Monthly Archives: July 2011

ProBlogger Resume: 10 Qualifications in a Job Requisite

You're not applying at McDonalds.

[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series.]

When I worked for the “the man” I was in charge of creating job requisites to hire (and fire) creative writers for some of our social media outlets and publishing platforms (I once worked for one of the largest publishing/media companies in the world).

I had a good idea already of what it took to become a successful full time blogger, especially as a corporate and business blogger, but working through an official job qualifications list was helpful.

And, it might be helpful for you who are considering blogging as a potential career – it certainly helped me as I thought about what it might take to take that leap from the cube in addition to hiring the right people for the jobs that I had open!

I did your usual digging for example requisites (there weren’t that many at the time when I was doing it) and took a lot from my own experience to help fill out the job qualification list – what I found was that many of the elements of a good writer were similar to a professional writer’s characteristics and so that helped a bit.

But, there were certainly some elements that had specifics in terms of online platforms and technology – so I had to capture those and place them strategically in place.

Here’s what I suggest to you as you walk through this list:

  • Do I have these skills/qualifications? – Ask yourself this question and see where you might be weak. It’s ok if you’re not an “expert” in some of these as I don’t think that you need to be to full time blogger.
  • Create goals from them – Use this list as a check-off list of things that you want to improve on. All of them can seriously up your game as you become more of an attractive writer, blogger, and even potential hire for full time blogging employment (for yourself or a business).
  • These aren’t universal – Some of these apply better to short-term blog jobs (contracts) and some of them may apply better to long-term salaried employment. Use it as a jump-off spot.

Ready to see if you might “qualify” for a full time blogging gig? Check the list:

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Help Me Name My ‘Creature’ on My New Business Cards!

I love the little guy...!

@Margelous finalized my new business cards and I’m seriously loving them! She did a great job of keeping the design simple and fun – and even added a small little “creature” on one of the sides!

She even helped me pick out the right card stock and it’s got this nice texture about it without being overly glossly. Love! To be honest I was surprised at first with him but now I love the little guy; the only problem is that I don’t have name for him yet!

Simple. I like it!

So, that’s where you come in…

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I’m a Library Blogger Today – How About You?

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I’m spending some time in the library today as I put some effort into finishing some blog posts while drafting a few others. It’s quiet in here!

It’s rare that you find spaces these days with lots of people but where it’s almost completely silent – have you ever thought about that? The culture of a library is silence; how different!

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3 Ways to Choose the Right ProBlogging Models & Mentors

[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series.]

One of the challenges that I faced when I first starting taking seriously my efforts to become a ProBlogger was to find the right digital mentors and models that would be able to assist me.

Like you, I had a super-long list of people and blogs (saved in bookmark form) that I had gleaned some inspiration from over the years. The challenge was not that I was in need for models and mentors but rather I did not have a concise and specific list that would help inform my work and my path.

Sure, the path of trial and error is a well-known one but it wasn’t something that was attractive to me, especially as I had responsibilities to consider and limitations on the amount of risk that I could entertain.

What I needed was to pick, choose, and curate my list of inspirational blogs and find the right ones that I would continually reference as I grew.

This was a tough process since I liked so many blogs but the challenge was keeping up with all of them. Here’s what I figured out in this process:

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Stop Scrapers From Stealing Your Content and Profiting From It!

Like stealing candy from a stuffed bear...

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

An unfortunate consequence of your blog growing is that you’ll become much more attractive to people who want to steal all your hard work – that is, they see your good w0rk in terms of great blog content and how you’re optimizing your blog for seo and they might also see that your blog’s PageRank is increasing and they’ll want to just come and steal your stuff!

We call these “scrapers” or “content thieves” who can (and will) copy and paste your content into their own blogs. Sometimes they do this manually but many times they do it via software that automates the process, and some of the scraping software out there is really, really good – so good that they can, at the moment of you hitting the publish button, grab your content and publish it to their property in a matter of minutes.

Of course, the consequences are not good – in fact, they could be extremely damaging as search engines might not readily understand or interpret the stolen content as stolen! They could see your copied and stolen content as the authoritative original!

What happens is that they’ll put those copies on top (rank higher) of the SERPs (search engine results pages) instead of you and then you seriously lose out, losing traffic, potential subscribers, and financial opportunities and growth. It’s a sad truth, especially in terms of money since many of these scrapers are making a boatload of cash off of other people’s hard work.

What do you do? Here are two simple strategies for keeping your blog optimized for search and keeping the scrapers in their place:

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The Power of Perspective

I spent some time behind my in-law’s convenient store’s counter last week as we visited them in Augusta. I had never been behind “the counter” of a local convenient store before and the feeling of power (and importance) was tangible – it’s amazing how a simple change of perspective can dramatically disrupt your worldview.

Fascinating.

Canonicalization: How to Optimize Your Blog Content & URLs to be Canonical

Every time I hear that word I think of cannons (spelled differently).

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

Creating canonical content should be of supreme interest to all bloggers yet more often than not they don’t have a firm idea of what it means and how it impacts their blog with every single word that they write.

In fact, once you begin to master this concept your search engine rankings can literally surge as you receive more hits and pageviews as you direct the search engines to index the proper content instead of making a guessing-game out of your well-deserved blog posts. I know this from personal experience (and it’s a yummy thing when you see more traffic to your blog!).

Wait a moment – what the heck is “canonical content” or “canonicalization“? Great question! It’s not too hard of a concept to understand can be best understood in a few fun pictures:

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Evaluation is about Celebration

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I thought I’d share a few books that I’m currently reading and a few thoughts about them (since a few of you asked):

As I mentioned in my video I think it’s a good and healthy thing to not only evaluate ourselves, our projects (blogs), and each other but to solicit good and healthy feedback from the right channels and people so that we can continue to progress and achieve our goals.

I also want you to marinate a bit on what I mentioned in the video about how evaluation is about celebration and how you interpret evaluation as a whole. I know for myself that when I have historically thought about “evaluations” I have thought very negatively and even gotten depressed.

It’s not that I had something to hide or that I’d necessarily get a bad review but I just had bad feelings about being evaluated and about getting feedback that I felt wasn’t going to be comprehensive or fair. Ever experience this?

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