Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category
As someone who has been a guest blogger on approximately 80 different blogs, I feel as though I’ve seen it all when it comes to feedback. I have been asked to create an outline, articles have been sent back to me full of red and purple markings, articles have been completely ignored, and some of my articles have received nothing but a “no thank you” (no name, not greeting, just those three little words). As a writer, I have personal preferences as to how I think feedback should be handled. However, I also work on the flip side—I run a blog that accepts guests posts and I am constantly in a position to give feedback. Oddly enough, the way I give feedback to guest bloggers as an editor and the way I want to get feedback as a writer are completely different.
As a writer, I like it when an editor just tells me in one sentence why my article doesn’t work for their blog so I can send it somewhere else. I am not interested in seeing the hundreds of little comments an editor makes. If they have an idea about something that could make the article better then that’s great, but in general I am interested in getting my articles posted in a timely fashion. I am not offended (usually) if an editor doesn’t like my article, I will just try better next time.
It’s a promise we’ve all heard before. Web hosting companies all over are offering “unlimited” hosting for mere dollars per month.
On the surface, it seems like a great deal. For a low monthly price you get to stop worrying about bandwidth and server space caps and focus on running your site. You can host as many domains, get as much traffic and store as many files as you want.
However, unlimited hosting is much more myth than reality. It just means that the host doesn’t place “hard” caps on storage and transfer and instead has replaced it with soft ones that could come back to bite you at almost any time.
Fortunately, it is a relatively avoidable pitfall if one is willing to be realistic about the limitations of such hosting and take precautions to avoid abusing it.
Many people like to have a book by their side as they learn something.Â If you’re one of those people, then you might be interested to hear that my new book, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all other online and offline book sellers.
Blogging All-in-One for Dummies offers over 700 pages explaining anything and everything about blogging for a beginner audience, so you can start your own blog right away!Â It’s a perfect supplement to the content you read here on BloggingPro.Â The book includes 8 minibooks about starting a blog, choosing a blogging application, publishing blog content, growing your blog’s audience, making money from your blog, and more.Â There is even a minibook about Twitter.
While Blogging All-in-One for Dummies is certainly the most comprehensive book about blogging available, following are a few other books that I recommend: Read More
Jane Wells from Automattic published an update on the WordCamp How To blogtoday which is a warm welcome to anyone wanting to host a WordCamp. I have been lucky enough to help organize a WordCamp here in the Netherlands last year and hope to repeat that this year -yes, you’re all invited – and anything and everything is welcome to help make that a smoother experience for all attending.
The newly drafted guidelines are in fact pretty much straight forward on most topic such but there there are some questions it raises.
- Itâ€™s about everything WordPress. The guidelines state that it for 80% should be about WordPress.
- Open to all, easy to access, shared with community.WordCamps are meant to be low-key local gatherings that are affordable â€” cheap, even â€” to allow people from all walks of life to attend, meet, share, and learn.
- Locally organized and focused. Showcasing local talent and helping local practitioners connect is one of the best things about WordCamp. The best WordCamps tend to have both local and visiting speakers.
Aside from traffic, one metric that makes bloggers really feel accomplished is the volume of comments they are able to attract.Â A blog that generates intelligent conversation between visitors is more likely to get “sticky” visitors who will return in the future.
But all comments are not created equal.
While I am thankful to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment (well except for those annoying Russian spammers), I do think each blog commenter can be categorized into general groups.
- The Correctors.
They point out typos and factual errors. Look how smart I am.Â They get off on getting you with your pants down. Read More
Truth be told, thereâ€™s a bit of an exhibitionist in every writer.
(Wouldnâ€™t you agree?)
No matter how private or reclusive we may be in our own personal lives,
I believe we go â€œpublicâ€ because itâ€™s inherent in our â€œwiringâ€ to want to change the world, inspire, and â€œwin friends and influence people.â€
And for us itâ€™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 â€œnew blackâ€.
This kind of reminds me of how when a new, â€œpopularâ€ fashion or fad is introduced in the womenâ€™s clothing arena, many females will embrace it regardless as to whether or not itâ€™s appropriate to their lifestyle, size, figure or age.
And some really shouldnâ€™t.
Case in point?
(Spandex is not every womanâ€™s friend!)
The point of this piece?
Not all writers should necessarily become bloggers just because itâ€™s the â€œinâ€ thing to do.
In other words, blogging should not be considered a natural â€œwrite of passageâ€.
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 â€œvanillaâ€ and bland in nature.
I hate to say it, but I was over worked and
These very talented authors were skilled in â€œcommunicatingâ€ but not â€œconnectingâ€.
(Are you with me?)
Here are a few reasons that â€œallâ€ 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 3Câ€™s.
â€¢ 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. Donâ€™t be one of them.
â€¢ 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 â€œmuseâ€.
â€¢ 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 â€œfood for thoughtâ€ for readersâ€™ 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?
Frankly I donâ€™t get it.
Folks requesting organ donations have had greater success than todayâ€™s blogger seeking comments on their blog posts.
And I say this with affection: Iâ€™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 isnâ€™t â€œfood for thoughtâ€ just as gratifying?
Ask any blogger and theyâ€™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 didnâ€™t have to pay for.
Or getting a date with Keanu Reeves.
Okay, well maybe thatâ€™s just me.
Consider this a public service message: We wanna hear from you. Read More
Ever since Google introduced PubSubHubbub (aka PuSH) to the world, blog platforms (both large and small) could finally provide “real time RSS” to feed services like Google Reader, Bloglines and of course the ghost town known as Friendfeed.
Blogger was (not surprisingly)Â one of the first to adopt this technology, followed quickly by Typepad, Tumblr, MovableType, Posterous and last but not least WordPress.com (who finally joined the PuSH club a few days ago and was kind enough to create an official plugin for WP.org fans too).
With PuSH quickly becoming a standard feature for blog platforms and services, one has to wonder whether or not Twitter’s days of fame are numbered. Read More
Often on the forefront of mobile blogging, WordPress has been able to spread the “WP love” upon multiple devices (specifically for the Blackberry, iPhone and Android smartphones), with plans Â to create a Nokia app as well.
While bloggers will probably swallow the iPill and buy the iPad, it may not be in WordPress’s best interest (or even its rivals like Typepad and Squarespace) to create an iPad app due it its present limitations. Read More
As you are probably aware of by now, Twitter is finally going to unleash ads upon the masses in order to help keep the lights on.
While rumors are still speculating on whether those ads will be within the tweet stream, it looks like All Things D suspects that Twitter will instead place ads within search results, similar to how the mighty Google profits off of search (hat tip: Mashable).
If Twitter chooses to go the tweet search route, it may be wiser for bloggers to spend their marketing dollars within Tweet search than Google Adwords for three simple reasons. Read More