Archive for June, 2010
Let’s face it.
Blogging looks a lot easier than it actually is.
But just like other creative or professional endeavors, success requires strategy and a game plan.
It’s a must have.
I liken it to traveling unfamiliar territories without a road map. The more you know, the further you’ll go.
In the business world, a common acronym for evaluating employees’ performance is known as S.M.A.R.T.
This can also apply to blogging.
Take heed. Here are the components.
Personally, having dedicated readers engage my blog by asking questions, providing feedback and coming back for more are some of the basic goals for my site. User interaction and engagement is a great sign that you are producing content that sparks the interest of visitors and is an excellent indicator for sustainable growth of your blog’s audience.
Among the many different goals bloggers may have, user interaction and engagement should be among the top on your list. Whether your goal is to increase affiliate sales, e-book sales, drive traffic or become a leader in your niche, an inviting and user-friendly blog is key for all these achievements.
Let’s take a look at some of the basics that will capture the interest of all types of readers. Read More
Incorporating a blog within any small to large organization’s website can be one of the most important decisions that could be made. Blogs are extremely effective for driving sales, web traffic, building brand awareness and strengthening relationships with customers. However, corporate blogging can be somewhat different from a regular personal blog due to differences in goals and audience but at the same time there are techniques that are guaranteed to produce results whatever the goals may be.
Let’s discuss what readers of corporate blogs are looking for and what elements will keep them coming back for more and even make a purchase.
Its Not Only About Self Promotion
Traditional advertising focuses on promoting how wonderful a company’s products are. We are constantly bombarded by these ads over the television and personally, I have become immune to every single one of them. I have never purchased an item based on just flat out promotion except for that once in a while awesome never before seen product. Also, technology has made it possible to skip advertisements so we might need to move away from television ads and find more unique and dynamic methods.
This type of advertising and self promotion will not work for blogging if you’re considering to move the same old strategy there. Its fine to have a post on new products, deals and freebies occasionally but it should not be the essence of your blog. Read More
Yesterday saw the much awaited release of WordPress 3.0. I’ve talked about this 3.0 release numerous time here, but it’s finally live. As far as I can remember this is the most awaited version because of the heap load of new features. You can tell the guys at WordPress are pretty excited about Â this release too judging by their release post:
Major new features in this release include a sexyÂ new default theme called Twenty Ten. Theme developers have new APIs that allow them to easily implement custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks,Â menus (no more file editing),Â post types, andÂ taxonomies. (Twenty Ten theme shows all of that off.) Developers and network admins will appreciate the long-awaitedÂ merge of MU and WordPress, creating the new multi-site functionality which makes it possible to run one blog or ten million from the same installation. As a user, you will love the newÂ lighter interface, the contextual help on every screen, theÂ 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements, bulk updates so you can upgrade 15 plugins at once with a single click [...] Read More
You are part of your brand. Your blog is part of your brand. Put them together, and guess what, you have your brand.
I realize that most bloggers don’t want to hear that. If you’re the typical writer personality type you’d much rather blast some tunes and craft a 1,000-word post than worry about “selling” a brand. But every time you hit publish, like it or not, you are representing your brand. One key to establishing your brand as an authority on a subject, which is something that all niche bloggers should be looking to do, is to be consistent. I’m talking about a constant tone, a constant name, a constant logo, and so on.
Here are a few ways to keep your brand on track. Read More
For the first time since his death, I was finally able to sit down and view the last taping of Michael Jacksonâ€™s life via the come-back concert, â€œThis is Itâ€.
I was a big fan, and the thought of this loss was too great to pack the theaters with his â€œgroupiesâ€ when it was first released.
Iâ€™m glad I did.
After viewing this 2-hour film, one thing is for certain.
Love him or hate him, Michael Jackson leaves an indelible mark on pop culture.
He had presence. He inspired millions.
And it was obvious to see in his work that here was a man of passion that enjoyed bringing joy to his fans and followers all over the world.
Todayâ€™s blogger should take note.
In fact, there are many lessons to be learned from his career. Today Iâ€™ll capture the most important ones.
This month, Sysomos released a new report based on an analysis of over 100 million blog posts.Â The report provides updated data about the demographics of bloggers around the world.Â Check out some of the stats below:
- Blogging is equally popular among both men and women with 50.9% of bloggers being female and 49.1% being male.
- The majority of bloggers are between the ages of 21 and 35.Â Specifically, 20.2% are under 21, 53.3% are between 21-35, 19.4% are between 36-50, and 7.1% are 51 or older.
- The United States has the largest share of bloggers with 29.22% of bloggers coming from the U.S.Â You can see a more detailed breakdown in the chart below.
- California is the Blogging State with 14.1% of bloggers.Â That’s nearly double the next closest state, New York, which has 7.16% of bloggers.Â You can see more details in the chart below. Read More
I saw an interesting tweet fly by today from Ozh in which he offered advice to ditch the Trackbacks all together on a WordPress blog. Which got me to think, do we really need trackbacks or have the become just another version of spam most of you like to get rid of? The question has been on the minds of people for quite some time now, but with the recent outburst of trackback spam I think the question has become quite relevant again.
Ozh mentiones a few reasons why he ditched the trackbacks all together:
- I get too much of them to have the time to check them all
- They make ugly [...]anchor links[...] in my comment moderation queue
- A third (on my blog at least) are spam (mostly caught by Akismet hopefully)
- And when they’re not spam, 95% of the time they come from a website I can’t understand because I don’t speak that language
Personally I don’t receive that much trackbacks on my own posts to the level that it has become a problem, but I do notice more and more sites turning them off and not displaying them anymore. Now, I can agree with Ozh that trackbacks certainly don’t look very nice, but by separating the comments from the trackback and only displaying the titles of the blogposts that placed a trackback you can still keep it relatively clean.
One thing I have done, is by using the plugin No Self Pings, is disable all internal trackbacks. I don’t see the point and if it’s relevance you’re after there a much more sophisticated solutions for that such as the wonderful YARPP plugin.
If trackbacks aren’t your thing the easiest way to do so is to disable the ability to allow trackbacks via your Discussion Settings, but I’m curious what you all think. Does it add value? Do you still allow trackbacks? Are you receiving a lot of spam?
With this edition of Blogging Pitfalls, I have to eat a bit of humble pie as I talk about a pitfall I didn’t just fall into, but have had to stick with for five years for various reasons: Picking a bad domain name.
How bad did I fall into this one? Though there are many things I would do differently if I could start blogging over again, I would put this at the very top of my list of things I would change and often times ponder making the change regardless, just sucking it up and moving it.
The reason is simple, my main domain is plagiarismtoday.com. While it seemed like a fine domain when I bought it, it has two inherent problems. First, the site is not just about plagiarism anymore and, second, only a fraction of people, in my experience, are able to spell plagiarism correctly on the first try. This has led to a series of awkward and difficult conversations as I try to pass along my domain or email address to others and has greatly limited my marketing.
It is a pitfall I don’t wish to see anyone else fall in and, unfortunately, it is one that can be fairly tricky to dodge considering how unpredictable domain buying is. However, if you’re willing to take some time when selecting the name for your new site, you can easily minimize the risks.
Despite its popularity as a personal diary, the “half breed” known as Tumblr can be used as a powerful, yet inexpensive tool for blogging pros as well as newbie’s (which is geek for “new comers”).
Unfortunately Tumblr’s emphasis on simplicity often masks its true potential, which might explain why many bloggers overlook Tumblr as a decent choice and instead choose Blogger, WordPress or even Typepad.
For those of you who desire to become Tumblr Tycoons without having to worry about CAPTCHA’s, plugins or monthly fees, here are ten (10!) tips for problogging on Tumblr (without having to touch a single line of template code). Read More