What Makes a Blog Worthwhile


Blog

There are two main considerations to the question of what makes a blog worthwhile: 1) is this activity worth an investment of your time and effort; 2) will it be a good use of someone's time as a reader. The answer to both revolves around the definition of useful.

Why would anyone bother reading? What invites people back? Here are some responses I have seen online:

  • good information
  • timely content
  • consistent writing
  • allows comments
  • good discussion by readers
  • authentic voice
  • domain expertise
  • interesting perspective
  • discussion of business problems
  • tips about a specific subject matter
  • layout and fonts

I could go on. The truth is we read the most disparate things, even stuff we would never admit spending (or wasting, if we judge) time on when polled. We read those in the same way we slow down and look when there is an accident — with utter fascination, possibly to have a story to share later, and, in some cases, grateful it wasn't us who wrote it. Reality TV thrives on this concept.

How to define useful

Given that there isn't a universal definition of what works, and that the best way to learn it is to get started, you can begin with the people you should know the most — your customers. What kinds of things do they read most? Are you already offering a newsletter, for example?

Can you tell from click throughs? Have you experimented with landing pages from articles? I'm a big fan of A/B testing whenever I want to have a better idea of what resonates. This is also the best way to show what works to management.

You should also look at search results for your Web site — how do people find you and your business? And if you're wondering why you should even start a blog, I wrote a very popular post explaining why and 25 ways to make it work.

What is worthwhile to you

Editorial calendars will help you stay the course. However, the most interesting content is the topic you like. Do you enjoy story telling? That's how you should write. And if you run out of ideas, here are 50 content ideas that create buzz.

Your turn. What works for you as both a reader and a content producer?

 

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0 responses to “What Makes a Blog Worthwhile”

  1. Funny that I find this now. I have been wrestling with the content to write on PostageApp’s blog, until I had a recent revelation that people want to read blog posts that contain many of the responses you received.
    The worst part? I have been reading about how to write great blog posts for so long, but it never really materialized for me until I had to start writing beyond a personal blog.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. I read A LOT. It not only helps to inspire me to write about topics but to gain a better understanding of what my audience is reading and paying attention to.
    I try different articles both in style and topic. And then I always look at analytics. I am obsessed with looking at what is read more and spreads further and why. Can I come to any conclusions? Can I do it again?

  3. Excellent post, and timely as I’m in the midst of a series on why people in my line of work (marketing/PR for higher educational institutions) should blog. In fact, your post inspired one of my own this morning. I hope you’ll stop by to have a read.

  4. Thanks for the awesome post – and links to some other great ideas. In addition to just knowing what brings people to the site, I love knowing what gets the most comments (how to phrase a question, what types of questions, etc)

  5. Valiera, I enjoyed this piece. It echoes conversations you and i have had in the past . . . and it is that thinking that has helped me frame what my blog focus is about. I am actually doing it now . . . taking a bit of a different focus than what we discussed, but it fits in with what I am doing with my business as I build it out. I also enjoyed the additional post o 25 ways to make a blog work. I am following most of them – but I would like to add a 26th! PATIENCE. It takes patience with the blogging process before it fully delivers the results you want.

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