16 Jan 2009

Don’t follow the blogging rules

If you haven’t seen one of the 10 most popular blogs in the world, check out PostSecret. PostSecret’s success can be attributed to its ingenious idea, emotional artwork and the fact that it doesn’t follow any of the rules of successful blogging.

PostSecret isn’t updated frequently. Every Sunday, Frank Warren, PostSecret’s founder, chooses 20 postcards to publish. Readers know the hour that these are published and people log on immediately, or save the update as something to look forward to Monday morning.

PostSecret isn’t personal. Frank’s own story isn’t present on the blog, just the postcards of thousands of people around the world. Occasionally he adds an email correspondence regarding a particular postcard.

PostSecret doesn’t change. Content isn’t adapted according to readers likes and dislikes. Frank’s original vision from 2004 is still followed and while readers can participate with each other, using a discussion forum, they don’t interact directly with Frank.

So while PostSecret doesn’t follow the rules is does do something right. The content is still the most compelling aspect of the blog. The readers’ feeling of empathy, voyeurism and shared experiences results from engaging content. The timing of the posts shouldn’t be underestimated. Posting just once a week keeps readers waiting. It also avoids over saturation. And there’s value in posting many postcards at the same time, rather than one by one.


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