What Makes a Good Blog? (Reading Time 2:22)
Fundamentally a good blog is one that achieves the purpose it was designed for. My focus is largely on writing a blog for a business purpose. That business could be anything from a songwriter wanting their music to be heard and appreciated, a florist wanting to get more work at special events, a business consultancy or coach like myself, looking for more business.
I am going to be running a 6 week course on writing blogs in Auckland, probably starting in the first or second week of October. You can get more information from me via email (email@example.com) or through this link to the course.
In upcoming blogs I’m gong to share some links to good blogs and blogs that could do with improvement. The comments will be my opinion and without knowing the people behind them, I may at times be giving credit where it is not due, or appear critical, when there are good reasons behind what I think leaves something to be desired.
So what makes a good blog? Here are some thoughts:
Currency. I want a blog to be current. a couple of weeks ago I was looking for a particular book in the library and couldn’t find it. So I grabbed a book called The Twitter Book, which looked like a quick fun read. It was published in November 2011 and would have been a great read when it first came out. Unfortunately it is now so out of date, that it was hardly worth reading. This is the same case with my book Unleashing The Road Warrior. It was a perfect read when it came out, but within a year, while the principles remained useful, the technology and apps were old school.
- Frequency. There are lots of opinions on this. There needs to be a balance and it depends a lot on your audience. If people subscribe to your blog, they probably don’t want 20 blogs a week, but they will quickly forget about you if you haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks. I see a vast number of blogs that haven’t been updated this year! The majority of people who read your blogs, probably don’t subscribe to them. They find a particular blog that you wrote through a search engine, or perhaps were referred by a link, or other association. They might have an interest in one specific topic. In this case volume may be really good and there are plenty of sites in niches that make a living by pushing out huge volumes of blogs every day.
- Passion. This is probably the most important thing of all. When someone is passionate about their subject matter, it radiates from their writing and if the topic is of interest to you, it becomes an experience, more than a read. If you share the interest and passion, you will more likely engage and want a relationship with the writer. This means opportunities to do business. One of the most passionate people about their business I know is Gianpaulo Grazioni of Giapo. Check out his web site and blog here, especially if you like gelato.
- Length of the blog. This is another topic frequently debated. These days most people have very limited time for blogs and are looking for specific answers to questions. I really enjoy J Michael Dolan’s blog, which is focused on artists and entrepreneurs and one of the great motivational reads I look forward to and subscribe to. One of the things that I love about his blog, which I am going to copy, is in his headline (not the title header) he tells you what the read time of the blog is. His latest blog called Dangerous Assumptions, has a read time of 41 seconds. Who can’t spare that amount of time for some good information that is useful and may also make you feel good about what you are doing? If it said read time 15 minutes, would you bother starting? A good thing to do is think about yourself reading your blog as a stranger. How long a blog would you be prepared to read?
- Engagement. When you can get people to leave a comment or engage in a conversation on your blog, you are developing a following and a community around your topic. These people are going to be your mavens, your word of mouth viral marketers and possibly friends and or clients. Sometimes you need to be a bit edgy to make this happen, a little controversial. You can also get your network to get involved.
- Focus. Whatever your blog is about, the more focused you can make it, the better. This blog is focused on social media, location based services and mobile. That’s already a lot. When I want to talk about other things, I use my other blogs, like The Future Diaries, The Songwriter, My personal blog, which can be about anything and everything, and Imersia, which is an exciting new company I am a shareholder of, involved in experiential marketing involving Augmented Reality and Location Based Services.
These are jut a few key concepts that I hope you will find useful. Have a look through the keyword cloud to the right on my home page and you might find some more topics of interest to you. If you are in Auckland and interested in coming to my 6 week course, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or through this link. More details will be available soon. The course will be limited to 10 people and will start in October.