Some of you probably already understand that the learning curve for blogging is pretty steep. It’s not just about having something to say or promote. There’s a whole lot to the technical back-end. I know that if I ever want this blog to help me, career-wise, I must market, market and market some more. Marketing requires using tools to optimize site visibility. Using tools first requires knowing they exist, finding them, figuring out which ones are appropriate, and then understanding how they work. When I started doing this, I didn’t even know there were tools for increasing visibility. SEO? What’s that? I just wanted to write a little blog to get my creative juices flowing and build an audience. I was aware that I couldn’t just start blogging and be an overnight internet sensation. I knew that there was a lot of stuff that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know, if you know what I mean. In the month since I started doing this though, I have discovered that audience-building requires a PhD in something. I don’t even know enough to know what that degree would be called.
I’m not going to try to explain what I’ve done thus far to try to promote my site or review and explain any of the tools I’ve been using. Mostly because I still don’t understand any of them terribly well, but also because I’m not entirely sure what all I have done or how it has affected my site’s visibility. Oh, I know how to check my site stats and it shows where my views originate from, by search engine, site referral, and geographic location and I think I’ve written down the pertinent information for the tools I have selected, but I’m still a neophyte at the rest. I would only be doing a disservice to you–and be displaying my ignorance more fully–if I pretended to be qualified, even as a newbie user, to explain any of these tools. However, if you didn’t know there were things like that available, now you do.
I am also embarrassed to say that I haven’t been paying much attention to copyright issues. Former lawyer? It’s probably not an acceptable excuse that I never did anything copyright-related and know nothing about it. No, it definitely is not an excuse. It is something that has been tickling the back of my brain every time I posted a picture or meme with my articles though. I believe using quotes, properly attributed, is OK. A couple of the photos are my own, so no issue there. But the memes, e-cards and other pictures pulled from the internet probably pose some problems. I came to this realization while I was reading tips about making it onto the WordPress Freshly Pressed page. (great free exposure if you can get there) The people who review sites for publication there want to make sure they are not complicit in allowing anyone to plagiarize or engage in copyright infringement. Very prudent of them. (The picture at the top of this post is one of my own. It’s a view of the grounds at a Chesapeake Bay area hotel where I stayed once.)
Now, of course, I have to go back through all my posts, try to remember where I got each picture and attempt to get retroactive permission to use them. I think I set up a way for my site to reflect these permissions, once I get them, but it remains to be seen if I did that correctly. Some photos may have to come down but I will replace them with properly credited photos.
The other thing all this copyright stuff brought to my attention was the need to copyright the stuff I post here, on this blog. There are plugins available for that and I think I’ve figured out how to use one of those as well. I’m not entirely sure why anyone would want to claim my failures as their own, but now I think I have established legal recourse if someone is crazy enough to do that. That also remains to be seen. I doubt it will be an issue unless or until I actually have some otherwise-published work to my name but better safe that sorry I suppose. I still have to figure out how the whole pseudonym thing figures into it all as well.
Since I do not have the expertise to advise anyone on any aspect of the whole back-end to blogging, or about what may or may not be helpful for expanding visibility or avoiding legal action, I have included a couple of links that may be helpful below for those who are interested. Good luck!