© Gaye Wilson, 2009

blogbuddycircleI belong to a Blogging Buddy circle. It’s a great way to get comments and internet exposure for you and your business.

What is a Blogging Buddy Circle?

A Blogging Buddy Circle is a number of people who visits your blog on a regular basis, and make constructive, useful comments on it.

Why do you need a Blogging Buddy Circle?

If you need traffic, a Blogging Buddy Circle can help you get some.

If you want to know that someone is reading your blog, having Blogging Buddies reassures you that your writing will not go totally unnoticed.

If you want to tailor your blog posts to what people want to read, comments and feedback from your Blogging Buddies can steer you in the right direction.

If you want to create or be part of an online community that helps its members to grow, Blogging Buddies are a good way to start.

What are the benefits of Blogging Buddy Circles?

All of the above, plus more traffic to your websites/blogs if you comment consistently. There’s no point in being a Blogging Buddy if you only receive comments – you have to make them too.

How does it work?

It’s an agreement between bloggers to visit and comment on each others’ blogs on a regular basis. You sign up, and then you start commenting on each others’ blogs. Simple as that. You can set up a one-on-one Blogging Buddy relationship, or you can set up what I call a Blogging Buddy Circle, which has more than two members.

How do I set up a Blogging Buddy Circle?

If you don’t know anyone online, you could start by leaving comments on blogs you like. You might get a reply! Use that first contact, if appropriate, to ask for a Blogging Buddy relationship.

Contact everyone you know who has a blog that has some sort of connection with your blog, your business or your hobbies. Say that you are setting up a Blogging Buddy circle, and ask if they would like to participate.

If you belong to a discussion group that is relevant to your blog, your business or your hobbies, send out a request for Blogging Buddies.

How to make it work

You need to decide realistically how many blogs you are willing to visit and comment on regularly.

Decide how regular is regular: once a week, once a fortnight, once a month? What will fit into your regular schedule?

Decide, on the basis of your answers to those two questions, how many people/blogs you can comfortably handle in your Blogging Buddy circle.

It might help to have one person being the Keeper of the Blog Addresses if you have a fairly large circle. In my Blogging Buddy Circle there is a wonderful lady who has the list of blogs on a page of her website, and regularly posts changes. It makes it really easy to visit all the blogs on your designated Blogging Buddy day(s), because you can simply go to one web page for all the links. Bookmark the webpage, and you’ve got it made.

Best practice for blog commenting

Today I found a very helpful blog post from Noel Lyons about how to comment on blogs to get the best return. It’s http://www.noellyons.com/blog/5-simple-steps-to-branding-yourself-online/ . It talks about how to comment on blogs and what to include. For instance, when you make a comment, you’re always asked for your name. Noel suggests that you put something else after your name – a short description of who you are or what your business or blog is. This sounds like a really useful idea to me, and I’m going to start implementing it.

Introducing My Blogging Buddy Circle

Here are my Blogging Buddies in no particular order. All of these people are professional coaches. Some of them have a couple of blogs. How they manage to keep two blogs updated as well as run a coaching business is beyond me: I have enough trouble keeping five websites and a blog updated regularly as well as run my coaching and editing business!

Build Your Coaching Business by Melody Campbell

Teaching you to build your coaching business is the most important thing I do!

Healthy Body Healthy Brain by Suzanne Holman

New Path For Life by Elaine Lockard

Success in life and business while living with chronic pain

So Baby Boomer by John Agno

Life coaching tips for confident and independent baby boomers

Right Line Blog by Renée Barnow

Words that work at work

ECI Learning Systems blog by Dave Meyer

Developing teams and leaders to energize and engage your workplace

Webmaster Tool Center by Tammy Barbee

Webmaster resources

Mend Your Money by Cindy Morus

Offers simple, practical advice to people looking to improve their finances

The Web Lady by Tammy Barbee

Computer Resources for small businesses and solopreneurs

Coaching By Doris by Doris Helge

It’s all about you!

Coaching Biz Tips by Kathy Mallary

Getting into high gear about the stuff that matters most

Get Hired NowTM America by Judith Auslander

A 28-Day program for landing the job you want

Wise Heart Coaching by Judith Auslander

More resources on Blogging Buddies

There’s a lot more to Blogging Buddies than this post mentions. For instance, lots of people have only one buddy at a time, and use them as a sounding board, a proofreader or a co-author. A quick search on your favourite search engine will bring up several mentions of Blogging Buddies. Here are some excellent ones.

It’s all about the conversation

Find a Blog Buddy

10 Reasons to Find a Blog Buddy

Comments?

If you’d like to add your experiences to this discussion, tell us how commenting on blogs has helped your business and whether you belong to a Blogging Buddy Circle or have a single Blogging Buddy, or none at all. Read more

© Gaye Wilson, 2009

questionGetting everything done isn’t easy when life gets in the way. You have shopping to do, paid work to do, the kids to take to sport, an essay due at university, the washing, the cooking, the ironing, catching the train … the list just goes on and on.

So how do you cope? How do you get everything done properly and on time?

By asking yourself one simple question:

What is the best use of my time right now?

I call it the BUT question.

This one question will guide you to victory. You can apply it to everything:

  • Whether to do this task or that one
  • Whether to make this choice or that one
  • Whether to eat, socialise, work, relax, exercise, sleep, clean up, see the doctor, outsource … you name it.

I have a client at the moment who is in the last stages of writing his PhD thesis. He hired me to get the formatting of the document right. This was a good move, because it freed him up to concentrate on the writing.

But he’s not writing. Although he has outsourced part of the job (the formatting), he’s still obsessing about the part he outsourced (yes – the formatting). He seems to be spending more time on how the final product is going to look than he is on the content of the final product. That’s fine, and every PhD candidate needs to obsess about both the content and the presentation.

But what this person is doing is the equivalent of having a dog and barking too.

He’s already outsourced the formatting. So why is he obsessing about whether the document should be double spaced or not? That’s my job. He hired me to format the document so that it looks outstanding and gives a professional, jaw-dropping first impression to the examiners. I’ve already given him my best professional advice, but he’s still vacillating.

He needs to ask himself what is the best use of his time: either cancel his contract with me to do part of the job; or allow me to do the job he hired me for, and get on with the actual meat of the project himself.

That’s what I mean when I say, what is the best use of your time right now? What is the one thing you can do that will have a positive impact on your project or your goal or your life right now?

Not next week.

Not tomorrow.

Not after lunch.

NOW.

If you get into the habit of asking yourself that question throughout your day, you will become much more productive, efficient and accomplished than you are now.

Try it. You’ll be surprised at the results.

best-coaching-blogs-20091This blog is entered in the Best Coaching Blogs of 2009 competition, and has lasted for the first two rounds. Of 45 blogs that started the competition, only 20 are left.

Thanks to all who have visited and voted and commented.

But this blog currently has only 13 votes and 5 comments, compared to the winning blog, which has 297 votes and 38 comments.

This makes me wonder what the top-voted blogs have that this one doesn’t.

Is it the look of the blog? All Paths To Victory is very plain, but it’s not cluttered. Nor does it have bright colours, lots of pictures, or a banner heading. Maybe the appearance of the blog has an effect on the readers.

Is it the number of blog entries? Mine has only 32 entries. One blog in the competition has over 50 categories alone!

Is it the content? Many of the blogs in this competition talk about the Law of Attraction, or how to make money, or how to become a coach, or how to be a successful business owner. Mine doesn’t. My blog talks about a variety of subjects, all loosely connected with goal setting and achievement, and productivity, which are the major pillars of my coaching business.

Is it the lack of social bookmarking? The lack of a subscription list? The lack of readers because the blog is not updated regularly enough or because I don’t market it widely enough? Is it the lack of freebies offered on the blog? (Watch this space!)

Or is it a lack of focus? What does the reader want to read? I’m having a hard time getting people to comment on the blog (and that’s a topic for another post), so I’m blogging away in the dark, not knowing what people want to read.

These are the questions that a blog owner, or a website owner, continually asks when the blog/website isn’t producing the desired results.

Whatever the reasons, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be in this competition. I’m also grateful for the votes and comments I’ve received so far. This whole exercise has been wonderful in many ways.

Please go to the Best Coaching Blogs of 2009 page, and vote for the blogs that float your boat. Then subscribe to those that appeal to you. It might help you, and it will certainly give the blog owners a boost. And isn’t that what blogging is about?

Over at the School for Coaching Mastery, there’s a competition on at the moment for the best coaching blogs for 2009.
best-coaching-blogs-2009 The competition is open to all blogs with a coaching theme or are written by coaches.

If you have found this blog to be useful with your endeavours, please vote for me!

How does this competition fit with the All Paths to Victory philosophy? Very well! If you have a presence on the internet, you need traffic. You need people to come and look at your site or your blog, and one way to do that is to enter competitions such as the Best Coaching Blogs of 2009 competition.

So that’s why I’ve entered.

Please vote for me! And let other people know about this blog, so that they can vote for me too.

Thanks!

© Gaye Wilson 2008
Yesterday I posted an entry to this blog. A few hours later, I wanted to post another one, but the site was down.

It was still down this morning. This is most disconcerting! My webhost was very quick in replying (http://www.westhost.com), and viola the site is up again today.

One of the things that got me worried about this situation was that I didn’t have all my posts backed up. I guess I’ll just have to learn how to use the WordPress Database Backup plugin that is mentioned at http://www.emonetized.com/11/best-wordpress-plugins/, which is a list of 10 terrific WordPress plugins.

 

© Gaye Wilson 2007
Well, I didn’t post yesterday, as I had intended. I had to do the grocery shopping yesterday, amid hordes of post-Christmas shoppers, and didn’t get home until half the afternoon was gone. I did manage to get some editing on the project done, and I made sure I had reached the original target for the day before I knocked off. This means that I am where I should be according to my original time estimate, but am behind on the revised estimate of doing extra pages each day.

Therefore, the strategy mentioned in my previous post about doing more than the daily target whenever possible has paid off. I’m on schedule, even though I had to do some extra-curricular activity yesterday and could not put in all the hours.

This leads to another point. When I was planning the daily targets, I didn’t take into account the possibility of doing anything else. I didn’t factor in the shopping trip, nor did I factor in the possibility of a computer crash.

Which is what happened today.

I logged onto the computer and the internet this morning to update this blog, and the computer froze. I rebooted, and it wouldn’t. Boot, I mean. The local computer shop was singularly unhelpful over the phone, insisting that I bring the computer in. No, they couldn’t possibly take me through the BIOS setup over the phone to see if the problem could be fixed that way. Grrrr. The computer shop is a one hour round trip away. If a phone call could fix the problem, that would save me two hours of travelling, two days of no internet connection (because I’m sure they will insist on a 48 hour turnaround for what is probably a simple problem), and some aggravation.

So, the blog isn’t being updated today. It’s being written today, but won’t be uploaded today. I discovered this morning, looking at WordPress for Dummies (more about this fantastic book later), that I can change the date of a post, either to a future date or a past date. I’m sure I’m going to be using that facility to post this entry, when I get the computer working again.

Oh, how can I be writing this on a dead computer? I’m not. I’m doing it on an AlphaSmart 3000. More about this nifty device later, too.

Lucky I have another, non-internet connected computer to do my editing work today, and that I backed up last night. Well, not lucky, exactly. Yet another strategy to lead to victory.

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.   

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.