Yoohooo....it's me again, your blondalicious teacher with another weekend homework assignment! Let's hear that HUGE groan!
I wish to educate you today on The Three Golden Rules of Blogging (or TTGROB) because these rules-- once learned and employed--will serve you well as you play in the big blogosphere sandbox. These three rules are the basis for good blogging etiquette, and someday you will thank me just as you thank your parents (with lots of moolah and link love!).
Rule Number One: Do Unto Other Bloggers As You Would Do To Yourself
This means treat other bloggers with respect, kindness, LINK LOVE (if their link fits with your blog), and reply to their comments if you have the time.
Once again, I will use myself, your blondalicious teacher, as an example. I'm juggling so many projects these days, and sometimes the wind from the overhead fan blows my notes away. Tis true! And then I can't remember what is on my list of things to do, and so I screw up from time to time. It boils down to "I've been very busy!" And I'm sure it's true that me, you, and we're all busy! Most of us don't spend our days blogging. We go to work, enter hospitals for operations, travel, take care of others, go shopping, do charity work....the list is endless!
This is why I picked the photo of the black maribou slipper as my illustration--we're all juggling many, many duties, obligations, and pleasures in our lives. I've run out of hands to juggle with, and now I've added my feet and am juggling in my maribou slippers!
So perchance a fellow blogger doesn't always get around to leaving a comment on your blog, cut 'em some slack. If a blogger forgets to add your link, wait a bit, and then gently remind them, and then CUT 'EM SOME SLACK. If a blogger leaves what you perceive is a 'snarky' comment, maybe they were having a bad day...and whaddya going to do...(I want to hear you scream it out now really LOUD!):
CUT 'EM SOME SLACK
Rule Number Two: Make Blogging Allies By Playing Nice
There's an old cliche that you catch more flies with honey. One never knows who will suddenly be the 'hot' thing, and if you're their ally, you can catch a ride on their stream as they rocket to the top. Thus, it's wise to do your best NOT to alienate others and make enemies. However, if you do make an enemy here and there, don't worry about it too much. All this means is that you must be doing something right!
Rule Number Three: Never Ever Breathe Easy--You Can Be Sure Someone is Gaining On You!
There are millions of bloggers entering the Blogosphere Playground every day, and some of these newbies are go-getters. If you (the seasoned blogger) don't keep learning new hot blogging tricks, making new blog allies, and 'up-ing' your game, soon you may find yourself eating their dust. Just like on the television show, "Dancing With The Stars", you need to put your ALL into your blog like the dancers do with their dance numbers, and if you don't, it shows--next thing ya know, you're being voted off the blogosphere. Well, I don't think it will come to that, but worse yet---you will be Left Behind!
Your homework assignment is to critique your blog style with these rules in mind. If you don't measure up, then you'd better shift it fast & get your game on!
Class, I've got my first blogging teaching gig lined up for May, a world-wide tele-seminarfor a group of newbie blogging dummies. I've been going through my copious notes and considering what to teach others about blogging who aren't as smart as ya'll, my beloved (and deliciously naughty!) cyber students. It's crazy, but would you believe the statistics show that 8 out of 10 Americans have never even heard or read the word 'blog'? Simply So Sad!
Of course, I will begin with the blogging basics, the abc's of basic blogging. But where do I go from there? As I was pacing the floor and slapping the ruler in my hand (wearing my new black silk designer robe), I pondered the potential level of ignorance of this upcoming class, and then I had a mini brainstorm! What about asking my cyber students (that would be you!) to give your blondalicious teacher some advice? Turnabouts fair play, and I kinda like getting spanked....err taught some new things! So I'm going to ask you questions about your blog learning curve and experiences. From your comments and advice, I will know how to proceed with my new class.
Here are the questions, and this isn't a test (duh!):
1. Which word was harder for you to comprehend when you began your blogging career: a. RSS b. CSS c. FREE d. DIGG
2. What did you feel downright dumber than dumb about (fess up!): a. Keyword density b. Meta descriptions c. How to put the points in the right place for Del.icio.us d. How to find a bright orange HUGE RSS on a blog so to subscribe to someone's blog
3. Did you know the meaning of these words when you began blogging? a. Social Networking b. Directory Submission c. Submission d. Web 2.0 Design
4. If someone (like me for instance) was going to give you something free (and I'm not saying I'm giving ya anything but HOT BLOGGING TIPS right now!), what would you prefer: a. free template b. free consultation c. free time with me to shoot the shit and knock back some tequila shooters d. free graphics
5. What was most intimidating about blogging when you began? a. other successful A-list bloggers b. blog terminology c. html d. anything to do with details
6. Who is your best blog teacher? a. Blog-Blond b. Blog-Blond c. Blog-Blond d. Secret Santa (You can ignore this one! Just gimme some loving links, ok!)
7. Where do most of your readers come from: a. MyBlogLog b. directories c. Blog Soliders, Blog Explosion, Blog Advance and other such sites d. family, friends, and love slaves
8. What would you most liked to have had in you beginning days of blogging? a. online blog tutor b. a teacher sitting right next to you in a black silk robe c. tele-seminar blog teacher d. blog faeries to do all the work for you
That's enough hard work for you today! Let me know your answers in comments. For those that still can't figure out where to comment and where to email me at the bottom, I've got two words for you: Sign Up!
This means Sign Up for my tele-seminars when I FINALLY open them up to a bigger audience.
Class, today Mohit Singhania of the blog Best-Blog-Basket and Blog Blond are collaborating on the FIRST EVER cross-post! (Could this be construed as cross-dressing? Nah!) The Gods must be laughing hilariously because look who they brought to Blog-Blond: a triple 'B'! Note the three 'B's in the name Best Blog-Basket! Is this not a little bit strange that Blog-Blond should receive an invitation to guest post on a triple-B blog? First, they plop on my blog doorstep, the double-delightful Blog Bloke,and now a triple 'B'!!!The Gods must know I like to laugh!
But back to business, Best- Blog-Basket and Blog-Blondare performing a synergistic cross-post today! This cross-post may make blog history! Here's how this works: I wrote a post for Best Blog-Basket on "How To Become a Hot Member at MyBlogLog" upon the invite. And I did so. Now I am referencing the post on BBB by posting about that post. Get it?
The five points I made in the post posted on Best- Blog-Basket are excellent ones, and I'd like you to read it for your edification! While you're at it, read more of BBB'sposts for they are excellent, and you will no doubt learn a lot! With that said, here's what I REALLY like to do with MyBlogLog: Go on an Indian Raiding Party and take as many hostages as I can as quickly as I can. And here's how I do it:
I paint Indian war paint on myself or deck myself out in outlandish attire before clicking on the link to MyBlogLog, rather like these strange friends of mine in the photo. I suggest you do the same. It helps one to feel more ridiculous and crazy. The point is this: get yourself in the mood by dressing crazy, and then go into MyBlogLog and take yourself some hostages.....err, friends/contacts.
It's a simple formula: the more hostages you hold, the more popular you are! I write in the Best -Blog-Basket post as my first point: Be audacious. Well, it helps to be audacious if you dress with audacity! Talk about dressing for success!
Wanna play Cowboys and Indians sometime, Mr. "Humor Blog.com"? Of course, I get to be the Indian!!!
Class: I haveyour weekend homework assignment for you. Did I hear a loud groan? Good, that's what I wanted to hear! Louder!
Now that I have your attention, I will educate you. Trust me, you won't find these kind of hot blogging tips on any other blogs about blogging!!
Here is your assignment: Analyze your blog, and use the principles of feng shui (the ancient Chinese art of placement) which I now share with you to bring more readership and attention to your blog.
First Blog Feng Shui Tip: Make sure your header is heading the right direction to your own kua. If it's not, then your blog will be deflated and heading downhill. I will use this blog, Blog-Blond, as my example. Do you notice which way she's pointing her head? Yes, the beautiful blond babe's head is pointing west. West is my most favorable direction according to my kua number which is based on my birth time. (Follow the link I gave you, and you will see the Kua Number Calculator on the sidebar, fourth one down!)
Thus, I was very specific with the fabulous blog designer, La Luna, to capture my most auspicious directionin the header design. (I won't go into why I wanted my header horizontal because that doesn't have anything to do with feng-shui--just simple common sense.)
I remind you there are two schools of Feng Shui: the Classical (Eastern) and the Western. I prefer to use the older, classic version. If you have any confusion about this subject, join the long line around the block for no two consultants or masters of feng shui share the exact same opinion. This is why you should defer to me, your blondalicious teacher, on this matter and take my word as law!
Second Blog Feng Shui Tip: Add movement to your blog. Once again, I will use my blog as an example. Notice the occasional blinkies I use as illustrations at the top of my posts? Maybe a bit tacky, but they serve to move the energy around the blog and are excellent feng-shui tools. If blinkies are too much for your ultra cool blog, choose one of the moving icons to put on your sidebar rather than a static one. Many companies such as Blog Explosion offer moving icons as an option to pimp your blog.
Third Blog Feng Shui Tip: Make your typeface easy to read. This is such a basic principle, but I can't begin to tell you how many blogs screw-up this simple principle! Who do they think we are--little insects with big beady eyes able to read their fine, light print? Add capitals. Add colors. Add bold. Whatever you do is no doubt better than small and too-light-against-the -background typeface!
Fourth Blog Feng Shui Tip: Leave space between your paragraphs. Just as in books, posts need the Air Element. If your words are packed too tightly together, the Air Element is missing. What you aspire to is to have all the elements properly balanced in your blog for good blog CHI. What this means is that you have fire, earth, metal, water, and wood in your blog. If not exactly equal, at least...mostly equal! Each element has a color and symbols attached to it. The best blog chi is attained when none of the elements are missing. Some elements you want less of. For example, too much metal can bring destructiveness and unhappiness to your blogging experience.
For example, I will once again use Blog-Blond. Fire: hot, smoldering Header and the color red sprinkled throughout for more fire!
Earth: brown and black colors in the design
Metal: metal is light in my blog, and this is where I need to make some changes! See, even your teacher needs to step it up a notch!
Water: the pearls around the blond in the header symbolize water. More water elements are mixed in the sidebar, but more water needs to be added as well!
Wood: my blog is low on wood. I need to add more green! Maybe there is a way...oh yeh, I'll add a green blinkie money illustration today. That's the ticket! Very clever of me, eh?
Fifth Blog Feng Shui Tip: Make your Blog Balanced! I asked La Luna to do a re-design on Blog-Blond so that there would be three columns instead of two, and so she obliged. I wanted three columns for feng-shui purposes, and then I deleted everything from my right, third column in a hissy fit later because I yearned once again to re-decorate. I have yet to find a sponsor or advertiser to fill this void! HINT! HINT! HINT!
Remember the movie, "Field of Dreams" and the theme: "Build it, and they will come!" So I am leaving this field of dreams sidebar for potential advertisers. I have pitched one p.r. agency who reps a big advertiser who would AMPLY fill this space, but I have yet to get the go-ahead. In the meantime, I will remain unbalanced and stubbornly refuse to follow my own feng-shui advice... and hold out for the Big One!
I hope these Five Steps helped you today! Your homework is to analyze your blog and others to see if they are properly feng shui'd! Questions???
MAHALO FOR YOUR VOTES IN THE BLOGGERS CHOICE AWARDS HUMOR CATEGORY! Muahhhhh! Hey, you can STILL vote for me, ya know!
Stay tuned (in less than 40 hours) for a special Guest Blogging blog I am doing with Best Blog Basket. This post will be echoed in a similar post on Blog-Blond for the purposes of synergy.
BBB is doing a MBL (MyBlogLog for you dummies!) series on "How to become a hot member at MyBlogLog", and he has requested I share my tips in this series with my own special 5 tips. I'll do my best to add some humor to this series since your Blondalicious Teacher loves to have fun as she teaches!
Class: I've been positively ENRAPTURED reading the blogs nominated for Blogger's Choice Awards and marveling/laughing about the politics, the weirdness, the hustle, and the nominees. This Blog Circus is something to behold, eh? I've talked to several who couldn't get into vote because for some reason their age wasn't acceptable! So they tried putting in fake ages, and still....rejected! I don't know if this rejection is happening to many, but if it's happened to you, contact the awards directors and complain!
When one kind reader left a comment that she had nominated the Blondalicious One (that would be me, your sweetheart of a teacher!) for another category, the Blog Category instead of merely the Humor Category, I thought yeh! Sure--that's who I am too!
Blog-Blond is a mutant. Even her name is a dual name separated by a dash. Then I remembered the Mutant Ninja Turtles, warrior turtles. The intention of the creators of the M.N.T. is similar to Blog-Blond's creator:
"When we created the Turtles, we wanted to spoof the world of super hero characters and poke good natured fun at the heroic but not-so-funny characters that dominated the business." said Peter. "The Turtles are fun heroes with an attitude. Basically, they act and think like average teenagers."
"They're always willing to lend a helping hand, but are constantly on the alert for the funny side of life." added Kevin."
And so it is with Blog-Blond's goal: to spoof (and spook!) the world of bloggers and poke good fun at the S.S.S. (silly, serious, superficial) bloggers that dominate the Blogosphere. Blog-Blond also has attitude up the ying-yang, and she acts as goofy as any teenager. However, she's also kind, good-hearted, shares what she learns, and takes herself very lightly! Yup, another M.N.T. type!
Thus...if you get around to voting (and not loafing!), you can now vote for Blog-Blond in the Blog Category of Bloggers Choice Awards. Last I looked, my votes were small, but that doesn't mean the Blond won't eventually kick some a$$! After all, she's something of a M.N.T., and you have to watch out for these types---they're very sneaky and well-connected! One difference: Blog-Blond is super sexy! Even her Ninja outfit is a designer one with black silk stretch over-the-knee kick-ass stilettos!
I will leave you today with this YouTube video of another dual being: this dog's name is Gudrun--a cross between a Pomerian and a Chihuahua. And can it ever boogie! It's owner is the famous comedian Margaret Cho! Dance along with another one of OUR kind as Gudrun performs his awesome boogielicious "Dancing PomChi."
P.S. Remember to take yourselves lightly so you can fly with the angels and give it some thought--maybe your blog is ALSO a mutant blog. If it is, know you're in good company! What do you think of this concept, Mr. "Humor-Blogs.com"?
The Karmic Consequences of Blogging and The Remedies
Class: I trust you had a refreshing & rowdy Easter weekend, but now it's time to pick yourselves off the floor and delve into the deeper dimensions of blogging with my Hot Blogging Tips. So Listen Up! I offer you today the Secret Remedies To Cope With The Karmic Consequences of Blogging!
What happens when you've opened your big fat trap and posted stupid things which will live on in perpetuity? What will your great, great, great grandchildren think about you, their primitive ancestor? What do you really know about your audience and your frequent commenters?Have you considered you might have karma with your readers for good or bad? Have you attracted an old enemy or passionate lover who lives half way around the world? The universe is an equal opportunity employer, so you can bank on it you will attract BOTH your admirers and detractors.
Consider that your posting style, blog topics, sense (or lack) of humor, brilliant wit, praiseworthy content, and photos have magnetized those to whom you have karma. Of course, those with whom you have fabulous karma are keepers. However, you will wish to clear the energies of those with whom you have bad karma. And how do you know which is which? Since the universe is more than a little perverse, sometimes it might take a medicine woman to determine by throwing down the bones whether you have good or bad karma with these others.
However, NOT TO WORRY!As your wise and knowledgeable teacher, I have these suggestions to remove the potential negative karma derived from blogging:
1. Before you write a post, say this out loud: "I free myself from all envy, anger, self-pity, selfishness, negativity, arrogance, remembrance of my high falutin, elitist Blogebrity, smugness, contempt for others, condescension, opportunistic desires, my parasitic nature and compulsion to impress and lord it over others."
2. While you're writing a post, think these thoughts: "I post because I wish to freely share with others and lovingly express my creativity, knowledge, and wisdom." Chase out of your mind your desires for revenge against another blogger and desires for them to go straight to Blogger Hell (more on this subject in another post). Don't engage any crappy commenter. Turn them over to the Blogging Police Department or some other agency like my Uncle Vinnie who will be more than happy to knock on their door.
3. After you finish posting, visualize your blog surrounded by a protective power, and wave (with the third finger gesture) around your computer the aromatherapy blend of arsenic, rosemary, and garlic. Perform a protection mudra. And then call upon your Kick-AssKarma Removal Angels to delete all of the karmic consequences of your post.
Class: It's Friday and probably the last thing you're thinking about is homework, right? Not to worry lil darlings. Today I'm not giving you anything but HOT BLOGGING TIPS (SEEDS) which I'm planting into your blog-brains before I put on my itsy bitsy polka dot thong and head off to the beach.
I would like you to consider Sowing More Link Seeds.What is this you ask?
And I will gladly 'splain it to you, but first I must preface my explanation by sharing some of my thoughts this past week upon linking to others. Of course, we can't possibly link to everyone in the whole blogosophere which might now be larger than last I heard of nearly 75 million bloggers! However, we don't need to be such tighta**** with our links either! I often receive emails from others (such as today) by someone who wishes to link to me, and I'm really loose with my links, but when I went to check out the blog, I was shocked! What kind of blog do they think the Blog-Blond is anyway?! I naturally couldn't link to THAT kind of blog! Which brings me to this: there are appropriate blogs to link to and inappropriate blogs to link to. So yes, some discernment is required.
With all that said, I still feel many are Link Stingy! Why is it so hard for them to give a little Link Love? It's not as if Google is going to ban them into permanent exile on another planet far, far away! It's not as if there isn't enough to go around, and they've got to hold onto their links or they'll starve like they're doing in Darfur with millions dying! Keep things in perspective. It's not as if you are spending your last penny on adding a link! The bottom line is that it won't hurt you, and it will help you! "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves," wrote James Barrie. Tis true! Listen to your Blondalicious Teacher and Share The Link Love.
I'll leave you with this thought to chew over the weekend. Loosen up with more Link Love! Whatever we put out always comes back to us for good or worse, so you might as well put out a little more Link Love and get some back! We could be having so much more 'delight' if we link.
You're shocked that I'm posting so early, aren't you class? I had such a powerful dream I slid my Blondalicious Body from my ivory silk sheets and ran to my desktop computer just so I could share the dream with you before it slipped away! In my dream I was told to post about The Snooze Factor, to define it, and then offer examples of posts by others which DO NOT HAVE the Snooze Factor. Perhaps you will re-think your posts and keep them from reeking of the dreaded Snooze Factor!
What is the Snooze Factor?
Have you ever read a blog with posts so boring you couldn't remember what you read if someone offered to pay you a gadzillion dollars? I'll let you in on a little secret--there are lots of blogs which impact me this way! Tedious, ho-hum, blah!, same-o, same-o blogs which offer me no new insights, have a zero 'edge', and are total cookie-cutter. In other words, they put me to sleep--thus, the term the Snooze Factor! These kind of posts and blogs are abundant in the blogosphere. Statistics reveal that more people become exceedingly drowsy reading blogs than they do the news or looking at images of attractive people or cute animals.
Why are these posts and blogs so abundant?
It's simple-- the author hasn't found his "blog voice", the authentic truth he/she wishes to communicate. Because of this, the post/blog could be interchanged with millions of others, and no one would know any difference for the content is nearly identical. These blogs are generic blogs originating from the infamous Blog Cloning Device, a technology so devious I don't even wish to say more.
How does one discover their Blog Voice?
Use your imagination for a moment and ask yourself these questions: What is the purpose for your blog? What is it you wish to convey? Have a good sit-down talk-it-out with your blog-- are you writing for your audience or for yourself? What is your blog niche? Is your blog in the right niche? Does your personality shine through in your posts? Do your posts offer something which other blogs don't? What sets your blog apart from the rest? Finding your blog voice is most often a process of experimentation. As you go through the trials and errors (tribulations) of experimentation, one fine day you will experience being In The Zone. Goose bumps or shivers may run up your spine, and you will have the absolute knowing. You will have discovered Your Blog Voice. It's the Big O of Blogging. You have arrived. You can now speak back to the Big Dog! Oh yeh!
Can one always remain In The Zone?
Tricky...but very possible! Certain blogs are always on the money, and others consistently hit their mark 90 % of the time. Practice, polishing your prose, and paying attention to the blog zeitgeist is necessary.
Here are TWO examples of posts by excellent bloggers which have ZERO Snooze Factor. These two men have discovered their Blog Voice, and their blogs offer great content and have personality plus which is the winning package.