Rumblin’, Bumblin’, Stumblin’

stumbleuponlogo Have any of you noticed higher than normal page views or traffic of any kind on your blogs lately?

Have any of you noticed higher than normal page views or traffic of any kind on your blogs lately?

Reason I ask is, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying (when I remember) to take my favorite blogs and add them to StumbleUpon. I have this nifty little add-on for Firefox which allows me to “thumbs up” (or to “thumbs down”) things I come across on the web. Since I like those of you who are still around here, I thought I’d try and help you get the interest and views I think you deserve. I mean, if I like your blogs, others will too, right?

So I’ve been stumbling around (see the pun? like that? yeah, me either) to your blogs and adding your posts to StumbleUpon.

Well … I think so.

See, I’m not sure I have the hang of this StumbleUpon thing. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, basically. So … have you noticed any influx of traffic over the last two or three weeks? Prior to last weekend, say.

I hope so. My wife accidentally had someone favorite her blog on StumbleUpon once a little while back. She ended up with something like 3,600 views on her blog that day. It didn’t last, of course, but it was fun for her. And who knows? Maybe some of those readers will come back sometime if they like what they see.

So … did my plan work? Did you get any traffic from StumbleUpon?

-JDT-

3 Good Blogging Desktop Clients

 

20px|Windows Live Logo Windows Live WriterI’ve talked about blogging clients before — you can see all of them on my Software Review Page if you’re interested — but over the weekend, Sara asked me how to insert a table to help her organize some links on one of her pages.

The table is a nice way to collect multiple links in a neat, orderly fashion. It allows people to see groups of related posts or articles in a clean, easy-to-see way. But putting a table on a WordPress page can be tricky, because WP doesn’t have a built-in table function in its visual post editor. So, what’s a person who’s unfamiliar with HTML code to do?

Use a blogging client, of course.

For those who don’t know or haven’t gotten sick of my repetitious harping about it yet, blogging clients are software pieces which are installed either locally, on your computer, or integrated into your browser. They typically offer better feature sets than the standard built-in blog editors from most blog hosts, and allow you to do all the really cool things you’d like: Make tables (in this case), change post date and time (I write all of my posts at least a few hours ahead of their posting time), format, split posts (most of them), edit HTML directly (if you’re into that sort of thing), change formatting on fonts like colors, size, and typeface, image insertion and handling, editing old posts, and much more. It makes blogging easy and allows you to focus on content. Which is why you blog, right?

So, here are my three favorite blog clients. I prefer the offline blogging client model, which means, you can write your post in these clients and publish them without being on the Internet. With online blogging clients or the built-in editors, you need to work within your browser. I like the option of not having to use the browser to compose my entries, so these are the ones I’ll focus on.

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Successful Blogging Secrets!

Mozilla Firefox

You want to know a couple of secrets to getting more readers to your blog every time you post something?

There’s a ton of ‘em out there.  Most of the information you run across is targeted at SEO-seeking business bloggers, or professional bloggers, who depend on hits to their advertisers to keep their income stream alive.  But every so often a nugget comes around which makes me sit up and take notice, and let’s me know someone I read is doing it right … which is why I keep reading them.

People Want Lists

If you give ‘em lists, they will come.  You can list your

  • favorite software packages for editing photos
  • favorite restaurants in town
  • all-time favorite albums

And many more!  It doesn’t matter what the list is, someone out there is looking for it.  If you list it, they will come.  A great example of this is me and my top five Firefox plug-ins post.  Folks loved it, and it’s still popular.

People Want Secrets

If you give them a secret of some kind – the secret to writing a novel in thirty days, the secret to cooking fool-proof smoke-roasted chicken, the secret to getting viewers to their blogs – people will come.  They want the scoop, the low-down, the inside track.  If you’re giving someone a secret, they’re going to show up and read your blog to find out what the secret is.  Doesn’t matter what kind of secret, but don’t give away the farm in the title of your post either.

People Want to Be Personal

Get personal on your blog.  Share your heart without revealing too much.  Sounds like quite a trick, doesn’t it?  It is.  No two ways about it, it’s a fine line to walk. How do you know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em?  What do you show, what do you hide, how much is too much?  (TMI will hurt you in more ways that you can imagine.)

I don’t know the answer to this one.  It’s different for each reader and each blogger.  But I know people are intrigued and interested in bloggers who make personal contact and reveal enough of themselves to be intimate, personal and special … without giving their hearts away.

Great, GREAT examples of this are mapelba, WIGSF, and Sherri.  Very intimate feel to their blogs; great, personal anecdotes; and yet not too much revealed at the same time.  Brilliant blogging in all three cases.

People Want to be Informed

People want something from your blog, whether it’s just to find out what’s going on with you, the blogger, or some bit of advice, tidbit of information or the best sales prices in town.  Sometimes it’s very useful to give the reader something back for the time they spent on your blog.  One way to do this is to provide useful, insightful information.  Be an expert on something.  Tell people about what you’re an expert in.  Give them tips, helps and shortcuts.  They’ll flock to you.  Are you a great cook?  Teach them how to make simple and great meals they can’t mess up.  Are you a great mechanic?  Offer some of the wisdom of your years under the hood.  A voracious reader?  Tell them about the books you’ve read, which you recommend, which you don’t.

A fantastic example of someone giving really, really great advice, is Courtney Vail over at Creative Burst.  Check her out, writers.  Good stuff.

People Want Interesting

Another great way to keep people coming to your page is to be interesting.  I’m not, so I can’t give a lot of information about how to do that, but I can point you to an example: Leafless over at Pen of Passion.  He’s interesting.  You’re going to come away from his posts with something cool, so spend a few minutes and you won’t regret it.

Well, that’s it for now.  Hope this information helps you all somehow, but remember, I wrote this because I had nothing else to post about today and needed to fill the space.

God bless!

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Friday Funk and Stuff

Ghost hunters taking an EMF reading which prop...

Well, here it is, Friday, and I’ve got nothing lined up.

Some friends, Ben and Kristy, might have some BIG news later, and I’ll announce that here as soon as I hear anything, but for now, things are pretty quiet.

So, if you’re not into boring, go check out Al Bruno III‘s blog about things he’s found interesting ’round the blogosphere.

I haven’t had a single nibble on the job front since last week’s interview.  I don’t know if that means anything, but it does mean I’m one week closer to running out of unemployment insurance.  I may be able to get an emergency extension, but I can’t tell yet.  The application will automatically be filed, if I understand things correctly.   If you’re the praying type, we can sure use your prayers now.  And know we’ll be praying for you.

In the interim, I just sat through a movie on FEARnet OnDemand called The Baby’s Room.  It was a Spanish movie – both in origin and language – subtitled in English, and I have to say, it was a unique one.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It was rated 7 out of 10 by some movie rating thingy, but for me, I give it an 8.  I think the acting was superb, but the subtitles could’ve used a little polishing.  I found missing words and incorrect (if not literal) translations, and would’ve fixed them for a small fee had I been asked.  The plot was predictable, but which ones aren’t?  The execution was carried to the last moment of the movie, and the final scene was poignant.  Very good overall.  Like I said, it’s an 8 to me, and it’s one of the only horror movies I’ve seen lately which I felt satisfied me.  In addition, it was only 77 minutes long.  And that was perfect.

Let’s see, what else?  Hm.  Oh!  I know.  I’ve done absolutely no writing here for a long time.  I’m ready to burst.  I’ve been in a dry spell for months – ask my bud Sherri about what we think of as true writer’s block and she’ll tell ya, we gots it – and it’s driving me nuts.

I’m still trying to get the hang – and the point – of social media like Twitter.  It’s not all that social and I’m not really in a position to market anything right now, so what the heck am I supposed to be doing with it?

I’ve managed to get a chapter or two of Ghost Hunters (my novel, not the TV show) edited this week, and I’m shooting for at least three more this weekend.  I really can’t keep letting myself off the hook with excuses, or it’ll never get finished.  So that’s my goal.  We’ll see come Monday how I did.

Other than that, things are status quo here.  Not much else to tell, gang; I’m boring as ever.

God bless, everyone; have a great weekend.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Another Blog Traffic Tool

Blogging For Dummies
Image by Somewhat Frank via Flickr

I’ve talked to you before about a great li’l thing called AlphaInventions.com, a web site which presents your blog to other bloggers and visitors to the site.  It’s a fantastic and FREE way to get your blog(s) exposure.  Who knows?  You may even pick up a new follower or two, and you might connect with others you’re interested in following.

Well, I have a new one for you.  It’s the same general idea — a round-robin display of various blogs from around the blogosphere — and it works in a similar way.  Not speaking from a technical standpoint, because I have no shade of a clue how those programmers did the juju they did, but from a practical standpoint, it’s easy to use.

The site is Condron.us, and it’s very simple to use.  Go to their home page, enter your blog or web site’s URL, click add and voila! — blog exposure to dozens of new readers.

The home page has a link at the top that says Add Your Blog.  Click it.  Enter the URL, and your email if you’d like (it’s optional), and then click the SUBMIT button.  That’s it!  You’re in the rotation and you will get more hits, guaranteed.

In addition, you can write a nice review of their site (like this one) and their page will auto-insert the URL into their rotation.  More hits again.

It’s a great tool and very useful as a method of getting your blog out there to people, especially when you don’t have control over the meta tags of your site (like us WordPress.com users).

Check it out!

-JDT-