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May 18, 2010

Blogging: What's it all about then?

It is my humble opinion that blogging is the cornerstone of a nutritious social web diet.  It is the backbone of everything you do and that you are on-line.   My reason for saying this is such:  Only 14% of people trust advertising whereas 78% of people trust community, peer, or friend review.  These reviews and recommendations are coming from, among other places, the humble blog.

Question:  Are you being found, talked about, and shared into other people's networks?  Because that is where the real magic of the social web happens!

Below is my guide to best practice.

1. How to guides.

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photo courtesy of jempp.com


Think about the web and how we use it (consumers). We put a search term in Google and "bang" up come thousands of results!  Which ones do we rely on though? How do we disseminate between all the results?  Which ones do we trust?  What would you do as a consumer?

Bear this in mind as a supplier of the information. How are you going to get consumers to trust you?

You will get found, that is for  sure, but with all the thousands of unique posts out there - Question: Are you producing the goods?

Answer: Give yourself the maximum opportunity by cultivating your posts to include - great visuals, reliable content, simple steps, working examples, downloadable content. Moreover, become the "go to" person within your industry and you'll get more reaction on your blog.

2. Problems.

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Photo courtesy of Zazzle.com 


Lots of people write about problems, we're all good at that. But a structured approach to solving the problem without causing another one could be in the minority and as such becomes valuable.

Can you see problems within your industry? If so what solutions can you bring to bear? Remember the subject does not have to be related as long as it's relative.

3. Feedback.

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Photo courtesy of reach.gov 


Ask for it - no really, ask for it.

Get as much feedback as you can, engage in debate. You'll find that people will engage  when they have a different angle on the same subject and that's good!   This gives you the ability to "stretch yourself" and engage in an intellectual debate.

4. Give stuff away.

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Photo courtesy of boingpoumtchak.com 


Why not? It does not mean that you have to give all away, just the stuff that helps the consumer, stuff that makes their day better. Doing this gets them to talk about you and your blog, they will direct more people to your blog and some of them will engage with you.

The web is there to help people organise themselves and if you are part of this help, it will work wonders for you.

5. Review/s.

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Photo courtesy of zwcadclub.com


Tell people about what you read, what phone your prefer, let them know about your experience with consumer goods that you have consumed - good and bad. Remember people are looking for this information and they will find you.

The social web is about people, it's about conversation - let people engage with you.

6. Latest stories.

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Photo courtesy of boorama.files.wordpress.com 


Have an opinion.

You have to be fast with this, keeping up to date with world opinion will get you found and fast. Remember that there are "Real Time" feeds that can catapult you into the limelight of "groundswell" - meaning the ability to create content that swarms of people will aggregate for you.

7. Lessons from life.

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Photo courtesy of grief.com


Stuff happens that will all can learn from, and an excercise in humility can go along way.

Life lessons appeal to all. With respect we all can be accused of voyeurism, it guides us through what is happening in our own lives.

Sharing these experiences can go along way, you will make more "friends" and allies. In turn these people will help you aggregate your blog.

8. Comparables.

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Photo courtesy of csmanagement.files.wordpress.com 


With the multitude of content out there, improvement and change is always easy to see and report on. Within your industry change is inevitable and favorable - Question: Can you see it?

If so then write about it as some other people will miss it, and they need to know.  This helps you be perceived as a "thought leader".

9. Share.

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Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk 


Share what other people do.

Your blog can be stimulated by sharing other views, events, writing etc - never plagerise -  just report.

Example: If you attend many events, then why not write about them? Sometimes this does not take the form of "writing" i.e a blog post. It could be in the form of pictures or video.

10. Use the platforms.

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Photo courtesy of communitywealth.com 


Blogging. Let's understand it.

It's means getting you "stuff" onto the web.  This does not mean that it has to take the form of words, it can also mean picture and/or video as well as audio.

There are many different sites and methods of using theses sites most of them are free and remember not all consumers consume from the same bowl!

We all need to accept the info in different formats.

Conclusion:

Blogging should not be a chore, it also should not solely take the format of words. The real treasure in blogging and the real value that blogging can bring is to look at it from the point of view of the consumer. By understanding this it will give you  direction as a producer.

One thing we can guarantee is that people are looking for "stuff" on the web. We know there are over 62 billion searches per month on Google alone that 10 years ago did not exist! Having a computer in your pocket (aka iPhone/Android) will only add to these searches.

Becoming an industry leader within your field means being relevant and being found - and you can't be found without being published. This does not mean published in the traditional format of a book (although this will help) but published in the realms of find-ability on the web.

The web is changing all we do and are as a society.  It is changing the fundamental structure of society.   Trust is the key and the currency of the social web so you can only get trust by engaging with the web - Share yourself with people, let people see who you really are, let them know your opinion, let them know why and how, let them get under your skin - above all, let them trust you.

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