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Showing posts from March, 2007

Are You Tired of Blogs About Making Money?

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Jesse of Blogspoke is; I, myself, am not. I've been talking to him about it at his blog, and I think it's a great conversation to have.

Sure, blogging-for-money is a wading pool of low expectations. Low barrier of entry, little-to-no risk and, frankly, full of folks easily amused by splashing around without accomplishing much of anything.

However, it's full of potential; and - as I told Jesse - although it's easy to get snarky about all the wannabes out there (which I do on occasion, and could be accused of being one, too,) there are people out there with a vision for how they want it to be, who raise the level wherever they go. Walking the talk, so to speak.

Technology will eventually get us to a place where our online activities become a part of - or even integral to - how we earn our income. Will that future have room for lowest-common-denominator thinking, writing, and marketing to the level that it exists online today? I don't think so; but getting there will be …

Here's a Quick Way To Know If You're An Underpaid Blogger

Scenario #1
If you:
Regularly create high quality, valuable contentActively promote your blogDon't make a reasonable hourly wageYou are UNDERPAID.

Scenario #2

If you:
Spend more time checking ad/earning stats than creating high-quality, valuable contentAre more interested in monitoring traffic than promoting your blogAlso don't make a reasonable hourly wage
Whatever trickle of income (if any) you're making is JUST RIGHT - get used to it.

If you are a Scenario #1 blogger: Keep doing what you're doing; you will likely be rewarded sooner or later. You are a winner.

If you are a Scenario #2 blogger: Punt the ads, get off the daily traffic rollercoaster and spend your time doing something productive; like building and promoting a blog you can be proud of. Winners do it.

That is all.

All You Need To Know About the Blogging Bourgeoisie

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Is an elite cadre of blogging gatekeepers keeping us all in our place and limiting our blogging potential?

Pshaw.

However, if you have too much time on your hands ( :D ), you may have been following a theatrical little debate that pits the "A-list" against "blue-collar" bloggers. Oh yes, you know where this is going.

It all started with one blogger's annoyance at the trend of A-lister's who have taken to bashing poor ol' PayPerPost.

What follows is a (ridiculously) paraphrased version of the debate, including links to the appropriate whinestirades posts:

DeepJive: PayPerPost isn't evil. The A-list is just an elitist aristocracy who has no need for it.

Calacanis: BS! If there was an A-List, which there isn't, all it would take to be an A-lister would be to stop being such slackers. And then you'd be on the A-list. If there was one. But there isn't.

Lorelle: Yes, there is.

Calacanis: NEGATIVE, dummies. Stop whining.

Jim Kukral: You're all wrong…

What Frustrates You The Most About Blogging?

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Whether you're a seeker, slacker (hi!), yang kee, cash-quester or ray gun robot, you've got expectations for this whole blogging thing.

You could be happiness incarnate, but expectations can still be an irritant; especially when they fail miserably in the "jibes with reality" department (even if your name is blog).

I know what my frustrations are (and in an upcoming post they shall be revealed), but I don't know all of yours. So, an open question to all bloggers: what frustrates you the most about blogging?

Even Easier Ways To Repel Those Pesky Readers

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You may have read "How To Make Readers Avoid Your Blog Like The Plague". While most of that (clearly excellent) advice was easy enough to integrate into your blogging habits, some of it required actual work. Do you need more work? Pshaw.

Submitted For Your Approval
5 NEW items that:
Will send readers running for the hillsRequire absolutely no effort!
1. Don't Provide Email Subscriptions

There are still too many people who prefer to receive posts by email (as my email subscribers will attest). If you were to take the 10 to 30 minutes required to provide this option, you'd be running the substantial risk of increasing your readership. Ouch.

2. Avoid Research

Any amount of research will make your posts far too valuable. When I declared that "Winners Use StumbleUpon", for instance, it generated way too much interest. I could have repelled so many more readers just by changing the headline to "StumbleUpon: A Service" and following up with "I like it.&q…

Slacker-Friendly Ways To Increase Your Blog's Exposure

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It's notthat you aren't willing to invest time promoting your blog - you are. Indeed, you spend so much doing so that you haven't got much left.

Have you, therefore, hit a wall in the amount of exposure you can generate for your blog? Not if you can tap into some slacker-friendly ways to broaden your community.

To that end, here are a few examples of services and techniques that work. I invite you to add your own favorites, too.

Slacker-Friendly Services: Communities

Now, I'm not promoting a self-centered view of online communities, where the only goal is to receive and not to give. However, if you truly understand and believe in the value of your blog (do you?), then even limited community participation can pay off. Does your blog sell itself?

Here are two such communities that are sending traffic my way:

SpicyPage
A Digg-like voting site for blogs that I joined recently. Setting it up is quick and easy, and possibly all you need to do. While active community participation w…

5 Strange Secrets Of My Success

Sania tapped me for this thing. I'm not a frequent visitor of sites with slogans like "Create Life In Your Image!", but I do jump at chances to be perverse.

Have you ever been to Los Angeles? I live here. If you get the chance, spend a day in Malibu (you know, the city Mel Gibson "owns" - hee hee) or take a walk down Santa Monica's Promenade (try to avoid bearing a passing resemblance to any star - it sucks). When you do, you too may develop the narrow-eyed view of the word "success" that I have. There's self-improvement, and then there's masturbation - the latter often masquerading as the former here.

SO, avoiding success-language kitsch, allow me to share my everyday top-5:

1. Fail Upwards
I make (among other kinds) a blogging "mistake" almost every day. Huge or tiny, they're all forms of failure, so-called. Regardless, things are still moving upwards (see #2).

2. Don't Sweat Persistence, Just Be Unreasonably Obstinate
I thin…

A Free Ebook Worth Reading? (Or My Review of Chris Garrett's "Killer Flagship Content")

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I've read a number of ebooks - paid and free - and have come to rely on their nigh-monolithic failure to approach the charm of, say, your typical dentist's drill. Therefore, Chris Garrett's excellent ebook, "Killer Flagship Content", has slightly screwed up my whole idea of God, right and wrong, the universe, etc.

I already subscribe to Chris' blogs because I like his writing. Had it been almost anyone else, the mere utterance of the words "ebook" and "killer" would have ended the story right there; but it wasn't just anyone, so I decided to scan it. Then I read it. Then I started taking notes. In other words, it was the hotness.

Atypical of free ebooks, there's no sales language or anything to buy (unless you consider "sales" to be one invitation to subscribe to his RSS feed, which I would encourage anyway). Instead, it gives practical advice that can get you thinking about new ways to distinguish your blog from the rest.

Here's A Way To Comment With Style

On the subject of self-promotion and commenting, here's one method: write a comment that outshines the original post (see comment #1).

Great self-promotion? Read it for yourself and see if you agree.

Update: The excellent commenter was Sania Wyatt.

What Everybody Should Know About Self-Promotion

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Contrary to (un)popular belief, self-promotion and good karma are not mutually-exclusive. Read on if I didn't just blow your mind:

ChrisG - Comment!

According to Chris, bloggers don't comment well or often enough. No, no they don't. Additionally, they often miss the point of commenting entirely.

As you well know, you can't swing a cat in the popular blogosphere without hitting a few clumsy attempts at self-promotion (e.g., "Hey, check out my blog at www.ignore-me.com"). These individuals are missing the (evidently) arcane karmic secret: the best self-promotion is about giving, not receiving.

Take the advice in Chris' post, and whether your comments are three words or a paragraph, analyze them like any post you would write. Ask: "What am I offering to the conversation, and why should anyone take the slightest notice?"

Successful Blog - Truly Unique and Outstanding Blogs - Recap Week 1

Speaking of clumsy self-promotion, Liz's quest to find 200 one-o…

How To Make Readers Avoid Your Blog Like The Plague

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Never analyze your blog from the perspective of a first-time readerWhether in design or writing, show no passionBe as wordy as possibleAlways link to well-known blogs, never to obscure onesWrite uninteresting titlesIn all things, avoid variety
Focus on frequency of posts - not frequency of good postsDon't reply to commentsPost infrequentlyAvoid displaying personality at all costsProvide only a partial RSS feedBe self-congratulatoryAvoid paragraphs and white spaceMake links open in a new windowNever add pictures to your postsWrite about what everyone else is writing about, but add nothing newFill your sidebar(s) with irrelevant pictures, widgets and adsFrequently post outside of your blog's themeWhen you link to other blogs, provide no compelling reason to actually visit themNever, ever say thank you