Archive for January, 2010

Branding – what is it and how is it done?

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

No, seriously.  How do you go about branding a blog?

When I think of a Brand I think of Nike, of Google, of Ford.  I don’t think of ME as a brand.  Why would I?  What have I done?  I write a blog, and that’s about all.  So…  How does a person begin to brand themselves? 

John Chow became famous through his blogs.  As did Darren Rowse.  However, if you speak to the average Joe about blogging – they may know about John, but say Darren, and it’s lost on them.  (I’m talking really average Joes here…)  But say “Problogger” and they know exactly what you’re speaking of.

I’m trying to wrap my head around becoming a Brand from the start, rather than waiting until I have a billion readers and am making gobs of cash and then saying that “Daria” is my brand.  On that same note, I should probably think of something a bit more creative than that…

Does a brand need to have a logo?  A symbol to which people can associate to my brand?  Probably.  I don’t know what IHOP’s logo is, but I certainly know what Microsoft’s is…

How do you go and choose something like that?  There is a pretty neat article on Twitter Branding Tips over on the Career Rocketeer blog.  I think I’ll have to check out more of their posts.  Maybe they can help with my dilemma.

**NOTE: This Blog post is a work in progress.  So far, it’s a bit of a rant, rather than a full on article.  I do want to write more, but I feel that maybe I can get some input from everyone out there and incorporate YOUR Branding techniques into my writing.  I will edit it through the next day or so, while I do some more research on what can be done.  

Stay Tuned!

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Day Three – Surround Yourself with Successful People

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , |

I couldn’t tell you where I heard that the first time, but it is something that has stuck with me for years.

In my lines of work, I haven’t really had the *need* for the advice, but I think it had stayed in the far corners of my mind. Though I never really thought about it, in retrospect, I have always had the tendency of seeking out those that know what they are doing.  I look for the person who might be willing to take me under their wing and let me learn from them.

The same should go for blogging! If you take a look around, there are some fantastic blogs out there. There are also some Incredible blogs as well.

Take Problogger, for example. I have mentioned the site before, and I’m sure that many, if not all of you, are familiar with the blog and website. Darren Rowse has some great information that he passes along to the rest of us. John Chow and Yaro Starak are just amazing at what they do, as well. I try to read all of their blogs and emails once in a while, but I am certainly guilty of putting them on the back burner every so often.

On a more realistic front, I like to check in on some other blogs that seem to be on the right track (from what I can see). One of which is called ‘On Blogging Well.’

It has a clean, easy to read style that makes the intricacies of blogging seem that much less confusing.  This blog aims to do some of the same things, or will eventually.  Then there is a blog that I just enjoy reading for no other reason that it is entertaining, and that is Pajamas & Coffee.  The blog author is just plain fun to read – and that is what Daria’s Blog is shooting for.  A good read when you just feel like seeing what other people are doing.

In order to write well, it is said you must read.  A lot.  Read everything you can – not just what is in your comfort zone.  Doing this will take your writing to higher levels, or so it is believed.  Using this line of reasoning, wouldn’t it be wise to read other blogs in order to make your own blog great?  I would say, Yes.  Isn’t this considered ‘surrounding yourself with successful people?’  Again, I would say, Yes.

Okay, I’m sure that all of the blogs I read would not be considered ‘successful’ by some standards, but who cares?  To me, the fact that they have a blog that they post to on a fairly regular basis is a success – and is a step in the direction that I want to go.

Finding a forum in your niche is another great way to get a good support group formed.  Posting in forums that you can relate to, is an asset to your own blog.  Once you become familiar with other members of the group, it is much easier to give and receive information from them – be it positive or constructive.

In closing, I guess I’m trying to say that even if you don’t surround yourself with bloggers (or anyone else, for that matter) who are making millions of dollars a year, surround yourself with people who are *there*; the people who are where you want to be, doing what they enjoy.

They say that if you work at what you love, you will never work again.

Or something like that..

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Do you Comment?

Posted on January 7, 2010. Filed under: Promotion | Tags: , , , , , |

I cannot say that I have ever thought of myself as an avid commenter.  

As I may have mentioned a few hundred times in the past, I’m pretty new to the ‘blog thing.’  I am still learning the ins and outs of the process, and I am loving it.  However, I did not fully grasp the concept of the comment.

In the beginning, naïve lil’ me had only thought of the comment as a plain comment.  It was a little blurb on someone’s blog that I left to let the author know exactly what I thought of the post.  Well, maybe not exactly.  However, it would be a little remark.  And I do know that I am using the word ‘little’ quite a lot in this one paragraph.  I will have to bust out the thesaurus before you all think that I have a really limited vocabulary.

Anyway, it took some time for me to learn just what a comment on a blog post can do!  I have been posting on Daria’s Blog for almost a year now.  Granted, it wasn’t all that consistent – and still isn’t where I would like it to be, but it had some action.  From February until maybe November, I had gotten *maybe* 4 or 5 comments.   FOUR OR FIVE!!!

It was pathetic and sad.  But I didn’t expect much from it, as I wasn’t doing anything in the way of Promotion!  I did not mention the blog on my twitter account, I didn’t have it on a FaceBook or MySpace page,  (Remember MySpace?  Where has that gone?), and I certainly didn’t have a mailing list to say “HEY!  I have a new post up! Read It!”

Well, after putting up a few posts, and reading other people’s blogs, I slowly came around to the idea of commenting.

After leaving a few comments, and seeing people reply, it began to take on more of a ‘discussion’ feel.  In the beginning, I hadn’t bothered to look to see if there were  responses!  Oh, how young I was..   Next thing I knew – people were commenting on MY blog!  I was thrilled!  I had a couple of readers, and they liked my stuff so much that they left their own bits and stories for me to read, and respond to. 

It was through these back and forths that I found IComLeavWe – which was a great find, and I thank you guys for creating such a great concept! 

If you look at my sidebar, you will see this month’s button.  I urge you to click on it, or the link above, and check it out!   It’s a great way to do a little promotion of your own blog!  

The concept is simple.  Add your name to the list of blogs.  When the day comes (January 21st for this month), you choose a few blogs – five is a great number, and you comment on a post that you enjoy.  Ideally, you will also respond to one of the comments on your own blog.  There is also the idea of ‘The Iron Commenter” – which is a crazy, yet admirable quest! 

You would leave a comment on Each and Every blog on the list.  Now, there were over 100 blogs on the list last month.  That’s somewhere around 20 comments per day – to hit every one of them.  INSANE!!!  It won’t stop me from trying, though….

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Day Two – What Posts Appeal to Readers?

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , , , , |

There are many ways to attract bloggers to a post.  I am currently trying to figure out how to work them into my style of blogging.  It is said that spaces bring the eye to areas that a person would want to highlight, or stress. 

Quoting is another way to draw the eye.  It seems that I am much more likely to read a quote that has been separated from the main part of the blog than one that is not.  If the quote is something that appeals to me, or that I can relate to, I am probably going to scroll back up a bit to see why the quote was selected.

Another widely used post type is The List Post.  I am sure most of us, if not all, are guilty of doing a post of this sort.  Now, when I say guilty, I don’t mean that in a bad way…  I just mean that there are days where we just want to post something, but may or may not have anything of substance that we want to get into at the moment. 

This time of year is FANTASTIC for list posts!!!  Just take a look at your Blog Reader, or your feeds… How many ‘Best/ Worst of 2009″ posts did you file through? 

When I first tried a list post, I think it went fairly well.  I didn’t get that many comments, but it was entertaining for me to write.  I had made it semi-geeky, but applicable to almost anyone who has ever seen a movie in their lifetime.  I made it about Super Powers that I would love to have.  It was on an old blog that I had hosted on WordPress.com, before I changed to the hosted version.  For some reason,  it didn’t transfer when I converted. 

This isn’t much of a problem, as I have re-written it and posted it here.  It’s pretty quirky, being that it’s about super hero powers and all  but I hope you enjoy it.

Now, I probably should do a list post here, as well – just to clarify what it is I am talking about.  So, in the interest of teaching, I will not fail you.   I will post a list, and you *will* like it!  Right?      RIGHT???  (Don’t forget, I have super powers, now!)

My List of the Top 5 Most Irritating Things at my Job:

  1. Never seeming to be able to get ahead, no matter what my qualifications are. – Since I have been employed, three four positions have opened up that I have qualified for, well, for the most part.  One of which I received by default, because I worked closest to the person who was fired.  Rock on.
  2. Having to answer the same questions every day – to the same people (new hires do not count) – Really?  You still don’t know how to press the ‘paper clip’ button to attach a file to an email?  Well then, there is nothing more I can do for you.  Here.  Have a cookie.
  3. Feeling like I’m supposed to know everything, though I am told NOTHING – You would probably be surprised how often I get the look of, “Aren’t you supposed to know this?”  or the frustrated eye-roll.  I live at a reception desk while all of you are in the back having actual conversations.  How am I going to know unless YOU tell me?
  4. Not getting the raise I was due, and getting the run-around every time I ask about it – Okay, the economy sucks, but come one.  If you offer someone a new position with more responsibility, that should include more money, right?
  5. Having my kindness be taken advantage of – I am very patient, laid back, helpful and kind.  What people don’t understand, since I am a receptionist, is that I am also *Smart*.  I know how to read people and when they are manipulating me, or someone else.  I don’t always call it out, but I don’t forget it either.  When I see a pile of work on my desk, I am happy to have something to do – but do not want to see a bunch of little pieces of work that I am not technically responsible for.  (Maybe I should print out a copy of my ‘job description’ and hang it on my door…)

Wow..  that was kind of cathartic!  But there you have it, folks  – my list post.   heh.  Enjoy it and use it often!  It’s easier on my eyes! 

 

 

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Day One – What is my Blog About?

Posted on January 3, 2010. Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , , , , |

I am sure that if you are reading this blog, you know of ProBlogger, Darren Rowse.  

Well, I am attempting to implement his “31 Days to Build A Better Blog” program into my blog(s).   There is a workbook out that has more information and different exercises included in it, but at this time, I am sticking with the initial emails that I was lucky enough to receive when I first joined the group! 

The first exercise is to create a tagline that will put (and keep) my blog in people’s heads.  What is the purpose of my blog?

Now, with this blog, that is fairly easy.  I say ‘fairly’ because I am sure that there are a lot of other blogs out there, doing the exact same thing as I am trying to do.  What is that?  Teaching others what not to do when they decide to create a blog!  DUH!    😉

If I had to create this tagline *right now* – which I kind of do – I would say something like,

 “Teaching new bloggers what not to do in the creation of their blogs.”

I cannot think of a better way to describe what I am doing right now, with this site!  So, I guess (for now) this will be my statement!  Now, to live up to it.  I need to use the line to keep you, and other readers, from being disappointed (and bored, of course) when reading what I have to write.  I’m hoping for a good mesh between my primary blog, and the two, possibly three, secondaries that I have begun to play around with – this one included.

I have, and will always, ask what it is that you, as readers, would like to see on this, or any of my blogs.  I only ask that the criticism is polite and constructive.  Is that so much to ask for?    =)

In the meantime, I will go ahead and figure out what kind of statement to make for my other blogs.  It should be an interesting experience…  I do hope you have the same!

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Technoriati Test

Posted on January 3, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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