I have been blogging now for over 5 years, and built up a wealth of experience. Not only as a blog writer, but as a blog reader. The blogosphere is growing at a huge rate, still to this day, but the amount of blogs that are inactive is increasing too, with the amount of blogs that are actually active standing very, very still. So why is this? Well, bloggers come and bloggers go all the time, but I feel like new bloggers are not staying around as long as they should – they are expecting huge gains quickly, and usually fail miserably. Here are three things “noob” bloggers do, which I believe contribute to their downfall.
1. Doing a review of an Super Huge Mega Blogger
The theory behind it is simple. Super Huge Mega Blogger (SHMB from now on) either has a review scheme, or you just want to get your word out in the quickest and easiest way possible, so you blog about their blog. You hope that the SHMB reads it, falls in love with your blog, and subscribes after just 3 posts. I’m sorry, but that’s not likely to happen, not in my eyes anyway. That’s nothing against SHMB (well, it is if they ask for this and give nothing back, I talked more about it here), but I know new bloggers become disheartened and give up.
Alternative: Do a review on Fair Review. You’re not reviewing a SHMB, but you are reviewing a blog you may never heard of before. This is an important part of networking. You’re reviewing that blog because you want to, not for what it can achieve. The bloggers on there are good, but not unapproachable, and would probably return comments and subscribe to your feed. On top of that, you also will get the opportunity for bloggers to find you, passively increasing your readership.
2. Copy “The John Chow Theme”
Forgive me if I’m being Themeist, but if you are using MistyLook – or as I like to call it “The John Chow Theme” – on your blog, then you may have to work just a little bit harder to get me interested about your blog. I’ve got nothing against the theme – it is a good theme – but the problem with it is that it is everywhere within a certain section of the blogosphere. So much so that I look at blogs that use the theme and automatically think “Oh, somebody trying to make a quick buck online. This is worth reading”. There are some good blogs out there that use it (Bloggrrl and Blogduck stick out) but these two blogs are shining beacons of life amongst dead blog carcasses, that leave behind $0.52 Adsense earnings, being picked at by spammy comments.
Alternative: Find a unique theme (or make one). Look at this theme for one. It is unique. Sure, I took inspiration from a bunch of other bloggers, but this is my own theme, my own design, and the chances are it won’t be seen anywhere else.
It’s not that hard. Design – like my E at GCSE Art proves – is not my strongest point, and I can throw together something that looks okay. I’m sure you can do it, just draw it out in a graphics program, and follow this tutorial.
EDIT: Since this was originally posted, John Chow has changed his theme. Should be interesting to see if the lemmings who used his theme originally change or not.
3. Set up a “Money Making Quest” blog
Eurgh, seemingly hugely popular, mostly rubbish. There are some good ones out there (Mike’s Money Making Mission), but I find that the ones who are the ones I like reading are people who have already made their fortune, and know what they are talking about.
There are good blogs that blog their quest to riches, but then they stop. Why? Because they don’t actually make much money. Truth be told, their interest in money is fleeting, and their arrogant blog titles such as “I WILL BE A MILLIONAIRE” (usually all in caps), leave me hovering over the back button.
Alternative: Blog Your Passion Instead Ask yourself this “Are you passionate about money, or are you passionate about what money brings to you”? How many of you look at a fiver and go into an orgasmic trance. I hope very few of you. My mates who work for banks rarely enjoy it, but they stay because the money’s good. Money in terms of finance and economics is rather boring to most of us.
So blog your passion instead. For one, you’ll enjoy it a lot more. Two, you’ll provide unique content rather than another “Make Money Online With Text Link Ads!”, and three you’re probably better at it.
I have mine: Sports, blogging (this is a passion, I’ve been blogging for over 5 years, and only really made decent – i.e. more than $1 – money over the last couple of years), internet, video games and a little bit of travelling (when I can go). Of course, none of which I am particularly an expert on, but unfortunately I cannot dedicate a whole blog to “History of the Street Fighter II video game within Llandudno amusement arcades between 1992 and 1994″.