Commenting Challenge, Mistakes, Lessons and Link Replies!

If you have been keeping with me (Via Twitter, G+ or blogs that I read), then you probably know about the commenting challenge I am in right now.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would probably know about my writing challenge – writing 2 articles per weekday.

Note: Just skip the section below, if you are a regular reader. Man, I wish I had a plugin where I could have different messages for new and returning visitors. Do you?

If you aren’t a regular read, then go read those old posts 😉

Yes, right now.

Go read them.

I will wait for you.

Nope, I am not impatient. Go read them.

Come on, Just go 😉

[After you read my old posts…..]

Welcome back!

Thanks for reading those posts 😉

Well, start our talk for today, okay?

Commenting Challenge

One thing I really hate is a routine. I just like going by the flow, changing things up a little every now and then [i.e. Being creative 😀 ]. So, after 2-3 weeks of my writing challenge, I was tired. No, not because I hated the challenge. Because, it wasn’t new. It was just the same thing over and over again 5 days a week.

So, the other day, I was going over Tristan’s old posts about commenting and it hit me – Why shouldn’t I try a commenting challenge?

And so, it was decided.

I planned to leave 100 quality comments over several blogs – Thanks to Ana’s Comment luv blog’s list and Brian’s Bloggers list.

So, I decided to leave 100 comments per day – from Monday to Friday (for this week).

Well, that was a big mistake.

Let me tell you why:

I didn’t have a clear plan.

Yes, I have told you that I hate planning. But, a plan can really be helpful at times.

Yesterday, I had about 5-6 hours of free time and I left 50 comments in total.

Let me tell you why it didn’t work out well (And Lessons learned):

  • I decided that I will only leave comments on blogs where I can get my investment back – Big mistake because : 1) I won’t know who will come back. The person I think may not visit my blog might actually take a look at my blog 2) I shouldn’t be greedy, should I? I should just appreciate the bloggers for their posts, right?
  • The posts were mixed up – Yes, there weren’t in order of length of the post. I really had to read many long posts in between. It wasn’t progressive – from easy to hard. I think I would have done way better if I had a plan and read all the short posts first and long ones later.
  • I didn’t take breaks – Another big mistake. I should have taken breaks in between. I was just reading and commenting continuously – which caused my body to break down (I also had headache all night, yesterday).

100 comments is a lot. Especially, when you want to leave 100 quality comments. And things are not going that good today, either. I didn’t get home early (As I thought I would – so, I haven’t started my “commenting blitzkrieg” yet). I am planning to do about 50 today (100 is too much for day, at least for me).

Now, for the actual tip:

Link in Replies?

So, I was commenting on many blogs yesterday (And I did get many replies back that again deserved another reply). So, I was replying. And, I was thinking about comment luv links/twitter links. Should we have links in our comment replies?

My opinion is that we should not.

And I followed the opinion for most ones (Except a few when the auto fill did all the work and I forgot to un check the comment luv option).

Let me tell why I did that:

It builds a better relationship – When you don’t have comment luv links in your comment reply backs, you are telling the blog owner:

That you actually care about the site.
That you are there just for the links.
Now the benefits that you actually get:

The blog owner will more likely check your blog link (if they haven’t already). Because you just showed them that you give a damn about their blog.
More chance that the blog owner will comment on your blog.
Yes, of course, by doing this, you would be loosing out all those links – But, if you are a blogger who cares more about relationships than links, then go ahead 😉

So, what now?

Nothing much. Just tell me what you think. What is your opinion about leaving links on reply backs? Do you do it? Why or why not?

I am off to do my commenting challenge 😉 Thanks for listening!

Blogging Economically: Do You Do it?

Blogging was a great field to work, especially if you want to make money easily. Notice I said, was. Yes, blogging is still a great field. But, not for people who want to make money easily.

Making money through blogging requires consistent investment of time, money, effort along with a motivational and optimistic can-do attitude.

Blogging is also a business. Just like any business, every economic principle can also be applied to blogging. In this blog post, I will share my thoughts and experience on applying economics into blogging and getting more traffic to your blog.

Note: This is a moderately long post. I would recommend that you read every bit of it, so get a cup of your favorite drink before you start reading 😀

Before we get into the main portion (getting traffic to your blog, being a better blogger) of today’s topic, we need to discuss about economics:

The Condition of Today’s Blog Economy

We all know that Economics work on the basic principles of Supply and Demand. Now, let’s take those principles and apply it to blogging:

Fresh [New] Content

Definition of Fresh New Content – New Ideas that weren’t presented before or Old ideas that were written from a new perspective. For instance: I consider my article on patience as new content because it looks at the pros of being impatient rather than on the pros of being patience.

The supply of fresh new content is decreasing – as bloggers are finding it harder to come up and write from new perspective – someone might have already written on that.

The demand, as you can guess is enormous. People want new content from new perspectives. That’s why they give a huge welcome to newly presented ideas.

Old Content

Definition of Old Content – Ideas that were presented earlier are once again presented, from the same perspective (and it doesn’t contain any new tips that your readers can use).

The supply of old content is enormous as we have a lot of bloggers competing and writing the same thing over and over again (People do get tired of reading those articles. Whereas the demand for old content is low.

Now, that we have taken a look at the supply and demand of new and old articles, let’s take a look at driving traffic to your blog using these techniques:

Driving Traffic To Your Blog / Being a Better Blogger

Tip #1: Think Economically: What Does Your Reader Expect From Your Blog?

As I said earlier, most readers want new tips that are related to the niche. So, give them. Spent more time on brainstorming on topics. It will be easier for you to come up with topics if you:

  • Read Other Blogs, Comment on them and Network with Blog Owners and Commentators
  • Read Books – From short stories for kids to novels for adults. Read everything. You can never predict where you will get the inspiration from.
  • Watch Movies – Yes, watch movies – whether you like them or not. After watching the movies, think about them. Make connections. Can you connect the movie’s theme to blogging? What about the events in the movie?
  • Take Action – Experience – Write your experience. I believe that your experience is the best tip that you can give to someone. It is unique and it can teach others (if you use it effectively).
  • Teach your readers so that your readers can teach others.
  • Tell stories – Include stories from your experience. Write about how you got the idea for a blog post.
  • Make Connections – Yes, the most important thing is that you should be able to make connections. Connect everything that you come upon to blogging.

Tip #2: Think Economically: Write Old Ideas From a Different Perspective.

Yes, write old ideas from different perspectives. Examples: How being lazy and unproductive can help you to become a better blogger (guess what, I have also written about that 😀 ) or How a pessimistic attitude can bring you traffic. Ideas can go on. Think about the two sides of a coin. Look back to your old articles. What did you advocate for? Why? Try writing an article in opposition to your old one. Be Creative 😀 Everything has its own pros and cons. Go against the crowd. Stand out!

Tip #3: Think Economically: Form New Marketing Strategies.

Experiment with your marketing strategies. How do you market your content normally? Try doing something different. For instance: If you usually automate everything, then try doing it manually. If you usually spent more time marketing on Twitter, then try doing it with Google Plus, or with Facebook or with LinkedIn. Do things that others told you not to do. Try it. Experiment. Learn. Analyze. Do more.

Tip #4: Think Economically: Network with Bloggers.

Yes, I have seen many articles emphasizing the importance of networking. So, I am bring that up here. What is your networking strategy? Spent lots of time on a particular network? Then try doing that with a lot of sites. If you normally network in multiple sites, then try doing it with a single site. There are no limits to what you can do. Stop worrying about failing and just do it.

Tip #5: Be Unproductive, Lazy, Pessimistic, Impatient and Arrogant.

Yup! You heard me right. Just be.

Being Lazy and Unproductive will help you to understand the importance and value of being productive and active. Don’t believe me? I will give you an example:
You went to a new restaurant and try something delicious. You like it and decide to have it everyday. As time passes on, your enjoyment of eating the same food decreases (that’s why most of us hate to eat the foods that we eat daily).

So, being lazy for some time makes you hate laziness. And that in turn strengthens your motivation to be active (Note: I am writing this based on my experience. So trust me here 😀 ).

Same thing applies to all others. Being Impatient motivates you to take action so that you can achieve your goal faster.

Tip #6: Don’t Worry, Be Happy and Just Relax. Take Breaks From Blogging.

Don’t cry over your statistics. Just be happy with what you have and strive for more. Relaxation is also important. Did you know that sitting can cause you to die 15 years earlier than a person who is not sitting that much – say like 3 hours (we, bloggers usually blog while sitting). So, interrupt your position of sitting whenever you can.

Take breaks from blogging. Breaks will allow you to come up with more blog ideas and get fresh on perspectives. For instance: When I took a long break of 1-2 months from blogging, my entire perspective on blogging related topics changed. It allowed me to write more and better articles.

Tip #7: Do Things Creatively and Differently.

A new product/idea usually gets a good welcome from the business community. That is because the product do things in a better fashion and it helps the customers. So, in your blog, try to do things differently. Make a change. Spice up your theme/layout now and then. Help your readers. Think as a blogger and as a business owner. You are supposed to help your clients – readers, so do. Write better, from new perspectives. Help your readers. And most of all: DON’T FOLLOW THE CROWD!

Following the crowd is something that we all do. That is just a big mistake. Most inventions in this world was achieved by not following the crowd. Think about it. For instance: What would have happened if Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein or MLK decided to do something different? Or what if Darren Rowse or Brian Clark were to follow the crowd?

The world would have been different. The blogosphere would have been different. We could have not gotten these great role models to teach us to blog better 😀

So, before you do anything else, Don’t follow the crowd! Do things differently.

Tip #8: Follow the Tips Above (and below).

You need to follow the tips above (and below). Yes, you have to follow all of these. Only then will you be able to get the most for your blog – whether it is traffic, subscribers or even being a better blogger. I know a lot of new and experienced bloggers who don’t practice what they preach and what they read.

Follow the tips that are mentioned above. Just try them. Experiment and Learn what you can make out of it.

Tip #9: Share, Care and Comment

Yes, help out others. And they will help you too. An awesome blogger, by my definition is one who cares and helps his readers as well as his blogging buddies. Are you an awesome blogger? So, if you liked this article, help me out by promoting it and telling me your thoughts about it.

Thanks for listening guys! I do certainly appreciate your patience with me 🙂