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Longevity in Blogging

This post is part of a series of posts on blog credibility

Tangent Time – I used to go out with a girl who lived in a small rural town a few hours outside of Melbourne (a long time ago). We spent a fair bit of time in this town but it soon became evident to me that I was seen by the residents of that place as an ‘outsider’. People were not rude to me but it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t considered a ‘local’ (even though I spent a lot of time there over three years).

I asked my girlfriend’s mum about this after a year or so and she told me that there was an unspoken rule in the town that you had to live there for 10 to 15 years before you’d become a ‘local’. In the mean time you had to prove yourself by living there and participating in the community.

Becoming a local (or being seen as a credible and accepted part of the town) was not something you could achieve over night.

Longevity in Blogging
While 10 to 15 years might be a little over the top there is a similar thing at play in the blogging community and longevity of blogging seems to be one factor (remember this is a series of many) that impacts the credibility a blogger can have within their niche.

Are you committed to blogging on your topic for the long haul?

Blogs get started every day (or every second according to Technorati) but a large proportion of them don’t last longer than a month or two. I suspect that this has led to blog readers becoming a little suspicious about whether bloggers are in it for the long haul.

I know that when I discover a blog that I’ve not seen before that is writing good content that I always look back into it’s archives to see how long they’ve been going. This isn’t because I believe new blogs have little to offer (they definitely do have a lot to offer), but because sustained quality blogging on a topic isn’t easy to do and to me it is one signal that the blogger is in it for the long haul and might be someone that I want to invest some time into reading.

I’m not sure that other blog readers dig into archives in this way but I do know that a lot of blog readers that I talk to get very frustrated with some bloggers who constantly chop and change from blog to blog, never sticking at a project.

Longevity and Search Engine Credibility
The other factor with long term blogging is that it builds credibility in the eyes of the search engines also. There’s a lot of theories about Google and it’s ‘Sandbox’ process but one thing that most experts agree on is that it takes time to gain ranking in Google (and the other SE’s) and that sites with a long history (and that are registered for a longer time into the future) are at an advantage. Once again this is not the only (or most important) factor, but it comes into play.

Take Home Advice For New Bloggers
This might be a little depressing for new bloggers who can’ t just summons up ‘longevity’ – but my take home advice for you if you’re a new bloggers is to hang in there with your blog over the long term. Successful blogs don’t just happen – make a commitment to your blog and it’s wider niche for and as the months and years progress you’ll increasingly become respected as a part of that blogging community.

Let me also reemphasize that new blogs do have a lot to offer and they can be very credible. All I’m really saying is that longevity can add to the credibility of a blogger. If you don’t have it you might need to work harder at some of the following factors.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. ~Dawn says:

    I think it comes down to me getting to know people, whether online or offline. The more I know someone, in whatever limited capacity, the more I feel comfortable with their opinion/advice/ideas on something. Whether I agree with it or not, I have still built up a foundation of respect for them.

  2. Martin says:

    Interested to look further into the theory that having a domain registered for the long term helps in the search engines rankings.

    Is there any proof of this out there? If it can be proved that it does have a positive effect, then I’m going straight to my registrar and paying up for the next 10 years. :-)

  3. Darren Rowse says:

    Martin – check out the first point of this post for more details on length of domain registration and SEO.

  4. Martin says:

    Thanks Darren,

    well there you go – I’m heading off tonight and registering my domain for the next 10 years.

    I guess if you’re serious about being a credible, long-term professional blogger then $100 is not much to invest.

    BTW, glad you’re back – nothing against those who took the reigns during your break, but what it did show me was that the whole of a blog is the person behind it.

  5. Jason says:

    Thanks for the post. I actually learned this the hard way by starting a Free E-Business Talk blog one day. After I wrote four pillar articles about SEO and AdSense I burnt out. Heh… Didn’t have the knowledge for the long haul.

    That’s why I’ve started sticking with topics I’ve been researching and learning about (and teaching) for years. There’s always something I have to say. Rant out…

    Cheers,

    JP

  6. All I can say is that Google’s search engine software must be pretty miraculous if, while simultaneously spidering a blog, it can also check the length of registration of the domain name. What else are they checking, the length of your nose?

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    doubt they’d check domain rego length every time John – I’d say it’d be fairly irregular thing.

    I hope they are checking nose length though cause I’ve got a fairly sizeable one and it’s got to count for something after all those years of being reminded about it by school mates!

  8. Yep, it’s probably a separate operation from spidering, Darren. As for noses, well, let’s hope that’s all they’re checking :-)

  9. Why so paranoid about Google and registration length. All the info is publically accessible whois info…

  10. geert lovink says:

    I realize that it is 13 years now, almost up to the day, that I have been putting material online. In that sense I don’t find it so strange to think in a 10-15 years range. Every now and then I am number one on Google with both my first and last names. That’s in fact not so strange if you’ve been online for that long. But isn’t it more an issue of software and interfaces? That’s where the big difference lies, for me. In 10 years people will hardly remember blogs as there will be something better, with another name.

  11. A.B. Dada says:

    Having a domain name for a period of time seems to affect payouts from the various monetizing networks, but I’ve reached a PageRank of 6 in less than 3 months with absolutely zero spamming or buying traffic. My best money earner has been up less than 4 weeks and already gets great Google traffic. Yet for a blogger, having a history can mean repeat business. My oldest blogs have the most FeedBurner users, even in a niche topic.

    I do feel that those who stick around the longest with the most consistent update schedule will be the ones that “win” in the long run income-wise. Even if you’re in a highly competitive market topic, writing regularly, updating on schedule and using good grammar and spelling should give you the advantage over those who get in and get out.

    I’ve actually taken advantage of bloggers who have left the blogosphere and used them to help my blogs out.

  12. K says:

    As I don’t advertise my guest blog
    and we tend to get kicked off Google (for a number of reasons),
    I can easily be the case study
    proving that having experience, expertise, and a track record
    can build traffic without the first two.

    I wouldn’t reco it as a way to aggressively drum up business
    but it does reinforce Darren’s point that the three are powerful.

  13. My Hot Image says:

    Lasting for long time makes you solid as diamonds, people always love to hear from exerts specially when it’s FREE info that also brings cash

  14. Pastor Bobby says:

    Longevity is an asset but presentation of knowledge has a great impact on credibility as well. I know a great may people who have been dummies for a long time. Persistence is the key. Your willingness to stick in there and share information is, again, foundational. I have seen too many ‘instant’ gurus.

    Internet technologies evolve almost overnight. For this reason, your presentation of new and fresh ideas can boost credibility, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while.

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