Become a Better Blogger By Following Expert Examples
Being a new blogger is a daunting challenge. You’re starting from scratch, with no experience, and competing against bloggers who’ve been building authority and expertise for years. Fortunately, there are also a few crucial benefits. No matter what type of blog you want to build, odds are someone else has already done it. Top bloggers have spent countless man hours perfecting their blogs through trial and error. Why not take advantage of that hardwork by following their example?
One mistake many bloggers make is relying solely on what’s been written about blogging. There is a wealth of great information on how to build a successful blog, but only a small percentage of bloggers openly share their best techniques. There will always be specific questions that you can’t find an answer to. Actions speak louder than words. Instead of merely learning from what top bloggers say, you can learn by studying what they do.
Want to know how to optimally structure your blog for search engines? Look over top SEO blogs like SEOmoz and ProNet Advertising.
Want to know what a usable, eye pleasing design looks like? Checkout out 43Folders and kottke.org.
Want to learn how to write indepth articles that challenge readers to improve themselves? Start reading Steve Pavlina.
Want to master consistency, post frequency, and personal branding? Pay attention to Seth Godin, Hugh MacLeod, and Darren Rowse.
I could go on forever but you get the point. Just reading these great blogs isn’t enough. You need to look beneath the surface with a discerning eye. Nothing the best bloggers do is an accident. Every detail, from appearance to post frequency, has been meticulously perfected.
To become a better blogger, you need to stop being an ordinary reader and become a student of blogging. I recommend picking a few blogs that you’d like to emulate and doing an indepth examination of their sites. Remember, no detail is too small. Try to understand the reasons why they to do what they do, and you’ll be that much closer to becoming an A-Lister.
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14 Responses to “Become a Better Blogger By Following Expert Examples”
Thanks for your example blogs
Definitely something i have started taking on board, i do admit i have several blogs that i read daily and usually comment on which i have taken tips and ideas from to incorporate in to my own website.
To me, blogging is keeping my writing skills up. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I can’t do that right now, but I can continue to practice until the day when I can become a writer.
thanks for the tips and especially the link to darren’s blog.
Dan and Jennfer
Love the ducks! Great article too. 🙂
Hear what they say, but always watch what they do. Indeed. Very sound advice to live by.
Have an awesome day!
Use other blogs as best practices.
I’ll bet a ton of the those 5 million page views come through the forums. I get what Trent is saying about the blog recently. I’ve gotten the most value out the The Best Of section and the archives.
Trent, I find a lot of useful stuff on his blog. Maybe his writing style (instead of writing articles he prefers writing bibles :)) is what you dont like.
He is doing something right though, since his blog generates over 5 million page views monthly.
I’ve blogged for about 2 years, but approached it as just writing. Over the past couple of months, I’ve started to discern some things that successful blogs have that I did not. Although not stellar, my traffic has been increasing since I opened up my new blog.
You’re right. Don’t just read the posts, see what other bloggers are doing. They may be doing things subconsciously and are thus not able to verbalize it.
I’m sorry, but I really really don’t understand all of the Steve Pavlina love out there. I get something useful maybe one out of every ten posts I read there; the rest is shilling for “The Secret” or talking about his speaking engagements or whatever conference he’s attending or going to attend. What am I missing?
I agree that 43 folders could get better. The fonts are fine, and the content is clear, but the sidebar is too cluttered. Navigation bar could “stand out” more as well.
Although I really like Merlin Mann and the shows he is involved with I can’t stand the 43 folders site.
I find it hard to find the information I am seeking easily.
Please Merlin…rework the blog.
Wallet Rehab – Ways to save money
Thanks for the examples. I already read Darren, but I think I’m going to give Steve Pavlina a shot.
I’ve just started blogging so this advice is pretty useful…not only because it points out something that I should have thought of myself, but it also gives great examples.
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