Please note: This is the third post in a series of posts on the general topic “What is a blog?” The series includes the following posts:
– Blog or website – what’s the difference?
– Some key features of blogs : Part 1 : Creation; Structure and technical aspects
– Some key features of blogs : Part 2 : Content; Community and relationship building
– Some key features of blogs : Part 3 : Blogs and websites sometimes overlap; Advantages of blogs; Some concerns about blogs
– Some key features of websites : Part 1: Creation; Structure and technical aspects; Content;
– Some key features of websites : Part 2 : Authority; Website and blog overlaps; Advantages of websites; Some concerns about websites
– Blog or website? Your conclusions!
- blog posts are often quite short in length (though some are quite long – it often depends on the purpose of the post). The posts are written frequently, usually on a regular basis. Fresh, original content is very important.
- blog posts are often written in a friendly, quite informal, conversational style, because most blogs aim to build a community of people who like to learn about, share, and discuss the topic of the blog.
- many blog posts are informative and educational, and focus on a specific niche (topic). This informational aspect allows a blogger to potentially come to be regarded as a subject matter expert in their niche.
- on the other hand, blogs started out as on-line journals/diaries, and some still are. On those ones, the bloggers might talk about many different topics they are interested in, or all kinds of things about their life.
- some blogs, like those on the wordpress platforms, can also have static pages somewhat similar to pages on a website. There is almost always an about page, and sometimes other pages such as a policies page or a contact page. But the posts are most important on a blog. They almost always are the front page of the blog.
- you can write blog posts ahead of time, and then schedule them to be posted at a given later date. This is great for when you have emergencies, or go on holidays, etc.
- a blog is meant to be centered on the reader rather than on the blogger. A blog should provide interesting, helpful, valuable content. It is often said of blogs that “content is king.”
Community and relationship building:
- Because blogs are interactive, most blogs provide a comment section at the end of each post, for the readers to comment on and discuss the post. Relationships are very important. The blogger has the opportunity to come to be regarded as a person of integrity, passion and knowledge. They can become the “go-to” person who others seek out for advice and information – not only on the internet, but through books, workshops, conference sessions, and more.
- blogs present content from a position of authority. The blogger him- or herself really becomes the brand and authority.
- blogs reach out to the readers in various ways. You can subscribe to them on feeds (be alerted regularly of new posts); you can subscribe to e-mail newsletters that provide special information that isn’t available on the site itself; you can join discussion forums; and more. Some blogs have all of these; others may only have one or two.
- being a blogger includes listening, not just talking; it requires the blogger to read as much as write. As a blogger, you will read other blogs, you will do research to stay on top of your field, you will read fiction and non-fiction to improve your writing skills. And you will listen very carefully to your readers, and to other bloggers and their readers so you can learn what readers are interested in. Then you can really help them and offer them valuable content that keeps them coming back for more.
- unlike websites, blogs do not usually feature “advertising hard sell” because that is not a good way to build relationships. On the other hand, some blogs are all about sales – and some might remind you of used car dealers. Hmmmm.
Question : Have you found blogs on the internet that had the kind of content that would make you think the blogger has “authority”? What makes you think that? (Tell us in the comments section below). A well known “authority blog” that I have found very helpful for learning to blog is www.problogger.net , by blogger Darren Rowse. Darren also has an excellent book for beginning bloggers who are interested in creating blogs where they can build a business. The book is called “ProBlogger : Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income (2nd ed)”. It is co-authored by another “authority blogger” Chris Garrett, who specializes in marketing blogs. His blog is www.chrisg.com .
Tip of the Day : Have something worth saying – valuable content – in every post and with your entire blog.
Put it into Action : Would you like to see a video that clearly illustrates the various features of blogs and how they compare to websites? Go to this video post at the3dtechnologies.com.