Blogging 101 How To Start A Blog For Your Business New Template (2)

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A basic guide to starting a blog for your business

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  • Thank you for attending THETRADESHOW!  This is a reminder that this session (title here), is being recorded with audio and speaker materials that are being synchronized for future viewing online! Upgrade to the best value package, for an additional $74, which will include unlimited access for a year to this session recording in addition to the 50+ other educational sessions debuted at THETRADESHOW.   Hurry because prices increase after the meeting.  Be sure to stop by registration to upgrade.  To view a demonstration of THETRADESHOW e-Learning Center, visit the demonstration booth at registration. 
  • What is a blog? Short for “weblog” Originally meant as kind of online journal early blogger Jorn Barger Robot Wisdom, just a list of things he really liked and wanted to share.
  • Essentially it is now a website updated frequently and constantly by the holder of the website URL. Can be text, video (vlog), links, podcasts, anything It’s an open forum It’s a direct link to the public where they can leave comments and you can interact with them
  • Like having your own personalized, internal communications department. It’s like having your own publishing house.
  • Why should a business use a blog? It’s an easy “no-pressure” way to interact with customers both current and future. You can explain your company and products, naturally, conversationally and without any “hard sell” Provide information easily and cheaply about yourself, your business and products. Give your customers a better understanding of your company. Can give you insight into customer needs Can help guide the direction of your business Determine areas of focus Develop new products and services to meet customer needs. It can make your company “come alive.” Also makes your company approachable because they are interactive. Helps you build “buzz” about new products, your company or services Gives your company a voice Helps build customer loyalty Cheap! Most blog sites are free or cost very little Can be added to your existing site Easy to set up and maintain Virtually no training required. if you can type, you can blog
  • John Kuraoka is a freelance advertising copywriter and has been for 18 of his 23 years in the profession. His primary way of getting his business is through his website. His primary way of getting people to his website? His blog. He started his blog in 2003. In March of 2007 he posted his 1,000 th blog entry. That means he added more than 48 pages of targeted, relevant, original content to his website over the course of four years. He has managed to continue to find work even when economic times got rough. When the US was in financial trouble he got work from other countries. When times got tough there, he would find more work in the US. Has been a guest blogger on other sites and written about how blogging has helped him stay afloat. No ads. No selling, just leading people to his site. The blog, as you can see, is very simple. Very easy. Nothing flashy. Nothing complicated, just good, consistent, solid content.
  • First of all, think about whether or not you have the time and resources to write every day, every week or a few times a week. Do you have the ability to put those thoughts together in a compelling way? Can you keep it going month after month even though, for maybe the first six months, it will seem like you are just writing for yourself.
  • That blank page can be intimidating. A lot of questions might go floating through your mind as you start. You might ask yourself: Does it have to be complicated? Does it have to be high-brow and intellectual? Or, can it be something silly? Can it be fun? Well, here’s a success story that started with a photo. Yes, a single photo that started a blog and launched a whole separate career from what the poster originally intended. What was that photo? This one right here….
  • Started by software developer Eric Nakagawa. He posted this single photo of a seemingly smiling cat and then added the silly caption. He posted it on a website he had created because it made him laugh. He posted a couple more in that vein. He eventually turned the site into a blog called “I Can Has Cheezeburger?” when he started noticing he was getting hits. He also made sure people could comment on the site and even make it so readers could offer their own captions. The readership on the blog began doubling each month. 375,000 hits in March – 750,000 in April – 1.5 million in May. He now gets 500,000 page views a day and between 100,000 – 200,000 unique visitors. He sells ads. The cheapest ad goes for about $500 a week. The most expensive goes for $4,000.
  • Remember: 1,000 posts. Nearly every day for four years = Success
  • You need to decide what you will consider success. I strongly suggest you do not get into this thinking you will make money hands over fist. For every blogging success that leads to a fortune just for blogging there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, that never do it. Also don’t expect to launch your own online media empire that will make you famous. Start a blog to connect to customers and to communicate with people. It’s like creating your own community. Do it because you have something you want to say. Will it cause people to want to contact you the next time they travel? That may be the best way to measure any kind of success.
  • So try to think of success as getting people to read your blog and, when they do, then contacting your business when they need to travel or when they need your services. If you go into blogging as a way to create extra income for your business – through the blog itself – you are likely going to be sorely disappointed. I am not saying it is
  • By bringing people directly to your company site you can increase traffic to your site. Having a blog that you update regularly gives people a reason to want to come back to your site again and again. It keeps your company name in the forefront of their mind and makes your site a “destination” on the information super-highway.
  • Wordpress.org has software you can download and then add to your existing website to create a blog page. You may need to involve a programmer for this as this does require some knowledge of how to create, update and change a website. If you are particularly handy in this area, this may be easy for you. If you have ANY doubts, contact a professional. Just like with plumbing – don’t mess around if you aren’t absolutely sure.
  • Here are just some of the third party hosting sites. These services will give you all of the tools you need to set up a blog. The difference is that it will have a different URL from your company website. However, it can be linked with your site so that going to the blog and back to the main site can see seamless. The blog can look exactly like your main company site. This can help your Google rankings because you can place links in your blog back to your main site which means anyone visiting your blog then links back to your main site, increasing the rankings.
  • I know it is a bit self-serving, but to show you that I put my money where my mouth is, here is my site. You can see my main site on the left which links to the blog portion of my site, which is hosted by a third party, on the right. It looks almost the same. And both link to each other. It’s an easy, fast way to update my site and get information out about book signings, readings, events, new books, articles. Etc.
  • Here are some reasons why you may want to consider using a third party site and linking it to your existing site, in addition to the ones I mentioned.
  • Think about what you want to write about, but don’t spend forever thinking. Too many people ponder that first blog entry as if they are writing “A Tale of Two Cities.” You don’t need to pour out everything you have ever wanted to say about travel in that first blog. Keep it simple.
  • Just some things to consider, but don’t let them overwhelm you. Remember that to have success with your blog you need to start posting nearly every day or every other day to start with. You can also remove blog postings if you want. It doesn’t have to be a manifesto or a masterpiece to start with. But you have to get SOMETHING out there. Letting it sit empty does nothing for you, your company or, most importantly, your company website.
  • I will say it again: You MUST write. The single most important thing that will get you readers is putting out good content. If you leave it sitting there empty, it will NEVER gain readers no matter how great or interesting the articles you do have there are. We are talking writing every day, every other day or…bare minimum….once a week for six months to a year. You must put out content and if you feel you have any doubts about your writing abilities – FIND SOMEONE who can write. Find someone in your office. Hire someone. Find a college intern.
  • While the blog I showed you earlier had no frills, typically website that have interesting banners at the top of the page with interesting designs and blog articles also filled with photos get more attention. Make sure you don’t go too over the top and make sure the blog title suggests what the blog actually is. If it’s too clever, no one will know what the blog is about. Keep the title simple but be a little creative with the look and feel of the site. When you can, add photos to your blogs but be careful about the copyrights. These days people are tracking who is using photos and videos and for what purpose and bringing lawsuits. If you take the photos, all the better.
  • Let’s people subscribe to your blog Feedburner – good example. Run by Google Can even get updates via e-mail, letting people know when you
  • These are sites that let you post links to article, videos, photos and things you find interesting online for others to see and comment about. It’s what blogging started out being. But you can also post links to your own blog articles, and increase traffic to your site. These are just a few examples, there are dozens of them. Sign up at these sites and start posting links for each blog article on them. The more you post, the more people you will get back to your blog. Signing up is easy - just an online form. Then posting is very simple as well. You can cut and paste a URL for each of your blog entries and enter a few keywords or a description and-voila.
  • Use something called “chicklets” Little boxes that can be added to the bottom of each entry that directly link to sites like Digg and Delicious. Let’s those who like the entry post them there, spreading the word and taking the entry viral.
  • A blog entitled UPGRADE: Travel Better by Mark Ashley that ended up on the Elliott.org website list of “10 travel blogs you should bookmark in 2010”. In the blog Mr. Ashley covers business travel, travel deals, travel industry news, loyalty programs at airlines, hotels and more. Plus, he adds his own opinions and a sense of humor. Site has now been featured in publications such as Forbes, Money Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Business Traveler Magazine, CNN, the Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
  • Scott Gillespie’s blog which is also about the travel industry, but more importantly, about the niche of travel procurement and the management of corporate travel. According to Rock Blanco, of Prime Numbers Technology, “This is the only blog I make sure to read on a regular basis.” While Scott has written, and continues to write, in other spheres, his blog continues to grow and gain readers. He found his niche and he writes to his strengths, and has done a good job of obtaining feedback and creating a kind of online community with his blog.
  • A site called Boing Boing.com started out as a standard print publication in the late 80s. It eventually moved online and became a full-time, blog-based site in January of 2000. It is a humor and cyberculture kind of magazine that now allows users to submit content. They now have over $1 million in revenue. They have 22 million pageviews a month.
  • Expecting too much, too fast Don’t publish one article and expect a thousand readers. It takes time Most bloggers publish to no one from six months to a year. Be patient Don’t try to put ads on your blog from the first posting. You will be disappointed
  • Attempting to crush negative comments If someone starts commenting in a negative way, address the issues. Silencing comments can create a bad rep for you Cease and Desist If you find yourself being talked about at other blogs, do not attempt to make them stop Again, address the issue, but attempting to stop them just creates further resistance and makes you look bad
  • Are you sure you have the time and resources? Do you think you can dedicate yourself to writing a blog daily without the immediate results? What do you want to write about – do not take this lightly. Give it serious thought. Research and make sure others are not already talking about it in such numbers that you won’t be heard. If it is a popular topic, what can you do that’s different and will set you apart Determine where your blog is and what format you want to take. Think about what your first post will be
  • Thank you for attending THETRADESHOW!  This is a reminder that this session (title here), is being recorded with audio and speaker materials that are being synchronized for future viewing online! Upgrade to the best value package, for an additional $74, which will include unlimited access for a year to this session recording in addition to the 50+ other educational sessions debuted at THETRADESHOW.   Hurry because prices increase after the meeting.  Be sure to stop by registration to upgrade.  To view a demonstration of THETRADESHOW e-Learning Center, visit the demonstration booth at registration. 
  • Blogging 101 How To Start A Blog For Your Business New Template (2)

    1. 1. presented by Bryan W. Alaspa, K Squared Communications, Inc. How to Start Blog for Your Business
    2. 2. Want to get the most out of Upgrade your registration onsite to the Best Value Package and receive access to THETRADESHOW e-Learning Center TTS.sclivelearninngcenter.com Now you can with THE TRADE SHOW e-Learning Center! THETRADESHOW experience?
    3. 3. What is A Blog?!? <ul><li>WEB LOG </li></ul>WEBLOG BLOG
    4. 4. What is a Blog?!? A Diary A Place for Photos A Video Log or VLOG
    5. 5. As Far as Business is Concerned… It’s a Way to Connect With Your Customers, Vendors and Others In Your Industry
    6. 6. Why Should You Start a Blog? <ul><li>Explain Company Products Conversationally </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Company Information Easily and Cheaply </li></ul><ul><li>Give Customers a Better Understanding of Your Company </li></ul><ul><li>“ No-Pressure” Way to Interact with Customers </li></ul><ul><li>Can Give You Insight Into Customer Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Can Help You Determine Areas of Focus for Your Company </li></ul><ul><li>But Wait, there’s More … </li></ul>
    7. 7. More Reasons… <ul><li>Help You Develop New Products and Services </li></ul><ul><li>Can Make Your Company “Come Alive” </li></ul><ul><li>Make Your Company Seem More Approachable </li></ul><ul><li>Help You Build “BUZZ” About Your Company and New Products and Services. </li></ul><ul><li>Gives Your Company a Voice </li></ul><ul><li>IT’S CHEAP! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most Blog Sites are Free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can Be Added to Your Existing Site </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Isn’t it Complicated? <ul><li>It Doesn’t Have to Be… Success Story #1 </li></ul>
    9. 9. How Do You Get Started? <ul><li>Start Thinking…. </li></ul><ul><li>What Do You Want to Write About? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Success Story #2 What To Write About…
    11. 12. With that In Mind… <ul><li>Think About What You Want to Write About… </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a Niche </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instead of “Travel” Maybe “Caribbean Cruises” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What Do YOU Want to Write About? </li></ul><ul><li>Can You Write Consistently? </li></ul><ul><li>Do You Have An Opinion on that Topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Will Anyone Be Interested? </li></ul>
    12. 13. What Will YOU Consider Success? Don’t Do it for the Money Don’t Do it to Get Famous! Do it to Connect and Communicate
    13. 14. What Will YOU Consider Success? <ul><li>The Best Use of A Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>A Method of Bringing Attention to Yourself and Your Business and to Communicate with Customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT as Some “Get-Rich-Quick” Scenario </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Picking the Right Format <ul><li>Decision Time! </li></ul>Do You Want Your Blog as Part of Your Existing Site? Or Do You Want it On a Third Party Server?
    15. 16. What’s the Difference? <ul><li>Adding a Blog Page to your Existing Site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brings People Right to Your Site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can Jump to Another Page Easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can Easily Go from Blog Page to Buying Products and Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s an Easy Way to Update Your Company Site </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Remember the Name… <ul><li>Wordpress.org </li></ul>
    17. 18. Using a Third Party
    18. 19. A Personal Example… The Main Page of My Own Website The Blog Part of My Site It's Hosted by a Third-Party Site
    19. 20. Why use a blog hosting site? <ul><li>There’s Almost No Effort to Set Up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just Go Out and Sign Up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You Don’t Need a Programmer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sites are Very Intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Hosting Site Provides Tools You Can Use to Write, Promote and Design Your Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You Don’t Need to Know Any Programming Languages. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 21. What to Do Next: Write <ul><li>But Before You Write a Word…THINK </li></ul>
    21. 22. Flashback! Some Things To Ponder <ul><li>What Is My Blog About? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What Niche Did I Pick? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Did I Want to Write About? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I Write About it Consistently? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s My Opinion On that Topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Will Anyone Be Interested? </li></ul>
    22. 23. How Do You Get an Audience? <ul><li>The MOST Important Thing to Remember! </li></ul>WRITE WRITE WRITE
    23. 24. How Do You Get an Audience? Take Some Time To Consider the Design
    24. 25. Some Other Things… <ul><li>Set Up an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lets People to “Subscribe” to Your Blog FEEDBURNER.COM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Icon Looks Like this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What it Looks Like On Your Blog </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. Know the Term: Social Bookmarking <ul><li>Post Links to Your Blog Articles </li></ul>
    26. 27. Add “Chicklets” Pieces of Code You Can Add to Each Blog Entry – Allows Fans to Post Your Blog Article to Social Bookmarking Sites
    27. 28. Some Success Stories
    28. 29. Another Success Story…
    29. 30. Outside of Travel Successes
    30. 31. Some Potential Pitfalls <ul><li>Expecting Too Much, Too Fast </li></ul>
    31. 32. Some More Pitfalls <ul><li>Attacking Negative Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Ordering a Cease and Desist </li></ul>
    32. 33. Just a Few More Pitfalls <ul><li>Talking About Unrelated Things </li></ul><ul><li> Stay On Topic – It’s Why the Readers </li></ul><ul><li>Are There </li></ul><ul><li>Getting Too Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Your Readers Don’t Need to Know About </li></ul><ul><li>It – Keep It Professional </li></ul>
    33. 34. Next steps <ul><li>Go Out and… </li></ul><ul><li>THINK! </li></ul>
    34. 35. <ul><li>Knowledge is just a touch away… </li></ul>Knowledge is just a touch awa y With THETRADESHOW e-Learning Center! THE TRADE SHOW e-Learning Center Access 60 hours of recorded sessions online at your convenience. TTS.sclivelearningcenter.com
    35. 36. Questions? <ul><li>Bryan W. Alaspa </li></ul><ul><li>773 774 7847 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.ksqrd.com </li></ul>

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