Bad Blogging Practices

As I go through blogs in the dofollow blog directory, I run across some interesting blogs. Some are interesting in a good way, and some are interesting in a bad way.

As I go through blogs in the dofollow blog directory, I run across some interesting blogs.  Some are interesting in a good way, and some are interesting in a bad way.  Some really point out people that are desperate to make money and that leads them to do some really annoying things.

Here are some of the bad blogging practices I see as I review flagged nofollow blogs.

A blog full of advertising banners really does you no good.  You may think that the more banners you have on your site, the better chance you have of someone clicking on that banner, and the better chance you have of making money.  Wrong!

It’s okay to have banner ads on your blog, I have some on this blog.  But, I have seen blogs that are using banners in the header, banners at the bottom of the blog, banners in the left sidebar and banners in the right sidebar.  Plus, banners in the post.

All those banners say to me that the blog owner is trying so hard to make a few bucks that they don’t really care about providing any value to the reader.  The banner clutter is annoying, and it often causes the blog to load very slowly.  If your blog is slow to load due to too many graphics, people will leave your blog without even having a look.

Again, it’s okay to put a few banner ads on your site, just make it a few banners.  Also, make sure those banners don’t slow the load of your blog too much.

Another thing that really bothers me, and will cause me, as a visitor, to leave your blog, is opening more pages in the background.  I have visited a number of blogs that open another browser window in the background when their blog is opened.  This is annoying to me, but tolerable.  But, a few blogs will open more than one window.  Then when you close a window, another window is opened, and when you exit the blog yet another window is opened.

When I see this nonsense happening, I just automatically close all those stupid windows and will never buy anything from your blog, and will probably not even read your blog.  When new windows are opened like that, they are opened in a new browser, which uses more computer resources, which can slow a computer to a crawl.  I have even seen it lock up a PC.

Why would you want to make visitors mad at you?  Of course you don’t want to upset your visitors, so don’t do it.  I suggest you don’t open any windows in the background, even on exit.  If you want to present something to a visitor on exit, there are programs that will pop up a box when they attempt to leave.  I suggest you do this instead of opening a browser window.

These are a few blogging practices you should avoid.

Thank you to those that are using the dofollow blog directory and are reporting blogs that are nofollow.

Modifying Free WP Templates

So, you want to change the look of your blog, or you want to start a new blog. You want your blog to look unique, you don’t want just another Wordpress looking blog, so what do you do? How about modifying free WP templates.

So, you want to change the look of your blog, or you want to start a new blog.  You want your blog to look unique, you don’t want just another WordPress looking blog, so what do you do?

Do you search through the thousands for free wp templates and find one you like?  Then use it hoping no too many other bloggers are using it?

Or, do you pay for a template that others may be using?  Surely fewer bloggers will pay for a template and your blog will be somewhat unique.

Or, do you pay someone to build a totally custom template for you?  This would probably be fairly expensive, but it would certainly make your blog unique.

I have been asked about creating custom blog template by some customers, and answered the wp template question on my Online Tech Guy blog.

My answer is, use a free template that has the look and features you want, and then modify it if necessary to fit your specific needs.

All of my blogs use free templates with changes I have made specific to my needs.

This blog is a free template with changes I have made to the side bar, header and main page.  These changes are not hard to make if you understand where to make the changes and know a little PHP and html.

My internet marketing blog is also a free wp template, with modifications made to suit my needs.

Many of the sidebar changes can be made using the Widgets in your WP admin area.  You can do a lot of great things using the “Text” widget, by adding html and Javascript.

Making changes within the actual template PHP files can be a little more tricky.  But, there are some really cool things you can do, and you can display any information that is in your WP database anywhere you want.

If you are not comfortable making those changes to the code of your template, I suggest you hire someone to do it.  Okay here is a selfish plug – you can hire me :-)

Here are just a few examples of some of the blogs I have modified to make them look unique.

Get Back With Your Ex Blog

Pulsatile Tinnitus Blog

These two blogs use the same template, and look somewhat alike.  But if you look closely, you will see there are distinct differences between the two.

I am considering offering a blog customization service, where I will customize blogs for a fee.  What do you think?  It would be less expensive than a custom built blog, and would give free wp template blogs more of a custom look.

I would appreciate your thoughts.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  In return, you will get a keyword targeted dofollow link back to your site.  Comments are moderated and a “I think that’s a great idea” comment will be removed.  So, please leave a comment that will add value to the discussion.


Blog Spammer Fooled Me

Blog comment spammers can be creative enough to fool the best of us. Here is one that got me!

I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my blog?
Thanks in advance.

Sincerely, Timur.

I recently received that comment on my blog.  I was pleased that Timur liked my blog post and wanted to copy it to his own blog.  You know you’re doing things right when you get blog comments like this – right?

Well, not in this case!  I have more than one blog, and guess what I found?  This same exact comment showed up on more than one of my blogs.  This is a blog spam comment.

I have to admit, I fell for it when I saw it the first time, but of course when I saw it on the second blog I knew it was spam.

The comment was flagged as spam by Spam Karma on my other blog, so someone had already caught on to this spammer and had flagged them as spam.  I also flagged it as spam, so Timur (if that’s the spammers real name) will not be getting as many backlinks as he thought he would.

The lessons learned here are, that you must be using a spam detecting plugin like Askimet or Spam Karma on you blog.  And, you need to be on your guard for these clever comments that appear real and flattering.


Blogging Goals for 2009

I’ve been thinking (always a scary thought) about my blogging goals for 2009. Do you have blogging goals for 2009? If so, I’d love to know what they are.

Blogging Goals for 2009

I’ve been thinking (always a scary thought) about my blogging goals for 2009.

I’m not big on goal setting, like writing short term goals and long term goals, and posting them where I see them every day.  I’m not big on it because it’s been my experience that when I don’t accomplish those goals, that’s a negative and I want to keep my business thoughts positive.

So, I will think through what I want to accomplish at a high level and then set those goals in my mind.

My blogging goals for 2009 are blog more consistently, and bring more of a personal touch to my blogs, and provide good content.  I get my blogging inspiration from Albert Hallado and have blogged about his blogging style on my internet marketing blog.

As you can see, that blog, and this blog have not been updated for way too long.  So, as you can see blogging consistency has not been one of my strengths.

I have to admit I have been busy with my Online Tech Guy business and that has limited my time somewhat.  But still I should be able to carve out a half an hour to update my blog.

In 2009 I will schedule and hour each week to drop whatever I am doing and write a blog post.

The second thing I want to do is to share a little more about who I am, and let you get to know me a little better.  The internet can be an impersonal thing, with people hiding behind a keyboard.  I want to be more than that.

Now, I’m not going to share too much :-) , but I do want to reveal more about who I am as a person and I hope to get to know my readers better as well.

My third goal is to provide good content.  It does me no good to be a consistent blogger, while providing content no one wants to read, so I will strive to always provide something of value.

Have you thought about your blogging goals for 2009?  I’d love to hear them.

Submit your goals in the comments and you will get a DoFollow link back to your site.  Only quality comments will be accepted.  Comments like “my goal is to be a better blogger” will not be accepted.

Askimet and Blog Comment Spam

Blog spam is definitely a problem and I don’t want to pretend it isn’t, and anti-spam plugins like Askimet are great plugins. But, if you are moderating comments on your blog, you need to make sure you are flagging true spam as spam with Askimet, and deleting questionable comments.

Blog spam is definitely a problem and I don’t want to pretend it isn’t, and anti-spam plugins like Askimet are great plugins.

But, if you are moderating comments on your blog, you need to make sure you are flagging true spam as spam with Askimet, and deleting questionable comments.

I have heard from some people that a comment of their’s was flagged as spam with Askimet because the owner didn’t approve of the content of the comment.  If you don’t approve of a comment delete it, don’t flag it as spam especially with Askimet because if the comment is not true spam, you have just screwed someone.

In summary, Askimet is a WordPress plugin that is used by thousands of bloggers.  Blog comments are sent to Askimet and Askimet uses it’s rules to determine if a comment is spam or not.  Of course Askimet is not going to tell us how they determine spam, which is good since the spammers would find ways around the Askimet spam rules.

So, if you flag a comment as spam, it’s flagged by Askimet as spam.  Once a comment is flagged as spam by you, Askimet will flag it as spam the next time that person comments on a blog post.

I have read that URLs are sometimes flagged as spam, some keywords are flagged as spam and I suspect IP addresses may also be flagged as spam.  The next time the person you flagged as spam submits a comment on another blog, Askimet may identify it as spam, and the comment will never be approved – even though it could be a perfectly valid comment.

From what I have read, from people who have ended up being flagged as a spammer by Askimet, is that you won’t even realize you were flagged as a spammer until you somehow figure out your comments on blogs never show up.  Some tested by commenting on their own blog to see their comment being flagged as spam.

To get of off the Askimet spam system, I’ve seen people suggest you comment on blogs of people you know, and ask them to mark your comments as not being spam if Askimet flags them as spam.  This is called a False-Positive by Askimet.  As blog owners approve the comments as not being spam, Askimet is supposed to learn.  So if you continue to post comments that are not flagged as spam, you should come off the list.

The best way to stay out of the Askimet spam system is to provide good comments.  But someone having a bad day could decide to flag you as spam for no good reason.  You wouldn’t want someone doing that to you, so be careful when flagging comments as spam when they really aren’t.

If you have questionable comments on your blog, go ahead and delete them, just make sure you delete bad comments, and flag true spam as spam.  I delete far more comments than I flag as spam.  A blog comment has to clearly be spam before I will mark it as such, and Askimet catches most of those for me already.

I also encourage you to periodically look at comments Askimet flags as spam on your blog.  If you find comments that are clearly not spam, remove the spam flag.  You would appreciate if someone did that for you, so do the right thing for them.

Askimet is a great plugin for controlling comment spam on your blog, but be careful how you use it.

Disclaimer:  I am not an expert on Askimet, but I did some research on it to better understand how it works.  If you have more information on how Askimet works, I would appreciate your comments below.


Blogging is Dead

Did you hear the news? Blogging is dead! The revelation that blogging is so 2004 and not worth doing any longer was sure news to me.

Did you hear the news?  Blogging is dead!

The revelation that blogging is so 2004 and not worth doing any longer was sure news to me.

Paul Boutin over at States “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”

Paul is right, that the top blogs on Tecnorati are no longer the personal blogs written by the individual, they are now the blogs of corporations and political heavy weights.  The small time blogger like you and I no longer have a chance to reach the top of the blog directories.

So you need to stop blogging today.  Do you hear me?  Everyone stop blogging – please.

According to the above article, some bloggers are moving over to Twitter and Facebook.  Yes, Twitter and Facebook are great services and I think all blog owners should use those services and just stop blogging – blogging is just a waste of time.

There are just too many blogs today, too much competition to make it worth while.

I guess the ease of use of blogging platforms, like WordPress, has doomed all of us in the blogging world.  Now virtually anyone, without technical expertise can blog, and blogging is no longer the darling of the technically skilled.

The blogosphere has created it’s own demise since it is so easy to do, and there are so many people teaching others how to blog.

With the millions of blogs out there, how will your blog ever get noticed?  It won’t – so stop already, pull the plug, go Twitter everyone and let them know you will be using Twitter to communicate with them, because you are pulling the plug on your blog.

Let’s start a “pull the plug on your blog” movement, and spread the word to everyone we know.

Wait a minute….what are you doing here?  How come you are reading this?  Don’t you know blogs are dead?

Seriously, even though it has become tougher to compete in the blogging arena, there are still plenty of benefits to blogging.  The internet is still all about content, and blogs are content.  Plus, the search engines still love blogs and content and always will.

If some find blogging no longer worth doing, and turn off their blogs, great – that just leaves more potential visitors to our blogs.

The real key to blogging today, is to find niches to blog about.

For example, if you try to get traffic to a general political blog today, you will have a hard time competing with the big boys.  But, if you decided to blog about something like politics from a Christian’s prospective, or from a lawyer’s perspective, or an internet marketer’s perspective, you should be able to find an audience.

Blogging is dead – NOT!  It’s just like everything else on the internet, you just need to adapt to the times and competition.

Blog on!