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The Joy of Blogging (and the necessary evils of technology)

What is a blog?

Blog is a term coined from the combination of the words web and log.

They can be anything from personal journal and a place to share family photos to industry relevant or professional information. Blogs are popular because the information comes directly from someone the audience trusts, a real person. It has an element of immediacy and doesn’t have to go through a media gatekeeper to be shared.

Just the Facts:

  • There are more than 50 million blogs and at least one-third of internet users read blogs. 29.2% of bloggers are located in the United States with California being the leader (14.1% of Californians blog).
  • 11% read them regularly
  • 5% users blog daily themselves
  • Comments peak on Saturday and are at the lowest on Wednesday
  • 10 am is the highest viewership followed by 11 pm as secondary time; 5 am is the lowest
  • Monday has the highest views

(Stats from Mashable)

 What are the basics that make up a blog?

Blend of information (interesting, timely posts build a sense of goodwill)

Lively conversation (no one reads a boring blog – be passionate about your topic)

Open community (allow comments and constructive criticism)

Guide to Understanding (help people make sense of your topic)

PLATFORMS

Wordpress – wordpress.com is free hosting, etc (www.myblog.wordpress.com); wordpress.org is a free blogging platform.

Tumblr – free platform that is for quick posts – highlights, etc.

Blogger – free platform that is easy to use, but doesn't do half of what WP can do.

Typepad – paid platform that is easy to use, but not easy to transfer out of.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TOP BLOGS

  • Great content
  • Relevant
  • Consistent
  • Writing skills
  • Clean design
  • Uses 3 main colors
  • Posts stands out from the background/ads
  • Niche obvious within 5 seconds
  • Clean code
  • Optimized photos
  • Fast load time
  • No showing HTML
  • Authors who engage
  • Reader advocate
  • Timely comments
  • “Customer” service
  • Technically sound
  • User friendly
  • No server issues
  • Safe to browse

HINTS FOR BLOG SANITY

  • Editorial Calendar
  • Give credit where credit is due (Photos: compfight.com)
  • Looking at stats is like looking at the scales every day. Stop it!
  • Traffic ideas: guest post elsewhere, comment on other blogs, use social media, etc

 

The Blog:  Basic tips for blogging for business

Content

  1. Know your audience and what information they are seeking
  2. Be educational, not promotional; be a teacher
  3. Make it easy to read
  4. Link to things, topics and people you reference
  5. Link to other areas of your website (landing pages, calls to action) that are relevant to your topic

 

Writing

  1. Blogs aren’t works of literary genius; don’t over think your article
  • Use data to tell your stories (creative, engaging, involving and entertaining)
  • Write about popular and current topics
  • Be controversial
  • Grab people’s attention in the beginning
  • Use active language
  • Be authentic
  • Remember the importance of conversation

 

Title

  • Craft a title that gets attention
  • Feature key words within the title
  • Summarize the story in the title

 

Sharing Your Blog

  1. Place your blog URL in your profile in social media spaces and personal sites Share through your personal social media sites
  2. Comment on other people’s blogs and build relationships
  3. Start conversations and discussions on industry forums and in industry groups and on relevant business groups on LinkedIn and link back to your blog “for more information”

 

Get Found

  1. Pepper your blog with key words to make your blog searchable in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
  2. Add links to other information relevant to your blog topic
  3. Use photos, videos to make your point – remember that content is visual as well as informational
  4. Guest blog for others and link back to your website

 

 

Chapters
United States
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Belgium
Brazil
Cambodia
Canada
China
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
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France
Germany
Global
Greece
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Oman
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Portugal
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Tunisia
Turkey
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom