I’m not sure how many of these commenters have ever written anything for public consumption other than their inane comments. A blog? A magazine article? Anything that you actually got paid for? Do you know anything about writing at all? Let me fill you in…
Blogs are public documents. The best bloggers with the most popular blogs know this. They choose and edit the material they post to reflect their blog’s message or style. That doesn’t mean that the content can’t be personal, it just means that it rarely reflects the entirety of the blogger’s existence. Why? Because even if your daily life is freakishly entertaining (what…now you’re Paris Hilton?) hearing nothing but unedited lists of exploits day after day makes for boring reading in short order.
In Do You Avoid a Fight by Chris Garrett here on the Blog Herald, he talks about bloggers picking fights or avoiding them, explaining how you can learn from those who disagree with you:
Those people, once calmed down, are extremely valuable to you. They are a chance to see another side, to improve what you do, to clarify your thinking. This is why you must always mean what you say and say what you mean.
If you really believe in what you write then you can welcome the chance of debating your point. That is not to say you should go looking for a fight, but if a fight finds you then you can be prepared for it.
I love criticism, when it is helpful. If you challenges me on an issue, I may not like what you have to say, but you have a point and you are welcome to it. I will listen, sifting it through my personal value sifter, and maybe you make sense. Maybe I can learn from the criticism. I’ll thank you one way or the other because I value my readers input that much. read more
I’m often contacted by companies who tell me they need a blog. “So how do I get a blog?”
“Why do you think you need a blog?”
“Everyone’s got a blog. I need a blog.”
No, you don’t. Not everyone nor every business needs a blog. Should they? Maybe? But do they need one? Absolutely not.
If a static website, a billboard on the web, is enough for their customers’ needs, giving them basic information about the company, its employees, location, driving direction, and products and services, that’s good enough. Why blog?
If the business has a strong customer service base that is Internet savvy, and it wants to improve its online identity and reputation, then maybe a blog is worth considering. read more
In the fascinating article, she shares her insights and history of the Lillian Vernon Corporation and catalog from a small kitchen business to a worldwide company with millions of dollars in sales online every year. read more
Eager for my expertise, a company recently hired me to improve their web traffic by reviewing their web design, content, and structure.
I don’t do “web traffic” work. Traffic isn’t important. The numbers aren’t important. The ones who stick around, and pay for the privilege, aren’t on a normal score card. To influence me to take them on, they told me that they wanted to improve their online presence, visibility, and really connect to their customers, expanding their reputation to a global market, as well as be more attractive to modern shoppers and web users.
Basically, their site was six months old and not working for them. They wanted an expert to tell them why. With misgivings, I decided to take them on. In the end, I gave them their money back. Here’s why. read more
Lessons in blogging come from many sources. Recently, I attended a concert by our friend, John Doan, a master harp-guitarist and storyteller (see YouTube Video). As he finished his set, he shared a story about his long-time friend, Burl Ives, and a moment they shared not long before the famous singer and songwriter died.
John has graciously allowed me to share some of that story, and its lessons, applied to blogging.
John Doan was among a team of fellow performers paying tribute to Burl Ives through his music, and was asked to perform a child’s song, one with which he had trouble relating. He went to Burl’s bedside and told him of his struggles, including how he could best honor his friend through this silly children’s song.
Burl shared three important lessons that John continues to use today, lessons for all of us, especially for bloggers. read more
Words carry a responsibility. They convey meaning. They reek with intent. Change a word and you change the meaning.
I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating. While teaching English to a doctor in Israel, we practiced how to ask for directions on the street. After many attempts to stop a passerby, he came up with, “Excuse me, can you please help me?”
One word, or the lack thereof, changed the whole intent. Such is the risk one takes when they write in a language in which they lack the appropriate fluency.
A person writing in a language that is not their own, especially when those words are published for all to read, may bear a responsibility to their readers to disclose that the language in the blog is not their native language, thus, giving readers a chance to forgive them before they correct them. Once we know, we are a very forgiving lot. If we don’t know, we can be a vicious gang with our attacks. read more
I was recently asked if signing up for a social linking service was “good” for the blogger.
How can I answer that?
First, what’s good for you as a blogger may not be good for me. How would I know what’s good for you?
Second, social media services are popping up all the time. Do they work? I don’t know. How much money has anyone honestly made from Twitter recently?
Hours a day are spent twittering, but does it really enhance your reputation, bring business through your virtual door, increase traffic and revenue on your blog, or just bring in money directly? Is it working for you, and only you? Or is it working for everyone?
You probably have a facebook, myspace, mybloglog, and numerous other social accounts in addition to your blog. How is that really working for you? Are these multiple services bringing in the traffic, and are they hanging around for good? Are they making you money? Are they building your reputation that brings in indirect income through consultation and services? Or are you neglecting your blog?
What about all those links you added to del.icio.us, Digg, Spurl, Furl, Reddit, and so on? Are they bringing in the traffic they once did? Are you still seeing the benefits? Or are the benefits now diluted because everyone is doing it and it’s so hard to find anything because there is so much too look through?
Does anyone use Technorati as a search engine or directory any more? Honestly. When you use it, you go looking for yourself, don’t you? You don’t begin your search there, do you? Do potential readers? read more
…for the last several days my blog was being absolutely accosted by what seemed to be terrible, evil comment spammers, and the Marine in me was ready to go on the warpath. All of these comments started showing up (like 100 per day) with commercial URLs in place of the Author link, and we were deleting them left and right.
…Then some of the new visitors who had been commenting profusely started questioning why all of their posts were being deleted both in the blog’s comments and via the contact form.