Successful blogging...

My mate Jimbo has started a new blog. I thought I'd collect some tips for him on running a good blog.

  1. Be Part of a Community. You need to take the time to invest in the relationships online. I spent about 4 months reading and commenting on blogs before launched this one. Commenting on well-read blogs will also help tremendously. People are more likely to visit your blog if they see your profile popping up all over the place but don't over do it.
  2. Be controversial. Even if you have to back away from comments you've made after you've made them people will still come and read.
  3. Give it a personal edge and touch. Let your personality shine through. I don't ever pretend to be someone I'm not. What you see is what you get. Be authentic not myspace fake.
  4. Get linkage and promotion. This will eventually happen as you start to fulfill steps 1-3. You can ask popular evangelical blogs for linkage especially if you think that a post is particularly relevant to them. Use things like facebook etc to promote it. When launching a blog you need to have a holistic approach. Be well planned and thought through.
  5. People will read longer articles but only after you've made yourself more famous or sold them on the idea that your blog is worth reading. Good examples of this include John Piper and Mark Driscoll. If you are new keep em short and sweet.
  6. People always read shorter articles. We live in a world of short sound bites. People are used to reading short stuff that is to the point. If I post longer stuff people don't read it as much.
  7. Keep it regular. Whether it's once a day, a week, or a month you must stay regular. Make your commitment to blog before you start and stick to it. 99% of all blogs will fail because they aren't regularly updated and fade into the mist of the internet cloud (Ok I made the figure up but it is the internet people).
  8. Respond to comments. I'm rubbish at this but it's a good thing to do. It shows you are prepared to listen and modify your stance if necessary.
  9. Don't bag out bloggers, internet and blogging. This shows a lack of understanding and humility. If you are new to blogging maybe it might help to think of yourself as the equivalent of a pimple faced boy on his first day of high school. You are out to make friends and earn respect.
  10. Be careful what you say it may come back to bite you. Always think twice before posting. A safe rule of thumb when writing about people is assume they'll be reading what you write.
I'm sure I haven't been conclusive. Other things?



Alan said... 9/12/2008 12:27 pm  

write something contradictory if you want more comments ;-) that's a good one :-P I appreciated this post man. Good one!

Phil said... 9/12/2008 9:12 pm  

11. Meet a girl from a foreign land and document your internet romance in your blog. :)

Alan said... 9/12/2008 10:44 pm  

I think that's a SIGN of a successful blog phil

Laura said... 9/13/2008 12:17 am  

Haha... good points all. Respond to comments is key for a lot of comments, I think. Nobody wants to feel like they're commenting into the void. The best part of blogs is interaction, and if you don't comment back, you don't get participation, I've found.

One Salient Oversight said... 9/13/2008 6:06 pm  

Only remove a blog post if there is no other choice. If you're caught saying or writing something stupid, you have to let others find out. And, of course, this means no editing of what you've written to cover up a big mistake.

Eg, If I wrote that Sarah Palin was the presidential candidate and did it accidentally, that would be okay to edit. But if I wrote that she was the presidential candidate because I was STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE IT then it should not be edited/removed.

Angus said... 9/13/2008 8:14 pm  

These are all good points. I especially like the first one - building an online reputation is a good way of building a readership. You've got to give readers a reason to bookmark you. Just one more to add:

Be prepared to take criticism. This is the internet, so you are bound to cop at least one or two comments that come across as personal attacks. Whether it's a patronising response to a post or a comment viciously disagreeing with your position. In my experience, the best way to deal with it is to ignore it. People tend to see when you've been unfairly attacked.

mike said... 9/14/2008 10:57 am  

Good tips Gus. I was thinking of chucking that one in the list but couldn't word it well enough.

My list was getting too long as well.

As for editing/deleting posts I do go back and fix typos and spelling mistakes. But I agree if you say something embarrassing or silly leave it up. Chuck and *edit* down the bottom or something.

Thanks for the comments people.

NewJerseyJesus said... 9/15/2008 9:14 am  

hey, great advice here! thanks for the post and greetings from 'the garden state' mate!

Sherrin said... 9/22/2008 1:45 pm  

Interesting points. I've noticed that a lot of people seem to be deliberately controversial to get comments/visits. I really hate that, and I don't visit those kind of blogs often.

Al Bain said... 11/06/2008 12:03 pm  

I've just started one up as well. These are very helpful suggestions to get someone like me up and running. Thanks

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