Category Archives: Branding

Don’t Cheat Your RSS Subscribers

Recently, I had a chance to look at some blogs that were part of a newer blog network, and give my opinions on them. One thing I noticed was that the RSS subscribers were all the same. They faked their subscriber count in order to look like an important, highly subscribed to resource. While I can understand their reasonings for doing this, I quickly told them that they shouldn’t trick their users.

The biggest issue is really a potential public relations nightmare if users ever figure out what they are doing. It can have the opposite effect, with users ditching the site in droves, to avoid cheaters, scammers, and liars.

Nothing can hurt your business more than not being trusted, especially online.

So my message today is to not fake or falsely inflate your RSS subscriber count, it could lead to more problems then it is worth. You are better off not showing your currently subscriber rates until they get above fifty or so, and then put the actual graphic on your site.

If you are wondering if a site is faking their Feedburner subscriber count, check out my previous tutorial on how to view their Feedburner count, and you will quickly be able to tell.

Originally posted on November 19, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

The Five P’s of Improving Your About Page

Your about page can be more important than you think. When visiting a site, I sometimes check out the about page to see if the writer has bothered to put up anything. Sadly, sometimes the default WordPress about page is all I find. If the blogger isn’t willing to write anything on their about page, you can probably place money on the fact that they won’t remain interested in blogging for a long period of time, and you should probably move on to another resource.

Here are some pointers to help you in creating or improving your about page.


I know it seems odd, but if the blog is about you, or one specific product, for example the Nintendo Wii, it doesn’t hurt to put up a picture of yourself or that product. When it is your picture you are putting up, the image can help you in creating branding, as Darren Rowse has done for a long time now. When people that read his site see his picture, they know what site it goes with. That is a very powerful thing, and one that shouldn’t just be cast aside.

If the site is about a specific product, the about page should reflect that, and an appropriate image should be added. This adds character to the page, and helps draw attention to the text near it. The image also has the ability to quickly, easily, and without any need for language translation sum up what the site is about. If I see a Nintendo Wii on the about page, either the writer loves the system or the blog is probably about the game console.


Why does your site exist? What do you hope to do with your blog or website? This is the key reason to have an about page. While people may think that content can stand for itself, a good about page will also help you keep that content focused. I refer back to my about page all the time to make sure I have stayed on topic.


Your statements should be bold and interesting. Your about page is a key marketing material, and so it should be given the time and respect that it deserves. This is the page people will read in order to find out more about you. Maybe it could earn you a job. Maybe it could lose you a job. You never know who is reading your about page, so it is best to put your best foot forward.


In your about page, you have a chance to correct any errors that people might have had about you. I know that a friend of mine, Chris Garrett always gets confused with Chris Garrett. They are not the same people, and so they need to make sure every about page they write has an abundance of their personality, as well as following the other rules to make their pages unique.


Your about page is a great place to feature your best content, favorite posts, and other sites you are or have worked on. This is a great place to deep link the articles that might have otherwise been missed.

If the site is about you, then you also get to promote yourself. What makes you someone readers will flock to? This is your chance to talk about yourself.


With the above tips and a little creativity, your about page can help promote your site, your brand, and yourself. Make sure you take your time, plan it out, give it your best, and a proper picture never hurts.

Originally posted on August 29, 2007 @ 3:10 am

Free Logo Service for Bloggers

College Startup Logo Logo Design Works has a great marketing technique that is ongoing. They have a contest where bloggers can win a logo for their blog. The logo package is their bronze package which is worth $197 US dollars.

Branding can be quite difficult so a good logo can set you apart from others in your niche.

There are three requirements for entry:

1. The blog must be at least 6 months old and should have at least 10 posts in the past 30 days (from date of application) and should be in English.

2. The blog should be related to design, small business, marketing, SEO, blogging, freelance, productivity and related industries ONLY

3. The blog contains a link to in its blogroll

If you want to find out more information, check out Logo Design Work’s site. doesn’t qualify for the program, but I have had friends who made it as part of their August round, and Logo Design Works created some amazing designs for them. I highly recommend the service and company.

Originally posted on August 26, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

Pillars of Personal Branding

Many bloggers are their own brand. Their name or alias defines who they are and if they stand out from the crowd.

With most bloggers I can mention the name Darren Rowse and get a response. He is a key figure and his branding, much like how McDonalds is fast food, Darren is widely known to be rather synonymous with problogging. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that Darren’s content is like fast food, far from it, but it does show how far his personal branding has come in the last few years.

Create Your Message

Decide what is special about you. Maybe you are great at web development, or public speaking. You might have a talent for colour theory. Who knows? The point is to come up with something that makes you different.

Next come up with a mission statement. It doesn’t have to be tied in with what makes you special. Maybe it is that you want to be the number one writer about printers. If you are going to be the number one writer about printers, how are you going to accomplish that goal? How will you stand out from all the other writers about printers? Add some points below your statement, this will help give you focus.

Repeat Your Message

McDonalds and others did not get to where they are by only building one restaurant. You have to continually repeat your message if you want it to stick in the minds of the masses.

You also have to work on the concepts and ideas surrounding your brand, continually tweaking them so that people don’t get bored of what you have to offer. Repetition can get more and more difficult as you try to work on growing your brand larger and larger.

Try different mediums. Podcasting is getting more and more popular, and if it fits your niche, it could be very worthwhile to get mentioned. Forums, social networks and bookmarking sites are all great ways to get your brand out into the world.

Keep Your Message Consistent

While I said you could tweak your message, you will want to keep the overall meaning intact. Anything you do to change your brand, even slightly, can undo all the work you have put into it. It can create confusion, thus giving an opening for your competitors to come in and take your top spot.

Remember to consider everything you write, and really analyze it. Is it the kind of message you want to be sending out? Does it fit with your brand? Branding can be difficult, but very worthwhile, give it the time and attention it deserves.

Originally posted on July 26, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

How to Take Your Humble Blog to the Next Level

There comes a time when every blogger hits a digital wall. The growth seemed slow, but promising at first. Then, all of a sudden – flatline. As frustrating as it is for hard working bloggers to accept, creating content in a content-saturated digital world for an audience with limited free time is a job that provides less-than-favorable odds.If your platform has been stagnant, there are writing sites like, which offer useful tips on how to keep your readers curious about your blog content.

Tackle Each Social Media Platform Strategically

It’s easy for bloggers to bunch all social media platforms under the same umbrella. This pays no respect to the individual potential of each platform. If you’re looking to expand your blog’s reach, it’s important to treat each media channel as its own vehicle. If you suspect that your social media management hasn’t been as focused as it should be, it’s best to halt operations on all platforms and focus on one. Pick whichever is showing the best engagement, and pool all your efforts into it.

Establish a game plan for your platform of choice. Network to other bloggers and readers in your niche. Follow the example set by the greats.

As Forbes contributor Jimmy Rohampton offers, “Part of your strategy is attracting a large group of interested followers, but you don’t have to wait around for them to follow you. Be proactive about building the quality audience you want by following strategically. Look for people who are interested in or talk about topics related to your niche all the time.”

Invest in Traffic

It is a sad truth that the vast majority of blogs go by almost entirely unseen. They might serve as a small boost to the owner, but that won’t be sustainable until a foundational viewership is set. Taking the difficult road won’t always lead to the best results. In many cases, the smartest, most successful blogs were given their first break when they started paying for traffic. According to Huffington Post, “… there are limits to organic growth and paid traffic can boost an article’s overall reach.” If a post is already performing well, amplify it with a little boost in traffic. The post’s virality alone will expand its reach, bringing a potential slew of new readers your way.

Learn From Your Competitors

If pride is getting in the way of you taking a leaf from your competitor’s book, it’s best to put that aside. If a competitor seems to have acquired an edge, it’s probably because they’ve found an efficient tactic you’re not using.

For instance, say your competitor recently experienced a boost in traffic thanks to a guest post they’ve contributed to a blog with a sizeable following. If you’re keeping tabs on your competitor, you’ll be aware of their post, and you’ll be able to approach the publication with an idea for your own contribution. You get featured, the same traffic is redirected to you, and you’re once again standing at the same level as your competitor. Get far ahead enough in the game, and they’ll start spying on you for your own secrets.

Originally posted on October 20, 2017 @ 7:45 am