Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

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seo tips for authors Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for AuthorsWhat’s SEO? If you have to ask, that’s okay. It stands for “Search Engine optimization” and it basically means that you try to find all the ways to make your web page friendly and desired by the search engines so that people can easily find you.

There are many, many ways people will try to tell you they have all the answers to get your page up to #1 or #2 in Google. Some of these materials you will pay for will help your search engine ranking increase (but don’t count on #1!)

However, a lot of the skills can be learned with a few technical changes to your web site. And guess what… some of it’s free!

High Search Engine Ranking has a list of free tools to help you get started.

 Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing Terms

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cordless mouse Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing TermsWhile you are wandering around the internet participating in social networking groups, reading about ideas for marketing on the internet and discussing marketing opportunities with other groups of authors, you may hear a lot of terms that you aren’t familiar with. Don’t despair.

Most authors who are just becoming familiar with the internet gradually learn the terms and acronyms as they are necessary to their work.

You’ll never be able to keep up with everything, but knowing a few basics will help you market your book better. You may even be able to help a few fellow author friends when they are saying, “What on earth is a blog and why do I want one?”

Plus, you may be aware of many icons (little tiny pictures) on the Internet, but not know what they are called. So how you can you figure out how to make one, if you don’t even know what it’s called? For example, if you are on a WordPress blog that is hosted by WordPress if you look in the URL address bar you will see a little “W” with a circle around it. This is the “favicon” of WordPress and you can make your own. (See favicon.com to make one for your own web site!)

Here are some other terms you may want to become familiar with. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the web site.

For example, here are a few acronyms:

  • AJ – Ask Jeeves
  • AOL – America Online
  • ASP – Application Service Provider
  • AV – AltaVista
  • B2B – Business to Business
  • B2C – Business to Consumer
  • CPA – Cost Per Action
  • CPC – Cost Per Click
  • CPS – Cost Per Sale
  • CTR – Click-Through Rate

Find all kinds of definitions here: http://www.marketingterms.com

Internet Marketing Dictionary: http://www.marketingterms.com/dictionary/

 Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing Terms

Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

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stats Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

Recently, I tried to explain to some writers for one of my web sites that the titles of some web posts were having significant impact on the percentage of people who were opening and/or reading e-mails from our organization (or not!), as well as the click through rate from the web site. One of the writers responded that this was just a “notion” of mine and that all writing should be written from the heart.

I realized then that there are many people who are authors or writers online, who do not actually understand the amazing ability we have to track statistics of the visitors of our website. Although we do want to write from the heart, we also want to reach people with our writing, correct? If you are writing an article on how to get over a broken heart, would you like to reach an extra 500 people today with your tips by using the term “brokenhearted” rather than “broken-hearted”? Simple changes by understanding keywords can have a dramatic impact on how many people you reach.

Looking at our recent posts on my organization’s website the graph of the “reading rate” looked something like a roller coaster, with large ups and downs. And I was able to track that some of this was due to the fact that titles were not specific enough to gain the interest of our readers.

If you have a website you have the ability to receive statistics that will give you a treasure chest of information. Depending if you want free statistics or are willing to pay a price for more specific information, statistics can easily be set up for any website.

They can tell you:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • How many people are visiting a particular page on your website
  • How long those people spent on a specific webpage
  • Where in the world people live who visited your webpage
  • The trail of their visitation, meaning the order of the pages they visited
  • What page they came to first on your website
  • What page they left your website and link to someone else’s website
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit or have they been here before?
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit today or have they been here more times than once today?

With other sources you can find out what people are searching for on your webpage and if they receive results. For this with my WordPress site I use the plug-in Search Meter.

With most newsletter programs such as Get Response or AWeber you can find:

  • How many people receive your newsletter (it did not balance, their e-mail is correct)
  • How many people opened your newsletter
  • How many people clicked on the links in your newsletter
  • What links they clicked on in your newsletter
  • Sometimes it can tell you if the sale was made due to a link that was clicked on in your newsletter

One of the best sources for thorough, free, and easy-to-install statistics is Google Analytics .

One of the amazing things about using the Internet and reaching people through its channels is that very little has to be based were wrong on our gut instinct. As web designers we are given the ability to have a generous source of statistics that tell us a lot about where our site is or is not meeting the needs of the visitor.

Do you use statistics? Do they change how or what you write about? For example, if many people are searching for a particular term on your website and not finding it, are you encouraged to write an article on this topic? Have you ever used statistics to help you decide what chapters or content to write for a book, what to title it, or how to best market it? I look forward to your input on this as well!

 Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

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newspaper titles so important How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?When I was the editor of a magazine, I received a wide range of articles with titles that were very undescriptive, depressing, and even unsettling. It is expected that every editor will change titles of material and one of the keys to becoming a welcomed writer at any magazine is to send in submissions with titles that could actually be used.

In fact, as the editor of a magazine, in my guidelines are described them of our needs as “Look at the cover of Good Housekeeping and study the titles. Then write articles that reflect these topics in addition to adding on the terms chronic illness and Christian faith. This will help you understand the type of articles we are looking for.”

I recently tried to explain to a couple of writers who contribute to one of my websites that I was occasionally updating titles of the content. This was for a few different reasons:

1. The title is the most descriptive part of the message and if it is not appealing or interesting people will not click on it, and therefore it never even have the opportunity to be read.

2. Many of the titles of articles people were submitting were the same or very similar. For example, if 3 people send you articles with titles like, “Getting Through The Baby Blues”; “Dealing With The Baby Blues” and “Coping With The Baby Blues” –even if all of the articles are different in conquering the challenge of baby blues– will your readers know this? No. They will think you are just reposting the same content and updating the title (as many publishers do read books that they re-release with new titles)

3. On the Internet everything comes down to best describing your content so that it can be found by those who are searching for it. Rather than having a title that says “Waiting to Adopt” one should have the title of the blog posts be “Getting Past The Discouraging Moments Of Waiting to Adopt from China.” This is of course, assuming that the blog post is actually about getting past the discouraging moments while waiting to adopt from China.

I recently read in an article, “5 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content” by a nonprofit organization, “Titles are the very first things people read in their email subject line, RSS reader and Twitter or Facebook feed. You could argue that this is the single most important part of any content you produce because without a great title people won’t click (and the all mighty click is what you’re after, right?).”

And Copy Blogger writes in “How to Write Magnetic Headlines”

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” They have an excellent 11-part series that gives some specific guidance that will increase your ability to write better headlines in just hours.

I have also found that by focusing on a quality title I am forced to be more specific in my writing and that it sometimes takes me in a new direction and creates a topic that I had not previously planned on writing about. There are times when I have a title and I start writing the article and soon it turns into three or four different articles.

Some publishing houses now go to the extent to buy Google Ad words. They create 2 to 5 different ads and have the title of each ad be a possible title of one book that they are going to publish. In just a few hours or perhaps a couple of weeks, a publisher can do inexpensive research and find out which title is the best possible one to use on the book.

I was taught as a speaker many years ago from Florence Littauer at CLASS that the best way to find not only what is trending but also how to write great headlines is to pause at the grocery store checkout line and examine those “magazines” that we are often too embarrassed to buy even if we find the headline enticing. There is a reason that everything from the National Enquirer to People magazine sell each week even when the content itself is poorly written or even false. It’s those titles!

I would love to hear your comments about how you have improved your writing of titles for blog posts, or perhaps how you chose the title of your book.

 How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

Make Marketing Easier Tip #4 – Mashapedia

Mashpedia.com defines itself as a “web encyclopedia enhanced with cutting-edge functionalities and sophisticated features such as multimedia content, social media tools and real-time information.” Okay, so, deep breath. What in the world does that mean exactly?

If you are looking for a one-stop website to find out what people are saying about your topic in which you specialize, and/or write a book on, I strongly recommend this web site.

It is free to use and you can quickly glance at it to see what people are saying across the Internet about your topic. Mashpedia is unique in the way that it integrates different online services and applications which include blog posts, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google News, Books, and more. And the best part of all? It is all in one page with a simple to read interface providing live feeds (such as twitter).

Each time you visit the content will be different and you are able to see what kinds of articles, photos, and blog posts are feeding into the stream of content online and gaining attention. For example, you may see a trend with your particular topic if there are blog posts about it, new stories, videos, and tweets.

You can also see the value of having photos in Flickr with your images titled with specific keywords that describe not only their content but may also come up in the feed.

Stick a keyword into the search engine and see what you get. I randomly put in the word “popsicles” and received a ton of information including a lot of fun photos, a book recommendation called “Always Have Popsicles: The Handbook to Help You Be the Best Grandparent…” by Rebecca Harvin, and an article “‘Popsicle Pastor’ returns home.” It’s no surprise that there are many people actually treating about eating or making popsicles and there are tons of videos on how to make an effective great tasting popsicle.

You can also see on the right-hand side of the articles that are most popular on this topic that has been “Dugg” repeatedly. What would it take for you to have an article here? What topic within your topic could gain the attention of these folks who are actively discussing it online already? Things to ask yourself…

In just a glance you can see who is tweeting about your topic, what books are highly recommended on your topic, who is making videos about your topic, and new stories and more.

 Make Marketing Easier Tip #4   Mashapedia

Building ECommerce Web Site – 3 Myths

 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

It’s good to know how to build your website before you tackle such a big job. Especially building eCommerce web site. If you plan to sell your products or service, don’t call your webmaster until you know these myths.

1. Building a professional website is easy.

You may think you can just buy a program or a book and it’s doable quickly. Maybe learning HTML is easy, but you’ll need to know a lot beyond that. For example, will you need a shopping cart functionality, and for interactive Web 2.0 you might need PHP, Javascript, ASP.net or other types of scripts. Building a website is deceptively complex and requires a variety of skill sets, from HTML savvy to good artistic taste.

You may want to think about hiring a web design professional. Building an ecommerce website from scratch is time consuming and expensive, because it takes countless hours of high level skills including your web copywriting and optimizing with low competition long tailed key words. You may want to first consider a web writing coach who knows key word optimization. Then, contact a web designer who knows web marketing such as article marketing, social networking, and optimization.

2. Making your website colorful, full of pictures is all important.

It’s far more important to plan your site first. Know the first, second and third most important thing you want to sell and then, write a low competition long tailed key word headline in each product or service sales letter.

Your landing page takes some pre-thought too. What can you give your potential clients to get them to your sales copy? Usually a free report or white paper will pull them if they need the skills.

3. The more products, the higher the income stream.

Remember, it takes time and many email promotions to keep leads coming to your sales funnel. Create only the products you have time to market. We figured out my three best sellers and concentrate on those. Opt-in lists to collect leads for skills categories of book writing and publishing, free article marketing, and Website marketing with great optimized copy. If building eCommerce website, decide what makes you the most money, and what you enjoy doing for your service. It’s always best to have a niche. Go with just the few tailored offerings that brand you.

Remember you want your company to stand out from the crowd, so determine your niche and stick with it. Make your web site reflect you and your solutions to help your targeted audience.

Judy Cullins helps businesses create and sell more products and services and raise your traffic Get more information at Judy Cullins’ web site .
Reprinted with permission from ezinearticles.com


 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

Blogs Versus Web Sites – Which One is for You?

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womenoncomputer Blogs Versus Web Sites   Which One is for You?As I finished writing a colleague privately, I realized this may be helpful for some of you. Forgive me for all the self-promotion as I shared my ideas and comparisons. When people explain things to me I like something tangible to look at!

Lisa Copen

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Do you use it as your sole website or do you also maintain a static website in addition to your WordPress blog? And why? Also can anyone send info or a link (offline) for how to make your WordPress blog url be your personal domain name.

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POINTING YOUR URL TO THE BLOG

I have about 8 blogs for different things and all have their own URL. I use godaddy.com and when you buy a URL you have the option to forward it anywhere. So for example, www.hopeendures.wordpress.com is now www.hopeenduresradio.com It’s much easier to give out on the podcast, etc. With godaddy.com the forwarding is free, URLs are about $6-9. I own over 100 of them that I’ve bought over the years. If you plan to spend a lot of money there they have a discount plan; I also use ebates.com and godaddy is one of the companies that is listed so you get a bit of money back with purchases (Disclaimer: If you click my ebates link we both get $5. Vistaprint if anyone uses this print company! I’ve gotten back almost $600 in a few years from ebates.com.)

MAIN WEB SITES VS BLOGS SITES

I use Dreamweaver for my main site www.restministries.org – I have had a web site I’ve built since 1997, and it’s just grown. But I have found blogs great to set up for things like daily devotionals, my own blog chronicillnesssupport.com, radio show, etc. to give it a feed, let it be a widget, etc.

You can easily make anything on your blog be in a Widget at widgetbox.com and then anyone can post it to their web site. We have a lot of people who put our daily devotionals on their own blogs or sites this way.

OTHER SITES

If you have unrelated passions, blogs are great. For example, I also have youcansellmorebooks.com and scrapbookmyadoptionblog.com which leads people back to scrapbookmyadoption.com - that way I don’t have to have it use up any space or reside on my ministry’s web site and confuse people.

BLOGS TO CREATE INTERACTION

If you want people to be able to comment with ease, etc. blogs are the way to go. For Invisible Illness week last sept, I used a blog. I had had the main site for years, invisibleillness.com but I wanted it to be more interactive, daily articles, etc. and be able to post ideas of ways to help promote the week without me having the stress of doing a newsletter. I put all the main information on the main web site and then used the blog. www.invisibleillnessblog.com for all the ways to get involved, guest bloggers, etc. I didn’t have to take time out to write a newsletter, and I could get people info 1-3 times a day. After the week, we’ve used it to post about 1 article a week or so to keep it active and soon I will start posting more. Which reminds me…

POSTING IN ADVANCE AND SCHEDULING IT

With just about all of the different blog software now you can post things in advance and schedule when they display which I LOVE. I blog a lot for everything when I have time and then just fill in the gaps as things come up. I am signed up for tons of Google alerts and I weed through those for newsworthy ideas to blog on. Or for our radio show for example, I can write up all the guest’s info when I have time and then have it post 2 weeks before their show. It’s great to focus for 3 days on 2 months worth of blogs, say, 2 per week and then write more as things come up. But at least that way if “life happens” you still have some activity going on with your blog.

It’s also nice if you run across something interesting that is time related to just be able to “do it now.” I have a great Father’s Day video I found that I blogged on last month and set the date to post before Father’s Day. Better than adding one more thing to my to do list!

TEMPLATES

When choosing a template, look at different features you may want. With wordpress you can click around and “try them on” and see what they feel like. I always want a “custom header” so I can do what I want. If you click on my blogs above, you’ll see they still fit in with my themes quite a bit. And a header and a few custom graphics can make it much more yours! When I updated my blog I decided to go more girly with some scrapbooking looks at chronicillnesssupport.com . You can see 1 template with 2 very different looks I have with www.chronicillnesssupport.com and www.youcansellmorebooks.com – just because of the different header and a few graphics I added. You can pay fees and have more templates, etc. I’ve not gone that route yet.

PAGES

Most blogs have pages so you can add them for things like “about the book” “buy the book” “about the author” etc. When looking at template, see where these “page tabs or links” show up. For example, on my main blog www.chronicillnesssupport.com it was important that I had obvious big buttons so I chose a template that had that. For www.hopeenduresradio.com the big buttons weren’t as important; it just has links on the right hand side.

PINGING, etc.

Once you have your blog set up go to www.feedburner.com and weed through it. Pining is part of most blog software’s features, which means whenever it’s updated, your blog let’s all the internet “crawlers” know it’s updated. If you blog consistently you will get into the google alerts for blogs, which is great.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

One feature everyone should have on their blog is the ability to let people sign up to get the blog updates via email. You can find this feature under “promotion” at feedburner. You will get a code of html, and then you will want to go to a text area of your blog and put that in there. I have this on all my blogs; with my audience, most people still don’t have RSS readers, and you want to make sure they can get updates!

WHO DO I USE FOR BLOGS?

My preference is simply WordPress for ease, but since they don’t allow Javascript, a lot of people love blogspot. I didn’t use blogspot a few years ago when I started because every site had a “next blog” button that would take you to anyone’s blog and I found some scary stuff when I tested some church blogs, and hit the “next” button. Now it looks like wordpress has “related themes” which isn’t necessarily good, but at least I hope they won’t think wicca is ever related to my blogs, etc.

I just moved my blog from typepad to wordpress to have them all in one place. Plus even with the $8.mo fee for Typepad it had a mind of it’s own and wasn’t very user friendly. All the blogging software (I believe) have the ability to export your files and import them into a new blogging software. It’s not seamless, but if you end up with software you don’t prefer, you do have the ability to move your posts.

WHAT IS MY FEED?

Even if you have your url be something like MyNewBooks.com your “feed” address will still have wordpress in it. It would be http://mynewbook.wordpress.com/feed – if you sign up for widgetbox.com or you have a site for example at ning.com and it asks for your “RSS” that’s the address you would put in. You can use this then all over, for example if you do a Squidoo.com page. (Which you should – they rank high in traffic for keywords for the amount of time it will take to do one.) You can see one of mine here for invisible illness week that has a bunch of feeds. http://www.squidoo.com/invisible_illness_awareness – this is another advantage to having a blog instead of just a web site. All these kinds of pages can have your feeds and then you won’t have to update the info, it does it automatically each time you update your web site.

I could keep writing, but these are some basics. Hope this helps!

Lisa

Should I Have a Blog?

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woman computer1 Should I Have a Blog?I get asked Should I Have a Blog? a lot and my answer is more frequently becoming “yes.” Here are the top 12 reasons I tell authors and others who are trying to promote their web site to start a blog.
  1. Your information gets into the feeds, meaning Google is scanning them for content and will pick it up much faster than a regular web site. I have Google Alerts set up for about 20 phrases and when I blog on that topic, it catches it immediately. As we planned for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, we multipled our efforts by creating the “I’m Blogging for Invisible Illness Awareness Week Badge,” creating multiple streams of feeds going out in Google Alerts each day.
  2. If you don’t know HTML, you’ll find blogging software pretty easy to use. You can always have someone build you a web site and then have your daily/monthly, etc updates done by you on your blog where you communicate with your audience. it will cost you much less and you can gain better exposure faster.
  3. Blogging encourages participation. Ask readers to leave their comments, ideas, suggestions. In a regular HTML web site all of this takes special programming.
  4. It’s easier to ask someone to add your blog to their blogroll than it is to get another web site to “link to you.” Linking HTML web site to other HTML web sites is still very popular and it’s what has actually created the internet. But if someone asks me for a link, I may be able to quickly add them to my blog roll if I like their blog, style, and beliefs. If they asked for a link on my web site, it could take 1-2 months for me to go in and actually update that web page. I just have other priorities.
  5. Blogs can have more personal layouts than in the past. You aren’t limited to a big blue box at the top with the title of your blog in white font. In fact, if you want to stick with a free template from Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, etc. just be sure to choose one that has a “header” as an option and then you can personalize it a bit more without a lot of work. You can see I do this frequently at my sites: Chronic Illness Pain Support, Scrapbookmyadoptionblog.com and youcansellmorebooks.com all have the option to add my own personal banner, which I’ve done.
  6. You can quickly organize all of your posts into categories so people can find information quickly. Whenever a thought hits you that doesn’t seem to have a category, just add a new one. Is there a hot new topic that pertains to your web site that just hit the news stands. Just add a category and blog about it. Are you having a book signing? Besides just keeping a calendar of your events (perhaps on a “page” not a “post”) write a couple of paragraphs about your experience. What would you do differently? What went great? Want to give a public thank you the bookstore that hosted it?
  7. You can set up a blog and start getting the feed out there within a few hours. In just a weekend I created Scrapbookmyadoptionblog.com and it’s sending traffic to my main web site!
  8. You can write posts for advance publishing. This wasn’t an option just a few years ago and when I asked a staff member at an internet marketing training seminar if this was possible she said “No…” and then smirked that “it never will be!” –because the whole idea of blogging was to be spontaneous. Well, that didn’t last. Now when you know you will be on vacation, having surgery, focusing on other ventures, you can write in advance and have it post whenever you want. If you are someone who has a lot going on, this is extremely helpful to make sure you have any holiday- oriented promotions ready to go well in advance too.
  9. You can “feed” people little bit sizes of information at a time. As we worked our way up to National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, we had lots of ways people could get involved. Previously, I had worked frantically to send out a weekly newsletter of things people could help out with, such as write to your local editor at the paper, mention the week in social networks, etc. I was overwhelmed and so were the readers–too much information at one time. This year, we sent out 1-2 ideas per day to get people involved and 1 guest blogger article (which people loved too. It made them feel like the daily posts weren’t just all about what they could do for us, but how we could serve them as well.) This was much more successful, plus, I was able to blog in advance so my timeline was a bit more organized. Next year will be even better!
  10. adopt hotel where we stayed Should I Have a Blog?
    Hotel Where We Stayed – Adoption Transparency

    Searching for blogging material keeps you active in your subject matter. I suggest signing up for Google Alerts so you know what is being talked about online. What is the top story of the day? What are other people blogging about? Your blog posts don’t have to be long; oftentimes you can pass along an article, statistic, personal experience someone had, and add your two-cents. I guarantee you that you will find yourself interested and blogging about topics you never would have considered or even thought of before your Alerts. And for many people, their blogs begin to form a series of articles and subject matter that can become a book. And you already have readers ready to buy that book too! (A publisher’s dream!)

  11. Lastly, you may find a niche area that you didn’t know existed, or another way to expand your own speciality. With scrapbookmyadoption.com I create transparency overlays for new adoptive moms to make recording their children’s baby book or scrapbook easily. I don’t want to become an adoption expert. I just want to help people create special books for their kids like I did for mine. To get the word out there, one of my best options was to blog about it. So at least once a week I am doing a post where I highlight different people impacted by adoption and something they wrote that touched me, and then I post a photo of the overlay that best relates to this topic. As I do this, I am finding more and more subject matter for new transparecies too.
  12. People love it when you blog about them. If you are quoting anyone who is a professional in their area of expertise, it doesn’t hurt to drop them a line and say “I am blogging abour your new book on this date.” But if you don’t, they may even see it in their Google Alerts. You also have the option to add their web site into the “Trackback Link” so they are notified someone has blogged on them. Wouldn’t you love waking up to notifications that people were writing nice things about you or your book last night? It’s a nice way to introduce yourself and even your product without a sales pitch. For example, many of the adoptive moms-to-be are happy to see I’ve blogged about their web site and am sending visitors over to it. And I happen to be selling a product they just may be interested in. But no sales pitch, no breaking the rules. It’s all just telling your readers about people, products, blogs, etc. that you believe in and then waiting for relationships to build.

Because of the ease of use, the ability to update the blog fast, the control over layouts that the lay person has, the lack of expense, and of course, the endless social networking possibilities, blogging is something every author should consider adding to his web site if he has one; and if he does not, he may want to start with the blog and then later add the web site if he still considers it beneficial.

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Save Time Online So You Can Write More

There are a million little ways to lose your precious writing time on the internet, even if you are trying to SELL your stuff, not just “surf.” But you can put your time to better use with this handy web site called Today’s Best Tools.

Be sure to bookmark Today’s Best Tools. (or better yet, sign up for their feed) so you can keep posted on amazing tools that will save you time and give you more book marketing ideas that you didn’t even know you needed.

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