Blogging

Building a Better Blog: The Content Comes First

When you have a static page, it’s fine to have plenty of ads on it. People visit static pages because there’s some piece of information there that they need. They’ve bookmarked it and will return only when they need that specific piece of information, at which time it is worth it for them to dodge …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Inspire Yourself

Although I’ve already covered how to overcome “blogger’s block” and how to reach other communities, these topics really don’t cover what one needs for true inspiration within one’s own topic. Where does that spark come from for those truly great posts, and where can I find it? Inspiration for great posts is much like the …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Respond to Comments

I receive dozens of comments each day at The Simple Dollar, both on the site and by direct email. There are times when I’d much rather spend my time working on posts or reading other interesting sites or posting on messageboards than dealing with this user feedback, but I make it a point to read …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Length Doesn’t Matter

So many blog development gurus give vastly different pieces of advice about how long blog posts should be. Some tell you to keep it nice and short because your audience doesn’t have much of an attention span. Others encourage you to write at length to maximize your keywords and really engage your audience. They’re both …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Be Yourself

Look at the top blogs on Technorati and ask yourself how many of them are merely link aggregators or merely report dry fact; the answer is “not many.” Why is this? Simply put, it is the human aspect of blogging that draws readers. It is exhilirating to find someone who is passionate about a topic …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Reach Out

When you visit a site on a certain topic, you usually know what to expect. When I visit dooce, I expect to read about parenting, for example. Yet the entries that often really pull me in are the ones that bridge the gap between the writer’s specific topic of interest and my specific topic of …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Keep Something In Reserve

Quite often, I’ll find myself having more ideas than I know what to do with. I’ll come up with twenty five post ideas in a day and write most of them out in a gigantic frenzy of typing, and then I’ll repeat the next day. Unfortunately, there are also times where no ideas are forthcoming …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Be Insular

Quite often, bloggers sit around crafting posts without considering the wider community around them. We write and write and write, but we get into a routine and forget to seek out interesting new links outside of our own blogs. We check Technorati to see if people are linking to us, but we forget the importance …

Categories: Blogging

What Happens When The Simple Dollar Meets Digg/Lifehacker/etc.: A Special Report

Last Friday, The Simple Dollar was lucky enough to have a post receive a front page posting on digg, an extremely popular tech link aggregation site (here’s the actual digg post itself, currently at 2,051 diggs). Subsequently, it spent a day as the most popular link on del.icio.us (a social bookmarking site) and then it …

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Leave Them Hanging

We all get burnt out sometimes and want to take a break from our projects, no matter how much fun they are. As much as I enjoy The Simple Dollar, I do like to take long weekends in the country where my responsibilities are far behind me and it’s fine to just spend an entire …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Define Your Own Success

Many people are thoroughly disappointed when, after a couple weeks of blogging, the great unwashed masses of internet users haven’t beat a path to their blog. After a month of hard work, they’re still only seeing a handful of visitors a day – and it’s disheartening. What that person doesn’t realize is that by every …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Addressing Your Readers

Before you even start to write, you need to think carefully about who you’re writing for. If you don’t know exactly who you’re writing for, you’re not writing for anyone and not many people will visit you. Take The Simple Dollar, for example. When I was thinking about how to start the site, I began …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Love What You Write

It’s an oft-repeated statement, but it’s true: your blog will only succeed if you really love what you’re writing about. Without that passion for the subject at hand, it is basically impossible to maintain any level of discipline with your writing; whenever something else comes up or you simply fall into the doldrums, you’ll stop …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Essential Reading

The most important lesson about blogging – in fact, the most important lesson about life – is that you’ve never learned all there is to know about a subject. Learning is a lifelong endeavor and every day you wake up committed to learning something new is a day you go to bed having grown as …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog

Would you like this entire series in a convenient downloadable PDF? Check it out! The Simple Dollar is running a special series on building a better blog. These posts assume that you’re already blogging, that you have a passion for improving your blog’s long term traffic, and that you’ve gone through many of the ups …

Categories: Blogging

Curing Writer’s Block – And Other Mental Blocks

GolbGuru over at Money, Matter, and More Musings recently asked me how I’m able to consistently post so much material on a daily basis and keep it as only a small part of a daily routine. The answer is fairly interesting, and it applies to many aspects of life, not just writing. The biggest aspect …

PayPerPost, Paris Hilton, and Violating the Trust Between You and Me

Recently, I’ve seen several personal finance blogs jump on the pay per post bandwagon. Also recently, I’ve found myself deleting several blogs from my daily reading list. Is there a connection? Of course. The old bromide goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” and it’s never been more true than today. Everyone is aware …

Categories: Blogging

Building A Better Blog: An Addendum

Recently, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of enjoying two exceptional resources for building a successful blog. Pro Blogger’s 31 Days to Building a Better Blog is an absolutely stellar collection of articles on the topic of building a successful blog of any kind. If you’re really serious about making a blog work, every article here …

Categories: Blogging

How To Buy Cool & Cheap Christmas Gifts and Save Money

Now that the Christmas shopping season is upon us, many of us are wondering what on earth we should get for people in our family. “What do I buy for my ultra-trendy teenage niece?” you might be wondering, or “How can I get something that will wow Uncle Ron without breaking the bank?” Interestingly enough, …