Professional Blogging

December 30th, 2008 by Potato

I recently posted about the dearth of ad revenue here, and I was a little surprised at how bad it is. I know this is a low-traffic personal blog spanning multiple topics, but there are a lot of other bloggers out there who have essentially “gone pro”. I’m actually quite amazed at how much ad revenue some sites are pulling in, with Four Pillars making enough to cover paying $20 per post to Mr. Cheap for writing. Hell, at that rate I could write one post every three months and cover the server bills! (Mike: hint, hint)

With ad revenue that enticing though comes the steady soulless grind: many “pro” blogs try to keep up their once-a-day posting scheme, even if they have to post less than stellar articles to fill the space. It loses the passion and discussion and opinionation that makes reading blogs worthwhile in the first place. It’s like the regular media but without the benefit of journalism training (not that I put much value on professional journalism training). Million Dollar Journey is the perfect example of this: I used to read it every day (and followed most of the comment threads, too), but now the site has over half its page space devoted to ads, and meeting the once-a-day format has taken it’s toll. The biggest symptom of this is the list post: 5 ways of cooking bacon; 7 types of winter tires; 10 books on retirement planning; one ring to rule them all. The posts also start getting shorter and shorter, with fewer details, and less research, with the first ten comments often containing corrections… and you start wondering if you can trust anything this guy (and here I’m referring to pro bloggers in general and not MDJ specifically) is saying — especially once they start getting into affiliate deals. Then to help promote the blog sites will join “carnivals” on some topic to increase cross-linking and help their readers find the other blogs. A lot of these carnivals are a great way to find new blogs and particularly good posts. However, some of them are just mis-mashes of regular blog-a-day posts with no unifying theme. One that struck me as being particularly strange was a post on how to subscribe to RSS feeds in the investing carnival, New Year’s edition, under real estate investing. In that same carnival is a link to a domain squatting “investing” site… and it wasn’t even a link to a particular post for the carnival.

I’m actually a little surprised at how high a lot of pro bloggers set the bar: many aim for a post every weekday (5 posts a week). That’s a pretty hectic pace, even when the posts are only 400 words long. I know it seems to synergize well with people’s daily routine to better bring in the ad revenue or whatever, but still, a lot of very successful sites (including some linked here: Penny Arcade, XKCD, etc) have thrice, twice or just once a week posting frequencies. I personally blog more for my own entertainment than yours, so I post whenever the heck I feel like it; I do try to keep up at least once a week, but sometimes will post three times a day when I’ve got a bee up my bonnet and nothing better to do with my time. I figure by now people have learned how to set up feeds, or aren’t terribly disappointed to come here a few days in a row to find nothing new (granted, if I go two or three weeks without a post, then it’s understandable if the bookmarks get pulled).

One Response to “Professional Blogging”

  1. moneygardener Says:

    This is a great, refreshing post! I agree fully.