Blogging Lessons from a Match up

by Meryl Evans | Category: Blogging, Business, Meryl's Notes Blog, Tech, Writing 6 comments

I survived my first Writing Blog March Madness match up. However, it was no easy win so advancing rounds will be nail-biters. As if the first one wasn’t.

Community: The weakest spot in this blog is the lack of community. John‘s right about that and it has puzzled me. For a while, I tried posing open-ended questions to invite comments. That didn’t work. I stopped because the blog entries looked pitiful having a question with no comments.

Gaming: I was relieved that John realized the gaming section was separated out. I worried he’d think I had something irrelevant mashed in with writing and business. I broke out gaming as much as I could from a technical standpoint (if you go through posts by clicking “next” and “previous,” you’ll see the games entries.). I was going to set up a different site for gaming, but as Mark of TheDiamondGames pointed out … meryl.net is established. Why start from scratch (in terms of SEO and ranks)? I thought he had a good point and took the route that I did.

Design: When I worked with Blue Flavor on this site’s design, we tried to make the site feel professional yet personal. With this design, I could stand to look at my own site… for the first time ever.

Usability & Navigation: The reason I provide a summary is based on my experience. I became frustrated with scrolling through some bloggers’ long entries and thought scanning ‘n clicking would be better than scrolling. But I could be wrong. What say you? I’m willing to change this and consider any other annoyances.

Purpose: I’ve always admitted that my blog has never been niche-based. It’s evolved over the years. I don’t think I can do better here unless I pick a niche.

Personality: I don’t want this blog to be about me, me, me. In promoting the business side of things, I try to show what’s in it for the prospect. In writing blog entries, I try to provide information you can use and not make it about my opinions. Personality matters as it gives the blog life, so I try to do that without crossing the line or getting too personal. Some things shouldn’t be out there for the world to see.

Content: Whew. John captured it, “She has a nice habit of giving tips and then illuminating them with examples from her own experience.” I’ve learned well from others’ examples plus examples help show instead of tell.

What can I do better so you leave this blog glad that you spent a little time reading it? How about enticing you to leave comments. What compels you to leave comments on a blog? That’s the missing link here.

The biggest reason I’m afraid to give presentations is fear of not being able to interact with the audience. My lipreading skills are imperfect and I don’t want to frustrate the audience by repeatedly asking, “What?” when they ask questions. A blog doesn’t have that problem and I respond to almost all comments — some are in private. But the interaction isn’t happening.

You’d think after eight years of blogging that I’d know the answer?

I admire John for taking the time for doing in-depth reviews of 32 blogs and including mine. Thank you, John.

Lest you think this is a brownnosing post — it will most likely not even be covered in the next round as I should have at least five posts by then. I want to understand how to improve on the weak areas. Who better to ask than you?

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6 comments

  • Posted by John Hewitt
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