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Breaking the “rules” of blogging

If you are doing something online that is against the law, you should be concerned about the police. There is really no reason, whatsoever, to worry about breaking blogging “rules” or dealing with  the blogging police.  I am amazed at how many blogs there are about blogging.  Google returns over 18,000 results for the term “blogs about blogging”.  Narcissistic?  Well isn’t that what blogging is all about anyway?

If you are burned out with your blogging efforts, or if you have been reading the blogs about blogging, considering starting a blog of your own, keep one thing in mind:  If you have good content, the word will get around, and the readers will come.  The “rules” exist to get more views for mediocre content  that probably didn’t deserve any views in the first place.  That’s why you see more blogging instruction on SEO (search engine optimization), formatting, keywords, meta tags, image optimization, lists, and links, rather than on producing quality  content.

If anyone in the world of business could  honestly be labeled a guru, it would be Seth Godin. I admire Godin’s blog. He runs it as a sub domain on  typepad.com, not a self-hosted platform.  There are no well placed, keyword and context heavy pictures, and his posts are not open for comments.  The pundits would probably label this blasphemy.  Seth doesn’t have to worry about SEO, meta tags, and that H1-H2 stuff, because his 600,000+ monthly visitors (343,000 of them unique visitors) probably share his posts across the media, and he probably sells a lot of books and books a lot of big dollar speaking engagements because of his blog.

If you are going to blog, then blog.  Blog about something you are passionate about; blog about something you are an expert at; make it a picture blog if you are into photography.  Don’t get all hung up on self-hosting, custom URLs, plugins, and widgets until you get a feel for producing good content.  Get started with a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com.  But if it doesn’t feel right after a reasonable trial period, it’s OK to quit.  If you get in the groove with your content then it might be time to hone your skills by reading some of the “blogs on blogging.”

Top 10 posts of 2011 for Joe Spake’s Weblog

Panororama of Flood

Panorama of Mississippi River flood crest at Memphis - May, 2011

Disaster sells, obviously

Four of the most read posts on Joe Spake’s Weblog in 2011 were directly related to this year’s record flooding on the Mississippi River from the Memphis perspective.  Interestingly the 6th most read post, about the Memphis ice storm of 1994, was written in January of 2010, and has been read consistently ever since (Maybe I accidentally worked some SEO magic.)  Here are the Joe Spake’s Weblog Top 10 for 2011:

1.  Mississippi River flooding- You ain’t seen nothing yet  (April 4, 2011)  – The water was high in April, but not nearly as high as it would be in May.

2.  Flood Stage (April 26, 2011)   – Actually the Mississippi River rose over 14 feet higher than the official “flood stage”.

3.  NOAA raises Memphis flood crest prediction to 48 feet (May 2, 2011)

4.  Why I am not following you back on Twitter  (June 19, 2011)   – It seems that everyone wants to get involved in Twitter, but few want to put forth the effort to engage.  Think back to how much Twitter has been in the news, or actually shaped news in 2011.  The growth of the 140 character messaging system will continue.

5.  Quick guide to Mississippi River Conditions  (January 31, 2011)   – Written before the magnitude of the flood was anticipated.

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