Entrepreneurship

Building a Better Blog: Write In Series

I’m often baffled by bloggers who confess to having a complete lack of ideas to blog about when the possibilities for dozens upon dozens of posts are sitting there right in front of them. All that you need for a large number of posts is one idea that can be broken down into a lot …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Use The Senses

The web is inherently a visual medium, and like any other visual medium, a big portion of success in the medium is sensory appeal. Many, many people recall things based upon imagery and visual impressions and blogs are no different: time and time again, we see that images help make for memorable posts. Take, for …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Know It All

In high school, I was friends with an individual who repeatedly acted as if he knew everything anyone was going to say. If you got him started on a subject, he would completely dominate the conversation with minutae and commentary on every aspect of the issue at hand, while everyone else sat around staring at …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Social Bookmarking

Most bloggers are familiar with the “Digg effect,” a flood of traffic that comes from reaching the front page of Digg, a popular social bookmarking site (if you want to know more about it, you can see my observations on it). Similar traffic boosts occur whenever a site becomes “popular” in any well-travelled social bookmarking …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Chase Away Your Readers

Recently, I visited a very interesting blog that focused on personal finance and political issues targeting twentysomethings. The author had a very distinctive voice and he clearly had his audience defined, yet there was still one problem: he was often posting things and making statements that were going to drive away a big part of …

Categories: Blogging

Blogging and Money: Six Trends For 2007

This entry was written as a part of the Reviews and Predictions group writing project at ProBlogger.net. As always, The Simple Dollar is looking to put a personal finance spin on things. Over the past several years, blogging has grown from a passionate hobby for a few energetic souls into a lucrative business for some …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: The Mini Audience

Once you’ve figured out who your audience is, it becomes much easier to determine whether or not content is appropriate for your site. The simple question of whether or not it appeals to this group is enough to decide whether or not it should be posted on the site. Obviously, if your audience is broad, …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Search Engine Optimization Doesn’t Matter

Some of you are probably sitting there stunned right now. Without search engine placement, it’s very hard for a site to get a lot of attention from search engines, isn’t it? Yet I’m fairly sure that (to a degree) even SEO professionals will agree with the premise here when I make the case for it. …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Leverage the Past

Once you’ve reached a point where you have a healthy number of posts, you’ll find that even your best, most original ideas overlap with ideas you’ve posted on in the past. Some people see this as a problem; they worry that they’re out of original ideas. Successful bloggers, however, see it as an opportunity. Let’s …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Guide Your Users

I like to write long posts. I’ve discovered that length doesn’t matter, so I write and write to my heart’s content until I feel like I’ve completed my thoughts and said what I want to say. Quite often, though, this means I have a big block of solid text, a nearly unpenetrable slab of words …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Be Lucky

Every once in a while, you’ll write a post that is a surefire winner, but quite often, our most popular posts come as a relative surprise. You’ll post something and out of nowhere will come comments and people linking to the posts. How did that happen? The simple truth is that it’s luck. Finding that …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Give Up

At some point, we all get disheartened with blogging. Maybe we feel out of touch with the readers, or maybe it’s simply a matter of level or slightly falling traffic. Maybe it’s just a sense of isolation and disinterest in the topic. This is perhaps the most important period in the life of your blog, …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Money Doesn’t Matter

This seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it? On a series on professional blogging on a personal finance site, I’m writing that money doesn’t matter? What gives? The truth is that many people dream about becoming professional bloggers, but after blogging for a month, they peek at their AdSense account, see they’ve only earned $1.03, and …

Categories: 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