Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog… Guaranteed

Check out 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog

Check it out

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…

FREE Problogging tips delivered to your inbox  

How to Let Your Blog Go – Series Wrap Up

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of June 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Over the last two weeks I’ve been running a 10 part series here at ProBlogger on 10 ways that you can let your blog go and what you should do about them. The series is now complete with the following 10 methods to let your blog go.

  1. Lack of Posting
  2. Getting Off Topic
  3. Becoming a Self Centered Blogger
  4. Great Content… Bad Titles
  5. Letting Comment Spam Take Over Your Blog
  6. Excuse Posts
  7. Becoming a Negative Blogger
  8. Having a Lack of Original Content
  9. Becoming Obsessed with Any One Aspect of Your Blog
  10. Stretching Yourself Too Thinly

So now that the series is over I’d be interested in hear your feedback.

  1. what else would you add to the list?
  2. which ones don’t you agree with?
  3. which ones do you struggle with the most? How do you overcome them?

PS: I’m now back from my paternity leave and am looking forward to getting back into some more blogging in the coming weeks. I am currently working on some posts on ‘finding readers for your blog’ for the coming week. Stay tuned.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Welcome back, Darren!

    One of the things from the list that was difficult for me to start with was the “Bad Titles” thing. I got into the bad habit of using catchy phrases as titles that actually gave very little indication of what my post actually talked about, and I’m not sure why or how that was a habit I got into in the first place, but until reading a few of your articles here, and in your book, it dawned on me: NOT a good idea! I was robbing myself of tons of potential readers simply because I wasn’t giving a clear indication of what they could expect right up front. Since then, I’ve been working on making sure each of my posts features a title that’s to the point and briefly describes what a reader can expect from the rest of the article. Each time I’m about to hit “Publish”, I ask myself: “Would I want to stop and read this, just by looking at the title?” or “Does the title tell me what the article is about?” If the answer is “No”, then I know its time to go back and re-think things. Interestingly enough, once I recognized this behavior in my own writing, I began to notice it more and more in others’ blogs that I subscribe to as well, and I realized that, more often than not, I skipped over posts with unclear titles entirely!

    One thing I would probably add to the list would be about being too competitive with other bloggers in your niche. This is something I have problems with occasionally (though that fact has never made it onto my blog). I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not necessarily competing for readers with other bloggers that cover the same topic(s) I do, and that just because someone reads someone else’s blog on the same topic(s) I cover doesn’t mean they can’t also read mine and see value in what I have to say. This is somewhat related to the topic covered in the series on offering unique content (why would someone want to read the same information from ten different blogs, after all?), but I guess it takes a somewhat different approach in reminding us that a spot in someone’s RSS feed isn’t topic-exclusive. As long as your content has a fresh and interesting spin to it, there’s no reason why you can’t share readers with other members of your niche. :)

    I don’t think there was a single post in the series that I necessarily disagreed with. There were certainly a couple that covered topics that I wasn’t personally struggling with, but overall I think the series definitely provided useful tips and things to watch for. (In fact, I “starred” all 10 in Google Reader to reference later.)

    Either way, thanks very much for posting the series! It provided some useful insight. :) Also, I’m looking forward to your post(s) about finding readers for your blog, as traffic building is something I’m really trying to focus on currently. Having read most of your posts about leaving comments and using social networking media, I still can’t help but think, “There must be more I can do!”, so I’m very interested in what you’ll have to say on that subject. :)

    Again, welcome back!

  • Welcome back, Darren! To answer your questions:

    None I can think of to add or disagree with. I do struggle a bit with becoming a negative blogger and perhaps having a lack of original content. After going at it pretty much nonstop for 9 months now, my enthusiasm waxes and wanes from time to time. Whereas, up until very recently, I was nothing but gung-ho all the way! I fear that some of my weariness sometimes comes across in my posts (and sometimes in my comments on others’ blogs), so I have to watch that. I probably need to slow down and spend a few less hours in front of my computer each day. Maybe start walking again.

    As for lack of original content, I sometimes wonder if there’s anything truly new under the sun. So many of the topics are recycled in one form or another. Yet, all our voices are unique, making the message almost fresh each time. In any event, motivation and inspiration are a constant process; like making the bed and brushing our teeth every morning — we need our daily doses to keep us on the right path! So, that’s how I overcome my occasional self doubts about writing about the same topics that others have written about.

    I really loved this series and each of the posts in it, so I’m very much looking forward to your next posts about finding readers for our blogs. Thanks for all your help!

  • I just happened upon this series this morning when I saw it in my reader–what luck. I’m in the middle of a slump that I’m hoping to break today, so your advice couldn’t me more timely.

    Thank you!!!

  • Great series Darren, I feel you have covered up all, because I really spent some time to come up with something what you have not. What I really miss is lack of posting or consistency in my post. Some months I post more some a few and some nothing. I always think about your consistancy with your post as I see on my Google reader when I login – Problogger, something will be unread items

  • Welcome back Darren, Hope all is well.

    Just like to say thank you for a great series.

  • Great series, Darren. For someone like me who is just getting started, it’s a roadmap for what to avoid and what to strive for. It also helps in evaluating other blogs.

    One thing I do wonder, and maybe you’ve covered this in the past, is how many blogs does the average reader consume on a daily or weekly basis? How many blogs within a given niche? How many blogs in total? Maybe you’ve already done this as a reader’s poll.

    It seems that having this information would help shape the approach one takes in writing a blog. Especially when it comes to decisions such as length of post, points of entry, other ways of engaging readers, etc.

  • Hi Darren,

    Welcome back!

    Your interview at The Blog Squad was great!

  • I’m guilty as charged – I’ve let me blog go horribly.

    Now I’m looking forward on suggestions as to get it going again.

  • Nice to see you back, Darren. This is a great series and I think it is almost a complete one. By the way, I don’t think I have a problem with number 4 because I am really very conscious about my title post. Now to answer your questions, here are my observations.

    1.0 I would like to add that sometimes, we tend to neglect our subscribers and they are decreasing without our knowledge. I made a post about it recently – How to avoid your Subscribers to Unsubscribe to your Blog and some of the highlights are Long and boring posts and Successive product reviews.

    2.0 It is not that I do not agree one hundred percent, but I think it is very rare that a blogger can produce original content. There are millions of blogs and I suppose nobody can day that their post are authentically original. I therefore think it is the approach that must be one of its kind.

    3.0 I think it’s the lack of posting. It is not that I cannot think of something to post, it is the time that won’t allow me to post daily. Besides having 2 blogs to manage and time for promotion, I have an 8-hr office job and a family to attend to. Now, I just try to balance everything and I plan to launch a WP blog which will be my main blog.

    Lastly, I will be looking forward for your next posts about finding readers for my blog. I think I still have a lot of homework to do regarding that matter.

    Thanks for your unselfish sharing of talent.

  • Never mind all this business stuff!

    Tell us about the baby!

    New Pictures?

  • thought this series was really comprehensive. thanks for it!

  • I think posting posts without doing the necessary research is a way many people let their blog go.
    They write a post with no research to back it up and it lacks credibility

  • 1. what else would you add to the list?

    Consistency. Readers come to ‘expect’ the same periodicity of posts. Radically slowing down or speeding up the number of posts will not meet their expectations, impacting your readership negatively.

    2. which ones don’t you agree with?

    Becoming a negative or self-centered blogger can actually drive a lot of traffic to your site. Some of my posts with the most readerships are those (few) posts where I speak negatively. And I’ve personally watched many self-centered bloggers that have explosive growth. The two aren’t my cup of tea, but I wouldn’t rule them out altogether.

    3. which ones do you struggle with the most? How do you overcome them?

    Stretching myself thin is my challenge. I work for a startup that demands most of my waking hours and has really hurt my blog’s popularity (because I’ve not been consistent). I try to work around it by doing a lot more drafts and scheduled posts. It’s helping, but I’m not growing my blog the way I used to.

    Thanks for a fantastic series, Darren!

  • Welcome back Darren, tell us about the paternity leave and probably pictures of the baby.

    Thank you, for the great series you share.

  • Bad titles are surely what I have been not paying attention on my blogs and I now am sure that I have to let myself go on to the creative side rather than always sticking myself to be on the reach of intellectuals who would be reading the blog entries.

    I have learned that I have to cater to each and everyone who is casting an eye on the title rather than hiding the real meaning and hoping that people who could decipher the real meaning would be falling in.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this series. I am indebted to you. I hope Problogger would flourish and provide us newbies a trail to tread on. Thanks a lot.

  • Hi Darren,

    Congratulations and welcome back! A useful series and I look forward to the next one.

    I’d like to suggest one change, from my days as a reporter and editor: Don’t call (or think of) post headlines as “titles.” Titles are for books. They’re static.

    Think of headlines as verbs — they should describe something happening.


  • lassira , bad title is the worse thing you can do to your blog. People spend less then 3 seconds on one web page . so you need good title to hold their attention.

  • I know it puts me off when a blog has too much information about the author’s personal life (except those blogs in which that is the point). If I am reading, say, a science blog, I get annoyed when it devolves into conversation about the author’s love life or Aunt Martha or dinner menu. In-jokes are another problem if you are trying for wide appeal. Your loyal readers will love it, but new readers will feel like outsiders (that’s why they’re called in-jokes) and move on.

  • this is an excellent post , I’m grateful to you, thanks.