10

How 2 add quality to your new weblog

I spent the day looking for great blog articles on stumble. I have actually found many articles to help you in getting Dugg, improving your grammar, graphic banners and many others. It is a comprehensive list to add value and quality to your blog.

If you want to add traffic to your blog through Digg, this article provides you with the best 25 words to be used on Dugg ( along with the stats). So the next time you're launching a service, or a stroke of literary genius strikes you, don't forget to keep the above-mentioned words in mind (as long as they are applicable).
A quick read and very informative. Confused between its,it's;their,there;affect,effect? Have a look at this article and prevent yourself from looking dumb.
"We are building up a database of webmaster articles and tutorials about Photoshop tips, tricks and art using Photoshop 7 and CS tools, and more resources about how to build up a site from hosting, to editing and publishing it. We are correctly adding free web tools on: �how to check google pagerank�, �how to track visitors�, �free templates� and more coming."

This is a hugely popular article, so you might have read it. It deals with the 21 tips to prevent your blog from being a flop. It is pretty difficult in the blogosphere, it wont hurt to use these handy and easy to apply tips. I renovated the About on my blog thanks to this article.
A comprehensive list of directories; get your blog listed and get new readers. The directories are arranged according to their PR. A little tiresome, to submit your site, but it might pay off.
I also stumbled across a couple of great cartoons, check them out:

Have an interesting and useful tool you want to share or blog about? Why not participate in the Blog A Tool Contest and get some prizes?

If you have similar articles to share, please do, and let us all learn together.

Keep Blogging.

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13

About Best-Blog-Basket


Welcome to Best-Blog-Basket, a blog that strives to provide you many personal blogs at one place.
My name is Mohit Singhania. I am a fifth year student at IIT Bombay. I am an aspiring professional blogger and have started my own group blog: Best-Blog-Basket.

In Jan 2007 I brought a copy of the digit magazine which had a booklet "Fast Track To Blogging". I didn't know anything about blogs that time. But, by the time I had finished that book, I was sure I wanted to be a professional Blogger.
The very next day I started planning for the blog. It did take me some time to get my team together but we are on our way now. Since that day, I have continuously read about how to make my blog bigger. The Best-Blog-Basket now covers a variety of topics ( which I plan to expand further):

I am a die hard cricket fan. Being an Indian, this is my religion. This blog gives you the cricket happenings, discusses the latest debates on players, organises contests etc. The aim is to discuss Cricket with my readers all the time.
As I told you, I have read about blogs ever since I started my blog. This helps me to be informed of all the hacks, tips and resources on blogs. Using this advantage I try to provide my readers with tips and tools to help their blog grow. I organise contests to get new ideas from my readers all the time.
My friend Aditya Karandikar ( aka Grandizer), is crazy about Anime and Manga. I picked up this hobby a few months ago. This blog is for the avid Anime and Manga audience. We give away download of latest episodes too. Discussions and news are the bloodline of this blog. Aditya is planning to release his own comics on the blog soon.
Again, this is all my first hand experience. Since 5 years I have experimented with a lot of softwares and windows applications. This blog is all about solving the common error a Windows user faces, softwares to make his life easy. I hate piracy. There are many freewares to replace the paid softwares and I want the readers to use them. I provide a thorough review of each of these.

In the first few weeks, I wasnt getting any traffic. But that went away. Now, I am getting some healthy traffic. To keep bringing my readers quality content, I have converted blogging from a hobby to a daily 6-7 hrs job.
This blog is dedicated to helping other bloggers learn the skills, share their own experiences and promote the blogging medium.

If you would like to be involved in the Best-Blog-Basket or know more about it, feel free to contact me.
Please stay in touch with the Best-Blog-Basket by the kind of subscription you want ( see the sidebars on this page, RSS and mail subscriptions). If you’ve found this blog helpful to you in your blogging needs, I simply ask that you consider adding us to your blogroll or blog side bar to let others know about us. Spread the word so we can all learn and share together.
I hope you enjoy the Best-Blog-Basket.


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19

Blog A Tool Contest

Its time for a blogging contest @ B-B-B (Best-Blog-Basket). It is pretty similar to other contests. You have to blog about a blogging tool. The prizes will help you increase traffic for your blog and your technorati rank; best of all your relations in the blogging community. Please read all of the instructions before submitting your entries. Only new posts will be accepted. Posts written before today's date will not be eligible for this contest. Thanks for your understanding.
The full list of submissions are posted here.

  • Topic:
As we keep blogging, we think of new things which can be done to improve our blog. Everyone strives to get the best graphics, best content, newest setups and what not. In your pursuit as a blogger, I am sure you must have come across many tools which would have helped you in your blogging endeavour.
The contest is pretty simple. All you have to do is: Write about one tool, which you think has made your blogging life a heaven. It might be any tool: online or offline, hardware or software; it might even be a book. All that is required is, it should have helped you and it should be helpful to the readers.
Possible examples of tools: Newsgator, any cool widget, a new plugin (like stumble), a book, a forum,a template, a site, a software, a new mouse etc. You might add anything you think is appropriate(above mentioned criteria) and blog about it.

  • The Prizes:
Let the best tool win! I will decide which tool is the best based on: how helpful it is;if you have mentioned its best use in your blog or not etc.
  1. All participants get 2 linkbacks from my blog.
  2. 10 top entries get a chance to write guest blog entries on my blog. (They should obviously be sensible and not full of meaningless links, but they can contain links back to your blog when relevant.)
  3. Two entries get the ad space on my blog header for 15 full days.
  4. Two other entries will receive:
  • A review from my blog along with the backlink.
  • An honest and thorough feedback about their blog from me ( I assure you I will prepare my feedback after many visits). I will explain its relevance: I will tell you the viewpoint of a new reader be it on your graphics, content, site layout. I will be a part of the experimentation you do on your blog for 10 days, if you want.

  • How to participate?
Step1: Write the blogging tool post.
  • You must state your tool clearly and its use(s). You can add anything else you want.
  • If you don't have a blog where you can write a post you can mail me your entries at: mp3mohit1@gmail.com
  • If you don't want too much hustle, you can add your post in the comments, but you will lose the two backlinks you could have got. I assure you, it wont affect my decision.
  • You can write it in your first language. I encourage that.
  • Please consider putting a link back to this post on your post so that your readers know you’re participating. You don’t have to do this - but it’d be appreciated to help grow the discussion/contest.
Step 2: Inform me about the post:
  • Drop in a mail .
  • Make sure to include your name, title of the post, URL of the post you have written.
  • Deadline: 3 Weeks from today, 15 Th April 2007

Step 3: The links you get:
  • One in the total list of submissions for viewing all the entries.
  • In a daily post on the entries received on a daily basis.
  • Selected entries get more links.
Step 4: Link Link Link
  • You can post your own winners list by surfing through the contest entries. This will help you get to know new blogs and establish new connections in the blogging community.
  • The amount of interlinking potential amongst the contestants is huge and its upto you to make the best out of it.
Step 5: The chosen entries will be announced on the 16Th April.




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14

Blogger Launches New "Add Page Element(s)"

Blogger keeps getting better and better. Surprisingly, when I tried to enter a new page element( In your Blogger Dashboard: Click Layout-->Add a Page Element) on my blog today, I found this:

These are really cool additions and open up ample opportunities to add fresh content to your blog.

  • Newsreel
As the picture says it allows you to add news from the Google news. An even better feature can be seen in the below picture:
Yes, you can add the search terms for which you want the displays. Also, what you cant see in this preview is that the news is in flash format and takes a single line (very less blog page space) for any number of news you want. The search as expected from Google is lightning quick.

  • Video Bar
How cool is that? Miniature videos right on your blog with minimal loading time and for whichever topic you need. Here is the snapshot of the setup:The black screens are the videos and I have blackened it for no legal issues et al. This will help you provide your own videos or any other Google, Youtube videos to your readers.

I will use this feature for sure on my blog and give you a thorough review in a couple of days, so keep reading. Here is what I think at first look:

  • It cant be used by three column templates since the width is too much.
  • It is very light and increases your blog load time by just 2-2.5 seconds.
  • Even a monkey could set it up.
  • It still needs better integration with youtube and if possible news and videos from other sites.
If you find anything new about these features, which most probably, I ha vent mentioned, do mention them. Its a great gift to Bloggers. Thanks Google.



Widgipedia Web Widgets
Get this widget from WidgipediaMore Web & Desktop Widgets @ WidgipediaMore Web & Desktop Widgets @ Widgipedia

16

Stumble: Happy , very Happy anime song

I dont know what I like about it so much? It has been driving me crazy, its just the photograph of a character spinning something and singing some song in what language I dont know, but its so so cool. I have spun for 20 minutes on a strech and the person living next door closed it :( . Please check it out and do tell me if its really that addictive ? How long did you spin? Like it? Stumbled it?

Widgipedia Web Widgets
Get this widget from WidgipediaMore Web & Desktop Widgets @ WidgipediaMore Web & Desktop Widgets @ Widgipedia

9

Acknowledgment

I have launched a Predict To Win: Cricket Contest recently,I am trying to get more and more people participate in it; to make it more exciting. Some of the blogs have helped me out in this endeavor. I am sorry to the readers, who feel this is shameless promotion, but even if I started a good contest, I had to publicize it. Who knows maybe you came through one of the below blogs :).Below is the list of blogs:

  • Existential Ventures:This is a blog run by Eric, I have gotten pretty close to him recently. We are participating in the Million Dollar Race he is organising. Looking forward to that.
  • Blogger Lounge: I have learnt a lot from this blog. This blog even taught me about backlinking, when it comes to rapid traffic, this blog is the King.
  • Esofthub's web finds:"100 SEO Factors that affect Google Page Rank", these are the kind of topics this blog discusses. I cant explain it better than that, because that is perfect.
  • Ja Kel Daily Dot Com: "Turning Page Views Into Profits","Top 10 Methods to Find New Readers". He always tries to help you make money.
  • Blogging Sports Network:By Far the best review post for this contest. He has a blog related to cricket. The categories on the blog are: Auto Racing, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Other Sports. The blog is all about sports and is a must stop for sport fanatics.

  • Your Blog.
Please help me promote this competetion. You will definitely get your name in the above or a similar post. Just do the following:
  • Participate in the contest
OR
  • Give a brief description of the competetion to help you blog readers participate too. Looking forward to your co-operation.
If you have done any of these drop me a mail(see page footer) or a comment to this post.

10

full metal alchemist

I have posted a few posts about naruto...just to change the flavour a bit...i am starting this post about FMA

Those who don't know...full metal alchemist is based in an alternate world (a parallel universe) where alchemy and not the laws of physics, rule. Alchemy states that you can create any object if the composition of the object and the raw materials are available...for example if you have hydrogen and oxygen, you can create water...if you have steel, you can create a sword...but you cannot put life into anything you make and human transformations are absolutely forbidden.

those who try to create human beings from the raw materials are absolute sinners and this process creates what is called a homunculus (there are seven, one for each sin: lust,greed,envy,sloth,gluttony,wrath,pride)

the story revolves around edward elric and his brother...but let's leave that for another post

8

Blogging Schedule @B-B-B

Freeware Windows: Twice a week( Days:Wed,Sun)
Blogger-Resource-Basket: Alternate Days ( Days: Sun,Tue,Thur,Sat)
Windows: Thrice a week (Days: Sat,Tue, Fri)
Cricket-Zone: Atleast (Days: Mon,Wed,Fri)

16

5 ways to set up your blog posting schedule

All humans love consistency and routine in everything they do. Its no different for your blog readers. They love it when you stick to a definite number of posts a week, even better; if you ave fixed days on which you post. They can be very strict if you break this, and might leave you forever. I learned this the hard way a little time ago. Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Fix number of posts: Don't write posts whenever you like; atleast don't publish them. If you are in a mood to write you can save your posts for publishing them on the fixed day. Restrict yourself to a fixed number of posts a week or month or a day, whichever you like, just fix the number.
  2. Fix days you post on: If you cant write daily, fix the week days you publish posts on. Try to space it evenly in the week, and not just the weekends.
  3. Assign days to topics: If you write on various topics, make it a point to assign one or two topics to days of the week.
  4. Fix a time of the day: This might be pushing it a bit too far for some; but, it really pays off if you have done your analysis (what time do maximum readers come, which time zone do they belong to etc.). Preferably, you should post a couple of hours before the readers rush in. Again, save the posts, and publish them at the right time.
  5. Whatever you decide, stick to it. Never mind, if the results don't show up, eventually they will. Just keep blogging at a definite pace and time.
In the light of this post here is the tentative blogging schedule on B-B-B.

6

Miniseries: Ways to speed up your blog

Miniseries- PartI
Also see- Part II
6 Ways to speed up your Blog:

Whenever we redesign our sites we tend to add more graphics which means more loading times. The site loading time is very important factor, generally ignored by new designers . If your site takes more than 20s (which is quite high by itself), most of the readers will leave your site before it loads. Google Search Homepage is the ideal example and should be taken as an inspiration. Here I discuss ____ ways to optimize your loading time.
First of all lets check how much is your blog loading time. Here is the best tool according to me:

It gives you separate times for all your files like HTML, IMG, Scripts(external). Just type the URL of your blog and click go. Here are the load times of some of the sites I visit:

On a typical 56 K data connection:
  1. Google.com- 2.74 secs
  2. Yahoo.com- 1.86 secs
  3. Problogger.net- 64.32 secs
  4. Best Blog Basket- 32 secs (76 secs before I wrote this article)
So, typical loading times for a blog might be more than a normal side but you should consider 20 secs as an aim for yourself. So here I go, ___ ways to speed up your blog:
  1. Reduce Number of Images: As far as possible, use minimum number of images and try to change the background colors for your site instead. Here is how you can change the background color of a widget:
Here is a sample code for pullquote widget I have.

2. Reduce Image dimensions: There is a limit to how many images you can remove, after that you should consider resizing images to acceptable size. This helps to reduce image size considerably. Use the freeware Irfanview.

3.Reduce color depth of images: The image on the right shows how to reduce the color depth in an image to reduce its size. If your image is 256 click on Custom and select 128 and so on. This is really helpful if you need to reduce the size of images on your page.

4. Change image quality : This is a little trade off. If your needs can be satisfied by a low quality image you can lower the image quality. This may be done by choosing File, Save As, and Options from the menu. Decreasing the Save Quality of your picture will reduce its size.

5. Change file type: I found that a JPEG format has the least size ( compared to .GIF or .BMP extension) while storing your image. This gives you considerable size reduction without lowering the quality of images.

6. Changing image HTML tags: This is a simple tweak while adding images to your header or other widgets on your sidebar. While giving the html tag you should specify the image width and height, this way the browser knows the size, and can load other files on your page while the image is being loaded. Source for tip six:
Speed Up Your Site: Use the height and width tags


These are the tweaks useful to reduce image loading times. I will discuss other concepts in the rest of this series.

37

10 quick ways to make your blog interactive

Whenever you are having a conversation, you want the other person showing interest in what you are talking about. A blog is a conversation with your readers, so your readers shouldn't think of it as a one way conversation; where only you speak. To keep readers interested; to give them a personal attachment with your blog, here I present 10 quick ways to interact with your blog readers:

  1. Comments: This is the most basic and important followup after each of your posts. Your readers express their views on what you have said. You need to take their views into account and respond to that on a regular basis. Don't be narrow minded, let the conversation evolve in your comments. Liz@Succesful Blog is great at doing that, check out her blog.
  2. Shoutbox:People are always in a hurry. They always are. Sometimes, its too much work to click and add a comment. Add a simple shoutbox and pace up the process of getting your readers' views. It can be a great place for new blog ideas, new friends. It helps a lot in building your loyal readership. Get a shoutbox now. Use Shoutmix, its very easy to configure and is very stable to use.
  3. Forums: This again helps you to keep your readers coming back. ..Its very easy to configure and get a forum. It will give you new readers from the other forums that site has built. It gives better shape to discussions as compared to a shoutbox (different available sections and threads). There is a great Freeweb widget, to get a forum on your blog. It is a little tough to configure, took me 15 minutes. But it is worth it.
  4. MyBlogLog: It is important to know your readers, and set your next content accordingly. It also helps you to build your own community of readers and its easier to announce new things to your readers that way. There are a couple of very useful widgets provided by MBL. One helps you to keep track of who visited your site recently (profile,blog they operate etc.).The other one keeps track of your most popular posts. Both of them help you to get closer to your readers. Go, join my community or if you dont want to, join MBL.
  5. Recent Comments Widget: It shows the recent comments on your blog; helps other to know what is being discussed on this blog and who is saying what. Again, helps to build a blog.
  6. Contests: Contests is always seen as greyhat SEO because many (almost 90%), don't use them as they ought to be used, atleast I think so. The essence of contests is to get out creative thoughts from your readers, on any topic you want. Not only it helps them participate actively, it also helps you to know who is good at what. If you want to see an example, participate in my One piece humor contest.
  7. Open Comments Night:I got this idea from Liz's Tues. Open Comments.Its a really great idea to help your readers speak up. Every week she chooses a new topic and everybody is invited to comment whatever they want about the topic. It gets a little fussy with all people speaking, you can integrate it into the forum on your blog. Stories are told and experiences are shared, as a result you get very close to your readers.
  8. Join forums:This is a little tiresome, but it helps you to know the people interested in the topic of your blog. Join forums related to your blog with high traffic and you will get to know a lot of people who are interested and are potentially loyal readers to our blogs. Mostly, you increase your blog traffic, but you might get to know some highly talented people and become friends. I met flanflinger on a cricket forum, and he is a regular reader now. He has even considered writing guest blog entries for me and since he is a high profile guy, I am sure it will get me more readers.
  9. Read your readers' blogs: Get into a habit of reading and commenting on blogs authored by your regular visitors. This keeps them interested and helps you to make new bonds.
  10. Backlink blogs: Whenever you blog about something you have read somewhere, make it a point to backlink to it. Don't copy paste their ideas, add your own inputs to it. These backlinks show up on the original blog and if that person likes your article, he might become a regular visitor. If you don't know much about backlinks, read this article on Backlinks.
These are just some of the ways, I am sure my readers know many more innovative ways. Please share your ideas with us in the comments. Always remember that your blog readers are your guests and should be treated appropriately.

10

One piece 302 RAW download

Okay, the raw is out there now. The english viewers (like me) will have to wait a bit longer. There werent many casualities in the earthquake too. So, I guess everything is going good now :). So whosoever is with me on the Luffy Vs Lucci, do cheere for him. If you dont want to cheer him up with me, choose your own space and support. :P A bit too excited I guess

Here, are a couple of links you could try:

Enjoy.

18

Humor Contest: One piece

Luffy, one of the best comic anime. Here is a clipping from one of the chapters:
(you will have to click it to read).

Now here is the contest description:

  • What do you get?
  1. Irrespective of whether you win or not you get a link back to your blog.
  2. One winner gets the blogspace ad for free (2 days).

  • What do you have to do?
  1. Tweak the dialogues and make it more humorous, anything is allowed(except obscenity).
  2. Add it to the comments to this post and I will pick one every two days. Every participant will be backlinked from this post.

What are you waiting for, its fun and it will help your blog prosper.

PS: If you backlink to this post, my backlink would be more valuable to your blog (more links a blog has, more weightage its links have in SEO).

15

Backlinks

I cant stress the importance of backlinks enough. They have given me a number of readers, and now my blog has around 80 UV on an average, and I even had 120 once. Actually, there is no stage when you should stop linking back. They improve your relations in the blog community and provide readers an oppurtunity to find your blog.
I wont write about it myself, because there is no need to. I learnt their use from "The Importance of Backlinks" on Bloggerlounge.
Here is an excerpt from the article:


Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website or blog. The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of a blog. They are important for SEO because some search engines..(more)


Hope you learnt a great deal from that. Its one of the most important things, so make it a point to read that.
PS: Are you interested in backlinks from this blog? Tell me about a good article you wrote. Write a guest blog with a link to your own blog.

7

One piece 302 Delayed

Now available One Piece 302 @ Best-Blog-Basket:
Download One Piece 302 : Subbed and encoded

Earthquake in Japan - One Piece 302 RAW probably delayed


"There was a fairly major earthquake just off the west coast of Japan during the broadcast of 302. At least 1 person was killed and 50 injured. Most of the last few minutes of 302 was lost because of earthquake news coverage, so if we get a RAW today, it will most likely be incomplete (fortunately it is at the end of the episode rather than the beginning). The good news is that One Piece is broadcast on different days in different parts of Japan, so we should get a complete RAW eventually. In the meantime we should focus on the casualties of teh quake rather than complaining about a delayed RAW. For those of you who just can't wait for the full episode to come out, I will let you know if I find a partial RAW."

:((. This is really bad; I was looking forward to it, so so much. But, I guess we shouldnt be too selfish and wait patiently. There are more important things to look at right now.

8

Luffy Vs Lucci : One Piece 302

Gear Two...Gear Three...
These words are all I have thought after watching the latest 301 anime. The last few episodes have really been godlike. With Zoro showing us the six hand, three face monster; Chopper showed us the beast form (after he ate 3 rumble balls). Nami(beating the secretary girl) and Sanji(The Hunter?) have done well too. Even Sogeking, whom I always hated for being a loser, stepped up and finally behaved as a sniper.
But, Oh how, How, Luffy has been outstanding. The new gear funda is awesome and it rocks. I am still waiting to see the third gear, and see him kick the hell out of Lucci. Lucci himself is quite cool though, I would have loved him to be a straw hat pirate :P.
The next episode One piece 302 is going to be Luffy Vs Lucci. I am afraid that these people will torture us more and next episode wont give it away. Don't you feel the anxiety?

I feel jealous of all you manga readers. But, please don't spoil the fun.