How Many Blogs Do You Write On? How Many Posts Per Day?

Speed-Posting@SeanBannister asks “how many blogs do you write for and how many blog posts a day you make?”

These days I only write actively on two blogs – ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. At one point I was writing each week on around 25 blogs – but a lot of them were pretty much just watching what other blogs wrote and attempting to aggregate that content. The blogs have little original thought on them and didn’t take off so I didn’t continue to put time into them. I do also work for b5media as the VP Training – but this is just a part time role as my two main blogs take up considerable time.

In terms of posts per day – these days I try to publish one post per day on DPS. These posts are written largely by bloggers that I’ve hired. I was writing all of the content for this blog until a few months ago so now my role is more ‘editor’ although I do average 1-2 posts still a week. On ProBlogger my post frequency varies from day to day but I do have a minimum post target of 2 posts per day. I don’t mind if this drops to 1 post on weekend days but on weekdays stick to it religiously. On top of that I add other ‘newsy’ posts so probably average 3-4 posts a day on ProBlogger.

OK – so that’s my answer – I’d love to hear how many blogs you write on and how many blog posts per day that you average writing?

How to Choose a Niche Topic for Your Blog

Speed-Posting@jonathanguinn asks: “I am new to internet marketing and am struggling to find my niche. Maybe some pointers about that would be helpful.”

There are many factors to consider when choosing a niche. I’ve written about many of them in this post – but for me a lot of it comes back to choosing something that you know about, that you feel you can say something useful and interesting on – ie what are YOU about?.

After that I’d take a good hard look at tools like Google Trends where you can track the popularity of different search terms over time to see if they’ve been trending up or down. Ideally you want to find a popular niche that’s growing so that you can position yourself for the future growth.

Other factors of course come into play including the number of other blogs and websites on a topic already (ie competition), whether the topic has monetization streams (if you’re doing it for money) etc – but you can read more aobut them in my post on choosing a niche for your blog.

PS: another useful tool in choosing niches is SEOBook’s Keyword tool which can help you think about the popularity of different keywords.

ProBlogger Book – Shipping This Week

Just a quick note on the ProBlogger Book. Amazon have it listed now as coming into stock on 26 April (a week or so before they previously estimated) and have been emailing some of those who have pre-ordered it to say it’ll ship in the next few days.

So if you want their 5% pre-order discount (on top of their normal discount) – it’s time to buy.

Can’t wait to get my own copy – it’s going to be a strange feeling to actually have it in my hands after all this time!

When Self Promotion Tips into Spam

Speed-Posting@jimgoldstein asks: “one things I see bloggers struggle with is blog spam. When self promotion goes to far. “

I agree Jim. There are different kinds of spam – the main stuff we see is the auto-generated stuff that fills our inboxes and hits our comment filters but then there is a more subtle kind of spam – where bloggers overstep the mark on other people’s blogs by promoting themselves to a point where they put others off. I see this every day in the comments on my blogs where the comments left are five words long and only slightly on topic and then there’s a list of 2-3 links as a signature. The comments left are obviously a thinly veiled attempt at self promotion.

The problem with this approach of self promotion is that you can do more harm for yourself than good. If you comments are allowed on your blog the reaction from others who see it can actually hurt your brand. I write about this in 10 Way s to Hurt Your Blog’s Brand by Commenting on Other Blogs.

The key to growing your blog is to create value. Create useful and unique content on your own blog (don’t get caught up in the self promotion game in every 2nd post) and to do the same thing on other people’s blogs. The people’s blogs that I visit from comments on my blog (and others) are those who have something interesting and useful to say – not those who leave links on dull and spammy comments).

OK – it’s over to you – what do you think?

How Do I Build Credibility and Presence Online?

Speed-Posting@SmallFishMedia asks about “How To Boost Credibility And Presence Online As A Blogger”

Let me compile a little list of comments on this questions:

  • it takes time to build credibility with people. Don’t rush it
  • work at having a presence not just on your own blog but in other relevant spaces to your niche (including other blogs through comments and guest posts, through social media sites etc)
  • Read thisBuilding Your Personal Brand – One ‘Straw’ at a Time
  • Identify other key players in your niche, build relationships with them, make them and what they do improved by how you interact with them, allow them to promote and launch you when the time is right
  • stick with it for the long haul – others will fall away in time and you’ll remain – people respect longevity
  • have something to say – don’t just report the news in your niche, build on it, interpret it, have an opinion on and be a thought leader
  • be proactive – always be on the look out for ways that you can leverage opportunities that come your way. Don’t let success come to you, go and get it

What would you add to my 3 minute post? How do you strive to build credibility through your blog?

How to Build Community on Your Blog

Speed-Posting@SmallFishMedia asks – “What can you do to make your blog more of a community?”

There are many things that you can do to build a sense of community on a blog. Here’s a short list of ideas that come to mind:

  • Take the lead and be the community that you want your readers to be – readers follow the lead of bloggers in how they’ll interact with each other
  • Ask Questions – the key to more comments and interaction on a blog
  • Give readers homework – try it, it works
  • Give readers a job to do on your blog – bizarre but it works
  • Link to reader’s blogs – it’s amazing what impact this can have
  • Answer Reader questions – this has real power
  • Invite Readers to Take the lead with guest posts, giving advice to each other etc
  • Make Readers Famous – celebrate your readers publicly
  • Do projects where readers can participate, submit things and be active. The more you have them DO the more loyal they’ll become.

It’s over to you now – any tips for SmallFishMedia on how to add more of a sense of community to your blog?

Blog Design – Does it Matter?

Speed-Posting@mattpacker asks – how important is the design of your blog and how hard a decision do you think it would be to develop a new theme for it?

There will probably be a little debate over this one in the comments on this post because every time I see someone write about design there are two opposing arguments.

On the one side are some blogger who argue that design is secondary and not that important as that it’s content that is what draws people to a blog and keeps them there. This camp often argues that with a lot of people reading blogs these days through RSS that design is less important as people rarely see it.

On the flip side we have the argument that design is very important because it creates a first impression in the mind of potential readers and that it’s around this first impression that many readers base their decision about whether they will subscribe.

My own theory fits more with the second argument – although it’s not absolutely everything in my mind. There are some fairly standard (and even ugly) looking blogs (and many with default/free templates) going around that have big readership so it is possible to ‘make it’ without a custom design.

Lastly – in terms of how hard a decision is it to change design. I personally find it a difficult process. While I appreciate good design I’m not a designer at heart so finding someone that I connect with to do it for me takes time, then deciding what direction to take can be a bit of a heart wrenching process, as can it be to convince your loyal readers that it’s the right thing to do when you launch the change.

Further Reading:

So what do you think? Does Blog Design Matter?

How to Build Your Blog’s Readership

Speed-Posting@jeremyjacks asks – How did you get to be a big blogger? And what should I do to get more site hits?” also – @JoshAnstey asks – “whats the best way to build blog exposure?”

I’m not sure I’m famous outside of a very small segment of the internet – but the growth I’ve had on my blogs has come over a long period of time and I would say that one of the ‘secrets’ to growing a blog readership is to stick at it and work hard for a sustained period of time. I’ve been blogging 5 and a half years now and have worked a lot of hours in that time.

Outside of hard work (and a bit of luck) there are many techniques you can use to grow readership to a blog. I’ve summarised some of the many articles I’ve written on the topic here on my How to Find Readers for your Blog page. Also check out my 6 part series on How I’d Promote My Blog if I was Starting Out Again. I really believe that the topics covered in that of guest posting (on relevant blogs in your niche), networking, viral content, advertising and social media are a great place to start.

Also – get on Twitter (I know you’re on it Jeremy and Josh but others should) because it’s a pretty hot spot at the moment when it comes on online activity and I think the potential to drive a lot of traffic from there is still only just being realized. It’s a space that is still in it’s early days of development so get in early (even though it’s been a year or two since it launched) and position yourself for the future.

Lastly – keep tracking with ProBlogger because in May I’m planning a month long series on growing readership.

Add Your tips to build blog traffic in comments below and go in the draw to win a ProBlogger Book.

Is it Worth Getting Local Domain Names for a Blog?

Speed-Posting@PopularWealth asks – “I’d like to see geo-domain blogging addressed since you ask Darren. I think geo domains, and “local” sites are getting hot again”

I’m no expert on this topic but I do think that there is something to it well worth exploring from my own personal experience. My first domain was LivingRoom which is a .au (Australian) domain.

I blogged heavily on this domain for a number of years and it got a lot of incoming links in the early days of running it and as a result began to rise in it’s search engine authority. What I found was that despite blogging in some very competitive niches (including Digital Cameras) on that domain it got quite a lot of traffic to it from Google. The traffic didn’t come from the global Google but (the Aussie localized version). For a while there the traffic was quite massive (although less so these days as I’ve let the blogs slip to focus more on my main blogs).

Search engines are focusing more and more on localized search and indexing and promoting local search results to users. While less people use these local search tools than the global ones there is still a market and the traffic they generate can be significant. So yes – I definitely think targeting local markets with local domains can be very worthwhile.

Have you got a local or a global domain name? If you’ve gone local, how have you found the approach?