I know many of us are blogging as part of our jobs. But what will it take for blogging is recognized as a skill in and of itself? How long before you see “blogging” as an experience or skill requirement in a job description?
First, let me say that while blogging is a unique phenomenon that I think will be around in some form for a long time to come, I actually see successful blogging as a combination of several specific skills/qualities:
-A gage (or gauge) for relevance. Frankly, I am not sure that a majority of bloggers have this, but successful bloggers do. I think it could be measured by an increase in view of your blog page, the number of people that access your blog via a search engine and the number of comments per post (except on old blogger posts where there was no commenting capability).
-Strong written communication skills. I don't even think that you need to be exceptionally eloquent as long as you are entertaining, informative and/or clear, and of course, relevant. You have to find your voice (some struggle with this). And your grammar, punctuation and word choice skills should not get in the way of your message. If this isn't your area of strength, your blog will probably still get hits until someone more articulate, with similar topic inclinations, comes along.
-An internal filter. Part relevance, part business smarts. Can you post what you want to post and what your readers are interested in without getting in trouble? A lot of this is common sense, but the most interesting posts are the ones that come the closest to the line. Know where the line is. Stare at it, call it out, dance along it, but don't cross it.
-Have original opinions or read a lot of other blogs and have opinions on them. Either post your own original ideas or provide your opinion on the ideas of others. Linking to a bunch of other blogs without some commentary will not get you far when your links get stale (your blog page won't be as sticky as those you link to). Also, your perception as an “expert“ in your space is in correlation to the originality of your ideas (or at least your ability to post them first).
-Know how to argue diplomatically. This is tough, I know (I mean it's tough for me, anyway). But remember everyone is watching. If someone is acting jerky on your blog, people know and they will be watching to see how you handle it.
So these are the skills that I think make effective corporate blogging. And I hope that in the future, as the blogging trend expands (I'm having less people ask me “what is blogging?”), we will see people refer to these as “blogging skills” (I'm trying to think of something more catchy but it is not coming to me). But before we see this show up on job descriptions, I think that we (the corporate blogging community) need to show our companies how blogging impacts our business. A lot of it is about perception and we need to figure out how to measure it. We need to highlight the connection between our blogging activities and results (and I know that we are already thinking about that).
How long will it be?