Web users already have blinders to advertising on the web. If the majority of your above the fold display is relegated to advertisements, you might as well just show your users a blank screen. Just take a look at a comparison of two blog entries regarding the release of the iphone. Notice, in particular, the location and size of advertising blocks.
I won’t go on record so say that the size and location of your advertisements will automatically destroy your chances of succeeding, nor will I say that the size is inversely proportional with your Alexa Rank. However, it just makes sense that the more space you waste on advertising, the less space you spend on good blog content.
If your blog readers have to fight through ads to get to your entries when they can easily access someone elses, you are going to lose your readership.
A key part of a blog is that allows quick, efficient dissemination of news and information to the readership. If you are not blogging frequently, you have defeated the purpose.
However, do not post just to post (read about Gluttony above). If you are having trouble coming up with things to write about…
- You just need some inspiration: go read other blogs and see what is hot
- You just need some help: get coworkers, family members or friends to join in the blog
- Or, you shouldn’t be blogging: it’s not for everyone you know.
Don’t let your blog atrophy and, even more importantly, don’t let your blog get littered. Are you familiar with the concept of “moderation”. No, I don’t mean drinking in moderation, I mean that kind of moderation that keeps adult, pharma, and gaming comments from filling up your discussion sections. Take the time, every day, to moderate your blog comments. It is not that hard, and with free solutions like LinkSleeve and Akismet available to help along the way, there is really no excuse.
Thoughtful explanations and descriptions of anger do great in blogs (ie: be the voice of reason and, if possible, be funny at the same time). As much as people talk about how members of the web 2.0 community HATE search engine optimization, not a single rant on SEO has made it to the front page of Digg in the last year. Just sort through the results of a keyword search of front page stories and the word SEO on digg.
However, the bloggers who took the time to point out this anger, why it exists, and discussing the rationality of it in a clever, humorous fashion, made it to the front page only a week ago. Why Socially Driven Sites Hate SEOs.
Anger only works in the long run when the target is broad - like politics or boy bands. And, even in these unique situations, the anger has to be coupled insightful information that makes your anger better than any other guys. It is easy to rant, it is not easy to convince.
Diagnosis? Do you feel the need to escalate the rhetoric with each post to keep visitors coming back? If so, it is time to get less angry and more creative.
People make mistakes. You are a person. You make mistakes. Ok, so the logic doesn’t quite work that well, but the numbers do. As a blogger, chances are you will make errors. Maybe you will spell something wrong, maybe you will misquote someone, maybe you will express your love for Microsoft Vista - bloggers make mistakes.
The important thing is a willingness to:
- Admit that your post was wrong
- Correct it
- Thank the person who pointed it out
- Approve negative comments that go along with it
For some reason, some bloggers believe that by not posting a negative comment is beneficial. These bloggers are wrong, and deserve the more negative comments they will surely attract from individuals whose comments were previously neglected.
Even if the negative comment is absurdly inaccurate, you should still post it. Controversy is attractive. Controversy means rebuttal posts. Controvery means returning visitors.
There are two types of lust to discuss: infatuation and adultery. Some bloggers become so infatuated with a single topic that they disregard the original goals of their blog. In the process, they alienate large numbers of readers who, over time, will find their information elsewhere. I am not saying that specialization is a problem. On the contrary, it is a very good idea to stick-to-what-you-know. But, successful bloggers care about their readers and, while not pandering to their every need, should avoid abruptly narrowing their scope.
Diagnosis? Take a minute to look at the categories on your blog. Do you have 300 posts in one category, and 4 in the remainder? If so, chances are your infatuation has overcome your blog.
Blogging adultery, on the other hand, occurs when posts are so off topic, they could be used as evidence in a successful insanity plea during a homicide trial. Something should tie everything together more than simply the author’s name. If its a business blog, don’t tell us about your friday night hook up - no matter how cool it was.
Diagnosis? Are all your stories in the default, uncategorized section of your blog? If so, you have commitment problems.
If you have ever written a post announcing your first post to your blog, you are a glutton. I know, that is a strong statement, as many of us have that initial excitement. It is hard to control.
The general rule of thumb should be that each post is, as much as possible, a self-contained nugget of uniquely valuable information that can be quickly, happily digested by your readers.
- Don’t just rehash someone else’s blog
- Don’t use new posts to make minor corrections to old posts. Just fix the old one
- Don’t feel like you have to post every day (yes, every day. If you feel compelled to blog more than one time a day, you have it bad. real bad.)
- Don’t post to complain about comment spam. Everyone does this, no one has anything new to say, especially you.
The most common keystrokes employed when creating your blog entry should not be ctrl-c ctrl-v. The majority of your posts should be your own or, at least, should include thoughtful, additional commentary on someone else’s piece. While reporting the news is valuable and certainly gives users the chance to get access to all their information in one place, it drowns out the unique value of your blog.