What makes a blogger?

January 10th, 2008 20 Comments

Blogging is tough. Some do it well (like Jake) and others don’t spend the time to make it happen (like me). I have found very few that keep it up. It is just another thing that takes up time.

Here is what I think makes it work for a person:

1. They have a passion for the subject. If you are bored by your job, don’t blog about your work.
2. They have a focus. Most blogs are personal ramblings. It’s ok, but tough to build an audience that way.

3. They have readers. I know, chicken and egg, but if you knew there were ten thousand people waiting on your next word, you’d write something.

4. They have perspective. Take a position (honestly not for show). I find that type of content more interesting.

5. Be an expert. I don’t like reading people’s thoughts who are as ignorant on me on a topic.   I want to read about the Fed from Greenspan.
6. Get something out of it. It can be ads, ego, etc. I like the concept of personal branding and building a name for yourself. It’s the most achievable goal.

If you think of the above, there are lots of people just not cut out for blogging. There are also areas that have no real audience for a certain topic. BUT, if people are smart and have something to say about something they care a lot about, it can happen.

Agree? Do you blog… why? What do you get out of it? What makes it successful?


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20 Responses to “What makes a blogger?”

  1. Tim Says:

    Great points Paul.
    Blogging is hard work, well mine is. I do not ramble, well I hope I dont. Its a technical blog with howto’s, news, etc. I burnt out pretty quickly after I started but now I blog at least 4/5 times a week – just have to put in the effort for my readers.
    You’re right on the passion and the position of knowledge you need – without that, it will dry up quickly both in the sense of articles and audience.

    The fruits of all this labor? getting folks coming up to you at conferences and thanking you for all the articles that have helped them in their work. This year at OOW I even got asked for my autograph. Being the consumate englishman I told them not to be ‘so silly’ but I was on a high for the rest of the day.

    Oh yeah and actually getting to see some results coming back when, in a moment of weakness I google my name :0)

  2. Tim Says:

    Great points Paul.
    Blogging is hard work, well mine is. I do not ramble, well I hope I dont. Its a technical blog with howto’s, news, etc. I burnt out pretty quickly after I started but now I blog at least 4/5 times a week – just have to put in the effort for my readers.
    You’re right on the passion and the position of knowledge you need – without that, it will dry up quickly both in the sense of articles and audience.

    The fruits of all this labor? getting folks coming up to you at conferences and thanking you for all the articles that have helped them in their work. This year at OOW I even got asked for my autograph. Being the consumate englishman I told them not to be ‘so silly’ but I was on a high for the rest of the day.

    Oh yeah and actually getting to see some results coming back when, in a moment of weakness I google my name :0)

  3. Dan Norris Says:

    I’m positive that blogging (along with other “community” involvement like presenting at conferences and volunteering in user groups, I suppose) helped me land the job I have now. But that’s not why I do it.

    I am questioned often (by employers past and present as well as friends–not that those are different groups :) ) about why I give away knowledge that took sweat and time to gain. The answer is that I believe that if I give it away, it’ll come back to me several fold. It’s an old addage applied to a new world, I guess, but I think it works.

    I always learn more when I’m teaching a class about something I know than I do when attending a class about something I don’t know. Think about that for a minute. Then again, maybe I’m just not a good student :).

  4. Dan Norris Says:

    I’m positive that blogging (along with other “community” involvement like presenting at conferences and volunteering in user groups, I suppose) helped me land the job I have now. But that’s not why I do it.

    I am questioned often (by employers past and present as well as friends–not that those are different groups :) ) about why I give away knowledge that took sweat and time to gain. The answer is that I believe that if I give it away, it’ll come back to me several fold. It’s an old addage applied to a new world, I guess, but I think it works.

    I always learn more when I’m teaching a class about something I know than I do when attending a class about something I don’t know. Think about that for a minute. Then again, maybe I’m just not a good student :).

  5. davidhaimes Says:

    blogging is tough and I am still a novice, I started a blog in 2004, but it was ramblings so it didn’t late and had no audience.

    I started again after the last OOW, when I saw T I’m fighting off the groupies and thought I want some of that. Seriously, it was after enjoying talking to a lot of customers and realizing I had some useful information in my head and should write it down.

    I got a real kick when I went to google and they said are you David from the blog?

    They had been reading and commenting and I actually learnt some stuff from them which I will use in future post.

    I get big kick from seeing what people typed into search engine that landed them on my blog. Today I found ‘is oracle a good company to work for?’ wonder if reading my blog gave them a yes or no answer?

  6. David haimes Says:

    blogging is tough and I am still a novice, I started a blog in 2004, but it was ramblings so it didn’t late and had no audience.

    I started again after the last OOW, when I saw T I’m fighting off the groupies and thought I want some of that. Seriously, it was after enjoying talking to a lot of customers and realizing I had some useful information in my head and should write it down.

    I got a real kick when I went to google and they said are you David from the blog?

    They had been reading and commenting and I actually learnt some stuff from them which I will use in future post.

    I get big kick from seeing what people typed into search engine that landed them on my blog. Today I found ‘is oracle a good company to work for?’ wonder if reading my blog gave them a yes or no answer?

  7. Jake Says:

    In Apps, blogging is still largely viewed as a drag on time and as a dangerous medium. I think it will be up to those of us who blog to bring others into the fold.

    Caring and feeding is always an issue too. Attention isn’t instantaneous, so seeding a few readers always helps too.

    @David: Your story about Google says a lot about their internal workings vs. our own. You didn’t mention the story about the dude who recognized you in the loo (as you would call it) from your blog picture. That was priceless.

  8. Jake Says:

    In Apps, blogging is still largely viewed as a drag on time and as a dangerous medium. I think it will be up to those of us who blog to bring others into the fold.

    Caring and feeding is always an issue too. Attention isn’t instantaneous, so seeding a few readers always helps too.

    @David: Your story about Google says a lot about their internal workings vs. our own. You didn’t mention the story about the dude who recognized you in the loo (as you would call it) from your blog picture. That was priceless.

  9. Fuad Arshad Says:

    I agree with you totally.
    blogging is hard. and the fact that sometimes you are under gag order from the company you work with to discuss any of the new things you learnt or understood. it gets really hard but i still believei t should be done and i dod it for myself to remind myself of things and maybe learn something in the process

  10. Fuad Arshad Says:

    I agree with you totally.
    blogging is hard. and the fact that sometimes you are under gag order from the company you work with to discuss any of the new things you learnt or understood. it gets really hard but i still believei t should be done and i dod it for myself to remind myself of things and maybe learn something in the process

  11. Jake Says:

    @Fuad: Good point about disclosure, I think that prevents the majority of people (at least a big companies) from blogging. Blogging isn’t a mainstream activity within corporations, yet. So, you have to make it up as you go, making mistakes, learning from them, moving on.

  12. Jake Says:

    @Fuad: Good point about disclosure, I think that prevents the majority of people (at least a big companies) from blogging. Blogging isn’t a mainstream activity within corporations, yet. So, you have to make it up as you go, making mistakes, learning from them, moving on.

  13. Chris Brogan... Says:

    One cool thing about blogging is it can capture and save some information that doesn’t necessarily “fit” into other formats, and that can be useful to others.

    I use it as a way to share waht I know and think about, and love reading blogs from people working in the guts of various projects (software or enterprise infrastructure).

    Thanks for a great post.

  14. Chris Brogan... Says:

    One cool thing about blogging is it can capture and save some information that doesn’t necessarily “fit” into other formats, and that can be useful to others.

    I use it as a way to share waht I know and think about, and love reading blogs from people working in the guts of various projects (software or enterprise infrastructure).

    Thanks for a great post.

  15. Fredrik Johnsen Says:

    Excellent post, and on a topic I’ve been thinking about writing myself for a long time. I think passion is key, and that will be reflected in your language as well. A blogger without motivation will not be able to write enthusiatically.

    A point worth mentioning might be “Be transparent.” As a PR advisor, I occasionally blog and tweet about clients, like Dell, and it would be unheard of not to point out that Dell is a client. Maybe everyone does that, but I’m not sure…

  16. Fredrik Johnsen Says:

    Excellent post, and on a topic I’ve been thinking about writing myself for a long time. I think passion is key, and that will be reflected in your language as well. A blogger without motivation will not be able to write enthusiatically.

    A point worth mentioning might be “Be transparent.” As a PR advisor, I occasionally blog and tweet about clients, like Dell, and it would be unheard of not to point out that Dell is a client. Maybe everyone does that, but I’m not sure…

  17. davidhaimes Says:

    @Frederik I agree about transparency
    I think the ‘about’ page is very important on a blog. I want to know a little about the person and their motivation for writing the blog.

  18. David Haimes Says:

    @Frederik I agree about transparency
    I think the ‘about’ page is very important on a blog. I want to know a little about the person and their motivation for writing the blog.

  19. Blogging: Are you up to the challenge? « Digital Eagle Says:

    […] Filed under: Blogging — digitaleagle @ 12:00 pm Paul Pedrazzi wrote a great article about blogging.  Check it out […]

  20. Web design London Says:

    I get big kick from seeing what people typed into search engine that landed them on my blog.  

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