No-one links to the linkers

Andrew Garrett has written a very insightful post at on a discovery he’s made about blogging that I think we all need to learn (and many of us relearn) – No-one links to the linkers. He tells a little of his own previous style of blogging – linking to another blog/site, adding a few of his own comments and hitting publish. He then goes on to make a few pertinent (I always wanted to use that word in a post) observations:

‘No-one links to linkers.

By deluding myself that being a human news filter I was adding value, I was avoiding doing ‘real’ writing. Sure, I was writing a bit here and there. but not enough to be a draw card.

A few link-based posts here and there are fine – once you have an audience. Link aggregation on a particular subject – that’s also valuable. Once you have an audience.

First, get an audience.

Audiences are like governments – you get the one you deserve. I haven’t yet deserved an audience.’

Andrew then goes on to share what he’s going to do about it.

I think the realizations that Andrew are having are excellent. While there are some successful blogs out there that are predominantly link blogs they generally add value to the content they link to and/or do it on the back of having built an audience around some other factor (sometimes good original content, sometimes they have a name or previous expertise that draws the audience, sometimes it’s their quirky, snarky and/or intelligent commentary on the links that they link to….)

Setting yourself apart from the millions of other blogs out there means you need some sort of unique selling proposition – linking to the same stuff everyone else does is just not going to do it for you.

I’m not anti link blogs – but I think bloggers (especially new ones) need to have realistic expectations about what they can achieve with them. If you’re going to be a link blogger make sure you either mix in some truly original posts, link in a unique way that is an attraction in itself or be able to find the most wonderful mind-blowing collection of links ever known to humankind!

Blogging Goals – Final Reader Submissions


Thanks to everyone who has submitted entries in this week’s Blogging Goals Group Writing Project. There were 130 submissions in total (49 more than last time) – so many that it was a little overwhelming to keep up with listing them all – especially when I got distracted reading them all along the way!

What I was impressed about this week was the variety of blogs that were represented in terms of topics, genres, parts of the world and even language (we had a few non English submissions this week which was exciting).

Before you check out the latest batch of submissions – remember that there is no WINNER for each project but I do encourage you to surf through the list and find the posts that are winners in your own mind. Leave them an encouraging comments and post about them on your own blog. In the process I’m sure you’ll find some great new blogs (like I have in putting this project together this week).

Here’s the final reader submissions which will be added to the central page where you’ll see every post for the week. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to surf the list and link up to your favorites.

AdSense adds ‘Site Diagnostics’ Feature

AdSense publishers will notice a new tab when they log into their accounts next – ‘Site Diagnostics’.

It seems that this new tool highlights any pages that AdSense is having problems running ads on.

There are a number of reasons why ads might be having problems that are listed at their help page – Why is my URL showing up as blocked?

I’m not seeing any blocked pages come up yet for me but have heard from a number of AdSense publishers who are telling me that this new diagnostics tool has already identified problems that they were not aware of.

There’s no announcement yet on any official AdSense pages apart from that help page with more information but at a first glance it looks like it could be helpful.

Thanks to the numerous people who emailed me about this including the first two (seconds apart) Michael and AH.

Update: It looks like this feature was either launched by mistake too early, or they are having problems with it because most peole are not seeing it any more. Very odd.

Speedlinking – 9 June 2006

  • The Blog Studio have just released another of their free WordPress templates. This one is called STTP (Straight to the Point) and it comes in Blue, Green and Red. You can see a working version of it here (blue).
  • Ahmed has a timely post (if you’re into the World Cup) with a Guide to Blogging Sports Events – by the way if you’re into Football/Soccer you might like to check out b5’s Football blogs that are covering the world cup.

How to Kill Your Blog Successfully – The Methods

We’ve been talking this week about why blogs die and factors to consider when deciding whether to end them or not.

If you get to the point where you think it’s best that you end a blog there are a number of options before you as how to do it. Here’s a few that come to mind:

Just Stop Writing

This is perhaps the most common approach that bloggers take when ending their blogs. It can happen quite gradually over time as posts become less frequent or it can happen very suddenly as a blogger just decides it’s over. In most cases these blogs remain online in the state that they were in the day they were last posted to and in a sense they become something of an archive. The beauty of this approach if you have a commercial blog is that it will continue to make money for you into the future. Even if it’s not performing brilliantly – over time it adds up.

The other good thing about this approach is that if you’re stopping your blog because it’s not performing well it could do a turn around in the weeks or months after you stop writing. I had a blog once that I stopped writing because it wasn’t doing well with traffic but a few weeks later Google updated and my traffic increased 10-fold. I’m glad I didn’t kill that blog off completely because it came back to life by itself and when I started blogging to it again it found a second wind.

If you’re going to take this approach I would highly recommend considering two things:

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FeedBurner and TypePad Integrate Blog Feeds

Feedburner and Typepad are announcing a way for TypePad users to redirect their TypePad RSS feed into a Feedburner one. This will give them a more integrated way to track stats.

It sounds similar to what the Feedburner plugin for WordPress does that I’ve spoken about previously.

Found via Micro Persuasion

AdSense are Hiring

If you love AdSense and wouldn’t mind being a part of their team the AdSense blog just announced that there are positions vacant for AdSense staff on a number of areas. For all you’d have to be willing to live in Mountain View California (that counts this Aussie out) They do have international opportunities too though at Google.

Of course if you get a job with AdSense after seeing this post I’ll be requiring that you send me inside information!

My Digital Photography School Goals

Canon-Rebel-Xt-1-1-1Since I’ve set the topic for this week’s group writing project I thought I’d better submit an entry myself on Blogging Goals.

It’s a fairly wide topic, especially if I was to tackle it on a macro level thinking across all of my blogs, so I’ll just focus on one of them, my newest one, Digital Photography School.

Before getting into goals I’ll give a little update on how it’s been going (something I promised I’d do).

Digital Photography School – So Far

  • I started posting on DPS in earnest on 17 April of this year so it’s still relatively new (53 days old).
  • I’ve written 48 posts in that time – most of which are fairly instructional in nature.
  • April saw the page get around 2500 unique visitors for the month, May hit 65,000 and so far in june we’re at around 52,000 visitors.
  • Most traffic has come from a number of links it’s had on sites like Lifehacker, Engadget and Gizmodo as well as the flow on effects of being picked up on social bookmarking sites.
  • This week it’s averaging around 3000 RSS readers (this number goes up and down significantly)
  • My DPS newsletter subscriber list has grown to around 1800 subscribers
  • Earnings vary considerably from day to day but are averaging around $25 per day this month. I know I could do much better than this with more aggressive ad positioning but this is not my priority at this point.

Originally when I started DPS my goal was to leverage traffic that I already had on my other blogs, particularly those with a digital imaging focus. While there was some traction in this idea (I do interlink the blogs and use my other blog’s newsletters to send traffic) the majority of traffic has come via other sources (as mentioned above). As a result my goals have changed a little….

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Blogging Goals – Readers Submissions Part III

Today’s submissions for the Blogging Goals Group Writing Project are following (don’t forget – one day to go til this project closes):

I’ve also added each of these links to the central submissions page here.