Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Story of the Saddest Sidebar Ever

[tentblogger-vimeo 17344771]

[This is a part of the “Getting Started with Blog Advertising” blog series.]

The story of the “Saddest Sidebar Ever” is the preamble to a new series that will cover some of the following topics:

  • How to start advertising (direct sales) on your blog.
  • How to choose the right sizes of advertisements for your sidebar, header, etc.
  • How to price your advertisements strategically.
  • How many advertisements you should have on your blog (and on which parts).
  • How to pick the right partners and sponsors when you first start advertising.
  • And more…

The goal is so that you don’t become “that” blog that has the nasty looking sidebar that is riddled with un-purchased ad spots that make it look lonely, sad, and just plain pathetic.

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Age Recommendations Make Sense

This bead necklace kit is what I spent the afternoon doing; it’s recommended for 6 years or more.

Makes total sense. A 4 year old should not be playing with something like this, especially without adult supervision.

I typically like to break rules and say:

To heck with them! If my 4 year old wants to play with it then I’m going to let her!

But this kit is insanity.

Vision, Done Right, Is Self-Perpetuating

I heard an excellent talk on vision recently at the non-profit for which I also work. The speaker was a marketing-executive-turned-pastor here in Atlanta named Jeff Henderson and a few things really stuck out to me.

He started by digging into the idea that casting vision has historically been the responsibility of leadership. Usually, the chief executive. If casting vision was a sport it would be golf, not baseball, he reckoned. Then he propositioned that effective vision casting is actually a team sport. It shouldn’t stop at leadership, and it certainly shouldn’t stop at one person.

Vision, done right, is self perpetuating.

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Making the Best ‘About’ Page for Your Blog Ever!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

Your ‘About‘ page will be one of your most highly visited pages on your entire blog, as it should be. It should quickly detail who you are, what this blog is about, and what your readers can expect to receive in terms of information and value.

It should be compelling, exciting, and unique just as you are!

But you’d be surprised at how many people spend little to no time on this very strategic page! In fact, I’ve seen some significant opportunities for improvement in some of my reviews of only a handful of blogs already!

Help your readers to go one level deeper with you!

I’ll admit that although I just spent some time updating my own ‘About‘ page it still has tons of room for improvement (I’d like to add a video and some more biography at some point.)!

So don’t be discouraged! Part of a successful ‘About’ page is your willingness to help it evolve over time as you change as a blogger and as your blog matures into a traffic-generating monster (or so we hope…?).

Here are some tried and true tips that you can use today that can help you get the most out of your ‘About’ Page today:

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Training Successors

One of the beautiful things about working with very entrepreneurial individuals is that the ground in which to plant leadership is already fertile. Make no mistake, it’s still not an easy thing to do! The challenge is a different kind of training and one that requires a lot of introspection on behalf of both the team as a whole and each individual.

My personal goal is to create an environment where anyone could take “point” and the business would do just fine; we’d continue to build amazing products and serve our customers and readers daily. But I want to do this without sacrificing the belief that every person on the team has a vital part to play in their own respective rolls and responsibilities and that they are, truly, key players that make this thing tick.

The balance isn’t an easy one and thankfully I’ve got a team willing to work with each other, even (at times) with significant cost.

10 Things I Do for my Blog During the Holidays

Blog!

I especially appreciate the holiday season and any understood vacation days that our country celebrates because it gives me an opportunity to set aside some specific and intentional time to review a number of things about my blog.

And for some reason I feel more motivated during a break in my typical schedule to do a few things that I probably hold off on doing during the week. Funny how that works, right?

But here are 10 things that I do during a long break (like Thanksgiving and Christmas) for my blog:

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Leave Room to Grow, or Fail Unnoticed

I love the idea that our team has the authority to be fluid, experimental, and find new/better ways to effectively play to our strengths. I think it’s one of the reasons we work so well together. There is a distinct entrepreneurial bent in each of us and while this can be disruptive for some teams, we’ve found a way to embrace it in ours.

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