Site Tips

Be honest, how good are your entries?

Yes, I realize it might be hard to be objective and each person has different tastes. Here is a better question: are you writing 5+ crappy quick entries or making 1 or 2 superb ones?

The trend is to make a lot of entries. What the blogger does not realize is their haste shows in their writing. “Look what came out. I like it, go check it out!” Why do you like it? What’s wrong with it? What could be improved? Do you see what I mean? Here is another trend for personal blogs:

Monday: My life sucks
Tuesday: I’m broke
Wednesday: My boss reprimanded me
Thursday: My girl/boyfriend dumped me
Friday: Payday! Going to blow it partying
Monday: I’m broke
Tuesday: My life sucks

Well does anything good happen in your life? I call these Whiny Blogs. A site is a great way to vent but think about the reader hearing bad stuff every single day. Unless you make it funny, it is depressing.

I know, you are one of the Top Most Interesting People but are you presenting yourself as interesting as you are? Step back and look at your entries as a stranger reading your words for the first time. What do you think he or she will gain from reading your site? If readers gain nothing, they will not stick around for long.

Site Tips

Great Blog Traits: Design

Being well-known in the design community had its benefits when we started the Network. The majority of first round submissions were design related sites done by designers and a great deal of these sites were top-notch with regards to design quality. The Network got labeled as one where all sites are beautiful and over time people became to believe that a requirement to join us was a great blog design.

Well to be honest, design does play a factor, but it isn’t about beauty.

When looking at sites, the ones with great designs do keep us on their pages longer, but that doesn’t replace great content. Sites that are simply unreadable due to their design get about 2 seconds of our time. We don’t expect beautiful, but we do expect clean so that we can get to your content. We are not a design gallery and we don’t showcase great designs, we showcase quality content, so please make it easy for us to get to.

Don’t fall under the misconception that everyone uses RSS. You want people reading your site then give them the content front and center. Don’t get cute with things because you probably get annoyed just as easily when visiting another site and you can’t get to the content immediately. So you see, design does play a huge role, but not in the way you probably thought.

Site Tips

What We Look For In A Site

Tyme is right. I should’ve answered one of the most basic questions asked of us when we announced Round 3 and that is what we are looking for in a site. Our default answer is anything and everything, but obviously that isn’t true since we are selective of the sites that get into the Network so I will try my best to list the qualities that we are looking for.

  • A passion for the subject that you are writing for. This is evident from the writing on your site.
  • Quality writing. If it’s supposed to be funny then make sure it is funny. If it is supposed to stimulate the mind, then make sure it is intelligent. Mistakes happen within entries, but too many mistakes on too many posts definitely raise a red flag.
  • Consistency in writing quantity. We don’t expect sites to have entries on them every single day, but if you have a site that posts one entry a month we expect there to be at least one entry a month. If you write every single day for 6 months and then disappear for 3 months then we begin to raise questions.
  • Topics. Obviously we offer a wide range of topics (as can be seen on the homepage) and we are always looking to expand. If you have another web design blog or another blog that has its niche filled (10 or more sites) within 9rules you should make sure that you are offering a really kickass site.
  • Design. We don’t base our decisions on the design of your site, but a clean design definitely makes us look more carefully over your site and a unique design often shows a passion for your site.
  • Blogger/Blogspot domains. In all honesty I don’t like adding sites that are hosted by blogger or blogspot since there are so many other parts of the design of those sites which don’t really distinguish them from the rest, but if your site is worth it we will add it.

That’s all I can think of right now. Nothing too specific, but these are definitely things we keep an eye out for.