The Second “How To” Group Research Project


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In May, a little idea turned into a big project - I wanted to learn more about Reddit, Squidoo, and several other marketing vehicles. But I didn’t really have the time to research all of them. So I asked the eMoms readers if they had their own ideas for research topics and suggested we pool our resources - thus, the first Group Research Project was born - and, by the way, it was a smashing success (participants report that they are STILL getting traffic from the first project a month and a half later!).

This time I wanted to do it a little more formally - to give everyone a bit more lead time to get ready and suggest topics, and also to gather together some prizes for the hardworking participants who make this project a success!

So, our wonderful, fabulous, and please-give-them-lots-of-attention sponsors are:

Prizes for Your Kids:

Cuvid Educational VideosCuVid is a super-cool company (founded by a super-cool work at home dad) that creates educational videos with the familiar faces of parents and grandparents for children 4 and under. But to be honest, even my 7 year old boy watched our copy multiple times because he couldn’t seem to get over the fact that mommy was on TV!

Prize - [2] CuVid Gift Cards to create your own DVD with Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa.

Follow Along Educational DVDsFox is releasing a brand-new DVD series this week (July 10th) called the Follow Along DVDs, using karaoke-style captioning to help kids learn to read. I have 5 copies of their 10 first wave of titles, including FernGully, Garfield, Ice Age, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids and Robots.

Prize - [5] Fox Follow-Along DVDs

Cranium Family Fun GameI am kicking in one of our favorite family games, the Cranium Family Fun Game. Although this game is labeled for kids 8+, we’ve been successful playing with both our 7 and 4 year old because we can easily modify the tasks (which are flipping hysterical sometimes!!).

Prize - [1] Cranium Family Fun Game

Prizes for Us Grown Ups Bloggers!

Search Engine StrategiesJennifer Laycock at Search Engine Guide is at it again - this time with a FREE Pass to her Search Marketing Bootcamp training, August 8th in Boston. This ticket usually costs $1,345 and the registration is limited to only 45 people - she offered it to me, but I can’t get to Boston next month. So we agreed that we would like to give it to you, you lucky, lucky readers. :D

Prize - [1] Ticket to Search Engine Bootcamp on August 8th in Boston

MyMuseSiteeMoms reader Don Giannatti has launched a new product for creating a full blown online store with content management system called MyMuseSite. What’s cool is that you can run it hosted OR self-hosted (whereas most cart systems are provided by hosting companies and you pay monthly). Although the one-time cost is priced extremely reasonably (I paid more for 3 months of a cart I never used), Don has offered a copy to one of you for free.

Prize - [1] Copy of MyMuseSite Content Management System and Online Store

Yummy stuff from eBags!Last year, this yummy laptop bag from eBags caught my eye, and I’ve wanted it ever since. I am a firm advocate of getting out of the house and working at your local free wifi spot to avoid burnout - so I’ll be giving you a helping and balancing hand in style when I send you this adorable portable office mover.

Prize - [1] Scrumptious Laptop Bag

So How Do You Participate in this Educational Blogging Party and Win these Swanky Prizes?

All you have to do is jump in and join the Group Research Project!

  1. Pick a topic below
  2. Leave a comment with the # of your choice (so that we can avoid too much overlap)
  3. Write a How To post on your blog
  4. Send me a trackback or email me a link by Thursday 10:00am CDT (GMT -6)
  5. I will post a roundup of everyone’s links on Thursday afternoon

Here’s our Subject List:

  1. How to minimize or eliminate the SEO impact of moving a blog URL (Jordan)
  2. How to maximize the use of StatCounter (Joe)
  3. How to choose a free web analytics package (Randa)
  4. How to use Reddit to market and promote your posts
  5. How to set up a blog on (Shaz)
  6. How does site code affect SEO, and what can a non-techie person do to understand what needs to be changed (Susan)
  7. How to start and market yourself as a consultant online (I nominate Dawud for this one!)
  8. How to migrate a blog from to a self-hosted blog (Todd)
  9. A quickstart guide to getting started with self-hosted WordPress (I have a series of posts planned for this)
  10. How to cross-market your blog and your business, promoting each to each other’s audience (Melissa)
  11. How to market and promote your business via Facebook
  12. How to get independent advertisers for a blog
  13. How to prepare for a Google Page Rank update (Court)
  14. How to set up a home business - as in the legal, bookkeeping, and business plan side of things (Stephanie)
  15. How can moms market their blogs and businesses via social networking, and which sites should they use (Char)
  16. The beginners guide to designing a WordPress theme for those who are graphically challenged (Shaz)
  17. The beginners guide to CSS (Lucy & Amy)
  18. How (and why) to get started Video Blogging (Stephen)
  19. How to leap from the security of a day job to a home business without collapsing under a punishing startup pace
  20. How to use Google Sitemaps (Jeri)
  21. How to balance work and home life for Dads (Ben)
  22. How to improve your copywriting skills (Roxy)
  23. How to write better headlines and hooks (Jo)
  24. How to market your business via MySpace (Aaron)
  25. Don’t see a good one? Add your own and leave it in a comment!

Obviously the topics have been claimed quickly - so please feel free to make up your own and let us know about it, or add your ideas below!
Happy learning everyone!

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    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:03 am, Lucy said:

    I enjoyed this game last time round, so would love to have another go.

    There’s a lot to learn about in this list, most of which I know nothing about, so I’m going to go for #17 … a huge topic, so I might have to limit it in some way!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:28 am, Char said:

    I think I have taken a good first step on #15 (Ultimate Guide to Where the Moms Are Online)but will gladly expand on it in a new post if you’d like.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:50 am, Jo said:

    I’d like to try #23. Thanks for the contest!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 8:21 am, Jeri said:

    I’ll take #20, Google Sitemaps - it’s an interesting topic.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 8:36 am, Todd Wells said:

    I will do #8 as I just moved my wife’s blog TeaPartyGirl
    from to self-hosted

    On July 10th, 2007 at 9:31 am, Court said:

    I’ll take #13! That’s a great list of topics.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 9:55 am, Ben Yoskovitz said:

    Wendy - sign me up for #21, it’s a topic I should tackle at some point and put some real thought to.

    Plus I can probably sneak in some cute pictures of my family!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:35 am, roxy said:

    I’ll dig into #22. I’m repeatedly accused of being an “English-nazi” (although I have an anthropologist’s curiosity about slang and webspeak) and I have some experience with working in keywords and writing for the web.

    What a fantastic way to interact with readers and pool resources.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:38 am, Amy Cham said:

    @Lucy - I can split CSS with you if you like. Say, one person takes font formatting, the other takes layout with divs and floats.

    If you want to tackle it yourself, I’ll take #6, what a non-tech needs to know about optimizing HTML for SEO. I did an overview in this post last month: but can do something in a more how-to tutorial style.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:39 am, Roberta said:

    Maybe I could create the topic “How to customize a wordpress theme easily” since I don’t know how to actually make one yet. That way I can show people what I started with and what the end result is (at my blog). :)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:46 am, said:

    I think I am going with #10.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:46 am, Gideon said:

    You look like you’ve got some great content. Do you allow eDads? Might be able to bring some SEO advice to the party…

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:50 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    Absolutely Gideon - there’s plenty of eDads hanging out around here! :)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:51 am, Bucky said:

    I recently published an article on “how to” reduce or altogether eliminate the junk mail that you receive via the post office. (Not email)

    I would like to enter this post into the contest. I will email you the link.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:22 am, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    I’ll do #1, since I have some personal experience there.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:46 am, shaz said:

    I take #5, since I already kinda did it on my blog - I’ll update it a little for this. I also planned on #16 - as in how to customize a WordPress theme, in case no one volunteers for that.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:58 am, Joe Cheray said:

    I will tackle number 2. I want to do two reports one for my weight loss site and one for my design site respectively.

    How long do we have till Friday?

    On July 10th, 2007 at 12:04 pm, Stephanie said:

    I’ll tackle #14.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 12:14 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    @ Jordan - can you cover the Technorati impact, too? Also, the original questioner wondered what the impact would be if they moved their blog from the main index to a sub-folder. Thanks ;) I’m glad you’re participating again this time around!

    @ Joe - deadline is Thursday, not Friday. Last time I made the deadline Friday and it took about 4 hours to put together the final post, and it didn’t go live until Saturday. I wanted to make it earlier so that we get the chance to hit the social media sites and everyone can get as much exposure from their participation as possible!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 12:33 pm, Lucy said:

    Hi Amy - I’d be happy to split the CSS topic, after all, people write whole books explaining CSS! Shall I do fonts while you have a go at divs/floats? Let me know if you’d rather do t’other way round.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 1:36 pm, Stephen Welton said:

    Hi Wendy I will put my keyboard to work on the How and Why to Video Blog.

    A first glance at it. Mostly the WHY

    # 18

    On July 10th, 2007 at 1:39 pm, Aruni said:

    I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see what all of you write about. I’m still getting my feet wet and right now feel like it’s a full time job just to keep up with my blog. :-)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 2:23 pm, Aaron said:

    I’ll try #24. I’ve had a bit of luck with it and am looking to expand on it some more.

    Great idea and thanks for letting us all help out.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 2:37 pm, Matt said:

    I’ll do one on the different ways of protecting forms from SPAM bots.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:20 pm, Ryan Shamus said:

    I’m a huge fan of group writing projects, and it would be great to take part in this one.

    I recently wrote an article about counter-measures you can take to prevent Google PageRank leak on your blog or website, and I’d love to expand on it for this project.

    Sound okay?


    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:39 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Ryan - that would be AWESOME - I know a couple of people off of the top of my head that have been wondering about that lately - thanks!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:54 pm, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    @Wendy–Thanks for the extra info; I was going to leave Technorati off because I’ve never found a good way to fix it there (so sad).

    On July 10th, 2007 at 4:03 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    OMG - TELL me about it! :cry:

    On July 10th, 2007 at 4:42 pm, Susan said:

    I was going to suggest “Preventing Google Leak” but looks like Ryan has that one already, dang. Ok… guess I will go with …. #16. I have been meaning to finalize some of my designs so this will be a good push. Thanks for the contest.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 4:47 pm, said:

    Wendy, my blog is already under your “Mentions on other sites…”, but here is the link for the contest

    On July 10th, 2007 at 4:53 pm, Susan said:

    Oh wait! I would like to change mine since #16 is already being done. I would like #6 please. No one appears to have that one yet. Thanks!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:06 pm, Susan said:

    ummm once the contest is over mind if we nip a few of these topics for additional posts? Or better yet do we get extra points for entering more than one post? My mind is just reeling with all the possibilities as I read through this list.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:13 pm, Katie said:

    Hi Wendy - I would like to grab #12… didn’t see if someone else had it already? I am completely uneducated in this topic, so my research will be for novices. Ok?

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:14 pm, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    Wendy, if it’s not too much work, would it be possible for you to update the post by striking through or starring or otherwise noting topics that have been claimed? I remember a few being double claimed last time around, and this might help minimize confusion.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:21 pm, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    Oh, you got my message telepathically and did me one better! Nice!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 6:28 pm, Joe Cheray said:


    Mine is done for StatCounter.
    I decided to just post on my design blog with my stats for that blog. I just moved my weight loss blog to WordPress so I am going to wait to do that one until I get some solid numbers further down the road.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 6:41 pm, Susan said:

    Wendy, I notice your comment count is off.. the top of this topic shows “20 comments on this item” and this comment will make 37…

    On July 10th, 2007 at 8:00 pm, Michael said:

    This list of articles to be written is impressive. I am excited to read all of these posts once they are written. It will be good to read other points of view on these topics.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 8:18 pm, Chris Gray said:


    #4 “How to use Reddit to market and promote your posts” sounds interesting. I could give this topic a go…

    On July 10th, 2007 at 8:25 pm, Suzie Cheel said:

    I’ll take #11, I just recently joined Facebook and will be good to learn how to

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:06 pm, derek said:

    I’m late to the party, I was going to grab #21 but I see Ben has already claimed that one.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:24 pm, Amy Cham said:

    @Lucy- Sounds great! I’ll put together a classic three-column CSS tutorial!

    On July 10th, 2007 at 11:33 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    @ Derek - PLEASE do #21 anyway based on our prior conversations. ;) I’d really love to read two posts on that one!

    On July 11th, 2007 at 7:02 am, Dawud Miracle said:

    Hey Wendy. I’ll take on #7. I’ll try to make it tomorrow’s (Thurs) post. Thanks for the nomination.

    On July 11th, 2007 at 8:20 am, derek said:

    Wendy, I’ll join Ben with a post on #21.

    On July 11th, 2007 at 8:23 am, Ben Yoskovitz said:

    @Derek - Cool. Looking forward to more insights.

    I’ve published my post:

    On July 11th, 2007 at 8:37 am, derek said:

    @Ben :: Getting the post completed will be a work/life challenge by itself as I am currently dealing with a few issues with the contractor installing our new windows!

    On July 11th, 2007 at 8:40 am, Steve Olson said:


    On July 11th, 2007 at 12:36 pm, JerkyBeef said:

    I would get in on the action, but i am unsure what to write about any suggestions?

    On July 11th, 2007 at 12:51 pm, Chris Gray said:

    I know that Jordan is going to tackle #1 but if you needed backup I recently published an article on how to move a blog post with respect to SEO using a 301 redirect. Hope this helps :)

    On July 11th, 2007 at 1:26 pm, derek said:

    I’ve made my post on #21 - finding work/life balance for dads:

    On July 11th, 2007 at 1:29 pm, Andy Bargery said:

    Hi there,

    I’d love to have a go at #4 about using Reddit. Not sure I’ll make it by Thursday though…

    Great idea by the way!


    On July 11th, 2007 at 2:17 pm, Chris Furmanski said:

    Wendy, did you tailor #19 just for me???? I got it covered… I’ll get to it this weekend…

    On July 11th, 2007 at 3:16 pm, Phil Van Treuren said:

    Well, I wrote and published my post on How to Balance Your Work and Home Life, but I see that Ben has claimed it. Can this post still be included in the project? Link below . . .

    On July 11th, 2007 at 3:19 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Phil, that topic has been covered by a couple of dads - and I don’t mind at ALL!

    I have found it to be a hot subject with readers here, so the diverse posts on the subject will undoubtedly be well received!

    On July 11th, 2007 at 4:49 pm, Ryan Shamus said:

    Wendy, here is my contribution, I hope it’s up to par!

    Looking forward to all the great info we’re about to read :) This contest should be a huge success!

    On July 11th, 2007 at 7:19 pm, Amy Cham said:
    On July 11th, 2007 at 9:32 pm, JerkyBeef said:

    Here is my contribution:

    How to Start an Online Store


    On July 11th, 2007 at 10:18 pm, StephenWelton said:

    Here We Go Again!

    On July 12th, 2007 at 12:01 am, Stephanie said:
    On July 12th, 2007 at 12:35 am, Lucy said:

    Here’s my contribution

    CSS for beginners - changing fonts

    On July 12th, 2007 at 2:25 am, Cade said:

    Here is my link for #19.

    Let me know if that works and email me if you have any questions. Thanks again for the opportunity and I am excited to view the other posts.

    On July 12th, 2007 at 6:27 am, Don@AffiliateWatcher said:

    Hi Wendy,

    Sorry to be a late comer, just been busy with my real world

    Although I didn’t originally write this for your Group Writing Project, I did write the “How To Get Your Adsense Account Banned” post yesterday. Is it too late to enter? I’ve linked to it through my Comment name above.


    On July 12th, 2007 at 7:33 am, Dennis Bjørn Petersen said:

    I’ll write about my recent domain move. Moving from a .dk to a .com with a brand new domain name.

    You can find it here:

    On July 12th, 2007 at 7:56 am, Susan said:

    Here is my entry for #6.

    Non-techies intro to Site SEO

    On July 12th, 2007 at 8:26 am, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    Oh man. After working really hard on this, it looks like other people came in and wrote on it, too.

    Sigh. What can ya do?

    Here’s #1:

    On July 12th, 2007 at 8:56 am, Chris Gray said:

    @Jordan - I’m Sorry, I was not trying to steal your thunder…I was just mentioning that I recently wrote up a post on the topic (if you all needed some backup). I just finished reading your post and you knocked it out of the park!!! It was a great (comprehensive) tutorial on the subject. Also, thanks for the honorable mention :)

    On July 12th, 2007 at 8:59 am, Jordan (MamaBlogga) said:

    @Chris–that’s okay, you covered all the code stuff really well. And I shouldn’t “hog” a topic.

    On July 12th, 2007 at 9:12 am, Chris Gray said:

    @Wendy - I just finished posting a response to #4 - How to use reddit to market and promote your posts.

    @Jordan - It’s nice to be able to pull our resources and answer some of these looming questions :)

    On July 12th, 2007 at 10:39 am, Joe Cheray said:

    HOLY SMOKES! WOW there is an awesome turnout for this one going to take me a month of Sundays to get to everyones blogs this weekend.

    On July 12th, 2007 at 11:31 am, Roberta said:

    Is it too late to get in on this? I really wanna enter to be involved in the community aspect, not the prizes one. I’ve been taking it easy, but I’d like to join in, if it’s not too late ;)

    On July 12th, 2007 at 11:34 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    Roberta and everyone - if you have any last minute entries get them in fast! ;)

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