September 6, 2007
Liz published this at 11:27 am
Boy, Was that a Bad Idea!
Lately some folks have felt defeated, wondering whether their readers have left them. Dawud tackled that question in his post, What To Do When People ArenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Paying Attention To Your Blog? Did you see it? His advice was right on the money.
When Dawud finished his counsel, he tossed the ball back here with this question.
What have you thought would work on your blog that bombed with your readers? And what did you learn from it?
Oh my! Many things have bombed, and I just let them go. But those don’t make for interesting stories. For me, only one stands out as the Bomb of the Century.
How a Colossal Mistake Taught Me 3 Keys of Blogging and SEO
It’s been long enough now that no aftershocks will come from speaking of it. At the time it was noisy and I owned no small part of it. It happened just a few short weeks after I started at Successful Blog and just a few short months after I wrote my very first blog post.
I tried to do a series on SEO when I couldn’t even spell it yet.
It wasn’t pretty, but in the end, it was beautiful.
The story goes something like this:
It was the wild, early days of the blogosphere, not even the trains had arrived yet. I think there were 15 million blogs about then. Picture me in Mankato, Minnesota, straight out of “Little House on the Prairie.”
I had done a popular series on Blog Promotion and maybe I was a tiny bit pleased with myself. I decided the next week would be on SEO. I had no clue what I was doing. I asked a friend to help — a young man from the UK, a programmer, not an SEO guy. He was as new to blogging as I was. Neither of us understood what we were taking on.
I announced the series. It got some attention.
One post in the series delivered information on metatags that was totally, entirely, and unabashedly out-of-date. The musicians, the sales folks, and the kindly tech guys began gently correcting the errors via their comments. They were both gracious and gentle with their replies.
Despite their grace, it was not fun nor particularly pretty.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end.
A prominent SEO guy used us as the reason bloggers shouldn’t talk about SEO, leaving out the part where he had been invited to help.
A couple of posts went up from bloggers I still know and respect, who said, “Yep, she was wrong, but you didn’t need to shout her down like that.”
They just stood up like that.
It was about honor and community.
The prominent SEO guy and I talked offline and made peace with each other. He bought me a copy of Aaron Wall’s famous book so that I’d never find myself there again. What a beautiful resolution to the conflict!
The rest of the story is myth and legend of the wild, early blogosphere.
Sure I wish I would have been smarter, more circumspect, but I’m at the same time I’m grateful for the event. I learned these things from that colossal mistake.
- No one will ever know enough about SEO to go it alone.
- Conflicts are best handled without an audience.
- If you build relationships, folks are there when you need them.
I guess, you might call the learning part a success.
Which leads me to the very next question.
What do you do when a commenter seems to misinterpret what you’re saying no matter how hard you try to explain what you mean?
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re reading this, I’m not just asking Dawud the question, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to hear your answer too, in the comment box below.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
One2One is a cross-blog conversation. Find the answer at dawud miracle on Monday. You can see the entire One-2-One Conversation series on the Successful Series page.
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