The Mr. Spock Guide to Effective Blogging

Mr. Spock

It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. ~Spock

The Star Trek franchise has created dozens of memorable characters and inspired an incredible degree of connection and passion in its fans. One of its most enduring characters is Mr. Spock, the eminently logical half-Vulcan first officer in the original series.

Spock’s controlled, cool demeanor won him legions of fans, including millions of women who wanted to Pon Farr his pointy ears off. When I sat down to write about the need for rational, logical planning for your blog, what better model could I have found?

Sure, blogs are personal, emotional constructions. But if your blog isn’t performing the way you want it to, try using a little Vulcan logic to move it in the right direction.

Use logic to define your goals

Blogging takes a significant amount of time and effort. So it’s only logical to define just what you want to get out of it.

Do you want to sell ebooks or other information products? Build your service business? Create stronger relationships with your customers? Sell advertising?

You might be looking for some combination of those goals, which is fine, too. Your blogging goals can be modest or vast; narrowly defined or as amorphous as a Canarian amoeba. And your goals are likely to change over time.

The most important aspect of any goal is that you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. “Kick 10 light years of ass” is a Captain Kirk goal… inspiring, maybe, but not very logical or measurable. Make sure you take a Spock approach to at least some of your blogging goals. For example, you might want to generate 15 new leads and 2 conversions a month for your business.

Use logic to develop a plan of action

Once you’ve defined your goals, you need to look strategically at each component of your blog.

Are you trying to establish yourself as an authority so you can build your consulting business? You might want to rethink posting that image of your spectacularly disorganized desk. On the other hand, a few personal posts about your hobbies or your family life might be a very logical addition–they help potential clients feel they already know and like you.

Thinking about adding Feedburner stats to your sidebar? Wait until there’s a logical reason to do so–when your subscriber numbers are large enough to provide social proof that your blog is worth reading.

Look through your categories. Is there a logical connection between what you’re writing about and your blogging goals?

Your blogging tactics (frequency of posts, what you write about, your tone and style, the writing techniques you use) need to be in line with your goals. Anything else would be . . . illogical.

Use logic to measure your progress

Now that your goals and tactics are aligned, logic demands that you measure your progress. Spock was the Enterprise’s science officer, always ready to quantify his observations to the last decimal point.

If your goal is to sell information products and you’re making two $29 sales a month, your tactics aren’t working efficiently yet.

A hard analytical look at your results will help you determine how to improve. You may need more traffic, you may need to boost your authority and credibility, or you may need to improve your conversion with better sales techniques. Of course, Copyblogger is the logical resource to help you with any of those.

Use emotion to create fascinating content

Mr. Spock is, as every fan knows, half human. The show’s screenwriters contrived to put him into embarrassingly illogical positions at every possible opportunity. The mix of emotion and logic made the character much more fun to watch.

It takes more than logic to be a great blogger (or Starfleet officer). Without that spark of passion and emotional intelligence, your content will be cold and you won’t make the connections that lead to success and satisfaction.

So go ahead, make the most of your emotional human side. But try a little green-blooded Vulcan logic, too. You’ll see your blog live long and prosper.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is an Associate Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.

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Reader Comments (43)

  1. says

    Good stuff, as always, Sonia.

    I think part of the lesson you’re getting at here is this: as with Spock, your emotion has to be held in tension with and in check by your logic.

    I think this is an especially important lesson for blogging. Anyone can blog with their heart, and most do. Few read them. Others blog only with their heads, and only the search engines seem to care for those bloggers.

    The tension between logic and emotion, when done right, is like the tension on a violin string. It creates an amazingly beautiful sound from something that is, ultimately, a mechanical action.

  2. says

    Spock was all the more fascinating to watch because of his human side.

    It seemed to make him even more human than the rest of the characters, even with his logical leanings.

    Thanks for the vulcan reminders to logically focus on your goals, good stuff.

  3. says

    I knew when I saw the title who wrote this one. :)

    What a great analogy for the parts that are a bit behind the scenes in this discipline. There’s fun in hopping in a starship and traveling at random, but not if you actually want to get somewhere. My inner Spock wants satisfaction.

    ( note to self: find pic of Spock for my desk. :) )

  4. says

    it says in this article about blogging takes a long a time. That is so true in every shape and form. The problem is there are too many bloggers that say you can only work one or two hours a day blogging and make tons of money. This is only when you’re able to write a post and know that your subscribers and other organic traffic will just automatically come to your web site. Probably in a year or two of blogging.

  5. says

    I really enjoyed this article, way to put it in the perspective if somebody who doesn’t blog 😛 I agree with most of your tips, especially since I’ve been thinking about “social proof” a lot recently

  6. says

    I see so many people spinning their wheels because they have no direction and reference point and so they keep moving but are not going anywhere. Setting a goal and making a plan to achieve it is critical to success.

    Great Post!

  7. says

    @Melody, I don’t know, Spock may not have seduction in mind, but apparently the character has always gotten more than his fair share of attraction from fans. So maybe he’s unwillingly seductive.

    @MarkDykeman, mind meld! Very nice. An excellent addition.

    @Bob Younce, yes, very much. More people make the “all emotion” mistake, but either extreme is a problem. Emotion and logic have to work together or you don’t get where you want to go.

  8. says

    Great post, Sonia!

    It was put together in a very logical, easy to implement way.

    Thanks for the great points,

  9. says

    Emotion and logic have to work together or you don’t get where you want to go.

    Another thing to realize is that bloggers are often only concerned with their own emotions, and not the emotions of the reader. That makes all the difference, and it’s a triumph of logic over emotion (for the publisher).

  10. says

    I’m Spock. Or rather, I’m James, but hey, we can all dream, eh?

    What I liked about this, Sonia, is that you pretty much summed up the recipe that has driven my success. I can be extremely logical and linear in my decisions, planning and choices. What are the options? The possible outcomes? The risks? The ROIs? Analyzing logically lets you see the best path to take.

    And then you launch yourself into it with your heart. If you believe and use your emotion in everything you do, you can’t lose. You just can’t.

    So maybe it’s not logic and emotion after all.

    Maybe it’s mind and soul.


  11. says

    Say what you want about Capt. Kirk, but he always got the girl. And he won almost every fight.

    Unfortunately (?), neither of those is on my list of blogging goals. So Spock it is.

  12. says

    Ha ha! I like James C. as McCoy, but he’ll always be James T. Kirk to me. Bringin’ it home with a flying roundhouse and a grope of the green alien girl, every time.

  13. says

    Excellent! Another quote that might apply is the IDIC, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

    In one universe you have infinite cultures and infinite groupings to interact with.

    True blogging needs to appeal to a variety of audiences in a variety of ways but still be focused on your message.

  14. says

    I enjoy the passionate writing about how excited I am about an ebook I want you to buy. I forget that I’m supposed to be logical, seed the post with keywords, etc.

    I do try to make shorter paragraphs and sentences so I don’t lose you in the dust bunnies

  15. says

    Sonia, thanks for this post. I was getting emotional about the low numbers of subscribers I have at my new blog. But reading your comment about “social worth” and waiting until you have more subscribers before listing Feedburner stats helped me realize that it was illogical to expect too many subscribers too early.
    Your words mattered, your blog is masterful, so I’ll leave you with another quote from Mr. Spock (sort of): “This thing you call language, though… most remarkable. You depend on it for so very much, but is any one of you really its master?” Thanks again.

  16. says

    Terrific Article!

    Especially liked what you had to say about using logic to see the big picture before making hasty decisions that don’t fit in. Good advice.

    Also think that implementing metrics to know when logical goals have been achieved is crucial.

    As I learn to blog, knowing where to go and when I’ve arrived is probably more challenging than creating the content to get there.

  17. says

    Having only recently started publishing regularly (although I’m a long-term netizen (old enough to use that term)) I’m driven by my passion, but I’ll certainly attempt to being in the logic to keep me going over the months and years.

  18. says

    Great post! Whether you lean more towards the logic or emotional side really depends on the focus of your blog. However, too logical / formal blogs may fail to “connect” with the audience. So, even if you are blogging about your business consulting services, for instance, you still need your audience to “know” and connect with you – the person and the voice behind the blog.

    I think as long as you blog about what your readers are interested in, and find useful and valuable, your blog will be a success.

    What I’ve also found is that as long as you continue to build your readership / audience, your readers will love your blogging and want more of it – regardless of your blogging style.

    Thank you for the Spock Quote: “It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want” So true!

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