Ingredients of Effective Blogging – Solitude

Presentation Zen posted a new years message that I missed until today (when I saw a link to it form Pimp Your Work) which hit the spot for me today.

It was a post on Solitude as being an important ingredient for effective business presenters.

Their post included this video:

I think everything they write could be applied to bloggers:

“Perhaps one reason why many business presentations blogs are so poor is that people bloggers today just do not have enough time to step back and really assess what is important and what is not. They often fail to bring anything unique or creative to the presentation blog, not because they are not smart or creative beings, but because they did not take the time alone to slow down and contemplate the problem. I’m not saying that more “alone time” is a panacea for a lack of ideas or that it necessarily leads to more creativity, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you can create more time every day, every week, month, and year to experience solitude. For me at least, solitude helps achieve greater focus and clarity while also allowing me to see the big picture.”

Solitude (or at least time alone to reflect, ponder and consider life and your topic) is one of the first things to go when life gets busy – but if I were to graph my solitude time vs my productivity and creativity levels I’m sure there would be a direct correlation.

Speedlinking 17 January 2007

Visual PageRank Tool

Here’s a fun little tool – Visual PageRank which gives you a quick visualization of every link on any given page.

So on a section of a site like my header you get this visual representation of page ranks of the links there:

Picture 7

I’m not sure that it’s really that useful – but it is fun to see what your own internal pages are ranked at if you have a large list of them like this.

Does Blog Design Matter in an Age of Feed Readers?

Paolo Amoroso sent me an email this week asking:

Why do you emphasize blog design? After all, many users follow blogs via news readers. Is it known what fraction of users use a news reader as opposed to regularly accessing blog sites?

Good question Paolo. There are a number of factors to consider when answering it.

1. The Rise of News Readers – You’re right that more and more people are using news readers to read blogs. I’m finding that the numbers of readers doing this on all my blogs is on the rise (some more than others). As a result there are more and more loyal readers who can be reading your posts but who never actually visit your site and see its design.

2. RSS Readership vs Actual Visitors Varies – The number of readers using RSS and News readers to follow blogs seems to vary greatly from blog to blog. For example here at ProBlogger the percentage seems fairly high (these days it seems that around 60% of PB readers follow the site via RSS). This is for a number of reasons including the topic (bloggers are a fairly RSS Savvy lot) and I run full feeds and not excerpts (so people can read my full posts without having to click through to the site). However on other sites that I run or work with at b5 the percentage of RSS readers to actual site visitors is much lower (it can be as low at 5%).

3. People Still Visit Sites – While RSS readership will probably continue to increase there are still a lot of readers who visit the actual site and who will see your blog’s design. These groups include:

[Read more…]

Speedlinking – 16 January 2007

Still wading through my inbox. Here are a few more links from the last week (more to come).

How Blogs Will Merge with Other Types of Websites in 2007

Chris asks Is 2007 the year for Blog Communities in the wake of a number of blogs adding forums to their blogs in recent times.

I’m not sure it’s the year of ‘blog communities’ as such – but I definitely think it’s the year that we’ll increasingly see blogs merging with and becoming more integrated with other types of websites. It’s already been happening over the last 12 months but 2007 will see it happening more and more.

The experimentation with integration of forums and blogs is one example of this – but there are others:

video and audio – more and more blogs are integrating video blogging and podcasting into their regular posting. This is particularly happening on group blogs and blogs which have serious investment behind them. The Blogging Times is an example of this with a regular video feature.

job boards – the last few months of 2006 saw numerous blogs adding job boards. Expect to see more blogs doing it and to see more services that make it easier and easier to do it.

portals – blogs are (and will continue) to look less and less like the traditional blog and are becoming more modular in how they present themselves – drawing content from a variety of different sources and presenting themselves in hub like manner.

e-resources – I was surprised that there were less bloggers releasing e-books in 2006 than I expected and wonder whether I was just ahead of myself. To me it seems like a natural progression for bloggers to find other ways to monetize their blogs than just by using advertising and by promoting other people’s products via affiliate programs. My expectation is that bloggers will take the content that they produce and repackage it for sale in other forms (e-books, courses and the like).

[Read more…]

I’ll be at ad:tech Sydney in February

Are any readers heading to adTech in Sydney in February?

I’ll be arriving the morning of 7th and flying out on the evening of the 8th but would be keen to meet any others who are there.

I know Des Walsh is going to be there and from what he says Rick Bruner will be also.

I’m going to attend as ‘press’ and won’t be speaking but am keen to hear some of those in the line up (including Des and Rick).

Perhaps we should organize a Bloggers Beer night or something on 7th.

Update: Des and I are keen to do a meet up on the evening of the 7th but as we’re both not that familiar with Sydney’s CBD we’re wondering if anyone knows of any good spots? It’s a Wednesday night and we’ll be at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney at 488 George St so somewhere close by would be great (and somewhere where we can hear each other talk would be preferable). Any Sydney folk got any suggestions?

Thanking Tony…. BTW, he’s joining the ProBlogger Team

I should also publicly thank Tony Hung for his wonderful guest posting here at ProBlogger over the last week.

Tony produced some great quality posts last week that were widely linked to around the blogosphere and which obviously generated a lot of conversation (so far his 5 posts have had around 370 comments left on them – a record at PB for 5 consecutive posts).

Over his five posts he wrote around 10,000 words, he managed to lift ProBlogger’s Feedburner counter up by over 1000 over it’s previous average for a few days there and after being featured on Digg at least once got actual site visitors up considerably too.

Check out the incoming links Tony generated last week on Technorati:

Picture 4-9

Ultimately I was very happy to log in when I returned to my computer yesterday to see the results of the week. Tony went above and beyond what I expected of him and as usual when I have a guest blogger take over while I’m gone this blog improved considerably.

Thank you Tony.

Tony’s Joining the ProBlogger Team

It will be no surprise to anyone after seeing how things went this week to know that I’ve asked Tony to join ProBlogger as a regular contributer.

Tony will be writing a weekly column on Thursdays (that’s Thursdays his time and Fridays my time). His column will have a similar focus to his posts of this last week in that they will help readers to grow and improve their blog.

When I asked him what he wanted to write about Tony said it’d be on ‘good blogging habits‘.

I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with and hope readers will enjoy hearing more from Tony.

Speedlinking 15 January 2007

I’m back from my week off and now the massive task of clearing my inbox and sorting through the many thousands of unread items in my news reader begins.

In doing so I’m going to do a few speedlinking posts over the next 24 hours to catch up on some of the news that broke while I was gone and to point to some of the more useful links that people have recommended. Here’s part 1 of what I missed while I was away:

  • I’m being interviewed on Shoemoney’s Net Income Show on Wednesday (my time – or Tuesday night US time) and Jeremy is inviting people to submit questions for the interview – those of you unable to listen in live can download it later.
  • There’s been quite a few emails in my inbox asking if Google have done a page rank update of some kind. From what I can see there’s definitely been a reshuffle going on.
  • Yaro has been writing a series asking Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Professional Blogger? (3 parts so far) which unpacks some of the issues around going Pro and what it takes.
  • theSandbox has a WP plugin that might be useful for bloggers wanting to rotate ads in their blog called WPAds
  • If you’re in the Amazon Associates program you might well be one of the many publishers who get frustrated with the hit and miss timing on the reports that they give. Some days they are on time, other days they are late and some days they don’t show up at all. Gene at AffiliateBrand has put together a free service to notify publishers the moment daily reports are posted.
  • Nick Wilson has resigned from Performancing and Chris Garrett is the new CEO – while we’d all seen the changes going on at Performancing this past few weeks this was something of a surprise to me. Good luck to both Nick and Chris in the transition.

More speedlinking later today.