How Does Your Blog Rank on the “Outstanding” Scale?

October 27, 2011 · 27 comments

in Blog tips

outstanding blog postsI read a great post from Think Traffic a few days ago. Corbett wrote 11 tips for developing an outstanding content for your blog.

Everything he writes is worth your time and you can improve your blog a lot by implementing his tips.

This time I wanted to see how I did when it comes to tip #1 from the post - “Experiment with content types, formats, lengths and more.” Yes, time for some self analysis.

Corbett suggested

  • short posts
  • really long posts
  • easy-to-read list type posts
  • essay style posts
  • infographics
  • surveys
  • round-ups
  • ask-the-readers posts

Short posts

I am very bad at writing short posts :) I tend to speak a lot and that influences my writing as well. The only short post that had the whole message in it, is the one that includes a video to explain the whole process.

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Really Long Posts

Yes, I can do these any time :) I have a lot of long posts and most of them are tutorials. I tend to write very detailed tutorials to make sure you have all the info needed to actually implement what I am demonstrating.

When it comes to tutorials, they can be long, if they explain the whole procedure. I often get compliments on those long tutorials because people found them easy to follow.

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Easy to read list type posts

I have written a lot of these and I love writing list posts. Someone once wrote how they are annoyed with list posts because everyone is doing them to get traffic.

I don’t agree with that. When I write a list post, it helps me keep my thoughts in order and ramble less. When it comes to reading other people’s list posts, it helps me understand it.

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Essay style posts

These are not my specialty. When you say “essay” it reminds me of school and writing assignments. So in blogging, this type of posts reminds me more of writing blogs.

I believe the closest I got to essay style posts are my opinion posts where I just ramble about stuff I notice online.

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Infographics

These work great and I made a funny one to try out how it would work on my blog. It was really a success and I think there are two reasons for it – it was very funny and it was about Twitter.

That post was RTed 484 times!!!! Anything related to Twitter will have great success on Twitter, generally. Like Facebook posts are more likely to receive a lot of likes.

Morning of a Twitter addict

Surveys

Surveys are a great way to connect with your readers and hear their feedback on what you do. I often try to ask people about their opinion, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I used surveys in my newsletter, Facebook and as a post. A post can be a good place to ask something, especially if you are keeping questions specific and answers anonymous (a lot of times this will get you more answers).

What do you want to read about? 

Round ups

This one is an easy one :) I have a bi-weekly round up here, published every other Saturday, names Sweet Sunny Saturday. I believe it is a good feature of this blog, since I give my best to link only to the best posts.

That way you can be sure that you will always find a high quality post behind a link in one of the round ups. It is also a great way for me to highlight bloggers that do all the hard work.

Sweet Sunny Saturday 

Ask the readers

The readers of this blog helped me decide what I want to do with it. I started this blog as a personal blog about things I like (hence the domain name) but my readers voted on it to become what it is today.

I don’t have the link to that post since it was removed a long time ago, but I want to say you should always ask your readers for feedback (unless you are writing your blog for your cat and grandma to read it).

But let me ask you a question here and turn this into “Ask The Readers” post

I was thinking of answering your questions every other Saturday (the one when I don’t publish the round up). Is that something that would interest you? 

I would pick one question you can send either via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email… I may try doing it in audio or video (depending on the topic). I would love for you to say that the question is for the “question and answer Saturday”.

At the moment, I am thinking of publishing the answer on Facebook or Google+ while creating a page with links to all the answers, including a link to the blog of the person asking the question.

What is your opinion on that? 

Well, although not all of these post types are working for me, I can say I am proud of trying them out all in the previous year of this blog. I don’t plan to focus on one type only, I like variety, and I can only hope that you like it too!

How did you do regarding this #1 tip from Corbett’s post?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Scott October 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

At some point I have tried just about all of these types. I Do keep coming back to just a handful, though. OF course variety and “mixing it up” are a good idea, but it can also be good to brand yourself by a certain type of post.

Say if you tend to do short, quirky and funny posts, people will come to recognize that as your style. Or longer, more serious, and in-depth posts, people will come to look forward to those.

The thing is even if you have a “style” breaking your routine every now and again keeps it interesting for sure. I would say that having a “style” and a tendency for certain types of posts is not a bad thing. But people starting out need to experiment with all the types to see what resonates within themselves and their audience.

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Brankica October 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

I agree completely. I think my style are longer more detailed posts. I just can’t write them short or essay like.

For example, when I come to your blog I expect a list type of post, very practical, detailed and full of info. Did I guess it right :) ?

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Steve Scott October 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

For sure, I try to make those detailed reports my “trademark”. I think there is something powerful in your regulars knowing what to expect. Just as it is sometimes good to break your norm with something “different”.

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Nancy Davis October 27, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hi Brankica,

I am the opposite. I write some very good, but really short posts. I have one on my blog that is only 200 words but it says everything I wanted to say.

My longest post is about 700 words. I tend to stay in the 300-500 range.

I do lists from time to time. Those are always fun. Maybe I should start doing round ups on occasion as well.

Good food for thought as always.

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Brankica October 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Glad you liked it, Nancy. How about the question I asked at the end, what do you think about that?

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igor Griffiths October 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Brankica this is something that I had not really thought about, my posts tend to be influenced by either what I am doing or what I have seen and then the post type will be dictated by the best way to present this information.

I will have to make a note in my post creation process map of the various post types as a reminder.

igor Griffiths

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Brankica October 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm

That is pretty much how I write, I know what I want to say and start writing and see where it takes me. Interesting enough, even the successful infographic post I linked to here, I actually started writing that as a post at first.

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Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion October 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Honestly, I just don’t worry much length of posts anymore. My average is 1100 words, but because I typically only post twice a week, I don’t think it’s too burdensome. Plus, my style is teaching through story, and story takes longer to tell than a bunch of bullet points.

Corbett is spot-on though. He’s a smart cat and knows what he’s talking about, no doubt.

Thanks Bran!

Marcus

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Brankica October 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I don’t worry about the length either. I can’t keep it short and it is working, so why not :)

I also don’t post as often as before so I think there is enough time for everyone to catch up, if they want :)

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Harleena Singh October 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

Love the various kinds you put up Bankica, though for me too the longer ones work best. I have read and visited many blogs where people generally say that as readers have short attention spans- so your ideal posts should be 300-400 words, but I find that impossible for me! I prefer explaining things in as much detail as I can, so that the readers don’t have to hunt for more information about the written topic.

Thanks for sharing :)

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Yeah, I have read that from time to time, but I didn’t experience that people are leaving without reading everything. thanks so much for the comment :)

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Ameena Falchetto October 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

Interesting. I am still figuring it all out. For me, I tend to mix it up. I prefer shorter posts because I prefer reading shorter ones.

BUT I think sometimes formatting can make the world of difference especially for long posts!

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I agree. I think it really depends on the niche, I write a lot of tutorials and if I make them short it would probably mean skipping some steps. So I like keeping them long and informational.

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Bill Dorman October 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I got an A+ on one of my posts………..but it was my mom grading it so I couldn’t tell if it was like a real score or anything……….but her friend Myrtle thought it was pretty good too, so I was thinking it was probably justified……….

I really do want my posts to get better and I really do want to improve as a writer; however, until I find my direction I don’t know how much it really matters. And what happens if my lack of direction ultimately becomes my direction?

Good info though and I will definitely check it out. Maybe mixing it up will create different results………thanks for sharing.

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm

LOL, it wasn’t your mom, it was ME!!!

You know, I think your “invisible blogger with no direction” will be your trademark ;)

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Name deleted per commenting policy October 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Interesting list of really useful tips, thank you. The one i like is “Easy to read list type posts”. I really enjoy this type of posts on other blogs and to be honest i don’t write many posts following this style. Reading your post was a good opportunity to make a nice post-it and stick it in my computer monitor!

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

List posts work great in any niche, they are easy to read and follow :)

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James Hussey October 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Would love to do an infographic one day. There’s also a way to embed your link in the image (I forget the site I found that does that, it’s buried in my bookmarks since I’m not really tech savvy enough for it)…but I’m not the graphic artist type.

Did you just Photoshop it?

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Yeah, this one is just Photoshop.

What do you mean “embed link in image”, like make an image map with clickable areas?

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James Hussey October 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Yes! I couldn’t think of the name of it, it is an image map.

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I used this one and love it :)
http://www.image-maps.com/

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Dakota October 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hi Brankica,
So, although none of this information is relevant for this website (it’s a review site, not a blog) I can use these different examples for other website that my family and I have. First, I have to tell you, I read the infographic, and I almost peed my pants laughing. It was very good. :)
Ok, now for my question… which one of these kinds of posts did you see the best return on? Besides the infographic, of course. Are there any kinds of numbers you could give on which articles brought the most clicks, re-tweets, comments, ‘likes’, etc.?
Thanks for your patience in answering my questions!
~Pianolessongirl,
Dakota

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Brankica October 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm

No matter how stupid this will sound, even though I made it, I laugh at that infographic all the time as well :)

Don’t think you can’t use these type of posts for a review site. Let’s say you review Amazon products:
-short post – your favorite product with one thing it did for you that changed your life/saved time
- long post – very detailed review of a product you like with your own images
- list post – 10 best Amazon product to take on the beach with you (book, hat, sunscreen, but list of certain products…)

I am not sure about clicks and likes for all the posts (although you can see them on each post when you go to it), but detailed tutorial posts work for me because they fit my style. On the other hand, there are bloggers that write a 300 word post and get 1.000+ RTs.

So it needs to fit the style and then just break it from time to time with something different.

From what I like to read and what I write, at least in this general blogging niche, detailed tutorials and list posts work like crazy…

Hope this helps :)

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Sonia October 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Quite honestly, I don’t have too much of a preference. Long posts, short posts, are fine, so as long as the content works. I love it when JK Allen really puts his heart in the long posts he writes or the short posts Seth Godin is genius for.

I think it depends on the writer, their tone and what it’s about. I love posts that tell a story and how it all comes together. Now the posts I avoid are the ones that go on and on and never get to the point. Those kill me and I am already half asleep…and moved on by then.

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Peggy Baron November 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

Hi Brankica,

I like your posts just like this one… broken up into sections for easy reading with a sub-header graphic and a link to an example of each. Loved your Twitter infographic!

I tend to mix my posts up just because of the nature of the topic I’m talking about. I don’t worry about word count either, I just say what I want to say and try not to go any further. I do need to do some Round Ups though.

Thanks,
Peggy

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Daca November 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

You are a true talent I must say. It seems that somehow you just can’t write a simple, not very useful post.
This post began as a simple ” I am now reading this…” and still we ended up reading one useful guide.
As for this last question, your idea is very noble and I am sure we all could use this. But, I am afraid you will get too much questions every week because people just love to hear your opinion. Some weekly limit for questions would not be a bad idea. ;)

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Brigitte November 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

It can also work well to vary the media used – so for instance do some video posts, written ones, pictures etc.

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