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More on Posting Schedules

Peter at Almost Cool comments on my series on Blog Apathy – particularly picking up on some of the comments on posting goals and schedules. He rightly observes that with RSS subscribers you’re likely to get readers look at your posts whether you post regularly or irregularly and argues against quantity over quality of posts. This has been a common response to my mention of a posting schedule from a number of readers.

I agree with Peter and others – quality posting is essential to good blogging – but I guess want to argue for balance.

Blogging commercially is a traffic game whether we like it or not. If you want to earn more money one good way to get it is to increase your readership. Quality content is essential but so is quantity. You can write one fantastic post per week and get a bit of exposure but the chances are that unless it’s amazing it will never draw enough traffic to sustain you financially until the next post.

Having a posting schedule or goal is like being a journalist with a deadline. It’s not meant to decrease the quality – but gives an end point when the article needs to be finished so that a new one can be started upon and that a paper/magazine can continue its publishing rhythm.

Perhaps one of the things I should have mentioned some of the following in my initial comments on posting schedules:

[Read more...]

The Best Blog Content

Just stumbled upon an article at awesomeblogs.com which looks at Why Blogs Have Become the Search Engine Optimization Equalizer. It’s one of those mass produced ‘free articles’ that I warn bloggers from using too much – but it does make a useful observation about some of the top sites on the internet:

‘The big sites on the internet got to be that way because the consistently add new, original, and exclusive content to their websites.

While you and I may never have as much content on our sites as the big boys do, we can benefit from the lessons they teach to us.

Now that you have also learned this important lesson, it is time to put this knowledge into action. Make it part of your daily or weekly schedule to add fresh, interesting content to your website. ‘

The lesson is a good one. The following are some of the words that describe the best type of content if we subscribe to this theory:

fresh – original – interesting – exclusive – new – daily

This is the type of content that will get you ranking higher in search engines, its the type of content that will get your readers coming back every day and its the type of content that will generate incoming links to it and referral readership.

Of course most bloggers have a mixture of this type of content and other content – links to other sites, quotes from others etc – but in most cases the more you increase the quotient of the fresh and original stuff the more chance you give your blog to grow.

The Long and the Short of Blog Posts

Dave Taylor answers the eternal blogging question of “Are long blog entries better than short ones?” and writes :

‘I’m reminded of a common piece of advice from good development editors in the publishing business about how long a chapter or book should ultimately be: write just enough to cover the material at the appropriate level of detail, then stop….

Personally, I don’t subscribe to weblogs where the typical entry is less than about 250 words, because I’m not interested in discoverability, that is, what other pages on the Web I should be checking out, but in why the blogger thinks the page, article, site, entry, whatever, is worth my attention.’

I’m with Dave in arguing that each blogger needs to work out what length post suits their writing style and blog topic.

Whilst I’d always advise that your posts should be to the point – I find that here at ProBlogger my posts tend to be much longer on average than some of my other blogs – (and you as readers don’t seem to mind) – however on other blogs readers seem to want quick and simple information and the short post works very well.

I also find that on those blogs you choose to post lengthy posts on it’s helpful to use the extended entry field and to mix up the length of your posts. In the middle of your long ones put a few short and simple ones – after all, variety is the spice of life.

What’s the average length of your blog posts?

Quality vs Quantity of Posting?

I was chatting to a soon-to-be-blogger this morning about ProBlogging and he asked me how long he’d have to blog before he could earn a reasonable amount from it.

It’s a common question that is usually on the lips of new bloggers exploring the world of ProBlogging.

Of course there is no real answer to the question as there are just so many factors including:

- traffic levels (which rely upon many other factors)
- value of ads for the topic you’ve chosen
- revenue streams chosen

Another factor I talked with him about was his level of posting. Obviously the larger a blog is the increased chance of earning income it has. Whilst it’s not impossible for a small website or blog to be a good earner – in most cases the number of posts on a blog is a major contributing factor.

This flies a little in the face of the constant catch cry I hear from many bloggers about ‘quality content being the key to successful blogging’ – I agree with this – but want to argue that it’s not just the quality that counts – ProBloggers also need to consider quantity. For me it’s not an ‘either or’ question – it’s about both.

As I often say – the more pages in your blog the more potential entry points you have to it via search engine referrals. Of course it’s not just a matter of creating thousands of useless pages (although some try this) – each page should be a useful page with high quality content – but in general the more pages you’ve got the better.

Out of interest this afternoon I decided it was time to add up how many pages of content I’ve generated since I started blogging in November of 2002….

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Posting Frequency Observations

One of the things that going away and not checking your RSS feeds for a month can do for you is help identify who is blogging how much.

I generally clear my bloglines account every day. As a result I don’t notice from day to day which of my 350 or so feeds are updating frequently.

Being away for four weeks has left me confronting 7000+ unread items (many of which I won’t read). However in scanning through them I’m surprised to see how little some of my favorite bloggers are posting. In 30 days some of them posted less than 5 times.

I won’t embarrass anyone by naming names – however some of them are pretty prominent and in my ‘must read’ list.

On the other hand I also observed that some of the bloggers that I follow are even more prolific at posting than I am – with literally hundreds of posts over the 30 or so days.

I don’t really have a point to make – just an observation that I’ll file away to think through later on.

How often have you posted in the past 30 days?

Looking For Online Revenue Bloggers – ReveNews

ReveNews is a trusted, unbiased source focusing on Internet related industries such as online marketing, SEM, affiliate marketing, retail (e-commerce), analytics, spyware, blogging and much more. ReveNews authors consist of highly respected thinkers, commentators and business people who have real experience and insight. ReveNews readers include industry gurus, top-level executives and CEO’s, plus many of the industry’s top net-repreneurs; all coming together to create a global Internet community to distribute, discuss and analyze the industry at hand.

Interested in writing for us? Applications are being accepted now.

“I was standing in line at an industry show when someone grabbed my arm and introduced themselves saying they read my blog at ReveNews all the time and wanted to ask a question. Turns out it was a senior developer from Google. He couldn’t say enough about the good things he reads on our site. Pretty cool. And a nice contact to have in the future.” – Wayne Porter, ReveNews Blogger

Canadian Professional Blogging Podcast 2.2 – your blogging voice continued

For those of you following the start of our Canadian Professional Blogging series, thanks for turning in. Tris and I really appreciated the feedback and have built upon that to create a more detailed look at finding your blogging voice.

Having a voice is a key factor in getting noticed, being read, and building up that much needed traffic to your site. However, creating that “voice” may seem like a daunting thing. Many people don’t find writing easy, and that makes it even harder. We hope that our podcast and the notes will help people figure out a path that works for them.

One tip we talk about is reading everything you can find. The writers that appeal to you likely do so because you connect with that voice. Try to apply that same style to how you write and you’ll be one step closer to a distinctive voice. Another tip is to think about your writing verbally – your conversation style should go into your writing. If you are someone who speaks in short bursts, then you can try that out on your blog.
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Improve your typing skills

Being a professional blogger means in most of the cases: publish content, targeted at your audience, structured, and well written.

But the other part is: It has to be typed. And the more you want to publish, the more you have to type, and edit, and retype … If you where writing a book, you could give your handwritten manuscript to somebody else, but as a blogger, you are on your own.

If you don’t have good typing skills, blogging will be much more of an effort for you – and then you publish less. But other than being a good writer is at least part talent, being a speedy typer is purely training.

So let’s take a quick look at your typing skills: [Read more...]

Trying FeedBurner Total Stats Pro on View from the Isle

headerlogo.jpgYeah, I admit it, I’m a metrics junky.  Which is good, since I am the chief blogger for Elytics.com writing on the web metrics blog.  Regardless, I’m also a huge fan of FeedBurner.  I admit I check my FeedBurner stats throughout the day, especially when one of my articles has been picked up by several other blogs.  In spite of being a metrics junky and really wanting to know what content is popular on my blog I resisted trying Total Stats PRO–Burning Questions – The Official FeedBurner Weblog - FeedBurner – FeedBurner Total Stats PRO.  Why?  I’m cost conscious.  I really try to keep my business overhead low.  Then it hit me, as a blog consultant/pro blogger/syndicated writer I really should look into this.  I already set up all my clients with FeedBurner from day one–learning from my own mistake–and I tell my clients check your FeedBurner and other stats to figure out what content is most popular and use this to help guide your content decisions.  It makes logical sense, then, that I should try it myself and see if it’s worth $5/month.  So, over the next 15 days I’ll be checking my stats with Total Stats PRO.  I’ll probably do an initial assessment later today, then one in a few days, etc.
 
As professional bloggers our content is both our calling card and our gravy train.  It’s how we earn our money.  There’s no point in writing tons of articles on topic x if those aren’t as popular as topic y, especially if you’re writing for a client.  There will always be a certain number of articles that you write or publish, things like press releases, that aren’t glamorous and don’t get a lot of attention, but are essential regardless.  Then there are the articles which both you and your client intend to be interesting to a wider audience, those are the articles that I’m talking about.  That’s the important information that I hope FeedBurner can now provide me.  If so, $5/month could be a paltry price to pay to be able to effectively target the content published on a blog by blog basis.  Here’s hoping!
 
I will post charts, tables, etc as appropriate to give you a feel for what I’m seeing.  Because great data poorly presented, is almost as useless as not having it at all.
 
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Tris Hussey is a professional blogger and blog consultant, the Chief Blogging Officer for Qumana Software, and Managing Director of Qumana Services.  He can be reached at tris AT qumana DOT com or tris AT trishussey DOT com.
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