Category Archives: how to blog

Adding a Blog page to your blog

I recently set up my newest project,, where I’ll be teaching people how to make video games using GameSalad. The class is going to be super-cool.

While setting up the blog I do a few things:

  • Delete the Hello World Post and anything else WordPress puts in,
  • Create new Pages, which also become the main menu across the top,
  • Set the Home Page as the first page people get to, as opposed do the default of going to the latest blog Post,
  • and, setting up the link “Blog,” where the Posts land.

I didn’t know how to do the last part, but my developer just emailed me telling me how:

  1. Set up a Page called “Blog,” and leave it blank
  2. Go to Settings, Reading
  3. Under Front Page Displays, there is a option to change the front page to a Page.  Change this to Home (which is a Page you have set up)
  4. The next dropdown asks what the blog Posts page is – that is the Page Blog that you set up.

Now, on the main menu, you have an option titled Blog, and this is where the Posts go.

Easy, eh?


Take that, social networking!

Social, including blogging, has evolved so much since I seriously got involved back in 2006.  Eight years ago.

First we saw comments go from a blog post go to Facebook… and Twitter… and all of the sudden the blog felt like a cold, lonely place.

Then, we saw people giving up their blogs and moving to Facebook or whatever they thought was better.

During the eight years I’ve blogged regularly, on multiple blogs… but especially my JibberJobber blog.  It is refreshing to see an email from The Publicity Hound (Joan Stewart) that includes this:

–People are becoming fed up with Facebook, and
online marketing experts are recommending that you
blog more, Facebook less.”

I never thought blogs were going away, and there are a few things they are better at than social networks (and a few things social tools are better at than blogs).

I see them all as tools… why not use the right tools to do the jobs needed, instead of one tool to try to do all jobs?

Writing Awesome Blog Posts

Excellent blog post (with a killer slideshare embedded) on Windmill Networking.  This was written by Kristi Hines: Composing a Successful Blog Post

I’ve been blogging for about 7 years, almost daily (less weekends and holidays), and have seen the rise and “fall” of blogging.  The “fall” came when a lot of the conversation went social… comments happened on Facebook or Twitter… this was supposed to be the death of blogging.

Blogging is far from dead or irrelevant.

There are a number of reasons to blog.  I have told tens of thousands of people that blogging is a critical part of an online strategy.  But it is hard.  It takes long-term commitment.  But it is a crucial part of my strategy.

ONE reason is because I can refer back to great blog posts from years ago.  I can’t refer back to tweets (not easy to find), or Facebook or LinkedIn wall posts, Group Discussions, etc.  I love being able to have an easy-to-access archive that I can refer back to.  I’ve tapped into this by creating the Favorite Friday series on JibberJobber, which kind of brings old posts to my current audience.

Anyway, blog!  And read Kristi’s post.

Tesla vs NYT: Absolutely fascinating

I have been blogging for almost seven years. I remember when journalist (real journalists) hated on bloggers.  Bloggers were naive, they didn’t fact-check, they were sloppy, they had typos, the were amateurs, etc.

Bloggers would never amount to anything compared to a real journalist.

As my business grew I tried to get any notice from journalists so they could write about the amazing JibberJobber.  Really, I think JibberJobber revolutionized the job search.  I think JibberJobber changed the landscape and empowered job seekers in a way that was never done before. I think JibberJobber responded to the need of a professional transitioning regularly (ever few years), which was a new thing.

No journalist would touch it.  Well, a few touched it. I was delighted to get some air time on the NBC news in NYC.  That was awesome.  Oh yeah, US News and World report did a full page article on me, which was probably triggered from my LinkedIn book. Here and there someone picked up something, but in general no one would touch it.

I learned that journalists:

1. Care about sensational stuff, which is what sells papers,

2. Play to PR professionals. I didn’t have a 10k/month PR team behind me making those calls and tapping into their networks, which meant no journalist would spend time on me.

This week there has been a dramatic soap opera playing out where a journalist from the New York Times test drove a Tesla car, and then slaughtered the experience in the newspaper.

I didn’t pay any attention to it.  My only thought on briefly hearing about it was “maybe electric isn’t quite ready yet?  I know Elon is hustling to fix stuff… ”

No big deal.

Then, I saw a post on LinkedIn about how Tesla, with its blog, went head-to-head with the NYT.  This would have been unheard of seven years ago.

But Tesla SLAUGHTERED the credibility of the reporter, and the NYT (journalistic integrity?  Whatever).

How did they do it?

  1. They had a platform.  They had a blog where they could write posts.  And they used this platform, with a built-in audience to respond to the horrible journalism of NYT. Do you have a platform?
  2. They stayed calm.  If you read their response you know they were disappointed, and mad, but this was not an emotional gloves-off name-calling unprofessional post.  They took the higher road and kept the tone reasonable.  Otherwise people would have thought they were too emotional, trying to hide stuff, etc.
  3. They used data. I think it’s brilliant how they could take every data point the journalist used and say “well actually, according to the data here’s what really happened.”  And they backed it up with charts/images.  Comparing the claims to the hard data (who knows if it was real data, but it sure looks good!).

It’s so good to see bloggers really stand up to what I call yellow journalism, which is my term to say “You really trust media?  Are you serious? Do you think for yourself?  The media has an AGENDA, folks, and they are bought!”

Here’s my question to you: if the NYT or whoever were to write about YOU or your company, do you have a platform where you can respond?  A blog, with a history and maybe even some readers, is a great platform.

Are you ready for that day?


Robert Merrill asks What is the New Blogging?

Check out Robert’s post here.

My answer was so long I thought I’d make it the subject of this post:

Robert, thanks for this post and inviting me to comment. This evolution has been frustrating to watch and live over the years.

As you know I’ve blogged for over 6 years, and have maintained multiple blogs. I currently maintain three of my own.

I also wrote a book on LinkedIn (I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???), coauthored a book on Facebook (I’m on Facebook – Now What???) and have done numerous live presentations, videos etc, on things like blogging, Twitter, etc.

Six years ago I wanted comments on my posts. When social became bigger, the comments went away because people would “comment” about my post on Facebook, or Twitter, or elsewhere. It was messing everything up :p

But I continued blogging… through all the social eruption.

Or should I say distraction.

I’ve seen Google not care about social posts (comments, walls, discussions, etc.) like they care about (or track) my posts. If I google certain keywords I find my posts from years ago, but never a tweet or discussion or wall post. The chatter that happened in social is… GONE.

If I were to leave this comment on your FB page only a small handful of people would ever see it. I could not refer back to it, ever (especially years/months later). But on this post it lives forever (as long as your blog doesn’t go down). That’s really powerful. I continue to send people links to my posts that are years-old.

What I’ve seen recently (in the last 18 months) is that people are getting really tired of all the places they “have to” be… LI, FB, Twitter were the Big Three. Oh but get on Google+ or you are a loser who is missing out! And Pinterest is better than them all! And what about ____ and ____ and ____!!!! It is just too much, and people don’t have time for it, nor do they have the energy.

That’s why you see people “going dark,” or “taking a one month social fast.” It’s just too much.

Where should you blog? On your blog. For years I’ve called my blog(s) the “anchor of my comprehensive social marketing strategy.” It continues to be. Even if I hit a grandslam elsewhere (like a LinkedIn Answers question) I’ll link to it from my blog, so it lives forever and can be accessed later.

The next best place, right now (and this could change but I don’t see anything that is near good enough to be a close second) is LinkedIn Group Discussions. They don’t live forever, but you have a built-in audience that might care about what you are talking about (which bloggers don’t necessarily have)…

Anyway, my two cents. Can’t wait to see where we’ll be in another six years :)

Are You Blogging Effectively?

This morning I have written four blog posts, on four different blogs.  Well, with this one, make that FIVE.

Why do I do it?

Because blogging continues to be an incredibly effective tool for outreach, community development, sharing my thoughts, personal therapy, and even SEO.  It helps me stay connected, and it makes me think critically about my ideas.

Here’s what I’ve written just this morning:

Another Way to See Full Names on LinkedIn: Recommendations. On my LinkedIn blog. Had to schedule this for tomorrow since a prescheduled post went up this morning.

Finding Dignity, Finding Hope. Identifying Your Identity. On my JibberJobber blog. Perhaps the most important post I’ve written this month, maybe this year, about how job seekers tend to lose their identity, and how that is not good (and what to do/think about it).

What is the scariest thing about starting (or thinking about starting) a business? On my 51 Alternatives blog (this is for my newest book).  This was a soft-pitch post, easy to write. Basically I let those blog readers know about my LinkedIn question, which is totally relevant for this audience.

How has social marketing evolved? Please share your thoughts… On the Recruiting Blogs community. I posted this on a Group Discussion on LinkedIn, but thought that community would be a great place to have a conversation about it.

And now this post, which is a good teaching post about blogging (how, when, how often, why, what to write, etc.).

Are YOU blogging effectively? Do you know WHY you are blogging?

OOPS! Leave a comment on the blog, but we make it impossible!

I just read an interesting blog post, and decided to leave a comment.

My comment was really good (yes, I’m biased).  It was highly relevant, and helpful to the blogger as well as to her readers.

When I hit submit, I was prompted to login to (a) wordpress, or (b) gravatar.

I don’t have a wordpress account that I use, so I tried to login with my gravatar account.  I haven’t done this for, oh, years.  Since I set up the account.

I got an error message, prompting me to try again.

But here’s the sad truth: by this time, I was done.  I had lost interest in making this work.  Even thought the comment was good, and would have helped increase the credibility of the blog and blogger, I was done.  I closed the tab, moved on to the 50 other things I try and do before my workday starts.

Would the blogger have wanted and appreciated the comment?  I’m sure.  Bloggers want comments like addicts want ________.  It helps validate them as a blogger.

But the blogger made it too hard for me to leave a comment.

If you have a blog, logout and try and comment on one of your posts.  If it is not stupid-easy (that is, fill in the comment, your name, email addy and your URL, and that’s it!!), then you are making it too hard.

TOOL: After The Deadline – grammar and spelling

Cleo Parker shot me a note about After the Deadline… looks like an awesome tool for writing better.  You can use it for free, and if you have a web service you can incorporate it there, for free.  I think we’ll need to add this into JibberJobber 🙂

Here’s what Cleo wrote:

While I was writing the summary, I used a cool tool I learned about in my local  WordPress Meetup, After the Deadline.  You may be familiar with it as it’s a grammar checker plugin available for WordPress and I see you’ve got a WP blog. But outside of a blog, you can use their online demo to check grammar and spelling in anything you cut and paste into the space.   It’s called After the Deadline, great resource for anyone who wants their writing to look as good as possible.

Thanks for the tip, Cleo!

Want to write a book? Kill your darlings :)

I just saw a link to a Harvard Business Review article by Jerry Weissman titled In Presentations, Kill Your Darlings.

I’ve talked a lot about being “concise,” but I’m not sure people know what that means.

So, here’s another way of saying it: GIVE THE SAME MESSAGE, BUT MAKE IT SHORTER.

In the spirit of keeping short, I’ll end with this: go read the post.  This applies to anyone who communicates (written, oral, body language, etc. :p).

Starting a New Blog: Blog Post Critique

Monday I gave feedback to Brad Merrill about HOW he let others know about his blog… today I want to write about a blog post (his second post).

Brad titled the post What is Ethical Behavior?  It’s a good question which really came out after the Enron thing… as an accountant Brad should have some good thoughts.

First Thought

It is toooooooooo loooooooooooooooong.

This post has 1,535 words and would print of on almost four full pages!

I couldn’t read it.  It’s simply too long.

Here’s an idea, though: take this four page post and break it up into three or four posts.

Call it a series and make it easier to read for ME.

The beauty of this idea is it is now easier to write for Brad.  Why?  If he takes one “post” and breaks it down, he now has one to two weeks of blog posts already written!

Let me say this another way – if he spent an hour on that post, and then thought about spending an hour on every post, and wrote two to three times a week, he’d spend quite a bit of time writing blog posts.  Okay sometimes, but sometimes that hour just isn’t available.

What if he took this one hour and had all the writing for one or two weeks done?

That is more sustainable, over the long haul.

Second Thought

Give me more personal stuff.  The first page (above the fold) has two references to dictionary definitions… I have to scroll down before I see if there’s some Brad Merrill personality.

Instead of starting off with a page of sources, I would have liked to see him launch into a story from his past rich work history:

  • I was consulting a client when _______
  • I remember being faced with an ethical dilemma when my boss _______
  • My first major ethical conundrum came when my client _______

Wouldn’t a line like that be more interesting?  I’d want to read what an accountant has faced … not the bean counting boring stuff, but some conflict, how it was handled, what he had to think through, etc.

My point is, make it personal.  I want to read about BRAD MERRILL, not what the dictionary says.

So these are my thoughts as Brad Merrill starts his blogging journey.  Really, he has a great start… I’m excited to see him mature and evolve as a blogger 🙂