3 blogging principles: Simple yet important

by Deborah Drake on 2010/03/24 · 42 comments 9,797 views

in c corporate blogging,great guest posts

“Blogs are part of a social network where the generous thrive.” (see p. 9 in Blogging Best Practices).

How many social media enthusiasts who say blogging is critical will it take to convince you? For as many bloggers as there are, there are just as many who choose not to participate in blogging or do so haphazardly, at best.

As one who compassionately counsels both clients and friends on all things marketing and the value of integrating social media elements such as blogs, I like what Andy Wibbels and Peter Flaschner, hosts of BusinessBlogBasics seminars, suggest: “Everybody who is anybody in business is blogging. Shouldn’t you?”

Let us assume that you admit you should be blogging and have established a blog that – once set up with an appealing design and a few bells and whistles – is surprisingly easy to maintain. Now what?

In order to move forward with the fewest detours, you must answer the following questions:

    What does maintaining a blog mean to you?
    Did you map out blog-maintenance strategies before or after set-up?
    How will you know you are succeeding?

In doing research for this guest post – which appears on a blog I appreciate very much for its owner’s consistency, content and congruency and am happy to report gets a lot of definitive recommendations – I read voraciously for days before landing on a focus for my first offering.

This is not about recapping blogging basics. It is my personal and professional manifesto about why I love blogging as a tool to get the word out and help your existing and prospective clients find you.

The point is to help your readers quickly learn who and what you are, what you care about, and begin to build trust and rapport.

A sticking point for many of my peers and clients is the perception that blogging is hard and too time-consuming, especially since

    – they already spend too much time on the computer,
    – do not really have time for Facebook,
    – do not ‘get’ Twitter quite yet, and
    – are not clear on how to make the most of LinkedIn.
    (These are just a few of the best social networks on which to create and regularly update an active profile.)

It does not need to be and I am known to evangelize on this, one person at a time when I encounter a ‘reticent blogger’ who may simply need a little support.

When I myself took a four-month, full-time position, my own blog was left to collect dust, but I NEVER felt good about my abandonment of it. We all manage to make time for the things we deem important, right?

Below you will find my best simple advice, the same that I would first prescribe for myself.

1. Plan to be Consistent
It is important to plan how much you will be committed to blogging consistently, be it once a week or more. If you cannot attend to your blog weekly, what can you reasonably commit to?

It has been suggested that optimal blogging means posting two to three times a week. I would agree if the content is interesting, topical, compelling, and relevant to your themes. It is important to give as much thought to how frequently you will blog, as you did your design and presentation.

2. Plan to be Content-rich
Although printed publications are regarded as archaic as digital offerings multiply by the hour, one valuable tool of this ‘archaic’ system should not be left behind: editorial planning. If you are really stuck, consider brainstorming with peers to capture all of your great ideas well in advance. Organize them and rely on this list of timeless ideas if a more recent theme is eluding you. Thoughtful content is recognized!

3. Plan to be Congruent
According to Wikipedia, “In psychology and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), congruence could be defined as rapport within oneself, or internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity or certainty.”

I appreciate congruency in any writer’s tone and voice, and it is pretty darn impressive when you meet that individual and find out they sound like they write. Congruency also accelerates a reader’s enthusiasm to read more and follow a blogger.

The question to ask yourself is, what is your authentic voice? Speaking or writing with that voice makes achieving consistency much easier. And one last tip for first-timers about to start or those revitalizing a ‘dusty’ blog: monitor and benchmark what you are doing to see how it is working and so you know what to refine as you go.

Take-aways
As an avid blog reader, I appreciate:

    1. Great content showcased in design that is easy on the eyes,
    2. A writing style that reflects who the author is, and
    3. A blog that offers me things I want to keep coming back for.

The above prescription goes into action for this dormant blogger on April 1, 2010, and I invite anyone to hold me accountable to report and post a meaningful piece at least once a week.

More resources about blogging, best practice and what benchmarking is worth to you

Bottom line
Is there a fresh opportunity to establish more credibility by being consistent and congruent with good content that inspires livelier interaction and truly engages readers? And just whom will you attract if you do?

Whether you are a private or corporate blogger, whether you blog alone or as part of a group, realize that now is the best time to re-evaluate your reasons for blogging. Then commit to doing so with purpose.

What is your take? What strategies have you used to manage being consistent, content-rich and congruent? Please share; we love dialoguing in the comments. What has worked with your blogging efforts?

You can get updates for this blog on Twitter by following @ComMetrics or get a free subscription by RSS, or get new posts via email:

Article source: ComMetrics – 3 blogging principles: Simple yet important

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  • http://twitter.com/cytrap/status/10966044187 CyTRAP

    USEFUL 3 blogging principles: Simple yet important. It's agreed http://bit.ly/dhERwz via @deborahdrake #benchmark #SM #measure

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  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    This is a great post.

    Everybody knows this challenge regardless of being a corporate blogger or doing one's private blog. However, sometimes when I ask what happened to somebody's blog since it seems a bit dormant, the kind of response I might be something like this:
    <ul>”I am doing great, just pre-occupied, no time…”</ul>
    My challenge is to find a topic that is of interest to people as I outlined here:
    <ul> Blog writers: Where does your inspiration come from?</ul>
    Once I have the topic I wish to write about I have to pace myself like:
    <ul>- sketch it out (Thursday or even earlier),
    – write a draft (Friday),
    – re-write draft (Saturday),
    – fine-tun blog post + add keywords and tags (Sunday & Monday) and, finally,
    – editor goes over it to release the post early Wednesday</ul>
    The above plan allows me to get a half  decent post going :-)  Of course we all know the saying:
    <ul>==>  writing is the process of re-writing.</ul>
    Hence, if I try to do the blog post the day it is being published, I believe my final product shows…..

    Deborah, thanks for this guest post.

    • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

      Urs,

      Thank you for appreciating my guest post on your fine model of a blog with consistently fresh weekly content and a steady voice that reflects you and your enthusiasm for blogging and benchmarking and best practices for using social media.

      This theme in particular is near and dear to me. I hear people I know and clients who have the best of intentions to post consistently only to hit a wall and delay crafting a post not just by a week but by a month or more.

      And depending on your business and what you may be blogging about, it's possible for some writers to intersperse the stories that take more preparation with lighter material or with discernment and good guidelines, a guest blog post from time to time.

      the point is to give your readers a sense of continuity as best you can. A team approach could very well resolve some people's challenges.

      I “feel” for those who declare they want to write regularly but feel it is going to take too much time or they don't have enough good material. I even started a Writer's Group for Reticent Bloggers (and am even calling it that, truly) to provide support not only for others who mean to blog, but myself as well.

      I may be preaching to the choir that reads your blog and visits your site regularly, but I don't mind hearing wise advice given to me more than once. I look forward to the insights and comments of others. Thanks again for having me as a guest voice that appreciates what you do and how you do it.

      I really like your workflow for your blog posts. And you are a fine example of someone who uses a process to support your business activities. I know you get some of your ideas to blog about from other people too, don't you?

      I get that some bloggers are good at generating plenty of good ideas, and I find myself championing clients who are less inclined to write. I dedicate this post to them and may they find ways to make blogging a fun and valuable component to their marketing efforts…for is not the world our oyster more so than ever, if people know you are who you are, doing what you do for the locals or the larger global community?

      • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

        Deborah

        Thanks for responding to my comment.
        Yes, I do get inspired by others who discuss with me issues about something that is dear to my heart. A good example is this post:

        ==> Engaging comments: Where is the beef?

        I am not sure if writing is a pleasure or fun for me. At least when I blog I try to learn something myself in the process. And often learning is a real hard task and not necessarily fun.

        Another experience for me is that I never know what are my best blog posts:

        – those with a lot of traffic, versus
        – others with many comments (i.e. they may not have many pageviews but generate a lot of interaction instead), or
        – these loved by my clients (I do not always know the answer to this question)?

        But an interesting ride it has been so far and I am learning from people like you each day. That is really satisfying. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/timgier tim gier

    I have listened to Bob Dylan's music for almost 40 years and have a copy of every song and album that he's ever recorded. The two things I like about him are his ability to explore different genres and his consistency of voice & message. Whether I listen to his earliest work from 1962 & 1963, which is all acoustic and heavily influenced by folk tradition, or his latest work from 2009 which reflects a broader appreciation of rock, blues, gospel & even Big Band Swing, I still hear the same Dylan – trying to find a way to deliver his own unique message.

    The bests writers do that. They are trying to say something, and they say it over and over again, but in interesting and engaging ways so as to refine their own thinking and connect with as many others as possible.

    It may be true that there is nothing new under the sun, but we still have so much to learn about the old things that good writers won't soon run out of ways to talk about them.

  • SydD

    Great post Deborah! Very thoughtful, well written, and informative. Thanks!

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  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,nnI visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one? nnAnd if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?nnI suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…nnAnd I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.nnAs a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.nnThank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Okay Tim,

    I visited your blog and see that you blog on many things. What is your central theme if you have one?

    And if I am correctly understanding your imagery, you are saying that the best writers carry a theme throughout all their writing lives?

    I suppose that Dylan does always “sound” like Dylan…

    And I know that my post was nothing sparkling new, I just see the theme of it as pretty tied to success in time. Success being different for different people.

    As a blogger with rich life experience, who is not looking overtly to monetize your blogging, what is your advice to other would be bloggers? That comment I look forward to reading.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Thanks Syd for checking out the Commetrics site because of my blog post. Read on and find the other wisdom within this site…please. I appreciate your visit and your vote of support.

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