In an earlier post I wrote about the things that five hugely successful bloggers follow. In this post, I want to describe the various “best practices” that these five bloggers flout.
The objective of this post is to highlight that there are very few rules to blogging. You can have your own style and be successful. Blogging is a highly satisfying, interesting and challenging vocation. It allows you to be yourself with very few restrictions.
Read on to see how five pro-bloggers smash certain well-accepted myths of blogging and are still largely successful.
Use of Images:
It has been long accepted that unless you have an image your post will not rank high on Google. Even Yoast’s hugely successful WordPress SEO plug-in gives a lot of weightage to images.
Well, none of Victor Cheng’s posts contain images. It is all text and his emails are also text. With more than 500 posts, a huge following, a successful book (Case interview Secrets) and a subscription (Strategic Outlier), Victor is a hugely successful blogger.
No images can be seen in Seth Godin’s posts either, although every once in a while he comes with an info-graphic. But both these successful bloggers blow away the myth that every post must have an image.
While four out of my five favorite bloggers religiously follow and respond to comments, Seth does not even have the comments section in there. Day in and day out, Seth writes for his audience, without seeking their comments. This attitude can only come from three things: (a) extreme belief in the quality and value of his writings (b) trust in his own strategy and (c) the desire to stay undistracted from other things and channelize maximum time on his core competency. To accomplish this, Seth has chosen to avoid the comments section altogether.
The last part (saying no to something) is the more difficult thing to consciously decide to adopt.
Turns out the prescribed length for any post is between 200 and 1000. Any less than 200 and Google SEO does not consider the post worth indexing and more than 1000 would cause you to lose your reader’s attention.
Well, this is one well-accepted best practice that most of my five favorite bloggers choose to ignore.
Most of Seth’s posts are two or three short paragraphs, with an average length of less than 200. This one is just 31 words, with 7 in the title! Contrast this with Brian DeChesare’s interviews which average more than 1800 words. Mark Suster also writes huge blogs with more than 2000 words on average and so does Victor.
These professional and successful bloggers do not pay attention to word length. What they ensure however, is that each post is well thought out, complete in and of itself and conveys the right (and complete) message.
Brian DeChesare, Mark Suster, Victor Cheng and Seth Godin all write their own posts. I have not seen one single guest post on their sites.
Turns out, you can be a highly successful blogger, churn out content after rich content and have a dedicated readership, without soliciting guest posts.
The successful blogger is not afraid to veer off-topic as long as it is interesting or they are compelled to blog about it.
Brian DeChesare wrote four MEGA posts about his life story. His style and the content were so compelling that I was disappointed when it ended. Mark Suster wrote today about his opinion on the tech-app Secret and a short while ago he blasted Tom Perkins in this post. Seth occasionally uses his blog platform to propagate a movement or something that he believes in.
The successful blogger is not afraid to leverage their blog to VOICE their opinion or convey their feelings. It is NOT about the blog topic all the time.