10 Things About Blogging That Are Not Intuitive: Your Content

Last issue, we explored how important the location of your blog, both physically and it’s address, is to the success and reputation of your blog as a body of work. Today, let’s nail down some tips on content.

Find Your Brand, Theme, or Niche

A vitally important part about blogging is what to blog about. Naturally. There are business blogs, helpful blogs, blogging blogs, gadget blogs, mommy blogs, and portfolio blogs. My personal favorites are gaming blogs, particularly those about World of Warcraft. Within each topic and niche comes the full spectrum of fantastic design, content, and passion. The ability to do your blog well has a lot to do with finding yourself within your blog and showing that to others. Even the most professional, anonymous business blog can convey enough passion and insight to make a following.

One of the reasons the term “blogger” brings negative reactions from friends and relatives who are up with technology is that there are so many bad blogs out there. MySpace has single-handedly ruined millions of people’s idea of what bloggin is, and with good reason. It has the feel of a blog in that you update it regularly and people leave you messages, but that is where the similarities end. I’ve personally never seen a decent MySpace page, and that’s a lot of ground to make up if that’s all your friend knows of “blogging,” too. Here are the major blogging sins to avoid:

  • Poor design – No one wants to try to find your text in all those banners or all the way down at the bottom of the page when the sidebars push things out of whack. Above all else, choose your font and color scheme like a normal person. There is no forgiveness to be found for a hot pink MSComic font on a black background. If your grandma can’t read it, do it over.
  • Boring content – If you’ve ever seen a blog that was day after day of posts about their day to day activities, sucky boss, or what their cat ate and barfed back up, then you know what I’m talking about. If your blog is pretty well settled into a niche that focuses on said specific topic then the reader knows what they are getting into. Otherwise, to have a blog about “nothing” or “everything” and have such mundane content is unacceptable to a discerning reader. Ask yourself “would I read this on my lunch break?”
  • Schizophrenic content – Related to boring content, if you have a niche, stick to it. It’s okay to blend some stuff, but don’t combine your passion of the Denver Broncos with your dental practice with a sprinkling of Fred for ’08. Chances are pretty good that you will turn off people with 2 out of those 3 topics if they came to your blog using a search engine for one of those topics.
  • Infrequent updates – Blogs are driven by constant updates. People want to know what they want to know often. If you have subscibers to your RSS feed (another topic for another day) and you only update once per week or less, you are going to lose subscribers unless they know that is your schedule. Some blogs update 4 times per day, but a good average is once every day to three days. Even if there aren’t any new posts, there might be some comments to read.

Certainly the list is longer than this, but you can’t go wrong by avoiding these huge mistakes in the content you deliver. Remember: your blog is a body of work when it’s all said and done. Make it reflect who you are in the best possible way, even if you aren’t the main attraction.

If you have any other suggestions I’d be happy to incorporate them into the post and give you credit… if your content makes you look good, of course.

  • http://www.emomsathome.com Wendy Piersall

    You know what’s funny, I think that’s the first time eMoms has been referred to as a “Mommy Blog”. But since I’d really like to rank better for that term, I’m quite happy about it! 😛

  • http://www.emomsathome.com Wendy Piersall

    You know what’s funny, I think that’s the first time eMoms has been referred to as a “Mommy Blog”. But since I’d really like to rank better for that term, I’m quite happy about it! 😛

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Hi Wendy,

    Actually, I read that term in a recent Wired or Men’s Health mag, can’t remember which. I can make you a badge if you’d like. 🙂

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Hi Wendy,

    Actually, I read that term in a recent Wired or Men’s Health mag, can’t remember which. I can make you a badge if you’d like. 🙂

  • http://www.emomsathome.com Wendy Piersall

    You read about mommy blogs in Wired or Men’s Health?!

    I’m dumbfounded. Absolutely dumbfounded that they would be writing about mommy blogs. Do fill me in!

    😉

  • http://www.emomsathome.com Wendy Piersall

    You read about mommy blogs in Wired or Men’s Health?!

    I’m dumbfounded. Absolutely dumbfounded that they would be writing about mommy blogs. Do fill me in!

    😉

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    I would love to, but my memory is so bad, I’ll just have to try… I left the magazine at work for my lunch breaks.

    It was the Wired magazine with Martha Stewart baking a Wii cake on the cover. It was an article about bringing the newspaper industry up from the 19th century to the 21st century. In it, there was a woman who had multiple roles in the paper, but on the side ran cincyMoms, or something similar to that name. From cincyMoms, she was able to expand the paper’s network, advertising, and readership into the new wave of media.

    Fascinating article. Either they used the term in the article, or I just invented a new term. I claim it here and now. 🙂 That’s it… my claim to fame. It’s the new ‘metrosexual’ – ‘MommyBlog.’

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    I would love to, but my memory is so bad, I’ll just have to try… I left the magazine at work for my lunch breaks.

    It was the Wired magazine with Martha Stewart baking a Wii cake on the cover. It was an article about bringing the newspaper industry up from the 19th century to the 21st century. In it, there was a woman who had multiple roles in the paper, but on the side ran cincyMoms, or something similar to that name. From cincyMoms, she was able to expand the paper’s network, advertising, and readership into the new wave of media.

    Fascinating article. Either they used the term in the article, or I just invented a new term. I claim it here and now. 🙂 That’s it… my claim to fame. It’s the new ‘metrosexual’ – ‘MommyBlog.’