Yesterday I talked about Value Blogging in this article, Blogging Value Over Volume?, and it seems that this is becoming quite the rage in the blogosphere these days. Over at ProBlogger guest blogger Skellie wrote this article, Value Blogging: A New Model For Success?, that goes into some interesting points. In light of that article I wanted to expand a bit more on what I said yesterday.
My Value Blog
First, let’s take a look at my ‘value blog’, Visual Basic Notebook for .NET. I’ve had a Visual Basic site since 1999 although it wasn’t a blog back then, just static HTML pages. It didn’t become an actual blog until May of this year. With the static pages I got about 30 visitors a month. When I moved to a blog, this increased to about 100 a month thanks to improved Google indexing from new content being added at about 1 article a week. In August, I started blogging daily on it, posting at least once a day, sometimes more. In September, traffic exploded as my pages moved up steadily in search results and my social bookmarking efforts paid off. In about a month I went from about 100 uniques a month to over 10,000. It’s holding steady at that number for October even though I cut back my posting schedule there to devote time here on OpTempo. Here’s what I learned from it.
1. Value Posts Won’t Bring Traffic By Themselves
You can have very good and helpful posts but if you don’t actively promote your blog you won’t see much traffic. Even if you’re value posting you still have to do the same old promotional techniques.
2. Highlight Your Best Stuff
Use sitemaps, related posts, top rated posts, best posts and other techniques to point new visitors to your site to these articles. Put them above the fold or mixed into the article.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Monetization
Some people get the impression that you shouldn’t monetize a value blog. That’s OK if that’s the approach you want to take. However, a tasteful integration within the design of the site works well. People who’re happy you answered their question are likely to click your ads, perhaps just as a way of tipping you. Also PayPal donation links can bring in some extra money as well. I would avoid paid posts on such sites though.
4. Volume Still Matters
As I mentioned yesterday, volume still matters. Until your site reaches a critical mass, somewhere between 100-200 posts by my estimates, traffic, Google placement and stickiness won’t be as good as it can be. Work toward getting into this range before considering slowing down from an “at least once a day” pace.
5. Keep It Personal
Always maintain a personal touch in your posts, relating personal experiences and interacting with visitors, even if the visitors aren’t there yet. Remember that you’re not only selling your value but yourself as well.
That’s some more of my thoughts on value blogging. Do you have any you would like to share?