A lot of blogs I’ve been reading lately and people from the online industry alike, with whom I’ve had the chance of interacting, believe twitter is today’s hot, new thing - and rightfully so. You only need a few minutes with it to realize it’s pure genius! It’s simple, effective and easy to use. Yes, the hype can sometimes be exhausting, since it’s really hard finding a blog these days without having at least one twitter related post in their past month archives, but even with all this in mind, the hype is justified.
What I want to post about today is not an ode to twitter, though, praising and marveling how great twitter is, twitter here and twitter there - no. What I do want to talk about today is the miss conception that twitter has made blogging obsolete, unfashionable or even unpractical (I saw someone say this on twitter some time ago, so you can imagine).
Photo by GlossyEye
Back in the 19th century, there lived a very influential Italian economist, by the name of Vilfredo Pareto, whose legacy spans well through out present day. His most notable achievement was the development of, what’s today commonly know as, the Pareto principle or “law of the vital few.” What makes this principle so important is the fact that it provided a bridge between economics and sociology, by showing how, in general, only ~20% of the input is responsible for ~80% of the output in some aspects of our lives.
More clearly, with a minimum amount of effort you can come up with most of your desired results. A few short examples:
- 20% of the world’s population control 80% of its income.
- 20% of a company’s workers produce are responsible for 80% of its performance.
- 20% of the bugs are responsible for 80% of system crashes.
- 20% of clients are responsible for 80% of sales.
- 20% of the world’s newspapers are read by 80% of the population.
- 20% of a city’s streets are responsible for 80% of the traffic.
- 20% of criminals are responsible for 80% of the total crimes.
- 20% of the web’s sites produce 80% of its traffic.
And we could go on forever. Just think about learning a new language, after a few months you’ll probably be able to have a conversation with someone in a foreign language, but by no means will be fluent - that takes a lot more effort.
However, keep in mind this is not a general truth, as the 80/20 principle does not apply to all circumstances, by no means. It’s pretty clear, though, that we can learn a great deal from its microeconomics applications and become more productive individuals or … bloggers.
Photo by ahmed (john)
A while back I wrote two in depth articles on blog monetization, that got really well received and went popular. One tackled almost all the ways a blogger can approach his ad inventor, while the other offered a backdoor on how to avoid middle man commissions and how to sell ads directly. However, all these talks about blog monetization, making money online and all that mambo jambo, can cause most bloggers to deviate from their blog’s main goal, to other, more corporate, intentions. Money talks, and small time bloggers can get engulfed pretty easily.
Ads can make a blog seem nontransparent or ill intended, when blog posts are concerned, simply because they run money off of its content. It seems a bit unreal, but a lot of people feel very cheated away when reading blogs with ads on it. Few actually take in consideration hosting bills or even the obvious issue, such as a blogger’s time. Actually, if you run a blog with no ads, and then suddenly revert to monetized action, you could actually have a mutiny on your hands!
So, let’s try to look at an alternative: an ad free blog. Sounds crazy, right? Well, in a ever expanding blogosphere, that’s trying to get more “pro” by the day, an ad free blog may startle some as a novelty. You’ll be surprised, however, how many great blogs out there don’t run any kind of ads, how some ads can actually make you LOSE money and how displaying no actual advertising can still bring a decent income. All will be unraveled soon.
Homer, a painting by Auguste Leloir. Credits Wikipedia Commons.
Soft as some song divine, thy story flows.
~ Homer, The Odyssey (bk. XII, l. 566)
Few things are as special and satisfying as a good story. The emotions and feelings you get out of it are quite like nothing else. A story, if well told, can lift you up and transport you to distant lands, distant worlds and even distant times. They’re little escapes from our stressful, quotidian lives, without which we’d simply be hollow. That’s why we can’t really live without stories.
Stories have been part of our lives since the dawn of man. Our forefathers used to gather in groups, around huge campfires in caves, and tell tales of great hunters and animals. A simple look at the graffiti work in the Normandy ancient caves can attest the fact. This continues to present day. We always seek the need to listen to stories, in all forms, be it oral (chats with best mates), written (books, magazines) or visual (movies, shows). However, we also feel the need to share. I think each of us can relate to something that just happened to us, that we’re just dying to tell somebody about. This is the stuff that actually made blogs come to be, the desire to let things out, to voice their deepest emotions/experiences and to, most importantly, to share stories.
However, I feel like the storytelling element in blogs is growing ever thin, with more and more blogs going on a more blunt approach, way too direct and to the point. I read a lot of marketing and tech blogs, and while they’re very good, they don’t really have substance; they all feel somewhat the same. I’ve noticed the same thing in most niches, too. Personal blogs seems to be the only category where bloggers still post in pleasant, story narrative-like environment, and, frankly, that’s really a great pity, because most bloggers don’t know what they’re missing out. People are too busy, they don’t have time for nonsense, they argue. How true that may be, people still enjoy a good story once in a while when reading a blog, even in the most boring of niches.
Photo by alemdag
Vivid images are like a beautiful melody that speaks to you on an emotional level. It bypasses your logic centers and even your intellect and goes to a different part of the brain. ~ Steve Bochco, popular TV producer.
One of the most common things people e-mail me, besides the usual ‘great post’ and all, is how much they enjoyed the way I blend images, together with my writing and form an easy to digest, eclectic post. Clearly, images make a profound role in each of my posts, and I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t reap it’s benefits as well.
Blogging isn’t just about writing. It’s a bit more demanding then that, I’m afraid. A good blogger has to make his presence felt and convey his message as best as he can and through as many channels as possible. By mixing in words with visuals stimuluses, you’re providing a whole different reading experience, as well as enhancing the broadcasted message.
There’s are literary millions of blogs out there, with quite possibly millions of posts everyday. How can you possibly expect to stand out or be unique? Standing out is, thus, crucial, and the images in posts, alongside the writing of course, provide the necessary means in doing just that.
Photo by /\ltus
Blog monetization is a very extensive and fairly inexhaustible subject to tackle, not only because of the number of actual monetization methods (PPC, CPM, Affiliates), but rather because of the sheer number of ad networks, that promise to sell your blog’s advertisement inventory and in the process provide you an income. I’ve discussed about ad networks and blog monetization schemes in a more through article, way back, but this isn’t where I want to go. I never like talking about making money online, because the subject seems a bit trivial to me (mainly because of all the filth in the niche), but I feel like I need to share this.
Thing is there are, literally, thousands of such ad networks that promise to turn your blog into a true money maker, but at the end you only end up with a few dollars in your pocket or either way, not a respectable amount anyway. You see, ad brokers are all ripping us off! Just about all of these ad networks perceive a very high commission, mostly around the 50% mark. Just think about it for a second, that means half of what you really make goes in other people’s pockets. Better then nothing at all, right? Wrong!
I won’t lie, on my other blogs I use a few such ad networks, but only on the blogs that are still in the beginning, and really don’t have any other options, or only to handle secondary ad inventory on the more established ones, but not even that lately. What I use to monetize my blogs then? Simple, I just sell ads directly to advertisers. There’s no more commission and I get to charge my own prices. I’ve just cut out the middle man.
Photo by Ahmed Zahid
I’ve always been fascinated by how every man is unique. There’s no two alike in the world, no matter how much they’d physically resemble each other. Even if a person would share 100% of another’s DNA code, I’m positive they’d still be two different individuals, because, although they may look identical, they won’t think the same.
We all have our own consciousness, our own unique thoughts and views around anything that catches our interest and by having an independent mind you’re free to exercise those exact thoughts and ideas in any way you see fit. This is the catalyst for creativity and creativity is one of the main traits that defines uniqueness. So, rejoice fellow bloggers, for you are all unique!
Photo by Viola Jen
Commenting on the web is one of the most important factors that lead to the Internet social revolution, from the last few years. In the not so distant past, commenting and public social interactions on the web was more or less exclusive on forums and was limited by a series of complications. When blogs first became popular in the early 2000s, they were hailed and highly praised, not for their particular concept, but rather for their social innovation; a never before seen connectivity between the readers and the article authors. Readers could now freely and easily interact with the authors, publicly share and discuss the post’s ideas and form a bond with the blogger. In short comments from behalf of the readers made blogs what they are today.
Since then, a lot of things have changed on the web and in the blogoshere particularly. Commenting has also more or less changed, thanks to the ever expanding issue of spam, that’s lead to steadily decline of quality in blog comments.
Photo by erinen31
Last week I wrote about the habit of blogging. There I discussed about habits in general and how they fit into blogging, why gaining the habit of blogging is very important and finally how to eventually grow it. I’d like to think of the respective post as more of a initiation piece, for today’s article, in which I plan to lay down quite a few habits that make a blogger more effective, efficient, intelligent, interesting and well, let’s just say they kinda mark the difference between regular bloggers and, what’s commonly known as, “probloggers.”
I won’t limit the list to only habits, though. In it you’ll also find characteristics and traits, that highly prolific bloggers posses and which we all should strive to adopt. Continue Reading »
Photo by Mrs. Maze
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Blogging demands seriousness, commitment, passion and of course consistency. These are the four essential ingredients, not only towards a successful blogging career, but a healthy and balanced life as well. However keeping up with the fast paced environment, that bloggers are ever so often subjected to, can be a bit of a impediment, especially for blogging beginners and amateurs. Apparently the biggest problem for most bloggers is consistency.
People tend to burn out really fast, after subsequently they passionately burned the midnight oil, during their first weeks, some just days, of blogging. Enthusiasm can be really swell, but the trouble with it is that it dies off pretty fast, so to keep on blogging consistently you have to asimilate it completely. It has to become a part of what you are and do completely, it has to flow throw your veins so to speak, and the easiest way to do that is to form the habit of blogging.
It’s just a matter of simple psychology. Every time your learn something new, your brain tries to connect dots, to form a pathway for neurological activity. If you repetitively perform an action, your brain will soon make behavior patterns and in term will improve your neurological pathway. This is the efficient way your brain handles routine. This is a habit.
- Blogging in a Twitter World: Is There Any Room For Both?
- Why Perfectionism Can Be Harmful: The 80/20 Rule of Blogging
- Why An Ad Free Blog Rocks!
- The Homeric Way of Blogging: Storytelling
- Images: An Essential Part of Any Blog Post
- Cut Out The Middle Man: Direct Blog Ad Sales
- The 10 Commandments of Unique Blogging
- The Comment Etiquette: The Guide to Proper Blog Commenting
- 22 Essential Habits Towards Blogging Success
- 10 Easy Ways to Get in The Habit of Blogging
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