Read Debbie Weil just the other day and picked up some useful tips though I’ve been blogging for a long time now. But we learn new things everyday.
That’s why life is fun, isn’t it? You wake up and you learn something new each day. Life would be horribly boring if we strutted about and proclaimed ourselves as the experts all the time and closed our ears to good stuff. If we never empty our cup, how could we absorb new information and knowledge?
Anyway, Debbie deals with corporate blogging. Find out more about Debbie and her books on blogging at http://www.debbieweil.com. I like her simple style. It’s honest, respectable and full of good humour.
Here are some notable tips I’ve picked out.
1. Blog Goal
The purpose of a business blog is to establish yourself as an expert over time.
2. Friendly But Not Overly So
You want to have a conversational, informal, friendly style, but you don’t want to say nothing. You have to walk a line between figuring out how to talk about important stuff and make points that are worth listening to and doing it in a way that is informal and conversational. That is the hallmark of blog writing style.
3. Be You
People who follow a blog love when you reveal something about yourself. Sometimes you need to be personal. Just don’t be too personal all the time.
4. Avoid Starting Fires
Certain topics like politics and religion are very combustible. Tread carefully.
5. Package Them
Love this one. Package what you write as much as possible. That doesn’t mean every blog post. Packaging means you give your readers “The 7 Tips for __________,” or “The 5 Mistakes to Avoid,” or “The Top 10 Lessons Learned.” It makes for good reading. It’s the kind of blog entry that other bloggers will link to. You’re creating a very defined resource and packaging it in digestible bites that other bloggers will link back to.
6. Give Some Link Love
You can’t write a blog entry without having at least one link in it. Otherwise, it looks very static. It looks like you’re not linking or connecting to the other conversation. Use links very strategically. You can link back to things you wrote previously. You can link to an article you’ve read. You can link to a Wikipedia entry. You want to do it every time.
7. Make That Title Grab ‘Em
You need to think like a journalist, particularly when you’re writing the title to a blog post.
8. Get the Conversation Going
You’ve written something. You’ve packaged it into your top 10 tips and really want people to look at it. You can take the URL of that blog entry and email it to a few friends or colleagues. You say in a very personal way, “I’ve written this. I just wondered what you think and if you’d go take a look.” (Today’s social media allows you to spread your blog posts far and wide. You can put your blog on Facebook – just like I do for my personal page and for our Redbox page – and all your friends will know once you’ve written something as it appears in your FB page. In FB, they call it a NOTE.)
9. I’m Human OK?
It’s okay to sometimes say, “I’m still thinking about this topic. I don’t have it quite worked out. I’d love to hear what you think.” It’s okay to admit, “I’m not the world’s foremost expert. I’d like to hear from you, my smart reader. What would you add to this?” Sometimes that really gets a conversation going.
10. What Can You Tolerate?
You need to have a clear comment policy. It should be posted on your blog for people to read. It’s where you say, “I review comments. If they’re off-topic or inappropriate, I will not publish them.” “Inappropriate” is a great word. You can throw in offensive, racist or homophobic. You can be as specific as you want. You can also say, “I reserve the right to edit comments.” It’s your blog. You’re in control of it. You want to be warm and open. You also want to look like you’re in charge. You are in charge.
11. Google Is Watching You
Remember the ripple effect in blogosphere. What you say can come back to haunt you. So be careful what you blog about.
12. Watch Those Numbers
For blog metrics, look at www.Technorati.com ranking and look at your Google Analytics.