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1000 things I’ve learned about blogging from OJB

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September 6th, 2008
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Blogging News, brainstorming, Business of Blogging

1000 things I’ve learned about blogging from the Online Journalism Blog.: An interesting and long-ish list of lessons that the author (I could not figure out who wrote this article from their list of authors. I am assuming it was Paul Bradshaw. Multi-author blogs really, really need to think about adding the name of the author to their templates/themes.) has learned from blogging.

Some of them are absolute gems such as “First knowledge, then analysis, then ideas” and “A blog without comments is broken“. More food for thought would come from the conversations surrounding such a list. I will add one of my own. If you consider others’ opinions, you will have involved and returning readers.

What have you learned about blogging?

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Comments

  1. Jacob Santos says:

    Damn, my blog doesn’t have that many comments. Does that mean I’m broken? Well, my blog doesn’t really need comments, because I’m not always talking to people. Is it wrong to talk to yourself and expect no one to answer?

    • amolpatil2k says:

      Jacob, it is nice that you use the blog thing to talk to yourself and don’t care about comments. However because your blog is public, others are bound to read the posts. Because we are all HUMAN beings and have similar problems and solutions, we can always gain from each other even if neither party aims for it.

      My problem with comments is the same as in forums, only if a thread is hot would it entice people to participate so in a sense the two things feed off each other. Any one who can break this problem would certainly not be broken. In fact blogs with comments are broken because they distract the participant from a more relevant post simply by being hot as opposed to relevant.

    • Daniel Losada (1 comments.) says:

      Talking to yourself is not necessarily true when it comes to blogs. Eventually, people do read the blog, but may not comment, or eventually someone will comment on it.

      Just keep on chugging that good quality that the internet craves, and soon enough people and search engines will come around.

      Good blogs are written by dedicated blog writers, not so much professional writers. Learn from your mistakes, get better and carry on.

  2. Metta (2 comments.) says:

    Game over at #1: “Blogging is not ‘writing a blog’. Blogging is linking and commenting. Any writing is a bonus.”

    Content is a *bonus*? By that standard, every splog in the world is better than any well-written, carefully thought-out genuine blog. At least they were courteous enough to make that the first thing on the list. It saves the time that would have been wasted reading further.

    • Connie (3 comments.) says:

      One more proof that mainstream media journalists still do not understand blogging. The guy’s banner gives me goose bumps.

      • Paul Bradshaw (4 comments.) says:

        Thanks Connie – was never entirely comfortable with it myself, and will probably change it now. One question: although I think I know what annoys you about the banner, would like to hear you put it into words (PS: I wouldn’t say I’m a “mainstream media journalist” – I’m an educator)

        • Connie (3 comments.) says:

          It hard-selling. In advertising, when a product needs an extraordinary push, it means it lacks in substance and cannot, therefore, succeed just by its own worth. That might not be so in your case but that banner surely gives that impression.

          Re I wouldn’t say I’m a “mainstream media journalist”

          Then, you really need to get rid of that banner.

    • Paul Bradshaw (4 comments.) says:

      Metta, what I was trying to do was highlight that just exporting your traditional column onto the web is not blogging. You need to link and post comments to truly be ‘blogging’. Content helps, though – see #3.

      • Metta (2 comments.) says:

        I continue to be amazed by the devaluation of writing, plain and simple – and you just did it again. So I guess the question is this: Do you consider someone who only comments (and say, posts relevant links to other people’s blogs in their comments) to be blogging? Your language strongly suggests it when you say content is “a bonus” and that it “helps.”

  3. Joe (1 comments.) says:

    I cant agree that a blog without comments is broken…Not every blog needs comments to be successful…A blog without traffic is broken, thats about it…A blog with traffic is successful even if it has no comments at all…I have started sites which have reached an Alexa ranking of around 20,000 and only had maybe a total of 100 comments within 3,000+ posts….Traffic equals revenue, no comments…You could have 46463463 comments but they could all be from the same people.

  4. Jonathan Dingman (7 comments.) says:

    Jacob,

    Well if you start leaving your URL in the comments, you might start getting more comments eventually :) It’s a good practice to do, so people know who you are and where to find you

  5. Crawford Harris (3 comments.) says:

    If a lack of comments truly does mean that a blog is broken, I need help. Could some of you kind souls try to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again?

  6. ~Kat~ (1 comments.) says:

    “Google is the biggest popularity contest.”
    So true, so true, and we are all trying to win page 1!

  7. Nathan Martin (1 comments.) says:

    I run a blog aound my circus project in Kenya and it’s mostly an information center for people who want to know upcoming event and where we are in the project… I don’t have many comments but that’s ok,because that’s not my goal…And visitors don’t even expect comment… One thing I learned blogging is give the content the best place…

  8. Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

    One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that SEO seems like a bunch of crap. Seems to me like all you have to do is pick a niche, create relevant content for that niche and in doing so, you will naturally write keywords specific to that niche and the SEO aspects will take care of themselves. A whole industry created around common sense?

  9. David (1 comments.) says:

    1. Since I primarily blog to hush the voices in my head *heh* any readership/comments my blog experiences are gravy.

    2. Blogs without gravy aren’t as juicy as blogs with gravy. Preferably sausage gravy with biscuits.

  10. ChrisM (13 comments.) says:

    @Crawford Harris “”… … Could some of you kind souls … …”"
    I tried to. I found some posts interesting. Then I discovered that I would have to _register_ at your site before I’d be able to leave a comment!

    If this was an accident, go and check under Settings(General) within your blog’s WP Dashboard for the ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’ option. Untick it. Click on Save Changes.

    If you meant to leave this on as some sort of anti-spam feature, you are most likely stopping 99% of people from leaving a comment. Perhaps consider making sure the Akismet plugin is up to date, enabled, and maybe add something like the Bad Behavior plugin as well.

    Hope you don’t mind the advice.

    • Crawford Harris (3 comments.) says:

      I do appreciate your comments. Being new to blogging I was afraid that the nature of my site might bring out the worst. Oh me of little faith. I will give opening up a try.

    • Crawford Harris (3 comments.) says:

      Well, I took your advice. Check out my site and see what it got me. Naw, it wasn’t abusive but it did bring out a crazy. ;-)

      • ChrisM (13 comments.) says:

        Happy to see things open over there now :) As for the crazies, it looks as though you’re a better judge in that area than me. If you ever find yourself over run by the typing-capable loonies, don’t forget you can make every comment go through moderation, by turning off the option of having commenters auto-allowed once one comment has been approved by you.
        Anyway, we’re in danger of severely taking this comment off topic, so I’ll zip it for now.

        PS Apologies to the post writer for going off topic and failing to notice the ‘reply’ button before for comments :)

  11. Emanuel Nordrum (3 comments.) says:

    The nice thing about lists like this is that even if you don’t agree, there are so many points (100, not 1000) that some of them are bound to make you consider something you hadn’t before, and let you expand your blog in new directions.

    Although with points like “27. I seem to like linking on verbs” make me think the author would have been better off vetting the list somewhat.

  12. Paul Bradshaw (4 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the point about multi authored blogs – if you know of a template that does include the author’s name in posts, and allows you to have a feed just from them, would appreciate it – I’ve wanted one for a while.



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