Blogging for businesses is a form of content marketing. Instead of sending direct mail, or buying newspaper ads, content marketing takes the position of publisher. What you publish is designed to position you as an expert (you are an expert, right?) your blog lets people know that without the big used car pitch. business from your blog comes indirectly, from readers who are interested in what you say. don’t sell on your blog
What’s a blog: -ongoing chronicle of information about you... what you’re doing, what you know about. your take on things. -frequently updated. offers commentary. links to other sites. Blogs get you found -subject can be anything, personal to political. usually sticks to one topic. Your topic. A way to introduce yourself with every post. -can be eclectic, or toned down. it’s your voice. It’s a call to people who you are interested in getting to know
Generally, blogs have some things in common... -main content area, with newest posts on top -posts are organized into categories -archive of older articles -Some system for readers to comment and interact
-A list of links to related sites, called a blogroll -A way for people to subscribe
Content is your reason for being. Why you create the art that you do. This section is about how to load your palette. You’re becoming a publisher, but you’re also becoming a writer. It’s important to find a style that suits your subject, your audience, and yourself. There’s a specific way to do that...
Your tool box...
The first impression Writing headlines is a critical skill because... You’re trying to turn a browser into a reader. You want to compel them to go deeper. Why is that hard? It’s tough enough competing for someone’s attention when you’re talking to them at a bar. Think how hard it is on the internet. Writing headlines is a critical skill
-If 10 people see the headline, most will read, but Only 2 of 10 will read the rest. -you are writing to get people to read the next sentence -The better your headline, the better your chances of getting people to follow along, which is really the chance to get to know you.
-writing the headline first allows you to make a promise, then follow through. Seth Godin puts it this way: “make big promises. Overdeliver” -Take your time. It’s a craft, and poorly done, all the rest of your work will go unnoticed. -Build a swipe file for headlines. there truly are proven formulas that work. Ex. How To Find Green Vacations For Families, The 5 Best Vacations With a Conscious.
-seo plays a part in everything you do online. -the trick is to let it come naturally. -unpaid results on google are called “organic” results for a reason.
-use google’s keyword tool to find out what people are looking for. Find phrases with high numbers of searches and low numbers of results. -Specificity creates better reading. You cannot appeal to everyone, don’t try. -Don’t cram. About 2-3% KW density. Write about your subjects in a way that people will connect with. more on that right here...
-You can be the best blogger in the world, but a compelling picture always helps
- they tell stories and make promises, like your headlines -lots of places you can find to buy the rights to digital pictures (istockphoto) -creative commons attribution (Flickr). always cite sources.
-right at the heart of it, bloggers are storytellers
- tell the truth. Not necessarily “be factual”, but connect to an audience authentically. That’s how you capture the imagination of your reader - Your headline made a promise, let your story fulfill it. You have to earn credibility over time, and that means not writing to please everyone. -Finally, write with subtlety. Give credit to your reader, if that’s the kind of reader you want (it is). Direct quote from Seth Godin “ Most of all, great stories agree with our world view. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place. Note he doesn’t say “all stories” don’t teach people anything new.
-Start with the most important point, then add supporting information. finish with history or background. -break up your text. if you have a list of 3 or more, you should use bullets. If you have different points to make, use headers. -When you’re done, go back and cut. cut some more. use simple words. use short sentences. Use small paragraphs. Read it out loud.
Links are blogger currency. Since the point of a blog is to connect with other people who you’re interested in, the best way to do that is to link to others.
-Thinking about “the competition” is a waste of time. If someone is offering good info that interests you, link to it. (#1 political website Drudge, no content, all links). Write a post about it, if you want. Don’t waste time with haters, but on the other hand, everyone loves a rant every now and then. -Links drive SEO. When people link to your blog, google sees it as an endorsement. Lots and lots and lots of good and not so good ways to do this. -You’re doing this to be recognized as an authority. When you write quality posts and link them to others, it comes back to you. Especially by making comments....
comments on blogs are useful for lots of reasons. First and foremost, they serve the purpose of continuing the discussion. This can lead to business, references, and establishing your position as an expert.
-build into your posts an invitation for people to comment. be Gregarious about it (chris brogan does this well). Genuine comments add tons of value to your post. “great post” doesn’t help much at all. -Go and start commenting on blogs you like. Make sure they’re blogs you like, b/c the participation has to be constant, helpful, and often. If you schedule a part of your day to do this specifically, this kind of participation, you’ll go a long way toward your goal. Another way to participate is by building a blogroll. lists the blogs you like, participate in, find interesting, etc. -Always, always acknowledge commenters. Comments on a blog are another way people identify you as an expert. And the more comments there are, the more others are likely to comment. It’s a snowball effect. -comment tools like gravitar, which keeps your profile info and uses the same avatar for many different platforms. Disqus is another that tracks your comments.
-So, now we have some tools in our belt. We can go to work on what it all means, how it fits... One way to think about your blog is like a hub, similar to how our sun is a hub. Here’s a video that goes into a bit more detail
REturn on investment... -you can’t figure it out if you don’t know what to look for. -there are measurable statistics that you can see in analytics -The metrics provide value in your brand, in your product, in your knowledge, in your reputation. -All it takes is a time and emotion investment. Or rather, the
Growing Your Own Content <ul><li>________ </li></ul>Blogging
Seriously. WTF is a Blog? <ul><li>Journal </li></ul><ul><li>SEO tool </li></ul><ul><li>Business Card </li></ul><ul><li>Party Invitation </li></ul>
Your Tools <ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Stories (posts) </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Comments </li></ul>
The First Impression <ul><li>8 out of 10 read headlines </li></ul><ul><li>War of attrition </li></ul><ul><li>Good headlines get read </li></ul>
How-To For Headlines <ul><li>Write the headline first </li></ul><ul><li>Craft something compelling </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of the work is already done </li></ul>
Let Readers Find You <ul><li>Do some research </li></ul><ul><li>Use niche phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Speak the audience’s language </li></ul>
They’re Worth A Certain Number Of Words <ul><li>Always Use Pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Pay for them </li></ul><ul><li>Use them for free </li></ul>
Be Yourself <ul><li>Capture imaginations </li></ul><ul><li>Be trustworthy </li></ul><ul><li>Think of your audience </li></ul>
Story Structure <ul><li>Upside-down pyramid </li></ul><ul><li>Bullets and headers </li></ul><ul><li>Be brief </li></ul>
Information Is Free <ul><li>Don’t hold back </li></ul><ul><li>Get found </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust </li></ul>
Say It, Mean It <ul><li>Ask </li></ul><ul><li>Participate </li></ul><ul><li>Answer </li></ul><ul><li>Be efficient </li></ul>
Your Blog In The Universe
“ The only reason I blog is because I love it” -Seth Godin