Do you want a formula to guarantee the success of your blog?
Yesterday I was interviewed by a journalist about blogging and half way though the interview he asked me what the formula for successful blogging was.
His question was innocent enough and asked without agenda but as I pondered it and pondered the many successful blogs that we see in our medium it became very clear to me that while it might be simpler to have a formula to follow to make our blogs succeed that there are many many different approaches to success in this field.
One of the things that I love about blogging is that there really is no wrong or right way to do what we do and for every ‘rule’ us people who blog about blogging might write – there is always an exception of a blog that has done the opposite and still had good results.
Yes there are some principles that we might see in many successful blogs – but even as I’ve been recently exploring some of these I see examples of blogs that buck the system and succeed despite doing so.
Last year I came up with a list of ‘debates’ in blogging to illustrate some of the diversity of approaches in blogging. Recently – after being accused of being too narrow in my focus – I revisited the list and added a number of ‘debates’ to illustrate the variety of approaches that bloggers take.
All in all I’ve come up with 29 areas that bloggers take different approaches in – yet there would be many many more.
Some of them are debates that might come down to a bloggers ethics, although most are simply different approaches that might be based more upon a bloggers goals, the niche that they’re in and the type of audience that they’re attempting to connect with.
29 Debates Bloggers Have about Blogging
- RSS Feeds – Full vs Partial Feeds
- Comment Sections – Comments vs No Comments
- Post Frequency – Post More vs Post Less
- How Many Blogs? – Focus upon One Single Blog vs Having Many Smaller Blogs
- Domain Names – long vs short, hyphens vs non hypens, .com vs other extensions (like .net, .org), local vs global domain extensions
- Hosting – hosted vs self hosted
- Post Titles – descriptive vs keywords
- Content – Link content vs Original content
- Paid Reviews – Happy to Write Paid Reviews vs Not Doing Paid Reviews
- Design – Professional Design vs Templates
- Links to External Sources – Should Open in a New Page vs Should Open in the Same Page
- Ownership – Use Social Media vs Build Your own properties
- Post Length – Long in Depth Posts vs Short, Sharp Posts
- Topic – Niche vs Broad Topics
- Dating Posts – Dates on Posts vs Non Dated
- Blogger Name – Anonymous blogging vs Using Your Name
- Subscribers – RSS is Best vs Email is Best
- SEO – Writing for Search Engines vs Writing for Humans
- Personal Blogging – Sticking to Topic vs Injecting Personality and Personal details
- Comment Moderation – Highly Regulated and Moderated vs Anything Goes
- Social Media vs Search – focus upon social media rather than search engines as traffic sources
- LinkBait – Anything goes (e.g.. Personal Attacks) vs Strong Boundaries Around What is and Isn’t Acceptable
- Bloggers Participation in Comments – Respond to Every Single Comment vs Let Readers Talk to Each Other and Don’t Interact
- Blog Platforms – WordPress vs ((Insert Other Platforms Here))
- Monetization – Blogs Should Be Monetized vs Blogs Should Never Be Monetized
- Affiliate Disclosure – Disclose every affiliate link vs Site Wide Disclosure vs No Disclosure
- When To Start Monetizing – From Day 1 vs Once You Have an Audience
- Text Links – To Sell them vs Not Selling Them
- Outsourcing – Outsourcing content (or other aspects of blogging) vs producing your own.
Some of the above debates are over things that some bloggers feel quite strongly about (there are a few that I do) – but in almost every one there are blogs doing a full spectrum of things.
I wanted to share this updated list mainly to celebrate our diversity and variety as bloggers and in the hope that those who might be looking for ‘the formula’ might see that there’s a wonderful array of choice at our finger tips and with that comes a lot of freedom to forge our own paths as individuals.