Tags are the best way to draw in random readers from search engines such as Google and Yahoo! I made several sample blogs in early 2010 and did sample tags for each post. The results were kind of interesting.
I continually made posts for about three months and did an equal amount of tags for each. The results? Here ya go…
I’ll spare you the tags that got between 15 and 20 hits… but here’s what I found most interesting: the terms nudity, sex, xxx, porn, and adult were hit a combined total of just 4 times! The old adage that sex sells seems to be a bit flawed when it comes to blogging. Looks like Pokemon is much more interesting.
As I sit here watching two top academic schools battle each other in football (Notre Dame v Stanford) I’m reminded of my favorite economics blog. Economics is more or less the study of choices. Why people do what they do based on what they value. Now there’s a professor out there named Tyler Cowen that writes a blog called Marginal Revolution. This blog has very little media content and often has very little insight from Cowen himself. Yet, he links you to the best articles on the web. He covers everything from politics to sports. Whether you agree with Cowen or not is beside the point. It’s a great blog to bookmark for reference to other academic outlets.
Ease to navigate: A
Overall Grade: A
NOTE: Cowen’s blog is one of the most visited in the realm of economics. It’s appearance isn’t appealing to the regular blog reader. In fact, I doubt anyone that stumbles upon MR would stick around to read what he posts. Yet, his audience isn’t casual readers. It’s informed and educational readers. I grade blogs based on how they appeal to their audience. Example: I personally dislike the High School Musical films, yet for a teen that likes a musical, it’s a homerun. Same goes for Cowen’s blog. If you like data, numbers, and economics, this is the cream of the crop source as far as blogs go.
Anyone can start a blog. Unfortunately, most of those writers fail to continue their work after the first week. I think a lot of people stop writing because they get locked into their view stats. They figure that since no one is reading, why keep writing? Sure you started that blog for yourself, but you hoped that at least someone gave a damn!
Well there’s good news! If you truly want your blog to take off and have consistent traffic, stop treating it like a hobby and start treating it like a business. Consider the following questions:
Why: Why are you writing?
What: What’s your subject?
Who: Who’s your target audience?
Where: Where do you see your blog in 1 month? 6 months? 2 years?
How: How are you going to reach your goal?
Do your research: Are there other writers writing about my subject? What do they have to say?
Redundant but another way of thinking about the How question: Think of your sales goals in terms of views.
Answer these questions and you’ll be in better place to create a blog that will succeed in meeting your goals. Best of luck blogging!!!
Based on the blogs that I have run over the years, there are two main times throughout the day that readers stop by. I call it the Rule of 10’s.
10:00 AM EST
10:00 PM EST
Are the highest traffic times throughout the day.
Look to schedule your posts to be released one to two hours before these times! You’ll see your views-per-post increase and thus increase the value of your work!
Appearance in a blog is just as important as its content! Don’t ever be fooled to thinking otherwise. Here are some tips based on various marketing studies:
The first two blogs I have put up were great examples of blogs that were both original and very well done. Let’s take a look at one that isn’t so well done. With this said, the blog just needs minor tweeks to improve its overall rating.
Note: This blog isn’t about personal stories, it’s for a small stock trading and education business.
The link is here. Let’s look at this post. The reason I’m choosing to do this post is simple, it’s on a subject we are all interested in: “How to make money in stocks today!” It’s also their main plug to potential customers. They sell their training programs for considerable amounts. The prices are high because they are trying to sell VALUE. Yet this blog fails to show any sort of value in their product.
There are little things about this post that need to be nitpicked for the sole reason that the author is promising that he’s a stocks guru. “Trust me with your money,” is the angle he is trying to go with. Unfortunately he starts out immediately with a typo…
THis is a recent pic of me…
This is something so small it shouldn’t really matter. But it does because he is charging $997 for their programs! These programs could easily make someone ridiculous amounts of money, I’m not doubting their guarantees. What I am doing is failing to take them seriously with typos, grammar mistakes, and misspelled words littering their post.
Moving on, the blogger throws up a photo of himself to introduce himself. I’ll give bonus points for this because it takes some confidence in your product to show your face on a blog. So how good is their product? Well the first two stocks they mention, AKRX and IPXL, have done well over the past 3 years. This post is dated 11/23/11, so I’ll keep an eye on this recommendation. However their picks seem to be more of “finds” rather than guru predictions. What I mean by this, is that anyone could look at the following chart and tell that this stock might be worth buying into.
This graphic makes my second point about why this blog will under-perform: it lacks media content that potential customers and readers would be interested in! Where are the graphics?
The third and final piece to look into improving this blog is that it is too wordy. I view the post as an infomercial for their product. Look at why infomercials succeed: they show their results and are to the point! If I’m a prospect just browsing the internet and came across this, I’d look at the length and lack of shown results and instantly click the back button. A hook needs to be very early on in every single post! They’re selling a product, not just writing personal stories. If the first 2 lines doesn’t have something proving how superior their product is, forget about it!
So to recap:
Ease to navigate: B
Overall grade: C
Paul Johnson writes a blog meant for smug, educated white kids that like dry humor. And he’s damn good at it. The Good Greatsby is written with one purpose in mind:
…for the simple joy of creating something that will make people think…and hopefully those people will think about how much they like him and want to give him money.
What’s more perfect than that? The blog is funny, regularly updated, and the media is mostly his own. He gets between 50-150 likes per post. Thus if you’re curious what someone who is ‘local’ yet ‘kind of a big deal,’ check out his stuff.
Appearance: B, cluttered on right boarder.
Ease to navigate: A
Overall Grade: A
Lots of businesses are looking to blogs to keep their investors, customers, and partners informed on their daily activities. Unfortunately these blogs are not maintained and are often left to become outdated and irrelevant to the mentioned readers. I stumbled upon this video a few weeks ago and thought it did a great job show how easily a blog can be created and maintained.
A lot of what I’ll post on here will be representations of good and bad blogs. To start on the right foot, I found one that is really interesting. Seven female writers that compile personal stories and recipes into their own creation. There are several characteristics of this blog that would make me want to return. First, it’s well written. It’s also easy to navigate. Yet most importantly, it’s visually appealing. The authors include common photos from search engines as well as their own uploaded images. The target audience for these women appears to be 30+ year old women that have families. Now I’m a 24 year old single male… so I most likely will not be returning often. Yet if you happen to enjoy Pintrest, then I’d suggest you bookmark their blog!
Ease to navigate: A
Overall Grade: A-
Posts that are worth your time: