Top three things I recommend a blogger

There is an interesting discussion over at “LinkedinBloggers” about the top three things you recommend a blogger. I got good recommendations and it made me think about what is important for me in a blog.

Jason Alba from “JibberJobber” started out with this list:

  • keeping it clean – don’t make the readers search for your content, one of the best things that happened to me was when Google kicked me off of their advertising program (dang click-frauder)
  • high quality posts, or they won’t come back
  • lots of links out to pertinent blogs, to get on their radar
  • offline or real networking, where in addition to linking to another blogger you try and develop a relationship with him/her
  • writing just the right length – and if appropriate, ask questions to encourage comments
  • transparency and personality – Penelope Trunk is a master of this, even though she gets slammed a lot she has a loyal following
  • controversy is … good for eyeballs, but is it on-brand? Most of my posts aren’t controversial… some have been, but don’t slam, flame, etc.

Rick Calvert from “Blog World Expo Blog” added these:

  1. Unless you are a super blogger with tons of comments send a thank you email to every new commenter if they agree with you or not. Especially the trolls. Kill em with kindness and you will win new fans and readers.
  2. email other bloggers when they post something you really like. People like to be recognized for their efforts. Even A list bloggers.
  3. email other bloggers when you post something really good that you think they might be interested in. Don’t spam them every time you post. We all post something every once in a while that we think is particularly good. When you do, promote yourself politely and people will link to you, particularly if you have linked to them in the past.

My own take echoes some of the ones above:

  • Keeping it clean is one of my key tips. I always assume that the text is the main issue, everything else is just complimentary. Do not use bigger images than needed (like huge RSS-buttons), do not list every RSS-service you can think of, do you really benefit from ads.
  • Think about what shows up on the screen, before scrolling. Put the most important information at the top of your side menu.
  • Have a layout that is nice to the reader, it shall be easy on the eyes! I have seen blogs with four columns with text in just one narrow column that becomes a mile long.
  • Quality text is needed and do not write too short posts (I need to work on that).
  • Try to focus on a limited number of topics or the blog gets too fussy.
  • Be generous and link to other blogs, guiding visitors to related sites create networks.
  • Personality is good but do not let that get in the way of creating things worth reading, do share knowledge and ideas.

I know, my list has more than three tips but they are all important to me.

See also Recommendations to a blogger, part 2.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

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