What you can learn about blogging by watching Season 7 Episode #1 of The Next Food Network Star :
Blogging Lesson : You must be an expert
In the first episode of The Next Food Network Star – contestants were asked to perform a 3 minute promo for the show they hoped to have on Food Network if they win. Here’s a clip from the episode in case you missed it:
Howie entered this competition as a radio personality who decided to “pretend” he could cook. He openly acknowledged that he wasn’t a “food guy” but he was a successful local radio personality and wanted to make the leap from radio star to Food Network Star.
Howie was the first to be eliminated – despite the fact that he was probably the most “camera ready” of the bunch. Why? Because without any food “expertise” – Food Network Viewers would have quickly seen through Howie’s charming facade and changed the channel.
Howie didn’t love food – Howie didn’t know food. Howie’s only relationship with food was eating on a daily basis and that wasn’t good enough to get past the first cuts on the show.
Your Blogging Lesson From the First Episode: Blog About Something You Know
There’s something about blogging that “reveals” a lot about the person writing the blog post. This is why it is CRITICAL for you – the blogger – to be an expert on the subject about which you’re blogging. Don’t try to blog about a subject like food just because you want to be a blogging star. Instead – choose a subject you know and know well. If you don’t – your lack of expertise will become quickly become apparent to your readers.
There’s a level of “transparency” in blogging which is very similar to the “transparency” of being a Food Network Star. A successful blogger – like a Food Network Star – must possess a certain level of expertise. Without this expertise – your audience just like the Food Network Audience – will quickly “see through” your mask.
Take for example the recent college graduate who decide to begin blogging about business. There’s nothing wrong with our young blogger writing about his journey through the world of business. However, our young blogger is in DEEP trouble if he chooses to write about “making money blogging” if in fact he’s never earned a single cent from his blog. The internet is littered with just such bloggers – who recommend hosting services they’ve never used just to earn a commission and who spew the thoughts of others instead of their own.
There’s something about blogging which unknowingly reveals the expertise of the author. If you want to blog about starting a business – it’s fine to write about your personal journey. The problem arises when you try to write about issues outside of your experience.
It’s really quite simple. If you’ve never hired an employee – don’t create a blog post about how to hire great employees. If your business has grown to the point of hiring a new employee – then blog about that process – and let readers come along for the ride as you interview, screen and eventually make the job offer.
Your blogging lesson is blog about something you know. If you don’t know – but are learning – that’s a fine premise for a blog – as long as you’re open about it.
You must know more about your chosen topic than your readers do. Howie didn’t posses a level of expertise that would surpass the average Food Network viewer so he was eliminated.
Blogging Lesson: Expertise is an essential ingredient you need to make your blog successful.