3 Ways To Be a Better Blogger

Out of all the social media characters in the deck, bloggers seem to be a very particular kind of creature, mainly because blogging requires a particular micro/macro mindset and a slightly thickened skin. Since gaining popularity in recent years, more people are aware of and read blogs (about 57 million, according to Pew research), but the general population still seems to regard bloggers with an equal mixture of suspicious disdain and interest. They think we’re slightly self-absorbed and vaguely narcissistic for thinking that anyone else would be interested in the minutiae of our lives. keyboard-fingers-resize.jpg

Take the case of former Gawker.com blogger Emily Gould. Back in May, she published a piece in the New York Times Magazine about her personal experience as a blogger. The online community swiftly and brutally skewered her in full adolescent fashion, leaving nasty comments about how little they cared about her or her writing, to the tune of 1,200 comments.

It’s good to take a look at some of the basic tenants of blog psychology to understand how to become a better blogger, whether you’re using a blog to promote your business or track the details of your cat’s daily activities.

  • Consistency – Blogging frequency is a mindset. Mainly because in order for it to be effective, you have to be consistent. Whether you blog once a week, or once an hour, consistency is always key, because you’re basically training your readers what to expect from you. For Google purposes, the more you post, the more attention your blog gets, but we’re talking about psychology here. Blogging has to become an organic part of your routine, possibly requiring you download some sort of mobile blogging platform and thus exposing yourself to the ridicule of your friends and family. You also have to have a mind that is compartmentalized in a way that hangs on to the type of experiences you can blog about. Because blogs are not for launching into a treatise that fully explores the nature of good and evil, but you can encapsulate a similar idea into a charming vignette about bunnies that smoke.
  • Content – The reason people read blogs is to get something of an insider’s look at you or your business. They’re not going to stick around for very long if you’re just reposting the same slick content they can find by clicking around on your website. You have to give them a little conflict, a little intrigue, some slightly blurry Photo Booth pictures of you in action. This means that, in order to be a blogger, you have to be willing to be blogged about. It’s also important that you care about what other people in your industry are saying. No blogger is an island. Blogging isn’t just about generating content, it’s about developing a unique voice and adding something meaningful to the online conversation. You don’t want to be known as “that guy,” the blogger that hops into the blogosphere and only promotes their own stuff to anyone and everyone they come across. That’s not a conversation, that’s shilling your content.
  • Commitment – “A blog is as a blog does.” In order to be an effective blogger, you have to believe in the platform. This sounds painfully obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many reticent bloggers I come across. Their conflict is apparent: they want the benefits of blogging; the increased site traffic, the visibility, the conversation, but they don’t want their friends to make fun of them. When you are a conflicted blogger, or a blogger who resents the amount of time you have to spend blogging, your readers will pick up on it. Believe me.

Great bloggers are not always born, sometimes they are made. Learn the method behind the madness, and take heart, grasshopper. There is hope for you yet out there in the great big blogosphere.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbdbrobot/140068142

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