Blog Prefect 2014 Wash Up

Blog Prefect 2014 Wash Up

The 2014 wash upI can never believe how quickly the year comes around and for Blog Prefect, this is its second Christmas / New Year period in operation. The stats are incredibly warm at the moment so I am very buoyant for the year end. There are many loose nuts that I need to tighten to make the vessel travel at light speed (metaphorically speaking) but I’m getting there.

So to kick off the washup we start with the positives:-

 

The Good

Some truly great things have happened this year and I am happy to announce an improved period on the launch year. In general, traffic has picked up considerably from where it was last year.

60 minute challenge

I had a really good run during the summer lifted by increased posting, increased comments and a zest for getting the job done. I was able to decant and expose numerous topics, pioneering a new method of post creation where I wrote a post in 60 minutes so that it was ready to launch. Whilst I have veered away from this tactic recently to concentrate on fuller, fatter posts, I did find some good blog movement in changing up the frequency.

Twitter uplift

Twitter has seen uplift and whilst small I have seen improving signs that it can take me somewhere greater. If you wish to converse with me on twitter please follow this link. My thoughts on twitter have changed so much from where I started out with the service. I thought that it was going to be pants but was proved wrong. I like it when that happens. However, I’m still glad I removed Ricky Gervais from my twitter feed!

@blogprefect

I have made some good in roads towards building relationships. I have a group of writers who I enjoy engaging with and hope to be able to exploit more opportunities with them in future. Many of these individuals become semi regular commentators on my blog and I like to reward people.

Potential of Videos

I like the potential of videos within my material. I had some very positive reactions to posts that included video. Video itself is time consuming to produce, but if done right, can be epic. I can definitely see myself using more video in 2015.

Long articles shine through

In the majority of cases my long articles outperformed the short ones over much longer periods so if you are ever stuck between deciding over long less frequently or short more frequently, long is the way to go.

Awesome comments

The wonderful comments I’ve had and the warmth from others has been very rewarding, I hope to at least match that which I’ve been able to command this year.

 

The Bad

Some events have not been so good, notably my failed experiment at the start of the year which failed to yield the results I had hoped for and some months where traction has been poor. In addition, the bounce rate has been much higher (as monitored by Google Analytics) than previously.

Cited “bads” include the following:

The 2014 Gamble

I hadn’t thought this whole mission through and as a result, it really hurt my stats during February. The process was to look at gambling vs advertising to see which would be triumphant in terms of turning a profit. My issue was the platform on which I was to drive that income and the actual sell. It was just a bad idea from the start and it taught me some valuable lessons.

  1. If starting a big project ensure sure it stays both committed and that you drill down into the minutiae. The devil is in the detail.
  2. I had not been able to drive any big interest in this whole project before-hand so it met with very little interest. Some pre hype is a good thing and I needed to understand and develop a better way to involve the audience. Because it met with such mediocrity I didn’t press on to improve it, and it felt like a missed opportunity.
  3. The goal was flawed in many ways because it didn’t match with my ultimate forward direction with Blog Prefect.
  4. I didn’t report consistently and had not devised a reporting strategy in enough detail.
  5. I didn’t do enough research and consequently came off the worse for wear. The site needed a bit more prep for this experiment to work effectively.

Would I be tempted to perform a 2015 Gamble?

Quite possibly, although due to the failure last time, I might limit the scope to better control it. My plan was to have an experimental February where I would try all sorts of things. A month feels more containable and because I polluted the stats during February 2014 it won’t hurt to do so again in 2015 where I can make a feature out of it.

Bounce Rate Woes

Bounce rate, according to Google Analytics (GA), has been horrifically high but when compared to Alexa.com’s bounce rate information there have been some significant differences. Vilfredo Pareto (the Italian gent who gave birth to the idea of the 80 – 20 rule) would be puzzled by the difference. On many months my average on GA has ranged at around 80% whilst the most that Alexa.com has peaked to is in the mid 25% range.

Google Analytics is an Orange, Alexa.com is an Apple. They are thus very difficult to compare. Despite them being both round and a fruit, that is where the similarities end. GA measures traffic based on different measurements to Alexa. Alexa ranks sites more on their juicy freshness whilst GA ranks them on a proverbial bean count.

Flaky WordPress Stats

Speaking of flaky events, WordPress has shown some quirky periods this year. Spikes have occurred in WordPress for viewings and visitors where they are not reflected in GA. While all of these stats have been tweaked to screen out automated events and other non-representative activities (like crawling) occasionally some weirdness squeezes through the net. November saw some weird data in particular with some daily views in excess of a standard month. Whilst I would welcome this uplift, my stats supported from other locations, indicate this isn’t the dominant trend.

Google+ Low Engagement Per Head

I have under capitalised on my Google+ audience. I have quite a large one but I am not convinced that the engagement I generate from them is enough so I need to think about pruning tactics.

Keyword Tool Malaise

Once again, Market Samurai has sat unused and unloved. I’ve tried to make it work, tried to use it on many occasions but I just don’t get on with it very well. I never got around to watching the videos like I said I would. Naughty Jackson!

General Launchpad Disasters

I’ve had some total flops from the start, mostly through uninspiring titles and teaser images. I’m still somewhat of a noob on this front so I need to understand the finer points more. My 2015 research will involve more of this presentation correction.

 

The Ugly

I’m sad to say there has been a bit of the ugly.

Stepping back from Fiverr

I had to abandon my Fiverr gig as it was proving to be non-productive. I had put in some effort both to create the gig and get ready to start receiving the buyers but it never came off as expected. I will be returning to Fiverr with a different strategy in future.

Facebook BellyFlop

Facebook has hit a huge roadblock and I am coming around to the fact that I just don’t enjoy working with the system. I cannot ever see myself looking forward to getting Facebook sorted. I tried to make an event where I improved my Facebook over a period of a month but just couldn’t stick with it. I might give it one more bash during 2015 but I believe after that point I might consider other options. These alternatives may include hiring someone to aid me.

Page Lazy

My pages have not been updated frequently enough. It has been difficult to schedule in time on a monthly basis to prune because I am normally hit with numerous other activities. I believe it is within me to make a better schedule to succeed so I need to follow through on that front especially considering I will have a second blog in the mix. Scheduling here is important.

I have had a number of false social media starts. I tried to get into StumbleUpon which failed miserably.

 

Other ugly events

End of a Relationship

I’ve had one particular unpleasant life event which has caused me particular issue throughout the year. My girlfriend and I had a mutual break up in March of this year but owing to some fiscal and legal ties with my current home, I have had to live with her for all of this year. It has caused some major friction, especially when we both started dating again and as such home life hasn’t been the best. On many occasions I’ve visited my parents or hung out at the Gatwick Hangar on the weekends just to bathe in the silence. It is my hope that my property will be sold in February/March of 2015, this of course will produce some upheaval to my schedule both in regards to my blog work but also the final year of my degree studies.

Don’t feed the Trolls

I received a troll on my site not long after the break up, operating from a mobile phone on the Orange network. I never approved any of the comments but they were particularly hateful and derogatory. Fortunately this stopped after 2 events and I wasn’t bothered by this individual again. Whether these events were connected or not, I don’t know, but what I do know is that trolls are unpleasant and the less time you spend dealing with them the better.

Captcha Issue

Ryan Biddulph confirmed a major flaw in one of my website elements. My previous Captcha programmed had stopped working properly and this was preventing comments by the dozen so I swiftly addressed this issue. However, I value comments highly and am aware that I could have lost some great interactions in the process. This issue had been previously highlighted by Grace Joliffe but I hadn’t looked into it deep enough at the time. This has been down to a lack of developmental testing on my part because I have not wanted to pollute data.

Low Subscription

My mailing list is looking pretty ugly. I am tempted to say how many subscribers I have but I have a post coming out soon that will highlight why revealing certain number can be a bad thing. To be truthful, my subscription and retention plan is weak, it needs some serious attention but I think that in some ways this is also indicative of Blog Prefect and the lack of guides and helpful content it has to offer at the moment. There is definite value in what I’ve written but it isn’t yet in an accessible package and that is something I am working on for 2015.

 

What do I hope for in 2015

2014 was a big up turn from 2013 but it still is not the monster spike that I’ve been hoping for. The numbers I expect to see need to be an improvement of a factor of 10 over what I am seeing at the moment. In order to achieve that lofty improvement I am going to have to work on the delivery because I believe that delivery and publicity are what is letting down my efforts at the moment.

I hope for many more comments and the ability to have inspired many more people in their blogging ventures. In order to continue performing this, I need to write the topics that people want to read. I have already started changing how I go in search of what people are interested in and will be bolstering part of my mission by starting a new blog to work alongside BlogPrefect.

I need to align my writing for more consistency but often become challenged in my writing periods by conflicting events. I believe it is these conflicting events that I need to eliminate for the future and I’m working on a plan to move towards that future.

I’ve also been working on aligning myself to earning. At present time I generate no income from BlogPrefect.com but am setting aside resources to allow myself to try and “go pro” for various services I believe I can offer that will assist many writers and bloggers out there. At present time I would admit that I have been playing with it rather than being a boss and that is something I need to rectify but understandably with my time restrictions that has not been possible. Come June 2015, more time will be available owing to the completion of my degree but I have to be like a surgeon with that time, precise and accurate, so as not to reduce the time available to other important facets of my life.

 

To conclude

I’d like to thank you if you have been a returning visitor for your support this year, if you are a newcomer and have some ideas to share, you know what to do (comments uh hum…).

For all my commentators, another big thanks to you. I have singled out individuals before for your meritorious commenting but in this case I believe that each and every one of you, whether just one time or multiple times, is valuable to me. I treat comments like gold dust.

In truth, after over 150 posts, I’m still loving it. There has been no dropoff in enthusiasm for what is happening at the moment. The amount of reading I’ve been doing from other bloggers is incredibly high at the moment and will continue that way.

I hope that you all have a wonderful 2015!

What is social proof in blogging?

In this article I wanted to look into the ways in which you may need to invest in your process in order to get returns.

Would you think about working free of charge with your first client to build social proof?

Social Proof, what is it exactly?

What is social proof in blogging

On a number of occasions I have highlighted the necessity for Social Proof. This needs more explanation.

  • You have your product/service ready to go then what?

Without social proof very little is going to happen, there will be some apprehension by your potential customer because they don’t want to risk a bad service event when they can see other providers doing a better job with more warmth. You might not even appear on the radar because the customer has filtered by best recommended. Tried and tested equals money.

Social Proof is a marketing term. It relates to a signal that your customers love your service or product and have had a good trust relationship with you. You can think about the artifacts of Social Proof including; Testimonials, Positive Comments and Pure Numbers.

Testimonials

Testimonials are much better than just Positive Comments and Pure Numbers. You know that with the person who wrote the Testimonial, you can contact that individual directly and ask them a question on how the person providing the service handles them. When you see a successful individual using somebody else’s service it may naturally drive you towards further inquiry.

Testimonials show the best side of customer to supplier relationship. (mostly because you’d never put a negative testimonial in front of a prospective customer).

Entrepreneur magazine provides a useful summary on Testimonials here: “How to effectively use testimonials”

Positive Comments

Positive mojo in abundance is another sign that your customer will get something good out of what they are spending their time doing.

If your customer decides to take a wander along your site’s blog and sees plenty of engaged customers, they are reassured by this, as supposed to hundreds of negative comments.

Comments aren’t quite as reliable as testimonials, through censorship and through skullduggery; you can manipulate what is shown. Remember that with Testimonials, a potential new client can track that individual down, ask them a true reflection of the service you provide.

With a comment, it is a more static affair, potentially subversive by the way in which the subject has been devised. You could be talking the talk but not walking the walk. You could have employed commentators.

Comments are very valuable and should not be treated lightly.

Ryan Biddulph was able to cement a sizable empire with his blog commenting, he even wrote a successful ebook about it.

Pure Numbers

I have in the past talked about “Weight of Number”. This is a borrowed philosophy from somebody much older and wiser than myself. Sun Tzu was a famous general of the Chinese army. He was a master strategist and tactician who wrote a short but effective book called the “Art of War”. You should understand that weight of numbers will often conquer resistance.

Attack few with many,

And my Opponent

Will be weak. – Sun Tzu

By seeing number of clients served, numbers of jobs worked to a satisfactory completion, and number of positive ratings, you can be more reassured that this isn’t an overnight flash in the pan. Seeing numbers insinuates that the provider has honed their craft and has developed a suitable operating capability.

There is a dark side to Social Proof

There are those that are honest.

Through a moral code, individuals work from the void of nothing, to gain eventual kudos, this gives them a platform to drive further sales. It is a hard journey that requires a dogged determined streak.

There are those that are dishonest.

These are the individuals who will bypass a moral code and shortcut the process. They will seek methods of driving interest through various “Boosting” activities which will give them an elevated position relative to their time served.

In order to survive in competition, you might have to occasionally embrace the dark side and employ methods of getting ahead because starting blank can be painful.

What methods can be employed to “get ahead”?

I’m going to mention a number of service sites that bloggers tend to use as well as some other examples of e-commerce. You might be able to relate to some of these strategies because you might have tried them.

Amazon: Paying someone to buy your product and write a review.

You don’t want to be a Johnny no star. An obvious tactic is buying a 5 star review with a suitably lengthy and descriptive comment, biased to be positive from the off, jump starting the sales process. One review may not be enough, you may need to obtain a handful of these reviews to get the ball rolling.

This can apply to all sorts of products but is especially effective on unique, untried and untested products that don’t naturally sell.

You can apply this strategy to more than just Amazon. Any outlet that provides reviews can be influenced in this manner. All you need is the capable reviewer and the money to pay the fee. Some reviews can be done in exchange for things other than money (like other reviews or something of equal value).

There is danger with this strategy though. I found two particular articles that highlight this problem.

Huffington Post “Five Stars for Five Dollars”.

Motion “Bad Idea: Paying for Amazon Reviews”.

Shilling: Attracting that first activity.

A “Shillaber” or the term known as “Shill” is to have someone in the crowd ready to take up the mantle of going first. The origin of a shill was an employee in the times of the circus to get people to laugh or in a magician’s show being a willing participant. Fear is a negative driver and many people are fearful of going first, often they have to be coerced to take action.

Consider a group of tourists in Australia who are about to undertake a bungee jump for the first time. Do you think they are more likely to jump after the instructor takes the first drop successfully to demonstrate the harness is safe and the height is right? Of course they are. If that didn’t happen, the instructor might call for anyone who has been bungee jumping before to step up to the plate.

The act of watching that person go first spurs others to do the same. In some ways we act to do things as a community. Sheep, ducks and cows flock together. There always has to be the first water buffalo to cross the crocodile infested river in Africa. Once the first has successfully navigated that water, the rest follow, with safety in numbers.

You may go as far as asking your mother, father, partner or friend to be that first sale with a full refund. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s that first turn on the turnstile.

The wrong comes in products and services that are sub-standard. Where you have the gall to put high praise on something that is clearly deficient is often a date with trading standards or some furious backlash.

Facebook: Paying for activity.

There are numerous vendors who will provide followers, likes and impressions for cash money. Depending on the quality of the vendor, they have ready established networks to provide warmth, uplifts in number and some form of target to your goods or service.

As mentioned, quality will vary! Depending on what you are trying to achieve, often the numbers alone, in this high-speed world, will be enough to sway your prospective client. Proof of engagement can often be more difficult if the quality is low so expect scrutiny.

This activity can be applied to all social media outlets, all you need to do is find the right vendor for the right flavour of social media you want to uplift.

Would I recommend this activity?

I would initially say NO.

You can lose track of your true engagement very quickly if you hyper inflate your numbers through this method. You can effectively cheapen your hard-won audience and make a mess for yourself.

Taking this as a personal example:

I have a small number of Twitter followers but I know for the most part of this group, they will respond to me if I contact them.

On the other hand I have approximately 1,800 Google+ followers and I know that I have a very small group of individuals (in the 1% range and thus disproportionate to twitter) who will respond if I ask them to.

If you were to ask me which group I prefer, I would say Twitter even though I have been working longer with Google+.

If you put in genuine work to cultivate your audience, it has a better pay out in the long run. Don’t shortcut your audience.

But I said initially….

Social media can be used in different ways and depending on how you are trying to sell your product or service, a significant short-term boost could be necessary. There is nothing like time to drive a sense of urgency. If you have a time limit, paying your way higher might be a necessity.

Separating adverts from the mix

Advertising is not cheating, and is not what I consider; the dark side. Advertising is a genuine activity where you pay to get more exposure to potential. I say potential because even though your advert can be served up on a platter to the right person, this person still requires taking the required action, normally the responses are minimal. It is just those techniques where you move into deception territory where you have to be careful.

You can drag a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

The crux of this post:

I will be launching a number of services on my new blog. I cannot claim that any of these services will be unique in the market but I can claim that I am uniquely performing these services and as I become more competent these services will evolve to become more unique.

In order for me to get traction, I need a willing first participant to be my prototype client for one key service, to help me develop the potential. I have a good idea of the types of clients I would like to attract and also have a good idea on how to expand the operation.

This key service is important because ultimately it could be the biggest driver of profit. The service needs to reach a return amount that could aid to free me from my 9 – 5:30 current day job.

The selection of this candidate is an easy one for me. I know and have commented on this person’s blog for months and know that I can have a good working relationship with this individual but it is not a done deal.

There is a sacrifice to be made however.

I will be working for this client for FREE.

What do I stand to get out of this arrangement when I am likely to be working hard for this person?

There are a number of benefits:

  • A Testimonial will be provided straight off the bat. This person knows me, we have a good relationship, we share some affinity. I can rely on this person to speak well of me.
  • I am able to feature this person’s work, and the work I do to improve it, extensively and exclusively.
  • I can call on this person to improve my prototype service, give me essential feedback on what I need to improve to make the process smoother and more professional, and provide ideas for developing the premium package.
  • This person may be able to assist me in isolating future clients who meet the same criteria from their already thriving network.
  • I can work a more flexible arrangement to suit my time commitments.

Strategy:

In terms of strategy, I will be driving a lot of traffic around the service page and my writing as part of the blog is going to be more focused around the subject of “writing”.

If you have followed Blog Prefect’s track for any length of time you’ll know that it follows a more general track along the aspects of blogging and how to do it like a boss, along with the occasional useful how tos, the shared traffic report and some rare diversions.

In conclusion:

  • The important note to draw upon; is that starting out blank, without social proof is a difficult step to jump, especially if it is hard to persuade someone to go first.
  • There are many creative ways to kickstart the process of getting that first customer by using others to help. The payoffs are worthwhile. Social proof is not an element that should be ignored in the launch process.
  • Not every arrangement has to involve money to be beneficial.

I look forward to having a new site in January and hope to see you there! I’m keeping the domain name under wraps at the moment.

Spam comment censor dilemma solutions

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are sitting comfortably, I am proud to present a rather unusual topic for a Thursday which requires a bit of history before you understand the dilemma.

Facts about Blogprefect.com:

  • It is a WordPress Blog
  • It has a Simple Captcha plugin employed to prevent spam commentators (you will see this if you go to make a comment as it will ask some form of mathematical question)
  • It uses Akismet, another plugin, to actively remove spam comments before they even make it for moderation

Occasionally through bad spelling and grammar some of what Akismet classifies as spam is actually not spam. Also through unusual “hair-brained” linking schemes, Akismet throws a fit and tosses out some comments.

Thus I have to vet spam. I do so on a bi-weekly basis because I believe comments are gold dust.

99% of Akismet’s slam dunks are entirely justified. Thumbs up all the way!

But…

Occasionally I get a comment that does make me pause.

Now, before I move on, I strongly urge that this isn’t a character assassination, nor do I see it as a good practice to try to divert negative comment by making someone out to be a laughing-stock. Negative comment can sometimes teach you a lot. There are some reasons, however, why I will not approve this comment and why Akismet was right. I have omitted the contact details of this individual so that as a collective you don’t go and beat this individual up. The only reason I have left in the URL is to display reasons why this comment appears bogus.

 

Pittsburgh electric company

Figure 1, the unapproved comment.

So on the basis that this is indeed spam, there is a lot of evidence that points to this being the case.

WTF tally:

  1. “Pittsburgh electric company”
  2. “spamvilla.com”
  3. The unusual use of a non standard “h” character on the second line.
  4. The unusual use of a non standard “d” and “h” character on the fourth line along with”you” being spelled incorrectly.
  5. The unusual use of a non standard “b” character on the fifth line.
  6. The unusual use of a non standard “h”, “k” and “o” character, and the incorrect spelling of “see”, “they” and “headlines” on the sixth line.
  7. The unusual use of a non standard “o” on the seventh line.
  8. The unusual use of a non standard “w”, the incorrect spelling of “pic”, the unnecessary use of “‘ve” after everything, and the wrong grammatical use of “too” on the eighth line.
  9. The unusual use of a non standard “a”, an unrecognised character for “o”, and the incorrect spelling of “blog” on the ninth line.

First of all, who the hell calls themselves the Pittsburgh electric company? That’s just weird.

Secondly, Spamvilla.com, who on Earth would be fool enough to take out a domain name like that and seriously try to run a business?

Then we have the unusual non used ASCII characters that replace normal ASCII characters in the comment. This almost makes me believe that this has somehow been translated from Cyrillic and if I were to reveal the name of the commentator this would make even more sense.

So the primary analysis proves that this is spam.

The second test is normally the acid test.

Something that WordPress have introduced fairly recently is the ability to preview the links attached with the URLs from commentators. All you have to do is hover. This eliminates you having to go to the website.

commenturlpreview

In this case spamvilla does appear to be a real site rather than something hastily pasted from a Google search. The site however is dodgy. Dodgy with a capital Damn that’s dodgy.

The biggest qualifier of this is the “Bots” element in one of the menu buttons.

All of the “supposed” testimonials are broken at the bottom of the page with no images of people. The contact us page has a poorly written tag line and the assigned contact is a guy called “Kelvin the Champ”. Yes, “Kelvin the Champ”. Okay so maybe I’m just being harsh seeing as I refer to myself as the Headboy. I might as well have titled myself the master and commander. Champ is a bit close to chimp in my book.

Vilification and stern looks to the side, why did I pause?

I paused because the comment had some truth to it. Blog Post Comments: A by the numbers rant was a rather pants title.

Spam comment censor dilemma solutions

You may have a ton of super heroes in your content but it still doesn’t matter if your headline is pants!

Image Source: Flickr courtesy of AngrylambieNo superheros were injured during the taking of this picture

 

The truth is, with a bit of research I could have found a better title for this article. I had bought an expensive marketing tool that still remains fairly unused, which is capable of keyword research, and which many people trying to sell through affiliation, swear blind over.

The suggestions aren’t that bad on reflection. Videos are always good. I generally see a much warmer response when a post contains a video of one form or another, regardless of what platform it is housed on (YouTube, Vimeo, etcetera).

Some of the content doesn’t suit pics as well as you might think. To be a good article it should stand up without images. Images just add a bit extra. Whilst I have waxed lyrical that images are kick ass, you shouldn’t rely on that.

The mention of Yahoo is a fair one. Yahoo invested a lot of time in understanding the psychology behind how people react to certain headlines. Yahoo are one of the big remaining portals that still pump out plenty of epic content. A lot of prolific bloggers swear blind by one particular Yahoo style guide that has sold umpteen copies. But I have to say that is also a bit of a cookie cutter observation.

I humbly admit that there are a number of posts with poor headlines that fail to convert passers-by to readers. For every blog post I write where I get a minimal take up on day one, is another waste of effort.

What next?

delete permanently

Bin that comment but… take on board the critique and try to improve the end product. Avoid making the same mistakes again.

The Disqus Commenting Embargo has been lifted

I have been vocal in the past about being an anti Disqus individual and in my humblest step down I have to admit that it isn’t that bad. I’ve signed up to the comment system (but haven’t full scale rolled it out on my site (and am unlikely too)) but I have it now to make comment on other people’s grand works.

But there is another reason I’ve signed up to Disqus (evil grin)….

The Disqus Commenting Embargo has been lifted

DISQUS - 10th August 2014

 

Backlinks

 

As many of you are aware (or should be aware) backlinks provide excellent traffic and as long as they are above board (not on dodgy sites or sites with black flags) you’ll be okay. Disqus, unlike the WordPress comments, allows images to be put in the comments (which can be cool) and comes with a better system of managing your Avatar than Gravatar. Basically, your mugshot. I notice that trillions of people can’t be bothered with a basic mugshot but you’d be surprised what you are missing out on by not putting a face to the name. Gravatar makes you jump through a number of hoops to get your image square but Disqus is more streamlined on that front so it gets a bonus point from me.

There are some other benefits to Disqus in that you always know when your comment got approved, when it got responded to and whether it has been upvoted or not (Reddit fans will know about this scheme). WordPress and other systems of comment aren’t quite as involved and I always think it is nice to know when your comment got featured.

 

The evil grin comes in the shape and form of Smart Passive Income

Something I didn’t report on as a post (but wish I had) was a day where I had commented on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income and someone had been to my blog and viewed 75 posts. Yes, 75 posts. I called that day the “Pune effect” because the individual originated from Pune in India. If I have any bizarre spikes in future, they will be put down to the same phenomenon, the mysterious Pune effect.

AplacecalledPune

Pune-tang

For my statistics and for my readership a day like that is awesome, during that time it accounted for 33% of that month’s views. It is interesting where one person has been motivated enough to go through that many posts. Now, this individual could have been topic/content poaching, and I’ve been guilty of that myself but it all counts. It means that what I’ve been doing has been worthy to poach so that gives me recognition that my work is good.

As a blogger you need that boost because you aren’t just writing this for yourself, what you produce is meant to be for others.

I want to re-engage with Pat’s content and he has provided Disqus as the method. I think everybody who is a blogger, can get some warmth, by posting a comment or two on Pat’s site.

 

Returning to my misgivings of Disqus

Part of my misgivings of the system was that it added another password wall to commenting, I found that somewhat annoying, and boycotted it completely. It is the reason why I won’t add the system to my site. I reached a tipping point where I had to swallow my pride and my rigid rebellion against the system and cave in. And boy, I wish I’d done so sooner.

I still stand in my principal that it won’t get added to my comment zone but I will now contribute if I see it on other people’s sites.

 

What’s my beef about password walls?

I don’t want to make my audience jump through hoops to get a message to me. It takes courage sometimes to write a comment and some people pour in some time in order to convey their thoughts. Often those thoughts spur me into other directions and point out areas I’ve missed or were poorly implemented. All that information is useful and welcome.

 

Resistance in general

I have a bit of a history to resistance of certain useful systems. I resisted Twitter entirely until last year when I got going with blogging. I wished I had got into that sooner because there were so many lessons I needed to have learnt.

I had a pop at SEOClerks and then back tracked and actually used a service from the place. Egg on my face.

Often this resistance comes through fear of the unknown. We are anxious about how it is going to turn out so refuse to try on that basis. This is an example of an irrational fear, one that causes paralysis.

This resistance can come from other people and their clouded experiences. Often we might try to seek some view from others that this system is okay and often people are more vocal about negatives than positives so we are clouded by how they’ve been badly affected in situations that may no longer be valid.

A personal example is outlined below:

I receive satellite television from Sky where I currently live. I love it, plain and simple. Yeah Murdoch and all that jazz, yeah monopoly, yeah captive audience. But the service was brilliant when the installer came around. I have broadband through the same provider. I receive brilliant service and am unlimited in the true definition of unlimited (of course there is a fair usage policy in there but you’d have to seriously caning it to use that much). I was initially skeptical of Sky, why? My parents had tried to get this installed before and it had been so much trouble that they had to abandon the purchase and go with “FreeSat” instead (a free satellite service that basically required my parents to buy a dish, buy some coax cable, buy a decoder box and borrow a satellite signal tuner from a geeky friend at work who’d done the very same). The reason behind the Sky fiasco was a matter of distance from the ground. Because my parents have quite a tall roof it was above the short ladder height that the engineers were prepared to install at, health and safety apparently.

You can see how one bad experience can taint your decision-making process when that problem was not a problem when you came to do it.

 

Word from the Headboy

Try things out, especially if they are free. You can always cancel or disassociate yourself with the system if it really isn’t working out. Do be careful how much you commit to something, if it digs deep into your system and is “invasive” think twice.

For the areas that are of most value to you, treat them with care. In my view, comments are golden, so make sure you preserve the quality in what you decide to play with. WordPress self-hosted comments are forever, Disqus could fold (like companies can do) and your comments disappear with them.

Try to see beyond the nay saying and see if the system is a best fit for you. We don’t always know how to do everything straight off the bat, we have to bed in a little, sink our heels into it. Nobody expects you to be a first try hero, the creators of such systems try to make them as easy to use as possible but you still might not be a great fit with what the system is trying to do.