Orange County (2002)
In my quest for becoming more well-known in the blogosphere, I’ve read my fair share of blogging tips. I have incorporated a lot of them into my writing and to the design of this website, and there are several that will be utilized in due time.
However, there are some tips that I encounter a lot. So much so, that people consider them “rules of blogging.”
1. Get a single niche and never go off-topic
This one really pisses me off to be honest.
I’m the kind of guy who has many interests and wants to share them with the world. If you share yourself with the world and have the writing and/or speaking chops, then people out there will visit your website.
Of course if your interests are narrow, like collecting exotic vintage bicycle rims from the 70’s, then you might not get millions of hits a month unless you put a creative spin on it (pun kind of intended).
2. If you wanna talk about something else, have more than one blog
I kinda understand this one, but just like going niche and only having a single topic, it’s incredibly short-sighted.
As I’ve said before, I have lots of interests. However, my attention for them is always in flux. One day, I might want to talk about guitars all day. The next day, I may only be interested in anime. You see where I’m going with this?
If I were to start a blog about just anime, in order for it to get anywhere traffically-speaking, I would have to devote a lot of time to it. What if one day I want to do something else? My stats for the blog would plummet.
A similar thing happened to SpicyMelon.com. Although I was very passionate about getting it off the ground (and I still want to see it fully operational), I couldn’t devote enough time and attention to make it happen.
I find it much easier on myself to have just one blog about many topics. If I were to create another blog, I would must likely be a contributing author as opposed to the only author.
In fact, I’m trying to get things started for a collablog (a collaborative blog) between me and my friends involving Magic: The Gathering. Granted, they might be busy since they’re in college, but if I can get 5-7 dependable people to write one article a week, then we’re good to go! I might write an occasional article, but for the most part, I would be setting things up from behind the scenes.
3. Get an email newsletter
Sending out a weekly or monthly email newsletter is a great idea…if you have a blog with more than one author, that is.
I find that if your content is good enough already, then there’s no need for a newsletter. Sure you could find a way to monetize it in freemium fashion (giving away great content for free and then offering better content at a price, hence free+premuim=freemium), but ultimately, you’ll burn yourself out really quick without more authors to help you.
4. Talk about popular topics
This is a very unscalable short-term blogging strategy. Even if you had a team of writers at your disposal, you would always be fighting to stay on top by being relevant.
Your old posts should help your traffic stay afloat instead of just being yesterday’s news. Writing excellent content that is timeless will allow you to take a breather and focus more on the quality of content rather than the quantity.
That’s not to say that you can’t discuss what’s going on in your life. Sure it may bind your writing to that point in time, but it shows your audience the human side of you. It allows them to better connect with you and brings them closer to seeing through your prospective.
When I was talking about how my brother and I were going to become homeless (thank God that didn’t happen!), my traffic didn’t dip and I received no ill comments. In fact, my traffic spiked a bit and I received several positive comments with suggestions on how to avoid being homeless. Ultimately my brother and I didn’t become homeless, but I did learn what I could do if we ever did.
5. Make the most of your money from Adsense
When I first heard about making money from blogging, all I ever heard people talk about was AdSense this and AdSense that. As some of my long-time readers may know, my AdSense account was disabled due to illegal clicks from “somebody.”
In truth, I was the one who made those clicks. Although it was pretty darn obvious, I feel so bad having lied to everyone about it. It may be too late to get my AdSense account back up and running, but it did teach me a valuable lesson: don’t try to cheat the system for your own gain.
Losing my AdSense account made me look up other means of making money. Eventually, I settled on the means I have today. Even now, I’m still looking for new ways to make money online.
At the risk of sounding like an after-school special, I hope that you guys learned from both my mistakes and what I’ve talked about today. The so-called “blogging rules” may work wonders for some bloggers, but for others including myself, there’s more than one way to has a cheeseburger. Thought I was gonna say “skin a cat”, right? Think again, haha!