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What Makes a Good Guest Blogger?

If ProBlogger was a real estate property, it can probably be likened to a snazzy professional suite in a condo. Top floor – latest furnishings and decor — hip, business-like, but with a comfy feel to it — and a nice view of the world around it.

So, when Darren first invited me to become a guest blogger here at ProBlogger, I was honoured and pleased. It felt like being invited in to someone’s home – someone’s personal space – and genuinely telling me to make myself at home.

And, with just a few “house rules” to follow, I can do just about anything else as Darren’s guest. I can sip peach iced tea in the jacuzzi in a red bikini. I can jump up and down on the water bed. And best of all, I can talk to all his friends and colleagues who come by to see him on a regular basis. Many of whom probably don’t give squat about seeing me anyway. They’re not here for me. You’re not here for me.

But, it doesn’t matter. Darren’s just happy to introduce me and to let me in on the fun. And I think that’s nice.

Nice people deserve nice things. That’s why I wanted to be a good house guest. From the beginning, I kept thinking about what makes a good guest blogger. Even though I had guest bloggers on my own blogs, I’ve never been one. And Darren’s post, ProBlogger – Reflections on Guest Blogging – and the comments that followed – made me think even harder about this.

So, I took notes. Based on comments by ProBlogger readers, these are some of the things that make a good guest blogger:

1) Good guests want to give – not get. We should not guest blog because of what we’ll get out of it, but what we can give to our “host” – and everyone else invited. It’s up to the host, the other guests, and everyone else how they’d like to say ‘thank you’ in return. We don’t impose our ‘thank yous’ through blatant self promotion.

2) Good guests follow house rules. Both the official ones – and the unwritten ones.

3) Good guests like to offer fresh entertainment. No one wants to hear the same joke and story repeated more than once.

4) Good guests keep their promises. We should do what we said we’d do.

Hmmm… So, what else do you think make good guests/guest bloggers?

In any case, it’s almost time to pack up and end the month-long party. I really enjoyed my stay. Thanks! It was nice to meet some of you who managed to say hello. I hope you’ll stay in touch.

And, no matter how much fun I had guest blogging here, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Darren around this snazzy place called ProBlogger.

Friday Fun – Productivity Tips

I’m often asked how I get so much done and I often think, I don’t get that much done. I know I could do more! I’ve had “notes” on this entry for a while, but seeing Darren’s post on Blogging and the Art Time Management made me want to finish it up.

I guess I do get a lot done. I work 8-5 Monday through Friday. I sleep from 12-6:45, workout for 30 minutes then off to work. At night I work out, fix dinner and do dishes from 5:30-7:00. That leaves just 7:00-11:00 for other stuff and 11:00-12:00 to get things ready to do it again the next day. Plus quite a bit more time on the weekends, and some time used at lunch or during lulls when I’m at various places (doctors office, work, parents etc.) This is my normal schedule. Right now it’s on I’ve turned it on it’s ass because my wife is currently fighting cancer. That’s our #1 priority, everything else comes last. Not second, not third, but last. I have a office at home, but I’ve moved out of it with the laptop and do must of my work sitting on the couch with Aeryn now.

There a couple of points I want to make before I get into how I do things. So many people complain about not having time to do stuff, or that their kids get in the way or that they are just too tired when they get home etc. The fact is, if you want to do more, or not even do more, but do something other than your’re doing (maybe your’re spending all your time watching kids, or working in the garden, whatever) then you need figure out what your priority is. You can tell me all day long that you want to be a writer, blogger or web developer and do more, like I do, but if you don’t make it a priority then you’ll never do any of it. If you really want to do it, then do it. It’s that simple. Don’t tell me about why you can’t do it. There are days when it’s hard for me. Don’t lecture me that it’s because I don’t have kids, Aeryn and I decided not to have kids. Don’t tell me you have other things to do. I do too. I just decide what’s most important to me. Watching TV, reading a book, going out to eat, laundry and the million other daily chores, or is my priority writing, blogging and working on my web sites? Sometimes I have just as much trouble getting to what I love to do because of life just as much as the next person. But at the end of the day, I want to be a writer. I want to blog. I want to build up my websites. So, before you decide that you need to get something done, you need to decide what that really is. That will make the rest of the decisions easy. [Read more...]

WOMMA Measuring Word of Mouth Conference

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association is holding a conference July 13 called “Measuring Word of Mouth.” Targeted to those interested in marketing metrics, WOMMA says the conference is the first-ever on measurement, metrics, and standards in word-of-mouth marketing.

It will be held in Chicago. Cost is $295 for WOMMA members, $545 for non-members. I’m happily able to pass on a $50 discount code WOMMA gave me to share with my readers. When you register, use the case-sensitive discount code “Blogsareawesome”

WOMMA Measuring Word of Mouth Conference Web site

List of Blog Networks

I’ve just finalised a revised list of blog networks and posted it here at The Blog Herald for those interested, but I thought I might share a few more thoughts on the subject.

Blog networks are growing. I originally wrote the first version of the list on the fly because I’d noticed that there seemed to be more networks emerging lately, and thought it would be an interesting thing to do. I didn’t realise however just quite how many there were, and the amazing diversity available on them.

People talk about the power of blogging but its only (if you’re like me) start seeing numbers that the influence of blogs, even in this case corporate and network blogs, can and are having.

Let me guess a figure: combined traffic for all the blog networks on the list..at least 50-100 million page views per day, if not higher again. If every blog network on this list combined you’d deliver a media company that would potentially have enough long tail influence to be a major, multi-billion dollar company spanning 4 continents, employing hundreds (if not thousands) of people and reaching directly and indirectly to at least half of all internet users on the planet every single day. Hype? look at some of the figures in Alexa for the blogs on WeblogsInc, Gawker and the Ist network for example. Take a look at some of the other networks; Shiny is making big inroads in the UK, some of the non-English speaking blog networks are trailblazers in Europe and making big inroads. And here’s my next prediction: Jason Calacanis is potentially the next Rupert Murdoch of the blogosphere (sure without the famous war correspondent father and without being born in Adelaide but you get the drift…). The blog networks keep getting bigger and bigger and Calacanis is at the top of the pack. I can feel a flame war coming on with this, but none the less as a reader I challenge you with these facts, take out the hype in the blogosphere and look at the figures, blog networks continue to grow, continue to become more and more influential, and as a consequence blogging will change the world as we know it.

Looking For Online Revenue Bloggers – ReveNews

ReveNews is a trusted, unbiased source focusing on Internet related industries such as online marketing, SEM, affiliate marketing, retail (e-commerce), analytics, spyware, blogging and much more. ReveNews authors consist of highly respected thinkers, commentators and business people who have real experience and insight. ReveNews readers include industry gurus, top-level executives and CEO’s, plus many of the industry’s top net-repreneurs; all coming together to create a global Internet community to distribute, discuss and analyze the industry at hand.

Interested in writing for us? Applications are being accepted now.

“I was standing in line at an industry show when someone grabbed my arm and introduced themselves saying they read my blog at ReveNews all the time and wanted to ask a question. Turns out it was a senior developer from Google. He couldn’t say enough about the good things he reads on our site. Pretty cool. And a nice contact to have in the future.” – Wayne Porter, ReveNews Blogger

FeedBurner Stats PRO–It’s a great value and valuable!

FeedBurner chartIt’s been over a week since I turned FeedBurner’s Stats PRO on for View from the Isle’s feed.  The chart at the right shows the data for the post about trying Stats PRO on View from the Isle.  So, what do I think?  Well, it isn’t perfect, but it is a keeper and worth the $5/mo.  Since without it you can’t tell what content is most popular from your feed only gross circulation numbers, this add-on is required.  Oh course you don’t really get your maximum value unless you are at the maximum feeds per cost unit.  So I’m tracking three feeds for $5, which is better than 1 feed for $5.
 
There are limitations to this data set.  It doesn’t, it can’t, include direct links to your post from other sites.  It only tracks that pass through the feed (like Technorati).  So you still need your Blogware or TypePad stats as well.  Also you’ll notice the steep drop-off in this article’s data.  I’ve found this pattern repeated for all my other articles, but if I look at my Blogware stats there is a stronger baseline persistence.  This is the direct link gap.
 
Which brings me to my concluding point.  There is a real market here for holistic blog stats.  Something that really pulls these two data sets together.  Frankly, I think leaders like TypePad and Blogware should be licensing the API and providing this service to their subscribers.  I’d really like to only have one place to check stats every day.
 
FeedBurner Stats PRO.  I like it, I’m going to pay for it, but it has room to grow.  There needs to be some better connectors to my blog’s data and a little more detail in the link data.  Still it is a nice improvement.
 

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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What If No One Answered The Call?

Last week I published a post on moving the discussion to conversion. Thinking about that post and associated comments a bit earlier, a related thought crossed my mind – What is no one answered your call to action?

What if no one ever bought, no one ever registered, no one ever clicked? What if all you ever got from your blogging was the satisfaction of knowing an audience of readers thought your blog was interesting – interesting enough to read and comment occasionally, but not interesting enough to heed your call to action.

Would you still post? Why?

More thoughts on defining blog (but much more intelligently put!)

It seems my “I goofed” post, or rather my attempt to explain the difference between a web site and a blog has got some folks thinking. Taughnee at endeavor creative (do you have any idea how hard it is for a Canadian to spell endeavor? I spell in endeavOUr every time!) has a very interesting, totally relevant story to share. It’s a fun read too.

EDIT: URI is fixed.

Blog Saturation? Is it still bleeding edge?

At work we do a bit of blogging. My boss still doesn’t really grasp the concept of what a blog is, but now he wants to host blogs for a niche group. The problem is, he doesn’t think anyone knows what a blog is and doesn’t want to use the word “blog” in the title. Perhaps in the tagline.

It seems to me “blog” is reaching saturation. It was the word of the year last year and there are just to many people blogging for people not to know. But the real question I guess is really do they know that the word “blog” is what kind of sites they’ve been seeing a lot of lately. With the popularity of MSN Spaces, Blogger.com, Typepad and others, is the word “blog” that important in letting people know that’s what we are offering?

In the next few weeks we’ll be rolling it out and I was just wondering how important the word “blog” is to the branding of “blog hosting” and describing what it is.