Sumesh Premraj left a comment today on a Blogging Tips post I wrote about 5 or 6 weeks ago about the changes I was making to this blog at the time. He spoke about how many blogging advice blogs like Blogging Tips are simply rehashing what has already been said. Now, this is a view which is shared by many and since this affects this blog in particular I want to talk more about the subject.
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Before I proceed, here is the last part of the comment which inspired me to write this post :
Another point is that there are too many arm-chair theorists here. No offense to them, but most metablog readers (especially those who’ve read Problogger, DBT etc for two years or more) would find many posts here at BT rehashed. Perhaps the authors here do not realize that most things they have said have been said already, but that’s the way it is.
As I see it, traditional “blogging tips/make-money-online” blogs do not have much value any more. Most established blogs have said everything there is to say in the niche. Of course, with proper marketing and branding, BT could be popular even while rehashing some of the advice, but that would not make for an invaluable blog.
The challenge for new metablogs would lie in distinguishing themselves from the rest by providing what other blogging tips blogs do not. I can think of only 5-6 topics off the top of my head as I write this, but I’m sure there’ll be more (and I won’t tell you those 5-6 because I need them for my own metablog, BlogCreativity.com 🙂 )
First of all, I need to point out the irony that this comment was made by someone who has just launched their own blogging advice blog 😉 Also, I believe Sumesh was referring more to how Blogging Tips was a few months ago when we had more authors on the blog.
I actually agree with some of what Sumesh has said in his comment. I agree that some topics are rehashed however I don’t believe it is intentional and I think it hard to avoid too.
Heres the thing, any advice or tips blog will inevitably cover topics that have already been covered elsewhere on the web. Blogs which discuss the latest news or event for a given subject will not have this problem. For example, an LA Lakers fan blog would blog mostly about the last game played or upcoming transfers. Advice blogs are different though and that is the category which Blogging Tips falls under.
Advice blogs like this one will at one point post about a topic which has either been covered on another blog or the blog itself. For example, if I launched a brand new dating and relationship blog I would no doubt cover topics which have been discussed on other dating blogs and after a few years theres a good chance some of the topics will appear to be very similar to ones which appeared at the start. Does that mean you should stop posting, of course not!
Blogging Tips posts are rehashed
Sumesh stated that :
those who’ve read Problogger, DBT etc for two years or more would find many posts here at BT rehashed
I think that this is the wrong way to look at Blogging Tips and the wrong way to look at any blog to be honest. First of all, ProBlogger is without doubt the most popular blogging advice blog on the net. Compared to how long most other webmaster related topics have been online, blogging advice is a niche which is relatively young and Darren Rowse was without doubt the pioneer in this field. ProBlogger was started in September 2004. It was 26 months until Daily Blog Tips arrived and 30 months before Blogging Tips arrived.
In that time Darren wrote hundreds of great articles which covered just about every aspect of running, maintaining and promoting a blog. By the time DBT and BT arrived it was practically impossible to cover a subject which hadn’t at least been touched upon by Darren. Does this mean that these blogs should not have been created? Does that mean we should not cover topics which have already been discussed elsewhere on the web? If that was the case 99% of people reading this would be best to close their blog and stop blogging. It reminds me of the South Park episode entitled ‘Simpsons Already Did It‘ where the creators acknowledged how difficult it was to cover subjects which hadn’t been covered by The Simpsons because the show had been on so long.
One other major point is that Darren himself has covered topics which he has already covered years before. This does not mean he is rehashing his own posts, far from it. Firstly, whenever he touches upon a subject he has covered before he links to the original post. He then adds more to it by repeating or changing his view on the topic and explaining why.
Secondly, and for me more importantly, is the changing readership. Just like everything in life, there is a learning curve with blogging. Blogging advice sites attract a lot of people who are new to blogging. As time passes many of these bloggers will change their working and their reading habits. If you have been blogging for a few years and run a highly successful blog then the need to read blogging advice and making money online blogs everyday obviously reduces. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the majority of people who were reading ProBlogger every day and reading comments 3 years ago are not doing it now because they either stopped blogging or developed a successful blog and no longer need to read it every day. Sure, they may still visit it from time to time and they probably still subscribe but they don’t rely on it as much as they did.
This is one of the main reasons why topics which have been covered before are discussed again. You need to cater for your active readers and you just cannot assume that your readers have searched all of your archives and read all of your old posts.
With regards to Blogging Tips
With regards to this blog, it is difficult for Blogging Tips not to have comparisons drawn with other blogging advice blogs. Daily Blog Tips has about 6 times the number of subscribers as this blog and ProBlogger has an incredible 25 times the number of subscribers we have so it’s safe to say that most people who read Blogging Tips also read those blogs too.
Being the smaller blog means that if I cover a subject which has already been touched upon on more poular blogs some readers may assume I am copying or rehashing what has already been posted. Of course, the opposite is not true. I have wrote posts about subjects which have later been covered on more popular blogs and no one suggested they were rehashing something which had already been discussed. This isn’t a complaint, it’s just the reality of how things work.
There are a variety of subjects covered on Blogging Tips but generally speaking they can be split into 3 different types of posts :
- Blogging Advice posts : These are the types of posts which Sumesh was referring to in his comment. Posts like ‘Top 10 ways to promote your blog’ etc. Posts such as these stay relevant for quite a long time. They should be of interest to new bloggers as they give basic tips on blogging however more experienced bloggers will not get much from these kind of posts.
- News type posts : News posts discuss a new webite, product or a current event. These posts interest bloggers of all levels however their relevance is short lived. If someone comes across one of these posts via a search engine theres a good chance it’s already old news.
- Technical and reference posts : My post today entitled ‘An explanation of CSS List Style Types’ is a good example of the technical posts which can be found at BloggingTips. These posts should stand the test of time and should be as useful to bloggers in a years time as they are today. However, new bloggers who do not have experience with coding may struggle to understand this kind of post. I do my best to explain technical posts for newbies but I’m sure many new bloggers simply skip these types of posts.
As you can see, different types of posts are written to cater for bloggers of different experience. Blogging advice type posts are the type of posts which you are likely to see on other blogging advice blogging however that does not mean I will not cover these posts here. Bottom line, if I have something worthwile to say about any blogging subject I will write a post about it. I cannot allow posts on other blogs to have a negative influence on what I cover here, I cannot write posts on the assumption that all readers subscribe to other blogging advice blogs.
If you are thinking of starting a blog in a competitive niche then you should be aware of your competitors, however don’t be overawed by them and don’t be discouraged to start a blog in the first place. If you enjoy blogging and you have an opinion you should start the blog. Who’s to say the most popular blogs in a niche today will be the most popular in a year or two.
Blogging advice and making money online blogs are incredibly popular nowadays. Yes, I do agree there are a lot of people bringing nothing new to the table however there are a lot of great bloggers coming through too so it’s unfair to put everyone in the same boat. I have spoke a lot about blogging advice type blogs in this post thought I’m sure you can see how all of this can be applied to any blog which gives advice.
Trying to cater for all your readers can sometimes be a juggling act but if you be yourself and continue to improve as a blogger I’m sure your blog will grow.
Last of all I would like to thank Sumesh Premraj for his comment as it inspired me to write this post. Nothing beats a good debate! 😉
As always, I’d love to hear your opinion on all of this 🙂
Beware Who You Trust for Advice
Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.
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I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.
Peep 2 answers.
I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.
This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.
Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.
Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:
- radiate happiness?
- radiate compassion?
- exude success?
- inspire you to succeed?
- uplift bloggers?
If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.
But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.
If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.
Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.
Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.
One Such Example
Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?
The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?
Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.
Follow heart-centered bloggers.
Live your dreams.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
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