Category Archives: Blogging

How Do You Feel About Blog Podcasting?

Yup, that’s my question: how do you feel about blog podcasting?

One of my new online friends has a pretty nice blog. However, the majority of her posts are short podcasts rather than the written word. Initially I was listening to her posts, but stopped pretty quickly. I had to think about why I didn’t like them, and I knew it had nothing to do with her or what she was talking about.

What I realized, and this may not be fair, is that I felt somewhat manipulated. Let’s think about this one for a little bit. We all want people to come to our blogs and participate in the experience. So we put together what we hope are thought provoking and entertaining posts, sometimes teaching, sometimes making people laugh, and sometimes just ranting a little bit. We might add a picture to help illuminate what we’re trying to articulate, or we might share a video here and there.

Why do we do all of this? Because we hope that people will stay on our blog for a little while. We hope that maybe they’ll like what they read, and want to read more. We hope that maybe they’ll be interested in one of the little things we have on the side of our blog, click on something, and we’ll make a little bit of money. And we hope that people will write comments, engage us in thoughts and conversation, and generally have a good time.

So, what about podcasts? Well, with either a podcast or video presentation, you pretty much have to spend a bit of time either watching or listening to it. You can’t speed read, which I do, and you can’t anticipate what’s coming. You’re pretty much stuck for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes of listening to someone talking about whatever it is they’re talking about, or showing you. That’s why I almost never visit another blog by a guy I like, because almost all his posts are video, and I just don’t always have 10 minutes to hang around to watch a video.

Now, every once in awhile, if they’re showing you a presentation of something, that makes a lot of sense because it’s easier to show people how to do something that trying to just tell them how to do it. But what if it’s an every day thing? How much do you want to visit a blog to have to listen to a presentation every time?

I know someone’s going to say “yeah, but you have that “listen” button at the top of each post. True, but I put that there to give people an option as to whether they wanted to listen or read my post. I know some of my posts get quite long, and one of my wife’s gripes is that she hates reading long posts. But every once in awhile I’ll ask her to check a specific post out, and she’ll listen rather than read and enjoys that.

There are some websites that will put up a video, but also have the written transcript so that you get a choice as to which way you want to go. I love that option, and yes, sometimes I will just sit back and watch or listen to something instead of reading it. But it’s an option, a choice, and I love having choices.

I don’t want this to look like I’m beating up on anyone whose content is totally media driven. I’m asking this question because I really want to know what people’s general opinions on this are. If I started creating posts by recording them and, instead of writing much, just wrote a headline like “Have you heard about Google Wave? Here’s my take on it” and then posted an audio file, and all my posts were like that, would you still visit and listen to an entire file each time and still want to comment on it? Would you be encouraged to go to any of my other posts to listen to more podcasts or watch more videos if that’s all you could do when you visited one of those?

Share with me; let me know your thoughts. I’m wondering if it’s me, the guy feeling a bit old lately, or if I’m more normal than I think I am sometimes.

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If You Can’t Get Your Family And Friends To Subscribe…

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine regarding people not subscribing to my blog. Actually, the conversation was more along the lines of why she didn’t subscribe to any of my blogs. She will read a post if I send her a particular post link, but otherwise, it just doesn’t happen.

She wrote back saying she was a terrible friend, but I wasn’t having any of that. See, the thing is that I’ve often wondered how any of us really believe we can sell and market to others, as well as get people to subscribe to things we do, if we can’t even get our friends and families to participate in the process. After all, these are the people who supposedly know us best, and at least are supposed to like us in some fashion, yet when it comes down to it you’re not writing anything of interest to get them to participate.

Not counting my internet friends, I have four friends of mine who are subscribed to this blog in some fashion; that’s it. I have a few more subscribed to my business blog. I’m not sure any of my friends are subscribed to my finance blog, but I wouldn’t expect them to be since it’s kind of, well, out of their realm of caring.

One truth of mine is that I’m subscribed to every one of my friend’s blogs. Only two of them write fairly regularly, and every once in awhile I comment, but I see everything. I’ve always felt it was the thing to do, but at the same time, I’m really interested in what people have to say, when they decide to say it. Just seeing them express themselves, no matter what it is, thrills me to no end. Yet, it’s not reciprocal.

Of course there is a difference. I’m really hoping to grow my blog, whereas most of them are just looking to say something and move on. Most of them probably have way fewer people following them than I do, but that’s not really the point. I guess my point, or question, is if my thinking that if I can’t even convince my friends or family to read things I write, let alone comment, then am I kidding myself in thinking that other people should be interested in it?

I know I’m not alone on this one, so please tell me your thoughts; I’d really like to know. Not that I’d stop, but I’m just trying to get my mind around it all. Thanks; enjoy your day.

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No-Self Pings

As y’all know, I’m pretty good with my internal linking. One of the problems with internal linking, though, is that I’m always pinging myself, so to speak, and getting all these messages that turn out to be from me on those older posts.


Not only is it somewhat irritating, but lately a bunch of those things show up in the spam filter, which is freaky. That didn’t used to happen, but a couple of months ago I was testing another WordPress plugin on my business blog. I don’t even remember what it was, or what I hoped it would do. What it did overall, though, was start sending my self pings into spam on all my blogs; ugh. I think that’s one of the problems with having everything on the same hosting service.

Anyway, I was going through Kristi’s last Fetching Friday post, and one of them was a link to a guy talking about WordPress plugins you might not know about. I went to the link, and in that guy’s post he had a separate link to another blog. Followed that one, and came across a plugin called No-Self Ping.

Now, if this thing works, it’s perfect, and just what I wanted. I had to write this post so I would have something to link back to so I could test it. This means I don’t yet know if it works, but as soon as I post this, with the couple of internal links I have above, we’ll know for sure. Here’s hoping for great things.

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Do Images Increase Readership?

There’s been some conversation I’ve been reading lately about the effectiveness of adding images into one’s blog posts. Many people think it’s absolutely essential to add an image of some kind to break up all the white space of a post. Others think that if the images don’t match the content then what’s the point.

I have to admit that I’ve always belonged to the latter. I’ve rarely added images to my posts unless I happened to be talking about something in particular. Mainly, it’s because it’s just one more time consuming thing to try to do when I could be doing something else, like internal linking or eating dessert.

I decided to try something new. For my next seven posts, I’m going to be posting an image. The image probably won’t have anything to do with anything I’m writing about, because, well, most of the time what I’m writing about doesn’t have an appropriate image. Of course, me being me, I’m doing something a little bit different than many of the other people.

Y’all should know by now that one of my affiliate programs is Imagekind. That image to the left underneath my two books is from their site. People put up pictures on that site to sell them as prints, framed or not. They have all sorts of different prices. It’s actually a pretty neat little deal. I’m not a photographer, but I know what I think looks pretty cool. So, every image, or at least every image unless I say differently, for the next 7 posts, which includes this one, is going to be from their site. If you click on the image, it’ll take you to their site, where you can purchase this image, or search around and find something you like. I’m going to be posting some images I thought were particularly cool.

I’m only doing this initially for 7 days. I want to see if images really do bring more traffic, drive traffic away, or has no effect whatsoever. Also, I’m hoping that someone at least clicks on a few pictures, and who knows, might even buy one. Not only me, but the people who created the pictures will probably be extremely elated.

Of course, I’m also going to have to tweak the sizes of these images from time to time, because I need to make sure they don’t overwhelm the page. This one fits right into the middle of the content. I’ll have to figure out if it should be at the very top of the content, where I see a lot of images, or maybe shrink it some and make it a part of the content in some way, like I usually do. What do you think about this one, if you’re inclined to share?

Anyway, enjoy the images; it might be a recurring thing later down the road, or it’s a 7 post experiment. Let’s see how it all goes.

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Maintaining Your Blog

Tuesday night I did something that I’m betting almost no one else ever does. Probably most people don’t have to do it as much as I do, but it’s something that they should think about doing in some way every once in awhile.


by Pete Birkinshaw

I spent a few hours doing maintenance on this blog. I think this is post #540, and I went through every post on this blog, looking for my ads that might be missing or that might have been altered in some fashion. As you know, I have either an affiliate link or a product at the end of almost every single post. I put products there because I’ve tried to figure out the types of things visitors to this blog might like every once in awhile. The thing isn’t so much that they might want to buy that particular thing as much as they might want to buy something similar to it. They, or you, can still click on that product link, look around the site for other things, and I still get paid from that.

However, what happens every once in awhile is one of three things. One, those advertisers are expired, which means those links are dead. Two, the images have changed and, though the link would still work, without a visual product who’d even think about clicking on it? And three, that product is discontinued, and therefore I have to change products.

So, I spent some time doing that. The next maintenance project will be activating Broken Link Checker, just to check all the links on the site, then deactivating it again. Some of you might remember when I wrote about that plugin and others that kept giving me server errors. It works great, but I don’t keep it running all the time on any of my blogs.

How often do you go back and check things on your blog to make sure they’re still working properly? It might take you some time, but most of you don’t have close to as many posts as I have, so go ahead, take some time, and while you’re at it, think about optimizing or monetizing your old posts in some fashion. Remember, the entire product of your blog helps your blog to rank better, and better rankings means potentially more visitors.

Soulmate Bear
by Swarovski


  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell