Internet-savvy marketing guru, Seth Godin has recently blogged on the the subject of blogging and sounding intelligent when speaking or blogging about the Internet. I have had a couple of people over the last few weeks (months?) ask me about blogging. Seth’s suggestions are all good tips to follow.
If you are an experienced blogger, do you have any other tips?
Seth’s Blogging Tips
1. Use headlines. I use them all the time now. Not just boring ones that announce your purpose but interesting or puzzling or engaging headlines. Headlines are perfect for engaging busy readers.
2. Realize that people have choices. With 80 million other blogs to choose from, I know you could leave at any moment (see, there goes someone now). So that makes blog writing shorter and faster and more exciting.
3. Drip, drip, drip. Bloggers don’t have to say everything at once. We can add a new idea every day, piling on a thesis over time.
4. It’s okay if you leave. Bloggers aren’t afraid to include links or distractions in their writing, because we know you’ll come back if what we had to say was interesting.
5. Interactivity is a great shortcut. Your readers care about someone’s opinion even more than yours… their own. So reading your email or your comments or your trackbacks (your choice) makes it easy to stay relevant.
6. Gimmicks aren’t as useful as insight. If you’re going to blog successfully for months or years, sooner or later you need to actually say something. Same goes for your writing.
7. Don’t be afraid of lists. People like lists.
8. Show up. Not writing is not a useful way of expressing your ideas. Waiting for perfect is a lousy strategy.
9. Say it. Don’t hide, don’t embellish.
A few more tips on speaking intelligently about blogging, the Internet, and social networking…
You don’t have ‘a facebook.’ Facebook is a place, a network, not a page. You’re ‘on facebook,’ or you ‘use facebook.’
‘Friend’ is a verb. “I’ll friend you,” is a totally valid thing to say.
You don’t look up things on ‘the google’. It’s just Google, no ‘the.’ ‘Google’ is also a verb, as in, ‘Google me’.
Instant messaging refers to a wide range of software tools and communication channels. It’s called ‘IM’ and it too is a verb.
A blog is something you have (unlike a Facebook). And blog is also a verb. As in, “I have a blog, this blog, which you probably found by googling me. I blogged about Facebook (which I’m on but don’t use often). I don’t IM, and I’m impossibly lax about friending people.”
[Jackson chimes in that a blog is the whole, and that a post is just one article (like the one you’re reading). So you don’t say, “I wrote a blog about that,” you say, “I just blogged about that,” or “did you read my post on how to talk about the Internet?”]