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Making the most of ecto

At first sight, ecto seems to be a simple desktop client that allows you to author content for your blog. There are a couple of advantages desktop blog tools offer over control panels: You can write entries while offline, keep a local searchable cache of published entries and drafts, use spell-check, manipulate images and movies before uploading, to name just a few.

But ecto for MacOSX (and soon also the Windows version) does even more than that, it can help you to raise your blog’s visibility in the blogosphere and even make a bit of profit. This blog entry will show you how to make the most of ecto.

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What do those Alexa rankings mean …

Have you ever showed off your Alexa rank? Or looked down at someone because their rank was not high enough from your point of view? Unless you really know what those numbers mean, you might want to think again, especially when you plan on acquiring a blog or a web page.

Recently, I have seen more and more bloggers arguing about their Alexa rank, and through that the value of their page. For those of you who don’t know what it is, just visit the site, enter your domain(s) in the search box, and see what you get. [Read more…]

Trying FeedBurner Total Stats Pro on View from the Isle

headerlogo.jpgYeah, I admit it, I’m a metrics junky.  Which is good, since I am the chief blogger for Elytics.com writing on the web metrics blog.  Regardless, I’m also a huge fan of FeedBurner.  I admit I check my FeedBurner stats throughout the day, especially when one of my articles has been picked up by several other blogs.  In spite of being a metrics junky and really wanting to know what content is popular on my blog I resisted trying Total Stats PRO–Burning Questions – The Official FeedBurner Weblog – FeedBurner – FeedBurner Total Stats PRO.  Why?  I’m cost conscious.  I really try to keep my business overhead low.  Then it hit me, as a blog consultant/pro blogger/syndicated writer I really should look into this.  I already set up all my clients with FeedBurner from day one–learning from my own mistake–and I tell my clients check your FeedBurner and other stats to figure out what content is most popular and use this to help guide your content decisions.  It makes logical sense, then, that I should try it myself and see if it’s worth $5/month.  So, over the next 15 days I’ll be checking my stats with Total Stats PRO.  I’ll probably do an initial assessment later today, then one in a few days, etc.
 
As professional bloggers our content is both our calling card and our gravy train.  It’s how we earn our money.  There’s no point in writing tons of articles on topic x if those aren’t as popular as topic y, especially if you’re writing for a client.  There will always be a certain number of articles that you write or publish, things like press releases, that aren’t glamorous and don’t get a lot of attention, but are essential regardless.  Then there are the articles which both you and your client intend to be interesting to a wider audience, those are the articles that I’m talking about.  That’s the important information that I hope FeedBurner can now provide me.  If so, $5/month could be a paltry price to pay to be able to effectively target the content published on a blog by blog basis.  Here’s hoping!
 
I will post charts, tables, etc as appropriate to give you a feel for what I’m seeing.  Because great data poorly presented, is almost as useless as not having it at all.
 
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Tris Hussey is a professional blogger and blog consultant, the Chief Blogging Officer for Qumana Software, and Managing Director of Qumana Services.  He can be reached at tris AT qumana DOT com or tris AT trishussey DOT com.
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Secrets of WP Theming

Those of you who are WordPress users might be interested in Secrets of WP Theming: Part 1 and article by Chris J. Davis.

Blog Statistics Packages

A number of bloggers have recently asked me to write something about statistics packages – particularly to talk about the stats systems that I use and what features in them that I analyse.

I’m happy to do so but I’m not sure how unique my opinion will be. Perhaps it could make a good discussion – so consider this an ‘open mike’. What stats packages do you use on your blog? How do you use them? Which features do you look at most frequently? Share your thoughts in comments below.

My statistics habits

I use two statistics packages on most of my blogs. Both give me slightly different information – both have their strengths and weaknesses and working together give me a pretty decent understanding of what is going on in my blogs on a daily but also a longer term level.

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Blog Pulse Trend Graphs

BlogPulse has developed clickable trend graphs that let you track what is being talked about in the blogosphere.

It would be handy for tracking a topic you’re blogging on. For example covering the story of the transition of Popes the following graph shows when the key moments were.

pope.jpg

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AutoBlogger

I often get asked how I can update my blogs so often – its time to go public. I use AutoBlogger.

Learn more about it from this trailer.

Dashboard Widget – Adsense Statistics Checker

When I commented on the new OSX Tiger (for Mac) I commented that I’d love a dashboard widget that would check my Adsense stats. Well it seems someone else had the same idea and has just released one. It’s a great idea that I’m sure many Mac Adsense publishers will use – only problem is that it doesn’t seem to work yet. I’ve given it a go and get the same ‘undefined’ errors that someone else comments about. Anyway – I’m sure there will be a new version soon enough or someone else coming up with a better one.

Innovative Blog Comment Systems

Wow – look at the innovations that are happening in comments systems at the moment – Peter from Almost Cool pointed me over to the beautifully designed snook.ca’s beautiful blog with its wonderful comments system. It has live preview of comments with yellow fade. Peter also points to the relational comments system over at 1976design.com which enables commenters to relationally link their comments to others in a visual way.

Looking at blogs like these with such wonderful design and innovative ideas just oozing out of them makes my mouth water some days – I can’t wait to see what they come up with next (and for them to roll out some of these systems for the rest of us!).