A Fresh Take On Blogging From University Communication Students
I am reluctant to presume that I have much to add to the numerous authorities on what constitutes successful blogging. But I’ll rarely pass up the opportunity to engage in a conversation on the subject. And so it was that I came to be sharing ideas with a group of university communication students a few days ago.
The topic was the relative value of blogging in today’s over-crowded marketplace. As is always the case in productive dialogue, my takeaway exceeded my contribution. And I was motivated to take a fresh look at my own blog — Marketing Brain Fodder.
So with thanks to the students, here are five basic keys for blogging success. Implement these in 2013 — whether you’re overhauling, tweaking or initiating a new blog for your business…and we can compare progress in a few months.
5 Keys To Creating A Successful Blog
1. Identify your target.
Unless you’re writing for the fun of it (and some do), magnificent prose and ingenious insight are of little value in the hands of a market uninterested in what you’re selling. On the other hand, identify the market to whom your idea, service or product is indispensable, and you have the making of a mutually rewarding connection. Even a conversation.
2. Be relevant and concise.
There are too many options. Some are interesting — maybe even compelling. Another blog, some other form of social media, so-called conventional media, or, as unimaginable as it may seem, some other aspect of a real life is always close at hand. You have a few seconds to connect, and rarely more than a handful of minutes worth of attention span. Speak to what your target cares about, and do it quickly.
Human beings long to be a part of something. To participate. To have a voice. To collaborate. Offer this opportunity in a meaningful way and you are dangerously close to forming community. Build a community among patrons and prospects and you’re barking up the i-cult phenomenon. This is easy to say; very difficult to accomplish. Comments, surveys, guest posts and multiple perspectives are common methodologies. Consistency is at the heart of a successful formula.
4. Don’t forget the visuals.
The role of visuals in communication is not news. This is simply a reminder to search for ways to tap into the visual even though your blog is most likely verbal. Images, graphics, and certainly videos increase the engagement factor, hold attention a little longer, and ultimately deliver a better ROBI — return on your blogging investment.
5. Give me a reason to return.
Successful blogging is about building relationships with relevant targets. This doesn’t happen with one magical post. It is not likely to occur with one conversation every thirty days. Relationships are born in the context of on-going dialogue; multiple conversations. So, in this way a major objective of every single blog post you create is to give your target market a reason to want, expect and return for more. For this reason, if for no other, shorter is better. A blog is not a white paper, treatise or lengthy apologetic. My favorite blogs are conversation starters — and always leave me wanting just a bit more.
And that seems an appropriate place to wrap this post. Happy, productive blogging in 2013.
Holy wow! Are there more posts like this? Yes!
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Photo courtesy of jmoneyyyyyyy via Flickr Creative Commons.