Blogging is essentially a social, conversational medium, so it only goes to follow that you can’t successfully blog in a vacuum. You have to read and respond to other bloggers, link to outside websites, and be aware of what others in niche are talking about by participating in the popular social media networks.
Basically, you have to read at least as much as you write. First of all, reading and absorbing the work of talented writers is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to developing your own writing voice. It only goes to follow that, if you want to get the most out of your blog, you have to read other blogs as well. Besides, being aware of the current popular topics in in the blogosphere is valuable, and you’ll never know where you’ll pick up a great tip or two.
You don’t even necessarily have to read tons of blogs about blogging (although as your Blogging Coach, I would say that you should definitely keep an eye on a few meta-blogs); useful, well-written advice and positive examples can be found on blogs in any niche. It’s also important to check out blogs that discuss similar topics to yours, so you can pick up on market trends and see if anyone has written, linked to, or created anything interesting.
One of the key differences between blogging and more traditional forms of media, marketing, and public relations is that it’s a two way street. Yes, your readers can and will respond to your posts in the comments, but other bloggers can write responses on their blogs too. Reacting and sharing opinions are a key part of participating in the blogosphere, so it’s not only useful, it’s imperative that you read at least a few other blogs.
Don’t think that you have the time to read? Try subscribing to your favorites and scanning them in a reader (I personally prefer Google Reader, but there are tons of options out there), or tagging posts that intrigue you with a “toread” tag in del.icio.us and coming back them when you have time to spare.
What other blogs do you read? Do you read them for news, education, inspiration, or entertainment (or a mix of all the above?)Related Posts
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