jamie goode's wine blog: Bloggers Conference: what I'd say if I was there!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bloggers Conference: what I'd say if I was there!

Sad to be missing the second European Wine Bloggers Conference which is taking place in Lisbon this weekend. But as an old-time wine blogger (indeed, I think the original wineanorak blog was the first wine blog in Europe), and as an opinionated git, I think I'd have plenty to say, along these lines:

1. Authenticity is everything. You have to be yourself as you blog, or else it won't ring true, and it will be hard work to write.

2. You have to write fast, without agonising over every sentence and planning your postings too carefully. Otherwise it will take too long and you'll lose interest.

3. Related to (2), you need to post frequently. Daily is the gold standard. Less than weekly, and it's not really a blog, and you'll find it hard to build readership.

4. You have to be incredibly patient, and keep persevering. Being good will get you only so far. There are plenty of people smarter and more engaging that I am, but their blogs failed because they didn't persevere.

4. Monetization. This only applies to content sites. If you become really successful, you might have enough traffic that you can carry adverts. But that's some way down the line for most people. For most, the only way to make money from a blog is indirectly. You show the world what a switched on, competent, literate, entertaining person you are and they hire you for gigs.

5. Be honest. Don't let people pay for entries on your blog. Don't take backhanders for positive write-ups. Always say what you think, not what important people would like to hear. Turning down a shady-sounding deal may cost in the short-term, but it will pay in the long-term.

6. For companies or wineries looking to blog, go for it. Everyone is now, to some degree, a content provider. The boundary between journalism and commerce is fading, which is no bad thing as long as everyone is transparent, authentic and honest. Wineries can talk about what they are doing without giving a sales pitch. Agents can talk about their producers in ways that don't sound like they are just bigging them up. The important thing is to put your company/winery blog in the hands of someone who can write and can engage with readers, and set them free to do it.

7. Social media stunts like the Murphy-Goode hire will get you lots of attention, but this is only useful if your product is exceptional and worth talking about. You can get your time in the spotlight, but do you really want it? Only if your product can stand the scrutiny.

8. We all have to promote ourselves. It comes with the territory. But you can promote yourself too much. You can get in other people's faces to a degree that, frankly, becomes annoying. And it's generally best left to others to tell the world how good you are. (So no straplines, 'frankly, the world's best wine blog', please!)

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23 Comments:

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Interesting and I'd agree with most of it. I'd be curious to know what your comments on comments would be!

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Caitlin said...

Thanks for all the great advice, I need to be blogging more often! Thanks for the reminder, I'm going to make an effort to follow your advice!There is nothing worse than looking at a blog that is out of date!

Caitlin @ Vinoteca

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Rachel Black said...

Good advice. I hope everyone here at the EWBC reads your post. Cheers.

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Cortes de Cima said...

Jamie, We are also sorry you are not here, but thanks for your input. We are all reading it, and adding it to the conversations going on right now at the #EWBC.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Justin Roberts said...

Wise words plus plus last night EWBC Douro Boys dinner: After we told Niepoort about yr Weds post out came a bottle of Robustus. Not the 04 you described but 05. So thanks!

 
At 12:56 PM, Anonymous randulo said...

Jamie, Kudos for sharing your thoughts even though you couldn't make it! I agree 100% with your advice (and I'm just a reader, not a blogger).

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Jamie, I think that you are, 'frankly the world's best wine blog'
;-))

But seriosuly, very sensible approach and hard to fault the logic.

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger linden said...

Some really good advice in here Jamie. Thanks

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good advice...but do you ever 'share the love' and comment on little wine blogs out there....or are you just too famous?

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what I'd say if I was there...

the original wineanorak blog was the first wine blog in Europe...


The big question is, Jamie, why aren't you at the conference, if you are the most important wine blogger in the world?

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

and do NOT allow people to post anonymously.

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

The whole anonymous thing is nonsense, because you can make up a name and pretend it's your own.

Like I've just done with this post.

Haven't really thought this one through, have you?

 
At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Hardy Wallace said...

Jamie-

I just wanted to chime in on #7.

833,000,000 media impressions goes a long way in a market where consumer choice is often driven by familiarity and cost.

Yes, there are risks, and we took a few lumps (non-product related)along the way.

Was it worth it?

Without a doubt.

Cheers!

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger The Wine Mule said...

"I try so hard
To be just who I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them."

I try to be authentically inauthentic. And to post a few times a week. And to persevere. It all sounds simple, but execution is a bitch.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

and ensure the names are verified

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous J. Boyce said...

Honesty is crucial. If you have a decent readership, and you try to pull something fast, at least one of your readers will call you out on it. It's OK to be caught being wrong, but it is game over if you are caught lying.

Cheers, Jim Boyce

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Alfonso Cevola said...

Bravo,good list. I have been told, by people who aren't as tuned into the bloggy-blog world as some of us, that they have a hard time reading blogs that post daily, or even three times a week. Not everyone is an early adapter.

 
At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Knackered Mother said...

Agree with all your points Jamie, blogging is for sharing thoughts, points of views and information, not selling stuff. I do it to keep me sane, it's far cheaper than therapy.

 
At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Gerry Dawes said...

Many thanks, Jaime, for your very interesting insights into running a blog. I plan to do my best to be at the next EWBC. Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Jim Budd said...

Jamie. Trust you'll get the opportunity to taste some good Chenin Blanc in SA. Some good blogging advice. It was my first time at an EWBC and it was certainly worth it. Will be looking forward to the 2010 edition see you there!

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Evelyne Resnick said...

Very interesting post - maybe because I share your opinions and expressed them at the conference during the two panels I was invited to. By the reactions in the room, however, it seems like non bloggers don't share our opinion. I wonder if they are blog readers... I hope to see you next year at the conference to help us defend our position.

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger winey brett said...

Pithy and to the point. There was lots of talk, discussion as well as wine tasting and socialising. I felt I learnt with people coming at blogging, as well as social media in general, from different angles and with different ideas.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Jim Budd said...

Not forgetting a vicious wine flu that someone kindly passed around!

 

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