Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lessons Learned from Two Years of Blogging (Part II of III)

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s post entitled, Lessons Learned from Two Years of Blogging. Without further ado:

6. Use Photos: This is something I very recently started doing. It makes sense as, as human beings, we are visual beings.

A photo works much like a great headline/article title – it draws readers in.

Tip for selecting photos: Of course, make it pertinent to the story. Also, make it funny if you can. Making people laugh is almost never a bad idea. (Image courtesty of
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7. Don’t Be Afraid of Running Out of Things to Say: I wish I had a dollar over the last two years for everytime someone has written to me, “If I update my blog more often, I’m afraid I’ll run out of things to say.”

This is particularly true if they blog within a niche.

All I can say is, don’t be afraid of this. LIFE will provide you with topics to write about. Once you start to write regularly, strangely enough, you will have MORE to say, not less.

A prime example -- this list. When I first sat down to write about what I’d learned over the last two years of blogging, I had five initial points that I wanted to make. BUT, once I started writing, the ideas kept flowing.

And, as I’ve said elsewhere, when you write on a regular basis, you will pick up topic ideas from everywhere – eg, watching the news, talking to friends, reading other blogs, reader queries, etc.

You’ll just have to trust me on this point – you will not run out of things to say.

8. Longer Posts Fare Better: In my post, Article Marketing: Long or Short Articles -- Which Is Better?, I explain this in detail, so I won’t rehash it all here.

The gist of it is, shorter articles don’t explore a topic in enough detail to be beneficial. And, as you’ll remember from Part I of this article (Point 6), I advise all bloggers to respect their readers enough to give them useful information not found anyplace else.

Post Continued Below
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9. Don’t Stress about Feedback: I’ve been blogging for two years now, and only get a few comments on my posts. Does it mean that my blog is not popular, or that nobody’s reading it?

Not from the amount of email I get. If your blog is but a slice of your marketing efforts, then whether or not you receive massive amounts of feedback shouldn’t bother you. That’s why I advise bloggers to figure out why they blog (Point #1 in Part I).

If your blog is your living like Darren Rowse over at, then if you know that going in, then you can start marketing it like the from the beginning.

As my blog is only a part of my marketing plan, it serves its purpose just fine. Massive amounts of feedback/interactivity is not what I need from my blog.

10. Clearly Define a Niche for Your Blog: Some may disagree with what I’m about to say, but I’m a firm believer in niche marketing. Why?

According to the article, Getting pizza coupons by text message:

The average customer is targeted with more than 3,000 marketing messages a day, so people have developed a resistance," says Erik Hauser, CEO of Swivel Media, a
creative agency which has done mobile marketing work for clients like Wells
We are inundated. One of the most effective ways to get through is target marketing – ie, target people who have a pre-disposition to hearing what you have to say. How do you do this?

Become an “expert” in your field (eg, niche it) and build up a relationship of trust over time with a highly targeted market. In the October 2003 article, Calling All Marketers, on, Bill Blundon, chief marketing officer of Extraprise, a consulting firm in Boston says:

It's time to get back to understanding your customers . . . When I get a call
from American Express, I always listen to what they have to say. I have a
23-year relationship with them.
While some blogs achieve popularity without being niche blogs, eg,, these are rare. Jason Kottke, the owner of, had been blogging for years as a hobby before he tried to make money off his blog. According to his site, he has updated his blog almost every day since 1998 – that’s 9 years.

How many blogs do you know that have been around that long?! Most flame out after four or six months because there’s no immediate payoff. Blogging is no easy road to riches. Anyone who has a successful one will tell you that.

Blogger Makes History! Jason Kottke has quite an interesting story – in 2005, he quit his job as a web designer to blog full-time. While this may not sound like news now, it was big back then -- he was among the first to do this.

To this day, his full-time job is writing his blog. Tool around his site – interesting stuff (much of which I don’t understand or have an interest in; but, the simple breadth of material is impressive).

Tomorrow: Part III of this post.
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