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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging Pitfalls’

How Not To End Up Like Yahoo!

Yahoo LogoTimes are definitely not good at Yahoo!. Not only has the company fired its CEO, the latest in a long string of failed leaders, but the company is barely bothering to look for a replacement.

Basically, times are tough for the company. Though Yahoo! still has some of the most popular properties on the Web, it’s having a hard time turning a buck on them and, worst of all, it’s watching as the Web seems to be moving on from them. Many wonder how long the former giant can remain relevant, especially considering it already farms out its search service to Microsoft.

This is a big part of why the company is now reported to be up for sale and many are wondering if it will even be able to fetch a reasonable price.

But while Yahoo!’s flame out is impressive and one of the largest, if not the biggest, in the Web’s history. Smaller ones like it happen every day.

How can you prevent your site from dying a painful death like Yahoo’s!? The answer may lie in looking at what happened to the company and where it seems to have gone wrong. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Create or Find Your Blog’s Identity

Very quickly, if I visit your blog, will it stand out and be memorable to me? Will it separate itself from any of the sixty blogs created in the last minute? What about any of the more than 86,000 that will be created today? What about the more than half a million created this week?

If your blog is going to succeed, it has to stand out and be something other than “Just another WordPress (or other blogging system) blog”. Doing that, however, isn’t very easy not because it’s difficult to give your site a custom identity but because, with so many other sites out there, it can take a lot of work to give your site something that no one, or almost no one else, has.

However, if you don’t do it, you risk your good work and your energy going to waste, getting lost in the endless and faceless crowd that is 99% of all blogs created. For your site to succeed, it must have a “face” and a unique presence, something you’re not going to get without rolling up your sleeves and getting a little bit dirty with your theme, logo and your domain.

It might be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it isn’t half as scary as having millions of twins out there, ready to take your blogging identity in a heartbeat by sheer accident alone.

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Categories: Blogging: How To
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Blogging Pitfalls: Template Fail

Here’s a scary thought for most bloggers. At some point, most likely, you’re going to screw up your site in a very bad way.

Computers are finicky things and your site is no different. With one wrong move you are more than liable to blow your site up, making it either extremely ugly or entirely unusable to your visitors.

This can be a very frightening and embarrassing thing. Not only is it a failure that creates a tremendous panic when it happens, it’s a very public blunder that, quite literally, the entire world can see.

But while there’s no shame in making a mistake with your site and borking it for all to see, it’s a pitfall that is still well worth avoiding if you can. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t fall into this trap and that, if you do, you can get out of it easily. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, WordPress Themes
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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Engage Your Readers

On Off SwitchLast week, we talked about the difficulties and the pitfalls around building and maintaining trust with your readers online. We talked about why it is important to build trust, how difficult that is and how easily it can be squandered.

However, trust is only one half of the process for building the best audience possible. Though having readers that trust you is key for success, if those readers aren’t engaged and participating in your site, they aren’t providing much more than blips on your Google Analytics.

For most bloggers, the end goal isn’t just to get their readers to trust them, but to get them involved somehow. Whether it’s to have them to support a cause, provide feedback, spread the word about the site or even become customers, trust is only step one.

So how do you take a reader who trusts your site and your expertise to take things to the next level? There are many ways to do that but here are a few keys to making it happen.
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Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging: How To
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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Build and Maintain Trust

Trust ButtonTrust is easily the most valuable and most fragile of all the commodities a blogger has to have to be successful.

However, making complete strangers trust you and count on you is no simple task, especially when they will most likely never meet you. It can require years of tireless, consistent work, the ability to repeatedly prove that you are capable of delivering on what you promise and constantly striving to build a reputation for high quality work.

But for all of the work required to build trust, it can be lost in the blink of an eye. One breach of that trust, no matter how small, can set you back months, even years in terms of trust and some incidents can even overshadow your entire history, becoming damaging “buts” to an otherwise stellar reputation.

Learning how to build and keep trust is critical for every blogger. If your readers are going to let you in as part of their lives, no matter how small of a part that is, they need to know what role you’re going to fulfill and that you will do it well. Trust is often what separates the one-off or casual reader from the avid fan, trust is how you build inbound links and trust is how you grow your site.

Fortunately, building and managing trust is easier than many make it out to be, but it isn’t quite as simple as just doing quality work either. To build and keep trust, there are steps you have to take to ensure that others are receptive to your work and will notice your efforts, thus ensuring that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

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Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips, Blogging: How To
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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Write an Effective Review

Reviews are one of the best types of post for a blog. If done well, they are very search-friendly, extremely useful to your readers and can be great conversation starters for building comments.

However, a review done poorly can be a pretty big mess. Not only can it create a great deal of needless controversy and headache, but it can actually discredit your site and, in extreme cases, create legal troubles.

Though angry and misanthropic reviews are all the rage in many circles, especially with older video games and movies, they are primarily comedy shows that aren’t intended to give a true review of the content. Most people, in those cases, know the subject material to be bad, it’s just a matter of how much so.

Writing a review for the purpose of informing and drawing conclusions can, at times, be a delicate act but pulling it off is one that your readers will appreciate. Balanced, thorough and honest reviews are still surprisingly rare on the Web and when people are making purchasing decisions, they seek those out.

So how do you make sure your review actually helps your readers? The answer is to plan it out carefully and take the time to do ensure you have everything you need inside. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Reviews
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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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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Never Forget Your Best Ideas

It’s happened to virtually every blogger at least once. As you lie awake at night, preparing to drift off to sleep, you come up with a great idea for a blog post or a change to your site and promise to remember it.

However, when you go to actually flesh out the idea the next morning or other opportunity, it’s gone. Unable to remember what the great idea was, only that you had one, you’re forced to start over and try to come up with something new.

The truth is that ideas are often times fleeting things. Much like the air we breathe, ideas drift from place to place, often coming and going at will. However, also like air, we don’t give them much thought or care until we find ourselves cut off from our supply, suffocating and struggling to breathe.

Previously we talked about how to generate new ideas and never run out, but how do you make sure the ideas you create are available when you’re ready?

After all, having all the ideas in the world is meaningless if they’re all gone when you sit down to get things done. This makes holding onto your inspiration that much more important. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools, General
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Blogging Pitfalls: Avoiding Duplicate Content Purgatory

Copy ButtonWhen you hit “publish” on a new post, how many copies of that post exist on your site? How about on the Web?

The truth is that there is no way to know exactly how many copies of your post you create because every theme and every site are different in this area. However, depending on your setup, you can create more than a dozen copies of the work on your site and that can create a serious headache both for yourself and for the search engines.

Duplicate content may not be the extreme danger it once was but it is a lurking problem for bloggers and other webmasters alike. However, it isn’t a simple one to stop, especially considering that the issue isn’t limited to what is going on with your site but can be amplified by the actions of others sites, including those you don’t control.

It’s worth taking a moment, if you haven’t already, to understand duplicate content, how it works and, most importantly, how to avoid it. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogging Pitfalls: 5 Steps to Recapture Your Love for Blogging

Running a blog is a lot like a relationship. It requires a high level of commitment, honesty and and work to keep it going strong.

However, one of the most important elements of both our human and our blog relationships is keeping the spark alive and keeping ourselves “in love” with our partners.

This isn’t an easy task. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt and though one might not actually hate their site, they may not have quite the same passion for it that they once did. However, a lack of passion can easily kill a good site, not only is it one the “Three Ps” of a successful blog, but it is something that makes your blog and its writing much better when you have it.

So, in order to keep moving forward with your site, you need to find a way to make sure you are just as passionate about what you’re doing today as you were yesterday and the day before. But as the newness and excitement wears off, that can be more and more difficult, resulting in Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, General
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