A New Philosophy of Blogging

By | October 6, 2014

The amount of articles offering advice about blogging is overwhelming because blogging or content marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) status. The theories of what is important in blogging swing back and forth like a pendulum. Lately the trends are focusing on the creation of a content marketing strategy, the need to be a great storyteller, the frequency of posting, and the length of your blog posts. If you’re like me, when you see all these articles you try to consolidate them into a philosophy that makes sense. Here is my current philosophy of blogging.

Content Marketing Strategy

While many people talk about the importance of content marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend weeks of work and write a lengthy document that will gather dust on a shelf. Instead, consider simply talking to everyone who is contributing blogs, identify different goals and objectives from the group, try to reach a consensus of opinion, and, most importantly, create a schedule for blogging.

Storytelling

One of the trends I’ve seen lately are articles that focus on how to be a great storyteller. Personally I’m not sure how effective it is to train people to be great storytellers because while some people are naturally great storytellers, many people are not. But you don’t have to be a great storyteller to understand the basics. The basics focus on why this is important to the reader. For certain kinds of blogs you can actually create a template of questions. For example, when we write case histories our approach is to ask the following. What was the problem? How do we approach that problem? What were the findings? What was the recommendation? What were the results? With this tool, case histories write themselves.

How Often

Some people claim you should write a blog every day and others only suggest two a month. One camp that says you should sit down every day or once a week and create a routine where you write blogs. When I first started blogging in September 2007, I was writing three blogs a week for Graphic Arts Magazine and my strategy was to schedule four hours a week on Friday to write.

The problem is that if you write often, you will simply run out of subjects to talk about or new things to say. My personal recommendation is to blog somewhere around 3 – 10 times a month and focus more on quality than quantity. If you could write only one blog a month, but it resulted in 3,000 unique page views, it would be more worthwhile than 10 blogs a month with only 300 page views.

How Long?

Books and courses on blogging talk about a word length of 250 to 500 words. My personal belief is that a blog should be approximately 3-5 paragraphs. For me, 3-5 paragraphs often exceeds 500 words, as does this blog. But if you look at one of the best bloggers in the world, Seth Godin, his three paragraphs are often just three sentences.

Share this post

 

5 thoughts on “A New Philosophy of Blogging

  1. Patrick Whelan

    Great advice Howie. I agree with you on all counts. Increasingly though, at least in the printing industry, I see too many printers not making the distinction between blog content and general news content. The negative consequences (for the printers brand) magnifies itself even more when they are simply using third party attributed content that is more suited for social media posts. News and blogs are not the same. Printers need to make the distinction.

  2. Howie Fenton

    Patrick,

    Good advice. It’s important to distinguish between content generation and tools that push people to good content. In my opinion, pushing people to content from Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn requires a mix of different content sources. Clearly generating your own content is most important but I also use other peoples content, which is recent or timely. For example, if I tweet 4 times / day one maybe my own content and the other 3 related content from other news sources. I think thought leaders combine their own content with other good sources of information.

    Howie

  3. Heidi Tolliver-Walker

    I would also encourage printers to thinking why they are blogging and what the blog is intended to accomplish. I produce a lot of blog content (including the brandable posts that Great Reach Communications licenses, as well as ghostwritten posts for printers directly). The number one challenge I see is printers just putting content “out there” without some kind of strategy. Know who you are writing for, what those readers are looking for, and then create or license the content that achieves that goal. If you don’t know who you are blogging for or what goal you are trying to achieve, then you won’t see the returns you want. Great bloggers understand their audience and write for that audience.

  4. Melissa Sienicki

    I think it’s also incredibly important to focus on what customers/peers in your industry are interested in. It’s important to build up your reputation as a thought leader, to start discussions and share valuable, pertinent information. Thank you, Howard!

  5. Howie Fenton

    Thanks Melissa, Patrick and Heidi. As most people know I am a big fan of blogging. I started blogging in 2007 blogging for Graphic Arts Monthly, then moved to What They Think and today I write for several sites.

    It’s hard work and it’s not for everyone but there are significant advantages associated with blogging. The most obvious advantage is increasing SEO and working to create a reputation as a thought leader.

    It’s one marketing strategy, but not the only strategy. If anyone’s interested in learning more Margie Dana recently wrote a step-by-step article about how to blog and it’s available at http://ow.ly/Cva13

Comments are closed.