Eight blogging secrets from a successful corporate blogger


One of the most popular blogs for SAS users is the Do Loop blog, where Rick Wicklin presents tips and techniques for statistical programming in SAS, with an emphasis on SAS/IML programs.

Rick Wicklin

Even if you're not a programmer, you have to appreciate the way Rick brings statistics to bear on his life and then describes his learnings in many interesting posts. He has explained bias and covariance to his 11-year-old son, determined how to design scratch-off lottery games and optimized show choir positions using analytics.

Since he started blogging less than a year ago, Rick has consistently posted at least three days a week and has increased traffic to his blog every month.

Like many successful bloggers, Rick tries to observe a set of best practices when he blogs. With characteristic wit, Rick has been encouraging other SAS bloggers by posting short "daily inspirations" on our internal SAS social network, The Hub. He has agreed to let me share some here:

  1. Write about what you know.
  2. Content is king. A post devoid of content is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
  3. Blogging is like exercise: if you do it every day it doesn't hurt as much.
  4. Blogging is like exercise: the benefits are not immediately apparent, but they accumulate over time.
  5. A blog is not a brain dump. Dump your brain into a file. Then organize it. Write a draft. Cross out every other sentence. Add links and keywords. Proofread and revise. Now, finally, it is ready to post.
  6. A blog is like a relationship: pay attention to it daily if you want it to last.
  7. A blogger is always trolling for ideas: eyes open, ears alert, imagination primed.

Those tips are directly from Rick, but I'd like to to add one more piece of advice based on what I know of Rick's dedication to his blog: You have to put in the time. Rick gets up early and spends time on his blog every work day, before even coming in to work. I'm not saying every new blogger needs the same level of dedication, but you do need to stay committed, and finding a regular routine helps.

What are your blogging secrets? Which of Rick's secrets do you find the most relevant to your blog?


About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

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