What makes an effective blog?

Posted on: July 21, 2008

I guess I should start by explaining what a blog is, as some partners at a firm recently asked me to help them understand what it is and how it might be used in a marketing campaign. In essence a blog is an open on-line diary (the word derives from web log) – a series of comments and opinions of varying length about a particular topic. But rather than a personal blog (about your life), the professions use business blogs (about a business, professional or technical topic). To get an idea, please have a look at my blog.

As the digital age thunders forward, we find the old promotional methods of static, hard copy newsletters and short email alerts being replaced by the faster, cheaper and less formal blogs for client communications and also as a way of keeping referrers and prospects aware of our expertise and news. And as “content is king”, blogs are a good way of ensuring that your web site receives regular new material to help with search engine optimisation (SEO).

Users can subscribe to a blog using a RSS (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is used to describe the technology used in creating feeds) which means that new blog entries are sent automatically to their PC so they don’t have to return to the original blog when they want to see the latest entries. In this way, users can build up their own personal knowledge base on subjects of interest by subscribing to the best blogs in their subject area.

Blogs come in all shapes and sizes and there are blogs on a wide range of topics. The professions – who essentially trade on their knowledge and thought leadership – are growing users. But there is a danger that they can become too long, dull or technically complex to be effective marketing communications unless the fundamentals of good writing are observed. The following risqué set of words may help you remember :

  • KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Use Plain English and short sentences and short paragraphs. Avoid jargon. Make sure the grammar and spelling are correct.
  • KIT RIP – Keep It Topical and focused on the Reader’s Interests and Perspective
  • KIP – Keep It Personal. Try to convey a flavour of your personality and style. It makes it more enjoyable to read and helps to differentiate your blog from the millions of others.

Morgan Wylie offers seven secrets of writing great blog entries: have an opinion, stay relevant, don’t write a diary, be consistent, be humorous, develop a good writing style and link out. As Seth Godin says “The mistake most blogs and books make: they are about the writer, not the reader.”

 

I do not restrict access to the FAQs but I politely request that you let me know by email and acknowledge the source (www.kimtasso.com) if you wish to use the material anywhere.

As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.

Original branding by Matt Playford · A site by Fresh01