Blogging explained

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Presentation by Trevor Jones at Social Media Breakfast Central Maine providing an overview of blogging, including: …

Presentation by Trevor Jones at Social Media Breakfast Central Maine providing an overview of blogging, including:

• Reasons to start a blog (and also reasons you might not want to)
• Defining goals for your blog
• Deciding what to write about
• The role of keywords
• Best practices for your articles
• Discussion and comments
• The "balanced blog" concept
• Maintaining your blog over the long term.

Delivered July 17, 2012.

More in: Technology , Design
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Transcript

  • 1. Blogging Explained July 17, 2012
  • 2. Introduction• About Me – Director of Marketing and Product Development for GWI – Telecom marketer since 1997 – Born in Bangor, grew up in Glenburn (BHS Class of ‘89) – @trevorjones71 – linkedIn.com/in/trevordjones – Passions: Outdoors, technology, social media, music• About GWI – Maine based since 1994, based in Biddeford – Internet access, phone service, cloud computing for home and business – Serving 60 communities statewide – www.gwi.net – @gwimaine – youtube.com/gwimaine – facebook.com/GWIInc
  • 3. Why Blog?• Become a thought leader in your industry & community• Provide tools for your salesforce – Needs-focused articles – Case studies• Educate potential customers on your products and services• Improve your website’s performance in search results – Content freshness – Keyword optimization – Volume of content• Provide your own content for your social media efforts 3
  • 4. Why Not Blog?• Blogging is a long term commitment – Building readership requires 2-3 posts per week consistently – Better not to start than to start and stop• Writing is not your strong suit and there is not enough money to hire external resources• Thought leadership, product knowledge and being found online are not important components of your marketing plan. 4
  • 5. Defining Goals• Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bounded)• Goals are dictated by your reason for blogging and your marketing strategy• Possible goals: – SEO • Increase in site traffic • Number of Leads – Thought Leadership • Measured awareness of your topic • Engagement metrics (social sharing, etc.) – Sales tools • Increase in sales • Improvement in closing ratio
  • 6. Where to put your blog?• On your primary domain – Use a blogging platform like Wordpress on your site• On a sub-domain – blog.mysite.com can be pointed at a different web server than your primary site, but is still associated with your domain• On external platforms – Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr, etc. – Google likes Google . . . If you go this way, give serious thought to Blogger – Use with a separate custom domain or sub-domain
  • 7. The Role of Keywords• Even great content will only be found if people are looking for it• Understand what words customers are using to search for your product in Google, and use those phrases in your articles – Research keywords • Google analytics, www.keywordresearch.com, www.spyfu.com – Use keywords at 0.5% to 1.5% of the total (“keyword density”) – Try not to exceed 2.5%, which sounds repetitive to readers• Do this to help your customers find relevant content (white hat SEO), not to trick them (black hat SEO)
  • 8. Deciding What to Write About• If you are blogging for SEO: – Write articles around products or keyword phrases – Use off-topic, on target method• If you are blogging for thought leadership – Read other blogs, news and current events – Start a conversation, rebut another author, add depth to a topic• If you are creating tools for your sales force – Ask the sales team what they need• In all cases: – Monitor comments on your blog and social media for ideas – Ask your customers and readers for feedback• Create an editorial calendar several weeks in advance if you can.
  • 9. Best Practices for Articles• Article length: After Google’s most recent updates, experts agree the best post length is 600-800 words – Up significantly from 200-400 words a few months ago• Page Structure: Include – Use Short paragraphs and bullet lists, remember web users do not read, they skim. – White space is good – Images engage readers – 3-4 internal links to other pages on your site – External links to sources – Ways for customers to subscribe/follow your blog – Ways for vistors to convert into leads – Ways for customers to bookmark & share• Keyword Optimization and SEO – 0.5% to 1.5% keyword density on a page is probably best right now, but . . . – Remember to write for people first, search engines second.
  • 10. The Balanced Blog • Hot sauce – Very infrequent content that lights fires • Chocolate cake – Fun, includes video, images, cartoons • Roasts – Substantial, requires research or analysis infrequent • Spinach – Thought leadership, in- depth, less frequent • Raisin Bran – Educational, keyword optimized, frequent • For more on the balanced blog, check out this blog post by HubSpot: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/ 6307/bid/6084/5-Types-of-Posts-to- Create-a-Balanced-Blog.aspx
  • 11. Discussion and Comments• Value of comments – Adds content to your site without you having to create it – Creates a community• Open Comments – Pro: Users see their comments right away. This encourages repeat comments. – Con: spam comments can appear before your blogging platform detects and removes them. – It’s still very important to monitor and respond to quickly to avoid being a victim of “trolls.”• Moderated Comments – In this model, you must approve comments from new users before they are published – This reduces exposure to spam, but may be frustrating for users• Closing Comments – No longer allows comments on older blog posts after a period of time – Useful if a significant amount of time is spent moderating comments• Comments disabled – Pro: Eliminates time spent moderating comments – Pro: Reduces noise – Some believe it encourages motivated, thoughtful responders to comment on their own blogs and link back – Con: Loses the idea of a blog as a community
  • 12. Maintaining Your Blog• It’s hard to keep up GWI Blog Posts By Writer – Each post is a significant commitment – Ideal posting frequency 2-3 a week• Methods of maintaining post frequency – Involve other team members in their areas of expertise • Makes them feel good • Makes your blog more interesting lends credibility Trevor Jones Colin Haley – Hire outside writers Fletcher Kittredge Jason Philbrook • Local freelance writers Brad Dormanen Karl Clapp • Online content sites such as www.zerys.com. Paid Writers – Invite guest bloggers to write for you.
  • 13. Thank You! Don’t forget to follow!@trevorjones71 @gwimaine Facebook.com/GWIInc