Thursday, January 28, 2010

News Clippings

News Clippings

We (Marty & Dawn) are very happy to report that our Authentic Blogger Facebook group page, and our sister blog here, The Authentic Blogger, have now reached enough of a level of saturation in the blogging world that we are beginning to get some very kind mentions in other blogs, various blog sites and groups. 

Because we're thrilled to know our efforts are appreciated, and also because we want to mark those important milestones in our history, we have created this new Header on the AB blog page, called News Clippings.  We will, with the consent of the authors of any blogs mentioning us, post links here to share when we are mentioned in blogs, articles or anything else in the blogging world.

If you happen to run across anything of this nature, please contact us at and let us know!  We'll make sure to investigate and post a link!  This will garner attention and publicity for us, sure, but also for the authors of the blog posts/articles. 

Lastly, a very warm thank you to all of the people who have written about us, and a thank you in advance to those who may do so in the future.  We both work very hard to make this community the best one out there in the blogging world, and appreciate that our efforts are garnering some attention. 

Marty & Dawn
Co-creators, Authentic Blogger FB group, The Authentic Blogger
An Amazing Discovery  Calming Reflections blog, author, Bernadine Barela

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Swampige is the topic

What the heck is swampige?!  You're asking that right this instant, aren't you?  Well, my friends, "swampige" is a handy term that my partner, Marty D. (Coffee with Marty) coined for all the endless buttons, links, gadgets, widgets...and...swampige that clutter up people's blog pages!  We were discussing the whole phenomenon several weeks ago and he ended up posting a comment on a discussion board thread with the word swampige being the crowning effective end to the statement.  I thought it was a perfect slang term for this visual overload that exists rampantly in blog page format.

I'm sure you know of which I speak - you've probably clicked to pull up someone's blog page for the first time and found yourself visually assaulted by the equivalent of screaming neon signs in gadget/widget/button format.  I know I've experienced it.  As with my opinion about posting blog articles every single day, I'm also not a fan of cramming buttons, widgets....SWAMPIGE....into every last little available square inch of your blog page.  The fact is, I'm not there to bounce elsewhere continually on a widget induced frenzy - I'm there to read your blog content.  Yes, peeps, I do read content, and if I like said content, I will probably want to follow your blog.  UNLESS there's so much swampige in the way that I can't find the follow option!

Case in point, earlier today I read a blog that I sincerely enjoyed, so much so that I wanted to follow that blog immediately.  This particular blog is in Word Press format, and I have to say that I find swampige to be more prevalent in WP blogs.  This is just an observation, not a written in stone fact.  At any rate, this blog had so much swampige cluttering the whole danged page that after scrolling up, down and sideways all over the page four different times, I still couldn't find the follow option.  Needless to say, after that much energy wasted, I gave up the ghost and moved on to other things. I am the first to admit that I'm not the strongest IT literate blogger out there, but seriously, if the swampige gets in the way that much, you have a problem!  It was like the proverbial Town Crier was on the church steps, screeching his lungs out about everything but the blog content and following option. This is my personal dislike for swampige - it just gets in my way of accomplishing what I visited the page to do.

I also prefer for the design of my personal blog, Healing Morning, to reflect the overall personality of my content.  It doesn't make sense for me to have a lot of visual distraction going on all over the sidebars when my focus is on communicating and discussing topics regarding peace, healing, spirituality and holistic issues.  Your blog may be about technical content, computer-related issues, or something that does suit the visual presence of every bit of flashy, snazzy swampige you can wrangle onto your page.  The good old Theory of Relativity kicks in and rules the day on this topic.  It is an individual choice.

I am not saying that I think gadgets, widgets and buttons should cease to exist.  To the contrary, there are many of them that serve a valuable service.  I will also say that as I learn more about the useful little creatures, I grow in my appreciation of them.  I do, however, think quite seriously about which ones to incorporate into my blog format.  I do not want a blog page that is so visually chaotic to the viewer that they cannot concentrate on the actual blog posts.  I am willing to bet that people who do embrace the "more is better" principle with this find that they have slower traffic to their blog page, and much shorter time spent per visit.  Think about it - if you're being bombarded by endless bells, whistles, buttons....swampige...on a given blog page, is it easy for you to concentrate on the blog content? 

I could be wrong on this - maybe I'm one of the few who does experience sensory overload and who finds it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand...reading content....if the page is crammed with swampige.  You may feel just the opposite and find all that visual activity enlivens your blog page, gives it movement, personality and excitement.  My personal taste runs to the calmer, more quiet, visually clean type of marketing.  There's a reason why my personal blog title is Healing Morning, after all!

So, weigh in on this topic!  Post a comment and tell us what you think and feel about the reality of swampige.  It is a phenomenon that is here to stay, I can say this with absolute certainty.  How do you choose to design your blog page format - with a select few judiciously placed buttons and widgets?  Or do you like the busy feel of visual activity created by swampige?  As always, there are no right or wrong answers.  I just thought it was the next logical progression of conversation on the heels of Blog Frequency.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on swampige!

Dawn S.
Author, The Authentic Blogger blog
Author, Healing Morning blog
Co-Creator, Authentic Blogger FB group page

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gain Readers for your Blog: Blogging Communities

Blogging is a conversation. It's all about people publishing their ideas, and other people interacting with those ideas. But what happens when no one reads what you're publishing? Well... nothing. Nothing happens. You continue to project your ideas, and you have a one-sided conversation with the air. No one wants that. But so many of us are just broadcasting our blog feeds out into the internet, hoping that people will find them.

How do we find people who want to read and interact with our ideas? One good way is to join some blogging communities.

Four Reasons to Join Blogging Communities
  1. Free publicity. On most blogging communities, your content can be featured on your own profile and on your connections' dashboards, allowing people to see your stuff as you publish it. Some blogging communities will even feature good content on their home pages, allowing even people you haven't met yet to find your blog.
  2. Free organic traffic. Some blogging communities have databases in which all their members' blogs are organized by type or by category. This is very useful for people who are looking for blogs with specific content within a specific community. Who wouldn't want to cash in on that potential traffic?
  3. Ease of subscription. Not everyone chooses to follow blogs in the same way. Some choose to follow through their blogging community's feed reader. By having your blog registered on your readers' blogging communities of choice, you make it easier for more people to follow you. The last thing anyone wants is to lose a subscriber simply because they didn't have a blogging profile on the right community.
  4. Statistical probability. The more links to your blog that exist on the internet, the higher the likelihood that someone will click on one of them. It's a lame reason, but it's a reason.
A Better Reason to Join Blogging Communities: Building Relationships

Blogging is a conversation, and conversations happen most easily when we have a relationship with someone. There really are people out there who want to read your content; you just need to find them, and you need to befriend them. Blogging communities can help with that.

Blogging communities allow us to easily connect with people we've never met before. It takes a lot of diligence and patience to begin and maintain relationships through these communities, but in the end it's worth it. You won't become fast friends with everyone you meet on a blogging community, and that's perfectly okay. But I think you'll be surprised to find that there are some quality people out there who are looking for the same thing you are: a supportive friendship and a loyal reader. Some of the people with whom I converse the most are bloggers - people I've never met in person, but with whom I have strong relationships.

Participating and contributing to a blogging community can be a very rewarding experience. If people there see that you are a quality person, they will notice you, befriend you, and recognize you for it. Last week, for instance, I received my very first blogging award from the Authentic Blogger community because I participate in the community's discussions and because I publish quality content there. Since receiving that award, the number of daily page views on Heart, Soul, and Mind has doubled! This is just one example of how blogging communities can help you find both friends and readers.

Some Blogging Communities You Might Like

These are some communities that I have joined, in order of personal preference, and I think you might like them too. Please feel free to send me a friend request on any of them.

Jenn B.
Author, Learning How blog
Author, Heart, Soul, and Mind blog
Creator, Learning How Facebook Fan Page

Authentic Blogger Note:  From time to time, we (Marty & Dawn) may invite a fellow blogger to contribute blog articles that we feel suit the personality of our format.  Jenn Boyer's Learning How post is a wonderful blog to give helpful tips on the community aspect of the blogging world.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blog Frequency

That title up there could mean several things - it could mean the "tone" or "voice" of your blog.  It could also intimate the "frequency" or "energy" of the overall personality of your blog.  That's the wonderful thing about words and writing...a word, a title, a statement can all be read and interpreted differently by different people.
The application here is using the word, frequency, per Webster's definition: 1. the fact or condition of occurring frequently.
My focus here today is actually to talk about frequency of posts, as in, how often do you post?  What is too much, too little, are there rules, and should there really BE a definitive school of thought regarding this topic?

I have my own blog, Healing Morning, and I tend to write and post less often than most.  I have weeks where I may write and post blogs several days in a row, but that is a bit unusual - the "norm" for me is to post, roughly, about once a week.  I also am a co-author for this blog, The Authentic Blogger, and a co-creator of its sister FB group page, Authentic Blogger.  Outside of all of that, I am a freelance technical writer with clients and meetings and writing that demand a big chunk of my attention.  So, my whole world, professional and personal, is focused a great deal of the day, on writing.  Because of that, I prefer to write blogs for Healing Morning when something strongly grabs my heart, or makes me pause and ponder deeply.  That might not happen every single day, and I am not a fan of posting an "empty" blog daily just for the sake of being able to say I post daily.  I'd much rather hear that people look forward to my posts, than hear they feel overwhelmed by too many posts to give their attention to on a regular basis.

There are several opinions on this topic.  Type in "getting started with blogging" into your search window and you'll get thousands of hits, ranging in advice, rules and examples.  Many websites, blogs and How To's will suggest blogging daily, sometimes multiple times daily, in order to get yourself established in the blogging world.  Much of your personal decision on this practice will hinge on the personality and purpose of your specific blog.  Are you writing a blog for yourself, or are you writing for a business?  If your blog is your own, are you writing it to monetize it, i.e., to make money?  Blogs that are focused on promoting a business will obviously require more frequent blog posts. 

Blogs that are of a more personal, non-monetized nature will be open to personal preference regarding how often to write and post.  My personal preference is to write and post less often.  My blog posts on Healing Morning are a bit longer than a promotional/business blog post, and as such, I feel that it fits my overall concept better to post 1-2 times a week rather than daily.  I write on topics of a spiritual, healing, holistic, thoughtful nature that require the reader to ponder along with me (if they choose).  I like to give myself, and my readers, time to absorb the most recent post, think about it for a few days, take time to post comments, reply to the resulting discussion thread and then move forward to the next post.  This works for me. My AB group partner, Marty D., posts more frequently on his Coffee with Marty blog and that works for him.

I will also say that because I am so heavily involved in the blogging world for both work and personal application, I am not a fan of the posting daily concept.  Those that post daily, I admit that I don't always have time to read every single daily post.  I might have time to pull up one post weekly on the blogs and authors that I follow.  For me, too much posting tends to lessen the impact of that author's writing for me. It becomes a surfeit of riches, so to speak, and I become less enthused when I am barraged with daily posts. Again, this is personal preference - I recognize that I'm probably in the minority on this.  I'm positive that many of you reading this are of the opposite school of thought and truly enjoy writing and posting daily, as well as enjoy reading other authors' daily posts.  There are no hard and fast rules, as far as I'm concerned, on any of this.  Individuality reigns in the world of blogdom, and that's something to celebrate!

Bottom line on this one is, each blog author will have to experiment with their posting activity and discover what works best for them.  If you're writing blogs for a client, that client will state clearly to you the frequency of posts they expect, along with providing guidelines for length and content of blog posts.  Those are the easy ones!  The more challenging ones are your personal blogs. Try different things.  Do some research online, talk with fellow bloggers, find online blogging groups such as Authentic Blogger that will give you a community forum to ask questions and engage in discussions.  It's a continual learning process, and one that gives us as blog authors the freedom to grow, learn new skills and try new methods as often as we choose.  Growing, learning and embracing all these possibilities are some of the most entertaining parts of blogging!

As always, feedback and discussion in the Comments section are welcome. What are your thoughts and suggestions on this topic?  Comment away!

Dawn S.
Author, The Authentic Blogger blog
Author, Healing Morning blog
Co-Creator, Authentic Blogger FB group page

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Authentic Blogger's Weekly Featured Blog Author

From the beginning of the Authentic Blogger (AB) Group Page concept, Marty and I agreed that our main focus would be to promote fellow bloggers, provide a community forum for this wonderful writing genre and also encourage bloggers worldwide to keep growing, dreaming and learning about the blogging process.

To that end, we will be choosing a Weekly Featured Blog Author from our AB members. We have a short list of criteria that we will use to choose each new Featured Blogger. They are as follows:

1. Be an active member of the Authentic Blogger Facebook Group Page.

2. Be actively posting Blog post links on Authentic Blogger wall.

3. Be actively interacting with fellow AB members, and taking enough interest in other blog posts to post comments on a regular basis.

4. Be a respectful member of the AB community.

We will post an announcement of each week's Featured Blog Author on the AB wall, along with posting that person's name and blog link in the Admin Box on the sidebar of the AB wall beneath the AB logo image.

We will also have a running list on The Authentic Blogger blog page of every Featured Blog Author that is chosen, with their name and blog link listed. We hope you will all perceive this as the honor we intend it to be; we will take the process of awarding each weekly recipient just as seriously.


Dawn S. & Marty D. ~ Co-Creators, Authentic Blogger FB group page
Co-Authors, The Authentic Blogger blog
Dawn S., Author, Healing Morning blog
Marty D. Author, Coffee with Marty blog

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blogging Tips 101: Blogger Comment Problems

This is going to be short and sweet. We all love blogger. That said, we all have had issues with the comments disappearing. I know in the past, I have written the longest comments, only to hit that submit button and everything disappear. Also, people tried comment on my blog, but their comments also poofed into blogosphere somewhere. Ouch. After many forum discussions, this seems to be the general helpful tip out there to prevent this from happening.

1. In blogger, click settings.
2. Click on comments.
3. Scroll down to Comment Form Placement.
4. Select Pop-up Window.
5. Scroll to bottom of page and save.

This seems to be the best method to ensure the safety of those special comments we all love receiving. To see an example of how this new comment box will look, try leaving a comment on this post! :)

Marty Duane

Embracing criticism & change

Does that title up there make you grimace or shudder in distaste?  I'd say very few of us relish the idea of listening to criticism, particulary when it comes to something as personal as our writing on our blogs.  The plain truth is that constructive criticism, offered with a kind heart and good intentions, should be something we all welcome with equal good will.  Constructive is the key word here, my friends!  Criticism, just by nature of definition, can get easily out of hand and quickly can shift from helpful advice into a monster of epic proportions.  Obviously no one is going to embrace that type of verbal attack, nor should they.

The point I am making here is that none of us are perfect.  We can all benefit from change, but it is a common occurrence for all of us that we get so caught up in life that we lose sight of the fact that we might be stagnating in some fashion.  If we're fortunate, there are people around us...friends...colleagues...who care enough to offer helpful, constructive criticism.  How we choose to accept those comments is that which defines who we are as people.

If you're like me, perhaps you ventured into the blogging world with very little idea of the sheer enormity of the concept.  I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I began my blog in September of 2009.  Healing Morning began as a desire for me to learn about the blogging process and add another skill to my resume'.  To my surprise, it very quickly morphed into something I never expected and I admit that I'm still adjusting and scrambling a bit to keep the tip of my nose above the blogging waters.

Through the blogging world, I met my Authentic Blogger (AB) partner, Marty (Coffee with Marty).  Not too long ago, we were discussing some point about the AB group that I can't remember and Marty told me, rather bluntly, that I needed to think about revamping my blog page.  It wasn't a rude comment - it was just blunt.  I admit that I was very resistant and kind of brushed his suggestions to the side, saying that I would give it some thought.  I LIKED my blog design, after all, and I had put effort into creating a presence that I felt portrayed who I am and what I wanted Healing Morning to convey to readers.

I did give it thought as I had promised, but felt for a good while that I didn't need to make big changes.  Then we created the Authentic Blogger group page on Facebook and both of us were dumped right slap into the middle of this vast ocean of new experiences.  We were exposed to a whole slew of fascinating blogs and we both were forced to engage in a lot of research.  Slowly, because I rarely embrace change quickly or enthusiastically, I began to see that, yes, perhaps Marty's comments were valid.  My Healing Morning blog is in need of a facelift.

I'll begin that process in the next few weeks, in between all the other projects that are surrounding me.  Through the AB community, I'm being exposed to really sharp marketing and design concepts for blog pages, so I'm ruminating on the style and format that will best suit my needs and will accurately represent my vision of Healing Morning.  I am quite confident that by the end of this revamping process, I'll be very pleased with the new version of my blog.  I am also willing to predict with a fair amount of certainty that by being open to this constructive criticism, and embracing change, my "new and improved" blog will most likely capture more attention and garner more followers, more quickly than the old design.  I won't know this for sure until the new design is finished and goes live, but I just have a feeling it will increase traffic.

While I might not have jumped instantly to accept Marty's comments, I did slowly come around, in my own fashion and see the veracity of his words.  Change, and criticism, although at face value they may sound like the voices of doom, are both tools that are meant to sharpen our skills, hone our abilities and, I daresay, refine our character.  We are simply not capable of perfection in this world, but if we are open to listening to the insightful opinions of those we trust the most, we can achieve a much better, brighter version of any given facet of ourselves than we might have accomplished all alone.  It's simply my thought for the day.  You may feel differently and that's entirely acceptable.  We all choose different methods and approaches. 

For this moment in my life, I'm tossing my ego aside and sliding my arms into a new coat of that shows my willingness to entertain some new concepts and experiences.  Stay tuned for the sparkling new version of Healing Morning, coming to you in an AB wall post soon!!

Dawn S.
Author, The Authentic Blogger blog
Author, Healing Morning blog
Co-Creator, Authentic Blogger FB group page

Friday, January 1, 2010

Post Your Blog

If you are interested in posting your blog URL with Authentic Blogging / The Authentic Blogger concept, please send a request by emailing

Please provide the URL link to your blog, browse through the Community Categories list and tell us which ONE category you feel best fits the focus of your blog. If you fail to list a preference, we will place you in the category that we feel best matches the content of your blog.

Important Note!!!  Please make sure to copyright protect your blog content before you ask us to post your link in our Blog Categories.  We now have My Free Copyright protection on all our original content, with the button posted clearly at the top of our page.  My Free Copyright is a very simple, quick 3-step process that will give you a free electronic "thumb print ID" stamp on each of your blog posts.  As of today's date, 1/24/10, we will ask that all bloggers implement some form of copyright protection for their blogs before we will post your link to our Blog Categories.  This is for your protection as well as ours

**Blog links that have been posted prior to 1/24/10 in our Blog Categories that do not have copyright protection, please take a moment to add copyright protection to your blog page.  Send us an email to let us know, with your updated blog link and we will remove and re-post your link to ensure that you have primary copyright ownership.**

MANDATORY: In order to list your blog on this site in our Categories Lists, we require that you grab our button below and put it on your site. We will check you URL link to make sure that the Authentic Blogger button has been posted to your blog, then we will list your link in the requested Category. Thank you!

Authentic Blogger