Tag Archives: blogging

Social Media – The Importance of Being Ernest

I came across a really interesting interview today with Reputation management expert Andy Beal which summed up simply how to make the most of online social media. I do not think I could say it better. It has so many benefits establishing a social media policy.

“When a company creates an interactive online profile, it’s effectively telling its stakeholders -customers, investors, employees, etc- that it cares about the community and wants to be a part of the conversation. When an online reputation crisis hits, companies that have an social media profile are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt and more likely to be able to respond quickly, within that channel.

I advise my clients to look for the “centres of influence.” Where are their stakeholders hanging-out online? When you understand the types of social media your stakeholders are using -maybe they prefer blogs over forums -you’ll increase your chances of successfully engaging them.”

Social media channels that you may find useful for establishing a thriving social network, depending on your market and your niche, include:







What networks would you add to this? Which ones do you enjoy the most?

How much Time do you Spend reading Blogs?

Do you feel guilty if you are not regular reading of other users Blog? With all the pressures of modern day life who do you pick and choose to read? If I am totally honest I do not do as much reading as I would like. When the day eventually ends there are still things that need doing and reading when you are tired is not effective. I guess quick scan in the morning is the best bet. I tend my self to take a look around lunch time. There are couple topics or writers that I have been following recently when that has run it’s course I will then move on. Of course this question has been topically asked yesterday by Shoemoney, The most amount of comments for the least amount of work http://tinyurl.com/5h58yc It does demonstrate just how relevant blogging is or not in the wider picture.

Interesting too how collectively similar topics will be discussed in blogsphere

The Institute of Directors Recommends Blogging

The Institute of Directors Recommends Blogging

The Institute of Directors has just recommend blogging as way of connecting with your customers in an interesting article they explain:

“If you want to compete, you must pursue your customer’s loyalty and pay them attention; they have many options and will move on without a second thought.”

“A blog will also enable you to build relationships with customers. Many will appreciate the chance to ask questions; others will be influenced by the feedback they read and how you respond to it. A positive comment or a problem sorted promptly can establish you as a trustworthy seller.

Sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive – by offering a prompt return for a customer who’s made the wrong choice, for example. But you’ve got to make sure you’re able to deliver what you promise, otherwise it could do you more harm than good.”

The full article can be read here. This is just the sort of thing we have been waiting for at www.Wcx.me

Why Are So Many Bloggers Selling Their Blogs?

We have seen some fairly high profile blog sales, at least in the make money online niche, including – BloggingFingers.com ($6,000) CashQuests.com ($15,000) OneMansGoal.com ($8,500) Blogtrepreneur.com (Not Sold Yet – Predicted low five figures)

If I had the writing resources available to me I would have loved to have snapped up all these blogs to create quite a nice make money online network, but that would simple be beyond my capabilities to manage at this time.

Blogging Fingers was the first to tip the scale, gathering attention from plenty of other blogs about the sale. This in turn led to the other sales, which haven’t quite garnered as much attention but that certainly hasn’t harmed the final selling price and I think therein lies one of the main motivations for this spurt of blog sales – the money is good.

I’ve been in personal contact with a few of the people behind these sales and I think it’s safe to say for every blog listed above, the main reason for selling is “personal reasons” of some kind, which to me means there are other projects they would like to move on to, they have grown tired of writing to their blog or something a bit more serious has forced them into the sale.

Does This Indicate The Start Of A Mass Exodus?

I expect we haven’t seen the last of high profile blog sales – we never will as long as there are buyers and sellers – however I think the last few weeks occurred purely because a few bloggers found themselves in a situation where they were thinking about selling, for whatever reason, and then when they noticed the amount of money they could get, that tipped the scales.

The final selling price for these blog sales was above average based on recent history. I still think they were fair deals given the readership and potential for revenue, but compared to the prices you can get for other website purchases, these outgoing bloggers made very good money for what they sold. Price is always a subjective matter and it depends ultimately on how the new owner can leverage the asset to whether they got a good deal or not.

What I think is sad about these sales is the lost potential. These bloggers were on the tipping point of big success. If they just continued what they were doing they would have possibly grown into leaders in the industry – which is very hard to do – and when you get there, the perks are fantastic. Sometimes the lure of a nice cash exit is tempting, but you really want to be clear about what you are letting go of. It’s going to be harder and harder to stand out from the crowd and these blogs were well on their way to doing that.

Building an authority blog is a challenge, and frankly, there are much easier ways to generate a few thousand dollars online, so if you want the money, selling your asset should be the last resort. That being said, I think for many of the bloggers in question for these recent sales, there was a need for urgency or a clear desire to leave the market, so the sales are justified.

Will The Market Sustain These Prices?

The World Wide Web is MASSIVE. That means there is and always will be bargains to be found if you are looking to buy websites. Usually the best way to find sites and pick them at cheaper rates is to approach websites that represent value to you (they target the market you target and you see a way to get a return on your investment) and then make a casual approach. If you find sites that are clearly being neglected (look for blogs with recent inactivity), chances are you can pick them up for much lower rates than what these blogs recently sold for.

On the flipside, if you want to increase the value of a website for sale, focus on the core metrics like traffic, RSS, revenue, content and incoming links, and then go out and drum up some buzz for your sale. I think with the growth of the Web and the strong interest in successful blogs, they will continue to attract higher and higher prices. Expect more of what we are experiencing now in the future.

Currently, the make money online and blogging niches have enough buyers that blogs like those listed at the start of this article enjoy high demand. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I suspect it’s because people see that there is money to be made about talking about making money.

Buying a blog instead of starting one from scratch is definitely a quick entry strategy, although there are risks involved since you may lose a lot of the value you paid for as soon as the blog changes owner. Some readers are only readers because of the person who was writing the blog. As soon as they leave, the readers leave too.

If you want further advice about buying and selling websites, try these articles –

Yaro Starak
Not Selling His Blog at http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com

Blogging to Assess an Employees Performance

A couple of years ago I was applying for a job by a company in the UK. After the usual first get to know you meeting. They asked me to write a report about their website and what I thought about it.

I knew that this was a part of the job interview process so I wrote as honestly and as diplomatically as I could. Back then, I did not blog at all. Writing is not an obvious choice for me, I am much better orally speaking. I know why that is so, having kept a blog for over a year now. I am beginning to understand why writing is entirely different from speaking. It uses different parts of the brain. Which parts I am not entirely sure, but the more you activate a brain center the better it will perform. It is not as easy as it looks, but then again neither is it that hard. Without doubt, it does wonders for any plan to be able to take the effort to set it out on paper before you take any steps to put a plan into action. In fact I would even go so far to say that if we to do that with all important decisions in our life we would probably have a very different view point and live very different and probably richer lives, qualitatively speaking. If you are going to assess your employees on their writing skills you will have to create the right atmosphere. A free mind can develop very quickly (in children) unfortunately somewhat slower as an adult. So it is important that the employees do not feel that they have to write in certain way. Indeed that would be against the very essence of blogging. Forget having brain storming sessions, ask each employee to write something for you instead, that is a least the ones that cannot justify a better use of there of time than picking their nose. You will be amazed what you find…. this of course assuming that you have the more or less total confidence of your staff.

What they didn’t tell you about blogging – A few more items

Not only is blogging addictive, blogging stats are addictive too… Blogging can be addictive. Checking blogging stats can be addictive too. Imagine you were fascinated with a video game. At first, it is hard to clear level one. Once you clear level one, you want to go to the next level. After that, to another level. Then to another level. Blogging game is similar but except there is no clear top level. You can keep on going for a long time – fascinated by the growth (or no growth) of the traffic on your blog. There are many things to be fascinated about blog traffic * where are the visitors coming from * what are they reading
This blog posts provides a sneak preview of what will be covered in the book. Of course, as you all know, the book will take a life of its own. I have a dream team of friends who have offered to help with all aspects of publishing the book. So I am quite excited. I would love to hear your ideas, thoughts, inputs related to the blog posts or the book. You can click on the email link on my blog and send me an email. Please mention whether you want to be notified about the progress of the book or when the book is published or both.

The links to the earlier posts in the same series are here

Here are ten more:

31. Not only is blogging addictive, blogging stats are addictive too…

Blogging can be addictive. Checking blogging stats can be addictive too.

Imagine you were fascinated with a video game. At first, it is hard to clear level one. Once you clear level one, you want to go to the next level. After that, to another level. Then to another level.

Blogging game is similar but except there is no clear top level. You can keep on going for a long time – fascinated by the growth (or no growth) of the traffic on your blog. There are many things to be fascinated about blog traffic

* where are the visitors coming from
* what are they reading
* where are they clicking through (as they go out)
* how are they finding your blog (search terms)

One clear reason you can be carried away with blogging stats is the “surprise” factor associated with it. Think about it –

* Which of your posts get popular?
* Which posts get linked most?
* Which posts get the most number of comments?

There is no way to predict the above or a dozen other questions. You can be pleasantly surprised or disappointed. Nothing is certain. The only way to find out is to keep watching the traffic 🙂

32. Barring exceptions, older posts are considered dead

Posts in a news site have a short shelf-life for obvious reasons.

I have been a big proponent of creating “timeless” content – meaning content that stays relevant for quite some time. That is only the first step. Just as you won’t go past a few pages of search results when you are searching something, don’t expect your audience to keep browsing back to the day you wrote the first blog post. Posts go dead faster than you think.

There is hope though. Think about what you can do creatively to ensure that some of your best posts stay alive. Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a section for the most popular posts and highlight them

2. Create categories to organize your posts

3. Create a series of posts and number them. If some posts in the series create an interest, chances are that readers will seek out other posts in the series.

4. Create lenses with a topic where you are an expert and link to all relevant posts on your blog.

5. Publish a manifesto on changethis.com with excerpts from your favorite posts for a topic.

Invent your own ways to keep the posts alive.

Fair warning: Don’t try to trick your readers by linking to posts that waste their time. Link back to high-quality posts only. Otherwise, it will hurt you more than it will help you.

33. Variety helps; too much variety hurts

Imagine a speaker who speaks with a monotonous voice from beginning to end of his speech. That can be boring. That won’t work, right?

You seek some variety.

On another extreme, imagine a speaker who, in the middle of his speech starts dancing and singing that have no connection to his speech. That won’t work either

Some variety is good. Too much variety (especially if it is incoherent) hurts.

Blogging is no different. When you blog, think that you are on a stage and talking to a set of people. They need variety. But not too much.

34. Blogging is personal

Blogging is more personal than creating a book. The audience expect to discover your personality through your blog. If the content is the king, the emotions associated with every post will be the queen. A good combination is desired.

Look at the last few posts. Do they represent you – do they say who you are. If not, go back and add some emotions into them. Bring out your personality in each of you posts.

Consider the act of writing a blog post – it may take you only a few minutes from start to finish. Contrast this with the publication of a book. A decent effort with the book is at least an year-long affair. It goes through several rounds of changes and editing before the script is finalized.

Which one is more personal – you be the judge.

35. Traffic is not the only metric of success in blogging.

Actually, if you just go after traffic, you may do some things that you might regret later. Your have to define your goals for blogging based on your needs not based on what someone else has done.

Here are some reasons why people are blogging:
* get more leads for their business
* to secure speaking engagements
* to promote their books
* to park their thoughts for future books
* to extend their personal brands
* to build new relationships
* to extend their company’s reach
* to share their expertise to the world
and so on.

Think about your own life goals and see how blogging fits in it. If it does not, but you are just trying to fit it in – because everyone around you are doing it, at least know that this is what you are doing 🙂

36. Name of your blog matters

Not much if you are celebrity. Otherwise, choosing the wrong name may “box” your blog.

For example, it is hard to write about anything other than Java if the name of your blog is “Java Only” or “Java Unleashed”. It would be out of place to write about training cats on a blog titled “All about Dogs”.

You can always change the name of the blog. However, it costs to make a name change (be it a company or a person or a blog) and you should be willing to pay that price. Rather than that, think carefully before you pick the name and the associated URL for your blog.

Here are two simple steps:

1. Assume that you won’t be changing the name of your blog for the rest of your life.
2. Once you decide on a name, think about what will people think when they hear the name of your blog.

Is this what you want? If not, go and re-visit the name again

If you already have a blog name but you are not happy about it, better change it today. The longer you operate a blog with a wrong name, harder it gets to change it.

37. Create tipping points for your blog

Unless you have a huge personal brand before you started the blog, don’t expect your blog to be an instant success. Every time you hear an “instant success” story for a blog, look at who was behind that blog and how long they worked hard to create their identity before they started the blog.

For the rest of us, we got to create our own tipping points for our blogs. In simple terms, the tipping points are those circumstances that will lead to the proverbial hockey stick growth for the blog.

Personally, for the first few months, my blog would get only a few hundred page views a day – most of them from my friends and family. Here are a few things that helped me take my blog to the next level (not in any order)

1. Publication of the book “Beyond Code” (foreword by Tom Peters)
2. Reviews of my book in online and offline outlets
3. Publishing a free eBook “When you can’t earn an MBA…” (downloaded more than 80,000 times)
4. Publishing a free eBook “Personal Branding for Technology Professionals” (downloaded more than 100,000 times)
5. Publishing a manifesto on ChangeThis – 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (one of the top 10 manifestos at ChangeThis)
6. Publishing a free eBook “Lasting Relationships
7. Squidoo lens (especially: Blogging Starter Checklist)
8. Help from many many friends (too many to list) online and offline.

What could be the tipping points for your blog in the next few weeks or months?

38. You can get carried away sometimes

When you are just getting started, you have a ton of ideas. Ideas are easy as long as you don’t have to execute on them. Execution is the real culprit. Here are some examples:

* You might want to start a separate blog for every area of your expertise
* You might want to start a separate blog for every book of yours
* You might want a separate audio-blog
* You might want a separate video-blog

You get the point. If you don’t play the full scenario – for the next few years, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Any new initiative takes time. And, blogging – it takes more time as you go along. If you are successful, it takes you more time than ever – as you have to live up to progressively higher standards that the marketplace sets for you.

So, before you get carried away on the multitude of blogging initiatives, think again!

39. Set time aside for your blog fans

When you speak in public, at the end of the talk (provided you spoke well) people will come and talk to you – ask you questions, clarify things and share their personal experiences. It is your time to interact with your fans.

Blogging is different. Some people are not comfortable writing comments on your blog. They may send you an email or two. Unless the request is unreasonable, you are expected to interact with them. If you don’t have time to respond, people will think you are a operating a broadcasting station rather than a blog.

All it requires is to add a small percentage of time that you are setting aside for your blogging activities. If you are spending 50 minutes in a week to blog, make it 60. If you are spending 300 minutes per week on your blog, make it 330.

40. You can join the discussion but you got have something original to say

One way to get attention is to join an on-going discussion related to a hot topic. Chime in and link to the other relevant blog posts. Trackbacks from those posts will bring you some traffic. However, if you don’t have something original to say to add to the ongoing discussion in a meaningful way, it will hurt you more than it will help you.

Imagine giving free tickets to a movie you know is bad. You make the person feel good for sometime but if he knows that you knew the movie was bad, he or she won’t like you anymore.

Before you invite anyone to your blog, get your house in order. That way, you not only make a good first impression, you will get them to visit again soon.

When you add some original thought to the discussion and raise the level of thinking, you will get noticed. If you just say things like – “What a great post” or “You got to read this” you are not adding much to what is happening.

Remember, when someone “discovers” your blog by some means, it is only “relevant and remarkable” content that will bring them back.

Who should have a Blog site?

coaches, therapists, trainers, consultants, photographers, artists, freelancers, beauticians, wedding and party planners, event organisers, kennel owners, interior designers, landscape gardeners, sales consultants, recruitment companies, Engineering companies, Environment groups, Public Services, Entertainment groups, Medical groups, Accountants, Actuaries, AccountantsWhy?

Because they will be more effective.