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Why Advertising On Your Blog Doesn't Work

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Blogging is a great exercise in creativity.  It gives you the platform to express your opinion about something you're passionate about or at least interested in.  When your excitement about the topic comes through, the blog post is compelling to readers who share that interest. 

What is not interesting to readers is advertisements disguised as blog articles.  We are regularly inundated with advertisements and I don't know of many people who are actively looking for places to read more advertisements.  So I try to keep promotional material to the barest minimum in my personal blog.  In the cases when I do want to promote a product or service, or even a movie or book I am interested in, I try to follow this rule: express an opinion. 
What You Think Is Interesting To Others

What you and I think about something, even if it isn't a popular or accurate idea, is more interesting than a bland invitation to buy or use a product.  When I try to sell a reader on the merits of a product I believe I'm not going to make a connection with the reader as well as if I write about my take on it. It is my experience that readers don't enjoy being lecturer to.  So if I'm passionate about something such as Journaling As A Spiritual Practice I pay attention to the tone I use in my article so that I don't come across as a know-it-all or an advertiser.  I try to find what it is that I enjoy about journaling and write about that.

Expressing your opinion is more effective than writing an advertisement. 
In the world of movie making, word-of-mouth is as good as gold, because movie makers know that you and I are more likely to go see a movie (even if we previously decided against it) when someone we know expresses a positive opinion about it.  We're far more influential than advertisements when we express our opinion.

Ideally the focus of your blog should be obvious to visitors.  You might have a passion for technology and as an early adopter of every new gadget you might write about your joys and disappointments.  Or you might have be fascinated in gardening and write about how you help your orchids survive (I'd need to read that blog for sure).  Having too wide a focus can make it difficult for your blog to be noticed by the people who share your interest.  (I use my blog to demonstrate how to create blogs, and to share my opinions, and, and, I confess, there is too much going on here.)  On the other hand, being excited and authentic about your writing is the key to success, so if you're excited about a lot of things, write about them.

It's all about you and what you think and no one has to read it if they don't want to.  So write about what you think and don't copy and paste content from other places on the web.  I feel passionate about that, and probably come across like a know-it-all.  Ah well, rules are for breaking, no?

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