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Old 20th July 2006, 04:12 PM   #1

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Default Do You Use a Blog? How To Make Your Blog Effective

Nowadays a blog is already almost an old hat. Lots of people have one, but still, I think most don't use it properly.

Blogs are ideal to get your messages delivered and even more important to develop a relationship with your audience, which is absolutely crucial to assure long-term success for your online biz.

Many people (myself included) start a blog, post a few messages and then stop providing valuable information. With a blog, you won't reap the fruits of your efforts immediately. It can take months, a year or even longer, but if you keep on providing great stuff - again and again - the final rewards will easily compensate the initial effort: You get people to trust you, they recommend you, buy your products...

After all, I think 3-4 posts / week are enough and that shouldn't take more than an hour/week - not really a big deal for what you'll get in return.

Anyway, I guess you're doing some research, education... on your niche topic, so whenever you find some golden nuggets, just post it on your blog.

Do you have any great tips to share on how to make blogging more effective?



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Old 20th July 2006, 06:52 PM   #2
David Wallace
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Don't re-hash what everyone else is doing for one. There are a lot of blogs in the search engine marketing industry, mine being one of them. So instead of duplicating what everyone else is doing, I try to write about things that are either unique in some way or things that really interest me. At the same time I am keeping in mind that my clients may be reading so a gaol is to provide something useful for them.

Secondly I think good writing itself will make your blog effective. Are you boring or is there an excitement to your writing style?

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Old 21st July 2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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I agree with David. It can be hard not to rehash things sometimes, but try to find soemthing unique to say whether the topic itself is unique or your own particular spin on the topic is unique.

You can also try making your writing unique. Maybe you can approach a serious subject with humor. Even if your topic is covered in many other places if you can entertain people they will read what you have to say.

I think consistency is a key. You don't necessarily have to write every day, but if you post a few times and then stop for a few months you've lost anyone you may have gained from those first few posts. Try to post on a regular schedule. If three days a week then make sure to always post on those same three days. You can wirte whenever you want, but post on the same days.

Also just keep at it. It will take time to attract loyal readers. Don't give up if no one seems to be reading after a few weeks. Give it time to build a readership. You'll also probably find that over time you'll become a better writer and blogger. it may take you some time to find your own unique niche or style.

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Old 22nd July 2006, 10:54 AM   #4

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Even if I agree with David, I think it is very presumptuous to think that your content is original. You have access to the same information as everybody else. Your own selection of what you select or not is where you can express most of your personality.

I also doubt that success is the result of a unique talent. It may be the case in a few cases, but most of the time, it is common sense, persistence and good marketing.

I'll be a bit provocative and suggest the following approach

- Create your own style and apply it. (Watch how politicians use a few pre-prepared sentences and re-use them all the time)

- You may need to 'test' your style. You can use Adword to get quickly some visitors and ask them if they like your style.

- Be consistent (people hate changes)

- Apply a standard marketing program to get known (SEO, article publication, viral marketing...).

- Keep posting and never get discouraged (that's the most difficult IMHO).

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Old 25th July 2006, 01:46 PM   #5

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I agree with David - a unanimous vote - I think he must have hit the nail on the head.

I'm new to blogging and I think it takes a while to find 'your voice'. The other thing I would say is that no matter how much time you dedicate to naming your categories and designing your Blog layout, you will inevitably end up changing it after the first couple of weeks.

Blogging is fun - but sometimes you do dry up a little in what to post about

Good luck with whatever you do

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Old 25th July 2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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I agree about writing unique and original content...

... but unless you are not in a very competitive niche, chances are people have written about what you write. There is nothing new under the sun.

Regularly coming up with new ideas is not just hard but impossible.

That doesn't mean you can't blog consistently. One of my favorite method would be to quote others and add my twist. You have to link back of course, but this effort often leads to conversations with the corresponding blogger.

Networking and getting involved in the blogosphere, especially with bloggers who are in the same niche as yours are necessary.

Just my 2c.

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Old 25th July 2006, 08:34 PM   #7
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Well, instead of sitting at SEW and WMW you can visit lesser known blogs and forums to get the unique news that less people will write about.

Also, you can find a niche in your industry and post about it. It can be a known industry but your approach can create a niche just for yourself.

I don't think that picking a style is the way to go. You simply need to write how you write, because that's natural. If you don't, it'll get noticed, sooner or later, and it won't do you any good.

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Old 5th August 2006, 12:26 AM   #8
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Oroiginal and usefull (valuable) information should always be your primary objective but I don't think that means you can't make reference to what others have posted on their blogs.

Keep in mind that one of the fatest ways to build your reqadership is to post links back to other blogger's posts and creating permalinks. The trick here is to still offer value by sharing either a different angle on the original post or another example. maybe you can better explain a concept.

I believe your post also raises another question. How do you stop from having your ideas dry up? I personally use a notepad and am jotting notes everywhere and anytime, I sometimes also use my digital photo to capture an image and I will use that image as a memory jogger or post the image in my blog.

Also read froma wide number of sources, offline too. Eg. Industry magazines.

You can also look at interviewing experts in your field. It doesn't matter if they are not well know, as long as they know what they are talking about. You can then post the interviews (either as written posts, podcasts or both) in two or three sections, one section each week.

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Old 8th August 2006, 11:04 AM   #9
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I am wondering if there are basic parameters for blog layouts to have effectiviness?

We use to talk about content to cautive people but I think we should not forget about visual taste. No matter how good is our writing, I think people will not read longer if colors bother them, the blog is plaged with advertising or it is divided in so many sections that you do not know where to start.

Although people may have different taste, I think should there be any study indicating what kind of blog they like more.

Anyone of you know an article or have experience on blog structures?

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Old 8th August 2006, 01:58 PM   #10
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With the unique aspects of a blog it's not all simply about the topic of any post. It's true many blogs will have the same topics. If I were to write a post on whether or not there is a Google sandbox of course the topic itself isn't original, but that doesn't mean I can't put my own spin on the topic making my post unique.

Gathering information from a variety of sources can help a lot. True many of my posts may have come from a similar post on a well read blog or forum, but many times I grab something from a site off the beaten path. Your posts might also be considered unique if your readers aren't reading the same things you do.

And uniqueness can come down to your own style of writing. If you make something interesting enough even if the topic is an old one it will still be unique. I forget the exact number, but most novels can be reduce to one of say 32 plots and most come from and even smaller subset of say 16 different plots. So if all those novels are really coming from the same thing why do we all still buy and read them? It's the writing and the details that cause them to be unique.

As for the design of a blog I think the same things apply as they do for any site. A blog is still a website, just a specific kind of site.

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