Category Archives: Blogging

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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Residual Or Full Time Income?

I was checking out a post by our Buddy Mike CJ talking about blogging and job security, and it sparked a memory in my mind. In his post, he’s talking about a friend of his who’s now sick and worried about his business. Mike talks about how, by making a living blogging and being online, he’s actually in a very good position because his business will not only make residual income, but he could still do blog posting from a hospital bed if he were ever in the position to have to do so.

It reminded me that the reason I actually bought my second domain many years ago was because I wanted to try to set up another source where I might be generating some online income as a just in case measure. As a consultant, there are times when I’m making mad dollars, and other times when my income is drastically deficient. There is more down time than alive time, but it’s certainly not vacation time by any stretch.

Enter internet marketing. The basic idea is to find a way to either create your own or market someone else’s products, create and market the webpage to hopefully get visitors to stop by and buy the product, then repeat the process over and over until you’re making serious bank. I mean, it sounds so easy when you hear about other people who’ve done it, right?

I’m here to tell you something you already know; it’s not so easy at that. It seems there are ideas that either work or don’t work, and products that either sell or don’t sell. There are tactics that may work such as mailing lists, or might not work such as popup ads; I’m not sure either one of these works or doesn’t work, but my friend Kelvin is wont to say (that is a legitimate phrase, Sire lol) that if people keep doing it then it’s working for someone.

Here’s the two biggest questions most of us ask about some of these things. One, if we copy what someone else has done step by step, will it necessarily make us the kind of money they’ve made? Two, if they’re making so much money doing that, why are they telling me how to make money? I’m not at that money making level, but I can answer both of those questions.


Lurker
Chocolate Assortment

Let’s look at the first one. Do you know the origin of modern day chocolate? Though there’s an interesting history about the stuff, modern day chocolate was pretty much started by Cadbury, whom many of you have heard of. Is there anyone who would say that Cadbury is the number one chocolate maker in the world today? Nope. I could probably pop off 5 other chocolate makers who are more popular and sell better. And most of them at least initially copied the same formula as Cadbury. But there are probably at least 10’s of thousands who have come afterwards that haven’t quite made it to Cadbury’s level, who might have started, floundered, and gone away already. But many of them are making some kind of money, and are surviving by doing it their own way. They’re not the norm, but at least they’re hanging in there. Those other people are us. We could follow the model exactly as the big time marketers do, and we will either win or fail; there are no guarantees. There are lots of dolls out there, but only one Barbie; that’s just how it goes.

Let’s look at the second one. Not on the money front, but on a different front, at one time, when I was still an employee, I was one of the top ranked managers where I worked. I was tied with another guy as the top dogs based on a survey of employees; not bad, eh? This was for a corporation that had around 1,600 employees overall. When I decided it was time to go, I wanted to get into leadership and management because I felt I was pretty good at it, and I wanted to see if I could help others get there as well. That’s what led me to write the book you see there to the left side, Embrace The Lead. Sometimes it’s not enough that others have named you as something good, and it’s not enough that you’ve shown that you can do something well, even mastered it, if you will. You want to see if you can then show others how to do it for themselves, to help spread your legacy, to prove that your theories and practices are correct.

And if you can make a little bit of jack off it. so much the better. However, the second one only works if you’ve actually accomplished something, while the first one is open for everyone. On the first one, though, we all learn that there might be aspects of how someone did something that we don’t like. For instance, Sire and I don’t like mailing lists; if that keeps us from ever truly being successful, so be it. But I remember a presentation I got to see a few years ago from a Rich Jerk representative that troubled me. I don’t want to give out all the details, but in essence the entire sales pitch was based on a lie to consumers. The person who created the video even gloated and laughed, saying his only interest was making money, and at least the people would be getting something out of it, even if it was based on his lie, since he knew absolutely nothing about the product. Man, I just couldn’t live with myself if I did that.

And therein lies the issue. There really are things that hold some of us back from being successful, even though we say we’re trying as hard as we can. I commented on a post earlier this evening where the writer (another buddy of mine) said in one of his financial recommendations that people should work harder to make more money; he wasn’t talking about internet marketing, just to get that out of the way. I wrote back that I didn’t believe it had anything to do with working harder as much as all of us trying to learn how to work smarter. I truly do believe we can all be as successful as we want to be, but our thinking patterns might not be quite in line with where we want to be.

Where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me still scratching and making my little small residual income, and it leaves Mike making his living online. It leaves me with most of y’all, trying to decide when or if I’m going to lay caution to the wind and actually go for it full blast, or keep working on growing incrementally until maybe, one day, I get where I want to be. What about you? How do you see yourself online, if you’re hoping to make money? If you’re not hoping to make money, I guess this question isn’t for you, so just move on to the product. lol

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Six Figure Blogger Blueprint – A Review

I recently got my hands on a copy of Six Figure Blogger Blueprint by David Risley. I read it, as it’s only around 45 pages or so, and decided to give a review of it in my own fair and unbiased way; y’all know me.

First, I want to get the full disclosure stuff out of the way. I had never heard of David Risley until our friend Sire wrote a post on why he wouldn’t be linking to probloggers anymore. David stopped by and offered some opinions that got folks riled up and pretty much helped catapult Sire under 100,000 as far as Alexa rankings go (and I’m betting Sire didn’t send him a gift or anything for it). That post prompted an interesting response back from David, which, based on comments I read, led me to write this about knowing one’s audience, and then led to Sire writing this post on commenting, which then led to a video post by a guy named Allan (who’s removed the video and the article; I wonder what that’s about), and eventually led our buddy Rose to write this. He is also one of the experts interviewed for the book Beyond Blogging. If you go through all of that, you’ll know that most of what was going on wasn’t all that positive, but at least it’s now been disclosed.

Back to the review. I have to say this; I liked it. I’d be lying if I said there was anything that was Earth shattering in the report, but the truth is I’ve been writing blogs for about five years, so I should know most of what it is that was in his report. There are obviously one or two things I disagree with, but they’re more about personal choice disagreements rather than whether he’s right or wrong. For instance, he talks about the need to have a mailing list. I haven’t talked all that much on this blog about mailing lists, but for me, I only have a mailing list for my newsletters and not for my blogs. My general thought is that if I don’t have anything different to send somebody then why have a mailing list. But this is also something that I tried to have a conversation with Lynn Terry about, and we really didn’t get anywhere on this topic either. My thinking might be a little convoluted, but I can’t figure out why so I’m pretty much going to keep thinking like that.

I think the blueprint is actually laid out very well. He talks about his beginnings into internet marketing and what lead to him eventually get into blogging. He talks about niche blogging, which a lot of people have talked about in the past, and he gives a pretty nice guideline for how that should go. As a matter of fact, while I was reading it I was reminded of something that I think is probably a major failing of my finance blog, that being that just having a niche blog isn’t enough. You have to remember to solve issues that people have at the same time as giving them opinions and thoughts on other things. I have to say that being reminded of that one nugget was probably enough for me to say that I like this thing.

He also does talk about how to market oneself and how to monetize a blog. Like I said, for me a lot of it is pretty old hat stuff, but there are some new things in there that I might have to think about. Near the end he also gives you a way to plan your blog following a step-by-step process. Now, most people probably didn’t do this when they created a blog, and it might be a bit rigid for a lot of people, but at least it’s there and it’s something you can try if you decide to start another blog that’s specific toward trying to make money.

So, if you’re still relatively new to blogging, and my little blogging tips aren’t enough for you, I think you could do yourself some good by going to get this. It doesn’t cost you anything, so you can’t use that as a gripe. And even if you’ve been blogging for a while, you might find a nugget or two here and there that might make you think about something you can use for yourself. It only took me 20 minutes to read this blueprint; then again, y’all know I can speed read. 🙂 Go for it I say; what can you lose?

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