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.
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 🙂
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?
Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.
Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.
Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.
Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
I share profitable income streams in my eBook:
Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.
Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.
Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:
- feel like a match for the blog and brand
- are highly targeted for your readership
- add value for your readers
Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.
For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.
As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.
The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.
Here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Venture Into Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.
- Link With Other Bloggers
In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.
Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:
- Comment on the posts of other bloggers
- Mention other bloggers in your posts
- Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers
- Create Detailed Content
Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.
Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:
- If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
- Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
- Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)
While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.
- Enable Social Media Sharing
If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:
- Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
- As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
- Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.
What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.
When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.
7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog
Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.
It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.
Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.
1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About
“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.
“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”
If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.
2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice
Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.
3 – You Have No Social Media Presence
Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).
Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.
4 – You’ve Never Done SEO
SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.
This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.
5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building
In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.
This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.
6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals
All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.
As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.
Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.
“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”
You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.
7 – You Don’t Post Enough
You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.
As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.
Develop Your Blogging Strategy
Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.
One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.
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