1,701 Blog Articles… Oops!

I’m probably having two blog posts this week. The next one will be my synopsis of the Blogging While Brown conference I went to over the weekend. This one is about hitting 1,700 posts… a post late. That’s okay though; at least I realized it and now have something new to talk about.

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As I did with Post #1,600, I get to mention highlights of the past year as it pertained to my life, positive or negative, and then I get to highlight some of my favorite posts of the year. While that’s always fun, I’m going to begin this one by talking a bit about my present blogging mood.

My mood is kind of “meh” lately. It’s not because I don’t still enjoy the process of blogging. The issue is that real life has been affecting me more than anything else. I’m worried about my mother’s mental health, and it seems to be carrying over into my own health. I’m averaging 2 1/2 hours of sleep a day, which sometimes includes a nap; that’s not great.

It means that my mind is a bit foggy, which I really can’t afford being self employed. It’s also affecting my overall writing, which means my income. Other than this blog and my business blog, I’m not paying much attention to anything else. I’m not even doing as many videos as I usually do, although I did do this one which, though geared towards YouTube, applies to some of the folks who comment here from time to time:


https://youtu.be/pcAzF39wdeQ

Still, I get by, so if you’re worried about me don’t be (like you’d worry lol). After all, within the time it took to write the last 100 posts, I’ve had some intriguing things happen.

I had the anniversaries of both my 14th and 15th year of self employment. I had the 8th anniversary of this blog in December (which I forgot to write about) and the 11th anniversary of my business blog. I wrote my 2nd book on leadership titled Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy. Finally, I was interviewed by podcast on the topic of leadership by Jesan Sorrells, whom I also interviewed on YouTube.

That’s not too shabby, even if I still had bigger plans for myself. I’ll get beyond this brief funk I’m in, hopefully inspired by many of the people I’ve just seen at the conference this past weekend I work best when I have something to compete for. 🙂

This is usually the point where I’d just list all my favorite posts of the year. I’m still going to do that but, because these days people are also hoping you’ll share something of value that they can use, I’m going to write 5 tips that have helped me this past year, things for you to consider:

1. Be consistent

As I mentioned earlier, I wrote at least a post a week on two of my blogs this year, and those have proven to be the most successful. Except for two anniversary dates, I posted the blogs on the same day, this one on Monday, my business blog now on Wednesday, as it used to be Thursday. It’s helped because people get used to looking for a post on a certain day, and that helps keep visitors coming.

2. Promote

I started promoting my blog posts more in 2015. I realized that I wasn’t promoting them enough, as I was only doing it twice at the most. Now with each blog post I promote it twice on the first day, and then at least once the next 4 days (sometimes I’ll skip either Saturday or Sunday) and I stagger the times. An important time was late at night for me because the other side of the world is just waking up so they’ll see it early day where they are.

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3. Some automation

I’m not big on a lot of automation, but I finally acquiesced this year and started using first Tweetdeck and now Tweeten to schedule both older posts and my little motivational missives. I realized it not only saved me time and allowed me to concentrate on other work, but I get to select what people are seeing that I’ve previously created, and I’m not hammering the same thing over and over so people can get tired of it (you should see my files lol).

4. Writing ahead

Most of my articles are written at least a couple of days ahead. When I can, I’ll write multiple articles on one day, at least 2 or 3. That helps to cover those times when there are other projects to get to but I still want to get a post out. It’s what helped me write a post a day on my business blog last December. I need to get back to that for my other blogs because it’s really a good idea.

5. Be authentic

A few month ago I fussed about people who write things that not only seem to be carbon copies of what someone else has done but are boring as sin. What I’ve noticed on blogs I visit more than once is that a lot more of my blogging favorites have started to do the same type of thing, and that makes what they’re doing more enjoyable. It kind of touches on the concept of pure blogging that Danny Brown talks about all the time, which he’s absolutely correct on.

There you are; if you can’t do anything with those 5 tips you’re not even trying. lol Enough of that; let me share my favorite posts in the last 100 so you can get on your way. There are more than normal, and this is because last year I started trying to write more comprehensive posts so, in my opinion, the quality went up a bit from what I was writing previously. Of course this is my belief; hopefully you’ll agree with some of these. 😉

9 Relationships Between Blogging And Social Media

The Stuff You Haven’t Been Told About How To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

5 Things You Should Do Before Commenting On A Blog

Why I Hate Auto DM’s And First Contact DM’s

6 Answers To Questions From New Bloggers

The Ethics Of Social Media

7 Definite Rules Of Marketing Online And Offline

10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Write About In Your Niche

9 Social Media Mistakes People Make

9 Reasons You Need To Keep On Writing

Someone’s Still Going To Hate You So Do Your Thing

The Proliferation Of “Fake” On Social Media

The Case Against DM’s On Twitter As A First Contact

Controversy, Publicity And Social Media

Try Something Different, Say Something Different On Your Blog

Popups Ruin A Blog Readers Experience

Misleading Titles, Disappointing Blog Content

31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media

The Spam In Our Blogging Lives

What Muhammad Ali Meant To Me And The Social Media Lessons We Can Learn From Him

The Syracuse Orange & 5 Lessons To Learn About Social Media

How Are You? Life And Blogging

What Muhammad Ali Meant To Me And The Social Media Lessons We Can Learn From Him
 

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“Great Content” Redux

You’re getting a post, a link to a post and a video; what more could anyone want?

Bla bla bla
Pablo Fernández via Compfight

I found this interesting. With all the talk about writing great content that I see on so many blogs, I never see anyone talking about just what great content is supposed to be. I remembered that I wrote a post about it, this post, and it turns out it was written on February 25th, 2011; almost 3 years ago to the day. Kind of freaky isn’t it?

Considering how long ago I wrote that post and how many articles I have on here, I think it’s pretty cool that I remembered it in the first place. However, seeing how long ago it was, it reminds me that sometimes we have to address certain topics more than once because some of them stay relevant and some of them modify, and all of them can tie in together to help bring a bit more completion to a topic; wouldn’t you agree?

Thus, Saturday early evening I decided to do a video on the topic and, as an added bonus, experiment with the Q&A app via a Google Plus Hangout. I wanted to see what it would be like taking questions and answering them, and I also wanted to see how it would work later on while viewing things. Supposedly people are supposed to be able to watch the video on G+ later on and see the questions I actually selected and responded to at the point in the video I did so. It didn’t work for me but that’s okay.

In the video, I took elements from the post I linked to above and added a few things to it. At that time I had just started adding images to posts, and I had never added my own videos to a post, though I had added other videos I found on YouTube. To me, great content is mainly about the written word, but other elements definitely help make some posts great.

I mentioned quite a few people in the video as well, but I’m not naming names here. Of course Holly Jahangiri knows about it because she watched it, and my buddy Phil Phren was also there, and they both asked questions that I could answer and thus get to test the plugin; thanks to both of you.

In any case I hope you check out the video and, well, this post might not be one of those that has fully great content based on what I’ve written, but I have linked to sources, linked to some of my other blog posts, and added both a video and an image; not bad if you ask me. 🙂 And now, the video:
 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lqXyG9qVDM&feature=share

 

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Some Blog Posts Deserve More Time

Those of you who visit this blog often know that I often have a new post every 2 to 3 days. I always have something I want to talk about so writer’s block isn’t a problem I have. Sometimes even I have things that get in the way of keeping up a heavy blogging schedule because not only do I have the 5 blogs to keep up with but, as an independent consultant, every once in awhile I need to concentrate on other things for awhile to bring in some cash so I can play around for awhile.

3D Cause Awareness Ribbon
Creative Commons License Scott Maxwell via Compfight

The gap this time around had nothing to do with either of those, although I’m writing this from another city in a hotel room with a relatively slow “high speed” internet connection. But it’s free so I’m not overly complaining.

Many of you saw my last post titled Don’t Be Bullied About Your Blog Or Web Space; if you didn’t see it please check it out and the blog and video that’s linked to it. In my opinion it was a post that deserved to have some time to catch on without a lot of other stuff getting in the way. I could have had a post ready to go the next day or two days afterwards, but the way I saw things it would have done a great disservice to the post.

Here’s two realities. The first is that if you write more you get more traffic. A few years ago I tried an experiment where I wrote 2 posts a day for two weeks. My traffic jumped nicely, and I proved my point. I also proved another point; the traffic I got for one post was different than the traffic I got for another post. That means those posts got almost no comments, even from people who were regular visitors. Thus, I didn’t quite get what I wanted even though I got what I wanted; you get that?

The second reality is that sometimes you have to step back and let a post germinate. When that happens, when you really touch a nerve, you can end up getting more traffic from one post in a particular week than you might get from combined posts.

In a 2-week span the post I linked to above got more visitors than the next three posts combined. Only one other post in the top 10 had people staying longer, and it was a pretty long post that also had a video at the end, but I wasn’t in that video, although I wouldn’t have griped much if I had been because the ladies in that video were pretty attractive. 🙂

Sometimes you have to recognize when you write something that you feel might be important, or you have to be cognizant in paying attention to how a post is being received and decide to hold off on when you want your next post to go out. The way I see it, that post had some legs, needed some time for its momentum to play out a bit, get some comments, and then be ready to move on. I think at this point it’s had its run, even though it’s still getting comments. And people have been supportive of my friend, so much so that a lot of you have gone to her blog and made comments; thanks for that, as it proves that we bloggers really are a community that looks out for each other.

Have you paid attention to your blog posts to recognize when one might need more time? What about posts that need less time; have you ever thought about that as well? Let me know; meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your week!
 

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When Blog Posts Make You Crack Down On Someone

You know, it’s rare for me to actually get my ire up and bust on someone else’s blog. I may disagree, but for me to actually get angry enough to have to comment and not be my normal, nice self is something entirely different. But I did that last night, and I’m not sorry I did it, especially since it was a guest post. And it’s possible that I was still feeling the effects from having gone through what I did yesterday afternoon, which I talked about on yesterday’s post.


by Tostado Photo via Flickr

I’m not going to say where I commented. What I am going to do is say what irked me to death.

It was a guest post by a guy talking about reasons why he won’t comment on someone’s blog post. Heck, I’ve read a lot of these; I’ve written some myself. Most of the time the reasons make a heck of a lot of sense; this time they were juvenile and immature. What were they?

1. No images or videos.

2. No CommentLuv.

3. Too long.

Period; that’s it. Now, I’ve had some people here say that they don’t like long posts; that’s too bad if you ask me. If a topic is worth it then read the long post. If you don’t care about the topic move on and go read something else. To me that’s the one that others have mentioned that I disagree with but I understand that not everyone speed reads, and some people can go on and on about literally nothing. But just to say your reason for not reading something is because it’s too long… that’s what comic books are for.

The first one, no images or videos… Really, you need an image to get you interested in reading a post? You need a video to entertain you? Are we back in the 30’s and 40’s when every movie that made any money needed to suddenly have a song and dance in the middle of it? Is this Bollywood?

Not everyone wants to take the time to add an image to their posts. I do it in this blog and my local blog, but for my other 3 blogs I only sometimes have an image. Every topic isn’t viable for images. Maybe videos, since YouTube seems to have videos for everything but come in, how often do I want to write a post on leadership or health care and then add some video that “might” pertain to what I’m talking about?

Sorry, but if the subject matter doesn’t seem to generate a need for an image, there won’t be one. If that’s what you need to get you reading, there’s a series of books for you written by a guy named Dr. Seuss. And they’re pretty fun I’ll admit, as I still have many of my books from when I was a child (I actually still go and pull out Go Dog Go from time to time).

By the way, I will add this, just to be fair. If you want some of your posts shared then it’s good to add an image to them, depending on where you want them shared. For instance, if someone wishes to share what you’ve written on Google Plus or Facebook, images work wonders. If you’re hoping they’re sharing them on LinkedIn or Twitter, then images are optional. The first two mediums are boosted by visuals, the last two not so much.

Finally, CommentLuv. If everything else is equal but the thing you don’t want to do is not comment because you’re not going to be able to get credit for your blog for writing a comment, that’s just weak. Yes, I’m a big time CommentLuv fan, one of the early adopters, but for me, if the comment system allows me to leave an unencumbered comment I’m there. I don’t need to have a link coming back to a specific post. I get a link back to my blog for the asking, and that’s good enough for me.

And I’ll even say that I have my own peccadillo’s on commenting, which y’all know. There are certain platforms I refuse to comment on, others I’ll rarely comment on, and I absolutely hate captcha’s. In those cases though, I’m not saying I’m avoiding those blogs because I don’t want to comment; I’m avoiding because I don’t want to have to jump through hoops to comment. Much different than saying I’m not commenting because I’m not getting the benefit I want.

In any case the blog post in question made me lose my mind; I actually wrote a different phrase here, then decided most people wouldn’t understand what it meant and I wasn’t ready to have that discussion. As I disclaimered (that’s a made up word), maybe I was still in a state when I saw that and wasn’t my nice, calm self in commenting, or maybe I felt justified because it was utterly stupid. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that it made me comment, and in a way even if my comment wasn’t nice it’s possible that the objective of the writer was made because it got me to comment.

I don’t know; heck, is this post too long?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Is There A Best Time Of Day For A Blog Post?

I have spent a lot of time considering the question posed in the title of this post. I have read where people have stated certain things about when the best time is to have a blog post show up and overall it’s mainly based on guessing rather than any real science. Well, I’m not a scientist, but I figured I’d talk about what I’ve noticed and leave it at that.


by Robbert van der Steeg

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I get notified of my blog showing up in feeds usually around 8PM. Now, I’m not sure if that’s a universal time for everyone or if it’s just my universal time and everyone else has it at the same moment but different time based on where they are but that’s how it works for me; yes, I subscribe to all my own posts so I can make sure they come through properly on all my blogs. All of them will show around the same time whether or not I’ve posted them live or wrote them ahead of time to post. So, whenever I put out a post, I always try to have it out before 8PM my time.

However, that’s just when it shows up. What about when I actually post? I have experimented with different posting times based on traffic and two things seem to happen. One, I have a group of people who will comment fairly early if I get a post out between 9AM and 10AM my time. Most of those people are either in the U.S. or in Australia; very strange indeed. When I was sending posts out between 10AM and 11AM most of the time they were being ignored. And if I send it out in the afternoon, when I thought more people on the East Coast had a chance to see it, they were ignored as well. So I’ve settled on an initial posting time between 9 and 10AM.

I’ve also experimented with reposting my articles at some time in the evening here and there. What I’ve seen doing that is a few people might pop over, but most of them are coming by overnight, once I’ve finally gone to bed, which either means they’re seeing my repost late or are just getting around to the original in their readers. Frankly I’m not really sure, but based on how fast Twitter moves I’m thinking it’s probably people seeing the original post.

However, there is one last metric to look at, that being Google Analytics. Over the last month I’ve made sure all my original posts on this blog have gone out between 9 and 10AM. Based on traffic, the top 3 time periods where this blog gets the most visitors are 9-10AM with 5.46%, 1-2PM at 5.39%, and 4-5PM at 5.35%. The first one makes sense, as that’s when I’m posting. The other two times… no idea.

I’m not sure what to conclude based on the numbers here. I could say it’s proof that most people come when I post, but it’s barely above the other two times so that makes no real sense. Based on when I get the feed in my reader it makes no sense. Therefore, overall I’d have to say that it seems that there’s no good time to post, and thus people should just post their articles whenever they feel the most comfortable.

Heck, I kind of like that; no real rules to follow; who’s with me? 🙂

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell