How Do You Define ‘Great Content’?

Blogging advice articles all seems to include the matra – “create great content”. The theory goes that if you create great content people will come to your blog, link to it, pass it on to friends, bookmark it and your blog will grow.

OK – we’ve heard the ‘write great content’ thing over and over again.

But what is this ‘great content’ thing that we talk about? How do you define it (or can you at all)?

What is Great Content?

I’m interested in how you’d answer this question. Looking forward to seeing what discussion emerges. Feel free to answer as a comment below of if you want to take it up as a post on your blog – please leave a link in comments so we can track what everyone is writing.

How to Live Blog an Event

The subject of live blogging has come up for me three times in the last 24 hours so I thought it might make a good reader discussions.

How would you go about live blogging at a conference?”

That was the question I was just asked – how would you do it? What tools would you use? What strategies would you use to get content online?

PS: as I was about to hit publish on this question an article on this very topic appeared in my RSS feed on Web Worker Daily – Preparing to Live Blog an Event. It’s got some good tips – but what would you add?

66% of Bloggers Don’t Run RSS Ads On Their Blog [POLL RESULTS]

In our last ProBlogger Poll I asked readers whether they run RSS ads on their main blog. The results are in – 66% of you don’t run RSS ads on your blog.


What I find interesting is that 18 months ago I ran this same poll. The results were that 75% of readers didn’t run RSS ads on their blog. While there’s still a significant number of bloggers not doing RSS ads there’s been a definite shift.

PS: Don’t forget to vote in our new poll.

Do you Make Money Online from non Blogging Sources? [POLL]

Time for another ProBlogger poll – looking forward to hearing what you’ve got to say on this question:

Do you Make Money Online from non Blogging Sources?
View Results

If your answer is yes – tell us what the source is in comments below.

Do you Run RSS Ads on Your Main Blog? [POLL]

It’s time for a new poll here on Problogger – this time the question is:

Do you Run RSS Ads on Your Main Blog?

RSS advertising has been around for a couple of years now and I see quite a few RSS ads appearing in my own RSS reading – but I’d be interested to know just how far it extends into the blogosphere – so lets see shall we?

Do You Run RSS Ads on Your Main Blog?
View Results

Looking forward to seeing the results of this poll.

How Long Do You Take To Write a Blog Post?

As part of a little research I’m doing for a post (or a short series of them) next week here at ProBlogger I’d like to ask readers to answer this question:

How Long Do You Take To Write a Blog Post?

I know each post varies depending upon what it is – but on average how long would you say you take to write a blog post? I’d be interested to not only hear the time it takes you but also you usually write posts in one sitting or come back to them over time. Also it’d probably help a little if you told us the type of posts you generally write.

If you only had one hour a day to blog what would you spend it doing?

If you only had one hour a day to blog what would you spend it doing?

A reader recently sent me a question asking how I’d approach blogging if I only had one hour a day. I can’t find the email for the life of me (if it was you please email me and I’ll give you credit) but it went something like this (paraphrased from my recollection of the question):

“I have very limited access to the internet but would like to build a successful blog. Can it be done and if so what activities should I do if I can only get online for one hour a day?”

This is a question that I thought would be a good discussion starter.

As bloggers we have many choices to make when it comes to how to spend our time. There’s obviously a need to write content – but then there are many other activities that compete for our time:

  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Interacting with readers and moderating comments
  • Blog Design
  • Networking with other bloggers
  • Promoting our content in other places (forums, offline etc
  • Adding new features

The list could (and does) go on. I could (and sometimes do) spend anything up to 12 hours a day online blogging – so if confronted with the choice to do only 1 hour’s activities it’d be a difficult thing to work out what to cut.

So how would you fill 1 hour a day on your blogging (or how do you if this is all the time you have)? What’s most important and what activities do you ignore or put off?

Has Blogging Lost Its Relational Focus?

Today I want to talk a little about bloggers working together – to talk about the importance of it and to reflect upon whether the blogosphere has become a less relational place.

“After years of being in an offline business I’ve recently decided to start an online business that will include a blog. However as I research the topic I notice something about bloggers and how they relate to one another that confuses me a little – they link to their ‘competitors’. I’ve always kept an eye on my competitors in the past so that I could gain an advantage over them but bloggers seem to be doing something that is counter-intuitive to me yet it seems to benefit them at the same time. I wonder if you could write something on this topic?” – question submitted by Gerald.

Thanks for the question Gerald – you’ve picked up on something about blogging that is actually very important and something that I’ve always enjoyed about the medium.

Rather that write a full post on the how and why of working with other bloggers today I’d like to simply point you to a series of posts that I wrote on the topic back in 2005. It all started with a post called – ‘Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose‘. In it I share why Geese fly further in formation and how as bloggers we can achieve more with a similar approach. I then followed it up with a number of other posts on building blogging relationships.

I do think that being relational as a blogger is an important aspect of blogging successfully.

Have Things Changed? Are Bloggers Becoming More Selfish?

This is a question I’ve been asked a few times lately and one that I’ve been pondering quite a bit.

You see when I first started blogging (it’ll be six years ago later in the year) there was a real community spirit among bloggers and the idea of bloggers helping bloggers was something most people seemed to embrace.

The blogosphere is a different place now in many ways. For starters there are a lot more blogs. There is almost a bigger focus upon blogging as a business tool and the idea of making money online in general.

As a result I do think there’s probably been a shift (a smallish one) to some degree in the ways that bloggers look at and treat one another. For example I hear people talking about their ‘competition’ a lot more and see some bloggers link out to other blogs in their niches less. I also see bloggers developing relationships more out of strategy rather than just because they want to connect.

However if you scratch under the surface you do find many bloggers working together in mutually beneficial ways. Behind most successful blogs you find a network of relationships and stories of blogs getting their breaks out of such relationships.

I don’t think that relational blogging is dead at all, but perhaps it’s just a little harder to find? I suspect this is more the case in some niches than others as I do see some fantastic communities of bloggers in around some topics.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this

Is connecting with other bloggers important to you? Do you think blogging has become more or less relational?

UpdateI’ve updated this post here.

iPhone Applications for Bloggers

I know quite a few ProBlogger readers are enjoying the iPhone App store – so I thought I’d ask the question:

What iPhone Applications are most useful for bloggers?

In addition to that – what iPhone apps would you like to see developed for bloggers?

PS: I’m yet to get an iPhone (although I have ordered one at last and it should be here 1 August) but one app I’d love would be one that interacts with Google Analytics or some other metrics program. I’d like something that would send me a message/email/sms which an ‘event’ happens on one of my blogs. Events could be spikes in traffic, server outages, spikes in comments on a post, rise in traffic from a social media source…. Knowing these things would help keep blogs up and running but also leverage unusual traffic trends. Just a pie in the sky wish.