A few tips on blogging...

A couple of weeks back I received an email with a few tips on blogging.
I would like to ponder a bit on the topic and also I would like to share a few thoughts on social media and such.
First of all, here are the tips I got:
A few tips on blogging…
  • Blogging in English will get the most views.
  • Try to aim for more detailed, article style posts, posting one good detailed post a month can be better than a shorter post every week. A good article can generate steady traffic for more than a year.
  • Use analytic tools like StatCounter (http://statcounter.com/) or Google Analytics to see who is referring to the blog, so you can drive more referrals and visits, they are free and easy to set up. (I use both).
  • Twitter is a great way to generate traffic, if you have a good post and people start re-tweering you can get a lot of visitors.
  • If you are active in the MSDN forums, you can link to blog posts from your post footer and when answering questions, this gets me a lot of visits.
  • If Microsoft “likes” your posts, they may will link from their sites, this will be a great boost for visitors.

And here are my thoughts:

Even though at first sight the points above may seem valid,a deeper look and some thought would make us change our perception.

I think that people in general need to refine their understanding of how search engines work and how content searches work.

Even though detailed blog posts would bring some traffic via the search engines, the reality is that an unique article which has a very narrow specialized topic would be much more popular with the search engines than an article on a general topic which has been ‘chewed’ on thousands of sites.

This is how search engines work – the unique content will show up in the search no matter what. And for the common topics the search engines will show the most visited and most popular sites, since they are trusted more than any other younger and not so popular blogs.

So, the bottom line is that the uniqueness pays off better than repeating some common topic’s content like a parrot.

(I have heard of companies which try to use blogging as their marketing tool and thus try to save big bucks on hiring a marketing and sales people. Well, this could possibly work, but if they just blog about very common topics, the ratings and the visibility will not improve as much as if they were blogging about new and unexplored topics.)

 

I also think that people have to refine their understanding about the value of web traffic towards sites and sharing information into social media.

The idea that having a lot of visitors to a blog means success is very widely spread, however, the problem is that the internet is a very lonely place and people visit sites anyway and the site owners usually have no idea what the visitors thought of their content.

Would I get excited if I got 10,000 visitors to this blog page tomorrow? Well, not really, no. I would start wondering ‘how come this happened’, but in reality I would be much happier if one of those 10,000 visitors actually left some feedback to the blog post.

‘Ah, but this is what social media is for’, you will say.

It is true. But yet again, I have seen people misuse social media so much, especially with bulk broadcasting tools.

So many people out there keep posting links to their blogs in the social media, and the funny thing is that nowadays with one click of a button a message can be sent on all possible sites.

I have seen companies which try to post something in the social media at least once a day, and to them it would not matter if it is a two-year old blog post on some irrelevant topic or whether it is a day old post on some interesting subject. To most people out there the presence is more important than the content.

This is why I strongly suggest that we should rethink the values of web traffic and the role of the social media.

The bottom line is that even if “Twitter is a great way to generate traffic” (as the suggestion above claims) there is no guarantee that traffic to my site means anything. After all, the X button of the browser is still easily available and I personally use it often to protect my eyes from trivial blog posts which don’t tell me anything new.

 

Blogging in different languages – the misconception of languages related to web content

This one puzzles me the most – how come blogging in English will get most views? I guess, statistically, blogging in Chinese might get the most views, or in Russian.

The point, however, is that languages are irrelevant nowadays. I personally speak only 4 languages fluently, but this does not stop me from reading blogs in more than 10 different languages. It is quite easy nowadays – just find a link, go to translate.google.com and paste the entire link in the box. Just simple as that.

Innovation has no language of its own, and there is no direct correlation between the language of the blog, its success, its uniqueness or its quality…

The bottom line is – the search engines are so advanced nowadays that they are capable of indexing even Russian language written poorly in Latin alphabet.

So, I guess I am still puzzled – how does blogging in English gets most views?

 

Anyway, if you made it to this line of this blog post, please feel free to drop me a line, or at least write a comment… and tell me if you have thought about the reality of search engines, blog content and the value of social media… :)

 

 

2 comments to A few tips on blogging…

  • Mia

    Nowadays there’s so much spam everywhere that it makes me wonder what the difference in value is between a blog post recycling existing content without additional input and the prizes & viagra emails everyone can find in their spam folders. It’s such a waste of everyone’s time :(

    I’m 50/50 on the success rate of spreading content through social media. With the tsunami of spam pushing through every day, a post really has to stick out from the first few words to make me consider clicking on it. But at the same time, once it’s out there, maybe you get lucky and I actually click and read it. :)

    About blogging in different languages, I think there is still some value in it, at least for now; as the world gets more and more internet literate, more and more people choose to blog in their own languages, be it because of their target audience, a regional focus, or maybe because they’re just not proficient in English. Though in the future I see language decreasing in importance as the search engines become more and more proficient at combing through content in various languages.

    Great post by the way!

  • Bob Plata

    Timeliness of a blog post, website article, or social media update is my pet peeve. I work with DB2 LUW and z/OS for a government entity, so our technology in some cases is far behind. Searching for old information on how to do something with our old technology is pretty successful. However, where I do need up-to-date information, it is difficult to distinguish the latest from out-dated. Many blog posts that I come across don’t have a date on them, in my opinion. If there is a date, it doesn’t say which year. Yes, I could figure it out, but I’m not that patient. Most likely, I am searching for input for a solution to a problem that I am experiencing at that very moment…time is of the essence. :-)

    Great post.