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Are You Trying Too Hard With Your Blog?

Bad Language’s How To Blog Like a Pro is a great list of tips to help you blog your best.

* Contribute to the conversation. There are an awful lot of sheep on the Internet. With nearly 60 million blogs in existence,you really want to try and be a sheepdog. In my opinion, it’s important to say something new and something interesting to contribute that the conversation.
* Be yourself. Voltaire once said, “if we don’t find anything good a least will find something new.” Ideally you want to say something interesting, Just be yourself. Some of the best blogs are the ones that are unique, idiosyncratic, and highly personal. The extraordinary thing about the blogosphere is that whatever you write about, there is an audience for it.

One of the best points he makes is on the issue of getting dug by Digg or another popular traffic-driving site and how “who returns” is more important than the spike in traffic:

“Write for yourself first, then write for them. The harder I try to get a traffic monster, the more elusive it becomes so I sort of forget about trying and they keep happening.”

Trying Too Hard

Do you remember the lesson most of us learned in early school about trying too hard. The harder you tried to be liked by the other kids, to be something you weren’t, the worse the situation. There are time when the “trying” is for achievement and other times when the justifications behind the “trying” makes things worse and fails.

The same applies to trying too hard to generate a “traffic monster” blog post.

People know when you are sincere in your effort and when your effort is forced. Your readers aren’t stupid. They know a gimmick when they see one. Just because thousands may flock to your blog post doesn’t mean thousands will return.

It’s those who return for more, who keep coming back for your words and offerings, those who eagerly await your next blog post, those are the ones worth waiting for and keeping. It is those who give you the reason to keep blogging.

For these people, you don’t try, you do. You do your best. You ask them what they need and keep giving them what they want, and a little bit more. In time, if you put your focus on their needs and not the spikes, you will find blogging more enjoyable and definitely more satisfying.

Are you trying too hard with your blog? Is it working hard for you or hardly working?

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8 Comments

  1. Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I always try too hard. Even when I tell myself not to, I tend not to realize it because that’s always been something I do in life. But lately I’ve been taking it somewhat easy. I still try, and that still shows but there are good days.

    It’s hard for a personal blog to be a traffic monster unless you got something to show to the mainstream.

  2. Posted May 22, 2007 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    This is so so true.. It’s amazing that some simple posts that were not written with “traffic” in mind can generate a considerable amount of conversation in the comments section. But those written with the intention to “attract more traffic” fail to generate any conversation at all.

    So at one point, I’ve learned to put “traffic” after “content” :)

  3. Posted May 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    It seems so hard to get traffic these days. Any suggestions?

  4. mysterymika101
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I want conversation- I’m getting traffic- a comment from an absolute stranger is what I crave so now I have started this ‘book club’ but I don’t know if anyone aside from me is reading the books- I feel as though I’m talking to a silent crowd…I’m sad that I can’t get anyone to raise their hand

  5. Posted May 23, 2007 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Excellent article, Lorelle!

    It brings to mind Taoist philosophy and the concept of wu-wei-“effortless accomplishment”. What many might view as laziness, wu-wei sees as “doing nothing that is not natural” – a state that is never achieved by strained effort.

    The profusion of sheep is, I believe, all the more reason to state your individuality and stand alone – who wants to knock themselves out to be one of the crowd when, with much less effort, you can outshine them all?

    Nicely done, m’lady.

  6. Posted May 23, 2007 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I think I do try to hard with my blog. I’ll have to remember these tips. :)

  7. colide81
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this post, I want to write about things going on in the world, but everytime I sit down to write my thoughts that I was hoping to write on aren’t there and I think the reason is I wanna write for other people rather then my self.

  8. Posted May 29, 2007 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Hrm… Since my blog is really nothing more than a series of my thoughts with the vain hope that I might make enough to pay for its minuscule hosting costs in 2 years time, I just write whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Of course, I did this in preparation for creating a blog with a purpose, but that isn’t ready quite yet.

    Pax,

    MLO


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