Category Archives: Blogging

Tips For Guest Posting

One of my goals for this year was to write more guest posts for other blogs. To that end, I’ve written some for my friend DeAnna Troupe, two of which have been posted, and one other that we’re still waiting for.

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It occurs to me that there are both people who’ve never written guest posts for anyone else, as well as a lot of posts I’ve seen talking about the benefits of writing guest posts. There are few articles that give tips to writing guest posts, though I’ve seen a few. Here are my tips, some which I’ve seen mentioned before, others that I’ve never seen.

1. Try to write your guest post based on the topic of the person’s blog you’re writing for. If you write about digging clams and someone asks you to write on their blog about dog grooming, it’s probably best to turn that down unless you know something about grooming dogs. Someone else might like your writing style, but neither of you are going to get any benefit out of it. Take some time looking at the blog you might be guest writing for to see the topics they write on, then write something on that topic. I did that when I wrote a post for Connie Baum in January on internet marketing scams on her Healthy and Wealthy You blog.

2. Make sure you revisit your post at least the first couple of days to respond to any comments your article might have received. This one varies only slightly depending on how active a particular blog you write for might be. For instance, if you get to guest post on a blog that usually has lots of comments, it’s best to get back early to see what might be there and then address those comments. The reason why addresses tip number three.

3. Whether a blog gets lots of visits or not, leave some kind of comment at least within a couple of days. If a blog doesn’t get a lot of comments, you might miss if someone eventually does comment on a blog, and thus waste an opportunity to engage with someone new. Leaving and subscribing to comments gives you that opportunity. I always make sure to leave a comment whether there’s been anything or not.

4. Make sure you link back to your guest posts on another blog in some fashion on your blog. A great way to do it is what I’m about to do now, which I did last time, by writing something about it on your blog. For DeAnna’s blog, called Learn Small Business, the two posts that are there so far are Is There A Good Way To Market Your Business and Why A Business Blog. Go check them out; I’m sure she’d love the love, and I’d love the commentary.

One of these days I’m going to be asked to write a guest post on one of those blogs that gets tons of visitors. I’m not going to know what to do with myself on that day, but at least I know I’ll be writing on the proper topic.
 

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Thinking About Quitting Blogging; The Thought Process

That headline is no lie; I have really been thinking about giving up blogging over the past week or so.

I love blogging; at least I have. I have lots to talk about, so it’s definitely not that.

I like comments, and I’ve met a lot of people I’d have never met otherwise, so it’s not that.

I’ve been wondering whether I’m making a difference or not. I’ve been wondering if I’m channeling myself into efforts that not that many people really care about. A couple of comments on yesterday’s post about people not wanting to read long posts and therefore visiting less often is a part of that as well.

I’m not really into catering to anyone else’s beliefs or thoughts on what it is I do. However, the last thing I want to do is waste my time or anyone else’s time.

It looks and sounds like a pity party, but it’s not. Blogging isn’t the only thing I’ve been thinking about giving up lately. I write two newsletters, and I’ve been writing them for about 7 years now. I’ve never reached a mass audience; my main newsletter still has less than 200 subscribers after all these years. I’ve got enough material to write a couple of books if I want to take the time to edit them; I just might do that.

I’m tired. I’m tired physically, and I’m tired mentally. In just over 2 years I’ve written 653 posts on this blog, and, as you see the stats to the right, I have 131 subscribers; that’s depressing. True, it’s not always about how many subscribers, but I’m remembering a blog post I read the other day about continuing to do things that aren’t living up to expectations. I bet almost no one remembers that last January I made a serious push to increase the numbers of subscribers for this blog; colossal flop.

If I decide to stop blogging, I shut everything down. No sales, no just leaving it up. I’d kill this blog and the others and go about my business. I don’t think I’d be missed longer than a week or so, if that long. And maybe I’d get some other things done. After all, even if I quit my blogs and newsletters, I’m still writing them for other people right now, getting paid for it.

Maybe that’s it; maybe it’s the overkill of writing and coming up with ideas on topics I’ve had to learn to know fairly well that’s killing some enthusiasm for this; I’m not sure.

To keep this short for those who hate more than 500 words, I’ll end with this. I’ll continue writing for now until I come to a real decision, and when I do, I’ll bring this up again. For now, less than 470 words, I’m done with this post.

Commentary On A Comments Post

I was reading a guest post on Problogger titled 8 Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Many Comments, and as I read it, I identified with a couple of them, and found that I kind of disagreed with the other points. I figured I’d comment here rather than there, mainly because there are already 111 comments on that post, and I applaud the writer of the post, Charlie Gilkey, on responding to comments on his post, something you don’t often see guest bloggers going back to do (y’all need to be cautious of that).

1. Your Posts Are Too Long

If we set the bar at 500 words for what’s long and what’s short, I’d have to say that, based on my own blog, it depends on what someone is talking about. For instance, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few posts that were longer than that, and most of them got a pretty good response. I’ve also written a few short posts, and one of those only got a couple of comments.

I believe as long as you’re not droning over one thing without adding something new to it here and there, long posts are just fine. People tend to gravitate towards one or two lines they really like anyway if you haven’t bored them. And, the post Charlie wrote on this topic was pretty long, and it got 111 comments; case closed.

2. You Haven’t Asked Them to Comment

This one is interesting. If I asked at the end of every post “please comment”, I’d sound desperate. Actually, every once in awhile I do ask people what their opinion is, and I think that’s actually his point here. If you’re writing something pretty technical, you won’t get many comments, but if you offer an opinion, like I do here and there on this blog (kind of like this post), then asking people what they think makes sense.

3. They Don’t Know What To Say

This one seems obvious, and in this case there’s really not much to comment on because there’s nothing you can do to encourage those people to comment.

4. They’re Doing What You Told Them To Do

This is where we talk technical. One of my posts from awhile ago was talking about how to get Google Desktop to index Thunderbird. This is still one of my most popular posts, and it still gets comments. It never got the amount of comments close to how many people have read it, but it got some, and I know it helped a lot of people. I guess this is just something you have to deal with if you’re going to try to help people from time to time.

5. They’re Chasing Links On Your Blog

Here he’s talking about internal linking, saying that people will go off and follow your internal links to other posts without commenting on the original post. Do those people comment on the old posts if they follow it? I think this is an acceptable risk, because we all would like some of our older comment to be read, it’s great for SEO, and I think people who care will make sure to comment on one or both or multiples as they see fit.

6. They’re Following Your Social Media Trail

This is an intriguing idea, and I’m not quite sure I believe this one. I doubt there’s a single person who follows my blog and me on either Twitter or Facebook who doesn’t comment. What I have seen, though, are people who subscribe to the email not commenting, instead writing me directly. I’m not sure I believe this one at all.

7. It’s Hard For Them To Comment

Hello! He’s speaking to, and for, the choir, or at least me on this one. How many times have I written about making it easy to comment on your blog? How many times have I castigated Disqus and Intense Debate and the like for wanting me to subscribe so I can see responses to a comment I’ve written? Heck, sometimes it’s hard to find the link that allows you to comment. And there’s a new trend where a few bloggers have some posts they’ll allow you to comment on, and others where they turn it off because they don’t want to hear your opinion on their opinion. Not sure where I stand on that one in general, but I know those are usually the posts I want to comment on, so I just don’t subscribe to those blogs because it’s irritating to me.

8. You’re Posting At The Wrong Time

Once again, I have decided to take this one with a grain of salt. I have experimented this concept of posting at different times, and what I’ve realized is that it just doesn’t matter. It seems the email feed goes out late in the afternoon or evening anyway, and Twitter has folks on it 24/7, so there’s always an audience that’s seeing your post when you’re not around. Maybe 4 years ago time made a big difference, but not anymore.

And that’s that. Be sure to read Charlie’s post entirely, and of course I’d love to hear your thoughts on my commentary on that post. See, I’ve asked you to contribute! 🙂

Why Do You Revisit Some Blogs And Not Others?

This is a relatively short post, especially coming from me. It’s a simple question; why do you revisit some blogs and not others?

I’ll answer this one first, though I know few people do what I do. I subscribe to around 200 blogs. I’ve been eliminating some over the past month or so because either they weren’t giving me what I needed anymore or their frequency was getting on my nerves. When I talk frequency, I mean posting once every month or longer; I’d already gotten rid of blogs that had 5 to 10 posts a day, as I realized that wasn’t just one person doing all the writing, and there was just no way to keep up with that kind of input.

I’ve also been deleting more blogs that use Disque or Intense Debate, as well as more Blogger blogs. If I’m not going to comment, and your content isn’t compelling enough to keep me reading where I want to comment, it’s time for you to go.

And yet, I’m still around 200. So, what keeps me going to them consistently? Each one of these blogs writes about something that interests me. Each one of these blogs has writers who are giving me something new and different and compelling and educational. They make me feel good, or they make me think, or they give me information I can use. I want that info, and I want to make sure I know where to go so I can receive it. So, I subscribe, and I enjoy.

No one hits a home run every time out; heck, I know I have some posts that get almost no one looking at it. Sometimes I wonder why, but other times I figure I’m just going to continue going for it because, after all, it’s all about writing and sharing and asking questions for me. And I truly am thankful to those of you who come back and check out what I have to say from time to time. I even appreciate those of you who pop in once then leave; at least you gave me a shot.

So, what keeps you going back to certain blogs for more?

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Insulting Spam

You know, spam at best is normally irritating and nerve racking. These days, spam is taking on a new, direct approach that leaves me confused and wondering what some of these people are thinking.

I can’t be the only one seeing it, but spam comments are actually starting to get insulting. Since I usually delete stuff pretty fast, I haven’t been charting a lot of what it’s been saying lately. However, I thought about it enough to save the last two examples:

Even though this is very interesting, I don’t think I could agree with you completely.”

Seriously? Don’t get me wrong, I’m in agreement with you partially, but when you say something like this you actually have to be ready to defend it.”

Many of you are probably seeing the same kind of thing these days. I know that because I visit a lot of blogs, I see a lot of them that have both positive and negative spam comments on them, and the owners of those blogs either thanking the people for their comments or arguing with these spam comments. Sometimes I find that fascinating, and other times I find that pretty sad. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the internet for long time that I can tell it’s spam, but sometimes it just seems so pathetic seeing people trying to argue with something that’s been automatically generated, thus isn’t real.

Not that spam has any redeeming value to begin with, but I keep trying to figure out what possible motivation the people who send this stuff out have in being either rude or in attack mode. Most people don’t respond well when they’re being attacked, and when it comes to their blogs people are more apt to delete rude comments than to keep them around. My thought has always been that I don’t mind if people don’t agree with me as long as they keep a certain amount of decorum. I’m not going to allow bad language, and I’m not going to allow name-calling much beyond calling someone a jerk as long as there’s an explanation behind it. I figure it this way; I pay for it, my name is attached to it even if I’m not really a part of the conversation, and I’m not letting it stay.

I guess this is just the next stage of spam trying to find a way to seem as realistic as possible. I hope those of you who read this blog aren’t falling for this kind of thing all that often.

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