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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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Andy's blog is about creating content your site’s visitors will fall in love with, it’s about teaching you the most important tips to help you succeed in what you do. It’s about providing tips and tricks on marketing your blog or website successfully and gain top search engine rankings.

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Blogging

Why Cold Pitching and Bartering Do Not Work in Blogging

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2 words: nobody cares.

I just checked my email. One stranger who came in cold – as strangers always do – emailed me a reply:

“Is that your lowest price?”

I deleted his email. On a day when feeling less compassionate, I junk the email. Label it as spam. Why?

Nobody cares.

I genuinely care about someone who genuinely cares about me. I do not care much about a stranger who tries to barter with me when he ignored the email where I told him my final, fixed, non-negotiable price. Thousands of strangers have tried this approach. Thousands of strangers get ignored.

Nobody cares.

That was one of the bartering emails.

I received a handful of cold pitch emails. Bloggers emailed me as strangers, asking to guest post on my site. 90% did not even bother to address me by name.

2 words: nobody cares. Meaning, I do not care about them. I delete. I ignore. I move on.

I checked my spam folder to delete the emails. I scanned. 3 more pitch emails popped up in spam. The bloggers pitching through these emails pissed off enough bloggers to ensure; all future emails of theirs land in spam. Try building a blogging business from the spam folder. I dare you.

Genuinely, nobody cares.

Analogy

Imagine someone knocking on the door of your home right now. Go ahead. Visualize this scenario.

This person wants to sell you a vacuum cleaner. You shut the door in their face unless you are 1 of 1,000,000 people who would actually buy a vacuum from a stranger at your door. The remaining 999,999 human beings either buy one on Amazon or via their local department store.

Save the 1 person, nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches their sales services or who blindly pitches an opportunity at the door of their home. Just like nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches them a guest posting opportunity.

Nobody cares.

How to Get People to Care

If you want people to care enough to buy your blogging course or to feature you on their blogs, care about them.

If you want to land on Blogging From Paradise just do these things:

  • spend 3-6 months promoting me on your blog
  • spend 3-6 months promoting me on social media
  • publish 2-3 posts weekly
  • practice writing daily; offline

I begin to care about people who care about me generously and genuinely.

You stand out from the thousands of strangers who I do not care about when you care about me. It is such an easy tactic to build bonds with leading bloggers. Simple, too. Care about me as a human being. Ask for nothing. Expect nothing. Pay your blogging dues. Be generous. Be genuine. Be patient. Be persistent. Guaranteed; you will stand out from the crowd eventually. You have to, because generosity is always repaid in some way, shape or form down the road.

My generous, skilled friends get links on Blogging From Paradise for free.

Strangers need to pay my rate. If a stranger tries to barter my rate after I noted my fixed, non-negotiable, price, I delete the email. I may spam the email. People who do not have enough respect for me to read the entire email belong in spam. Landing in spam is the blogging business kiss of death; you will fail blogging for 1,000 years if your emails wind up in spam. The Blogging Scarlet Letter is S, for Spam.

Just freaking care about bloggers. How hard is that? Stop focusing on yourself and your needs and what you want to GET out of me and do some GIVING. Fool proof, simple, powerful way to build a successful blog. Plus you will have the money to invest in sponsored posts so you need not try to barter like a cheapie. Plus you will receive more and more free links on top blogs.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

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Why Insta-Impatience Damages Your Blogging Campaign

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I posted a few images on Instagram right now.

Sweet snaps from Thailand.

Instantly, a few generic, lifeless, bland, spam comments popped up. Nice post. I love your profile. Keep up the great work.

These people get swept up in the culture of Instagram Impatience. A hefty majority of Instagrammers want something for nothing. Spam commentors want me and my followers to click on their profile link to Like their updates and to buy their stuff. Being too impatient to:

  • address me by name
  • make a specific comment clearly related to the photo

I ignore their spam. Wasted time. Wasted energy.

Some of these fools take it even further into blogging delusion, believing their Instagram profile is an actual blog. You do not own Instagram. You sit on rented real estate. You can be evicted at any time for any reason. Plus you have nil branding potential on Instagram. But I digress.

If you allow Insta-Impatience to bleed into your blogging campaign you will:

  • want something for nothing
  • spam fellow bloggers with generic comments
  • destroy your reputation
  • struggle
  • fail

Good things take time. Impatience breeds failed ventures.

Monks, Fish and Thailand

I observe Buddhist monks walk on alms every morning here in Pong Noi, Thailand. We live by a temple.

Monks are poised, patient, calm individuals who built up these qualities through meditation and by renouncing a worldly life. If you give everything up you cultivate detachment. If you are detached, patience is your natural state.

Inst-Impatience is the polar opposite of a Buddhist monk vibe. You want 5, 10 or 100 Likes in a split second. You want sales in a split second. You fear waiting. You fear working. You fear wasting time creating and connecting. Apply this vibe to your blog and you will fail because you skip the stuff you need to do to succeed.

I recall the Japanese Wisdom spouted concerning cooking a fish; overcook fish and it becomes shoe leather, under cook fish and it remains raw. At best, under cooked fish tastes terrible (unless it is sushi). At worst, you become horribly ill consuming under cooked fish.

Inst-Impatience creates a raw, unfinished, unpolished blog. Best scenario; people take a bite, hate the taste and leave. Worst scenario; people trash your blog and brand, you lose your reputation and your blogging business fails.

Solution

Be generous, patient and persistent. I spend little time on IG to avoid the culture of mass impatience over there. People expect to make a fortune with 3 lines of copy and 20 hashtags.

Good things take time, energy and generous effort.

Look here:

I have helped people on the Warrior Forum since 2010.

I have written 5,361 posts.

There are no shortcuts to successful blogging.

Patience, Grasshopper, patience.

Follow the lead of Jane Sheeba and Sue-Ann Bubacz. Both bloggers patiently, generously and persistently create value and build bonds. Both bloggers know success is a marathon, not a sprint.

Do not panic. Do not lose patience.

Blogging Becomes Easier with Your Generosity and Patience

I would only write one post weekly a decade ago. I was not generous. I was stingy. I struggled because blogging simply mirrored back my stinginess to me.

At 10:25 AM Thailand time on a Sunday morning I have:

  • published 2 posts on Blogging From Paradise
  • published this guest post
  • broadcast live on Facebook
  • mentioned 2 of my blogging buddies above
  • commented genuinely on blogs

Each bullet point is generosity. The more patiently I have displayed such generosity the more easily worldly blogging success finds me.

Give freely.

Be patient.

Receive generously.

 

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What Is the Harshest Blogging Wake Up Call?

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My harshest blogging wake up call occurred nearly a decade ago.

I would write and publish one post weekly. I spent 1 hour writing and publishing the post.

I spent the rest of the week:

  • watching TV
  • watching YouTube
  • working out
  • hanging out with friends

After a good year of following this routine I saw a few visitors to my blog daily. I recall 3 daily visitors for many months, stumbled upon my blog.

I experienced a big time blogging wake up call; you cannot build a successful blog by listening to music and watching TV all day long, minus the 1-2 hours you spend blogging, weekly.

The harshest wake up call: blogging gives you what you give blogging.

Blogging Gives You What You Give Blogging

I know of a few bloggers who complain about having terrible business prospects. When will they get more clients? When will they get more traffic? When will they make more money? I mean, they have been blogging for 5 to 10 years already. Things should be growing SO much more quickly right now, they say.

These individuals will get more clients when they stop watching Netflix all day. Do you want to be a professional Netflix watcher or a professional blogger? Pro Netflix watchers spend hours daily watching Netflix. Not sure how well that job pays. Professional bloggers spend 6-8-10 hours daily:

  • creating helpful content through your blog, through guest posts and through videos
  • building your friend network by generously promoting other bloggers and by genuinely commenting on their blogs
  • freely promoting your premium products and services through each piece of content you create
  • generously following the prior 3 steps for months

The person who follows each bullet point for months, then years, sees more and more clients. Traffic increases over time. Blogging profits increase over time. Blogging gives them what they give blogging.

Janice Wald is always after it. She’s a hustler. Follow her for inspiration.

Ditto for Saurabh Tiwari. He is one of the most dedicated bloggers I know. Follow him for inspiration.

Do Not Fight Good Advice

I have personally coached bloggers who fight my smart advice. These people say networking is not for them. These folks resist creating content because they do not want to force it. This crowd ignores good advice, then goes back to watching Netflix or sports for the next 3 hours.

If you fight good blogging advice, you will struggle and fail. It has to be that way; you are doing the opposite of what it takes to succeed. Put your ego to the side. Follow smart advice. Succeed.

Listen to the guy with this home office in Thailand. He knows what he’s talking about.

Your mind wants you to fail because it fears the fears you need to face to become a successful blogger. I feared facing deep fears years ago, so spent most of my time and energy doing everything BUT blogging. You may nod, then, go back to watching Netflix or YouTube for the next 2 hours. 2 weeks down the road, after you spent only 2 hours of your time and energy blogging daily, you feel frustrated and want to quit because you have signed up no new clients, money seems to be running out and no business looks promising, on the horizon.

It is 100% YOUR CHOICE to spend 6 hours watching Netflix today and 2 hours blogging. You are doing this. You are making this choice.

It is 100% YOUR CHOICE to make a massive shift; spend 8 hours creating content and building connections, today.

Blogging just mirrors back to you your choices and energy, you make every waking hour of every day.

Right now, you have the next 8-10 hours to generously help people through creating and networking, or you choose to focus on yourself, watching TV, streaming Netflix, hanging out with friends.

Spend those 8-10 hours daily blogging for 3-6 months, and eventually, you will see more clients.

100% your choice, your decision, your energy, your commitment to blogging success.

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