Categories
Blogging Marketing

What do you think about Simpleology’s blog course?

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

FWIW, other Joyner-written courses have been pretty good, so it’s worth a few minutes to check out.

Categories
Blogging

So, you think YOUR blog looks nice?

I stumbled across this family blog due to a comment on a WordPress plugin page.

Outstanding. I just had to share it.  http://www.kipferhome.com/

Categories
Blogging Competition Management Marketing Media Web 2.0

Competitors: How to easily keep an eye on them. Free.

When I was in the software business, I didn’t watch our competitors too much.

For one thing, I really didn’t consider them competitors. Sure, we lost a sale to them once in a while, but more often than not, it was due to (I kid you not) lies and deception, or a misplaced idea about what was important in the systems we do (yeah, call that a sales or marketing stumble – because better marketing should have eliminated those reasons). Sure, I recognized that they were in our market, but in many ways, they just didn’t get it.

We were the leaders in the market. I watched the competition to see what they had copied of ours, but only on one occasion do I recall that we felt the need to copy something someone else did (a visual sales tool – we were the last to do this).

As such, I focused on innovation, on interacting with customers to figure out what they needed etc. It worked for us. Everyone else was watching and copying us, and we simply kept innovating. It’s a tough position to be in, but it beats the heck out of being #2, where you’re always trying to catch up.

And of course, because the tool I use now didn’t exist.

Google Alerts.

Google Alerts lets you setup a permanent Google search of one or more of these areas: news, blogs, video, web sites (ie: search engine results) and Google Groups (Google’s NNTP newsgroups mirror).

For example, one of my clients owns a coffee shop (you may have picked up on that by now<g>), so I have a Google Alert that once a day does a search for new results on Starbucks. Blogs, news, web sites, etc.

I also have searches on my name (I strongly recommend you do this as well – but for your name<g>), the town where I live, social and political issues or personalities important to me, prospective clients, clients and a few other groups I won’t divulge.

I can either get these notifications as soon as Google finds them, or I can get them scheduled to appear once a day.

They come to my email.

Simple as pie, and extremely valuable. Not only is it easier to know what’s going on in my niche (and my clients’ niches), but it takes a lot less time and I see things that I might not ordinarily see.

Try it, I think you’ll find it quite useful.

Last but not least, don’t forget about what happened to Kryptonite, the bike lock people. In 2004, they ignored a blog about their locks being picked by a Bic pen. They knew about the blog post, but did nothing to address it.

After the story appeared in the New York Times – at which point they could no longer ignore it – Kryptonite found themselves replacing 380,000 locks worth over $10 million, and their attitude through the whole affair didn’t exactly endear them to their customers. Pay attention.

Another post on this subject – http://businessbloggingpros.typepad.com/business_blogging_pros/2008/04/another-tuned-o.html

Categories
Blogging Media Technology

WordPress MU is a great tool. Sadly AdSense link bait spammers agree.

I absolutely love WordPress. It’s a great piece of software – the software that runs this blog.

The code is clean, easy to modify to make it do anything you want, and the wealth of themes and plugins that the WP community has produced is amazing.

But it has a dark, ugly, shoulda-never-been-released-for-free side: WordPress MU.

That’s MU for “Multi-User”, meaning that you can install WP MU once and create thousands of blogs without having to reinstall it. For free.

Free means that it’s a spammers’ delight.

Why? Because these slimeballs have clearly managed to automate this process:

  • Mount a blog on a MU installation
  • Automatically steal article content via article directories, blog content via RSS, etc.
  • Publish the free content as a blog post without the resource box and hot links (thus violating the terms of publication) and instead, use the article as link bait /SEO bait for sites that the thief’s blog(s) link to.
  • Repeat this process thousands of times on many different URLs.

Authors can’t track down these vipers and get the content removed from the thieving sites, nor can they get the sites nailed because they are typically hosted by slimeball ISPs who wont respond or don’t care. Or they are hosted overseas where content protection laws are either weak-kneed, ignored or both.

Some suggest that you can perhaps eventually trace some part of the web host or ISP service back to a US vendor somewhere, somehow. Try talking to Nynex about a site in Taiwan that stole your article, who is using a web host over there who somehow uses that pipe’s provider. They’re gonna care?

How much time do you have per day to spend discussing such matters with ISP1, ISP2, ISP3, ISP4 etc, only to have another 2 or 3 of them pop up 10 minutes later.

Just like with email spammers, it’s like playing whack-a-mole trying to chase these guys down.

Obviously, it’s also a substantial waste of time running traceroutes and so on trying to find out a way to tie the thief or their blog back to a US or European internet provider.

Over the last 25+ years, I’ve caught my fair share of people using my software without paying for it. Not one of them torqued me like these people do, probably because there’s really very little you can do about it because of the nature of the net, and the time expense of chasing them down (much less the futility).

So what would YOU do about this problem – if anything? Realistic comments only, please.

Categories
Blogging Marketing Media

Bob Dylan recommends my blog?

Examples of great viral marketing are more evident today than ever – and they are a great way to get a huge crowd to suddenly find out about you and your product or service. Sometimes they are accidental, sometimes they are the result of some brilliant thought and planning.

Last weekend, I found a video of Bob Dylan recommending my blog to his fans. I would have never expected it from him.

You can view the video here: http://www.marksentme.com/go/seeBobDylan

Bob’s marketing team is pretty smart. Virally smart.

Categories
Automation Blogging

Did you pass math? WordPress now requires that you prove it:)

I’ve added a small hurdle to the site for those who want to comment.

Just above the comment box, you’ll notice a box asking for the sum of 2 numbers. Type that number in and go about your commenting. It’s one more layer of hassle for the comment spammers – mostly to eliminate the automated comment bots that hassle blog owners by posting junk comments.

If you are logged in, you don’t have to deal with the math thing.

Trackbacks are not affected by it.

Categories
Blogging

I’m a SOB

Im a SOB!Those who have known me for any length of time already know that I’ve been a SOB for quite some time.

But this is a different kettle of SOBs.

Liz Strauss over at Successful-Blog.com included Business is Personal (uh, that’s this blog, folks) on her SOB list.

As she puts it:

They take the conversation to their readers,
contribute great ideas, challenge us, make us better, and make our businesses stronger.

I thank all of our SOBs for thinking what we say is worth passing on.
Good conversation shared can only improve the blogging community.

So that’s pretty cool.