What Makes A Good Blog Great?

Imagine you live in a city where residents must choose between electricity or public sanitation. Which would you vote for?

Not so easy, is it? (Mine would be for working sanitation.)

Since starting my first blog over four years ago, I’m finding that b2b blogs present a similar dilemma.

For example, should I plumb my RSS feed reader only for blogs dealing with important but mundane issues many of us would rather not think about?

Or should my limited time and attention be restricted to sensationalized industry news and controversy?

No Blog is A Digital Island

Of course, the Interwebs allow anyone to find a publicly available blog. And therein lies a problem. You can’t hope to please even some of these people some of the time. Why? Because online readers are not only rushed but often crushed by the need to be entertained, informed, provoked, and so on.

However, perhaps what might help bloggers is to borrow from other presentation methods. And then adapt as appropriate.

Take a look at this short video clip, Every Presentation Ever: Communication Fail, by the fine folks behind ‘Habitudes for Communicators‘.

If you’ve ever had to make a presentation then I’m sure you probably squirmed at some of the scenes shown. I certainly did. I used to be an IT networking instructor, and the memories remain!

What that video also got me thinking about was along the lines of:
do blogs and blog posts have identifiable anatomies, or structures?

In the case of the featured PowerPoint Presentation, I think it would be possible to write down all of the ‘negative feedback’ snippets, find out how to eliminate them, and then implement a road map for giving better presentations.

It’s worth a try in the search to communicate with audiences in ways that hold their interest. (Thinking of the marketing term, ‘AIDA’.)

We Had Another Baby Last Night

Headlines and sub-headlines are one key area where bloggers learn they can always do better.  And I agree with that advice.

The sub-head above might not do a lot for you but making it the subject line of an email to close friends did get a response. The difference is that my friends know I’ve only one teenage daughter. An apparent new arrival (“… and at his age!”, I can just hear them exclaim!) got their attention. Some even called.

I admit to being slightly mischievous with the word play and told them so later. You see, we did have an extra baby in the house. But only for one night. And then we had to give her back…

Confused? Confused? Annoyed?

(The baby in question was a ‘virtual baby‘, brought home by my daughter for a health education project. And boy, did it cry – although I slept straight through the nighttime interruptions, being a good grandfather-in-training!)

Leave No Comment Unanswered

In his desire to get questions from an already bored audience, the presenter tried too hard e.g. “No such thing as a bad question.” He had dug himself into the black hole of audience unresponsiveness by not winning their trust, liking and respect from the start. So, it was already too late to fix things on that occasion.

However, next time round, he might be ready to engage with the audience and build some rapport long before the Q&A section.

For a blog, an equivalent ‘ground rule’ might be to leave no comment unanswered. To my knowledge, this is a house rule for guest bloggers on Michael Stelzner’s very successful social media blog aimed at small businesses, social media examiner.

A writer could have guest-posted there, generated boatloads of traffic, received 100+ comments, and yet still not be asked back because there was insufficient engagement with readers.

Quality rocks.

And Kaizen ‘continuous improvement’ rules.

Here comes your takeaway for this post…

What Makes A Good B2B Blog Great?

Answers in a comment please… and I promise to reply to each one published!

– Mark McClure

PS – This is my first guest post on SAJE’s blog and I’m thrilled to have been asked. You can find out more about me from my WordPress profile here. My Twitter handle’s @samuraiwriter99

  2 comments for “What Makes A Good Blog Great?

  1. January 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Hey Mark I really like this post – it’s quirky and serious at the same time. It’s a good question and one I’m still trying to work out, because I don’t know if my posts are good, bad or great, but the key areas where I try and focus is 1. being me and 2. hopefully covering a topic – with take-aways – that is of interest to my target audience. Knowing your target audience is the most important thing – you can’t be all things to all people in a B2B blog, so mine is very much focused on senior marketing and content folk. Like I said, I don’t know if I get it right, but I’m learning every day and as this is one of three blogs I do (plus a couple more I ghost write), I just try and keep my focus in mind – helping businesses in AP be better communicators across the board. Curious to see if there are any more comments. Cheers for the post.

    Like

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