Saturday, May 21, 2005

7 Blog Illusions


avoid these false visions of blogs Posted by Hello


There are some ideas

about blogs and blogging

that I consider to be false.

Counter-productive.

Self-defeating.

Misleading.

In error.


I suggest you avoid

falling for these

delusional mirages.




BLOG ILLUSIONS



(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,

ideological concerns,

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

promoting

your blog.


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 Posted by Hello


YOUR TURN.


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

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