Hi everyone! Welcome to How to Turn Your Blog Into A Powerful Marketing Tool. I hope you find this seminar helpful! It will run from Oct. 1-11. My goal is for everyone to share ideas and examples so that we all learn from one another.

The goals of my own blog http://stacyjuba.com/blog/posts/ are:
1. to provide readers with interesting and engaging content, sort of like having my own magazine

2. to draw traffic to my website

3. to introduce new readers to my books

4. to have people stumble onto my blog posts (which will lead them to my books) while they are surfing the Internet, so that my blog is always working for me... even when I'm asleep! )

5. to have my blogging take up as little of my time as possible

To clarify, I am not a web designer or tech person, and unfortunately can't answer many technical questions about setting up a blog, hosting services, etc. (As far as hosting, I can advise you to research host providers and then do Internet searches for their customer reviews. If you're seeing mostly negative reviews, keep looking around.)

There are some things I've learned over the years, and I'll share helpful hints that I've learned, but when I run into technical problems, I always get advice from a web designer. I did not design my website or blog myself, but I do maintain them myself. If you need technical nuts and bolts advice, I recommend signing up for this free 30 day e-course which goes into domain names, hosting, installing Wordpress, design, etc. That will supplement what you learn here.

Check out http://weblogbetter.com/ for a lot of helpful posts and books about blogging and subscribe to the newsletter for tips in your in-box. If you subscribe, you get two free e-books on blogging.

Here is a free download about some of the more technical aspects of blogging: http://weblogbetter.com/free-better-blog-checklist/

I use Wordpress, so my examples will all be from Wordpress. If you use another blogging platform and want to look into a plug-in that I've recommended, you might have to do some research to find out whether you can use it on your blog. I'm hoping the discussion component of the class will help with that if others chime in about their own experiences.

- My background is in journalism and marketing. Therefore, my specialty is using my news sense to create compelling blog posts, and then using my marketing knowledge to make sure those posts are seen.

- This class is geared toward authors who are using their blog as a marketing tool, however, even if you don't have a product to sell yet and just want to increase traffic to your blog, I think you will find some of the material helpful.

Here is the list of lectures that I will be posting throughout the course:

1. Fine-Tuning Your Blog - Visibility, Spam, Plug-Ins, Widgets, and Security

2. Syndicating Your Blog Through Sites Such as Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter

3. Writing Fresh Blog Content Without Taking Too Much Time Away From Your Novel

4. Effective Use of Blog Hops, Blog Tour Companies, and Special Events

5. Giveaways and Rafflecopter 101

6. Using Triberr and Twitter to Drive Traffic Toward Your Blog

7. Monetizing Your Blog Through Affiliate Links from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple and Kobo

8. Can You Turn Your Blog Into a Book?

9. Wrap-Up

Feel free to introduce yourself and post any questions, whether you're joining us from the beginning or whether you jump in late, and I'll do my best to answer them. I hope many will participate so that we can see more examples of effective blogging across different platforms and broaden the number of resources that participants will walk away with by the end of the course.

Thank you for joining me!