Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The business side of blogging…or Blogging (& podcasting) for business

kw: book reviews, nonfiction, blogging, podcasting, business blogs, advice

Bloggers are advised to keep their posts short, 500 words or less (I smugly except book reviews. My past 15 posts range from 168 to 2,717 words, averaging 961). I bet Ted Demopoulos suffers from logorrhea like me; he has produced one of the longest book titles I've seen: [What No One Ever Tells You About…] Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere (24 words, and that's counting 101 as one word).

Fortunately, the 101 selections that make up the book are appropriately sized, being about 500 words each (1½ pages). The author, who just last year wrote with Shel Holtz, has a distinctly business focus. His business is blogs, as you'll find at Demopolous Associates.

Of particular interest to me is, firstly, the categories of blogs (The Three Types of Blogs — Item 5, page 10, hereafter 5:10), gleaned by Ted from Seth Godin: Cat Blogs, which record "dear diary"-like entries, often in gory detail; Boss Blogs (I prefer to call them Work Blogs), which pertain to one's work or business; and Viral Blogs, which are about ideas. Polymath at Large is a viral blog. I do it for fun, and I don't expect it to pay anything.

With this in mind, as I read through all the business advice, I looked for items that apply also to viral blogs. There are a few.
  • 6:13 — The Value of Blogging — Introduces ideas developed throughout: gaining expertise, writing well, recognition, expanding one's network, and profitability.
  • 16:29 — It's All an Experiment — These are early days. Try new things. Nobody can predict what will work next.
  • 18:34 — Using Blogging to Learn to Write Well — Quite a number of folks will write a blog anonymously for a year or two, until they are satisfied with their writing skills. It takes a couple hundred posts, at least, unless you already write for a living. Then they discard the practice blog, plan a "real" blog, and dive in with both feet.
  • 25:45 — Position Yourself as an Expert — Make sure you have good stuff, and you'll become a guru.
  • 42:73 — Five-Plus Tips to a Better Blog — In short: Keep the page-top stuff short so your text can be seen without scrolling; write 500 words or less per post; forget bright colors and bells/whistles that detract from your text; update daily or 2-3x per week; no music.
Other tips advise blogging with passion, focusing a blog, and really focusing each post (one idea per post; readers are flighty), and allow comments (but moderate them if you're writing highly opinionated posts).

I wonder what kind of book the author will be writing in five years, when blogging is twice its current age?!? He closes
"You need to pay attention, because whether you consider yourself part of the blogosphere or not, the rapidly changing technologies that are in use today do affect every corner of the business world."

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