Friday, November 20, 2009

A blogger resumes after a long holiday...

Yesterday I submitted my new blog (In Search of Jumbo's Landing) to 2 different sites, in the hope of generating traffic. However, I neglected to note the sites anywhere. The problem with that is not knowing if I have already hit a site and the potential to thus waste time revisiting it. One of the sites did respond with acknowlegement. I will note it and from here on do better.

Today I was going to submit my blog to additional sites, when I realized I needed to have a way to track traffic. Otherwise, I won't know if anyone is visiting. So, I added Google Analytics to my code. It takes 24 hours to register. I will need to wait at day to be certain I did it correctly.

I also started another new blog: In Search of Savings. (I remembered to add the Google Analytics to my code. It wasn't easy though, since I couldn't remember how to get back to Google Analytics!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scheduling Posts on Blogger

Ahhh, so I discovered this blogging thing isn't always intuitive for me.

I'm using Google's Blogger (if you haven't noticed already.) Anyway, yesterday I decided it would be most appropriate to schedule a new post to publish the following morning. Under Post Options I modified the post date and time to reflect when I wanted my entry to publish, which was this morning (3/25/09) at 5:00 AM. I checked my post for typos, saved and home I went.

This morning I opened by blog to make another entry and discovered the entry I had so carefully planned was still unpublished.

I quickly went to Blogger help to figure out what I did wrong. Alas, I could find no insight. And yet, I was certain I had scheduled one before. I was sure it had gone off without a hitch.

I considered that perhaps I had been hallucinating, that there wasn't really an option to schedule when a post publishes. As I examined the posting section of my blog it became evident the option was indeed there somewhere, or "scheduled" would not be included as a post status.

I opted to run a test. I started a new post, updated the "Post date and time" and then sat still for a moment. It seemed that this was the point in the process at which my error must have occurred. Then it came to me.

The first time I scheduled a post to publish, at this very same step, I had a moment of confusion. The answer had been to "Publish" the post. I tested my theory and viola!

Question: How Do I Schedule a Blogger Post?
Answer: To schedule a post to publish at a specified time:

  1. Complete your post for publishing.
  2. Select "Post Options" below the text window.
  3. Update the "Post date and time" to reflect when you would like the post to publish.
  4. Click on "Publish Post" at the bottom of the page, beside "Save As Draft."

It seems contrary to your goal, to "Publish" a post that you don't want to publish until later. But that is exactly what you need to do in order to schedule it. To verify, go to "Edit Posts." It should show your post as "scheduled."

Note: If this entry posts on 3/25/09 at 3:00 PM this process will have successfully completed its second test.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting to the Top of the Search

A little while back I came upon a tip for getting blogs and websites to appear in search engine results. It was simple enough that I thought it worth a try.

The idea was simple: go to each search engine on a regular basis and search on the title of your blog or website. I like the concept. It makes sense. So, I have been testing it out, though not on a daily basis. I'm simply not that consistent.

I have 3 blogs. We'll call them the Enviro one, This one and the Investing one. As of today, this is what I have discovered when I search for each via the main search engines.

Enviro Blog
  • Appears at the top of: Google only.
  • Instead of my blog, BlogTopList and/or my comment on Woman's Day appears on Yahoo, AltaVista, All the Web, MSN, Dogpile and Ask.

Investing Blog

  • Instead of my blog, BlogTopList appears on Google, Dogpile and Ask.
  • My blog doesn't appear at all on Yahoo, AllTheWeb, AltaVista, or MSN.

This Blog

  • Appears at the top of: All the Web and Yahoo.
    Instead of my blog, a comment I made on CopyBloger appears on a site called when I search on Ask, Dogpile (though my blog also appears in the number 3 slot on Dogpile) and Google.
  • My blog doesn't appear at all on MSN or Yahoo.

I have yet to discover a pattern. And I have, to date, concluded that my repeated searches for my blog do not appear to be conjuring their appearances in search results. It does, though, seem to be a valuable exercise if for no other benefit than to know where by blog stands in each.

As a small bonus for my efforts, I discovered today that Google allows a searcher to "promote" a website they include in their search results as an indicator that they retrieved what the searcher was looking for. I happily promoted my Enviro one when it appeared as number three.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Is There Too Much Noise Pollution In Blogger-ville?

I have stumbled about and searched the net for weeks, in search of bloggers who might shed light on how this whole blogging thing works.

I've found blogs on blogs, blogs on finding blogs, blogs on reviewing blogs, blogs about making money blogging, and the list goes on endlessly. Among them are dozens of blogs with nothing but RSS feeds to other blogs on the subject, most of whom I had already visited.

As I stumble through the few with actual content, most are selling something. Few have any real posts. And of those few who do, I see fewer still with visitor comments, making me wonder if I'm their only visitor.

It's a train wreck out there with no looky-loos and I'm starting to wonder where the real value is.

To write for the sake of writing is fine. It's like having a diary that you don't care if you lose on the subway. But what if you would truly like to share your work with others? What about those of us who are not content to simply be faceless voices in the crowd? It seems there is simply too much noise pollution on the web for the actual bloggers to be noticed.

It's a question I have yet to answer. Perhaps someone out there will notice my post and respond with a comment that has answers. I can tell you, for a fledgling blogger, that first comment on my blog would be akin to the first dollar made in a new business, truly treasured.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


"The Overwhelmed Blogger" may have been a more accurate title for my blog. I feel as though I am wandering aimlessly over the web in search of the secret to this whole blog thing.

In part, my problem could be that I have two blogs, besides this, that I am trying to get off the ground. To be honest, establishing those blogs is my ultimately goal. This one came about because I have questions galore.

As a matter of survival, I have narrowed down what I would like to accomplish by the end of the week:

  1. Commit to a template for each blog.

  2. Set each blog up with a site traffic analysis something, to track and analyze my visitors.

  3. Figure out how to attract visitors.

  4. Add at least 1 quality post to each blog.

Honestly, just figuring out what it is I need to do was a chore but it has already proven fruitful.

The Template Issue

I'm not loving my template options on Blogger. They're sufficient; but I prefer to aspire to better than sufficient. Also, I have found that I can only have one profile for all three blogs, but I suspect that will need to be solved another day.

Finding alternate templates has not really been a problem. I have discovered, however, that in changing blog templates, widgets don't necessarily transfer over properly. So, if I'm going to have widgets or modify my content beyond the addition of posts, it seems important that I decide on a template soon.

That said, I have been scouring the web for templates. I've learned a few things in the process (some the hard way).

  • It is worthwhile to learn how to back up your existing template.

  • It is a good idea to practice the entire process of uploading a new template using a tester blog.

  • "Free" templates aren't entirely free -- they often contain a copyright at the bottom of the page attributing the template to it's designer. This isn't something I really mind. I appreciate the design and feel it should be properly credits. However, the copyright notices they include are frequently ambiguous in a way that makes it appear they are claiming ownership of the blog itself. Luckily, should I find such a template worthwhile, I feel confident enough to venture into the coding and make a few adjustments to clarify the matter.

  • Many of the free templates out there contain images, such as Disney characters, that obviously infringe upon existing copyrights.

  • Few of these templates actually work.

It is Thursday; my deadline of one week is drawing near and my search for a killer template continues.

A Traffic Analysis Gizmo

I believe I have settled upon StatCounter (from I am also testing out SiteMeter. I should be able to decide by the end of the day tomorrow.

Attracting Visitors

Figuring out how to attract visitors is probably harder than finding a template. I expect this to be an ongoing adventure that I don't actually solve by the end of the week. Thus far, I have learned the following:

  1. Nearly everyone who advises on how to attract visitors talks about posting comments on other blogs. This is easier said than done. It can be difficult finding similar blogs with enough traffic to make commenting worthwhile. That said, I have started commenting.

  2. There is something called a "ping." I need to learn more. But I read that a "ping" will help and therefore I am testing out a free service called ""

  3. A commenter on one site suggested bloggers go to each of the major search engines each day and search on their web title. I'm giving it a try. One pleasant discovery in doing this is that some of the traffic generators actually work in getting search engines to retrieve the blogs enrolled. (See below)

  4. BlogTopList is one of the traffic generators I have been testing out (using my prototype site, which I didn't realize was a prototype at the time). When I was plunking my blog titles into the search engines today I found that BlogTopList was not only getting my blog out there, but it was at or near the top of my search results. Woo hoo! Something that works! [Note to self: add BlogTopList to all blogs and as a link on this blog under the heading "usefull tools". DONE!]

  5. Google has something called sitemaps. It's in the Webmaster Tools section: Simply add the web address for your blog, then follow the directions to verify your blog. It wasn't difficult at all. Hopefully it's a step toward attracting traffic. I'll keep you posted.

The actual blogging part of this, while trying to figure out all the mechanics of it, is easier said than done. For a few fleeting moments I thought I would add a post a day to each blog. I have since visited enough sites to conclude that I cannot add myself to the array of pseudo-bloggers who merely add a few words here and there and then fill up the rest of their blog with advertising. If I am to continue with this venture I must maintain some sort of standard. I hope that commitment will prove fruitful.

Sigh -- sooner or later I'll get this up and running smoothly, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Mashable is still a bit of a mystery to me. It appears to be a combined effort with StumbleUpon... or part of... I'm not sure. But today I posted my first comment to a list presented to me on Mashable.

The process appeared to be simple enough. I clicked on comment, gave myself a name, and said what I had to say.

I then ventured back to find my comment. The comments were not listed sequentially in date order, which caught be a little by surprise. My next surprise was that I couldn't figure out how to modify my comment. (I had hoped the link I provided to my website would appear.)

As I ventured along I found myself entering a profile into something called It allowed me to enter more information about myself. There is a place to upload a photo or avatar image. It was kinda fun. And I suspect I will be ultimately be able to utilize this profile as I make more comments on Mashable. Still, however, my first comment remains unchanged and it has been time consuming already. I must move on.

Should anyone have suggestions or insite as to how I might update my initial comment to include a link to my website. Also, advice on how to more easily navigate the Mashable site would be greatly appreciated.