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Subscribe to Comments Plugin

June 29, 2007

I’ve just installed and activated a new plugin for this blog; it’s called Subscribe to Comments. This is a plugin that lets commentators on Super Blogging check a box before commenting. By checking this box, you will receive future comments on that post by subscription to your email. This helps to you to keep up with discussion on any certain post, or see replies to your comment. It’s very helpful!For example, if you make a comment on a post asking a question, you may want to subscribe to that post so you’ll have the answers come directly to your email inbox. Or if there is an informative post and you want to receive all the discussion, there’s another reason to check the box.

OR, if you have a blog of your own, you may want this very popular plugin. It helps to “foster a community around your blog by encouraging commentators to come back and stay engaged in the dialog”, according to the plugin page. You can even view a list of who has subscribed and to what topics. So download this plugin for your own WordPress blog here!

Let me know what you think. ;)

Google Ads with Rounded Corners

June 28, 2007

I was over at ProBlogger and came across a post that informed me of a new option Google has given its publishers: your Adsense ads can now have square edges, slightly rounded, or very rounded. Click here to see previews of the three different ad border styles.

I think it’s great that Google is giving Adsense publishers more choices in the look and feel of the ads they run. A selection of different border types is not huge a difference, but it never hurts. However, when I use Adsense, I blend the ads into my site and you cannot see the borders at all, so these differently shaped edges would not matter for me. But I can see how this will be very nice for some people whose ads are not completely blended. More options never hurt anybody, and it’s not something to complain about, even if I won’t be using it!

What do YOU think about the new slightly rounded and very rounded edge options? Will you be using them, or do you not have borders visible on your Adsense ads you run?

Think Before You Publish

June 28, 2007

I just came across an article on Shankar Ganesh’s tech blog. It lists 11 things to do before you hit the publish button. That post really set me to thinking, because sometimes I’ll just write up a post, edit the timestamp, and then publish it to be posted up on the blog later. I don’t usually give a second thought (when I really should give a third, fourth, or fifth!)

But after reading Shankar’s article, I’ve realized that not doing certain things before I publish can fatally cost me. And if you’re making the same mistakes as I am, it will cost you too! For example, sometimes I don’t even read over my post a second time, and I don’t exactly spell check as I should. If a post is full of grammatical and spelling errors, or is just awkward and doesn’t make sense, it’s a big loss. Even if the idea of the post is genius, it will suffer if it’s full of mistakes. You may lose visitors and your post will not be linked to very much because it won’t be considered a good source of information.

Some things you should stop and do before you publish include re-reading multiple times, checking the links, thinking about your post’s images or lack of images, making sure you’ve categorized the post properly, utilized keywords, and linking to some of your blog’s other posts.

Shankar also suggested you use “post teasers“. This is one thing I disagree with, because these annoy me. I don’t like having to click “read more” and letting the page load up again. Most times, if I’m forced to do this, I will skip the post altogether. Readers can get pretty frustrated with post teasers, so I’d just advise you to stay away from them!

So now, are you thinking about how you need to think before you publish? If you don’t think and leave your post filled with (or even just containing a few) mistakes, that can be a very costly error. From now on I will try to write my posts with better clarity and I will read over them when I’m done. If I’m not sure about a post, I will let it sit until I decide whether I want to publish it or not. By making your posts better quality, you make your blog better quality, and in turn your readers will thank you by linking to your articles and continuing to read your blog!

Of course, please never expect me to be perfect all the time. I try! ;D

Using MyBlogLog Effectively

June 27, 2007

I’ve always known that MyBlogLog is a good way to draw attention to your blog and bring in new traffic, but I never realized it was this good! I used to just visit other blogs who had the ‘recent visitors’ MBL widget and hoped someone was interested in my icon (which used to be, mind you, a face) and clicked on it. Well, now I know how to use MBL properly, and you should too!

First of all, if you want to be noticed on people’s blogs under the ‘recent readers’ widget, you’ve got to make your icon stand out! So many people use a picture of their face or even someone else’s face. But no matter how pretty the face is, it’s not going to draw as many eyes as a bright avatar that just pops out at you. My avatar is brightly colored with polka dots! And I’ve noticed other effective icons that are just brightly colored and say the name of the blog on them. Whatever you do, make it stand out more than the others and it’ll be clicked on more.

But another important thing that I never did was join other communities. Why is this helpful? Because whenever you join another blog’s community, whenever some views that blog’s MBL page, YOUR icon will be shown, and YOUR icon will have a chance of being clicked on, opposed to it not appearing in the community list at all. So now I try to join as many new blog communities I can a day, especially the ones relevant to my blogging topic (I think the limit of communities you can join per day is 15). So get to joining those communities for better exposure! Get a head start and join the Super Blogging community.

There are so many ways to use MyBlogLog that is helpful to you, and I’ll be touching on this topic again in the future. Today, I wrote about using MBL to get more traffic, notice, and exposure. Very soon I’ll write another article on MBL and how to optimize it and make it even more effective for you. In the meantime, make sure your icon is noticable and that you join 15 communities a day!

Best of the Blogosphere Round-up #1

June 26, 2007

Welcome to my first round-up of what I consider to be fantastic posts and blogs that you’d be missing out on if you don’t check out. The posts are ones I have come across while being online and I think would benefit or interest you to read. I select posts for my round-ups, but if you want to submit a post to be featured on this blog, you can always enter my upcoming carnival. You also have a better chance of being included in the round-ups if you comment on my blog, so I’ll notice you. I always check my commentators’ blogs and posts! ;) So, enjoy…

FANTASTIC POSTS

Five Mistakes This Blogger Made: Christopher Boyce, author of Blog Me Famous, talks about what NOT to do when starting your first blog. He reveals five mistakes he made that he thinks you should avoid, and I agree with all his points one hundred percent!

Should Links Open in a New Window?: Darren from ProBlogger answers a reader question about whether links should be opened in a new window or not. Upon reading his post, all the points he made are very good ones! Go check out what he had to say. ;)

How to Rotate Ad Banners and Increase Your Cash!: Kumiko of Kumiko’s Cash Quest writes up a great post about how to rotate a variety of ads to keep your site looking fresh, updated, and to help you make more money! She reviews this helpful plugin…

WordPress Tiger Administration Plugin: I was very interested when I read this post by John Chow. He discusses and shows previews of a plugin that changes the look and feel of the behind scenes WordPress administation area. This may just be something I have to check out for myself!

Tips for Getting The Most Out of Squidoo: Tim Schroeder, the owner of the blog eMonetized, has written up this fantastic post on Squidoo. Before I didn’t really know a thing about Squidoo, but now I do, and now I’m joining in! This is a must-read. Click here to sign up for Squidoo.

Secret ‘Blogging Traffic Booster’ in WordPress: A great discovery was made by Court. If, while typing your post in WordPress, you do a three-key command on your keyboard, an extra bar of options will appear. And in these options is one that will help you to increase your traffic! Check out his post to see what you’ve got to do…

20 WordPress Themes That Don’t Disappoint: Now here is a post you don’t want to miss if you’re a WordPress user. If you need a change of scenery, check out these 20 awesome templates – some of the best I’ve ever seen! I would use one myself if this layout here wasn’t so new. Mine isn’t even broken in yet. ;)

UNBELIEVABLE BLOGS

Blogozine: At this blog you can find a variety of all sorts of things, a collection of everything good throughout the blogosphere. Check out this post called Annoying Alarm Clocks. It really made me laugh!

People You’ll See in Hell: I don’t recommend this to youngsters because some of the content might appear to be a little upsetting, even if the site’s intentions are good. But I really do find this blog quite interesting! I’ve actually spent a couple solid hours reading the content.

That Wraps it Up!

It’s a little disappointing that my first Best of the Blogosphere Round-Up didn’t have so much content in it, but I’ve been feeling really exhausted lately. I’ll try to get in another round-up next week! No, I have no set date for them, but hopefully I can do them weekly or every other week :) Remember, if you want your blog or post featured, you need good content, and your chances are increased if you comment on this blog so I’ll notice you. But if you want to get your post featured anyway, enter my blog carnival. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed Best of the Blogosphere Round-Up #1!!

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