Category Archives: Blogging

My Gripe With WordPress.com Blogs

Some of you remember back in 2008 when I wrote about my gripe with Blogger blogs, which is owned by Google. Back then, I said my main gripe had to do with trying to write comments on those blogs, where you either had to register for the site so you could get notified of comments, or you could choose one of the other options and never know that someone had responded to a comment.

Now I’m going to gripe about WordPress.com blogs, and I have a minor gripe against them. Once again, it’s the commenting gripe. With WordPress.com, you can comment on the blogs and potentially get a notification. Why do I say “potentially”? Because if you click on the box that says you want to be notified of comments, like you’d do on my blog, you immediately get this email that asks you if you want to subscribe to comments. Well, if you didn’t why would you have clicked on the box?

On this blog, which is self hosted, I already have that selected, so if you get anything in the mail from me it’s because you commented, and you can decide to unsubscribe from comments at any time if you please. On WordPress.com blogs, you have to check the box, so one would assume there wouldn’t be any questions that you wanted the blog comments.

To be somewhat fair, I will say that I know why they do this. It’s a double opt-in system, verifying that the person whose name and email address that’s been used is the same person who actually wrote the post. It’s known as a double opt-in as opposed to a regular opt in because you initially had to check the box to tell the blog that you wanted to get comments. For some blogs where you don’t get a choice as to whether you want to check or uncheck a box, you might still receive a message asking you if you want to subscribe to comments, but in that case you didn’t really opt-in the first time, hence it’s not a double opt-in system. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Anyway, with this system, if it gets a bounced email back, it knows to move the comment to spam. If someone else’s email address was used, certainly that person wouldn’t want to receive any more responses, but in this case the concept is somewhat flawed. At best, if someone forged a person’s email address and that person gets the response, they’d have to follow the link back to the blog, see the posting, and request that it be removed because they didn’t write it. I wonder how often that sort of thing really happens.

In my mind, one uses a double opt-in system if they have an automated email system set up for something like subscribing to a newsletter, since spam email can easily get into that, or some “friends” will do a drive-by subscription as a joke on a friend. But for a blog, I really can’t see the reasoning behind that.

Still, I have to admit that I’m more apt to comment on a WordPress.com blog than a Blogger blog because at least I can choose which of my 3 blogger personas I wish to use. But I must admit that I never subscribe to the opt-in email that shows up. Occasionally, if I’m so predisposed, I’ll pop back to a blog that I’ve commented on to see if it ever got a response, but that’s mainly only for friends of mine. For the rest… I guess it’s a one and done most of the time.

I wish WordPress.com would address that, or at least make it an option for their users. I get that it’s free, but does free mean it has to restrict what some people can do? The fix is probably in the paid version on that site; does anyone know for sure? I will say this; I’m glad it’s in the free software version for those of us who pay for our own hosting.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Charging For Advertising

In my last post I talked about how, suddenly it seems that my word is gold in some fashion, at least for my other two blogs anyway. Well, what’s also now happening is that I’m getting a lot of requests to put some kind of advertising on the main page of my finance blog, Top Finance Blog. This has presented somewhat of a conundrum, so I thought I’d express my thoughts in public here, in case someone wanted to jump in and offer alternative advice. You might have to take a quick look over there to offer advice on this.

First, I’m now hesitant to allow any text advertising on the blog. It’s not because I had it on this blog and it lost its page rank. It’s mainly because even back then on this blog it seemed out of place. I mean, I have other text links, but they’re associated with the blog itself or my own businesses. I consider a blogroll as being associated with the blog. The text link, though; I personally can’t figure out how it fits into the scheme of things, and I don’t want to go that route at all.

That means, second (I always figure there should be a “second” if there’s a “first”), the only thing left is a banner ad of some type. I don’t have a problem with a banner ad, because those I already have on the blog. I’m telling everyone that the largest it can be is 200×200, since that fits a side panel; I don’t see myself popping anyone else’s 468×68 banner ad into any of those posts, and I’m only running that type of ad at the top of each individual post through Commission Junction.

What I’ve been offering is to run banner ads at $10 a month. One guy said it was too high, others haven’t commented yet. I don’t think it’s too high at all; matter of fact, I’m wondering if it’s kind of low. I’ve also said the banner ads would be nofollow; I don’t think they like that either, but that’s my prerogative, right?

At the same time, though I’ve made the offer, I’d also have to figure out where I’d put it. Too high and it messes up the seemingly balanced site if people go from the main page to one of the articles. Too low and the advertiser might feel like they’re not getting their money’s worth, no matter what I charge.

Also, there’s the thing about relevance and location. I have a lot of UK companies wanting to advertise on the site, but I’ve stuck with American only. My thought is that most of my readers of that blog are from the United States, and I don’t want to intentionally be sending them to the UK for something they might want, then find out they can’t use it here. And relevance to finance is important as well; I’ve outright turned down products such as medical equipment because it’s not a medical blog of any sort, even if I do comment on medical finances and, of course, health care reform.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Am I being too tough or too lenient, and would you care about text ads, relevance, or location?

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2015 Mitch Mitchell

Now My Word Is Gold?

A funny thing has been happening over the last couple of weeks, and I’m not quite sure why.

I have people writing me and asking me to look at their blog posts, then either write about it on one of my blog or actually post the entire thing into my blogs as a guest post. These are people I don’t know and have never heard of, and frankly, coming out of the blue the way it did, initially kind of freaked me out.

Then I got a little upset because I didn’t know these people. I’m sure every once of us has written something and wanted to share it with our friends who don’t follow our blog, or our wives and other family members. But I can’t conceive of searching for someone and asking them to go through all those hoops without building some kind of relationship first. And the idea of reposting an article from someone else’s blog; can’t conceive of that either.

One guy even told me how to do the entire thing; how presumptuous. To his credit, I did decide to go check the post out, and man, you think I write long posts sometimes. It was nearly 4,000 words, with pictures and graphs; almost more of a white paper than a blog post. When I told him I wouldn’t know what to do with that, because it was overwhelming, he wrote back to tell me how I could do it. After I wrote him saying that I didn’t know him, he’d never written anything on my blog and never participated in a discussion, and wasn’t following any of my feeds. He did say that he went through Google Blogs looking for folks who write things on his particular topic and my blog came up, so he was just submitting to everyone.

By the way, it’s not for this blog, but it’s definitely been for my other two blogs. I hadn’t thought my opinion on health care had gotten all that much further than just my own business blog, but I guess the word is starting to spread a little bit more than I had anticipated. And my finance blog is hitting kind of a renaissance as well. That one, by the way, now has all sorts of people wanting to advertise on it; but that’s the next post.

What’s your thought on someone you don’t know reaching out to you, asking you to read their stuff, then write about it on your blog? Do you find it intrusive or flattering?

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Sunday Question – Why Do You Blog?

Before I get into the meat of this question, I want to share two things that are somewhat related. Last week I did another online interview with my friend Beverly Mahone, and I’ll be doing my second and last interview with her on this show tonight. She’s moving on to a real radio show, and hopefully I’ll be able to get on there some day, even if it’ll only be geared towards a North Carolina audience. You can check out the show, which starts at 7PM tonight, by clicking here. Also, you can download last week’s show here, and of course I’ll be sharing this weekend’s show probably some time next week.

The question of the day is why do you blog? It should be an easy question to answer for some of you, a much harder question for the rest of you. It could be easy because you might have planned what you were hoping to do and gotten out there and did it, and you’re still doing it. It could be hard because your original motivation might have been one thing and it changed, or you thought it would be one thing and it morphed into something entirely different.

For me, I started blogging years ago because I was trying to figure out a way to get the word out about my business. So I asked a friend of mine to create a subdomain for me (I know how to do it now) so I could add my blog to my business website, and Mitch’s Blog was born.

Then I wanted a blog where I could write on whatever I wanted to write on, as well as have the opportunity to make some money, and this blog was born. Finally, I saw on the Warrior Forum one day that someone was selling a couple of blogs, and I decided I wanted to buy the one on finance because I knew I wanted to know more about it, and how better to learn about it than have to research and write on it. Thus, Top Finance Blog was born.

Anyway, those are the reasons why I started blogging. Why do I continue blogging? One, for my business, two because I actually like communicating, three because I’m hoping to spread my brand, which is me, and four, because I’ve met so many nice people and want to meet more of you.

And there you go; pretty easy for me to respond. Then again, I knew how I’d answer, since I came up with the question. What about you? Oh yeah, remember, Mother’s Day is coming up!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

Web Courtesy; Don’t We Deserve That Much?

Once again yesterday I discovered that someone had pilfered one of my business blog’s posts from November and presented it as pretty much his own ideas. Well, maybe that’s not quite fair. After all, he did say he was reading a column that he had agreements with, then proceeded to write his post, using at least half of my words for his article. Kind of a rewrite, kind of a plagiarism that I still wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not.

I wrote a comment on the post saying I wasn’t sure whether to be mad because some of my content had been stolen, or happy that he had at least read the article. What I was thinking, however, is that I was upset that I hadn’t gotten any attribution for writing the article in the first place.

We all love having someone notice what we write. It’s pretty neat when people comment on our blog posts. It’s even neater when we find out that someone has written something based on an article of ours, and has linked to it in some fashion. Sometimes, even if they disagree with what we wrote, we love the fact that they’ve taken the time to talk about our stuff.

I like to think that I’m pretty good at linking to people whenever they write something that sparks a blog post to occur. I hope that whenever I do it that some of you follow the link back to the original article to read what that person had to say. I actually hope that sometimes you leave a comment there showing your appreciation for what they wrote, and mentioning where you might have seen the link to their post.

In retrospect, I might have been a bit harsh with the guy who wrote the post based on what I wrote back in November. After all, I found that same exact post on another site as well, and that site copied the entire post. That site has copied other total posts of mine as well; someone wrote me once saying it’s a foreign site that’s supposed to be similar to Digg, but I’ve never heard of Digg posting someone’s entire article. I could be wrong on that one.

I’m not giving these people a link, but if you want to see the site I’m talking about it’s here: luacheia.soup.io. And this is the direction to the latest post I know they took from me: luacheia.soup.io/post/33702719/Three-Syndromes-Consultants-Face. Part of me is wondering how many of my blog posts are on that site; I wonder if any of the posts from this blog are on that site. And in case you’re thinking about asking, I did write these people multiple times; no response. The hosting company is who told me they’re like Digg and that they can’t do anything about it; that just seems so wrong.

Blogging really is about community, in my opinion. When we can, we should open up our community to others whose stuff we read. Some folks do that once a week, like Kristi and her Fetching Fridays posts. But everyone doesn’t have to go quite this far. Think about how good you feel when you know someone has been inspired by you; do the same for others.

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