Posted by: jimmydlg | October 23, 2008

Blogging Like a Pro

So apparently if I simply write blog entries without attempting to attract users, my population of readers will most likely grow at an extremely slow rate (and I’d be considered an insular blogger.) Stephen Downes (in his article How To Be Heard) gives several useful pieces of advice on how to thwart a “languish” existence.

Stephen Downes basically states we should have a plan with purpose, support to develop a reputation of trust towards a targeted audience, and relevant content (which many others see as an important characteristic of a successful blog.) We should then implement an attractive design on an existing blogging platform so as to make use of all the blog API goodies that go on in the background, such as Trackbacks (which are a way of informing authors of referral links that their content has been consumed on your blog) referrals, XML Syndication support and other such useful tools.

To encourage people to visit your blog, you should have an official launch where you email your associates, list members, or friends letting them know your new blog is online.

Stephen offers some excellent advice on how to attract blog readers, but I have to question if I really want the attention that might be attracted by leaving my blog address in my email signature, or shameless self promotion on other sites where I may be leaving comments.

I have to honestly ask myself why I would want a large population of readers, and it seems a when you search around for tips on blogging you come across many posts by individuals describing blogging as a Blogging as a Source of Income (which would be one reason to have such a population of readers on hand.) While I might enjoy an occasional post to get my thoughts down and see how others may or may not react to my musings, I’m not sure that blogging intensely enough to maintain an active and attentive community of readers would interest me in itself.

Of course, I’m not saying earning targeted advertising revenue off my blog would be a bad thing, but again, in the long run it may actually be less effective at generating income for me than say concentrating on my day job.

For one, the idea of having to constantly come up with new ideas to blog for seems quite daunting. And even if I eventually got to the point where I had enough (enough interesting) things to say as to not bore or aggravate a reader, I would probably feel pressured to respond and manage comments, trackbacks, and blog topics.

I definitely understand the benefits and requirements for having a successful blog, such as showing a potential employer I have no problems staying connected with others or sharing my ideas, however, in most cases I could see making my blog available enough so that the people it mattered to (such as a potential employer) could access it if they wished, without me having to promote myself to any level of significant popularity.

It seems like the advice offered by Stephen Downes (and others such as Matthew Stibbe) would be extremely effective at drawing attention. I have a hard enough time keeping up with friends and family, let alone a mostly anonymous community of blog readers.

I’m not saying I won’t leave comments with a link to my blog, occasionally market myself with search engines or aggregation services, and try to maintain my content and readers, but, I just don’t see myself centering my online presence around successful blogging behaviors. I think of a blog more of a casual hobby where whatever happens, happens. 🙂

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Responses

  1. I agree with you with constant change topic. For me, I prefer to stick covering what I knows and interested in , with presented facts and reliable sources even though I will have un-pleasant comment. To me by my things is to educate others, and any criticism as long as it is not insulting and cross the line, I take it as healthy criticism and consider to think about for my improvement.

    You mentioned also about potential employee, I was thinking the same things. However, my knowledge is not that advance yet. Its consider to think about.

  2. What you are saying about having hard time managing soo many blogs, comments, etc. is something that somehow these people (professional bloggers) manage to do, I guess that they have more time that us to do this, remember that they are also making money. Some others write just because they are adding knowledge to the web. I am a blogger in a technical website that gives you stars and reputation according to how helpful your answers are (rated by other people) that rewards your time and effort by providing other services for free, that’s a nice incentive but I don’t do it because of rewards but to be someone who can help others.

  3. I completely agree… I think some of the more popular bloggers may have more time and resources to dedicate to their blogging. Most all of the guideline articles I came across mentioned it was important to keep your content well maintained and interesting. So It seems that this would require alot of time and effort. I have no problem with the concept of blogging in general, I was merely pointing out that I don’t think I would pursue it as a “professional device” and more than likely I’ll approach it as a hobby.

  4. I agree with both you & agustine those who blog everyday & make money have lost the true way of blogging. Most of the time blogging was for info & to vent feeling about stuff of being hurt, advicing others into not falling for false advertisment, etc. I’ll stick to fourms, live help, and blogging just to vent when im upset or ticked off.

  5. So you offered a lot of insight to blogging but mostly just talked about the same issues as Stephen. Blogging is blogging, it really is just a hobby or could be a job but only if your getting paid. I blog now for when I’m done surfing the web and start getting bored. I add things to my site and have fun with it.


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