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Ask Your Blog Questions – Let’s Talk

the knot josh hanagarneI want to take a bit of a departure today. I’m getting a lot of emails about how or why I do this or that on World’s Strongest Librarian.  So today I would like to open it up for anyone who has a blog or thinks they might like one, to ask your blog questions.

I will answer questions based on my experience, nothing more. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions to blogging and what works for me might be the worst choice for you, so take any of this as gospel at your peril.

If I don’t know the answer I’ll say so, but hopefully someone in the discussion will be able to fill in or bounce another idea around.

Also, I am currently taking a few people through the blog courses that I sell, so I won’t go into too much depth in certain areas that would cheapen their investment. But we can cover the bases without much trouble.

Also part 2: I’ve got four copies of The Knot left in my current shipment. If you buy a signed copy for $30, I’ll ship it to you for free and throw in a 30 minute phone call where you can ask anything you want about your blog, which I’ll also happily take a look at while we’re talking. And if you want the book and the call, after the remaining 4 are gone, that’s fine, there will just be a wait while I order some more. That link up there will take you to the post with the buying options.

For anyone who’s interested in the call but not the book, $40 for 30 minutes is the rate for the phone call.

For anyone who might actually be interested in the classes and would like more information, please contact me.

Okay, ask away. Anything and everything blog-related. This should be fun.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daisy February 9, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Tempting. Very tempting. I’m reorganizing my thoughts regarding my blog; this could be good. think. think. think.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 9, 2011, 12:22 pm

      Come on Daisy, focus. I’ll never recover from the shame if nobody asks anything. Or I’ll have to start asking myself questions and then answering them.

  • Jason February 9, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Josh: you’ve had your blog for a while, and I’m guessing you have hundreds of posts. Do you have a way (through WordPress maybe?) of having those posts organized for easy access?

    Maybe you want to browse through your archives to link back to your older posts. Or maybe you want to scan through everything you posted in January 2010. I suppose you can use search or check by category (assuming you’ve tagged all along) but it seems like there should be a more elegant way to go through your archives.

    Copyblogger seems to have mastered the art of cross-linking their posts. I have to think their content is organized in a special way to find what to link to.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2011, 2:47 pm

      Jason, the blog will be 2 in April and I’ve got nearly 1000 posts at this point. I use tags for organization, but I also write compulsively and organization is not the most important part for me. the enjoyment I get out of writing is.

      I believe Copyblogger is simply sending internal links back to their own posts to get them to rank better. Once you have enough clout with the search engine, your own internal links throw some weight, although in most cases not as much as I believe external links with proper anchor text do.

  • Jeremy February 10, 2011, 8:15 pm

    Hi Josh. It’s been awhile since I stopped by. I enjoyed the post about the towel. Brought a smile to my face. Thanks for that.

    I am still plugging along over at the Chew the Fat experimenting with all sorts of ideas.

    Lately I have been having fun writing haiku reviews. I was wondering if you would consider writing a haiku or tanka review for your book The Knot? I know your a busy guy but I thought it would be cool to have a guest haiku reviewer.

    Thanks for listening. Keep on keeping on. I always enjoy reading your work.


  • cinderkeys February 11, 2011, 1:09 am

    Ooh, I’ve got one.

    I have a band blog. Topics include what the band is up to, music, songwriting, gigging, and invisible illnesses, particularly neuroimmune diseases like myalgic encephalomyelitis.

    I see you scratching your head, and that’s the potential issue.

    See, the band does advocacy for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) et al. We even have a song about living with it, which has been well received so far. But if you’re a casual reader, you’re not going to get the connection. One day you’re reading about prejudice against invisible illnesses, the next you’re reading about Lady Gaga.

    Do you think it matters? If yes, is there a good way to tie everything together without mentioning the ME song every single time I write about ME?

    Your subject matter is kind of eclectic — kettle bells, books, Tourette syndrome — but it seems to work for you. What’s the secret? 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne February 11, 2011, 10:58 am

      I’m not sure why that would make me scratch my head.

      As for as the secret to what works…I only know the secret to what works for me, and what I do works for several reasons. One, I really don’t care if anyone ever reads this blog. I’d be here either way because I love to write and this is how I try to make sense of things. I also have the compulsion to write, and that isn’t dependent on anyone but me.

      Also, I get twice as much search traffic as anything else. Someone who arrives from a search engine for the first time (approximately 80% of the visits I get in a day are in this category) doesn’t know the backstory, has no idea that I write about a lot of different things, etc. They arrived looking for something and hopefully wherever they land gives it to them.

      These questions you have depend on your goals. What’s your blog for? what do you want to do with it? Where are you trying to take it? How do you measure success?

      My favorite blogs all have a person I like and respect behind them. The content on those blogs isn’t always why I go there. I imagine you’d be great company for a lot of people, so yes, I don’t see any reason why you can’t write about whatever you want, whenever you want.

  • Gustavo February 14, 2011, 10:30 am

    Hi Josh,

    I have two questions for you

    1.- Suppose you have to start all over again. Which stuffs would you do more, which would you care less in order to have a successful blog.

    2.- How do you get the right people to read your blog (I think that one of your best assets besides your writing style is your audience’s great humor and positive comments)

    • Josh Hanagarne February 14, 2011, 10:42 am

      1. I would have done more writing, sooner. I like to write but I held myself to this idea that one or two posts a day was the way it had to be done, because that’s what I had heard. The main thing I would NOT have done was to read any blogs about blogging. They don’t say anything new and they’re a time suck. I have learned way more running my own experiments than doing what we’re “supposed” to do according to whoever. When I hear that this is the way it’s supposed to be done, I ignore it and find out for myself.

      2. What are your goals? The right people, I suppose, are the ones who help you meet those goals. If you have traffic, some of it will stay and some of it will never return. I think I probably lose a reader for every two I gain, and I’m fine with that. I do think it starts with trying to be a person worth knowing. In my experience readers are loyal to the person behind the blog, not necessarily what the blog says. “Be yourself” is one of the few cliches that I still think is very useful.

  • Gustavo February 14, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Man, you have just lifted one of your kettlebells off my back. I have tons of blueprints, guides, manifestos, secrets about blogging that only they can tell me, waiting for me to read them and, although I was starting to suspect that they where kind of redundant, I was feeling guilty of reading stuff I like instead.


    • Josh Hanagarne February 14, 2011, 3:32 pm

      Gustavo, if anyone tells you they’re not making it up as they go along, they want your money. Kick them in the crotch and run.