Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Bloggers

Is Blog Traffic Something That Takes Hard Work?

I’ve been blogging for around 8 years—3.5 on this blog.

Blog Traffic

Image courtesy of Svilen Milev ~

I’ve tried many things to encourage folks to visit.

Most of them seemed extremely artificial…

I write the best content I possibly can—posts that have what I consider Value for the reader.

I don’t look at my Stats much anymore—just plugging away, saying what I feel I must say…


I thought it might be interesting to ask my readers what they’d like to see me do.

I’ve had many polls here—recently started a special Friday Poll—not for what I should post but other, more interesting topics.


This post will only succeed if I have a bunch of my 168 followers make a Comment—even very a brief Comment…

What direction do you wish I’d take on this blog?

[ignore the following link—it’s just to set up a Pinging service :-) —  Click here ]
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Your Opinion Absolutely Counts ~ Give This A Try

Blogging is a form of Social Media—one of the oldest.


Image courtesy of Wilton Rodrigues ~

Sure, it doesn’t Snap, Crackle, and Pop like some platforms but it has great potential for evoking meaningful conversations.

Still, the blogger has to work to craft posts that are worth talking about

Some of my posts generate the beginnings of conversations, some have 4 to 6 comments that don’t really form a conversation, and most have no comments at all

This doesn’t trouble me because I know from various stats that folks are reading what I write.

And, apart from the burning desire to get the words and the story out of the heart and mind, the writer’s greatest hope is to have folks read what’s produced.

Next would come the need to get meaningful feedback.

So, I decided to have a little experiment.

The first part of the experiment was whether you got this far into this post.

Congratulations :-)

Now, I’ll give you links to three articles that have been in my bookmarks waiting for me to figure out how to use them:

Can Fiction Improve Us? Yes, That’s What It’s For

Good English teaching helps students in math

Does Reading a Book Count More Than Listening to One?

O.K., now pick one of those to check out (two if your adventurous).

Go read your article and come back and leave a Comment

If you want to really get into this experiment, really push the boundaries of this blog, try to word your comment in a way that sparks another reader to comment about your comment

If you’ve read this far and are still in an experimental mood, you might want to read a post I did called, Why Do People Comment On Blogs?

It has posts I’ve done that got more than my average comment-count—though, still not what I’d call conversational commenting

Why am I doing this experiment?

To trick you into commenting?


I’m trying to trick you into thinking differently about blogs—thinking of them as a place to start and join in on conversations—make them places that outdo all those snapping, crackly, popping spaces that folks use, so often, to not really talk to each other but merely talk At each other

Naturally, you can avoid those three articles and just comment on what you think of this post’s “experiment” :-)
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
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Why Do People Comment On Blogs?

Ever thought of blogs as social media platforms?


Image courtesy of Rene Cerney ~

If you can see them that way, then comments are the main driver of the “social” part.

The “media” is what the blogger presents.

Although, bloggers can write in ways that create a social atmosphere in their posts and commenters can add to the media content.

It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t care about comments on their blog, or doesn’t even allow comments

In an article that seems to reduce blogging to just one part of a “branding machine”, I did find one interesting bit:

“There are some famed bloggers (like Seth Godin) who don’t even allow comments on their blog posts, there are people like yours truly who allow people to comment freely but rarely add to the discourse, and then there are those (like Gini DietrichChris Brogan and Mark W. Schaefer) who spend a lot of time playing in the comments.”

I “play in the comments” on this blog and I consider them the most important part of what I’m trying to do here—though, many folks have never considered how a comment from them adds Value to a blog post

Some of the “professional” reasons for taking the time to comment on others’ blogs (though anyone can co-opt these for their own “non-professional” use) are nicely summed up in a post on Darren Rowse’s blog—The Ultimate Guide to Leaving Comments On Blogs:

“1. Building your own profile….

2. Showcasing your expertise….

3. Getting to know other bloggers….

4. Driving traffic to your blog….

5. Idea generation….

6. Staying sharp….

7. Opportunities May Follow”

My main reason for commenting on blog posts, which may seem prosaic or passé, is to join in on the conversation the blogger began

I’ll finish this post by linking to 9 other posts on this blog that have garnered the most comments:

Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story…

Is Self-Publishing Prone To Producing Crap ?

Who The Heck Knows The “Right” Price for An Ebook?

In An Attention Deficit World, What Kind of Novel Do You Write?

Social Networking and Insanity . . .

Diagramming Sentences ~ A Lost Art?

Fiction and Social Justice ~ Can They Coexist?

Passion’s Gift . . .

I Need Your Help ~ Let’s Decide Which Is Better: Traditional or Self-Publishing . . .

Care to Comment? :-)
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
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Blogging on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the “business social media site”, right?

Image courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~

Image courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~

Well They call it the “World’s Largest Professional Network”.

Lots of folks use it to find a job, or the people to fill a job slot.

They also let members “…follow news by industry and sources, companies, and groups…”.

But, since October of 2012 they let you “…follow the likes of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Caterina Fake, Craig Newmark, President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and many more.”

They also let you “…like and comment directly on their posts, and share with your network.”

Kind of like subscribing to long-form blog posts by famous people

Just the other day they began rolling out the ability for members (non-famous folk) to do their own blogging.

They say “…the posts will appear on [members’] profiles where they will ‘live forever’ as a part of [the] professional identity…”

That last altered quote originated on TechCrunch in their article, LinkedIn Opens Its Publishing Platform To All Members.

That article ends with these words:

“LinkedIn may be looking to deliver more personalized insights and increase user engagement, but the actual end result—given broad enough adoption of the pro blogging feature—will likely be better hiring decisions as companies get to know the person behind the resume.”

There was also an article with much more financial speculation on Gigaom—LinkedIn has the one thing other publishing platforms would kill for.

That article ends with these thoughts:

“Are there going to be quality issues and other struggles for new publishing platforms like LinkedIn, as there have been for Medium and the Huffington Post? Of course there are. But particularly for LinkedIn, the benefit of having a completely separate business that is generating significant amounts of revenue will give the company a lot more firepower than most of its competitors. Just another thing to keep traditional media awake at night.”

And, aiming right at the users’ benefits, the article, LinkedIn Wants to Be Your Soapbox, Not Just Your Résumé, in The New York Times, says:

“With the new tool, which will be rolled out gradually to LinkedIn’s membership over the coming weeks, users will be able to write and publish posts longer than the 600-character maximum that exists for status updates now. The posts will initially be shared with people in each user’s network, but if they are popular and compelling enough, LinkedIn’s algorithms might send them out more broadly.”

And, from Entrepreneur’s, Have a Blog? LinkedIn Wants Your Copy., we find out:

“In addition to written articles, members can share photos, images, videos and their original presentations via SlideShare…”

Sound interesting to you?
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Navigating My Blog . . .

The main themes of my blog are Reading, Writing, and Publishing. 


Image courtesy of ilker ~

It’s a little over 3 years old and has just over 850 posts.

There are also 9 pages of Special Information.

Folks new to the blog might miss something important to them because they aren’t aware of some of the ways they can find things.

Those 9 Special Pages are pretty self-explanatory; check out those black tabs with white writing at the top of the blog

Also near the top, on the right, is a search box—enter single words, multiple words with commas between them, or phrases.

If you scroll down a bit, the left side-panel has a Top Posts & Pages area and, right under it, a Top Tags Cloud—the larger the words in that cloud, the more posts with that topic (and, hovering over the clickable words tells you how many posts

Plus, if you explore that left side-bar from top to bottom, you’ll find a wealth of other resources

And, if all else fails, at the top of the side-bar, in pink type, is a Contact Me link so you can send me an email and ask me anything at all

One other thing you could do that would help me a lot is take my survey of what You want to see on this blog :-)
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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