Oh dear, the irony.
One of the best things we’ve read about blogging recently was unearthed at the William Patrick Lending Library in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire and, no, it wasn’t on their website(they don’t have one). It’s called The Golden Rules of Blogging & When to Break Them by Robin Houghton and we think you should read it.
OK, so the William Patrick Lending Library in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, is not exactly the global epicentre of TED-style learning culture. In fact, it’s not even the epicentre of TED style stuff in East Dunbartonshire. But hell, if it’s made its way this far it may have merit, thought our Director, John Tafe. An hour later, he wandered out in the watery mid-summer sun one Saturday afternoon in early July with it tucked away in his man-bag.
Is it any good?
Let’s start with the good news. It’s not your typical ‘10 ways to improve your blogging skills’, no way! No, this contains a whopping 28 rules to run the rule over.
So, here goes…
I’m not going to refer to them all; that would be silly and would break, firstly, plagiarism rules and, secondly, length rules – but I’ll discuss a few of them that caught my eye.
We may as well start from the beginning.
Rule #1: Blog for your target audience.
We’re marketers at Front Page, so naturally we tend to talk about marketing related issues with a #Glasgow #design #digital marketing #travel #travel marketing emphasis because that’s what’s most relevant to us. So it’s good to know that’s what you’re supposed to do. The corollary of this is if you just want to offload and do your own thing, with no commercial imperative, go right ahead and break this golden rule.
Rule #5: Blog Daily
That’s fine if you want to be the Huffington Post but if you’re trying to run a business ignore that – indeed Houghton says as much.
Rule #7: Keep posts short (under 500 words)
This is true, in our view, unless you are writing an enthralling and in depth guide to something. SUCH AS THIS. Does the excellent Guardian Blog follow this rule? Indeed it does not. Write pieces that are too short (c.200 words) and Google thinks it’s not just ‘short’ but “thin’ too.
Rule #9: Always end with a question.
Can this be serious?
Rule #12: Always include at least one image
We certainly agree with this rule. Text only blogs are dull. Remember what The Times looked liked in 1895? Did that appeal to you? But, remember this, you do need to make some effort to use GOOD royalty-free images to make your point.
Rule #15: Publicise your blog posts on social media.
@Yes. #Do. @That. ;-).
Rule #18: Do not steal
We’d have thought this was obvious.
And, no, this post is not stealing – it’s an ‘homage’.
Rule #26: Make your content shareable
It kind of seems obvious these days doesn’t it? Why WOULDN’T you want your content to be shareable?
There are another 20 rules where these came from, but to gain access to them you’ll have to shell out a minimum of £5.32 ($8.28) here.
In our view this will be money well spent, whether you are aiming to reinvent the rules of blogging or are simply a newbie crossing the Atlantic for a year in New York (as my daughter recently experienced – in fact I’ve already posted her the links).
Shall I finish on Rule #9?: