Once upon a time, there was a lonely blog – it was a nearly empty page on the internet, little more than a smiley face welcoming visitors to its little postage stamp sized space in the ether.

Then that postage stamp grew as its owner wrote more and more, until it changed from being completely and utterly insignificant and it became merely….um…if I’m honest…just ‘insignificant” – whew! Progress.

And that’s the story of, I would guess, 50% of all blogs out there – the other 49% didn’t even bother to write more and more…

Blogging is a nice idea, you create the presence, maybe you even write a few articles and when, the flood doesn’t come crashing down the virtual door…more often than not, the blog gets left to wither and die before it even really lives.

Isn’t that a little sad? Doesn’t it tell us that we need to persevere in life if we are to create ANYTHING of value? humm….

Andrew – Is there a way to change that dynamic?

No – there isn’t A Way…I believe there are a combination of ‘Ways’ – some internal and some external.

Huh? Internal and external? Could you be any less clear Andrew (Sarcastic tone dripping…)

Alright subconscious – let me explain –

Internal ways are those things you need to do within yourself…

  • You need to ‘Commit’ to blogging daily or every other day for six months…
  • You need to not just blog regularly but you must commit to trying not to blog about what you did last night in front of the television –
  • You need, more than anything, to make it useful, interesting and valuable for your readers.
  • And You need to be thinking often about how you can improve your blogs presence externally….

Which brings me to the external…

What is a blog?

It’s a collection of words and ideas, right?

Well, not exactly – its information – and information can and should be packaged so it can be consumed by the people who need that information, when they need it.

Let me show you what I mean…

The Blog Evolution / Revolution:
Day 1: There was ‘Blog’ – a written page
Day 2: Then there was Blog + Podcast (Audio – download and streamed)
Day 3: Then there was Blog + Podcast + Videocast
Day 4: Then there was Blog + Podcast + Videocast and mini- or real time blogging  (Twitter)
Day 4: Then there was BlogTalkRadio and Blogs on itunes and more

Now for all those blogging experts out there (hey – thanks for reading my blog post – I’m flattered! 🙂 ) — Yes, I know that that’s not the sequence but I’m trying to make a point here…

THE POINT: Blogging isn’t just about writing great content any more…you have to be thinking about how your information digesters want to consume your information and make it available (making sure it references your blog wherever the information appears).

So consider – Do they want to read it? Do they want to listen to it? Watch it? Read an excerpt on twitter? How?

So what does any of this have to do with a “Virtuous Circle”?

A virtuous circle is a term I’m using to explain how each element of your Blog Strategy works together to create more and more momentum…and momentum can be used to create a following, a mailing list, and an intimacy with your digesters so they can tell you what they want ongoing…so you can provide even better content via your blog, via podcasting, via YouTube, via Twitter, Via iTunes…so you can create momentum, continue to build your list, connect with your….you get the idea right?

Stop there Andrew…back-up…

Blog Strategy? Er…how do I get one of those…

How? By spending some of that daily blog time on extending the reach of your blog information – And I’m not talking about link sharing here, the days when you can just focus on sharing links are longggggg gone….

No – What I’m talking about is extending and expanding the ways that your ‘customers’ can ‘CONSUME’ your information.

For example – Some elements within my Blog Strategy…

1) An attractive blog
2) Develop a strong foundation of value added content
3) Create podcasts
4) Create video

Ways to Consume:

  1. Blog (http://www.AndrewIve.com / http://www.TheFundingGuru.com )
  2. RSS (http://feeds.feedburner.com/AndrewIve– with all the bells and whistles)
  3. Twitter (http://twitter.com/TheFundingGuru)
  4. Andrew Ive iTunes channel (Search: Andrew Ive)
  5. YouTube: (http://www.youtube.com/user/andrewive)
  6. BlogTalkRadio – check it out!

And how do you take all of that and create a Virtuous Circle?

By bringing people back to your blog at every opportunity, continuously creating valuable and powerful content and pushing out so it can be consumed in multiple formats. And do it all over again, every day…

Creating a postage stamp in the ether is still an option but you’d be better writing yourself a postcard and putting an actual stamp on it and mailing it to yourself – than at least two people will read what you’re writing – you and the postman!

Now where can you find out about the tactical elements of a lot of the above?

I’d recommend Yaro’s blog – and here’s a link to some ‘must do’s’ for those wanting to take a look at podcasting for example:

Seven Secrets of Podcasting

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Here’s to Your Success!