2009
08.10

Getting Traffic to your Blogs

We aren’t currently sending any traffic to the blogs, while beta testing.  I don’t want you to grow discouraged that no one is reading what you write and give up.  Once we start adding the links in the usual places, you’ll start to get visitors.  Even more than you had before because we’ll be pushing it from outside the forum at some time between now and launch.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share a post I caught earlier — 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic.  I’ll highlight the different points below, but for expanded explanation on each point, be sure to check out the site.

  1. Choose the right software.
  2. Host your blog directly on your domain.
  3. Write title tags with two audiences in mind.
  4. Participate at related forums and blogs.
  5. Tag your content.
  6. Launch without comments (add them later).
  7. Don’t jump on the bandwagon.
  8. Link intelligently.
  9. Invite guest bloggers.
  10. Skip advertising until you’re popular.
  11. Go beyond text in your posts.
  12. Cover topics that need attention.
  13. Pay attention to your analytics.
  14. Use a human voice.
  15. Archive effectively.
  16. Implement smart URLs.
  17. Reveal as much as possible.
  18. Only one post in 20 can be linkbait.
  19. Make effective use of high traffic days.
  20. Create expectations and fulfill them.
  21. Build a brand.
2009
08.09

It’s very possible to make an extra $100+ per month easy just writing in your spare time. You won’t need to punch in, wake up at a specific time, or show up anywhere for work. You can do it wherever you’re most comfortable, sitting at the computer in your pajamas or underwear, and just spending a few hours typing for a client.

I know a handful of people who do it, and have a bit of knowledge on the topic if anyone has questions. I’ll try to answer them for you here.

Usually the way it works is there are a lot of buyers looking for writers to create content for them. They’ll have specific topics in mind usually, that they want you to write about. You don’t already have to know anything, but willing to research it enough to be able to write about it. A lot of the topics will be quite boring to you. Topics like credit, investing, or even fad health topics like the acai berry, or penis enlargement. Those boring topics do tend to pay the best.

They’ll usually want to pay you with paypal. You might be able to work alternate arrangements out with your clients.

Some sources to look for jobs or learn where to get you started.

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/forumdisplay.php?f=86 – Copywriting section
http://www.namepros.com/content-for-sale/ – Namepros: Content for Sale
http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/categories/want-to-buy – Sitepoint: Want to Buy
http://jobs.problogger.net/ – Jobs for Bloggers

2009
08.01

Blogging with Darkness.com isn’t as difficult as you might imagine.  The trick is just knowing where to start.  Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, it’s pretty simple.  Most of our new members with no prior experience have already figured it out after spending just a short time with it.  Even Raver!

WordPress is the platform we’re using, with a main plugin called BuddyPress that provides us with the social networking features in the back-end.  If you wanted to do your own browsing around to see what you can do with WordPress, a good place to start is the Codex.

New Users should probably start here:  First Steps with WordPress
http://codex.wordpress.org/First_Steps_With_WordPress

What would I blog about?
The Codex will be useful for a lot of things, but another important thing to consider is why will you be blogging in the first place?  As a Darkness.com member, the ideal candidate for using the Darkness Blogs will be anyone that posts their own poetry or fiction or member pics and artwork.  The blog system is much better than the forum for all of these.  It’s fairly convenient.  It’s easy.  Most importantly, you have all the control over your content as well as anyone that comments on your posts (topics).  If someone is being rude or making you uncomfortable with a comment, you can just delete it.  If you have a change of heart and one of your entries should be removed, you can do that yourself.  Need to edit something or fix it, several weeks later?  Again, you’re the Admin.  You make the calls.  The only disadvantage during the early beta stage is getting visitors.  That should work itself out later once the Blogs are actually linked from the forum, chat, etc…

Reminder:  During the beta stages it’s important not to get too attached to the blogs as-is, but especially to a specific plug or theme.  It’s a time consuming process to test, and audit each of these for anything that may cause problems later.  Backup your own posts or save them somewhere outside the blogs.

2009
07.28

Since no one else seems to have tried it after I posted the Notice, I thought I’d grab a dozen photos from our Member Gallery section and try it out.  I hope Saz doesn’t mind.  I’ll remove this post after a few days probably.  Just long enough for others to see the results.

gallerytest

There was a button on the right, so I’m going to click it.  When I mouseover, it says Add NextGEN Gallery.  Ok, that didn’t seem to help as it expects me to already have a Gallery ready to insert.  Next, I’ll try the first button after “Add media:”  That seemed to work.  I selected about 12 to 14 images and it started uploading them one at a time.  I did get an HTTP ERROR at some point during the process.  I don’t know why.  That’s all it said.  I guess if I noticed some images missing, I’d just re-add them probably.

I clicked the “Save All Changes” button, even though I didn’t really do anything else.  After that, it gave me an option about some ordering of the images, how many per row or column or something.  Then I just clicked Insert Gallery button.

I’m back in the Editor again now after taking a look.  That does look pretty good!  Doesn’t it?

I noticed a “Gallery” button in my menu near the bottom.  I’m going to click that next and see what other options it may have.

Update:  Ah, that was for the NextGEN gallery plugin that I apparently didn’t end up using at all.  I found out what my HTTP ERROR was from.  I ran out of my alloted disk space of 10MB with the images I uploaded.  That makes sense.  It might be better to add images hosted remotely so you don’t run out of space.  You can do that on the same menu but use “From URL” instead of “From Computer” when adding the pics.  Not as awesomely easy but keeps you from running out of space.  I added a jQuery lightbox plugin so that my gallery uses a cool effect when viewing an image.

2009
07.24

Welcome to Darkness Blogs

This used to say “Hello World!” and was a default post.  I’m kicking it’s ass with a post or rant of my own.  Like I posted on the forums, for those of you who actually read it, I need a lab rat or two.

First come, first served. If you’re ready to help me test this so I can learn the ropes along with you, please post in this thread AND create an account at http://blogs.darkness.com/

I need someone who is active on the forums and/or in chat. I need someone who is accessible to work -with- me. I’m usually around late nights through early mornings. Preferably, you have also actually used the current Blog component or have no hesitation when it comes to testing the system by actually -blogging- which is the whole purpose for this.

This new setup is being evaluated to replace our current one after the upgrade. It’s actually pretty nice, you might enjoy it.

I’ll pick and choose one or two that follow these directions and create the blogs for you to get started with.

So, I look forward to working closely with you until we’ve both got the hang of this.