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Opinion,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business,Wine Writer

Some common misconceptions about wine blogs + reality checks

The following are some are common misconceptions about wine blogs, and I’m taking it a step further by presenting a reality check to go along with each misconception. This is coming from a seasoned wine pro, who is also blogging. Additionally, I’m very aware of the cadre of wine writers who’ve come before many of the next generation, which is priding itself on being up to speed. The floodgates were opened, when Web 2.0 launched everyone and anyone (including me) into being an online publisher. True credentials will come after a decade, as it’s proving itself to be true and correct.

How I got to this subject is pretty interesting, I think, so I’m going to share it.

I had just finished two wine blog stories. I write on weekends, because during the week, I have to write for clients. That’s my day job, my blog is my hobby and “escape.” Still, I like to have five blog stories, one for each day, ready for the following week. I may get a zinger during the week, and not be able to hold back. Mostly, though, they get put together on my weekends.

Back to “after the two stories.” I decided I’d go to Facebook and ask the question: “I feel like writing one more blog post today. I just finished two of them, but am lost for what next to write. Anyone have any suggestions?”

My life guide, mentor, love of my life Jose Diaz, gave this link to me: HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. Jose spends his days keeping informed in all things related to the internet. He’s everybody’s fix it doctor when their sites are having problems, and he’ll get to the bottom of it. Failing is not one of his options. Those who know him love him as much as I do in this regard, and can’t imagine their websites existing without his help. And, he’s very responsive. Last night, he was repairing a client’s site that had been hacked… on a Friday night, well after hours.  Imagine your own IT guy, 24/7… Yeah, that’s our Jose.

So, I went to the site, and after entering three nouns (wine, blog, and lifestyle) it suggested  A Week of Blog Topics, Just for You

  1. 14 Common Misconceptions About Wine
  2. What Will blog Be Like in 100 Years?
  3. 10 Signs You Should Invest in lifestyle
  4. Tools Everyone in the Wine Industry Should Be Using
  5. Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About blog

 

I chose number one, but modified the number and added reality checks, in order to help others, not just leaving them hanging. It may also help other wine bloggers, who want to write about substance and give you a broader audience than your own peer group. It’s been discussed that wine bloggers write for other wine bloggers. While this may be true, think about how Robert Parker became so famous. He was writing as an authority about that which he was experiencing firsthand, and sharing with family and friends… Not writing for other wine writers.

  1. It’s important for wine bloggers to write for other wine bloggers.
    • No, it’s not.
    • Your area of influence will be gained outside of this circle, from family and friends, who will learn from you.
  2. They will someday be well monetized.
    • Don’t plan to quit your day job any time soon.
  3. If you’re a wine publicist, you can’t write about your clients, too.
    • You can and you should.
    • It’s what you know best.
  4. People won’t consider you a hack for writing about your clients.
    • They will, unless you put your client into context of what you’ve learned.
    • Along with… who and why you’ve included your client into that particular story.
  5. If you’re a private contractor, someone will hire you so you’ll be blogging about him or her.
    • You may or may not.
    • It’s your choice, not your client’s.
  6. You will be writing about your clients.
    • Maybe you will.
    • And maybe you won’t.
  7. It will have you be considered a wine pro in no time.
    • Any “pro” is considered such after much study and hard work.
    • It’s not like you’ve just studied to become a wine expert.
    • However, if you just got some creds (like Master Sommelier or Master of Wine), then you’re going to get there a lot faster.
  8. Simply writing about the wine you just tasted is a compelling read.
    • This is the main reason that samples aren’t being doled out the way they used to be.
    • Add some history to what you’ve written, your story will then have a bit of depth to it as a real story.
  9. “Page Views” is a compelling number.
    • Sorry… a huge amount of page views is coming from Google and other search engines, roaming your site and optimizing certain words, like “wine.”
    • Ergo… it can view a lot of your pages, every single day, adding the same word over and over again that it’s there.
    • It’s unique visitors to your site, minus search engines, that tell you how many people are really reading your stories each day.
  10. Wine blogs are so important.
    • Only to your unique visitors, so do the right math to really understand how many people are really reading your blog.
    • This will have you write what your true visitors are really interested in reading.

 

For instance… I know that I’m aggregated by wine industry news websites. They’re part of my audience, so I know that I’m writing for professionals within the wine business. But also, I know that I have many consumer friends who are reading my blog. I consider both of these audiences as equally important.

I also know that very few wine bloggers are reading my blog stories, because I don’t write to or for them. I wouldn’t even begin to know what they’d want to see, besides my recommending them as blogs to read within my own audience. After that’s been done a couple of times, and it has, one must move on, n’est ce pas?

3 Responses to “Some common misconceptions about wine blogs + reality checks”

  1. Rowland says:

    Hi Jo,

    Wow, you have writing in your blood as well as (more than?!) wine! I feel good if I can get two blog posts out in a week, and at work, it’s like pulling teeth to get people to blog even though they’ve said they want to write. And I always feel like I’m learning something from your posts.

    I’ll bookmark the Hubspot link – could come in handy. I actually liked a suggestion from Pat Flynn of smartpassiveincome.com – he said imagine someone new to your site or topic, and try to think of the questions they would have. That can really help come up with a list, and each one can be one or more posts.

    I haven’t tried asking on FB directly as you did – will have to keep that in mind – but I do get some good input there as well. Our latest web effort was inspired by too much ruined wine from improper storage, so we have been really hung up on storing things properly for the long haul. But Stan the BBQ Blues man (WSHA-FM Raleigh) asked an obvious question we totally missed – how long can I store an open bottle of wine? D’oh! Blog post!

    Cheers,
    Rowland

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Hi, Rowland,

    Yes, I do have writing in my blood. I’ve had stages of doing more than my share of certain things, if they’re the passion for that segment of my life. Then, I seem to wear out on it, and move onto the next epiphany that comes to mind. The day I stop writing, it will be tout finish. I’ll be off feeding butterflies or something else like that.

    I appreciate your input, and there are times when I’m commenting somewhere about something and I get that “aha moment,” too.

    That’s how it all happens. And, because I write for clients during the week, my blogs are mostly written on my weekends. Also, there’s a teacher inside of me. (I’ve been teaching one thing our another since I was 19 years old.) So, I guess writing my blog allows that vocation to continue to blossom, without having to grade papers.

    Again, I appreciate your input. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Pamela says:

    Right on Jo, great top 10!!!

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