Full or Partial Feeds – Poll Results

Last week’s Poll of the week asked readers whether they use Full or Partial feeds on their blogs (or whether they offered readers the option of both).

The results were very clear with 75% of ProBloggers preferring to offer Full Feeds.

Here’s the breakdown of the results.


Don’t forget to respond to this week’s Poll Question – How many unique visitors does your biggest blog get per day?

Can a Blog Get Too Much Exposure?

Over-Exposed-1Reader question time – can a blog get too much exposure?

I was over at Techmeme earlier today and after scanning through the latest stories there realized that TechCrunch is mentioned over 60 times on the front page. I did a keyword density test on the page and the word TechCrunch was the most common on the page with a keyword density approaching 3%.

Of course, this is partly because the TechCrunch40 conference is going on at the moment so there’s more than normal buzz going on – but I guess it’s made me wonder whether a blog can suffer from overexposure in a niche.

Another brand that could have suffered from this over the weekend was BlogRush which had so much buzz in this niche of blogging about blogging that I saw numerous bloggers complaining that it was being covered too much.

This isn’t a post bashing TechCrunch, Techmeme or BlogRush (I’m a fan of them all) – but rather just me wondering out loud whether there comes a point where a blog can dominate a niche too much and begin to harm it’s brand as a result of it’s over exposure.

What do you think? When does exposure tip into overexposure for you?

If English is your Second Language – Which Language Do You Blog in?

Two weeks back I wrote a post asking whether readers Use American English, British English or do you Swing like the Canadians? – the resulting conversation was a great one with a variety of opinions offered.

It’s time for a new but related question – this time it’s directed at bloggers for whom English is a second language.

Which language do you blog in?

This question is a real one and one that I get asked quite a bit by people looking to start blogs. Here’s one question that arrived in my inbox today from Alonso (no URL as he’s yet to start his blog).

“Hi Darren, thank you for your blog. It has helped me greatly in preparing to launch my own blog. I do have one question thought that I am stuck on. I am from Argentina and speak Spanish as my mother tongue but in researching the topic for my blog have been wondering if I should write it in English to make my potential of greater size. Spanish is spoken by many people but it seems that blogs are read more by those speaking English. What would your advice be Darren?”

Alonso’s question is not isolated – in fact I get asked it every week. I’d be interested to hear what ProBlogger readers think and do? I’m particularly looking for the feedback of those who have English as a second language and who have been confronted with this choice.

Ask Your Blogging Questions Here

Blog-QuestionsOver the coming month or two I’m wanting to get as practical as possible here at ProBlogger and as part of that I’m wanting to base as many posts as possible on real questions from readers.

So – the ‘question box’ is open.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer them all – but I’ll attempt to get through as many as possible or to find others who are better qualified than I am to do so.

Any topic is fine – but I’ll of course give priority to those that are on topic to this blog.

Fire away – looking forward to seeing what the ProBlogger community comes up with.

Note: If you don’t want your name/blog to be linked to your question feel free to ask it anonymously. Please submit the questions in comments below.

Do You Use American English, British English or do you Swing like the Canadians?

Spelling-AmericanHere’s a question that I get asked a lot – particularly by non US bloggers who find themselves writing primarily for US audiences:

“I am English so of course spell words such as ‘colour’ the English way. However, I also know that my largest audience is likely to come from America.

My question is this – would I be better off using English or American spelling on my site? My first instinct is to ‘be myself’ and use English spelling, but I was wondering if I would be better off from an SEO and audience point of view using American spelling.” Submitted by Pete

This is a problem that I face constantly in my own blogging. I find that no matter which I go with I tend to get ‘corrected’ by readers. If I use the Australian spelling I find US readers tell me that I’m wrong, but if I use the US spelling I get picked up by Aussies, the English and readers from other countries.

Colour is just one example:

In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK it’s spelt ‘colour’. In the US it’s color and in Canada it’s both (they tend to swing quite a bit over there).

Another common one that I get picked up on are any words with ‘ise’ or ‘ize’ at the end. Recognise or Recognize? Analyse or Analyze?

Center or Centre, Gray or Grey, Catalogue or Catalog, Defence or Defense, Aluminum or Aluminium? The list goes on….

And of course the most confusing one:

  • it’s fulfil in ‘English’ and fulfill in ‘American’
  • but – fulfilling in ‘English’ and fulfiling in ‘American’
  • and to further confuse it – it’s fulfilment in ‘English’ and fulfillment in ‘American’

My spell checker doesn’t know what to do with this post!

What spelling do I use?

To be perfectly honest I don’t have a policy on it. If anything I probably take the Canadian route and swing back and forth (after-all I’m a cofounder of a Canadian company and pay income tax over there – so I figure I’m entitled to).

What spelling do you use?

I’d be interested to hear how different bloggers approach this and want to open it up as a reader question. Which spelling do you use? The spelling of your own country, your readers or some combination of both?


Reader-Quick-TipsSteve from Adventure Money submitted the following reader ‘quick tip’:

Readers form opinions about your blog based on the quality of your content. However, even if your content is great, if your readers have to stop in mid-paragraph to perform some sort of mental gymnastics to determine the meaning of a poorly written sentence, they’re not going to get the most out of your work. We may not all be professional writers, but everyone can make sure their work is free from spelling errors. While you should strive for perfect grammar, at the very least your work should be free of glaring grammatical errors. People will definitely question your authority if you can’t communicate effectively.

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…]

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?

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,, 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.