Blogging Lessons Learned

Shameless Self Promotion

My name is Ido Schacham

I make kick ass WordPress sites for small businesses & intuitive web UIs for startups

www.idosius.com

(Moustache part of Movember)

Topics

  1. Blogging Background

  2. Blogging Principles

  3. Blogging Lessons

  4. Questions & Sharing

wptlv.idosius.com

Blogging Background

Blogging Background

  1. 2007-2009 - Culture Alienation Boredom & Despair
    Personal music, philosophy, and technology blog
  2. 2008-2009 - Testuff
    Startup and QA blog
  3. 2009-2010 - Dice Marketing (defunct)
    Commercial internet marketing blog
  4. 2010-2012 - The Listener
    Personal indie music blog
  5. 2010-2012 - idosius Blog
    Commercial web dev blog

Blogging Background

The Listener - biggest achievement

  1. No. 1 in Google for בלוג מוזיקה
  2. Music lovers recognition
  3. Music industry recognition
  4. Pro-blogger with City Mouse
  5. 21,000 backlinks
  6. 800 comments
Not bad for a personal indie music blog in Hebrew...

Blogging Principles

Blogging Principles

Why do I blog?

  1. I love writing and self expression
  2. I'd like to share unique info, ideas, & opinions
  3. Post it whenever I want to
  4. Previous platforms weren't ideal
  5. Because it's fun!

Blogging Principles

How do I blog?

  1. My blog - my rules
  2. Visitors are nice to have
  3. Edit and then edit some more - post preview
  4. Blog when the muse is burning

Blogging Principles

When does my muse burn?

  1. Found something cool and unknown
  2. Got some helpful info
  3. Current events
  4. Different opinion on a hot topic
  5. Reply to posts in other blogs (trackback)
  6. Whenever it does - planned posts didn't usually happen

Blogging Principles

Technical details?

  1. WP FTW - constant upgrades
  2. Feedburner - plus email form
  3. Exported to Facebook & Twitter
  4. Google Analytics
  5. Plugins
    1. All In One SEO
    2. Contact Form 7
    3. Search Everything
    4. W3 Total Cache
    5. Google XML Sitemaps

Blogging Lessons

Disclaimer

The following lessons are not universal blogging rules.

This lecture is based on my personal blogging experience.

What worked or didn't work for me in a certain context and point in time may work or not for you at a differnt context and time.

Blogging Lessons

It takes time

  1. Readers count improved over time
  2. Writing style improved over time
  3. Blogs more famous over time
  4. Better SEO over time
  5. Contacted more often via the blog over time

Blogging Lessons

SEO happened organically

  1. More posts → more backlinks
  2. WP tags heaven sent
  3. Link trading with similar blogs didn't hurt
  4. All In One SEO plugin with 0 configuration

Blogging Lessons

Community participation counts

  1. Read other blogs
  2. Leave comments - genuniely, no SEO spam
  3. Replied to posts in my blog - trackback
  4. Forum participation (R.I.P.)
  5. Went to community events
  6. Got to know the bloggers behind the keyboards

Blogging Lessons

Rebranding - great success

January 2010 - closed Culture Alienation Boredom & Despair, opened The Listener

  1. Simpler + available blog name
  2. Purchased my own hosting
  3. Bought my own domain
  4. Translated free WP theme
  5. Focused on one topic

Blogging Lessons

Rebranding - great success

  1. Blog looked more impressive
  2. Blog way easier to find & spread
  3. Blog became more popular
  4. Plenty of offers and recognition
  5. More interesting content due to focus

Blogging Lessons

No new posts → dead blog

  1. New posts brought traffic spikes
  2. Old posts didn't

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

  1. 10 Reasons Why You Can't Miss Indinegev 2010
  2. Too Much Smoke, Can't Hear The Music
  3. 11 Ways To Find New Music

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

10 Reasons Why You Can't Miss Indinegev 2010

  1. Published right before the Indinegev 2010 festival
  2. Top refferals from Facebook and the Indinegev website
  3. Festival Survival Guide page visited as well

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

Too Much Smoke, Can't Hear The Music

  1. Long angry post why smoking in shows is killing music
  2. Top refferals from Facebook
  3. A lot via radio DJ/musician Quamy De La Fox's Facebook profile

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

11 Ways To Find New Music

  1. Original recommendations how to find new music
  2. Top refferals from biggest music blog in Israel - Oneg Shabat
  3. Content also spread via City Mouse, but not many referrals

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

  1. Facebook? All my posts are shared on Facebook
  2. Major site referrals? Helps, but traffic inconsistent
  3. Current events? Got other posts that didn't hit it high
  4. Recommendations? Dito
  5. Critiques? Same same

Blogging Lessons

Can't predict post popularity

Post popularity depends on people reading and sharing

People decide what to read and share

People are unpredictable

Ergo - can't predict post popularity

Write about whatever you want!

Blogging Lessons

Spread posts in any possible way

  1. RSS
  2. Email(!)
  3. Twitter - not much traffic for me
  4. Facebook
  5. etc.

Did it myself, share buttons didn't seem to help

Blogging Lessons

People read posts via Facebook

  1. 15 January 2011 - quit Facebook - post traffic dropped
  2. 16 January 2011 - created The Listener Page
  3. 24 January 2011 - posts published on page via RSS Graffiti app

Blogging Lessons

Commercial blogging

  1. People read content - not company masturbation
  2. Community participation was important
  3. Blog helped bring traffic to the main site

Blogging Lessons

Was selling out good?

Went pro-blogging in March 2012 with City Mouse content distribution

Pros

  1. Content exposed to way more people
  2. Money, though very little

Cons

  1. Visits down since sell out
  2. Credibility hurt?

Blogging Lessons

Who knows where the blog will take you

  1. Post about Facebook lies cited on Ynet
  2. Bands citing lines from my posts
  3. Invitations to events, free stuff
  4. Pro-blogging deal with City Mouse
  5. New jobs & projects
  6. New friends

Fin

Questions? Sharing?

Thanks!
www.idosius.com

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