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Miscellaneous News

Posted by on 28th Apr 2008 | 12 comments

Some random updates for all you BloggingTips enthusiasts :)

New BloggingTips theme within the week

I mentioned around 2 months ago that I was getting a new design developed for BloggingTips. Unfortunately, Ptah Dunbar is no longer designing the theme and a different design company has designed a brand new theme from scratch for me.

Ptah has wrote about why we parted ways in his post ‘What happened with the BloggingTips.com redesign?’. The good news for all of you is that Ptah has decided to release the theme he was designing for me. I’ll update you all when he releases it :)

No more sidebar Clutter

I’m not a big fan of clutter on sidebars but over the last few months I have allowed the BT sidebar to get cluttered up with ads such as EntreCard and Scratchback and other links. I removed EntreCard the other day and tonight I removed the ScratchBack widget*. The new design’s sidebar is very tidy so more emphasis will be placed on the content here.

* If you have left a tip in the BT scratchback widget within the last month contact me and I’ll give you a full refund.

Changes to Staff Team

Amanda Fazani wrote a post last week telling her readers that she writes at BloggingTips. In this post a commentator by the name of Laura stated that ‘most of the articles are fluff’ at BloggingTips. This really concerned me. The reason, I agreed with her. It was something I had been thinking over for a while. When this comment was made two weeks ago there were around 16 bloggers writing here every week.

In my opinion the quality of all writers posts were good however it was a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. The problem was that many of these bloggers were writing about similar subjects and some posts were similar to topics which had already been covered in the blog, either by myself or by other writers.

This was not the fault of their writers, it was me who created this problem. Obviously, with more writers the chances that some will cover similar topics increases however the main cause of this was me not giving more feedback to writers. From the start I have always gave bloggers complete freedom with regards to what they can write on the blog. Whilst I still believe that giving writers the freedom to write what they want is a good thing, it’s painfully clear that in order to steer your blog the direction you want it, you need to point your writers in the right direction (they aren’t mind readers after all!).

In the last few weeks I have tried to do just that. I have asked Amanda to write about the Blogger blogging platform, John Leschinski to keep concentrating on design articles and Sarah has joined the team to write about WordPress. As you can see, I am trying to increase the number of technical type posts at BloggingTips. This is something I have tried to do for ages and I have mentioned it many times however I have found that it is incredibly hard to find good bloggers who are also good at coding and design. The last time I advertised for technical writers I took on writers without any coding skills. This was a mistake as I didn’t need any more blogging about blogging type authors on the blog but they were really good writers and I found it difficult to let them pass by :)

So I would like to wish all the best to former BT bloggers Elaine from Good Recruits, Kelby from Type a Mom, Susan from Women on Business, Angela from Dollars 2 Blog, Jason from Success For Your Blog and Rob from Perfect Web Content. I really appreciate the contributions you have all made in the last 6 months :)

The future of BloggingTips

Blogging advice is a very popular niche and there are lots of really good established blogs like ProBlogger, Daily Blog Tips, Performancing and Blog Herald. David Peralty made a great point in his podcast last week when he said that it doesn’t matter how saturated your niche is, if you can build your brand up then you can make it successful. That is what I am trying to do just now. I am hoping to add a few new faces to the staff team in the next month so that there is more variety in the topics covered on BloggingTips.

Also, I would love to hear from regular readers about how they think they could improve the blog.

  • Are there topics not covered which you would like to see more of? If so, I’ll do my best to get hire a writer to cover that subject exclusively :)
  • Is there a type of blog design you would like us to get developed?
  • Can you think of tools BT could develop to help you with your blog?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

Also, don’t forget, next week we will be releasing our 3rd wordpress theme for free to readers. The theme will be released in a blue, red and green colour scheme. Check out a preview of the blue theme below :

Evolution Theme

:)


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and Google+.

12 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by David on 28th Apr 2008

    Looks like you are making some great changes. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know. Thanks for the link too. :) Keep up the great work.

  • Posted by Otto Marasco on 28th Apr 2008

    :smile: I have picked up on some great advice from this site. Change is always good and expected. Of course there are many other good sites offering the same sort of service if you will, Pro blogger's Darren is a local who's based only several miles from me in Melbourne. Myself i have a preference for this site (it's presently my home page)and Amanda from blogger buster always has some interesting tips given i use blogger. I can understand why Darren is so successful. Pro bloger commands authority and not merely in the way it presents. Anyway, am awefully busy today so all the best and i wish you 40,000 plus feedburner readers by years end! Hey, and why not visit AI; it's our first anniversary, have just ordered another cake…

    Keep up the good work!

  • Posted by Elina on 29th Apr 2008

    That's a very wise decision Kevin. I've been a long supporter of your blog but when you started having guest bloggers, I only dropped by occassionally. Though some of them were good but only the owner of the blog will write with such passion on his own blog. Just my 2 cents. :smile:

  • Posted by Kevin on 29th Apr 2008

    Thanks for the comments guys :)

    Otto – Yeah Darren has built up a great site with ProBlogger. His posts are of a great quality but his secret is consistency. Week in week he publishes resourceful posts.

    Elina – Thanks for your support :) I don't think that a blog's owner has to write all the time for it to be successful but I do see where you're coming from.

  • Posted by Hussein on 29th Apr 2008

    WOW. Great theme. I'm excited for it. I want to try it. Looks good and neat. :mrgreen:

  • Posted by BioTecK on 29th Apr 2008

    Looks like bloggingtips is going to have some serious changes!

    Well, good luck and I'm looking forward to see the changes!! :)

  • Posted by Sumesh on 9th Jun 2008

    Hehe, I was preparing a draft post about how multi-author blogs can get messed up (DBT and BT), and I guess I wouldn't have to publish it because both DBT and BT are back to their impervious self again.

    I'm not the one who wrote the "fluff" comment, but somehow I can relate myself to that. Back when Blogging Tips began, I was a voracious reader and commenter. I loved your technical posts, like the PHP articles etc.

    One thing that I can see will continue (and is a bad thing) is that there are still too many bloggers here. As you said in the post, the authors are all skilled, which is why you selected them in the first place. But a blog needs a personality of its own, which is you, Kevin. When I think of Blogging Tips, I think of the mugshot of you, not the logo. Maybe it is a lack of branding, or maybe it is just me, but I'd still like BT to revert to single or dual-author blog with occasional posts from the experts (Monica, John, Amanda and Eric).

    And great job on the redesign, I'd read Ptah's post even before you linked to it, and was impressed how you parted ways without throwing punches at each other ;)

  • Posted by Sumesh on 9th Jun 2008

    Same "Sumesh" as the above comment, I forgot to use my metablog URL rather than my technology blog URL.

    Ok, so I should make this second comment because a) I have more things to say and b)I forgot to check the "Notify me of…" for follow-up comments.

    Regarding too many authors, that is a problem associated with blogs. Most readers (myself included) are accustomed to associating a type of voice (say authoritative or neutral or opinionated) to a blog. That is OK when there is only one author, but when multiple authors take up writing, there are different types of voices, which also means that the voice of the blog gets diluted. [for example, when I think of Daring Fireball.net, I think of Gruber's opinions on Apple and related only.]

    Another point is that there are too many arm-chair theorists here. No offense to them, but most metablog readers (especially those who've read Problogger, DBT etc for two years or more) would find many posts here at BT rehashed. Perhaps the authors here do not realize that most things they have said have been said already, but that's the way it is. As I see it, traditional "blogging tips/make-money-online" blogs do not have much value any more. Most established blogs have said everything there is to say in the niche. Of course, with proper marketing and branding, BT could be popular even while rehashing some of the advice, but that would not make for an invaluable blog. The challenge for new metablogs would lie in distinguishing themselves from the rest by providing what other blogging tips blogs do not. I can think of only 5-6 topics off the top of my head as I write this, but I'm sure there'll be more (and I won't tell you those 5-6 because I need them for my own metablog, BlogCreativity.com :) )

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 10th Jun 2008

    I agree with a lot of what you said. However, I see things in a different way. I'm going to write a post later today about this to explain my views on this subject. Thanks for commentating :)

  • Posted by Sumesh on 10th Jun 2008

    Thanks for your reply, Kevin. I thought I might not get one because a)you're probably busy with other projects and b)this is a slightly old post.

    As regards the post, I'm looking forward to it. And you're welcome about the comment – anything from my side to try to get back BT to the old BT days I loved.

  • Posted by Girish on 28th Jun 2008

    What sumesh said is correct. A lot of bloggers today simply just re-phrase another blog post and post the same theme content to the audience. It's getting a bit boring. I hardly ever see a good thoughful post these days for blogging tips aprt from a handful of blogs including this one.

  • Posted by Таджикиста on 8th Jul 2008

    Sumesh +1, realy!! :wink: