Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Rick's Rules of Successful Blogging

Blog Often
There is a great deal of information "out there" on blogging. Obviously there are millions of people writing blogs for fun and profit. A lot of bloggers update infrequently which to me is one of the fastest ways to lose readers.
If I go to a blog that hasn't been updated in several weeks, chances are slim that I will return even if I think what they have to say is valuable.
If a blogger updates regularly (not necessarily every day), I will stick around and read through several posts to get a feel for what the blog is about. 

Blog About The Things You Love
My favorite blogs are ones where people write about the things they love - fly fishing, photography, gardening, writing, and music.
My least favorite blogs are political blogs at both ends of the spectrum. There are professional pundits out there making a killing writing about politics, but if you are an unknown blogger trying to build a following, you might want to steer clear of politics. If you're conservative, you'll hear a swoshing sound as the liberals blow on by your blog - and visa versa. 
I personally think that Americans have forgotten how to compromise. Each side feels the people on the other side are idiots and are driving the country down the toilet. I think there are smart people on both ends and if they ever found common ground, we could get our country back on track. Will this ever happen - the jury is still out.
I'm sure there are a lot of who would take a moment, and re-read the title of this post.

Lose The Automatic Music
I also think it's unwise to have music that automatically plays when you go to a blog. This may be just a personal thang with me, but I rarely even read the first paragraph if music is playing. I simply click NEXT and move on. 
If someone has a player on their blog that contains their favorite songs, or songs they have written, that's another story. If I like what the blogger has to say, I'll often listen to music they create or music they love.

Entertain, Teach, or Make Them Laugh
Other good ways to build a readership is to entertain them with funny stories, jokes (I always keep my "G" rated), or killer photographs.
I routinely return to sites that teach me something or give me hints on how to get better, be more healthy, smarter, taller, be a better father, person, fisherman, or have more hair (just kidding, I'm at peace with not having hair).
And, if you can do the above and make people smile, I can assure you readers will return.

This is just to get the conversation started. If you have things that make you want to return, or run away from a blog, please share.

More to follow.


  1. I am one of those infrequent bloggers. I also agree with the "automatic" music. I don't sign up for those kind anymore and when I have, I immediately turn it off before I read what was posted.

    I post when I have something to say. I suppose I could force it, but I won't. Stubborn huh?

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Rick. Some of them were really good!

  3. I agree with the automatic music. Our tastes are too different. I run a mile when it starts.

    I think you cover a successful blog pretty well. You have to work hard, be creative, and respect your fellow bloggers..:)

    Oh, I also think word verification is a bugbear and never use it.

    Thx for visiting my blog. I hope you will be back. I'm inviting some published authors to tell us all about their journey to publication in the next couple of weeks...

  4. Oooh short and sweet posts always gets a thumbs up from me!! :-) I say blog all you want - but please keep them bitesize! Edit, people, edit! :-)

    Take care

  5. good post. I am so with you on the automatic music. I either glance to see if the off switch is close to the top, or I hit the mute on my speakers.

    I also agree on the politics. Ugh.

    I don't have any good advice on what makes them good. I started writing a blog as a personal journey/diary. A few times I lose sight of that and try to make it "something for everyone" but in reality, I always keep coming back to the idea that they are my thoughts and my blog posts. If others like them, that's great, but I do it for ME whether anyone else reads it or not. :)

  6. Interesting post. I agree with your commenter-- Orney's Wife. Do it for yourself and you will be happier.
    I do postings about trees once a week. Not many comments, but when I look at the traffic many of past tree posts are what folks are reading.
    Be true to yourself and it will be an enjoyable activity.

  7. Yep, I agree with all of that. Plus I love what old kitty says. Short and sweet. If I see a post that goes on and on, I just skip it. And I like consistency too.

  8. Great hints on blogging! I am stopping by through Kathie's Blog Tour.

    Blessings & Aloha!


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