We’ve been discussing blogs and web sites for a couple of weeks now, and I’d like to get caught up on comments that have come in the last couple of days. Next week, we’ll pick up again and continue discussing how you define your web site and/or blog requirements.
Bonne said (regarding the Simpleology YouTube video contest):
I don’t have the right camera ~ just the little one built on top of my Mac.
Randy sez: That’s all I have–an iSight camera on my iMac plus the iMovie software. That’s all I need for the video I’m going to make. I wrote my script and timed it and I need to shave 34 seconds off it before I make the video. I hope to get it made over the weekend. And yes, I’ll put up a link to it when I put it on YouTube. I plan on having some fun with this video.
Beth Goddard wrote:
Can I ask a blog and website related question here because I’m still mulling over all the information from last week? I happen to share my name with a British actress and I get tons of hits from people from the UK searching on Beth Goddard. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. My thinking is hey, if even one of those people buys a book . . .
I suppose my only option, if this isn’t a good thing, is to rework my website and blog under a different form of my name. Any thoughts?
Randy sez: Traffic is traffic is usually good. In this case, it probably won’t help you but definitely won’t harm you unless you were getting millions of hits, which would tend to jam up your site. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. These folks probably aren’t interested in you–they’re interested in the actress, and you aren’t her.
Gerhard posted some excellent comments on the web site I analyzed on Wednesday that seemed to be almost invisible to Google (www.ThePathOfFaith.com). He made some good points, so check those out in yesterday’s comments. By the way, if you Google that URL now, there are three results in the search, two of them from this blog. So we’ve added some link power to that site.
Several of you posted comments discussing whether I should have more graphics and/or links to my products on my blog. I appreciate your interest in my well-being! Thanks to all of you.
I have always liked to keep the ads to a very low profile on both my web site and my e-zine. The e-zine in particular has never accepted paid ads from anyone. Once in awhile, I’ve taken a guest article, and quite often I’ll mention one of my products or a product of somebody else that I myself use. I don’t remember whether I’ve ever recommended a product unless I own it or unless it is essentially the same as a product that I use. (For example, I use 1shoppingcart.com to handle my emails and I recommend it, but I also recommend prosender.com and aweber.com, which are very similar in quality. I only need one email system, but the two that I don’t use are less expensive, so it seems very reasonable to recommend them.)
In general, I prefer to keep the “ad static” as low as possible. Whenever I release a new product, I send out a short notice to my e-zine readers. That’s about the extent of it. I know this is “not the way things are done.” I subscribe to most of the other writing-related e-zines, and it appears that my ad ratio is very much lower than everyone else. I like it that way.
As for this web site and blog, I want to strike a balance between the two extremes: “too many ads” and “how do I order this product I want?” As yet, I’ve resisted the urge to put Google AdSense ads on every page. It’s possible that I could make my products a little more visible, but I also feel that “less is more.” Again, that runs counter to the prevailing wisdom, but it’s my site and I’ll run it my way. Let me assure you all that it does just fine.
Next week we’ll pick up the topic of web sites again. There is still a lot to say!
I’m curious- how does something like this contest figure in to an already existing goals plan? Would it be considered an interruption, or would it just require re-arranging other priorities? Because it certainly seems time-consuming…
David Benedict says
“it appears that my ad ratio is very much lower than everyone else. I like it that way.”
Good for you, Randy. As a regular reader and learner from your blog and e-zine, I like it that way, too.
And I have purchased and used some of your products. As far as I’m concerned, you have just the right level of sales pitch to make your e-zine, site and blog very good for users, and much more conducive to learning important things about writing fiction.
It it makes you a little money along the way, so much the better. Keep up the good work!
Carol F. says
Your blog has been perfectly timed for me as I’m just now posting a new website on dyslexia. (Hey, I have to make a living while I work on my fantasy trilogy.) I’ve been devouring everything you’ve said. I added a “shortstat” plug-in to my WordPress site and was so excited to see some hits appearing even the first week. Shortstats shows me what keywords and which page brought the hit. When I went into Google to see how far down my page was listed, there were over 386,000 hits for that keyword. I looked all the way down to page 87 and never found my page. That popped my little bubble of joy. I need to find a stats plug-in that list page views, not just hits, right?
I’ll be looking forward to reading what you have say next week. I hope you’ll give a few more pointers on how to bring our websites up a little further.
Oh, I now know my Technorati rank is 8,911,336. Whooo-hooo! (No bubbles left.) Well, a person’s gotta start somewhere. If any of you want to know more about dyslexia go to www.rainbowreaders.com. It may not be “pretty,” but it’s mine!
Kristi Holl says
My vote is to leave your website the way it is. I love that I don’t have to blot out blinking ads on both sides of the article I’m trying to read. I buy for content, not because of ads.
Joanna Mallory says
Randy, I agree with David Benedict’s comment — you give us enough information to find and buy your products (and I have). And I definitely second Kristi Holl’s comment about blinking ads. I can’t stand motion on sites, because it distracts me from what I’m trying to read. So thanks for having a professional-quality site that’s filled with good content and doesn’t irritate visitors. Seems to be working just fine.
Randy, I am interested in starting a blog. If we quote someone, maybe you let’s say, and we give you attribution, are we supposed to seek permission first?
Also, what is the cyber acceptable procedure for including links on a website or blog? Do we need a signed contract of acknowledgement from the originator?
ehhhmmm…. good question Cori. Maybe I should have asked that one before I put a link to Randy’s blog in my last blog post. (I had some very scathing things to say about this blog and the appalling lack of in-your-face advertising.)
Without thinking of asking permission, I created links to favorite sites on my blog. So far no one has complained. Some of these bloggers figured it out by some sort of techno voo doo and linked back or hooked up with me on other networks. I was really surprised to find my blog on Camy Tang’s site by googling my name.
Gee, I wouldn’t want to decrease her “property value” by having a less than stellar blog, if she’s going to list it…it’s like she’s endorsing it. I’d better get blogging more often, more focused and more gooder!
Daan Van der Merwe says
I fully agree with David and Kristi.
I also agree. I’m tired of seeing sites with a bunch of advertising on them.
Charlotte Babb says
Most people appreciate a trackback and a few kind words. Some folks actually spend time making comments and trackbacks in order to promote their own sites. It can be addictive, though, looking for more like-minded folks who blog.