I once wrote an article about writers block and I fear that at the moment I – myself – may be suffering a little from this phenomenon. It seems that my trip to Europe has inspired me to do other things and it looks as if I am keener to explore those further. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to write. In fact I have some very exciting ideas however maybe not so much about blogging itself. There is even an idea for a book but that is future talk.
A bit of self-analysis
In my post about writers block I suggested various solutions and one of them is to take a ‘blogging break’. Well I had my break so that can’t be it. Another thing was that blogging could have become a chore. Not really either as I still like to write and am eager to start every day.
Is it the content or the topic? Does it still inspire me? As a matter of fact it does and I am looking forward to listen to another webinar of Darren Rowse of Problogger that was presented last week. I do feel that there is heaps more to learn about blogging and more importantly ‘to be successful’ at blogging. And whatever I learn I can pass on to other bloggers.
Recap may be the answer!
My last suggestion was to recap and maybe that is what I need to do. I have written 65 articles and it could be that I have lost overview of my topics and content. I feel a bit of an outsider of my own blog. I suppose it is all part of the experience. I keep on forgetting that the purpose of my blog is to explore ‘the road to professional blogging’. That counts just as much for me as for my audience.
Okay then, my next task is to ‘evaluate’ blogexercise, to look at what I have covered and what is left to explore. How can I get more readers and followers? As a matter of fact that is what Rowse’ webinar is about. That is surely the most difficult task for any blogger and website – to achieve visibility. You need visitor to your sites otherwise nothing happens – neither comments nor sales.
I have covered a fair bit on that subject but I am certainly no expert. I wonder who is in the end. On occasions when people with a web page around me hear about my blog, one of the questions that always come up is ‘how to increase your traffic’.
To finalise this train of thoughts I have just come across an interesting way of looking at evaluating my blog. I figure that I have to create a ‘mind map’ of all my posts, a schedule that shows me what I have covered so far. Rowse suggests ‘Blog granularity’ – breaking down your blog niche into grains (Problogger, Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett, 2nd edition) with the aim to keep your blog simple, easier to analyse and consequently more effective.
I may have a go at that and hopefully it will have some benefits – one of them being that blogexercise can be easier read and scanned for both me and my readers.
I feel some inspiration coming my way……………..
When you Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and blogging you can choose from the ‘Most Effective 21 Tactics’, the ‘Best 8 First Steps” or the 6 Hottest SEO Tips’ and offcourse there is the ‘Guide to’ ….
Which one to choose? Or should I go for all of them? I suppose I will have to sift through everything to find the most effective but also the easiest to understand and the most accessible techniques. I am looking forward to the challenge. I will say upfront that I am not researching the methods that cost money at this stage. That will be my last resort when nothing else works.
It’s all about content!
When scanning over the articles I am attracted to an article of Problogger and its writer Darren Browse. I have read his blog and his book Problogger and I think it is a great help for serious bloggers. Darren Rowse reckons that the most important factor for SEO is writing great content. As a fact this may be debatable but looking at his personal experience he states that this factor has contributed hugely to his online success.
This one appeals to me because I believe that great articles will attract readers. It won’t happen overnight but bit by bit. Readers who like your article hopefully pass it on, like it or share it. The good old snow ball effect!
Rowse has several other tips but he finishes his article with his ‘hunch’ regarding content. He suggests ‘writing the best information that you can come up with’. According to him that is what Google appreciates the most and searches for. Most tips for SEO optimisation that can be found on line are considered the minimum effort that every blogger should put in in order to climb the rankings. Bottom line is still the quality of your content.
What to do with great content?
Okay, you have written a great article and published it on your blog. The following questions come to mind ‘How can someone find you?’ and ‘What do you need to do so Google and your readers knows that you are there?’
Social networks are great tools to spread the word. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are perfect for sharing your content. Once you have written and published your post, seed it to the social networks so your readers, friends and contacts can pass it on. The more readers you have the more it can be passed on through their networks. Logical but effective. Not fast but a gradual growth with a potential snowball effect.
So far this is all relatively logical – yet there may be many blogs that do not take the above into consideration. The point is to create interest for your blog because of your content and not only because of your skilled application of keywords, h-tags and meta-links. They have a purpose but will eventually lose their effect if your content is not up to scratch.
There is not much new to this but it is important enough to emphasise and dedicate a post to. More to come!
Every time when you publish an article in WordPress, there is a little saying in the side column. This one below took my fancy:
“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe” (Gustave Flaubert).
I like writing, I like researching a topic and I like sharing my enthusiasm about something with others. I would make a good reviewer because I like to spread the news about good things. Unfortunately I can’t keep quiet about bad things either – I am therefore also a great whinger – a quality that may annoy some, but I feel that certain things need to be said and known so there is scope for improvement.
I generally believe in good standards and I honestly feel that people should not be able to get away with shoddy methods. Many do though! I don’t like it and I will very likely object. In the past I may have objected too harsh but I am practising the art of more gentle criticism and I get good results. And I am not the only one! Apparently an unhappy customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience and 13% dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people! Only 4-6 people get to hear about a positive experience.
Social media have impacted these figures more than anything and word of mouth has been called ‘world of mouth’ as about a third of people who have experienced bad service will share it on the internet. The average reach of social media is 45 people. Pretty powerful stuff!
What do I believe in?
Aiming for high standards has to do with what I believe in. I believe that you have to give it your best otherwise do not bother. I try to write my blog posts in such a way that it is a pleasure to read them. I aim for interesting content that is new and not repeating itself and I attempt to achieve a professional image.
Since I have been blogging I have learned many new things but I also feel that the boundaries of the ‘blogosphere’ expand with every little bit of knowledge I acquire. A couple of weeks ago I almost felt overwhelmed by the extent of things I did not know. Is that what Flaubert means by his saying? Am I on the way to discovery when it comes to blogging? Is it more than sheer knowledge that makes a believable writer?
I suppose I am discovering what there is to know about blogging but more importantly I am finding out what are my beliefs regarding this topic. According to Flaubert I will have acquired the art of writing once I have become aware of my discoveries and know how to internalise them.
Complicated stuff? Surely, but also intriguing and I will continue to have a go at it. The topic that is ‘hot’ for me at the moment is SEO as mentioned in my most recent post. I need to learn about SEO in order to believe in it and consequently write about it. A worthy goal and I think my confidence may sky rocket after I know enough about SEO to feel confident enough to start educating others.
What a vicious circle and catch 22!