Executing on ‘The Fred Wilson School of Blogging’

Fred Wilson, one of the best known bloggers in the world today, had a fantastic post on ‘The Fred Wilson School of Blogging.’ I have been trying to get my head around his points ever since I read the post 2 months ago.

But, as I was going through the ‘use of social media’ with a colleague, I found myself going back to the post as ‘best practice.’ That was the moment I decided to execute on it! The transformation will probably take a couple of weeks but I am very confident it will be well worth it. Here are the pointers with my action steps in red –

1) Have a long form blog on a domain that you own and that is permanent. Like Anil Dash says in the comments to Tom’s post, this is about compiling a set of work that is substantial. Anil says:

Based on the past dozen years that I’ve been writing it, I expect that my blog will in some ways be one of the most significant things I create in my life.

I’m 100% with Anil on this. People ask me when I am going to write a book and I laugh at that suggestion. AVC is more than a book will ever be. It is live, it is deep (in terms of total posts), it keeps going, evolving, and ends when I end.

This is my long form blog but as a result, the ‘good morning quotes’ will no longer have place. In many ways, I see his point. I have shirked away from committing to a post a day. My excuse has been ‘busy times’ during which I put the quote in and get away.

Who am I kidding though? If he can do, I can as well. I just need to make drafts earlier.. 

2) Have a short form blog an a different domain that you own and is permanent. Mine is at fredwilson.vc and hosted on Tumblr. This is where I put the things that fill out the story but don’t belong on a long form blog.

This is where the quotes will go. I think the quotes are positive all in all. I probably will still continue to feature them on ALearningaDay’s facebook page and my twitter but they will not be a part of this blog.

3) Participate actively in the social distribution platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Build profiles, followers, and credibility in these communities. I use Twitter for broadcast to a wide group, I use Facebook for friends and family, and I’m still trying to figure out how to use Google+. These distribution platforms are great for getting your work out there but I don’t personally want to use them as the place where my work is hosted.

I have LOTS to learn here starting with observing how Fred and Mark Suster use Twitter. I don’t use Twitter at all. It is just linked to my blog. Need to be more active in my use.

The principle here is simple – Find a great role model and copy them. And gradually, as you understand their rationale and way of working, you will develop your own style.

4) Build community on your domains. In the case of my longform blog, Disqus is the tool I chose and after that decision, our firm invested in the company. I’ve seen and used all the various community tools out there and I believe Disqus is the best at building community on long form blogs. In terms of community on short form blogging, I think Tumblr has done the best job and that is why it is growing like a weed right now.

Fred is incredible where this is concerned. I still remember when I was among 200 odd commenters (his posts generate that many comments as an average!) wishing him for his birthday. I was touched when I saw him reply to every one of those wishes with a ‘Thank You Rohan/your name’. In my case, I don’t have the kind of burden he does. Activity here is still scant but he is a fantastic role model.

5) Engage everywhere. That means on Hacker News, other blog communities/comments, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. This takes a lot of time. Too much time. But I get so much value back from doing it that I make the time.

I tried Hacker News for a few of my IT related posts and the response was fantastic. I need to explore this avenue as well. Lots to do!

The most important part is to engage. The second most important part is own your online presence. Marco Arment has a great post on this point. He says:

If you care about your online presence, you must own it.
I LOVE this!

So if there is a “Fred Wilson School Of Blogging” this is it. It works for me and it can work for you if you are willing to invest the time and energy.
Thanks Fred. I owe you! And this could be the start of something very special for this blog..