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Blogging Debates – There are Many Ways to Build a Successful Blog

Debates in blogging circles have raged for years now on many topics.

  • Should a blog have full feeds or partial feeds?
  • Is a blog a blog if it doesn’t have comments?
  • Frequency of Posting – Should a blog post once a week, once a day or 20 times a day?
  • Should you self host your blog or use a free blogging platform?

There are many questions and issues that bloggers tend to debate when it comes to blogging and each time I ask one of these questions as a reader question it is amazing to see the diversity of opinions that bloggers have and decisions that they’ve made about how to run their blogs.

Here are some of the topics I’ve seen debated regularly over the years:

  • RSS Feeds - Full vs Partial Feeds
  • Comment Sections – Comments vs No Comments
  • Post Frequency – Post More vs Post Less
  • Domain Names – long vs short, hyphens vs non hypens, .com vs other extensions (like .net, .org), local vs global domain extensions
  • Hosting – hosted vs self hosted
  • Titles – descriptive vs keywords
  • Content – Link content vs Original content
  • Design – Professional Design vs Templates
  • Ownership – Use Social Media vs Build Your own properties
  • Topic – Niche vs Broad Topics
  • Dating Posts – Dates on Posts vs Non Dated
  • Anonymous blogging vs Using Your Name
  • SEO – Writing for Search Engines vs Writing for Humans
  • Personal Blogging – Sticking to Topic vs Injecting Personality and Personal details

I’m sure if we were to go through each topic in turn (and I intend to tackle each going forward into the next month) that there would be a little heat in some of the discussions because many of them are things that bloggers have quite strongly held opinions on.

However – the reality is that there are many ways to build a successful blog and in almost every debate that bloggers have there are bloggers who manage to take almost diametrically opposed approaches to blogging yet who build successful blogs.

For me it comes down to being willing to enter into building blogs that are shaped more by the topic you’re writing about, the audience you’re attempting to reach and in a way that fits with your style, personality and situation. Out of all that will emerge a way of blogging that is unique.

What other blog debates do you see happening?

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. If you want to make money blogging you need to host your own blog.

    You want to have control over that aspect of it. If you work hard on a blog & monetize it and for some reason it gets pulled from a free host site -you’ll be sorry!

    Same for registering your domain & hosting -use different ones in case of potential problems.

  2. Very nice post about blogging debates here.

    I personally think as long as the blog can retain loyal readers, it is consider a successful blog.

    I am still rather new to blogging and would frequent your resourceful blog to learn new tips and tricks.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jane
    Fapturbo Review

  3. Darren,

    I don’t think it’s debated as much as some of your other mentions, but whether or not to post highly controversial posts (those posts with potential for sever backlash) or try to appease the masses is probably an internal debate many bloggers have before pressing that publish button.

    As with all things, including these debate topics, each side to the debate has pros and cons and should be weighed against a known objective for the blog itself or the particular post in question.

    That’s my $0.02.

  4. VlogHog says:

    Outsourcing content vs producing your own.

    I imagine there are some people who do both.

  5. Fatin Pauzi says:

    Well, everyone has their own opinion and insight about all aspect of blogging and it depends on what niche that they are focus on.

  6. earnword says:

    i believe many people put personal thing into their writing. that make their voice reach to us..

  7. Not everyone opens links in a new tab.. I think it is better to have links to open in a new window so that the reader will less chances of wandering away from the blog.

    I observed from the statistics that many readers use internet explorer as browser while I use firefox. So what I see may not be the same thing as they see.

  8. Darren Rowse says:

    what a tonne of great debates – thanks all for your suggestions. I’m hoping to take some of your thoughts and using them as the basis for posts in the coming weeks.

  9. Adam says:

    Cool post! I think debates not only helps us in developing our knowledge and enhancing the traffic to our site but it’s fun too! I guess Guru vs Non Guru debates will be an interesting topics. Other than that paid links vs free links. I hope to see this debates in a professional ways. Will you run this debates Darren? Thanks and God bless you!

    Regards,
    Adam
    http://www.boundlessfreebies.com

  10. Richard says:

    Many people have responded with “It depends…” Or, “There are many paths to success…”

    That may be true, however, if I remember my high school debate training, one must provide support or evidence for the position taken in a debate. I come to a site like this one (ProBlogger) to learn about the evidence so that I can make an informed choice.

    If these debate options come down to the level of “my favorite color” then it doesn’t say much for the type of debate. No, I need someone who can…

    ->conduct and report on research regarding debate hypotheses,
    ->report on the research of others, interpreting it so that it makes sense to the lay person (beginning blogger in my case,
    ->failing in the above (which I suspect will be often; has there really been much research to prove or recommend the best choice on individual debates?), provide a list of possible reasons for the recommended choices.

    Let me give an example: Free platforms (Blogger, WordPress.com) vs. a platform (like WordPress.org) on one’s own domain. Many of the comments above dealt with

    * credibility (especially if your niche is about blogging!).
    * whether readers care about the platform – it’s all about content.

    So, is there any research to support how readers react? Forget about the celebrities. For the great mass of non-celebrity bloggers, do readers differentiate and care? Where and when was the research conducted and what were the results?

    Moreover, is that really all there is to the question? Is SEO affected by the blogging platform at all? What else?

    For each “debate” I would love to see a fully reasoned response, citing research where and if it exists.

    As for “it depends…” then a flowchart would be nice — something that takes into consideration the various contingencies, so that the course of action makes the best sense based on known research and/or the experience of varying experts.

    Now that I have laid out my pie in the sky, please don’t say… “Let them eat cake!”

  11. Ruth says:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Ruth

    http://muffinsnow.com

  12. Ara says:

    Ads vs No Ads?

    Anyone cover it yet? For me, ads reduce our blog value. In some case i took a look several websites which provide ads, i feel that i was invited not to see the way they share their ideas.

    But more about getting trapped by clicking their ads :D

  13. Lena says:

    It’d be boring if everyone was doing the same thing :)
    I suppose if you feel that something doesn’t work – then maybe try something new. if your style is working, keep at it.

  14. A friend of mine recently told me he will self-host all of his sites on a powerful server and Internet connection that he will purchase.

    I told him how it is dangerous because he can’t have the A/C on all the time and if there is an power outage, he is in trouble. He told me he doesn’t care because he will save a few hundred a month…or will he?

    -Mike

  15. Ryan says:

    Full vs. Partial RSS:

    As a reader, I like the full RSS. I have also heard the other side of the argument that having a full RSS means that people never visit your site. But, if they are an avid subscriber, I would say that is just as valuable, right?

    What about ads? How do you insert ads into an RSS feed?