February 3, 2009
Liz published this at 8:54 am
How to blog series
Know Who You Are
All year long I’ve mulling on a thought I first considered when I was under 5 years old. I wrote about it on my first blog.
“Square peg in a round hole.” That’s what people used to call it.
Even as a kid I knew it was a silly waste of time to put a square peg in a round hole. That was just plain common sense To make the peg fit, it wouldn’t be a square peg anymore. It would hurt the peg, and the hole wouldn’t like it.
Whenever I try to make myself fit a situation, it’s like trying to teach a pig to sing — sounds awful and the pig gets mad. I turn into a louder, sort of a shiny green spandex facsimile of the real me. Is it a wonder then that people don’t respond well?
It’s really no surprise that trying to be something “other” doesn’t work with a blog either.
Relationships are a lot more fun with people who know themselves. Our blogs are reflections of how well we know who we are.
10 Blogger Best Practices
Here are 10 Blogger Best Practices for the social web. These 10 best practices guide me as I write and meet new people on the social business web. They help me stay focused on my quest and explain it when people ask. When I remember them, they serve me well. I hope they’ll serve you too.
- Know yourself. Know what you’re about and always walk, talk, and blog your own truth. You can’t write my blog post. I can’t write yours. More on that from this great speech about how Oprah found her voice.
- Find the people who explore thoughts the same way you do. They’re the ones who’ll enjoy what you write. Share what they say. Pass links to comments on Twitter. Use Advanced Twitter Search and monitter to find people talking about common questions and ideas. They’re the one’s who will constantly inspire you. We always think that people who think as we do are incredibly smart.
- Talk about what you blog in ways that show you value what you have to offer. Talk about what you want to share in ways that make people proud to pass them on. Don’t fear the blog link that points to a blog post a friend wrote. I know you’d never use a blog link to attract attention from away someone else to you.
- When you meet someone new, be interested in who they are and what they’re about. Ask questions. Learn details. Find out their passions. Ideas come from being curious about what people are doing and why. Meeting someone new can be as revealing and invigorating as a rare celebrity interview.
- Step away from the podium. Forget what you learned in school. Writing on the internet is about conversation and listening, not presentation. Write for an intelligent friend who just doesn’t know what you do. Leave lots of room for questions and thoughtful interpretation.
- Whatever you blog, bring your experience to it. Tell how you learned it, how you found it, how you felt before and after you knew it. Tell the story of the information from your point of view. People come for the you in the information — the information without the you is in other places.
- Leave room for visitors to add to the conversation. Be complete but not thorough. You can start a list and let the folks who come add to it. If you end with a question, consider the question carefully. Make it intriguing enough that you would want to stop to answer it.
- Open doors and showcase others whenever you can. Connect people to information, to other people, and to answers to their questions. Serve the people who love what you do. The best promotion for your blog is promotion other people. Talk about the the people who visit your blog.
- Always be happy to see people who say hello! Call them by name and let them know you see them. Let them feel that they can move around freely. Make sense?
- Be you. Information is everywhere. It’s the you inside the information and the you that responds that will bring people back.
I’m about how relationships, conversation, and how businesses and communities grow. I help people understand the culture and sensitivities of the written word in the fast-paced Internet world and show companies how to connect with people. I’m always going to write more about how to use the social media tools to forge relationships than I’ll ever write about the tools straight out.
Knowing that makes it easier to extend my network. I can do what I love in service to people who think what I do is pretty special.
What guides you?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!