I really liked Brian Clark’s post The Five Essential Elements of an Influential Blog over at Copyblogger. In fact, that is generally my reaction to a great many of his excellent posts so I’d certainly encourage you to get him in your RSS Reader if you haven’t already.

In this post, he proposes that, to be truly influential and by implication gain the level of readers and traffic we are looking to, a blog should have 5 key components:

  • Simple - so that the core elements behind it can be easily communicated which will help your message to spread

  • Unexpected – so that it stands out above the others in its field either because of its different ideas or the way in which it expresses them

  • Concrete – so that the information the blog contains is directly useful to your readers

  • Credible – because your readers need to trust you and what you are communicating for the blog to be valuable to them

  • Story – which brings together and helps to communicate all of the other elements of the blog in a way which triggers not only an intellectual response but also an emotional one

I think that from a Business Blog perspective, I would probably also add Focus to this list – while it may already be implicitly bound up as part of some of the others, I believe it worthy of its own mention.

In some blogs, this focus can result in a blog with a relatively narrow field of content, but with a real depth of comment which makes it worth reading and hence influential. In others, the focus is more of a central theme around which other ideas gravitate and spark off from. In both cases, the focus is a key factor in the blog’s success and ultimately its longevity.

Brian also concludes the post by stating:


How you say it is important.

But what you say is critical.

Absolutely, but it is the combination of the two that makes certain blogs really stand out – Copyblogger among them, in my opinion.

Business Blogs, whether run by large corporates or individual professionals like myself, should certainly aim for this. However, we need to remember that it is an ongoing process so making any change, no matter how small, will be a step in the right direction.

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