lealea's blogblog

because it's nice to say it twice

4 Comments // Filed in Business / Web / Etc

Blogging about Blogging

I’ve been invited to speak at two different conferences about blogging. The Canadian Association of Journalists invited me to speak about blogging as “the new normal” and I’ll be heading to Orlando, FL for IZEAfest to discuss how to increase traffic to your blog. But as my kind and generous readers know, I’m not your typical prolific blogger — I don’t post every single day, or every week, or even every month. However, according to Feedburner I still have around 500 subscribers, almost 3000 unique visits a month, and I get inquiries from businesses wondering if I could put ads on my blog or write-up something about their company. I also have almost 340 followers on Twitter.

Now what does this say about blogging — or in the case of Twitter, micro-blogging — have anything to do with anything if I’m not as frequent as I could (should?) be? I am no pro-blogger and some will scoff at the “low” numbers I’m citing, but the bottom line is this: people that I want to know, know who I am and still, for whatever reason, care about what I have to say. Blogging has given me a place to express my opinions, which in turn, resulted in various opportunities for my personal life (friends) and my career (clients and conferences).

I believe the reason why, despite the fact that I haven’t written 500 posts and don’t blog every day, I still get steady visitors — old and new — as well as great opportunities, are two things:

  1. a genuine, approachable voice — I don’t preen/pretend or write too formally
  2. quality content — when I do post something, people actually reply or link to it or discuss it

Now, when you think about that signal to noise ratio, it’s a lot like when you pitch a design project to a client. In your own time, you experimented with different layouts and styles, but you end up only showing them one or two. That way, you make sure you only show the one you feel is most appropriate for them; the one you put the most thought into. I have a running text file with possible blog posts I may write in the future, but beyond the obvious time constraints for work and life, I also think about when is it most appropriate to write. Sometimes I decide to post something because everyone else is making a comment about that particular point like I did with Lack of a Shared Vocabulary. This way you can “share” the traffic because you are riding a wave of what’s “current.” However, it is also good to bring up a new point I haven’t found others speaking about at all or for a long time, like I did with Handling Rejection to begin the conversation, and if original, will get you a lot of links. Speaking of which, each post, while not always consciously targeted, can be maximized if you do narrow your focus for your blog. Current and past clients read my blog, and they often cite certain things I wrote as part of the reason why they chose me/still work with me because it was a quick and easy way for them to realize what my professional values were.

Until then, I’m always trying to balance where I can best spend my time. Having a blog can be a full time job and because it isn’t my choice career stream, I would rather ensure I post something I feel people would benefit from rather than filling the space for the sake of filling space.

That’s my two cents. Thoughts? Agree/Disagree? :)

4 blabs to Blogging about Blogging

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I agree with you. Everyone that blogs seems to do it for a different reason. My experience with blogging has been diverse, and it started in the very beginning, before it was even called blogging. So I think I can offer my .2 here and it might be of some value.

In your case, you aren’t looking to create an advertising inventory. The “pro bloggers” of the world that write every single day, multiple times, no matter what, are looking for two things. First, they want to build a strong audience for people that want to be “in the know”. The only way they can do that is to break stories or be an expert on a niche. Being an expert takes a lot of experience, and breaking stories is a lot of hard work, late nights, and every time you hit publish your reputation is on the line.

Two great examples of this would be TechCrunch and DaringFireball. TechCrunch is in the business of breaking news out of Silicon Valley, DaringFireball is in the business of writing long oped pieces about the Macintosh. (These are slight generalizations.)

The your case, you aren’t trying to create a large audience or boost statistics to sell ads on, so all you want is to build an audience of the people you are trying to target. It would seem that a large part of your business doesn’t come straight through this blog, otherwise I think you’d write a little more often, but that these words you publish are a way to help build your brand. And your brand is all about high quality. It is like a journalistic showcase of LeaLea.

For me, if I may get personal for a minute, I blog on my personal site to start conversations. By far the best content on my personal site is in the comment threads. On Viddler, we blog to engage the community, keep them up-to-date with what is going on, feature videos, and let them know about downtime.

Every blog has a different purpose and different goals, and I’ve only touched on a few examples. I think you understand your slice of the Internet very, very well – so kudos to that. But for anyone else reading this, be true to yourself, pick a goal or set of goals when you start blogging, and work towards them accordingly.

Great write up Lea.

Picture of Lea

Name Lea

Date May 20
02:00 PM

I would have to concur with Colin in that everyone’s blog purpose is different — this is why it’s sometimes hard to define what blogging is to people who are new to it all. Sometimes “online journal” encompasses it, but a lot of times, it’s a way too simplistic way to describe.

But the main point is to know what you want to use your blog for.

And I don’t particularly get business directly from the blog (it’s usually word of mouth), but as a vehicle to support and build my personal brand, it really helps solidify it for potential and current clients.

Congrats on your speaking engagements! I have to agree with you that quality content overrides quantity any day. I?ve also found with my blog (www.laptopbaglifeline.com) that developing a reputation for credible and resourceful posts can go a long way in attracting a loyal readership

Picture of Shawn

Name Shawn

Date Jun 19
10:42 AM

Great work Lea! I found you via a Creativexpert podcast. You had a lot of wonderful input and ideas regarding branding. It was a wonderful interview and very honest. Thanks for doing it and keep up the great work!

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