What they don’t teach you at D-Harvard Blogging School? ProBlogging Tips

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Of course, there is no such school @ D-Harvard, but that’s essentially the topic that I will discuss in a newly launched category – ProBlogging Tips.

In the first installment, let’s look at one thing that really matters if you want to be a problogger – the content!

Couple of topics I’d like to discuss here:

  • News vs. Opinion vs. Staying flat?
  • Generic blog vs. Niche blog?

News vs. Opinion?

Which one matters the most? A news styled site or an opinion based?

Here is how I look at it:

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a. News – if you have something really interesting to share.

Look at lifehacker – the team covers pretty much everything that’s needed to ‘hack life’ – right from best text editors to applying 80/20 rule to one’s diet.

If you are 1% who can break stories (have right contacts and access), have amazing tips – be a damn good news site. But if you belong to the rest 99%, and still have opinion/insight on the news – blog about it.

Merely reproducing the news as-is doesn’t add any value.

b. Opinion.

Have an opinionated blog, if you have insights.

In case you lack insights (like me), a well researched and read topic is what makes you a credible blogger.

Most importantly, a combination of news and opinion is perfect recipe for a good blog – for e.g. if you are covering a niche topic, you are expected to have insights/opinions on that; and at the same time you do need to provide news related to that niche (for a 360 degree experience).

For instance, TC does provide startup related news, and is of course a strongly opinionated site. And we do try to do the same (indiabusiness subdomain is all about news, while rest of the site is opinionated)!

Opinion also makes you align to one particular breed – and that can be dangerous (you lose audience!), but at the same time, if researched well, it can work wonders.

And mind you, opinions can increase your credibility and bring thought leadership in you as well.

Generic blog vs. Niche blog?

I can has cheezburger – best example of how a trivial topic can have such a strong appeal! Who in the world can think of starting a blog on cats?

What really made the blog successful is the amount of knowledge and passion that went behind the scene.

Before you say YES to niche blogging, lets look at the side effects – Volume of interested audience – you may not have much.

For e.g. who is interested in tech startups in India? – I am sure, blogging about movies, TV, entertainment, IT career, IPL 2008, Ads etc will get me more audience than startups.

But that’s not the point – point is why blog then? Is it for passion or adsense money?

In my humble opinion, it has to be passion – this will drive monetization later.

And passion will help you find a niche topic – something which is very sustainable, and passion can weather all your personal and professional demands.

To cut the long story short:

Blog what you are passionate about.

Blog about topics you want to learn the most.

Your opinion please?

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