Category Archives: Marketing

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Breaking the “rules” of blogging

If you are doing something online that is against the law, you should be concerned about the police. There is really no reason, whatsoever, to worry about breaking blogging “rules” or dealing with  the blogging police.  I am amazed at how many blogs there are about blogging.  Google returns over 18,000 results for the term “blogs about blogging”.  Narcissistic?  Well isn’t that what blogging is all about anyway?

If you are burned out with your blogging efforts, or if you have been reading the blogs about blogging, considering starting a blog of your own, keep one thing in mind:  If you have good content, the word will get around, and the readers will come.  The “rules” exist to get more views for mediocre content  that probably didn’t deserve any views in the first place.  That’s why you see more blogging instruction on SEO (search engine optimization), formatting, keywords, meta tags, image optimization, lists, and links, rather than on producing quality  content.

If anyone in the world of business could  honestly be labeled a guru, it would be Seth Godin. I admire Godin’s blog. He runs it as a sub domain on  typepad.com, not a self-hosted platform.  There are no well placed, keyword and context heavy pictures, and his posts are not open for comments.  The pundits would probably label this blasphemy.  Seth doesn’t have to worry about SEO, meta tags, and that H1-H2 stuff, because his 600,000+ monthly visitors (343,000 of them unique visitors) probably share his posts across the media, and he probably sells a lot of books and books a lot of big dollar speaking engagements because of his blog.

If you are going to blog, then blog.  Blog about something you are passionate about; blog about something you are an expert at; make it a picture blog if you are into photography.  Don’t get all hung up on self-hosting, custom URLs, plugins, and widgets until you get a feel for producing good content.  Get started with a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com.  But if it doesn’t feel right after a reasonable trial period, it’s OK to quit.  If you get in the groove with your content then it might be time to hone your skills by reading some of the “blogs on blogging.”

5 signs its time to quit blogging

I have juggled with blogging for almost a decade now trying to maintain and post to a real estate related blog and this personal weblog of thoughts, observations, events, tech stuff, pictures, and miscellaneous topics that intrigued me for a moment.  I guess at some point in every blogger’s life, the blogging becomes much more of a chore than a pleasure – the hassles outweigh the rewards. As I make the move toward decommissioning my real estate blog I am thinking of signs that its time to quit.  One of the first rules of blogging is to post lists and get more readers:  10 best…, 12 most effective,  7 reasons…, etc.  Here’s my list of 5 signs it’s time to quit blogging.

1. Lack of readers – you are agonizing over your posts and the stats are showing you are only getting a handful of visitors a month and to top that off, your bounce rate is in the high 70s.  Blogging has just become personal journalling; you might as well be doing it in a Moleskin as wasting the resources putting it online. And, oh, don’t let anyone give that line about the long tail.

2. Lack of passion – If you are doing a topical blog like real estate, you must have passion to crank out interesting content.  Otherwise you find yourself  posting monthly housing stats, and links to interesting real estate stories rather than seeking out the unusual and the interesting.

3. Lack of financial reward – whether you are blogging to build or promote your business or blogging professionally – monetizing your site through ads or affiliations, if you are not seeing suitable rewards, either monetarily or through increased business, name recognition or credibility, it is probably time to move along to another medium that has a better possibility of helping pay the bills.

4. Lack of talent – I know it may be hard to admit, but maybe you just don’t have what it takes to be a blogger. Maybe constructing a sentence is a challenge.  Maybe you just can’t get all that stuff about keywords and metatags right.  Maybe you don’t have the thought patterns of a writer.  Maybe you suck as a blogger.  Don’t hang on and torture yourself, find something else. In my case, I realize that I am a better curator than blogger.   Maybe your calling is sharing stuff rather than creating it. You may get loads of interaction on Google Plus or Facebook and enjoy that type of interaction rather than waiting around for someone to comment on your blog posts.

5. Attitude – You have followed all the “rules” the blogging gurus have taught you, and still aren’t quite where you want to be.  What’s your attitude?  Are you whipped? Tired? Burned out?  Why not join me and try Defiant for a while.

In future posts I want to discuss ways we can share our thoughts and ideas most effectively.  The next post will be about breaking the “rules” of blogging.  I will also share the progress of dismantling my real estate blog.

Do you Yelp?

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Yelp! hit 100 Million users in January, 2013. The local directory and review service has been around since 2004, and for many is the go-to site for choosing services of all kinds, based on user reviews.

Yelp! gives regular folks the opportunity to review businesses from dining, to merchants, to service providers.  Of course, if you are checking Yelp! to find a nearby sushi place or a mechanic in a town far from, the user has to make a leap of faith and accept the assumption that reviews are honest, and that there is no manipulation by either the vendor or Yelp! itself.

In a recent Google+ discussion someone brought up this Forbes Article – Think Yelp is Unbiased? Think Again!!  It bears a look, especially from those of us who have Yelp! business pages.  Yelp! filters reviews.  They are up front telling business owners that they use the filter: “The filter establishes an objective standard against which every review can be measured.”, and the FAQ goes on to explain why the filter is necessary to weed out bogus reviews, BUT the FAQs do nothing to explain what that objective standard is. Continue reading

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