I have scoured the internets for a few days, searching frantically for articles that give pointers on how to effectively blog. I found three or so very informative and insightful articles, but then I haphazardly stumbled upon two very interesting articles with some good insights about blogging in general so I thought I would share them in this post.
The article with the most stand out information was an article by Clive Thompson from nymag.com. The article follows a blogger and his story of rags to riches by way of blogging. The story about the blogger was “meh” at best but included in the article was a study done by Clay Shirky, an instructor at New York University. Shirky studies the social dynamics of the Internet. Included in the article is something I have never heard of called “network theory”: a mathematical model of how information travels inside groups of loosely connected people, which definitely applies to the Interwebs. Shirkly to a sample size of 433 blogs and counted the number of links that were “inbound”, that is links that pointed directly to the blog from outside sources. He used these inbound links as a measure of a blogs popularity and popularity equals money. He found that there was an enormous inequity in the sphere encompassing blogs. It turns out that blogs follow a “power-law distribution”. To explain it simple and in a way that everyone can be familiar with, a power-law distribution is pretty much how wealth is distributed in the American economy. With the wealthiest families (160,000) own as much wealth as the poorest 145 million families (2014). So when blogging to make money I think this is a good piece of information to keep in mind.
Another article I had found was very informative, even though the ads were really irritating, and went over many topics. Everything is there from where to start, techniques, workflow and even motivation. Each category had at least three linked points and each link lead to another page. I think the biggest take away from this site was something I had learned in my HTML and Web Design classes. That is to make your content scannable.
- The article goes over formatting
- Use of headings and sub headings correctly
- Pictures that draw the user’s eye
- The use of borders and block quotes
- White space and spacing in general
- Oh, and get to the point
The next article I found was one from homestead.com. It had some good points, like being clear and concise and to understand your persona. However, the bullet that stood out to me the most was #4 Have fun with multimedia. I love multimedia and have lots of fun using Photoshop and Illustrator since I took the courses. Seeing this as a tip gets me super motivated because I can make use of a skill that I get a lot of enjoyment from.
A blog post I found of LinkedIn by Darren Rowse. It had 20 great points for being effective at blogging. These points were short and sweet but insightful to me. If I had to pick one of the tips that stood out it would have to be the tip to publish selectively. So as a blogger you can write for hours on end and only publish what you see as relevant at the time and maybe save other works for a later time or opportune moment.
“I’m not sure what a blog is anymore. I’m not sure who a blogger is anymore. I’m not sure what a blog post looks like anymore. These used to have specific and unique characteristics. These characteristics (tags, comments, share buttons, links, subscription buttons and more) have all been adopted by mass publishers.
In fact, in order to grow the Six Pixels of Separation audience, a lot of the strategy has less to do with posting here – as a hub – and much more with turning this place into a receptacle for the myriad of places that content is now distributed through (radio shows, business books, other digital spaces, magazines, YouTube and beyond). In order to keep familiarity, I’ve dismissed the language of blogs and blogging and have begun to replace it.”
The idea of what a blog is (and will be) has become a moving target