Om Malik of GigaOm has grown to be a fave blogger of many people because of both his posts and the fact that he often breaks stories before anyone else. I think of him sort of as the Walter Cronkite of the Blogosphere (or in Canada, the Lloyd Robertson). Om is informed and he gives credit to his sources. Aside from his hot scoops, he’s the rare blogger that can take the lowly “summary” post and transform it into something worth reading. Om “gets” blogging.
Here are a few tips for you to blog like OmMalik (just my estimation, feel to comment/ disagree):
- Know your topic, be your topic. Read. A lot. Know as much as you can about the topic you’re blogging about. Go to conferences, if you can. Read books and magazines – remember them?
- Present different viewpoints. Despite my own blunders, blogging isn’t about just presenting your opinion (well, it can be, but only rare bloggers can pull it off). The thing about Om’s summaries that probably wow a lot of readers is that he goes and reads several other blogs writing about a particular topic, event, product, service, company or person and references a bunch of them in the body of his post. He doesn’t just take a single source and rewrite it in his own words. This is the type of summary that gets people to come back, and probably gets those referenced linking back.
- Develop cross-discipline. Your blog might be about a niche topic, but that doesn’t mean you cannot ever write about anything else, provided it’s relevant. For example, I write about VoIP for several people but they give me free reign to work in IPTV (Internet TV) and stuff about cell phones because it’s all related. Breadth of topic gives depth. This also draws people interested in related topics to your blog, through the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Of course, to actually power blog, you need good tools. Here are a few:
- A good web browser. I’m emphasizing the word “good”. Honestly, if you want to power/ pro blog, you need Firefox, plain and simple. The plugins that are available for it are amazing, and they make you an efficient blogger.
- A good blogging editor. You can use a text editor (and I do), but a good blogging editor lets you see what your post will look like. I’m partial to PFF (Performancing for Firefox), now called Scribefire, because it sits in your Firefox browser window as either a bottom pane, a browser tab, or even a separate window. Scribefire makes you an efficient blogger. I’ve also used and enjoyed Zoundry Blog Writer and Qumana Blog Editor.
- Feed subscriptions. In fact, use a good web feed reader (I like Bloglines and Newsgator Online edition) and subscribe to as many relevant weblogs as possible.
- Mind mapping. This is as much a methodology as a tool. I’m working on an intro mind mapping post for Performancing, but if you want to get started, get the free Freemind software. I’m also acid testing MindApp and MindJet MindManager and loving both. Mind mapping methodology is great for power blogging because it lets you map out your thoughts, organize them, and cross-breed stories ideas. It helps your mind build connections between seeimingly disparate ideas. It generates inspiration. (Now that I’m using mind mapping again daily, I’m finding an explosion of story ideas, though not necessarily time to write them.)
- Ability to write. Oh know he didn’t! Yes. Let’s face it, if you can’t write, how do you become a power blogger? But good news: you can develop your writing. I used to publish a monthly print mag in the mid 1990s, and several of “my” writers were top notch, but still more learned to become good writers. That means knowing what a run-on sentence gawd do they bug me, even though I’m guilty of writing them when I’m tired. [Anyone catch that?]
Now, you could clone Om, but I think that technology is a ways away. Don’t forget to get your recommended daily allowance of GigaOm. It’s the next best thing.
[Disclosure: I don’t own shares in Om, Inc. :]