Saturday, May 21, 2005
7 Blog Illusions
avoid these false visions of blogs
There are some ideas
about blogs and blogging
that I consider to be false.
I suggest you avoid
falling for these
(1.) "A blog will drive traffic to your corporate or ecommerce web site."
Blogs are not that effective
in driving traffic to other sites.
True: they can drive traffic
to other sites...sometimes.
But web users don't really like
linking here, there, and everywhere,
when searching for good information.
Only a tiny fraction of blog readers
will bother to go visit
your other web sites, blogs, wikis.
Use your business blog to build
relationships with customers,
those who are visiting your blog.
Don't assume they'll also visit
your other sites...a vain hope.
Use your business blog to start
candid conversations with customers.
If your audience values and gains
benefit from your blog,
chances are, they'll be curious
to check out your other sites.
But if ALL you wish to do with a blog
is use it to drive traffic to your
corporate or ecommerce site...
...the blog is acting like spam.
(2.) "Blogs are fun to use as digital journals."
Blogs are not merely "fun".
Blogs can be dangerous.
If you put certain personal
or family details in a blog,
you can be exposing yourself
and your loved ones to
identity theft, stalkers,
child predators, etc.
You could also cause trouble
by revealing certain details
about family members, spouse,
friends, co-workers, lovers.
Use wisdom, discretion, and
sensitivity about what you
put in your blog.
(3.) "Blogs can generate income quickly."
I don't see blogs as vending machines.
People try desperately to commercialize
every new communications medium.
But when you sincerely care about people,
when you really want to connect
with your customers,
when you really seek a relationship
with your target audience...
...a blog can help.
To try to use a blog
to sell something
will repulse many readers.
Most blogs are used to
inform, entertain, provide
links to resources and news,
or build an online community
around shared interests,
and transformational activism.
(4.) "Blogs can be whatever you want them to be."
I think the 9 Blog Core Values
are a good guide to blog intent
and blog content.
Sure, anything can be anything.
A book can be full of meaningless scribbles.
A film can be several hours of staring at the
Empire State Building (Andy Warhol's "Empire").
A music CD can be 78 minutes of
silence, or dogs barking, or
screeching guitar feedback.
Similarly, you can do anything
with a blog, but I suggest you
try to discover how the most popular
and influential blogs got that way.
(5.) "Blogs are read by people from all over the world."
Many blogs are not read by anyone.
Many blogs receive no traffic,
no comments, no mention by other bloggers.
Many blogs, perhaps 50% or more,
are abandoned, not updated, dead,
after a short period of time.
You must work hard at
A blog won't be read
just because it exists.
(6.) "I can have a successful blog, without spending a lot of time at other blogs in the blogosphere."
Some CEO, corporate, and business blogs
make this deadly mistake.
You must be a full-fledged blogger
to operate a credible blog.
I mean: you must not just post
material to your blog.
You also need to:
* read other blogs
* post comments at other blogs
* email other bloggers
* write posts about other blogs
* display a blogroll of other blogs
that you actually read and interact with
* go to blog conferences and events
* be a guest contributor at other blogs
...if you want to gain the attention,
respect, and praise of the blogosphere.
(7.) "My blog can be all about me, or my products."
This is a guaranteed path to failure.
Narcissistic blogs suck.
Blogs that provide no practical tips,
no actionable advice, no relevant info,
these blogs are doomed to disaster.
Sure, you can promote your products,
your consulting services, your expertise...
...but the best way to do that is to
discuss solutions to common problems
your audience has to deal with.
Ask your audience to post comments.
Encourage people to interact
with your blog: it's not a sermon pulpit.
A blog is an opportunity to
start a two-way communication
channel with customers, readers,
family, friends, fans, colleagues.
Focus your blog on THEIR needs,
THEIR interests, THEIR agendas.
Then they'll listen to your sales pitch
or ideological platform.
vaspersthegrate [at] yahoo [dot] com
Let me know what YOU think.
What do you think
are other Blog Illusions
we must avoid if we wish to succeed?
What's YOUR opinion?
Post a comment or email me.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leopold the Told
Posted by steven edward streight at 5/21/2005 01:29:00 PM