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Blog’s matter more than ever!

March 13, 2010 2 comments

Google buzz seems like just another social network, but it is not particularly for bloggers. If you do not use Google Reader the implications are pretty hard to understand. It might seem obvious that more eyeballs will = more readers. I know there are many bloggers that don’t care about how many readers they have… but some blogs are part of what is known as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) effort by organizations. If this is the case than buzz is possibly the most important social network out there for you.

Google has their search Algorithm, and it constantly changes adjust and moves. The theory is that they want to cut down on the noise… by doing changing their equation they are attempting to avoid this complaint about search engines…

It appears that Buzz has been added to Google’s equation… Buzz allows Google to track top blogs and lower the ranking of SEO blog schemes (not real blogs, just random keywords with links). Google reader integrates a formerly random sharing feature that automatically buzzes a blog. The more a blog gets buzzed, the higher that  Blog ranks on the search engine.  In short your content and your audience wanting to share that content is more important than ever. I suggest looking for ways to increase interest and interactions from your audience to increase your share rate.

I know this wasn’t a blog review but its the combination of 2 blogs I wrote @ nostrum

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Categories: Blog advice Tags: , , ,

“All Habs” Day

November 29, 2009 3 comments

Today I’d like to review a blog from a guy I follow on Twitter @all_habs his blog is appropriately called All Habs (aka Montreal Canadians).  I love the custom banner on his blog. Some might consider the banner to be a little large but it does a good job in one glance explaining the site you have arrived on.

One thing  Im a big fan of is a very simple side bar, or at the very least one that doesn’t complicate the blog. Sadly for my taste his sidebar is a little complicated. If your ‘re looking to sell ad space this can actually hurt click through rates because your audience will stop looking.

Another thing I noticed was the red background in the side bar can make text hard to see. If you want to use a red or yellow I would suggest adding transparency or go with a different color background with highlighted accents in red. The other option is to use a white or gray text so there is a greater contrast.

This blog is a collaboration blog (many authors) and lists the authors in the middle of the side bar. If your blog is going to mention who is offering content they deserve a place of honor at or really close to the top. I always suggest that writers get a top shelf spot on the side bar *within the first portion of the post. They really shouldn’t ever be relegated to the basement of the sidebar as an after thought (All Habs doesn’t do that).

If you use a lot of tags or categories that are unique try to graphically show them rather then list them. Graphics will keep the side bar from growing to unmanageable lengths and offer aesthetic appeal to your blog. If you are looking for a tool to make a graphic cloud on blogspot try THIS OUT.

If you see something I missed, disagree, agree, have suggestions let me know … Comment comment comment

If you would like me to offer my take on your blog let me know Via Twitter @mhandy1 or email me at hockeyonabus@gmail.com

The infamous Icethetics.info

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Welcome to review #2

Today we are going to highlight…

I’m going to review one of the very first hockey blogs I encountered, icethetics.   The blog is basically a hybrid of hockey and art. Chris the owner has concept art competitions and a bunch of very cool fun features. I have seen this blog come from humble beginnings on blogspot (I’ll talk about platform b/c of this briefly)  to the great site that it is today. One thing that makes it great is that it’s a blog that is constantly improving.

Before I dive into the review, Im going to breifly talk about the blogspot platform. For icethetics I think blogspot was a mistake from day one. If you are a blogger and you use blogspot that’s okay, as long as it suits your purpose. My big issue with blogspot is that it doesn’t support custom urls.  If your goal is to build a brand I’d suggest using a platform that allows that type of integration. Starting with the correct platform will save headaches down the road.  That said one huge advantage to blogspot is that its probably the easiest blogging platform to use which is great for *new bloggers.

Moving forward… One disadvantage to the method (single blogger) Chris uses is that he is the only person producing content (even though some images are produced by the public). This makes it difficult to produce content on a regular basis particularly because life tends to happen in between blogs. I’m sure he has lost some eyeballs as a result of inconsistency which is sad. Add to that his multi page events that must be sustained and you can imagine how it becomes difficult to keep a promotion up to speed with what is going on on the site.

One cool feature I’d like to point out is that icethetics has a box in the sidebar highlighting his top stories. Consider using this if you have major themes you want new visitors to be aware of that may get buried in the day to day use of the blog!

Something else to notice  is that icethetics almost always has is an image above the fold (where browsers cut off). Newspapers have been using this concept for a long time. The idea is that you will only have eyes for a few seconds use images to draw readers in!

My biggest concern when I look at icethetics is the amount of content and the number of events he runs. If you are starting out try to keep your blog simple.  If possible dont be afraid to bring in other writers if you need to. Just keep content coming (ideally 3 to 5 times a week).

One way I keep content moving is to have blog posts prewritten but not published. This allows me to start with content in the bag, if life comes up I can just publish a pre-written post.

Im sure I will come back to icethetics in the future (he does so much well).

Vote on the blog reviewed below and comment comment comment! I want to know your take!

If you would like me to review your blog please send an e-mail to hockeyonabus@gmail.com or send me a twitter message @mhandy1