Most people write blogs for the fun of it, but many people also enjoy the feedback and popularity a successful blog can bring. WiredNews reports David Sifry's (CEO of Technorati) advice on how to get your blog noticed. Coincidently, NY Times writer David Pogue also has an interview with former Wonkette writer Ana Marie Cox, on how she became so popular.
Here is WiredNews rendition of Sifry's advice.
1) React quickly. Commentators like Andrew Sullivan and Michelle Malkin draw megatraffic with immediate rebuttals to A-list pundits at The New York Times and Fox News.
2) Make your posts easy to read. Italian comic Beppe Grillo broke into the Top 10 by setting his key points in boldface.
3) Link, link, link! It’s counter-intuitive, but the busiest blogs in Technorati’s index are those like Insta-Pundit.com that link prolifically to other sites. Linking works because most bloggers reciprocate by sending their readers your way.
4) Optimize for search engines. Put the name of your blog (even if it’s just your own name) in the main URL and the title tag of your site. On Technorati, identify your blog with search topics, like “politics” or “sewing.”
5) Post, post, post! Chinese actress and director Xu Jinglei has the most popular blog on the planet. At first we thought it was a glitch in our system, but it turns out she’s a real-world celebrity who makes time to post almost every day. What’s your excuse?
My take? I agree with all the points except the last one. Don't post a lot unless you have something meaningful to share. I think readers are looking for insight, perspective, and personal experience that relates to the subject matter. Anyone can simply repeat what they have read or heard...that doesn't help much.
I would add the following advice for blog writers.
- Focus on a subject area that you know well. Provide insight, experience, and real life lessons learned.
- Write interesting stuff that is balanced, thought provoking, controversial, and if possible, funny and surprising.
- Become an expert in one area. Act as a filter or editor to find only the best stories that you and your readers are interested in.
- Summarize. Be concise and clear.
- Participate in the conversation. Comment on other blogs and leave a link. Talkback in response to news stories. Link to them.
The David Pogue interview with Wonkette writer Ana Marie Cox is a happy, lively conversation, with not much useful substance. I did find this one response particularly interesting;
DP: So what are the ingredients then for a successful blog, apart from being entertaining or snarky?
AMC: I think it’s changing. Six months, a year ago, I would have talked about what I think made Wonkette successful and makes Gawker successful, to a certain extent, and other blogs: A strong, defined personality with a sense of humor about themselves. An ability to filter news quickly and to recognize, you know, what is interesting to other people as well as interesting to themselves, and finding the balance between those things.