There’s always plenty to learn from other people’s blogs, and in all workshops, I always advise that if you’re thinking of setting up a blog, etc.. go and look at what others are doing – look at what you like/don’t like, and think what lessons you can learn from the site.
Spending time on other blogs allow you to pick up ideas, strategies & tips, but also see where any gaps are that you can then work with.
Take 15 minutes to analyze the blog
- What topics are they covering?
- What topics are they ignoring?
- What voice or style do they post in?
- How often are they posting?
- What level are they pitching their posts at (for example, beginners, advanced, etc.)?
- reader engagement
- What topics generate the most conversation?
- What styles of post seem to connect with readers best?
- What questions are readers asking in the comments?
- What complaints do you see readers making in the comments?
- What tools or media is the site using (for example, are they using Twitter, forums, etc.)?
- What’s your first impression from their design?
- What have they done well? What have they done poorly?
- What options do they give readers to subscribe?
This will give you hints as to how you might make money from your blog.
- What advertisers are targeting this blog?
- What type of affiliate programs are they promoting?
- These sites can give an idea of traffic, keywords that link into a site, etc. – but the information is not always accurate.
- Who’s linking to their/your blog?
- If you can read code, what can you learn from their source code?
- What are all the blogs in your niche doing – which if you’re not doing them, you’re missing out – and what can you do differently?
- Don’t spend so much time looking at others blogs that you don’t spend enough time on your own blog.
- Be unique – don’t just copy what others are doing – otherwise why would people bother reading it?
- Make a list of blogs that are in your niche, and put aside time to read/comment on them. See patterns emerging, and identify the voices of authority in a sector.
- Read why other blogs are not your competition.
I’m having so much problem with the internet connection in this hotel in Prague that I will come back to actions, but I’m allowing the thinking to circulate.