My New Blogging Job and The Blogger’s Guides Flash Sale

You might have seen the news on Twitter or Facebook, but in case not …

I’m now Head of Content over at the shiny new relaunched Zen Optimise (which was SEO Training) … a fancy way of saying that I’m running the blog there. Normally, I’ll be posting twice each week, and have a bunch of pieces up already. I’m thrilled to be working with Zen Optimise’s MD,  Joe Williams, who is one of my very favourite clients.

Of course, I’ll still be blogging at Aliventures, but as you might have noticed over the past few months, my focus here has been on fiction and general writing rather than on blogging. That’s going to remain the case, and my blogging-about-blogging will be on Zen Optimise, plus on another site I hope to tell you about pretty soon. 🙂

Blogger’s Guide Flash Sale

To celebrate the launch of Zen Optimise, I’m holding a flash sale on all four of my Blogger’s Guides.

You can get any of the Guides for $19 instead of $29 with the code zenblogging.

The four-pack (all the Guides in one handy, cut-price bundle) is just $56 instead of $29 with that code, saving you a grand total of $60.

To find out more about any or all of the Guides, just pop on over to the Blogger’s Guide site here. Please do ask questions in the comments below, too, especially if you’re not sure which Guide would be most helpful for your blogging situation.

Note: Once you’ve added one of the Guides (or the four-pack) to your cart, you’ll see a box to enter the discount code. If you have any problems, just drop me an email at and I’ll be glad to help.

The sale runs until the end of Friday 13th September. I won’t be posting about it again on the Aliventures blog, though, as I’m way too British for in-your-face promotions (plus not all Aliventures readers are bloggers, and I don’t want to waste their time) … so I highly recommend you go and check it out now, before you forget!


Announcing: Blog Critiques and Reviews – One Week Only!


Long-time Aliventures readers might remember that back in October 2011, I briefly offered blog critiques and reviews.

If you missed out that time, or weren’t around then, or want a critique of your new / updated blog, now’s your chance. 🙂

When you buy a blog critique and review, you get:

  • Reassurance about what you’re already doing well.
  • Ten specific tips on what you could do to improve your blog.
  • A detailed review of one of your posts, including editorial suggestions.

I’m only offering this for one week, until Friday 2nd August (to avoid getting overwhelmed with requests). However, you can buy now and book your review any time during the next three months.

And… you can even get the review & critique free by buying my Blogger’s Guide four-pack of ebooks. (The four-pack is $66 and the review & critique on its own is $35.) Again, this is only valid for one week.

You can get all the details, and book your review & critique, here.

If you’ve got any questions, just pop a comment below or email me –

7 Ways to Write Better Blog Posts (Plus 7 Bonus Links)


Kitty (aged 2 months … she’s bigger now!)

Are your blog posts as well-written and effective as you want them to be?

I’ve been blogging for five years now, and my posts still have plenty of room for improvement. These seven techniques, though, have helped me write better content – posts that get lovely comments (thank you!) and shares on social media, and that I believe are genuinely useful.

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The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers Released (By Popular Demand!)


If you’re on the Aliventures newsletter, you’ll have heard about this yesterday … my newest ebook is out, the fourth in the Blogger’s Guide series.

Last summer, when I was planning what to write next in the series, I ran a survey here on Aliventures, and this was the most popular option. If you took part in that survey, thank you, and I hope this is the ebook you wanted! 🙂

The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers is a 112-page ebook, full of advice, ideas, and clear examples to help you grow a loyal and engaged readership for your blog. It costs $29, and teaches you everything you need to know to:

  • Get your blog ship-shape, so that you make a great impression on first-time visitors
  • Find new readers through social media, and by improving your blog’s SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • Grow your blogging influence by creating stronger connections and reaching out to A-List bloggers
  • Keep your readers engaged and loyal, and encourage them to interact with you
  • Dig into crucial metrics so that you can figure out which strategies are working best for you

You can get the full details on the Blogger’s Guides website, or if you’re keen to snap up your copy, you can click the button below to buy it now.


Important tip: If you’re a member of the Aliventures newsletter, check yesterday’s email for your $10 discount code. If you’re not on the newsletter list, you’re welcome to sign up today and get the discount code before you buy. 🙂


And if you’re keen to take your blog further, faster, in 2013, you can get all four Blogger’s Guides for just $57 until 18th January (saving you $59!)

(The three other Guides are on Freelancing, Effective Writing and Irresistible Ebooks. You can find out more about them on the Blogger’s Guides website.)

If you’ve got any questions about The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers, or if you can’t find your newsletter discount code, just drop me an email (

What if You’re Not a “ProBlogger”? Five Great Alternative Reasons to Blog

Reasons to blog - even if you're not a Problogger (image shows keyboard with coloured pencils)

Image from Flickr by Danddalf

A fair amount of conventional blogging advice is aimed at people who see themselves as bloggers (rather than writers – or even business owners) and who want to build and “monetize” a blog: often called “ProBlogging”.

While some people do very well from this type of blogging, you don’t have to be a self-styled ProBlogger to use the power of blogs. You don’t even have to identify as a “blogger” to get a lot out of blogging … and you don’t need a massive blog stuffed with adverts in order to make money.

Here are five alternative reasons why you might try blogging (or why you might already have a blog) – along with tips specific to your situation.

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Join Me in London to Learn More About Blogging (and Social Media)

Are you a blogger … or would-be blogger?

Can you get to London in the UK for a day?

(Sorry to all the international Aliventures readers, I know this probably rules you out!)

I’ve teamed up with the fantastic Joe Williams of SEO Training to run day-long training workshops on blogging, in a fantastic venue overlooking Hyde Park.

The training is tailor-made for people looking to blog for commercial reasons … so, if you have a small company and you want use blogging to get new customers, or if you have a blog that you want to turn into a business, this is for you.

It’s also perfect for anyone who works for a larger company and wants to add “blogger” to their job description.

What You’ll Get

Whether you book on the introduction or intermediate course, you’ll learn about:

  • The technology of blogging … how to get everything working smoothly.
  • The writing side of blogging … how to write fantastic blog posts that readers will love.
  • The strategic side of blogging … how to use your blog, and your time, effectively.
There are full details of what we cover on each course here:

Small Group Teaching

We only take eight people (max) on each course … so you’re guaranteed plenty of attention, and a chance to ask questions.

Exclusive Training Guide

As well as all the on-the-day training, you’ll get a full guide to take home … packed with information, advice, step-by-step instructions, resource tips, and more. These are exclusive to the day courses, so you can’t get them anywhere else.

Discussions and Exercises

I firmly believe that we learn best through actively engaging with new ideas and information … not through sitting back while the trainer drones on at the front of the room for hours.

On both the introduction and intermediate day, you’ll have the chance to contribute to discussions and to try out practical exercises to get you thinking.

Social Media Too!

If you’re already an experienced blogger (or if you’re not sure that blogging is your thing), then Joe and I are also offering a social media course.

This covers four major networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, with plenty of tips on getting the most out of each. (We also bring in blogging, briefly, to help you get started with that if you want to.)

You can find the social media training details here.

What It Costs

I want to be upfront about this: these focused, small-group courses are designed for people who want to invest in blogging and/or social media training to start or grow their business.

Each day course costs £350 + VAT.

As a small business owner myself, I know it can be tough to find the money for high-quality training … but I also know how much difference great resources have made to my own business.

If the price tag is out of your reach right now, why not pop this on your calendar for 2013?

Upcoming Dates

The next course dates are:

  • October 18th: Social Media
  • October 22nd: Blogging Introduction
  • October 23rd: Blogging Intermediate
  • November 15th: Social Media
  • November 26th: Blogging Introduction
  • November 27th: Blogging Intermediate

Head on over to the SEO Training site to get all the details, and to book.

If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to pop a comment below!

How to Pitch Your Guest Post – Successfully

Image from Flickr by kodomut

This is the third post in a three-part series on guest posting. The full series is:

  1.  Why Every Writer Should Be Guest Posting
  2. How to Craft a Guest Post That’s Likely to be Accepted
  3. How to Pitch Your Guest Post – Successfully

One big concern that would-be guest posters have is how to pitch their post – what they should say in their first email to the blog owner / editor.

When you know you have to grab the attention of a busy blogger – who may have dozens more guest post submission to evaluate – it’s easy to feel stuck. You’re convinced that every word needs to count, so you spend hours trying to perfect them.


You’re not pitching a book here – or even a magazine article. You don’t need to pour hours into crafting the perfect email. If you follow a few simple guidelines, you can be confident that your post will at least be considered.

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How to Craft a Guest Post That’s Likely to be Accepted

Image from Flickr by kodomut

This is the second post in a three-part series on guest posting. The full series is:

  1.  Why Every Writer Should Be Guest Posting
  2. How to Craft a Guest Post That’s Likely to be Accepted
  3. How to Pitch Your Guest Post – Successfully

Submitting guest posts – like submitting any piece of writing – carries a risk of rejection. Yes, you’re offering your content for free – but large, well-established blogs are providing you with a valuable platform. They won’t take posts that aren’t up to scratch.

The good news is that, as a writer, you’re already ahead of the crowd. A lot of guest post submissions come from people who don’t care about good writing and who just want to make some quick cash from blogging – a short-sighted and generally ineffective approach.

One mistake that some new guest posters make is to put all their energy into writing a really good post before thinking about where they’d like it to be published. It’s much better to decide on your target blog first, just as you’d decide what magazine to target before writing an article.

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Why Every Writer Should Be Guest Posting

Image from Flickr by kodomut

This is the first post in a three-part series on guest posting. The full series is:

  1.  Why Every Writer Should Be Guest Posting
  2. How to Craft a Guest Post That’s Likely to be Accepted
  3. How to Pitch Your Guest Post – Successfully

If I had to point to the one technique that’s made the most difference to my writing career, that technique would be guest posting.

In case you’ve not come across the term “guest posting” before, it simply means writing a blog post for someone else’s blog.

(Generally, you won’t get paid for guest posts.)

Here are a couple of examples of guest posts I’ve written recently:

A 5-Step Plan to Improve Every Blog Post You Write – on Copyblogger

How Often Should You Blog? (Hint: The Answer Might Surprise You…) – on ProBlogger

You don’t need to have a blog of your own to guest post – though most guest posters do. And you don’t need to already have a relationship with the owner/editor of your target host blog. All you need is a strong idea, and the ability to do justice to that idea in writing.

So why would you want to do it?

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BlogWorld #3: Michael Hyatt’s Session on “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World”

This is the third in a series of posts about some of the sessions I attended at BlogWorld Expo, New York 2012. The full series is:

Two of my friends, Joanna Penn and Jade Craven, have been reading Platform by Michael Hyatt recently – so I was keen to catch his session at BlogWorld. Having an “author platform” is crucial for today’s writers (whether you’re going for traditional or self-publication).

Michael has had a long career in publishing – he’s the chairman and the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and blogs about “intentional leadership” at

As usual, the post is based on my notes from Michael’s session. Unless text appears in quotation marks, it’s not a direct quote.

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