Should We Eat Animals?

When I was about 6, I asked my parents where meat came from. When they told me it was from animals that had been killed, I immediately decided to stop eating meat. I mainly stuck with that resolution through my childhood and teen years, with occasional transgressions, usually involving hot dogs at ball games or cookouts. Presently, my diet is probably 99% vegetarian (though not vegan), the other 1% mainly fish and organic turkey or chicken. Yet, over the years I have gone back and forth and in circles considering the ethical and nutritional implications of being a vegetarian. There are many ways to view this issue. One of the main arguments in favor of a carnivorous, or omnivorous diet is that hunting and meat eating are a basic part of the natural order. The opposing argument is that humans have the power to rise to a higher ethical standard. To this, the meat eater often responds that we have to kill even to eat vegetables, to which the vegetarian will usually say that plants are of a lower order and do not have the same capacity to feel pain (though some even argue this point). The nutritional side of the debate is no less convoluted. Vegetarian activists insist that meat eaters do not live as long, and have higher incidences of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. These are highly disputed points. Some meat eaters have taken the organic route, believing that many health problems associated with meat are actually the result of the conditions found at factory farms and all the questionable additives used, such as hormones and antibiotics. To cloud the issue even more, the vegetarian camp is deeply divided on the issue of consuming animal products such as eggs, milk and other dairy products. Vegans, taking the basic vegetarian position one step further, believe that consuming any animal products is unhealthy. Many also take an ethical stand, pointing out the conditions suffered by animals who supply humans with their milk and eggs. This, we must note, is not an argument against animal products per se, only against the mainstream model that is currently used. Organic and free range alternatives are now widely available. It is, however, often questionable whether some of these alternatives are really as benign as they would have us believe. A certain portion of vegans actually take the hard line stance that it is wrong in principle to “exploit” animals for their food products, even if they are not harmed in the process. While I sometimes waffle on the bigger questions, I can say that I do not agree with this position, so long as the animals are well cared for. One argument that I find fairly persuasive, coming from the carnivore side, is that when we look at eating habits historically, vegetarianism is quite rare and veganism almost unknown. I am talking now about what can be verified; some hypothesize an idyllic remote past when humans were vegetarians. Many traditional cultures did not consume large quantities of meat or animal products, but it is difficult to find a strictly vegetarian society, apart from certain religious subcultures in places like India. And in these cases, animal products were not taboo. In India, the sacredness of cows is not considered an injunction against milk products. The ethical implications of a meat vs. vegetable diet is something everyone simply (or perhaps not so simply) has to work out for themselves. To some extent, this is also true of the health aspect. In both instances, however, I think we can safely conclude that the current model of treating and eating animals is highly unsatisfactory and inhumane. There are also many questionable implications to our health in consuming animals and animal products that originate in modern mass-production facilities or factory farms. My own conclusion, from the nutritional standpoint, is that if you choose to consume animals and/or animal products, is best to stick to high quality (usually meaning organic) products and in smaller quantities than is typical for modern American or Western diets. I think this decision alone, while not resolving the more complex moral questions, is a marked improvement over the status quo of the modern diet.

Welcome Some Popular Webkinz Stuff Animals, Online Animals and Kingdom

A popular children’s website today is for Webkinz toys, at: http://www.webkinz.com. Webkinz are small, cute and cuddly stuffed animals, only a little different because each bears a secret code on the label that can be used by the animal’s owner at the Webkinz website. Once children enter the Webkinz toy’s code, the can set up a free account for their beloved Webkinz pet and enjoy all types of online activities there: 1) They can then interact with fellow Webkinz owners in cyber-space. 2) Children can have fun being new owners of a variety of Webkinz pets. Online Webkinz pets not only give you the option to buy plus keep them in your cyber bedroom, they also give you the opportunity to be a part of their new virtual world where you can interact and play together 24/7, even on rainy days. Thus children can enjoy a chance to play with different pets online, getting to know more about them. 3) There are a bunch of different kinds of pets available at Webkinz, and of course children like them all. These range from cats, and big cats, to dogs, horses, hippos, pigs, ducks, frogs, bears, monkeys, rabbits, koala bears, elephants, cows and more. Some of these are also known as Lil Kinz. Time to take a look at some of the more popular Webkinz animals. These categories and pets include: Bears: Bears are represented by formidable Black Bear, icy Polar bear and laid back Panda. Big Cats: Have some feline fun with little cats and BIG cats, from lions, representing the most regal part of Big Cats at Webkinz, to leopards, those strong and friendly beasts, to Tigers who invite you to adopt it. Cats: There are cats with different names. The clever Alley Cat now lives in Kinzville. Black and White cat likes to play games. Cheeky Cat is always devoted to its owner while Persian cat comes with soft fluffy hair and sweet winning smile. Gray and White cat has a personality with as many facets as a rainbow. Dogs: Enjoy games with all types of canines ranging from Dalmatians, to Basset Hounds, Pink Poodles, Bull Dogs, Chihuahuas to Golden Retrievers and other canines. You name it and they are all there, each representing the characteristic of its race. Frogs: There are cold blooded Frogs, leaping Tree frogs and Bull Frogs in search of a new abode. They are all good enough to make your day. Horses: Each toy in the horse category boasts its own quality and legend associated with it. For example, Pegasus has glimmering wings. Unicorn lives behind mountains. Clydesdale has adventurous spirit and heart of gold. Pink Pony is one of the prettiest. Monkeys: Play with Cheeky Monkeys and intelligent Gorilla’s. Rabbits: Run into snow white Rabbits and sweet Sherbert Bunny to choose from. In addition to these categories, there are other Webkinz animals like big and lovely elephants, big hearted Hippos, little Pigs, shy and mysterious Googles ducks, super cool cows and adventurous koalas to choose form. There are pets available in all categories and types. Thus there is a huge variety of Webkinz animals for the kids to select from. In fact,buy all of them if you like.

Is This The Most Amazing Animal On Earth? The Magnificent Leatherback Sea Turtle

The leatherback sea turtle may be the most amazing animal on earth. Like the other remaining species of marine turtle, it left its four-footed land ancestors about 110 million years ago, developed flippers, and populated the Seven Seas—before there were Seven Seas.

Mother Earth was a very different place way back then.

Although humans look around at the world and think that the rivers, canyons, and mountains we see today have always been there, nothing could be farther from the truth.

For example, today’s Himalayas of Tibet and India were not mighty when turtles first entered the oceans. Indeed, the Himalayas were still 65,000,000 years away from even existing.

Australia was connected to Antarctica when the first leatherbacks took to the sea and would not uncouple from it for about thirty million more generations of these sea animals.

South America remained near West Antarctica. Another eighty million years would pass before Antarctica would turn into the frigid continent we see.

The South Atlantic Ocean was still forming. Indeed, not only were there no Seven Seas way back then, there were only two spectacular supercontinents, not the seven continents of today.

This ancient time spawned these ancient sea turtles.

When the ancestors of today’s leatherbacks turned to the ocean, there were no birds in the sky, no elephants, mastodons, mammoths, and not even a tiny mouse because there were no birds or mammals at all on earth.

The mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex would not terrorize the planet for about four hundred thousand centuries more. Yes, that is right: 400,000 centuries.

Maybe you know that dolphins and whales originated from land animals and went to sea long ago. That is really impressive! Except to a sea turtle. Why? Because leatherbacks had been swimming the world’s oceans for more than fifty million years before those mighty leviathons—which are closely related to hippopotamus—evolved, left the land, and entered the sea, as well.

Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles and can weigh nearly a ton, They were here long before the first dinosaur, survived the greatest mass extinction the world has ever experienced, and flourished. But, that spectacular ability to adapt is not why they are so amazing.

Consider this: the world marveled , and properly so, at Michael Phelps’ 200 meter freestyle world record time. But, as fast as he covered that length, a huge leatherback, weighing about as much as the entire offensive line of a professional football team, would swim to 1,000 meter mark—more than a third of a mile farther than Michael.

In fact, this magnificent relic is listed in the 1992 Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest reptile on earth!

It might be fairer to our race if the world’s fastest sprinter competed against a swimming leatherback. At 100 meters, the race would be very close and maybe won by a nose—by the human. At 400 meters, it’d be a blow-out—for the turtle.

Not only does this ancient being swim five times the speed of the fastest human the world has produced, it may also be the world’s greatest long-distance migrating creature. One of these giants was monitored migrating 13,000 miles—and that was only to the destination from which it needed to return.

Besides its incredible speed and stamina, it is the deepest diving marine turtle on the planet, regularly diving nearly 4,000 feet underwater. For perspective, today’s nuclear attack submarines are allowed to dive to a maximum normal operating depth of about 1,600 feet because they’d crush under the sea pressure at about 2,400 feet. Man’s best technology and strongest metal and composite materials are no match for the diving ability of this ancient reptile.

Leatherbacks are found not only in all tropical and subtropical waters on earth but have been seen as far north as the Arctic Circle, in Alaska, near Quebec, and Norway, and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope and even below New Zealand, in waters as cold as 40°F. Yet, even though they are, like all reptiles, cold blooded, they remain toasty warm because they can maintain a body temperature as much as 32°F (18°C) higher than the surrounding water.

Disgracefully, in just three decades, man’s rapacious greed and carelessness have decimated the numbers of this magnificent creature. Between 1980 and 2005, the number of leatherback sea turtles in Mexico declined 99% , a a disaster for this species since that country had about two thirds of the world’s total leatherbacks.

Mexico should not be singled out because, all across the globe, leatherback populations collapsed. For example, not long ago 10,000 leatherbacks nested in Malaysia each year. As recently as 2008, two leatherbacks nested on these once productive beaches.

Today, more than 100 countries and hundreds of conservation groups are fighting to stem the decline of this magnificent race but it remains to be seen if this most ancient of all creatures can survive your generation and mine.

Somewhere, Angels are weeping.

10 Simple Tips For Photographing Wildlife

These are ten easy tips for photographing wildlife.

1. Patience
You cannot rush a photo opportunity. It happens when it happens.

2. The wildlife is in charge
Be mindful that this is a wild animal and respect its’ personal space.

3. Listen & Be Prepared
If you are on a wildlife photography adventure, always be ready to take a photo. Also, keep in mind that if you are sitting there with your eye in the viewfinder with a tripod, you will often miss some amazing photo opportunities going on above and behind you.

4. Seriously, Be Patient
The wildlife is not waiting there for you to come and photograph it.

5. Walk Softly
Be as quiet and as slow as you can when moving around, so as not to startle any wildlife that may be right around the corner.

6. Eyes Are The Window to the Soul
The most striking wildlife images have the sharpest focus on the animals eye/s.

7. Watch Body Language
All animals, will give off warning signs that you are too close. Be mindful of these actions, and never corner an animal so that it has nowhere to go.

8. Practice Movement
Practice photographing wildlife moving/flying at home so that when that Great Blue Heron takes to flight, you don’t miss some amazing photos.

9. Take Natural Images
Take advantage of wildlife doing natural things. Some of the most beautiful images are things such as birds preening their feathers. Many people are not patient enough to wait to see this beautiful, natural action.

10. Be Courteous of Others
Be respectful of other people around you when photographing wildlife. There is no need to block someone’s shot or scare the wildlife away. We all have a unique eye & vantage point and the same animal photographed at the same time will never look the same through the lens.

Is This The Most Amazing Animal On Earth? The Magnificent Leatherback Sea Turtle

The leatherback sea turtle may be the most amazing animal on earth. Like the other remaining species of marine turtle, it left its four-footed land ancestors about 110 million years ago, developed flippers, and populated the Seven Seas—before there were Seven Seas.

Mother Earth was a very different place way back then.

Although humans look around at the world and think that the rivers, canyons, and mountains we see today have always been there, nothing could be farther from the truth.

For example, today’s Himalayas of Tibet and India were not mighty when turtles first entered the oceans. Indeed, the Himalayas were still 65,000,000 years away from even existing.

Australia was connected to Antarctica when the first leatherbacks took to the sea and would not uncouple from it for about thirty million more generations of these sea animals.

South America remained near West Antarctica. Another eighty million years would pass before Antarctica would turn into the frigid continent we see.

The South Atlantic Ocean was still forming. Indeed, not only were there no Seven Seas way back then, there were only two spectacular supercontinents, not the seven continents of today.

This ancient time spawned these ancient sea turtles.

When the ancestors of today’s leatherbacks turned to the ocean, there were no birds in the sky, no elephants, mastodons, mammoths, and not even a tiny mouse because there were no birds or mammals at all on earth.

The mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex would not terrorize the planet for about four hundred thousand centuries more. Yes, that is right: 400,000 centuries.

Maybe you know that dolphins and whales originated from land animals and went to sea long ago. That is really impressive! Except to a sea turtle. Why? Because leatherbacks had been swimming the world’s oceans for more than fifty million years before those mighty leviathons—which are closely related to hippopotamus—evolved, left the land, and entered the sea, as well.

Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles and can weigh nearly a ton, They were here long before the first dinosaur, survived the greatest mass extinction the world has ever experienced, and flourished. But, that spectacular ability to adapt is not why they are so amazing.

Consider this: the world marveled , and properly so, at Michael Phelps’ 200 meter freestyle world record time. But, as fast as he covered that length, a huge leatherback, weighing about as much as the entire offensive line of a professional football team, would swim to 1,000 meter mark—more than a third of a mile farther than Michael.

In fact, this magnificent relic is listed in the 1992 Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest reptile on earth!

It might be fairer to our race if the world’s fastest sprinter competed against a swimming leatherback. At 100 meters, the race would be very close and maybe won by a nose—by the human. At 400 meters, it’d be a blow-out—for the turtle.

Not only does this ancient being swim five times the speed of the fastest human the world has produced, it may also be the world’s greatest long-distance migrating creature. One of these giants was monitored migrating 13,000 miles—and that was only to the destination from which it needed to return.

Besides its incredible speed and stamina, it is the deepest diving marine turtle on the planet, regularly diving nearly 4,000 feet underwater. For perspective, today’s nuclear attack submarines are allowed to dive to a maximum normal operating depth of about 1,600 feet because they’d crush under the sea pressure at about 2,400 feet. Man’s best technology and strongest metal and composite materials are no match for the diving ability of this ancient reptile.

Leatherbacks are found not only in all tropical and subtropical waters on earth but have been seen as far north as the Arctic Circle, in Alaska, near Quebec, and Norway, and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope and even below New Zealand, in waters as cold as 40°F. Yet, even though they are, like all reptiles, cold blooded, they remain toasty warm because they can maintain a body temperature as much as 32°F (18°C) higher than the surrounding water.

Disgracefully, in just three decades, man’s rapacious greed and carelessness have decimated the numbers of this magnificent creature. Between 1980 and 2005, the number of leatherback sea turtles in Mexico declined 99% , a a disaster for this species since that country had about two thirds of the world’s total leatherbacks.

Mexico should not be singled out because, all across the globe, leatherback populations collapsed. For example, not long ago 10,000 leatherbacks nested in Malaysia each year. As recently as 2008, two leatherbacks nested on these once productive beaches.

Today, more than 100 countries and hundreds of conservation groups are fighting to stem the decline of this magnificent race but it remains to be seen if this most ancient of all creatures can survive your generation and mine.

Somewhere, Angels are weeping.

Cavy Characteristics – The 3 Things That Set Guinea Pigs Apart

Guinea pigs make the perfect pet. These affectionate animals, also known as Cavies after their Latin name Caviidae, are extremely affectionate and as a result are great fun to own. They are mostly self-reliant, and can be left to look after themselves during the day – excellent for people who cannot spare the time to look after their pets during the daytime.

No other animal is quite like a cavy, which adds to their charm. Here are just a few ways in which guinea pigs differ from other pets:

1. Physical Attributes

An adult cavy tends to be much bigger and heavier than its rodent cousins such as hamsters and mice. They weigh as much as 2 pounds and measure as much as 25 cm long, making them very large pets indeed.

Guinea pigs have distinctive facial features. Their heads tend to be wide, and they have bright eyes, conveying a sense of excitement and intelligence that makes them very adorable. Their small ears and dainty nose make them all the more appealing, and they are very lovable animals.

Physically they are very tough animals, with muscular, heavy bodies. Their legs are short and are mostly hidden by their fluffy coat. Their rear feet have three toes, and the front ones have four. They all have sharp claws, so be sure to handle them carefully so that you don’t cut your skin on them.

2. Sense of Smell, Hearing, and Vision

In the wild, guinea pigs have a very strong sense of smell – they need it to search for food hidden in the undergrowth, and to avoid predators which they can smell approaching. Captive cavies have the same strong sense of smell, and often get excited when they sense food coming their way!

They have very good hearing, and are able to pick up sounds in a very large range of frequencies – this includes noises which are far too high pitched for humans to detect. They employ their sense of hearing when communicating with each other through an intricate system of chirps and squeals. This is highly entertaining to encounter, as your animals sit and talk to one another for hours on end.

Finally, guinea pigs have very good sight too. Despite the fact that they can’t distinguish the range of colours that some animals can, they are still very adept at noticing differences in brightness and object sizes, so they can navigate their way around your home and learn the layout of the environment they live in.

3. Intellect

Despite the fact that cavies have a large head, much larger than mice for example, they aren’t any cleverer. That’s not to say that they aren’t clever – they have the ability to recognise their owners and to build a strong bond with them. This is highly enjoyable because you can forge a genuine connection with your animal, and your guinea pig will return the affection you show it.

Cavies are definitely smart enough to figure out how to make you do exactly what they want! Before you know it, you’ll soon be catering to your pet’s every need, feeding it treats, showering it with toys, and generally treating it like royalty! But for the love they give you, and the enjoyment they can bring you as an owner, it’s worth it!

As you can see, guinea pigs are brilliant creatures, and make perfect household pets. No matter what your age, or what other pets you own, you’ll always find something unique about owning a guinea pig – it’s a decision you won’t regret.

Tiwanaku Alien And Evolution

It was mentioned on a biology blog that archaeological engravings from the Tiwanaku civilization in Bolivia are unlikely to be depicting an ancient astronaut for the reason that, even with an aquatic tail, the creature still looks too much like a human. The underlying argument was that the evolution of life forms is so diverse that it is highly unlikely an alien would come out looking even remotely like us. In essence, this is the opposite side of the pendulum to Hollywood’s consistent imaging of aliens as humanoids.

The biologist ignored the decorative and symbolic imagery added by the Tiwanaku artists and did not consider the given premise of an aquatic alien inside helmeted spacesuit. I have to assume, therefore, the biologist noted that the creature had two arms and two eyes, and since humans have two arms and two eyes, the biologist concluded that this cannot be an alien.

What should intelligent aliens look like? Or, to phrase it another way, what should we expect interstellar travelers who come here to look like? This is not a complete unknown. If the aliens are capable of interstellar travel, they obviously achieved higher technology. What is necessary to achieve technology? My opinion on this is that to achieve technology, a life form would need a complex brain and the ability to see and manipulate objects. This implies eyes, fingered appendages, and perhaps a head relatively large compared to overall body size. The Tiwanaku alien has all these features.

The biologist might counter that the issue is not that aliens have eyes, but the number of eyes. Here on Earth, higher animal forms evolved with two eyes. For example, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects all have two eyes, but on another planet the number of eyes would be different. There, perhaps, the life forms would randomly have one, three, four, or even ten eyes. Is that true? Is the number of eyes a random event in the evolutionary process?

Astronomers searching for extraterrestrial intelligence are looking for planets similar to Earth regarding temperature and chemical composition because they know life evolved here, so it is logical to assume that life might also evolve on other similar planets. Likewise, with similar planetary history, we might expect the evolutionary process on those other planets to progress similarly to how it progressed here.

Question: Was the evolution of animal life with two eyes on Earth a random event, so much so that we should expect extraterrestrial life to have a different number of eyes? I think not. Why? It is called natural selection or survival of the fittest. Two eyes are the minimum required to give depth perception and concentrated focus. Perhaps early on Earth there were animals with five or ten eyes, but with a brain too small to orientate five directions, such species quickly became extinct. Only two eyes survived. Should we expect something radically different on another Earth-like planet? No. It is reasonable to expect intelligent aliens to have two eyes, just like humans.

It is also reasonable to expect alien life forms to be imaginable from the diversity of life forms we see on Earth, past and present. The Tiwanaku alien has features similar to a fish (fish mouth that seems to be breathing inside a water-filled helmet), features similar to a lobster (sea creature with two forward appendages for manipulating objects), and features similar to humans (large head and fingered upper appendages). Only four fingers are depicted in the Tiwanaku drawings, versus our five, but this easily falls within evolutionary feasibility. The alien’s three-pod aquatic tail is also an imaginable evolutionary development.

I think the biologist’s appreciation for the potentially enormous diversity of life forms in the universe is admirable. For those life forms that develop higher technology, however, it is likely, not unlikely, that they will have something in common with humans.

This article referred to Bella Online Biology comments on the Tiwanaku Alien pages of the CrypticThinking.com website.

Frozen Pinkie Mice – How To Find An Online Supplier For Your Snake Food

Any pet snake or reptile owner wants to make sure that their animal has the best food available to dine on. Just like humans, snakes need a healthy diet in order to have a happy and healthy life. Finding the right supplier for your frozen pinkie mice is an important task.

When looking to find a distributor of frozen snake food online, there are many different aspects to consider. You will want to know about the breeder, how the frozen rodents are harvested, if they are disease and pest free, as well as shipping and costs.

You should always look for a breeder of frozen mice that takes the up most care in how they raise their animals. Similar to a human diet, you and your snake are only going to be as healthy as the quality of the food you take in. The supplier you choose should always take the upmost care in how they raise the mice. If possible they should give you a guarantee that the animals were healthy and disease free at the time of harvesting.

You have several options when choosing frozen pinkies for your pet snake. You can go to a pet store and purchase a package of frozen critters. I have found that this is the least desirable option. The quality of the mice or rats is often substandard. Plus they are usually sold in smaller quantities so you are often making a trip back to the pet store every couple of weeks to stock up. Not a big deal to some, but for me, life is busy enough and I can do with out the extra hassles.

I also don’t like the way a lot of the pet stores freeze their rodents. They often sell you a block of frozen mice, where you find yourself chipping away at the ice in order to free your reptile’s next meal. Sometimes you can even damage the food in the process, which is not a good thing. I prefer to find an online supplier of snake food which individual packages each mouse before freezing. It makes it so much easier to separate and thaw at feeding time.

Another big advantage of buying online is the price. Online retailers usually only sell in bulk. This is good for two reasons. One, you don’t have to make the frequent trips to the pet shops as mentioned above, and two, you get a bulk discount. This discount can be quite substantial over what you pay in the brick and mortar shops. Shop around at some of the online stores to get competitive pricing.

If you follow these guidelines, you will no doubt be able to locate a supplier of frozen pinkie mice online that you are happy with. Once you do, you will never go back to the biweekly trips to the store again.

10 Simple Tips For Photographing Wildlife

These are ten easy tips for photographing wildlife.

1. Patience
You cannot rush a photo opportunity. It happens when it happens.

2. The wildlife is in charge
Be mindful that this is a wild animal and respect its’ personal space.

3. Listen & Be Prepared
If you are on a wildlife photography adventure, always be ready to take a photo. Also, keep in mind that if you are sitting there with your eye in the viewfinder with a tripod, you will often miss some amazing photo opportunities going on above and behind you.

4. Seriously, Be Patient
The wildlife is not waiting there for you to come and photograph it.

5. Walk Softly
Be as quiet and as slow as you can when moving around, so as not to startle any wildlife that may be right around the corner.

6. Eyes Are The Window to the Soul
The most striking wildlife images have the sharpest focus on the animals eye/s.

7. Watch Body Language
All animals, will give off warning signs that you are too close. Be mindful of these actions, and never corner an animal so that it has nowhere to go.

8. Practice Movement
Practice photographing wildlife moving/flying at home so that when that Great Blue Heron takes to flight, you don’t miss some amazing photos.

9. Take Natural Images
Take advantage of wildlife doing natural things. Some of the most beautiful images are things such as birds preening their feathers. Many people are not patient enough to wait to see this beautiful, natural action.

10. Be Courteous of Others
Be respectful of other people around you when photographing wildlife. There is no need to block someone’s shot or scare the wildlife away. We all have a unique eye & vantage point and the same animal photographed at the same time will never look the same through the lens.

Blog Traffic Tips: 20 Ways To Attract Followers

These 20 blog traffic tips will give you the essential knowledge you need to help your audience find your blog.

Have strong content.

1. Write something new. Even if it’s from your archives, make sure you bring a fresh perspective to the world of blogging. Whether you tackle an obscure subject or a popular one, it’s vital to have a unique angle.

2. Post often. Post once a day when you are a new blogger. The content of the internet is constantly updated, so constantly updating your content will give it legitimacy. Let people know that your blog is a reliable information source.

4. Write with personality, your personality. The driest subject can be fascinating and the most exciting story can be sawdust. It’s the human element that draws us in. So make sure that whatever you write about, the reader knows its yours.

5. Post pictures, videos, and links. Not only will this make your content richer, but it will increase your SEO (search engine optimization) rating.

Get involved in the web community and create a community on your blog.

Create a community.

2. Encourage comments. Newbies judge a blog as much by the amount of comments as by the actual content, if not more. Think about what you look for when you go to a new blog. So make sure there are comments! Engage your readers. Always ask questions. And if you want some extra insurance, talk your non-blogging friends into adding comments. No one will know the difference.

3. Host a contest. Reward your loyal followers and gain some new ones by offering a contest related to your theme. This is especially helpful if you have a product you’d like to promote. Promotional giveaway of your first book, anyone?

4. Exchange links. Find a website which shares your niche and participate in a link exchange.

5. Use social networking. Take advantage of Twitter and Facebook for instant updates on blog activities.

5. Use social marketing tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

1. Go to Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Answers, and start answering questions.

2. Become a part of online communities and forums.

3. Write articles for EzineArticles, Helium, or another online article source.

4. Create a Squidoo lens. Share your knowledge via Squidoo to hook them in, and link back to your best blog posts (a couple blog posts) to keep them coming back for more.

5. Publish an ebook. For many bloggers this is a natural evolution after they have established a strong body of content. If your blog has reached that level or you have the material for a different book then by all means publish it! With self publishing online, there’s no excuse not to do it. It will increase your credibility and provide another avenue for people to find you, not to mention being a possible source of income.

Promote your blog offline. It’s amazing how many potential readers there are right in your own community. Although you don’t have to promote offline, this innovative tactic can have some surprising returns if you do your research first.

1. Enlist your friends. Whatever you blog about make sure they know to casually mention your url whenever the subject comes up. “You’re interested in raising exotic animals? Well, there’s this great blog…”

2. Find your niche in their offline hangout. Go to a coffee shop and talk loudly about an issue referenced on your blog with a new acquaintance. Insist that he or she read your blog either to commiserate or be converted to your side. They’ll go and so will the people near your eavesdropping with their laptops. Then they’ll go and tell their friends.

3. Make experts and leaders your allies. Get doctors to recommend your recipe blog to patients on your special diet. Get professors to recommend your blog about your sociology thesis. People will listen.

4. Put up fliers.

5. Read aloud from your blog at an open mic night. If you don’t mind public speaking, this can be a great tool, especially for a blog with a creative bent.