Blogging has a very different dynamic from other types of publishing media, owing to several factors, but the most important in my eyes are:
1) Posts are usually short to medium length, but are fairly regular. This churn has meant that people turn to feeds and aggregators to
manage the dribbled snippets of disparate information, but it gives blogs a more casual, conversational characteristic
2) What turns individual blogs into the blogosphere is the community that builds up with interaction between the streams of stuttered
conversation, that whispers and rumours travel, as well as knowledge and information being shared and relayed.
3) The mechanisms that have become common in blog tools and services encourage and feed off this interconnectedness. Links (posting references to others’ posts, tracking back, and commenting) are a powerful source of SEO, if that is your main goal. However, even for the casual non-commercial blogger, connections are a source of inspiration and readership too. Reading other people’s blogs and commenting
on them or blogging about them builds not only your knowledge and that of your readers, but builds a network around you, albeit more transient than the one you have in LinkedIn – this comes back to making sure you do it regularly.
Different media suit different structures.
You can use the passing flow of time in your blog to help you rework material. In a traditional static form that you build up in documents or wikis, you avoid repetition. However in a blog it is relevant to rework something you posted six months ago, because you will have a different view and you can recompose your work in various ways.
You can use this to translate your ideas into chunks that you publish consecutively – like chapters of a book delivered in weekly inserts in a magazine. Not only will it help you reorganise it but you might get a different response if people read it in a different shape.
Incoming links shows which paths readers could use to arrive at your blog, and indicates your level of support from your blogging community. However if you want to know how they are arriving, and which are the most common ways they click through to you you need to track referrals.
Once again, your blogging software is lilkely to have some information, but you can improve your statistical information gathering by including some scripts in your pages from one of the following tools:
- AWStats (Advanced Web Stats)
- Google Analytics
The first two seem to be the most respected – although Google is one of the most common, some suggest that their statistics may be subject to some bias. Other tools are available but some are tied to services (like AdSense) and others involve payment (like the good but rather costly Overture).
If you want to know who is linking in to your blog, then the first place you can look is in your own blogging system. Many, such as WordPress have a dashboard with statistics including incoming links. If you still want to know more then you can use one (or more) of the following tools:
Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/home/)
Thanks to Dennis McDonald (http://www.ddmcd.com) for providing this list.
Comments from fellow LinkedIn Bloggers suggest that Technorati is no longer providing a complete picture of incoming links.
If you have a good idea for a paper or a publication then you can use this as an opportunity for networking
In order to complete your research, it often helps to conduct some interviews with subject matter experts – people in the field who have concrete experience. As you interview people, you are beginning to understand their needs, and this is often an important aspect of building a networking relationship. This means that as a networker, you can benefit from the implicit relationship that comes from interviewing.
Of course it helps if your research topic is close to your career path, but in an ideal world it should be anyway.
A potential issue with this is that, as a relatively unknown writer you might not be able to attract prestigious interviewees – but then this is all part of your self-development as a writer and/or networker. You need to start with people who are close enough to you, and where possible develop further relationships through them. As you continue your reputation will spread, and so will your ability to draw interest from a wider group of professionals.
In all cases, a crucial factor will be the topic you choose – the more exciting or relevant it is, the more people you will attract to be involved. And naturally if you are enthusiastic about the topic, more people will be drawn by your passion in the subject – both contributors to the writing stage, and later your readers too!
Does that sound like a win-win strategy to you?
Frequently we bemoan commercialisation, because it dilutes principles that we hold in high regard. Chasing the dollar, we say, makes us focus on vulgar distortions, loosing the original beauty of our intentions. Well, in some cases the opposite is actually true.
I found this article interesting not because I want to improve the SEO ranking of my content, but because it suggests doing things that you should be doing anyway. Because search engines rank content that is well constructed, simply, relevant and clearly marked up, they favour pages that are well put together.