Science of Blogging– Art of Engagement: Embrace or Reject Popular Wisdom for Bloggers Blogging Blogs in Business…

What Is a Blog? What is Blogging? Who are Bloggers? Sounds a bit dry, well maybe we can spice-it-up a bit; let’s give it a try…

First, something you probably already know; a blog is written content with or without images or videos… and content can be just about any topic and in the form of an article, journal, commentary… which is then posted on a website…

Second, bloggers are people who create, maintains a blog… Third, blogging is the action of authoring, writing, developing… a blog.

According to Zac Johnson; blogging is all about experience… blogging is about growth, about development, about change… change is a huge part of what bloggers do (or they should do)… However, it takes more than just building a ‘blog’ to be successful, it takes building a ‘tribe’.

According to Seth Godin; a tribe is a group of people connected to an idea, which in turn is connected to a leader. In other words, blogger  must be a ‘champion’ and ‘leader’ to visitors and that means bloggers must view their mission as more than just getting million of visitors in order to make a quick sale… instead, bloggers must think far beyond that– think relationship…

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Yes instead of focusing on numbers bloggers must focus on building a tribe… Building anything is risky, which means that a blogger can be just one step away from success (whatever that means), or just one step away from failure (whatever that means)… However, a key component of blogging is selling, which bloggers often ignore. Selling ideas is the foundation of a blog (whether bloggers like selling or not). Bloggers success is only limited by their ability to sell ideas, dreams… as represent by their content.

According to Toni Nelson; a blog must have a clearly articulated ‘purpose’; one that provides– real value, uniqueness, relevancy… Often bloggers think of themselves as loners creating great content and for many bloggers this is true, but the world is more complicated, e.g.; there are about 31 million bloggers! about 42,000,000 blogs in the U.S. alone! about 329 million people who view blogs on a monthly basis! about 25 billion blog pages viewed per month! about 500,000 blog posts per day! about 400,000 blog ‘comments’ per day!

In the article Blogging Advice You Should Ignore by Chris Sturk writes: The Internet is full of information; some beneficial, high-quality, accurate… while other is pure garbage… There needs to be discretion when consuming or posting copious amounts of information, so here are few pieces of advice about conventional wisdom that– bloggers blogging blogs for business might wish to– reconsider or better yet just ignore:

  • Focus on Content–That’s All That Matters: Oh, we love to hear this one. Yes, it’s important to put ‘focus’ on content… However, great content isn’t all that matters. And it’s only the second part of the process – bloggers must get readers first! The goal should be to create great content that is optimized for search engines (SEO), and that allows great content to live-on forever…
  • Social Media Has Replaced Blogging: Wrong; social media is a tool for promoting blog content, but it does not replace blogging… Social media is all about social interaction, and not the proliferation of comprehensive information…
  • Be Controversial: Controversy can be valuable to attract a wide array of viewers, but it’s not necessary to build an audience. Attempts at being controversial can also backfire. Be careful when going the route of controversy because it can ultimately back-fire…
  • Write Content That Everybody Wants and Loves: The best part about business blogging and SEO is that bloggers can target specific types of readers… hence, recognize the audience reading your content and use language that not only appeals to that audience, but also is quantifiable in search volume. Writing a blog that targets everyone is a waste of time and money…
  • Images Are Not Important: Readers look for visual connections… the culture is dominated by visualizations– images, videos, pictures… they catch readers’ eyes, they draw people-in; if a blog has well-done written content and aligned with visual imagery, then that the makings of a good blog…
  • Backlinks Are Key to Blogging Success: Backlinks do certainly have value but only if they are associated with websites that are reputable; by creating good content, it will attract quality links naturally…
  • Business Blogging is Just Fad: Business blogging is not a fad, and in fact, experts suggest that blogs and blogging is more valuable than social media for business… Consumers are more likely to buy after reading a blog post, than from clicking a link on Twitter or Facebook…
  • Blog Comments: There is a belief that ‘comments’ on other bloggers blogs would lead to more interactions and more connections, maybe… but more important, actively engage visitors to your blog by responding to comments, retweets, shout-outs… acknowledge and engage visitors and that will encourage more loyalty, more shares, and ultimately a more popular blog…
  • Blog Every Day: Blogging every day is good, but only if your blog has value… Don’t push garbage content out, just to do it… content must have value…

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In the article Legal Facts Every Blogger Must Know by Jonathan Bailey writes: When it comes to legal issues, most bloggers are either unaware or misinformed about the laws that they operate under… That’s unfortunate because now, with blogging and social media; everyone is a journalist, publisher, investigative reporter… The web is ubiquitous and as such, content can reach virtually every country, every jurisdiction… in the world. Hence, what is legal in one country, region… may not be legal in another, which in some situations can bite you… As blogger, you are responsible legally for what you post and posting anonymous or pseudonymously is not a guarantee against legal consequences… hence, some legal facts about U.S. law that every blogger should know:

Copyright:

  • Copyright protects works of creative authorship and is a collection of rights over those works. Those rights include the right to make copies, the right to publicly display/perform the work and the right to make derivative works. Doing any of those things to a copyrighted work without permission is an infringement…
  • Copyright is given either to the author of the work, or their employer if they are creating the work for their job (Note: Contract work does not always transfer copyright), the moment that work is fixed into a tangible medium of expression. No further action is required for a work to be protected, though copyright registration is required to sue and has other benefits…
  • Current term for copyright in the U.S. is for the life of the author plus 70 years for individuals or 95 years for works of corporate authorship. Once that term expires, the work lapses into the public domain, where it has no copyright protection…

Defamation:

  • Defamation is the communication of any statement, presented or implied to be true, that is false and puts a person, business or other entity in a negative light, falsely harming their reputation…
  • Slander is any defamation presented in a transitory medium, usually spoken word. Libel is anything that is printed, published or otherwise put into a fixed form. Most defamation online is libel, not slander unless it’s not being saved as it’s being said…
  • Truth is an absolute defense against a defamation claim but it must be a verifiable fact. Likewise, opinions are not libelous but they must be actual opinions, not statements falsely labeled as opinions…

Trademark:

  • Trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, sound or almost anything used to identify a business or their goods/services. Trademarks do not have to be registered to be protected, but registration can and does help. As such, if you use a site for business, you likely have some level of trademark protection in your name…
  • Trademark law is designed to prevent confusion in the marketplace. This means using a mark in a way that implies you have a relationship with the business that doesn’t exist is likely trademark infringing. The same goes for using a confusingly similar mark…
  • Trademark protects things copyright cannot, such as names and phrases, that protection is limited to uses that cause confusion. You are free to talk about a business…

Privacy:

  • There are four different types of privacy torts: Intrusion upon seclusion, misappropriation of image, publication of private facts and false light, the latter of which is similar to defamation…
  • Once a fact has been made public, it’s considered in the public domain and repeating it is not the same as making it public. As such, any information you put on a blog, Facebook… is considered public and can be repeated by others…
  • Privacy laws, as with defamation, vary from state-to-state, be sure to look up local laws…

Conventional wisdom says that people on the Internet generally have shorter attention spans, so that the logical correct way to blog is to produce smaller, more concise posts that visitors can read and finish quickly… However, according to Neil Patel; shorter is not necessarily better… conversion rates can actually be less for shorter length content in a blog– many readers are looking for significant ‘substance’ on a topic and that may mean more content… experienced is showing that longer blog posts gain more natural links, more tweets, more Facebook ‘likes’, higher engagement… and these lead to increased page views per visit, longer time on site… and likely, higher rankings for the keywords…

According to Syncro; this does not mean that you should produce thousands of words of rubbish content, you should only write as much as you need to describe the situation in meaningful and useful words… If it takes 2,000 words to (usefully) describe the features and benefits of something, then write those 2,000 words… Also, a great title will catch the attention of the reader and draw them in– it implies that the content is interesting, useful, relevant, fulfilling…

In addition, images, videos… are very important in a well-conceived blog– they serve to break-up content by giving visualization of what you are talking about, making a page more visually appealing to readers… Great images improve conversion rates, increase engagement with the site, keep visitors on the site looking at more pages for longer…

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Finally, engage and involve visitors to your blog by– ask questions, give them a task, ask for opinions, links to other websites where they can find related information… Blogging is a business activity; think of it as a conversation with– customers, partners, suppliers, on-lookers… and share opinions, ideas… even if they don’t agree with you…

The best business blogs are when bloggers consistently create content that is– engaging, interesting, useful, relevant… for the target audience. The purpose of a blog is to establish the blogger as an– authority, expert, leader… in the eyes of the audience, and anything less than that is a compete waste of time…