Category Archives: Blogging

Do You Comment On Blog Links You Share?

The act of sharing what other people create is one of the most selfless things a person can do online. Just knowing that someone has read a post of mine and thought enough of it to retweet it or like it for Facebook or even every once in awhile send the link to someone else is an email is a joy.

However, I’ve noticed something else that makes me wonder a little bit about the practice. I notice that for the most part links that are shared on Twitter and Facebook by people don’t end up showing any comments by the people doing the sharing. Now, I can understand that to a degree because I don’t write a comment on every single blog post that I retweet. But I do one of two things; I either comment on the blog post itself or I make a comment on the link when I retweet if there’s room, which is another story entirely.

Anyway, when I see these things on a recurring basis, it makes me wonder if those people actually went to look at the post they’re retweeting. I think that also is what my mom would call a “sometimey” proposition. I know I’ve clicked on a link, looked at a post that’s abysmal, then asked the person who shared the link why they shared it. Only a couple of times has one of those people responded, and they were then ashamed they hadn’t gone to see what they were sharing. That’s dangerous because suddenly your credibility can come into question.

I was reading Tristan’s blog Thursday night where he talked about the number of retweets one of his blog posts got. He also did some metrics in looking at the numbers. The general conclusion was (my paraphrasing it all) that it’s great to have people retweet your content, but it doesn’t always translate to visitors, and it doesn’t always translate to new subscribers.

And thus, it seems that having people comment is a nice way to go, or maybe write about the post on your blog and find other ways to share what you think about a blog post that might have a little extra bit of meaning. I’m not saying to not retweet posts; I’m saying that sometimes it’s nice to see an extra comment somewhere, especially a comment on a blog post. It might do more good long term.

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Are You Waiting For Someone Else To Make You A Success?

Earlier this week I read a post by a guy named Mark Schaefer, who writes a blog called Business Grow, titled Why Are the Social Media Elite Ignoring Us? It was really a post responding to a question he was asked as to how to get the top social media and internet folks to notice us and, by extension, help us get bigger on the blogosphere.

by h.koppdelaney

I like how Mark responded to the question, and he wrote one line that I thought was the best takeaway in the whole conversation: “Start your own sphere of influence.” Goodness, how powerful a statement is that, especially to someone like me who’s talked a lot since the last third of last year about the topic of influence?

It’s interesting because it also touches upon a post Danny Brown has recently on diversity in social media, or kind of a lack thereof because, though there are many minorities in social media, many of “us” aren’t really recognized by the at-large folks who book conferences or read other blogs and decide to recognize people for their blogging prowess all that often. There were a few people who said they don’t want to be recognized because they’re minority, but would like to be recognized for being good, and some of them are very good indeed.

There’s really a fine line between being successful and just being considered as good. People that participate on American Idol are very good; only a few of the winners have been successful, and a couple of non-winners have been successful as well. What this shows us is that sometimes, even with a great boost from something or someone big, you might not really end up being considered as one of the best. How many American Idol winners and runnerups have failed to capitalize on what has to be the biggest boost their careers could have ever had?

At the same time, how many people do fairly well because they’re captured the attention of a loyal few? I like to think of our blogging community as a loyal few. We visit each other’s blogs and get to know each other’s names and what we like. We comment on each other’s blogs and help to encourage each other. Some of us buy from each other if there’s something we find of value because we trust the other person after awhile. And we’re there for each other if need be; I don’t know how many causes I’ve taken up to support my blogging friends over the years.

It becomes incumbent for each of us to find our ways of being taken seriously by the blogosphere, or social media sphere, if that’s what we’re shooting for. It’s also up to us to produce what we feel is the best we can offer to others when we blog or interact in some fashion online. Sometimes it’s a lucky break, sometimes it’s the wealth of what we produce, and sometimes it’s just not going to come.

How does one person write for a year and end up with thousands of subscribers and followers and another person write for 3 years and end up with maybe 100 people following? I don’t know, and I’m betting the people who succeed don’t really know. But they didn’t sit around wondering how it happened; they did what they had to do, and it came to them. And if it came to them, it can come to all of us.

Don’t wait for someone else to make you a success; be successful all on your own. And if you ask me, if you’re consistently writing in your blog, you’re already successful.

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Even Top Bloggers Think It’s Mainly About Content

I was recently reading a post on a blog called Social Media Examiner called 17 Ways To Grow Your Blog From Top Bloggers. In essence the writer, named Cindy King (it’s one of those sites with multiple writers), asked 17 bloggers of some worth (the site had a contest to determine the top 10 social media blogs) their thoughts on growing their blog.

by Stepan Radibog

Setting up my own criteria in gauging their responses, I came up with 4 categories of responses. Yeah, they’re kind of sketchy, but that’s why we all get to create our own categories of stuff. Anyway, here they are:

Content – 12

Subscriptions – 2

Community – 1

Freebies – 1

As you can see, out of 17 respondents 12 of them, about 71%, believe that one’s content is what determines how much a blog has the opportunity to grow. I find it interesting, not only because I fully agree with that, but because it seems that none of the 17 mentioned marketing, which some bloggers have been writing about recently in saying that it’s more important than content. The one person who wrote about community, Mitch Joel of Twist Image, wrote that he believed it was in building the community, which I also agree a lot with, but overall it does all start with content.

It seems that I only have 6 posts using the tag “content”, but I’ve talked about blog content in around 390 posts. I have always believed that content is king and it drives everything else one might think about doing. With the best marketing in the world, if you get people to your blog and your content stinks you’re one and done and your credibility is gone. If you write things that get the attention of enough people that like to come back on a consistent basis, then everything else falls into place and, oddly enough, they’ll end up doing some of your marketing for you in ways you can’t imagine.

Of course, a few of those commenting about content wrote that thing you know I hate in general, talking about high quality content without defining what it is. At least one person totally got it right, a lady named Gini Dietrich, who writes a blog called Spin Sucks (hate the name but like some of the content) when she said:

“if people begin commenting to one another and you can be graceful about differing opinions, your subscriptions will increase because people will be coming to your blog for their daily brain food.”

Let’s face it; 71% is a pretty nice number if you need one to encourage you to think more about your content than anything else. At least think of it first, then go about the rest of your business.

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5 Keys To Winning Poker Tournaments And Blogging

By now those of you used to reading this blog know that I love to play poker. I have written a few posts comparing poker and blogging, including one of my favorite posts from December called 5 Things Bloggers Can Learn From Poker. I’m kicking this one up a notch and I’m going to talk about winning poker tournaments. Did I win a poker tournament? Stay tuned as we go through these 5 keys.

50 Las Vegas Premier 9g Pro Casino Clay Poker Chips

1. You have to prepare for the long haul.

Poker tournaments are long. If you’re in a very large one in person it could take days. The main World Series of Poker tournament takes more than a week, not including the final table. Small online poker tournaments will take a couple of hours to complete if you’re trying to win. Larger tournaments, 5,000 people or more, will take as many as 8 – 10 hours. You get breaks, but you have to maximize your time. If you’re lucky and have lots of money, you can extend your breaks some, but you’ll be losing money while you’re gone so you can’t be gone long.

With blogging, if you’re going to do it you need to be ready to do it for the long haul. I just hit 3 years in December for this blog, and just hit 6 years on my business blog. I still have plenty to say on those two blogs and my other two blogs, and I’m prepared for the long haul. I’ve taken breaks here and there but taking too long a break on your blog means you could be losing readers while you’re gone, so don’t stay away too long.

2. You have to know when and when not to take unwarranted risks.

In poker, sometimes you going along well when you decide to play a hand that’s somewhat questionable. Even if the cards look strong, you have to try to base your play on what your opponent is doing as well. You have to evaluate your risk based on whatever pattern you notice in that person and where your money level is at the time. Sometimes you have to let go of a pretty good hand that you’re unsure of to survive to play another hand and still have the power to do something great.

In blogging, you have to decide when it’s your obligation to take on a controversial subject and when you need to pull back and either leave something alone or tackle it in a much different way. Even if you feel strongly about something you have to think about whether you want to take a chance on alienating a lot of people or whether you can change how you address something so you still get your point across but don’t make people mad because you were too blunt in your opinion. Every once in awhile it’s best to leave it alone and go after something else.

3. Sometimes you have to do it your way instead of listening to how someone else tells you how to do it.

In poker, you had all these pundits that talk about pot odds and how many big blinds you have left based on how much money you have. The other day at the casino I went all in and this guy called saying it wasn’t all that much money to call and that he couldn’t leave it all out there because he just might win, even though he knew I had to have a great hand. And I did, aces, and I won. Poker manuals would say with that kind of money in the pot you have to go after it, but if he’d folded he’d have saved $60 he could have used for another hand. In a poker tournament, as long as you have chips you have the opportunity to get a good hand and get yourself back into the game, no matter how many big blinds you have; pundits aren’t always correct.

In blogging, there are a lot of people who tell you what you should do. Heck, I’m one of those people who kind of tells you what you should do to be a better blogger. But everything I say might not be the right thing for you. If I say write something every day and you can’t do that, then don’t try keeping up with me on it. If I say write longer posts and that’s not your style, then don’t do it. True, there are some things I say that are absolutes, but that doesn’t mean you need to deliver them in the same way I do. Trust your own instincts; even I might not be right all the time as it pertains to you.

by Viri G

4. If you’re going to try to win a poker tournament, you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you from time to time.

When tournaments are going on for a long time and you’re still hanging around, you need to start paying attention to how a few players play the game. For instance, there was this guy the other day that raised on almost every single hand, and he raised big. His idea was to get people to fold their cards early on so he could incrementally build up his chip stack. So, what I did was just keep folding my hands until I had a really good one, then when he raised I raised way over his hand and dared him to commit. He kept folding when I did that, and soon others realized the same thing and 6 hands in a row someone re-raised his bet, which finally made him stop doing it because he was just throwing away money on hands that weren’t worth it.

In blogging, you need to pay attention to what’s going on with your blog. If you’re answering people’s comments with questions and they never respond, you need to verify that people are seeing your responses; you might need to add a new plugin to your blog for that very thing. If you have a plugin that’s supposed to be sending your posts to Twitter or Facebook automatically, you need to verify every once in awhile that they’re working. If you’re post-dating your posts you need to make sure that’s working. If whenever you write a blog post, you need to preview it, especially if you’ve added links or images, to make sure things are where you’re hoping they are. And every once in awhile you might have to change your blog around some if you think things aren’t working in some fashion for you. Don’t throw away your time without knowing what’s going on.

5. When you get to a certain point and you’re still doing well, why not take a shot at winning?

In poker, you’d think everyone was actually trying to win the tournament, but you’d be wrong. Some people get really tired and have had it. Some people are just hoping to make the money and when they do they’re happy for it and ready to leave. To win a poker tournament, you have to be willing to grind it out, to play the odds, to bluff here and there without too much risk but enough risk to make it worthwhile. And if you maneuver yourself well, you have a great chance of winning it all.

With blogging, some people get to a certain point and think they’re doing well enough and then seem to stop trying. At one point they were writing 5 posts a week, and suddenly they’re writing one every 2 weeks. If they were paying attention, they saw how well their blog was doing with more posts and more visitors, and maybe they were even making money; who knows. If you’re reached a certain level, that’s when it’s time to figure out how to kick it up another notch, how to win it all, and then be ready to reap the benefits of it all. If you can do that, you and your blog will be winners, and you’ll earn great accolades, a great sense of satisfaction, and maybe even some money.

Okay, did I win a poker tournament? No, but I finished 2nd in an online poker tournament, and you know what? It took doing all those things and more to get to that point. It took 8 hours, and when it was just me and the other guy playing head on I even took the lead. And I finally went all in with a hand that was pretty good but marginal, and he called and had the better hand, and that was that. But I earned my money, had my best showing, and my confidence has shot up dramatically. That followed a great day last week at the casino as well.

If I can win at poker we all can win at blogging; let’s all go for the win!

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