Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Four Rules of Good Blogging

A friend suggested that perhaps an organization she belongs to should start a blog. “Who would write it?” I asked. She thought maybe a group of folks involved in the organization could share the burden. I had five questions:
1. Will they be able to resist promoting their own business in the process?
2. Will they be transparent and blog about real stuff that’s actually happening?
3. Will they be willing to share perspectives with which others in the organization might disagree?
4. Will they leave out puffery and hyperbole?
5. Will they share information of interest to readers, even when that information promotes a competing organization?

This conversation made me think about the attributes that infuse the blogs I love.

Rule One: Avoid self-promotion. Anybody who blogs in order to blow their own horn will quickly turn off any audience. As an editor who sees a lot of press releases, I hate it when an organization describes itself as “the leading” this-or-that. In the 2009 Zeitgeist, consumers really don’t like hyperbole. Instead, we prefer subtle marketing messages that maybe don’t use words at all [Kia’s “Soul Hamsters” TV commercial is a superb example].

Rule Two: Share the genuine self. This doesn’t mean disclosing personal information (though some bloggers do that successfully). Since each of us is unique, each of us can bring something different to the discussion. People are most interested in other people, so if you’re genuine – if you let us know who you are -- yes, we really, truly want to hear what YOU have to say.

Rule Three: Don’t regurgitate. There’s nothing new under the sun, so some of us are certain to cover the same topics and events. But at least we can infuse our blogs with a personal perspective, and then support that view with research and links to other authorities.

Rule Four: Spread the word. The very gifted Charlene Kingston exemplified what it means to spread the word when she blogged about how to become a copywriter and featured another writer’s ebook: Julie Roads How To Become A Successful CopyWriter. Very generous, very useful.

- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo


Unknown said...

Rule #2 wins every time! Thanks for sharing, Nancy.

C K said...

Thanks for your kind mention of my blog post about copywriting.

One of the principles I use to build my personal brand is to point out excellent resources. I use Twitter and my professional Facebook page to talk about other people's work and smart ideas all the time.

My blog tends to be more about the thoughts in my own head: questions I'm hearing from clients, obstacles I encounter in running my business, and surprising events and discoveries that stretch my understanding. Even though I'm writing about my own experience, I make a conscious effort to focus on information other people can use.

You have created a great starting point for thinking about a blog. So many people today are thinking about the business benefits of blogging. Experienced bloggers can really help them sort out the issues through posts like this. Nice work!