I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. I have considered it, rejected it, considered it and ultimately I’ve accepted that I should post it.
First as a blogger its easy to get high on the view lists – simply add certain words to your blogs (sex, etc). For example yesterday I made my annual Super Bowl prediction on my other blog. I’ve posted on predictions for the past ten years but only the last 9 on my blogs. Each year I post “My Super Bowl Prediction” in my blog title I end up with 100 or more views that day. I suspect that if I posted that same time in July I wouldn’t get as many hits. You have to ask yourself though, am I earning the views or riding along a trend.
Second there is the reality of names. I name products frequently and will always call out bad customer service. I call out exceptional people from time to time but for the most part I don’t use real people’s names in my blogs.
So, I am expanding Scott’s rules for blogging into The Ethical Handbook of Blogging.
- If you are going to blog once a month or less, share your blog with other people and each of you post once a month. That way the blog stays fresh and engages people. If you are only blogging once a month and your company has a blog, post there. Nothing is worse than starting a great topic someone has written only to wait 2 or 3 months for the next installment.
- Anything you post on your blog will live long after you post it (years in fact). Retractions are seldom read as often as original posts so if you do name names, be careful.
- Write what you want to share. Blogs aren’t about doing anything other than sharing what you feel. (The Carpenter’s song “Sing, Sing a Song” has some great lines about being yourself when you create.
- Read other blogs: I have the 8-10 blogs I read every day. It is part of my routine. I also get great ideas from other bloggers!
- Create themes, when you have enough blogs written start building out themes. I have my shameless reviews, The Cloud Whisperer, Transitional Services, The Syncverse which are all themes (and there are more) that I have built on over the years.
- Don’t create titles and content simply to drive views. Add value and things to the world that you think about – consider and dream of. Blogging is an art form. It isn’t a daily task you dread it’s a sharing of what you see, feel or dream.
- If you use names stand by it. For example I’ve called out the customer service of two companies Vonage and Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg. In both cases the two companies offered horrible customer service throughout my relationship with them. I have severed both of those relationships and when asked (or when blogging) I point that out.
- Create connected tissue with your blogs. Find a way to bring the themes you create into other areas. Talk about the things that interest you. Create tags for your blogs that move the blog with you.
- Always respond to users comments. No matter how you get the comments always respond. I get some posted on my WordPress blog, I get many more in email. I always respond to them all (removing names). Be gracious in your responses. If someone posts something nasty on your blog, respond to them via email. Don’t take nastiness public.
- If you are stuck for a topic or a conversation, pull the string on an old conversation. I’ve written variations of the flashing cursor blog a number of times. It’s a stock response to writer’s block – it happens.
I will have more of this new blogging handbook stay tuned!