Writing frequency

Today I pose a question: is it possible to blog on a daily basis?

It is easy to ‘scrape’ content on a daily basis, but can you write and publish a really good post every day? Jonny seems to have publishing weekly down to a tee, every week we get something new and thought provoking. 4 to 5 posts each month, every month.

I have a more erratic style of publishing, 2 posts in January, 5 in December, 1 in November, 3 in October, 5 in September, none in August – you get the picture.

I like to spend a lot of time on articles. I usually do a lot of research and background reading to try and put together an interesting, factually sound piece of work. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, which is sometimes really good, but it can be annoying. If I care about something, I like to put a lot of work into it. I care for this blog, so I want every post to be really good. Not every post I publish has or will be really good. I need to face the facts.

So, I as I am writing this I am setting myself a challenge. Write an article at least once a week and hit publish. No faffing around, just write a post and publish it every Monday.

A blog needs posts. I need to be consistent.

See you next Monday.

Over and out.

Struggling to write

When most authors are struggling to writer, [ironically] they often write a post about what to do when you get ‘writer’s block’, hoping it will kick-start their writing back into gear.

I am struggling to write, as you may have noticed from the sparsity of posts this month – this is only post 9, and we are already 25 days into February.

Ideas lightbulbThe typical ‘writer’s block post’ will contain thoughts and ideas on how to stimulate that fantastical, creative chunk of your brain that is responsible for your ideas and your best works.

My problem isn’t that that part of my brain is taking a nap, quite the reverse: its in overdrive!

Many bloggers give the famous advice “find your niche and stick to it”. I like to defy the trend though, and we are a different sort of blog, hence we can take a different sort of approach to blogging. As a writer for Technology Bloggers, you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to what to write about. You could research innovating new technologies, explore how the internet is changing our lives, educate on the world of SEO, discuss blogging practices – you get the picture, we aren’t just technology!

With so many topics, how do you choose what to write about? Do I aim to help you with a ‘how to guide’, wow you with a ‘facts and stats’ post, inform you with my take on a breaking news article, teach you how something works, what do I do?

You have no idea how many posts I have started to write, saved as a draft and then abandoned because something more interesting has sprung to mind.

I am going to focus. You can expect more. A few weeks ago I wrote about what I perceived to be the the blogging dilemma: quality vs quantity, and you should have taken from that post that I will only ever post stuff that I think you (or someone else) will want to read, and stuff which I believe is ‘quality’.

Enough said. Now to get writing proper posts.

Your Input

On a final note, do you have any suggestions/requests? Is there anything you want me to explore? I will gladly take ideas for posts. I won’t always run with them, but if I like the idea, I shall try.

Anything unclear about how we run things, or what you can expect?

Have faith, we shall battle on!

P.P.S

On a [final] final note, do you think my writing is getting too casual and informal?

I notice I am changing the way I write, and part of me likes the change, but another part is anxious that I may loose my credibility. You know me right?

Anyhow this is blogging, not literature!

P.P.P.S

The above ‘P.P.S‘ was going in another post, but I thought it fitted in here better πŸ™‚

Technology Bloggers adopts post authorship

Until recently I haven’t been as aware as I probably should have been of the Google update, which allows authors to claim authorship of their posts in the SERPs.

I was recently talking about the blog in the (Google) Webmaster Central Help Forum, when someone suggested that we should use Google Authorship. I had heard of it before, but wasn’t 100% sure what it meant, or why we should take the time to adopt it.

So after a little research, I am here to present my findings to you πŸ™‚

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is a relatively new part of search results, whereby Google shows the (Google+ profile) avatar of a person next to articles they have written in the SERPs. This means that people know who wrote something, even before they visit the page.

Google will not only give an avatar which it fetches from the writers Google+ profile, but it will also link to that persons profile. It might also provide additional information like how many circles the person is in. See the image below for more of an idea of how it looks.

Examples of authors Google+ profiles in the SERPsHow Can I Claim My Posts?

If you run your own blog, and you are the only person who ever writes on it, it is dead easy. Just add a link to your Google profile page withΒ ?rel=author after it, and with the text being the same name as your Google profile, to your profile, or just every page of the blog.

The code would look something like this:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/114686389155717038852?rel=author" rel="author" title="Christopher Roberts on Google+">Christopher Roberts</a>

What if I Run or Am Part of a Multi-Author Blog?

If you are part of a blog with multiple authors, it can get a bit more complicated. Basically, the admin needs to make sure that there is no sitewide Google+ profile link, as that could mess things up. Each individual author will need to either link to their Google+ profile with the tag rel=”author” on every post they write, or link to their profile page on every page they write with the tag rel=”author” and then on their profile page link to their Google+ profile with rel=”me”.

It may sound a bit complicated, but it does make sense. If you don’t own a site, don’t worry about it. If you do and need some help, ask me in the comments, or send me a message πŸ™‚

How Do I Claim Authorship of My Posts on Technology Bloggers?

Recently I have been very busy tweaking bits of WordPress’s code, in order to make it as easy as possible for you to claim authorship of the posts you write on Technology Bloggers.

There are three really simple tasks you need to complete. The first is to go to your Google+ profile ‘About’ page and under ‘Contributes to’ add Technology Bloggers – http://www.technologybloggers.org. The second step is to copy your Google+ profile URL and paste it into the ‘Google+ Profile URL’ box on your WordPress admin profile page. Finally in the box below (‘Google+ Name’) add your name as it appears on your Google+ profile. That is it! The blog does the rest of the work for you, and adds a link to your Google+ profile to your writer profile page.

Screenshot Technology Bloggers Admin Profile - Google Authorship

A screenshot of the data you need to fill in on your profile, in order to claim authorship of your posts on Technology Bloggers.

If you don’t have a Google+ profile page, your link will just direct to your WordPress profile page. Not sure what I mean? Don’t worry, if you don’t have one, nothing bad will happen!

I have updated the post guidelines to include a section about how to link to your profile, however this article probably has a more detailed explanation!

A Final Word About rel=”author” and rel=”me”

If you are still confused about rel=”author” and rel=”me”, look at it this way: rel=”author” lets search engines know that the URL with that tag in is pointing to your author profile, be that WordPress, Google+, about.me or another; rel=”me” lets search engines that the URL with that tag in is another website/profile/blog etc. that is yours.

To see the Google Authorship in action you will have to wait a while for Google to index the pages and register the authorship. To check that your code is working okay and that Google can find your authorship, try using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

For more information on Google Authorship, please check out Google’s help article on it.