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How to become an authority online

September 26, 2010

As I jump into blogging: round two, I am wondering a lot about what makes a successful blog and with that, what makes someone an authority.

Most of the blogs I read are the big ones that post regularly.  That is to say, 10+ posts a day.  These blogs are closer to being a digital newspaper than a grassroots blog.  The value of the blog almost completely comes from the value of the information itself.   Now if  that were entirely the case, we would all just read facts and just let our eyes linger on the pictures;  The voice and banter of the blog also determines its quality.

For us smaller bloggers, our authority seems to also come from our personality, but mostly from our area of expertise and the value we provide in that realm.   While you may not care about what I have to say about technology, you really won’t care about what I eat or what I wear.  You’ll look to Serious Eats or Tavi to fill that void in your life.

A study conducted by my alma mater actually was what got me started down this rant.  Turns out that Ashton Kutcher, the man with nearly 6 million followers on Twitter, apparently has very little influence except for when he discusses his areas of expertise: Hollywood and Punk-ing.

I feel as though we need to define influence here as Justin Bieber.  If Justin Bieber says jump, we should all be afraid of the tween masses jumping simultaneously and throwing off the balance of the world as the planet fall out of orbit and we crash into the sun. Dramatic, yes.  But so are Justin Bieber’s fangirls.

For those of us just trying to acquire regular readers (beyond family and friends) there seem to be a few tricks to gaining autority and therefore readers:

Buy the domain name.  Just do it; it costs like $14 dollars.  I automatically prejudge a xxx.blogspot.com because it shows me that the reader isn’t committed to the content.  Why would I want to waste my time reading that drivel?  Maybe I am quicker to judge than most, but spend the $14.

Post regularly.  This is the pot calling the kettle black.  Again, this will show that you take your blog seriously, so it is worth reading

Blog for no one but your self; edit for the entire world.  I hate outlining, I hate planning my writing, which has long been my downfall.  I would start writing a ten-page paper without a plan for page three.  After I churned out the ten pages, that last thing I would want to do is go back and reread it.  I mean, come on!  That said, typos undermine your intelligence and will ruin your pithy jokes.

One day you will be like Ashton Kutcher and can tweet at 5.8 million people about football.  Don’t you feel a little like we are all getting Punk’ed?

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144 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 8:30 am

    I haven’t bought a domain name. I just enjoy writing and posting photos and interacting with other bloggers.

  2. October 18, 2010 8:41 am

    Love it. And it’s true. One other thing I advise is to stick with it. How many blogs have a couple months of entries only to float in cyberspace never to be touched ever again? Readership doesn’t happen overnight for most of us. Hang in there, bloggers!

    • October 19, 2010 1:01 am

      Way too many.. You’re right!

    • deadwednesdays permalink
      October 19, 2010 5:49 am

      I’m glad you said this! I don’t get a ton of readers everyday, I might get like a handful. But they are a consistant handful. I told myself I’d rather post every couple of days and have my blog for a long time than to post like 4 times a day just to have it for a few months.

      One of the hardest things to accept is that sometimes it just takes awhile. You just have to keep posting, keep being committed, and you will keep growing. I hate when people just give up on their stuff. This really motivates me….

  3. October 18, 2010 8:44 am

    I have been wanting to blog for quite some time. I tried doing a “family only” blog, but couldn’t get my siblings to keep up with it. We all were new to blogging and didn’t really know what we were doing. But I was determined to do it somehow, so about a year later I started my own blog: http://www.rtcrita.wordpress.com

    Yes, I know, I need to “buy the domain.” But I wasn’t sure how well I would do or if I would have to start over after I learned how to work out the kinks and make myself knowledgeable about how a good blog should function. So, I read about it as much as I can, and I look at other people’s blogs to see what I like and what I don’t like about theirs. I try to learn from the really good ones and what I think makes them so popular. I’ve only been blogging for about 6 months, and the first couple of months I was not very consistent with my posting because I had to get my bearings. But I do enjoy it and find it a challenge and rewarding at the same time. I love when people comment and, so far, everything has been positive! I’m thinking it might be okay to buy the domain now.

    • October 19, 2010 7:38 am

      Supportive post. Thank you!
      From a new Girl on the block!

  4. October 18, 2010 8:47 am

    1. Helpful post for me, thanks. I also find that having a theme/niche for one’s blog works as well because it becomes a default site for the topic I want to read on.
    2. “Blog for yourself but edit for the world” that’s both sweet and cunning. Good one. 🙂

  5. October 18, 2010 8:55 am

    Greetings you give some very sound advice. What ever your Passion is what ever you have experience or if you just want to write about you life be true to that. I agree with the domain name suggestion as well.

    wising you success and the best days.

  6. October 18, 2010 9:02 am

    I just sprang for the $25 (other fees in addition to the $14) to drop the “wordpress” from my website. Other than that, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I post and hope that an actual humanoid notices. Note to Ashton and Justin: Not to worry. I feel pretty confident that my fan base is no threat you. And either is my hair.

  7. October 18, 2010 9:03 am

    “…Ashton Kutcher, the man with nearly 6 million followers on Twitter, apparently has very little influence except for when he discusses his areas of expertise: Hollywood and Punk-ing.”

    I find this tremendously reassuring.

    • October 18, 2010 8:03 pm

      It helps me sleep at night.

  8. Carrie Zylka permalink
    October 18, 2010 9:06 am

    Absolutely correct on the domain name.
    I never send people to my wordpress address. It
    I have the domain name in my email signature etc because it simply sounds more clever and more professional/serious.
    Great post!

    ~ Carrie

  9. October 18, 2010 9:09 am

    Good advice. I must make myself post more often. Buying the domain name is something I’ll have to consider.

    • October 18, 2010 8:07 pm

      It’s constantly a challenge. Not only to find interesting and provocative information, but to actually sit down and devote time to write a compelling piece. We’re in it together!

  10. October 18, 2010 9:11 am

    good advice.

  11. October 18, 2010 9:24 am

    Focus, focus! I want to write about waaaay too many subjects. I started my first blog three years ago this month. Since then, I’ve invested serious time and effort in three other blogs, two of them now inactive, the third neglected. The original blog remains the most active. But it is more or less LOCAL, and local sharply limits your readership, as well as your range of material. As I write this, I’m trying to figure out how to focus my efforts on one serious, meaningful blog. I can’t quiet nail it down.

    I’ve learned: a) Don’t waste your time trying to make money with affiliate advertising, b) Learning how to blog is time-intensive, just like anything else worthwhile (unless you are a prodigy). c) Readers like pictures.

    Instead of allowing the wild horses in my mind to gallop in all directions, I need to harness them into a team, and get all the horses pulling in the same direction. That would be very powerful. I am still trying to corral the horses.

    • October 18, 2010 9:55 am

      Write about anything you want! Which is more important to you- expressing yourself and enjoying your craft, or seeing how high the bar chart goes? My blog is generally humor, but it gets mixed with observations and and some plain silliness. What links it together? My particular voice.

      When I started blogging I did to please exactly one person- myself. As long as I enjoy what
      I do, I keep blogging. And if you enjoy what you do, that bleeds througfh onto the screen and infects the readers. Don’t worry, you;ll find an audience too. In les than one year, my blog has grown over tenfold.

      • October 18, 2010 8:14 pm

        bmj2k, I think you’re completely right. If you are interested in what you are writing, you’ll find people who want to read your content.

        John, don’t worry too much about the blog. I think that if you are interested in it, you’ll want to write and people will want to read. Enjoy – I look forward to reading more of your blog!

      • October 19, 2010 4:16 am

        I keep hoping that it all goes just like you say 🙂
        The thing is that I just cant help but write about what i write about – effects of immigration and from that on discussions of different cultures their interaction and the comming changes.
        The problem is interests are so broad that its hard to stay to just the topic but i keep going 🙂
        I am even about to launch a new branch of blog “Lost and Found” the Russian focused Version.
        In the beging I kept calling others to join me, make contributions, but i guess its my choice to blog cant siply aim to infect others. yet i hope it will happen soon.
        Goodluck to you all! congrats to Elizabeth on making the FreshlyPressed.

  12. October 18, 2010 9:26 am

    I like readers, and comments, as they provide motivation to continue posting. But, I really don’t expect to change the world or make people smarter. With all the information on the internet, they are going to read what they want to read, and visit what they want to visit. If they enjoy what I post – great. If they don’t – oh well, I guess they weren’t interested. The internet has a lot of nonsense that attracts great attention. I would much rather have a useful blog with few visitors than sell out and have a nonsense or controversial blog with many visitors. I could justify buying the domain name if I used my blog to make money or further my business. But, if I am doing it for myself and for the few others that care to read, that 14 dollars seems like money down the toilet.

    • October 18, 2010 8:18 pm

      I suppose you are right – however, I also devote enough time to this blog, I want to have a product I am proud to share. For me, that means my own domain name. Call me superficial.

      I should probably spend the money on an AP Style Guide, but it’s something that makes me happy.

      I like your blog and am looking forward to reading more!

  13. Richy and/or Cat... permalink
    October 18, 2010 9:49 am

    A $14 domain name does not guarantee a lack of drivel.

    • October 20, 2010 5:52 am

      Seriously. Anyone who thinks a $14 domain indicates quality or serious intention by the site owner are the same folks who think gravy really does mask the taste of bad meat. Great content is great content and can be found in everywhere.

  14. October 18, 2010 9:51 am

    Posting regularly is vital, but not necessarily 10 per day. Even if it is only once per week, a regular once per week, without fail, will attract those who are interested. Regularity is good, good content is better.

    Expertise and authority are good, not decisive, and certainly depend on your topic. a comedy blog doesn’t need authority, it needs humor.

  15. October 18, 2010 10:05 am

    Love it. Good luck with your next foray into the blog realm. I bought my domain name for the same reason you mentioned. I also have an online tool that you might want to check out — it’s for business blogs, but I plugged my blog into it and I liked the info I got back: http://websitegrader.com/#BlogRank.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  16. October 18, 2010 10:11 am

    This is great advice…thank you for posting!!!

    http://www.runtobefit.wordpress.com

  17. October 18, 2010 10:20 am

    Whatever….Do you really think your writing becomes more relevant because you bought a domain name? Everyone blogs because everyone has opinions. Sadly, not everyone can write which is painfully obvious most of the time.

    Regardless of ones abilities perhaps it might be added that if you’re writing to influence the masses with a solipsistic viewpoint which no one ever asked for then maybe the writer is writing for all the wrong reasons.

    Sigh…

  18. October 18, 2010 10:21 am

    I totally agree that voice and banter of the blog determines its quality. I am less concerned about the URL – maybe because I own mine but have yet to figure out how to link it. 🙂

    • October 18, 2010 8:26 pm

      SO EASY! This should help: http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/map-existing-domain/

  19. October 18, 2010 10:23 am

    Thank you for this post! I have purchased my domain name, but it only seems to be a part of my home page. I will have to upgrade my hosting account to include my domain name on my entire blog. People will trust a blog with a domain name much more than a free site.

  20. October 18, 2010 10:29 am

    Good work Elizabeth.

    I am blogging for 3 years now and I understood that if you want to became a authority in the internet it will not hapend. The only rule is :

    if you are capable to deliver interesting content you will gane your readers, perhaps not milions, but enough to keep you motivated.

    p.s. my blog’s language is Bulgarian and my best achievement is litle more than 2000 unique visitors per day, but I was using blogger.com in that time. Now I have not more than 120 per day, despite my good blog ranking in BG

  21. October 18, 2010 10:47 am

    I started blogging 3-4 months ago, and I love it! I found out the power of sharing and it’s a beautiful experience. I wrot a post about this first few month, (you can read it here http://wp.me/pXsUB-jb) because blogging has a very strog power that sometimes we don’t see!!! elenasc.wordpress.com

  22. Colleen Newvine Tebeau permalink
    October 18, 2010 10:54 am

    This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately — thanks for the inspiration.

    I recently bought my domain — my blog is newvinegrowing.wordpress.com and I bought newvinegrowing.com and have it redirecting for now to the wordpress version. Still have to figure out what to do next.

    I heard Gary Vaynerchuk, the Wine Library TV force of nature, say once that he spent way more time commenting on other people’s blogs than on creating content for his own. That’s how he got known as being a part of the community and got people curious about coming to see what he was doing.

    I agree that focused, well-edited content helps but somehow you also need a way to lure people to your site so they notice that you’ve been posting regularly. That’s the $64,000 question I’m pondering.

    • October 18, 2010 8:27 pm

      Posting on other bloggers’ sites seems like a great way 🙂

  23. October 18, 2010 11:11 am

    Gonna try to follow some of your advices, but personally, I’m actually easier to decline websites from WordPress that HAVE bought a domain, because then they can be doing whatever the hell they want, including spyware and such

  24. October 18, 2010 11:20 am

    Regularity is a good thing. People want to visit you and see how things are going. The blogs that have attached me on a regular basis do just that. I had to make decisions on my own blog about posting and I finally decided 3x/week worked best for my schedule and time constraints. Plus, it gives me some down time to come up with worthwhile topics and pictures. Readers love pictures.

  25. October 18, 2010 11:26 am

    Thank you for this great advice. I have just started a blog and am still in the rookie stages of really getting things going. I really appreciate this advice! And congratulations!

  26. October 18, 2010 11:31 am

    I’m going to buy the domain!!! Right away; you are right about that. It’s been laziness on my part.

    By the way, typo in the first paragraph under Justin. I love it when people point out typos to me on my blog, shows they are really reading it.

    Great post, and congrats!

    Sarah
    Moonmooring.wordpress.com soon to be moonmooring.com

  27. October 18, 2010 11:59 am

    It seems that blogs have gone from being opinion based to being news outlets. My blog, on the other hand, is an opinion based outlet for whatever amuses me most. So far, the recipe for success has eluded me.

  28. October 18, 2010 12:19 pm

    I just started my first blog about a week ago, and found this post very helpful!

    Thanks!

    If you want to check out my daily musings as a social worker and young profession here is a link to my blog.
    mysocialperspective.wordpress.com

  29. October 18, 2010 12:26 pm

    Great post. I agree with blogging regularly. It’s the best way to keep your blog relevant. If you have subscribers and don’t post, there is nothing to keep them coming back.

    One thing though… after your paragraph about editing, you said “Punk’ed” Ashton actually spells it “Punk’d.”

    Keep up the great work!
    ❤ Milieu

    • October 19, 2010 7:47 pm

      I clearly am not watching enough TV. Thanks for the kind feedback!

  30. October 18, 2010 12:44 pm

    Great post. Thanks for the advice!

    I am new to blogging so I will put these tips to good use.

  31. October 18, 2010 12:47 pm

    Good suggestions and congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed! I was on there last week and was absolutely thrilled with the traffic it generated. I write about what interests me and hope that my readers find it enjoyable as well. I include pictures and have a link on my blog(everythingneat.wordpress.com) to my Fine Art America website so that people can see some of my photography.
    http://www.marion-mccristall.artistwebsites.com

    • October 18, 2010 8:32 pm

      How great is it to be featured!? It’s blowing my mind. Your photography is absolutely beautiful!!

  32. October 18, 2010 12:57 pm

    Heh, yeah, the idea of “authority/respect” as to my opinion – or any opinion – is something I continually think about.

    I don’t expect gobs of people to laud me, especially since every day I feel like a schmuck who doesn’t know or understand anything, period. Yet still, I post. As you say, post for yourself, edit for the world. I like that.

    My blog is me, thus I post about a broad range of topics. I’d find it very difficult to stay on one general subject and impossible to have several blogs running consecutively. Don’t know about buying a domain yet… maybe when I can justify the expense – my blog just isn’t worth it on the stovetop.

    At the very least, I hope I can make some people think – especially self-avowed conservatives (many who think I’m a troll or mobi because while I espouse conservatism they disagree with me – it’s because of perspective) – but mostly my blog is a way for me to rant and not have to send anymore emails out to friends and family. This way, people can easily ignore me!

    • October 19, 2010 7:48 pm

      You’re completely right. However, my friends and family are my biggest fans – or at least pretend to be 🙂

  33. October 18, 2010 1:19 pm

    i love your post, your tips will benifit me, especially, i have a blog http://slimming4y.wordpress.com/
    i think that when someone writes essay he will find difficulty because it is art & not all can do it.

  34. ryoko861 permalink
    October 18, 2010 1:32 pm

    $14 is gas in my tank. I think alot of people would agree.

    I do notice a difference between people that blog on Blogger and the people that blog on WordPress.

    No one is an authority. I’ve stated this on my blog as well.

    • October 18, 2010 5:50 pm

      I am with you about gas. I am totally unswayed by the arguments for buying the domain name.

    • October 19, 2010 7:50 pm

      What do you think the biggest difference between the two hosting sites is? I feel like Blogger is a little more casual and WordPress more formal (mostly because you have the option of self-hosting on WordPress while you don’t at Blogger)

  35. October 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    Elizabeth! Yes! Really like your post. As a newbie blogger, I’ve taken these tips as confirmation that I’m headed down the right path, so thanks for that. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed as well.

  36. October 18, 2010 2:34 pm

    Great post–regularly blogging is definitely key to a successful site!

  37. tiltherewasyou permalink
    October 18, 2010 2:40 pm

    thanks for those uh…2 tips.

  38. October 18, 2010 2:49 pm

    Congratulations on being featured on the homepage. This was a great post. I blogged about your post over on my blog. Thanks for posting this, you had some good insight.

  39. drumboytwo56 permalink
    October 18, 2010 2:55 pm

    Good points.

    I will say this, credibility I think is what separates the boys from the men so to speak. I went out and did a quick 2-4 minute search for the study you linked (as mashable… well yeah… wanted a better source) and I couldn’t find the original study. I did find another link back from the Telegraph over in the UK that mentions the study, but I would like to see more of the details if there are.

    People don’t like (IMO) reading content drivel as so many other posters have pointed out simply because it comes across as a soap box. I would say that blogs that post 10+ stories a day are more of a news site that an actual blog but maybe that’s splitting hairs.

    Congrats on freshly pressed and enjoy the conversations you have with blogging.

    -Aaron
    http://drumboytwo56.wordpress.com/

    PS – To the whole domain rant, I’ve seen some terrible blogs that have spent the $14 bucks for a name so your mileage will vary.

  40. October 18, 2010 3:00 pm

    Great advice… I’m another that needs to commit to more blogging on a regular basis. I will make an further investments in my blog once I feel I am ready though. =]

  41. October 18, 2010 3:01 pm

    “Being a successful blogger” is a real sore spot for me. Only because there are so many blogs around claiming to know the secret, or writing the rulebook, on how to gain traffic. But really is that the most important thing? I think you have to think about things in the long term – in ten years time when you’re the only one who cares to look back on the words you wrote, are you going to care more that you took the time to craft a well thought out, well written post with meaning and substance, or that you churned out something ten times a day for the sake of a comment count?

    • October 18, 2010 8:41 pm

      You’re completely right. It doesn’t really matter what everyone else things (or if anyone is reading it). Though, it does make the process a little more fun when you are writing for someone other than your mother, haha.

  42. October 18, 2010 3:06 pm

    good advice.. great post.. absolutely correct on the domain name..plus it gives me some down time to come up with worthwhile topics and pictures..

  43. October 18, 2010 3:08 pm

    I have one more tip: stay anonymous. Because if you’re afraid of writing anything that will offend, say, you’re wife’s mom, then your blog isn’t going to be required reading for the rest of us.

  44. October 18, 2010 4:15 pm

    I feel like the way I can build my readers’ trust in what I am writing is by researching the information I am sharing to be sure it is as accurate as possible. I make mistakes, of course, but the fewer I make, the better. I also work hard to avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. They undermine credibility.

    I agree with the blogger who said that no one is an authority. Everyone has much to learn.

  45. October 18, 2010 4:26 pm

    Interestingly, my reaction (as a reader/commenter) to separate domain names is negative: I see no statement about e.g. dedication, but I do see unnecessary extra effort coming to me because the comments I make are now often detached from my own wordpress account, I have to fill in extra fields, must go through an annoying multistep-processes to confirm the subscription, have a separate administration, etc. (This is likely not tied to the domain name, but to whether the blogger has his own software instance; however, the domain name gives a decent indication.) Further, many blogs with their own domain are too commercialized, uninteresting, or reminding me of the writing in on-board magazines in trains and airplanes—bland content, ungrammatical and stylistically weak writing, and more pictures than actual content.

    As for my own blogging: I have my own website, several domains, and still keep my blog as a “vanilla” WordPress one. For the time being, I see no advantage for either myself (except, possibly, subjective credibility) or my readers—rather the contrary. (This may change over time, however, e.g. if WordPress changes the terms of use or my own needs develop.)

  46. Susanaandsam permalink
    October 18, 2010 4:36 pm

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I like your advice and agree 100% with all you say. I have just recently started a blog on WordPress and my main issue is getting people to comment. Plenty look at the home and about me pages, but no one wants to say anything. Maybe it is too long, or just plain boring? I even asked at the top of one blog post to give feedback.

    Susana

    • October 18, 2010 8:43 pm

      I struggle with that as well! Maybe (we both should) try writing something incredibly provocative, something about which everyone will have an opinion. Maybe then people will comment?

      Mostly, I think it’s about creating a community where people feel comfortable commenting. Of course, that’s easier said than done!

  47. October 18, 2010 4:54 pm

    Hello Elizabeth. This is so helpful to me since I am fairly new to this world. I am considering making a few changes so thanks for the onfo. Nice Post. Congrats. Oh, and the only authority I am is of myself or my passion, as you say. Thanks.

  48. October 18, 2010 5:06 pm

    A good starting point to becoming a small time authority. I’m just starting out blogging myself, but one of the men i respect the most has a program specifically for this (which ill take once i have the money lol)…i’m not an affiliate or anything just a big fan of his.

    http://authorityformula.com/training/access

    There’s some free training videos as well, his content is always worthwhile to watch

  49. Kim Pugliano permalink
    October 18, 2010 5:08 pm

    That’s it; I’m making the purchase. Yes, that $14 could buy 4 school lunches for my kid, but he really barely eats his lunch anyway, so why waste the money (in reality I make his lunch every day, but I wanted you to feel a teeny bit guilty for such a costly suggestion). Great post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and now I think I’ll peruse a few more of your posts.

    P.S. I’m regular (I mean I post regularly, not the ‘other’ kind of regular, although…)!

    • October 18, 2010 8:44 pm

      haha you’re right – appreciate the candid comment!

  50. October 18, 2010 5:20 pm

    I also agree with blogging regularly. Although I’m not doing that myself, i realize how important it is and will try and do it regularly!

  51. October 18, 2010 5:26 pm

    Very true – even though I plan to nod enthusiastically and then completely ignore the part about buying a domain name. But that’s what being a poor and lazy student will do for you!

  52. October 18, 2010 5:43 pm

    Hi! It is really a good way to help starter bloggers! What do you think about the language of the blog? Should it be available in several languages?
    You have a nice blog, now it is time for you to have a nice day!
    The truth will set us free.

  53. October 18, 2010 5:48 pm

    I have been blogging on and off for like, 10 years (wow, has it been that long?), and I have found the significance of buying the domain, however I still struggle with writing regularly. Time and energy wise, I have figured that I could make one post every other day, but I sometimes lack the inspiration and creativity to decide what to post about. But I refuse to give up. Here are some tips in addition to everything else.

    1. “Here’s how my day went” blogs = BORING. Unless you are actually Ashton Kutcher himself, no one will really care how your daily life goes unless it’s something out of the ordinary.

    2. It helps if you visit and comment on other blogs of common interest. The more you comment on other blogs, the more links to your site you are leaving and thus that will lead more people to your blog.

    3. Photos are important. Of yourself, your house, your pets, your outfits, just post them. People like looking at pics.

    4. Give people something to think about and ask open-ended questions. That will give them a reason to want to comment. Give them reasons to interact with you and other readers. If they feel a sense of community, they will want to come back and engage further.

    • October 18, 2010 8:47 pm

      I mean, you nailed it. Wish I could reTweet this.. or something. Look forward to reading more of your blog!!

    • October 19, 2010 5:42 pm

      Photos of my outfit? I write about fitness, diet and nutrition! 😉

      But you are correct about asking questions – the more open-ended, the better.

  54. Sunflowerdiva permalink
    October 18, 2010 7:13 pm

    I’ve only been blogging for three months, and try to post something everyday, be it a quote or a video or just a silly little list. I only blog for myself, which I think is the best way unless you’re doing a business or something (but then again, that’s just my opinion). I’m not sure if I’m ready yet to spend $14 to get that “wordpress” off my URL, since right now my blog is more for fun than for … I don’t know, something else. But overall, great post.

  55. October 18, 2010 8:28 pm

    Great Blog~ Valid Points! Thanks 4 your perspective, input, and advice. Best Wishes!

  56. Erin permalink
    October 18, 2010 9:48 pm

    Write about what you love! You’ll never want to stick with it for the long haul if you’re choosing a topic you think will be pertinent, get you money, etc. Pick a topic you love and readers will come to you naturally and then help you fuel your passion!

  57. October 18, 2010 9:57 pm

    This is relevant to my interests.

    I’m just getting some traffic and I want to keep it.

  58. October 18, 2010 10:05 pm

    Hmm. I get what you’re saying, but equally, I judge blogs with their own domain but which are clearly created on Blogger/Wordpress with no additional customisations. Why bother IMO?

  59. October 18, 2010 10:12 pm

    I think a more compelling argument for registering a domain name is that it makes your blog portable — if you have a wordpress.com or blogspot.com URL and decide to move your blog off that hosting service, then all your readers’ bookmarks, and any external links to your blog, will break. If you have your own domain name, though, you can just map it to your new site, and all existing bookmarks and links will continue to work.

    • October 19, 2010 7:54 pm

      Hadn’t even considered that – not looking that far into the future I guess! Great point

  60. October 18, 2010 10:38 pm

    awesome post and great advice!

  61. No Way To Noting permalink
    October 18, 2010 11:24 pm

    Talented writers with worthwhile blogs get pushed to the wayside for others re-tweeted by the famous. Often times the blogs of these highly popularized internet entities are terribly written or highly irrelevant; it’s the fame of the fool who appreciated the article that enables stardom. That being said, the door swings both ways. I discovered many of my favorite blogs through random reposts made by affluent celebrities with great taste.

    I would like to validate part of this particular article – edit your posts in their entirety. No matter what you write, never think that poor grammar in any post is a literary device; it makes you look like a fool.

  62. Roda permalink
    October 18, 2010 11:59 pm

    Hi
    The most interesting part of your post was that it became a conversation. There were so many people writing their comments. Little do they realise that what they wrote amounted to a blog post …only it wasn’t on their blog. Ah well better to comment on someone else’s blog …if it ensures that what you write gets read. Now that is the real reasons for writing a blog in the first place. So friends congratulate yourselves ..you did write a good blog post here. Way to go.

  63. October 19, 2010 12:27 am

    My blog is not really a news outlet as such and wouldn’t interest anyone looking for useful content since it is opinion-based and just showcases my ideas and thoughts regarding subjects I’ve got a passion for. Besides the domain name of a site has never influenced my reading of the content.

    If the writing is good, I’ll read it. If the writing is bad, I’ll ignore it even if it is a domain name that’s been paid for. Quality content is better than URL gimmicks.

    • October 19, 2010 7:56 pm

      I think you are totally right. Content is king, as they say. However, how are you supposed to attract readers? That’s what I’ve been grappling with – not that it necessarily matters, though it does act as a motivator.

  64. October 19, 2010 1:42 am

    Was actually planning to blog about why you should register your own domain name, especially if you are serious about blogging. I also generally tend to ignore blogs that don’t have its own domain name. But of course that’s “generally”. I sometimes make exception. But at the back of my mind, he/she could have been more authoritative if he/she’s blogging at his/her own domain name.

    • October 19, 2010 8:15 am

      I see your point. People usually know more about stuff immediately after an unrelated $14 expenditure.
      Just kidding. 🙂
      But on the serious side, it isn’t a very accurate way to judge someone’s legitimacy. Seems a little dismissive of those of us who are stingy with our wallets but generous with our time.

  65. yuzhesoft permalink
    October 19, 2010 2:29 am

    I haven’t bought a domain name. I just want to have a place to record what happened in my life.

  66. October 19, 2010 3:09 am

    Wanted to blog, but guess I just don’t have the passion for it. Great ideas you have there. Thanks for sharing.

  67. October 19, 2010 3:53 am

    Thanks for this insight as I try to build my own expertise.

    Trying to compete with the mega-blogs-online-newspapers is tough, but as you say, personality is still worth gold.

    I’m trying to become a true online presence for New York waiters.

    And thanks to this post——- I bought my domain.

    • October 19, 2010 7:57 pm

      In what context are you hoping to to become an online presence for New York waiters? I am a big New York diner 🙂 elizabeth@theacumenity.com

  68. baileyj2 permalink
    October 19, 2010 4:38 am

    I find using links helps to assure readers of the veracity of my posts. Often times, I’ll even use links where I think the every-day reader might not know the definition of the word.

  69. October 19, 2010 5:37 am

    Great post. It’s not easy to get a wide audience and keep updating my blog often. I feel I think too much about what I write, and it takes me long to compose an entry, but what I’m proud of is that at least I know my entries are well-composed! Themed blogs seem to have more authority and I’ve thought of creating a themed one before, but even if you just manage a personal blog, you can still be an authority. Of course, being a popular person makes things a gazillion times easier to get people reading, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they read it because he/she writes well!

    • October 19, 2010 5:45 pm

      Exactly. There are too many blogs out there that simply writing well makes you popular. These days it’s a lot more work, sweat and tears and a long uphill battle.

  70. October 19, 2010 6:31 am

    Nice blog! very good points. I am regular blogger that really helps me lot in my interviews and also in showing web presence.

  71. Blog beginner permalink
    October 19, 2010 6:42 am

    It’s so weird because I was thinking about it this week, how I can gain readership and how I would have to do alot more. I know its not going to be easy, but your right the blogs that do well tend to be the ones that actually post alot. Thanks for the advice, very interesting!

  72. October 19, 2010 6:57 am

    I agree entirely. Good post bud. 🙂

  73. October 19, 2010 7:09 am

    Blog for no one but your self; edit for the entire world.

    Good phrase. I wonder how much blogging gets subtly distorted by the yen for a good phrase.

    • October 19, 2010 7:59 pm

      Probably too much. It’s one of those things that actually stops me from writing – the inability to come up with something interesting/pithy enough to anyone to read. Luckily I can rely on my sarcasm…

  74. October 19, 2010 8:53 am

    Hilarious- thanks for giving me a big laugh in the morning!!!

  75. October 19, 2010 10:07 am

    I started a blog just to get my writing going again. My blog has gone from fiction to news to editorials. I’m just finding my voice here. I’d love regular readers but I probably won’t get that until my real voice surfaces again.

  76. October 19, 2010 10:15 am

    This was fascinating. I always thought that having “wordpress” in my blog URL established some sort of credibility that a virus wasn’t attached. I have owned my own URL (www.mikaleebyerman.com) for months now, but I always direct readers to the wordpress blog…

    Thanks for shaking up my blogging world view! 😉

  77. October 19, 2010 10:25 am

    Thank you for the post. I own several domains including mikelamonica.com and mikelamonicablog.com. Are you suggesting that I give WordPress the boot or did I read that wrong? Interesting.

    Who on earth posts ten times a day? Please share. Thanks again.

    ~Mike

    mikelamonica.wordpress.com

    • October 19, 2010 8:07 pm

      I just feel that bloggers who take blogging seriously (admittedly few) ought to put their most polished foot forward. To me that means having one’s own domain name. It just shows that you have put something into the blog. It would be like Pepsi having Pepsi@aol.com email addresses.

      Similarly, it’s easy to get email addresses with your blog’s domain name via Google. That’s another easy tech-geek step. Too many bloggers have Pepsi@gmail.com rather than xxx@pepsi.com.

      I fear you’ve just elicited a rant from me. haha.

  78. October 19, 2010 11:18 am

    I first started blogging because I was dying to share my breast cancer experience with someone – anyone. And because writing is my first language; it’s easier to think in text. From there things started growing and I have a great group of people following my blog.

    One idea to build readers is to write guest posts on other blogs, and share comments (like this) on topics you think are related. Facebook is another good way to spread a post, sometimes people repost or ‘share’ so that’s a great help too.

    • October 19, 2010 8:09 pm

      Thanks a really great way – particularly if you have a shared interest. As a PR pro, I have to add in that working with brands to do reviews and or giveaways doesn’t hurt either.

    • October 19, 2010 8:09 pm

      That’s a really great way – particularly if you have a shared interest. As a PR pro, I have to add in that working with brands to do reviews and or giveaways doesn’t hurt either.

  79. October 19, 2010 11:30 am

    Great read but it’s the “post regularly” where I personally get hung up. Since I want each post to be meaningful and worth the effort, I find myself crafting each post as if it were a magazine article. Therefore, I only manage to get one or two posts out each month.

  80. October 19, 2010 12:09 pm

    Good post, good tips for bloggers starting out. Not to be a smart you-know-what, but wanted to make sure you corrected your typo: “to gaining autority and therefore readers” – you need to add an ‘h’ to “authority.” Congrats on Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    -Heather

  81. Wanda permalink
    October 19, 2010 1:18 pm

    Hello.
    Okay so I do think that if Justin Bieber says jump we should run, because they will.
    But i do not share the thought that if you have a blog, you have to spend $14 to get a domain because if not, you think that we’re not commited.
    The fact that i don’t own a domain doesn’t mean that I’m not commited with my blog readers.
    Or my posts.
    If I would want to blog for myself, I’d keep a notebook under my pillow.
    I write a blog, because I want to share thoughts with people who might agree or disagree with them.
    I’m not being rude, I’m just trying to give you my opinion. But the domain thing just pissed me off.
    Do you want to pay me a domain? : p

  82. October 19, 2010 1:35 pm

    I also like (and agree with) the ‘blog for yourself but edit for the world.’ And I’ve been thinking about buying a domain name . . . maybe I should just do it.

  83. October 19, 2010 1:45 pm

    I have been blogging on different topics over the last few years and you are absolutely right about the art of blogging. However, I do believe that it’s possible to blog about something that you are not a so called “expert” on as long as you bring in the ideas of the experts and blend them with your personal take on it in your own style.

    And oh yeah, buy the URL…I’ve committed to the .com, .net and .org for my domain… :0)

    David

  84. Janis permalink
    October 19, 2010 2:38 pm

    “How to become an authority online”

    That’s easy. Be wrong, first, loudest. Works in the business world.

    • October 19, 2010 5:47 pm

      Indeed! 🙂

    • October 19, 2010 8:11 pm

      hahah there may be something to that….

  85. October 19, 2010 3:14 pm

    As a new blogger, this is a reassuring post. Its hard to start and the stats don’t show up overnight, even though I wish they would. Domain bought? Check. Proofreading? Triple check. “Blog for no one but your self; edit for the entire world.” Words to live by!! Thanks for the reassurance in post and replies. May we all one day have 5.8 million readers.

    geniusismyart.com

  86. Tyler F. Long permalink
    October 19, 2010 3:40 pm

    I really liked your comments and suggestions. It shows that there are still people who know the difference between what is real and what is accepted.

    Tyler F. Long
    Dunwoody Norcross GA

  87. shuntheepic permalink
    October 19, 2010 4:44 pm

    Really love this post. Keep it up.

  88. October 19, 2010 6:31 pm

    10+ posts a day D: I’m nowhere near that! Where do they find the time?! I gotta pay my bills….hahaha

    • October 19, 2010 8:12 pm

      I mean, no joke!

  89. October 19, 2010 6:35 pm

    This resonates with me. Being consistent in my posts is my first step. I am now at that point, however, where I want to start making more of a commitment in order to get a loyal following that is outside of my immediate circle. I love that you say, blog for me, because goodness knows that doing so feels great, but being so intimate can sometimes hurt people’s feelings even though that is not my intention. Otherwise put, cutting it too close to the line. Do you ever have issues with that? I feel that what I write is honest and people often shy away from the truth. I’m a one-day-aspiring life coach, can you tell?! Great blog. Thanks for the tips.

    • October 19, 2010 8:17 pm

      I’m very careful about how personal I get. Perhaps too careful because injecting personality is the best way to create bonds with yours readers. Some of the comments I receive are closer to criticism than I would like, but that’s how you learn and get better.

      The craft of writing is to spark conversation. So if people are speaking in agreement – wonderful! But if not, it’s almost better. You can push your ideas further if people aren’t agreeing.

      You’re on your way to life-coaching already!!

  90. Mike Bennett permalink
    October 19, 2010 7:19 pm

    Great post and pix, but most amazing is how you kept the conversation going! This is exciting, but you might not have time to be “Freshly Pressed” every day. But if you have any tips about how to get on the “Freshly Pressed” page just once, I’d be thrilled.

  91. October 19, 2010 8:18 pm

    That was useful,but I don’t think that buying a domain name counts that much.I think it would be more suitable if you do it when you’ve built a foundation of readers and followers.. Pointing out that you should post regularly so that others can see how serious you are is a point well taken.Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  92. October 19, 2010 9:32 pm

    Nice post! I don’t get that many readers and find it a challenge at times to write on a consistent basis (especially since my job blocked a bunch of websites like this one *frown*). Nonetheless, I believe reading (and commenting) on other blogs is important as well. In any case, I enjoy reading and writing so having been introduced to blogging and WordPress has made my down time more productive. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  93. October 19, 2010 10:26 pm

    Gaining authority for your website, sadly, is less about content than it is about the number and quality of websites that link TO you. True, most incoming links are made because of competent content, but that isn’t always the case.

    Perhaps it should be made clear that there are two versions of authority. In most cases what is meant by the word isn’t so much the level of knowledge of the blogger, but rather how the webcrawlers (Google, Yahoo/Bing, etc.) “perceive” your site.

  94. October 19, 2010 11:31 pm

    Personally I think the first port of call must be content – meaning, among other things, written quality. My blog follows 20 years as a some-time columnist and book-writer – some pretty hard yards at times. I remember one features editor who had forgotten more about grammar than I’ll never know. I learned a lot. So when I blog, for me it’s like writing a column – it’s got to have that structure and edge. Does it grab the reader? Is it accurate to source? I’m not too worried about web-bots. For me what counts are the people that actually get there.

    None of which guarantees a huge readership, of course. My blog – http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com gets one sort of audience. It’s erratic at times. A friend of mine runs a blog at http://nzbeerblog.com/. His audience is way bigger. Why? Well, there’s no question about the national appeal of the brown imbibable stuff. Down in the South Pacific and, I suspect, worldwide. Sigh.

  95. October 19, 2010 11:45 pm

    Awesome post. You had a lot of good feedback as well.

    I blog about 3x a week. Every Friday I have a randomness blog. Monday I usually blog about my weekend with pictures.

    It took awhile for readers and regular comments but after about six months of blogging I have 0 subscribers and about 7-15 faithful visitors who comment. They have also become blogs I check up on and read on a regular basis. ITs kind of having your own blogging family.

    I’ll have to think about buying domain.

  96. rachulguitar permalink
    October 19, 2010 11:50 pm

    I think to much!!! You are so right. I am a music teacher in Spain, and i have readers but yes! i accept it, i have to write more. Ihave lots of good things to share!! thank you for your blog!! great!! un abrazo desde España.

  97. October 20, 2010 5:48 am

    Thanks for pre-judging the thousands of bloggers happy to stay with a dot-wordpress-dot-com at the end of their URL. There is absolutely no connection between “commitment to content” and paying 14 bucks a year. I’d list dozens of great bloggers you’re missing out on, none of whom follow your seen-em-all-before guidelines for blogging. But if you’re used to slogging through those that pump out 10+ per day, you probably wouldn’t be interested anyway.

  98. October 21, 2010 10:39 am

    Nice post. Blogging is an art to express your emotions. It’s up to you to decide whether to write about ‘your’ experiences or just make a domain under your name and post regularly. After all which regular reader would want to see the same post every other day !!

  99. religionogsprog permalink
    October 22, 2010 5:45 am

    Great post and multi-(dia-)logue afterwards!

    Any thoughts on how to NAME your blog?

    I just started blogging, but in danish, so I don’t suppose that holds much interest for you 😉

    Smile

  100. October 22, 2010 6:29 pm

    The great thing about having a lot of blogs is having a lot of resources to turn to for research. The relevant ones of course or the aspiring ones that are trying to build their expertise like me. It takes time and effort and we should never go after instant success even though that would be nice. Baby steps! Baby steps!

  101. October 22, 2010 7:51 pm

    I really enjoyed your blog. If you really want to make money with blogging check out this web site.

    http://tinyurl.com/2vfxplr

  102. Amand permalink
    October 25, 2010 9:10 pm

    great post!

    I also dislike outlining/drafting, but understand the importance of editing and correcting typos 🙂

    • October 25, 2010 9:16 pm

      agree! 🙂

  103. October 28, 2010 6:50 am

    Thanks for the advice! 🙂

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