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Signatures in Blog Comments

Has anyone else noticed recently that a lot of people leaving genuine comments on blogs have also started leaving ‘signature like’ links to their own blogs at the bottom of their comments? (NB: I’m not talking about links within comments that are relevant to the conversation happening in the comment thread).

I’ve noticed it happening more and more on my own blogs but also others. I’m a little torn on how to respond.

On one hand the comments are definitely genuine, on topic and from regular readers – something I love and want to encourage. On the other hand they have an opportunity to leave their link in URL field of the blog and to leave two is doubling up.

I have no follow tags on most of my blogs so doing it has no SEO benefits – but I still find it a bit spammy and have started emailing people who do it – politely asking them to refrain from doing so but I’d be interested to see what others think of it?

14 Instant Messaging Etiquette Tips for Bloggers

One of the best parts about this blog is that it puts me into direct contact with hundreds of bloggers from around the world every week. This happens on a variety of levels – comments, email and increasingly Instant Messaging. I have my IM details on my about pages which is a great thing – but also at times a frustrating thing.

I don’t want to come across as a grump – I really do enjoy the interaction that I have with readers – but after a week where I’ve had almost 50 IM conversations with people I’ve not had contact with before I’ve decided it might be worthwhile coming up with a list of Instant Messaging etiquette when contacting other bloggers for the first time (let me emphasize that the majority of those who have contacted me this week have not inspired this post). I’ll also admit that I’m not always the best on IM – I need to learn to turn mind off more when I don’t have the time to chat.

Here’s my Top 14 Instant Messaging Etiquette Tips for contacting Bloggers:

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Travelator Blogging

TravelatorWarning – Tangent Ahead

The Travelator is a wonderful invention. There is nothing better than rushing for a flight at an airport and seeing that the long walk to the departure gate is going to be cut down by jumping upon one of these moving sidewalks.

On a recent trip overseas we were lucky enough to find ourselves with the use of a Travelator on our way to passport control at Singapore’s airport – as I used it I realized that different people used it in a variety of ways. There were basically three types of approaches that I observed:

Self Powered – The first group completely ignored the Travelator. For whatever reason – they decided that they wanted to get where they were going under their own steam. Perhaps they wanted the exercise, perhaps their destination was halfway along the travelator or perhaps they were too proud or even scared to use it.

Free Loaders – The second group saw the Travelator as a chance to take a break from walking. They rested their luggage on the ground, stopped walking and let the travelator do all the work. While I didn’t join them – I could understand why they did it – after hours on a plane the last thing you want to do is go for a long walk while weighed down by luggage.

Power Walkers – The last group of people was the group I belonged to, we got on the Travelator and walked as fast as we could. The travelator was simply a tool to double our speed and get where we were going faster than would be possible under our own power. This group not only use the power of the travelator but they utilized their own ability to propel themselves forward.

Ok – so what do travelators have to do with blogging for money?

As I’ve worked with a variety of bloggers over the years I realize that many of them fall into these same three categories. This analogy is still forming in my mind so be gentle with me – but let me explain:

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How to tell your Partner you’re going to be a ProBlogger

Chrish has posted an interesting post over at Quertyrash titled ‘How do you tell your better half you’re going to be a pro-blogger?‘ He writes:

‘Was just chatting to a friend and told her:

How do i tell my wife?!! “It’s okay dear, I’m just gunna play on the internet for a couple of years to see if i can make some money”

Somehow, I can’t see my wife going for that…’

I can speak a little from personal experience on this topic. My wonderful partner’s name is ‘V’ and she has been a massive part of my blogging journey in an indirect way. While ‘V’ has never had a blog and rarely reads any that I write – she has been incredibly supportive of me building up this business – particularly in the past 18 months. How did we get to this point? Well to be honest it’s been a bit of a journey and I would give the following advice:

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Red Cross Donation Button

Red-Cross-1

Quite a few people have asked how they can put a red cross donate now button on their blog like the one that I have in the upper right hand corner. You can simply do so by following the instructions on Brian Alvey’s Weblog.

Found via Jason

Six Figure Blogging – How Long?

One of the most common questions I get asked when people hear about my blogging earnings is ‘how long has it taken’ to get as far as I have?

The short answer is that it’s taken a considerable amount of time. I’ve been blogging since November 2002 and started to experiment with Adsense in September of 2003 – two years ago.

You can see from the following graph (of my monthly Adsense earnings since September 2003) that the growth has been pretty steady with a couple of blips along the way. The first ten or so months were very slow going but the growth since then become quite exponential as I’ve been able to dedicate more and more time to blogging and have learned more about how to get the most out of Adsense.

The motto of the story is that it takes time. As I often say – if you’re not in it for the long haul you’ll probably never see significant earnings.

Earnings-Graph

PS: every time I use a graph like this people ask how I made it – the answer is Keynote – an Apple Presentation tool like Powerpoint.

Spring Clean Your Blog

Spring has Sprung here in Melbourne and so it’s an appropriate time for Spring Cleaning for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere. Duncan is extending his Spring Cleaning to his blog at Quick spring cleaning tips for your blog which includes a variety of ways to freshen up a blog:

‘Its the first day of Spring here today in Australia, and although its still fairly cool, September in my neck of the woods means that the 6 months it rains here will soon come to an end, it will be warm soon, and I’ll be a whole much more happier person (mainly because I hate winter). So what better time to write a quick spring cleaning list for blogs, but don’t despair if your North of the equator, because spring cleaning your blog(s) can be done at any time of the year: indeed I find it helps me particularly if I get into a rut, and as they say sometimes a change is as good as a holiday!’

Continue reading Quick spring cleaning tips for your blog

Scoop Blogging

Nikon-D200-Tm-1Sometimes it is really fun to be a small time blogger because it can free you up to do things that a lot of the bigger websites in your niche are unable to do.

For example – my Digital Camera site is one of my bigger blogs – yet in comparison to some of the biggest digicam website our there it’s very small. This doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally beat the big sites at their own game though. Today is an example of this.

This afternoon I had an email from a reader with ‘connections’ who gave me information on a digital camera (the Nikon D200) which has been rumored to be coming out for 12 months now. It’s a camera that everyone has hypothesized about but which there have been few firm details on. So when I got a picture and specifications (still unconfirmed but looking pretty solid) as well as a few other facts that indicate the information is reliable I posted about it on a Nikon D200 page.

The cool thing about this is that because I’m a smaller site and am not seen as a major player by the major digital camera manufacturers I do not have any of the non disclosure agreements with them that most of the other bigger sites have. I know that most of these sites will have information on this new camera days before it’s announced – but that legally they are bound not to mention it on their sites until the official release date (rumored to be 1 September).

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There’s a Hole in My Blog? – Holistic Blogging

Old Rusted Bucket-1“Your blog will only ever be as good as it’s weakest component.”

Warning: Tangent Ahead

Imagine you’ve been given a task of hauling water from one place to another (over a long distance) – but that all you’ve been given to do the job is a rusty old bucket which has multiple holes in it. There are holes both low and high on the bucket which make transporting water a real challenge.

You’re given materials to patch some but not all of the holes in the bucket. Which one’s would you fix?

There are a number of ways of approaching this problem – you could attempt to patch the biggest holes first, you could patch those which are most prominent on the bucket etc…

But perhaps the smartest thing to do would be to make the priority of your repair work those holes which are lowest on the bucket.

The reasoning for this approach is that over time your bucket will only be able to hold as much water as the lowest hole on the bucket. Common sense really and a principle I want to suggest bloggers think about on their blogs.

Your blog will only ever be as good as its weakest component allows it to be.

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