12 simple & practical ways you can improve your blogs from user’s point of view
Old lady asked: Do I really need a blog?<br />Wrong question, wrong time, wrong crowd .. After all its @Kolkata bloggers meet ’09 and almost all are bloggers. This is certainly an odd question. <br />8th Aug, 2009 - www.SEOforClients.com/blog<br />
Webreps attendees statistics<br />79% of the webreps attendees are bloggers (that’s great)<br />Caution Note: Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. So take suggestions at your own risk.<br />
Remember Bikini and some stats<br />We visited many blogs of our attendees and found:<br /> Some good quality blog posts (Not sure of how many are copied and self generated)<br />Inconsistency<br />Max Personal blogs (mixed topic thohoga hi na, its about me)<br />Topic specific (but its mixed up)<br />
Change of topic for this presentation<br />Old lady: How can I use blogs effectively? &<br />Are blogs alone enough?<br />
Today’s topic <br />12simple & practical ways you can improve Kolkata based blogs from user’s point of view<br />
What were blogs?<br />Single entity maintained (Individual or group-with-similar-goal)<br />Reverse-chronological order<br />Commentary or news item<br />Journal (A periodical dedicated to a particular subject)<br />
What are blogs for most of us?<br />Easy way of having a website. Easy to start with, easy to maintain (post. del.edit.pics.videos.more@com)<br />Easy interactions and community management. (Everybody is having one)<br />MONEY – I heard people make a lot of money with blogs, even $3000 per day <br />Its free, <br />even ads free<br />
What are blogs for most of us<br />“The word blog is irrelevant, what’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.” - Seth Godin<br />
Assumptions<br />My first love - “No, I will not change the template of this blog, neither will I host it somewhere else. *********is my first blog and I will keep its typical blog-like look intact, forever.” – One among us .<br />But I do want to marry her and take the relationship to next level (Traffic, more comments, users and so on)<br />And then kids (YES$$$$$$$$$$$)<br />Happy life (I want to take my web activities seriously & full time)<br />
1) Define what you want to achieve<br />Personal (It’s all yours)<br /> reusability of your work<br />Reputation building/career (I worked with Linux based servers, I know marketing too)<br />(Highlight more of you like your pics, your profile, CV, connect with FB, Orkut, Twitter & everything else)<br />
1 cont…) Beyond personal borders<br />Traffic<br />$ale$<br />Users (Community)<br />Ranking<br />Personal branding<br />Mix of above<br />Everything- “Be careful, don’t make a universal solvent that you can’t store and don’t make a blog that has everything but useful for none.”<br />
1 cont …) It’s ok, you can redefine Ps<br />Defining is not fixing forever, You can redefine any P at any point in it. The purpose, platform<br />Purpose: From person you can shift to topic based, money based and so on.<br />Platform: You can shift to your domain, leave blogspot & use wordpress, integrate with your site (and so on)<br />You don’t need to do it perfectly the first time, you just need to start. So go ahead start<br />
2) Define a mission statement<br />Mission statement is not punch line<br />Define a clear mission statement & make it visible<br />You don't want another Enron? Here's your law: If a company, can't explain, in ONE SENTENCE....what it does....it's illegal. Isn’t it true for blogs and websites?<br />
2 cont … ) Good bloggers do, we should do even more<br />Top 6 out of 8 blogs from technorati have mission statement – they are already a brand, we must do it even more ..<br />
3) Value of a blog post – Highlight blogger<br />Our old formula (Value of a blog post) = Value of the blogger * Time spent on compiling the info * Presentation skills<br />If you can highlight the blogger, do that. After all blog is a lot about blogger (or the group)<br />
4) Redefine a new home for your blog<br /> The usual homepage is not the best homepage for your blog that is used as website.(Home is where I can see all the navigation paths)<br />
4 cont …) Some have already done it<br />This is how you can achieve it:<br />Have a small intro text on the top with a link to a page that can define the starting page of your blog. <br />Easiest starting page is the archive page (there are plugins available). I said easiest not the best. Best will be a page like the homepage of a website highlighted next to home in the menu.<br /><ul><li>A small intro about blogger and then link to “about blogger” page. Highlight categories (and let each category be the next level navigation), Top blog posts, other highlights</li></li></ul><li>Webreps attendees statistics<br />
5) Let’s redefine breadcrumbs & categories<br />People land on a random page.<br />They want to see related pages (may be all)<br />Home > Archives > Category > Post<br />Tags: Home > Archives > Tags<br />
5 cont … ) Redefining category<br />This category pages may become very important page for referral.<br />
6) Have a forum installed<br />This is great for topic based blogs esp traveling, locality-based & others<br />Different communication model: Blog, forum, wiki, IM, websites - its own pros and cons.<br />It empowers users<br />Use bbpress with wordpress, simple.<br />Maintenance Time is the only factor, akismet helps.<br />
6 cont …) Even you can have UGC blog<br /> User generate content (in form of blog)<br />
7) Book vs pages – Have wiki<br />Books are more referred and helpful in long term.<br />Books are made of pages.<br />You have pages, you can get more pages from web.<br />Use a wiki to convert it to a book.<br />Edit blogs again & again to act like a wiki<br />
7 cont …) Book vs pages – Have wiki<br /> - 145 comments (a lot may be trackbacks or backlinks) & <br /><ul><li> 930 diggs & more …
This is a wiki page for matt cutts. You can create it for any topic, be it code injection, malwares, seo …. so on … just the right links, some descriptions.</li></li></ul><li>8) No options left – Facebook, twitter ..<br />Facebook is 4th largest country, 250 million users<br />Integrate to and fro .. From blog to facebook, facebook to blog, twitter – blog, facebook – twitter<br />Youtube – facebook<br />& everything else<br />Orkut == highschool<br />Facebook == post graduation <br />
8 cont… ) Facebook<br /><ul><li> 5,000,000,000 mins spent on facebook every day.
1,000,000,000 – content like links shared per week on FB.
2/3 of the global internet population visits social networks.
4th most popular online activity, ahead of personal mail.
3,000,000 – avg tweets per day.</li></li></ul><li>9) YouTube is damn viral<br />We have seen more videos than ever before.<br />13 hours – the amount of video uploaded to youtube every minute<br />412.3 years – to view every video<br />100,000,000 – number of videos viewed every day.<br />
10) 2 custom search engines<br />One for the blog<br />One for all the best websites that are related to your topics, compiled by you. It takes time so it is valuable. I used my own search engine more often that other.<br />http://www.SEOforClients.com/se/ ( I have the best available resource on web marketing and SEO. I keep adding good ones.<br />
11 & 12) my Best 2 are the last 2<br />Don’t follow, lead: GREAT opportunity for Indian blog market, Kolkata blog market (A lot more non-techy people are using web)<br />Fish blog (Different type of fishes and different recipes)<br /> Various reviews, recommendations<br />Time is short, people value time: You spend time and save others time. I wanted to buy a fridge, “It took me 1 week to decide & check, I wish I could document it”. <br />
Thanks<br /><ul><li>SFC team esp Rajesh Ranawww.rajeshrana.com