Top 50 Blogger List Aspirations

Yesterday I came across an interesting blog post titled 50 Most Influential People In Blogging 2010. This is a list, or at least the type of list, that I’m shooting for to get more recognition for what I do on this blog.

Whenever I come across lists like this, I tend to do a few things. The first thing I do is see who’s on the list that I know and have talked to in some fashion. There’s a few people on this list like that, so at least I know a few prominent people. Then I look to see other names I recognize, and that number here is just slightly higher than the first one.

The next thing I do is take a look at those people who are on the list that I’ve never heard of, most specifically to see what their rankings are compared to mine. After all, one wants to see what the competition has over you (I use “competition” here only as a comparison word, because I think the belief that we as bloggers actually compete against each other is ridiculous). And based on my perceptions, I believe I’ve come up with some differences.

The first difference is that about 70% of the people whose blogs I visited have a pop-up as soon as you get to the page. Most of them seem to be promoting either a product or newsletter subscription. Y’all know my belief on that one; if I have to add an annoying pop-up to my blog then I’m just not doing it. As a matter of fact, I tend to not visit all that many blogs more than a couple of times if they do have pop-ups. I don’t like toolbars either, but at least those things aren’t blocking the content before you get to check it out. Anyway, who do I know, or at least have exchanged a word or two with at some point on the list: See below:

Darren Rowse

David Risley

Erica Douglass

Denise Wakeman

Kristi Hines (buddy #1)

Zac Johnson

Lynn Terry

Hesham Zebida (buddy #2)

Congrats to the buddies of mine who made the list.

The second difference is cross promotion. Many of the folks who are considered big time bloggers all know each other in some capacity. So, they’re good at promoting each other, something that the rest of us aren’t always all that good at. Obviously I’m pretty good at linking outside of my blog to other people, and even better at internal linking, but not everyone does this. Thing is, if we do it to the big time bloggers, it’s already too late because they’ve pretty much stopped reading all their comments; okay, most of them. So, it’s left up to the rest of us to, when it’s legitimate, link to something someone else says that can help them build up their influence.

The third difference is that most of them talk about making money, and that seems to be a major driving force when it comes to people visiting one’s blog. Not everyone, of course, but the overwhelming majority of folks are doing it. Actually, I keep wondering if it’s all that much different than mine. I certainly talk about it often enough, and I test things and tell what my experience is. However, I don’t make money blogging right now, so I talk about other things that have to do with blogging and other interests of mine, and thus those only interested in making money aren’t coming by anymore. That’s okay because I love the rest of you that do stop by on a regular basis. I’d just like there to be more of you out there; I really want to make some of these top 50 lists! lol

I discounted rankings as a difference because of three reasons. One, I actually rank higher than 3 or 4 blogs on the list per Alexa. Two, since I don’t have Google PR on this blog (taken from me), I can’t use that as a comparison at all. Three, the writer didn’t mention rankings as a criteria, and thus it would be presumptuous to think he based everything off that.

So let’s see… what did I learn that’s going to help me spread my influence enough so that I can make one of these lists? I have absolutely no idea. I still can’t talk about only making money by blogging, so that’s not going to get there. If anyone thinks that most of my posts aren’t personally engaging, whether you care for the topic or not, let me know. Actually, personality is a major trait for most of the blogs I saw, though a couple only give information without any extras. It’s certainly not frequency because I believe, writing by myself, I write as frequently, or moreso, as anyone else.

Then what it has to be is the cross promotion part. In other words, I, and by extension the rest of you, have to try to get people to talk more about you on their blogs. We all have to get better at linking to other people, and using what someone else has written as inspiration for us to have something new to write about from time to time, while giving those people a link and a mention when you can. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t give any name recognition to the writer of this blog because all I could find was Michael. He’s violating one of those rules I picked up from Darren Rowse about having an About page and/or Contact page on your site so people know who you are and can contact you. It seems he’s marketing a book or training course he’s created, yet you can’t learn his last name until you buy it; that’s an odd way of branding if you ask me.

Do you have aspirations to be a top 50 blogger on someone’s list? I do! Let’s help each other get there. Or, if you don’t want to get there, then help me! 🙂

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How To Subscribe To RSS Feeds

You know, it’s possible that this is one of those posts I really don’t have to do, but something is telling me that I need to make sure. What’s prompting it is that lately more than half of the spam I get asks the question “how do I subscribe to your feed.” As simple as it seems, after a meeting I had last Friday I realized that many people really aren’t all that internet savvy, and they might not even know what a feed is to know how to subscribe to it, or even where. Hence, this post. For the rest of you who already know this… y’all don’t have to read this, unless you want to see if I miss something.

You see that symbol to the right? Any time you see that symbol it means that particular website or post has what’s known as RSS, or Really Simple Syndication (sometimes known as Rich Site Summary) feed. In essence, it means you can follow certain websites or blogs that have new content with some kind of regularity in a place other than having to visit that website. You can subscribe to the feed by clicking on that orange button whenever you see it and read it whenever you want to somewhere else. I use a program called Feedreader, which is independent of a browser, and a lot of people use Google Reader, which uses the browser, but groups all the feeds in one place. There are plenty of other options as well.

On websites, you might see that orange symbol in many different places, and sometimes it depends on the browser you’re using. On Firefox, you’ll see that little symbol to the far right of the address bar. On IE 8, you’ll see that symbol on the right next to the home button on the toolbar. On some sites you’ll see that symbol elsewhere, and it might not be the orange symbol. Seems that some sites will change the color of the symbol. If you look on my blog, you see that symbol in the far right column, and underneath that you can decide to subscribe by email, which other sites also. This means you’ll get any blog posts from me through email instead of a reader; many people like that instead. Other sites will do this as well.

That’s pretty much all it takes for RSS subscriptions. And those of us who blog love when people subscribe, as we want more people to read what we have to say. I subscribe to many blogs and news sites, more than 200, although I think it might be time to pare down my list some. We’ll see if I get to that. Any questions?


I Hate Logging In To Comment

So there I was, reading another blog post and thinking I had something I wanted to share. So I go to the comments and get hit with it once again: “You must log in to comment on this post.”

And so it goes. I hate logging onto blogs to make posts, so I do it rarely. I know why people are doing it. They’re trying to keep comment spam out of their midsts, and think it’s the safest way to go. Instead, I’m betting they get very few comments on their blog and wonder why.

Those of us who blog like the idea of people commenting on our blogs; that is, unless you’re Seth Godin. Therefore, it’s imperative that we don’t make it hard for people to be able to comment on our blogs. At the same time, we have to protect ourselves from the spam, which can be voluminous. What I did was sign up for Akismet on this blog, which seems to protect me a great deal. Also, asking people for their name and email address when they sign in isn’t a bad thing, even though that’s more of a WordPress thing that something for me. By adding the CommentLuv thing, it also gives people a chance to comment and highlight their own blog by showing their previous posts; that’s a good thing also. And I also give them link power by setting up my blog to be a Do Follow blog.

On my business blog, I added Bot Check, which makes people put in the number they see in a little box first before their post will show, along with another protection program called Bad Behavior, which helps protect against spam.

In essence, I have so many other ways to protect myself that the last thing I need anyone to do is actually have to log in. Now, they can still log in, but by not having it as a requirement for participation, I think it makes it easy for people to play along. I only wish everyone else who wants you to log in had it that easy. Oh well,…


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