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Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 | 6 comments

How To Improve Your Blog by Dreaming a Little Bigger

how to improve your blog

Left, Josh Wilner. Right, Randy Bowden. Both once dreamed of being cowboys.

 Or… #SocialSong Saturday Changes its Tune

Conventional wisdom holds that improving your blog starts with improving your writing.  Unfortunately, the more conventional the business wisdom is, the more conventional the results tend to be. We all need to stretch beyond what everyone else is doing if we ever hope to stand out as our true selves, or help a brand communicate what I like to call it’s own “simple truth,” and thereby serve up unique, helpful content from something other than a me-too perspective.

For a little more than a year now my principal approach to “stretching beyond” has been #SocialSong Saturday, the weekly Twitter Love Song in which I literally sing the praises of people I find worth following on Twitter.   It’s been fun, and to me at least a more meaningful recommendation than a facile #FF, but by trying to feature four people a week I find that I’m barely skimming the surface of what they have to offer.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to switch from rewriting the same song every week to writing a brand new song once a month, based on just one person and one post or tweet.  It’s a thought that came to me while writing yesterday’s guest post for Spin Sucks, and I offer up the accompanying video here as a sample of what’s to come.

It’s based on a single blog post – about childhood dream jobs – but still manages to mention over 20 folks you should consider following.  More importantly, it gets at a bigger idea raised by the original post, namely, the continued benefit of staying in touch with our dreams, even those from long, long ago. 

Can You Improve Your Blog by Favoring Depth Over Quantity?
According to credible experts, I may not be wise, conventional or otherwise, in this move.  Michael Brenner, whom I consider one of the smartest guys in social media and content marketing, spoke recently at a BMA Chicago event, coming down squarely on the side of quantity being at least as important as quality, if not slightly more so.  Still, I’m convinced that, in the ever-more-cluttered world of content marketing, the only thing that will lift either blogger or brand above the crowd – outside of a large sponsored-content budget – will be a unique voice speaking more deeply to both the rational and emotional components of any given subject.

What do you think is the best way to improve your blog – by writing more, or observing more deeply? And assuming you answer may be “a bit of both,” where do you feel the balance rests?  I invite you to leave your thoughts – and to come back the first Saturday of every month to see and hear how the new #SocialSong Saturday adventure progresses.

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. This reminds of the head of admissions at MIT saying, “What I like about working at MIT is when students ask, ‘Is it more important to take challenging courses or get good grades?’ I can answer ‘Both’.”

    I recently heard the CMO of Hubspot, Mike Volpe, say that blogs really start to deliver results after they have 100-200 posts, and so if a company is only doing one post a week it’s going to take a while to see results.

    For both industry reputation and SEO, having a body of work is important. Even Seth Godin, after several books, 335,000+ Twitter followers and innumerable speaking gigs, still blogs almost daily.

    • I know you’re right, particularly from an SEO standpoint, and still my emotional side as a creative guy fights with my rational side as a content marketer. In my own blogging and content creation I see consistency being almost as important as frequency, although both are a challenge to me as, of course, client work forever comes first. Blogging for my own business — versus what I might do for a brand — is also a vehicle for smaller scale relationship building, an endeavor, at least in how I choose to view relationships, that begs for giving quality top priority. Of course, one must be reliably present to maintain any sort of relationship, so there’s really no getting away from your answer of “both.”

  2. I’m a big fan of trying to mix the two. I think people suffer from paralysis of analysis and fail to produce because they fear failure to meet a mythical standard.

    Part of developing a relationship is showing that you’re human.

    Singles aren’t as spectacular as home runs but they add up.

    • It’s essential to mix the two, yes… I’m just coming to a point when blogging for myself that, when given the inevitable time crunch, I’m going to invest my time in quality first, and hope to ramp up sufficient creative momentum to hit a decent quantity mark, too. Thanks for weighing in… now take off those cowboy boots and relax!

  3. I think the balance is constantly changing but currently rests a little on the “quality” over “quantity” side. You need the quantity so people don’t forget about you. But if the voice and content/message is strong – you can break through again and again. Quality is going to be my strategy for getting back to blogging in 2014.

    • As content distribution becomes more and more a paid game, I’m torn between thinking that a) quantity is a futile battle to fight, particularly for the smaller players, or b) quantity needs to be ramped up to offset dollar-fed distribution. The latter seems self-defeating, if not simply impossible for many, so I come down more firmly than ever on the quality side.

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  1. How To Entertain Your Readers - Joshua Wilner - […] few of you have seen the shot my friend Chuck took of me a while back and that is …

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