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MicroStartups, For Publishers Blogger Makes Them Easy

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I’ve been rattling this thought around my head for the past few months but just decided to make it publicly accessible.

Blogging
Some Keys To Being A Succesful Blogger

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I’m sure more than 2 or 3 of you have seen industry related blogs like Search Engine Lowdown, MarketingVox (formerly MarketingWonk) or even culture specific blogs like BoingBoing, David Weinberger’s Joho blog, Engadget (cell phone blog) etc… Many of which have rose to fame in a short period of time due to the expert commentary and insight they provide in the subject areas each covers. There’s an evolution most of them follow as well. It goes something like this:

  1. Blogger(s) creates blog and publishes posts with personal opinion and insight that can only be gleaned by an “insider”.
  2. Other bloggers reference this new blog and credibility is established.
  3. XML feeds (rss, atom, you pick) are syndicated via feed aggregators such as bloglines.
  4. More well known industry experts comment on this new blogger(s) blog and add their opinion via linking to their blog in a post but rarely actually commenting on the new blog directly.
  5. Then when this new blogger(s) posts something insightful, several other industry blogs link back to the post or syndicate the content on their own sites and a star is born.

So that’s a loose representation of how a blog rises in the ranks of a particular community. It is by no means a perfect representation of the dynamics involved in the blog maturing process. This list should be taken merely as a single way in which a blog becomes more well known and part of the community vertical subject matter etc… it discusses.

The second part is much more interesting. It’s the “Where Do We Go From Here?” part and this is where blogs get tricky. Since blogs have not been around that long and the mainstream is just not beginning to adopt them as a legitimate place to advertise, there is no roadmap set in stone and I’m not sure there ever will be. But if you’re a small publisher (author) with a quality blog, here are some ways you can turn your little blog into a key player in your industry.

Steps To Turn A Blog Into An Industry Mecca

  1. Be consistent and post multiple times each day. People will continue to read and visit your blog if you are consistent. Advertisers love sites that are magnetic with their target audience.
  2. Employ a layout that facilitates ad space. Whether that means banners, text link ads, choose your layout wisely.
  3. Make contacting you easy. The harder you are to contact, the harder it will be for advertisers to pay you.
  4. Interview interesting people and get their take on your industry or on a controversial topic when possible. This adds to your credibility factor and advertisers can’t buy credibility but they’ll pay you for your’s.
  5. Create an email newsletter that digests your blog 2 – 3 times a week and allow sponsorship of that newsletter.
  6. Poke fun. Yes we’ve all been told that if we don’t have anything nice to say then we shouldn’t say anything at all but making fun of current events is sure to stir the pot up a bit and we all need a bit of stirring now and then.
  7. Expand when and where it makes sense to expand. A blog can mature into a full on trade magazine / journal and industry portal much easier than a site that aims to be that in the beginning. As your blog grows and you become more well known, your readers will grow with you and feel part of each expansion and addition you add to your site on the way. This type of brand loyalty or blog loyalty as it should be called here is something far more valuable than just raw traffic. Blog loyalty means you matter to your audience and your audience will be more likely to stick with you, even when you make mistakes, than they would be if you were a cold hard corporate money making machine.

Hopefully you will take this post and think about it at your own leisure. It should be taken as just that, a thought-provoking post, and really nothing more. There is a lot of cool stuff happening online right now and we bloggers are right in the middle of it. If you have aspirations of quitting your day job and becoming the next Rupert Murdoch, then a blog may be the place for you to start.

I’ve always believed in starting small and on a shoe string budget (if possible). So if you have more time than money and your friends think your funny, then maybe its time for you to start a blog.

Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.

MicroStartups, For Publishers Blogger Makes Them Easy
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