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The Cost of High Quantities of Posts

Does the quantity of content that you post to your blog add value to or devalue your blog?

I suspect that there are many bloggers who think that by adding large quantities of content to their blog that they are adding value to it however in many cases constantly pouring new posts into their blog and increasing the size of their archives can actually devaluing it by forcing readers to wade through vast quantities of posts to find the ‘gold’ that they are looking for.

There are of course some examples of blogs that seem to thrive on large amounts of posts each day and massive archives (in fact some of the largest blogs on the web use this strategy very well) however I suspect that for the majority of us that we’d do better to write a smaller number of top quality, highly focused and useful posts each week than going for a high posting frequency rate.

The ideal posting frequency will vary from blog to blog but I think many bloggers would do well to consider the question at the top of this post and make changes according to the answer they come up with.

WordPress.com adds Private Blogs and Custom CSS Upgrades

WordPress.com has had two new features offered to users in the last few hours.

Private Blogs – the ability for publishers to request your blog be unlisted in search engines and the ability to only enable other WordPress.com members to have access to it.

Custom CSS – this is something that I’ve heard many WP.com publishers asking for – the ability to tweak your blog’s design. Before you rush off to change your templates you should know that this is a paid upgrade option. To buy the upgrade you need to add 15 ‘credits’ (credits costs $1 each). Credits can be purchased via Paypal.

Looking at the ‘upgrades’ page it seems like this is probably the first of numerous upgrades that will be made available to users.

I think this is a pretty good way to go for WP in attempting to find a way to monetize WP.

Many of us have used their platform for free for a long time and hopefully some of their 287,000 blogs will purchase the upgrade and help inject some money back into the system so that they can continue to develop this great product.

Found via Matt

Sponsor ProBlogger’s Group Writing Project

update: I’ve now found enough sponsors for the coming week’s project (which I’ve put off for an extra week). Thanks to everyone who has offered.

Next week I’m planning another ProBlogger Group Writing Project which I think will be a lot of fun and that every blogger (of virtually any topic) should be able to participate in.

To make it a little more fun I’d like to offer a little more incentive to participate and would like to give 5 participants the chance to win a prize.

I’m happy to offer a prize myself but would love to hear from others that would like to put a prize up and effectively sponsor the group writing project next week.

Last time I called for prizes I was inundated with them (to the point I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t use any of them) but this time I’m going to be a little choosey and just pick the best 5 (so make them good!).

What Will You Get?
In return for your prize you’ll get links in each Group Writing Project post during the week (there will be at least 6 including one topic announcement, 3 daily updates, 1 central page and 1 prize announcement page). You’ll be one of 5 sponsors (if I can find 5).

ProBlogger is read by 4000 or so daily readers plus another 8000 via RSS. The group writing projects have been attracting 90 – 130 participants each time so far. So you’ll get some nice exposure.

Requirements for Sponsors [Read more...]

Should Blogs Use The Extended Entry (more) Feature?

A reader this week submitted the following question:

“What is your take on blog posts that show only the first few paragraphs on the main site and then require clicking on “more” or “continue” or some similar link in order to see the entire post? I know I rarely click to read the rest of the post, and I can’t be the only lazy one out there. So what’s the advantage of this, other than allowing more posts & titles on the front page? Is it an ad thing? Is it worth it for bloggers to do it? If not, why do they? I’ve long been curious about this, and am wondering if I’m missing out on some huge and obvious benefit to such a tactic.

The use of the ‘more’ or ‘continue’ links (also often called the ‘extended entry’ feature) on blogs has been one that bloggers have utilized for years as a way of showing only an excerpt of an article on the front page of a blog.

I personally use it on most of my blogs but know that in doing so there are a small percentage of readers who find it a frustrating feature. Like the reader asking the question they don’t seem to like having to click a link to read the full article and many see it as a tactic to increase page views and ad revenue.

The reason I use the extended entry feature is not to increase my earnings but rather to keep some order to the front page of my blogs.
[Read more...]

Reinvent Your Blog

Warning – Tangent Ahead….

As I write this post I’m sitting in my favorite cafe sipping on a great coffee and getting ready to order some lunch. This cafe has been a regular part of my blogging workflow for quite a few years now. It’s just around the corner from where we used to live, it’s got a great vibe, a toasty warm open fireplace, fantastic coffee, good food and the staff have become good friends (they even know what I want when I order ‘the usual’).

Today when I came in I was pleasantly surprised that there have been a few changes since I was last in. There have been a few subtle changes to the decor but the main change was a number of new additions to the menu.

The changes have not gone unnoticed. As I’ve sat here for the last two hours (drinking coffee and people watching) I’ve overheard quite a few fellow customers make comment about the new menu. The comments have largely been positive (lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ while perusing the menu) and even included a number of people who told waiters that they’d made special trips in to the cafe because they’d been told there was a new menu.

It’s amazing to see the injection of life that a few simple item changes on a menu can bring to a place like this. Essentially it’s the same familiar place, with the same people and even same style of food – but a few tweaks and it suddenly seems fresh again.

The same thing is possible with a blog.

I love seeing blogs reinvent themselves and try new things. It has the potential to:

[Read more...]

Managing Blog Workflow with Wridea

Wridea Logo TopMax Limpag shares part of his blogging workflow and how he uses Wridea to help him take blog posts from an idea stage to a ‘publish’ stage.

His style is to work on a post over time and so finds Wridea useful to keep track of where he’s up to.

“Wridea is a free web service that helps you organize your ideas. It’s a great system to use as a container for notes of pending blog posts you are working on. I’ve been using it since early this week and I find that it really helps me organize my thoughts on blog posts I’m working on.”

I work in a similar way to Max but keep a lot of my half baked ‘ideas’ as drafts in WordPress or just in text files on my desk top but Wridea certainly does seem like a useful service.

Chitika add New Categories and Ad Sizes

Chitika have announced a number of changes to their eMinimalls over night.

Firstly they’ve added 18 new categories (giving you a total of 44 now). The new categories are:

  • Photography Accessories
  • Cellular Accessories
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Speakers
  • Laptop Accessories
  • Scanner Accessories
  • CD and DVD Burners
  • In Dash Receivers
  • Small Appliances
  • Pet Accessories
  • Xbox Games
  • Game Boy Advance Games
  • PlayStation 1 Games
  • PlayStation 2 Games
  • PlayStation 3 Games
  • Nintendo 64 Games
  • Dreamcast Games
  • Video Game Accessories

They’ve also announced four new sizes for multi product eMinimalls. Up until this point there’s only been one size available (something I complained about when they launched). The new sizes are:

  • 468 x 60 (something I know a number of users were asking about)
  • 250 x 250
  • 300 x 250
  • 728 x 90

I’m not convinced about the banner ads as much as I like the square ones but it’s good to see them giving more options and options that are standard ad sizes. I’m sure quite a few publishers will be pretty happy with the changes.

Comments are Back

Apologies to anyone who tried to comment here at ProBlogger over night. I’m not sure what the issue was but they were broken for a number of hours.

All seems to be back up and running now though so if you had something to say on one of the last few posts I’d love to hear it!

Adding Video to Your Blog

I’m a big fan of Mike Rundle’s writing and his latest work at Business Logs is a good example of his common sense approach to blogging. Today he’s written about Coattail Riding Instructions For YouTube and gives 3 “Don’ts” and 3 “Do’s” for adding video to a blog. Here’s his main points:

1. Don’t pretend to be Rocketboom
2. Don’t do vidcasts just because everyone else is doing them
3. Don’t be boring.

1. Use YouTube as supplemental content, not the highlight.
2. Be original, be fun.
3. Extend YouTube.

My experience with adding video to blogs is that they have an amazing ability to add life to your blog. On the few times I’ve used it I’ve had an overwhelming positive response, increased readership (it’s amazing how it gets RSS reader to actually visit your blog) and it injects a new level of personality into your blog (literally adding a face and voice to it).

On the flip side – it’s worth noting that video takes time to produce and upload. Where you might be able to add a post to your blog in 15 or so minutes adding video can be an involved process that includes recording, editing (depending upon your style) and uploading. I’m sure in time this workflow would become quicker as you get used to the tools – but each time I’ve done a video it’s taken two or three times longer than a post on the same topic (sometimes more).