Thursday, April 03, 2008

Blogging (2)

Here is my response to the person asking for advice about blogging.

Blogging is really quite hard. The standard joke is that there are at least a million blogs that are only read by two people: the author and his mother.

The experts say that you need to post regularly, because people will stop coming back if there is nothing new. The best bloggers post every day, but I am not sure if this is necessary. I get bored with blogs that are filled with daily junk. Some of the best bloggers that I read only post weekly or fortnightly. Their quality makes up for their lack of frequency. I use the Netvibes RSS reader, so I do not need to keep gong back to check, because I know when they have posted something new.

Whatever tool you are using make sure that you put in labels on your posts. This makes it easier for search engines to find them. More importantly, it makes it easier for you to find your own stuff when you want it again.

The most important search engine for blogs is Technorati. Go into it and register your blog. You can ping them every now and then to make sure that they are getting your updates. You can also go to their site and see how few people are reading your blog.

Make sure yet set your blog up for RSS readers. All blogging tools support this. It is a good ideal to use feedburner to manage your feeds. Feedburner will provide good statistics about who reading or subscribing to your blog.

Bloggers that do well write a lot of personal stuff. What you ate for breakfast. Stories about your children. Photos of your dog and the adventures of your cat. I refuse to do this, because do not want my private life splattered over the web. This post is about as personal, as I will ever get. However, the personal stuff really does draw readers.

The best way to bring readers is to write comments on blogs that are read by the people who will be interested in your blog.

The next step is to get people to put a link to your blog in return for you putting a link on your blog to their blog. I do not do this much, because I dislike the idea of “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours”. However, I know that it works.

Better still if you can get people quoting your blog and putting links back, but that is harder to achieve.

Andrew Jones is a very successful New Zealand blogger. He has some good tips here.

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