Comment Terrorism – How to be a Good Blog Citizen

Anyone who runs a blog and modifies the comments which come through to you on a regular basis knows that sometimes, people behave badly online. Unfortunately, the lack of censorship online and the safety of having a screen between you and the world can sometimes lead to rash statements, comments made in poor taste or simply the joy of finding a platform where people can behave badly under the safe guise of anonymity.

Couple the ease with which people can make unpleasant comments with the huge prevalence of spam on our blogs, and it can make it difficult to wade through the feedback which you get on your site to find the truly relevant information. Sometimes as bloggers we need to take some time to look through our spam folders and unearth anything of value, as occasionally great remarks will be relegated to the trash pile unfairly.

As inhabitants of the blogosphere, we also have an obligation to know how and when to post up comments appropriately. Sometimes, the lure of comment terrorism can seem irresistible. Imagine if you have a client who has let you down financially, through, for example, not paying a bill.

The evil side of you understands that as a blogger with a strong following, you have the ideal platform for a naming and shaming exercise which could bring your assailant to their knees with a few choice posts. Add in the power of Twitter and Facebook for reinforcing your campaign, and you suddenly feel a rush of power, knowing that you control your site and all which goes on it, and have the capacity to damage someone’s reputation for good.

A nice feeling? Well, yes. Constructive? Not really! Campaigns like this may be a great way of highlighting the wrongdoings of others, but rarely bring much customer satisfaction when your readers get bombarded with off-target and venomous posts. Apart from looking unprofessional, it makes us seem like people who are not ethical or great to do business with, and a personal rant on the soapbox platform of your blog rarely yields positive results. The most likely scenario is that the subject of your comment terrorism gets off unscathed, while you end up looking like a small-minded bigot.

With all this in mind, here are some tips for playing nicely in the playground of blog commenting and tweets…

Keep it relevant

Never visit someone’s site to post comments which are not related to the post topic. This is the realm of spammers and psychos, and is best left to them as the experts. People aren’t interested in hearing about a great new software download site when they go online to look for tips on dog grooming. Stay on topic, and you’ll gain followers. Deviate, and you run the risk of being added to the trash along with the Viagra adverts.

Keep other people relevant, too!

Support readers on your blog to offer the same courtesy – when people go off-topic, bring them back through a few choice nudges in the right direction. This supports your blog to stay focused even when things have the potential to get heated.

Keep it polite

Don’t ever, ever bring personal or subjective views on to comment boards. The blogosphere is by and large a polite place, and an overly personal rant or attack on another person simply undermines your credibility. Would you want to buy services from someone who can’t rein in their opinions? No? Neither do your customers.

Keep it professional and product or service-related

If you have an issue to deal with professionally, take it off line rather than succumbing to the temptation to air your views through your blog. Your daily ups and downs are fascinating and engrossing for you, but don’t really hit the mark when your customers are deciding whether or not to make a positive purchasing decision.

Blog Carnivals – How To Get On The Fiesta Bandwagon

Spend any time at all in the blogosphere, and you will eventually come across blog carnivals. The festive name hides a serious business benefit: A way of promoting your blog and your business online, by joining a group of bloggers who all share similar interests as yourself. In essence, a blog carnival is an online event which brings together bloggers who specialize in certain subjects, showcasing their work and offering a series of links for customers to access subjects they are interested in, easily.

How does a blog carnival work?

Just as a special-interest publication such as a fitness magazine or film review guide has a series of articles on a similar theme, so the blog carnival is designed to invite submissions from talented bloggers on a scheduled subject, so all topics share a subject can offer different perspectives on a chosen topic.

Carnivals are published as articles with a series of links collated by the owner of the scheme. Other people are able to submit their articles, leading to a superb collection of related writing. Usually hosted by guest writers, carnivals move from site to site depending upon who is hosting the event.

Blog owners can really increase traffic to their own site by submitting articles to blog carnivals in their field of interest or expertise, and if they are successfully featured within the carnival they stand to gain readers and reviews.

www.blogcarnival.com is the most popular site for listing these online events, and it’s well worth researching what is coming up to see if your work can fit in to one of them.

Why should we get involved with blog carnivals?

Blog carnivals bring a host of benefits to the business blogger. They support people to join an established community with other people who share similar interests, opening up possibilities for marketing to potential new customers in your industry area. They also help to drive traffic to your site, by giving you well-publicized backlinks to your blog which encourages people to visit and stick around.

Joining a carnival also brings you recognition for your efforts as a blogger, as you gain feedback from a wide range of people who may not have found your article, otherwise. This can be a real confidence boost for people who blog regularly and can sometimes feel as if their efforts are going unrecognized.

Most carnivals offer you the services of an experienced editor, which can give you insight in to your writing style, offering advice about how you can improve to attract a wider audience. Perhaps best of all, being part of a scheduled carnival gets you in to contact with a network of people, all of whom share your passion and interest for your area of expertise.

You can find out more about blog carnivals, and when future ones are scheduled, by searching online. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by joining a carnival, so do some research and find one taking place soon that you can get involved in!

How To Make Money Video Blogging

You may have seen a lot of people promoting Gideon Shalwick’s new free report called Rapid Video Blogging. It’s a brilliant 92 page report full of useful info that will help you move into the new era of video blogging. Nearly 11,000 people have downloaded it already!

Click Here To Download Your Free Copy Of Rapid Video Blogging

I’ve known Gideon for just about two years now, he actually introduced himself to me online and we formed a friendship. I still do work for him today (though had no hand in this product at all just to be clear!). He’s a master at YouTube and creating compelling, high quality videos and all his products so far have been top quality.

Because you’re smart you will have guessed, or heard, that the free report is a lead in to the launch of his Rapid Video Blogging course. As part of the launch he has some great content, such as the free report of course, and also you’ll get access to some free videos:

Behind-the-scenes: This is a behind-the-scenes look at super fast video creation. It’s 30 minutes long, so not a quickly thrown together video with no content! It takes you behind his home studio setup, showing you everything from lighting to editing to ‘getting comfortable’ tips.

Case Study: This is a real life case study of someone making a full time income from YouTube and her blog – 4,000 to 6,000 bucks per month and again is full of content at over 35 minutes long.

If you haven’t already downloaded the report you can do from the video pages too.

Now I really believe in Gideon’s teaching and his method and have personally seen a small part of what he plans to provide for the course. He has put together a very comprehensive video course that shows you, exactly step-by-step what you need to do to help you successfully implement your very own Rapid Video Blogging system.

My bonus to you

It could be called a bribe, but as it’s extremely complementary, they’re almost two parts of the same whole.

My Income Blogging Guide course that I run with Andrew from We Build Your Blog teaches you step-by-step how to create an income from your blog, monetizing it, and creating your own products for sale. It covers building the blog that Gideon uses as one of his three foundations for your “Video Domination Hub”, and also one of the other three parts (see his report for what that is!).

You see, we contacted Gideon and he said that he doesn’t go into the detail our course does for blog building. “Your course would be an excellent companion as a bonus for people.”

Check out what our course offers by going here: https://blogtechguy.com/go/ibg, plus it includes a free premium WordPress theme and the best support in the business.

But don’t buy our course… get it for free by grabbing Gideon’s course.

How to claim your bonus

1) Join Rapid Video Blogging using this link only https://blogtechguy.com/go/rapidcourse
[By signing up with this affiliate link I do earn a commission.]

2) After buying Gideon’s course just send us your ClickBank receipt and we’ll get you hooked up to our course immediately. Email us at support@incomebloggingguide.com with a copy of your receipt and we will set you up with access within two days.

Please note: If you cancel your Rapid Video Blogging membership, it will also cancel your Income Blogging Guide membership.

That’s it. Buy one course get another free but only if you buy via this link https://blogtechguy.com/go/rapidcourse.

If you have any questions at all please contact me and I’ll do my best to help.

Improving Your Blog Stickiness

It’s relatively easy to get your blog set up and start updating it with great articles. It’s also straightforward to market it, let people know it is out there, and do what you can to encourage people to come and visit your site. With the right tools and support, you can get a great blog up and running in a small space of time.

What can prove to be a little more difficult is getting people to stick around. We’ve all visited new blogs and checked them out, and then clicked away from them, never to return again.

So. What is the ‘stickiness’ factor, and how do you make sure you have it on your blog? Here are a few ideas…

The soap opera technique

Do you ever watch soap operas? Some people live by them. They have an ongoing story to tell, and they retain maximum ‘stickiness’ in a number of ways. These include:

  • Running plot lines that don’t ever truly conclude (ever watched Lost?!).
  • Leaving you hanging with unanswered questions.
  • Dealing with relevant topics that people can identify with.
  • Letting you get to know the characters, so you care about how they’re getting on.

All these factors can apply equally well to blogging, and you can take inspiration from soap techniques for your own writing. By using open writing styles, you can make sure that people come back to your blog regularly to see how you’re getting on, and develop relationships with people that mean they are eager to get your next installment!

Keep abreast of leading-edge developments in your field

If you can tap in to news as it breaks in your industry, you stand a good chance of retaining your readership for good. Make your blog the first port of call for updates and information, and people will come back again and again, using you as a primary resource for finding things out. The best way to do this is to look online for relevant RSS feeds and subscribe to them, then comment on useful or interesting things which apply to your field of expertise.

Try providing useful widgets

If you make your blog useful, the likelihood is people will come back to the site as a matter of course, as part of their daily routine. Widgets such as weather updates, news items on a particular subject, or essential information such as share prices, promotions or offers (depending upon your area of industry) can be a great – and easy – way of making your blog site indispensable to your readers. Make it easy for people to bookmark you, and then make them want to visit you time and again.

Remind people through other means to visit your blog

Sometimes, we forget about even the best things in life. Have you ever discovered a great new recipe for a meal, only to kind of forget about it again? Blogs can be like that. Even the best ones can slip the net if people aren’t given a reminder to go back and check in with them. Keep your blog at the forefront of your readers’ minds, by linking to it from your other resources. Make it a prominent part of your company web site, and try sending out monthly e-mail newsletters that link people straight back to your blog. Make it even easier for people to return, by offering a prompt to add your blog to their ‘Favorites’ list.

Harness the power of storytelling

Storytelling is a skill which every single person responds to. Structure your blog posts with a clear beginning, a great middle and a decisive ending. These techniques tap in to our inherent response to stories which has been developed in us since we were children. By making your posts clear, well-structured and readable, you’ll give people a sense of ease when they read your posts, and encourage them to return to your site for another dose of storytelling, every day. As busy adults, we don’t often get the chance to take time out and lose ourselves in a great story. Your blog can be one of the places where people pop in to tune out for a while!

Build up long-term online relationships

This is the most simple, and most effective, way of building your readership and making your blog stickier than a fly caught in treacle (mmmm…). If people who visit feel that they are getting to know you, and you are reliable when it comes to providing help and support, they’ll come to view you as a valued colleague and friend. This is achieved by:

  • Making regular (and I mean REGULAR) updates on your blog.
  • Answering all comments and queries quickly and efficiently.
  • Being helpful, supportive and proactive when it comes to dealing with comments.
  • Visiting other blogs, and offering them the readership that you yourself are seeking to gain.

…Simple!

If you have a ‘sticky’ blog, get in touch in the comments and share your expertise with me!

Blogging For Small Businesses – What Should We Write About?

OK. You’ve set your blog up. You understand that it’s a great tool for telling people about your business. You’re on board with the technical side of things and know how to maintain your new site.

There’s another problem. What the heck do you write about? How do you know what your customers are looking for, and what subjects will bring people back again and again to your site? Here are my thoughts:

Write about what you know
You set up your blog for a reason – to share your expertise and knowledge with other people. Therefore, it makes sense to stick to subjects you are really familiar with. A gardening blog isn’t going to have articles about cooking, and a technical blog isn’t going to be discussing the intricacies of crochet skills. Your main aim is to enhance your customer proposition by speaking knowledgeably about subjects related to your business, so do that. If the thought of writing about a particular subject terrifies you, the chances are it’s not the right subject in the first place!

Bring in current research and ideas

Every industry is constantly evolving, as people discover new tools, processes and innovations to improve it. Regardless of whether you are blogging about networking or needlework, there are going to be resources online that cover the front line when it comes to your particular subjects. Do some careful online research to find out the lowdown on your industry specialism, and keep your readers updated with news and new ideas.

Ask your customers
The best way to find out the kind of thing your readers want to see on your blog is to ask them! Why not elicit feedback from your existing users, and get ideas from people you network with? This has a double purpose, as it also lets people know about your blog, and invites people to take an active interest in it.

Let your hits do the talking
Some days we get loads of comments and views on our blogs, and other days it can feel as if your writing has disappeared in a puff of smoke. Get to know what works and what doesn’t for your entries. If an entry on knitting generates four thousand views, and an update on casseroles gives you one, you’re not going to blog about Hotpot, right? Work out the right topics to please your readers… and stick to them.

Look at other successful blogs for ideas
We all have ‘favorite’ blogs that we log in to religiously each day to get updates, learn something new or keep in touch with some of the great writers out there. Take a look at some of the most successful blogs on the web at the moment, and work out what they may have, that you don’t. That way, you can learn from the experts, and have fun finding new blogs at the same time!

Take inspiration from your day-to-day experiences
Every day, something will happen to you in your job or at home that can be thought about, and put to good use. Whether you are writing for other small businesses or the general public, your experiences can be really valuable to blog about. We like to hear about what other people have been up to, and there are very few events that can’t be turned in to a great story for your blog, and be used to promote your business.

What do you reckon? Let me know the kind of things you think small businesses should focus on when writing their blog updates…

How To Keep Motivated To Write Your Blog

I write for a number of different blogs, and getting motivated to write can sometimes be a chore or the motivational is not there.

So why do we do it?

We all know that a successful blog depends on a number of factors. For a site to succeed it needs to be informative, engaging, and most importantly, updated regularly. There’s nothing worse than going to a blog you like, only to discover there’s been no activity for a few weeks. It makes us feel let down, as if the person behind the blog has given up on it and can’t find the interest to maintain it. We leave, and don’t bother going back.

It’s all very well knowing this, but the fact remains that updating your blog can be a trial sometimes. After a hard day at work the last thing we sometimes feel like doing is posting up a sparkly message. It’s easy to allow a blog to get stale, but this is fatal for business.

So, how do we find the motivation to keep going? Here are a few ideas…

Think of your audience

It can really help the blogging process if you take some time to consider who you are writing for. Somewhere, someone right now is reading your blog. What do you want to do for them? Whether your goal is to inspire, teach, share or just talk to your online audience, it’s worth remembering that your blog is actually being read, and enjoyed, by people. Don’t let your fans down by forgetting to update!

Encourage feedback and open up communications channels
Nothing creates motivation for the humble blogger like being acknowledged. Whether you are getting praise or criticism, either form of feedback will provide you with motivation to carry on. Just knowing that your words are having an impact will give you a kick start to update more regularly. Invite people to comment on what you’ve said, and engage in dialogue with them – it’s one of the most rewarding things we can do as bloggers.

Blog on subjects close to your heart
What really gets you going? What are you passionate about? Are there any subjects which you really enjoy learning about, and sharing what you have learned? Keep your blogging lively and enthusiastic by choosing subjects you care about. Your passion will shine through in your words.

Keep remembering why you started blogging in the first place
If things are becoming a little stale on your blog, it’s worth going back to the beginning and remembering what prompted you to start writing in the first place. Was it to promote your business? Speak passionately about something that interests you? Help people? Whatever your initial motivation was, it won’t be hard to get it back once you start thinking about what your objectives are. Sometimes, we just need a reminder about what we want to achieve, before we can find the motivation to get out there and do it.

Build blogging in to your daily routine
Blogging can be a bit like cleaning your teeth and making the bed – you don’t always feel like doing it, but it always gets done. Because it has to. Instead of thinking of writing updates as a chore, it’s worth incorporating it in to your daily schedule, alongside all the other things you usually do. If you can look after yourself and your home, you can look after your blog in exactly the same way.

Visit other people for inspiration
One of the principal motivators for writers is seeing the way other people approach it. Have you ever watched a good film, and been inspired to be creative, or read a book that got you to thinking how you could do something similar? Reading other bloggers can provide you with new ideas and get the creative juices flowing. Who knows – you may be inspiring someone with your writing, right now!

What techniques do you use to keep your blog up to date? Let me know!