You Are Not Going To Believe This!

 

As I sat here at the computer before daylight this morning, I was seriously considering shutting this blog down because of my involvement in a project that is consuming all my waking hours and will be for the next few weeks. As I wrote the post listing all the great things that had happened here recently, I changed my mind and decided to stick it out and beg for your patience.

 

So this evening, I sit down at the computer and check the blog only to find I won a sponsor link in Nate's contest at Average Joe Blogger. Considering all the other stuff I won recently, that was pretty darn cool and I was feeling fairly impressed with my superior contest skills.

 

Then I checked my email.

 

I had a nice note from David Airey telling me I had won a prize in his blog birthday contest. He wanted to know what to call me when he posted the winners list tomorrow. Well, naturally, I was blown away. I was thinking to myself, "How can this be?" and "I wonder what I won." because he was giving away all kinds of really cool prizes like custom logos, books, a podcasting kit and all kinds of other stuff.

 

Then I checked Technorati...

 

...and saw he had linked to me and I realized the email was 10 hours old and it was already tomorrow in the UK. So I clicked on over to see what I had won.

 

I Won 3rd Place, The Bronze Package

 

This is what the Bronze Package includes.

 

 

Folks, I just can't tell you how close I was to shutting it down this morning. It looks like you guys are stuck wit me now and you can count on seeing more contest entries.

 

Now I need some input from you guys.

 

I need to figure out a new domain name and theme idea for this place. Ad Tracker and the AdSense Tracker Blog were fun but it is time for them to come to an end. I need something more reflective of me and the atmosphere around here. Yes, the pink, bubble gum look will be gone. I want something a little more serious but not a cheap knock-off of everybody else.

 

Think about it and post your suggestions, I really need the help so please throw your ideas out there.

 

While you guys are working on that, I'm going to the casino!

 

 

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Im Overwhelmed

First things first. I'm sorry for the inactivity.  My time is virtually nonexistent right now, but I'll go into that more later. I haven't been ignoring you, I'm doing the best that I can.

 

Now, why am I over whelmed? I'm overwhelmed in a good way and a bad way.

 

First The Good

 

It has been an awesome past 7-10 days (I can't remember) around this little blog.

 

  • We broke into the Top 18,000 on Technorati with an authority of 250 with 550 blog reactions.
  • We broke 100 subscribers! (For some reason I can't make that stupid widget show up on here.)
  • We were honored to be listed on Enkay's Top 50 100 Female Bloggers List. By the way, we came in at #22! What?!?! (This is a cute project but, honestly, there are a number of big bloggers not on the list.)
  • We won $100 in the Top Secret Blogger writing contest. I owe this entirely to you guys. The traffic and stumbles that came from this crowd made the difference. Thanks Patric for giving me the opportunity.
  • We tied for 2nd in the Blue Jar How-To Writing Contest/Project. I'm still trying to figure this one out. There were some really well written articles. I really didn't even place mine in the top 5. Thanks Sarah for running such a cool contest and providing the prizes.
  • Dana from DW Web Solutions and DanaWallert.com awarded this blog the new Break Out Blogger Award. At the end of this post I'll do all of the stuff I need to do for that.

 

That's a pretty good week by almost any standard and I have all of you guys to thank for it. If it weren't for you subscribing and stopping in to read and comment, none of this would be going on. I simple cannot express how appreciative and overwhelmed I am with your continued loyalty. Thank You! 

 

Now The Bad

 

I'm sure you have noticed the lack of attention the blog has received for the past few days. I am involved in a project that is consuming my time. It requires 12-14 hours a day six days a week and 6 hours on Sunday. My schedule will continue at this pace for another 2-4 weeks at least. I thought I could just put some posts together using ideas I already have partially developed but I'm finding it almost impossible to get that done.

 

When I started writing this post I had full intentions of informing you that I was probably going to shut the blog down. After taking the time to count my blessings, so to speak, I realize I just can't yet. You guys mean to much to me.

 

I'll promise to do the best I can to keep the blog current and updated during this difficult period and ask you to be patient with me when I'm slow to respond to your comments or miss a day or two posting. When this little period is over everything should be able to go back to normal for quite a while.

 

I know a lot of guys check on me at least once a day for updates. During this time of inconsistency, I would suggest subscribing to my RSS feed, I will be replying to comments at the same time I make posts. This way, when you see that I have posted a new article, you know I have responded to comments as well so you don't have to keep checking as often.

 

For those of you who don't use RSS readers I would suggest the email option. I absolutely will never spam you, period. You will simply receive my posts in your in box. If this option sounds good, just enter your email address in the box at the top of the sidebar and when you receive the confirmation email, click the link and your set.

 

Break Out Blogger

 



The Break Out Blogger award was developed by Bob of Bobbarama and is descibed by him this way;

 

This award casts a spotlight on bloggers who are just beginning to draw lotsa attention — the equivalent of a song with a bullet on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Lotsa good posts. Lotsa good buzz. These bloggers are going places in a hurry.

 

I'm very proud to receive this award, though I feel it's undeserved especially considering the current circumstances. I will however, except it. Part of the responsibility of accepting this award is to pass it on to a few other bloggers you feel meet the qualifications above.

 

I hereby bestow this award to Chris of ChrisBloczynski.com, Joe of ArsenalMarketing, and Telling It Like It Is from (You guessed it) TellinItLikeItIs.net.

You guys are all hard working bloggers who deserve the recognition. Wear it proudly!

 

**** On Edit ****

 

I just realized that  somehow forgot to include Nick from Romandock for the Breakout Blogger Award. Romandock is a great blog with some fantastic content and totally deserves this recognition. I fully intended for him to be in the original list but somehow just skipped past him. I am very sorry I didn't include him in the original posting but better late than never I guess. I don't think I'm very good at multi-tasking, something always seems to get left out. Belated congratulations Nick.

 

 

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Size Does Matter

I forget sometimes that you guys don't get to see this blog from this side of the screen. I forget that, as long as things are going smoothly, you don't have any idea that people are flooding in and brushing past you on the way to another post. All you see is what you click on. For all you know everything is the same as any other day.

 

The last couple of days have been a little weird. A couple of bloggers that live a little higher up the food chain than me, decided to have some fun with one of my posts from last week and tried to make it go viral. It was great fun and while you regular readers were sipping your coffee and pondering the supremacy of WordPress or Blogger, a couple of hundred people were pushing past you to find out what Google was up to now.

 

It was very cool to have the rush of traffic but I learned something that shocked me.

 

I didn't like it.

 

As most of you guys know, I'm a stats hound. (I prefer my name for it, GnomeyNewt.) What you may not know is I watch my stats obsessively. So much so, I recognize most of your IPs. When I look at my detail page on Sitemeter it displays IPs and ISPs but I see my readers. I have found I can only keep up with about 100 per day. (I know this because last Tuesday was the first time I had hit 100 in one day and it was all I could do to keep up.)

 

Yesterday the count went over 200 and instantly, I lost the intimate feel of this blog. I couldn't see who visited when and what they read. All I could do was look at referrals and trends and outclicks and all that other sterile, non personal stuff.

 

Nope, don't care for it. It's not that I don't appreciate the new visitors, I do. It waas just a little uncomfortable with the crowd milling about. Fortunately traffic has died back down a bit. I like small parties with my friends, not roaring nightclubs where I see my friends from across the room.

 

Maybe it's just a growing pain. Blogging success and traffic go hand in hand. I wonder if this is why successful performers talk about missing the small venues.

 

I realize most of you have better numbers than these every day. What do you do to maintain the personal relationship with your blog readers? Do you only worry about your commentators and ignore the lurkers? Do you miss being small? Would you go back?

Blogging Schizophrenia

Before we begin

 

I have been away from the computer all day. I came back only to find you guys having a party without me! I would like to stop and say "Welcome" to all of the first time visitors coming through from the links to the Google 2.0 post listed by Bobby, Gary and Costa. Thanks guys! Today is a record traffic day for this little blog.

 

Back to our regularly scheduled post

 

I know some of you are asking, "How many personalities does Tracker have?" or "Off your meds again, Tracker?"

 

My response is simple, "It's none of your business"..."Sure it is"..."Shut up!"..."They deserve to know"..."No they don't, go away!"...I'm sorry, where were we?

 

Oh yes, what's going on around here?

 

How does a sane person write two articles back to back that seem to be so opposite?

 

To make a point, that's why.

 

If you read both articles closely, you'll notice they are almost exactly the same.

 

I decided to try an experiment. I took a given set of facts and wrote two articles in opposition to one another.

 

The first article, extolling the virtues of Blogger, was just a spur of the moment post but in the comments, Nick pointed out that there were pros and cons on both sides. this gave me the idea to do the follow-up article in opposition to see what it would look like and to see what the reactions would be.

 

It was interesting to see people once again a little torn and drawn to both sides, as I am.

 

I can hear you now, "Tracker, what's your real opinion?"

 

My answer is, "What difference does it make? The only thing that matters is your opinion."

 

 

Why WordPress Is Superior To Blogger

If you are serious about blogging and expect the world to take you serious, self hosted WordPress is the only blogging format to use.

 

Yes, you can run a perfectly decent blog on the free Blogger platform but, as long as your blog has a blogspot address, it will always be treated as a stepchild in the internet mainstream and if it does become successful, it will be known as an anomaly.

 

Why is WordPress superior to Blogger for a serious blog? Well, let's see.

 

 

Superior Content Management System - The difference between WordPress and Blogger in the realm of content management is like comparing grad school to high school. They are both institutions of education with class rooms but that's about it. Blogger will provide the tools necessary to put your posts online but WordPress gives you the ability to have a professional publication.

 

Superior User Interface - Let's face it, the Blogger user interface is desined for the complete novice and, as such, offers few real control options beyond the basics. WordPress, on the other hand, allows for almost infinite flexibility in design and control.

 

Superior Credibility - A self hosted WordPress blog with a "YourDomain.com" web address garners dramatically more instant credibility than a "MySillyName.blogspot.com" address. How serious would you take a business with a ".geocities.com" web address or a "@hotmail.com email address? Would you give them your credit card info? My point exactly.

 

 

The bottom line is, comparing self-hosted WordPress to Blogger is like comparing a  new computer system to an IBM Selectric. They will both produce a decent looking letter, and if a letter is all you want, either will do and the Selectric is probably free just like Blogger. If, however, you want or need a more professional product, there really is only one option.






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3 Reasons Blogger is Better Than WordPress

While the entire blogosphere is waiting impatiently to jump in and discuss the virtues of WordPress 2.3, I'll give you something else to discuss.

 

Yes, WordPress is a "must have" for a serious blogger, especially if their topic is "making money" or "blogging" but, in many circumstances, Blogger is a superior platform and here are 3 reasons why.

 

 

Totally Free - No hosting, no domain, no expense whatsoever. How much explanation does this one need?

 

Super Simple User Interface - No complicated set up or installation. No downloading themes or plug-ins needed. Simply enter your username, password and email address, choose one of thirty-something templates, answer some simple questions and start posting.

 

No SEO Needed - The fact is Google loves Blogger. A frequently updated Blogger blog will be indexed quickly and rank pretty well for almost anything that is posted with virtually no Search Engine Optimization.

 

 

While a Blogspot address causes credibillity issues for business or "make money" blogs, the fact is, if your blog is simply a place to express yourself online, Blogger is a perfectly legitimate, acceptable and often superior platform.

Heads Are Rolling Around Here

 

Time has come to make a command decision to lop off the dead wood, trim the fat, shed the extra weight, or whatever.

 

I've decided to concentrate on you guys and not on the peripheral garbage that has been cluttering up the place. So, in an effort to improve your experience, I have decided to implement the following changes.

 

Google Be Gone - I have decided that AdSense ads on this blog look crappy, take up space and don't make any money. When I see the miniscule amount AdSense brings in, it just makes me angry. I would much rather do this for free than be assessed a value of pennies a day. Google, in all it's forms, is gone.

 

BlogRush Got BlogFlushed - 7 days - 3 clicks, pretty much a no-brainer. All that widget did was slow down my load time and bleed off visitors. Chris Bloczynski wrote a compelling article about why he doesn't think the BlogRush model will work and I agree with him, I also believe people have already become blind to the widget. The bottom line is, it's not worth the real estate.

 

Deal Dot Com? - More Like Deals Don't Come - I think these guys are up to something other than actually selling a product. Some of the "deals" they've offered seemed shady at best. I'm not educated in all of this SEO, SEM, whatever stuff but something seems fishy. If they were actually trying to sell a product I think they would give real product info instead of the stupid, long winded, joke sales copy they put up. I also feel if they were after more than traffic they would offer an RSS option on the sales page. I don't care who's behind it, I don't feel comfortable about it so, it's out of here.

 

I know all of this seems to go against the original concept of this blog, but if you recall, this has always been an experiment. My experiment has led me to decide advertising on a blog about blogging of this format is a waste of time and space. I actually think it is a detriment.

 

I don't disavow advertising forever. As a matter of fact, I almost certainly will reinitiate it on the new WordPress design, if it ever sees the light of day. Until this blog is able to generate enough income to not be insulting, I prefer to donate my time and effort to the blog community.

 

 

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Google Buys BlogRush!

Not really!

 

I just wanted to see if I could write a headline that would get any hits from BlogRush. If you came here from BlogRush looking for a story about Google buying blogrush, dream on. As long as you're here thought, go ahead and have a look around, read a little and grab my feed before you leave!

 

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Post

 

It's Saturday and that means contest entries. There are a lot of great contests going on out there. One of the more popular prizes these days is banner advertising in all of those cool new ad optimized themes. Be sure to check these contests out and enter if the spirit moves you but if you win, you could at least remember to link back here for referring you.

 

Advertising

 

GadgetTastic - GadgetTastic is running a contest to give away a 125x125 banner to run for 3 months. They value that ad at $1800 and all you have to do is link to the contest like I just did.

 

Make Money Online - Make Money Online is running a contest to give away a 125x125 banner on two blogs plus links and Diggs, Stumbles etc. All you hae to do is write a 20 word review about their cool "Make Money Online" blog where you can get some great 'make money' tips. You better hurry though, this one ends on September 30th.

 

The Gospel According To Rhys - Rhys is running a contest for a 125 banner as well as an ad icon. All you have to do is guess how much money is in his jar in pounds. (Why do the Brits insits on weighing their money?) Anyway, I think it looks like 43 pounds 28p. Or is that shillings, or crowns, or sovereigns, or loonies, or toonies, or euros. Wouldn't it just be easier if everybody just used dollars?

 

Stuff

 

It's Write Now - It's Write Now is running a contest to give away a new 8gig ipod nano. All you have to do is blog about the contest and link to it as well as to the blog. You know, the usual stuff. The contest runs until October 31st so take your time on this one. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind if you just forget to enter. OK, forget I mentioned it. Next.

 

Fiddy P - Fiddy P Blog is giving away some of what seem to be very ear buds. The headphones are Vmoda Vibe noise isolating and are worth 69.99 GBP (There they go weighing their money again.) I've mentioned here before that I don't have an mp3 player, but if I win the Nano above I really need some super cool headphones to go along with it. Entering this contest is pretty straight forward. You just need to post the usual links and stuff. He does let you enter once a week for a total of three possible chances. Check out this contest and while your there check out the cool WordPress Plugins he has written.

 

The Beef Jerky Blog - The Beef Jerky Blog is running a comfort contest to give away two cool Fuf Chairs from poofbags.com. Check them out they are very cool chairs. Be sure to go over to The Beef Jerky Blog and check out the other ways to get entries.

 

The Prize Blog - The Prize Blog is running a contest for a new logo and $20 cash. All you have to do is link to the contest and blog like I just did. You need to get this done though, because it ends October 17th.

 

Now go win something!

 

 

Fair well Shaun. We'll see you next summer!

 

 

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Daily Blog Tips Choices

OK, I give! I can't read any more. My bookmarks overfloweth. I think I can stop blogging now. I believe it's entirely possible everything that can be said, has been said.

 

 My top five choices are listed in no particular order.

 

Is Your Blog Easy To Read? was submitted by Pat Doyle from PatDoyle.com. It offers timeless tips for writing online content that is visually appealing.

 

3 Surefire Ways To Run A Totally Radical Blog Contest was submitted by Phil from ContestBlogger. Keep these simple rules in mind when you set up your contest and Phil will help you make it a success.

 

Tips On Gaining Page Views and Returning Visitors Using Post Series was submitted by Sarah from BlueJar.com and is a great list of dos and don'ts for writing series posts.

 

Are Your Blog Posts Actually Useful? was submitted by Matt from BloggingFingers. This is one I would have rather not read because it stepped on my toes by reminding me posts need to actually have useful substance. Ouch!

 

How To Increase Blog Subscriber Numbers was submitted by Dean from Technical Itch. This article is near and dear to my heart because it preaches the same message I have been preaching about how to increase subscribers.

 

That's it. I'm through reading for awhile. I miss being able to write. I think I'll work on that some this weekend.

 

 

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My Blue Jar Winners

My goodness! This was the toughest thing I've had to do in a while.

 

GnomeyNewt from BlueJar.com just finished up her writing project/contest. Since I was a participant, I had to read all of the entries and choose what I considered to be the three best.

 

I have to say, there were really some very good articles submitted for the contest and choosing only three was tough. The three I selected were articles that I actually found to be useful and were also well written. They are presented in no particular order.

 

How To Deal With Angry Customers was submitted by John from Business Opportunities And Ideas and is a must read for anyone who deals with the public. There are a lot of businesses that would be considerably more profitable if they were to take a page from John's book.

 

How to Write, Send, Reply, and Forward E-Mail was submitted by Lillie from LillieAmmann.com. While this topic may seem rather simple, you will be amazed at the depth and completeness of this article. Don't be surprised if, upon reading it, you find something about email you had forgotten or weren't ever aware of.

 

How To Install WorPress Locally (On PC) was submitted by Sumesh from TechZilo. This one spoke to me because I am toying with the idea of changing over to a WordPress blog and need a testbed I can play with. I'm happy to report tat after following the directions exactly I now have a working edition of WordPress installed locally.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

These came so close and were so good, I just couldn't go without mentioning them.

 

Don’t You Want To Be An Internet Marketing Rock Star? was submitted by YC from InternetMarketingMind and is a well written guide to marketing yourself and your site on the internet.

 

How to Successfully Switch Your WordPress Theme Without Throwing Your Computer Through the Window was submitted by Steven from VandelayWebsiteDesign. The title on this one is pretty self explanatory. It seems to go into fairly decent detail and flows pretty well. I will probably be using this one day.

 

And there you have it. I want to thank Sarah for sponsoring this wonderful contest and giving everyone a chance to show off their stuff. Now I have to start on the Daily Blog Tips list. It's only three times as long. Maybe there will be some duplicates.

 

 

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165 How-To / Tips and Tricks Articles

My article tonight is posted over at TopSecretBlogger, it's titled Are You An  Ostrich Blogger?  Check it out and let me know.

 

This is what I'm doing right now. I entered two writing projects/contests that ended on the same day. Now I have to read the articles and vote for my favorites in each contest. I thought you might want to read along with me this evening. There really are some excellent articles here. Be sure to check them out.

 

This list is from the Blue Jar contest. 44 entrants here and I'm about half way through this one so far.

 
Final Entries List

Top 5 ways to romance your blog by Phil Van Treuren
Public Speaking Made Easy by Cedric
Enter a How-To Contest for Cash by Matt Gibbs
How To Promote Yourself (When You Don’t Want To.) by Dee
How to create a post in Wordpress by Roberta Ferguson
How to Successfully Switch Your WordPress Theme Without Throwing Your Computer Through the Window by Steven Snell
How To Nail That Job Interview In The First Thirty Seconds by Martin Stoddart
How to speed up WordPress easily by Marco
Simple way to Track Downloads by Shrihari
How to Speed up your Torrent downloads by Felix
How To Review A Blog by AdTracker
How To Be A Flamer by WishBone
How To: Add Copyright Notices To Your Blog by Kyle Eslick
7 Steps to creating a successful community by Karthik
Contains Zero Trans Fat - Truth or Creative Advertising? by JoLynn Braley
How-To Guide: Increasing Your Sphere of Influence by Steve Belt
Beginners “How to” Guide for SEO by Steve
Add social bookmarking buttons to your blog by Girish Bhaskaran
How To Deal With Angry Customers by John
How to Have a Great Movie Experience by Em Dy
How To Make Your Wordpress Blog Safer by Simon Ward
Lock Folders without using any Software by Madhur Kapoor
Testing Lessons – Top 5 Secrets to Bug Hunting Success! by Debasis Pradhan
How To Track New RSS Subscribers Google Analytics in 3 Easy Steps by Rhys
How To: Install WordPress locally(on PC) by Sumesh
How To Pull In Quick Cash With a Myspace Resource Site by Levi
What the hell is a column inch: How to advertise in a local newspaper by Angela
How To Prepare For The Perfect Date by Shaun Low
How To Ride a Bicycle in the City by Roger Green
How do you track your comments? by pelf
How to become a better writer in 30 days by Writing Nag
Don’t You Want To Be An Internet Marketing Rock Star? by YC
3 Ways On How To Create A Buzz With Social Web Widgets I.E MyBlogLog And Blogrush by Jonathan Kok
How To Get Approved for PayPerPost With A New Blog by Karol Krizka
Tips and Tricks: How to Write, Send, Reply, and Forward E-Mail by Lillie Amman
5 Tips To Enter Sweepstakes Online by Monika
How to clip a cat’s claws without getting nailed by Mary Anne
Mind Map Tutorial on Blogging by Monika
Eating Crow by Susan Wingate
How to Become a Human Calendar by Luciano Passuell
The Client Cycle Explained by James Mitchell
How to Sleep on a Plane by Sheila
Screensaver for Promoting Your Company by David
Trick To Rename Internet Explorer Titlebar by Haris

 

And then there is the list from Daily Blog Tips. This contest had 121 entries. I'm going to be busy for a while. You can too if you want to.

 

Blogging
Business & Career
Entertainment
Food
Health & Fitness
Make Money Online
Photography
Technology & Internet
Travel
Web Development & SEO
Random Topics

 

 

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5 Tips To Increase Comments

 

Comments are one of the things that make blogging worth while but, in the age of feed readers, how do you convince people to click over and leave one?

 

That's what we're going to discuss and, no, I'm not going to tell you to end every post with a question.

 

If you follow these five steps, within two weeks you will be well on your way to developing a community around your blog.

 

 

Show Some Link Love - This is one of my personal weaknesses. Take the time to acknowledge other bloggers. Make a special folder in your bookmarks for those posts you read and find interesting then, once a week, put together a post featuring the best articles you read that week.

 

Offering a little praise and linking to a post will almost always bring a positive response from the author and put you on their radar.

 

 

Comment On Other Blogs - I know you've heard this before but it really does matter. Why would you expect someone to go to the effort of rewarding you with a comment if you wont take the time to do it for them?

 

The most important things to remember about commenting are; make your comments relevant, be polite and do not include a link inside the comment body. (Be sure to fill out your email and URL in the author box.)

 

 

Give Something Away - It may seem like simple bribery and it is but, it works. many blogs have had great luck giving away prizes in contests where the only way to enter was by leaving a comment.

 

This blog has had so much success with "Submission For A Comment" promotions (StumbleUpon & Reddit) that I have seriously considered making them a regular event.

 

 

Write Compelling Content - If all you write are "Tips & Tricks" and "How-To" posts, you're going to have a hard time getting beyond the "Great Post" and "Thanks for this info." comments.

 

Write one or two posts a week where you express your opinion about something. Don't be afraid to take a position and back it up. Your posts don't have to be argumentative, just passionate. Write about something you care about, a favorite charity or a touching experience.

 

 

Answer Every Comment - I saved this point for last because I feel it is the most important. Your response to a reader's comment is your opportunity to encourage a conversation.

 

Imagine being at a party and an attractive guy or girl compliments you on your outfit. If you say "Thanks" and keep walking, do you think they will make an effort to talk to you again? Imagine, however, if you stopped for a moment, acknowledged their presence and gave them a compliment back. You have now encouraged them to talk to you again.

 

Always make your new commentators feel welcome and encourage them to comment again. It never hurts to end your response to a new comment with a question, but only once. Don't make them feel obligated to keep answering repeated questions, you'll run them off.

 

Take care of your regular commentators by encouraging continuing conversations. You must remember also, this is not a one way street. You should, at least, visit your commentators blogs and become a regular reader and commentator on the ones you like. 

 

 

Summation

 

If you write about topics you are passionate about as well as knowledgeable of, it will show in your content. If you care about your readers and treat them that way, they will appreciate it and show you.

 

If, however, all you want out of blogging is for people to click your ads, just hit the delete button and walk away. Turning off your computer will save you more money on electricity in a year than you will make blogging.

 

 

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My Little Dust Pile

Every once in a while it's necessary to sweep up the small trimmings that didn't quite find their way into a post but need to be mentioned before they get forgotten and just fade away.

 

This is my little dust pile of content for today.

 

 

Black Sheep Blogger

 

That's me. Rhys put together his list of Black Sheep Bloggers and I'm on it. What's a black sheep blogger, you ask? Rhys defines it as a blogger who bucks the status quo trend.

 

This is the second list this blog has made recently and once again I find myself in extraordinary company. Thank You.

 

 

Drowning In Hype

 

If everyone is selling something, who is going to buy it?

 

Doesn't it just give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside when you surf around the internet reading all of the cool headlines about dealdotcom in all of the BlogRush widgets? No I didn't link to them in this post, there's just no need.

 

Anybody want a Pownce invitation?

 

 

Reviews and Mentions

 

Be sure to check out the in depth review of this blog over at romandock dot com.

 

We got a nice mention by Joe from The Up Front Mortgage Broker. (Who says this blog doesn't have mass appeal?)

 

 

Contest Round-Up

 

Get your post written for the How-To writing contest over at Blue Jar.

 

Get entered to win some free advertising in the contest going on over at Average Joe Blogger.

 

Go make leave some comments at romandock dot com so you can qualify for his contest.

 

Don't forget about the simple contest at Blog About Your Blog. Get entered so you can have a chance at that really cool 3rd place prize!

 

Hurry up and get your entry into the Mother of All Blog Contests at David Airey dot com.

 

You only have about 24 hours to get in on the "Tips & Tricks" writing contest at Daily Blog Tips.

 

 

Salmon Blogger

 

Kudos to BlogGrrl. Rhys called her a Black Sheep Blogger but I'll call her a Salmon Blogger. Why salmon? Salmon swim against the stream and salmon is a shade of PINK! BlogGrrl is the only blogger I saw this weekend that posted about NOT joining dealdotcom.

 

Good for you!

 

 

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Google Announces End of Page Rank

Google 2.0

In a nod to Web 2.0 and in an effort to make the Google experience more user-centric, Google will end the system of assigning each web page a Page Rank based on an algorithm of links, quality and popularity. Instead, each page will have a Page Rate assigned by the readers.

Page Rate will be established by the installation of an attractive voting widget on each page allowing readers to click either an up or down arrow to show approval or disapproval of the page's content. After clicking the arrow of choice, the reader will be prompted to leave a comment about the page they just voted for. While all users are allowed to vote, only those logged into their Google account will actually have their votes counted or be allowed to comment.

Float It

Google users will also be able to go to the new "Float It" site where they may rate sites already rated by other Googlers. Once on Float It, readers are encouraged to examine pages other Floaters have submitted and vote to either "Float It" or "Sink It", thereby helping to bring exposure to the truly deserving web pages.

Trip Over It

Another method of finding pages to rate will be by using the new Google Toolbar With TripOverIt. The new toolbar will have a TripOverIt button integrated into it as well as a window showing the current page's Votes and Floats. With the toolbar installed, the user may click the "TripOverIt" button and be taken to a random web page to vote on. The user need not worry about selecting categories or preferences because the toolbar will also track their surfing habits and only serve up the kind of pages they like.

Goo.glicio.us

For those Googlers who want to be able to return to the pages they really liked, Google has developed Googlicious. Googlicious is a social bookmarking community that allows users to connect and share their favorite pages.

Limitations and Restrictions

While it is required that each page have the Page Rate Widget installed to qualify for a Page Rate, the site owner is not allowed to have any other voting or submission widgets on the page. Neither may the site owner ask for votes or refer to the widget in any way. The site owner also may not, under any circumstances, click their own widget. If a site owner clicks their own widget or in any way attempts to commit widget fraud, all pages owned by that owner will be removed from the Page Rate Program, will be disallowed from Organic Search Results and the Googlebot will be instructed to break all of the links on the page and screw up the CSS code on its way out.

Rankings

Rankings will still be scored on a 10 point system based on a proprietary algorithm of Up Votes, Down Votes, Float Its, Sink Its, Bookmarks and the quality of comments received.

From The Founders

In an interview posted on the Google blog, the founders of Google were asked if they were trying to take over the entire internet. Sergey Brin adamantly stated, "We absolutely are not trying to take over the internet!" Co-founder Larry Page interjected, "We don't like to use the word 'trying'."

***If you thought this humor writing was entertaining, you might enjoy reading the follow-up article posted here. ***


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romandock dot com

 

Today we're going to be discussing the positives and negatives of that world famous Mediterranean port, Roman Dock.

 

OK, not really.

 



The truth is romandock dot com is a blog run by a guy named Nick who, when trying to come up with a domain name, decided to combine the names of his two dogs, Rocky and Mandy. (Aren't they cute?) Drop some letters, add some letters and there you go, romandock.

 

You see, Nick and I agreed to exchange blog reviews. His review of this blog can be read here. Nick took the time to write one of the most in depth and complete reviews I have ever read. In it he made several good suggestions, some of which have already been implemented.

 

On To The Review

 

If you think picking your domain by combining your dogs' names is original, how about having one of your categories be Ham Radio?

 

It's quite obvious the author is passionate about blogging but he may be even more passionate about Ham Radio. This dual passion has led to the only dual niche blog I know of. Blogging and Ham, interesting. As a matter of fact, Nick's first contest is for a Ham License Manual with the intension of getting the winner licensed.

 

Layout

 

The first thing a reader notices after the beautiful header image is the Super Mondo Deluxe RSS Icon. We're talking about a button so large it's a little bit distracting, but that is the point isn't it? This button is big enough to be worth the visit to romandock just to see it. Seriously.

 

The sparse ads and widgets seem to be well accommodated by the 3 column Word Press theme. The pastel earth tone color palette creates an "easy on the eyes" environment and go really well with the aforementioned header image. 

 

The Content

 

Romandock is an active blog with content posted daily. A quick glance at the MyBlogLog widget reveals several recognizable avatars. This alone tells you he has quality readers and is providing quality content.

 

Nick shows a discipline I could only dream of by keeping his writing confined to 4 categories; Computing, Ham Radio, Money and Ramblings. (I know, that last one is kind of wide open.) His posts are always well thought out and very thorough.

 

Suggestions

 

Aside from the content of romandock, I found some other things appealing as well. I really like the header image and the lines and presentation of the blog itself are clean and direct, but I must make a few suggestions.

 

I can accept the fact that the distractingly large feed icon is only doing its job, but imagine my disappointment when, upon clicking it, I was taken to a page of code instead of the customary FeedBurner page. I would strongly encourage the author to start using FeedBurner. Not only will this make his feed easier to acquire, it will give him stats as well as an email subscription option. I would bet if he were to use FeedBurner, add an email option and let his readers know about it, he would increase subscribers by 10-20% within a week.

 

I would also encourage Nick to spice up his content with a few images and some bold text. This would make the articles both scannable and sticky at the same time.

 

Since there is already a row of nav buttons along the top of the header, I would eliminate the "Pages" and "Categories" boxes from the sidebar. I would then move the "Search" box to the standard top position with the "Sponsored Links" box directly below it. This would put the sponsored links above the fold thereby increasing their value.

 

I would recommend adding  "Top Commentators" and "Popular Posts" boxes below the "Sponsored Links" box and above the "Blog Roll".

 

Lastly, I just have to say, I'm torn on the Kontera ads. I realize a blog about making money must explore every avenue but I just don't care for them. I will say, however, that they are more under control than I have seen on other blogs. Meaning there are fewer of them and they don't seem to be taking over.

 

Wrap Up

 

As you can tell, other than the RSS issue, my suggestions for improvement are all based on personal taste and opinion. The fact is, Nick writes very well thought out and informative posts about computing and blogging. I don't know anything about Ham Radio but I suspect his writings on that topic are just as helpful.

 

I have always found romandock dot com to be worth the visit and hopefully I'll be able to add it to the feed reader one day.

 

 

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Average Joe Blogger - A Contest Review

 

If you still surf around the interweb on your 300 Mhz Packard Bell with the 28K modem, you may not have heard about the contest over at Average Joe Blogger. Nate (aka - Average Joe) is giving away ad spots on his blog as prizes and considering the going rate and the traffic he gets, it's a heck of a deal.

 

As with most blog contests lately, there is a tiered system of entries to the drawing. The more effort you put in, the more opportunities you receive. Having already been a subscriber and having already mentioned the contest and linked to it in a post, the only thing left to do to improve my chances at one of those ad spots is to write a review of Average Joe Blogger.

 



The Background

 

Average Joe Blogger was born 2 months ago today and is posting some impressive numbers for its short existence. Nate explains his reason for starting the blog as, and I paraphrase, an average Joe blog fan (me or you) decides to give the problogger thing a whirl and invites us along to share the experience.

 

The Blog

 

I've always been impressed with Nate's choice of logo design. I don't think you could find an image anywhere that communicates "Average Joe" better than the one he uses in his logo and social avatar.

 

The blog itself is setup with the popular Word Press 3 column layout. This, combined with the white background, blue links and pale pastel accents are easy on the eyes and make for a clean look.

 

The layout makes it obvious this blog is all about two things; quality content and creating income and he seems to be succeeding at both.

 

The Negative

 

Any review has to have something negative and this one is no exception. But, to be perfectly honest, I had to look really hard to find anything and it is totally my opinion and really is pretty nit-picky.

 

You can tell Nate has his readers at heart because he hits every button in his sidebars. He has his Popular Articles, Recent Comments, Categories and Top Commentators displayed. He even has a poll asking for reader input along with the obligatory MyBlogLog widget.

 

In light of the placement and success of the banner ads and sponsor links, I would recommend dropping the AdSense skysraper to allow the Categories and Top Comments to move up. Also, the "I Follow" and "Site Information" badges seem a little out of place but I honestly don't know what I would do with them.

 

See what I mean? Nit-picky.

 

Summation

 

After reading Nate's work for over a month, I have come to regard him as very knowledgeable and always take his blogging tips and Word Press tips seriously. 

 

If you're looking for a content-rich blog, written in plain English, Average Joe Blogger is a must-read and should be in your feed reader. I have personally learned a lot from this blog and look forward to learning a lot more.

 

 

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Whats The Deal Dot Com?

 



Dealdotcom is a new site for finding awesome deals on cool products online. The site is so new, in fact, it hasn't even opened it's doors yet. It is set to go live next Tuesday the 18th.

 

What's It Going To Be?

 

Basically dealdotcom is a "Deal A Day" site specifically for internet marketers. It will feature products and services for web development, blogging, site monetization and anything else related to online marketing. Each day dealdotcom will offer one product at a  super discount for 1 day or until the inventory is gone with a new and different item featured each day.

 

If you want an opportunity to purchase internet marketing products or services at a substantially reduced price, this is your ticket. If you have a product or service that needs a kick start, perhaps a deep discount on a limited quantity offered to a targeted audience is just your ticket

 

Whats In It For Me?

 

How about two-tier affiliate income for life? That's right, you refer someone and they sign up for free. From then on, anything they buy, you get a 35% commission. Anyone they refer, you get a 15% commission on, for ever. No time limit. That is an excellent affiliate deal.

 

How Do They Pay?

 

Dealdotcom will pay you your commissions 30 days after the end of the month by Paypal or check, you choose.

 

Summary

 

Simply put, this is a fantastic opportunity to get in early on a real money maker. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and then publicize your referral link. As with any multi-tiered affiliate program, the sooner you get in the better. So, what are you waiting on? Go get signed up so you can start signing up people before these posts are everywhere and it's too late.

 

Yes, these are my referral links. Clicking on them will not change your deal at all. it will just help me out a little.

 

**** NEW ****

 

These banners have been released for use to promote DealDotCom on your site. Feel free to use them from here.









 

 

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Fechr Update and I've Been Honored!

 

Fechr Update

 

I received an email response from Bobby Griffin this morning. The point of the response is as follows:

 

Basically, I recently got a new job that is consuming a lot of my time and I had the choice to half-ass focus on some of the things I've been working on...or give full attention to some and put on pause the others.  Well, Fechr is on pause right now.  My goal is to start it up again October 1st!

 

This is a perfectly good reason for the site being on autopilot, however, I still feel there should be some kind of notice on the same page that sells you on the idea of writing a review in order to get featured.

 

*Note - After re-reading last night's post, I can see that I may have been a bit short in tone. Web sites come and go, that's understood. I just feel the bloggers, trying to improve their bogs any way they can by jumping at every opportunity to boost traffic, should be aware of the deal before going to the trouble of writing a review and submitting it and then never hearing anything.

 

 

Someone Thinks I'm Special!

 

You're not going to believe this, I don't. I've been put into a group with Danielle Nagami from Ms. Danielle, Jane May from Daily Web Ideas, Becky from PreBlogging, Susan Suarez and Sam Breadstone. I know, I know! It's crazy!

 

Enkay from Enkay Blog has named us his picks for Top 6 Female Bloggers. What?!?!

 

These ladies are some of the hottest established and up-and-coming blog talent out there and I am blown away that Enkay included me in this list.

 

Somebody go give that man a Stumble or something!