It takes a certain kind of person to be an Internet personality.
I really like Darren Rowse's post asking, Is Writing Great Content Enough to Build a Successful Blog? He contends that there is a RIGHT answer and a REAL answer to how to become a successful blogger.
The right answers include building a site with great content, interacting with readers, using great titles, promoting yourself, applying basic principles of SEO and having an inviting design. He also admits that the real answer also includes things like mojo, luck, expertise, and charisma.
So, what does a company, that is blogging for business, do in order to break though the clutter and become relevant?
Lee Odden breaks down the numbers for us in a recent SEO tips post.
In 2007 there were approximately 70 million blogs tracked by Technorati and this year they post 112 million….Out of all those blogs, 100 million have less than 20 inbound links. 400,000 blogs have more than 20 links and the top 2,600 blogs have over 1,000 inbound links. Think about that. To be one of the top 1% of all blogs according to Technorati, it takes (among other things) 1,000 inbound links. That's a number any competent search marketer could achieve in a reasonable amount of time provided there's good content to work with.
This means that 1,000 bloggers have to link to you over a 180 day period (the time that Technorati takes to churn inbound links) to become a top 1 percent blogger. Now, being in the top 1 percent is by no means superstardom, though some bloggers act as if it is. However, it means that you are getting noticed in your niche.
It is at the heart of the argument that Robert Scoble and Geoff Livingston had on the floor at Gnomdex last week. Robert feels that anyone could essentially be as big as he over time, and Geoff says it takes more than mere desire and great content.
But what would make 1,000 people link to you? What kind of content, mixed with charisma and personality drives that kind of interest?
Telling Your Story
It boils down to your goals. A blog is just a content management system, a way to deliver content of all kinds, podcast, video, etc. There are many reasons why someone may want to deliver content, but here are a few of them:
The Self Fulfillment Goals
- Personal enjoyment and/or a journal
- An online thesis
- Sharing information
Sometimes people have ideas and thoughts inside of them that they want to share. It used to be that they would write a book, which often never was read by anyone but there closest friends. But now, everyone can publicly share their ideas.
The Me Goals
- Becoming known in a niche
- Promoting something
- Fame and fortune
Most businesses and individuals, if they were honest, would say that the ME goals often drive their decision to launch a blog. The problem is that the ME goals: become known, promotion and fame and fortune are the worst performers and lead to boring and even pompous content. The Self Fulfillment Goals sometimes, with lots of work, can get someone known, but since it is still fundamentally about you, there is a smaller circle of people who will care.
The We Goals
I propose that businesses and individuals consider taking on a We goal, something that meets both the needs of the person writing it and those reading it. It is this kind of writing that inspires people to share it with others. Here are a few ways I can think of:
- Become a resource
- Solve a widespread problem
- Give away knowledge
- Expand on existing understanding
Here is a diagram to visualize how this works.
My parting thoughts are this:
- Anyone can be a blogger and share your thoughts
- Getting other people to share your thoughts is harder, but doable if you set the appropriate "We" goals
- Being a celebrity blogger: Mojo required
I would love to hear your thoughts, what are some "We" goals that you can think of?