Dear Potential Blogger,
First off, congratulations on your likely decision to start up a blog. If you go through with it, you’ll embark on a mission that is both deeply personal and extremely public, a chance to speak your mind and give voice to your thoughts on this, the most public sphere, the Internet.
However, I’m not going to lie to you. Starting a blog, maintaining it and growing it is not easy. Blogging has been around for over ten years and it’s a very crowded sphere. There are currently more bloggers than ever and audience size has not kept pace with the growth in the number of bloggers. The result, tougher than ever competition for readers and subscribers.
To make matters worse, the blog you want to do has probably already been done and better by someone else. That person (or company) is established in the niche, has a built in audience and the trust that comes with its longevity. Breaking into your market will be difficult, if not impossible.
The odds are definitely against you and the numbers make that very clear. Within a year of starting a blog, some 90% of bloggers have given up, leaving their blogs idle. Even most successful bloggers have more misses than hits, meaning they’ve walked ay from from more blogs than they’ve maintained.
So, there’s no guarantee of success, much less fame and fortune. In fact, nothing you can do will make your chance at success above 50%. As a new blogger with no reputation, you have an uphill battle regardless of how good you are and how well you do everything.
Still, there are things you can do to make your chances better. So, before you start thinking about your site name or what platform you’re going to use, here are a few things I think every blogger should be able to do and do reasonably well in order to succeed. Read More
How many times have you seen the same blog design, in the same niche, writing about the same topics? The number to be assumed could be high. That’s because even though there are millions of designs available over the web, webmasters often prefer to copy the templates used by ‘good’ blogs, and hence make a messed up photocopy of that good blog.
If not the design, there are several elements on the sites that are copied by many, from many. These elements are numerous, but the most important is the copying of the shades (colors) from other blogs. Thousands of webmasters often don’t take any pain of thinking about the colors that will be used on a blog. Sometimes, a plain red logo, and the whole site black with white background is the main idea of the so-called ‘website-development’. Read More
Imagine, for a moment, that you were invited over to a friends house to watch a movie or catch up on their news. However, instead of giving you what you went for, they bombarded you with advertisements you didn’t want, practically shoving them in your voice and begging you to read them.
Then, when you get past the ads, they start annoying you with irritating sounds and distracting movement, anything to get your attention away from whatever it is you visited for. Then, when you finally turn to leave, your friend does everything they can to prevent you from going. This includes locking doors, rearranging the furniture and everything short of handcuffing you to a wall.
This person, almost certainly, would not be your friend much longer and it is even more unlikely you’d ever go back to their house. At the very least you’d consider this a bad experience and, at worst, it would feel like a form of kidnapping.
However, as extreme as this example sounds, it’s exactly how many websites treat their visitors. Sadly, many webmasters don’t see their visitors as guests in their virtual home, but rather, like sheep meant to be shorn and exploited as much as possible.
But while we can all recount the terrible experiences that we’ve had with sites that have tried to trap and bombard us, there are other, more subtle ways a webmaster can impose on a visitor and they can be just as deadly to earning trust.
Unfortunately, many webmasters fail to realize that they are doing it and some are left wondering as to why so few of their visitors ever come back. Read More
Happy Monday, folks! Things seem to be a bit slow in the Movable Type community right now. I think it’s a combination of the holidays and impending release of MT5. Still, we’ve got a few news items to tell you about.
Mike from Code Monkey Ramblings has forked Byrne Reese’s jQuery Comment plugin. This doesn’t seem to be a radical departure from the original. Instead, Mike has concentrated on small tweaks that improve the plugin and extend its compatibility with existing themes. Read More