There are any number of ways of creating a tangled mess and calling it a blog, or turning a blog into a tangled mess of statements, information and varying levels of quality. All of these options include effectively trashing the blog experience for readers. Blog readers aren’t necessarily normal people. Many are experts, all are enthusiasts, and none are apathetic about what they read. If you’re doing a blog on web application security, you’re not writing to casual readers. You can be writing to app developers and experts, and their interest levels can vary a lot.
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Myths and Legends
The mythology of Blogging, ironically, doesn’t even come from pro bloggers. It comes from the media, and typically, it includes a vast quantity of utter garbage. Unfortunately for some bloggers, these myths are the images of blogging they start with, and they usually fall in a screaming heap after months of hard work on that basis. More of a problem is the fact that these myths also contaminate what would otherwise be good content.
Some of the worst myths :
#1 – The ranting blog attracts people : No- It’s been obsolete for years. You can still see some of these on political sites, which like politics itself is decades behind the rest of the world, but these blogs are truly dead and buried. There’s no market for them.
#2 – Shock jock blogs are good business : No – They’re usually suicide, particularly if you’ve got your own name attached to them. They tend to fall into the “defamation as a way of life” category, and they often get targeted in response from their understandably infuriated subjects. The novelty value diminishes, and the sort of people who read them are a Z grade readership, if that.
#3 – Recycling articles is a good way to get content : It is if you really want to meet a lot of lawyers and have fun paying them. (Bear in mind even one legal consultation will set you back several hundred bucks.) It’s also great for being publicly humiliated by the original writers, who generally lack appreciation for people taking the food out of their mouths.
#4 – You can write any old thing on a blog and people will read it : No they won’t. Get that idea right out of your head before you write a word. There is absolutely no way of getting read online unless people want to read you. Expect a lot of sneering and patronizing comments from those who enjoy it, but that’s about all.
#5 – Nobody checks information on blogs : Like hell they don’t. Get things wrong, and you will get flak by the truckload. If your information relates to something which attracts the attention of people researching the subject, you will get hit in multiple directions. Either check your own information or don’t publish. There’s no middle ground on this one.
Whether you’re doing a blog about penetration testing or counselling for Barbie dolls, stay focused. Don’t make a target out of yourself, and concentrate on quality. You will get the readers, not the mob with pitchforks and torches or that sad sight, the empty, hitless blog.