You create things because you want people to see them. Rather than expending energy trying to prevent some people from using the things you create in some way you don't like, just look at it as it really is: people are seeing your work. Whether they're hotlinking your images, stealing your post content, or sharing clips from your tv show on YouTube, eyes are seeing your work. Isn't that the entire point?
Encourage people to use your work. Creative Commons licensing anything you create is the best and most-effective way to get large amounts of people to see it. If you're a photographer, consider licensing your images such that bloggers, painters, filmmakers, artists, etc can use them without having to jump through hoops.
Don't sweat the numbers. Many of the blogs I read have lately been almost completely devoted to talking about how great their Technorati score or their Google PageRank or whatever is. Why does this matter to you, and why do you think it would matter to anyone reading your post? Sure, it's good having a high-profile site, but if all anyone can ever find on it is stuff about how high-profile it is, nobody wins.
Ads (almost always) make you focus your content on getting more readers and/or selling more ads. If you want to create things and get people to see them, then great... that's what blogging is for. Sure, you might be able to make alittle cash by adding advertising, but I submit that pretty much every blog I've subscribed to that has added advertising has turned into a blog about how to get more readers to read, how to get more backlinks, how to get higher in search rankings, etc. In short: making money with your blog (almost always) turns your blog into a blog about making money with blogs about making money with blogs... I was interested in what you had to say before, but you're losing me with all this making money stuff.
Every so often, tell people about it when you like what they're doing. A few years back I got an email from someone I really looked up to telling me really nice things, and it really meant the world to me. When you get an email or a comment or something from someone who has been inspiring you, it can really make a difference in someone's life. That sounds really sappy and silly, but when the person in question spends a bunch of time on a blog or something, it's obviously important to them. I'd consider that part of their life.
Don't participate in memes. You just end up with posts like this one.
Success is a hard thing to measure; many people who blog seem to be under the impression that having high rankings and making more money is the important metric for how successful they are at what they're doing. Me? I don't have a lot of readers, I've never done anything with the intention of increasing any rankings, I post almost entirely stupid things -- yet I get feedback from people all over the world, have forged quite a number of internet friendships as a result, and am consistently blown away at the number of people out there that I'm reaching (I don't even really know how many it is, but I do know it's a heck of a lot more than I ever expected it would be).
So yeah, I'd call that successful. Those 6 "secrets" are the most important ones to getting me to where I am, so I hope this is what Matthew was looking for.
[still one-handing it, but i'm getting slightly more accurate and a litttle faster... maybe soon i'll tackle the shift key]
ive got lots of friends in the blogging business, and it seems not a day goes by that someone doesn;t come up with a new crazy scheme tto raise the profile of their blog so thatr their ads are worth more.
one of the most popular of these schemes is a recent one involving technorati 'favorites' exchanging. people post an entry begging people to favorite them on technorati, prmosing that they'll then reciprocate the favor.
in theory this is an interesting idea, except for the fact that it is manipulating technorati's ranking system. technorati is going to catch on to it pretty quickly, but in the meantime your blog's profile can skyrocket. except for one little thing: the ranking is done as a percentile. as you start helping to increase the rankings of all the people helping you incerease your rankings, your standing us going to actually suffer for it. you've moved up -- but so has everyone else.
so in the end you may get some new friends out of it, but really you've just wasted a bunch of time and effort -- and corrupted technorati's valuable ranking algorithm in the process. if everyone is manipulating the system, the system becomes worthlkess.
don't break good things just because you might get something out of it. internet curmudgeon out.