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.
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