This is part of the Executive Summary from The Blogging Success Study which was was conducted by Dr. Walter Carl; the students in his Advanced Organizational Communications class (Spring 2006) at Northeastern University (Boston) and John Cass and his colleagues at Backbone Media, Inc.
The objective of this research was to determine the reasons, conditions and factors that make a blog successful, and to create a list of criteria to help companies assess whether and how they should engage in blogging.
In order to identify the elements of a successful blog, the research team interviewed twenty corporate bloggers from companies of varied size and industry, and asked each blogger a series of standardized questions. (See Appendix 2.0) Only bloggers who had been blogging for over one year and considered their blogging efforts successful were eligible to participate. While the selection of participants was, therefore, somewhat subjective and limiting (without the resources to determine the most successful bloggers on the Web), the research team was able to identify common elements among the subject group and distinguish a number of factors for blogging success. These elements are discussed at length in sections two and three of this paper. Herein you will also find case studies detailing how the twenty corporate blogs achieved success. New and veteran bloggers alike will find the case studies and anecdotes enlightening, as they reveal a variety of different paths to success. Thus, we have included summaries of all twenty blogger interviews within the study’s appendix.
Interview results were transcribed and summarized in twenty separate case studies. Each was then studied and analyzed with three questions in mind:
- How does the set up of a blog contribute to a blog’s success?
- What is it about how you blog that makes the blog a success?
- What is it about the content on a blog that makes the blog a success?
After careful review, the research team identified five factors for success. The majority of the twenty participant bloggers pointed to these factors as important to the success of their blog. We focus in on these factors in Section Three.
The five factors identified by the participants were:
A company should carefully consider all of these factors before making a decision to blog