Blogging Questions & Answers 12

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answers

Welcome to another Blogging Questions & Answers column. They go live every Friday. If you have a question that you want answered, just leave a comment below with it. All questions get answered (even if I don’t know the answer!).

1. Shoban Kumar asks:

As bloggers we sometimes left without ideas for writing posts. What do you do to generate ideas?

Ideally you never want to arrive at a point where you don’t have any left ideas to write about. How do you do that? Simply pay attention everyday to possible post ideas, and write them down.

Right now I have 46 drafts saved on WordPress. Most of them contain only a title and a few lines describing the post briefly. Whenever I need to write a new post I just browse to the list, pick an interesting one, and write it.

There will be times when you won’t have time to write, and we already covered how to deal with those on this post: Are You Prepared for a Blogging Emergency?.

Now if you already forgot to write ideas down and arrive to a point where you don’t know what to write about, there are a couple of things you can do to get inspired:

  • Take a look on other blogs on your niche: What are they writing about? Can you add an insightful commentary to that? Can you expand on what they covered?
  • Take a look on other blogs outside of your niche: What are they writing about? Can you bring that to your own niche?
  • Take a look at newspapers and magazines
  • Go outside for a walk. Alone.

Finally, you can also use the kind of posts that don’t require any idea: speed linking, asking a question to your readers and so on. Do not rely on those exclusively though.

2. Alik Levin asks:

What do you do with content scrapers? It hurts your pagerank I guess for duplicated content, no?

I don’t think content scrapers can hurt your Pagerank. In fact sometimes they might even improve it. Provided you use a good RSS footer plugin you will be able to place backlinks on feed articles, so every time a scraper copies your content he will also sending you a backlink.

That does not mean that is is good to be scraped though. While the duplicate content issue might not affect your Pagerank, it could bring some SERP penalties for your website, depending on the number and trust of the scraper sites.

If you are a RSS footer plugin and are sure that your website is not generating duplicate content, however, you don’t need to worry that much about those penalties.

Now to answer your first question, once every one or two months I run a quick check on all my blogs to see who is scraping and stealing my content, and them I contact the owner of those websites or the hosting providers directly, trying to take them down.

3. Medical Transcriptionist asks:

Have you got any tweaks to make a blog mobile friendly?

I have not spent that much time tweaking my websites for mobile browsers actually. Right now that is a very small percentage of my visitors.

Daily Blog Tips does have some errors when you try to see it in a mobile browser, but those are mostly syntax errors, and the page elements like images and text are still visible and organized, so I think it gets the job done.

As long as your website is showing the core info on a mobile browser, I think you are all right for the time being. If you have many mobile visitors (I would say above 5%) then it could be the case to invest some time into tweaking it more seriously.

You can mobile test your website here: http://mtld.mobi/emulator.php

4. SEO Genius asks:

How do you keep coming up with new content, where do you get the ideas from, i think i speak on behalf of a lot of webmasters and especially bloggers when i say that i sometimes lack new and original ideas that will grasp the attention of many readers. How do you keep it going?

See answer to first questions.

5. LifeIsColorful asks:

I have a question on StumbleUpon, I still could not figure completely our how to get make most of StumbleUpon to bring traffic to our blogs. In the past, I received some good traffic from SU but it’s not consistent. Is there any way, we could work on it?

The corner stone of any social media traffic generation strategy is the content. You need unique and outstanding content to make sure that social media users will read it, like it, and decide to share and recommend it to their friends or to the community.

If you think your content satisfy this description, then you can try to tweak other aspects. Most of the times it is necessary to get the ball rolling, so asking for a friend with a good StumbleUpon profile to discover your page or article is a good idea. Look for someone with 500 fans or more.

Ask that person to add a review to the page as well. Reviews, especially the ones coming from the user that discovered the page, can significantly increase the amount of traffic you will end up getting.

Finally, you could also try to network with SU users to make sure they will be willing to stumble your pages, or include a “Stumble This” icon on your articles to encourage your normal visitors to do so.

6. Jagdesh asks:

I wanted to ask 2 questions.Can I use entrecard in a free wordpress blog like mine.The next question is that i can use another theme other than the one provided for a free wordpress blog?

I am not sure about your first question. You would need to read their terms of service. I believe it would be OK to use traffic sharing widgets on WordPress.com though.

Yes you can use different themes on WordPress.com. Changing the theme is free if I am not wrong, but tweaking it will take you credits.

I know you not asked about this, but I feel like advising: as soon as you grasp the basics of blogging and web development, buy your own domain and host your site. It is the only way to go.

7. Sunil Pathak asks:

When should i put Ads on my new Blog ? and which are best services for start up?

There are two schools of thought on this matter. Some people argue you should go with ads from day 1, if making money is your goal. Other people defend that it is better to establish your site first, and then bring the ads. I wrote a detailed posts with ths Pros and Cons of both sides on Problogger. Read When Should I Put Advertising on My Blog?.

My personal opinion, though, is that it is better to focus on growth first, and then to think about the money. There is no magic number here, but I would wait until 1,000 or perhaps even 2,000 uniques a day before bringing any ads. Even then I would start slowly with non-intrusive stuff.

8. Freelance Web Cartoonist asks:

Is there really a difference between digging (DIGG) your own posts and letting others digg them for you.” A lot of so-called gurus out there are saying “don’t digg your own posts”. But I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t.

Occasionally submitting your own content to social bookmarking sites is not a problem. If you submit all your posts, though, people might look at you as a spammer, and they will down vote what you submit.

Secondly, even if you only submit your best articles, but you are the only person only submitting then, Digg or StumbleUpon users will think you are trying to spam the site only to promote your own stuff and not to contribute with genuinely interesting stories.

How would the users know? Well, Digg has a very active user base, and the users act as a police for the site. If they find submissions that look suspicious they will look into who submitted them, and check their past history.

On StumbleUpon, on the other hand, the system automatically detects if you are trying to submit too many stories from the same site.

This pattern is visible on most social bookmarking sites though (except Delicious). The variety of the submissions and of the votes is of vital importance for the overall success and traffic that your website will get out of it.

Summing up: it is fine to submit your own stuff once in a while, but overall let it be as natural as possible. If your content is worth, other people will submit and vote on it gladly (or you can ask some friends to do so).




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19 Responses to “Blogging Questions & Answers 12”

  • SEO Genius

    Great article, thanks Daniel for answering my question. I have started to write down any ideas i may come up with in the form of a title so that i can come back to them in the future.

  • LachyG

    Hey,

    I always find something that makes me think of new ideas, is getting someone else to do a post. A bit of fresh content 🙂

  • Rahul Bansal

    Hi Daniel,
    I have one long pending question on my mind and I think you are best person to answer it.
    After blogging for 2 years, I am thinking on making my blog my multi-author blog. Of course, all co-author will get revenue share but I am worried about readers. Will this change turn them off?
    We know that many top blogs are multi-author but they are all famous blogs like TechCrunch.
    My blog is very small and also my co-authors are not so experienced. So please let me know what do you think about my decision?
    Thanks for giving me time,
    -Rahul 🙂

  • Malathy Badri

    Short of blogging ideas? Just email me and I can help you. It is a promise.
    Cheers.

  • Dave

    Daniel – first of all thanks for this great series and your willingness to share your expertise. I find it very useful.

    I would be interested in your thoughts on full text vs summary text (RSS feed), again versus the more tag in posts.

    I initially tried using WordPress’s summary text option for my feed, but then really didn’t like what looked like to me at least as a blatant attempt to make my readers click through to my site. I’ve read blogs before where they send a summary, I click through and there is only a couple sentences more. It just seems kind of arbitrary. On the other hand, always sending a full feed means there is no obvious reason for my readers to click through to my site (other than embedded content only visible on the site).

    I’ve since started playing around with the “more” tag. For all of my longer posts, I insert the tag after the first couple introductory paragraphs.

    I’ve kind of settled on this strategy of sending full text feeds, and using more tags on longer posts.

    I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. Obviously, at issue is actual visits and pageviews. I’ve had the situation before where my feed subscription was high, but my pageviews largely revolved around some core content that was highly linked to. If down the road I would like to be able to consider sponsor support for the site, what do I need to start doing now to drive up pageviews and visits?

    Thank in advance for your comments.

  • Shoban

    Thans for answering my question Daniel!!! It was helpful!!

  • Cherran

    Do you think paid traffic(CPC or anyother ads) can be used to grow a blog’s traffic steadily?

  • ggseogirl

    GOOD ANSWER

  • Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    As most bloggers do, I spend many hours researching, writing, answering email, responding to comments, etc. I’m seriously considering adding a “donate” option at my site. Do you think this will turn people off?

    Thanks for your help!
    Kelly

  • Medical Transcription Blog

    Thanks Daniel for answering my query.

    Here are my questions for this week:

    1.) Sometimes I am noticing that you and your colleagues are making typos deliberately like “becomeing” “gasmes” etc. Is it a SEO move concentrating on typos in search words?

    2.) How many times do you proofread as I could see errors creeping in on multiple occasions like this one on this post “If you are a RSS footer plugin?” (I think I’m not hurting you.) I remember you saying earlier that you do it two times. Is it that you’re becoming blinded to your own mistakes?

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    Great answers as usual, still am looking forward for my question to be answered 🙂

  • SEO Genius

    My website has been running for around about 9 months now, with in this time i have focused on getting high ranks for certain keywords. However with lack of motivation being my top priority due to low levels of traffic and no money coming in from my website, although i have monetized the website i am wondering whether it is a normal occurance for the first 12 months of a blog running to have no money coming in from the website? I am also finding it hard to monetize my site, as most advertising programs such as text link ads are built for some sort of blogging website where as mine uses normal html and css with PHP it is manually updated instead of using wordpress or any other software, can you recommend to me any programs which you have used or been recommended or highly appraised which would be easy to install on my website and could help with monetizing my site.

    Thanks Will.

  • Jagdesh

    Thanks for answering my questions.I will try to purchase domain as soon as I can.

  • Dave

    Update to my question: I’m now noticing that the WordPress-inserted “more” tag is not sending abbreviated text out my RSS feed. My bad – I thought that was the case, that it was just like a text summary break, only I could decide where the break happened.

    Now it makes perfect sense why my feed subscription is much higher than traffic on the site. So my question remains: how to drive traffic to the site without arbitrarily using feed summaries.

  • John Sullivan

    Hey Daniel
    Ask every one way blogger in the world why their like that?
    Don’t people know that anyone can practically see what everyone
    is doing? I advise people to invest in new contacts.You may of just
    met your next best friend. I see to many bloggers wanting clicks and love and thinking they have it coming. I will always make time for the
    new man or anyone that needs my help.MY do follow blog’s comments
    are open to any good people that are tired of chumps and want to hang with some cool supportive people that want to see you successful. We keep it real.
    You have an excellent blog and spirit and I’m a new fan.
    Stumbled,searchles,mixx,twitter,and I click ads;)
    SEE you around Thanks Mega thumbs UP
    You should be on bloganese.com easy!!!!

  • Rick

    Daniel,

    How do you change the numbers of posts wordpress displays on different pages? For example, it looks like you have 8 on your home page but an unlimited amount on your archive pages. In other words, I want to be able to dynamically override the “Blog pages show at most n pages” setting on a per-page basis.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Jordan

    There is a grammatical error in your answer to question six.

    “I know you not asked about this, but I feel like advising”

  • Rick

    I think I answered my own question (#16). I wanted my archive pages (which only show the titles of articles) to list every article while limiting the home page as per the “Blog pages show at most n pages” setting. I added the following to my functions.php (and it seems to work well):

    add_filter(‘post_limits’, ‘archive_limits’);
    function archive_limits($limits)
    {
    if(!is_home()) {
    return “”; // Remove limit on number of posts to be displayed on all but home page
    }
    // Home page – return default limits
    return $limits;
    }

  • Daniel Scocco

    @John Sullivan, thanks for the nice words 🙂 .

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