The Blog To End All Blogs

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Becoming An Overnight Spammer

Well now I've done it. I really have. This evening, I committed the mortal sin of spamming in the course of trying to promote my blog.

After reading an article by Darren over at Problogger about social bookmarking, I decided that sending my post detailing what I had done to improve the blog into one of these bookmarking networks would be useful and successful.

Boy was I wrong.

Within 30 minutes of posting the article on Digg.com, I had only one digg (my own) but two negative comments labeling my submission as spam. At first I was taken aback; I'm the sort who leads the charge against booting spammers from forums because I find them extremely annoying.

Then, I got real. Just read the description I posted with the article: "This post is the first in a series chronicling Gentry Sherrill's attempts to improve his blog on both a technical and aesthetic level. Included are descriptions of SEO, specific applications which Sherrill has added to his blog, and a general chronicle of the creative improvements to the blog."

Any way you slice it, that's spam. Why did I refer to myself in the third person? I have no idea.

After seeing the immediate damage this did to my reputation I posted the following apology:

"Allow me to apologize (sincerely) for what you consider to be spamming. Just started this blog a few days ago and I am perhaps a little too overzealous to see traffic head to it.

This is my first attempt to do a real, profitable blog. I read about social bookmarking sites (like Digg, Del.icio.us, etc.) and thought that they would be a good avenue to get some readers there.

I can tell now from the description I gave my post that it looks spammish (Referring to myself in the 3rd person was, admittedly, stupid). I do think the posts I am making / am going to make have some value to anyone who might be in the same stages as me, where you're sort of working on the blog and are trying to head in a lot of different directions to make it successful. I don't know of many other bloggers that chronicle exactly what they do with their site to improve it, at least not daily (if you're out there I would love to hear from you).

So overall I would like to apologize for any perceived misuse of Digg and to encourage anyone who is interested in following my progress to see my blog. To the first two commenters here (stylerm and AnteChronos) I would specifically like to beg forgiveness.

Thank you for (hopefully) taking the time to read this."

Even if the members of Digg take my apology seriously (which is doubtful) I've still made a first impression which can not easily be replaced. If this happens again (and I can promise that it won't) the damage will be even more severe.

In 10 minutes I damaged my blog more than I had improved it working with it for 5 to 6 hours the day before.

Hopefully anyone reading this post will think twice before submitting articles, otherwise you might become an overnight spammer - just like me.

The Blog To End All Blogs - A Success Story In Action - Day 1

I've decided to let you, the readers, follow my every move as I attempt to build traffic, interest, and adsense revenue using The Blog To End All Blogs.

Everyday (relatively) I will post a list or synopsis of what I have done to improve this blog, be it only writing entries or actually taking an active step to promote it.

Today's improvements:

Went into the template code and made the post titles permalinks because permalink titles tend to perform better within the context of search engine optimization.

Changed the archive frequency from monthly to daily for SEO purposes.

Signed up with http://www.bloglet.com in order to allow any interested readers to receive emails with each new blog post.

Activated my blog such that it informs www.weblogs.com each time a post is made.

Registered with Technorati.

Promoted the blog on www.cross-x.com and www.elderscrolls.com, with the latter being significantly more successful than the former in this regard.

Contacted Ben at www.foundblogging.com about a link exchange.

Began to post comments / network on others' blogs.

Made 4 new posts (counting this one).

Stay tuned to see how these and other improvements and promotions affect the blog to end all blogs' success.

Scott Allen's Advice On Networking With Your Blog

It's almost two years old now but still a wonderful article, full of ideas and practices that this blog will be implementing over the next few weeks.

Do yourself a favor and go read the article over at The Virtual Handshake: http://www.thevirtualhandshake.com/blog/2004/02/25/how-to-network-with-your-blog-part-2

The Idea Of The Day: A Blog Newspaper

Posted this over at YGG too, but might as well place it on the blog. Please note that the idea of the day likely will not be a recurring feature because, unfortunately, I generally have mediocre ideas daily, average ideas weekly, and good ideas only a few times per month. With no further ado:

I was reading a post from Yaro Starak recently about the potential of blog networks - large numbers of blogs grouped under one umbrella network for promotion and linking purposes. The idea is that bloggers are paid for their writing and that the owner/manager of the network gains most of the advertising revenue.

Why not take that a step further with an online, daily syndicated newspaper (covering current business, sports, news, etc.) made up entirely of articles written by bloggers? You could include the same sort of advertising features (adwords, etc.) in the newspaper, as well as possibly selling cheap subscriptions to it assuming it became a quality product.

This could hit home with all of the people who feel like cable and network news is too dry nowadays, or that print media is biased one way or the other. The younger tech generation might like having the newspaper show up in their inbox instead of their driveway.

You could even use different "slants" of news to appeeal to different groups; ie at signup a prospect can ask for the conservative news (news coverage from conservative blogs) or liberal news (liberal blogs), or obviously retain an "unbiased" news. You could localize sports coverage also.

Thoughts?

Welcome To 2006

Happy New Year to anyone and everyone who might happen to read this blog. I intend to work significantly on it both as a means of expression and a means of income through the year, and I won't be able to do that very successfully without the support of readers.

If you have an article you would like to submit, please send it to gentrysherrill [at] comcast [dot] net; if one of my posts interests you, please feel free to comment on it.

I wish everyone happiness and prosperity in 2006!