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Archive for December, 2010

Blogging Pitfalls: How Make Better New Year’s Resolutions

As we near the end of the year, it is a time for reflection and a time to look a head. As the time comes to turn over the calendar, its inevitable that we think about the year that has passed and what we would like for the one to come.

While this reflection can be great, it should be a part of an ongoing process, not just a once-per-year analysis. Those who wait a whole year to evaluate what/who their blogging is for. what they want to achieve and how well they are doing, are essentially driving with their eyes closed.

But much more dangerous than New Year’s reflection is New Year’s resolutions. Though we would all like to do better in the new year, many people set hard goals for themselves that are both unrealistic and unnecessary. Failing those goals, which is often inevitable, can be more damaging and discouraging than if one simply didn’t make them at all.

That being said, New Year’s can be a great time to plan for your blog’s future and to set some goals, but one has to do it well and do it with an eye on realism, not with the weightiness and need for revolution that many assign the holiday.

Remember, it’s just a new date on the calendar, not the end of the world.

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Categories: General

Why Bother Leaving MEAN Blog Comments?

I’ve had the good fortune to recently have several blog posts make it to Yahoo! homepage. When I first set out on a blogging path, this was a goal of mine. I wasn’t driven by the fame and fortune (there’s none!); it was the love of comments, lots of them, that drove me to try to get some major media love. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying as a blogger than to write about a topic you are passionate about and spark interesting dialogue.

According to San Diego-based Internet consultant Danny DeMichele, “Comments are an underrated tool you can use to build real relationships with readers, publishers, and site owners to help your overall online marketing goals.”

Unfortunately, despite the volume of comments on Yahoo!, that never happened. Instead, many of the comments were useless, silly and, well, downright mean. Before leaving a negative comment on a blog, consider the following:

THE BLOGGER IS JUST LIKE YOU. Unlike celebrities and athletes, bloggers are not compensated to withstand public scrutiny and personal attacks. Successful bloggers must have a thick skin, and a little jousting is par for the course, but leaving a mean comment just for the sake of it benefits no one. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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3 Things I Learned About WordPress In 2010

With 2010 coming to a close and many bloggers reflecting on their top 10 lists, I thought it would be nice to share 4 things I learned about WordPress this year that I wish I knew in 2009.

Granted some of these services didn’t exist in 2009 (as you’ll see below), however many of their alternatives did.

Although there were numerous other things I learned about WordPress ranging from security to various SEO tips, here are the top 3 things that stood out this year to me in 2010. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tips
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Blogging Without Resorting to Yet Another “10 Best” List

Egads! Nowhere is safe it seems. . . .

Even the literary-pretentious New Yorker has seen fit to publish one of those droning lists article: “10 Best Cars, of 2010,” “Five Best Places to take a First Date in New York,“  “Five Best Church Chapels for a Wedding,” etc. (John Updike and other renowned New Yorker contributors may be spinning as I type.)

All these easy-to-toss-off – and equally easy-to-pass-over – “Ten Best” list articles can leave a blog looking like the inside of a spam sandwich. Or, worse, like one of the breakfast entrées from Monty Python’s famous “Spam, spam, spam, spam!” skit.

Adam Gopnick, writing for the New Yorker ‘s NewsDesk blog is cognizant of the effect produced by the overuse of the “Ten Best” format.  He starts his article, “Five Fine Moments,” with the following disclaimer:

I am personally wary, not to say disapproving, of “Ten Best” lists and the like, partly because I find them tendentious, but mostly because I find them deeply depressing, a reminder of time passing, matched by an effort to pretend that the time came in a neat package of quanta—these movies or books—rather than in its actual messy, decade-bending, sequence of shadings. But many nice things happened this year, mostly in sports, so here, in praise, are a few . . . .

Yet, self-mockingly, he tosses out his four favorite sports moments from 2010 and, as a sop to New Yorker readers, a reference to Nabakov’s “Pale Fire.” Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogging Pitfalls: The Holiday Funk

It’s December 22nd, just three days away from Christmas and a little over a week away from New Years. For most Western bloggers, this is one of the slowest times of the years.

Schools are closed, businesses are winding down, employees are heading off to vacation and people are spending time doing things other than surfing the Web and reading blogs. Unless your site is somehow targeted at the holidays, such as a store or a holiday-themed blog, traffic has likely already taken a dip and will continue to be lower through the New Year.

This can be a tough time for bloggers. Not only can the lower traffic be depressing and discouraging, but bloggers too are taking time away from their sites to be with their families and focus more on offline activities.

This can make it tough for bloggers to find their footing and return later when traffic begins to pick up and things return to normal. That, in turn, means that the holidays are a time of year when many bloggers step away from their sites for a few weeks, with every intention to return, only to leave it behind completely.

The holiday funk can be brutal for bloggers. But learning how to beat it can help make you a better blogger and turn 2011 into an even better year.

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Categories: General
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3 Blog Pages Every WordPress User Should Have

When it comes to blogging many users quickly master the art creating content, utilizing social networking or even monetizing ones site.

However one item often neglected by new bloggers is pages (or rather the creation of them).

Unlike blog posts which are frequently updated and more “newsy,” pages are for the most part edited infrequently and usually receive far more attention from readers than the authors themselves.

While bloggers are only limited by their imagination as far as what types of pages they should create as well as how many, here are 3 page types every blogger should consider have regardless how long one has been blogging.

Note: While these tips can be applied to blog platforms of all types, the second one is geared more towards WordPress users as you will read in the explanation below. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tips
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Multi-colored Titles Plugin by PixoPoint

Add Span Tags to Tiles: a rather interesting plugin by Ryan Hellyer of PixoPoint. The plugin does little but what it does might be useful designers and fans of technicolor sites. Read More

Categories: Linking, WordPress Plugins
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3 Unique Blog Link Building Techniques

Linking to your website, from another site is the natural way in which the Internet is connected. When you think about it, regardless of where you start and where you end up, some sort of hyperlink brought you there and no doubt they will serve as a medium when departing the webpage.

There are many ways you can build links to your site. Ones we all know include:

  • Commenting on relevant and niche blogs
  • Writing articles for article directories
  • Adding your site to web directories
  • Commenting on forum posts

All of these methods provide reasonable links back to your site, but many of these will be from sites that neglect to offer you a ‘follow’ link, are not accepted or don’t include your key phrase/word amongst others factors that may reduce the SEO benefit to your site when compared with a link containing your key phrase on a respected site that is ‘dofollow.’

Many of the above tactics have worked over the years very successfully, however it is evident that the value that some of them offer to the Internet community as a whole is negligible. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Getting Paid to Post Guest Blogs

While there are several blogging constants, the world of the online writer is constantly evolving. As a blog owner and writer, I have had a front row seat to watch the landscape change over the years.

2008: Seeking some search engine love, bloggers bust their butts to produce a high volume of content.

2009:
Bloggers realize that if they are lucky enough to have a few dollars at their disposal, they can hire people (mostly overseas), to write content for them.

2010:
The world of guest blogging took off. Bloggers embrace “free” content and marketing pros rack up valuable backlinks.

So what’s ahead in 2011? Well, dear blogger, you know all of that talk about making money with your blog? This could be THE year. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Need Your Own Domain

Many bloggers, when they first start out, are unsure if they are going to continue blogging over the long term and either don’t want to spend the time or invest the money into securing a domain name of their own.

It’s an understandable decision considering that WordPress.com and Blog*Spot, along with a slew of other services, make it trivial to set up an account at their sites and get blogging within just a few minutes.

But while getting started on one of these sites might be a great way to get up and going, there is a hidden danger in it. Relying on someone else’s URL carries with it not only a lot of baggage, but a lot of risk.

If you’re serious about your blog and it is something that you want to take beyond a short term whim, even if it is just a “slightly more serious” hobby, securing a domain of your own is a rite of passage you need to undertake. Failure to do so will not only hold your site back, but may cause your site, along with all of your work, to simply disappear.

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Categories: General
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