October 23, 2016

Why Publish a Blog?


What, really, is a blog? A kind of writing? A format? A genre?
In the years since the first blogs, we've seen how blogging has spread and changed to encompass a wide range of writing: business blogging, mommy blogging, fashion blogging, sports blogging—etc. etc. It's as consequential as the printing press; the press didn't create the book, but it did enable the spread of books. Similarly, the web wasn't built on blogs, but blogging sure has enabled the web to grow rapidly.

Blogs Are Meant to Be Helpful

In all the diversity of blog content on the web, what's often forgotten is why blogs exist. Since 2012, I've worked as a business blogger in content marketing and agency-side business development, so I tend to believe there should be purpose and function in content published on the Internet.
This blog is not meant to make public my personal journey through life; it's not a journal or diary. Instead, I want it to be helpful to its readers.
When I reflect on the most successful blogs online—writings like Moz, Gothamist, Extra Petite, MoneySavingMom, The Sartorialist, etc.—it's not that they're just genre-specific and focused; it's that the content is extremely helpful to their audiences.
Some are entertaining, others offer advice or tips. Every great blog, however, adds value to the readers. It's in this traditional of blogging that I'm starting Cartwriting.

4 Things to Expect from Cartwriting

1. #Millennials #Ugh

There's no doubt I'm a Millennial, and some of my writing will clearly reflect on explorations in living and working as one. But, man oh man, there's already way too much writing on Millennials—from both members of the generation and older folks—and from my perspective, hardly any of it's useful, other than to categorize and stereotype.
I prefer not to use generational generalizations, so I'll try to avoid it in this publication.

2. Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

One of my main impetuses in creating Cartwriting is that on a weekly basis, I think of new things I know would be useful to share with my friends and connections. Whether it's work, technology, personal finance, communications, or anything else, I'm all about tips, tricks, and hacks. I expect these will be the most useful articles for readers.

3. The Big 5 of Content Marketing

If you're into writing (of any type) and you don't know "The Big 5 Article Topics" that attract eyes (a concept coined by Marcus Sheridan), then it's worth looking into you. Basically, in a nutshell, there are five kinds of content titles that draw the most human (or buyer) interest:
  1. How much does something cost?
  2. Listing problems with products and services
  3. Comparisons (especially "vs." articles)
  4. "Best Of..." Lists
  5. Recommendations & Reviews
I follow the "Big 5" a lot in my writing. Not because I'm trying to sell anybody anything, but because I tend to find them super helpful, and it's the kind of digestible writing I enjoy too. In other words, you're not going to get long theses from Cartwriting; I want to the kind of writing I'd like to read.

4. No Self-Help

If you know me, you know that I despise the entire genre of self-help, so if you ever catch me writing in that direction, please comment/troll/hate on me. I'd hate to think I'd ever go in that direction, but if I do, feel free to stage an intervention

What's Informing It All?

If you know me, you know that I'm an information aggregator. I love research; digesting knowledge, integrating it—it's the way I think. Informing and shaping this blog is my desire to get things right and put together disparate ideas that others may not have thought of before. 
For instance, yesterday, I spent the day researching whole-house humidifiers because I live in Wisconsin—Winter is Coming—and I'm not about to go another season with dry nostrils and lotion-caked hands. So, needless to say, expect a humidifier review guide soon, because I'm pretty positive I have a book's worth of knowledge to share.

Looking for more information on Cartwriting?
Check out the Overview!