How To Make (And Keep) Your Blog In Demand (The Future Buzz)

Posted on September 2, 2009


Sometimes it is amazing in terms of how a particular topic gains collective steam from multiple, unrelated sources.

As you had read in my August 31st post here on the Procurement Insights Blog (Are Purchasing and Supply Chain Bloggers Sleeping?), which simultaneously appeared under the headline “If Traditional Media is Dead, Where Does That Leave Social Media’s Current Professionals?” on the PI Window on Business Blog, I made the following observations based on industry veteran J. William Grimes’ prediction that daily newspapers will no longer be published in the US within 5 years:

“. . . with such a large panoply of contributors if in fact traditional media such as newspapers are in their last days, what will happen with all the writers, editors and associated professionals who will find themselves as men and women without a proverbial country?  Where will they likely turn to practice their craft?  An equally interesting question centers on what will happen to current social media professionals?”

I concluded by stressing the fact that “the point that I have tried to make with so many of my fellow bloggers who insist upon occupying the familiar and therefore comfortable confines of a somewhat singular, and yes even myopic web site in which they calculate reach by the number of visits to a lone URL address versus measuring their expanding market presence through multiple social media venues,” may leave many quality “wordsmiths” on the outside looking in.

This observation is not only confined to a diverse electronic or virtual presence, but also includes the subject matter being covered.  Therefore, today’s article in “The Future Buzz “by Adam Singer should resonate with all bloggers.

While I will leave it to you to read the article in its entirety, and at your leisure, there are a few points that stand out, such as the importance of what Singer refers to as “personality and character,” and I quote:

“There was a trend for a while of people seeking more professionally-focused content from blogs.  It is still around to a good degree, but my future prediction is this trend is going to fall the other way.  The fact is now that so many businesses and industries see the benefits of blogging, they’re putting tons of resources and time behind it.  The content produced on their sites is clean, polished and professional.  But what most lack is personality and character.  That is an enduring trait of successful content-based sites and we will see a proper return to form in the coming years.”

The emphasis Singer places, is on the fact that while many businesses are putting “tons of resources and time behind” developing a blog, a good percentage lack the “ personality and character” to establish a lasting and meaningful presence.  This I believe includes extending one’s coverage to take a more expanded view of the world as a whole beyond the framework of the same familiar topics and known relationships.  For example, subjects regarding the effect of social media on the purchasing profession, or career path development and avoiding job stagnation are just two of the many areas that require greater consideration and attention.  Even though these kinds of topics are not reflective of traditional supply chain fare such as vendor analysis and commodity indexes, they do recognize the fact that purchasing and supply chain professionals are people first.  Or to put it another way, a reader’s interest is varied and interconnecting.  If you only address what amounts to a small part of your readership’s overall individual interests, they are going to be spending an increasing amount of time looking at a variety of other sites.

This of course is where a parallel can be drawn with the newspaper industry which has seen its share of the $37 billion spent annually in the US on advertising drop from 25% to 15% over the past decade, while simultaneously seeing their collective reach plummet to a meager 5% of the total readership market.  My point is a simple one.   Once eyes start to wander to other sites to fill the information and knowledge gaps in your blog, you are more likely to ultimately lose readers to the seemingly unlimited options afforded them through the emerging social media world.

It also segues quite nicely into two other key points that Singer presented including the need to “take chances” and, inject “fresh thinking” into your content.  Specifically, if you are creating content in an “ultra-competitive category, you need to come up with creative content plays which break the mold.”  From a fresh thinking perspective, you also need to “interpret your subject matter through a different lens,” by coming at it from an “unlikely angle.”  The strategy here, Singer concludes “should be to approach from an angle that the current players either haven’t considered or simply cannot take as it counters their thesis.”

There are a number of other points worth noting, as well as the provision of links to corresponding resource materials through the Future Buzz web site.

In the meantime,  I think it is incumbent upon bloggers to ask themselves if they are truly into the social media realm, or are merely operating on its periphery remaining within a known format, familiar relationships and comfortable subject matter.

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