Good Day to You,
Day 3’s (11/04/15) assignment at Blogging 101 is to “follow five new tags in the Reader and five new blogs”.
This was a bit of a challenge for me, mostly because of the time it takes for me to read (due to Glaucoma). I have tried researching for other related blogs using the Reader Tags before, without much success, using terms that seemed most relevant to Professional Licensing.
Doing similar research has been on my “to do” list for retirement, in order to expand on the original ideas for monetization on this project and to make connections.
The reasons given for doing this assignment are:
“Publishing posts is only half of blogging – engaging with the community is the other.”
“Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.”
For those of you who are not familiar with the WordPress Dashboard, when we sign in to our account, the Reader is the first place we “land”. It is a lot like an RSS reader, but better in a few ways. The Reader allows us to search for and connect with other blogs of similar interest (like social media), we have full access to our stats, our Dashboard, and Technical Support. “Reader” is really an understatement.
In the Reader “Tags” are how topics are organized. The “TAGS” section lets us browse by Exploring Topics. We can see a “cloud of the most popular tags”, and click on one to view the latest posts, using that tag. We can also type in our own Tag/Search Term, to explore posts that we may not otherwise find.
After “sleeping on it”, it seems to me that this may be a very good way to explore Long-tail-possibilities. By “Long-tail-possibilities, I mean looking for possible ways to expand on and perhaps identify areas of my niche where something is needed by the public, and doesn’t seem to be generally or overly addressed. Finding these less used tags, helps find areas with less competition from already established sites. This can be especially important in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
It can be so hard to try to place well on the search engines if we try to compete with other well established and successful websites in a niche. If you can find something that is needed, that does not have a lot of competition, but is very valuable, you’ve found that “Long-tail-possibility”. My name for these tags is “Long tail tag”.
We can find a lot on the web about “long-tail keywords” in relation to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
More recently, it has become common practice to try and find “broken links” on webpages in your niche, then contact the site owner and parlay an agreement for the site owner to replace the “broken” link with one that goes to a relevant page on your site. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term “Broken Link”, it refers to a link that brings a visitor who clicks on it to an error page instead of the expected webpage.
The search engines pay more attention to websites with relevant “natural” backlinks from other websites. Relevant “natural” links, are ones that are not artificially acquired by purchasing them through “link farms” or other artificial methods, but are links to your site from related sites, relevant comments in posts on other sites, and by webmasters linking to related information on your site from theirs.
What I did, was start by using the “cloud of tags” in the Reader first. When a blog had potential, in relation to my niche, I paid attention to all the tags used by the author. These tags are the beginning of my “Long Tale Tag List”. A document has been created with that title, just for keeping track of the tags.
Our email instructions from the Blogging 101 class encourages us to inventively investigate the tags, and using one of my “Long Tail Tags”, I managed to connect with unique and helpful blogs, and with an author who is not afraid of being herself with her writing. You will find her under “#2 Long Tail Tag: “Career decisions”.
You can learn more about how the Reader works here: Reader – Following – Support – WordPress.com.
#1 Tag: “Social Media” from the Reader “Cloud”
This post is especially helpful for those of us (including myself) who haven’t created an account with Twitter. She gives outstanding instructions in her post for creating a Twitter account, along with advice on what to avoid and how to make your Twitter presence standout and uniquely yours. Her blog is very helpful, and following it will be an education.
The post that inspired me to look closer at this blog is:
The post I linked to above is only the beginning of Allison’s wonderful and very helpful series on Twitter.
Did you know this?
“Hashtags are categories. They attach your tweet to the group under that hashtag, so parties interested in that category can see your tweet. No hashtag, and only your followers can see the tweet.” (Taken from this next post.)
So, we can just start posting “tweets”, and get read by people who are already following us, which is fine for communicating with our “group”.
What about connecting to a larger audience?
When we need to get the attention of a larger, and targeted audience, while still communicating with our followers, we should use the hashtag. In this way our followers will still see the tweet, but so will anyone following that tag.
This is similar to following tags in your post. When someone follows the tag in the Reader of their WordPress Dashboard, they are more likely to find your post, because you used that tag. This is all about making CONNECTIONS.
Using hashtags, seems to be a good way to attract the attention of others, without wasting our time, or spamming the heck out of people, by trying to type tweet after tweet, in the hopes of gaining traffic.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or inclination to “beat a broken drum”.
By the way, if you check the comments on any of Allison’s posts, you will see just how wonderful and supportive she is.
You could just find these gems of wonderful information by navigating her blog, or just follow the link below:
As I’m writing this part of the post (in MS Word), my new Twitter account is logged in and ready for this new information from her newest post.
When we tweet, the shelf life of that tweet lasts until it is buried under the next few tweets being sent in Twitter. It isn’t long before the tweet disappears at the bottom of the page, as new ones populate the feed. This is a HUGE problem for those of us who want to REALLY COMMUNICATE, without the communication disappearing. I like watching a good magician, but really?
Pining a tweet allows us to permanently attach it to the top of our profile page.
Now, your message can “stay put”, until you decide to replace it with a new one.
Don’t forget the HASHTAG!
Here is a link to the tweet I just pinned to my profile (I pined it in honor of the author, Allison Maruska.)
Note: This link was removed, because the tweet is no longer pinned.
TWITTER LIST CREATION
I just love what we call people who tweet on Twitter!
The idea of creating a list in Twitter is to save us from the bombardment of advertisements, put out by spammers using automated programs called “bots”.
I responded to some “followed” notifications by respectfully “following” them back, as a courtesy. You can even check out their website to see if you want to follow them, from their profile page.
A couple of those “follows” have a good looking website, but following them ended up with a constant barrage of continuous tweets on my feed. Good Grief!
Creating a Twitter List, allows us to add “only the tweets from the Tweeps we add to the list”. We can create more than one list.
I called my first list “No Noise”, with the description “Keeping the spammers out”.
Allison gives us some advice on what she finds works for her. She addresses this common complaint she gets about Twitter:
“It’s hard to engage with other tweeps. It feels like you’re yelling into the void with no answer”
Here is a link to the post:
SHOULD I THANK YOU OR NOT?
One thing that makes Twitter hard for me to look at for a long period of time is the Feed. We have to scroll constantly through lines of “Tweets”, of 140 characters or less. The tweets keep coming and never seems to stop. It is just TOO MUCH WHITE NOISE!!!
Creating a Twitter List, as discussed above definitely helps. I’m still a bit overwhelmed, simply because even the helpful people whom I feel are a must to follow, can have multiple lines in a row of these mini conversations, when they are very active.
So, along with creating our lists, what else can help with all that NOISE?
Allison has a really good post on that. She basically discusses some of the responses we can use to thank people for the positive actions they take. These actions include following the person that follows you, Re-tweeting (RT), and other variations of saying “thanks”.
I found her take on this an interesting read, with good points being made for both saying “thanks”, and why there are times that “the excessive favoriting and RTing becomes annoying.”
You will find the comments interesting here as well, and may want to share your views.
You can find this interesting post at:
HOLLY OVERLOAD FACTOR!
Yes, I agree, this post has gotten longer than intended, but why should we write a post with links to other posts, unless we give a clear picture regarding their importance?
The above title is not intended to be a reference to the length of this post.
What the title is referring to is one of the biggest reasons (other than privacy) that I have avoided having any social media accounts for years.
In this post Allison talks about practices we are subjected to that may not necessarily be intended as SPAM, but are very annoying. Sometimes we are subjected to so much of the HARD SELL, that it can be a huge mistake to try it in social media (or anywhere else in my humble opinion).
This post touches upon schemes to “raise awareness”, using social media to complain, complain…complain, and the wonderful spam bots (sure).
You will find interesting comments following this post. Many of them have important value for us as users and even more for business users.
To find out what mistakes you may be making and hopefully make your engagement on social media more effective (and profitable) read this post:
I now have a new Twitter account that is manageable and targeted. Thank your Allison!
I’m injecting one more addition to ways in which we “Punish People”, not in Social Media, but by making the mistake of commenting “off topic”, after posts. When we don’t stay on topic while commenting, we tend to interrupt the flow of conversation and more.
We run the risk of our comment not being approved by the administrator.
Even worse, between the WordPress algorithms and widgets that are intended to filter out legitimate comments from spammers, can work against us. Be careful not to overdo linking in your comments. Although I’m not sure what the threshold is, use caution.
At the bottom of my posts you will find a “Please Note”.
It is directed to anyone who leaves a comment, to help if your comment does not show up in a reasonable period of time. Some days I will have pages of “spam” in my Comment Spam Folder of the WordPress Dashboard. This simply overwhelms me.
#2 Long Tail Tag: “Career decisions”.
I came up with the “Career decisions” tag because it fits my niche. I want to do more than just help people find resources to getting a professional license, but also help future professionals learn about the different license types related to a given career, and help them understand the process from the beginning, educational requirements through actually obtaining a professional license.
Not only do I consider everything in the above paragraph to be a critical part of my niche, but also helping you find resources to incorporate your business, connect to state and federal tax information, and anything else you want my help with.
The “Career decisions” tag brought me to this blog, belonging to a person who is Passionate about her niche. She says her blog helps “people discover who they are and their aspirations for a living”. She is the founder and CEO of “Creating Futures”. The About page explains that Creating Futures is a “startup with a vision to build the upcoming generation of Africa’s human capital”.
The post on this blog isn’t chosen because her writing is “picture perfect”, but because this post, and others on her site show a willingness to help, provides very useful advice, and (in my humble estimation) is brimming with her own passion for her project. Here is the post:
#3 Tag, is used by one of the authors listed above: “Online Presence”.
This time, the tag brought me to a real online professional who gets paid for providing Online Copywriting and Content Marketing. His content is interesting, informative, shows a willingness to teach and is very supportive. He also has a video on this post that explains how important it is for us to engage with the people who comment on our posts. It really does help us get better recognition on Facebook and other social media platforms.
You can find his post at:
#4 Long Tail Tag: “Social media help”.
The owner of this blog, Steve Goldner has twenty (20) years of experience. His “About” page reads like a professional resume.
I had been looking at another blog where the owner has twenty five (25) years of experience. That blog was a lot more businesslike, and less engaging. The post was very informative, but Steve won me over because his approach speaks to the way I aspire to grow my project.
I recommend reading Three Social Marketing Fundamentals – SocialSteve’s Blog.
Under “Content Marketing with Social Marketing”, in the above article, Steve has an image of a target listing Brand; Content; Sharing; and Advocates.
Under the target he goes into great detail describing the importance of each.
He also talks about “Holistic Social Marketing” and “Meaningful Social Metrics”.
Something that I think is very profound in his approach:
Under “Meaningful Social Metrics, Steve says “notice “conversion” is not part of the social media activities”.
He talks about our brand being “shared” than “promoted” by the people with whom we build helpful relationships. Over time, trust builds and our brand’s helpful content is shared by our followers, who become our Advocates. What I get out of this is that we are better off being an advocate ourselves, positively sharing valuable content, along with our own. It is through our “good works” that our brand becomes recognized and trusted. To me this is the best example of “natural link building” I have ever read.
I’m far from mastering the sharing tools, here on WordPress and in social media. The farther along I progress in the Blogging 101 course, the need to better understand how to properly use these tools, becomes more evident.
In this next post, Steve explains that “There is nothing better than getting the feeling of helping someone.” He follows that statement with “Are you doing this with your social presence?”
This is also the post I found, following the tag:
#5 Professionals – not a “Long Tail Tag”, but a relevant tag I added
Theo van der Krogt is the author of this web book. He is from Europe, and has extensive experience as an educator, having taught public management at the University of Twente. He was secretary-general of the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA), from its start in 1999 until 2013. In 1972 he wrote his PhD dissertation on “professionalization and collective power” (in Dutch). – Taken from the blog book’s “About” page.
Professional Licensing Helper is based in the United States (home state of Maine), but this web book is a wonderful read and is very helpful in explaining many of the dynamics regarding the difference between a “professional” and an “expert”. Types of professional organizations (from a theoretical point of view), the virtues and ethics involved, regulation, drawbacks of regulation, and much more. It is relevant in Europe, the United States, and internationally.
This is a very interesting read, for those of you who are already educated and are licensed. Future and potential professionals can learn a lot about why a license is required and why not everyone supports licensing, to just scratch the surface.
To be sure, the reading level required to understand parts of this web book, may be a bit advanced for some. I may be retired after 30 years, 20 years specific to being a customer service representative, but my level of reading as a high school graduate, makes parts of the web book (especially some of the theoretical sections in the first couple chapters) a bit challenging.
The links in the author’s Table of Contents make it easy to identify specific sections of interest.
Education plays a huge part in Professional Licensing. Part of being a Professional Licensing Helper, is to help you find the educational requirements you need to fulfill, in order to qualify for testing and licensing.
After you qualify and receive your professional license, you will have to keep up with the continuing education requirements.
This blog book is a wonderful resource for you to get a good understanding regarding what being a “professional” means in our society. Even if you have no intention of becoming a professional, you will find this well worth the read.
In relation to Professional Licensing (including the need for ethics, education, laws and regulation), I would like to call attention to Chapter 5. “The control over and regulation of professional work”. Specifically, the post, “Why regulation? Unprofessional behavior”.
To me, the issue of unprofessional behavior, the effect this behavior has on the consumer (called “clients” in his web book), and the need to protect the public from damages this fraudulent and irresponsible element can cause, makes the regulation of professionals, essential.
The author lists some excellent examples of how, in certain circumstances, professional regulation can in fact have negative effects on both the consumer and the professional.
The above paragraphs are indeed an over simplification in relation to the author’s writing. The post goes into great detail regarding other forms of unprofessional behavior, which he calls “Professional deformation” and “Non-individual unprofessional behavior”. Chapter 5 goes on to discuss “Regulation of professional services”, “Instruments of regulation” and “Drawbacks of professional regulation”.
The great majority of professional license types require testing, regulated by national and international organizations that have spent years, even decades standardizing the tests. They assure a uniform standard of practice. In Europe, here in the U.S., and internationally. While different jurisdictions may have some differences in laws and regulations, the uniformity of standards in testing and other requirements, ensures that the consumer is protected from less than favorable, even dangerous results.
I want to respectfully thank the author, for such a fine contribution to the blogosphere!
Below is a link to this Blog Book:
BLOG BOOK “PROFESSIONALS AND THEIR WORK” – (I’m linking to first post, with a short overview, and Table of Contents of this “work in progress”, that will turn into hyperlinks to each new post as they are completed.)
Commenting on posts, while logged into your WordPress Account
When I first started commenting no posts, while logged into my WordPress Dashboard, a message appeared that made me wonder if there could be a security risk. I emailed the wonderful happiness engineers at Automatic, the creators of WordPress, our webmaster, Technical Support, and much more. Below, I will share the conversation we had:
“I have noticed the following message when starting to comment on a post:
“Arth: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. (Log Out / Change )” – I get the impression that this is something to avoid? – I’m making it a practice to logout before commenting, but could you please explain the risk?”
Response from Support:
“This notice is just there to notify you which account you will be commenting from – it is not something you should avoid. Some users have multiple accounts, and when commenting, find it convenient to see what username they’re currently logged into before commenting.
This is simply there for informative purposes, not to warn you against it.
“I would like to expand on this subject just a little more.
My “online name” and my “user name” for my login are not the same, in order to help keep my account secure.
I want to be sure that my “online name” of “Arth” is the one that will identify me in a comment, not my account user name, if I stay logged into my WordPress Dashboard.
Please reframe from disclosing my WordPress “user name” in your replay, because I would like to share this information as part of my next post.”
Response from Support:
“Sure thing – the good news is, you can select how you want to appear publicly when interacting on your site and on the Writing 101 site. If you go here:
https://wordpress.com/me (requires login)
You can edit how your name and information shows when you post and comment.”
I want to thank happiness engineers Daniel and Gracie for their help.
Now we can all feel secure, when commenting on a post, and we see that message.
A Few Closing Words:
From the amount of time it has taken for me to finally publish this post, it should be clear to you that this really hasn’t been an easy assignment for me. However what has been learned and the new quality resources now followed have been worth all the “hit & miss” attempts to find the right fit for my niche.
Not only have I learned a great deal, started a new social media account (with a new supportive resource), but broadened my thinking, regarding the possible directions this project may take. My sense of “relativeness” has been enlightened, enabling me to take into consideration other related ways to help current and future professional licensees.
I plan to continue using the Reader to research other “Long Tail Tags”, leading to more relevant and valuable connections in the blogosphere as a critical part of growing my brand.
A Side Note about Being Pressured:
At the end of my first week of retirement, and staring the Blogging 101 class at Blogging University, my wife made the comment, as I “sleepily” crawled into bed (after midnight again).
“If you don’t stop living to get back to your computer, every time something makes you walk away, you will burn out before you know it.”
I’m far from “burning out” and so happy to be finding a focus. On the other hand, I’ll admit to beginning to feel “pressured”, as all this time has passed (just over a week), before being able to identify “five (5) tags to follow and five (5) blogs to follow in the Reader”. Of course, writing this post also required a great deal of time.
Being able to complete the assignment, is much more important to me than staying on a timeline and “hurriedly” having to “just grab” something to call “close enough”.
We try to manage time, but often have circumstances in life that allows our time to be managed for us. So I summit to you the importance of staying FOCUSED, not PRESSURED.
If you are really interested in my posts, “follow” this blog. It will be much easier to be notified when a new post is published, rather than checking back all the time, or anticipating me to publish on a “time line”.
You can ask a question or request help from me at any time by using the Contact Form. I am always willing to try to help. The ending word in the blog’s title is genuine. You are welcome to contact me.
I will always respond to a contact request quicker than I can write a post.
My Best to You