Monday, November 14, 2005

10 hot tips for new bloggers

10 hot tips for new bloggers

Inspired by a recent post, "Ten Blogging Hacks",

by New Super Blogger, Steve Rubel, at his blog MicroPersuasion, I decided to provide you with my own list of ten tips.

First, however, let me mention Steve Rubel's list.

If you're a blog author, you should consider blogrolling Micropersuasion, subscribe to his FeedBlitz email update notifications, and visit his blog at least once a week, daily if possible.

Steve Rubel's
Ten Blogging Hacks

1. Writely

2. my bookmarklets

3. ecto to auto-insert Technorati tags

4. cell phone blogging

5. blog iconizing

6. Plazes and FeedMap

7. Findory

8. blog promotion merchandise (Cafe Press, Slacker Manager, etc.)

9. one click blogrolling

10. email updates via FeedBlitz

NOTE: I have switched from Bloglet to FeedBlitz. If you wish to take advantage of email notification of fresh content here at Vaspers the Grate, so you won't miss each devastating post, I will shortly put the sign up form for FeedBlitz in my sidebar. I have to disable the Bloglet service first. Your patience is appreciated.

Vaspers the Grate
10 Hot Tips for
New Bloggers

1. Jakob Nielsen: He is the foremost expert on web usability. Learn the proven principles and tested techniques for making any site, including your blog, more user friendly and efficient.

This is where the roots of Vaspers the Grate were planted in 1999. I mean, I began to study web usability back then, and began to transform my 18 years of direct marketing copywriting expertise into the specialization of online marketing proficiency.

2. Jacques Derrida: He was considered perhaps the greatest, most influential philosopher of the 20th century. His formulation of "deconstruction" had an impact on everything from punk rock to modern art, from web site design (see Homepage Usability subtitle below) to theology.

His writing is difficult, but it stretches your mental capacities, and many topics are extremely bizarre and interesting, like the Supremacy of Text over Speech. He also wrote a lot about the internet, Freud and email, hypertext, and other computer issues. I hope someone collects all this material into a single book for us. Maybe I could be the editor. I can dream can't I?

3. The Red Couch: This is the blog about writing a book about business blogs. Now the book, with the weird title "Naked Conversations", is completed, and will be in bookstores in December 2005, or January 2006. You must buy this book if you are a business person or a blogger of any type.

The authors, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble (MicroSoft's Chief Blogger), I consider to be among my best friends in the blogosphere.

Man, they really tolerated tons of scathing comments by Vaspers the Grate on their blog, and they told me they'd never ban me. I tried to respect that professional courtesy, but sometimes I got quite angry with other comment posters, and let them have it. Ooops. Sorry guys.

Their blog is still up and running. Shel is posting lots of interesting articles, so be sure to visit it. Check out the archives and see all the raging controversies. The Red Couch blog was like an ongoing seminar in business blogging. It was my favorite blog, and I visited it probably 7 times a day. No joke.

4. Tinbasher: Yes, I'm sucking up to my blogo-combat buddy, Paul Woodhouse, again. Shame on me. I'm a wanker from wankerville, I know.

But we went through hell together, and he is one tough, dedicated New Super Blogger.

What's his blog about? Sheet metal. Huh? So why would many famous marketing bloggers read it frequently? Because Paul Woodhouse is abrasive, confrontational, and has a great humorous writing style, that's why.

Only losers have never heard of him.

5. Recommended books to buy and read:

* Cluetrain Manifesto by Chris Locke, Cory Doctorow, etc.

* Publishing a Blog with Blogger by Elizabeth Castro

* Who Let the Blogs Out? by Biz Stone

* Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World by Hugh Hewitt

* Web Design: The Complete Reference by Thomas Powell

* Webmaster in a Nutshell by Stephen Spainhour & Robert Eckstein

* Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Jakob Nielsen & Marie Tahir

* Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen

* Free Prize Inside (and all his other books, with possible exception of All Marketers are Liars) by Seth Godin

* Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities by John Hagel III & Arthur G. Armstrong

* Net Words: Creating High-impact Online Copy by Nick Usborne

* Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age by Constance Hale & Jessica Scanlon

* Direct Mail Copy That Sells! by Herschell Gordon Lewis

* The Pursuit of Wow! (and all his other books) by Tom Peters

* Marketing Warfare (and all the other books) by Al Ries, Laura Ries, Jack Trout

* F'd Companies: Spectacular Dot Com Flameouts by Philip J. Kaplan

* Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner

* Between the Blinds: A Derrida Reader edited by Peggy Kamuf

* Writing and Difference (and all his other books) by Jacques Derrida

* Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust the many books on blogs already published, or soon to hit the bookstores, by Debbie Weil, Jeremy Wright, B.L. Ochman, Steven Streight, etc.

6. Read blogs that are unrelated to your field. Business blogger: read some well-written personal trivia blogs. Personal blogger: read some marketing or web design blogs. Political blogger: read some philosophy blogs. Etc.

7. Subscribe to web developer discussion lists, like Evolt or WDVL-Talk.

8. Get the Firefox web browser for better security and faster uploading of web sites.

9. Get the Easy Web Stats "people online counter" thingamajig (see my "I sense your presence" in the sidebar).

10. Visit other blogs and post intelligent, relevant, enriching comments on them.

This is the very best way to establish your blog credentials and become a full-fledged participant in the beloved blogosphere. Reciprocal Commenting means you always try to post comments at the blogs of those who post comments on your blog. At least make some effort to do this.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Bad Habit Brota said...

I've actually been considering switching over to Firefox. I've heard a lot of good things about it. However, I have lots of bookmarks, and am too lazy to re-look up all those websites. Is there an easier way to import them to Firefox?

steven edward streight said...

There is some way to import bookmarks from another web browser to Firefox, but I had trouble getting it to work.

Then I realized, I only visit a tiny percentage of bookmarked sites.

So I didn't mind creating a new bookmarked favorites list on Firefox. I think I wrote down some URLs, visited them and then bookmarked them. But mostly I just created a whole new list.

I think the Firefox Central web site provides information on importing your bookmarks.

But don't let that hold you back. I mean, I have Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers still. I can use them anytime I choose, though I rarely do so.

So you're not going to "lose" all your bookmarks.

Paul Woodhouse said...

I might implement one or two of these once I spruce the old blog up in the near future.

As much as I'd hate to think of having to start a blog in this day and age, it's nice to think that the niches are forming and you can identify and stick with them.

Although, I'm coming to the conclusion that business blogs are like a company's web gusset.

You see, I'm not really a blogger but some guy who uses a blog to help his brother in law's business out. Most business blogs are the same. It just so happens that I sometimes tell it like it is, but not nearly as often as I'd like. The longer I go on the more of a phoney I feel.

You're a blogger and therein lies the difference.

steven edward streight said...

That's, thanks, but that's clear as mud, thanks.

A blogger who is not really a blogger but has a popular business blog that other business bloggers hate and argue with, including Bob Lutz of General Motors and Evelyn Rodriguez and the fictional character blog fiends, etc.????

Whose leg do ya think yer pulling here?

Now you listen and you listen good: you will continue blogging in your weird way, or I will have every fictional character on earth claim to be your sister.

Paul Woodhouse said...

I will never give up and I shall never surrender. And God forbid I should ever find myself in fictional character hell. At least those buggers died a welcome death. One-nil to us methinks.

Blogging filters through my veins like the most heinous of illicit substances.

And just like said substances it gets worse over time. I shall even be stealing from Grannies in order to satiate my blog fix.

Blogs are my pimp and I am their whore.

Ignore my vague calls for clemency and keep kicking me up the arse. I appreciate it more than you realise.

I feel the need for a scalp or two.

steven edward streight said...

Paul Tinbasher Blogsmasher:

I'm hating, busily hating, all my electronic experimental music compositions.

Last night I tried to listen to them, and each CD lasted all of 3 minutes before I was climbing the walls.

Compared to the Cache 2000-2004 series of electro-acoustic music at Canadian Electroacoustic Community, my stuff sucks.

So, this means I'm on the verge of a massive breakthrough.

Though I secretly with to be The Halo Benders doing "Virginia Reel Around the Fountain", or The Fiery Furnaces doing "Crystal Clear", or The Olivia Tremor Control doing "Love Athena", I must settle for being a lowly instrumentalist with a lousy crooning voice.

So I, much as you, also go through proper self-loathing.

I don't think anyone has ever hated anything half as much as I hate all my original music compositions. I'm angry at how boring and stupid they all sound.

Maybe a few tracks are genius, like "Superscaler" and "Ethereal Nature Setting" but not many more.

No way do I have the requisite One Million Original Songs to enter the Invisible Secret Hall of Musical Infamy.

Do you often reply OT to post comments, rushing to bolster a buddy, and end up beating up yourself instead?