How Has Blogging Changed Your Life?

March 30, 2011 marks the 4 year Anniversary of my blogging life with the creation of deansguide as the vehicle for publishing my messages and wrestling control away from the mass media stranglehold on information. Blogging has changed my life in many ways from providing a forum to prove my expertise to acting as common ground for my relationship with my girlfriend. It has opened up a world of knowledge and research, helped me network and connect with people throughout the world, and been the foundation for launching my writing and public speaking career. Yet with all of these wonderful developments there is still room for the fun, unusual, and bizarre occurrence .

Highlights and Lowlights on deansguide

  • Ed Okun:deansguide was the leading blog on 1031 Tax Group con artist Ed Okun and recognized as a repository and meeting place for victims of Okun to tell their story
  • US Attorney: deansguide was recognized by the US Attorney’s office in Richmond, VA as one of a handful of blogs allowed to publish information about the Ed Okun Ponzi scheme that bilked over $160 million from investors nationwide
  • Helping Victims:Elizabeth Callanan and 350 Okun “Train Wreck Victims” speak out on deansguide
  • Forbes: Mike Maello associate editor for Forbes.com contacted and consulted with me on the Okun story
  • Informant: I was contacted by “Mr. Miami” who was close to Okun’s wife and fed me breaking news information throughout Okun’s trial
  • Mob Ties: I received numerous phone threats by associates of Okun or his representatives to “stay quiet” about the investigation
  • Hell’s Angels: my first blog article was about the 50th Anniversary of the Oakland Hell’s Angels and the party planned for the occasion. I was contacted by a former Angel who approved of my writing and one man who claimed to be a member of the “81″ who promised to make things “hard” if I didn’t watch what I published
  • 330,635 Views: the number of page views deansguide has garnered
  • 1,062: top traffic day on deansguide. Not huge but satisfying considering the blog’s many reiterations
  • Reuters, Nielsen, Fox Business, Computer Shopper, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and other media sites have republished deansguide articles
  • 700 & 2,000: deansguide has published 698 posts and I have written over 2,000 blog articles since I began blogging

Conclusion

I have met Kings, Queens and paupers through my writing. I have been threatened, harassed, and bullied. I have been lauded as a savior and scoffed at as a quack. My subject matter has included the Hell’s Angels, Real Estate, Social Media tips, wine, Mob figures, networking, Silicon Valley, business self help, and hundreds of other subjects. Throughout my writing experience one thing comes to mind- advice from one of my dearest friends “Chili Eye” Charles Henderson: “just let the bullets fly, write like you stole it. Write with a run and gun style.” Without Charlie’s encouragement I would have never started this blog- thank you my friend rest in peace brother!

5 Blog Writing Tips To Engage Online Readers

ComputerShopper published this deansguide article 11-13-09

Blog writing is vastly different from “long” writing seen in newspapers and magazines. The idea behind blog writing is to capture a reader’s attention immediately, create succinct articles, and keep the word count under 500 words when possible.

5 Tips to Engage Online Readers

1. F Shape Theory: Jakob Nielsen, Time magazine’s King of Usability, formulated a theory describing online reading habits. Online readers, according to Nielsen, read the title first, then scan down the left side bar looking for keywords important to them. If the reader finds a keyword they scan left to right into the body of the text. If the reader does not find a keyword they scan down the left side bar and leave. The F Shape Theory

2. Bold: Utilize the Bold feature to help text stand out, pull the human readers eye to keywords and subheadings, and more readable for Google ‘bots

3. Bullets and Numbers: Online readers love bullet and numbered lists. Use these list articles as often as possible

4. Images: Pictures attract the eye and help hold the reader’s interest. Utilizing screenshots is a very effective method of teaching your readers when producing any how-to articles. Example below:

bitly002

5. Video: This adds a higher level of engagement for the reader. Youtube.com is also a very prominent social network that can drive traffic to your site. Warning: videos should be succinct like written content. Any video over 3 minutes is usually too long unless it is a training vehicle for your audience. Example of lawyer Gary Gwilliam’s compelling video about his fight to conquer alcoholism and addiction:

Blog Strategies: Revisit Your Library of Content To Create New Articles

deansguide 10-16 top 3

The top 3 articles for 30 days ending October 16, 2009 on deansguide are

  1. “Twitter Strategies: #FollowFriday To Recognize and Attract New Followers” with 909 pages views
  2. “Hearst Mansion: Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing-$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!”
  3. “Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angel’s 50th Anniversary”

My deansguide blog has 573 articles published to date. That library of content will be buried and unbeknowst to the reader if I do not do the following things to ensure it’s continued readership.

Leverage and Repurpose Your Content: Revisit Your Past

The content you write on your blog builds a library or reference point to your past. The following are strategies that will continue to add new readers, gain exposure for past articles, and provide you with an easy to write blog articles when necessary:

  • Internal Linking: make sure to create internal linking to your past content library of articles. By linking past articles to current work, you open the gates to new material for readers unfamiliar with your past works
  • Categorization: categorizing your articles makes it easier for readers to find your work;  another benefit of categorization-you can create an article on the best of a particular “category”
  • Retrospectives: if you have written a past article or series of articles, you can write a retrospective aka “look back” article to analyze where that particular subject matter has progressed today
  • Repurpose: if you have articles in your content library that were too long, losing readers in text, you can repurpose an important point creating a new “tighter” succinct version of the old content
  • Listing: like so many great bloggers, see BeingPeterKim.com, you can write an article based on your best articles from any time frame ie. quarter, month, or week

Conclusion

The Top 3 articles by page views this week for deansguide were written:

  1. September 25, 2009 Twitter article
  2. July 10, 2007               Hearst Mansion article
  3. March 30, 2007          Hell’s Angels article

Your content library will serve you well if you understand how to link back to it, create new versions, and make the content easy to access.