Friday October 27, 2006 9:16 pm
Blog Business Summit: 10 Ways To A Killer Blog
Robert and Maryam are speaking on getting noticed in the new word-of-mouth network.
1) Blog because you want to. A story without live is not worth telling. Maryam talks about how Robert kept pushing her to blog for four years. Then one day, she started to blog. As soon as she started, she was blogging about Robert and he tried to get her to stop talking about him on her blog.
If you are blogging about something you don’t really care about because you think it’s profitable, you won’t have passion to go long-term.
2) Read other blogs. Use Technorati to find blogs that are similar to the topics you want to discuss, pick up writing styles, and learn about your competitors. If you read 50 blogs in two weeks and you aren’t compelled to answer back the things that you are reading, you probably won’t be a good blogger.
Maryam started blogging because she was going to a lot of conferences, but people told her they had no way of linking to her. It brings out community and a bond that she hadn’t experienced before. Through blogging she has gotten a much better job and has made a lot more friends. She loves it.
3) Pick a niche you can own - be different. There are two kinds of bloggers - ones that want to make things, and shake things. Others just want to talk to their friends and use their blogs to post baby pictures, talk about books they read, etc. Either way, each group should have a common set of values. When Robert visited people outside of Silicon Valley, he studied the way people use their computers. People go to Google and search for Yahoo because they want to get to Yahoo. Same for Yahoo, one of their top terms is Google.
Normal people outside the tech world aren’t using things like Google Maps, Google Groups, or Picasa. Everyone comes at this world through the search engine, so how do they interact with that?
Question - if you were to pick a category to be different in, would that be the tech category? Yes, it would be hard, but Mike Arrington came in late to the game and went to number one. He was also very focused on a very specific part of the tech industry, being Web 2.0.
There was a niche blogger in London who talks about the London Underground transportation system. After the London bombing, everyone hit her site, and now she is popular. Of course, we don’t want to have a terrorist act happen to make us famous, but you get the point.
4) Link to other blogs. Robert started reading posts of people who mentioned hating Microsoft, and he linked to them and gave feedback. Hate posts decreased, because Microsoft was giving them attention and looking to work with people. If you want to get more prolific bloggers to visit your site, write about them, link to them, and visit their sites and leave comments with your URL.
Question - Is there an A-List? Robert says yes, but thankfully clarifies that there are a lot of blogoshperes. The fact is that if I blog about scrapbooking, I may have no idea who Calacanis, Scoble, Edwards, Rojas, Arrington are. They aren’t on my “A-List” so to speak, but maybe the top scrapbook blogger is.
5) Admit mistakes.
6) Write good headlines. In order for people to find you by keyword in Technorati or Google Blog Search, you need to write good, findable headlines. If you write really good, descriptive headlines, you stick out and are found easier.
7) Use other media. Most bloggers use only text. Use things like graphics (logos, screen captures). Even better, have an audio podcast or video podcast. Mix media so that you can share your knowledge with the world in multiple ways.
8) Have a voice. Having your own personal voice and persona that allows people to see you as a human rather than as text makes people want to connect with you more. Robert tries to type what he would say to you face to face rather than focusing on trying to be a good writer.
9) Get outside the blogosphere. Hit places outside the blogs. Conferences, meetups, and go out and meet people. That makes the connections deeper and more meaningful. By having conversations you hear cool things, have stories to tell on your blog, etc. That is how the A-List is built - people connecting and building strong relationships. PR companies need to learn this - set up a blog, go and meet people at conferences. That works better than sending a pitchy email.
10) Market yourself. Some bloggers put their URL on their business cards. It’s little things like that which will encourage readership. Just basic marketing like that can make a difference.
11) Write well. Spell check. Check grammar. See if you get your point across. Also, check your state of mind and heart. If you are upset, wait a little bit before publishing so that you don’t go overboard or say something that you don’t mean. Write short paragraphs because they are easier to scan.
12) Expose yourself. Corporate types are normally very reserved in their writing style. No one wants to read a press release, but the point here is to engage readers. Put in a bit of yourself into your posts, and let people see that you are a real human being. Use anecdotes, and be personal, if even a little.
13) Help other people blog.
14) Engage with commenters. To participate in the conversation, make comments on other blogs. Sure, you can blog on your site, but commenting elsewhere let’s other people find you. Leave interesting and thoughtful comments, and people will find your work.
15) Keep your integrity.
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