How I read blogs

23 Feb

I know. There's already something quaint about the word, and 'weblogs' looks archaic now.

Besides, it's hard to define something that runs from Twitter updates (microblogs) via Tumbr and WordPress to fully-fledged content management systems. How can you compare a student's blog with the Huffington Post (sold for $315m)?

So how do I read frequently-updated webpages created by PR students and practitioners? Here are some personal tips:

  • First of all, I have to know you're out there. If you want to encourage people to your blog, put the link on your Twitter profile page and comment on other people's blogs (this will embed a hyperlink back to your site). Start networking and start sharing.
  • On your blog or website, make sure you've updated your About entry. It's the first thing I look at when checking out new blogs, and it should be the first thing you fix.
  • I often read blog entries in Google Reader and only click through if I want to comment or check another page. So, for me, blog design is less important than blog content.
  • I might look at how many comments you receive, but it's not a show stopper. Seth Godin's impressive, but he gets no comments at all (he doesn't allow them).
  • How often do you post? There's no simple answer, but less frequently than monthly and your blog looks untended. You need to cut the grass regularly in the summer.
  • Here's my hierarchy. First, I need to find you; then I'll subscribe to your blog; finally, if I want to recommend you I may add you to my 'blogroll'. Gain attention, merit interest, earn trust.

2 Responses to “How I read blogs”

  1. Shonali Burke 23/02/2011 at 11:33 am #

    This is a great primer, Richard. #3 is what I do as well, so the headline and first few sentences of a post are really what determine whether or not I will click through, comment, etc.
    Personally I really like blogs which share others’ content generously. It doesn’t have to be a link fest, but the simple act of referring to other blogs, posts, etc., within a post tells me that the writer is genuinely interested in sharing information, and not just his/hers.

  2. Jessica Lawlor 23/02/2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Great post. I would even argue that a blog should be updated at least once weekly to remain relevant to stay in my Google Reader. I want to know that I’ll consistently be reading excellent content, if I’m going to subscribe to a blog.

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