Wednesday, 31 August 2016

What should my blog contain?

The Datapartners Daily Blog about blogs: 3 of 10

Once you’ve established why you want to blog and what your blog is going to be about, you need to consider your target audience. The subject matter and the type of people who will be reading it will affect what you put in your blog. The way you write it will also make a difference to the types of people who will read it and keep coming back.

For example, I keep my blogs relatively light-hearted and quite often make fun of consultants and other inherently stupid people. Therefore, the chances of a serious consultant enjoying my blog are slim, unless they are the rare breed of consultant born with a sense of humour and a personality. In fact the chances of a consultant being able to read is slim so forget everything I just wrote.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, content. While some blogs contain humour, it’s only worth doing that if the subject matter allows it and if you are actually funny. Don’t try to force it otherwise it almost inevitably has the opposite effect.

Images and video can also bring a blog to life. Certainly photos are the first things people notice on any website so if you’ve got a nice, bold image, it will almost certainly draw the viewer in, meaning there is more chance of them actually reading your content. Personally I use very little in the way of imagery on this blog because I rarely have use for it. However, I also write articles for other publications where images and photos are much more relevant (news sites and profile sites for example).

Perhaps embed a related video. Either one you made yourself or sharing someone else’s video. People are more likely to respond to something visual (like photos and video) because reading is more arduous for people (especially consultants).

So there you go; Your blog should contain words, photos, video and some light-hearted and easy-to-read material. Pretty obvious really. This blog was a bit pointless… I’d probably make a good consultant...

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How long should my blog be?

The Datapartners Daily Blog about blogs: 2 of 10

Guys, have you ever actually asked a woman whether size matters or not? Me neither but I’m sure different women would give you different answers. The nice ones will lie just to make you feel better about yourself.

Anyway, the point is that it’s the same answer to this question. Some people like short and sweet, others like it long and substantial. In truth, it doesn’t matter how long a blog is, as long as it’s good quality. If a blog is badly written, it’s less likely to get much in the way of interest. Unless it’s so badly written it goes viral for its utter ridiculousness, but you probably don’t want that.

Having said all that, I would personally never want to write a blog longer than a thousand words. This is because I wouldn’t want to read a blog that is over a thousand words. If I wanted to read copious amounts of text, I’d read a book. On the flip side, I wouldn’t personally write a blog that is less than two hundred words. This is because anything under two hundred words is barely a sentence.

It’s really a matter of preference but I’d say a good guide was between 200-1000 words. As long as the content is good and engages the reader.

This blog is 242 words. Oh and for the record, I’m hung like a genetically modified horse.

Monday, 29 August 2016

To blog or not to blog

The Datapartners Daily Blog about blogs: 1 of 10

Before embarking on a blog, you need to ask yourself why you want to do it. Do you have something to say? Do you enjoy writing? Are you literate? If the answer to any of those questions is “no” then you probably shouldn’t do it.

One of the reasons I haven’t done much in the way of blogging lately is because I haven’t been able to think of anything worthwhile to write about. Partly because of a lack of inspiration and partly because I’ve been busy. For a blog to work, you really need to post on a regular enough basis to keep your readers active, but not too much that you end up pissing people off. Rather than posting crap just for the sake of it, I personally haven’t bothered.

If your blog is more of a personal journal whereby you are sharing random thoughts and events of everyday life, then you’re more than likely going to have more to say. Blogging in this way is quite therapeutic. Writing your thoughts down is a good way of getting things off your chest and sharing it with the world is equally so. Caring is sharing and all that bollocks.

If your blog is more business oriented, you need to ask yourself if it’s right for your business. Also, is your writing style suitable. For example, my blogs are very light-hearted and often involve mild sarcasm, swearing and insults directed at celebrities and other annoying turds. This sort of behaviour wouldn’t sit well if I worked for a stuffy, boring, corporate company because they have a pompous image to maintain. Also, not all businesses have enough happening to warrant a regular blog. For example, I would personally find it hard to write a relevant blog for a company selling, say, wood because there is only so much I’d be able to write before I ran out of things to say, or started writing irresponsible posts involving sexual innuendo.

My business is quite easy because there is a lot of change in the web industry and there are a lot of relevant related topics like computers, software, hardware, other websites, new technology and countless other things.

So basically if you want to seriously consider starting a regular blog, ask yourself whether or not you have enough to say and if you think what you have to say will be of interest to others. Providing you have adequate knowledge of your chosen topic (or topics) and can keep it going for long enough, then you should definitely give it a go.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The blogging challenge

For someone who is very keen to promote the idea of blogging and general social networking to my customers, I’m painfully aware I don’t do anywhere near enough of it myself. This is partly because I’m too busy trying to encourage other people to do it and also because, having written several books and managed numerous different blogs covering a wide variety of genres, I never find time to write a company blog. I’m also inherently lazy.

Blogging is great but is it for everyone? A blog, like any form of written work, should be worth reading. That means it should be either informative or entertaining, or both. There’s only so much a single person can write that is useful and informative without getting repetitive. It’s not always possible to be entertaining either. I mean seriously, you try writing humour into the subject of web design and content management systems. It’s harder than listening to a Justin Bieber song without wanting to rip your own face off.

Anyway, to encourage myself to blog more, I am setting myself the challenge of writing one blog a day for two weeks (starting Monday and excluding weekends because, you know, I have a life) on the subject of blogging. These blogs will cover the following topics:

To blog or not to blog
How long should my blog be?
What should my blog contain?
How often should I blog?
Can I make money from blogging?
How do I promote my blog?
What benefits does blogging have?
What about vlogging?
Getting other people to write blogs
What are the best blogging sites?