And as I was saying…

I have run across a few posts (not many) that start out as if they are talking mid-stream.  Like if your older sister was on the phone and you picked up the hall phone mid conversation. Personally, think this is annoying and bad form.

A blog generally sets out to communicate some idea.  It must be written to communicate whole idea.  You could be talking about pizza, or about how to save the environment, either way you have a message you want someone else to receive and understand.  A blog must be written to communicate that entire idea.

Sometimes a blog is treated as a diary, which is fine.  You can certainly start mid thought in a diary – since it only matters if you get what you’re talking about.  But once it becomes public, that’s a whole new ballgame.

Have you run across blogs that don’t get the whole idea across?  What about ones that do?  Have you seen a difference between the two?

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Letting Content Sit

On July 4th I was inspired.  I saw a James Dean movie that my boyfriend left out of the case and thought, “America is like James Dean, young, reckless and filled with too many drugs”.  Then I thought, “Wow, that was brilliant!  Write a post with that in it right away!” 

Once my thought process slowed from thinking of something brilliant (and yes, you can quote me), I realized how incredibly inappropriate it would be to publish that comment right away.  I mean, to post an insult about America on July 4th is simply bad taste.  Notice, I did not publish any of this until August.

So, here’s a little piece of advice – let your brilliant content sit.  It may seem just too cool to sit on, but do it any way and see how you feel about it in the morning.  Your reaction may surprise you.  This especially goes if you’ve been drinking.  Even a little bit.

Have you ever published something, then later gone “Woe is me!  Why on earth did I publish that?  Delete it quick!” Then realized that millions of people had already seen it since it was on your site?  Share.

An excellent Blogging Book

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger wrote a book (finally) called ProBlogger Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.  I highly recommend it.  It has great ideas for anyone who wants to blog on a professional level or as an expert in a profession. 

Critique of Another’s Blog

Here’s an email I sent to http://readingjunky.blogspot.com/ in response to a request for any suggestions.  This information is useful for other bloggers as well: 

“Hi!
“You have sure been busy on your blog!  I love it.
“If you want to mess around with formatting, I can give you a couple of suggestions.

“- Since blogs put one post on top of the other, your beginning post might get lost in the mix, and it has a lot of good information about why the blog is up.  You could open a text box in Blogger and put some of that info in your sidebar, so if people go, “hmm… why is this blog here?” they can find it easily.

“- On the links, if you want to post a small description as to what each of them addresses, they might be easier to use.  There’s an option for that on blogger, if you open up the box where you put your links and edit each one, you’ll see an option called “name your link” or something like that just above where you entered the link url.  It just would make them a little easier to use and understand.

“- I don’t know if your students have RSS or Feed Readers that they use to subscribe to blogs.  You might want to ask them.  If so, you can go to feedburner.com, create an  account (it’s free) and get the html to put an easy to use feedburning icon on your site.  This will help you twofold – you can see how many people are subscribing to your blog and how many people are visiting it on a daily basis and other stats.  But, if this blog is mostly for your students, you probably should ask them if an easy way to put your blog into their RSS or Feed Reader would be useful.
“(just as a note if this all confuses you and you don’t want to hassle with it, Blogger has an “Atom” feed burning link on the bottom of any given blog page.  Feedburner is better for tracking stats and making your blog slightly easier to subscribe to). 

“Anyway, I hope all this is useful.  Sorry if it’s confusing. I’m happy to explain anything that I can.”

As I said to Readingjunky, I hope this information is useful.

(Also, if you look at her blog now, she took my advice!  What do you know!)

Categorizing

I talked to someone today about her blog and she wasn’t sure about categorizing or tagging her posts.

I am not sure how it works with search engines, but categorizing and tagging posts make your site much more user friendly and navigable. 

Basically, my opinion is that you can design your blog however you want, just make it easy to understand, easy to use, etc.  Don’t make it hard to read, hard to find things, or no one will ever read it.

Tags and categories make your blog eminently easier to use.  I also think that it helps with SEO, but I have nothing that bases my ideas on fact.

What do you think?  Do you like to use tags and categories or find them annoying?  Do you know anything about categorizing or tagging and how it relates with SEO?

Pet Peeve

Why must everyone use the word “powerful” when describing a marketing tool?  Are they Powertooltrying to make you think of a power tool?  I have read and heard that word more times then I care to count in podcasts and blog posts.  I won’t be mean and point fingers… but seriously people… can we please find a better word?  Can’t we all whip out a thesaurus and use a different, perhaps more exciting word?  

I just pulled out the thesaurus and here are some fun options: mighty, potent, effective (that one’s pretty overused too, though), invincible, omnipotent, strong, important, influential (who doesn’t want an influential marketing tool?), stout, versatile, dynamic, hard-hitting…

See!  We can use so many words!  It’s something I think all marketers and bloggers should keep in mind.  Just because it’s the first word that came to mind, that doesn’t mean it was the best word.