I still haven’t forgotten the sting that came when Valleywag was folded into Gawker, at which point it began a slow, pitiful death. I was a big fan of the blog, which had an amazing contributor base. To a certain extent, I learned the basics of blogging (and more) from them. Well, Nick Denton tells Business Insider that Valleywag is coming back, and I couldn’t be more psyched.
Okay, you’re not going to find out here. Instead, head over to the guest post I wrote on Scene by Laurie, exploring how travel bloggers can fall victim to niche audiences that generate plenty of social media chatter but never really click through. If you are over-reliant on Twitter or Facebook for traffic, this is the downside to which you’re exposed. And yes, I do anchor it with a real world travel example.
And, here’s the source story from the case study …
It’s pretty clear that this isn’t a road to riches. Traditional publications don’t pay hefty salaries, and it’s difficult to break into them. Freelance writing provides some opportunities for a solid living, if you know how to manage your personal business effectively, but you have to work at it. Starting your own business seems to be the only way to hit it big, but this isn’t exactly news. It’s one of the few ways one can generate real wealth. For writers, however, even this angle may be inherently constrained.
Two recent news stories got my attention and made me think about this.
This. Is. Awesome. Being able to call in blog posts is nothing short of incredible. Imagine being on the floor of a conference or trade show and phoning in real-time updates to the floor … and then tweeting them out to your followers! This truly mobile blogging. As a blogger (both corporate and mass media), my mind started racing at the possibilities. If you want to talk through anything, give me a shout.
(btw — as you can see, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the reblog feature in WordPress, too)
As you may remember, I recently launched a new cigar blog, Cigar Reader with John Biggs. We’ve been pretty active, and there are some important stories developing in the cigar world. Here are the top five:
I don’t usually share content across my blogs, but I liked this simple post so much that I decided to break the self-imposed rules. It originally ran on my other blog, Reinsurance Blogger, which deals with social media marketing issues in the reinsurance industry.
If you’re looking to launch a successful blog – or take one you have that isn’t doing much and turn it around – you really need only one little tidbit of info. It isn’t profound, and it will actually make your life easier.
So, here it is:
Good Content + A Lot of Content = A Great Blog
Please head over to Cigar Reader and check out my latest project. I launched it with John Biggs a few days ago, and we’re definitely excited to bring a new voice to the cigar community. Already, we’ve generated some buzz, particularly because we scored our first exclusive — details on the Rocky Patel/Eddie Ortega merger, including an interview with Eddie before the transaction was announced.
Our current top story is: Five Ways You Can Protect Your Cigar Smoking Rights.
Too often, companies interested in launching blogs spend too much time agonizing over the “B” word. Either they fear what they think is the “wild west,” or convention-constrained Gen Xers and Gen Yers get hung up on whether the ultimate creation is actually a “real blog.” Forget all this shit. Look at a blog as a technology platform, and think of it as something to be filled with content that will advance your company in the marketplace. A successful corporate blog will fall somewhere in between. Just keep the following four tips in mind.
Corporate blogging isn’t easy. The rewards are high, and this type of platform will reduce your workload over time (if you’re an in-house writer), though you’ll probably invest all that saved time in producing more content – especially if you’re addicted to returns. Some of the challenges aren’t immediately evident, and you’ll only encounter them when you’re knee-deep in the shit.
For mainstream bloggers, especially, you will run into some unexpected challenges. If you’re used to reblogging news stories or use press releases as a crutch when you’re short content, you’ll have to change your game.
Once upon a time, tag clouds were great navigational tools. In the early days of a blog’s life, it can help readers dig deeper into its content. After a while, however, the tag cloud will get far too big. It will look like shit and could scare readers away from using it. So, at some point, it’s time to get rid of the tag cloud.
Tags are great. The way WordPress works, tags create more pages, which will help you get search engine love. But, abundant tagging will crowd your cloud. So, to maintain the aesthetic, you sacrifice traffic. The compromise is to get rid of the tag cloud. Then, you can tag as much as you want.