Welcome back to Source Blogger. 2010 was quite a challenging year for Source Blogger and I wanted to share with you some of my experiences as we prepare for a new year. When the more experienced bloggers take the time to chronicle what went wrong, it has the potential to save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. Wouldn’t you agree?
In June of this year, Source Blogger migrated from Blogger to WordPress.
During the month of June, I chose a premium WordPress template and read up on migrating my existing content. In addition, I decided that I would change my URL from source-blogger.com to sourceblogger.com. Which in all actuality, was like starting over again.
Since then, I will disclose some of what went wrong. WARNING: Think twice before reading further! I want to give you every opportunity of walking away before you ‘Read More’. I’m naming names!
1) The Ultimate Blogging Theme by Carl Ocab, the “Kid” Blogger
Carl Ocab markets a WordPress theme called the ‘Ultimate Blogging Theme’, so I gave it a shot. Some of you may have seen advertisements for this theme or perhaps you are an affiliate yourself?
It was a nightmare from the beginning. The comments box was cut off and did not allow readers to comment. If you notice, you have to press a link below the article and between the comment box that will “force” the column to show the entire comment box. That “jump link” did not always appear or always work. In addition, if it did work, you could not scroll up to the top of the article again. 1/3 of the article was sacrificed to account for showing the comment box.
Whenever someone would Retweet your content and it would create a trackback, via Topsy, the trackback would knock all of your sidebar’s content down below the first column. Eventually, even published articles were pushing the sidebar’s content below the content column.
The trackbacks error would look like this:
After months of poor customer support and Mr. Ocab’s incessant promises that they were developing a “fix” and/or things would “work themselves out” following the next WordPress upgrade, I asked for a full refund and went looking for a new theme — which is the theme I have now. The ‘Thematic Power Theme’.
2) Blog Catalog
If you have used Blog Catalog’s forums for any length of time, you will eventually come across a bizarre individual that goes by the name of TimeThief. Typically, when the normal person responds in a forum or within a blog’s comment section, you expect to see maybe two short paragraphs at most. Not TimeThief. She will copy and paste an entire article 700 – 1000 word blog article right into the threaded forum! Communicating with her was like talking to a robot with the personality of a hand drill to match. She is doing far more to repel bloggers to the site than entice them. Oh, and she will not let you forget how evil you are because you choose to monetize your blog and she doesn’t.
Tony Berkman, part owner of Blog Catalog, once made a disparaging comment to me that the only value bloggers were to him was solely based on the money they spent on Blog Catalog services — me included.(I’ve never spent a dime, personally – why would I?)
After Blog Catalog’s radical restructuring a few months ago, the forum section was changed forever and no longer the resource it had been. Needless to say, Blog Catalog’s popularity is waning everyday.
3) SERP’d.com and Sphinn.com
SERP’d was created as an answer to Sphinn. Those that have used Sphinn know that very few articles submitted get published. And what the highly-subjective method used to approve articles is unknown. Eventually, you just stop wasting your time.
I began submitting articles to SERP’d while it was still a relatively new concept and enjoyed the response I received. My articles were very visible and traffic spiked. About a month and a half ago, SERP’d claimed they were not going to allow someone to submit content from their site in consecutive submissions. Meaning if you wanted to publish articles, you had to submit an article from another site in between to satisfy this requirement.
I probably submit more articles on behalf of other bloggers to other social networks than the average blogger, but I do it out of love, respect, and admiration for good content; not because someone is FORCING me to…as if they want to me to adopt their beliefs. Marketing someone else’s site may not always be in my best interests and can backfire on you.
Worse yet, to be called “selfish” by the co-founder of SERP’d, Chris Burns, was the final straw.
Bye SERP’d! Hello Sphin??!
On October 31st. of this year, Go Daddy was hacked. My site was immediately affected. Call after call to GoDaddy was one denial after the other that anything went wrong on their end. It had to be me. I was not aware of the Halloween attack, but I inquired if there had been any widespread attacks they were aware of. Deny, deny, deny.
Finally, I discovered what had happened! From there, a few simple fixes and…voila! All was well in the world.
GoDaddy was well aware of what occurred but like any large corporation, are too conceited, arrogant, and unconcerned over a blogger’s day-to-day challenges in keeping his/her site functional… expecially if that would erode their priceless little image.
I let GoDaddy have a piece of mind — best believe that! They admitted no fault, but agreed to allow me a few months of free hosting.
5) John Sullivan
John Sullivan is the author of the blog, Pot Politics, runs a small blog community called Blogger Luv, and also launched a article submission service through Hotaru CMS that he calls DoFollowLuv.
After several calls from John Sullivan, which usually entailed him crying over his wife kicking his ass out of their house, how his children hate him, wondering where he was going to stay now that he was facing homelessness, and him working as a dishwasher in the San Antonio area, he hounded me to allow him to take on a project I was considering — something that was also on the same Hotaru CMS system his DoFollowLuv was on, but would be more like a SERP’d.com.
He agreed to take on the job for the paltry sum of $200. Of course, I was apprehensive. This guy is probably the most hated individual on the internet next to the guys at Enron or Bernie Madoff!
A day after receiving 50% down to start the job, he has a meltdown, refuses to complete the job, and initially states he would refund the money. Oops! He didn’t mean to mention returning the money and had remorse for doing so. He never did. And even had the audacity to start a smear campaign stating that he was cheated out of money and made anti-Semitic comments.(I’m not even a practicing Jew, nor do I really identify with that. But, he still thought I did.)
Eventually, Visa investigated and ordered PayPal to refund the money back into my account. So, no loss there. It would have been hard for them to get the money back, particularly, since the $100 was nesting in the pocket of some drug dealer.
He doesn’t call his blog ‘Pot Politics” for nothing! I’m sure many bloggers will read this and tell me: “I told you so!” And they were right!
Warning: Stay clear of that weasel. Oh, and if you try to send him money, you are sending it to an account that is now -$99.98! Bwahaha!
Well, there you have it, the Good, Bad, and the Ugly of 2010.
As usual, I look forward to your response.
Special recognition goes out to the bloggers who randomly UNFOLLOW you for no apparent reason on Twitter. Thanks!