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I can not count how many times I have gone online and typed in “how to …………”?

It may have been something as simple as “how to get gum out of carpeting”? (with ice)

Or, it may have been “how to use an FTP program” (I’ll be the first to admit, I am somewhat technologically challenged).

I love a good DIY (Do It Yourself) website/blog. They have become the cornerstones of my bookmarked pages.

Today’s Lesson

As bloggers, we are often trying to find subjects to write about.

But, there are tons of topics, right in front of us.

You may know how to do something, and because it is easy for you, you assume it’s easy for everyone. It’s not.

You may assume, those who search, automatically go to a popular DIY website. They don’t.

They search, and search, and search. In fact, they search until they find an answer they can comprehend.

If I’m searching for something I don’t understand, I want the answer to be simple. Tell me what the “thing a ma bob” is and what it does, before you take me to the next step. I am not impressed by “twenty dollar words”. I want simple English. And, I will search until I find a site I can understand.

As bloggers, we have an opportunity to share tons of what we know with others.

I think that’s one reason the internet is so popular. People love DIY projects. And….they search online for help.

Use a DIY post to your advantage.

If your post is well written and accurate, you will “get found” by the search engines, your readers will be grateful, you gain credibility, and your site gains popularity.

If your blog is monetized, you may also make a few coins.

Today’s Assignment

If you don’t use this technique already, commit to writing a DIY post.

Use keywords and keyword density to your advantage.

Got an idea?

Care to share?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. I think this is a good reason to pay attention to your readers’ comments. If one person asks a question, it’s a good bet that many other people have the same question. If you care enough to listen, that must win you some brownie points. :)

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Anger Management 101

  2. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    You’re so right. I spent a long time staring at a blank screen. Then I just started to go through the steps I do in business.

    It may be obvious to me, but not to everyone else. People do undervalue the things they do as second nature.

    I can do very little DIY around the house, and I am awed by those who can. And when I’m shown, I can see the look of amazement from my teacher that I don’t know the basics.

    So it’s important to share what knowledge you have.

    Others may appreciate it!

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Business Cashflow Nightmares Solved Within 10 Days

  3. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – your posts don’t seem to be showing up straight away on my reader. I only found this one because I came back to read the comments on your last one.

    I think there’s plenty of how to things I could add to my blog. The trouble is, I forget what I’ve already written about. And as you mentioned sometimes when you already know how to do things – you forget that others may want to learn how to do so. I guess that I worry about boring my readers by blogging about something they already know!

    In my draft I have part of a post on how to build your self confidence in business, as I’m noticing that various commenters on blogs, would like to be more pro-active in networking and sales, but they lack confidence.

    Not sure what other how to’s I could add, but I bet there are many.

    I do struggle with seo though. I know I’m supposed to have better keyword density but I struggle to write the post in normal language – never mind writing for the search engines! And I don’t do well in Google search as a result.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Want To Get Rich Quick? 7 Reasons Why It’s Dangerous

  4. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry to interrupt here Barbara, but I think Cath is making a real interesting point that touches upon something that has crossed my mind.

    And it’s a form of repitition.

    Yes, people dig through your archives, but not that often. And yes, if you re-published varbatim, that would probably be frowned upon in some way.

    But I remember reading last year about kids TV. In Malcolm Gladwells “Tipping Point” he examined how Sesame Street. And subsequently other shows that succeeded it.

    Kids love repitition – the same show repeated 5 times in a week have great educational value. Where adults cannot see the sense in watching the same show the day after, kids thrive upon it – they love the fact they know what’s coming next.

    And all the while they are picking up the education inter-twined in the fun.

    Adults typically don’t. But I love re-watching films I may have seen years ago. I also re-read books I haven’t looked at for a while.

    And I learn something new.

    In that way, it may be worthwhile re-writing and publishing some of your own favourite old posts.

    Readers may actually want to see variations on the same underlying theme. I certainly can’t remember Cath for example repeating herself. If she has, then I don’t mind revisiting topics that are really important.

    Stuff changes. Our experiences change. Our perception and view of a given topic will change too – or perhaps change is the wrong word.

    We have new information and experiences that can add something new to a topic already discussed before.

    So perhaps it’s worth re-reading old posts, but effectively repeating them in a different way to revive a worthwhile debate?

    It’s like saying “I’ve done politics, so I can’t do that again”. You can. The political world changes. Technology changes. People I suspect don’t change, but they can revisit topics and re-examine them with a fresh mind, perhaps with new insights.

    People also change their minds. Where they may have voted Republican/Conservative, they may have switched to Democrat/Labour.

    About 6 months ago, I was dead against ever doing paper-based mailings. I thought e-marketing/blogs/websites were the future.

    I’ve not completely changed my mind, but I have seen ways of amalgamating mailings via snail mail or postcard drops into our marketing mix – well at least a trial!

    And if it worked, I’d adopt a more rounded viewpoint.

    Sorry – waffling again!

    What do you think about reviving your old posts with an update?

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Small Business Failure Averted By Re-Mortgaging Your Neighbours House

  5. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian,

    You are great at demonstrating this on your blogs. On your personal blog I especially like the post you did with the pencil and paper named Struggling or Going Bust, Think Big It was a simple “exercise”, and would help many get on the right track. The method you suggested, would not only work for business, but in your personal life as well.

    Catherine,

    Let me know if you continue to have problems with the reader. You could try res-subscribing and see if that works.

    On you blog, you could ask your readers a question like “what aspects do you need help on, with regard to starting or building a business? Then give them suggestions like “self confidence”, “networking”, “setting up an accounting system”, etc. Your loyal visitors will help guide you.

    Often we do have many old posts that we think others have read, but they may not have. I will either refer (link) to these, or end up writing another post on the same subject, with different wording.

    Like you, I’m don’t have my blogs SEO maximized. Obviously, that subject hasn’t made it’s way to the top of my priority list yet.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Bloggers Are Missing Huge Opportunities

  6. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter,

    I sent you an email. For some reason your comment ended up in my spam folder. I’m in the process of trying to figure out why.

    Yes, our readers can open our eyes to more opportunities. Some are too hesitant to ask a question, so it’s great when others do. This gives us more to blog about, and establishes great rapport with our loyal fans.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Bloggers Are Missing Huge Opportunities

  7. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Wow,

    If anyone is reading this, they may get confused. I am replying to comments and more are coming in before I can publish my replies, so my answers will appear out of sync.

    Ian,

    Isn’t that wonderful how children love that repetition. They love having you read the same bedtime story, night after night, and pretty soon they are reciting the words as you turn the pages. We can learn something from that.

    Yes, often we are blind to some of the material we are reading. So, digging through our archives and revisiting old subjects is a great idea.

    I know I don’t take time to dig through too many archives, (unless it’s a new blogger like Hunter or Nez, and I want to catch up on their blog), so resubmitting posts on the same subjects is a great way to increase your topic matter.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Bloggers Are Missing Huge Opportunities

  8. NezNo Gravatar says:

    Note to self: start rehashing my archives around this time next year. :-)

    It’s interesting how this comment thread has veered off a bit in topic.

    I just wanted to add that as I think up of things to post on — then go do some research — I find out, “oh, so-and-so has already posted on the topic…hmm…” and I decide either to put the topic on the back-burner to simmer (so I can think of a new angle) or I’ll scrap it.

    Then again, I think part of the appeal of blogs is the chance to “latch onto” a “group” — kind of like how when you go to a new class, you wind up with a small cadre of classmates that you (hopefully) like and support. (Usually, that’s one of the reasons the teacher assigns group projects.)

    So within the group, many topics may be “new”, and at the least, the members are interested in hearing what someone’s take on it is, even if the topic has be “rehashed”.

    Nez’s last blog post..Frame of Mind

  9. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Nez,

    You got it. It’s all about appealing to a group (either small or large), who enjoys your writing style, your interaction with them in the comment section, and/or just your personality. If visitors show up on your site and they “get it”, they will come back for more.

    Yes, my comment section does get off subject at times, but I like that. I let my readers have their say, and if a post reminds them of something else, I don’t mind. Often, it gives me ideas for future post.

    Mine may not be the “typical” comment section, but then again, I never claimed to be a follower. Hmmmmm…I think that will be a topic for a future post.

    BTW: Nez, I will miss seeing your name in my sidebar under “New Blog Of The Week” (new name goes up tomorrow), but I subscribed to your blog, so I won’t be a stranger.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Bloggers Are Missing Huge Opportunities

  10. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    I think you’re all right. Nobody would notice if we started re-hashing old posts. Many of mine could certainly do with being written differently anyway.

    You see, I’ve just noticed something. Last night, I was trying to remember how I found Nez’s blog. And I couldn’t. And I visit this blog every day – and I’m always keen to find out who the new blogger is. So, if I can’t even remember that, people are definitely not going to remember what I blogged about a year ago.

    I’d never thought about kids and repetition, but now Ian mentions it – they do watch the same things over and over again don’t they? Mine are 10 and 13 now and they still do that. And come to think of it, many of the best business courses and books are full of repetition. I suppose it helps you to understand what they’re trying to explain.

    Barbara – do you think asking the question will work? I’ve always wanted to do that – but I worry that I will get no replies! I’ll definitely try it as it isn’t always easy to work out what people want from the comments.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Business – Sometimes You Should Give Up

  11. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    It sounds like you now have a long list of things to (re)write about.

    I’ll send you an email with regard to the question issue, and give you a few ideas.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Bloggers Are Missing Huge Opportunities