Critique My Blog: Allgirls - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Allgirls

1. a summary of your blog's purpose

It's purpose is a place to practice and share my writing.

2. where your blog is

It's in my signature, there are two, it's the first one.

3. 5 or so specific questions/calls for feedback that you have

1. What can I do to increase traffic?

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.

4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.

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#2 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Allgirls

1. a summary of your blog's purpose

It's purpose is a place to practice and share my writing.

2. where your blog is

It's in my signature, there are two, it's the first one.

3. 5 or so specific questions/calls for feedback that you have

1. What can I do to increase traffic?

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.

4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

Have you tried asking questions at the end of your post? Sometimes I do that- ask my readers a question about what I just wrote to encourage them to leave a comment. Sometimes it works. Or I'll just simply ask people to share their exerpeince or adv ice with me on that particular topic.

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.
If I find something days later, i will probably go back and fix it unless it is something really little.
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#3 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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1. What can I do to increase traffic?
I find that commenting on other blogs (and real comments, not "hey! nice blog! check out mine!" comments) generates a little bit more traffic. But what gets me the most traffic is linking to my blog in forum signatures (which you know) and participating in memes. There must be some writing memes you can participate in. I do a haiku one every once in a while.

Quote:
3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.
I'd do a google search for "how to embed mp3" to figure out how to do it. Or check out Project Playlist and see if that's what you're looking for. But, IMO, if you're looking to do MP3s of music for fun, don't. I think music on blogs is unprofessional, slows down the load time, and annoys the heck out of a lot of people.

Quote:
4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?
Try to end your posts with a prompt for comments like "What do YOU think about ______?" or "Have you ever ______? Tell me about it!"

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5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.
Spellcheckers can't tell if you've used the wrong word, only if you've spelled it correctly. Just fix errors when you see them and hope nobody noticed.
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#4 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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I find that commenting on other blogs (and real comments, not "hey! nice blog! check out mine!" comments) generates a little bit more traffic. But what gets me the most traffic is linking to my blog in forum signatures (which you know) and participating in memes. There must be some writing memes you can participate in. I do a haiku one every once in a while.

I don't like memes. I never participate myself. I do comment on a lot of blogs.

I'd do a google search for "how to embed mp3" to figure out how to do it. Or check out Project Playlist and see if that's what you're looking for. But, IMO, if you're looking to do MP3s of music for fun, don't. I think music on blogs is unprofessional, slows down the load time, and annoys the heck out of a lot of people.
I already have music. I have a playlist and love music on blogs. Mine is mostly inspirational writings and music sets the tone(except for the one Eminem song my daughter wanted)I want specifically mp3 because I have a friend who is a beautiful singer and I want to post about her music but I have it on mp3 on my computer.


Try to end your posts with a prompt for comments like "What do YOU think about ______?" or "Have you ever ______? Tell me about it!"
Good idea! Something as easy as asking for feedback.

Spellcheckers can't tell if you've used the wrong word, only if you've spelled it correctly. Just fix errors when you see them and hope nobody noticed.
Yes I know, I guess what I wanted to know was if anyone gets someone to check their posts or do they do what I do and just let it go...

Thanks..great ideas
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#5 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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I can't answer all your questions, but have a few thoughts...

To build traffic, mention what is hot at the moment. What's the big news story of the day? Incorporate it into your content. I often make up metaphors that mention the celebrity du jour, but be warned you'll get a lot of hits from pervs looking for naked pics.

Find a blogger with a bigger audience (but not so big they routinely ignore readers) and suck up and try to get some cross traffic.

Comments that are respectfully contrarian get traffic moving, but it's a fine line between being respectful and starting a flame war. Being deeply interesting or contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way brings traffic as well. It's the quality of the comment that boosts traffic.

Have you logged into blogger draft and utilized the follow feature? That will allow blogger readers to very easily subscribe and gives you a visible head count beyond sitemeter.

Your twitter messages seem super commercial to me, almost spammy-- although maybe that's okay or normal for twitter (I don't use twitter). Plus, all those spam ads are all over the internet so it must work, but I would not click to your blog if I were on Twitter b/c it's too in my face, almost overselling. As an example, I bet you would get a ton of traffic from something like 'How Rhianna can find peace from violence.'

Further, I think you might get a traffic bump by being more provocative. Innuendo works. Odd titles, incongruent concepts, juxtaposition of ideas, tongue-in-cheek, stuff like that can really grab people's attention.

Giveaways work. If you are aiming for making money, it may be worth the investment to pay for your own giveaways. Regular giveaways build a readership. If you tell companies about your giveaways that may yield ads or addition products to giveaway for free. I did it with a particular genre of books and got lots of signed arcs out of it (plus contacts for when I needed an agent).

ETA: Here's a blog making money. Look at how she's set up. Nice face shot. Professional header. Advertising prices and policy etc... I know she's been to Blogher and Mom2.0 a lot of what she is doing is based on what she's learned at those conferences.

HTH
V

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#6 of 29 Old 03-24-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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I can't answer all your questions, but have a few thoughts...

Thank you

To build traffic, mention what is hot at the moment. What's the big news story of the day? Incorporate it into your content. I often make up metaphors that mention the celebrity du jour, but be warned you'll get a lot of hits from pervs looking for naked pics.

I could do that to some degree but I don't like celebrity news so I'm not sure it would suit me.

Find a blogger with a bigger audience (but not so big they routinely ignore readers) and suck up and try to get some cross traffic.

I do this but only with people whose opinion I genuinely value. I guess I could go looking for more

Comments that are respectfully contrarian get traffic moving, but it's a fine line between being respectful and starting a flame war. Being deeply interesting or contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way brings traffic as well. It's the quality of the comment that boosts traffic.

Not really suited to my intent ie: Getting along, promoting peace, being kind and compassionate.

Have you logged into blogger draft and utilized the follow feature? That will allow blogger readers to very easily subscribe and gives you a visible head count beyond sitemeter.Yes I have 30 followers and I'm excited about that considering I've only been doing this for the past 2 months..I love them all, they are awesome people

Your twitter messages seem super commercial to me, almost spammy-- although maybe that's okay or normal for twitter (I don't use twitter). Plus, all those spam ads are all over the internet so it must work, but I would not click to your blog if I were on Twitter b/c it's too in my face, almost overselling. As an example, I bet you would get a ton of traffic from something like 'How Rhianna can find peace from violence.'

I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing with twitter so I"m doing what everybody else is doing. lol. It's the strangest thing I've ever encountered and I really don't like it.

Further, I think you might get a traffic bump by being more provocative. Innuendo works. Odd titles, incongruent concepts, juxtaposition of ideas, tongue-in-cheek, stuff like that can really grab people's attention.

I like this

Giveaways work. If you are aiming for making money, it may be worth the investment to pay for your own giveaways. Regular giveaways build a readership. If you tell companies about your giveaways that may yield ads or addition products to giveaway for free. I did it with a particular genre of books and got lots of signed arcs out of it (plus contacts for when I needed an agent).

Yes I've considered this. I've published a little tiny book and I'm thinking of holding a giveaway where I give a copy away. I get my first copies of the book on Friday and once I see how it looks I'll decide. I have some other ideas too.

ETA: Here's a blog making money. Look at how she's set up. Nice face shot. Professional header. Advertising prices and policy etc... I know she's been to Blogher and Mom2.0 a lot of what she is doing is based on what she's learned at those conferences.

HTH
V

Looks interesting..I'll check it out further..had no ideas there were conferences on this type of thing.

You have been very helpful and informative. Thank you for all your ideas. Maybe you should hold conferences:

Allgirls
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#7 of 29 Old 03-25-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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1. What can I do to increase traffic?
Commenting on other blogs - as mentioned before and participating in carnivals can help. But also be aware of SEO, and try to write keyword-rich content the search engines will like but that won't put-off human readers. Search engine traffic can be pretty critical.

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.
I know that wordpress.org offers plugins for shopping carts, but am unsure as to what you can do with blogger.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.

I don't know about that one.

4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

Giveaways help from time to time. Posting controversial topics, or, oddly, topics on which everyone whole-heartedly agrees will help too. But, mostly, you just have to build your audience and be patient. Really patient. The vast majority of your readers will not comment ... ever. A handful will comment periodically and a few will comment almost every time.

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.
I have my DH run clean-up detail when I'm finished. He catches a lot of stuff I don't.

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#8 of 29 Old 03-26-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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#9 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 03:51 AM
 
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1. What can I do to increase traffic?

I signed up to the Blog Catalogue community - I've gotten a number of followers from there. Keep the good tunes goin'

I think the main thing is to just promote it wherever you can -- everyday. Visit other blogs, comment, join communities. Email the link to all your family and friends and post it in all your siggy's in chat forums. I also join Facebook groups and post my blog link there.

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

No idea Perhaps there's a site where you could sell your work (like Etsy but for books) and then you could provide a link.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.
Once again, no idea but I really enjoy music on a blog. I know a lot of people don't. You have a great selection; I've had your page open all night just for the tunes!



4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

I don't know much about guestbooks but I find I have to either blatently say, "leave a comment" or ask a question to provoke people into responding. I had a fun poll every week that I got rid of because there was little to no participation. I like to add a bit of controversy, that often gets the comments coming in!

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.

I think having someone go over your posts is the best bet. I used to have someone check mine regularly, I don't anymore and it shows! Haha.

I think your blog is great! The info and insights you provide really complement what I'm going through at this point in my life.

Also, even though your posts are long, they're written well and in a way that keeps me reading. Normally I don't make it past the first paragraph before I'm bored and on to the next stop on the world wide web.
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#10 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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1. What can I do to increase traffic?

I signed up to the Blog Catalogue community - I've gotten a number of followers from there. Keep the good tunes goin'

Where do I find it? I googled and nothing really came up

I think the main thing is to just promote it wherever you can -- everyday. Visit other blogs, comment, join communities. Email the link to all your family and friends and post it in all your siggy's in chat forums. I also join Facebook groups and post my blog link there.

I do a lot of this

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

No idea Perhaps there's a site where you could sell your work (like Etsy but for books) and then you could provide a link.

That might work.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.
Once again, no idea but I really enjoy music on a blog. I know a lot of people don't. You have a great selection; I've had your page open all night just for the tunes!




Thank you! There is that one Eminem song that my daughter wanted..I like Eminem but it doesn't quite suit the mood I'm going for

4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

I don't know much about guestbooks but I find I have to either blatently say, "leave a comment" or ask a question to provoke people into responding. I had a fun poll every week that I got rid of because there was little to no participation. I like to add a bit of controversy, that often gets the comments coming in!

Thanks


5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.

I think having someone go over your posts is the best bet. I used to have someone check mine regularly, I don't anymore and it shows! Haha.

I don't have anyone but I just keep going back and checking...so basically I might as well just let it go...easier said than done

I think your blog is great! The info and insights you provide really complement what I'm going through at this point in my life.

Also, even though your posts are long, they're written well and in a way that keeps me reading. Normally I don't make it past the first paragraph before I'm bored and on to the next stop on the world wide web.

Thank you! Where can I find a link to your blog?
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#11 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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Thank you! That's great!
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#12 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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1. What can I do to increase traffic?

If I had an answer to this question, I surely would have more visitors.

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

No idea... List them on the side column with prices? I also think paypal has a code to add to your page, but I'm not sure if Blogger allows it.


4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

Having a question in our title? I do notice that some of my titles attract more readership that others.

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post

I don't know... I'm in the same boat.

New endeavor coming soon...
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#13 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Thank you! Where can I find a link to your blog?
I'm Holistic Mommy, you're already a follower

There is a link to all the mommy blogs on Blog Catalogue at the very bottom of my page.

www.holisticmamma.blogspot.com
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#14 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I sure am! Thank you. I submitted to blogcatalogue!
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#15 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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The first thing I'd do to improve your blog is get rid of the annoying music. I opened your link and closed it again when music started playing.

Anyone reading with a sleeping baby or at work is not going to become a regular reader.
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#16 of 29 Old 03-28-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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The first thing I'd do to improve your blog is get rid of the annoying music. I opened your link and closed it again when music started playing.

Anyone reading with a sleeping baby or at work is not going to become a regular reader.
I do agree. I usually surf with my sound off, but sometimes I multitask, and today I was watchig a documentary AND reading blogs , and I did have a sleeping sick baby on my lap, and when Abba started playing I started fratically closing windows to get rid of it, not realising where it was coming from

I have very low tolerance for websites with music. Never seen a blog with music, but I do generally have my sound off, so maybe I missed a few. If you are going for a holistic experience, maybe try having an option where a regular visitor could turn the music on, if he/ she wanted to.

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#17 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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The first thing I'd do to improve your blog is get rid of the annoying music. I opened your link and closed it again when music started playing.

Anyone reading with a sleeping baby or at work is not going to become a regular reader.
I am very sorry you are annoyed. I love my music and I will be keeping it so yeah, maybe my blog isn't for you. That's ok.

I always turn my speakers off when baby is napping on my lap. Actually she's napping right now and that was the first thing I did.

A lot of people actually like the music a lot. I have had a number of people email me to ask about certain songs and a fellow from India ordered a Barra McNeils cd the other day. He liked Christmas in Killarney

I'm not sure what's happening but my traffic has suddenly increased in the last few days..a LOT and I have three new followers since yesterday. I haven't really done anything.
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#18 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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I just wanted to add...if you scroll down the page to my playlist you can pause the music.
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#19 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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I don't enjoy websites with music, either. I have to really want to visit and stay on a site with it to go to the trouble of finding where to turn it off. With yours, I'd suggest putting a big how to remove the music up at the top of your blog, so rather than clicking to leave upon hearing the music (which even though I know how to turn off music on sites, I still just leave sometimes), maybe people who do not enjoy it will click to turn it off instead, and stay and read.

Sorry! I wanted to be honest. I know you like the music on your blog (and it is yours so you should do what you like with it), but I enjoyed your blog more before you put the music on it. When you look to monetize it in the future, you may want to reconsider removing it to keep the attention on your content and ads, etc.

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#20 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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I'm another one who doesn't enjoy music on blogs, but I do keep my volume turned down most of the time. Sometimes, the kids crank it up for something and I get a loud surprise.

I think it depends on what the goals of your blog are. If you are blogging for purely personal reasons and are not trying to "play to your audience", then go for the music since you enjoy it. But, if you are trying to play to the audience a bit, you may want to reconsider. Here's a thought - Maybe do a poll on your blog asking if you should keep it or not. That gets the readers involved a bit and may generate some comments for you, too.
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#21 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm doing it purely for personal reasons.
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#22 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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Oh, I'm not looking to monetize the blog
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#23 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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I'm keeping the music. I like the music. It suits my purpose with the blog. I understand there are people who don't like music on blogs but I think there are as many who do as don't, I'm one of the ones who do and I've also noticed that many of my followers also have music on their blogs so like attracts like I guess. I won't be changing it. If you don't like it, don't visit.

This has been very hurtful. Please stop now. This blog is very personal to me and I do not want any further comment on it beyond the input I asked for. I specifically didn't ask that the format or content be critiqued because that's the part I'm fine with.

Allgirls
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#24 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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1. a summary of your blog's purpose

It's purpose is a place to practice and share my writing.

2. where your blog is

It's in my signature, there are two, it's the first one.

3. 5 or so specific questions/calls for feedback that you have

1. What can I do to increase traffic?

2. If I decide to sell stuff on my blog(like my books when they are published) how do I do that, set it up etc.

3. How do I add mp3 to my blog posts or can I even do that.

4. What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments. Does anybody use a guestbook?

5. What do you do about typos/spelling errors...I check, double check and triple check and two days later I'll find a "there" instead of a "they're" in a post.

These are the questions I wanted answered. I think they've all been answered. I never asked for any input regarding content, I like it the way it is.
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#25 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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Oh hon, whenever you put yourself out there, especially on a critique your blog thread, even if you have very specific questions, you will hear all kind of feedback. That's the nature of such discussions. Everyone here's trying to be helpful, I'm pretty sure of this. The way you are accepting feedback might make people who spend the time to give it to you a bit less willing to do so in the future

Unless of course you are trying to use the advice of one of the posters who suggested you generate a bit of a controversy? FWIW, this is also a good way to attract people to your blog. Now everyone is curious about the music.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#26 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm keeping the music. I like the music. It suits my purpose with the blog.
I'm so sorry, sweetie. I didn't mean to hurt you. I hope you know that. My geeky self really was trying to be helpful when I suggested putting a 'how to' at the top. : Of COURSE you should keep the music if you like it, it makes you happy and it does what you want! : (you know that's always my advice)


Should we move on to the next blog and come back to yours later? Would that help?

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#27 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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Actually I have gotten everything I wanted from this and more. Some great suggestions that I've alread implemented and some bookmarked for future reference.

I just think there is a way to make suggestions without being negative and insulting.

Thank you everybody who responded.
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#28 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Oh hon, whenever you put yourself out there, especially on a critique your blog thread, even if you have very specific questions, you will hear all kind of feedback. That's the nature of such discussions. Everyone here's trying to be helpful, I'm pretty sure of this. The way you are accepting feedback might make people who spend the time to give it to you a bit less willing to do so in the future

Unless of course you are trying to use the advice of one of the posters who suggested you generate a bit of a controversy? FWIW, this is also a good way to attract people to your blog. Now everyone is curious about the music.
I think trying to stir up controversy is completely against the purpose of my blog. It's a good suggestion, for someone who wants to do that, and there certainly is a time and place for it. But that's not what I do.
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#29 of 29 Old 03-29-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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FWIW, I was answering the question of yours below with my suggestion to help ensure everyone coming to your blog sticks around, because your posts are great! No insult intended. Only help. :
Quote:
What can I do to encourage more interaction..I have a lot of people coming and going but not so many comments.

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