25 Pieces Of Advice For Bloggers
1) It’s tempting — even for me — to get frustrated when some of the bigger bloggers don’t link. But, don’t let it get to you. Anybody with a big blog is busy and it’s likely not personal if they don’t link you.
2) Keep in mind that even if you get a link from a big website, the overwhelming majority of those readers won’t be back. So although there are exceptions, don’t expect to make it big off of 1 or 2 posts.
3) If you’re going to be putting up multiple posts and then not posting for a while, put the best post on top. The number of readers drops significantly the further they have to go down the page.
4) On the week-ends, expect your traffic to drop by roughly 40% whether you post or not.
5) If you’re going to send a promotional email out to other bloggers, make sure it’s something worth promoting and try to keep it down to once or twice per week if possible. Send too many emails or promote posts of low quality and other bloggers will tune you out.
6) Find ways to link to other blogs — a lot. It’s flattering to the blogger being linked and it may draw their attention to what you’re writing. Of course, that means they may link you back.
7) If you’re an attractive woman, you can gain a lot of extra traffic over time by posting pics. Maybe you think that’s sexist, maybe not, but it has been proven to work time and time again.
8) Keep your chin up when the post you’re sure is going to pull in tons of traffic completely bombs. No matter how much work you put in, no matter how fantastic your idea is, it’s always possible it won’t catch the interest of other bloggers. Don’t let that frustrate you.
9) Most bloggers who are making halfway decent money off of advertising today slogged on for years without ever making any serious money. Keep in mind, that will probably be the case with your blog as well.
10) If you’re going to talk about something that everybody else in the blogosphere seems to be talking about, at least try to say something original about it. If you sound just like everybody else, why should anyone come back?
11) This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people (myself included, way back in 1998), don’t think about it. If you put a statistics tracker on your blog, make sure it’s on every page. If there’s no tracker on each page, your traffic may be undercounted significantly.
12) Take it from someone who now sometimes pulls 400+ comments on a single post, if you run a comments section on your blog, make sure your readers have to register, have some sort of script in place to deal with trackback and comment spam, and be prepared to spend time moderating your comments.
13) Don’t post your actual email address on the net or you may end up being deluged with spam. Instead, put your email address up in a way that people can interpret, but spammer bots can’t. For example, abc-at-aol.com.
14) Create your posts somewhere besides your content management system (like Blogger, Movable Type, etc). It may save you having to rewrite the entire post from scratch if you hit an errant button (like refresh or if you click on a link and your previous post isn’t saved in cache).
15) Make it clear somewhere on your blog that any emails that are sent to you may be published. You will probably need to point it out to someone one of these days after you publish his email.
16) Set a minimum level of acceptable content on your page each day and make sure you meet it (barring unusual circumstances) each day. Once you start slacking off, it gets easier and easier to continue.
17) Even if you only have 7 people reading, work like you have 7000 readers. Because if you don’t work hard when you have almost no readers, you’re never going to get to 7000.
18) Take a look at the really popular blogs and ask yourself why those blogs have been able to build up a readership. If you understand why they’ve been able to build up an audience, then hopefully it’ll help you do the same.
19) Don’t spend too much time in your comments section. The time spent there writing things that only a small percentage of your audience will see would be better spent making posts for your blog.
20) If you’re going to be successful, you have got to consistently put out a lot of links or a lot of material day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year (unless you’re as good as Mickey Kaus). If you’re not pumping out either 10-15 links per day or 1000 words plus then you’re probably not doing enough to ever get really big.
21) Before you respond to criticism aimed at you by another blogger, think twice. Unless you think you can get some traffic out if it, you feel the criticism merits a reply, or unless you believe it would entertain your readers to talk about it, why waste your time? You’re just rewarding them with traffic for criticizing you.
22) Remember that a lot of bloggers tend to be very sensitive to criticism and even if you’re trying to be very gentle about it (which is certainly something I don’t always do), don’t be surprised by bruised egos if you criticize another blogger in any way, shape, or form. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m just saying that you should understand that there may be hard feelings.
23) Avoid blogging angry. It may save you a lot of grief.
24) Everybody on the net with an opinion gets hate mail. Don’t sweat it.
25) Given that there are plenty of people who’ve been fired or disciplined at work either for blogging on the job or for something they said on their blog, the fewer people at your job who know about your blog, the better.