Normally when we talk about the principles of blogging, we compile a list of techniques.
We make sure to talk about great content, consistent branding, and passion. While these are important, they fail to describe the fundamental criteria for an effective and sustainable blog publishing effort. Today, we’ll take a step back from the techniques and focus on 5 Universal Principles that drive enchanting and enduring blogs. I offer these principles as a litmus test for evaluating your own blog’s strengths and challenges.
The 5 Universal Principles are:
The foundation of successful blogging is finding and staying true to your voice. From its inception, blogging has been a quasi-personal medium championed by individuals. The best blogs doggedly reflect the inner beliefs and values of their writers.
Authenticity in Action: If you meet the blog’s writers in person they perfectly reflect the voice of the blog. You can’t miss their unique perspective on the world.
Blogs are intimately linked with the needs and aspirations of their audience. Strong blogs work tirelessly to seed, nurture, and grow their follower and reader base.
Community in Action: The blog has multiple ways to speak directly the writer and other readers. Threaded comments with reply capability and forums are excellent tools for building a vibrant community.
Successful blogs evolve. As the market for ideas gets more crowded, bloggers who can create spectacular content will hold the advantage. Be careful. This isn’t innovation for innovation’s sake. Publishers only innovate when stay true to the other 4 principles.
Innovation in Action: Great blogs stay 2-steps ahead of their readers. They consistently offer content that is bold, imaginative, and stunningly useful. A great example is Chris Brogan’s Blog Topics Service
The innovative engine of the blog is fueled by an open and respectful exchange of ideas. Effective bloggers draw upon the creative drive of their community to co-create relevant content.
Collaboration in Action: Surveys, Twitter polls, one-on-one interviews, and guided forum discussions are effective ways to build collaborative content.
At it’s core, blogging is an exercise in personal and organization growth. Writing clarifies and deepens the blogger’s understanding of their mission and contribution. Even more important, the growth principle inspires the blogger to take their message to an ever-widening audience. This is not growth for growth’s sake; a growing audience provides the insights and voices needed for strong communities and active collaboration.
Growth in Action: Dig into the back-story of all the top blogs and you will see their publishers initially focus on attracting quality traffic to their blog. They didn’t abandon their content. Instead, they promoted it with an evolving mix of SEO, Guest Posting, Social Bookmarking, and even PPC when needed.
How The 5 Universal Principles Work Together
The core principle is authenticity. Without authenticity, the blog will lack the voice and passion required to attract a devoted audience. You have to walk the walk and talk the talk.
From there Community drives Collaboration. Collaboration inspires Innovation. Innovation contributes to growth; growth completes the cycle by expanding the community. This is the engine that drives a spectacular blog and forms the foundation of an inspired social media strategy.
So what happens if you ignore one of the principles?
Let’s take a look at what happens when you eliminate any one of the principles…
Again, use the principles to diagnose a a blog that is failing to live up to its potential.
Is your comment section filled with cousin, 2 die-hard enthusiasts and a spam bot? Focus on growth.
Having a difficult time getting any participation from your reader base? Look for ways to drive collaborative conversations directly between you and your followers
Are your posts getting overlooked and even ignored? Perhaps your me-too blog needs an injection of innovation.
Wondering why your business blog isn’t getting any feedback from your readers? Put the magnifying glass on your community building efforts? Do you even have a community building program?
Do you have to bribe your employees to visit your own blog? Are you burned-out and can’t stand writing posts? A critical look at your blogs authenticity is the answer.
What Do You Think?
Take a close look at the 5 Universal Principles and tell me what you think. Is there a sixth? How will you use these principles to guide your blogging?
One More Thing:
If you are looking for easy-to-understand techniques for creating a strong and vibrant blog that get’s noticed then consider joining our growing community of Pushing Social Bootcamp Members. Click here to get details on how to join.