Blogging with a purpose

Culture

Blogging with a purpose

by Sean Corrales

In the world of IT consulting, blogging offers a lot of benefits. It’s a way to inform customers of exciting events in technology, build your company’s credibility, and find new customers or business partners. Writing effective blog entries, though, takes some extra care and consideration; a poor execution can lead to a blog that’s never read, or worse, a blog that is detrimental to your reputation.

So how do you blog about technology? Here are some tips to get you started:

Know your audience
When writing your blog entry, you should ask yourself who you’re writing for. Are you targeting seasoned professionals or everyday users? What is the technical level of your readers? This should weigh heavily in how you approach your writing.

Make your readers care about the technology
When addressing a non-technical audience, you must keep in mind that specs don’t impress them. Sure, 7,200 rpm hard drives may be faster than 5,400 rpm drives, but to the average user it’s not going to matter. Find a way to make the user care about what you’re writing about. If you’re writing about an external hard drive with an ethernet port, tell them why this is exciting.

While the technical terms may mean something to you, they won’t matter to the non-technical reader. Give them something they can relate to. For example, saying that Drupal is a Content Management Framework (CMF) means nothing to most people. Tell them that Drupal allows you to build a site that they can update themselves without any knowledge of coding, and you’ll have a group of readers who want to know more.

Make it worthwhile
Be sure to give your users some value. Are you posting specs or paragraphs from a press release verbatim? If so, you’re wasting your own and the reader’s time. Make sure that you’re giving insight into what the numbers mean and how they translate into the real world. If you just want to post the specs of the latest piece of hardware or some new development in software, then take that to a micro-blogging service like Twitter. If you’re going to write a blog entry, make it count. You have a unique viewpoint – share it.

Brevity is a virtue
Some topics demand a thorough explanation. That being said, brevity is always encouraged and appreciated in blogging. If you can say something in less words, but still communicate the same message effectively, do so. You’ll be rewarded with more readers and a blog that is easier to read.

Put the ego aside
When you write, remember that you’re not a Pulitzer prize-winning author; people are reading your blog because you can write clearly and effectively about technology, not because they love the cadence of your prose. Focus on writing effective posts, not the next great American novel.

Why is blogging important? Aren’t we giving away something we should charge for?
Some people may feel that if, for example, you write a blog detailing how to create something in Drupal or solve a hardware issue that you may be losing a potential job. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Sharing this knowledge is like a trial version of the services you offer – readers will come to respect your opinions and trust your work. By building up a reputation as a respected source of information, you can increase your site’s search engine ranking, your credibility, and your list of clients.

More About the Author

Sean Corrales

Lead Web Developer
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