Ending out the year 2010, I'm cleaning out "My Documents" when I find a post that I wrote for a blog contest. This may actually be the rough draft, or possibly more post than I submitted to the contest. I didn't win, and I'm not sure who did. I do recall the contest made me jump through so many hoops I started asking myself if it was worth the bother. To put it bluntly, it was a real pain in the ass.
If you're going to hold a contest for bloggers, K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid)!
In 2011, you'll see some changes here on my weblog. I actually mourn the loss of MyBlogLog and the associated widgets and benefits that came with it. Of course it is yahoo's decision to "sunset" the service. I've added One True Fan (and blogged about that here)... in the new year I'll be stepping up my regional blogging activities for those living in or interested in NY-VT-MA. I'll also be doing more in the way of book reviews. By far, the most popular FEATURE on the humble weblog is the "Around The Blogosphere" series, where I visit and review other blogs. I'll continue to feature guest articles from Bettina Perroni and Saki Tumi and a few new bloggers who have asked for the opportunity to post here.
Going into 2011, for those of you hoping to either (a) make a name for yourself or (b) make a little ca$h money with your blog, you've come to the right article.
You and your blog will go nowhere without a little help from friends, neighbors and fellow netizens! Look to enhance and improve the “community” aspect of your blog by including links to message boards, blogs and feeds and to such social-networking sites as twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Before you begin, make sure your blog LOADS QUICKLY AND EASILY on broadband, dial-up and mobile phones! Dragonblogger recently redesigned his clunky site that never fully loaded on my homePC. Now, it's up in 10 seconds! Strip out ANYTHING, any widget, any service that may be stopping visitors from ever seeing your blog in the first place!
OK, your load time is good. Now, get that blog moving! Don't copy the "next blog" - but by all means join somebody else’s startup service: you just never know when the next twitter or Facebook or whatever else will come along. So when confronted by a "new service," JOIN it! Sign in, use your BRAND NAME, sign out, that's it --- so if it grows bigger, you're there! I was on MySpace and Facebook for about two years each before I began using them! When twitter got to be all the rage, I rushed to sign up only to find that I 'd already registered, quite some time ago! Hurray for me! That's why you can see my tweets at twitter.com/davelucas and not twitter.com/something_else_entirely!
Tempted to spend a few dollars promoting your blog? TEST the waters first. Market researchers and pollsters do this. They sample a small percentage of the bigger picture. Better to lose 10 bucks in a small campaign than 100 or more in a large one! “If You Can’t Sell the Shirt, Don’t Give It Away”: A direct quote from GitHub founder Tom Preston-Werner, whose company only spends money when it can see a direct impact. (of course, you have to be a forward-thinker and look ahead to any BENEFITS that might stem from a "giveaway." Think back to Metallica, who always gave away cassettes of their music at concerts, or to mid-1990's AOL, which gave away tons of diskettes to entice people to try AOL out on their home PC's!)
So you're dead SERIOUS about blogging, huh? Go HERE!
Wanna advertorialize? You know, "get paid for your post"? NOBODY, nobody, nobody does it better than Wendy Cheng. More likely, you know her as XiaXue, the cute girl from Singapore who just kind of fell into "celebrity" -er- "blogebrity" status, after Blogspot, by chance, made her a featured blogger! Go to her blog and check out those advertorials firsthand. You will be so amazed! And if you've published any "advertising posts" yourself you'll be so ashamed you'll want to delete them (but don't do that, it wouldn't be fair to the advertisers!)
Everyone needs help. They just don't always know it!
Truth be told, no one can guess what the next "big thing" in the digital sphere will be. I was talking to a gentleman recently whose Dad had spent decades with AT&T. The company blew its chance to corner the cellphone and videophone markets early on because executives didn't think ANYONE would want to carry around a telephone to use "Skype" or send what we've come to know as "instant" and text messages back and forth with other users!