Your Blog Name Decides Who Your Blog Is

December 20, 2009

Many of you may treat your blog simply as a blog. And before you all say that chickens are flying, the world is coming to an end if a blog is not a blog, I admit that, technically, a blog is a blog. We should all keep that in mind in our normal life, lest we spend too much time on our blogs. Even if you work full time on it, I would still advise you to not let your blog control your life, but instead control you blog. However, I am speaking from the standpoint when you are working on your blog.

A Blog is More Than Just a Blog

People, maybe you are including, treat their blog as if it doesn’t really matter, they don’t really care about their content, etc. It’s just a blog, after all.

However, if you want to be successful, and if you don’t want to be than I strongly suggest that you quickly navigate away from the page and turn to something that interests you, since I only want to give you content that is useful. If you are wasting time with something that is not useful, we are simply losing time.

In real life, I concede, a blog is a blog. It’s silly, irrelevant, etc., unless your blog is extremely useful, in which case you probably shouldn’t be wasting your valuable blogging time here.

On the internet, though, a blog is EVERYTHING. As Darren Rowse points out in this video, you may be on other sites, called “outposts,” but you are judged by your “home base” which is your blog. It is what you are known by; your reputation, your position on the internet, and more directly affecting your life, your income.

Your Blog Title

Your reputation is what drives traffic to your site. If you have a great reputation and are well respected, then people will probably check you out. However, if you have a bad reputation, then why would anyone waste their time?

Yes, a lot of that reputation stems from your content, and that is the most important thing, bar none. If people like your content, though, and tell other people about it, they will most likely mention the name.

Imagine if someone told you to visit a blog about blogs called aBlog. While it may be a creative name, in my opinion, people won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a good name.

People Judge a Book by It’s Cover

I know that it is repeated all the time to not judge a book by its cover. However, as human beings, we always have an opinion. For example, if you saw a book cover which was blank, you would probably not want to buy it. If it had an awesome title, however, a cool picture, you might want to buy it.

You are Selling a Product

Even if you are not physically selling a product, you need to think of your blog as a business, as if you are selling something. Your blog is the product. If you saw a commercial which advertised a product called “cheesy cheese,” would you buy it when you wanted cheese? I didn’t think so. People go to the internet because they want to have fun and value. If your blog title isn’t good, then people will most likely be running away: There are plenty of blogs with great titles, just as there are plenty of products with great titles. Even if you have great content that people are raving about, there are plenty of sites like that. People will flock to the good names and the bad names will be left in obscurity. You will never become a HUGE success.

So, what do you want to be remembered for?

Update: I made a video on this.

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Choosing a Blog Title Series

December 14, 2009

Hey guys, if you’ve ever started a blog, then you may be able to relate to the following experience:

You’re at your purchase, excited for your new blog. You’re already thinking of ways to customize it, make it better, dreaming up post ideas, etc. And then, you come across something in the form that stops you in your tracks: Blog Name.

People often get scared when they have to choose a blog name, because they know that it will define their blog, set them apart from all the rest.

In fact, I have noticed that it doesn’t really matter how good your content is if you don’t have a good title.

For example, imagine if Darren Rowse’s fabulous site, Problogger.net (insert link) was called something totally different, something really bad, let’s say ABlog. Most likely, no one would want to read a blog with such a lame name. However, since his name is good, relevant, etc., he uses that to leverage his blog when he’s advertising it.

It is a tough decision, so I’ve decided to make a series of posts about how to decide your blog name. I will put the links as they become available, good luck!


In Blogging, Customization is Key

December 13, 2009

In blogging, everyone always focuses on content. “Content is king,” or “Content is key,” are frequently said in the blogosphere. And that is absolutely true. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, unless you have good quality content, then you why would anyone, including you, want to read your blog? Bloggers are some of the most self-centered people that I’ve ever met. Not because they think that they’re great, although that is often a problem, but because they spend so much time reading their own blog, agonizing over their content. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I’m sure we all do it to some extent. When you’re reading it, though, I really prod you to look deep into your heart, your brain, and your soul, and ask yourself the following question: “Would I want to read this?” I know it’s a tough question, because it’s almost impossible to judge yourself. In videos, I’ve given up on it, since to me it seems like a lost cause. Content, however, is different. Just read it. See if you find it useful. If not, then why would you want to post it?

I’ll focus a lot on that in the future, but today I want to approach the issue from a different angle, an angle that says the following: Customization is key.

Looking at it from a Different Angle

Now, before you dog on me, saying things like “Oh, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” I want you to think of it from a different perspective. Imagine a door that has three locks. One of them is a padlock. Those three locks, as you might’ve imagined, represent what I consider, the three most important things in blogging: Content, which is the padlock, marketing, and the look of your blog. You need all three keys to open the door, not just one or two of them.

There are Exceptions

Of course, as always, there are various exceptions to every rule, even murder (The Boston Massacre). Blogging is no different. Yes, it is possible to get traffic and become popular without all of these three things. The only way to do that, however, is to do two of the things really well or one of the things AMAZINGLY well, which is very unlikely. Okay, if your content is really all that, then maybe you don’t need to worry about customization as much. However, I’m talking to the average blogger, and the average blogger isn’t going to have that type of content. If they did, then all of the blogs would be equally popular, but we all know that is not the case.

You Need to Compensate

If you don’t have that type of content (if you think that you do, please e-mail me your URL so I can check out the site and give you suggestions), then you need to make up for it. Did you know that the average time spent on a blog is just a bit over one minute? That is also most likely raised up by blogs that they already know and like. If you were talking about first time blogs, I’m not sure that I would even want to know the average time.

People’s First Impression Usually Sticks for a While

You probably know this, but in just over a minute, most people don’t change their impression of a blog. Usually, they’re either sold or they’re not, at least for the time being.

Where does an Impression come from?

First impressions come from the first thing that they see. If they are looking at your blog, they would see your design first. If you cannot customize your design, then how will it be something that people will want to see?

Free Webhosts

Most free webhosts, not all, do not give you much customization in your blog. Some of them, like Bravenet, my host for years, do, though I used a paid version of it, but it was very cheap. The point is that these webhosts do not give you the freedom to do whatever you want. For example, on most free hosts, you cannot put in ads. That is a HUGE disadvantage if you are trying to make money. Not only that, but how are you possibly going to make money if you can’t get anyone who likes your design, and therefore your blog?

You Need a Paid Host

Based on just that information alone, I would advise I paid host. Not just any paid host, but one that offers you complete customization and control over your blog. Granted, you will still need to know basic code, which I will talk about in a future post.

The first impression that your readers get from looking at your design is one of the most important pieces of your blog. What will your readers first impression be?

Update: I made a video on this:


Speech Recgonition Software

December 10, 2009

For weeks now, ever since I say the video below, I’ve wanted to switch to Speech Recognition Software. No, I’m not using it right now. However, it is downloading at the time that I write this. In fact, as you are reading this now, I am most likely using Dragon Naturally Speaking. In honor of my switch, here’s the popular video that explains everything that you need to know about Speech Recognition Software, by Jon Morrow:

Speech Recognition for Bloggers — The Ultimate Guide from Jon Morrow on Vimeo.


Leave an E-Mail Address on Your Blog

December 10, 2009

Hey guys, today I would like to address a small thing in blogging, but we all know that if you do a bunch of small things, they will turn into something big over time. As an example, did you know that if you write for just fifteen minutes a day, in a year, you will have written an average book? Of course, it will not be very good because it won’t be edited, but you get the point.

The “Big Thing”

People are always looking for the “big thing” that’s guaranteed to increase their traffic.

There is no Big Thing

Aside from the normal things which you most likely already know, and that I’ll be covering later on this blog, like producing good quality content, promoting your site, and making a good first impression, there are many things that you can which don’t seem like much, but will make a HUGE difference in the long run.

The Immortal Power of Bloggers

You may not know it, and you probably wouldn’t believe me, but there’s a good chance that there are people out there who think of you basically as a God. They believe that you are great, produce good content, and would love to interact with you.

Protecting Your Privacy

A lot of people, you are most likely not one of them, but a lot of people do not like people to know their personal details. I’m not talking about your name, but specifically about your e-mail.

All the Information is Out There

It may seem scary, and I’m not trying to scare you, but the truth is that with Web 2.0, anyway can find out where you live. That’s right, anyone, even a murderer. There are various websites which all they do is display all the information of people. If someone really wanted to find your information, they can do it.

Don’t Be Too Giving

As much as I know that anyone can find out about you if they want, I also believe that you should not openly give away things such as what city you live in, what your phone number is, address, etc., just so that less people will know. After all, the less creeps that know where you live, the better, right!?

Make Sure that People Can Contact You

People who like (or even don’t like) your blog may want to contact you. Not just on Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, etc., but actually have a personal conversation without anyone else reading or “listening.” This used to be impossible, but today, I would certainly have to say that I don’t know one person under 90 who doesn’t have e-mail. That’s just the way that it goes these days.

Leave an E-Mail Address

It may seem very simple and obvious, but many people don’t leave an e-mail on their blog (mine is buildingabetterblog@gmail.com). I usually think so highly of people whose blogs that I read that it doesn’t even cross my mind that I might actually be able to speak to them via e-mail. I’m starting to realize, though, that these are actual people who check their e-mail, who will write back. It’s not like they’re Michael Jackson (maybe not a good example because I’ve heard that responded to all of the fan mail that he received), but regular people like you.

People view you like that, and they will want to talk to you if they have any questions or concerns or comments. If you don’t encourage people to e-mail you, or at least talk to you in a way that you will respond, they will get annoyed, and feel like you are shutting them out. This may lead to the loss of a valuable reader, and we all know that we need as many of those as we can get!

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New Videos

December 8, 2009

Hey guys, things have been so hectic lately with my launches on YouTube and Twitter respectively that I’ve been forgetting to add some of my videos to my website. So, I just wanted to let you know that from now on I’m going to update them and put them on my website as soon as I make them. If you scroll down, you will find them on this page.


Twitter Search

December 8, 2009

As I go on Twitter more and more, and I’m on it a lot these days, I’m constantly discovering new features. One that I’ve found to be one of the most useful so far is called Twitter Search. Here’s my guide to how it works. Also be sure to check out this video, made by Common Craft.

  • Everyone is on Twitter, and since it makes up a large percentage of the population, if you look at all of their tweets together, you can see people, news, and trends

People love finding out about other people. You may be skeptical at first, but it is the truth that there are people on Twitter who genuinely hear what you want to say. However, on Twitter, you don’t talk normally, but 140 characters at a time. This uniqueness makes people get straight to the point, which is a rare practice among bloggers. People feel empowered by knowing that other people want to hear what they have to say, and they love documenting their life. Another great benefit is that not only do people read your tweets, but you read other peoples. Since so many people are on Twitter, it has become a great way to find people, news, and trends. The reason for this is that, first, for people, that is, all that we have tweeting. (Well, actually we have programmed computers, too, now!) If you want to find anything out about anyone on Twitter, just follow their tweets. Also, all tweets are technically news. Of course, I’m using the term ‘news,’ loosely, but what someone may find boring another might find interesting and exciting news! If you put all the tweets together, you will be able to see the news of the world. And finally, maybe it should be number one, trends. Trends are what everyone wants these days. People want the newest and coolest stuff/news/etc. With Twitter, the most commonly used tweets go on a sidebar on your Twitter page, so that you can know what people are tweeting about.

  • Twitter search captures all of the tweets together and categorize them. It lets you search for tweets that are relevant to your search term

One of the great things about Twitter is that it let’s us capture this important information in real-time. It is done with a program called Twitter Search, and whenever you enter in a search term, it takes you to most relevant and updates to date tweets involving that term. For example, let’s a customer wants to buy a mouth piece from a store called Marilyn’s Mouth Piece’s. By entering in the search term, the newest results would come up. It would let her see what people think of the mouth pieces, their news, and the trends that seem to go on in her store. You can also save the search to track results over time.

This new technology makes it easy for you to find the hottest things, the latest news, and what individual people are saying about a certain topic. Twitter search is certainly a great tool which you can use to your advantage, and keep up to date. So, see you on Twitter, and bye!