Will Commenting Harm Your Blogging Success?

Man, I love it when comments lead you to a new post. Most people seem to miss that when they sit wondering what to write about next. Analyze your comments and those of your peers folks as you are bound to find some inspiration for a post.

Anyway I digress. The other day I wrote the post Why I No Longer Link To The Likes Of ProBlogger And John Chow,  that seems to have created quite a stir. One of my commentators added David Risley to the bunch which happened to get him involved in the discussion.

In their defense he came up with the following post, When Comments Begin To Hurt Your Blogging Success! (Unfortunately I had to remove that link because David has decided to delete that post) This would only be true if you spent every single moment of  your time commenting, leaving no time for marketing and such. I can’t see anybody doing that.

I personally believe that taking the time to comment can only enhance your presence, especially when others are found lacking in this area. It’s all about time management, and taking the time to interact with people is as important, if not more so, as focusing on ways of increasing your blogs revenue.

If you consider your commentators as customers how much more likely are they going to send people your way if you show them, by replying to their comments, that you value their input?

Sound like a good time for a poll. I think a simple yes or no will do the trick.

Can Commenting Harm Your Blogging Success

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I would also love you to weigh in on the discussion. Who knows, if we make our feeling known, perhaps we can change the way some of the big boys think. Don’t forget to Tweet, Stumble or whatever all posts involved, and it would be great to get as much feedback as possible.

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As most of you can see I’ve tweaked my theme a little to give it a little Christmas feel about it. This was really easy because I use the FlexSqueeze theme and to help others using the same theme I posted a little tutorial on how I made the changes.

Still I don’t feel as if I have done enough to set the stage and so I think it’s only fitting that I entertain you with a Christmas poem of mine. Even though I wrote this last year, this is the first time it’s appeared on this blog.

I hope you enjoy it.

It’s almost Christmas, the day is near
Everyone prays that there be good cheer
The meaning of Christmas differs for all
Not everyone puts holly in the hall

Businessmen think of the money they’ll make
Terrorists of the lives they may take
Children of gifts they will receive
Parents of the mess it will leave

So many of us on this day we forget
The child that was born and the kings he met
The man that grew with peace in his heart
With love for all till the day he did part

Oh that this day could bring joy for all
That terror and hate from all would fall
To be left behind and be seen no more
That each and everyone we may adore

That poverty would cease to exist
That peace would rein in our midst
That rulers learn to live in harmony
That less importance be placed on money

Turn each to the other and clasp their hands
Though we live in far strung lands
We must make a stand for what we believe
Let’s think no more of how to deceive

Now, I know that not everybody likes poems and that perhaps one or two of you may have completely skipped this post because of that. Well  I reckon I may have a little something extra for those of you who managed to read it to the end and beyond.

While the most important part of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and everything that he has brought to the world, you can’t escape the fact that it’s probably the one season when people are quite happy to open their wallets in search of that special gift for family and friends. This being the case most bloggers should have made preparations to capitalize on this seasons potential for increasing their blogging income.

Personally I’ve left it a little late, as I should have done some posts promoting products way before today. Even so, perhaps there is something in that old saying better late than never.

Usually when promoting a product I will shove a banner in the post somewhere in the hope that someone will click on it. Sure it works sometimes but generally it’s been a little disappointing. So, it left me wondering as to what I could do to increase peoples willingness to click on a product and perhaps making a sale.

I’ve done several posts blaming it all on the landing pages as they were not converting the customers I was sending them to actual sales. Perhaps people are more aware of online shopping these days and are a little untrustworthy of a lot online stores.

I then came across this post by two grouse Aussie sheilas :smile1_ee: , a post that gave me a whole new perspective on how I should tackle online marketing. Their post, How Much Did We Make on Amazon This Month?, shows how they managed to make a whole lot of cash and all because Amazon was able to convert the people they sent over to buying customers. And guess what? No banners, only text links.

So, perhaps people are virtually blind to banners these days, but are more willing to click on a link if that link is relevant to what they are looking for. Perhaps these same people trust Amazon and are therefore more likely to make a purchase. Sure their payout isn’t all that crash hot, but the more you sell the greater the commission. Sounds like a bit of an incentive to me.

I’ve tried the text links over banners idea on my Top Sexual Aids blog. The post A Special Gift For The Person Who Has Everything uses links instead of banners. I haven’t had time to see whether Amazon has any products I can use and I’m not expecting many sales as the blog is new and hasn’t got much traffic yet. Perhaps next year.

So, have you done anything to cash in on the prospective Christmas customers, and if so what have you done and how is it working for you?

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The New FTC Guidelines, How Fair Is It?

If there is one thing that I hate it’s those bullshit commercials that go on and on. You know the ones, they’re promoting a product and if you buy it now you get some other crap thrown in. Then it goes on a bit more about how cool the stuff is, and then you get the old, ‘and there’s more’ line if you do this or that. The end result of buying into the whole sales line is that you have so much more shit to throw away.

Well, that is what the old squeeze page is like. You’ve all seen them. You land on a page that is promising to show you how you can tell your boss to shove his job because it’s going to reveal how you can make thousands of dollars a month. The problem is that no matter how much you scroll down, it seems you’re never going to get to the end of the sales jargon, and when you do, instead of telling you how much they’re going to fleece you, all you get is a link to click on, and 9 times out of ten you have to divulge your email address, and possible some other details. No worries though, because you’ve just been given a link to some crappy ‘free’ ebook.

Well, it’s quite possible that the new FTC guidelines which came into force on Dec. 1st is going to put a stop to all that. If you haven’t heard of these new guidelines you should check out the FTC website, and if you’ve got a lot of time to kill you may even want to read the 81 page guide.

Anyway, the problem is that the only ones it will affect are the Americans. I’m not 100% sure but I think everyone else around the globe is FTC safe. So, the question is how fair is it to the average American?

Let’s look at paid bloggers as an example. Most bloggers are already doing the right thing, by having a disclosure policy on their blog, and generally speaking, a lot of them do not make false claims in their paid posts. These new rules will now force those other bloggers to lift their game, but only if they are American.

So, what will the advertisers who paid for these posts do now that the new rules are out, and bloggers have to divulge, via the post, that they’re getting paid for it? As the majority of advertisers do not want bloggers to divulge such information,  I put it to you that they could possibly look to overseas bloggers for these paid posts, thereby restricting Americans from a legitimate form of income. If this is the case, instead of solving the problem, the FTC guidelines is simply relocating it.

These guidelines are possibly flawed in that the majority of scam sites and blogs are in the control of non Americans who don’t give a hoot about these guidelines.

Kristi raises a good point when she says in her post covering the FTC Guidelines;

Does there need to be fine print disclosures under every affiliate link on a website if someone is going to be paid commission on a purchase originating at that website, or does this only apply to written testimonials and reviews?

And if it is necessary to apply it every time someone writes a post promoting an affiliate, is that really fair? And who is to decide if someone has broken the guidelines? A blogger in good faith may have written a post promoting an affiliate thinking he’s abiding by the rules only to find out that some official disagrees and cops a whopping fine for his efforts. Sounds to me like the whole thing is flawed.

What say you guys? Will it do what it’s claiming to do? Will the Net be a better place because of it, or is it just another piece of bureaucratic crap who’s only intention is to show that the pen pushers are doing something to justify their exorbitant salaries?

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