Get a Hook For Your Blog

If you want to build traffic for your blog, you need to have some sort of hook, some sort of reason for people to keep coming back. In the warblogging world, that usually means you need to either be a “linker”, a “thinker”, or run a “theme” blog.

“Linkers” are blogs like Instapundit, Daily Pundit, and Crooow Blog that pour on the links. These pages are frequently updated and people usually hit them to find interesting news on other pages.

“Thinkers” focus on producing content instead of massive amounts of links. Rachel Lucas, USS Clueless, and Lileks (James) The Bleat are good examples of this type of blog.

The “Theme” blogs focus on certain motifs. For example, Little Green Footballs focuses on radical Islam and terrorism, Scrappleface focuses on humor, and Jim Romenesko’s Obscure Store And Reading Room hones in on strange and obscure news.

Now the problem many bloggers have is that they’re not consistent enough. They try to be a “linker” but they only post four or five articles a day or they want to be a “thinker” but they never write anything longer than 200 words. This causes their readers to get turned off because they really don’t know what to expect.

Inconsistency and not really knowing what you want to do leads to a second problem: poor quality posts. If you don’t know what you’re trying to do, how do you know if you’re doing it well or even often enough? If you want to be a “linker” then you know that short posts are fine, but you better pop out at least 8-12 links a day. If you want to be a thinker you may only need 2-5 posts a day, but they’ll need to be longer and much more in depth. If you’re running a “theme” then you need to focus your time there.

Every time you’re trying to post something, you should know what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Are you trying to get other blogs to link you, relating something personal about your life, getting info out there, giving some payback to blogs that have linked you in the past., etc? If you’re posting about something a lot of other blogs are writing about as well, are you at least putting a fresh new spin on it or are you just aping what everyone else has to say? Can your readers see someone else saying pretty much the same thing you are on five other blogs or do you have something original to offer?

Last but not least, being original and knowing what you want to do is important, but being passionate about what you’re discussing means a lot as well. For example, I often disagree with Dawn Olsen & Laurence Simon, but I like their material because they write with such zeal. Bold stands will pull more people who agree and disagree with you to your blog.

Originally posted on June 28, 2010 @ 6:18 pm