Serving as a "go-to" source for online readers can be a great formula of success for business bloggers, which is one of the reasons I regularly follow columnist Erika D. Smith’s pieces in the Indianapolis Star.
In "Keep your eyes on the skies – and the trees", Erika sets a great example for blogging by pointing her readers to seven websites, each of which contains useful information at least loosely related to ways of saving data and saving the planet at the same time.
As I’m fond of pointing out in business blogging training sessions, readers could, in theory, have sought information from sources more authoritative than your blog. Yet those same readers will be sure to appreciate that:
- You’ve gone to the trouble of culling valuable nuggets from a variety of sources
- You’ve helped them make sense of the information and added your own "spin".
- You knew how to do that because of your own specialized knowledge and experience in your field
This particular Erika Smith article is a tad less razor-sharp focused than I think business blog posts need to be. The theme of this particular article is autumn leaves, so Smith refers readers to Indiana’s Department of Tourism Development’s Leaf.Com network to keep track of how leaves are changing, then to Foursquare to find discounts on shopping and dining in those areas, and to umbrellatoday.com to learn if it’s likely to rain during their visit.
The last four of Smith’s Seven Sites list, though, digress a bit, ranging from entering contests to propose solutions for environmental problems, to finishing the sentence "Now that I am dead…", to emailing from one computer to the next. So, while I applaud the concept of business bloggers sifting through a lot of information and then presenting to readers only what is relevant, blog posts still work best when tightly focused on one central concept.
None of this takes away from the central concept of this Say It For You blog post: Playing the "guru" and the "go-to guy/gal" is a superb tactic for business bloggers!