A good blog is like a labelled box of chocolates – you know exactly what you are going to get

A recipe for successful blogging

Welcome to my first blog for INB346 – Enterprise 2.0

Throughout the semester I will be blogging my thoughts on social media in both a business and personal context and plan on providing honest, informed insight and reflection.

Through blogging I would very much like to:

  • Establish relationships with like-minded professionals, specifically those interested in information systems consulting, psychology (my minor) and enterprise 2.0
  • Establish a positive digital reputation
  • Examine the way different people react to different technologies from a psychological view point.

So, how does one create a successful blog?                                                                                                                        

My personal blogging strategy is simple, I sat down and thought about what it was that attracted me to blogs by other authors.  What was it that separated the authors I’d read once from the ones I’d take note of and recommend to others?

I came up with the following:

Keep content honest – Part of identifying with an audience is sharing a bit of yourself with every post. If you write like you love something, but really hate it, your audience is smart enough to realize.

Keep it up-to-date and post regularly – How many times have you looked something up in Google, found that someone had actually posted about the same topic,  been excited for a split second, then realized it was last updated in 2006?

Be Informed – Say for a minute that you happen to own a 1986 Mazda Rx7 in the “GTR” variety and know for a fact that it was a model released in japan only (Yes, I love cars). You know that this model came with a sunroof, was turbocharged, and had climate control air-con with a very retro LCD display. You scour the web and find an rx7 blog post telling you that the only ’86 rx7 was the “Turbo II”. You instantly lose all respect for the author because you know that they are clueless.

Positive energy – Some blog posts are designed to ‘poke fun’ at others and that is well and good but no one likes being depressed. If people read your blog and feel unhappy chances are they will not return

Make yourself accessible – If people comment or contact you about a blog post get back to them. You are expanding your knowledge as well as your network!

All killer, no filler – If you write fluff for the sake of a word count or to try and make yourself appear more intelligent people are going to call you on it and move on. Stay on point, if your blog theme is cats, talk about cats!

Links to cool stuff – How much easier is it with embedded links? If you are talking about something cool, and stick a link right here, people can click mid-sentence instead of having to scan the rest of the document.

You need an audience – Write with a target audience in mind, not everyone is going to like your blog – and that’s ok. Interact with your readers and even guest blog to build your reputation and engage a wider audience. Social networking and keyword / search engine optimisation are further tools that can be utilised to gain a wider audience

There is a stack of information available on how to build great blogs, I liked this post by John Chow. Out of the ten or so sites I visited, his was the most unique and one of the most informative.

Examples of good “blogsmanship”

I like http://www.autoblog.com/ – I did say I loved cars didn’t I? The great thing about this blog is that their reviews are accurate, it’s constantly updated and they have excellent opinions (they nearly always agree with me!)

and http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/london-2012-olympics-blog there are a million Olympic Games blogs at the moment, but this one is to the point, accurate, has minimal advertising, and the authors know what they are talking about.

And lastly, http://mindhacks.com/ the range of content here is just unbelievable, thanks largely to the number of contributors. It is an extremely easy and informative read.

See you next week!

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17 thoughts on “A good blog is like a labelled box of chocolates – you know exactly what you are going to get

  1. Hey Adam,

    Nice blog post, I agree with all your strategies, and I especially like the one where you explained it with the cars.

    You slightly touched on social media, do you have any strategies for promoting your blog there?

    • Hi Blake,

      Thanks for the post. For the purposes of this course I will be using twitter. In a business situation I would definitely attempt to engage friends, friends of friends and people in my network generally through facebook and linked in (these are the mediums I use the most). Obviously I would post links to blogs with relevant subject content to the conversation / topic at hand. Will you be using social media to promote your blog in any unique way ?

      • I will be trying to actively participate in the discussion around any topics that come up.

        One special way I will be using social media is through a custom short link I have created. Rather than having the boring bit.ly/link I will be using blakelinked.me/link.

        In my opinion it helps my branding online.

  2. Great blog Adam! I like your mention about positive energy. There’s so many depressing articles out there, take the news as an example. As a reader, the last thing I want to read is another piece of misery. Therefore, light-hearted yet informative s the way to go.

  3. Hi Adam,

    I gotta agree with all your points there, especially about obtaining an audience (some people make money just from the traffic) and how that will only be accomplished by having a genuine interest in the topic. One other thing I have learned though since my first post is that when you link something in-text its better to have it open up in a new tab or window, I’ll be implementing that into my future posts.

    p.s. I see you’re interested in cars, maybe we can expect to see a sub-section about your vehicles sometime!

  4. Hi Adam, its a very nice blog, I really liked your strategies, in special the one who defines: “Examine the way different people react to different technologies from a psychological view point”, it is very interesting and I have never thought in that way.

  5. wow, after reading your blog its made my life a lot easier, i think a lot of the points you make within this point are fair and make a lot of sense. When I read other peoples blogs they tend to contradict themselves in each blog, good blog overall.

  6. Hi Adam,
    The strategies that you have written is very valid and interesting. I agree on the point of making yourself accessible and well as sticking to what your post is about. Some blogs tend to change and the audience tend to lose interest. I am also waiting to read more about the “different technologies from a psychological view point”, it will sure be an interesting read.

    If you have a chance, please visit my blog at : http://sukshan.wordpress.com/category/enterprise-2-0/

  7. Hey Adam,

    You have a great blog there, it was very informative and very well structured. When I read your blog it was very clear to me what I was reading and easy to understand. You’ve mentioned a few great points as to how to write a successful blog and it was really helpful. Thanks again!!

  8. Hey Adam,

    While I agree with your point on “All killer, no filler” I believe that certain types of blogs do use filler in a positive way. For example, my first blog post was lengthy because, while I stayed on topic, I wanted to insert more tidbits of information about myself and my personality. This may be a difference in blogging style, as my approach was to focus more on entertaining the reader while still providing information with my blogs personality per se.

    Let me know what you think,

    ~Origami Joe

  9. Good layout, straight forward and interesting! I agree with your strategy points and they add to the community as helpful blogging strategy tips too.

  10. Honesty, integrity, energy and knowledge of content is really all you can ask from a good blog, and i can see from the key points you’ve put across that you’re content should more than easily fit those specifications.
    I will definitely be expecting a full blog later on in relations to cars. I expect to see a full post on this 1986 Mazda Rx7 that is of the GTR variety.
    Perhaps something on Toyota Corolla’s as well, they’re pretty dope cars.

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