Writing a List Post, Focusing on Current Readers, & Writing a Link Post (Days #2, #5, & #7 from 31 Days to Build a Better Blog)

I continue to participate in Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. In this post, I summarize how I completed challenges for Day #2, Day #5, and Day #7. (For reporting purposes, I am completing some tasks out of sequence.)

The sections below describe the challenge for writing a list post, focusing on current readers, and writing a link post.

Writing a List Post
in the challenge for Day #2, Darren Rowse describes three types of lists that bloggers often use successfully:

  • The post as a list: “In this case there’s nothing in the post except for the list. The title of your post introduces the topic and then the list speaks for itself. The list can be quite barebones – short and to the point.” For an example of a list post, see Peer Review Checklists for Writers in this blog.
  • Extended lists:  “This type of post is not dissimilar to an essay or article but the main points are broken down into a numbered list format. Generally there is a heading for each section (highlighted in bold or heading tags), with a paragraph or two under each one.” For an example of an extended list, see A Baker’s Dozen: Links on Cloud Computing, in this blog. This post also represents a link list  (building a resource on a topic).
  • Lists Within Posts:  “In this type of post, lists present ideas in the midst of other content. In a sense the list becomes a way of breaking up your text. …these posts do quite well as other bloggers looking for a quote to share with their readers will many times grab your list.” For example: see Digital Marketing World: Spring 2009 – Winning Against the Odds—my most viewed post, with multiple bulleted lists, providing takeaway points for various digital conference sessions, within the same post.

Focusing on Your Current Readers
In the challenge for Day #5, I emailed two blog readers, who both left comments on my earlier posts:

My email simply thanked my readers for their comments and asked for more information about the blog topic (Larry Weber and his respective companies, in the case of my note to Farah at RacePoint, and the virtual conference schedule, in the case of Cece at InXpo.)

I promptly received e-mails back from both company representatives, with helpful information to supplement my original posts.

From RacePoint Group, I obtained the following information about how to best keep up with Larry Weber:

From Cece at InXpo, I learned that InXpo keeps a list of upcoming virtual events on the InXpo website: http://www.inxpo.com/news/upcoming-events/index.htm.

The point Darren Rowse intended for this exercise, I imagine, is to deepen relationships and the lines of communication, with your existing readers, as I did with both Farah and Cece  (and by extension, the organizations they represent). In the process, I gained new information to supplement my original blog posts and added more value to my other readers.

Link Post
In the challenge for Day #7, Rowse provides these reasons for linking out on your blog:

  • Giving something of value to your readers
  • Building your credibility
  • Building relationships with other bloggers
  • SEO

He also describes six types of link posts to consider:

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Contacting the Author: Content for a Convergent World – Peg Mulligan’s Blog

Writing An Elevator Pitch (Day #1 from 31 Days to Build a Better Blog)

I am participating in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge, sponsored by Darren Rowse (aka @problogger on Twitter).

In the challenge for Day #1, Darren Rowse recommends developing an elevator pitch for your blog:

What is an Elevator Pitch?
“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).” – Wikipedia

According to Rowse, your blog’s elevator pitch is important to successfully “writing content, promoting and finding readers, search engine optimization, networking with other bloggers, branding, design”…in other words—everything.

I have been working on refining my blog’s tag line, but finding a way to concisely express my purpose (and related skill-set) in terms specific enough to reflect my primary expertise and interests as a technical communicator, while broad enough to encompass content-related topics in other disciplines (including content marketing, customer relationship management, and product development) has required some tweaking.

In the last month, my tag line has evolved this way:

  • “Technical Communication for a Convergent World”  ~ Good Start
  • “Content for a Convergent World” ~ Getting There
  • “Content (Information, Interactions, & Experiences) for a Convergent World ~ Eureka

The inspiration for the final version of my tagline comes from Vince Giorgi’s post, Is It Content? Software? Let’s Call It a Branded Experience, with this working definition of content:

“Content is about so much more than words…Content is value-adding information, interactions and experiences by which brands engage and build affinity with the audiences vital to their business success.”

Through my final tag line, I now have a clear purpose for this blog and major organizational categories (information, interactions, and experiences), which reinforce this purpose.

In addition to my tag line, I can start using my elevator pitch in my “about page, real life conversation, business cards, pitching to media, pitching to other bloggers, my e-mail signature, and social media profiles” (Rowse, Day #1: 31 Days BBB).

What do you think about the tag line? Do you think it’s serving my goals? As for audience, though I imagine that this blog most appeals to other technical and professional communicators  (aka content developers), the targeted audience for this blog is quite broad because we are all knowledge workers—all impacted by the convergence of communications and technology.

About This Blog: Copyright Information

Contacting the Author: Content for a Convergent World – Peg Mulligan’s Blog