Blogging Questions & Answers 18

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answers

Another set of answers is live. Thanks for everyone that is leaving the questions, it is becoming a really pleasant activity to take on every Friday.

The current questions were left on the Questions & Answers 14, so if you left a question on edition 15, 16 or 17, just hold tight, we will arrive at yours.

1. Destination Infinity asks:

How do people put Digg it! Stumble it! etc after every post of theirs?

First you need to generate the code that you will be using. The Top Rank Blog has a nice social bookmarking creator tool where you can select the services that you want to use, your blogging platform, and it will generate the code for you.

Alternatively, you can also visit the page of the specific social bookmarking site that you want to promote below your posts and look for “buttons” or “badges.” Most sites will provide you will some code that you can copy and paste.

Once you have the code, log into the WordPress admin panel, then go into “Design,” and then “Theme editor.” Open the single.php file, and paste the code you have below the post content (look for the line that starts with “?php the_content”).

That is it.

2. Clare Lynch asks:

I launched my blog not as a way to make money from the site itself, but as a way to promote my business and demonstrate my expertise (I am a copywriter). So far, most of my readers just seem to be other professional writers who blog! It seems like we’re all just talking to each other!

So my question is this: how do I connect with my potential client base through blogging? I write mostly for firms in the financial industry.

I think the main factor affecting who is going to read your site, or going to be potentially interested in it, is the content.

By the tagline of your blog (“The hows and whys of writing well”) I assume that you are focusing on copywriting tips. The question then becomes: who is likely to be interested in that kind of content? You guessed, copywriters or wannabe copywriters.

In order to connect with potential clients, therefore, you need to identify what kind of content they would be looking for. Here are some titles that I assume would appeal more to your clients than to your co-workers:

  • Does Your Company Need a Professional Copywriters?
  • 10 Advantages of Hiring a Professional Copywriter
  • 10 Things to Know before Hiring a Copywriter
  • Top 10 Mistakes Companies Make on their Sales Copy

You get the idea. You need to focus your content towards the needs and wants of the your clients if you want to connect with them and to have them hanging around on your blog.

3. Transcriptionist asks:

I’ve been long awaiting to see your comment policy so that I could also draft one in correlation with that. Check out your post “12 U.S. Laws Bloggers Should Know” when you were in the thoughts of making one, way back on May 24, 2007. Is it still in the draft phase?

I was planning to do one, but never found the time. Honestly I don’t think there are many dangers coming from the comment section of your blog, as long as you moderate it and use common sense.

That being said, if you have the time to draw a Comment Policy, it would be a positive thing. First and foremost because you would be able to tell your readers clearly what they are supposed and not supposed to do in your comments section.

Secondly because you could protect yourself under some legal points.

I will try to write a summary on this topic on a future article, thanks for the reminder.

4. Mr I asks:

I am from a small Indian town. I have two blogs. I spend too much time blogging or promoting my blog. This results in long bills. My parents have said that my internet connection will be cut off if the bill grows too long. I talked to them about blogging but they do not understand that blogging is not a instant cash machine. I am using internet in limits now. But this month I changed my template twice. A lot of data was transferred. So, bill will be long.

I have only one way left. I will have to collect at least $25 from internet and get check before 10 September. Here the problemetic things are my ethics. I won’t ask people for ad click exchange. So, I can not get cash from there too.

Last method is asking for donations! Should I ask for donations? In this internet world of scams, would people believe me? Or should I do something else?

I will not talk to my parents as I have tried before three times but every time I got a question smacked on my face: “What do you do on internet?” I tried to explain but all in vain. So, what do you say?

I am assuming you are still a minor, and that you are using a dial-up connection where your parents pay for the time you stay online, right?

If that is the case here are some stuff that you could try:

1. Is there DSL on your city? Depending on how much you are spending monthly, getting a flat rate DSL connection, even if slow (say 256k), could end up costing less.

2. Try talking your parents and convince them to wait 6 months to see where your Internet efforts are going to take you. When they ask “What are you doing on the Internet?”, you say that you are working and creating your business. India is a very technology-savvy country, they sure must know that the Internet and business walk hand in hand these days?

3. How about public Internet connections? Brazil is poorer than India, and yet you have dozens of places around where one can go and use the Internet for free. Think about libraries, coffee shops, museums and so on.

4. If all else fails, I would advice you to keep working on your blog offline, and just connect into the Internet for 30 minutes a day or so to upload your posts and do a minimum of maintenance. Content is the corner stone of any popular website, and you don’t need to be online to use the word processor right? If you need to research, hit the local library and get some books. They are still useful!

5. SEO Genius asks:

What do you believe the most important factors leading up to a blogs success are?

1. Quality and usefulness of the content
2. Uniqueness of the content
3. Consistency of the blogger
4. Persistence of the blogger
5. Promotional efforts of the blogger
6. Network of contacts of the blogger
7. Niche of the blog
8. Design of the blog
9. Luck

6. Al asks:

You advertised Doreo for hosting some days back, and I went to check them, but they had Linux hosting I think. Does that pose a problem since I’m a windows user? And what’s the difference between Windows and Linux hosting?

Linux hosting means that the web server where your site will be hosted will be running Linux (and probably Apache on top of it). It does not matter if you (the website owner) uses Windows, Linux or OS X. You will be able to manage your website anyway because you will just need to access the FTP and the cPanel interface, and both of those work with any operating system.

Windows hosting, on the other hand, means that the web server will be running Windows.

Personally I would never go with a Windows based hosting. Linux machines are much more stable, to begin with. Secondly, Apache is also a more robust web server software, and it has many advanced featured that Windows machines lack. The possibility to use .htaccess files is an example.

7. Sohail asks:

I want to have a custom theme for my blog, I can’t go for services like unique blog design who start from 2000$, Do you recomend anyone who can design on my specification for a reasonable price?

On Premium Themes Now we offer custom blog design services, starting at $1000. Since you are a DBT reader we could probably put a discount there :).

Now if you don’t want to spend that amount of money anyway, I would suggest trying to find a premium theme that you like. Those cost anywhere from $20 up to $100, and they look professional and are easy to customize.

This solution could be good enough for now. Once you start making more money with the blog you decide whether you want to invest into a custom theme or not.

8. Kali Lilla asks:

Google webmaster tools keeps saying I have duplicate title tags. I have no idea what this means or how to fix it. Any ideas?

The title tag is the description of your website that appears on top of your browser. Ideally, each page of your website should have a unique title tag that reflects the content of the page.

You probably have the same title tag being used all over the place, hence why Google is raising a red flag there.

To solve this problem is really simple though, especially if you are using WordPress. You just need to log into the admin panel, then click on “Design,” and then “Theme Editor.” Now you need to open the header.php file, and locate the code for the current title tag, which starts with a <title>< and ends with a </title><.

Delete that line of code, and paste the following code there instead:

<title><?php if (is_home () ) { bloginfo(‘name’); }
elseif ( is_category() ) { single_cat_title(); echo ' - ' ; bloginfo(‘name’); }
elseif (is_single() ) { single_post_title();}
elseif (is_page() ) { single_post_title();}
else { wp_title(‘’,true); } ?></title>

That is it. Now your title tag will be dynamically generated and reflect the title of each page on your blog. This is the code I use on my own blogs as well.



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26 Responses to “Blogging Questions & Answers 18”

  • medyum

    Thank you very much for answer Daniel,
    I liked your latest WP Vistalicious Theme and asked the designer for changes and looks nice to me just waiting for the header and stuff to complete it and then my blog will be all set to go. I will go for custom theme in future though.

  • Dr Z Amps

    I noticed that the 2nd question in this thread pertained to excluding a page from the studiopress nav bar, and I am hopelessly stuck on the same thing. I installed the exclude pages wp plugin but it doesn’t work on this theme.

    Can anyone offer any input, I love this theme and just want to get it working right?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Sharon, go to digg.com, then check the footer link that says “Integrated buttons.”

  • sharon natanblut

    Hi there,
    I was excited to see the first question, “How do people put Digg it! Stumble it! etc after every post of theirs?” I’ve been trying to figure that out myself. I tried the two solutions but unfortunately they didn’t work for me. First I went to the Social Media Blogging Tool as suggested but Digg it wasn’t included on it. Then I went to my WordPress as described but I don’t see in the Theme Editor a single .php file. Can someone help me out here? Thanks.

  • Tim

    @ Mr. I: One way to go might be to apply for a micro loan from http://kiva.org/ .

    I recommend Kiva to DBT readers: it is making micro finance available to everyone: lenders and loaners: lend as little as $25 to change someone’s world, and then relend or recoup that money when it is repaid..

    I read that the rate of defaulting on loans is phenomenally low – around 1%?? (please check that for yourself)..

    Best wishes!

  • Tejvan Pettinger

    How big can a mysql database become? After 9 months, I have 500 posts. I’m wondering after 9 years, how manageable the mysql database will be.

  • Sherry

    I just subscribed to your blog using hotmail 🙂

  • Sherry

    great info, glad to find your blog 🙂

  • Mr. I

    Thanks for answering my question!

  • Sunil Pathak

    @SEO Genius

    i think we all picked our domain name to rip as much SEO fruits as possible its got nothing to do with our expertise and our knowledge,

  • SEO Genius

    @ Mat I hardly think I am an SEO Genius.

    I am still learning like most people, I am sure even the most succesfull bloggers are still learning day in day out.

    I didn’t pick the name so people assumed I know everything about SEO. To be honest not sure why I picked the name 😀

    But hey.

  • SEO Genius

    Thanks Daniel for answering my question.

    I have another one,

    How do I combine feedburner and Aweber so I can use Aweber to make readers subscribe?

  • Saurabh

    I have a blog and I aggrigate links with some of my commentary. Now I think that I am boring my readers (if any!) and am just aggregating links with my old commentary. How do I write some original stuff? Or aggregating is OK?

  • Yuen

    Wrong link in first answer:

    “social bookmarking creator tool”
    http://http//www.toprankblog.com/tools/social-bookmarks/

  • 3 Bags Full

    Thanks for your always helpful question and answer posts.

    I just wanted to let you know that I was having trouble linking with the toprankblog social bookmarking tool

    I found this link to work. Hope this helps

    http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/01/social-bookmarking-submission-tools/

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Awesome answers to a wide range of questions. Love #5… you hit the nail on the head!

  • Medical Transcriptionist

    Thank you for answering my questions.

    @ Mr. I.

    DSL/cable broadband connections are dirty cheap nowadays in India with connectivity penetrating even to remote places, and 256 kbps is the minimum speed prescribed by government of India for such connections that claim to be broadband. Wireless broadband like Wimax too is available in certain towns. If yours is a place where wired/wireless broadband has not yet reached, then you could go for GPRS/EDGE technology provided by cellular operators at cheap rates. Else, you could go for BSNL Plug2Surf to suite your purse. Free public internet spots in India are a rare thing and that option is ruled out.

    Now my question to Daniel for this week:

    You have been vouching to install WordPress files in the root directory (Read post: Always install WordPress on the root directory). URL structure can be rectified in settings/general options/blog address (URL). A classic example is my blog. You can’t access my front page with two different URLs viz., domain.com and domain.com/blog. Do you still hold on that same point?

  • Sohail

    Thank you very much for answer Daniel,
    I liked your latest WP Vistalicious Theme and asked the designer for changes and looks nice to me just waiting for the header and stuff to complete it and then my blog will be all set to go. I will go for custom theme in future though.

  • Mat Packer

    I always love when someone calls themselves SEO Genius..hah

  • Saurav

    For Question 1 this might help
    http://yabblog.com/2008/09/24/subscribe-by-email/

  • Rarst

    I am framing answer â„–5 and putting it on my wall above monitor.

  • Yawza

    Hello Daniel,

    I wanted to know how do you set up contracts for guest bloggers or bloggers you may hire? Also can you provide an example? Thanks

  • Lax

    Daniel,

    My question here is:
    What is this copyright policy in simple words? Why webmaster will ask not to copy their content?

    Silly answer have myself is:

    They will get traffic with that copying also right?

    I won’t feel bad whens some one copies content from my blog.

    Thanks,
    Lax.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Danny, that is correct. Thanks for the questions.

  • Daniel Maldonado

    I was looking thru the wp forums on how to exclude pages from the navigation menu on the top. I found a few way to remove it from the side bar but i really want to remove it from the navigation bar on the top. is there a simple way to do this? im using the Studio Press template.

  • Danny Cooper

    Hi Daniel,

    I’m right in thinking this is where we leave questions for future posts? If so then..

    What is your view on offering free reports, ebooks, whitepapers or whatever the current name for PDF’s are, in return for email subscriptions?

    Thanks

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