John Kuraoka's Ad Blog, a running commentary on advertising industry news from the perspective of a veteran ad copywriter, is celebrating six years of postings.
Kuraoka started his Ad Blog in late February 2003, with an entry about radio jingles. The persistence of jingles - something he calls "auditory branding" - is a topic that has come up several times over the past six years as new research into the workings of the brain furthers our understanding of memory and recall.
Another topic that comes up frequently - he calls it his "hobby horse" - is advertising aimed at children. Kuraoka brings to that discussion perspective both as an advertising professional and as a parent of two young children.
That brings up his other blog, an online family journal that was started more than ten years ago, before his children - and most other blogs - were born.
Kuraoka says the key to his longevity is managing the process. "Most blogs start out like a house on fire," he says. "Beginning bloggers post daily or even several times a day out of sheer enthusiasm. But after a couple weeks, the novelty wears off; they lose interest and stop posting as frequently. Pretty soon, you have one more derelict blog on the web."
"My biggest tip to people or companies starting blogs is to start off slow. When I started my Ad Blog, I committed myself to two postings a week - and keep in mind, I'm a copywriter so writing comes easily to me. Then, as I found more news sources, I added a day, then another day, and pretty soon I was finding interesting things to write about almost daily. It's best to start slow, and work your way up to a sustainable pace."
"The same thing is true of the online family journal I write - only more so. It started as a monthly online newsletter, just to keep family and friends updated. It evolved into a weekly journal; then, when we had kids and our lives got busier, I started updating it twice a week. That's totally manageable - as a parent and as a writer - and that's a big part of how I've managed to keep that blog up-to-date for over a decade."
"I would also advise beginning bloggers to establish a format that makes it easy to keep going," Kuraoka says. "For example, my Ad Blog entries typically consist of my comments on news events and articles. So, I don't have to generate totally new content from scratch every day. This approach keeps the Ad Blog fresh and relevant, but also keeps my blogging workload manageable. That's important, because I get paid to write ads, not write about them."
"Finally, keep it simple," Kuraoka continues. "You don't need to use all the features available. I'm a writer, so my blogs are almost entirely text. I rarely post photos or video, because that would take too much time and energy. With a family, a business to run, and clients to service, I have other things to do. So be easy on yourself – don't set the bar so high that you end up kicking yourself all the time for not achieving it consistently."
"Set the bar low," he says with a laugh. "Live with that for a while, then work your way up."
Has blogging helped him professionally? "Absolutely it has," he says emphatically. "There's no question my Ad Blog has raised my profile on the web. More important, it gives potential clients a sense of who I am - how I think, how I react to events, what I'd be like to work with. That's information beyond mere facts and figures - it's intangible, something you feel."
"If making a sale starts with building rapport, then having a blog is an essential rapport-building tool – doubly so in this economy."
To visit John Kuraoka's Ad Blog and read his latest posts, go to http://www.kuraoka.com/adblog/.