Tag Archives: blog

5 Free Sites for Creating Your Own Comics

Remember those good old days where we used to reading comics? Those days, only people who can draw would become comic strip authors. In some cases, the comics were difficult to understand (maybe due to language barrier) or were too dull to read.

With the Internet today, fortunately, everyone can create his/her own comics regardless of any talent as an artist.

Inserting some comic strips of your own into your blog post would be fun.

Depending on what you’re going for, you can use one of these six sites to help you create your own comics.

1. MakeBeliefsComix.com

Thanks to Bill Zimmerman and Tom Bloom, MakeBeliefsComix.com is easy to use, even for children. Users can choose from 25 characters to fill a two-, three-, or four-paneled comic strips, and each character comes with several expressions. In addition, you can even add objects and talk bubbles into the strips. Currently, the site supports typing in seven different languages and is planning to add more Asian languages in near future. One limiting factor is colour where the  background is restricted to a few colour options only. Overall, it is simple and easy-to-use, and you can easily finish creating your own comics in less than 10 minutes!

2. MarvelKids.com’s Create Your Own Comic

Marvel, this name should sound familiar to most comic or cartoon lovers. Not a surprise, the company has its own DIY comic site especially for kids (as stated in the domain name marvelkids.com).

You can create your own comics with some Marvel superheroes like The Hulk, Falcon, Wolverine, etc. It also has different styles of panels, I personally like zig-zag the most (as shown in the image above). Not only that, you can even create up to a 22-page comic book. If you’re looking for a customized comics of your own, this site might not be suitable for you since all features of the site (characters, background, objects) are of Marvel images.

3. Pixton

This is the comic strip creation website for artists. The site allows for as much customization as possible without the need to build from scratch. Instead of just choosing the colour of a character’s shirt, for instance, there are options to adjust the collar, shape, sleeves and size of the shirt. Instead of relying on preset poses and emotions for each character, users are able to click and drag character limbs into new postures and can customize eyes, ears, noses and hairstyles.

Successful comics vie every day for a spot in the prestigious Pixton Top 10.

Find it difficult to understand? Watch this video:

4. ToonDoo

There is an extensive library of characters and objects you can use for your comic strip in ToonDoo. Besides, there are also tools to create your own touches. The TraitR tool allows you to create custom characters and DoodlR lets you paint freely. If you want to use your own photos or another image in your comic strip, you can manipulate it through the ImagineR photo tool. See the girl in the second panel? This is how Emery (our Sales Executive) looks like! Unlike other sites, there’s an option to save your project mid-creation so that you can come back to it later.

5. Strip Generator

I have personally tried creating a comic using Strip Generators. It has fewer characters compared to other sites, and everything is in black & white. However, due to the limited character options and features, the comic theme is significant. If you’re creative, the conversation between characters could be humour too. I personally think that it is very useful for short comics.

One unique capability is adjustable frames. If you need a specific cell to be a bit wider or longer, you can just drag the wall. Another stand-out trait is the personal library. When you tweak an image to get it just right, you can save it to use again later.

 

I guess now you’re getting very excited to create your own comics now. Happy Trying!

 

This post is contributed by Sarah Kessler and summarized by WOW Team.

 

Why Self-Host WordPress is Better?

There are a lot of people who are able to earn substantial amounts of cash with the use of blogs. Blogs are usually created to express your views regarding something. However, since you are doing it, you should not miss the opportunity of making money from it right? Many people are able to earn money through affiliate marketing, selling ads spaces, and many more with the use of blogs. Now, if you want to start an online career with blogging, you need to know that there are 2 types of blogs in general. The first one is the free option which is provided by Blogspot, while the other one is called self-host, which means that you provide your own hosting. You can always begin your career with the free version. However, many would do this just for the purpose of practicing. Once you are able to get the hang of it, then you should proceed in making and posting blogs through the paid version. There are a lot of reasons why you should go with the self-host version of blogging through WordPress.

Control

If you continue with Blogspot, which is owned by Google, it means that you do not have full control over your web page. With this, Google may delete your Blogspot whenever they deem it necessary without even informing you of their intention. This becomes a possibility due to the presence of several web spammers. Since Google supports the cause to control these spammers, they have included a feature in Blogspot for anyone to report a certain blog as a spam. If someone just has bad intentions towards you and your blog, he can easily report it as a spam. You may not be informed when this is done and Google will have the final say on what to do with your free blog. With this, there is a possibility that Google might remove your blog. Because of this, all your work may just go to waste and you will need to start from scratch. Many bloggers have already encountered this, which is why more and more people prefer the paid option.

Enhancing SEO

If you do your self-hosting with WordPress, you will be enhancing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is because WordPress has a lot of tools to make it possible. One example is the available of plugin that is not available through Blogspot. Because of this, you will be able to enjoy more targeted traffic to your WordPress blog. As you may know, the more people visiting your site, the more chances you will have in making more money.

Credibility

When you proceed with your blogging career through WordPress and have it hosted by the web hosting company (such as Serverfreak), you will be able to build your credibility. When you self-host a blog, you will be able to choose your own domain name with it. People will always appreciate it more, when they are visiting sites with unique, simple, and easy to remember domain names. Therefore, you will be able to build your own brand and make your website gain a more professional reputation.

A lot of advantages can be derived from self-host blogs. Today, many web hosting companies including Serverfreak are offering special hosting package for self-host WordPress blogs. You can now start your own online career with a self-host blog. The good news is that you can even import your existing blog from Blogspot to WordPress at a click! What are you waiting for?

Import Your Blog from Blogspot to WordPress

One of the online opportunities you can take advantage of these days is creating blogs. Creating blogs is so easy since all you need to do is follow the simple steps provided by blogspot. With blogspot, the very first thing you may do is create your account. After which, you can proceed with the creation of your blog. Creating a blog with blogspot is very easy, since all you need to do is select the theme and templates to build it. Once you have chosen from the various options, you can proceed by uploading your content on it. Now, blogspot is a free service, and if you want to earn more from your blogs, you want to get your own web hosting company and transfer it to WordPress. To achieve this, you can subscribe to the web hosting and import your content from blogspot to WordPress.

http://www.blogger.com

In moving your blog to WordPress, you should know that there are issues that may not be favorable for you. In relation to this, you should make sure that you follow certain steps in doing the move. One of the issues you may encounter is that, some of the articles you have in your blogspot may already have been indexed by the search engines. This could mean that they are already ranking high in search engines, whenever people search for information with the use of certain keywords. This is of course, a very good sign; however, when you transfer them to WordPress, it means that you may also need to change your domain name. When you change it, your articles may lose all their high rankings in search engines.

Another downside that you may encounter when you move your blog to WordPress is that, people who are already used to view your blog for updates may lose their way. Some of these people might have already bookmarked your blog for easy access. Whenever they use it, they will find nothing when you have already transferred your blog, especially when they use links to access your blog from other sites.

All in all, the issue that you may be able to encounter when you do this move is lost in traffic, and that you may have to start from scratch. Starting from scratch would mean that you may also lose all the money making activities you have been enjoying with your blogspot. Therefore, it is imperative that you find a work around first before you make the move.

The good news however, is that a solution has already been made available regarding this issue. Such a solution usually involves giving WordPress the authorization to access your blogspot account. After which, WordPress will then be able to import all your old blog posts to your new WordPress site. It would also include importing comments that have been posted on your posts; therefore, everything would stay the same. This is usually the initial step that would be taken in importing your blog to WordPress effectively.

Such information can be accessed on a lot of blogs and sites on the internet. It is a good idea though that you acquire a good hosting service along with WordPress, so that it will work at its best. It is one of the web hosting providers you can tap for WordPress. Once you have done this, all you need to do is locate a good source for the information of importing your blog to WordPress. This will ensure that you will be able to import everything without losing traffic, search engine ranking, and RSS subscriber.

10 Tips for Corporate Blogging

There is a study on “how corporate blogging can help small businesses”, and it is found that small businesses with corporate blogs receive 55 percent more traffic than small businesses that don’t blog. As the blogging culture grows rapidly in the recent years, companies should be taking note on how to improve their blogs, attract more readers and get more results.

*I realized that most of our blog visitors stay not more than 3 minutes on our blog posts. I will keep this post as short, simple, precise as possible (as we understand time is money).

1. Establish a Content Theme and Editorial Guidelines

First, you should define your blog theme. Then choose a blog name that fits well with your company’s expertise. Your blog should provide information for consumers interested in your area of business. For example, ServerFreak’s blog provides information of web hosting, technology, social media, web design, etc. which is highly related to our business field.

Secondly, create a set of editorial guidelines that your bloggers will follow. Even though you company currently does not have a blogging team, or perhaps YOU are the one who blog for your company, an editorial guideline is important as it guides the following:

– what topics to cover?
– how the post should be written?
– how often to update the blog?

2. Choose a Blogging Team and Process


Choose a team of core bloggers to begin your blogging adventure. Select individuals that are knowledgeable and comfortable writing about the areas you would like to cover. Also, it’s key to choose people who write well and have a great online presence (I believe you do not want to see any grammar mistakes in your corporate blog). Of course, this highly depends on your company affordability to hire a blogging team, and also your willingness to “invest” – remember, it is proven that corporate blogging helps to grow small businesses.

3. Humanize Your Company

Don’t let your customers think that they are reading something from a company. The conversation should come between people (you and me), not between a brand and one person. Bloggers should have their own personalities and writing styles. Always keep in mind that your blog is about people connecting and conversing with people, not a corporation.

4. Avoid PR and Marketing

Do not sell your products through the corporate blog. There are other appropriate places for that, and your blog should not be one of them.

Your blog should add value to your readers. Readers like to read blog for more information, and they (including myself) seriously hate the pressure of hard-selling. And for the times that you do not have an opinion on an important topic, gauge your community’s opinion by taking a poll or interviewing key people. I personally think that poll is fun, and thus I have created a poll on our blog’s side bar. Have a look!

5. Welcome Criticism

Often times, corporations avoid to opening up their websites and blogs for commenting and interaction, because they are afraid of the harm that criticisms may cause. Make it a policy to welcome criticism, thinking of it as an opportunity for feedback and improvement. There are lots of ways to deal with negative feedback, so don’t be afraid to open up to your community.

6. Outline a Comment Policy

Be aware that if you open up your blog for full feedback (which you should), you will get a variety of comments — constructive, complimentary, hateful, and spam. Be prepared for everything. Create a comment policy that your team can follow, and make sure everyone is on same page. Outline the types of comments that should be responded to, deleted or passed along for follow-up.

7. Get Social


You can never under-estimate the power of social media. Make sure you utilize the “share tools” so that your visitors can pass along your content to their friends, or even friends of friends – that is when you can expand your brand awareness. Imagine if your readers find that your content is pretty interesting and are looking for the “Twitter”, “Facebook”, “Digg” buttons to share it, but they can’t find one in your blog, isn’t it you are driving away your potential customers?

Implement a social media strategy for your blog is vital too. Start creating the appropriate profiles across social networks that your readers and customers are active on. Usually, Facebook and Twitter are a good start. When you post on your blog, announce the new post on your social networks and ask for your reader’s opinions on the subject. Promote your social presence on your blog, by implementing links, buttons and widgets that link to your social profiles. This will enable readers to stay connected with you across platforms.

8. Promote Your Blog

Just as you would promote any other company initiative, get the word out about your blog. Share the URL on your website, social networks, business cards, e-mails, and advertisements. What I did is that I shared the

ServerFreak’s blog URL on my email’s signature. Everytime I reply an email to clients, they can see the link in my email. Of course, they might not click it, but at least they know that we do have a blog!

9. Monitor Mentions and Feedback

One way to get a pulse on your blog and its effects on the community is to monitor mentions and feedback.

To make things easier with Twitter, set up custom search columns in a Twitter client, such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or CoTweet. The columns will update in real time, keeping you up-to-date on brand and blog mentions at all times.

10. Track Everything


I believe that you are always curious how many people are reading your blog? where are they from? which post they are most interested with?

You can track all this! If you currently do not have a web analytics tool, check out Google Analytics, a free analytics tool with an easy-to-use interface.

Learn from the data and adjust your blogging guidelines accordingly.

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, re-posted by Erica Swallow, and summarized by WOW.

Blogger of the Month

We appreciate and understand the importance of bloggers to our business. In appreciation to our blogger clients, we organize the “Blogger of the Month”!

What you get?

  1. Free Publicity of Your Blog at our WOW Website!
    You may design a customized online banner of your blog and send it to us (banner size: 550px x 344px). We will frame and post your banner to our Frisky page. Your banner will link to your blog. **Pornographic images and any image that involved cruelty or violence to humans or animals/wildlife will not be permitted.
  2. Cold Hard CASH!!!
    Yes, we pay you cash as commission.

Example:


How to participate?

**Isn’t it a Win-Win situation we would like to promote?


Who can Participate?

ServerFreak’s blogger clients only, including bloggers who have previously signed up for our Affiliate program.

For Our Affiliate

What if you are a blogger client of ServerFreak, and you have previously signed up for our Affiliate program? No worries! You can still sign up for this competition in few simple steps.


When can you Participate?

Anytime from 1st August 2010 onwards.


What is the Evaluation Criteria?

Basically is the SALES VALUE in Ringgit Malaysia (MYR) that is generated through your referral. In other words, it is the sales generated when someone click into the ServerFreak banner which you posted on your blog and he/she had made a purchase of any ServerFreak services. The TOTAL sales generated in a month will be accumulated and calculated at the end of every month (i.e. 31st August 2010).


When will you Get Paid?

When your commission achieves RM100.00, you will be able to request payment by clicking on the Request Withdrawal button that will be appeared when you achieving the amount.


How will you Get Paid?

After we have received your request to withdraw the balance, we will pay you through Maybank2U, Interbank Transfer or Paypal.


Question?

Email us at WOW@serverfreak.com or sign up now at the same email address!