Category Archives: Blogging

The Answer – Because I Like It

Last weekend when I was home I went for a walk at the lake with a friend of mine. He asked me a question about making videos that made me create a video about it. In essence he was asking me what I was getting out of making videos and I believe it was a question about publicity, making money, etc. My response wasn’t bad, which is why I’m popping the video about it below so you can check it out if you so choose.

Picture 70

However, upon reflection I realized that when I responded to the question, I felt like my back was against the wall and that I had to justify what I was doing. Sometimes all of us feel like that, where we see a question or hear a question or are confronted with something we’re doing and we’re not quite sure how to answer it. And I realized that overall my response was, well… because I like it!

Frankly, I think that’s a great answer that can be applied to many things that we do… when it’s true. For instance, anyone who tells me they like smoking when they know it causes cancer and emphysema, or that they like getting drunk and passing out every weekend, I know is lying. Anyone who says they like brushing their teeth without adding “because I want to keep my teeth healthy and cavity free” is lying because it’s not something that’s done out of pleasure… well, there’s probably one or two crazy people who might love doing it. lol

But for many things it’s the perfect and true answer, even if it didn’t start out that way. When I started my first blog back in 2005 it was with the intention of showing business proficiency. All these years and extra blogs later, I do it because I like it.

When I first started doing video I did it with the intention of improving my craft of speaking as well as getting my face out to the public in case someone liked what I had to say and needed a speaker/presenter for their organization that they were willing to pay for. After awhile I realized that I like doing them as well.

Why do I eat so much dessert? Because I like it. Why do I eat a lot of hamburger? Because I like it. Why am I an independent consultant who doesn’t have a full time job, doesn’t have insurance paid for by an employer, and doesn’t get vacation time so I can go to all these exotic places knowing I’m still being paid? Because I like what I do.

Think about the different things you do. How many of them are you doing for the pleasure of it? How many are you doing because you feel obligated? How many are you doing because you ARE obligated? What can you give up? What can you make more enjoyable to move it into the “because I like it” realm?

Anyway, that should have been my true response because, when all is said and done, it’s my reality. I hope you check out the video because in the middle of it all I reveal something about pretzels; did that get your attention? 🙂

 


 

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I Love Infographics But You Won’t See Any Here

As some of you may know, in recent months I’ve fussed about guest post requests and link removal requests that I’ve been getting a lot of email about lately. There’s one more email type that I’ve gotten a lot lately as well, although this isn’t quite as irksome.

Universe Zero
Kevin Dooley via Compfight

People send me email for 4 of my blogs (they never send anything for my local blog) sharing a link to an infographic they’ve got, wanting me to see it and then asking me to share it with my readers. In essence, what they’re trying to do is get me to write an article and link to their site without their having to pay for it, free promotion if you will.

As sneaky as that is, truth be told I love to look at infographics. I’m not artistic by any means, and that includes having the mindset to know how to put one of these things together so that they look visually stunning. Not that all of them do but many of them do, and when I have the time I like to go take a look. However, I also write every one of these people back and tell them the same thing; I don’t put infographics on my sites so I won’t be promoting them.

Truthfully, I may have promoted one or two in my past, but nothing lately. However, I can’t conceive of every putting an infographic on my site for one main reason.

They tend to take up a lot of valuable real estate that’s called my blog writing space and, well, let’s face this fact that almost no one wants to visit a blog post that not only has a long infographic that’s sometimes hard to see, but then have to consider going through a long blog post as well. So most of the time when you see big infographics there’s little content because no one wants to look redundant.

As I said, I’m not against infographics, and it’s possible that some people might benefit from them. And if you’re lucky to know someone who can create a cool app that makes those infographics a little less cumbersome while still being seen by everyone (such as the one on post by Marcus Sheridan), that becomes a game changer and, if that became available for everyone, I might even consider changing my own policy in the future.

But for now y’all are just going to have to make due with my miasmic rambling missives of fact and opinion; I hope we’re all up for it. 🙂
 

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Do You Know When To Ignore Or React?

This past week has been something else. As much as I’ve tried to stay out of the news arena it’s just hard not to see things that you don’t like, especially when it comes to politics. I then made a minor mistake by writing one line on Facebook, kind of an opinion thing where I also said that I didn’t want to talk about it, and that was my first mistake.

scream and shout
Mindaugas Danys via Compfight

This guy I was connected to (he left) came back in disagreement with me and posted a news link in my thread. He led with the line “how can you say that”. I wrote back that it was my profile and I could say whatever I wanted and left it at that. He countered with “I expected more than that from you”.

What the heck? Who did this guy think he was, saying he expected more from me on a topic I didn’t want to talk about? I got angry and responded, and man did I respond. I wrote the equivalent of 4 paragraphs in one (you know how Facebook is in its comments area) and told him if he really wanted to have this discussion I could come to his page and bury him in information (it’s an area in which I have lots of expertise). Seems he didn’t like that either and said some more thing, so I buried him in more, adding some facts and some passion (but never bad words; I never use bad words) and, well, never heard from him again.

The funny thing is that the next day another friend decided to pony in a comment that had nothing to do with the original comment, and I decided to ignore that. I found that intriguing in that I didn’t respond to her because one, I wasn’t mad anymore, and two, because it was off-topic and, well, she had a good point but it was one I really didn’t want to discuss either. lol

I’ve thought about this particular situation all week and I find that interesting in a way. Yes, I do think about things for a long time because I ask myself how I could have handled things better, even when I handle things in the correct way. The one question I ask myself is how I’d have responded to it if I’d made my original statement on the blog, followed up by a lot of information in its own right.

Well, I know one thing for sure. If someone responds and puts a link in the comment it automatically goes into the spam filter, so there wouldn’t be any worries there. That’s kind of a cop-out but it’s nice having legitimate reasons, so to speak, for not addressing certain things. I do the same with my comment policy, though I’ve noticed that no one who’s ever ended up in the spam filter because of a comment that’s somewhat dodgy has ever come back and mentioned it, and that would probably happen more often than not.

However, that doesn’t quite answer the question of if any of us knows when to ignore stuff we don’t like or when to respond to it does it? Do you have any criteria set for it? I actually do, and I’m going to share it, because it’s important for all bloggers to have some kind of standards to follow in their own space.

The first is if someone disagrees with you on your point of view but stays on topic. If you can’t back up your point of view on your own blog then you shouldn’t have said anything to begin with. Of course you have the right to expect a certain type of decorum when being responded to, but if someone gives you a cogent response I feel that you now have an obligation to respond.

The second is if someone else is being attacked in your space. I’ve done that often enough here over the years because this isn’t the place for personal attacks. I’m especially protective of my online and real life friends; heck, I go to bat for them on their blogs if someone behaves badly so you know I’m protecting them here as well.

Those are the only two times when you should feel obligated to say something to someone else. After that, if it continues just block them and move on with life; it’s not worth it anymore.

What if it’s a personal attack against you? Well, that’s somewhat different isn’t it? Truthfully, I’ve allowed it twice against me here, and the first time I battled with the person and she left, never coming back again, and the second time I never responded, left her comment there, and she came back some time later, apologized, and we moved on from there. In both of those posts the article was fairly broad and didn’t go after anyone specific, but for some reason it touched a nerve for each of them. However, the first person wanted to justify her bad behavior; nope, wasn’t having that.

Still, no one deserves to be bullied in their own space if they didn’t deserve it. If they did deserve it (and yes, sometimes people actually do deserve it), that’s another tale, but my warning to all bloggers is to never deserve it; you know better than that. 🙂

So I’ll ask this question: how do you decide when to ignore or react to negative feedback, and how do you do it? Let us know.
 

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Annoying Link Removal Requests

Curse you Panda, Pony, Red Fox, or whatever all those Google updates are called. You’ve caused a lot of trouble to many of us bloggers whether that was your intention or not. And to all of you phony SEO folks; fie on you as well (sorry for my language lol).

oXidation: Time goes by...
Alfonso via Compfight

What’s the deal? By now I’m betting that every legitimate blogger in the world has gotten at least one email from someone asking if you’ll remove a link from your blog because one of their SEO “experts” has determined that it’s hurting their website. You’re also probably correct, if you’ve thought far enough ahead, to know that probably 99.9999999% of those links are on your blog because of comments, not because you’ve linked to someone in your content.

Frankly, it’s irritating as sin, almost as much as those things on some blogs that are irking me to no end. In this case I didn’t do anything except write my blog posts and put them out for some people to hopefully enjoy. I didn’t ask anyone to comment, though I’m always hoping to touch someone in a positive way. I can block lots of spammers because they’re easy to spot. But I can’t blog legitimate comments, so to speak, from people who are paid to comment and wrote something that was actually pertinent to the post; at least I haven’t figure out how to do it.

What’s worse than these requests? Some punks have figured out how to take care of their competitors, whose commenters might have left pretty good comments, by writing you as representative of those competitors and asking you to remove those links because of what I mentioned earlier. What?!?!? Now we’re tasked with trying to protect others who did the sneaky thing and hired someone to comment on blogs for them as well?

What’s a brother to do? Well, in my case I’ve come up with some rules for how to handle this sort of thing. I did it mainly because most of the requests I get are directed at my finance blog, the one where I allow guest posts, and it’s those very same people who had representatives beg to have their posts included who are asking me to now remove their links, including comments with those links in them; the nerve!

You’re wondering what I’ve done? Notice that video below? Check that out and find out; yeah, I’m mean, but at least it’s not on my channel. 🙂
 


 

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Quick Ways To Identify Spam On Your Blog

I can’t believe it’s been more than 3 years since I wrote on the topic of how to identify spam. In that period of time a lot of things have stayed the same while there are some new players in the game that try to trick us all.

No Spam
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

This will probably be a short post from me, which is rare, but I’m hoping to make it easy for everyone instead of getting too deep into the issue. If there’s anything here you don’t understand, leave it in the comments and I’ll give it more time later. Here we go:

1. If a comment doesn’t use your name but calls you something, it’s probably spam. Admin, webmaster, buddy, etc.

2. One line comments are most probably spam unless you know the person.

3. If a comment looks familiar look through previous comments on that same post. Most of the time I recognize that someone has scraped a previous comment but not all the time, and I end up responding to both; ugh.

4. Totally off-topic or not on the topic at all.

5. The comment is way too long. I’ve known a few people who leave long comments but in general most really long comments are spammy sales messages or rants about something totally not based on what you’ve just written about.

6. Questions about your blog in general; not on topic, and please don’t even waste your time responding to this stuff.

7. Female picture with male name, male picture with female name… that should be pretty easy to spot.

8. The email address says “info” or “admin” in it. Not always spam but my policy is it all goes into the spam filter because, unless I know the person, it often means someone’s been paid to leave a lousy comment on your blog & they’re never coming back.

9. Keyword names or somewhat offensive names. I don’t allow either and will just delete the comments without reading them because most of the time they’re spam.

I’ll stop at 9 because that’s one of my favorite numbers and it’s the 9th month. Anyone have any other quick ways to identify spam?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell