|Blogging, RSS & Feeds|
How to Write A Blog... And Survive
The question of the day is "Should you start a Blog?"
People all over the planet are blogging. Companies, CEOs, lawyers, journalists, stewardesses. Even dogs and babies.
Why? Because they can. It's that simple.
Blogging requires little or no learning curve. If you can type, speak into a phone, bark, chew, record a holiday movie, you can blog.
Blogs have taken publishing out of the domain of those who know HTML and designing, to make this powerful tool available to the rest of us.
That holiday in the Far East, your grandma's birthday, you company's latest product offering, your new recipe for rum cake, your daughter's first step, your pet's antics, what you thought of the Garfield movie - you can blog all this and more.
A blog is an online journal or diary. Which makes it ideal for voicing your opinion, recording your pregnancy blahs or announcing your company's latest acquisition.
People are using them to communicate with family, for education, for business, and almost anything else you can think of.
But one thing not all blogs get is a readership.
Unless your blog is only for your family or your business colleagues, you're probably writing with the hope that someone will read about what you think.
So many blogs are started with little or no purpose. If you want to blog and survive, first start by answering your why.
If you're writing only for the search engine spiders, then be prepared for no one but them to read your keyword-rich spam.
Blogs demand a readership. And for that you have to write about something worth reading.
Here are some tips to follow if you want human beings to read your blogs.
1. Stay on topic
Opinions are fine, but unless you're the CEO of Microsoft, very few people will want to know what you ate for breakfast. If you started your blog to air your raves and rants about the latest movie you saw, better mention movies in at least every post you write.
2. Write in a conversational tone
Forget what your English professor taught you. Write the way you speak, or you'll end up sounding uptight and unnatural. And no one reads tightass copy... even from the CEO of Microsoft.
3. Be opinionated
Your blog is not a company brochure or a press release, but a way for people a.k.a. your target audience, to get to know the real you. The worst sin you can commmit is to bore your readers. Most people respond better to an honest airing of views than pleasant platitudes. And if you get a few rude or nasty comments in response to your posts, just accept the fact that you can't please everyone
4. Be funny
Infuse your posts with your natural wit for a better response from your target audience. And if not everyone appreciates your particular brand of humor, read the last sentence in the point above.
5. Stay informed
If you're writing about your profession, you'd better know what you are talking about. Word spreads at the speed of thought in the blogospere and if you're trying to become an authority on something you know very little of, prepare yourself for the brickbats.
6. Stay current
Write about the latest developments in your field. No one wants to read stuff that has been around for a long time, or that hundreds of other bloggers have chronicled.
7. Update frequently, but don't burnout
Most blogs die because of blogger burnout - bloggers trying to update too frequently. Stick to a publishing schedule that is humanly possible for you. If you've just updated your blog and find a story you want to share, save it for later.
On the other hand, don't post just because you think you have to stick to a schedule. Going a few days or even weeks without posting is fine if you really have nothing worth sharing.
So are you still wondering if you should blog?
If you think you can meet the requirements above, and know your why, then like the shoe people say - just do it.
Resistance is futile.
For Wordpress users version 1.5 new feature ?Pages?
After many requests from wordpress users, the latest version of wordpress has a build in option to create static pages. You can use static pages for an about page, contact page, a links page, etc. This dreamhost review page is an example of a stand alone static page. The advantages are that you can add stand alone content to its own page, outside the normal weblog hierarchy. Pages have the same editing options, plug-in functionality and themes as posts. Or you can customize the stand alone page as much as you want. Static pages also help search engine indexing, as opposed to dynamic urls.
Your RSS Feed Might Look Like Spam
RSS feeds seem to be the breakout technology for the year. With more users turning to them for driving traffic to their site, it's no wonder that a trail of RSS feed spam is following in the wake. A careful editing of your RSS feed could make the difference between being classified as genuine content or RSS spam.
How Blogs Can Be An Excellent Promotional Tool
Blogs as an online promotional strategy if done right could save you huge dollars in reaching out to people. This is also a medium where you need have absolutely no dependence whatsoever on any professional help and you can do everything yourself. That is money saved right from the beginning.
What Is A Blog?
Blogs can be described in many definitions and they are all correct.
The Viability of Blogging to a Niche Market
Niche marketing is an old and very successful marketing strategy whereby a company focuses on marketing and selling to a clearly defined segment of potential consumers. The company earns by supplying a unique product or service to this narrowly defined market which other companies have not met or provided.
5 Easy Ways To Use RSS On Your Site
You hear so much talk about RSS these days on the Internet and in the media. Everyone is acknowledging it's importance in boosting your site's presence on the web. Not to mention how it can increase your site's traffic and ranking. But what exactly is RSS and how can I actually use it on my site? Try these Five Easy Ways...
RSS is Not Only for Blogs
Contrary to popular opinion, RSS is not only good for delivering content from your blog, although blogs are what made RSS so popular.
The Power of the BLOG
Can a Blog earn you a prison sentence? Ask Mojtaba Saminejad. He is an Iranian whose Blog, published in the Farsi language, earned him a two-year prison sentence in June 2005.
Seven Sizzling Ways to Turn Targeted Traffic Towards Your Blog!
Blogs are an unbelievable way to achieve success on the internet. Blogs can establish a web presence, express your opinions and generate serious profits. However, without visitors a blog is useless no matter how good the content. With thousands of blogs being created every day, you need to know exactly how to get people to your blog over everyone else's. Here are 7 breakthrough ways to bring traffic to your blog:
3 Reasons To Publish An E-Newsletter AND A Blog
With spam filters on high alert, delivering a newsletter by email is not as easy as it was even one year ago. Should it reach your subscriber's inbox (without getting siphoned into a junk folder), it still has to vie for attention amongst dozens ? or even hundreds ? of new messages.
10 Reasons to Put RSS on Your Site!
RSS and Blogs are the topics of the moment. Seems like everyone is talking about it. Granted, there is too much hype about RSS and Blogs.
Dear Web Diary!
Blogging is hot and getting hotter, with more and more web logs (blogs) cropping up online by the day!
7 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Staring A Business Blog
Blogging is the latest buzzword in online marketing and PR.
RSS Directory Submission: The Key to Blog Promotion
According to Technorati, there are over 15 million blogs as of July 2005. And during July, an average of 80,000 new blogs were created each day. If you own a blog, how are you going to promote it in order to stay ahead of the competition?
Amazing Information About Blogging
A few months back, at the ITEA conference I saw this guy sitting next to me typing constantly into his wireless laptop. He was making notes on what the speakers had to say, was finding relevant links and then hitting the send key - instantly updating his Web site. No sooner the site was updated; he would get responses back from readers around the globe. He was a Blogger.
Business Blogging - 5 Tips to Help You Smashl Through Writers Block
It's inevitable. Everyone hits the wall. Whether you've been blogging ten weeks, ten minutes, or ten months, eventually you'll find yourself with absolutely nothing to say. Or so you think. So what in the world do you do when you're stumped? 1- Talk about what you've already talked about Pick a topic you've gone over before and give it some spin. Try a new angle, like playing devil's advocate. For example, if you are a search engine journalist, and last week your position was that most mainstream sites need Google traffic to survive, try proving your point from the "con" perspective, instead of the "pro" position. There are dozens of ways to write about the same thing. By putting your point another way, you might give someone in your audience what a client of mine referred to as an "Ah-ha!" moment. That's when they realize the true value of the items for sale at your site to them and their business. 2- Talk about what someone else is talking about If you want to have a popular blog, find other bloggers in similar areas, and talk about what they said in their posts. Friendly debate can often spark the soap-opera like drama that will have both your audiences visiting both blogs to see what "the other fella" had to say. As an added bonus, if both of you are using Trackback in your blogs, you've got yourself a mini-link party that other people who are speaking on similar topics will want to join.. 3- Have yourself a good rant The intimate nature and voice of blogs lends itself well to the opinionated, angry ramble. But as a professional, don't let yourself get too unfocused, and remember to back up your opinion with facts. 4- Feature someone, something or somewhere I like to call mine "of the Day". As I zip around the Net conducting my business and research, if my attention is called to a resource or tool that my audience might find useful, I hit my blog bookmarklet and save that bad boy for later. Then when I get too busy for a full blown tip, I'll crown the resource, feed, tool, download or freebie the featured "Deal of the Day", changing the word deal to something else more appropriate as needed. After a while, my audience started to look for it as a feature, as opposed to being upset at the interruption in my mad, mad rambles. 5- Let someone else talk for a change Invite a guest blogger, or post an article that offers free reprint rights, the same way you would in a newsletter. Of course you want to leave the resource box intact, or let the guest promote their site, which brings me to the most common complaint about this tactic. "But I don't want to send people away from my site." Guess what? You'll never believe what I found out. Ready? In a recent startling discovery, I've found that 100% of my visitors eventually turn off their computers or take otherwise drastic measures that cause them to leave my site. Apparently this is beyond prevention, though you can stall them for hours sometimes with good content. Of course you don't want to send them on their way prematurely, but if you're a good blogger, and have done what you can to make sure they sign up to your blog email updates or site feed, they'll be back. Just be sure that you're giving them a good enough reason. In the meantime, since they're going to leave anyway, it might as well be somewhere that gives you some direct or in-direct benefit. So there you have it - enough material for five more days of posts. Happy Blogging!
Are You Thinking of Republishing RSS Feeds?
There is lively debate about the republishing of RSS feeds on other sites. The argument surrounds the use of RSS feeds from the feed publisher being used in an unfair manner. This includes republishing the entire articles and not displaying sufficient credit to the original source. Before we go into the details you may want to brush up on your understanding of RSS. This will help you fully appreciate and fully understand the issues involved. I am glad this conversation is happening now as it needs to be made clear what fair use of RSS feeds actually means. There may be webmasters who are republishing RSS feeds in all innocence at the moment not realising the furore that is going on around them with regards to their republishing activities. I would like to help clear up any misunderstandings that surround RSS republishing. Being an RSS publisher myself who is considering republishing other authors RSS feeds I would like to make sure I am not treading on any toes. I am basing the following RSS republishing etiquette on the good practice that Rok Hrastnik has enthused. If you wish to republish an RSS feed then you should first consult the publisher with your intentions. This would be an email to the author stating how you wish to reuse their feed and the page or pages the feed will be republished on and the attributions you will make. You will need to clarify some points. If the authors feed contains ads then will they be republished? Will you be monetizing the authors work by placing ads on your republished page? To avoid conflict these issues need to be sorted out. The general guidelines Rok Hrastrnik has provided state that the article title must link back to the original article. If the RSS feeds contains a complete article only an excerpt, Rok suggests 100 to 200 words, can be republished. A link should be provided to the article source, the website of the original publisher. Further to this it is suggested that no archives are kept on the republished site and no full articles are used. I would suggest permission is sought from the original author if you wish to keep an archive on your site. You can follow this discussion further at PR meets the WWW and Micro persuasion.
12 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
"Why Should I Blog? I Simply Don't Get It"
Promoting Your Business Using Blogs
Internet marketing using blogs has quickly gained a lot of popularity as a wonderful way to promote your business.
Im a Failed Blogger!
I've never been popular in my whole life. I think there must be something inside me that didn't get enough attention as a kid or something because I seem to find myself looking for it all the time. I think about some of the career paths I have walked down: I've been a musician, a pastor (who gets to get on a platform and talk to people ? getting attention ? even if I do have something selfless to say ? I like the feeling I get when I feel like people "get it" ? anybody else have this in common?), I've been a stand-up comedian (here, there's a real pressure to get people to like you because if they don't, they let you know fast). I even started "blogging" because a lot of great bloggers are out there and they seem to know how to type just the right things to get lots and lots of feedback. Heck, I figured I'd tried everything else, why not see if I get some feedback, too. And you know what I found out?
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