Avinash Kaushik at Occam's Razor shares 10 blogging tips from the self-styled perspective of a "novice" blogger - but I am inclined to replace "novice" with "expert" after reading Avinash's advice about blogging. (Marshall Sponder, a web analytics guru like Avinash, also likes Avinash's tips.)
Avinash's post taught me the following 5 lessons:
1. When you write a long post, consider placing a quick summary near the beginning.
2. A blog can successfully meet its goals and boost your business without receiving mass amounts of traffic.
3. Post length and frequency don't matter nearly as much as post usefulness and originality.
4. Opportunity cost screams all day long at the avid blogger.
5. Serve people through your blog and you'll reap the greatest possible rewards.
In greater detail:
1. When you write a long post, consider placing a quick summary near the beginning. This not only saves your impatient readers time, but it helps reinforce your main points and provides focus and direction for the reader.
2. A blog can successfully meet its goals and boost your business without receiving mass amounts of traffic. You may see only a few dozen visitors a day, but if they are mostly folks who care about your business and are willing to learn from you, then you have a great shot at blogging success. The key question is whether the time and effort (and perhaps money) you spend on your business blog is justified by the impact it has on your company's bottom line.
3. Post length and frequency don't matter nearly as much as post usefulness and originality. If your posts are interesting and helpful enough, people will read them and use them, whether they're 50, 500 or 5,000 words long each, or whether you post once a day, once a week or once a month. Of course all of these variables affect each other. But output should depend on value, and not vice versa.
4. Opportunity cost screams all day long at the avid blogger. "What if you had spent the last hour doing X instead of Y?" "Think of what you've just missed out on by insisting on following this course." "Should I read feeds or write posts right now?" So any shortcuts you can learn, any time-compressing devices you can find, are invaluable to say the least.
5. Serve people through your blog and you'll reap the greatest possible rewards. This is the blogging gospel according to Easton now, and I admit that it's idealistic. (We're in Eastonians 6:13 right now ...) But I truly believe that selflessness breeds an almost magical reciprocity, whether in blogging or in anything else. If you forget yourself for a moment and think of helping others instead, I promise that your blog will improve - and will improve others' lives, too.
I recommend Avinash Kaushik's blog to you. Thanks to Avinash for stirring my mental pot. Read Avinash's blogging goals and consider posting your own as well.
Let me know what you think of Avinash's post and my response, and what lessons or insights (or even questions) you might want to share as a result.