Tuesday, November 27, 2007

blog posts and their importance

A blog has no main story.

It's just a sequence of postings, appearing in reverse chronological order, about whatever seemed interesting or important to you at the moment.

A blog doesn't depend on today's post.

Readers will check your Previous Posts and Archives if they find your blog interesting. They'll look at your design, colors, About page, bio, photos, blogroll, links, sidebar widgets, and other aspects of your blog, to determine its value.

How can people find your "most important" posts?

First, what you think are your best posts, these may be of little interest to your readers. You discover what your most popular posts are by site analytics, like SiteMeter or Google Analytics. Or you may consider a post that gets a lot of comments to be a "successful" post. Or you may value how many other bloggers are linking to your post.

Your "best" posts, as far as you're concerned, are probably the ones you most fully and perfectly explained something. You may be proud of how well a certain post is written or reasoned.

The posts you like best may go over like a lead balloon, while the posts you dashed off recklessly, half-heartedly, in the middle of the night, just to post something, these may be the most controversial and celebrated of all your writings.

You can help your blog visitors find what is most relevant to their needs by using tags and a tag cloud or tag list. People can then just click on a tag, and go to the posts that contain that tag, and deal with that specific issue.

You can also make a list in your sidebar. "Most Popular Posts", or "Most Controversial", or "Most Commented On", or whatever. You can create multiple sidebar category lists with as many categories as you want.

I base my "Most Popular Posts" sidebar list on Google Analytics.

An electronic music blog could have "Classical", "Techno", "Dance", "Industrial", "Noise", "Electro-acoustic", "Music Concrete", and "Mix/Mashup" as categories, for example.

Don't worry about what post appears at the top of your blog. It's not the "main story" in the sense of how magazines or television programs present stories.

It may appear that way at first, but actually the "main story" is probably your Previous Posts and About page. Those are two crucial aspects of a blog that determine how I myself judge a blog. I scan their most recent post titles, skim over a few current posts, and read the About page to find out who this person is.

[photo at top of post contributed by Mantasmagorical aka Benjamin Dudoit, a Glasgow web designer]

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