Tag Archives: blogging

99 ways to die in social media — choose one!

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It sounds like the name of a movie! How exciting. I can picture one social media manager with a gun and another about to die. But, it doesn’t really work like that, does it? There are many ways to sabotage yourself in social media. People do it all the time. The question is, what are we doing to ruin ourselves, and how do we do it? How can we stop doing it? Here is my list of ways to ruin your social presence on the internet.

1. Not posting regularly
If you post five things at the same time and then do not post for a few days, your audience will not grow or be engaged properly. Use an auto-posting software system so that you can post on a regular basis. You might post every four hours, or only during peak hours of engagement which might be during the day. Or you could post twice per hour twenty-four hours a day to attract an interactional crowd.

2. Posting too much
If you post too much, you are spamming your audience. Each social media platform is different. On Twitter I would not post more than 40 posts per day, and 20 is much more ideal. On Facebook I would not exceed 10 posts per day. LinkedIn and Google plus I would do only 5 per day.

3. Posting content your audience doesn’t like
I test my content out before posting it. The first time I post something, it the crowd doesn’t like it, I’ll remove it after an hour or so. If I retweet something, if the crowd doesn’t favorite it at least once, I’ll get rid of it. Post stuff your audience likes — or perish!

4. Monotony kills
If you post the same content or the same kind of content too much, your audience will get bored. Yes, focus on your core industry specific niche, but also have related content from semi-focused specialties. If you specialize in widgets, you can post about the economy, and manufacturing of other related projects as well, plus news and some pretty photos.

5. Not following people
If you don’t follow enough people on social media, your audience will never grow to critical mass. You need to follow as many relevant people as you can.

6. Now following people back
The easiest way to experience slow growth on social media is to fail to follow people back who follow you. They will unfollow you if you don’t follow them.

7. Focusing on too many networks
It is best to focus on a single social media network for your business. I would devote your social media time 50% on blogging, 40% on your primary social media platform and divide the other 10% on all the other networks combined. If one of your lesser focuses starts panning out, you can always change your focus. Social media is always changing, so your primary network today might no longer be benefitting you in a few years.

8. Not having good content
If you have a blog, the number of posts you have is not a critical number. What matters is how many really popular posts you have. If your blog has 2000 posts and 50 of them are super popular, then you can promote those posts regularly on your various social channels and get a ton of traffic.

9. Following the wrong sub-groups (profiles) of people
If you follow people who are relevant to your industry, but from a sub-group that doesn’t interact much, you lose. I attract many people who call themselves “entrepreneurs.” I think the term represents people who lack a day job more than people who run their own business. Entrepreneurs did not share my posts much at all. However, small businesses that were not relevant to my industry were sharing my content as I run a business blog and they are businesses. CEO’s and HR people also shared my contents. Keep track of who is favoriting and sharing and then profile them like they do on the TV show Criminal Minds. I guess being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean as much as I feel it should mean.

10. Asthetic appeal
It is hard to be informative, interactive and also good looking. Publishing good looking photos on your feed is easy. They might not get shared much. However, you will attract more followers (a lot more) if you have breathtaking photos between your posts. Track your progress each way. If you follow 500 people per day, post just tweets for two days, and then publish tweets and amazing photos mixed together for another two days and see how many more followers you got. Please note that weekend traffic is very different from traffic Monday to Friday so do your experiment starting on a Monday.

11. Regurgitate the right amount
Some people publish the same stuff over and over again. That could be a mistake if that is all you do. Others realize that popular content from the past should be shared again, but mixed in with other stuff. The key is to figure out when your crowd is absolutely tired of your old material and phase it out. I’ll favorite my own stuff that gets results. When I post the contents again, I unfavorite it, and then favorite all over again if it did well. That way if it doesn’t do well the 3rd or 7th time around, it will be dropped permanently from the favorite list. This system gets me a lot of traffic since people like my popular posts!

12. Failing to have lists
Lists help me organize posts from my absolute favorite sources. I retweet from my favorite sources regularly. But, I also mix in retweets from sources that are unknown to me if I see something hot. Many people are not that organized. But, Twitter allows you to have lists — so use that function.

13. Failing to interact
Interacting doesn’t work well on my Twitter profile, but the pros say you need to grow your following by interacting. If your crowd likes to mingle, ask them questions or respond to their posts. Get to know them. It is easier in a niche business. But, regardless, try it and see what happens and try different approaches.

14. Posting at the wrong time of day
In my industry, posting at night is fine, but posting on the weekend gets you ignored. For my other Twitter, daytime is the right time and after 4pm is not optimal at all. Find out when your crowd responds most and focus on that window of time.

15. Foreign languages?
If you are multi-lingual, it might be better to pick a language and stick to it. If I see posts in Spanish or Arabic, I am tempted to un-follow such a person as I am weak in both of those languages. I stick to English. You might be better off having two profiles — one for English, and one for Arabic for example.

16. Putting too many followers on a list
If you have lists, but put 4000 followers on a list — you’ve defeated the reason for having a list. Lists are to focus only on specific profiles that deliver high quality focused results. How can you be focused if there are 4000 people on a list? My biggest list has 52 people, and they are all very focused. I have other lists with only about 10 to 12 accounts. Stay focused my friends.

17. Commenting too much
When people see your profile for the first time it is often in a pop up window which shows commentary. If you make a dumb comment on someone else’s post, your new prospects will not follow you. Your commentary needs to be attractive to a stranger as well as to the person who you are commenting to — as long as it is at the top of your feed. If it is buried then it doesn’t matter. If you do comment, post some good material after and spread your comments out.

18. Not sticking to it
The biggest mistake you can make on social media is giving up, or having lapses. If you want to grow big, you have to keep at it. Make it a priority or do it on the side. But, don’t half do social media. Social media needs to be done either 90 minutes a day or 5 minutes a day. Anything in between will waste too much of your time without getting you the right long term results.

19. Photos help get you more attention
If you tweet just text, you get less attention than posting with photos. Picking dull photos won’t help much either. But, if you pick very relevant high quality photos, your account could really grow — so try it. Experiment with different photos and see what happens.

20-99. Sorry, that I don’t have any more ways to die on social media. But, you can see what mistakes you make and learn from them. You can read otherpeople’s recommendations as well.

How to use the right keywords in your blog titles that lead to instant popularity

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Using the right keywords is like having a magic key that opens the door to winning over the hearts of the readers in the blogosphere.

I have written a few thousand blog articles in my career. I’m by no means a professional writer or anything close to it. But, I spend a lot of time looking at google analytics. I use Google analytics, and also try to figure out what works in the Twittersphere as well as the Blogosphere. I used to think that writing interesting articles that were akin to the interests of your audience was the secret. I was wrong! Yes, you need to understand your audience and what your audience responds to, but keywords make all the difference.

Positive Keywords
The guy at the coffee shop in my neighborhood is so interesting. I was talking to him about keywords today. We must have talked about over a hundred topics so far since I’ve known him. I said that the word “fail” doesn’t work with my crowd. He said that the under 18 crowd loves the word fail. They’re only interested in watching people screw up, or fall off their skateboard. But, my audience doesn’t respond well to this word. I won’t get retweeted, and people won’t click on my blog. If I use fail — I fail. On the other hand, if I use the tag #failure on Twitter in a blog about #success, that seems to be okay assuming it is accompanied by some more positive tags too. In short, I learned that my crowd liked words like millionaire, CEO, success, expand, grow, best, good, etc.

How To Themes
In addition to being perpetually positive, my crowd loves nothing more than how to blogs. They run businesses (or want to) and want to know how I think they should create and grow their business. If I have one hundred different marketing techniques, they will read each one if I phrase the title correctly. The minute I’m just giving “good advice” nobody wants it, but if there is a “how to” in the title — it gets read. How to motivate, fixing mistakes and finding solutions to particular problems are blog title fragments that almost guarantee success.

Interesting Content
If every blog article you wrote started with “how to,” I think that people might get bored. But, spicing up your blog with some really interesting and unusual content is great too. Not all of us can think of zany ideas, but I have thought of a few. I wrote a piece about what it would be like if classically trained musicians ran IT companies in India. I wrote another about what it would be like to have your office in the Himalayas. Ideas come when they come, but my audience eats up these interesting ideas. If you have some cool rule of thumb that is easy to remember, that will win over readers too. I wrote a piece about the 2 minute contact rule. It was easy to understand the concept, plus it was catchy.

Pairing Strategies
Using language in a fun way wins over readers too. I wrote a piece called:
The pen is mightier than the sword; But, is flogging mightier than blogging?
The title caught on right away, especially after the drama in Saudi Arabia where a blogger disrespected Islam and was going to get a whooping. I wrote another title called: Good Sign; Bad Sign — what to look for in newly hired workers. Once again another pairing strategy that caught everyone’s eyes.

Relatable Content
If you write a blog article and the readers say, “You’re preaching to the choir!” Then, you have got the right idea. People love to read about someone else having the same problem that they have. If you write about stress to an audience of stressed out maniacs, they’ll love you for it. If you write about job training where your readers are younger workers who need training, they will relate right away. Sometimes I write about my personal experience and start the article with the word “diary.” This is a strategy that works well too.

What Doesn’t Work?
Writing about negative concepts, or things the audience doesn’t care about like politics, the economy, etc. (on my blog — your audience might love those topics.) If your articles are too analytical, that narrows down the audience who care to think that intricately. Additionally, if you write about boring and nagging topics, only dentists and grammar teachers will want to read it. Sometimes ideas that are too goofy backfire too. Humor as a rule is good in writing, but if you use it in a way your audience doesn’t like, then you wasted a good joke on a bad audience!

Never hire a blogger to help you blog; Hire industry relevant people

Categories: Semi-Popular, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These days more and more of us own or write for blogs. There are also hundreds of social media “experts” and bloggers advertising their services on freelance sites hoping to bag their next gig. The question is, which one of them do you hire, and why? I tried negotiating with many bloggers, and the results were horrible. Not only did most of them lack any formal writing background, but they wanted commitments for large amounts of money when I had no indication that they would do good work.

The “What ifs” of hiring a blogger
What if their work wasn’t popular? What if the blogger couldn’t come up with ideas that were any good (none of them could by the way.) What if they weren’t reliable in their work? What if it took too much time to prep them before they could produce their first piece? Can I get a sample? None of the bloggers wanted to invest even five minutes in my cause to give me a few samples unless I would pay them for it. Such a stingy unfriendly attitude! The result was that I didn’t hire even one of these bloggers. I hired a comedy writer instead. He had a strong professional writing background, was really funny, friendly, and appealed to some (but not all) of my audiences! But, what “writers” captivated my audience the best? You’ll never guess.

The disgruntled call center agent
You will never guess where one of my most popular outsourcing blogs came from. It came from a frustrated call center rep. His writing was filled with grammatical mistakes, but it didn’t matter. First of all, my audience is not so particular about nitpicky things. Secondly, I was able to do a cleanup of his work in two minutes. The bigger issue was, the minute I laid eyes on his work I loved it. He captured seven different points of frustration that a call center worker could have and explained them perfectly in a way that everyone could relate to. You could feel his frustration and anguish in every paragraph. I knew the crowd would love it, and they did.

The frustrated call center manager
Two years ago I interviewed this very frustrated Indian guy. He was down on India and down on the entire Indian call center industry. He only would work for Filipino, US, or Central American outfits. After dealing with a hundred or so of India’s “finest” call centers myself, I began to see why he felt the way he did. But, he gave me fifteen ideas for articles to write about. He was an expert at call center metrics, call center marketing, and more. So, by talking to him for 45 minutes, he filled my head with exactly what people wanted to read about. No blogger could do that!

The upset Notary Public
We also run a Notary blog. I create most of the articles myself. We write about Notary marketing, technical & legal issues, Notary comedy and drama articles, and more. We keep it diverse so our audience won’t get bored. My articles are generally popular. But, the other guy who writes popular articles for me is not a blogger — he’s just another Notary. He happens to be smarter, and a lot better organized (not to mention experienced) than the other Notaries. But, he is not a professional writer. He is just a Notary who happens to be a good writer. He also comes up with winning ideas that our readers enjoy reading about.

So, where do I look for a writer?
In the real world, the guy most suited to writing your articles might not have the background necessary to get industry specific content to fill the article. You really need a team. You need someone who can pick great topics, someone who can get relevant information, and someone who can polish your writing work. Sometimes you can do it all yourself, while other times you need help. Sometimes a good social media agency or social media company is the best resource, but not if they hire incompetent or uncooperative employees.

Find people who work in the industry you are writing about to help you. You might have to look hard to find cooperative people, but they are out there. Even if you don’t “need” them, use them anyway to create a diversity of points of view in your blog. Nothing is more interesting than a blog with multiple writers — all of whom have unique and wonderful writing styles and perspectives!

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Want to be popular at blogging? Write how-to blogs!

10 quick factors that differentiate a good blog entry from a bad one

Categories: Semi-Popular, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many people write blogs, but most writers are not that interesting. Even some of the more famous blogs out there have very predictable and dull contents. So, how do you write winning blogs every time? It is not an exact science, but here are some tips.

(1) Having the right photo vs. having “a” photo.
Any blog about blogging will emphasize how you need a photo and how you will get more shares on Facebook, pins on Pinterest, and popularity in general by having a photo. But, having a mediocre photo might not get you much traction. You need to compare photos and see which ones get you the best following. Compare your analytics and use your senses. A good photo makes you say, “awe.” If you don’t have a reaction to the photo you are using, it is probably not the best you can do. Be selective if you want traffic. Thriving on the internet is based purely on how good you are at selecting and/or crafting top content and not on having mediocre photos.

(2) Length matters
I have the habit of jotting my ideas down on my iphone’s notes section. Then I’ll write lots of quick blog entries. This is a great way to experiment. However, most of the quick blogs I wrote that were three or four paragraphs with no sub-headers didn’t get read more than a few times. The blogs that were the most successful were about 500-700 words, and had many points within a greater theme, each with bolded sub-headers above each paragraph.

(3) Uniqueness is a huge factor
Many people write blog entries on topics that have been done to death. This might be okay if you offer a unique new twist on an old theme kind of like how Mozart wrote dozens of variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a child. However, picking unique themes that will be populur to a very general audience is the not so easy to master key to popular blogging. If you are in a niche industry, you might not be able to stay relevant while pleasing the masses, but at least please the masses who have some relationship to your niche market!

(4) Promotion on Social Media is critical
If you do not have a good social media presence, you might find it hard to promote your blog. If you blog regularly and the Google Gods pick you up, then you can get traffic from them. But, that can take hundreds of blog entries to accumulate a significant start with the Gods. It takes time to develop a massive Twitter, Instagram or Facebook presence, so try to master social media as that is one of your keys to getting your blog articles in the door with readers.

(5) Networking with co-bloggers
If you have a proofreader, partner, or comedian who can add some humor to your blogs, this can really help. It makes sense to invest in blog articles that are already popular by sprucing those ones up. There is no point in improving upon blog articles with ideas that didn’t work though or new articles which you are not sure about.

(6) Being too factual seems to alienate readers
There are many bloggers who are great at researching facts and figures. They pride themselves on providing “useful” information. But, the reality is that people want articles that are fun, interesting, or that can change their lives with little or no effort. Yes, a good blog article needs some facts to back up your claims and hypotheses, but being overly factual doesn’t normally lead to articles that get read much. The overly factual articles sit on the shelf.

(7) Articles with many points on a single topic often win big.
Do you see titles such as 8 ways to succeed on social media or 11 ways to get your cat to meao more? These are titles that work. On social media, most bloggers make the mistake of not including unique content in the tweet itself. The result is generic looking titles that I would not invest any reading time in. Blog articles that have a theme and two or three examples do not do well. Longer articles with seven, ten, or twenty-eight ways to for example succeed in social media seem to do better. But, be unique about how you write and promote these articles otherwise they too will end up lost in cyberspace.

(8) Excite and entertain
Nobody wants to go back to a blog that puts them to sleep. You need to find a way for your blog to be easy to read, fun, and exciting. With half of the world’s population now claiming to be bloggers, you have to differentiate your boring content from everyone else’s, so try to be interesting!

(9) Too much advice can be a bad thing
My very best blog articles did the worst. But, why? Because I gave really fine-tuned technical advice for how to do better in business, social media, or in hiring. Too much nitpicky and analytical advice doesn’t usually do well unless your audience demands it. Additionally, I am writing to an average business oriented crowd and not to a high-brow crowd. Sometimes if I write above the level of my readers, they become alienated.

(10) Sentence structure of the title really matters
If you analyze blog titles and which ones do well, you will quickly understand that simple grammar actually sells. Subject – Object -Verb is a great structure to start with. My best blog article of all time had a title – Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should you! It was simple, had a powerful message, and a call to action. Not all posts that use the formula for success will be successful, but it is a good place to start.

(11) A call to action
A good blog entry should get people out of their chair. There should be a call to action. They should want to get up and make a change to their life or business right after reading it. A call to action could be part of the title, like in my Steve Jobs example, and should definitely be at the end of a blog entry.

(12) Know your audience and personalize
It is hard to know the intricacies of your audience — their likes and dislikes. You have to experiment and learn little by little what they like as a group. And they will surprize you many times as well. I mentioned before that if I write articles that are too technical, analytical or high-brow my audience tends to not read them. On the other hand, if I write interesting articles with a meaningful and understandable point, they will get a generous supply of traffic.

(13) So, what can you do?
Start by experimenting and look at your analytics. Try to figure out which articles worked best and why. Look at what other people are publishing and what did better on their Facebook or Twitter. There is no way to absolutely master the art of knowing what is popular on social media, but the closer you look, the better you get. So start today, and as always, choose some pictures that knock your socks off! I am not using photos yet except on Facebook promoted posts, but I’ll begin using them soon as my blog grows!

Zen and the Art of Collaborative Blogging

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Collaborative blogging is the art of assembling complete blog articles using components created by two or more individuals.

Are You a “Collablogator?”
There are many ways to collaborate. One person might focus on overall themes while another could zero in on specific topics. Other skills could include polishing, proofreading, and even the final addition of the blog article to a WordPress platform. Some “collablogators” invent titles together (if not words) and even write blogs on the phone with each other if not in person. But the partnership only works if both individuals live up to their collablogations.

Partner Selection
This could be the most crucial choosing of a partner that doesn’t require a prenup you’ll ever do. You should ideally find one whose strengths make up for your weaknesses, and vice versa. If you’re an industry specific person, you might pair well with someone good at proofreading. If you tend to be more serious, you might pair well with a funny person. If you’re a content-oriented person, you might pair well with someone who excels at style, presentation, and execution.

At what time of the day is your creative sweet spot? Do you burn the midnight oil along with the virtual page with your brilliance? Is your partner more in the zone after he’s had his morning coffee and the afternoon mail has yet to arrive? In that case, work separately, not simultaneously!

Assembly Line Blogging
Some people blog together at the same time while others divide blogging into many separate outsourced tasks that happen consecutively. The boss might come up with a theme, a creative person might come up with a great title, another person might do the writing, before someone else polishes and proofreads. The final step: Publishing the blog online. But, there’s more — with the popularity of social media, the cherry on top would be creating popular tweets for the blog entry. The biggest issue with assembly line blogging is that if any of the team members are behind schedule, a la Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, your efficiency could dessert you!

Outsourcing Some of the Processes
There are thousands of eager blog writers in India who can write blog articles for $5-12 and are more than happy to research industry-specific content. Proofreading is a higher level task that is best left to a seasoned professional. However, there are many people with this specific skill. The hardest position to fill in your blogsembly line is the idea creator. Sure, the boss knows he wants to write about the financial crisis in Myanmar, but coming up with a specific and catchy title is not easy even for the most highly skilled writers. If you are hiring a team, evaluate each member’s skill at each of the stages in the assembly line.

Comparing Blog Assembly to Henry Ford’s System
On the auto assembly line, you’re faced with manufacturing new models every year. On the blog assembly line, there’s a new model every blog! In each of these cases, the aim is for greater mileage. Ways to improve mileage on your blogs? Make them understandable in ways that surprise and, if possible, enlighten. Make them candidates for retweeting. Assembly line blogging can not only speed up the process, but take advantage of those who specialize in individual components. If you have residual such specialist “understudies” waiting in the wings, they can take over if and when the “star” assembly line expert becomes unavailable. On the car assembly line, there can only be one person at the station and they all have to be there at the same time. On the blog assembly line, you could have multiple people at each stage of the process. And any one member could pass off their work to whichever stage two member was most readily available. Each could be in a different country or work a different shift, as long as they’re all on the same page.

I have to end this blog prematurely because my blog writing union just informed me that we are on strike.

A blog plugin that doubled the length of i-phone visits!

Categories: Outsource Marketing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I noticed that many people were visiting my blog on i-phones which is no surprise since everyone I know is glued to their i-phone! I figured that I might get more visits, or longer visits if I optimized my blog for i-phone usage.

So, my programmer offered to do a manual job of reprogramming my blog so it would look really good on any format. But, I wanted to know what it would look like before I committed to the work. It was not about the money, I just like to know what I’m buying. So, I mentioned that it might be nicer to try a plugin. That is faster and not expensive. So, the next day my programmer had the plug-in plugged in. It was very easy on the eyes. The width of the rows was just right. The display of recent blog articles made it easy to choose which article I wanted to read. It was so easy and so perfect. Then, I went to my stats. Visits had gone from 98 seconds average to 180 seconds overnight! Wow!

So, if you have a blog, it is time to consider a plugin.

Then, on my travel blog, we were having a problem with spam comments. I asked the programmer for that blog to put in a spam blocker for comments. Once again, overnight, the headache stopped, and I was really happy.

It is nice that in life certain things are easy and fast like plugins. The rest of my life unfortunately is not so easy! Onward ho!

The Pen is mightier than the Sword; But, is Flogging mightier than Blogging?

Categories: Of Interest, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Flogging for Blogging
In Saudi Arabia, a man is to be flogged as a punishment for criticizing Islam in his blog. Due to health reasons, his flogging is to be delayed based on what I read on 1-22-2015. The world seems to be polarized these days. There are 1.5 billion Muslims who are often not treated with respect from the rest of the world. Muslims are often not tolerant of any disrespect. Part of this reaction could be based on the amount of disrespect that has accumulated over the last several centuries towards them, particularly for those who live in primarily Christian countries.

It’s Muslims vs. Christians; Secular vs. Religious
With the Charlie Hebdo incident it is very clear that there are many Christians that will go to any lengths to offend Muslims, and will stop at nothing. The extremists who retaliated against Hebdo’s offensive cartoons will also stop at nothing in their war against offenses to Islam. Even the Islamic world is polarized. We see countries like Egypt divided between secular Muslims & Christians vs. the more religious types. Turkey has a similar division although the secular people in Turkey are more numerous than the religious ones. It seems that whenever you put Muslims and Christians in the same country, or even Muslims and Muslims in the same country, a serious conflict will result. So, what is the solution?

Punishment & Spirituality
The government of Saudi Arabia has the right to carry out justice as they see fit. It is their land, their government. My point is more of a spiritual point. If you abuse someone’s body, you are not only damaging their life, but you are also damaging your soul. For those of us who are believers (in God, but not necessarily in a particular brand of religion) we acknowledge that we have a soul, and that the condition of our soul is based on our actions and thoughts. If we behave well, we might have a chance at going to heaven, or at least be reborn well. We believe that we reap what we sow. I believe that the punishment of flogging is an extreme way to preserve a religious way of life in a country that endorses only one religion. But, the amount of damage done by the flogging extends far beyond the victim. The flogger will also reap a karmic penalty for his act of violence, his supervisor, and the society as a whole will gain a bad vibration as a result of this unmerciful act.

If Allah is merciful, then as followers, we should adopt his attributes.
Allah has 99 names according to Muslims, and 72 names according to Jews. They are only disagreeing by 27% which is not bad considering who we are dealing with! The Islamic names of God are very spiritual in nature. I only know a few of these names, but they include Merciful, Compassionate, Peace, Struggle, among others. If God is compassionate, why should we be any less as spiritual followers? You can pray to God as many times a day as you like, but if you lack spiritual values such as a love of peace, compassion and mercy, what good does the prayer do you? Prayer and religious life are meaningless unless paired with good values and character development. This means that we must exercise kindness and charity in our lives, even if we are not perfect at it.

I am also offended
I am not a Muslim, but I respect all monotheistic faiths. I take offense when someone defames the Islamic faith, especially if it is done in an insulting, unfair, or hateful way. Rather than calling people names for being offensive, I often explain how their false statement against Islam is wrong, why it is wrong, and what the truth is. I know very little about Islam, but I am able to explain some of the basics to rude “infidels” who insult this holy religion. My way is a peaceful way. I am not sure if much good is done by my way. However, my way produces no harm, and could do at least a little good. Flogging someone will do irreparable harm to everyone involved. It is an extreme measure. Rather than speaking against flogging, I’ll politely ask those in favor of it to consider a gentler way to deal with individuals whose blogging is damaging to society — whomever they might be.

I support separation
I live in America which insists on integration. Segregation is a dirty word here, and if you are for it, then you are a dirty racist pig! However, putting people together who don’t like each other and who don’t get along can be much worse than segregation and can lead to murder, flogging, and worse. Religious Muslims do not integrate well with secular Muslims or people from other faiths. Secular people tend to offend Muslims, and Muslims tend to shun secular people. Even when integrated, the two separate like oil and water. Lebanon was plagued by an horrible civil war which left many dead and many more emotionally shattered. In my opinion, the Christians in Lebanon should have their own country. The Druze should also have their own land, and the Muslims should have a country to themselves too. This way they don’t have to fight with each other over control. Egypt is teetering on the verge of civil war because secrular Muslims, Christians, and religious Muslims don’t see eye to eye. Perhaps it would be better if Egypt became two or three countries. I don’t know having separate countries for each type of people in the Middle East is best, but in the short run, it seems like it would solve a lot of problems.

Talaka, Talaka, Talaka!
The same holds true for Iran and Saudi Arabia which do not grant freedom to break Islamic law. There are many residents in both of these countries who are very Western in their thinking and cannot be happy following Shariah law. For those folks, it might be easier if a chunk of Iran or Arabia is reserved for them to set up their own communities where they can live by whatever laws they like. If you don’t get along, why fight it? Get a divorce! Talaka, Talaka, Talaka! Islam allows a couple to get a divorce, so why not allow a community of secular minded people to do the same. Everyone will be happier in the end — perhaps…

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Don’t let your blogs be blahg

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Don’t let your blogs be blahg.

Everybody’s screaming for attention on the internet. In this era of short attention spans, you only have a nanosecond to grab somebody. If you can’t sell yourself, who can? Make sure the stuff you have to say is worth saying, or else store it in your blahg. Never to be looked at by anyone but you.

I peruse the web regularly, and read other people’s blogs. It seems that they are in it to have quantity and to catch some SEO benefits. Many blogs will have little snipits about some news item. You will read that such and such a company bought out some other company or started a new office in a particular city. This is boring! Nobody will want to refer such a boring article to a friend.

Your blog articles need to have a point. They need to have pizzazz. They need to be about a topic your readers can relate to. They need to take facts and interpret them in a way that makes the reader say, “Wow!” Most blogs simply do not do this!

What I learned through experience is that you don’t need to be a good writer to be a good blog writer. You just need to be able to write about various topics within your industry theme, and make it interesting. If you study your stats, and learn what people liked and what they didn’t, you can figure out what to write about in the future based on what was popular in the past.

Success in blogging is about attracting visitors and keeping them coming back. You need to start off by being interesting and then keep them coming back with diverse articles that are always different and interesting. Good luck, and don’t be blah!

The Miracle of Blogging

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The miracle of blogging
Blogging is a relatively new phenominon in web business. It used to be something that eccentric loners did to connect to the world.  Now, its considered a standard part of promoting your websites and web business.  I’m not a writer, but the irony is that I spend 30% of my professional time writing (or “trying” to write).  
What does blogging do?
Blogging connects you to people who want to read.  Successful blogs will get amazing search engine presence, and people looking up keywords will be able to find you.  If your blogs are interesting, informative, or entertaining, then you can develop a following which is a fundamental part of your success. Additionally, blogging is sometimes fun, because its an outlet to express yourself.
How does blogging work?
Many people start a blog, and then don’t write much. They will write a dozen posts and give up because nobody is reading it.  Others will persevere longer and get some viewers.  But, its hard to develop a following.  Blogging alone is not the solution. Combining networks is how to become successful.  If you have a large site with email addresses in a database for a few thousand individuals, you can email them once a month to invite them to your blog.  If you keep them entertained, they will open your subsequent emails and become regular visitors for your blog.  If the blog is boring, you are dead in the water, but being interesting alone without a network leaves you in the cyber-doldrums.
Keeping it interesting
When you cater to a particular group of people, you have to find out what types of topics interest them.  Its not always easy, because people often don’t give feedback.  You can keep track using analytics tracking systems, or just see if anyone write a comment to your blog.  Once you find out what people like, try to find more ideas which relate in theme or spirit to the ideas that worked.  What I learned is that it is not so critical how good a writer you are, providing you find topics that people want to read about and make some interesting points.
Combining networks?
The trick of blogging is understanding that critical mass and links are what attracts search engine traffic.  If your blog has 100 or more posts, you will attract a lot of search engine traffic.  However all posts and no links is a very incomplete formula.  You also need links, but where can those come from.  You can link to your blog from your site, twitter campaign, facebook, and have other people you know link to your blog.  If people like a particular blog post, they might link on their own to that post.   If you do an email blast to people on your network, if they click on links in the email to your blog, that will boost your search engine traffic too.  Everything you do compounds on itsself.  I’m not sure how well a blog would do that had no supporting networks.  It would have to compensate by being very large and have a few hundred posts.
Twitter is a very interesting tool.  Twitter is a great way to link to pages on your site, new blogs, events, and other things going on.  Twitter is perfect for tweeting about whats going on in “real time” as opposed to tweeting about old things.  Although its hard to know how to please your audience and know what to tweet about, if you tweet about things your viewers like, your number of followers can go up within 24 hours.  Additionally, you might get retweets, and many clicks on good links.  There is a lot of competition on Twitter. People can go to thousands of established twitter networks, so why yours?  The only way to build a big network is to figure out how to tweet really popular material every single day.  Good luck!!! I’m just beginning to figure out how to please the Twitterers.

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When you don’t blog, you miss it!

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Blogging is something new to me. I never used to do it until late 2010. As a child I hated to write. As an adult I have grown used to it. I never imagined that I would have a job that involved so much writing. As a child, I thought I would be an efficiency analyst for big companies. In a sense I do a lot of that for my directories and I am very efficient in many ways and very analytical in my daily activities — something my customers appreciate as I teach them how to analyze markets that they participate in.

But, I miss blogging when I don’t do it for a while. There are spells for weeks when I am busy on a project and I won’t write blogs. I even have dreams about blogging. Symbolically, I might see a pencil in the dream, or feel sad in the dream because I am not in front of a computer. This happened on a recent meditation trip. I was enjoying a pristine forest, meditation, hiking, great food, and the company of other like-minded people. I started having dreams about blogging. I realized I need to do it.

Twitter has become an obsession too just like blogging. I need to write tweets daily, and they need to be ones that will be popular too. Underaverage tweets just don’t cut it with me anymore. No more writing up a bunch of tweets and publishing them. Now, I compare my tweets before they go into my scheduled tweet list.

I encourage others to engage in blogging too. It expands your consciousness and becomes part of who you are. Write a blog entry today!

Quantity vs. Quality in Blogging?

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Is it better to write a bunch of mediocre material, or a handful of really good pieces? If you have a blog, you will notice that you cannot get decent search engine placement unless you have at least 200 articles, and some keyword variations or keyphrases that are getting noticed on Google. You need regular material to tweet on twitter, and lots of material to share on Facebook. So, do you need quality or quantity? Neither! You need articles that match the interests of your readers whether they are well written or not. People would prefer to read a poorly written piece about their favorite restaurant than a professionally written piece about the how the president of Congo lost his keychain.

Critical mass
Once you have attained critical mass and have written enough to populate your blog with one or two pieces per day, then you can think about quality. You could spend extra time on themes that your analytics show that your readers are almost sure to like. Or, you could touch up existing pieces that your readers already liked. If you touch up the top 5% of your material, you can link to those special entries from other entries, creating a chain of reading pleasure!

How long does it take to touch up materials?
I spend anywhere from forty-five minutes to three hours with a professional writer just touching up a single piece. This costs hundreds and is not worth it unless you have a good strategy. Touch up work before you do a major promotion of that work. If you are going to use Facebook PPC, or use it regularly on Twitter, or link to it from many other entries — then a touch up might be worth your money. But, what about articles that nobody likes no matter how well written they are? Let them sit by the side of the road. They are not worth it unless you are a top-notch fancy blog for a huge company where reputation is paramount.

Good luck!

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