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5 steps to a better blog...

... and maybe I should take my own advice! :o)

Like most bloggers, I have a hit glass ceiling with regards to growing the blog reader count here, nothing wrong with that as we expect to hit one sometime, after all we can't do it all alone and we only have a certain reach.

Also like most bloggers I keep an aye on my stats and where they can be improved if possible to do so, which is most areas if we are honest, and the reason we test things ourselves. YOUR stats are the most accurate for your blog after all.

We can all read the top blogs like problogger, to learn of how things we need to learn but we still have to test things for ourselves so never take what any one blogger says as gospel ... yes, take this post with a pinch of salt too. ;o)

I can only share what I've learnt from my blogging experience and these 5 tips are what I think will improve things and it's what I will work on, things I should already be doing better!

1. Better content always wins.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, (last post) there is no other bigger priority when it comes to blogging, look at any of the top blogs online and the one main thing they have in common is better content.

That is better than the rest, else they wouldn't be the top blogs ;o)

What other reason do you read any blog for?

None, the content is the most important thing on any blog, website.

Good content is good ... better content is best and one of the best ways of making better content is to make evergreen content as the people like Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina do, they consistently create content that will be as relevant in two years as it is now which also makes more likely to be shared by others too.

My action : To improve all post as much as possible because the main thing is to improve your experience of reading it and one thing I have noticed is the post(s) I write from a more personal point tend to get bigger traffic which leads me onto ...

2. Being authentic matters.

There is no-one else like you ... likewise nor is there anyone like me. :o)

Have you noticed how some blogs, and it's of course more so with corporate style ones, seem to lack any personality?

They are so ... boring at times they cry out for a bit of personality to be added.

It's all very well being professional about things but drawing the mine somewhere is sensible if you ask me, most people relate to people better when they are authentic.

Being ourselves is one of our biggest pluses so don't hide the real you as you only take away from yourself and your readers.

My action : I think I am pretty authentic on here, at least I try my best to be. Telling it like it is helps. :o) More than that ...

3. Honesty pays.

No-one likes a liar, the truth always outs as we always hear as kids, so it is in reality.

Telling lies of any sort nearly always bite you on the arse somewhere down the line and it can be worse online with it there for all to see, save, share etc.

This also ties into one of the areas I feel people really shoot themselves in the feet ... or come damn close to it and by the skin of their teeth survive.

I am talking about the "fake it till you make it" types.

You know the ones, they say one thing but the reality is quite another!

These people lack point number 2 badly.

There is no need to fake things and lie, being honest and upfront with your readers shows them the respect they deserve.

If you start playing with small exaggerations they soon grow into a monster you can't stop.

I have seen bloggers post about traffic stats and such which others have shown up to be false by a bit of detective work doing due diligence.

It all comes back in the end, never worth staking any reputation on lies or silly claims etc to try and make your reality appear better than it is.

My action : I hate lies, nothing to change there, why hide what's best to share and honesty is worth sharing, more so when you consider ...

4 Learning is the only real progress.

Not one of us knows it all and that goes for the pros out there too as they would certainly be the first to admit. The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing.

With every day we blog we learn a little more about it, we have that extra stat to consider within the bigger picture. Each day brings change which  means you cannot afford to sit still, you have to learn as the changes happen, online change is more rapid than ever but getting these simple core basics down mean everything else is in a sense secondary.

So much time is wasted (and yes I am guilty of it) learning about things we simply don't need to learn as it doesn't help things directly effecting whatever it is we are doing.

Doesn't mean we should not learn things, just that we ought spend our time learning only what we need to learn so that we can benefit from it.

My action : Cut out trying to learn what I don't need to learn, and I have done this too often! At least I learnt ...< 5. Being consistent is important.

Whatever you set out to do, be consistent at it and you will get there, people get used to you being consistent, enough to be consistent themselves in reading your blog! ;o)

As we all know people like routine, it's easy to maintain, easy to stick to, easy to follow, being consistent in the right areas is what makes the difference, in my view.

Most of all, being consistent in the above 5 tips has to be of benefit to every blogger.

Be consistent in improving everything as you go, learn, grow and maybe that glass ceiling will shatter. :o)

My action : To consistently improve all of the five above points as well as I can and stop worrying over the things I cannot control.

Will these 5 tips help you?

Do you have 5 tips of your own?

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@ 3:08 AM, , create a link to this post

"meme: 5 ways you can...."

Help me change my life!

Before I explain the meme I will need to explain this post to make sense to everyone.

I feel a bit bad, slightly annoyed but humbled.

You see just over a year ago I was made homeless wrongly...without naming or discussing it for obvious reasons.
I was helped by many over that period and will always be grateful for that as I should.

All that though made me feel bad, ashamed as a dad...they were so good I didn't feel that way for too long.

Now I am housed, I am on the way to showing my boys a good lesson to see, picking yourself up and dusting yourself down...getting on. It wasn't a lesson I wanted them to see me show that way but it is going to be.

Now its a case of making my place a's pretty bare yep!

I got back, blogging and more, but I lost a key thing in momentum...the ball was rolling and ground to a slow crawl, one downside of a blog as apposed to a website.

I would love to be a full time blogger and hope to continue that way to be so.

I wanted to share the positive of that belief I will be.
I am not one to lie and say I make blah blah 1000's a month!


Now I would love it if you could help me make up some of the momentum I lost, help me to step up my aim to show my sons it pays to get up and dust off.

The book I mentioned in an earlier post has clarified alot for me and refined my focus as well as my determination and motivation.

Not to make blah blah money, but to achieve what I set myself out for and do things the right way in the right direction.

For me the Internet and blogging is a new world of communication, from no distance communication at all to worldwide is... you know!

If money comes...great as long as I have given more than that in value.

So... hopefully you can understand the importance of momentum online as well as the fact it DOES take work.

But here I am in front of a computer just like you...we are far better of than most so we can't complain. :o)

But I want to thank you for being my reader, you are helping me already more than you know.

Now back to the meme...

I hereby name this meme "5 ways you can..."

Here's what I thought.

The meme is passed around with your "5 ways you can "whatever" " (More on that in a min)

I will write my "5 ways you can..." Help me Change my life.

This is how I considered it working.

You blog with a link to this post, your post is titled "meme: 5 ways you can..." and in your post the choice you make, at the end of the post you "tag" 5 people with this meme and so on.

**The twist of fun and interest.

You can pick whatever you choose (within reason) as your 5 things, but you must guess what those you tag will choose. ;o)

Could be interesting for those who you choose.

They still choose what they want to post about but may well have a surprised feeling at the "taggers perception" of them.

Maybe you all ignore it!!

Who knows?

The 5 I tag and what I guess they could choose for "5 ways you can..."

  • Lynn Terry... "5 ways you can... Balance being a successful mom / homeworker."
  • Seth Godin... "5 ways you can... Effectively spread your message further, faster and easier."
  • Yaro Starak... "5 ways you can... Easily improve you blogs effectiveness."

Maybe they will share some great tips we can all benefit from. :o)

Who will they choose to tag?

Should be fun learning for us all.

Never know what people will share...

5 ways you can... bake better cakes?

5 ways you can... improve your health this week?

5 ways you can... spend a family day out?

5 ways you can... save money this year?

5 ways you can... lower your carbon footprint?

5 ways you can... save time?

5 ways you can... cook with potatoes?

And more...!

Who will you choose?

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@ 2:06 AM, , create a link to this post

5 things...

You didn't know about me!

It seems I have been chased by the girls...yet again!
Well...ok I have been tagged twice anyway... ;o)

Lynn and Cricket have both tagged me to share 5 things just as they have...
Though I don't remember BEING involved with Lynn's 5th one!

5 things....

  1. I fell down a pothole in a quarry in 1980 when I was 9.. almost gone forever! Was on the local and national news... (more on that if you ask me to elaborate!)
  2. I did a two mile wheelie on a BMX bike when I was 16... :o) I can STILL do them.. ;o)
  3. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up... maybe I will be.. ;o)
  4. My life long dream is to have a book printed with MY name on the side!
  5. I have an idea for a stone carving to enter the tate gallery!
So there are 5 things you definately didn't know about me... ;o)
Now I have to tag 5 people to share what we DON'T know about them, two I considered have been tagged..

So I choose... Pearson Brown... Tiff Dow... Paul Myers... Michel Fortin... Willie Crawford..

So guys and gals... spill.. ;o)

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@ 5:49 PM, , create a link to this post

Top 700 in a week!

My squidoo sites are doing well... very well..

One is now in the top 650 out of 46,000 in a week!
Out of the other five...four are between 3,000 and 10,000... only one is outside the top 10,000.

Thats great.. ;o)

As long as I keep it up I should hit that elusive top 100!
Then the traffic should get even better.

Lenses are so simple to get going with the added benefit of getting your sites spidered quick and often via links.
Some squidoo tips to utilise are :

1. Update as regularly as possible for at least the few few months like you would a blog, fresh content matters. You can easily add the bookmarklet to your browser to make sharing and adding a click of a button, this is useful if you browse several places within that niche.

2. Add RSS feeds from your relevant blog to the lens, this mean your lens will update everytime you post to you blog, in effect helping with tip 1.

3. Contribute and comment on similar lenses and blogs to help them as well as helping yourself, everyone likes to "pay back" help they receive. It benefits you all to help getting your lenses higher ranked in the SEngines.

4. Build a few funnels to your lenses, using hub pages, blogs, etc but keep it all relevant, if possible use long tail keywords to grab the low hanging fruit.

5. Above all, keep at it as with blogs and websites it takes time and effort, nothing is instant and easy.

If you have yet to start using squidoo lenses, go start now, set a few up and see how it goes.

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@ 8:33 AM, , create a link to this post