As journalism continues to crumble, thought leaders and cultural critics still write about blogging with a rhetorical sneer.

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But, we don’t know of any other way for an aspiring writer (or journalist) to gain an audience before getting the job title.

In essence, the process for developing a resume has changed from writing down accomplishments on an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper and then showing up at a scheduled time to engage in a false dance and (hopefully) get hired to perform a job, to a process whereby if the aspiring writer isn’t blogging, tweeting, creating images and videos, and podcasting before the call comes from the major leagues–well then they don’t get picked at all.

And, since every blogger is not going to wind up with the name recognition of Andrew Sullivan or a writer for TechCrunch, there are seven different areas that a blogger may want to consider as they develop their blogging career:

  • Reciprocation: The rule of reciprocation says that we try to repay what another person has done for us. In the realm of blogging, this rule applies through comments on, social sharing of, and curation of, content from yourself and other sources.
  • Commitment: The rule of commitment says that, once people have agreed to do something, they feel compelled to follow-through on the agreement. In the realm of blogging, this commitment is demonstrated by showing up and writing every day.
  • Consistency: The rule of consistency follows from the rule of commitment and states that people have a tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with whatever stand they have initially taken. The successful blogger (not Andrew Sullivan level, but being able to buy an extra cheeseburger occasionally) should be ridiculously consistent.
  • Social Proof: The rule of social proof states that people view behavior as correct when they are surrounded by others doing the same thing. In the realm of blogging, this means channeling blog content through social distributive channels, aimed at gaining positive reinforcement from an audience.
  • Liking: The rule of liking really focuses on the fact that we do things for people that we like and that we build a connection and relationship with over time. Building connection with fans through backlinking, responding to comments, curating other people’s content and other ways of connecting follow from that rule.
  • Authority: The rule of authority states that we tend to defer to others in authority based on physical attributes, titles, or even clothes and other trappings of “power.” When you’re blogging consistently, with liking and social proof, it gives the blogger authority. Don’t have authority yet? Well don’t give up. Outlast the other bloggers.
  • Scarcity: The rule of scarcity says that we want more of what we can’t have—or that is in limited supply. In the digital world, where it seems as though every blogger is giving away content for free, scarcity comes to a blogger when they use their influence and authority to build a niche audience for their content, their point of view and their process through their writing. Scarcity also comes through building an effective distribution network for blogged content, including social media channels, email distribution lists, subscriptions and on and on. Combined with consistency and commitment, scarcity becomes the gold under the dross.

There’s a lot of talk about how blogging is disappearing, along with journalism. But, as the Internet of Things really ramps up, we don’t know how content is going to be managed on these devices, without bloggers having a voice at the root of the Internet of Things…websites….

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
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