Blog Participation Patterns

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If 10% of blogs are read, that means 90% aren’t. So does this make blogs worth doing? I participate in a select list—there is a limit to how many interesting ones can be followed!

I assume that by reading this, you are a committed blogger.
How many favorites do you follow regularly?
What is your frequency of entry into your own blog?
How do you gauge the quality of your content?

Writing a blog is much different than writing an article—as simple as between writing in the first versus the third person and as complicated as reaching the right eyes.

As a professional communicator, I am trained to represent others through design and writing. So writing about just my own views rubs my fir backwards!

The fiction writer may be more flamboyant. But nonfiction writers tend to hide behind the scenes. We follow an investigative process that seeks to be comprehensive and to leave the ego at the door. But for a blogger, it is the opposite. What you read here is my point of view (albeit an expansive one through serving hundreds of clients by owning four creative businesses).

Given the personal nature of blogs, so many of them are drivel. How can you elevate your content to attract readers? As a professional communicator, I believe a good blog must:

1. be provocative through grabby topics that entice, express hot buttons, and are personal but of wide interest.
2. craft headlines very carefully and write with the power of key words
3. craft writing for visual scanning versus reading—use short paragraphs, bullets, callouts, bold words, and other devices to make easy to access
4. link with as many other quality blogs as appropriate—a blog is as good as the company it keeps
5. dedicate to a frequency because readers look at date entries to gauge commitment
6. setup for search engines by crafting the tags, the blog rolls, the archives, etc.
7. promote traffic and use strategically to cross-sell as well as give away information
8. include visuals to break up the grey and add variety—keep a digital camera handy to express topics
9. vary content so that not all entries are the same; break a large topic into smaller ones, possibly as a series, offer practical advice, and use as mini-sample intro to products or services
10. use strategically to support products, explore services, and maximize connections.

What other characteristics are present in an effective blog? Do you have a checklist?


Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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