pound gorilla, is withdrawing.”

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Outsourcing Content isn’t Always Easier

A couple of clients have asked if it makes sense to outsource their copywriting, social media, blog posts and website content to an offshore provider, an online freelancer, or a college intern: “After all, they know how to post cool stuff on Facebook!”

I always tell them if you’re outsourcing because you think it’s cheaper or more convenient, it’s usually not.

If you’re outsourcing and expecting content that’s passionate and involved, you’ll rarely get it. And here’s why:

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