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You Got Problems; Blogs Got Answers 13 April 2010

Posted by Scott Loughran in Development, Trends.
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We all read blogs for the same reason. It doesn’t have anything to do with how pleasant the design is or even the subject manner. Subscriptions aren’t based on who the author is or what words those authors chose. Why we subscribe to a particular blog is due to our recognition that the words that author chose, and the way they chose to arrange them provided information to us that allows us to solve some problem. This is why blogs make it or break it; do the readers find the blog helpful and informative in their search for answers to their problems? Now the niche style of blog content has become popular while the general theme of local newspapers for example suffer.

Not that you’re my priest, but in the spirit of confessional, this is why my independent blog doesn’t really have anyone reading it. I felt like it was expected of me to rant on a blog somewhere, but before I deployed it I never sat back and asked myself, “What is the larger problem I want my blog to solve?” Whether you have successfully taught 100 chimpanzees sign language or have been a pediatrics nurse for 25 years, all that knowledge still has to be channeled through a concentrated objective. Having a clear topic that your conversation will hover around also helps give you longevity through content creation.

The second idea is that blogs are a dime a dozen, so what makes yours worth more to the reader. One proven tactic is how often new content is available. Daily or weekly blog posts tend to drive larger readerships than blogs that are seasonal or based on the amount of free time the author has. If content is king in the land of distribution, then frequency is its queen. Along with this steady pattern of distribution, each post needs to answer a question that is tied to the broader question theme of the blog itself. To have a blog that discusses the disruptions of social media in online brand management is a great idea, but it will fail to prove relevant through posts that simply state Facebook demographical information and the latest comScore tweet.

A bloggers ability to take those Facebook demographics and explain how to use Facebook to connect your brand to certain groups of consumers is what readers want. Next time you sit down to write a post or brainstorm topic ideas ask yourself, “What question do my readers want answered?” Your ability to answer questions proves you an expert 100 times quicker than establishing yourself as an aggregator of facts.

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