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Short Posts While on Our Make A Wish Trip

Short Posts While on Our Make A Wish Trip

While we are gone on  Abby’s Make A Wish trip, I still want to post on the blog but I’ll do short posts instead of long ones. I would love to answer some questions for you since they are usually great for short quick posts. What questions do you have about blogs, blogging, writing, photos, graphics, online business, Internet, technology or chocolate chip cookies? You would be doing me a big favor if you could leave question or two. It would give me something to write about without having to develop longer instruction-type content. Blessings!...

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Question: What About The Links People Leave In Comments On My Blog?

Question: What About The Links People Leave In Comments On My Blog?

Question: I am a MckLinky subscriber and an amateur blogger. I have a question for you- the professional!  I have a blog (www.homemakerchronicles.com) that I am attempting to have some advertising and make a little money at. On my sidebar I have included a section with all the information a privately-owned business site would need in order to advertise with me.   I charge a small fee for a button or text link on my sidebar. How do you deal with people who leave comments and enter their business, blog or ad link into the comment. I don’t mind if people put their blog links in that box, but I am trying to make some money off of my blog and when people continually “advertise” their business in the comments section of my blog I can’t make money. I can manually remove that link, but I didn’t know if you had some advice for me first. – – – – – – – – – – – Brent’s Answer: First, why can’t you make money if people leave appropriate links in comments? If your website has the traffic, content or value necessary to attract advertisers, then links in your comments will make no difference. Next, it is common etiquette to allow a link or very short tagline to a blog or product with each sincere, relevant comment. Spammers and Robots However, it’s common today for spammers, automated software or very low paid foreign companies to leave thousands of comments with spam links. Most of them will say something generic like “great post!” or “love your blog!”.  You’ll recognize these techniques because the comments are very general and repeated over and over again. It won’t take a new blogger very long to get the experience needed to spot these types of comments. MY RULE: If a comment is not sincere, relevant to the post, and substantive, I delete it*. *Of course that only applies to comments with links in them. If a general reader leaves a comment and says “Great post! I loved it!” and leaves no link, then it’s not spam (usually; sometimes it’s just creatively disguised spam). If the comment comes from a reader who frequently comments and you know them by “name”, then a short “loved the post” is not spam. If one of my loyal readers say “thanks Brent, cool post!” AND left a link, I would leave comment that because they’ve earned it by their repeated commenting and loyalty to my blog UNTIL…. they started abusing the privilege and just spammed me all the time. It’s a Balancing Act In the end, it’s your blog and you can do whatever...

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Five Ways to Make Your Content Easier to Read & Find

Five Ways to Make Your Content Easier to Read & Find

No matter how good your content is, if it is not laid out in an easy to read format, you risk losing your readers, and sacrificing valuable exposure in search engines. Ask yourself: does a quick scan down my page give a new reader irrefutable evidence of what the content is all about? You typically have one shot as a reader scans your post title and section headers which will quickly answer, “this blog post is about xxxxxx, I think I’ll stick around”. While your loyal readers might slog through a dozen paragraphs of plain text, new readers will not invest the time and HOPE they like what you have to say. As you look down the page of your blog do you require the reader to labor through long sections of text and “mine” the subject matter for themselves? Do they have to read an entire post before finally discovering they may or may not have cared about what you were saying? With the exponentially growing amount of free content, TIME is becoming the valuable and scarce commodity we are competing for. Readers make ongoing choices about whether or not your content is worth the investment of their time. Headlines, subheads, callouts, lists and emphasis can give the reader what they need to quickly determine “should I invest my time?”. The same structure that allows the readers to quickly scan, also help search engines, researchers, casual visitors and new readers to digest the purpose and topics of your blog resulting in more exposure and a wider audience. Let’s take a look: Headlines Headlines are your first chance to grab the reader and search engine traffic. No matter who GREAT your content is, if your headline is weak, too cutesy or a gimmick, then you probably won’t hook anyone. For educational blog posts like this one, I choose to state simply and clearly what the post is about. Not glamorous, but effective. Here are some examples: Boring: Headlines and Other Formatting To cutesy: Lose’em Before you Git’em Not specific enough: Formatting Your Posts Gimmicky: Hook Every Reader, Guaranteed Subheads Subheads break up your content into manageable sections and allow the reader a quick scan down the page. They get to sample the buffet before filling up their plate. If you have to pick ONLY ONE of these formatting types (besides the headline), I think subheads are most important because they are the roadmap, the signage, the summary of your post. If you have to pick only one of these beside your headline, subheads are the most useful. Callouts A callout is something you… call out. It can be like what I just did above...

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What Are the Rules For Sharing or Passing On Someone Else’s Blog Post or Article?

A reader asked: I have a blogging friend who’s pretty paranoid about anyone passing on her work without quoting where they got it from, telling when it was posted and contacting her for permission to pass it on. What are your feelings on the ethics/etiquette of passing along a great post without jumping through the hoops of getting permission? I imagine it would be hard for a post to go viral if everyone was getting permission to send it on down the line. Thanks for all your great contributions to the blogging world. – – – – – – – – – – – – You don’t legally need permission to pass on a public post any more than you need permission to hand a magazine to someone else to read. Proper etiquette does call for you to at least give an original link , and if the author isn’t named, it’s good manners to include their name. It’s also an acceptable practice to put an excerpt from a post /article you like on your own blog, maybe make a comment or recommendation, then link to the original. Writers almost universally appreciate it when you share their work. Getting more readers is the whole point for 99.9% of bloggers. If your friend is that particular about her own work being shared, then she shouldn’t be too surprised that her audience won’t grow very fast (unless she just has truly remarkable content).  If she has strict rules about her own content being shared, she should post those rules prominently and clearly at the end of each of her posts. Regardless, no one is breaking a law if they share her public blog content as long as they credit it to her. Seems kind of strange to put content out there on a blog for the general public then be “paranoid” if people pass it on with a link and/or the authors name. The only element that really matters with respect to page ranking, search engines, back links and growing traffic is that the correct link is prominently and accurately included. Maybe she is worried about DUPLICATE content, and someone else getting the “juice” for her content. She shouldn’t worry. The search engines give value to the original indexing of content, not the...

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