Share or Save arrow59 Responses
  1. John Evans (Syntagma)
    2/18/2006 - 1:06 am

    Darren: a minor moan. I was impressed by the way you were branding your series of articles with an inpost sidestrap.

    You’ve now put that in the sidebar (with a different colour) and introduced another strap which merely repeats the title of the post, thus unbranding the post from the series. I think the previous method had more logic and usefulness to the reader. 2c.

  2. Darren Rowse
    2/18/2006 - 1:12 am

    caught me experimenting :-)

  3. John Evans (Syntagma)
    2/18/2006 - 1:20 am

    I thought you were moving to “structured blogging”, something I’d like to emulate myself, if I can find a WP plugin.

  4. pcunix
    2/18/2006 - 1:56 am

    “Start with the customer – find out what they want and give it to them.”

    That’s fine, but you can also turn that completely upide down, and that’s just what a lot of bloggers do.

    For example, I started my website as a convenience for myself: a place I could send my clients to find “how-to’s” and a place where I could refresh my own memory on technical problems I had seen in the past.

    I didn’t protect it from the world at large because where I started had no such ability: my hosting site was open to the world and as it happened, the “world” started noticing some of my articles.

    I then realized (“duh!”) that this could also be a form of advertising to get me more clients, so I started writing toward that end for a while. That got boring pretty fast, and I’ve always had more business than I really want anyway (not that I have too much money, just that the work can be very stressful at times and I can only stand so much), so I stopped that. But I still liked writing, so I wrote about what interested me, keeping it vaguely focused on the kind of work I do just to avoid confusing people.

    So notice: I was not writing for a “customer” anymore. I was writing for myself.

    Then Adsense happened. I signed up, and wow! Not instant riches, but significant money that was completely extra, because I was doing the writing anyway and liked doing it.

    From time to time I have toyed with writing with an eye toward advertising income, but whenever I do that, I get vaguely unhappy, and revert back to just doing what I like to do. If the “customers” like it, great, if not – well, I’m not trying to please them, am I? Understand, I’m not trying to displease either: if they like the same things I do, they’ll love my site. But I’m not writing thinking about *their* interests particularly.

    So.. while I play with placement and other things to increase ad income, I don’t generally *write* with that in mind. If I happen to be writing about something that should generate valuable ads, sure, I notice that fact, and might be a little more careful with keywords, but that’s about it – basically I am writing for myself.

    I think quite a few bloggers are doing the same, even if they don’t admit it or perhaps even realize it .

  5. Glenn
    2/18/2006 - 2:13 am

    I’ve been writing a “sub-niche” business blog since August on customer service. Just in the last three weeks I have decided to limit my posts to 400 words (which, in my post last night, I violated by going to 500). My audience is small business people who don’t have a lot of time. I try to make one point, stay on message, and use humor whenever it’s both funny and relevant. I also try to use SEO as much as I can without abusing it.

    Forcing myself to limit posts to 400 words makes me do several drafts and tightens up my writing. As a former boss used to say, “Don’t say ‘blah blah,’ when ‘blah’ will do.”

    Now if I could just get Technorati to accept my pings.

    Great blog, Darren. I’m a big fan.

  6. Vladimir Yashnikov
    2/18/2006 - 10:11 am

    Very interesting post, Darren. Thx.

  7. raj
    2/18/2006 - 4:09 pm

    John, there is a WordPress plugin called “structured blogging”, although I’m not sure that that’s what you are looking for. It’s at

  8. John Evans (Syntagma)
    2/18/2006 - 7:46 pm

    Thanks Raj. I was thinking of something like the Slashdot style of having a different logotype for each sort of entry. Very similar to Darren’s branding of a series. He obviously does this by hand, but having a button to press for each type like a category system would be handy.

  9. Marti
    2/19/2006 - 3:28 am

    Is laughter “useful”?

  10. David Ward
    2/21/2006 - 5:23 pm

    great article Darren. I believe that unique or relevent content is king. I am a new blogger ( about 1 1/2 months) and content seems to be the biggest struggle. Most of the blogs in the tech/gadget/home entertainment niche that I’m in seem to recycle the content and I’ve gotten caught up in that as well. I know there are alot of tools out there and there must be something to help me seek out new content ideas faster and more efficient that just reading everyone elses RSS feeds. This may be a good topic for a follow up article in your series.

  11. pcunix
    2/21/2006 - 10:44 pm

    “Most of the blogs in the tech/gadget/home entertainment niche that I’m in seem to recycle the content and I’ve gotten caught up in that as well. I know there are alot of tools out there and there must be something to help me seek out new content ideas faster and more efficient that just reading everyone elses RSS feeds”

    Google Alerts and similar services alert you to new postings, but the only way you are going to be “first to the ‘Net” is to be working outside of the web: talking directly to the companies that make this stuff, visiting trade shows etc.

    However, you don’t have to be “first” to be valuable and interesting. Even if three hundred other sites have already posted about the new Dingbat 3.5 from Widgets, Inc., if you have insight as to how Dingbat 3.5 fits in with similar technologies, how the market might preceive it or what you thing Widgets Inc. needs to do to regain their slipping market share etc., you can be the 301st or even the 3,001st.

    And, of course, reviews. You can be the three millionth person to review Dingbat 3.5 if you are the first who notices that it can be connected to a Whizbang 3000 and the results are simply incredible.

    I do see far too many sites that think simply pointing is of value. Here’s a link to someone else who reviewed blah-blah and over here Tommy reviews bling-blang. Who cares? Google Alerts can do that for me. However, pointing can be interesting when you are tying together different ideas: here’s the link to abc, here’s one to xyz, now isn’t it interesting that if you look at those two together you might suspect that def is about to happen?

  12. Nikolaj Tuxen Gerstrøm
    4/14/2006 - 6:46 am

    I blog on information and education on a special subject. I also experiment with the news style, but I think that mixing to many types of blog styles in the same blog confuse the reader.

    I think one should focus on one or two blog styles, to attract that special kind of readers that are interested in your subject


  13. cmircea
    8/31/2006 - 7:12 am

    Great article. thx alot.

  14. OG
    12/10/2006 - 10:14 pm

    The greatest advantage of an informational or educational blog is that the information there is still actual after a few months.

    People might need some info and they go and find it coz they know they found there info on other topics.

    If you run a news blog and you stop updating the traffic is going down fast.

  15. Carlos
    1/6/2007 - 5:25 am

    Thank you for the information. I am taking a Lit class and I found your blog useful.


  16. Burak
    3/31/2007 - 8:02 am

    I completely agree with you, and i am making my own original content to attract people to my blog. I m offering nice tiny softwares various kinds of purposes…

  17. Manoj
    10/25/2007 - 8:28 pm

    I always have a balance of education and entertainment.My blog is about legitimate ways to make money so there is not much room for entertainment but sometimes I make posts about my personal interests and share funny things with my readers.

  18. KB Hill
    11/28/2007 - 9:49 am

    Thanks for the tips. I am a newbie. I started blogging because i have a lot of time at work where I pretty much sit around and do nothing. It’s a way for me to pass the time.
    Thanks again!

    KB Hill

  19. Best Of The Web
    1/17/2008 - 7:08 pm

    I Like Your Idea Of Unique Content And The Difference Between Unique Or Original Content….

    Mixing Up Content The That I Using For Blogs And That Is Very Good For Me At The Moment…

  20. Online Business Blog
    2/7/2008 - 3:46 pm

    “With a blog being created every second and with blogs on virtually every topic you can think of, the challenge for bloggers is to build a blog that stands out from the crowd”

    Good point here, I advice you to make a search for the high search and less competitive keywords that related to your topic and write posts on it.

  21. Content Writing Advice
    3/12/2008 - 7:14 am

    ‘for a blog to be successful your content needs to be useful and unique to your readers’

    I don’t know… what if it’s pointless but funny as heck? Ala Bevis and Butthead… ?

    …I’d still subscribe. :)

  22. Write Content
    3/14/2008 - 4:04 pm

    “Distinguish Yourself”, definitely great advice, It’s very important to carve out your specific niche, and to defend it too :)

  23. Shirley Tipsy
    3/25/2008 - 4:29 am

    I have been looking for more resources to site for my clients in regards to writing good content (most of them suck pretty bad at it) and i’m loving your prespective. I agree with you about maintaining the balance between information and entertainment and have always tried to convey that to my clients as well. Consider yourself sourced! :)

  24. Indrani Sinha
    3/31/2008 - 6:25 am

    I must thank you for your counsel. I am completely new in this field and just entered your site to know something about blog and content writing that I have heard from my friends. And the way you have pointed out the chief essentials like uniqueness, usefulness, novelty and obviously the steps to achieve these in the content – intense research work that I have undoubtedly enligthtened myself to an extent if not less but more that I had expected as being an out and out fresher.

  25. Gerry
    4/17/2008 - 12:08 am

    I’ve just started a blog on our newly launched site. I wondered about ‘original’ content. I have posted original content to our blog and then submitted the same content to some of the article directories in an effort to promote the blog/site. This would mean that my content is no longer unique. The question is, does the fact that there are now several ‘copies’ of exactly the same content, originally written by myself, in different locations mean that I get penalised in some way by the search engines ?

  26. SEO Genius
    6/19/2008 - 4:31 pm

    Interesting post thanks mate, i am always trying to achieve the ultimate post where traffic will come pouring in through the search engines.

  27. djpianz
    7/26/2008 - 12:37 pm

    My new blog is about uniqueness and my original ideas, I’ll experiment with unique but I have relatively low on knowledge as how to get people reading or knowing my blog.

  28. rajiv
    8/18/2008 - 4:19 pm

    content is so “vital” in any writing activity

  29. andy
    8/29/2008 - 1:18 pm

    I don’t know yet, my blog is unique or not because I confused about it. I have a little bit English skill, so how I solve this problem? Anyone can help me please?

  30. Amit Ganguly
    8/31/2008 - 12:11 am

    Great post! I like your blog very much. I have no knowledge and experience in any topics. Could you please suggest how can I write an original post?

  31. Amy
    9/23/2008 - 10:25 pm

    Writing content for blgo is a highly specialised task which is very much possible to leanr but you need proper guidance. from this perspective, i found this blog post really useful, as it contains fabulous ideas in this regard.

  32. frank
    10/2/2008 - 3:05 am

    Research your Readership

    If you are starting out … how do you know what to research and where to find what you are looking to research?

    Example … i want to blog about things that help nonprofits use technology to further their mission.

    i know of a couple blogs, but i dont know how to find out what nonprofits ‘need’ or ‘want’ to hear/learn?

    Any thoughts from the author or community here??

  33. Open_Blog_Project
    11/4/2008 - 9:30 am

    Thank you for the tips and advice, especially in regards to sub-niche topics within areas already being targeted by bloggers. I definitely agree with using unique informative content and reading about the entertainment aspect was an eye opener.

  34. Brain drain
    11/22/2008 - 1:30 am

    This is pretty much a recapitulation of what we all already know. I like your 30 days to better blogging series. That provided better information.

  35. Mani
    12/29/2008 - 11:43 pm

    Hi. iam very much new to this, or i can this is very first time iam reading your article. I have a problem- i have been called for this interview for the post of Content writer, and i have a least idea about it however i have already gone through your article and i must its quite helpful but i seek some more help regarding this profile. Is this content writer write’s only for blogs? and what are other duties or features of a content writer? I hope you will reply to me soon, as i don’t want to let go this offer/job. Waitinn for your reply.
    Thanks & rgards

  36. Dean@research paper
    1/14/2009 - 7:03 pm

    Good content matters so much in every aspect whether it’s in publishing or internet.

  37. Danielsmonde
    1/30/2009 - 1:01 pm

    some great useful points, thanks

  38. Ravi Ahuja
    2/20/2009 - 8:10 pm

    It is always a great pleaser to read your article even they were created long back but still fresh.

  39. c3v3n
    2/21/2009 - 8:02 pm

    thanks darren, thanks for your nice feeds…i like your series feeds that make me feel amazing….thanks

  40. Utter Thought
    4/23/2009 - 11:38 am

    Thank you for more tips, they’re very useful (and interesting, I like reading tips for some reason).

    I think my baby blog is sort of alright, but I’ve seen blogs much like it. Oh well. I’ll keep writing.

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