Friday, December 10, 2010
Six Things Bloggers Owe Readers!
You know how when you have company coming around the holidays, how you tidy up the house, take inventory to make sure you have enough tissue, break out the good china, and do general prep to insure that they have a pleasant visit and positive experience? How you threaten, (I mean “encourage”:) the family to be on their best behavior to prevent embarrassment and avoid the risk of scaring folks away?
Well, a similar ritual and regard should take place when it comes to “inviting” folks to our online “space” in the way of readership. We should put forth our best “virtual” efforts.
No matter what our niche, it's important to provide certain “niceties”.
I'm not talking about pretending, or putting on airs, or even being perfect here. Quite to the contrary.
In fact, some of my best “stays” online and in the real world have existed as a result of the host not going overboard, but simply being accommodating, savvy and intuitive of my needs.
With this in mind, here's what we owe blog readers for their support, time, interest, and “following” when they spend time with us:
1. Quality content—This goes beyond good informational material, it also applies to proofing your work for spelling, grammatical and context errors.
2. Originality---Though it has been said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, it really cheats readers when you “borrow” styles and in-depth ideas from others. Not to mention, the great thing about blogging is that it's supposed to be TOTALLY a reflection of you. There are very few rules to dictate how you must approach things to be a success. So experiment. Then “show us what you're workin' with!”
3. Honesty---Don't fake it. Speak what is real and realistic. For example, some time ago while reading a few authors' blogs, they mentioned in their posts that comments were not important to them, as long as they were enjoying what they were doing. C'mon, now---I mean really? Who are we kidding here? I'm not saying that we should be caught up in comments, nor should they be the only barometer by which to judge our success, but if they weren't important, why would we have the feature as a component of our blogs? After all, the very nature of blogging is supposed to be interactive. Hello? I'm just gonna' keep it real. I love to hear from you folks, and there are times when I really look forward to it. So keep the love coming. :-)
4. Accuracy---Very few of us are reporting news or technical how-tos by way of our blogs. That's a given. Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do occasional research, present an “informed” position on current issues, or read beyond the surface of what's being circulated as “gospel.” Leave myths for fairy tales. Due diligence is important.
5. Courage---Have the chutzpah to stand for something. Be grown up in terms of what you believe and your right to express it. As long as it's not mean-spirited, unfounded and malicious in nature. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
6. Intimacy---A good photo placed strategically on your joint, a brief Bio, and a few getting-to-know-you details can build rapport and build connections.
Provide these six "amenities" to give readers the “red carpet treatment”, knowing that in today's tough economy, it'll be one debt you can happily mark “paid in full!”
What's your take on this topic?