My RSS is riddled with blogs, about blogs(!), marketing, making money online, affiliates, travel biz, php, wordpress, design, viral marketing, social media promotion and a bunch of other things.
And from time to time, every blogger feels he needs to write a post, on how to blog. It is like the offline world writers (you know, the guys that make books), if they have a book published, they can write an article on how to publish books.
That is not correct. Not at all. But people believe them.
You see, the problem with the internet is that anyone can write whatever he thinks. And despite what morons believe, not everyone is fit for teaching or writing stuff. Nowadays, every self-proclaimed blogger gets a few thousand morons blindly commenting “OMG AWESOME POST, GIVE US MOAR” on every single post, and he thinks he is a professional.
Ignore what self-proclaimed probloggers tell you about blogging.
Instead, take the entrepreneurial approach to blogging.
Let’s take this piece of garbage for example. Have it open in a tab so you can compare notes. And read it of course.
Now, this guy(?) tells people how to successfully launch a blog. The article ranks #1, because as you can see, it has 1k diggs.
Ok. But how authoritative are those opinions and the votes exactly? Let’s not forget, Digg is a crowd, that is why we call it the “Digg crowd”. A crowd is run by “crowd mentality”, meaning if a critical mass of people boo at something, everybody then gets to throw stones. If a critical mass of people cheer at someone, the whole mass is cheering now.
Summary: No, something that got “votes”, does not mean that it is valuable. On the contrary, it only means that it is popular. Popular != valuable. People need to get this deep into their heads.
Lets see his points in successfully launching your blog, one by one:
1. Connect with your readers through an about page and welcome message.
No. Connect with your readers through a well branded logo and a clever slogan that describes you in a sentence.
2. Donâ€™t get seen naked: Never launch a blog with fewer than 5 posts.
No. Launch now. Launch yesterday! Your blog will never be complete and ready. One of the things I enjoy about webdesign is how you can tweak your site while its getting hammered by geeks around the world. Of course it is equally easy to fuck it up completely, but you never learn unless you break stuff.
3. Make sure a link to your RSS feed is available above the fold.
4. Make RSS easier still: Add subscribe links to the most popular newsreaders.
5. Offer an email version of your RSS feed.
Yes. Feedburner takes care of those two, set it up, forget it. Nothing more to see here.
6. Put chicklets in your template.
Yes. But don’t overdo it, it is easy to get carried away and put up dozens of social buttons. Think about what your niche is. Sure, stumble upon votes would be nice, but is your site commercial? Then it is certain that no stumbler will ever stumble on your button. Is it a SEO blog? Put up Sphinn, it is all you need (despite them being anal fucking idiots who don’t know how to use their own CMS). You get the idea. Different social sites fancy completely different blogs.
7. Be your own promoter: Seed your best posts.
Yes. For some arcane reason, word is that submitting your own content is a big No-No. That is bullshit. It is much easier for a reader to click a vote up button instead of doing the whole submission, no matter how fast it is. Plus, only you can write catchy yet keyword stuffed anchor text and enticing descriptions.
8. Leave highly valuable comments on other blogs in your niche.
FFS no. If you really are going to comment, be controversial.
9. Reload quickly: Take advantage of your initial launch buzz.
If this is your first launch, NO. You have no idea what you are doing, and rushing content is a mistake. If you are experienced in launching sites, then yes, ride the wave, use the momentum.
10. Include tons of outbound links in your posts.
Yes. The internet is based on links. Dont ever listen to those assholes who tell you to hoard linkjuice and “keep the visitor on your site”. You don’t control the visitor. The visitor can do whatever the fuck he wants. By not linking you are reducing your site’s value. The biggest site in the world (yes, Google) is doing a single thing, sending traffic away.
11. If you have something to give, give it away!
Yes. Freebies always work. Sometimes they work too well.
12. Start real relationships with bloggers in your niche.
No. Don’t sweat it. If you are going to go deep in the niche, you are bound to form relationships anyway. By forcing your way into a gang, you will be seen as an idiot at best, and as a slimy abuser at worst.
13. Submit your blog to blog directories.
14. Submit your blog to general web directories such as DMOZ and Aviva.
15. Leave your blogâ€™s URL as your signature when you participate in forums.
Yes. If what you say is worthwhile, people will want to check out your blog hungry for more. I do it, other bloggers do it, many people do it. Just do it.
16. Use your URL in your email signature.
Yes and no. It depends. It does work, but it might seem as too much “salesman” behaviour. It depends on your crowd, if it can support it, then do it.
17. Myspace or Facebook members: Put a link in your profile.
18. Submit guest posts at other blogs.
Comment on their posts about how intellectually underevolved they are and you will receive the same benefit.
19. Ask friends for feedback on your site.
No. Your friends, unless they happen to be the top bloggers in your niche, don’t know shit about a blog. Never ask for their opinion, you will either get sugarcoated bullshit or opinionated ignorance. The best people to judge your site are your competitors. Never value an opinion from someone with no experience in the matter.
20. Go â€˜Real-Worldâ€™ with other bloggers.
Yes. If you are lucky to live near important people in your biz, by all means go for it. Don’t sweat it, as I said, let it come naturally. Real-world networking has benefits that come close to actual cheating
21. Dress up your comments.
No. And unless you have something useful to say, buzz off.
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