Category Archives: Blogging

What Will You Do For More Followers?

Once again it’s video time. The premise is simple, but I’ll lay it out in words, then let the video take over from there.

Those of you who read this blog know that I’ve talked often about the concept of influence. In my mind, influence brings you so much more than when people have no idea who you are. Influence is money; influence can be power, or at least having enough pull to get things done positively or negatively. When people trust you and see you as an authority, there’s nothing that can stop you, not even those people who inevitably won’t like you just because of who you are.

With that in mind, I ask the question and talk about this concept of just what will you do for more followers. This ponies off a conversation I was having with someone who’d canceled another meeting with me, which led me to ask the question about priorities and people, and a response she gave me that I countered later on. That part’s not in the video, but something else is.

So enjoy the video, think about some things I say, then let me and everyone else know what your opinion is. Go ahead; don’t be shy. 🙂


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The State Of Blogging

Is blogging dying? It is if you read some posts by those people who consider themselves pundits. They say that people have so many other options these days that many people are dropping the concept of blogging in favor of all these other ways of connecting with their potential clients.

That’s convoluted thinking for two reasons.

One, even though a study from last year indicated that major companies have cut back on their blogging by around 45%, small and independent business blogging has actually grown 72% since 2004. And just how many more businesses do you believe there are that are small or individual businesses as compared to large businesses? There’s no valid figure but it’s estimated that for every large business with at least 500 employees there are 5,000 smaller businesses; at least a 10 to 1 ratio.

Two, if you’ve ever been on Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn, what do you see being shared more often than anything else? Blog posts, that’s what, and usually not the blog posts of that person, which is a strange conundrum if you ask me. I do share links to other blog posts that I like, but I also make sure I’m putting my own links out there for people to see. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t take advantage of a little bit of self promotion here and there. Still, those who don’t blog, or even those who do, are sharing a lot of blog posts, moreso than news posts. Only on Facebook do you see sharing of a different sort as the norm.

My belief is that blogging is changing for some entities, which is where the belief that it’s dying is coming from. As more companies try to get into social media, where they feel they can present their marketing message better, the largest companies believe that blogging in their own space doesn’t help them as much. I don’t believe that’s true, but that part has certainly happened. It’s too bad since studies have shown that companies large and small that have the CEO or a top company representative with a regular blog are trusted by more customers and thus have a positive impact on the minds of those consumers.

Blogging is the best way to get your message out the way you want it to be. And if you have any kind of audience that respects what you have to say, that audience is probably sharing your message with someone. Blogging dying; in your dreams!

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Blog Posting Frequency; Beating A Dead Horse?

I’m always reading blog posts on the topic of posting frequency. It seemed like this was a topic that was so pervasive that I had to have talked about it tens of dozens of times over all the years of writing this blog. Turns out I’ve only mentioned it 8 times throughout more than 1,300 posts, and even then I only talked about it as a specific subject 4 times. Thus, others have beaten this dead horse (no, that’s not a picture of a dead horse; how morbid! lol), not me, but since I’ve been thinking about it lately I guess it’s time to bring it up again, since the last time I wrote about it was more than 15 months ago.

live horses of course
by Raymond via Flickr

There are multiple modes of thought on this issue. The most important mode is to at least write something every once in awhile, preferably at least once a month, more preferable at least once a week. If you’re not a bit more consistent with your posts it’s hard to both build up a following and achieve any SEO prospects you might be hoping to achieve.

Once you get past that stage though, what’s up next? Once again I was having a conversation with the ever lively and uber-smart Adrienne and at one point we got to the topic of how often one should post. She stated that she releases a blog post twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays. One, it gives her a consistent schedule that people get used to. Two, it gives her time to promote those posts by visiting other blogs and whatever else she’s doing to promote herself. And three, she feels it gives people time to find a post and to read it.

I countered with the fact that if one has a lot to say that writing more often isn’t so bad. I also said that studies really have proven that the more one writes the more traffic one gets.

After that I had nothing; what else is there to say?

Well, one of those things to say is that traffic really isn’t everything, even as I’m smiling because this blog finally has gotten back into the top 100,000 on Alexa after taking those stupid Google update hits. Someone’s going to say “Who cares about Alexa”, to which I’ll respond “If it’s under 100,000, I care!” Truthfully, as a statistic, it’s as valid a goal as any other.

As I were talking about this issue I mentioned that I’ve never had a single post in all these years that’s ended up with at least 100 comments. The most comments any of my posts has ever received is 73. Yet Adrienne regularly passes 100 comments, and yes, a lot of those are her responding to comments, but there’s nothing wrong with that; as a matter of fact, that says something positive about the blogger.

Still, I’ve never hit 100, and as I looked at some bloggers whose sites I respect in some way I see many of them end up with more than 100 comments on a consistent basis, and almost all of them rank higher than this blog, even if I have way more content. What’s that about?

There now, isn’t that relaxing?

It could be overwhelm to a degree. I used to follow Mashable but they had more than 10 posts a day sometimes; that was overwhelming. The same went for Lifehacker, and a few other mega-blogs. Sure, they had multiple writers, but the topics were still compelling. It was just way too much to process from one source, and it was every day. If it’s overwhelm then it would explain why the Analytics show that I have less than 20% of repeat visitors. My belief would have been that people would always come back because, with lots of content, there’s always something for everyone; maybe not.

I’m not saying that all my posts are winners, but I think a lot of them are. And, in retrospect, it’s possible that my brief blogging series on Better Blogging didn’t do as well as I thought it would became it was a total of almost 5,800 words in two days; that’s a lot to read or listen to, even for me, and they were in the middle of a period where I had written 32 days in a row; wow!

So, here’s the summer plan. I’m going to space it out so that there’s 3 blank days between posts for the most part. If something happens that’s kind of breaking news and I want to comment on it, then I’ll write a new post, but it will still leave at least a day between a previous post and a day after the new one. I’m going to that kind of schedule on 3 of my blogs just to see what happens with traffic and, well, comments. I want to see if I can get a post to reach 100 comments just once, and I also want to see what happens to traffic. Will my rate of return visitors go up; will traffic go down? Will both go in the same direction, both up or both down? I don’t know; let’s find out.

One last thing. I’m also going to re-up the Better Blogging series, but with a twist of sorts. I have another blogging series some of you newer folks might have missed in a page there to the left, the Blogging Tips series. It was popular back in the day when all those posts originally came out but I think people are missing them now. So, I’m going to use those tips as part of the reboot as well. When, when all of the posts have shown up eventually, I’m going to add all the new links to that page and build that sucker up. Can one say too much about blogging? I don’t tend to think so.

Of course, all posts won’t be about blogging, but a bunch will be. What else will I talk about? Whatever pops into my head; this is I’m Just Sharing after all. 😉

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Could You Be Too Cute With Your Blog Or Website?

Wow, something’s different around here today. I can’t quite put my finger on it; can you? Maybe you can, and maybe I can, but I have a story to tell, a story with a lesson of sorts, and we’ll come back to this.

A few days ago, I went to a guy’s blog based on a link that was shared on Google Plus. I thought it was a pretty good article, but since it was a Disqus blog I knew I wasn’t going to comment on it. But I wanted to share it on Twitter because I thought it deserved some press.

Only I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t find a button to share it on Twitter and I couldn’t find this Twitter button with his Twitter account name on it. Since I knew him I went to Twitter and found it, and I did the copy and paste thing for the link to give him some love.

Eventually he saw it, and when he wrote me back he said that there was a Twitter image on the page and that I’d just missed it. So I went back to the page and I looked around, and I did finally see it. And it was pretty large as well. Thing is, it was gray, and so were the images for some other accounts he could connect to. I still never found an article sharing button on the site, but it might have been there.

Sometimes many of us get creative and do something that throws everyone else off. I mean, let’s face it; we’re used to the blue Twitter bird or the blue Twitter “t”. We’re used to the Google+ button being red. We’re used to the little LinkedIn box being blue. If you decide to get creative and shake things up, it could disorient your visitors. If visitors don’t see things where they expect to see them you could lose sales or business. You could lose the opportunities of someone sharing your information with others, which helps spread your influence.

Goodness, what will people think about this particular post? Who expects a black background in the middle of all that white space? In this case I think I’m okay, but I hope the point has been made. At least I didn’t leave it with red letters; I actually wanted that but when I looked at it my eyes hurt. See, I do care about you, the readers. 😉

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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?

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