Thursday, April 10, 2008

The 6 P's of Blogging

Following up on my recent post on The 4 Ps of Effective Business Blogging, here are six more Ps to keep in mind for business blogging success.


There are a wide array of options for building and hosting your blog, from the big 3 online options—Blogger, TypePad and WordPress—to software applications and content management (CMS) systems with blogging features. The topic of which platform is best has filled numerous blog posts, including inpholust's Blogger vs. TypePad vs. Wordpress, Blogger vs. TypePad: Some Questions from Blogging Basics 101, and TypePad vs. Blogger from The Blog Squad, as well as forum discussions.

The bottom line is: as long as the platform you choose makes your blog recognizable as such by search engines and provides RSS feed capability, it will work.


One of the original 4 Ps of blogging was persistence—writing new posts on a regular basis. Being prodigious refers to the frequency and volume of posting. Writing one new post per month, every month, would qualify as being persistent, but it certainly wouldn't be prodigious. Assuming one's writing has merit, there is a fairly direct relationship between prodigiousness and readership: posting three times a week will draw more traffic than weekly posting, daily posting will draw more traffic than 3X per week, etc.


The best posts are the ones that help someone to do something better. An occasional off-topic rant or musing is fine, but the "meat" of any successful business blog is information that your readers can use.


The old HR advice to "praise in public, criticize in private" holds true for blogging as well. It's fine to be objective—pointing out both the strong points and limitations of a new product, for example—but avoid pure invective. First, there is no profit in making enemies. Second, negative posts provide little if any value to your readers. And third, the fact that a blog post is forever means it is best not to write something today that you may regret later.


"Unique" would actually be a better word, but it doesn't start with P. While it's fine to comment on industry news, and extremely good etiquette to link to other blog posts, make sure you are providing new knowledge, a unique perspective, thoughtful critique or something else of unduplicated value. Posts that are purely derivative won't provide you or your readers with much value.


Don't expect huge traffic overnight. It takes time to build up a following and to generate a significant amount of content for the search engines to notice (though Guy Kawasaki provides excellent advice on how to generate substantial traffic to a blog within four months in The 120 Day Wonder: How to Evangelize a Blog). Don't be discouraged if your first few posts, brilliant and insightful as they may be, draw only a few readers when published; remember that search engines index these and those posts will be drawing traffic long into the future.


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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