Branding, Content Marketing, Publishing

Your Blog RPMs are Pegged, but You Are Not Winning the Race!

Aside from the assistance I try to provide other bloggers through this blog, I actually do help a few bloggers hands-on. Unfortunately, I don’t get to spend as much time to do that as I’d like to – I have to work to pay the bills. Yesterday I took the day off and attended a regional web conference. The conference was fantastic, a compact day full of 1 hour sessions that were jam-packed with information from web professionals.

The beginner blogging session was packed! When you’ve been blogging for over a year, you forget that many people aren’t exposed to blogs or the underlying technologies. One of the best questions of the session was, “How can I tell the difference between a blog and another website.” I really had to think for a minute, then explained that you may not be able to tell the difference anymore. Many new websites incorporate blogging as a standard of the content section. Of course, sites like mine ‘look’ like a blog – with a collection of journal posts on the home page in reverse chronological order… but some others don’t even come close!

Who should be Blogging?

Another great question was asking how blogging could assist in non-technical or political industries. Blogs lend themselves to politics because of the widespread hysteria and cash . Blogs have always lent themselves well to technology because, lets face it, being a successful blogger usually required a high aptitude for technology. Blogs can absolutely assist in any industry, though! The latest blogging engines and content management systems have automated many of the options that were once manual.

My friend, Glenn, blogged while on a mission in Mozambique. I’m surprised that religion and philanthropists haven’t adopted blogging more. Fred Wilson blogs about being a Venture Capitalist. I’m surprised at all of the industries that don’t blog, either. Why don’t scientists blog and share their discoveries? Why don’t retailers blog about store openings, customer service, and specials? Why doesn’t the President blog? (No one listens to the stupid radio show!) Why don’t Police blog and talk about the difference they are making in the community? Why don’t teachers blog and share their day to help students and parents? They really need to be!!!

Blogging and Content Management System Convergence

An example of a website that doesn’t look anything like a blog is CNET. The news section of CNET truly is a blog in every sense of the word. The articles are in reverse chronological order and each of the articles has a permalink, incorporates links, comments, pings, and even some social bookmarking links. But it’s a news site!?

Content Management Systems are catching up with blogging… or vice versa. Web Application providers recognize the SEO benefits of blogging and have integrated those features into their applications. But they have still not solved many of the issues, though! Yesterday I wrote about focusing on your strengths to be successful.

Blogging is no different. There’s a lot to leveraging the technology, and a lot to leveraging your content. Many people write fantastic blogs with incredible content but their site fails to grow… not because it’s a bad blog, but because the blogger doesn’t understand and exploit the technology to attract new readers.

Blog Coaching

Blog UniversityOut of curiosity, I googled Blog Coaching. I’m not going to name names, but I reviewed about a dozen of the sites of those companies or individuals that classified themselves as ‘Blog Coaches’. Not a single one of them talked about the actual technology! In reviewing the details, most “Blog Coaches” were simply copywriters and brand strategists. No doubt that these are essential elements of a corporate brand, but geesh.

I suppose it’s like racing a car and never actually shifting gears. Your engine is revving as fast as it can, but everyone else is flying by you and you can’t understand why! You really need a coach that understands how the entire car works if you want to win the race, not just how to drive. You need someone who is going to squeeze every last bit of speed and power out of the blog AND the blogging software. My success with blogging has really been a combination of the two. I realize that at times I do not write well, but I make up for it by tweaking every ounce of horsepower out of my engine.

6 Comments

  1. 1

    Nice article Doug.

    What web conference did you attend? I’m actually attending one this weekend in Chicago.

    I expect to get a lot out of it like you from your conference.

    People from MyBlogLog, VideoSticky and BlogTalkRadio to name a few will be on hand. It should be really informative.

    I’ll be sure to share what I learn over the weekend with you and your readers.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. 2

    I’m working with a few nonprofits to help them set up blogs. They had been previously paying someone else to make html edits on their sites for very basic things because they were afraid to mess up the coding…

    Once I showed them that they could easily make their own newsletters/bulletins via a blog, they instantly fell in love with it.

  3. 3

    Hi Doug,

    I was actually in the smaller “advanced” session on Wednesday, but I still enjoyed the time and conversation. Thanks for taking the time.

    I’ve been blogging personally for about three and half years (I think my parents are my biggest readers!), and I’m a big proponent of using blogging professionally. Working in a rather unique non-profit, though, I always have to adjust advice about “sales” and “clients” to fit our mission to inform constituents and recognize filmmakers. I didn’t get a chance to ask, but I’d be curious on your thoughts of how the transperancy of blogging can serve a non-profit versus a corporation.

    Thanks again for being part of the conference!
    Lisa

    • 4

      Hi Lisa!

      I loved being at the conference. What a great group of folks, everyone was so energized and participated. I couldn’t help but get excited myself (Perhaps it was the Venti Mocha I had beforehand!).

      Non-profits are an amazing group. I’ve been meeting with a couple here locally and talking more about Social Networking. I think there are two opportunities:

      1. Sharing information between non-profits. I don’t see a lot of competition between them, it’s amazing how much they try to work together! Putting information out on a blog to bring the local community together could be a way to distribute tips and info and help the regional non-profits overall.
      2. Sharing information with your contributors and clients. Simply by calling a company ‘Non-Profit’ makes me think shoestring budget and incredible challenges. Locally, I know the Indianapolis Symphony is a non-profit and they are able to stretch resources like nobody’s business. I think it would be worthwhile to communicate that to their contributors! I think people would be more willing to share knowing how those funds are utilized. (As well as promoting local events, etc.)

      I had coffee last night with The Indianapolis Cultural Trail folks and they discussed how Arts and Entertainment coverage in the Star has gone completely south. They need inexpensive avenues to get the word out and a Blog is the ideal means of doing this!

      I’d love to meet for coffee and discuss how I could help you folks!

      Doug

  4. 5
    • 6

      Hi Slaptijack,

      Yes – one of the things I found interesting was that very few of the blog ‘coaches’ actually had blogs themselves. If you’re not blogging yourself, how would you keep up on technology and changes to the ‘blogosphere’?

      It would be like hiring an SEO consultant that didn’t have a website. Very strange indeed!

      Doug

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