In 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.
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So without further adu, lets get started.
DON’T Limit Your Audience
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.
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.
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.”
- 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.
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.
How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind
Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.
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Leave blogging struggles behind.
I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.
I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.
What Is Blogging Struggle?
Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.
If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.
Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.
I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.
Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:
- nobody is listening
- nobody is reading comments
- nobody will click through to your blog
- you are wasting your time
- the comment won’t get published
This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.
Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.
Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.
Go for it!
Exit your comfort zone.
Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.
Focus on Things More to Leverage Your Blog Quickly
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What is the relationships guy talking about?
Blogging is a people business, right?
Blogging is one part people and one part things. Seriously. I learned this recently because if you depend 100% on people to build your blogging success you cannot possibly scale to massive levels. But if you do focus on things more, like email lists, and blogging platforms, you become less dependent on people, and also, your leveraging potential goes through the roof.
Email List Example
Let’s look at the famous email list. It is a thing. After you publish a blog post, you write a few words, include a link to your latest post, and after clicking a button, email the post to 10, 100, or 10,000 people….or more people. In a split second, you reach 10,000 human beings. Using a thing helps you leverage your presence like mad. Awesome.
But imagine if you only reached 10,000 people by mentioning people in your recent post, and tagging them on social media. Humanly impossible, of course. Let’s say you depend on even, 50 people, to promote your blog post, by mentioning them and tagging them. Linking to and tagging 50 bloggers takes a lotta time. Minimum, even for a 700 word post, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours – or longer – to go the tagging and mentioning route. Do you see the problem of depending 100% on people and friendships to build blog? You run out of time. Meanwhile, sending your post to 50 email subscribers takes 3 minutes to send the email and literally, a split second to actually publish the email, at the click of a button.
Using Things Effectively Leverages Your Presence
Using email lists, blogging platforms for guest posting and certain tools leverages your presence fast because eventually, you run out of time trying to leverage your presence solely based on grabbing the attention of fellow bloggers. Plus you are at the mercy of humans, and building a fear-based attachment to fellow humans leads to misery because humans change, humans get too busy to promote you, and humans unfriend other humans.
I am for making blogging a people and things business. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the prior 2 months. Befriend people and enjoy the process, but if you want to leverage massively and sprint up the exposure ladder, tap into the convenience of technology by using things to reach more people fast.
At the end of the day, it is about helping more people freely. Use things – aka technology aka inanimate objects – to help people more freely and to help more people, too.
Exit Human-Obsessed and Things-Resistant Blogging Circles
I used to be part of blogging circles 100% reliant – virtually – on human beings, and heavily resistant to things. But none of these bloggers leveraged to big time, super successful levels. These bloggers railed against bots and joked of not using or being a blogging cyborg. All seemed funny. But on agreeing and following their advice I soon learned how incredibly difficult it becomes to grow a successful blog being 100% attached to and dependent on human beings to build the blog. Humans change. Things do not. Plus you cannot leverage humans like you leverage things.
While all these folks complained about emails and automating, they played so small that reaching next level success proved to be 100% impossible. But, I observed how using things like systems and tools will help you reach huge, targeted groups of people in minutes or even seconds. See the email example above.
Instead of complaining about or resisting tech, why not use things to make life easier, to leverage your presence quickly and to reach a huge, targeted group of human beings so you succeed and so people get what they want?
Long Term Blogging Success: Co-Creation Not Manipulation
Every blogger who succeeds over the long haul did so through co-creation.
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Two blogger met. Two people make friends. Both friends help each other out, for a co-creation, and see greater success due to the co-creation.
I have seen this happen so much in my blogging life over the past 10 years. I befriended Zac many years ago. He invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Years later, all the co-creating I did through 800 plus guest posts helped:
- increase my blog traffic
- increase my blogging profits
- increase my DA
- increase my brand exposure
Think about it guys; all top bloggers make friends with other bloggers, both parties help each other, and we all win. You win, I win, and our fellow bloggers win.
You will never create long-term blogging success by trying to manipulate people through fear, smoke, mirrors and other silly tactics, because doing so is like building your blogging business on a house of cards. Even the smallest breeze of resistance knocks down the cards, and your blogging business with it. Bad idea.
What do I mean by manipulation? Imagine you write a blog post filled with bold promises of how to make 6 figures a year, telling bloggers you know the way. You share no specific strategies for making 6 figures. Nope. But you do make big, hyped up claims, filling the 1000 word post with some hefty, silly promises. What are you trying to do? Manipulate humans into following your blog, buying your stuff and giving you money. Your intent is to use fear, greed and desperation to GET money from people. Using fear manipulates people into doing what they do not want to do, for a temporary income boost, for you. But again, imagine a house of cards. A barely detectable breeze knocks down the house, and a seemingly tiny detail knocks down and destroys your blogging business.
When I was a new blogger a LONG time ago, one blogger who claimed to be a 6 figure earner admitted he was lying. He disappeared instantly. His blogging business died because he lied about making 6 figures, because he wanted to manipulate people into giving him money.
Co-Creating Benefits All over the Long Haul
If you guest post on other blogs, you and fellow bloggers create helpful content that promotes lasting success. Imagine building a house on a rock solid foundation, on a granite mountain. Wow! That is a serious foundation. Nothing moves that home. Even a decent earthquake barely makes the house shake. This is what it’s like to co-create content with fellow bloggers.
You both create something together – through a shared post and shared domain name – that is good, and leads to something good and beneficial. Fear and manipulation? No involvement in this process. Love and abundance and service, this is it, and this is why you become successful in building a rock solid foundation, and, in becoming a pro blogger.
How Can You Co-Create?
A few ideas:
- guest post on your blog
- guest post on other blogs
- create joint videos
- create joint podcasts
- create joint business ventures
Ultimately, you can co-create with fellow bloggers in countless ways. Being creative is your only requirement.
Think of how the co-creating benefits all of humanity. Think of all the people you can help through your co-creation. Put people ahead of your immediate needs and also, bring other bloggers on board to see the greatest impact over the long haul.
Be generous, help people, make friends and gain exposure. Build a viable, long term, meaningful blogging business. Observe manipulative, flash in the pan bloggers come and go. I have seen thousands of these types die a quick death, like moths flying too close to the flame-temptation of quick, easy riches.
Co-create to out last virtually everybody else in your blogging niche.
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