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What Irish Drinking Songs Taught Me About Blogging

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This weekend, my sister is visiting me from Pennsylvania (I live in the DC Metro area). I decided to take her to my favorite bar in town, which happens to be a Irish pub. While we sipped some drinks and caught up on life, we enjoyed some live music, including a few Irish drinking songs (of course).

The singer played a pretty wide variety of songs, and I noticed something commonly shared by the songs the audience seemed to like the best: They are interactive.

That’s a lesson we can learn about blogging as well. People love being able to interact.

Many Irish drinking songs are interactive because there’s some kind of audience call back line. In other words, the singer says a line and the audience yells something back in response. In a rowdy bar, this can be pretty fun! There are also songs that have hand motions, songs that require you to do a task (most commonly, take a drink), and more.

Here’s how this can translate to the blogging world, no alcohol required:

  • Ask your audience a question at the end of your blog post.

Like a call back line, ending your post with a question invites your readers to say something back to you. Sometimes, readers have to be encouraged to respond to your posts, especially if you don’t have a normally vocal crowd. Try getting people warmed up with some topics that are highly controversial, in the same way the performer at the bar warmed up the audience with some old favorites like Sweet Caroline. Don’t bait your readers, but make it easy to comment with a post that elicits an emotion. As your readership grows, you’ll start getting responses to other blog posts as well – but it always helps to ask that question or at least remind people that they can leave a comment.

  • Teach them the words.

Inactive songs are pretty useless if no one knows the words or hand motions. The performer at my pub always tests the water a little to see how savvy the audience is. If there are a lot of people there who know the correct responses, he just plays the song. If not, he gives the audience a little tutorial or even invites someone (usually someone who’s already had a few beers) to the stage to help him and lead the audience.

Similarly, you have to “teach your readers the words”. When someone new shows up on your blog, they don’t know the lingo or where to start. If you don’t give them a little guidance until they find their way, they’ll leave. So consider making a “best of” page or “new users start here” page. If you have weekly or monthly features with unique names, explain at the beginning of these posts what they are (one or two short sentences should do). Link to some related posts at the end of each post or throughout. Until your readers know your site like the back of their hands, they need your help!

  • Make people smile and then encourage them to pull out their wallets.

One of the songs the guitarist at my pub sings almost every time I see him is “Piano Man” – I know, it’s a funny song for a guitarist to sing, but I understand why he does. He never leads with this song. He waits until the bar gets pretty full, sings a few crowd-pleasers, and then starts strumming Billy Joel. Why? Well, if you don’t know the song, there’s a line that goes: “And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar” – in other words, all the people at the bar tip him. Whenever he sings that, he stops and goes “AHEM” and sings the line again. It always gets a laugh, but you know what? At least two or three people run up and stick money in his tip jar.

This would get annoying if he did it all the time, but by that point in the night, everyone’s had some drinks, and we know we like this guy. He’s played some of our favorite songs, he’s made us laugh, and we’re having a good time. So of course we respond with tips. On your blog, it’s the same idea – let readers get to know you. Entertain them (or teach them something – preferably both) and then when they’re happy and know they like you, ask for their money. Don’t be afraid of the ask. It can get annoying if you beg or encourage them to buy too often, but if you never do, they might not remember.

Are You Too Smart For Your Readers?

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Wow, that title sounds pretty pretentious, right! Let’s be realistic though. In life, some people are going to be smarter than you. Likewise, you’re gong to be smarter than some people. So, no matter who your readers are, you’re going to be smarter than some of your readers. That’s actually a good thing if you’re putting yourself in an authoritative position.

The other day, I was watching Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. The concepts discussed on that show are interesting to me, but normally way over my head. I don’t understand things like wormholes. But this show perfectly displays how you can – and should – avoid being too smart for your readers.

Into the Universe is shown on the Discovery Channel. Now, if you combine everyone who watches television, people who watch the Discovery Channel are probably smarter than average. I don’t have any stats to back that up, but I think it’s a pretty safe theory to make. Furthermore, if you combine everyone who watches the Discovery Channel, people who are interested in the topics discussed by Stephen Hawkins are probably smarter than the average Discovery Channel watcher. So, you’re already starting with a pretty smart base.

That’s step one – know your reader. It’s not always a matter of intelligence, but rather experience. Are your readers advanced bakers? Then you can post more difficult recipes. Are your readers brand new gardeners? Then you better start with the basics of growing tomatoes! Take a moment to understand your reader’s natural abilities based on experience and intelligence.

Those who’ve created Into the Universe know that their viewers are likely pretty smart and might even have a little experience with the topics they discuss, since smarter viewers are more likely to have a college education, where these topics are often covered, even if you don’t have a scientific job. Yet, they know that Stephen Hawkins is an authority. He’s placed himself in that sort of position at the host of this show, so if he just starts talking as though he’s talking to a peer who has as much experience as him, we’ll all probably be lost.

Yet we’re smart, so he doesn’t insult us by shying away from difficult topics. Your readers are likely pretty smart too. So, don’t shy away from advanced topics. Just realize their limits.

On Into the Universe, for example, they use images to visually show what they’re talking about. In addition, they use “dumbed down” examples to explain concepts step by step. If you approach a complex topic that way, you can ensure that you’re not going way over readers’ heads, but you’re also not insulting them or boring them by only covering super simple topics.

One of the things I like to do on blogs is write some 101-level posts and link to them within more advanced posts. That way, you’re making your blog approachable to all readers. The key is to not be “too smart.” Again, this doesn’t alway mean more intelligence. Just realize that not everyone is in your head or knows what you’re talking about. Sometimes, I see bloggers refer to situations that I didn’t know happened, for example. Rather than explaining (or linking to a post about what happened), they just start talking as if we all know. We don’t all know. It makes me feel a little stupid when I come across something like that.

And when you make your readers feel stupid, they might not be back.

So, the moral of the story is that when you write your posts, consider who will be reading it. Make sure that you’re writing for your readers, not for yourself. Remember, you aren’t necessarily your target market, and although you may have been doing this for a long time, your readers might not be quite as experienced.

Four People Who Aren’t Reading Your Blog (And How to Get Them To Change Their Minds)

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Sometimes, it can seem like the only people reading your blog are other bloggers – and let’s face it; for most of us, other bloggers aren’t our target market. It’s really great if you have an arsenal of blogging friends on Twitter to support you because you write great things, but they aren’t going to buy your products because, frankly, they don’t need them.

So let’s talk about the people who aren’t readying your blog – and how you can get them to change their dreadful ways!

1. A-Listers in your Niche

No matter what your niche, their are certain bloggers who have been around the block a time or two. It’s the a-list: the bloggers who seem to speak at every conference, publish books based on their blog topic, and have an army of rabid fans. Who doesn’t want an a-lister to read their content?

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: A-listers are super busy. Not only are they bloggers themselves, but because they’re popular, they’re getting pulled in about five thousand directions at every moment of the day. They usually don’t have the time to go out and explore new blogs or even check out blogs that are recommended to them unless the recommendation comes from something they really trust.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: It goes without saying that an a-lister who reads your blog can potentially bring in tons of traffic if they promote your content. If they like what you write, it could also lead to joint ventures, guest posting opportunities, and awesome recommendations in the future.
  • How to Change Their Mind: It isn’t always easy to attract the attention of a busy a-list, but what I’ve found works best is to mention them in some way. For example – I wrote a post called “Scott Stratten Doesn’t Know Who You Are” back in October, which mentioned Scott, Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, and Brian Clark – and three out of four of those a-listers in the blogging/new media niche actually replied to me on Twitter, with two of them taking the time to retweet.

2. Your Non-Blogging Friends

Most of us have friends who don’t really “get” the whole blogging thing. Even if you mention that you’ve recently written something they might like, they don’t read it. It’s like pulling teeth, which can be super frustrating if you’ve written something that is exactly what they want or need.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: They don’t think there’s much value in blogging – why would they want to read your online diary? They don’t realize that many of the sites they read are technically blogs. To them, blog is just a four-letter word.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: If they’re your target market and you can actually hook them, they’ll be the first to line up in support when you sell a product.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Stop referring to things they might find valuable as “blog posts.” Instead, call them articles or resources. Write something that’s super high-value and email your non-blogging friends with the link, making no reference to the fact that it’s from a blog. In the email, include instructions at the end teaching them how to sign up for RSS via email (again, call it something less blog-sounding like “email alerts when I write something similar”) – and definitely include a link to your Facebook fan page.

3. Kids

Not every blog is perfect for a younger market, but some bloggers are missing out. “Kids” doesn’t just have to mean pre-teens. I’m talking about anyone under the age of 18. There are millions of high-school-age young adults out there, and that could be an untapped market for you.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: Young adults are super tech-friendly, but most don’t really go online to read anything, unless it is the latest entertainment news or something they’re researching for a school project. They don’t really seek out blogs, so unless someone tells them to check something out, they probably aren’t going to find you via a search engine.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: Like it or not, kids have TONS of buying power. They may not line up for your latest ebook, but if you sell stuff via affiliate links, having the young adult crowd on your site can be a major advantage.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Boost your Facebook presence. Most kids aren’t on Twitter yet, but millions upon millions in the 13- to 18-year-old range use Facebook to share stuff they like. If you can get them passing around your links on Facebook, it’s worth more than SEO ever will be for attracting that audience.

4. Guest Post Readers

Writing guest posts can boost your traffic – or can it? The idea behind guest posting is that you’ll reach a new audience, but the fact of the matter is that many people who read your guest post won’t click through to your blog – they’ll just leave a comment there if they are so inclined and be on their way. Guest posts are undoubtedly good for brand recognition and back links, but they don’t always produce traffic in the volumes you want.

  • Why They Don’t Read Your Blog: This is a tricky one. Some readers just like what they know (i.e., the blog where you guest posted) and don’t click many links. Some readers don’t have time to read more posts. Some readers are new to that site and want to explore there first, but then never get around to checking out your site. There are probably tons of other reasons as well.
  • Why You Want Them To Read Your Blog: If your guest post was a sample of what could be found on your site, a reader who clicks through will probably like your blog as well.
  • How to Change Their Mind: Make your link irresistible. Something I’ve noticed with my own habits: I’m much more likely to click through after reading a guest post if they link to a specific post they’ve written recently, rather than just the blog home page. Pick something with a super attractive headline and use that in your bio.

Your Readers Matter

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Earlier this year, when I talked about what bloggers can learn from magazines, I touched on this topic a bit, but I wanted to devote a full post to the subject today because it’s one that really matters to me. There’s a trend I’ve been seeing among bloggers that has me a little alarmed: complete disregard for the reader. More and more often, I’m seeing bloggers say that they blog for themselves, and that the reader is secondary – or not important at all. That mindset scares me a little.

Personal versus Professional

First, let’s make a distinction between the type of blogs you could run and what exactly I’m talking about with the issue of disregard for the reader. People commonly split the world of blogging into two groups – personal bloggers and professional bloggers. You can analyze content to determine the difference between the two if you want, but I’ve also made the distinction this way: With a professional blog, I’m trying or hoping to make money from the content in some way. With a personal blog, I am not attempting to make money, nor do I have plans to make money in the future.

If you’re running a personal blog – i.e., you use the blog as a place to rant and rave and don’t care about traffic or revenue or brand building or anything like that, you just want a place to write – then do whatever you want. Don’t care about your readers. Do care about your readers. It doesn’t matter, because it is your personal space on the Internet.

But if you’re running a professional blog? Yes, your readers matter. This entire post is an argument for people running professional blogs.

Reader Respect

The main issue I have with people who say that they don’t care what their readers want is that these same people are relying on readers to make money. Blogs make money in a variety of ways. Maybe your readers purchase products directly from you or from your affiliate links. Maybe you sell advertising space, which means that you can charge more if you have higher traffic numbers. Maybe people who read your blog hire you as a consultant or otherwise pay for your professional services. No matter what, if you want to make money with your blog, you need someone to hand you those dollar bills. If you don’t have readers, you won’t make money.

So, how disrespectful is it to say, “I don’t care about you at all” to that person opening his or her wallet?

No one is forcing a reader to be on your site, and more importantly, no one is forcing a reader to make any kind of purchase. But, I find it horribly pretentious to have the mindset that you don’t need to care about the people who are, essentially, your customers. If they want to buy, they’ll buy. If they don’t, screw them.

It’s just not a good way to run a business. It shows a lot of disrespect to the people who are keeping you in business.

The Reader Doesn’t Know What He Wants

I’m not a fan of the phrase, “The customer is always right.” because frankly, the customer is often not right. There’s something to be said for customer service, even when the customer is clearly incorrect, but I’m not suggesting that you need to let your readers walk all over you.

After all, the reader doesn’t always know what he (or she) wants.

When you run a blog, the reader comes to your site to be informed or entertained (usually both), and it is your job to dictate the content they receive. But it is also your job to listen and analyze how your readers get value for what you offer. Surprise your readers by doing something unexpected or even post something that might cause a stir – but in the back of your mind, ask yourself, “Am I doing thing because it is what my readers need? Or am I doing this because I want my readers to need it?” Keep in mind that what you want to write isn’t always what your readers need to read.

As a writer, I don’t want to tell people not to write about something if they feel passionate about it.  I guess, I’m just recommending that you consider the right time and place for off-topic rants, opinions that don’t always fit your brand, and other things that you really want to write, but that might not be the best for your readers. Start a personal blog, have a special section of your site for such posts, etc. You don’t have to give up your passion for your readers!

I guess all I’m really arguing here is to be a smart business person. Your readers are your customers; even if they don’t buy anything directly for you, they are giving you their time. If this is your business, care about it, remembering that your customers readers are a big part of it.

I Don’t Like Your Stinkin’ Blog!

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Fun fact: Once, an ex-roommate of mine and I got into a shouting match. It was over something stupid of course. I don’t even remember what our issue was. Some guy. What I do remember is yelling, “I don’t care about your stinkin’ relationship advice!” She was in a successful long-term relationship, and I was not, so I got earfuls from her fairly often about what I was doing wrong. Often, I didn’t agree, but I would listen anyway. After all, she had a relationship that was quickly heading to marriage. I was all over the map.

Later, when we could laugh about it, we giggled at the passion at which I yelled about her “stinkin’ advice.” Whenever we would disagree from that point forth, one of us would always say something about not liking the others’ stinkin’ attitude, and we’d devolve into giggles. Still, my message was a good one to remember.

Originally, I used Bloglines as my feed reader, so when that service announced they’ve be closing a few months ago, I switched over to Google. When I made the move, I decided to purge my feeds. That was a tougher task than I thought it would be. I realized that there were a few blogs on my list that I dreaded reading every day.

I felt like I had to read them because they were well-respected blogs in one of the niches I covered. Every post, the blogs in question would double or even triple the number of comments I’d get on my top posts. They must be doing something right. I have to learn from these bloggers. I have to figure out what they’re doing that I’m not. I have to…I have to…I have to…

No. No, I don’t have to do anything. You might be a super popular blogger, but I don’t like your stinkin’ blog.

I think we have a lot to learn from one another. I certainly have a lot to learn from bloggers that are better than me. At the same time, I think that we sometimes fall into a trap of trying to emulate bloggers who are popular in our niches, even though we don’t personally like what they are doing. We want to find the success that they’ve found, and in striving for excellence (which is a good thing), we begin to doubt our personal tastes (which is a bad thing).

You may want to learn from other bloggers, but you don’t want their readers. If you have the exact same target market as another blog out there, maybe it’s time to reconsider what you’re writing. You want your own readers. This doesn’t always mean that you have to have drastically different content. Sometimes, it’s just about having a different voice. Learn from the people who have come before you and who are people in your niche…but learning from them doesn’t mean you have to support them or be a part of their community. If you don’t like someone’s stinkin’ blog, don’t subscribe to their stinkin’ blog.

Something interesting to note: My roommate and her almost-fiance boyfriend had a horrible break up a few years later. Apparently he had never been happy with her, but had stayed with her for a bunch of bad reasons. So apparently my instincts were right, and I’m glad I trusted them. Learn to trust yours.

Overheard on #Blogchat: The Squeaky Wheel (@BillBoorman)

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Yep, I’m a day late with Overheard on #Blogchat this week. I was at an 80s-themed bachelorette party, so I had a good reason!

Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night, I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: Open mic!

Mama Boyer has a saying: ” The squeaky wheel gets the grease!” She usually says this in regards to complaining about something. If you don’t speak up, no one will fix your problem. My mom is someone you can count on tell you if service is bad.

Reading over the #blogchat transcript, since I wasn’t able to attend last night, this stood out to me, making my think of my mom’s saying:

@BillBoorman: 95% of your audience will never interact. Dont be swayed by only the noisy ones

Not every reader on your blog is going to be a squeaky wheel. Usually, people are outspoken when they’re feeling an emotional extreme – like anger from disagreeing with what you have to say. Of course, emotions can be positive as well, but every time you write a blog post, only a small percentage of people will actually comment.

That doesn’t mean you should listen to them, necessarily. You want to help your readers as much as possible, but at the same time, it is important to keep in mind that the readers giving you feedback only make up a small percentage of all the readers visiting your blog. If you want to create the best blog with the most active community possible, you have to consider the needs of all of your readers.

That’s the tricky part. If someone isn’t a squeaky wheel, how can you give them the grease?

  1. Consider polling your readers. Often, people aren’t enticed enough to leave a comment, but they will click on a poll choice to help make their voice heard.
  2. Check out what pages are most visited. Don’t just look at entry pages, since the top pages on this list are likely optimized for search engines well or were linked by people to drive traffic. Instead, look at which other posts people are visiting an how long they’re spending on these specific posts.
  3. Run some tests. See if your traffic numbers spike or dip with a new theme, for example. Even though readers aren’t talking, they’re voting with their visits.

The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but a blogger knows that all of the wheels on the cart deserve some attention. Don’t ignore the huge number of readers you have who are lurking in the shadows.

Improve Your Blog in One Easy Step

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Thank goodness online polls are much easier!

I’ve been doing some free consulting on my own website, specifically for people interested in freelance writing. Although I started with the goal of helping people learn to work with clients, I’ve found that a lot of people have questions specifically about blogging. Mostly, it isn’t any one question…people just want me to look at their blogs and give them some pointers they can use to improve. Even outside of my consulting, it’s rare that someone approaches me with a specific question. People just send a URL and want a brain dump on how to improve as a blogger.

I’m not the smartest, best blogger in the world, but I can tell you right now how to improve your blog in a single step. Write this one down:

Ask your readers what they like and dislike.

I have a problem giving people advice sometimes, simply because I’m not their target market. I can give general blog pointers, but there’s no way I can give specific advice to someone writing a motorcycle blog, for example. I’ve never even been on a motorcycle, and I have no intentions of ever owning one. Asking me what your blog is missing or what you could do better isn’t going to end well. Or, at least not as well as it could.

You can go about asking your readers what they want in a number of ways. If you have a mailing list, I recommend that you start there, by emailing either a survey or a general question. You can also write a blog post asking people to leave comments or, if you’re struggling with a specific aspect, post a poll on your site, asking people to vote.

If you don’t have a huge readership yet, you can still look to your readers for advice. Connect with people on Twitter or Facebook and approach specific people who are vocal in your niche. Ask if you can pick their brains for a few minutes – most will agree – and meet on Skype for a half hour or so to talk about your blog. You can even meet with people one-on-one either over Skype or through email.

Don’t be afraid to approach people who aren’t gurus or experts in your niche. Let’s face it – they big names in any industry would love to help you, but they simply don’t have time to do a blog review for every reader. If they did, they wouldn’t have any time to actually blog! Plus…is that person really your target audience? They might be who you aspire to be as a blogger, but your average reader is going to be different in terms of knowledge and skill. You want your blog to be optimized for your readers, not for the experts in your field.

Be discerning when your readers give you advice. Remember, what is perfect design for one person looks horrible to another. The things that interest one person might bore another. You get the idea. Look for overall trends in what people are telling you. If 10 people in a row all say that your font is too small to read comfortably or that they want to read more about a specific subject, that’s probably advice you want to note.

The bottom line? Your readers are a great resource. Don’t be afraid to use their opinions to make your blog better for everyone.

Analyzing Your Market’s Wallet

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I know a lot of people who have a lot of really good ideas. They start blogs. They write great posts. They engage readers on social networking sites.

And they fail.

At least, in terms of making a living as a full-time blogger, they fail, because they never actually make any money from their work. They might have thousands of followers on Twitter and dozens of comments on every blog post, but the best ideas in the world can’t save you from failing is you forget one key step: analyzing your market’s wallet.

When I first started freelance writing, I took a job with a fairly well-known blogging network at the time, which I won’t name here. They had great ideas for blogs – relevant topics that were in popular niches. They hired some great writers and built up a nice little community. The problem? They never actually thought about how they were going to convert pageviews into sales. Sure, they made a little money getting people to click on Google ads, but Adwords alone isn’t going to drive any blog to success.

It comes down to asking yourself two questions:

  1. Who is my average reader?
  2. How does my average reader spend his/her money?

Let’s use some fake blogs I’ve devised as examples. Say I write a cooking blog, where I post recipes and reviews of kitchen products. Here’s how I would answer those questions:

  1. My average reader is female, between the ages of 25 and 50, and likely married with kids or thinking about having kids.
  2. My average reader has to be careful with her money. She spends it first on bills and then on things that will improve her family’s life.

Of course, this blog probably has male readers, retired readers, single readers, etc. We’re going for an overall average here. Now let’s look at a complete different blog. Say I run a site that posts movie reviews and red carpet news. Here’s how I would answer those same questions:

  1. My average reader is likely between the ages of 15 and 35, enjoys celebrity gossip and pop culture, and is single or newly married.
  2. My average reader spends money on entertainment, but is often short on cash. He or she probably has some credit card debt, but will splurge to have fun with friends.

Again, not every reader will fit those descriptions, but we’re going for average here.

The common blogger, whether writing at the cooking blog or the movie blog, tries to make money the same way – posting banner ads. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, you’ll make some money that way if you build traffic, but you have completely different readers with completely different needs and spending habits. Why would you ever try to make money from those people in the same way? It doesn’t make sense.

Instead, take some time to more closely analyze your market’s wallet.

  • When they make emotional purchases, what do they buy?
  • Do they shop online or at brick-and-mortar businesses?
  • How much spending cash to they have after paying monthly bills?
  • Why problems do they have in life that they would be paying to solve?

That last one is a biggie, because it’s how you can make sales. Going back to my examples, at the cooking blog, one of the problems readers have is not having more time with their families. Would they be willing to pay for a cookbook that taught them how to get kids involved in the kitchen? It’s likely.

You don’t even have to create products at this point if you’re not able to do so yet. Sign up as an affiliate and start selling products on commission. Once you’ve brainstormed the items that your market is purchasing, it’s easy to offer those products and see an immediate jump in profit on your blog.

Analyzing your market’s wallet is easier in some niches that others, but it’s an important step no matter what your blog is about. Unless make a few bucks with Adwords every month is you idea of a decent income, you have to treat your blog more like a business. The best blog idea in the world will only be a hobby if you don’t sell something to your readers.

Tips For Getting Your Blog Listed in Google News!

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Want more readers? Doesn’t everyone! One solution that can pay off immensely is getting your blog listed in Google News. Google news is constantly updated with latest stories that have a news hook. If you get your blog listed, it will provide you with good exposure and coverage, and will also boost targeted traffic to your site.

Here are the top tips for getting your blog picked up by Google News:

  • Create an About Us Page:
    This is a must for Google News. Talk about the organization of your company and the goal of your site. You need to have at LEAST two bloggers on your site, who blog frequently.

  • Create a Contact Us Page;
    Another must. Provide clear and concise (and legitimate) contacct information!

  • Create Original/Fresh Content:
    Google News likes to new original and new content, along with news related posts.

  • Define Your Industry:
    Your Homepage/Logo should clearly state what industry segment you cover (enterainment, sports, finance, etc.).

  • Format Your Posts Properly:
    Your post must include author name, date of publication, and should be well-categorized (easy for a blog!) The title should not exceed the limit of 25 words. Article URL’s should be unique and look static.

  • Post Frequently:
    You want to shoot for three updates a day, minimum. The whole point of being in Google News is to have timely information and this requires frequent posts!

  • Don’t Write Too Short:
    Too short of posts (less than 200 characters) seem to be filtered out.

Once you’re ready, submit your blog for inclusion!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Blog World Expo: The Best of Both Worlds!

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Blog World Expo excites me.  It thrills me.  Blog World Expo is like the culmination of bloggerhood fantasies: the coming together of people who know each other quite well, often so well that we could order for each other in a restaurant, or pick out shoes for each other.  We know all about their jobs.  We know their children’s names.  We know about their pets, and their gardens, and their opinions about big government, world peace, and whether they prefer brown or white eggs.

We know almost everything about them, in fact.  Everything, perhaps, except what they really look like.  Much of the time, we couldn’t pick each other out of a lineup.

But that’s okay, because online, assuming we’re all telling the truth – and we must make that assumption -bloggers have turned this huge planet into a neighborhood of relationships – friendship, business, and everything else, deep and lasting, and proof positive that we don’t have to know what people LOOK like, to know what people ARE like.  Most bloggers have found and made wonderful, genuine friends via blogging.

Our blogrolls and readers are full of people we wish lived next door to us, or even WITH us, because we’ve come to love them as dearly as though we met for lunch daily.

You know, we’re all just so BUSY.  Most of us work and raise children and try to nurture them and a marriage and our friendships and our talents all at the same time.  Many days, something’s gotta give.  With blogging, the conversations can wait till we can get there.  Bloggers are friends who don’t put any kind of time limitation on us.  We are here, and we’ll be here tomorrow if you can’t stop by tonight.

Blog World Expo excites me.  Bloggers will be there.  BLOGGERS!  People who, well, KNOW!  They KNOW.  Blogosphere neighbors who sit on each other’s virtual sofas several nights a week will get to sit at each others’ tables for real.

For real!!!  Then again, the Blogosphere is real, too.  Blog World Expo excites me, because it is the best of both worlds.

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