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3 Blogging Concepts That Do Work, No Matter What Anyone Says

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015

That looks like an antagonistic title, doesn’t it? In a way it is, but in a way it’s not. This is one of those posts where I’m going to use my own expertise to dispute something someone else wrote where, in my opinion, they’re totally wrong. I’m also going to link to the post because one, it allows you the visitor to go see the entire post, and two, linking to someone you’re talking about, good or bad, is just being courteous.

Architecture at Kings Cross Station, London
** Lucky Cavey ** via Compfight

Before I move on I just want to add that this is the type of thing that can help to make a business blog work well. It’s not bad when you agree with what someone else says and want to enhance it, but it’s also not bad when you don’t just follow along with what someone else says when you don’t agree.

Anyway, on a blog called Hongkiat, the writer wrote a post titled Popular Blogging Advice That Don’t Work (and What Does). Forgiving the grammar since English isn’t his first language, he listed 5 points that he believed don’t work, or aren’t true about blogging. I disagree with 3 of his points, and I brought those points up on his blog in the comments. But I wanted to say a bit more, hence this post.

Here’s the points and my commentary on them; I’m paraphrasing them since he wrote the points differently:

1. Blogging every day doesn’t do your blog any good.

His point was that no one could write every day because they’d run out of things to say and that the content wouldn’t be very good. I want to negate that statement; it’s not impossible but it’s not easy. On one of my blogs I was an almost every day blogger. I averaged just over 300 posts a year my first three years with that blog. In one stretch, I wrote 37 days in a row, 5 of those days 2 posts a day. Were there some duds? Yes, but I felt that all the rest were pretty good.

Here’s the truth. The more you write, the more traffic you’ll get. That’s been proven over and over. The other truth is that, for a blog, if there are too many articles in a day or in a week, visitors might get confused by what they need to read. Sure, I had a great output, and my traffic showed it, and thus my rankings went up; that was good. But I didn’t get tons of comments, and some posts didn’t get any comments at all.

Still, it built up my web presence, and I was willing to write that much to help that blog gain prominence, which it has. After 3 years I decided to slow down some, not commit to writing every day, but to commit to having a new post at least every 3 days or so. That I have stuck with, and I now get way more comments. But writing a lot established the blog, so it does work.

2. It’s impossible to write great content if you blog every day.

As I mentioned above, this is a fallacy, but let me take it a step further. In a post I wrote back in 2011 titled What Is High Quality Content, I stated that it’s a recommendation I see people making all the time but no one has ever tried defining it. So I did, and came up with these four points:

* If you’re writing about something that’s supposed to teach someone something new, did you explain it well enough?

* If you’re trying to tell a story and you don’t skip on details, such that people are left wondering “what the heck was that about”, then you’re creating high quality content.

* Are you writing something about a particular belief or thought? Have you taken the time to explain why believe as you do, or are you just saying something and moving on?

* Are you being true to yourself?

People from my generation remember B-sides of 45’s, and sometimes those songs were just as good as the songs being pushed by the studios. Not every post you write will be a home run, but if you tried to get it right in some fashion, were on point, and even if it was short it’s an honest post, it’s great content. You’re telling me that you can’t do that every time out, even if you wrote something every day? Sure you can; never sell yourself short.

3. Commenting frequently on other blogs doesn’t do anything for your blog.

In 2011 I did something as an experiment. I was interviewed on a very prominent blog by a young man who’s an up and comer in the online social media world. I also wrote a guest post for a very high ranking blog, something I don’t do all that often. During the same period, I decided to complete the test by making sure I wrote comments on 5 blogs every day for at least a week; I do comment on a lot of blogs but often I do a bunch in one day.

The results were staggering. Out of all the traffic numbers 85% of my visits came from blog commenting out of those 3 things. The guest post I wrote had around 200 comments, which is pretty phenomenal since I’ve never reached that on any of my blogs, but it only accounted for 9% of visits. The interview I gave accounted for the other 6%. I tracked these numbers via Google Analytics. Indeed, blog commenting does work, especially if you make sure your comments are good.

Since that time I’ve tested this one a few times, and blog commenting always works. They can’t be garbage, throwaway comments; you have to offer something based on the topic, even if it’s minor criticism or faint praise. If your comments are pretty good, people other than the owner tend to read them.

There you go. Myths dispelled with some home testing and proof. Now, does it take a lot of work? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. But if you have it, and can apply these 3 things, your blog will take off and you’ll be a very happy person.
 

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29 Comments »

Holly Jahangiri:

1) The more you practice writing – intentionally, purposefully, and, as you pointed out later, being true to yourself – the better your writing becomes. So whether it does your blog’s metrics any good or not, the improved quality of writing will do you AND your blog a great deal of good in the long run.

I’ve found 3-4 posts a week to be most manageable. I do not write most posts in 15 minutes. It takes thought, sometimes requires research, and involves editing. It means remembering to check the details like images, categories, and tags.

2) Bullfeathers. Maybe it’s impossible if you don’t have any thoughts in your head, or you’re ill or in severe pain. Or maybe you hate writing, and shouldn’t be blogging in the first place. If it’s your business, PAY A WRITER. I once wrote 19 fairly GOOD posts in one day. Granted, I wanted to shoot myself when I was done… but if you enjoy writing, one good post a day is hardly a stretch.

3) Obviously he’s wrong, Mitch. But I think you and I have one thing in mind when it comes to comments, and the original author may have had another thing in mind. There are drive by “nice post” (or “someone’s paying me ten cents a comment and I really don’t give a rat’s whiskers what the heck you wrote about, up there”) and then there are conversations. Conversations pique readers’ curiosity. Beats begging, every time.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Champagne and Strawberries = VindicationMy Profile

February 12th, 2015 | 3:45 PM

LOL! Glad you took up the mantle on this one. Obviously we agree on all the points. I actually wrote 20 posts once as well, but I was writing for someone else and they were horrible posts… but he liked them. For myself I once wrote 14 posts in a day; that felt good. If I could figure out how to make money off all this writing, on topics I want to write about… I could write a storm!

By the way, did you see my comment on that post of hers and my response?

February 12th, 2015 | 9:45 PM

I can’t dispute anything you’ve said here. Even the concept of “running out of things to say” is a bit of nonsense. I’ve found that some of my most highly visited posts are on topics that I’ve repeated a number of times and are common topics on other blogs. There are certain things that people love to chime in on no matter how often it’s said.

I know the commenting as a means of generating reciprocal visits works. That was the discovery that lead me to start the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I didn’t start receiving comments on my blog until I started leaving comments on other blogs. It’s a proven fact that the more blogs you comment on the greater the reciprocated visits that you will receive. I don’t see how any one can disprove that one–at least anyone who is not an absolute superstar to whom readers flock and how many of those do we see?

Great post and if you post the same thing said differently next month that will be a great post as well. Some things never wear out, especially when you’re talking to bloggers about blogging. Weird how that works, but it does.

Arlee
Arlee Bird recently posted…What If Everyone Who Read Books Had to Review Them?My Profile

February 12th, 2015 | 3:48 PM

You know Arlee, after all the posts I’ve had on this blog, sometimes I know that I’ve covered something previously, though I’m saying something different, and other times I really do work to find something new to mention. After 7 years, some stuff just comes back around and works because it’s still happening or still valid.

One of these days, when my mind is in a much better place, I am going to try one of your A to Z challenges; might be fun. I’m surprised Holly hasn’t tried it yet; she usually likes stuff like that. 🙂

February 12th, 2015 | 9:48 PM

All valid arguments, Mitch and I’m a huge believer in sharing and commenting. Sadly, not everyone understands the reciprocal nature of blogging. As for publishing daily, once a year for the A-Z challenge is IT for me, otherwise, usually anywhere from 1-3 times a week, (the occasional hiatus notwithstanding). I’m slow and have this perfectionist bent – just can’t write and format that fast, but, it’s getting better.
Debbie D. recently posted…THE COMPUTER IS A WONDERFUL INVENTION!My Profile

February 12th, 2015 | 11:45 PM

Thanks Debbie. I wouldn’t hold anyone to blogging commitments they couldn’t keep up with but someone telling others that there’s no possible way they can write a lot and be good is easily open for debate. Every single post one writes doesn’t have to be “epic”, which is what some people try for. I read one last week that was on that line… at least in length. However, at a certain point it rambled, to the point where I felt the message was lost. If that’s what someone decides to put out once a week I’d much prefer 3 shorter posts that were on point, even just one.

February 13th, 2015 | 4:47 PM

True enough and I’m trying to get the hang of not obsessing over every word. As they say, it’s “hard to teach an old dog new tricks”, but not impossible.
Debbie D. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge 2015: WHAT I LEARNED FROM LAST YEARMy Profile

February 16th, 2015 | 1:05 PM

Nothing’s impossible! 😉

February 16th, 2015 | 6:18 PM

I agree with you Mitch that this other writer was not correct in his thoughts. On one of my blogs, I could write every day successfully hitting all four of your ‘great content’ points. So why not do it? Frankly it takes me an hour or more to write my 500 word post. Why so long? I do the best SEO I can. I have to find two or three pictures I can legally use. Sometimes I edit the pictures. I use proper English so my post is easy to understand and does not sound like something run through an article spinner or something. So yeah, I COULD write every day but, uh, LIFE happens.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mitch. Spot on.
Troy S. recently posted…#869 Dr. Seuss – a true master at his craftMy Profile

February 13th, 2015 | 1:37 AM

I’m with you Troy; now if I could figure out how to get paid for all this blogging… 🙂 By the way, you have seen on this blog where I talked about the plugin Compfight for images haven’t you?

February 13th, 2015 | 4:48 PM

Hi Mitch,
I am a beginner blogger and I still have much to learn about blogging. And I thank you for having wanted to share about your blogging experience. And I am still confused whether better blogging every day or as you have shared here?
Marjun recently posted…Samsung will release Galaxy Tab S Second generationMy Profile

February 14th, 2015 | 12:13 AM

Blog to your comfort level; that’s always the best advice one can take.

February 14th, 2015 | 12:33 AM

Blogging is writing online diary. Yes, my blogging purpose just like that. But when I read many blogs, may be I have to give something useful for my readers.

February 14th, 2015 | 8:25 AM

Well, blogging isn’t necessarily an online diary unless that’s what the writer wishes it to be. As for giving something to your readers, once again it depends on if that’s what you want to do.

February 14th, 2015 | 3:11 PM

For sure Mitch. I try to use CompFight as much as I can. Thank you for exposing me to it. I like using it because I legally can. Even still though I have to often run the pictures through Photoshop or Picasa 3 and tweek them a bit. I like to keep my image size below say, 800 pixels and no more than 500 on the blog page to help keep load times down. Plus of coure you are adding Alt Text etc right? Ugh! So much work. And yes, where is all that ‘easy money’ ‘they’ said we would make doing this? LOL!
Troy S. recently posted…#860 Madonna makes me smile like a Lucky StarMy Profile

February 14th, 2015 | 9:51 PM

Actually, no I don’t. The images from Compfight already have tags for their photographer so I don’t add my own to those. Truthfully, I never add them to my own images either; never even thought about it. lol

February 14th, 2015 | 11:51 PM

On my blogs I download the images and host them on my site. I do this so I can edit things like the alternative text which is the text that the search engine uses to understand images. Since I use WordPress it is really easy to edit this stuff but it just takes a little time. The idea is to try to get more traffic. If you view the source code for my recent post about the VLC Media Player License Agreement, on line 222 you can spy the Alt Text for the image on that post. (alt=”vlc media player”)
Anyway there is SO much to do. Seems like every day I learn something new. Like who knew you should optimize your 404 pages? LOL!
Troy S. recently posted…VLC Media Player License AgreementMy Profile

February 15th, 2015 | 5:28 PM

I did know about the 404 thing; I’ve only done it on one of my sites though. As for the images, I used to download them and do all the prep work but that got tiring so I gave it up; way too long a process.

February 16th, 2015 | 5:53 PM

PS- Here is a good article about – How to Optimize Images for Better Search Engine Rankings diythemes dot com / thesis/ wordpress-seo-image-optimization/
Sorry about breaking up the URL. Did not want to be or appear spammy. LOL!
Troy S. recently posted…VLC Media Player License AgreementMy Profile

February 15th, 2015 | 5:31 PM
Dee:

It is much more interesting to hear a first person experience in a blog, as opposed to a tutorial instructing me.
I have read the blog you mentioned, but unfortunately my love to correct grammar ruined that experience before I was even able to focus on the content. Thank you for writing in such a clear and concise manner, and confirming that my current strategies can be effective despite what others have written.

February 16th, 2015 | 2:56 AM

No problem Dee; yeah, overly bad grammar will often send me scurrying also. I try to only write about things I’ve tried, while recognizing that my results aren’t always the same as others based on volume, topic, etc. Well… to a degree; there’s some stuff that always works no matter what.

February 16th, 2015 | 6:18 PM

True. It is a long process. I like the way you do it on your site using the link. I am a bit of a control freak though. LOL
Troy recently posted…#858 Ice cream truck music is sweetMy Profile

February 16th, 2015 | 9:54 PM

Building up momentum by blogging everyday is great and all and there are many advantages to blogging everyday, but I have a hard time agreeing with you on that 2nd statement. Can you mention at least one blogger who delivers great content on his or hers blog every single dag? 🙂 I’m not saying it isn’t possible though.

February 18th, 2015 | 7:03 AM

Jan, at this point I can’t because I don’t visit any particular blog every day. Back in 2008 and 2009 I could have named a lot of people. However, I have to ask you this important question, which I linked to; what’s great content really look like? Is it your definition as the writer, someone else’s definition as the reader, a college professor’s definition, a magazine editor… know what I mean?

The first 3 years of this blog I made sure I wrote 300 posts a year. Were they all great content? In my eyes no. But a heck of a lot of them were and if I’d wanted to I easily could have. However, this blog is about diverse topics so I changed up a lot, especially once I found my stride and particular way of writing. My friend Holly, who commented here earlier, has done multiple challenges where she’s written a post daily for a month and it’s all great content in my eyes.

Can it be done? Sure can if you know how to write. Should it… always a different question. If it paid well (or at all lol) to do it, I could do it easily. 🙂

February 18th, 2015 | 2:19 PM

These concepts are strange because a newbie in blogging usually do all these three things to grow the blog faster. Guest posting is always great and helps to gain some traffic plus increase writer’s worth if he is sharing value able information through the post.
Shaheryar Patel recently posted…All Time Best WordPress PluginsMy Profile

February 18th, 2015 | 3:55 PM

Actually, I’ve found that guest posting is the weakest thing anyone can do except in extreme cases. For the most part, if someone likes a blog, they’re there for the writer of the blog, not the guest post. Sure, lots of people respond and that’s always neat, but in my years of experience commenting on other blogs actually drives way more traffic.

February 18th, 2015 | 10:57 PM

Really true points,when ever i try to blog daily my blog posts length and quality decreases.But,i think 3rd point might help for meeting some other bloggers and like minded people.

So,i think commenting will help us a bit to interact with website owners.What you say??
suryateja recently posted…Give Away :- $294 Worth Semcompass Tool For 2 People- Best AnalyserMy Profile

February 19th, 2015 | 12:47 PM

I already said lol

February 19th, 2015 | 8:01 PM

I completely concur with your comments on comments. I agree with the other points as well, but the comment one I deal with all the time. I don’t blog much anymore because freelance work takes most of my writing time. Many professional writers have a distain for comments, reading them or making them, that I just don’t understand. There is so much upside to smart engagement in comments. I’ve gotten jobs that way. I’ve made friends. My husband can make the rare claim that he changed someone’s mind about something.

I’m going to send this to a friend or two. It can be discouraging how professionals view comments, but then post’s like Mitch’s remind me that I’m not crazy. Thanks. Nice to see you again, too. (I think I found Marji Sherman though you. Thanks for that, as well.)
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July 31st, 2015 | 2:30 PM
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