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Ten Web Publishing DONTs

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Web Publishing DontsIn my last article, we looked at Ten Web Publishing DOs, we learned to think about your target audience, to publicizing your site and to ask permission for content. Today we are going to look at the opposite side of the spectrum, and dive into the ten things you SHOULDNT do as a web publisher.

So without further adu, lets get started.

DON’T Limit Your Audience

Be careful when designing your pages not to inadvertently limit your audience by using some oddball feature that can’t be accessed by large numbers of people who use different Web browsers. Stick to basic HTML. Warn people if you use non-standard features like ActiveX, FLASH or JavaScript. Often, providing alternative pages, such as text-only versions of your pages, is worthwhile.

If using non-standard features is important to your goals for the page, Include links to the software that works with your pages – a link to the QuickTime site if you host QuickTime movies or a link to the RealAudio site if you include RealAudio sound, for example.

DON’T Break Netiquette Rules

Using poor netiquette – the etiquette, of the Internet – is easy to do, and it can bring you a lot of negative attention. If you make any serious offences against good Internet practices, your Web service provider’s server may remove your pages. And you can even get into legal problems.

Avoid the following dubious practices:

  • Spamming, or sending unwanted e-mail to publicize your site or sell things
  • Flaming, or being fervently disparaging of other people or other Web pages
  • Posting offensive material on your page without some kind of warning label

DON’T “Borrow” Content without Asking

Make sure that content you get from the Web to use on your own Web page is labeled as being freely available for reuse, or else get permission to reuse it.

Many people are quite happy to help if you ask nicely and credit their work. The best part is that you make some good contacts with other interesting people. You also keep the law on your side.

Checkout Kelby’s post, Copyright Laws for Bloggers for more useful tips.

DON’T Abuse Graphics and Multimedia

The biggest mistake that beginning Web authors – and some experts – make is overusing graphics on a page. Keep in mind that not everyone has a cable modem or DSL connection wired directly to his or her home PC; many folks around the world receive Web pages via a more limited 56K or slower modem. For most pages, keep your page size, including both text and graphics, under 50K. Here are ways that you can keep down your page size without sacrificing design flexibility:

  • Convert photos to JPEG format.
  • Use simple icons and banners – images without very many colours or complex textures – in GIF format.
  • Lay out your site to limit the amount of graphics on any one page; add pages if you need to display more graphics.
  • Use thumbnail icons to give access to larger images.

All these strategies make your pages smaller and faster for others to download. Your Web surfers will thank you. :mrgreen:

DON’T Forget ALT Text and Text Versions of Menus

One beginners’ mistake is not offering text versions of menus, which is needed because some people turn off graphics when surfing the Net, and others, who use special software to overcome blindness, can’t see graphics.

Some home users turn off graphics to speed things along, downloading only the graphics that they really need. Other people pay a high hourly rate for their Internet access and turn off graphics to save money on their connection time. Others may be looking at your Web page through a palmtop computer or Web-enabled mobile phone with limited graphics capability.

If your navigation bar or other menu-type items are in graphical form, provide a text version as well. Always use ALT text to provide text equivalents to your graphics. Using ALT text is easy to do and makes it easier for all those people to access your content.

DON’T Forget the Basics

Your site may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you forget to include contact information for yourself in the site, how will you find out that you misspelled “bureaucracy” all over the place? Similarly, you won’t get many orders for your spiffy new widget if you put the ordering information five levels down in a Web page called “Fruit Bat Guano Statistics – 1876.”

More basics:

  • Have a useful, search-engine-friendly title for each page.
  • Include your e-mail address on your Web page.
  • Include a copyright notice.
  • If you create a Web site of more than 5 to 7 pages, add a site map.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Make the important info prominent.
  • Be ready to revise, based on user feedback.

DON’T Start by Setting up Your Own Web Server

You can find so-called “easy-to-use” Web server packages on the market, and Web server capability is being built into many Macs and PCs. But even with these efforts, buying, setting up, and maintaining a Web server can become the most expensive, most complicated, and most frustrating part of Web publishing. Luckily, you can put your content on someone else’s Web server using the free services, or you can use an inexpensive paid service, while you figure out the other tricks of the trade. Then, as your knowledge and experience grow, consider setting up your own Web server.

DON’T Make Your Site Hard to Navigate

Beginners often organize their pages so that their sites are hard to navigate. If your site has more than 5 to 7 pages, you should put some thought into how your visitors navigate it. Nobody likes wandering from link to link with no idea what is where. Likewise, users don’t want to follow ten links to find one piece of information.

Keep the relationship between your pages simple. Make clear which links are internal to your own site and which go out to other sites. Provide a site map or a common menu. And make navigation work consistently throughout the site.

DON’T Forget the “World” in World Wide Web

Remember that your Web pages are available and accessible to the whole world. Think a bit about foreign audiences. Should you include content in multiple languages? Do you use colloquialisms that may not be understood by international Net surfers? How do your pages look to your overseas colleagues who view them through a slow transoceanic Net link? Will you’re humorous or risqué content offend someone in another country or culture?

When you become a web publisher, you also become a global citizen, and your web pages play on a global stage. Think through the accessibility and meaning of your pages in advance.

DON’T Be Afraid to Find Out More

Web publishing is not rocket science. It is computer science, but it’s relatively easy computer science. You’re not trying to land the space shuttle here – and chances are, lives are not at stake. After you have your site working the way you want it to, experiment. Try weird things. Ask for feedback. Never be afraid to figure out complex and hard stuff.

You can find so much neat stuff out there that can make your web publishing efforts even more exciting – JavaScript, multimedia, new browsers and publishing tools, Net-based games, and online business infrastructure. All this new stuff is understandable and usable by normal folks like you. Don’t be intimidated. You can use all of it.

Enjoy designing and creating your own website, and as long as you follow these basic rules, you will end up with a website that will be highly functional, and one you can be proud of.

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1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific

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I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.

I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.

A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.

Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.

Not super shabby.

I am kinda prolific.

If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.

Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.

Do not wait to create.

Do Not Wait to Create

The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.

Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.

Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.

I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.

Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.

No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.

All because I chose not to wait to create.

Being Prolific Impacts Folks

Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:

I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.

Tips to Be Prolific

  • Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
  • Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
  • Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
  • Do not wait to create
  • Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.

Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.

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Blogging

How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck

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I lose blogging momentum sometimes.

You may be in the same boat, being human and all.

But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.

I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.

You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.

1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive

I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!

Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.

What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.

If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.

2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles

Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.

Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.

I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.

Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.

3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers

I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.

Each day I:

  • do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
  • exercise for 1 hour
  • usually take an icy cold shower
  • focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes

I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.

You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.

Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.

Wrapping it Up

Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.

 

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1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting

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Have you missed me?

I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.

A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.

The Problem

Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?

I did. For a minute.

Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.

If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.

Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.

Google Image Search

The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?

5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.

The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.

I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.

Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.

Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.

Why this Strategy Is So Powerful

I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.

This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.

Downsides

Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.

Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.

Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.

The Verdict

I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.

If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.

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