Are you an expert?
If you said yes this post is for you! If you said no you are lying!
Everyone is an expert whether or not realize it. Every single person alive brings something unique to the table. You may not think you have an expertise that people are interested in… but you are wrong! If you are an expert it means you have a passion, I promise someone else shares it.
Amber Weinberg is an expert when it comes to website design..
She is passionate, smart, and creative in the way she explains her expertise to readers. I read her blog on a regular basis not because I want to stay abreast of Coding news… (I have vowed to never try that again) but because she has a contagious passion around what she knows.
If you are searching for content to blog about I think you need to look no further than your free time.
How you spend your free time gives great insight into your expertise.
- What shows do you watch on TV?… why? What do you think about it?
- Do you like beer? What is your favorite beer? why?
- Are you a 40 something man with a collection of dolls… on more than one level why?
Blogging is an extension of your story.. of your ideas… of your knowledge. Check out what Amber does because she does what she does well.
Lately I have been working with brands discussing their web presence. One common problem I have encountered is the concept that sub-par content can be overcome with great design.
What do I do when these issues come up?
I point to blogs that aren’t flashy but are still great. Seth Godin is the master of simplicity. Seth doesn’t waste effort on graphics and flash instead he offers great pointed content that is free of distraction.
A blog is about telling a story… A real story. Brands naturally want to rely on flashy design because telling stories is so difficult. Brands that can’t tell their story struggle with blogging and social media in general.
So if you are new to blogging ask your self… What is the story I want to tell?
That is your starting point! Your story will guide your success. Brands/people that attempt to use success to dive their stories are almost never successful!
Google buzz seems like just another social network, but it is not particularly for bloggers. If you do not use Google Reader the implications are pretty hard to understand. It might seem obvious that more eyeballs will = more readers. I know there are many bloggers that don’t care about how many readers they have… but some blogs are part of what is known as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) effort by organizations. If this is the case than buzz is possibly the most important social network out there for you.
Google has their search Algorithm, and it constantly changes adjust and moves. The theory is that they want to cut down on the noise… by doing changing their equation they are attempting to avoid this complaint about search engines…
It appears that Buzz has been added to Google’s equation… Buzz allows Google to track top blogs and lower the ranking of SEO blog schemes (not real blogs, just random keywords with links). Google reader integrates a formerly random sharing feature that automatically buzzes a blog. The more a blog gets buzzed, the higher that Blog ranks on the search engine. In short your content and your audience wanting to share that content is more important than ever. I suggest looking for ways to increase interest and interactions from your audience to increase your share rate.
I know this wasn’t a blog review but its the combination of 2 blogs I wrote @ nostrum
This isn’t a blog review but I think anyone who owns a blog should know there are rules. Check it, out read up, its pretty cool!
I promise… Im going to have at least a months on back order ready to go by friday… Life happened over the holiday break by thursday if you click my photo you’ll find out!
I’m a slacker or something… but I still love this project!
I’m back and I survived finals… and now have major relief.
Today I’m going to review another local blog, but this time there is a twist as it is the first business blog I will cover. My Sweet and Saucy (@mysweetandsaucy on twitter) is a organically grown business making amazing deserts. If you find yourself in the LA area check it out!
When it comes to business blogs normally there is a lot to dislike. Business blogs (even small business ones) often lack personality, creativity, and substance. I could go on and demonstrating weak, unauthentic, uncreative, and out of date blogs. However I strongly believe that there is more good in highlighting a business that is doing it so well. Sweet and Saucy makes a great case study.
As I land on the home page the very first thing I notice is the consistent feel and general navigational comfort. The blog is the very first page one would land on from the web, so clear navigation is important. The blog also hits the mark on getting photos right at the fold. Its like getting a taste (pun) of what the blog is about.
(Side note) There are several different schools of thought as to how users should arrive at a corporate blog from the web. A whole debate on the subject has often been waged in various marketing circles that I wont dive into. My personal take is that the location of a blog on a website depends on a bunch of variables.
::sponsors and partners::
Many businesses are very nervous about allowing sponsors to have space on their blog. Contrary to what many may think this fear isn’t irrational! Google ad words is probably not a good solution for a business blog… unless that business wants links to the competition on the website. Selected sponsors may offer awful service tarnishing their reputations and yours. The benefits can be substantial, new streams of revenue, partnerships, etc. It’s not a no risk, no reward situation.
If you’re running blog and you are considering adding sponsors, I clearly want to state this is not a bad idea! However take a tip from sweet and saucy, clearly label that they are a sponsor. Include a link for advertisers who are interested so they can contact you. Finally never allow a selected sponsor space until you have used their product. In the end its your brand you are protecting.
Last thing I want to highlight… Sweet and Saucy shares baking resources which I think is a great idea. Some may argue that these resources actually cut into revenue because people will bake on their own.. They may have a point but the more likely scenario is people that bake have added a positive brand impression. This group will lean toward sweet and saucy when they don’t want to bake.
Avoidance and fear are not the solution creativity and selectivity are.
Melody the owner won’t even have open @ reply conversations on twitter with non-affiliated partners (ie me)… its classic and wise brand protection. However she always sends DM back acknowledging positive comments!
Check out http://www.mysweetandsaucy.com/ leave a comment below / rate the site.
Again as always if you would like your blog included send an e-mail to : firstname.lastname@example.org
or send a @ reply to mhandy1 on twitter.