As a blog virgin, if you will, I know very little about how to do this right. But I am a writer - so stream of consciousness is not my thing. My plan was to start a blog on a topic I'm an expert at (marketing), find my voice and then move forward and promote it as I promote myself. I think it's going pretty well only a month in - although I did get some feedback suggesting I dump the hot pink (sorry fashionistas) background to make it easier to read.
I started a blog because I want people to find me - to learn more about the way I think - and obviously to hire me to help them market and communicate. In this testing phase I'm still figuring it out. Also wanted to get enough content to submit articles to marketing web sites and publications.
So I met with a serious blogger, Lindy Dreyer of SocialFish, who started 10 years ago and is building a business around social networking. Thanks Lindy for the advice. And if you're interested in one of her seminars go to socialfish.org. Also hunted around on the web for other advice and added a few things in but quite frankly her comments were better.
Tips for successful blogging:
1. Pick a topic and stay with it - You are trying to build a reputation and credibility in a new medium. That won't happen if you mix it up - and combine personal with professional. One or the other and keep it consistent.
2. Give them top 10 lists - And thanks David Lederman. We're all familiar with the format and it makes it easy to get your arms around a subject. The top ten reasons why I started a blog, the top ten reasons why my blog sucks, the top ten things marketers should address in this recession, etc. If ten is too much try five - this is a fast read medium after all.
3. Mix up your content - Her advice for me, too much text. Add pictures, streaming video, RSS feeds (when I figure out how to do it), etc. That's next week's assignment.
4. Comment on others blogs - If you want traffic for yours, read others and comment. It builds up your Google presence and encourages people to come see your blog. Lately I've been posting questions on discussion boards related to what I'm blogging about - it gets my name out there and encourages people to visit my blog and web site.
5. Figure out your messages and keep them consistent - Whether it's your blog, Facebook, Ning, Twitter or a printed piece make sure you say the same things about your business and the value you deliver on all of them. This can be kind of hard because your messaging evolves as you do, and when you find a new social networking site you sign up and may alter what you say based on the market it serves. But you need to be consistent in messaging about your company - no matter who is reading. .
6. Credit others, to add as much value as you can - This one I get as a marketer. This isn't just about self promotion. It's about helping people market better. I'm a secondary voice, what I think matters, but it's just as important to add other voices in too, and let readers know I'm out there listening. Plus it builds credibility and good will.