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One of the biggest gripes bloggers have is how their visitors do not read their posts. skimming blog posts - clock image

It’s maddening.

After all, we meticulously craft our posts, carefully choose each word, spend time adding SEO (search engine optimization), tags and the perfect picture(s), ensure we’re providing value, double check to see if the words are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct, only to find out our visitors are skimming.

Some visitors will even rat themselves out by leaving a comment which doesn’t make sense.

We know they didn’t read our words, but yet we enjoy those comments.

What’s a blogger to do?

Today’s Lesson

With many bloggers blogging part-time, writing posts for their blogs AND making time to visit other blogs can be challenging.

Time must be cut somewhere, so it’s often done while they’re reading/skimming the blog posts of others.

So, what can we do?

Accept it.

If we know our posts are being skimmed, why not make it easier for a visitor to do so?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Write shorter posts
  2. Use bullet points
  3. Use photos or white space to break up the verbiage
  4. Ask questions at the end which don’t “test” to see if the visitor read our post, but instead are relevant to the content.

Take your reader’s time constraints into consideration and they may reward you with a comment.

Today’s Assignment

If you had a choice to have a visitor read your post or leave a comment, which would you choose?

Do you have any other tips on how a blogger can improve their chances of having their posts read in their entirety?

Care to share?

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The job market as we knew it is changing and the change is affecting how we blog, how we interact online.

With the introduction of social networking sites such as MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, plus with us posting to our blogs; what we feel, what we think, what sites we link to and what we believe, is no longer being viewed by just a select few but possibly by “private eye” type companies hired by potential future employers, or even our current employer, to spy on us.

Today’s Lesson

Although Google and Facebook are usually the spots where potential employers or clients look for information about us, if a professional social networking surveillance company is hired, no stone goes unturned.

Take, for example, Social Intelligence Corp (a division of RivData), who describe what they do as follows:

Social Intelligence Corp solely generates reports based on employer pre-defined criteria, both positive and negative. Negative examples include racist remarks or activities, sexually explicit photos or videos, and illegal activity such as drug use. Positive examples include charitable or volunteer efforts, participation in industry blogs, and external recognition.

Companies like this will find all of our blog posts, comments we left on other blogs, links we like, tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook. Although we can delete some of the derogatory statements/photographs, if we’re in the job pool/market now, it may be too late.

Knowing this is happening can raise fear in bloggers. In fact, we may become so fearful, we either don’t start a blog or if we do, we become blogging sheeple, never expressing our true beliefs, but instead “playing nice” and acting like we don’t have a backbone. If it appears we don’t have an opinion or are wishy-washy on most topics, that could be construed to mean we cannot make decisions. Even small ones.

On the other hand, if we’re outspoken and share views that go against what a potential employer or client is looking for, would we be a good match for them anyway? And…would we even want to work for a company/client who isn’t accepting of opposing views?

I know some of you will say, “I’ll just blog/tweet/Facebook and use a pseudonym (fake name). That way I can say whatever I want”. In actuality that could hurt us. In the event our goal is to build up a clientele or develop a digital footprint which will benefit us in the future, all of the work we’ve done using the pseudonym could be wasted. Plus, not showing any online activity could appear suspicious.

Building a digital footprint and being aware of the breadcrumbs we leave on the world wide web can be daunting, however if done right, it could lead to great success and/or that dream job.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

If your online activity was investigated, how would you score?

Based on your digital footprint, if you were in the market for an assistant, would you hire you?

Care to share?

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For links to other posts on this topic, check out:

  1. Do You Pass the Social Media Recruitment Test? (Mashable)
  2. Social Media and Employment Law: Six Things You Need To Know (Monster Thinking)
  3. Yes, Virginia, HR Execs Check Your Facebook Page (Gigaom)
  4. Pre-employment Social Media Screening Deemed Legal, posted on Reppler, which is,
  5. …a social media monitoring service designed to keep your social reputation clean and safe.

Photo Credit: Felipe Venâncio

How to find balance in bloggingWhen we start blogging, we usually add blogging to our already busy schedule. As our platter of life fills up, we begin to feel overwhelmed.

Finding balance is ideal, but where do we start?

Today’s Lesson

Listed below are a few blogging tips to help save time and find balance.

  1. Write mission, vision and value statements.
  2. A clear blogging focus will help to keep us on track.

  3. Evaluate how much time is spent on social networking sites.
  4. Social networking is a great activity if we want to get, and keep our name out there and catch up with our online friends. However,  it’s often unproductive time. Reducing the amount of time we spend on social networking sites may be beneficial.

  5. Ask, “what can I automate?”
  6. With WordPress there are many plugins we can use to save time. Take, for example, the WordPress database backup plugin. We set the schedule. It does the rest, automatically.

  7. Reduce the amount of time spent checking statistics.
  8. I used to be a stataholic and would check my statistics WAY too often. I finally realized it was a waste of time. Now when I look at my stats, it’s to see what search strings visitors used to find my blogs and where the traffic is coming from i.e. social networking sites, search engines, direct.

  9. Access what blogging activities are helping to get our blog found.
  10. If visiting other blogs and commenting is helping, concentrate on that. What about social networking? Is it beneficial? What about  SEO (search engine optimization) work?   (This information can be found in your stats.)

  11. Quit guessing. Time yourself.
  12. Use a timer to check exactly how much time you are spending on blogging activities. I timed myself on Twitter and although I guessed I had only spent fifteen minutes socializing, it was closer to an hour. Yikes!!!

  13. Trying to make money with a blog? Start simple (or wait).
  14. When I started blogging, I wasted many hours placing and changing affiliate ads on my blogs. Little did I know spending that much time trying to make money on a blog which got very little traffic was worthless.

  15. Give ideas time to work.
  16. Impatience can be our enemy. Let’s say we decide to try something new on our blog. After a week it’s not getting the results we expected, so we drop that idea and go to “plan b” or “plan c”. In blogosphere (as in life) new ideas take time. Practice patience.

  17. Ask for help
  18. Like many of you, I don’t like to ask for help. However, it’s tough to do it all and do it good. Asking others for their suggestions or hiring a professional to handle specific aspects of our blog (such as coding or design) will allow us to spend time on that which we enjoy.

  19. Have fun.
  20. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our blogs we forget to enjoy the blogging journey. Make time to get away from the blog. Introduce yourself to other bloggers. Jump on a social networking site. Exchange ideas. Share a joke. Have a laugh. 😆

Your blog will wait.

Control your blog. Don’t let your blog control you (and your life).

Today’s Assignment:

How do you find time to do it all?

Do you have any time-saving tips or ideas of how to gain balance?

Or do you have a question either I or someone else can answer for you?

Care to share?

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Photo Credit: (aka Brent)

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