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June 3, 2008

Want More Comments: Start a Conversation

Do you want more comments on your blog? The most common whines from new bloggers are the lack of traffic and the lack of comments.

It takes a while, sometimes a few weeks, maybe months, or possibly a year or more before a blog generates enough consistent traffic, and in turn, comments. So many are impatient, especially when it comes to comments. After all, isn’t the whole point of a blog the comments?

Let’s clear some myths about comments up first.

Comments are not an indication no one is reading your blog. They are the start of a conversation.
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June 2, 2008

Nasty Blog Comments: Human Nature on Blogs

High School Meets BlogsIn high school, we had the geeks, nerds, drama queens, beauty queens, jocks, jills, freaks, grungers, punkers, and band members. I’m sure there were more social classifications, but those were the most popular cliches. Every year I worried about going back to school and hating all the social isolation and groupings that formed, never wanting to be a part of any of them. I’d try to think of the start of the school year as a fresh clean slate. Maybe this year the jerks from last year would have had a mental make over and play nice. Maybe they would understand that relationships are built with honey not vinegar. Maybe the drama queens would tone down their drama, the beauty queens would find self esteem, and the jocks and jills would understand that grunts and poking fun at non-jocks just wasn’t fun any more. Maybe the geeks and the nerds would learn that it takes more than numbers and big words to carry on a conversation. And the grungers and punkers would realize what is under the paint and clothing defines your personality or character more than the costume. I knew there was no hope for the band and choir members. We understood the social in team work early on, and how to protect each other within our group.

The transition happened for some, I’m sure, but within the first few weeks of school, we knew which kids were the losers, asses, and bullies to avoid, the twits and sillies to laugh at, and the queens and kings we envied for their calm, cool, self-confidence and voted them as student body officers, even though we really hated them – or at least made fun of them from our weird little corners of our social world.

The move from static HTML to dynamic blog platform opened my website to social interaction, interaction that was both welcome and terrifying. Over time, those who hung around and contributed through blog comments became part of my social cliché, brought together by common interest. I felt like blogs were the next generation from the first usenet groups and online forums which gathered together people with a common interest to exchange information and form support groups. As with all such social groups, you have your good guys and bad guys, along with the geeks, nerds, jocks, jills…oh, and band members.
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May 30, 2008

Finding Passion in Your Blog

I had that sense of recognition…here was something which I had known all my life, only I didn’t know it…
Ralph Vaughan Williams

A blogger recently contacted me with the announcement, “I finally found my passion on my blog! Thank you!”

I wasn’t sure why I was specifically being thanked, but I love it when people finally find their blogging path. Have you?

Here are some tips to help you find your blog purpose and passion:

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May 29, 2008

Have You Helped Someone Today?

I’m not bragging. It’s a fact. My blogs get a lot of attention. They win awards. I have a lot of incoming links, and a lot of steady traffic. The PageRank of my blog – well, actually, I don’t know. I have no idea and haven’t paid attention for several years. It doesn’t matter.

Most of the stuff that other bloggers worry and fuss over doesn’t matter to me. I don’t look at my blog stats unless I have a good reason. I don’t write to beg for traffic nor attention. Honestly, I just do what I do and people like it. Any search engine page ranking success I’ve had is due to experience and common sense. No games. I hate the games.

I tried to explain this to someone just entering the blog market recently, and they just couldn’t get it. “But you’re THE Lorelle! You’re famous!”

Nope. I’m just me. I’m just you. I’m just like everyone else, I’ve just been doing this longer. So pardon my arrogance for just a moment, but I’ve been there, done that, and now I think I’m paying attention to what’s more important than some numbers and scores.

What matters most to me is helping people.
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May 28, 2008

Sarah Perez: “The B-List is the new A-List”

Filed as Uncategorized with no comments

Sarah Perez, founder of the Grand Effect blog network, have a lot to say in an interview with BloggerTalks (edited and published by me, full disclosure). Among other things this about pulling together a select few talented tech bloggers in the network:

Some may can them “B-List” bloggers, but I think the B-List is the new A-List! As smaller blogs, none of them could compete on an individual basis with larger sites, but by combining all our talents, traffic numbers, and subscribers, we have something to offer to advertisers who want to reach this niche audience.

For more on this, check out the interview with Sarah over at BloggerTalks.

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May 27, 2008

Are You Readers Keeping You Honest?

Pamela spanked me for screwing up a link. Ian found a misspelling. Sidney got me on a PHP code error. Angie corrected a fact. Finny found four grammar errors. Andy uncovered a dead link. Barry gave me a link to a better resource.

Are your readers keeping you honest? Are they keeping track of what you are doing and letting you know when you do wrong? Are they helping you blog better?

Sure, like many, I sigh and moan when I get a blog comment that corrects my blog post, wishing the spelling police would go elsewhere, then I stop. I work my ass off to encourage readers to come back to my blog. I bust butt to give them reasons to link. It’s important to me to build a community around my blogs, so why should I whine when I’m getting what I ask for?

When I look around at the friends I label “best” in my life, they are people of all cultures and lifestyles but the have one thing in common: They tell the truth when they find it.

They are people who tell you that there is toilet paper stuck to your shoe, your slip is showing, your zipper is unzipped, you have something hanging out your nostril, and a long hair growing out of your face in a way that catches the light and makes a rainbow. Pretty, but not esthetically pleasing.
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May 26, 2008

Why Am I Doing This Blogging Thing?

A reader of mine left an impassioned comment on my blog recently asking:

Tell me if I should be doing this? I’m busting my head against the wall with my blog. I’m trying so hard to get readers and it’s just not happening. What am I doing wrong? Should I be doing this? Why am I doing this? Tell me to stop if you think I shouldn’t be blogging.

First, it’s not my job to tell you whether or not to stop blogging. That’s your decision. Sometimes, at the depths of despair we find the motivation that kicks us up over the edge, turning whatever we are doing into magic. I won’t interfere in that process directly.

However, I do know that we are entering a time period in the recent life cycle of blogging when more and more bloggers are asking themselves similar questions. Now into the end of their first, second, and even third year of blogging, many are starting to evaluate how much time, work, and energy they are putting into something that has so little return on its investment. They are asking themselves why am I doing this?
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May 20, 2008

Is It the Responsibility of a Blogger to Set a Standard?

In legal terms, a standard is a methodology or specifications that have been adopted or repeatedly practiced by an industry, business, or community as the “way of doing things” – the average process that people expect when they think of how things work.

For example, it was a standard for years that you did not just show up at someone’s home without an invitation. Calling cards were sent to the home requesting a visit and appointments were made. In business, it is a standard for companies to pay a bill within 15 or 30 days of receipt. It’s the basic practices that need no law to support them as “this is how it’s always been done.”

What are the standards for bloggers?
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May 19, 2008

What Do You Want? One-Shot Traffic Versus Easy Conversion

A reader recently asked me how he could repeat the traffic magnet power of a post he wrote a year ago featuring the logo of a local football team. He told me that he gets continuous traffic to that post daily, and he wants to repeat it, bringing even more daily traffic into his blog.

Traffic magnets can be fleeting or consistent over time. We aren’t talking about exclusive pictures of celebrities or the Digg-effect blog post that brings in thousands of visitors in one or two days, then traffic drifts off to nothing. Traffic magnets continue to be draws to your blog over the long haul – one, two, even four or five years after publishing.

While many believe that any traffic is good traffic, traffic magnets come in two very distinctive audience groups: one-shot deals or easy conversions.
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May 16, 2008

Do You Tag Yourself?

Do you tag yourself? Honestly? No, this is not a game.

With everyone back on the tag versus categories versus tags bandwagon, have you checked to make sure you are tagging yourself?

Inside of is the tag attribute that turns “Lorelle on WordPress” into a tag.

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/" title="Lorelle on WordPress" rel="tag">Lorelle on WordPress</a>

When I write my name in a link, I also include a tag:

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/" title="Lorelle" rel="tag">Lorelle</a>

This makes “Lorelle” a tag.

When I write about the , I also put that in a tag, so the words “Blog Herald” get into the tag clouds on the site as well as the tag search engines and directories.

I use the same tag technique for , , and every taggable link I write to help associate what I write with those tags.

Are you tagging yourself and your blog? The rel="tag" is all a link needs to turn it from a link into a linking tag. It’s what defines a tag.

If you aren’t tagging yourself and your blog, it’s a great branding technique you may be missing out on.

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