Category Archives: Blogging

Blog Day 2008

Today is Blog Day, but this year I have two blogs with different focuses. So, I’m going to recognize some blogs here that have to do with one type of thing, then some blogs on my other blog that have to do with what I talk about over there. I’m not sure it’s cheating or not, but hey, recognizing people is always a good thing in my opinion. And, just like last year, I won’t be highlighting any blogs of my friends, so I can be objective.

There’s no way I could even think about starting to write about blogs I read without beginning with Problogger. One of the first million dollar bloggers, I’ve seen very little coming from him that’s not quality stuff.

Another top blogger who I follow is John Chow. I have been impressed with how, every month, he shows just how much money he’s made with his blog, and I find him entertaining and informative at the same time.

I’ve known about Lynn Terry for years, but this past year started following her blog Clicknewz. She talks a lot about marketing online, and also has a forum that’s well visited. Lots of great tips here.

Build A Better Blog is about just what it says. The two ladies who write it, Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman, only write about blogging and making money blogging. One feature they do a lot is the interview series, which is always a lot of fun to check out.

Lockergnome is about way more than blogging. It’s been around for a long time, talking about all things computers for years. My mind still sees Chris Pirillo as this brilliant kid who knows lots of things about computers, but it’s a full fledged business, and he has lots of people helping him discover all these things on and around the internet, and of course he’s now gotten into blogging just as much as everything else.

And that’s all I have for the day. Another year down; man, this is a lot of work!

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The Spam Comes Out At Night

Oddly enough, I think this blog is starting to get more and more popular. Actually, the numbers from Google Analytics say that things are fairly steady, but I’m not buying it. After all, it seems the spam has grown by leaps and bounds.

Things were actually going along pretty well for me as it pertained to spam. I didn’t have much at all, maybe 4 or 5 a week, and life was looking pretty good. Then suddenly, I wrote that post on Compete Rank and the spam came out of the wood works. It’s not the Russians anymore; it’s someone else, seemingly sending it all from one IP address on a consistent basis, and in large numbers; what the hey?

Initially, some of it was making it through the Akismet filter, and I thought that was odd. However, after deleting it a couple of time, Askimet got its act together and is sending it all to the moderation area, so I don’t have to deal with deleting it from my posts. Frankly, I find the relationship between the post, which was not positive, and the spam, interesting, and if I were a conspiracy theorist type of person, I might think I was being deliberately attacked; nah.

So, some “thing” is giving me attention. Reminds me of something my friend Sue said once about not wanting to attract the wrong kind of attention while still wanting to dress nice. I guess I’ll just have to deal with it, but at least I hope this blog is dressed nicely.


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Blogging Step Five: How Often To Post

It’s been almost 3 months since the last post of the blogging series, so, before I go further, let’s list the other four:

Step One: What To Write About

Step Two: Where To Create Your Blog

Step Three: How To Create Your Blog

Step Four: What And How To Write

So, if you want to start at the beginning, and if you want to think about it some more by reading this post, we’re ready to move onto the next part.

A question that’s often asked is how often someone should write. Kelly McCausey, substituting for Alice Seba as she has a baby, wrote on Alice’s blog that she recommends to her coaching clients that they write at least 2,000 words a week, and finds that clients seem to not only appreciate the advice, but end up writing more often.

I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and I find that there are some people who will post 3-7 times a day, some who try to write one post a day, and some who try to write 2-3 times a week. Occasionally there’s one who writes once a week, and if they write less than once every couple of weeks, unless they’re friends of mine, mine, I don’t stay subscribed for long. When I’m home, I write one post a day on this blog. Actually, let me clarify that; I make at least one post a day. Sometimes I’ll only post something, like a video of something that’s caught my fancy, even if it’s something old and odd:

Okay, I watched that when I was a kid; I admit it. 🙂 Anyway, you may not know this from reading this particular blog, but in my real life I’m an independent consultant, so there are times when I’m out of town a lot, like right now. I stay in hotels, and not all of them have the best internet service, so posting something daily becomes problematic. So, right now, I post more on the weekends, yet still try to get at least one post in during the week. If you’re hoping to attract visitors, and keep those visitors, then you need to post new content on some kind of regular basis to encourage people to keep coming back. If you write once a month, no one’s going to remember to come back, but if you write regularly, and you’re entertaining or informative, then people hopefully will come, and keep coming.

Then, if your purpose is to show you have some kind of knowledge that will help you get contracts or work later on, or your purpose is to make money with your blog, you’ll have better chances to do both. And, let’s face this fact; why have a blog in the first place if you’re not going to write anything to begin with?

Oh yeah, let me be clear about my terms. What’s in this particular post, for the most part, is writing; the video is just a red herring. Some people post only pictures; some videos, and some others post sound files. In a way it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent, but in another way it does matter. If you’re posting videos, one has to hope you also have something to say, and that every once in awhile it’s you in the videos saying something because you hate typing. Videos can be nice, but if that’s all you post, people won’t like it too much because watching videos takes time. The same can be said for audio; great stuff every once in awhile, but they take time to listen to. Posting pictures goes the other way; if that’s all you do, it gets boring after awhile because you’re not really giving something of yourself. So, there has to be a mix of media if you’re going to do it at all.

And there you go. I hope some of you have read the series and taken to blogging on your own. I’d love to know how it’s working out for you thus far. And I’d like to highlight someone else who writes a great blog on blogging ideas, and that would be Barbara Ling. She offers a lot of great stuff.

Happy blogging!

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I Hate Logging In To Comment

So there I was, reading another blog post and thinking I had something I wanted to share. So I go to the comments and get hit with it once again: “You must log in to comment on this post.”

And so it goes. I hate logging onto blogs to make posts, so I do it rarely. I know why people are doing it. They’re trying to keep comment spam out of their midsts, and think it’s the safest way to go. Instead, I’m betting they get very few comments on their blog and wonder why.

Those of us who blog like the idea of people commenting on our blogs; that is, unless you’re Seth Godin. Therefore, it’s imperative that we don’t make it hard for people to be able to comment on our blogs. At the same time, we have to protect ourselves from the spam, which can be voluminous. What I did was sign up for Akismet on this blog, which seems to protect me a great deal. Also, asking people for their name and email address when they sign in isn’t a bad thing, even though that’s more of a WordPress thing that something for me. By adding the CommentLuv thing, it also gives people a chance to comment and highlight their own blog by showing their previous posts; that’s a good thing also. And I also give them link power by setting up my blog to be a Do Follow blog.

On my business blog, I added Bot Check, which makes people put in the number they see in a little box first before their post will show, along with another protection program called Bad Behavior, which helps protect against spam.

In essence, I have so many other ways to protect myself that the last thing I need anyone to do is actually have to log in. Now, they can still log in, but by not having it as a requirement for participation, I think it makes it easy for people to play along. I only wish everyone else who wants you to log in had it that easy. Oh well,…


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Why Do You Write Your Blog?

Why do I write this blog, or any other blog? Why do you write a blog? What are you hoping to achieve? Are you trying to inform? Are you trying to make money? Do you have something you need to get off your chest?

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Phil Hilfiker via Compfight

I ask this question after reading what can best be called a couple of rants by different guys. One guy, Merlin Mann, wrote a piece called Blog Pimping, and actually used a lot of the original rant, written by a guy named Jack Shedd, called Tacky. Both posts are pretty much against what they consider as the blatant marketing of blogs to make money by the professional bloggers, and what they perceive as what’s been created because of them, the professional commenters, whose only purpose is to try to hopefully drive traffic to their sites by commenting on these big time blogs.

Of course, one of these guys is marketing things in his own right off his blog, whereas the other guy, Jack, doesn’t seem to be marketing anything, so we can take each for what it’s worth. It still begs the question for most of us as to what our purposes are for writing our blogs, and whether we end up staying true to our souls more than our goals.

I don’t think I’ve hidden my goals for this blog; I want it to make money. So I write about topics that interest me, hoping they interest others enough to want to come back often to see what I might have to say. I like to think I’m not a one trick pony, though, as I slide from topic to topic and, occasionally, post something to entertain myself more than I’m probably entertaining someone else (remember the Yoda video?). This is a blog to make money, but it’s also a blog to have some fun with. I don’t see myself as one of those guys who’s ever going to make blogging a 24/7 job; could happen, but I doubt it. I have way too many interests for that sort of thing.

And of course there’s my other blog, the professional one, Mitch’s Blog, whose purpose isn’t necessarily to make money (though I do have Adsense on it; I’m not a fool after all), but to inform and show people that I have some competence with my main career as a consultant. Maybe indirectly it’ll convince someone to request my services, and I may make money that way, but it’s intention isn’t to do it straight out.

Still, a good question to ask is why it seems to matter so much to someone else why a person is writing whatever it is they feel like writing, and why it’s disturbing them so much. Truthfully, I read a lot of blogs, but there’s many more that I’ve taken a look at and decided I don’t want to read for one reason or another. It’s just like television; if you don’t like the program, turn the channel and watch something else. Not that I don’t find a blog post every once in awhile that gets on my nerve, but to rant against someone because they happen to be successful sounds like the people who gripe against musicians who allow their music to be used in commercials; life was never that pure to begin with, and it’s certainly not going to be that pure now.

For the moment, I have another career, so I’m sorry if I can’t put together 1,500 word tomes on my blog just to pad the stats. But I’m near 600 words; that has to count for something. And people, if you want to comment on my blog to try to drive traffic to yours,… by all means!
 

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