Something that I see more and more is bloggers posting about content that relates to their own website, A LOT. Now, I’m probably somewhat guilty of this myself, but try to keep such posts down to a minimum. The bloggers that I’m talking about are the type to post a contest every week, and spend the days in between talking about the contest. They are the kind to post about every extra 10 RSS subscribers, every extra 100 unique visitors and every new blogroll link.
The problem here is that your readers ultimately won’t care that much about these facts and figures, they want useful content! I think that this kind of blogging mentality is closely aligned with the how-to-make-money blogs cropping up all over the place. John Chow’s page title is: ‘I Make Money Online by Telling People how Much Money I Make Online’. Now, I don’t actually have a problem with John’s blog, but I DO have a problem with his title. The truth is that it’s meant to be somewhat humorous, kind of playing on his success and creating a jokingly arrogant persona of someone who knows their stuff. It is however, incorrect. John may post income reports at the end of each month, but this is certainly not why he has over 20,000 RSS Subscribers! People read his blog because of his success sure… but because they want to emulate it. His title should in fact be ‘I Make Money Online by Telling People How to Make Money Online’. Now, obviously this doesn’t have the same ring to it, and would quite possibly be a worse overall title, but at least it’s accurate.
So if John isn’t doing anything wrong, and his title is largely ok, then where’s the problem? The problem is the small-time bloggers who take this title literally, or at least seem to. These are the people that don’t put in the work, and believe that their small successes thus far will draw in visitors. Firstly, they are probably hardly successful at all, and so this ‘visitors being drawn to success model’ (which does hold some weight) just won’t work. Secondly pro-bloggers like John have established themselves as experts in their fields through YEARS of hard work. This is what draws their visitors in.
This brings me to my next point… I feel that pro bloggers are often not giving people the full picture. Many are so busy posting about their ongoing success, income reports and rising traffic that they completely obscure their path up to that point. I find it really inspiring when pro bloggers take the time to stress that money/expertise takes a lot of time and effort. However, far too many pro bloggers want to appeal to the demographic of wannabes who will do anything to make a quick buck. Whilst I’m sure that some bloggers such as myself appreciate posts covering their initial steps blogging, the majority of bloggers seem to lap up the images of massive cheques and posts about expensive restaurants. All this is going to teach you is what you DESIRE to achieve, but not really how to achieve it.
Often the techniques suggested by large bloggers simply won’t be applicable to small-time bloggers as they won’t have the online persona and respect to back up some strategies. This is further explored in an older post of mine: ‘Pro Bloggers Have it Easy’. Please don’t think that I have something against pro bloggers by the way. I really admire their success, but do appreciate it when they get their head out of the clouds and think of their roots (any everybody else’s).