I just spent over 40 mins. reading and responding to a blog post about the future of blogging by Glen at ViperChill. Not that I regret it. Glen himself said it was too long. So were my comments about it. My life could waste away reading content. I’m doing it constantly but I also have a husband and kids. Plus the sky is beautiful and I don’t want to get fat.
Glen said it best: You’ll soon learn why writing this post was actually a huge contradiction to everything I’m about to preach.
The post was nostalgic for me but I wish he had divided into smaller posts. You’ll have to get examples from him to illustrate these points. He has a ton of good examples.
6 Tips for small bloggers who want to get bigger:
1. Show more blog posts on your home page.
Pinterest and Facebook show a ton of content that requires no clicking. Instead you can just scroll and scroll. iPads are built the same way but on overdrive. It reduces friction. If you know of any blog themes that have this feature, I’m looking. Just make sure you don’t make your page slower by doing it. Is there a theme that does this?
2. Instead of wasting your time on all the social networks, focus on building loyal passionate followers.
I say launch your business on all of the major platforms and focus on the one that resonates best. For my new blog about Pinterest marketing, PinnableBusiness.com it is our LinkedIn group. We thought it would be Facebook. We have auto-posting there because it never got traction. All the action is on LinkedIn and it has done more for our business than anything else so far besides getting our infographic on Mashable.
3. Build an Email List.
Rather than depending on people finding your content through search or a social network, build an email list and tell people when you publish content. Glen just developed a plugin called Optinskin to help. http://optinskin.com Again, I’m experimenting with email marketing. I’m embarrassed that I haven’t before. I don’t know how to fix my own theme to add it so I have people email me asking how to subscribe. Dumb. With PinnableBusiness we’re building email marketing in from the start. I wish Glen had recommended what he uses to send and test email subject lines. This could be another long post that I’d read.
Email gives us “little guys” a chance to have highly personal interactions with our readers, and that’s an advantage we’ll always have over big media.
I would add that once you build a loyal passionate following I’d be like Copyblogger and create more products rather than try to rely on advertising to monetize your blog.
4. Make your Blog Look Good.
To me this was the weakest part of his argument – I think he’s just saying – don’t be like Steve Pavlina. I’m not going to link to him because I really don’t respect him personally but the design is basic. It reminds me of Joel Comm’s blog. Outdated design. You’ll never grow your tribe if you look like your content is from 1990. You’ll just look old. Plus with Pinterest the web is becoming prettier and I like that. Add to it. For me it would mean adding more images to my posts, so they can be pinned and I can use the LinkWithin plugin I just found to show related posts with thumbnails at the bottom of each post.
5. Customize your Blog (hire a programmer).
Learn from folks like Huffington Post on how to attract and make it easy for your passionate readers to interact. That means hiring a programmer to add features to your blog that aren’t the same standard features. It might be fun like me adding a news ticker with my headlines showing, CNN style. Or it might be another way to add personality or credibility to your blog. For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer you need datafeeds and you need to customize them your product pages are not a copy of everyone else’s. Everyone I know who makes considerable income online does this. It’s also my biggest pain point. Finding and paying programmers to customize your blog is a lot of work. Just trying to articulate and explain what you want is. If you have any recommendations for me I’m listening.
6. Consistently Give your Readers Valuable and New Posts.
People have so many options for getting content that they’re less loyal to a certain blog or publication. Pinterest community doesn’t care who you are, they just want your ideas (and your pretty pictures). People want information or a solution and if you keep giving it to them they’ll come back. My guess is that people get so much more interested in doing things that earn them money and less about writing about it so their blog suffers. But they don’t care. They are off building products, tools or their email lists.
Consistency builds trust with people and search engines. Postsecret is a popular blog that only publishes once a week on Sundays. I read it every single week.
This post is exactly why I don’t blog as often as I used to. I bet very few people actually read to the end anyway. If this were a press release or if I had more time, I’d cut this post in half (and suggest you do the same).