At the dawn of blogging in 1995, Mark Frauenfelder moved his ‘zine Boing Boing online. Boing Boing—whose mission was to explore “the coolest, wackiest stuff”—became and remains one of the Internet’s most popular blogs.
“The recipe for an excellent blog is to be so deeply obsessed with something that you need to communicate it to others,” says Frauenfelder. “If BoingBoing stopped making money tomorrow, I’d still need to do it.”
Excerpted from The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It so Well, here are Frauenfelder’s 10 tips for building a addictive, compelling website—and a big following:
1. Tap into the Zeitgeist.
If you can tap into the right cultural moment you’ll have a lot of fans.
2. Be original.
If you try to emulate a successful blog, you’ll just be a second-rate version of something already out there, and who needs that?
3. Make the connection.
Instead of obsessing on digital marketing the mission of the blog should be to share information with like-minded people.
4. Get an attitude.
Without a point of view, your blog is unfiltered mush. Whether you love or hate a blog, you still want it to have a unique perspective.
5. Don’t waste people’s time.
If you’ve developed a trust with your readers that they’ll get good value for the time they invest in visiting your site, they’ll be back.
6. Mix it up.
You have to have an editor’s gut feeling to get the mix right. We’re as likely to have a post about a chilling political development as something on the frothiest bit of pop culture.
7. Appeal to the novelty gene.
They say that there is a novelty-seeking gene. It causes people (like me!) to crave excitement, and to want constant hits of surprising things that don’t fit the conventional model of the way the world works.
8. Let feedback change you.
The community feedback has made me more aware of my insensitivities and the blog has evolved because of it.
9. Think of a friend.
So to get over blog stage fright, when I post something I’ll often have a friend in mind who has the same sense of humor as me.
10. Keep it real.
People love to hear about real life, as if they’re sitting there with you, experiencing it.
What other tips do you have? What makes your blog special?