Each month Wikio publishes a list of the most influential technology blogs in the UK blogosphere. As my own blog is likely to be a contender for the least influential tech blog in the UK I decided to take time to visit each of the top 30 most influential technology blogs in the UK and draw together a few rules for becoming a top tech blogger.
What should you call your blog?
Anything you like. Whilst there are obvious benefits from the “it does exactly what it says on the tin” approach to blog naming (e.g., Phones Review), qwghlm.co.uk’s success clearly shows that your blog name doesn’t even need to be pronounceable to be popular. If you can’t think of anything, don’t want to pigeon-hole your blog in the longterm, or just want to see your name up in lights, you can always join the 17% of the top 30 who have chosen to name their blogs after themselves.
What makes a good blog post?
Anything goes, from long wordy pieces (e.g., qwghlm.co.uk) to shorter bite-sized pieces (e.g., Gadgettastic). With billions of internet users out there, there will be millions who prefer each of the different styles, so feel free to blog in the format most appropriate to you.
Should a blog stay on topic?
It makes no difference. Whilst I often worry that my own eclectic mix of blog posts will put people off subscribing to my blog, it seems as though my lack of subscribers is more to do with the quality of the posts than what I am posting about. The most influential technology bloggers have few qualms about posting about anything that crosses their minds: football, politics, music (or is that music as an excuse to post about scantily dressed women?). Unsurprisingly collaborative bloggers are more likely to stay on topic than personal blogs.
How regularly should you blog?
Several times a day, extremely rarely, or somewhere in-between. At one end of the scale you have the collaborative blogs which are more akin to traditional media with numerous writers publishing many stories each day (e.g., TechCrunch UK), whilst other blogs average only one or two posts a month (e.g., Simon Willson). Xlab shows that you can even stop blogging and continue to be listed as one of the top UK bloggers.
Can you make it on your own?
The spirit of the blog as an alternative to big media is alive and well with many of the wikio’s most influential bloggers being individuals, however there is no harm in being part of the traditional media scene: dot.life (The BBC’s technology blog); The Red Ferret Journal (columnist and feature writer for the Sunday Times); The Guardian Technology Blog (surely no explanation required).
So, in summary:
1. Call your blog something.
2. Post in some format.
3. …at some point.
4. …about something.
5. Buddying-up with a national media organisation won’t do you any harm.
Some would say that an examination of the most influential tech blogs shows that there is no hard and fast rules for becoming a top tech blogger, just write about what you want in your own style, and if people visit they visit. However, I think by following my consise summary readers will have no excuses for not becoming one of the most influential tech bloggers by this time next year…all I need to do is buddy-up with a national media organisation for the complete set.