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Archive for the ‘Blogging Sense’ Category

5 Options for Finding Your Voice for Blog Posts

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Face image from Shutterstock

If you’re looking to attract and keep an audience on your blog, you’re going to need to post consistently. That’s not just in how often you post, though you should come up with a cadence that works around your schedule. The other half of this equation though is what voice and value you bring to readers. After you pick a subject matter to cover — food, finance, biology, etc. — determine in which style you will write. Pick one that makes you comfortable and casual and will elevate the conversation.

I’ve written for many different sites and through all kinds of voices. I’ve read thousands of other posts, too. These are the five styles that stand out as the most viable and most compelling blog voice options to choose from: Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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Are Traffic Spikes Worth Chasing?

Crash GraphYesterday, I pulled up the site statistics for my main site and noticed that they were through the roof.

It was as if someone had just flipped a switch and ratcheted up my site’s traffic by about 4x. That traffic spike stayed with me through the entire night and through most of the day Monday.

Strangely though, it didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere. There was no referring site, no search engine query that I was scoring well on and no obvious cause for it. Even after a fairly lengthy investigation, I had no clue where the traffic was coming from.

It was so strange, that I even considered the possibility it could be a stat reporting error or a problem with my site. Neither checked out though as my content delivery network was reporting more traffic than usual and a live look at the traffic showed an organic patten for each visit/pageview.

To make matters more confusing, as soon as it began, it ended. About 5PM local time it was if the spigot was turned off and traffic immediately fell to normal levels.

What happened? I have no idea. But the incident got me thinking about traffic spikes to my site and the impact they’ve had.

This wasn’t the first or the largest traffic spike I’ve had, even over the past month. But over the years I’ve been running my site, I’ve noticed something, that while I’m always happy people are taking an interest in my work, with most spikes, there is little, if any, long-term effect.

So is it worth going after the big score when it comes to traffic? I’m a bit more dubious than I was almost eight years ago when I started, at least when it comes to me and my site. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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Web Analytics and Your Business: Why Analytics Can Help You Succeed

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Successful marketing largely hinges on how well you understand your customer. Being able to anticipate their needs and wants and how well you can communicate your message across to them without alienating them are factors that contribute to effective marketing, and ultimately, a successful business.

The best way you can anticipate your customers’ needs is by reading their minds, but while there’s no technology yet that can grant you telepathic powers, there’s a tool that, when used properly, can offer you the same results – web analytics. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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The Top 5 SEO Do’s And Don’ts In 2013

English: seo block

Every month as Webmasters we ask ourselves what we can do to get more traffic and success with our SEO efforts. Because things seem to change so much in SEO we are forced to constantly change, innovate, and adapt. You could make an argument that this is what makes SEO so enjoyable. It’s challenging and new challenges are always arising. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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Tweetdeck, Google Reader and the Death of Web Apps

20110427-tweetdeck2Yesterday, Twitter shut down Tweetdeck for the iPhone and Android and, at the same time, ended support for Facebook in the app, ending its ability to read and post to user Facebook accounts (Note: As of this writing, my Facebook columns are still working on Tweetdeck).

However, this wasn’t the first time Tweetdeck made a major change that sent users scrambling for alternatives. In December of 2011, months after its purchase of the app, Twitter recoded the application entirely, renaming it “Tweetdeck by Twitter”, and stripped out many of the apps most popular features, including LinkedIn and Foursquare support.

Though the app was able to battle back some and win over some of the people who left it, there are many, even today, who still pine for the original Tweetdeck over any other version.

But this isn’t the first time in recent memory that important Web applications have been shuttered or drastically changed. In March, Google announced that its popular Google Reader service would be shutting down July 1st and, in April, Posterous announced it was closing in a mere 30 days. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips
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5 Lessons from the Recent WordPress Attack

WordPress LogoEarlier this month, WordPress users across the world (as well as users on other platforms) fell victim to a massive brute-force attack on their sites.

The hack, or attempted hack, used a large botnet (a network of compromised computers doing the bidding of someone else) to repeatedly try and guess passwords on WordPress sites to gain administrative access to them. From there, the botnets would take over the sites and attempt to integrate them into a new bothnet, one made up of high-powered servers with better connections to the Web.

For most sites, the hacking attempt was pretty harmless. If you don’t use the original “admin” account and have a password that is easily guessed, you were most likely safe from the attack. Rather, the attack was an attempt to cast a broad net in hopes of finding the low-hanging fruit, sites that can be trivially broken into.

But while your site is probably fine as long as you took even the most basic precautions, there were still repercussions. The weight of thousands of attempts to login put a strain on many people’s servers, especially if the server had many different WordPress sites. This resulted in websites slowing to a crawl and even shutting down, including ones not directly affected.

But while the worst seems to have passed for now, there are still some lessons to be learned from it and it’s important to grasp them before the next wave hits.

Because if there’s one thing that’s for certain, there is another wave coming. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense, WordPress Tips
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Your Site, Someone Else’s Ads

Sambreel LogoEarlier this week, Ars Technica ran an article about CMA Communications, a rural ISP that, for a time at least, began to display banner ads on all websites a customer visited. This move angered customers, who already paid for their Internet access, but it also was earning the attention of webmasters who were having ads injected into their sites, often covering up existing ad spots.

Though CMA Communications appears to have abandoned the project, it brought site manipulation to the limelight in a major way. It was the first time an ISP, supposedly an impartial intermediary, was interfering with customers’ Internet traffic for the purpose of injecting ads.

But just because CMA has stopped doesn’t mean that your site gets to your visitors exactly the way you intend. Unwanted site manipulation has been a problem for webmasters for some time and it may get a lot worse.

Though most bloggers know to check their theme on multiple browsers and devices, all of that tweaking and fine-tuning may be for naught if intermediaries, either with or without user permission, alter your site and give them a different experience.

So what are your visitors actually seeing when they come to your site? The answer may be more complex than you may realize. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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Here’s My Blog… So Read it Maybe?

karol 1Sorry for doing this (using such a headline), but I just couldn’t resist the temptation. Anyway, this post is about the reasons … the reasons why anyone would want to read your blog.

You might think that this is a topic that’s been thoroughly covered across the internet already, right? I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “quality content.” But is it really enough to get someone to read your blog? Isn’t an even more important factor missing in this blog-popularity picture?

For instance, there are a lot of mediocre recording artists who still manage to attract massive followings of people just because of their _______ … yea, no one really knows why, and that’s the point. In my honest opinion, producing this mysterious quality content is not good enough to make your blog popular / attractive to the average member of your audience.

What is the reason for this? Well, probably more than a dozen of those, but I’m no psychologist so I can only point out two: Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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How to Promote Your Website: Part Two – Promote Your Content

English: Manual seo is one of reputed link bui...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have already discussed about create content at part one. This article is part two which covers how to promote your content.

This is the most effective way to promote any website and get consistent traffic flowing in its’ direction. The problem with most people is that they are not patient enough to work consistently on their SEO so that they can end up with the fabulous results of ranking highly in relevant search words for their sites.

Assuming that your site does not have any technical hitches, there are 3 key SEO activities which if you execute consistently will get you amazing results. They are keyword research, on-page keyword usage and link building. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips
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An Open Letter to Potential Bloggers

Letter ImageDear Potential Blogger,

First off, congratulations on your likely decision to start up a blog. If you go through with it, you’ll embark on a mission that is both deeply personal and extremely public, a chance to speak your mind and give voice to your thoughts on this, the most public sphere, the Internet.

However, I’m not going to lie to you. Starting a blog, maintaining it and growing it is not easy. Blogging has been around for over ten years and it’s a very crowded sphere. There are currently more bloggers than ever and audience size has not kept pace with the growth in the number of bloggers. The result, tougher than ever competition for readers and subscribers.

To make matters worse, the blog you want to do has probably already been done and better by someone else. That person (or company) is established in the niche, has a built in audience and the trust that comes with its longevity. Breaking into your market will be difficult, if not impossible.

The odds are definitely against you and the numbers make that very clear. Within a year of starting a blog, some 90% of bloggers have given up, leaving their blogs idle. Even most successful bloggers have more misses than hits, meaning they’ve walked ay from from more blogs than they’ve maintained.

So, there’s no guarantee of success, much less fame and fortune. In fact, nothing you can do will make your chance at success above 50%. As a new blogger with no reputation, you have an uphill battle regardless of how good you are and how well you do everything.

Still, there are things you can do to make your chances better. So, before you start thinking about your site name or what platform you’re going to use, here are a few things I think every blogger should be able to do and do reasonably well in order to succeed. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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