Some more weekend reading:
- Andrew G.R. asks how far you’d go to thank a blog reader, pointing to Georgia Getz, blogger at I Am Bossy, and her plan to drive 10,000 miles in total, in order to meet and thank her blog’s commenters. She’s doing this in five weeks, and Saturn has provided her with a hybrid car. But she’ll be crashing each night at the homes of over 260 bloggers who have signed up to participate. Andrew asks the question: would you let your fave blogger crash on your couch? My answer is yes – one of my faves, who is a colleague, is tentatively scheduled to crash on my couch once I manage to find an apartment in Toronto and move back there. But he’s one of few who I’d allow to do that.
- Do you blog for business or pleasure, asks Alan Johnson, at Copyblogger. That is, even if you are making money blogging for hire or on your own, is it in a niche that you enjoy? Or have you picked the niche because of the income potential? I have to agree with him that you have to write about topics that you enjoy, else the dislike will show in your writing – which ultimately harms your personal brand.
- Mark Seall, a guest poster at Problogger, asks who cares how many subscribers you’ve got. He explains why he thinks we bloggers obsess over statistics, and offers a diagram of various ways we can measure our site’s success. This is a must-read article, but I have to disagree with one part of his diagram: “Things you can’t influence directly – don’t worry about.” The advice is sound, in general, but you CAN influence inbound links, search results, repeat visits, new visits, subscribers and comments. It’s just a harder than many of the other factors he diagrammed. Though he did say “can’t influence directly,” and I’ll have to concede that for most bloggers, this is probably true.
- David Peralty asks, are you blogging naked. That is, are you just blogging, or do you have a sense of purpose and direction. I’m surprised to realize that, despite my extensive writing background, I started off blogging in 2005 with little purpose – something that continued up until about January 2008. I now have a blogging purpose, though I’m still not entirely sure I can make a living from it for a few years, without other regular blogging gigs. But unless I plan and try, I’ll never know – and trying is more important to me than not succeeding.
- Ali, a guest at Daily Writing Tips, recommends keeping a writer’s notebook and writing in it every day. I couldn’t agree more. I know from long experience that I am more productive and creative if I sketch out ideas on pen and paper. Just don’t buy a fancy notebook or you might feel compelled to write only your best work – which will ruin your creative juices.
- Running a forum has its pros and cons, but if it’s something you want to do, Kevin Muldoon discusses a number of ways that you can integrate a forum with your WordPress blog.
- Darren Rowse points to a post by Suzie Cheel on her Abundance Highway blog, about how many topics a blog should cover. Darren left a detailed 6-point comment there of his own thoughts about the topic. Personally, I think that you have to decide what net result you want from your blog. If you want to be a generalist, fine – don’t expect it to be easy to monetize. If you want to be considered an expert on a topic, then write only about that topic. (And no matter how much you think it’s okay to do so, don’t stick in posts about your cat or a recipe you just had to share if neither really has anything to do you with your professional blog. On the other hand, if you can think up a way to make them relevant, great.)