Liz Strauss released her new ebook, The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog — The Insider’s Guide to the Conversation That’s Changing How Business Works, this weekend to rave reviews.
Based upon the lessons she learned on her own blogs, Successful and Outstanding Bloggers and Liz Strauss, as a long time writer for the Blog Herald, and the work she continues in the popular annual Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon), Liz reveals the keys she used to turn her blog into one of the most successful and social blogs on the web.
Divided into two sections, the 68-page ebook asks two important questionss: “Can You Hear the Internet?” and “Can the Internet Hear You?” If you aren’t listening to your customers and readers, you are missing the blogging boat. Accordingly, if you aren’t writing to be heard, who is listening to you?
At WordCamp Dallas, Liz Strauss told the audience she had over 60,000 comments on her blog, which became the talk of the event. The traditional definition of a website is by traffic numbers, but Liz told the crowd that the number of comments is just as important, a sign a blog is becoming a community – a supportive community.
A specialist in online community building, public relations and marketing, Liz Strauss came from a successful career in print publishing to online publishing. She quickly had to flip around traditional ways of thinking about publishing when confronted with the new world of the web and blogs. In “The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog”, she defines the difference between the two industries:
In print, the writer and the audience never meet. When a book or article is published, that’s when the process ends. You could say a one-way conversation happens before and after that point. The writer has a conversation with the reader as the work is being written. Then the reader has his or her own separate conversation with the writer while reading the finished work. The two conversations most often never meet.
Blogging is a distinctly new and evolving genre. As bloggers, we have about one-twentieth of second to gain attention before new visitors click away to other endeavors. In this genre, bulleted lists, contractions, sub-headings, and short paragraphs are used with frequency and purpose to keep up with readers who have little time to linger. Quality content communicates quickly, stands out, and is easy to scan before it’s read or bookmarked for later.
Blogging is conversational writing with intent. When a blogger hits publish, when the podcast or video goes live to chat, it’s the beginning, not the end. The conversation begins. Blogger and audience are together. Conversation grabs our brains and captures our attention in ways that formal language never will.
The book is filled with tips, ideas, and checklists and claims you will learn to:
- Write to attract an audience who participates
- Build online relationships that make business happen
- Create communities of loyal customer fans
- Use the Power of the 6+1 Traits of Effective Writing
- Gain trust and credibility by writing intelligently from the heart
Trust me, you will learn that and so much more.
This is the perfect book for businesses eager to get into blogging. It’s also great for bloggers ready to push their blog to the next level. As many of you know, I’ve been doing this “blogging thing” since 1994 and you would think that I would know everything there is to know. The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog has taught me more than a thing or two about blogging and blog writing. The book is a fast read stuffed with actionable tips. I love the questions she asks to get you thinking about how you are really pushing your blog into Web 2.0 socialization. I’ll be coming back to this for inspiration many times, so expect to hear more about it on my blogs.