Blogging platforms all share some common traits and features that make them blogs. In this section, I'll explain some of these characteristics and show you how you can use them for marketing.
Blogs are made of posts. A post can be any length, from 100 or 200 words to many pages, but to be most effective, it should always stick to a single topic.
Mashable is one of the five most popular blogs on the Web, according to Technorati, and is the leader in the social media niche. I asked founder Pete Cashmore for his advice on blogging, and he said the most important element of a successful blog is consistent, quality posts. Pete also suggested setting a goal, such as one post per day for a year, and then sticking to it.
In the early days of Mashable, Pete had a lot of success with huge collections of links to tools and resources called "God List" posts (see Figure 2-2). These took an enormous amount of time to create, but once they were written, they drew incoming links and traffic for years. Pete emphasized that if you're writing long posts, you need to structure them in such a way that they include "scannable" items such as subheadings, lists, and images.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the short-form content that is often used to publish news and events. If you've committed to publishing regularly, quick posts of a couple hundred words can help you feel like you've accomplished something when writing feels like a chore. Pete recommends posting a mix of short and long ...