I suppose I am an expert on how organisations and individuals who wish to write about their sector or core expertise should approach blogging; and I often post about blogging. However, there are plenty of things I don’t do right. So if you want to succeed as a blogger and/or follow blog etiquette, here’s a few things you should do which I always/usually don’t:
- Write about your core expertise and avoid other topics. You want to become a resource by adding value in the area you know best, not by waffling about things you know little about. My utter revulsion for Berlusconi, everything he stands for and what he’s doing to a wonderful country should NOT be the subject of a blog post per month.
- Don’t become too personal. Again, my Berlusconi posts are a case in point. It’s off-putting. I should only write about him if it’s in the context of communications i.e. the confluence of politics and communications, one of the core themes of my blog. Same with you. If you’re an expert on origami don’t suddenly write a post about Greco-Roman wrestling unless there’s a really good reason.
- Engage with other bloggers. I read 10s of posts on other blogs every day but I don’t often enough quote them on my own blog and give my take on their musings. I should. It’s a way of building relationships and it’ll drive traffic via trackbacks and other bloggers taking notice.
- Don’t be too lengthy. A good, long analytical post once in a while is good. Mostly long posts is less good. Average 3-4 paragraphs but don’t worry if one post is just a picture and the next is 10 paragraphs.
- Always credit photos. I find mine by Googling a key term then don’t give credit where credit is due. It’s probably illegal. It’s certainly bad etiquette.
- Reply to all comments (unless you’re a top-tier blogger and get 10+ per day.) I read all comments (there aren’t that many..) And I appreciate all comments. Then I sometimes forget to respond and once I remember it’s too late to bother. Not good. Just saying “thanks for your comment” is often good enough.
- Follow up on key posts. I write about blogging a lot. But I often write one post on another topic which requires follow up a week or month later, but then end up not doing it and writing about Berlusconi instead.
There may very well be more. Feel free to let me know if you think of any, I’m pretty thick-skinned.