Secrets to a Successful Blog: Content
This is the second in a five part series in which I'm laying out the secrets to successful financial blogging. There are always exceptions to any rule, but if you follow this stuff you will see that I'm right. This is a long post, but every word counts.
(Page 2 of 2)
Respect: As in the Hip Hop world, you do not come out of the gates and take shots at a legend to try to make a name for yourself. Canabis tried it and LL Cool J put his career in a pine box. Pay your dues, play your position and respect the bigger dogs in the blogosphere and financial media. Don't rip journalists to shreds just because your mic is on. You will look like a petulant child or one of those cranks who write letters to their congressman that no one reads. Remember what Brand Nubian said, punks jump up to get beat down.Skip to next paragraph
Joshua has been managing money for high net worth clients, charitable foundations, corporations and retirement plans for more than a decade.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Eclecticism: Whether generalist or specialist, don't be afraid to incorporate your other interests into your work. Grab interesting stories from science, history, literature, art, technology, sports, pop culture...whatever. Just don't dilute your content too much; reviews of each week's episode of Jersey Shore would probably not make much sense on a blog about value stock picking. Your audience will connect with you more when you become a human being with interests outside financial matters. My blog, for example, has a nice following amongst hip hop fans, people with good senses of humor and pop culture junkies. Ritholtz gets a lot of engineering/science/technology/auto enthusiasts on The Big Picture. Paul Kedrosky's readers are weather man groupies and amateur cartographers at Infectious Greed. Felix Salmon probably has an audience that skews toward those who are interested in finance and also the way the press covers finance. And also etiquette. Tyler Durden's readership is made up of highly inquisitive and intelligent market participants, and a little overlap with the anarchy hobbyist demo. You get the idea.
Controversy: There is a shortcut in terms of the type of content that will drive traffic. Make really big, bold, controversial statements. Someone will pick up on you fast and if your stuff is wild enough, it'll circulate. Then what? That becomes what you're known for and once the traffic dies down, your credibility will have been spent in vain. Look at this guy GoldmanSachs666. I'm sure he's a nice guy with interesting things to say, but come on, is anyone going to be a loyal reader of that site or turn to him for opinion? If you roll around in mud, you will be covered in it yourself.
Predictions/Performance: Don't be that guy that tosses out price targets and predictions all day. You will be wrong often no matter how good you are. You will alienate and piss off your readers. And posting performance numbers? Never, unless you can back them up with some kind of verification. Don't be a putz and make things up about how great you are - no one will believe you or like you.
That's it, I'm out. Be thoughtful about the content you put out into the world.
Tune in next Friday for Part III
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.