Posted by Danny Dover
I don’t pretend to be nearly as prolific as people like Robert Scoble or Mike Arrington but I have had some notable success with blogging. In addition to the traditional blogging triumphs (links, notable mentions, social media), I have been able to help a lot of people and learn a lot. The following is my way of giving back to a community that has already given me so much. I believe that if somebody follows each of the steps listed below fully and honestly that they will become a substantially better blogger.
A note on blog content:
I like to compare blogs to mattresses. Every mattress needs to have the right softness to support ratio. I imagine top ten posts, weekly roundups and opinion pieces as the padding that makes mattresses soft. Meaty posts, research based pieces and posts announcing new important information are like mattress springs. The key to a successful blog is maintaining the right ratio. Just like different people prefer different mattress ratios, audiences prefer different blog content ratios. Both kinds of posts are a subtle art form and equally important, but the second type of posts are much harder to write on a consistent basis. The following method mostly applies to writing these more in-depth (spring like) blog posts.
Don’t become an expert by acting like one – This might sound counter-intuitive but it really does make sense. Many inexperienced bloggers try to make their work sound important and reputable even when it is not. This is an easy mistake to make because emulating the industry leaders is a logical path to success. Don’t be fooled. Real success comes from distinguishing oneself in a useful way, not by pretending to be something one is not.
Avoid the temptation to brainstorm – Brainstorming is the gateway to poor posts. If you have to scrape the bottom of the pan to come up with a blog post idea, chances are the resulting blog post won’t be your finest. Great bloggers write what they feel they need to write. The resulting posts are the ones other people feel they need to read.