12 Reasons Why Bloggers Need to Become Better Writers

October 13, 2007

This article is part of Courtney Tuttle‘s Internet Marketers United Group Writing Project

Why do bloggers need to become better writers? Because blogging is about communication. We use words to communicate with our readers. So, why don’t you use words as powerful tools? What if you let them become your enemies? You don’t want that to happen to you, write? Oops! I mean, right? ;-)

You need to become a better writer if you want to do any of the following:

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Two blogging opportunities you shouldn’t miss

October 8, 2007

Now that the how-to-miss-a-great-opportunity thing has come to a happy end, it’s time to let you all know about two group writing projects that *you* shouldn’t miss.

1. Tutorial – Group Writing Project – by Monika, from TheWritersManifestoBlog. Any topic goes, as long as your post is written in a tutorial form. There are going to be 3 prizes.

2. Internet Marketers United Group Writing Project – by Court, from Courtney Tuttle. Hurry up, there’s not much time left. Several spots are still available, and you can write about related topics not mentioned in Court’s list.

If you take part in one of those — or both –, please leave me a comment, and I’ll gladly read and comment on your entries.

How to miss a great opportunity

October 6, 2007

If you want to miss the opportunity to take part in a great group writing project, express your ideas and get some exposure for your blog, follow these easy steps:

1. Stop reading the feeds you’re subscribed to for some days (3 or 4 days will do).

2. Spend that time working relentlessly on your personal projects, connecting with other bloggers and finding new blogs to read and subscribe to (although you won’t be checking your feed reader out for some days, as said above).

3. When you finally take a break from your projects and try to catch up with your favourite blogs’ news, make sure you’re exhausted due to work overload. That will prevent you from taking immediate action if you find out that a new group writing project will be going on for a very limited time.

4. After taking some (more than needed) rest, realise that both of the computers you might use to write an article for that group writing project are being used by other people. Wait until one of them is free again. In the meanwhile, outline the article you plan to submit, think about all the nice details and pieces of info you could add to it and keep on waiting.

5. When one of those computers is finally free for your use, visit the blog that hosts the writing project. You’ll most likely find out that the final list of articles and comments has already been published. In other words: you’ve just missed a great opportunity. It wasn’t really your fault, if we take into consideration the aforementioned circumstances. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’re out.

Why am I writing all this? Because it was only yesterday that I found out about DoshDosh’s Group Survey on the Best Way to Make Money Online. I haven’t checked Google Reader out for a few days, nor had I visited DoshDosh during that short period, therefore I wasn’t aware of that event.

At the time I read Maki’s post I felt much more like a zombie than like a human being, owing to exhaustion (this has been a tough week for me, as I’ve worked really hard on various online projects of mine, not to mention my day job). That definitely wasn’t a good time to post a decent comment nor to write a relevant article. So I just went to bed and slept as much as I could.

A few hours ago I woke up, thinking about the article I wanted to submit and hoping that then final list hadn’t been published yet. When I was finally able to put my hands on a computer, I visited DoshDosh again, and this is what I saw there: 63 Constructive Opinions on the Best Way to Make Money Online. *sighs* Yeah… better luck to me next time (and hopefully a fairer deadline). :-P

By the way, you should really read that post. It contains a plethora of good advice. Among the contributors there are some great guys and girls, like Steven Snell from Vandelay Design , Sean from Warrior Blog, Simonne from All Tips and Tricks, Sucker from Internet Marketing Sucks! and Monika from The Writer’s Manifesto and Blogging Web 2.0.

UPDATE (07/10/2007, 16:48, -3 GMT) –> I’ve made it into the list, thus the modification in the anchor text above. What can I say? I’m happy, grateful and… *insert more positive feelings here* :-)

Additional note: I’ve been meeting some cool bloggers thanks to that group survey. One of them is Matt from Blogging Fingers. As for the previously mentioned bloggers, you are all welcome. I wouldn’t have highlighted any you if you didn’t deserve it. ;-)

Internet Annoyances Part 2 – MyBlogLog and screen resolutions

October 5, 2007

Today I wanted to write about another type of internet annoyance, but since I told you I’d write about MyBlogLog issues, I’ll stick to the original plan.

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What are your top posts?

October 4, 2007

After reading Karthik’s comments, I decided to compile a short list of WordPress plugins that let you display your top posts’ links on your blog’s sidebar.

Top Posts by Category Plugin – Actually lets you display non-categorised top posts as well.

Top 10 Posts With Widgets Support – The name says it all. Click here to find the original Top 10 Posts plugin.

Daily Top 10 Posts – Daily and cumulative post stats.

Rob Neville’s Firestats Popular Plugin – Displays your post stats as tracked by FireStats, and even comes with a sidebar widget.

Disclaimer: I haven’t contributed in any way to those plugins’ development, neither have I personally tested them. Therefore I take no responsibility over possible compatibility problems, lack of updates, bugs and the such.

Internet Annoyances Part 1 – Suspicious Web Hosting Reviews

October 3, 2007

These days I’ve been having a string of annoying moments on the internet, hence this post series: “Internet Annoyances.”

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Two great articles from Pro Blog Design

September 30, 2007

I’ve just subscribed to Pro Blog Design’s RSS feed, and now that I’ve read the ten most recent articles, I’d like to highlight two of them:

When Ajax can Help Your Blog – I’ve been looking for this type of advice for a long time. I’d previously experimented with some of the resources mentioned in the post; it appears that I’ve been doing the right thing.

Is Ad Blocking Immoral? Does It Matter? – For me morals will always be above convenience. Note that I’m a dial-up user and therefore hate slow-loading pages, so I could personally benefit from ad blocking. Yet this is a big no-no for me.

A modified sidebar

September 29, 2007

As you may have noticed (or not), I’ve changed some things on my sidebar. I’ve moved the “Subscribe to my RSS feed” message to the top, added the “Top Clicks” list, removed the “Recent Posts” widget and also said goodbye to the Archives list, which’s been replaced by a full page.

Why have I done all this?

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Unsubscribing from 2 RSS feeds

September 27, 2007

Today I unsubscribed from 2 RSS feeds. If on one hand I won’t be able to track two very famous blogs anymore, on the other hand I’ll have some additional peace of mind.

I know my solitary act won’t make any difference to those people. But quite frankly, I just couldn’t go on supporting bloggers who care much more for their egos than for their peers and/or readers. Sometimes they even border that grey area between ethics and lack thereof. Not to mention the many times they show how envious of other people’s success and ideas they are.

From now on, I’ll be visiting their blogs from time to time to see if I find any helpful tips (for they are competent bloggers, I’ll never deny it). But I won’t subscribe to their feeds again. Neither will I click on their ads, nor will I purchase their products and services. I’ll give them exactly what they deserve: my selfishness.

Increasing comments and links on this blog

September 25, 2007

A recent article on Vandelay Website Design Blog ended in the following question:

What factors have you found to increase comments and links on your own blog?

So I thought I might write a whole article as an answer.

The (much embarrassing) problem is that I rarely get any comments and/or backlinks. Not that I’m entitled to complaint. After all, this is a mix of personal bookmark and public link list, therefore there’s nothing here that my readers couldn’t find by other means. This isn’t a “breaking news” site, it’s only a humble “see-what-I-enjoy-reading” blog. And I don’t promote it very well. What’s worse, I haven’t been networking with fellow bloggers as often as I should.

Still, that’s the key point: networking is my way to go when I want some exposure. Basically, I try to leave relevant comments on other blogs, and it seems that from time to time their owners not only like my comments but also are kind enough as to pay this place a visit. They don’t usually post comments here though (with a few honourable exceptions), probably because they don’t feel there’s much to be commented on this blog.

On the other hand, when bloggers get trackbacks from me (and it happens all the time due to this blog’s nature), they are much more likely to stop by and express themselves over here. I assume it’s a nice way to thank me for the free links. And for this I thank them all too. :)

So far I’ve only talked about getting comments, but the question also dealt with links. How do I get them? Well, here backlinks are even rarer than comments. The very few ones I’ve gotten so far have come from bloggers that, for one reason or another,  decided to link to my posts instead of linking directly to the websites I recommended on each of them.

The honourable exception came exactly from Vandelay Design. Apparently the blog’s active commenters are rewarded by having one of their articles linked on a post, and I have been included in their lastest Weekly Links list. :))) Pity I have no merits at all to get my articles featured anywhere… Anyway, I’ll never forget that moment: being recommended is great! And if you ask me, being (very) nice to your readers is an obvious yet often overlooked way to have them coming back and even promoting your sites for free.