Category Archives: Blogging

The Changing Face Of Spam

You know, I don’t understand spam at all, especially when it’s aimed at blogs. Well, I do, but I’ll get back to it.

Those of us with WordPress blogs, by this time, should all know about Akismet, which learns the patterns of spam and moves it into a spam filter. We can then take the time to look at it to see if there’s something good in there that we want to keep, or delete it, or allow Akismet to delete it as a later time.

These days, I’ve noticed that some spam has gotten smarter, and some has gotten longer. Back in March I wrote about spam getting sneakier, and that hasn’t changed at all. But it keeps getting smarter.

These days, I’m noticing three types of spam coming in. The easiest to spot are the one line items that have a link embedded in them. Sometimes the sentence makes absolutely no sense at all; those folks aren’t even trying.

The second thing I’m noticing is the very long spam messages. These are the types that also show up in email images, where there’s all this text that just makes no sense. But they also include lots of links, which Akismet easily picks up and sends to the spam filter. The problem with the long messages is if you’re going through the spam filter to see if there’s a legit message in there, which I do.

The third, though, is the good stuff. These are the messages that look so real that, I’ve noticed, most people totally miss it. They might notice it if they comment on a lot of blogs, and every once in awhile look at the comments on other blogs, but if they don’t, then they don’t have a chance. Earlier this evening I went ahead and approved a comment that almost looked like spam, only it used my name. Now, if someone has come up with something that actually reads names and puts out a lot of this spam, well, I just got had myself. But it won’t continue, because if one person does it and gets away with it, others will try, and then it’ll be easy to pick all of those out.

I know we all hate spam; how are you dealing with it these days?

Visitors Love “Lists” Posts

Once again, it’s been proven, at least to me; folks just love posts with lists of things they can comment on, whether they agree or not.

My most recent post on sci-fi movies proves that it’s a great way to get visitors engaged. And it’s gotten lots of visits also, which is why I paused a bit before writing a new post here.

Of course, the other side of that is that list posts are popular if people know about you to begin with. I started getting more buzz about this blog around October or November, so a few posts from a period before that didn’t get quite as many visitors or comments. I want to highlight some of both types, if I man, just to bring them back to the forefront for one more go round.

Let’s start with this one, as it’s probably the one that’s not quite a full list. It was actually my commentary on another blog post giving reasons why some people should stop blogging, and I commented on a few of the points the originator brought up.

The next one to talk about was in response to something similar I saw on another blog regarding the top five presentations in history. It has to be since you’ve been alive, which knocked out Franklin Roosevelt’s speech and, of course, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, since I not quite THAT old. lol I think it would have been interesting if someone had shared their thoughts on this post and given some examples of their own; it got nothing. It might be a bit too deep, but so be it.

This next one was another I thought would get a lot of attention. Once again, I was inspired by something on another person’s blog and wanted to give it my shot. The soundtrack of your life idea was to find three songs that explained your life to others. I also added the videos to each song, which the original person did too. Was this one too scary for most folks?

This one did get a lot of attention and comments, as I basically talked about my favorite blog posts for my first year in existence. This one brought back some good memories, and helped to highlight other posts that might not have gotten much attention, but I felt deserved it.

And finally, one of my most visited posts ever on this blog, where I gave my own top 100 singers of all time opinion, based on a Rolling Stone poll that I thought was way off the mark. I mean, if they’re not singers, they shouldn’t count. There’s certainly lots of things to debate on here.

And there you go. And look, a list post about lists; what could be better than that.

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Do You Turn Comments Off?

Earlier today, I read a blog post that I felt was good enough for me to leave a comment on. The post had only 4 comments, so I figured it couldn’t hurt adding mine to the list. However, I didn’t have any way of getting into the post to leave a comment. Then I realized what had happened.

The blog owner must have her blog set to turn off the option to comment on a post after a predetermined amount of time. It’s an option all of us have that have WordPress blogs; I’m not sure if other blog types offer the same thing.

Why would someone do this? Well, there are a couple of reasons one might think about it.

One, lots of old blog posts are fodder for spam to get in. Some people don’t look at all their responses, and spammers know that, so they set their algorithms to look for older posts within a blog to leave their messages on. For their purposes, a link is a link, and because of age, that post might have gotten some page rank love, which might benefit them.

Two, some folks might get back to those who write them, but suddenly see a response that throws them off because they’re not sure what it’s in reference to. Now, WordPress tells you which post it’s on, and you can take the time to go and read that post before responding, but some people don’t want to go backwards.

In each of those instances, one might decide to turn off comments. However, I’m not one of those people. On my business blog, one of my most active posts is one I wrote more than 2 years ago, and the topic is still relevant to that particular industry. On this blog, one of my top posts was this one on indexing Google Desktop, which I wrote last November. People are still looking for that information, and when they find it, they like to say thanks.

I can’t see why I’d want to disallow anyone to leave a comment on my blog. Maybe it’s because I don’t have thousands of visitors a day, like this particular woman has. I’m not sure, but I know this much. I can’t see me ever turning off comments from anyone who wants to leave one. So please, leave comments as much as you wish to, unless you’re a spammer, and if you have an opinion on this topic, leave an opinion and let us all know what your thoughts are.

Blogs are for interacting with each other; so, let’s interact.

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Blog Writing Services

Time for an advertisement, but this one’s for me.

As you know, I’ve been writing for people for a few months now. I’ve started getting some blog writing clients, and I’ve decided it’s time to mention it here.

two businessmen shaking hands
Wirawat Lian-udom via Compfight

I’ve set up a contract through my other site where I’ll undertake writing blogs for businesses (actually, if you check my About page you can see my offering services there also). I have a price structure for how much I’ll charge based on whether the consumer wants 10, 15 or 25 articles written a month. The guarantee is that each article will be at least 200 words unless it’s a breaking news story; those always seem to work well on blogs. And, for an additional fee, I’ll even post the articles and maintain the blog; I just won’t be the one answering comments on the blog, so the blog owner will have to read the content at some point, or just ignore all comments. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of blogging overall, but some people fancy themselves to be Seth Godin.

What will I write on? Well, I did write a post mentioning what I wouldn’t write about, but there are some other things here and there. For instance, if it’s too tight a niche, one where there’s not enough information to research to make it something I can write on for a long time, I probably won’t take it. In other words, if it can’t really be researched, for the money it’s not worth it. A guy the other day asked me to write on battle strikers, and I had no idea what that meant. Then he showed me it was a toy, and he wanted 25 articles on it. There wasn’t any research that could be done on it for 25 articles at 500 words apiece, so I declined.

In other words, don’t back me, or any other writer, into a corner that’s impossible to work from. One of my clients has me writing on anything related to real estate and weddings. Another has me writing on travel. Those are broad subjects with lots to write about. Still another one has me writing on debt consolidation; it’s kind of a tight niche, but there are plenty of ways to go with that one, so it branches out into some other things. If you let me just write, it all works out well.

The question might be why someone would need a blog writing service. If you have a website and have a blog associated with it, and that blog has at least some kind of consistent activity, it can boost your website’s online presence and keep your website and web business somewhat prominent, even if most of what you do is offline. If you have a blog that links back to your website, you’ll get some kind of bounce off it if also. And if your blog represents all kinds of things about what your business is related to, you look like an authority on those topics and might get more offers for contracts that way. And, of course, you might just want it to sell stuff from, and need to try to draw visitors; hey, that counts as a business blog also.

No, I’m not posting the rates here, but if you or someone you know wishes to pursue this, send me an email on the QT and we can talk. You see there’s a contact area up at the top, and your identity will remain hidden, even if I happen to mention a topic here and there on this blog.

There’s the deal; let’s see how it all works out.

Who Are The Affiliate Programs On Your Blog For?

Yesterday I stated in my post on who is your blog for, I stated that there was going to be a second part to that post; this is it.

And you see what the question is; who are the affiliate programs on your blog for? It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately, as I’ve discussed marketing and advertising and blogging.

I think it’s a fascinating topic because I’ve talked about the ads I put on this blog often enough, even as I go through and change them from time to time. I’ve said enough times that I don’t expect to make money from this blog. And yet, there I go, having ads on the blog because I’m really the eternal optimist, hoping that something will strike a cord in someone’s head sometimes and have them say “hey, I need to check that out,”, or “that looks like an interesting product; maybe I’ll buy that.”

So, I did some thinking about this blog and who the visitors are. It kind of ties in with the purpose of this blog. If you remember, I did this post where I reviewed my visitors, and posted that 64% of the people that come to this blog are totally brand new visitors. Based on Analytics, most people are coming here for the book writing tips, which is pretty neat since it’s the term I rank best for with this blog. Yet, when they get here, they tend to like reading the more personal stuff, the stuff that has nothing to do with anything except me, or my thoughts on things here and there.

I find that interesting. In a way, it’s what my original purpose was with this blog, so I’ve actually achieved what I initially set out to do. So then what about the affiliate programs on this blog? Who are they actually geared for? It seems that they’re geared towards those new visitors, the ones who come for one thing and then switch to the other things. Those are the folks I’m hoping will find something intriguing in some fashion, and might decide to check it out. Those folks aren’t coming here to purchase hosting packages or domain names or most of the computer stuff I have on this blog. They’re here for personal reasons, and I like that.

Doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to change the ads I have on the sides all that much, if at all. But I may change them up in some fashion. But the things I add at the bottom of these posts,… well, that’s already kind of changed a bit. I’m still going to have affiliate links from time to time, especially since some of the affiliates I promote here don’t have specific products I can list individually. And I’m going to start looking for product links that I can add as text links within my posts here and there, as it seems some of the top internet marketers, such as Lynn Terry (who mentioned it on her live webinar Tuesday) says they seem to work best for her, and we’ll see where that goes. Matter of fact, I just tried it the other day for the first time; takes a little longer to post if I do that too often. But if it has the potential to possibly make sales on the back end,… well, who am I to argue with successful people?

So, there’s the question above; what say you?

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