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Lessons on Blogging

Posted By Darren Rowse 23rd of May 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

If there’s one post you’re going to read today about how to take a new blog to the next level then I’d recommend it be:

27 Lessons Learned on the Way to 3000 Visits a Day and 2200 RSS Subscribers by John Wesley from Pick the Brain (found via Alister).

27 lessons might sound like a little too many – but they’re all short and all really worthwhile. Here are 4 from John’s list that stood out (with a few of my own comments).

1. “Don’t write every post for the social sites. It isn’t genuine and people get tired of it.”– Write for your readers first. Create useful content that builds the momentum of your blog and takes your readers on a journey. From time to time you’ll find an idea will come to you while you’re in this process that will work on the social bookmarking sites – but your main priority needs to be building momentum with your readership.

2. “Don’t participate in every meme or trade links with everyone who asks.” – Preach it brother! If you participate in every meme that comes your way (or every time you’re tagged) then you could find your blog goes so far off topic that you lose readership (not to mention your own focus). Be selective in what you participate in and choose those that have relevancy in terms of topic and add value to your blog.

3. If you aren’t sure a post is good, sit on it for a day. If you still aren’t convinced, delete it. A bad post is worse than no post.” – Oh this is good – it fits in with my mantra that everything you do on your blog either adds to or takes away from what you’re trying to achieve with your blog.

4. “Be prepared to completely run out of ideas after the first 3-4 months.” – Do your best to stick it out and refrain from posting anything that’s absolutely lame. The inspiration does come back.” – I think most experienced bloggers have been through this at least once or twice. It’s a real test but if you can come through it then you’ll find you learn a lot about yourself, blogging and your niche.

John writes another 23 tips that are well worth reading. Great post John.

For a few of my own Lessons from blogging check out 18 Lessons that I wrote after 3 years of blogging.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Those tips really helped me out. Like I already said for his comments, the number one thing that really gets to me is patience. There are times when I want to give up because I don’t get the desired amount of visitors I want. My site has only been up for a couple of weeks and it’s already been viewed about 2,000 times. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I’m still going.

    Online Tips

  2. “Be prepared to completely run out of ideas after the first 3-4 months”

    It’s scary how true that is.

  3. If you’re afraid of drying up I recommend to read The Blog Box: Getting Things Done.

    My problem is not lack of ideas, but time to write it.

    Also, what’s a bad post? I’ve written several posts I didn’t think were that good, yet they get a lot of traffic and even replies. Nor can I see how a “bad” post can harm your blog (unless you make a fool out of yourself, of course). Anyway, that’s what I learned on the way to 16k visitors a day :-)

  4. My problem is sometimes I sit on a post way too long. I get blogtied.

  5. They look like easy things in theory but difficult things in practice. Passion is essential for success in any field.

  6. Being very new to blogging (and having a lot of pent-up ideas) it was easy to start my blog, but now the ideas seem to flow a little less easily. However, I did find one bit of advice useful and that was to keep writing when the ideas are flowing. This way you will have a bunch of drafts ready to go and you won’t have stress out coming up with a new post everyday.

    One question – I am following the advice of finding my niche, but how do I know if my niche is too small to have a following? I haven’t been able to find another blog that covers the same topic (the biggest reason that I started my own).

    Many thanks.

  7. Some people more than 04 month….but good thinks takes time.Focus is important.


  8. I’ve gone through that time where ideas and inspiration dried up a bit, I’m slowly getting out of it myself but I agree you need to stay focused and keep at it. Life throws you curve balls all the time but you always persevere why should it be any different with your blog?

  9. fantastic read, i can relate to all the 4 you highlighted up there. going to read the rest now.

  10. […] has some blogging lessons culled from Pick the Brain and Darren’s own comments – interesting take […]

  11. I have similar traffic to John (which I consider semi-pro blog level) and agree with most of what he says. EXCEPT #20: “Posting comments on other blogs is overrated.”

    I disagree completely on this one. Networking in blogging, as in other endeavors, is critical. I wouldn’t suggest spamming blogs with comments, but insightful additions are always welcome and will introduce folks to you and your site.

  12. Point 4 – oh so very true. One of my hobby blogs has kind of hit ‘the wall’ at the moment. I’ve been pacing up and down the office all day trying to think of what to write about but taking on board point 3, I’ve managed to steer clear of posting something “just because”.

    Maybe after I’ve read the rest of the post by John I’ll be inspired to write something!

  13. As a blogger about to hit the 3 to 4 month mark, this is encouraging. I thought I was the only one facing these issues but it looks like I’m not alone.

    I’m curious where other bloggers get their post ideas from? Is it personal experience? Day to day events? Reading other blogs? Where do you go when you need inspiration?

    Also, I know point 2 is very valid, but where do you go to find out about blog memes in the first place? I like the various blog carnivals and festivals and would like to participate in some that are related to my topic, but where do I hear about them ahead of time? Any tips would be appreciated.


  14. It happens to me a lot of times: Whenever I think that I ran out of ideas for my posts suddenly I get inspired by something new.

  15. […] John Wesley listed in his “27 Lessons Learned…” post, which Darren Rowse added his comments: “Don’t participate in every meme or trade links with everyone who asks.” – […]

  16. […] ran across this post today on Problogger, titled Lessons on Blogging. I think this is a great reference article for those bloggers like myself, who are just starting […]

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