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Anamaria Sencovici - Blogging primer

Anamaria Sencovici - Blogging primer



Blogging secrets from The Apple, Peeled's Ana Maria Sencovici. Presented at REMarTech on April 29, 2010 in New York City. Learn more at http://greenpearlevents.com/remartech.

Blogging secrets from The Apple, Peeled's Ana Maria Sencovici. Presented at REMarTech on April 29, 2010 in New York City. Learn more at http://greenpearlevents.com/remartech.



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    Anamaria Sencovici - Blogging primer Anamaria Sencovici - Blogging primer Presentation Transcript

    • ® Blogging Primer Seminar Real Estate Marketing & Technology Academy April 29, 2010 Ana Maria Sencovici
    • Table of Contents The Deep The Set- The The Dive up Content Marketing • What’s a • Choosing a • Content • Growing your blog, blogging drivers community anyway? platform • Best • Tracking • What is it to • Choosing a practices tools you? domain • Plan for dry • Deciphering • Is blogging • Designing spells the metrics for you? your blog • Developing a • Other community questions to consider www.theapplepeeled.com 2
    • The Deep Dive • What’s a blog, anyway? • The NYC real estate blogging landscape • What is it to you? • Is blogging for you? • Other questions to consider The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 3 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • What’s a blog, anyway? ‘A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”, such as Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.’ (Wikipedia) Reference source Your personal thoughts Lead generation tool Personal diary Breaking-news outlet Collection of links Daily pulpit Political soapbox Advertizing platform Whatever you want it to be The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 4 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • The Blogging Landscape NYC Real Estate The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 5 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • What is it to you? A question of personal brand We are all our own chief branding officers.  What differentiates you from everyone else who might have a similar background or set of experiences?  What skills, abilities, knowledge and attitudes do you have that will make people want to work with, follow or "friend" you, online or off?  What value can you create for others?  What will make you satisfied and fulfilled that you are indeed making a contribution?  What is your overarching mission and purpose in what you do? The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 6 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Is blogging for you? A realistic look in the mirror  Your personality  Your skill-set o How thick skinned are you? o How are your communication skills? o Are you willing to be in the public o Are you a good and creative writer? spotlight? o Do you have a sense of humor? o How technologically savvy are you? o Do you have a mix of ego and humility? o Are you a self-starter? Should you decide that creating your own o How disciplined are you? blog is not for you, there are other ways to benefit from the advantages of blogging  Your level of commitment without doing it all yourself: o Time: if not daily, how often? •Write every now and then as a guest contributor o Financial • Blogging software on other, more established blogs • Upgrades •Write as often as you’d like without the hassle of • Domain name the set-up and maintenance via outsourcing • Web hosting services • Support costs •Offer yourself up for interviews to bloggers and • Web designers the general media • Bells & whistles (add-ons, themes) The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 7 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Other questions to consider  Your message o What are you trying to say and why? Finding your unique value  Your niche o What aspect of the market will you focus on? o What kind of topics are off-limits?  Your angle o Professional vs. personal o Funny vs. serious o What words would you want your readers to use in describing your site? The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 8 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • The Setup • Choosing a blogging platform • Choosing a domain • Designing your blog The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 9 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Choosing a blogging platform Hosted blogging services The pros and cons of choosing a developer-hosted platform Pros: it takes care of … Cons: –Web domain management – Ultimately, you’re not in –Software maintenance and upgrades control of your own blog – Less customizable –Data storage and backup – Depending on the service, –Template design and management you are a part of the other company’s look and feel Popular service providers Basics to look for in web hosting Blogger.com • User-friendly interface / control panel Typepad.com • Good comment management system Wordpress.com • Spam deterrents LiveJournal.com • Rss feeds (a computer-readable version of your blog which helps your content appear in other newsreaders, websites and blogs) The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 10 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Choosing a blogging platform Self-hosted blogging services The pros and cons of choosing a self-hosted platform Pros: Cons: –Enhanced design personalization – More time consuming –Customization of every aspect of your blog – Extra costs (your own domain name, domain email – Tech support is limited if you addresses, etc.) mess up –Control, should something go wrong –SEO / higher page ranks Popular service providers Basics to look for in web hosting Wordpress.org (different than .com) • Reliability and uptime guarantees Movable type • Data transfer limits Drupal • How much disk-space comes with it Expression Engine • Tech support / telephone hours / email support • Popular providers: godaddy.com, doteasy.com, nexcess.net The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 11 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Choosing a domain name Why have one? Why have your own domain name? • Build credibility and a sense of professionalism around your blog • Can enhance the brand of your business, service or identity • Provides benefit of email addresses with the same domain, creating one holistic entity • Can enhance your search engine ranking Many theories abound about dos and don’ts, yet personal tastes also come into play; successful blogs exist that broke all the “rules” The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 12 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Factors to consider in choosing a name Long-term vision Consider the kind of traffic you want to build • Loyal readers: most likely to build relationships with you, be your “ambassadors” • Search engine traffic: best for generating click-through ad revenue • Link followers: referral traffic from other sites, can often flood sites, good “afterglow” Keyword-based domain Brandable domain Think about your goals and objectives for the blog • What is your blog’s focus? (news aggregator, building reviews, tips & hints, neighborhood focus, etc.) Make sure the name reflects this. • What is your intention for the blog? (generate leads, build your brand, sell ad revenue, etc.) • What’s your style? (multi-author, longer posts vs. snippets, pictures, videos) • What’s your tone? (formal, conversational, funny, scandalous) • Who is your audience? (professionals, out-of-towners, real estate aficionados, buyers, renters) The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 13 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • More domain factors to consider Preparing for future growth • Make it expandable if you’re thinking big (will other sub-blogs grow under the domain?) • Don’t make it too “trendy” such that it quickly becomes dated Does size really matter? • The shorter the better generally • Easier to remember • Less room for misspellings • Better word-of-mouth marketing • Aesthetically pleasing • Easy to pronounce • Generally avoid hyphens and numbers Dot what? (top level domains or “TLDs”) • People generally assume .com or .net • Most believe .com is the most powerful – stay away from little known TLDs The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 14 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Designing your blog The basic anatomy of what makes a blog a blog Branding – Logo - Header Reverse chronological order Archives Sidebar Blog-roll Posts / entries Frequent updates Permalinks News (info: date, author, time, Other links category,) Most Categories recent posts The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 15 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • A matter of design Key elements and best practices  The header o The first element that people see: a first impression. Make it memorable! o Include a logo and some visual flourish to make it unique  Post headlines o Larger and bolder font / color than the general text without cluttering the page o Make it easy for readers to scan through multiple headlines  Navigation o Make it intuitive and reader-friendly (do not overload with pages, categories or columns) o Ensure that topics of interest are accessible and clearly marked  Archives o Increase the usability and the stickiness of your site by giving readers easy access to past posts  Site search o Key to providing readers a way to search for what’s on their mind on their own via keywords  Comments o Make sure they are prominent enough to be seen and their design reflects a respect for commenters The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 16 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Getting some help Themes and skins and plug-ins, oh my! Themes Skins Plug-ins A skin is usually a "visual Plug-ins can do anything A theme serves as a from improving the user look" that is an overlay functional and cosmetic experience to maximizing to a theme. Most skins foundation that provides your blogging power. allow you to change the Popular ones include the building blocks for overall look via styles thumbnails, comment the customizing your and without a complete management, spam filters blog. redesign of a theme. and social media links. The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 17 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • The Content • Content drivers • Best practices • Plan for dry-spells • Creating a community The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 18 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Is content really that important? The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 19 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Primary content drivers Interaction • Start a conversation and encourage its continuation • Address topics people are already thinking about Relevance • Put yourself in their shoes • Make one key point: what’s your bottom line? Focus • What is the message you want taken away? • Grab the readers’ attention Catchiness • Ask a provocative question or present a “Top 3” list • Relate the content to readers’ personal experiences Memorability • Instill an emotional reaction in your readers The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 20 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Blogging best practices • More often at first to build momentum Blog often • Be disciplined; create a set time • Track your visitors • Profile your • Don’t let Know your Kiss perfection perfection audience •Note which topics audience good-bye paralyze you Perpetual generate most interest Learning • Take a stand; take a risk Own your Write how • Avoid formality • Not everyone will like • Be yourself and relate what you say or agree topic you speak to your readers with it The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 21 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Plan for dry-spells • Stockpile timeless posts • Recycle your “classics” • Post a photo or video • Develop a survey or contest • Write about a relevant book, TV show or website • Conduct an interview • Ask for suggestions and feedback The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 22 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • Developing a community Fuel the Admit your conversation mistakes and to keep it fix them going Respond to Keep people comments in-line; don’t when accept mis- appropriate behavior Ask readers Make for input and Community yourself feedback accessible The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 23 Dive The Set-up The Content Marketing
    • The Marketing • Growing your community • Tracking tools • Deciphering the metrics The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 24 The Set-up The Content Dive Marketing
    • Your community 10 Ways of Growing It  Link it up o Link to other blogs for credit to their ideas and relationship building o Link to your past blog posts that are relevant to your topic at hand  Get involved o Join conversations of interest to you on other blogs o Contribute to those topics (don’t be a link spammer) by adding value and becoming a trusted resource  Extend your brand o Get word of your blog out on your marketing collateral, business cards, etc. o Include a live link in your e-stationery; keep it clean, avoid more than 2 links to avoid the “junk” label  Share and share alike o You have your own unique URLs now for each and every post; make sure they are shareable across multiple social media platforms o Create and maintain a profile on your selected platforms, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter  RSS o Make sure the RSS feed image on your blog is recognizable and well-placed for your readers to find so they can subscribe to your brilliance The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 25 The Set-up The Content Dive Marketing
    • Your community 10 Ways of Growing It (con’t)  Become a favorite o Allow readers to socially bookmark and tag you via sites like Digg, del.icio.us, and StumbleUpon o This will help your blog rank higher on search engines and increase traffic/links to your site  Invite guest bloggers o Infuses new ideas and perspectives into your blog o Guests will help promote your blog by promoting themselves (and vice versa)  Get on directories o Submit your blog to online directories to increase reach o Little to do thereafter so it requires no additional maintenance  Have a big mouth o Talk about your blog with everyone you know; have your elevator pitch ready to go o Use your own material as a resource with your clients when questions arise, reinforcing the conversations you have with them  Submit to media channels o Send articles to different blogs or media channels if you think they may be valuable to their readership The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 26 The Set-up The Content Dive Marketing
    • What about leads? “I want more business” Content is King www.theapplepeeled.com 27
    • Tracking Tools Many abound Google Analytics Pikwik Reinvigorate The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 28 The Set-up The Content Dive Marketing
    • Deciphering the metrics The Basics Visitor Trending • Bounce Rate: how many visitors come to your site and then leave without viewing any extra pages, the lower the better • Average Page Views: how many pages your visitors are viewing per session, the more the better. (You can also find similar page view data under Visitor Loyalty: Length of Visit and Depth of Visit.) • Time On Site: indicates the stickiness of your site. The longer they stay, the more opportunity for them to click, read and comment. • Visits: enables you to understand the trends of your visitors, in terms of daily, weekly or seasonal trends. When does your greatest traffic come in? What time of day or week? It allows you to gauge when to best publish your posts. Traffic • Traffic Sources: how are people finding your site, through which sources (search engines, directly, referring sites) • Direct Traffic: readers who type in your URL in their browser or used a bookmark to visit you • Referring Sites: which other sites or blogs are referring you the traffic; helps you gauge which “investments” in social media are working and which are not • Search Engines: readers who find your blog via keyword searches on Google or other search engines. Knowing these keywords can help you optimize your content to give readers information they seek The Deep The www.theapplepeeled.com 29 The Set-up The Content Dive Marketing
    • Now what? Parting thoughts Your questions www.theapplepeeled.com 30