Get a Big-Picture Person

I was just sitting here feeling a bit dissatisified with myself and with this blog. How can I get more comments? How can I be better motivated to write more? How can I know what my readers really want from me?

And then it hit me: I need an editor.

Oh, not an editor in the traditional sense. I don’t need someone to check my spelling or grammar, or to make sure I’m libeling people. I take all that onto my own head. What I really need is someone who is interested in my focus, and who reads my blog and is tasked with thinking about things on a macro-level. Someone who can say, “Hey, you really missed the boat on that one,” or “I’m desperate to know more about X, Y, and Z.” In a sense I need a coach—a blog coach.

I’ve recommended just such a person to several business clients, and folks who are just starting out. The blogger in the trenches can easily loose track of the big picture, so it’s really handy to have someone who only has to think about the big picture. So I knew the benefits of having an editor—I just forgot to apply my own advice to myself! It’s so easy to do, isn’t it?

Having a coach or editor of this kind is similar to the concept of the ideal reader, often discussed in the journalism industry. The ideal reader is the one you write directly to, an amalgamation of all the typical characteristics and behaviors of your audience. The ideal reader differs from publication to publication, and of course in the blogosphere you’re talking about huge variations in ideal readers between blogs, and even between one blogger’s different topics. Still, the concept is useful to keep in mind as you write.

Some of today’s blog consultants are acting as blog editors/coaches for their clients (Tris Hussey, Paul Chaney, Jeremy Wright, and Toby Bloomberg, among others, come to mind), tracking their client’s posts and suggesting strategies for improvement and future growth.

This is great for a business, but there must be a need for indvidual bloggers who are using their blog professionally, and who may not have the resources to hire a blog consultant. I can think of some informal ways of getting this kind of advice off the top of my head, but I’m interested to know if anyone has tried this themselves and how you did it.

So, has anyone appointed a blog editor or coach for themselves? How has it worked for you—or not worked?

Posted by Susannah Gardner on 05/25 at 12:04 PM • Blogs
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  1. Two things that work great for me:

    1) Technorati watchlists. You can subscribe via RSS

    2) Meme-aggregators like Popdex, Blogdex, Blogpulse and others

    You can scan the items and get a pretty decent feel for the blog landscape and also generate some good story ideas.

    Posted by Seth Miller on 05/25/05 at 01:32 PM
  2. I can work for coffee and chocolate.  wink

    Posted by Tris Hussey on 05/25/05 at 01:42 PM
  3. I’ll work for blog design wink

    Posted by Darren Rowse on 05/25/05 at 11:18 PM
  4. Ok Tris took the chocolate and Darren took the new blog skin…I’ll be happy with a case or two of vino.  :coolsmile

    Posted by Toby on 05/27/05 at 10:03 AM
  5. I want nothing in return for my input except Google PageRank and Technorati Juice. wink

    Posted by Seth Miller on 05/27/05 at 10:15 AM
  6. Hey don’t feel dissatisfied because of lack of comments. I, for example, very much enjoy your blog, but I don’t often comment. Sometimes it’s because your post has led me to another post or I’ve gone off to google the new idea you’ve just given me.

    Nevertheless, I keep coming back for more.

    Blog coach or just having a big idea brainstorm is a good idea for anyone or any business. Thanks for the reminder.

    The daily grind often gets me. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Think big.

    Posted by Monique on 05/27/05 at 01:44 PM
  7. Damn, I’ve got to catch up on my Bloglines reading. Thanks for the mention. I’m honored to be named among that list.

    Me, I work for money! What else?!

    Posted by Paul Chaney on 06/16/05 at 04:42 PM
  8. Conformist! wink

    Posted by Tris Hussey on 06/16/05 at 04:47 PM
  9. Disregard my first comment altogether. grin

    Heck, Susie…I’ll help you…and do it for FREE! No chocolate, wine, or blog design…or money necessary. wink

    After all, I am now the self-appointed Blog Coach. ( How’s that for branding!

    Honestly, once you’re out from under that book deadline, I’d like to chat with you about the actual marketability of providing such a service to the business community.

    Posted by Paul Chaney on 06/18/05 at 09:00 AM
  10. A few days (weeks) ago a good friend, blogger, and author of the acclaimed Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies Susannah Gardner posted an entry titled

    Posted by on 06/18/05 at 10:00 AM
  11. Ahem!! what do you think of me as your blog editor?

    Posted by susan on 09/13/05 at 04:07 AM
  12. Ill be your editor smile

    Posted by Nick on 12/06/05 at 03:18 PM
  13. Everybody can be editor…(Matrix) smile)

    Posted by Seman on 09/23/06 at 10:27 AM
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