There are a lot of blogging memes out there. Many of them are completely inappropriate for a business blog (do you really care what kind of superhero my blog is?). One that I really like, though, is blogtipping, which was started in 2006 by Easton Ellsworth.
It’s a pretty simple concept: on the first of each month, you pick three blogs you like and give them each three compliments and one tip to improve their blog. It exposes your readers to blogs that they might be interested in as well, as well as helping build relationships with other bloggers and helping them become better bloggers.
So with that in mind, here are my blogtips for this month:
- These highlights from the LinkedIn-related Yahoo Groups that Vincent runs are a great filter for the busy professional who’d like to keep up with what’s going on there but doesn’t have time to keep up with the whole conversation.
- It just always makes me happy to read Vincent’s writing. He still stays positive, even when he’s more than a little miffed, but without coming across like a second-rate motivational speaker.
- He’s not afraid to take a stand on an issue.
TIP: Beware of information overload. Between the 60+ full posts, several sidebar widgets, the blogroll, an extremely long list of labels/tags in a not very useful order, and headlines of 54 posts from this month in the sidebar, there’s just too much going on. I would recommend dropping the front page to 10 posts, and even at that, use the <!–more–> feature (I think Blogger uses that too) to put only the first part of it on the page. Use a tag cloud instead of the full tag list. Ideally, on the home page the archives would be collapsed, and only expanded on the individual post pages – not sure if that’s doable on Blogger or not, but worth checking. Bottom line — just tighten up the home page as much as you can.
- This blog is immensely practical. Most of his posts give you something you can immediately put into action. Check out his blogging secrets series for an example.
- Jason makes me think, but not too hard. I like thinking, but after a long, hard day, heavy intellectual conversation is just exhausting. But that doesn’t mean I want to veg out in front of the TV either. Take a look at Jason’s post on endorsing things on his blog to see what I mean.
- It’s visually one of the best blogs I’ve seen — it makes great use of the page, and his use of color and other typography really helps break up the typically long posts. Also, his use of images is excellent.
TIP: I think the sponsored links and the RealLittleAds are fine, but I think you’d do well to separate them visually in some way. With them in the exact same font as the posts, same indentation, and so on, they’re not clearly offset. Also, I know you want to get your JibberJobber promo into your RSS feed and displayed on every post, but reading the main page and seeing that on every post is a bit much — OK, more than a bit much. You might think about putting it on your single post template instead, and inserting something only occasionally into the posts themselves.
Disclosure: I’m the Executive Editor on Jason’s upcoming book, I’m on LinkedIn…Now What???
- A recent discovery and new addition to my blogroll, Fernando is doing some excellent critical thinking about both the current state of LinkedIn and its future.
- Fernando does a great job of connecting with other bloggers — linking to their content, but then adding real value himself — joining the conversation, not just pointing to it.
- The RSS headlines in the right sidebar from other sources (including this blog) are a nice touch. That’s an easy, automated way to provide readers with access to relevant additional content.
TIP: The main issue is with the visuals. I know it’s hosted on WordPress.com, but you still have a variety of templates available to you. Also, there seem to be some consistency problems with paragraphs. For example, this post has no spacing between the paragraphs, but this one and many others actually have a bunch of extra spacing between paragraphs. Content is more important than form, of course, but if the form actually detracts from the content, it’s time to do something about it.
Stop by these blogs, have a look around, leave a comment, etc. And maybe next month (or even today) join in the blogtipping fun.