Blog criticism

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by maltapoints, Dec 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. maltapoints

    maltapoints Silver Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    39
    Status Points:
    130
    Dear all

    As a blog writer myself, but a newcomer to this website, it hasn't escaped my attention that the blogs often come in for a fair bit of criticism.

    I'm keen to avoid that myself. Now my understanding is that the reason the blogs get panned is that they sometimes simply nick points-earning/money saving techniques from these websites and then blog them - often leading to the offer being closed prematurely (and in some cases commercially benefiting the blogger).

    Given how niche my blog is (Malta-related), I don't see how I could possibly be accused of stealing other people's ideas for the sake of my blog (if only...). However, as I'm keen to have a harmonious relationship with the good folk of Milepoint, I would be grateful if you could let me know what I should and should not be doing as a blogger. What are the cardinal sins?

    Hopefully, from my side, I'll be giving you some pretty good tips on points earning/money saving should any of you ever venture to this lovely little island.

    Thanks
     
  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,517
    Likes Received:
    4,573
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Welcome to Milepoint.

    I have not seen any other blogger with your specialty and look forward to your knowledge, tips and advice.
     
    flyingdawg and uggboy like this.
  3. chrislacey
    Original Member

    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    656
    Status Points:
    670
    Welcome to MilePoint! Your niche sounds great! Can't wait to read your posts.
     
    flyingdawg and uggboy like this.
  4. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Likes Received:
    2,298
    Status Points:
    1,225
    I'll step away from travel for a moment and give you a couple things to keep in mind. I'm a technical consultant and blog a fair amount (less in the last 12 months or so) about topics I come across in my professional life. Admittedly, I only ever really blog "travel" related things to praise exceptional service or rant about terrible service (I need to get better at that, but I digress).

    One of the keys to a successful blog is a niche. It sounds like you've got that, based out of Malta and focusing on your local needs and what your island has to offer. A great guide to people who aren't familiar with your area, customs, policies, etc. is always needed, and I wish more people would focus on providing quality content in those areas.

    Posting content that you find elsewhere isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it must by quoted, sourced, and cited. General tips are perfectly acceptable in my eyes, though with some of the travel-specific things like deals and booking tricks, you need to use some judgement. Certainly don't re-post something that might kill a deal. Sharing content with other sources can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog and help find new readers. My technical blog typically sees about 5,000 page views a month from 2,000-2,500 users. Given the technical specificity of my content, and the relatively small amount of time I invest in my blog, I'm quite happy with those numbers. Most of my readers don't consistently visit my blog, they find content that relates to specific technical questions through search engines, which is what leads to the low "page views per visit" metric. They find their answer, then move on, but they don't stay and browse much.

    Now, why do I bring this up? Analytics, and understanding where your traffic comes from and what they're doing will help you to better develop your blog and make sure you're providing consistent content. If you start to see a dropoff of visits over a several month period then you know you're doing something wrong. One of the trends in my industry is people copying and pasting content into blogs without citing. There are a number of sites (all out of the middle east) specific to my industry that simply aggregate content without citing or sourcing it. You'll quickly find yourself blacklisted by reputable authors if you do that, but there's nothing wrong with quoting a few sentences or even a paragraph as long as it's cited. "Most" authors aren't going to come after you if you provide a source with a link, and many of us (at least in my industry) welcome the recognition and free promotion.

    My final tip is related to social media. Niche blogs can be hard for the end user to find so it's important you use every possible communication channel to get yourself out there. Specifically, I'd recommend looking to your local tourism board or even local government to see if there are Facebook pages you should share content with, Twitter users that could re-tweet you, etc. Never shy away from a little promotion. If you tweet out a new article and it gets re-tweeted by your local tourism board that's all great promotion for you and will help to build your following.

    Best of luck, and make sure you post some links here when you get up and running!
     
  5. Slow_Mustang
    Original Member

    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    760
    Status Points:
    745
    Drawing the line between letting people in on good deals and keeping them off the blog for fear of killing them is very tricky. Best of luck in deciding and getting it right.
     
    Jett Rink likes this.
  6. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Likes Received:
    9,504
    Status Points:
    7,425
    Chimpy likes this.

Share This Page