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Does Your Next Blog Post Matter?

Does-Your-Blog-Post-MatterIf your next blog post doesn’t matter – don’t publish it until it does.

In our series on How to Craft a Blog Post we’ve been talking about ‘points to pause’ while writing a blog post. So far we’ve looked at choosing a topic, titles and opening lines and today we’re going to get into the meat of your actual post.

Here’s the question that I think we should all be asking before we hit ‘publish’ on now blog posts:

“So What?”

This simple, yet profound, question was one that I heard a lot of bloggers emerging from SOBCon with earlier in the year. My co-author Chris Garrett is one speaker from that conference who I know used it as a central theme in his presentation.

Other similar questions might include:

  • What’s the Point?
  • What am I trying to communicate?
  • What impact do I want to have on my reader?
  • How will this benefit my reader?

All of your hard work in choosing topics, titles and opening lines will go to waste if the actual meat of your post has no real point to it, if it doesn’t communicate anything, if it doesn’t have any impact upon your readers, if it doesn’t really matter.

If you want a post to be more than just something that people flit past it needs to ‘matter’ to people on some level. Otherwise it will never get traction.

Why Many Blog Posts Don’t Have Points

The reality is that many blog posts that I read (and I’ll admit to writing a few) have no real points (or they are unclear).

There could be a variety of reasons for this including:

  • laziness – sometimes it is just easier not to really think through the direction of a post
  • busyness and distractions – life gets cluttered and many of us as bloggers have too many things on the go at once – leaving us unable to focus our attention fully upon the task at hand.
  • pressure of deadlines – feeling the need to have to post something every day can mean many posts get published that are not thought through

Three times to ask ‘so what’ as you’re crafting your next blog post:

1. Before You Start - I find that my blog posts are significantly better if I identify a goal that I want to achieve with the post before I start writing it. For me this usually happens during the topic selection process and leads me to write a simple sentence at the start of each draft (which I usually delete later, unless it becomes part of my introduction).

This sentence is usually something like ‘this post will teach readers how to hold a digital camera‘ or ‘this post will answer the question of “What is a Blog?”‘.

Important Note: I write blogs with a ‘how to’ type form so my goal sentences reflect this – however this same thing can apply to other types of blogs. The answer to the ‘so what’ question can be to teach, inform, entertain, inspire, build community etc. It need not be to ‘teach’.

2. While You Write - with the post goal statement at the top of your draft it is important to keep it in the forefront of your mind as you develop your blog post.

I attempt to include a statement of what the post will achieve within the post (so the reader sees it) but constantly attempt to remind myself what I’m trying to achieve with the post. This is not always easy (and sometimes my posts do evolve beyond my original goal – read on for more on this) but I find that unless I do it I can end up with posts that have a wishy washy point.

3. Before You Finish – if you’re anything like me, your blog posts ‘evolve’. I often start out with a goal statement and then proceed to go ahead and write a post that ignores the statement. Don’t beat yourself up about that – but DO ask yourself the question of ‘so what’ again at the end of your post.

Have you written something that will matter to your readers? Have you written something that meets a need that they might have? Have you fully explored the topic? OR…. Have you written something just for the sake of writing something? Does what you’ve written have a point?

Don’t Try To Achieve Too Much in a Single Post

A trap that I used to fall into regularly with my blogging was to try to do too much in every post that I wrote. I’d try to write posts that explored lots of themes, that tried to inform, entertain and inspire, that tried to get readers to have a sense of belonging…. etc

The reality was that the posts ended up being ‘epics’ and didn’t really achieve anything.

If you find yourself with lots of goals for a post – why not split them into multiple posts.

This is what I did earlier in this series when writing about crafting blog titles. I originally has this post on Crafting Titles and this post inviting readers to improve titles as one single post but before hitting publish I asked myself what my goal was with the post and realized that I was trying to do too much and that could better achieve my goals of ‘teaching’ and ‘involving readers’ in two separate posts.

What’s the Point of This?

The take home message of this post is to take your time in identifying goals for each post.

This exercise need not take a great deal of time or even be something that you formally set time aside to do for each post (for me it’s become a natural part of my blogging) but it is something that will help to lift the quality of your blogging significantly.

The benefit of identifying a point to your posts will especially help you in the next two steps in this process of crafting a blog post – ‘calls to action’ and ‘adding depth’ (things we’ll explore in coming days).

Read the Full Series

This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog

Blog-Post-TitlesTitles change the destiny of your posts.

Those few words at the beginning of your blog post can be the difference between the post being read and spread like a virus through the web like a wild fire and it languishing in your archives, barely noticed.

This month we’ve been talking about how to ‘craft’ blog posts and are looking at key moments in the writing of blog posts that it is important to pause and put a little extra effort into.

While there will usually only be a handful of words in your post title – they are the most powerful words that you’ll write because for most of your readers the decision as to whether to read the rest of your post rests upon them.

Why Blog Post Titles Matter

Blog post titles appear in:

  • Search engine results
  • RSS feeds
  • Links from other bloggers
  • Social media sites
  • On your archive pages (depending upon how you format them)

In each of these occassions the title can be the only thing that people see and the sole thing that people make the decision to visit your post on. Write a boring, complicated or confusing title and it doesn’t matter what you’ve written in the post – very few people will ever read it.

What should a Good Blog Post Title Do?

There are many techniques that copywriters use in crafting titles or headings both online and offline – but there’s generally one common goal behind them all. It can be summed up in the words of David Ogilvy who in Oglivy on Advertising (a great copywriting book) again and again echoes the refrain that:

the purpose of a title is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content.”

This is one of the lessons that has helped me the most in my own blogging and I’ve seen it’s power again and again.

Write a captivating and intruiging title and you’ll draw people into reading it every time.

How to Craft a Blog Post Title – 8 Tips

Titles-1-2How do you craft a blog post title that get people to read your blog posts opening lines?
There are many techniques for crafting blog post titles that will draw readers into them. Below I’ll outline a few (you won’t be able to do all of them in every single post).

Before I share them – let me give one universal tip – Don’t Rush – this is the main point of this whole series on crafting content. If there’s nothing else you come away from today – take away that if you rush your titles you could well be wasting the time that you invest into your actual posts. Invest time into your posts, it’s something that will pay off!

Now that we’re taking our time – here are 8 tips that I use in the creation of blog post titles. Note: you’d not be likely to use all of them in the one post (although for fun I did my best to get quite a few of them into the image title above). Different techniques will work better in different situations.

1. Communicate a Benefit

This is SO IMPORTANT. If a potential reader comes across your post in Google search results or your RSS feed or on a site like Digg and they see a title that promises to meet a need they have – they’ll click that link on almost every occassion. Identify a need in of potential readers (we talked about this in yesterdays post) and communicate that your post will solve this problem or need in your title. This is why posts with titles like ‘How to Hold a Digital Camera’ and ’10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits’ (LINKSSSSSSS) have driven hundreds of thousands of readers to my photography blog in the last year. They are not ‘clever’ or ‘cryptic’ titles – they simply SCREAM at those that see them what they’ll get if they visit the post. These titles don’t draw everyone that see’s them to them, but they’ll certainly draw in people with the needs that you’re aiming the post at.

2. Create Controversy or Debate

Another technique that can be very good at drawing people into a post is to set the scene for controversy, debate or a strong opinion. You need to be willing to back these types of titles up with posts that reflect the title – but controversy is one of those things that tends to pique people’s interest. Keep in mind that when you create controversy you’ll attract strong reactions in people.

3. Ask a Question

When you ask a question those who read it are wired to respond (or to see what the response is). I find that questions at post titles can be very popular at not only drawing in readers – but particularly effective at getting readers to leave comments – particularly if the comment directs a question AT the reader (ie use the word YOU in the question) rather than just being a random question. I’ll write more on personalizing titles below.

4. Personalize Titles

Titles-3When you write blog posts you are potentially writing to vast audiences of many thousands of readers – however readers can feel like the post is laser targetted in on their own specific situation, particularly if you personalize the language that you’re using. One of the easiest ways to do this is simply to use the word ‘you’ in your posts. I wrote a little about this in First Person Blogging about ‘You’ but mainly talked about using the word ‘you’ in the post itself but in the title of your posts it can have an even bigger impact. Example – 21 Ways to Make Your Blog or Website Sticky.

5. Use Keywords

Keywords in titles are good for two main reasons:

  • Firstly they grab the attention of readers who are scanning content – I noticed this recently when I was in a buying mode looking to get an iPhone. Anytime any post in my RSS feeder had the word ‘iPhone’ it was like a flashing light and attracted my attention to it. I could hardly help it but because I was on the look out for information to help me with that purchase the keyword was a great attention grabber.
  • Secondly – keywords are important for the long tail life of your blog post as they tell search engines what your blog post is about and will help it to rank highly for those words. Search engines pay particular attention to titles to assertain what a web page is about – particularly if you use the words in your page ‘title tags’ as well (read more on title tags and SEO).

So use keywords that relate to your post in your titles. This is a particularly useful tip if you write about products, people or companies as these types of ‘names’ are some of the most searched for terms on the web.

One more tip for keywords – if you can include them at the start of your title they can have more impact with SEO than if you include them at the end of a title (particularly if the title is long).

6. Use Power Words

Not all words are created equal – some evoke a powerful response in readers and it can be well worth your while to find out what they are.

It’s difficult to compile a list of these ‘power words’ but a few that I’ve found that can work (although read my disclaimer below):

  • Free – there’s something about the idea of getting something for nothing that triggers a response in most of us.
  • Stunning – I use words like ‘stunning’ on my photography blog a lot. These words are ‘big claim’ words that draw people into the post to see if it matches up (see below for more on ‘big claims’)
  • Discover – everyone likes to make discoveries. Another ther related word is ‘revealed’.
  • Secrets – this triggers a response because it promises to show you something you don’t yet know. Similarly – you could use ‘Little Known Ways to…’ as an alternative to ‘secrets’.
  • Easy – similarly to ‘free’ – we all like ‘easy’ don’t we? – also use ‘quick’. Better still – what about ‘quick and easy’?

Disclaimer – power words can be very beneficial, however they can also trigger negative reactions. Some people get skeptical when they see titles with these types of words and will resist clicking them – others will click them but get angry if the post itself doesn’t live up to the title. Proceed with caution.

7. Big Claims and Promises

I’ve mentioned this technique already but it does deserve a little further exploration as it is a definite way to draw people into a post. Making a bit claim or promise really extends upon my first technique – ‘Communicate a Benefit’ – but takes it to a place where the benefit being shared in the title just cannot be ignored.

These sorts of ‘big claims’ make guarantees that even people without a real need in your topic will want to check out.

The only problem with big claim posts is that if you can’t actually back them up with the post itself, you run the risk of putting readers offside.

8. Humor Titles

Titles-2The humorous title is yet another technique that can be very effective at drawing readers into you blog – that is IF you pull it off.

The risk with humorous posts is that they can also fall flat on their faces and leave you with a post title that not only fails to draw loyal readers in but which is not optimized well for search engines (unless you manage to incorporate some keywords).

Two More Quick Tips on Writing Blog Posts:

Keep it short – while it is possible to actually grab people’s attention with a very long title (the length itself can draw people to it) – in most cases you’ll want to keep it simple and easy to digest. This is good for readers but also search engines (they will only show 65 or so characters so if you go too long your full title doesn’t appear in search results).
Don’t use Periods (full stops) – this one might just be my personal preference and open for debate (although I’ve seen a number of copywriters talk about it) but using full stops or ‘periods’ at the end of titles can stop the flow of your readers. It’s not a big one but something that could have an impact.

Further Reader on Blog Post Titles:

  • Andy Beal wrote a thought provoking post – How to Optimize Blog Post Titles – in which he explores two audiences of blog posts and how he suggests you optimize titles for each at different life stages of a post.
  • Brian Clark has written some fantastics posts on Blog Post Titles in his series Magnetic Headlines. It includes some title templates that are worth experimenting with.

What have you learned about writing blog post titles? Do you use some of the above approaches or have you found other techniques to work for you?

Read the Full Series

This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

How to Craft a Blog Post – 10 Crucial Points to Pause

It hits you like a TON of BRICKS! It’s an idea for that KILLER blog post that is just bound to bring you all the traffic that you’ve ever dreamed of.

With the idea fresh in your mind you sit down at your keyboard and BANG it out – desperate to hit publish as quickly as you can for fear that someone else will beat you to the PUNCH!

PublishImage by pallotron

As SMOKE rises from your keyboard you complete your post, quickly add a title to it and proudly hit PUBLISH!

Visions of an avalanche of visitors, incoming links and comments swirl before you.

But then…

Reality hits you like a SLAP in the face. There are few visitors, no comments and no links. It’s not a KILLER post – it’s DEAD.

Ever had that experience?

I have – many many times over.

Today I want to start a series of posts that will walk you through an alternative workflow for constructing a blog post – one that takes…. time.

How-To-Craft-A-Blog-Post
Image by Samyra.S

If there’s one lesson that I’ve learnt about writing for the web it’s that a key element to writing successful blog posts is that in most cases they take time to CREATE.

I emphasize ‘create’ because I think too often as bloggers we ‘PUNCH’ out content as though we’re in a race or under some kind of deadline. It’s almost like we’re on a production line at times – unfortunately the posts we write often reflect this.

In this series I want to suggest an alternative approach – the crafting (or creation) of content.

This process is a more thoughtful process that is about crafting words and ideas – shaping posts into content that take readers on a journey.

To kick off this series I want to suggest 10 points to pause at when writing a post on your blog. I’ll include a link to each post that follows in this series as I update them.

Instead of rushing through a post – I find that if I pause at these key moments my post rises to a new level of quality and posts tend to get more traction with readers. They don’t guarantee the perfect post – but they certainly take you a step closer to a good one.

  1. Choosing a Topic – take a little extra time defining your topic and the post will flow better and you’ll develop something that matters to readers.
  2. Crafting Your Post’s Title – perhaps the most crucial part of actually getting readers to start reading your post when they see it in an RSS reader or search engine results page.
  3. The Opening Line – first impressions matter. Once you’ve got someone past your post’s title your opening line draws them deeper into your post.
  4. Your ‘point/s’ (making your posts matter) - a post needs to have a point. If it’s just an intriguing title and opening you’ll get people to read – but if the post doesn’t ‘matter’ to them it’ll never get traction.
  5. Call to Action – driving readers to do something cements a post in their mind and helps them to apply it and helps you to make a deeper connection with them.
  6. Adding Depth – before publishing your post – ask yourself how you could add depth to it and make it even more useful and memorable to readers?
  7. Quality Control and Polishing of Posts – small mistakes can be barriers to engagement for some readers. Spending time fixing errors and making a post ‘look’ good can take it to the next level.
  8. Timing of Publishing Your Post – timing can be everything – strategic timing of posts can ensure the right people see it at the right time.
  9. Post Promotion – having hit publish – don’t just leave it to chance that your post will be read by people. Giving it a few strategic ‘nudges’ can increase the exposure it gets exponentially.
  10. Conversation – often the real action happens once your post is published and being interacted with by readers and other bloggers. Taking time to dialogue can be very fruitful.

Taking extra time at each of these 10 points looks different for me in every post that I do – but I believe that every extra moment spent of these tasks pays off.

Some times the pause I take in one step will be momentary while in others it could take hours or even days to get it just right. Sometimes the above process happens quite automatically and other times I need to force myself to stop and ponder something like a title or the timing of a post.

Each of the 10 points above have much more that could be said about them so over the weeks I’ll be tackling each in turn in the hope that we can have some good discussion and sharing of ideas around them. I’ll link to each of them from within the list above as I release the posts.

For each point I hope to give some insight into how I tackle them and will share a few practical tips and examples of what I’ve done that has worked (and not worked). Don’t expect posts each day on this series – like all good things – this will take us some time!

3 Video Tips from A-List Bloggers

Thomas Crampton emailed me links to a series of video interviews that he did with three fairly prominent bloggers (that’d be an understatement) which might make some interesting viewing this weekend for some of you with 20 or so minutes to spare:

The interviews are:

The experience that those three bloggers have together is pretty amazing – hope you get something out of the videos.

How Long Do You Take To Write a Blog Post?

As part of a little research I’m doing for a post (or a short series of them) next week here at ProBlogger I’d like to ask readers to answer this question:

How Long Do You Take To Write a Blog Post?

I know each post varies depending upon what it is – but on average how long would you say you take to write a blog post? I’d be interested to not only hear the time it takes you but also you usually write posts in one sitting or come back to them over time. Also it’d probably help a little if you told us the type of posts you generally write.

8 Useful Tips for Building Your Mommy Blog Into a Business

Mommy-Blog-Business.png

Today Vered DeLeeuw from MomGrind suggests ways for turning a mommy blog into a business. These tips are not limited to mommy blogs: they can be applied to personal blogs in general. Image by KellyandApril.

MomGrind is a personal blog. It chronicles my thoughts and struggles. It is where I share a laugh with my readers, ask for their advice, post an occasional feminist rant, and wonder about the meaning of it all.

MomGrind is also a business.

Unlike marketing and business blogs, or even self-improvement and productivity blogs, mommy blogs are highly personal. They tell the story of an individual, the story of a family. “Making your blog more personal” is typically not an issue for mommy bloggers. It happens naturally.

When you talk with mommy bloggers, many of them will tell you that they are not blogging for money. Blogging is an outlet for their daily struggles and frustrations. They blog to document the joys and the frustrations that come with raising children. But mommy bloggers are powerful. They have the power to help big corporations reach an important audience. The big companies know it. Do the moms know it?

If you author a mom blog – or any other personal blog – and would like to turn your blog into a business and earn money doing something that you love, these tips will help you get started:

1. Acknowledge that your blog is a business

This is a crucial first step. Start taking yourself seriously and others will take you seriously too. If you have an opportunity to use direct advertising on your blog, go for it, and sell it for what it’s really worth: don’t leave money on the table. If a company emails you with questions, charge a consulting fee for answering them. Queen of Spain received a consulting fee of $6000 from Disney “for what essentially amounted to a few emails, a survey, and a meeting”. Needless to say, you should set up a Paypal account.

2. Decide how much you are willing to share with your readers

It’s impossible to write a post about mommy blogs without mentioning the queen of mommy blogging, Heather Armstrong. Ms. Armstrong has a very particular style that includes great writing, frequent use of profanity, lots of personal charm, and the ability to make fun of herself and her husband. Her definition of privacy is lax – she readily shares highly private family moments with her readers.

But does one have to use profanity or expose her family affairs on the Internet in order to turn her blog into a lucrative business? I don’t have the answer to this question, although I will venture a guess that if you want to REALLY make it as a mommy blogger, you must be willing to share A LOT. This is a very personal choice, of course. Define your limits, and once you have – be ready to defend them, to others and to yourself.

3. Subscribe to ProBlogger

I am a subscriber and a regular reader. Sure, the posts here are geared toward professional bloggers. But many of them are very relevant to me. For example, Darren’s recent post on 21 Ways To Make Your Blog Sticky was very helpful in improving MomGrind. I implemented several of Darren’s suggestions, including highlighting my best content and creating an engaging “About” page.

4. Educate yourself about advertising

You need to determine when to start using ads on your blog; where to place them to optimize revenue; how many ads to display; and how to handle direct advertising.

5. Start networking

If you want to earn decent money from your blog, you need to have enough daily unique visitors and page views to attract direct advertisers. Even if your content is great, this kind of traffic to your blog will not happen without networking.

A good place to start is visiting other blogs and making comments on them. You should also approach bloggers who run blogs that are approximately the size of your blog or bigger, and offer to write guest posts for them. This will expose you to new readers, and some of them will end up as new subscribers.

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to build a community around your blog, is to participate in social media sites. Many prominent mommy bloggers, including Dooce, Sweetney and Her Bad Mother, use Twitter.

6. Keep writing about things that are interesting to you

While you should keep your growing audience in mind to some extent, it’s important that you stay true to yourself. Writing content that evokes emotions in your readers (Her Bad Mother excels at that), or content that has a high entertainment value (Dooce is highly entertaining), is fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. Don’t worry about other blogs providing information and advice. You are giving your readers something that is just as valuable: you are making other moms feel like they’re not alone, and in many cases, you are making them laugh.

7. Never apologize for those ad checks

Making money or wanting to make money from your blog is your prerogative. Get over the “good girl” mentality and be proud of your talent, of your networking abilities, of the wonderful, thriving business that you have started from scratch and are building with your own hands. I enjoyed reading another prominent mommy blogger – Don Mills Diva’s – recent post “Show Me The Money”. Don Mills Diva does NOT apologize for aspiring to make money from her blog. I couldn’t agree with her more.

8. Pace yourself

Creating a successful blog takes a lot of work. If you want to do this for the long haul and avoid burnout, it’s important to slow down. Darren recently said that it’s very easy to work 12 hours per day on a blog, if you don’t set limits. My advice: don’t. This is true for every blogger, and it’s especially true for you, because you have children to take care of and to enjoy. Don’t allow the Internet to rob you of enjoying the fleeting moments of your kids’ childhood.

Photo credit: R. Motti (link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/motti/298650667/)

Offline Blog Promotion Tips – Part 3

Over at ScribeFire they’ve just published the 3rd part of my offline blog tips series (read part 1 and part 2). This one includes 7 tips from some of my Twitter buddies as well as four more of my own.

How to Make Your Blog Posts Stand Out From the Rest – Lessons from the MacBook Air

Have you heard that Apple released a new laptop called the MacBook Air yesterday?

If you haven’t – you are not reading the same blogs that I am. The news is everywhere at the moment with thousands of bloggers ‘breaking’ the news.

Here’s how Technorati has tracked the mentions of ‘MacBook’ on blogs in the last month. They tracked around 7000 blogs using the word yesterday (I think it’s much more than that – but you get the point of the chart).

Here’s how blogpulse charts it with just under 1% of all blog posts in the blogosphere containing the word ‘MacBook’ in the last day.

So with 1 out of every 100 posts being written about MacBooks – a blogger is faced with a real challenge.

How do you stand out of the crowd?

5 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd When Covering a Popular Story

I want to suggest 5 ways that you can take a story that everyone else is writing about and do something that gives you a chance to differentiate yourself:

1. Compare – some of the posts that I’ve seen about the MacBook Air that have gotten more attention than others skipped over ‘reporting’ the features of the new laptop and got straight into comparing it with the features of other laptops in its class. Gizmodo currently has a good post doing this with a helpful chart that compares the MacBook Air and four of its competitors. This type of post usually starts appearing a couple of days after a story breaks – but there’s nothing to stop you doing it earlier.

2. Translate for Your Audience – most people hear the facts of the news fairly quickly (I mean even my Mum saw the new MacBook Air on the TV news last night) – but what is harder to find is people who will tell you what it means for them. OK – so Apple released a new laptop last night – it looks thin….. “but is it something that could enhance my life? Does it suit my needs? How would it fit with my life?” These are the types of questions your readers will be asking when they hear news. These are the types of questions they’ll be searching for opinion on from others who they see to be ‘like them’. So in the case of the MacBook Air – a post like ’10 reasons why the MacBook Air will help You be a better Accountant’ or ‘Why Farmers are Better off Not Buying a MacBook Air’ might be an angle to take. This type of post might not get linked to by everyone in the blogosphere – but it’ll be appreciate by your regular readership and by other blogs in your niche. In a sense Treehugger did this with their post on the ‘greenness’ of the MacBook Air.

3. Give an Opinion – reporting the news is going to satisfy some readers and their thirst to be in the know – but most readers want more. They want to know what YOU think about that news – they want your opinion. In the case of the MacBook Air there has been plenty of opinion stated so this technique might not have as much impact now 36 hours after the announcement – but what I noticed in the hour or so after it was announced was it was largely opinionated posts that rose to the top of the social bookmarking sites – particularly posts that had strong negative reactions to the laptop. This is what Paul Boutin did with Why I’m Disappointed in Apple’s Ultraslim New Laptop.

4. Use Humor – often when the blogosphere is all going on about the one thing it is the blogger who dares to do something satirical or humorous that stands out from the bunch. Once again – I didn’t see a lot of this but Gizmodo did very well on Digg with their post Apple Introduces Manila Case – The World’s Thinnest Notebook Case. While Gizmodo has the advantage of a huge audience to start with – it was humor that stood out from the thousands of other posts going around the web reporting on how many ports the MacBook Air had and how it didn’t have a replaceable battery.

5. Extend and Predict – when a story breaks most bloggers get caught up in reporting the fact. Of course we all know that the facts get in the way of a good story – so why not tell a story of where you see things rolling out from here? I’ve not seen anyone do this yet with the MacBook Air (of course I’ve only read a small portion of the 0.9% of all posts written in the blogosphere yesterday so I’m sure someone has) but I think an interesting angle to take would be to analyze the direction that Apple has taken with their new line of laptops and extend it. Obviously this is just the first of a new line – what will the next MacBook Air have in terms of features? What will it look like? What will this mean for computing in the years ahead? update – Mac Rumors did this with Multitouch on the MacBook Air and Beyond

If you’d like to read more on a similar topic check out How to Add to Blogging Conversations… And Eliminate the Echo Chamber

Blog Tips – Twitter Style Competition Winner

Over the weekend I held a little competition here at Problogger where readers were asked to submit Twitter Style blog tips (tips that were 140 characters or less).

The winner (chosen randomly) is CatherineL who submitted this tip:

“Be human – Your readers want to learn about your mistakes, as well as your successes.”

Congratulations Catherine – I’ve just emailed you to get your address details.

Thanks to everyone who entered. There were over 200 tips submitted and among them were some real gems. I personally found the exercise to be a lot of fun to read through this afternoon – there’s some great tips in the mix.

If you have some spare time you might find reading through the comments worthwhile.