Are Blog Comments a Source of Referral Traffic?

Here’s a question. If blog comments are mini-resumes, which comments are bringing the most traffic to your blog?

When you leave a comment on a blog, there are three things at work.

  1. Your desire to participate in the blog conversation and topic.
  2. Your desire to increase your link credits through blog comments.
  3. Your desire to encourage traffic from your comment to your blog.

A lot of pro bloggers cover the first two, but I want to explore the last one. If you really want to drive traffic to your blog through comments on other blogs, is it working for you?

Have you been paying attention to your blog referrals and incoming traffic to see where your traffic is coming from in relationship to your blog comments? It’s a very good question because we blog and comment on the premise that blog interaction helps drive traffic.
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Female Bloggers Want Out of Playboy Poll

Veronica Belmont and Sarah Austin wants out of the sexiest female bloggers poll on Playboy, according to a story on TechCrunch, but Playboy says no. It would, of course disrupt the poll. While I have no love for these kind of polls, and the Playboy one is no exception, I do think that if you’ve consented to being featured by Playboy, and even sent in a photo, you’ve got only yourself to blame. In fact, I was somewhat surprised by how frank Playboy was in their approaching e-mail, quoted on TechCrunch.

Sure, maybe they didn’t know that Playboy would ask the winner to pose for the website, but the key word here is ask. You don’t have to say yes, you know…

Luckily, for those involved wanting out, it seems as if the feature’s going away soon. I would bet, however, that we’ll be seeing more of this in the future.

Update: Veronica Belmont actually doesn’t want out, she just wish she knew what Playboy was doing before accepting.

Blogging Jobs: How Much is Blogging Worth?

Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossenIn “Blogger Jobs: What Are They Looking For?” we talked about what jobs are out there and what blog owners and companies are looking for when they hire a blogger. Blogger Jobs: How to Apply For a Blogger Job? covered how to apply for a job as a blogger, with some good tips on what to do – and not to do. Today, I want to look at a very serious issue: How much are they paying bloggers to blog?

The issue of the blogging pay scale is very important, not just because I’m one of the workers in this new industry who expects to be able to pay the rent or meet a mortgage, but also because I represent the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of people who want to make money blogging.

In a NY Times article on the blogging sweatshops by Matt Richtel (Print Version) the description of people of one of the hottest jobs in the world has writers churning out mass volumes of content working around-the-clock to make enough money to survive. It’s called blogging.
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Violet Blue Finally Responds to Boing Boing Mess

The deletion of posts mentioning Violet Blue has gotten some serious blogosphere and print media coverage. Boing Boing responded, in a way that makes pretty much sense really, but Violet Blue herself didn’t really chip in, more than by linking left and right. Well, no more, she’s had enough, so she’s answering what has been said quote by quote (not everything of course) in a recent blog post (ads are NSFW). With links and lots of reading. If you want to dive into this whole mess, that’s a good place to start, no matter what you think about Boing Boing’s actions.

And this is funny.

Blogging Burnout Prevention Tips: How Do You Handle the Information Overload?

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American writer

Have you lost your common sense with all the information attacking your head every day? While the normal person going about their daily work and life is bombarded by information, bloggers actually seek even more – making their brains resemble overstuffed furniture with wadding leaking out through the cracks in the Naugahyde.

I have over 350 feeds in my feed reader. I have 97 tabs open in my FireFox web browser. I have the radio tuned to National Public Radio, and podcasts are downloading onto my Zune right now as I work so I can listen to them when I work out tomorrow morning. I get hundreds of emails a day. Tons of blog comments across numerous blogs – I’m overwhelmed with information and input and I’m losing control.

Are you?

How are you managing all the input a blogger needs to stay in touch, keep up with the news in your blogging industry, tracking down story ideas, researching stories and articles, reading through comments, researching the answers, and responding back…and all the things we do every day to keep our blog life alive? How do you do it?

What are the tricks of the trade you’ve learned along your blogging path? Want to share? Share your time saving, information overload prevention tips with your blogging pals and I’ll write up a summary, and maybe even honor the best offerings with my book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

Which begs the question. What is it that bloggers won’t tell you about blogging that we need to know in order to prevent blog burn-out?

What is Fueling Your Blog?

I want to know what is really fueling your blog?

What keeps you blogging on? What inspires you to keep publishing content on your blog? What keeps you coming back for more?

Is it the blog traffic? Do you hover over your blog stats stressing out when the numbers go down and researching all the different ways you can keep pushing those numbers higher? Do you play with landing pages, blog carnivals, guest blogging, advertising, blog networks, and other ways of making the traffic keep coming in your blogging door?
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Vanity Fair’s Blogopticon: Excellent Linkbait

Hats off to Vanity Fair and the VF Daily blog. Their “blogopticon” interactive map of the blogosphere isn’t just a fun thing to look at, and hover your mouse pointer over, but also excellent linkbait, and good fun content at that. A Google search for “vanity fair blogopticon” gives no less than 18 100 hits, with the blog post on top and the actual blogopticon (full screen warning) second. Not bad.

Your Resume is Now Spread Across the Web

While researching information with a client regarding integration of WordPress and a popular educational, proprietary software package, we were stunned at the number of bad reviews, horror stories, and frustration with using that program – let’s call it ABC.

Finding such negative information about ABC was not our goal. We were looking for technical articles and had to wade through post titles like Overcoming ABC Frustrations, If You Want Technical Support Don’t Ask ABC, Why Teachers Hate ABC, When ABC is More Trouble Than Your Students, The Battle to Convince the School Board to Not Use ABC, Why We Hate ABC, and so on.

Frustrated with using the program herself, my client was stunned by the number of public complaints and negative rants. Stepping back to reconsider, she finally said, “Let’s change our parameters. Let’s research if WordPress integrates with a similar program, one without the bad reputation.” Once she returned to her office, she would put my project to develop a proposal to stop using this very costly program for her university and transition the school to a better program.

All because of an unrelated simple keyword search, ABC would lose over a hundred thousand dollars a year from this university now convinced that this isn’t the way to go.

While this huge economic decision was influenced by search engine results, results which may not truly reflect the quality and integrity of the program, online reputations are made and broken by what people uncover through their searches. Are you paying attention to your online reputation for your blog, business, and life?
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Bloggers Need Email To Communicate, Too

email graphic - copyright Lorelle VanFossen

email graphic - copyright Lorelle VanFossenI’ve recently had some email communications from bloggers who have seemed to forgotten that an email is not a blog comment. They seem to have forgotten how to use email as a professional communications tool.

I get a lot of email with requests for me to write about something or promote it on my blog. I also get link requests and other requests, as well as questions on blogging and WordPress, and – okay, I get a lot of email. Email is another method communication we use as web communicators, so why don’t we bloggers set an example by emailing as well, if not better, than we blog?

Before you send off your next email to another blogger, ask yourself: [Read more…]