Five things that good bloggers do

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Helen Reynolds

Blogging can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task. Sometimes it’s helpful to think of some the things good bloggers do so our posts are read a bit more or just to inspire us to write when we’re out of ideas.

This blog post is based on a presentation I gave last night at

Five behaviours of a good blogger

1. They work out who they want their readers to be

There are a load of types of blogs that you can develop but I tend to find the easiest groups to start blogging for are either your peers or your customers.
Peers – this is a professional development blog where you discuss details of your industry, share thoughts and tips that will help people in the same line of work. It’s basically about your work and anything to do with enhancing people’s understanding of what you do. This is a good example: Marriot On The Move.

Customers - this is a sales or service blog where you talk about what you do to create interest and debate about your products or services with an aim of creating sales, leads or promoting brand loyalty. It isn’t in-your-face hard-sell stuff, its reputation enhancing, useful and interesting information for customers. This is a good example: the 3 blog.

It helps to focus on what your audience wants from you so you need to decide on your readers.

TIP: Use Google Search to find similar blogs to yours. Read their stuff and think what your audience isn’t being told in these blogs that you can enlighten them about.


2.
They remember themselves before they started in their job/business


It’s easy to forget how much we know but if we want to be enjoyed it’s worth asking ourselves – would the younger me have understood this? Would it have been boring to me if I had gone into another profession? Customers and other readers aren’t always as engaged in your line of work as you are – remembering the ‘old you’ helps you blog for your audience.

Perhaps a boss of some kind will request you blog about something. It might be right for the business but is it right for your readers? If not you have to argue the case that content on this subject belongs somewhere else.

This applies to language – jargon is a turn-off. If the old you didn’t use certain terminology, think twice about using it.

3. They’re nice to other bloggers

If you want to build a network of engaged and regular readers it makes sense for you yourself to be an engaged reader of other people’s blogs. You want feedback so give feedback.

TIP: Say you run a hotel – look for travel bloggers: you have similar interests! Your opinion on good accommodation and customer service is interesting and will add to other people’s posts. Maybe one day the travel blogger will visit and you can chat more then and be blogged about!

  • Run a cafe? Look for food bloggers! Your business is based on the food and drinks, look out for recipes you might use at work and thank bloggers for broadening the knowledge in this area.
  • Run a gallery? Look for art bloggers.
  • Run a florist? Look for interiors bloggers.

We could go on all night! Find your blogger community. They’ll notice you and read & comment on your blog.

4. They know people want to have fun

Ask people what’s interesting about where you work. I can remember working on a project that was to restore Shire Hall in Monmouth. I’d got a MySpace page up and running (this was back in the day when it was very popular) and wanted engaging content. I thought, ‘what do I love most about the place?’ It was Tony, caretaker at the time, a local character and a guy with much knowledge of how allegedly haunted the building was. A partner of my colleague offered to film him showing us the ghost s and ‘hey presto!’ – we had a talking point. Locals loved it.

What gets people talking about your work? This post ‘Is there such a thing as a bad ice cream flavour?’ is a good example of a fun approach to an ice cream company’s products. On the council blog I run I like to throw the odd post in like ‘Finding the best ale in Monmouthshire’ so it’s helpful as part of community life and the blog is not too heavy with the usual council matters.

5. They use the ‘Hello mum!’ effect

Face it, if you’re on telly, radio, the newspapers or now on blogs – you’re going to tell everyone you know! Lots of us get a real thrill from having our fifteen minutes of fame – do it for your customers or peers and your message spreads. People get their nans, mates, colleagues to look at it.

It’s good to mention people, case study their work, ask them to guest post – it gives your blog more than one perspective.

It helps to nurture your network this way by showing it’s not all about you but the added bonus is that you open yourself up to their audiences and get new readers.

So that’s a short version of my presentation for WordPress Users Wales and the Software Alliance.

This presentation started out as eight things bloggers do but during the event last night another speaker, the amazing Pippa, said she’d read a study that showed odd numbers resonate more with people. So I chopped a few points and I don’t think they’ll go too missed!

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