4 Things to know about Quantified Self Blogging
Are you ticked off because of the title of this blogpost? Or are you still reading, curious about which four tips you can apply to your own blog? At the 2014 Quantified Self Conference Europe in Amsterdam, I led a break-out session called ‘Blogging about Quantified Self’. Questions about making time for blogging, the search for your audience and building relationships were al mentioned in a small, but inspiring session at a late Sunday afternoon. Why this subject? I have a quantified self blog (in Dutch).
Purpose of blogging
Why blogging about Quantified Self? The attendees of the breakout session were interested in the topic because of different reasons. Some of them want to blog for promoting their products or services. Others want to share their personal experiments and findings on the web.
A side benefit of blogging is to write about your own findings, connecting theories with practice, and therefore learn even more about it. As Michal, one of the attendees put it: “Blogging is a tool for knowledge management.”
**What about your audience? **
A discussion quickly arose. Who is your audience? Are you trying to get your potential customers interested in your product or service by blogging? Do you want to share your insights with the quantified self community? Do you want to generate a lot of traffic to your website or do you not care about the numbers, only about the insightful discussions under your blogpost? An advantage of a blog is that you don’t need the answers right away. A blog is flexible and adaptable. Your growth as a professional, livelogger or even as a person, will reflect in your (blog)articles over time.
**The basics of blogging **
During the break-out session, I distilled a couple of tips for bloggers. These are the four, as promised in the header…
- “People read an article of 1500 words not in 6 minutes, but in 2 minutes” Ash told. Readers are not only interested in the written content, but also in the lay-out. Add lots of photo’s and graphs to make an attractive article. Put emphasis on the most important parts of your blogpost by making them bold or italic.
- Put the benefit in the header. Do you write a blog about measuring your fitness with an activity tracker? Let your readers click on your article in the search results of Google with a question or a statement, like: ‘How fit are you really?’
- Take some time to write your article. Begin to write and put your article away. Let it sink. A bonus trick: stop at half-sentence, like Ernest Hemingway did.
- “Make a topic list” Maxilian said. In a notebook or digitally in Evernote, Google Drive, or a spreadsheet. When you need inspiration, just look at your list.
How to promote your blog
When you want to attract traffic, try to write about funny experiments. Think about challenges like a month of showering cold, or the experiments Tim Ferris is conducting on his blog. However, not only short and funny articles work. As Google is constantly tweaking its search algoritm, more indepth articles consisting of 1500 till 3000 words are getting more and more traffic. Talking about Google: make an account at Google+ and claim your author tag for search engine optimization. And other social media? The QS community is mostly sharing information on Twitter. But as Ash warned: “Don’t just throw out your url!” Try to build a relationship with your Facebook- and Twitter followers.
Quantified self blogging
As liveloggers are interested in quantifying in real life, the same applies to blogging. Google Analytics can provide you of the right metrics to measure the reach of your articles. There are a lot of online marketing blogs with tips, tricks and articles to grow your own website. As with quantified self: pick out what suits you and measure the progress in Google Analytics. Quantified self blogging!
Extra: blogs to follow
At the end of the break-out session we came up with a few quantified self blogs to follow. Seth Robert’s blog still provides enormous value. A good example to use audio and video on your blog is Dave Asprey. Mark Krynsky’s blog and Measured Me are two livelogging blogs to follow. Lastly, the quantified self blog itself is of course your weekly ‘go to’ because of the variety of subjects and experiments.
Good luck and, more important, have fun blogging!