“Where do we learn about blogging for our business?” is a question frequently heard and seen on social media. Yes, we hope you’ll see KnowledgeConnection as a source of valuable insight, but know you’ll want other sources as well – – as you should.
Why multiple sources? Most importantly, the only “right” way to blog is the one that best fits the needs of those you are trying to reach and, by extension, your business.
There are many, many people out there with opinions about the right way to do this or that aspect of blogging and some even selling packaged formulas for implementation. A number of them are smart people with great ideas and others are, well, not. As with many aspects of life, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Unfortunately, as in other areas of life, some of those who act most like experts are dishing out – or probably selling – advice from which you should run, not walk.
Given that, how DO you learn what to do?
Blogging Education by Looking & Listening
The web provides a number of great resources for blogging education, with most of the best costing only your time. Here are some steps we suggest.
- Look at blogs by others in the same business as you, especially those who are successful and/or who you respect. If you don’t know their site addresses already, simply Google (yes, that noun which has become a verb) them.
- Follow and participate in #Blogchat, a weekly twitter chat on blogging topics (more below).
- Engage on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and on their own blogs with those on #Blogchat whose comments and suggestions make sense to you or who seem to be the most respected (maybe the same people).
Not only can you learn surprisingly much from short tweets sent by some of those in the know, but many also include links to more information. Twitter profiles often include web addresses, so you can follow up in that way to hear more of what your favorites have to say.
The #BlogChat Phenomenon
What started as a simple blogging question from Mack Collier to his Twitter followers in early 2009 has grown into one of the largest and most respected chats in Twitterdom. Each Sunday at 9 pm Eastern time, too many people to count (unless you go to the transcript later and even that doesn’t count those just listening) gather to talk all things blogging. Thousands of tweets are shared in a discussion that moves so fast we have to read the transcript afterward to catch it all.
We suggest visiting Mack’s site or simply joining #BlogChat one Sunday to learn more.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter chats, #BlogChat is what’s known as a hashtag, which is any chosen word or phrase with a “#” in front of it. This allows Twitter users, often with other tools (we use Hootsuite) to track all of the tweets that are part of the discussion.
Blogging Education Through Conference Participation
There are a number of conferences and workshops around the globe where one can learn about blogging from speakers and other attendees (a resource that many feel is the best part of a conference). There are far too many to mention here and of various levels of value, so look around for the insight of others before investing a lot of time and/or money to attend.
[One note when looking for reviews and suggestions on the web – – some reviewers (of most any product or service) are seeking compensation via referral commission so their recommendation may be shaped with that end in mind.]
One conference we recommend (and are not being compensated for doing so) is NMX (hashtag #NMX), formerly known as (and still called by some) BlogWorld Expo. This is a gathering of thousands of bloggers in a very well assembled program that attracts stars of the blogging universe. It’s not just a great place to learn from speakers but also where you can form relationships that you take with you well after the conference has finished.
We are just scratching the surface here and will talk more about education over time. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong checking out #BlogChat and NMX (look us up if you’re there) – – and, of course, checking back here at KnowledgeConnection regularly (or subscribing via the link at the top of the page).