Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Blog Purpose

Okay, so you've decided to write a blog. What are you going to do with it? Have you created a plan? Many times blog posts are random, the thought of the day, or perhaps as piece of someone's mind. What keeps the reader coming back for more? This is a much discussed topic around the water cooler of internet gurus (virtual cooler of course). Here is the answer: sought after information. 

In analysis of good blogs I have found a current thread. The popular blogs are all giving readers something they want, good information about a topic. One of my favorite blogs is written by a literary agent from CA, who has around 2500 followers. He gives very good information and he interacts with those who post on his blog. He answers questions, clarifies points, and when his audience recommends he changes his blog post to include a vital point he forgot, he adds it.

Decide on your focus. Yes, you can change this. A blog, after all isn't a book...but it is an article (well, a short article). Therefore you should have a focus of what you want your blog to accomplish. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do I 
    • want to be branded as an expert
    • want to establish a brand
    • want to create a readership of eventual buyers
    • want to monetize my blog
    • have a clear vision and goal for my blog
    • have the time to write blog posts

If the answer is yes, then here are some ideas to jump-start your blog purpose and keep readers coming back for more:

1. Write an ongoing series. If you have a topic you can write about in great length but know a good blog post is around 350-150 words, you can break it up into shorter posts.

2. Write about important information in your niche market or field. For example, if you are a Realtor and have great advice on finding key locations, make suggestions about how to find a good home repair person, what to look for in a good home inspectors, lawn services, etc. You would be giving good value on your blog, you will have readers coming back for more.

3. You can interview important people to know in your trade or industry. This too can be an ongoing series, or perhaps a one-time per month event to keep the posts fresh and interesting.

4. You can review products or books. This is a good way to do something you enjoy as well as report on your opinion. Remember, if you really dislike a product it might be better not to write about it. Reviews should be even handed, pro's and con's and fair.

5. Use a great technique (similar to this blog) and one I use regularly on my blog for authors, obtain guest bloggers. Why? It gives you credibility (getting others to write for you), establishes a routine, people are posting to your blog, and new content.

Best of all be consistent. I think the blogs I dislike the most are the rambling blogs about nothing in particular. Get a focus in your article, keep it short and best of all, give value. That will keep readers coming back.

Felice Gerwitz is an author, publisher and consultant for aspiring authors.