Blogging 101: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed

By April 24, 2008

At Web 2.0 Expo, Blogging experts from Tech Crunch, Venture Beat, and Omiru define what it means to be a successful blogger. Nick Gonzalez of Tech Crunch and Social Media; Eric Eldon of Venture Beat; and Trish Okubu of Omiru pa

rticipated in an insightful blogging and social media branding workshop at the Web 2.0 Expo. The roughly two hour workshop covered the business of blogging and creating a personal brand through social media. Each panel member drew from personal experience to advise both the novice and expert blogger. No matter how long you've been blogging, there are a few tried and true methods for a successful blog: be passionate, have a community, provide valuable content, and make sure your message is reaching the right people.

Passion is the most important element to any blog. Being passionate and an expert in something will be the driving force of your blog. Because most blogs are abandoned after the first month, having the personal drive and motivation will allow you to succeed where others fail. You'll post often and your posts will create a story over time for your readers.

Community allows a blogger to build their audience. Build your community wherever you go by talking about your blog. Once you start getting comments, make sure to moderate, but err on the side of openness. Have a dialog and engage with your readers; promote fans of your blog; maybe even give something away for free.

Also, be a part of your community by interacting with other bloggers in your sphere of expertise. Link to their articles and they'll link back to yours. Sometimes, you may even get a reference from the blogger. Even better, go to events and meet others in your community face to face. Write about the event.

Good content will set you apart from other bloggers and entice people to link to your posts. First, you need a good headline, which is 75% of a post. Be “plausibly sensational” in your headlines, and don't over promise or it could be considered spam. The content should say why the post is important and it should be interesting. Moreover, part of being a blogger is having a personality that shines through the posts.

So, how do you find content? Blogs are of the moment; they are event driven. When something happens, write about it. It's always good to refer to other resources to get news. A few resourceful news sites include Techmeme and Business Wire. Similar blogs and message boards are other great resources.

The basic templates for any blog post are:

Small news announcement, which includes an intro, some facts, and an analysis.
Round ups have value in any kind of blogging community. An example is “Top XYZ.” These also lead to links on sites such as Digg or Reddit.
How to articles (just what is says).
Editorial. “You're wrong and here's why.” You should be controversial and say why. Often the toughest type of post.

Finally, you need to consider how to distribute your content. One recommendation is Feedburner, a tool that allows you track how many people are reading your blog. Others sites to consider for content distribution are StumbleUpon, Yahoo! Buzz, AIDE RSS, FriendFeed, and Facebook.

Nick Gonzalez noted the reason for the most successful blog post on Tech Crunch
was distribution on Yahoo Buzz.

If you're passionate about something and want to engage with a community of others who share your passion, it's easy to start a blog using any number of blog publishing software, such as wordpress, blogger, or typepad. Follow the basic rules above and you're blog is bound to flourish.

By Kathleen Clark

Read more about the Web 2.0 Expo:

Consumer 2.0 - Special Web 2.0 Expo > read story
Web 2.0 Expo Confirms the Internet Trends for the Near Future > read story
Psychology of Web Sites – Special Web 2.0 Expo > read story

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