What we can learn about Blogging from Charlie Brown

So I figured with my last post featuring Kristin Chenoweth in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, I’d stick with another showtune from the same show.  Except this time from the original cartoon instead of the Broadway show.  You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown has a song called The Book Report which features 4 of the most popular Charles Schultz Peanuts characters.  I was originally going to do a post about me starting my first blog and all of the mistakes I made with it, but when I was listening to XM Radio again this morning this song came on the Broadway station and it completely fit into the theme of the post.  So here is The Book Report from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and what we can learn about Blogging from the song.

Instead of going over the song and all of the characters, I want to break this post out by character and the type of Blog they may have and what you might expect to see in their posts.  I’m also going to cover some of the benefits and downsides of each Blogger and then tie it all together.

Lucy.

Lucy is sort of pissed off about her Book Report.  She may not like homework much or it could just be the topic.  She may like Rabbits and thought she loved writing about them when she first started, but after a while it became a chore to write about rabbits instead of a hobby.  She has a definite word count just like Google and many SEOs use as a minimum word requirement per post and instead of writing with love, she writes to be done with it so she can move on to things she like more.  She writes a sentence and then counts how many words she has, and how many she has left to write instead of being able to hit the minimum word count with ease.  This becomes a common issue with Bloggers and their blogs everyday.

They think that they love a topic, but when they start writing about that topic every day or every week they eventually get tired of it.  They have to think of new things to write about within the niche and keep writing on a semi regular basis so that their readers don’t leave and their blog doesn’t die.  The important thing to think about and learn from Lucy is that you need to find something that you are passionate about so that you can write about it without ever feeling like its a chore.  If you can list 50 post ideas in a day and maybe 4 or 5 ways to expand your blog, then you probably have a topic that will be good for you since it will keep your blog fun to update and not something that you hate keeping up with.

Schroeder.

Our favorite Piano player unfortunately isn’t playing the piano.  Instead he has a computer in front of him and is struggling to figure out what to write.  He goes back and forth on what to type since he knows the story but quickly realizes he actually isn’t that interested in it.

The issue with Schroeder is that he wasn’t actually as interested in the topic as he though, so he wrote about it because he either had to or because he thought it would be a good one to work with because someone else may like it.  Bloggers may choose a topic because they see it as a money making opportunity and not because they like the topic.  The problem with doing this is that your audience may figure out that you actually are not an expert in that field and if you lose their trust you may also lose their readership.

You may also soon realize that if you are not an expert in that topic then you may also get bored and sidetracked when writing and your posts could start to go off topic.  Although going off topic isn’t always a bad thing, if someone goes to your site because they love Blue Widgets and all you write about are Pink Ponies, chances are that they aren’t going to come back and other Bloggers may not link to you since your blog is always off topic.  If your blog is about one thing, you should try to stay on topic and focused, at least part of the time or you may lose your readers and your blog could end up dying off or never taking off from the beginning.

Linus.

Linus is obviously an expert and extremely smart.  Not only can he write about the book, but he can write about the characters and also help to create another story out of them.  His book report will not only probably impress the teacher, but it may also intimidate the other students.  Although being an expert or knowing a lot about something isn’t a bad thing for a Blogger, you have to remember your audience.

If you always write at a high level and use a ton of jargon, people who are just getting into the topic of your blog may feel intimidated or not understand what you are talking about.  If your goal is to only appeal to experts, then go for it but remember that they could also get bored or think that they know just as much or more than you so your blog may turn into battle grounds instead of a resource and something people want to read.  It is important to know a lot or to be able to at least know a decent amount of information about the topic of your blog, but remember to try to not exclude to many people within your target audience.  Finding a balance to keep it interesting for people who already know about the topic while also making it so newer people can keep up is something you have to keep in mind if you want a larger readership.  Try to not always use acronyms or assume that everyone knows everything that happened ten years ago.  Make sure you reference and link to things that people may not know or remember and if you are going to use an acronym, maybe write it out first before you shorten it.

Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown is the newbie who is a bit nervous about writing.  He worries about not knowing enough about the topic.  He gets scared that people may not want to read his blog or may not like it.   He also gets so worked up that he ends deciding that he should take a break and put his book report or blog post on hold.  The thing is that if he is a Blogger and has an idea, who cares if people don’t like it?  The important thing is that although he does like the topic and his blog, and he thinks that blogging is a great idea, he gets himself so worked up that he gets to scared to ever post.  If he likes the idea and thinks that it would be a great report or post, then there is a good chance that someone else out there does too.  If he waits to long to post than someone else may end up having the same idea as him and posting before him and he may lose his Blog and readers to the person who wasn’t scared to write about the topic first.  The other thing that could happen by him leaving and starting his post the next day is that he may forget some of the most important parts of his post.  You can always save a draft and then go back to edit again later.

What we can learn from The Book Report is that you not only have to pick a topic that you are passionate about, but you should only write when you have something to say that not only appeals to your audience and readers, but also doesn’t speak above them, bore them or intimidate them.  Don’t put off posting because you may forget some of the most important things for the post and don’t get stressed out because your post may sound stupid at first.   If you think it is a great idea and something that you won’t get tired of writing about, go for it and eventually other people who like the same topic may find you and start to follow your blog.

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