Performancing Metrics

Archive for October, 2009

How Concerned Should Bloggers Be About SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was such a buzzword in the early 2000′s because most web folks noticed a change in behavior in the internet users. What’s that behavior? People used search engines as their primary starting point in their web usage.

By now, tips are all over the web on how to make your blog search engine optimized and how to get to the top SERP (search engine result page) for keywords related to your niche. But while it is generally accepted to be aware and avail of the basic SEO techniques, most bloggers are concerned that they are not concerned about SEO enough.

But really, how concerned should bloggers be about SEO?

If you ask me, not as much as before.

These days, the entry point to the web just got wider because there’s social media. Content discovery is the primary function of search, but social media (in the form of blogs and microblogs) may give users what they need. Thus, instead of being concerned about being “findable,” bloggers should now strive to be “shareable.”

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Movable Type Monday: MT 5 Beta 4, SmartTrim, TweetMeme, and More

Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart released what should be the final beta of Movable Type 5. Beta 4 is, for the most part, a bug-fix release. The one big new thing is the “Professional Website Theme” that is now included.

Last week I told you about the first release of SmartTrim, a plugin by François Nonnenmacher that is a replacement for the default text trimmer in MT. A few days later he released an update. This version changes the argument syntax to match that used in MT. It also auto-closes any HTML tags in your text.

François also wrote about moving from Drupal to MT. He includes a script that will generate a MT import file, along with tips on redirecting links. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone do this before, so it’s nice to have the process documented.

We also have a tip from “The Aardvark” on Adding TweetMeme to your MT blog. Not complicated at all, but good practice for anybody learning how to customize their templates.

Finally, Byrne Reese has been working on MT/Melody documentation for designers. Byrne has posted the documentation as a Github repository, so you can contribute to the project.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Movable Type News
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WordPress Users Still Await podPress’ Return

powered_by_podpress_largeAny of you remember podPress? Yes, I’m talking about the popular podcasting plugin developed by Dan Kuykendall of MightySeek which halted development back in 2007.

PodPress was supposed to have resumed development back in August but two months has already passed and no news about its progress has been revealed at all.

Supporters of the plugin have been trying to contact the author for confirmation but to no avail. Rumors are circulating that podPress might not continue its development but some argue that this is not possible as there are already sponsors backing it.

Whatever the reason for the lack of updates on the plugin, I guess we have no choice but to wait for Dan to reveal any news. I’ll be sure to post updates regarding the progress of podPress here on BloggingPro so be sure to tune in.

Anyone else excited about podPress’ return? Be sure to leave your comments!

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress Plugins

WordPress.com Blogs Now Mobile Ready

More and more people are now using their mobile phones to access the internet. Noticing this growing trend, the WordPress team has released a new upgrade that makes WordPress.com blogs more mobile friendly.

When a mobile phone views a WordPress.com blog, the contents are now shown using special mobile themes. The theme that is displayed differs depending on the device used. For IPhone and Android devices, a theme which is a modification of WPTouch is displayed. Visitors get easy access to posts, pages, and archives, as well as AJAX commenting and post loading. When viewing using other mobile devices, a theme developed from an old version of WordPress Mobile Edition is displayed which shows the all the important important information of the blog’s content while making sure that it loads everything quickly.

iphone-wptouch wp-mobile

The only thing lacking with this new upgrade is the ability to customize the mobile themes. There’s no option that lets you change colors or even the use of CSS. This means that your blog will look the same as all the other WordPress.com blogs. Well, at least, visitors are given the option to switch the “Full site” mode to view the original non-mobile version of your blog.

This new feature is automatically enabled on all WordPress.com blogs. To turn off this feature, go to Appearance > Extras in the Admin Dashboard and uncheck the “Display a mobile theme when this blog is viewed with a mobile browser.”

For self-hosted WordPress users, you can also make your blog mobile-ready using the following plugins: WPTouch, CarringtonMobile or MobilePress.

Categories: WordPress News

Making Money Through Blogging: A Review

Blogging for profit has been around since the early part of this decade but for some bloggers, blog monetization is often taken for granted. Especially when the global financial markets started crashing one by one last year, the diversification of  how blogs can earn money became a must.

Here’s a review of the different methods bloggers can earn money through their blogs:

  • Banner Advertising – The granddaddy of online business model still works today, despite the ad spend slowdown. Of course, advertisers are attracted to popular, high-traffic blogs.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising – A democratized method since this requires more focused niches,  this is perhaps the most common way bloggers earn. Ad networks like Google AdSense, BlogAds, and AdBrite provide relatively easy way to monetize blogs.
  • Paid posts/reviews – An ethical grey area for most bloggers, this will surely be affected by the recent FTC announcement about blog reviews and testimonials. This type of regulation is not new, but may blaze the trail for other governments to implement their own version.
  • Getting hired as a Blogger – Bloggers can also take the “Professional Blogger” route by getting hired to blog or join a blog publishing network. This is most stable ways of making money but the most restrictive if you ask me.

For some people, this is obvious but new bloggers who have just entered into the fold must be reminded that there’s more to earning online than just Google AdSense.

Categories: Blogging Tips
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5 Things to Try When Nobody’s Visiting Your Blog

This may sound familiar to some bloggers: You’ve been blogging for almost a year now in a pretty uncrowded niche. You’ve been thinking of nice topics to blog about and your writing is pretty OK. But when you look at your web traffic stats, you see something that doesn’t even reach 300.  So what do you do?

Maybe you haven’t tried these five things to help your blog traffic:

  1. Invest some cash on advertising – You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get some advertising on the web. Pay Per Click advertising is pretty flexible when it comes to budgets. Or try to put banner ads on a popular blog. (Ideally, that blogger is a friend of yours. :P)
  2. Promote via micro-blogs – There’s a school of thought that micro-blogging (read: Twitter) is killing blogging. While it’s arguable, but if you have a healthy number of followers, try to tweet about your latest blog post.
  3. Tell your friends – Don’t underestimate the power of the offline social network. The common irony is that bloggers often tell the online world about their blog but not their offline friends.
  4. Alter your writing style – You don’t have to take writing classes, simple alterations to your writing to make it easy to absorb. Focusing more on web usability can also help your new writing style.
  5. Change your blog theme – Blog themes are not expected to blow anyone away, but it should facilitate the reading of blog posts. Maybe your blog template is as cluttered as your closet– better change it ASAP.

Your blog may not be the Boing Boing’s or the Huffington Posts of the world, but trying other things to get people to notice it can help your voice be heard.

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogger as a CMS: Will it Work?

A blogging platform used as a content management system (CMS) is not really new. This blog has outline several reasons why WordPress as a CMS is feasible. Open source systems like WordPress are ideal for such an application because of the inherent “hackability” of the app to be shaped into other uses. But what about closed systems like Google’s Blogger?

Here are two situations wherein Blogger may be a possible CMS for you:

  1. When you’re pressed for time – You can purchase a domain name and use it on a Blogger blog very quickly. Themes for Blogger is also available and easy to implement.
  2. When user management is not crucial – The thing with Blogger is that, as of now, there are only two levels of users: Authors and Administrators. If you’re the one who will be managing the content, then Blogger is OK.

Undoubtedly, making Blogger as a CMS is a challenge. Unlike WordPress, there is no “Page” content type, only generic blog posts. Also, the URL’s of Blogger posts are automatically generated. This feature makes it hard to create pages with specific titles reflect on the URL.

To make Blogger into your CMS, a few simple steps are needed:

  1. Remove all gadgets, expecially the archive and label
  2. Download a Blogger template with a navigation menu and removes the post date.
  3. To manually remove the date header in the post, go to “Edit HTML” in the Layout editing section. Make sure that “Expand Template Widgets” is checked and look for “<data:post.dateHeader/>” and remove it
  4. After writing the site’s content, take note of the URL. Edit the template’s navigation bar to direct to the post’s URL.

Blogger may not be the most elegant of CMS solutions, but there are select situations that it might work.

Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools
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Where Are All The Video Blogging Apps? (iPhone)

camerablogs

After purchasing an iPhone 3GS about a week ago, I was excited to see what new video blogging apps have emerged since the iPhone 3GS’s launch this summer.

While it seems like every twitter app from Twittelator Pro to Tweetie 2 is including video and/or audio (via third party hacks), a quick scan through the app store revealed a scarcity of video blogging apps–all of them by third party companies.

Thus far CellSpin and BlogPress are the only major video blogging apps out there, with the latter allowing you to post multiple video’s per post.

So my question is where are all of the video blogging apps? Can anyone explain?

Categories: Blogging Tools
Tags: , ,

Movable Type Monday: MT 5 beta 3 and mod_perlite

Happy Monday, folks! The Movable Type 5 beta period continues. This week, beta 3 was released. Lots of changes in this version, with what seems to be an emphasis on UI improvements.

One thing that’s been getting a lot of attention is the upgrade of existing blogs to the new “website with blogs” structure. Some people are concerned that it will be too complicated for those that just want a blog. It’s a fair criticism, though I don’t see many people these days using MT as “just a blog.” Six Apart is paying attention, though, and has revised the process to try and strike a balance between features and simplicity. It will be interesting to see how they ultimately solve this issue.

Also this week, Byrne Reese announced that mod_perlite is available This is an Apache module designed to run Perl in much the same way that PHP runs on a web server. This would make MT and other Perl applications faster and less resource intensive. The developers now say they’ve got it running MT and hopefully someone will do some benchmarking soon so we can see the difference.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Movable Type News
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Bloggers to Benefit from TypePad’s Recently Launched Developer Program

Last October 1, 2009, Six Apart, the creator of the Typepad blogging platform, launched the a developer program that opens up TypePad’s API to developers. The program gives developers the capacity to build rich and flexible applications that can interact with existing social networks and standalone sites using the TypePad cloud platform.

Though the program is aimed towards developers, bloggers should be excited about this new development as well.

Chris Alden, CEO of Six Apart writes, “For personal bloggers and TypePad users, opening up our APIs means that TypePad will be built into applications that will help the bloggers and their readers, paving the way for more applications that enhance TypePad functionality. For our larger TypePad customers it opens up a large set of possibilities about how they can integrate their TypePad blogs into their existing web sites”

It is hoped that the developer program would produce more core functionality upgrades to the TypePad blogging platform in the form of third party development similar to what Automattic has done with WordPress.

If you’re interested to take part in the developer program then go to developer.typad.com and sign up!

Categories: Blogging News

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