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Archive for March, 2010

Why You Should Choose a Blogging Mantra

Aum.. Aum.. Aum..

For many people, the word mantra often conjures up the image of a yogi in the lotus position sitting beside a bodhi tree humming some sort of senseless gibberish.  But a mantra can be so much more if you allow it to be.  It can even help you become a better blogger.

What is a mantra?

For the purpose of this post, we will define a mantra as a syllable, sound or word that is repeated to aid in concentration and raise awareness.  Normally an integral part of spiritual movements, I would like to humbly suggest that you try incorporating a mantra into your blogging practice.

Why choose a blogging mantra?

A blogging mantra allows you to take a word/sound and make it symbolize something.  For example, the mantra I’ve used for years is “Sila.”  It’s a word with origins in Sanskrit that means ethics, honesty, and rightness.  By repeating this word in my head while writing, I am constantly reminding myself that the words I write have power; the power to heal, help or hurt – the choice is mine.  Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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“Kids Don’t Try This At Home!” Do All “Good Writers” Make “Good Bloggers”?

Truth be told, there’s a bit of an exhibitionist in every writer.
(Wouldn’t you agree?)

No matter how private or reclusive we may be in our own personal lives,
I believe we go “public” because it’s inherent in our “wiring” to want to change the world, inspire, and “win friends and influence people.”
And for us it’s through our creative ability.

As such, many of us set our sites on becoming bloggers as a way to expand our platforms, our influence base, and our bottom lines.
We in fact are told through an array of sources that we must!
Blogging has become the “new black”.


This kind of reminds me of how when a new, “popular” fashion or fad is introduced in the women’s clothing arena, many females will embrace it regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate to their lifestyle, size, figure or age.
And some really shouldn’t.
Case in point?
(Spandex is not every woman’s friend!)
The point of this piece?
Not all writers should necessarily become bloggers just because it’s the “in” thing to do.

In other words, blogging should not be considered a natural “write of passage”.

This revelation came to me some time ago when I put out a call for bloggers for a creative project I was working on.
I got submissions from folks from all walks of life, with all sorts of degrees, awards and credentials.

And some, to be quite honest, with more impressive backgrounds than my own!

Unfortunately what I ended up with were blog posts that were too technical, or too cerebral, or too long, or too “vanilla” and bland in nature.

I hate to say it, but I was over worked and


These very talented authors were skilled in “communicating” but not “connecting”.
(Are you with me?)

Here are a few reasons that “all” writers do not necessarily make good (pro) bloggers.
They lack one or more of the abilities that fall under the categories I like to refer to as the 3C’s.

• Conversational tone-–Blog writing calls for an informal style, smooth flow, and brevity. Some writers, in their desire to impress, use hundred dollar words, uncommon acronyms, or technical jargon that is not easily grasped by the average reader. Don’t be one of them.
• Consistency—Bloggers with paid gigs, or those hoping to cultivate a solid following for their own personal blogs, must blog well and blog often. One has to produce with or without a “muse”.
• Creativity-–Gifted bloggers know how to take an old topic, theme, or event and give it new life in the way that they spin it. Like good chefs they take the same everyday ingredients and blend them together differently to yield “food for thought” for readers’ enjoyment.

Should blogging have standards?

Do you think that blogging calls for different writing skills than more formal forms of writing?

Are all writers “blogging material”?
What are your thoughts on this?

Categories: General, Interesting, Opinion

3 Ways To Promote Your Blog (Beyond Facebook, Twitter And Email)

Whether you choose to blog for passion or profit (or if you are lucky, both!), the goal of every blogger is to ultimately increase their influence.

While many bloggers promote their posts through Twitter (via Twitterfeed and FeedBurner), email subscriptions or Facebook pages, very few go beyond the email and the “social share” giants.

For those seeking to expose their blogs to a larger audience, here are 4 ways to promote your blog to a larger audience.

Oh, and by the way, you do not need WordPress in order to use these tools. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips

Do You Need Absolute Privacy?

rusted lockYou would think that the owner of every single WordPress site out there would want as many visitors as possible, but you’d be wrong. Not everyone needs Sunday Morning SEO.
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to keep a blog as private as possible. Perhaps you’re using it as an project site in conjunction with the awesome P2 theme and you only want the project members seeing the posts and responding or perhaps you have just set up a site for you newly born and you want to share those early updates with just your family. Read More

Categories: WordPress Plugins
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Duz Ya Spellin Matta?

This post is a guest contribution by Stacey Cavanagh, of Tecmark SEO London

Duz ya spellin matta? U understand wut Im askin u dnt u, even if I spell it rong? So with that in mind, does it really matter if a blog post is badly spelt with poor grammar?

Yes. Ok, so that might be a rather short and blunt answer. But, and forgive me if I come across like a bit of a linguistic snob here, no matter how much I like a blog, if its content is frequently littered with poor spelling and grammar I will stop reading.

Why? Well there are a few reasons, to be honest. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Guest Posts
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Silence of the Lam(E)s? (5 Reasons Readers Should Leave Blog Comments)

Frankly I don’t get it.
Folks requesting organ donations have had greater success than today’s blogger seeking comments on their blog posts.
And I say this with affection: I’m amused but confused.

In my mind, reading an enjoyable (or minimally interesting) blog and not leaving a comment is like dining at a restaurant and not leaving a tip. And isn’t “food for thought” just as gratifying?

Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you that comments left on a blog by visiting readers are the equivalent of finding a 20 dollar bill in a back pocket of some old jeans, or receiving extra chicken nuggets in your value meal package that you didn’t have to pay for.
Or getting a date with Keanu Reeves.

Okay, well maybe that’s just me. :-)

But anyhow…
Consider this a public service message: We wanna hear from you. Read More

Categories: General, Interesting, Opinion
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WordPress Book Review: Digging Into WordPress

The WordPress book receiving most coverage in 2009 was probably Digging Into WordPress, by Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr.
In December 2009, shortly after publication I had the opportunity to interview Chris and Jeff. The book was initially launched as an ebook for $27 and later a print version with spiral bind was released as well. Printed and bound in house by family, thus sadly checking in at the rather expensive price of $67. More on the price later though.

Who Is The Book For?

If you’ve ever visited the Digging Into WordPress website you immediately know what to expect from the book. Chris and Jeff have targeted the book at exactly the same audience as the website is written for. This is no book for the WordPress beginner. Read More

Categories: Reviews
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Sunday Morning SEO: The Psychology of Link Building

The best link builders have figured out why webmasters link to other sites. Armed with this knowledge, they are able to build the toughest links and gain a big SEO competitive advantage over their competition. While the psychology of link building can be complex and nuanced, I think you can simplify it somewhat with a few broad foundational concepts. Here are three big reasons why people link out.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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WordPress Upgrades Gravatar Profiles (Adds Verification)

In an age where every tech company is launching online profiles to help people find the real you (a huge problem online), WordPress goes one step further by not only spicing up its Gravatar feature, but by forcing users to verify that they really do own the links.

(Official WordPress Blog) What if your Gravatar wasn’t just an image that showed up when you comment, but you could attach more of yourself to it to better represent your style, flair, and personality not just with more photos but with links to all the cool stuff you’re doing around the web. […]

You’ll find some cool features on the new profiles: you can have a gallery of your favorite photos, add a variety of contact methods, and link your other profiles. Every linked account is verified so you know it’s not an impostor, and we also might be able to do cool stuff in the future like aggregate your content or update your avatar in multiple places when you update Gravatar.

Ensuring that links added to your profile are verified helps fight of fake profiles, which spammers might create in order to draw traffic to various pages (all the while claiming to be you).

WordPress allows users to link to profiles on not only various social networks (like Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, etc.) but also profiles from other blogging platforms as well (with the exception of Typepad, who is mysteriously absent).

The feature is thus far in beta (so the profiles are not public yet), but bloggers should seriously consider creating a Gravatar profile (regardless of platform) in order to help avoid misidentification online (and yes, I speak from experience).

Categories: WordPress News

The Art Of Mobile Blogging (How To Blog From Any Cell Phone)

If you own a mobile cell phone, you can probably (or should I say most definitely) blog from the device without the need to purchase a smartphone.

Many blog services already support mobile blogging (aka moblogging) via email, phone, and text messages (aka SMS and MMS) which can make blogging on the go easier without the need of a WiFi network or a computer.

So instead of being jealous of your iPhone friends, Blackberry buddies or your neighbor sporting the latest Android device, here is a “brief” guide on how you can blog from your mobile phone without adding to your monthly phone bill from buying a smart phone. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Important

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