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Lorelle VanFossen Has Made Every Blogging Mistake

If you use WordPress you likely know who Lorelle VanFossen is. If you don’t know who she is yet, don’t worry…you will soon.

Lorelle VanFossen, of course, writes Lorelle on WordPress (RSS) – one of the best resources for anything relating to WordPress. Need a plugin? Lorelle’s likely written about it. Need to solve a problem? Lorelle may have covered it. Want the latest news? Lorelle’s the one. She even sums it all up with her WordPress Wednesday column on Blog Hearld (RSS).

Lorelle’s done it all. Including make every blogging mistake possible. At least that’s what she said in her interview with Daniel Scocco from Daily Blog Tips (RSS).

Daniel: What is the biggest blogging mistake you did?

Lorelle: Oh, honey, I've done them all. I've been doing this so long, I've done all the big mistakes. When I read through blog posts listing their blogging mistakes, I think, “Yep, did that one in 2001. Oh, that one, I did it big in 1998. Been there, done that in 2004. Won't repeat that mistake of 1997.”

Is there just one big mistake? Nope. There are only big lessons that come from every mistake along the blogging path. I tend to focus on the lessons learned and not the screw-ups.

Lessons…that’s the perspective I love about Lorelle. Having spent some time with her at SOBCon07 back in May, it was easy to fall in love with her. She’s real, she’s honest and she doesn’t judge. And just like me, she has her opinions…

Daniel: How long should a blogger wait to monetize the blog?

Lorelle: I do not think bloggers should monetize their blogs. I think that people who want to get into the business of blogging must make a business plan on how they will use blogging for their business or as their business, thus creating a plan for monetizing their blogs.

But general bloggers? Why should your hobby make money? If you want to work your way towards professional blogging, then blog for a year or two to get a feel for blogging and make your business plan. Then move towards being a professional blogger.

I couldn’t agree more. Too many bloggers are watching what the business bloggers are doing and think about the “easy money” they could be making off their blogs. But it’s not easy money. It’s hard work.

bloggingtipsbookcoversm1.jpgBut so is blogging in general. Some days it’s easy, some it’s hard. Everyday it’s effort. That’s why many blogs aren’t successful.
And that’s what I love about Lorelle, she tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugar coat it. She’s honest about the ups and downs. That why I recommend that everyone read her new book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

I’ve read it three times cover to cover and it’s full of great advice. It’s literally the first blogging book I’ve read that’s really about blogging. Most blog books spend way too much time covering blog platforms or why to blog. Authors sometimes spend 1/2 to 3/4 of a book getting to the meat.

Blogging Tips is different in that Lorelle assumes you’ll get that type of information elsewhere. Instead, she gets right into meat. I highly recommend her book (and I’m not getting an affiliate kickback to say that).

dawud-lorelle.jpgI also really enjoyed Adii’s interview with Lorelle where they talk a bit more WordPress.

You know, it’s also kind of challenging to find photos of Lorelle. I snagged one with her and David Dalka (he’s on the right, I’m on the left and Lorelle is between us) when we were at SOBCon.

Should You Get A .com Domain Name At All Costs?

questioning.jpgFinding the right domain name can make a difference between a successful website and one that’s stuck in the pit of mediocrity. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there is some truth here.

The question is, how importat is the .com? Should you get closetowhatIwant.com or should you get exactlywhatIwant.net or even mybusinessname.biz?

Alex King has been facing this exactly question as he renames his business from King Design to Crowd Favorite. Of course, he couldn’t wrestle crowdfavorite.com away from its current owner. So he came up with either using crowdfavorite.net or crowdfave.com.

Which would you choose? And why?

Alex polled his readers and got mixed feedback with crowdfavorite.net winning out by a small margin. Which was good because he had already decided to use crowdfavorite.net. But as he said it, “the response to crowdfave.com has gotten my attention. This decision is holding up a number of things, but I want to make sure I've thought it through completely.”

Personally, I’ve always held the position that the .com was ultimately better. And unless you really couldn’t find one you like, you should always choose a .com.

A couple of the comments Alex got made me think about this position, though. Brian Warren of Be Good Not Bad suggested:

…i'd rather have a .net domain and have it be the name of my company than have a .com and have it not.

Others had similar feedback. And there’s some great advice “out there” on selecting a domain name:

But what do you think? Is a .com the only way to go? Or does the extention matter that much today?

Is Web 2.0 Causing Bad Design?

This week, usability guru Jakob Nielsen suggested to the BBC that Web 2.0 was neglecting good design. According to the BBC website:

He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served.

He said sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the “glossy but useless” sites at the height of the dotcom boom.

I’m with David Armano, I agree and disagree at the same time. I think that Web 2.0 sometimes sacrifices good website usability and design for attractive graphics and dynamic effects.

Yet, the trend I see with Web 2.0 designs is that they’re often much cleaner and leaner than most current websites.

Many have opinions on what Mr Nielson had to say:

What do you think? Is Web 2.0 good or bad for websites and website users?

The Face Behind My Blog

When I find blogs in enjoy it’s inevitable that I want to know more about the person behind it. I’ll read their about page. And I always hope to see their photo. I think the photo helps me connect even more.

facebehindtheblog.jpgOf course I could make it easier for you to find a photo of me on my blog (that’s coming soon, btw). So when my good friend David Airey started his Face Behind the Blog Collection, I knew I wanted to join in.

David writes:

Putting a face to the name of someone you haven't met helps recognition and adds a more personal feel to your conversations.

What photograph shows you in a light we don't often see through your blog?

A few others have joined in so far.

So now it’s my turn. Below I’ve placed a few photos of me, my wife and my kids. I figure since nothing about me is complete without my family, you should meet them as well.

miraclesxmas.jpg

That’s us this past Christmas (2006). Clockwise from top left: My wife, Sabira; me; my 3-year-old daughter A’esha; and my 1 year-old son Ahmed.

marriage.jpg

Sabira and I married after knowing each other three weeks. The night we met it took about 30 minutes for us both to realize we’d spend the rest of our life together.

If you’re wondering about the garb, I’ve been seriously studying Sufism since 1997. It’s quite literally the foundation of my life. But that’s a bit of story.

bryce.jpg

This is Sabira and I at Bryce Canyon, UT in January 2003, a few months after we married. It was cold in Bryce that time of year. But we we pretty much had the park to ourselves.

miraclesmi.jpg

Here Sabira and I are shortly after moving from Angwin, CA to Chelsea, MI in the spring of 2003. Moved, bought a house, gutted it and began rebuilding – until A’esha decided she wanted to join us.

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Here’s me beginning a backpacking trip the summer of 2003. Since 1992, I’ve spent more than 500 nights in the backcountry all over the U.S. and Canada. I’m also a sea kayaker, mountaineer, and have ice climbed. Yeah, I used to be in much better shape.

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Here’s A’esha a few days after her birth in December 2003. She was born in our home with two amazing midwives. My wife was incredible.

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And here she is just a week ago (almost 3 1/2). Gosh they grow up quickly.

ahmed1.jpg

Ahmed (and A’esha) shortly after his birth in March 2006. He was also born at home – in pool. The water birth was an incredible experience for Sabira. A’esha holding him isn’t a rare sight – even today.

ahmed2.jpg

And here’s Ahmed just a few weeks ago at 13 months. He laughs a ton, is walking and more than anything just loves to follow his sister around. And unlike A’esha, I’m the only one who can get him to sleep at night.

There is one more family member I don’t have a photo of yet. We’re four months pregnant. We won’t get an ultrasound nor will we find out the sex of the baby beforehand. We’ll just wait to see what surprise is waiting for us in November. Be sure you’ll hear about it.

So you now know a bit more about me and you’ve ‘met’ my family. I’m a very hands-on dad, which can make working from home difficult at times. But I love it. I love being able to have lunch with my kids or watch them run around in the back yard while I work.

Now I want to know more about you. Please join in the conversation, ask me questions or tell me how cute my kids are (that never gets old). But ask away. I’ll tell you anything I can.

And I’m also going to tag a few others. You can go to David’s blog to see the details of how to post for The Face Behind the Blog. So I’m tagging:

And if anyone else wants to join in, please, feel free.

Some Of My Favorite Guy Kawasaki Moments

11 minutes of some of the best parts of Guy Kawasaki’s presentations.

Learn:

  • How Nike sells 2 pieces of cotton rubber and leather to people for $125.
  • How your business can be revolutionary
  • How to let a thousand flowers bloom
  • Adding the big stones first

Enjoy…

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Find Out Your Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank and Other Blog Popularity Stats in One Place

Was cleaning out some old bookmarks last night and ran across Nirmal T V’s post about popuri.us. Seems someone was trying to tell me something because I had recently run seen popuri.us at Diary of My Life and Untwisted Vortex.

popuri.jpgWhat is popuri.us? It’s a single site where you can check a number of your blog’s rankings and popularity stats, including:
[Read more...]

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