Blog Action Day 2012: The Power of We (Bloggers)

October 15th, 2012

This post is part of Blog Action Day, which is today (October 15). Even though I’ve participated in Blog Action Day each year since it began in 2007, I waited until the last minute to register this year because of the rather vague theme: The Power of We.

Then, I saw this great post from Successful Blogging: Your Blogging Influence and the Power of We. The author, Annabel Candy (what a lovely name), reminds us that bloggers must be careful with how they use their influence when blogging. She also discusses how bloggers work together to promote change. The post made me think about my goals for this blog, which was started the same year as Blog Action Day!

Am I using “The Power of We” when I update this blog? A big part of this blog’s mission is helping others (and myself) be more environmentally responsible. While you’ve likely seen fluff on this website, I do often write from the heart. And most importantly, I try to write honestly about topics that are important to all of us. Yet, it’s easy to get lost. I don’t always choose my post topics as carefully as I could, or put as much effort into them as I should.

To help hold myself more accountable as a blogger and hopefully inspire you to do the same, I’m suggesting a few guidelines for using “The Power of We” in your everyday blogging life. It’s my hope that these guidelines can serve as reminders that help us be more focused bloggers who do some good online by promoting positive, meaningful messages.

First: Share the important news.

I’m a bit disgusted by the amount of pure garbage that’s available for reading online, even from well known news sources that are now apparently trying to entertain rather than inform. I’m not saying we can’t have fun, but too often we veer off topic, away from our own personal missions as bloggers.

Some examples from my blog: My post entitled “Free Yourself from Endless, Annoying Credit Card Offers” is more in line with the mission of my blog than, say, the post entitled “Let’s Build Cat Nooks Like Frank Lloyd Wright.”

Though I tried for a green angle with the cat nooks post, the post informing readers how to make their mail boxes more lonely (with fewer credit card offers) is surely more valuable and more likely to promote positive change and save paper.

Second: Be honest, doubly.

You owe it to your readers to be honest, but you also owe it to yourself as a blogger. Why waste time writing about something you don’t personally believe in? Most of you know where I’m going with this. Public relations professionals are focused on connecting with bloggers like never before. It’s easy to let yourself get talked into writing about something you later realize isn’t that great a fit for your blog.

Third: Make yourself clear.

Nah, not transparent (though you shouldn’t be hiding relevant stuff either). What I mean is to write clearly focused blog posts that hopefully give the reader the information they were searching for when Google directed them to you. I can’t stand to read three paragraphs and still not know what the blogger is trying to get at. Or worse, I have to read way too much unrelated personal info to get to the juice promised by the headline.

Fourth: Do it 100 Percent. 

Similarly to there being too much garbage online, there are also too many well intentioned blog posts that only give half the story, and may not even direct you to the rest of the story. For example, in my post “Should You Ban Girl Scout Cookies” (because they contain palm oil), I failed to compile a list of alternative treats.

Fifth: Be positive.

I’m guilty of complaining a lot, but I try to stop myself. And I especially don’t want to subject readers to negativity. There’s another side to everything, so when you’re feeling really down about a particular topic, turn it around and write the kind of post that would really inspire you.

Do you make time to write the blog posts that are meaningful to you and helpful to others?