The last #BlogChatter Session was on #RulesOfEngagement . An interesting topic to explore how one can take engagement for one’s blog beyond Twitter and Facebook as platforms.
Now , if you don’t know what any of that meant – then you have to either follow @BlogChatter and join in every Wednesday at 08:30 PM to figure that out. Or you could simply wait till my next post that details out my (yet another) attempt to be #BackToBlogging as a means to build my Digital Presence. Till then just be patient & this post might start making sense to you a couple of paras down the line .
So yes, while we enthusiastically tweeted our responses to various questions during the session in question , I had an interesting parallel conversation [ read borderline debate] with my #BlogBuddy Rachit who blogs here.
Chances are that none of this is making any sense to you . But trust me the incessant blabbering will stop. Now. All that was merely context setting for the weekly prompt post on #RulesofEngagement. Not to be confused by the comedy drama and definitely not to be confused with that darling movie ‘Laws of Attraction’ starring Pierce Brosnan that didn’t even remotely sound the same , but I did manage to mix them up so can you.
So while we were expressing our view on how can we build more engagement w/o taking the help of Twitter / Facebook , Rachit and I were debating what’s the exact sphere of influence for Social engagement.
While I’d like to believe that blogging platforms , various content sharing and publishing platforms and communities and my own blog is digital & not Social – my #BlogBuddyMavericks team member @BeingRachitS was of the opinion that Everything online is SOCIAL
Now we have to give the man some credit considering that he’s a Digital Guru but still here’s my two -bit on the entire context of ‘Social engagement’ before we start defining the Rules of Engagement.
Social is actually a part of Digital. Yup that’s what I think. Everything that can be consumed online is Digital . Anything that has clear interactivity , two way engagement , sharing and community formation possibilities & opportunities becomes Social.
So my blog is Digital . Now imagine an era when I have a zillion followers, who engage – write comments, like , share stories . Basically I become the next Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook gets its nemesis . Then we are talking Social .
While I was trying to form my views on the subject of “Social=Digital : Yes or No? “- I tried not to read incase I get biased. Mid way into the post , I actually researched a bit and this article adds to my point, elucidating Social and Digital as two heads of the same animal – with different intentions and outcomes , connected by one common element i.e. Data. So thats my view buddy and I rest my case.
Now that we have literally taken the longest possible route to get to the point -that of the Rules of Engagement. Just like most things in life that need a concerted effort to reach a specific outcome – one needs a process [ even the most creative activities need a structure] . Blogging is as much process oriented as Rocket science , Baking a cake or production design for a block buster.
Blogging is beyond writing – I repeat this to myself . And here are its core elements :
- Frequent , topical & interesting writing that appeals to a specific set of readers.
- Building a community of like-minded bloggers . They’ll help you share this content within tthemselves and beyond . So you enhance your reading and writing horizon .
The key to even the Basic form of Blogging is Content & Community.
And the glue that sticks Content & Community together and makes the magic happen is Connecting or Engagement. Needless to say , when a specific activity has so much riding on its shoulder – there needs to be commandments or rules.
So ladies & gentlemen , here’s my list of 5 #RulesOfEngagement.
- Discover platforms to connect . For both content and community build up – You need ideas that inspire posts , you need places to popularise your posts , you need people who read these posts & you need enough triggers for them to share and enhance this whole circle of goodness.
- Get your basic analytics in place. Am not saying , drool over stats. But you should know where are people discovering your content from and hence you get ideas to build up both content & community .
- Talk to people who inspire. Great things happen when people talk. Not everything can happen via tweets , shares and likes. One needs to talk and have real conversations – within community and beyond. So seek advice – what has worked for them may not work for you but its definitely worth trying right?
- Make your content discoverable. We live in an age where there is no dearth of platforms to share. But just sharing a post isnt enough right? We need to publicise , get attention .
Unless you are some world class celeb author that people google your name and land on your blog – most of our readers are like people on speed dates . You need to look great , sound smart , smell awesome and try to get all the key words right in the first 60 seconds or they move to the next person in waiting.
Let me spend some more time on this one , because its still borderline internal than about external so far.
- Right tags , right categories aren’t just essential to structure your thoughts , they are essential for people to land on your blog as well.
- Your blog should be an extension of your digital presence. Share professional content on Linkedin , Genre specific on Indiblogger and Blogadda etc .
- Click on Freshly pressed and leave comments linking back to your posts .
You get the drift ?
5. And once you’ve done all that – Get Physical. Attend Blogging meet ups , those massive conferences are now becoming common place . They have interesting lectures , workshops and loads of like minded people to connect with. So getting offline is a great way to achieve almost all of the above . From digital space , move to a world where these nameless faceless strangers that we really want to connect with become people . This third dimension becomes the deal breaker and the starting point for Blog Buddies , Blog Mentors and yes in some cases Lifetime relationships.
In the 5 point list above , I’ve remained away from Twitter and Facebook led engagement because that was the premise . Also even though my Blog is more than 7 years old, whatever I have understood about Blogging as an all consuming activity is fairly recent .
These are the Rules I plan to live by and if you think you can help me add some more, please leave a note!
This Post was written for the #weekly #WritingPrompt [ if you havent guessed already ] for #BlogChatter under the #BlogBuddyMavericks Project.
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Image credits : Social Engagement