Saturday, June 5, 2010

5 Don’ts of Internet Blogging

Not all blogs are created equal. Some blogs thrive and have thousands of page views per months while others languish in the forgotten world known as the dead blog zone. What is the difference? This article gives 5 things you definitely don’t want to do on your personal blog.

1. Don’t write boring posts: This advice sound like a kind of “duh” advice that people often give you when you’re faced with a problem, yet people seldom take the cliché to heart or even realize that they are guilty of breaking the rule themselves. So, I repeat again: Don’t write boring posts!

What types of posts are boring? First off, no one cares about your kid spitting up on your t-shirt during feeding earlier today, your dog playing in the park, or the comic book convention you just got back from (unless you have lots of pictures of hot comic book chicks included). In other words, don’t write articles that are just interesting for you, but instead try to make them interesting for everyone. A good example of something interesting to everyone is a “how to” article – as evidenced by the plethora of sites like that exist simply to teach people how to do things. Don’t know how to do something, like opening a checking account in Spain or getting revenge on noisy neighbors. Go find the answer and write an article about it!

2. Don’t post only text: This is another obvious-but-often-ignored piece of advice from the internet world. Just because you have wonderful pictures of your trip to Aruba in your mind doesn’t mean everyone else has them there too. Post pictures man, and the more the better!

If you have a video on Youtube that you can embed in your website at the appropriate places, that’s even better. My rule of thumb is that you need three good pictures, two pictures of a beautiful girl, or one movie in every post before the average reader will even look at it.

3. Don’t try to make a masterpiece every time: Not every time up to bat will be a home run and not every hand dealt will be pocket aces. Similarly, not every blog post you make will be a timeless masterpiece for posterity to enjoy. Some posts will be duds, most will be average, and a few will really stand out. Since it’s hard to tell beforehand which post will fall into which category, the key is to put up consistent, regular posts with just a little variety thrown in to spice things up.

4. Don’t work too hard: This probably the most counterintuitive but true piece of blogging advice ever given, but working too hard can actually work against you in the end. The danger here is that you will burn yourself out before you’ve really given your blog a chance to grow. Spending half of your day writing for your blog will probably get boring over time even during the best circumstances, more so if you have only a few readers.

Instead, try to take shortcuts. Frequent small posts, sometimes just a joke or funny video from Youtube, can often be much more productive than a long winded and well thought out discourse that takes weeks to write. Remember the adage that “time is money” and spend your time accordingly.

5. Don’t give up: Probably the ultimate mistake that bloggers make it to give up and stop trying. As one example, I had a particular young lady in her early 20’s whose blog I used to visit weekly to read her poetry and listen to music she posted. Then, her blog disappeared. Her content was good enough that I’m sure that, if she’d stuck with it, her blog would have had more followers than mine in another six months. Take the lesson from her: don’t give up!

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