Hello BMPR, I want to thank Sean Wood and the rest of you here today for asking us to come speak to you about how to successfully maintain a blog. My name is Jason Teitelman and I along with my friend Bill here work at BlogCatalog.com a social network for bloggers that is based here in San Antonio. I’ll let Bill tell you a little more about himself when he gets up here in a few minutes to talk you about some technical tips for maintaining your blog. I myself have been working with BlogCatalog for several years now as a blogger and what you’d probably call a community outreach coordinator…we don’t really have titles, but I assume if we did that would be mine. Going over:some basic tips for maintaining a successful blog.two short and easy acromnyms I came up with to help you remember these tips,they are cup…c.u.p and pine p.i.n.e.I’ll get to the first of those in just a second but before we move on I wanted to share a lesson from the cartoon I have on this first slide. Just in case anyone can’t read the text, the father is saying to his son “Well we could read your blog…or you could just tell us about your school day.”The thing I want you to take away from this cartoon is like kids, blogs are easy and sometimes fun to make. There so easy to start that as the cartoon shows even a small child can do it. However, maintaining that blog…much like raising a child is far more difficult. Now maintaining a blog is not difficult because blogging is a huge, complicated process. Maintenance can be difficult because of the ongoing attention it requires and because in order to be successful with it there are a lot of different factors that you need to be paying attention to.
Narrowed factors down to the big 4.Appearance.Content.Promotion Connection.AS we talk about the specific steps, keep these in mind.
CUP…C-U-P stands forchanges,understanding and posting.These are the three basic things you need to do on your blog in order to be successful.
So, the C. C stands forchanges.Changes to your blog are a good thing.keep your blog looking fresh and currentStyle changes (appearance)Technical. updating your blogging platform to a more current version. No matter what kind of change you're making, do it carefully and test it.consider the effect of your changes beforehand and pay attention to the effects of your changes after you make them.For technical…test copy of your blog where you can make updates first and see how they affect the site before updating your live version. For stylistic…being mindful of how the changes will be accepted by your readers.make only one or two changes at a time then allow time afterward to evaluate the impact.certain stats like fluctuations in traffic to the site, the number of comments people leave, and what type of feedback readers are giving you in their comments.By taking the time to evaluate the impact of your changes, you’ll get a better fix on what your audience likes and it will become easier to make changes in the future without fear of doing something that will upset your audience.This brings us to the next letter…U. U is for understanding…understanding your audience. This one is pretty straightforward. Know who your audience is and what they want…then give it to them. If I'm writing a blog about country western bands for a country loving audience, then I better not start writing about improvisational jazz because I'm going to lose most if not all of my audience. Right? Stick to country music for country fans…it’s that simple. P is the final letter of our acronym and P is for Posting Regularly. I saved this one for last because it is the most important. A loyal readership needs something to read. They don't want to come to your site and continuously find the same old content. They want new information. Not only do they want new information, they want new, interesting, valuable information. So figure out a posting schedule that is reasonable for you. One you can keep up with and one that gives you enough time to write something valuable so you're not just throwing some post up for the sake of having a post up. One thing I have learned is that a lack of valuable content is almost as bad as a total lack of content. OK, so a very short recap before moving on….C: Changes. Changes is good. It keeps things fresh. Do it carefully so you don't break your site or alienate your readers.U: Understand your audience. Cowboys like country music…give it to them. Know what your readers want and deliver.P: Post regularly. It's so important. It's what blogs are all about. Blog is short for web log. Logs are regularly update documents and readers expect your blog to be updated regularly.
The second acronym, I have for you is PINE. Pine is not a set of steps to take on your blog to make it successful but rather overall steps for you to take as a blogger in order to maximize you potential for success. Pine stands for Plan, Interest, Niche, and Expert.
So 1st things first. P is for plan.Most successful ventures start with and follow a plan. Whether it's a broad plan or a very detailed plan, having an idea about what you want to accomplish with your blog and the steps necessary to do so is important. Gives you focus. and that makes it easier to create valuable content, to appeal to a specific set of readers and create an online identity, or brand for my blog. And, once I have that branding, it becomes much easier to attract more readers and create regular consumers of my brand.Creating regular consumers. Need to be interesting.That brings us to the "I"…and “I” is for interest. If you want your blog to be successful, you need to create interest. The best way to do this is simplyto have valuable content that people want to read, but most times that will not be enough. So, You will also need to promote your blog. Thats where sites like twitter, facebook and BlogCatalog come in. Sites like this are great places to connect with people, form relationships and then let them know about what's happening on your blog and with your business. The key to creating interest on most social networks is to create a meaningful dialogue with other users. You don't want to bombard people with manufactured messages or anythingspammy because it will just turn most people off. It's better to create a natural, meaningful dialogue with your connections….treat online "friends" like actual friends and you’ll get better results…plus you’re more likely to create an engaged audience this way rather than a inactive crowd of followers.And one more thing. Be creative. There’s no better way to get lost in the crowd on these sites than by doing the same thing as everyone else.The next letter is N and N stands for niche. I said before that you want to provide valuable content. It is much easier to do this is you are focused on a niche instead of a broad subject. Think college. Think senior seminar as opposed to freshman survey course. The survey is broad, covers many topics but doesn't delve into any one too deeply. The seminar is focused on one topic and that topic is covered extensively. Your blog should be like the senior seminar. Providing readers with a lot of great information on a specific niche will be far more valuable that providing little bits of information on a several topics. Another way to think of this is in terms of cake. One bite of three layer chocolate cake with fudge in between and chocolate butter cream on top is way more satisfying than one bite of a single layer sheet cake with frosting. So stick to your niche and provide thick value and your readers will appreciate it.The final letter of the acronym is E and E is for expert. Simply make yourself an expert on your niche. Do this by being on top of your game and knowing everything there is to know about the content you're sharing. On top of that contribute to discussions on social networks, find reputable sites where you can submit guest posts, host online webinars or give talks to establish yourself as an expert in your field. By establishing yourself as an expert, you dramatically increase your credibility. Increasing your credibility means more people will come to your site looking for information, more people will link to your site as a source and other bloggers will refer their readers to your siteEveryone always refers to the expert so by making yourself the expert, you become one of the people everyone refers to…and hopefully that translates into sustained traffic for your blog. So let's recap this one by working back through these points. E…expert. By becoming an expert you increase your credibility and you chances for success.N…niche. It's much easier to become an expert when focused on a niche. It's also easier to create interest and provide value to your readers.I…interest. You create this interest by providing valuable content to readers and by promoting your blog in an engaging, creative way.P…plan. All of this will be much easier if you have a clear plan as to what your desired outcome is and what you need to do to get there.
I hope all of that was helpful for you. I took a ton of information and tried to whittle it down to some main points I could to fit into a short talk. Needless to say, there is much more that can be said about this topic. If any of you have questions about your own blog or just blogging in general please feel free to contact me any time. This is my contact information on the slide here and I have cards too so just grab one from me if you want to talk about anything in more depth. Like I said, our BlogCatalog offices are here in San Antonio and we’d love to have any of you stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat about blogging. So if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, please do not hesitate to get ahold of me. Now, Bill is going to come on up and talk to you about the technical side of blog maintenance. So once more thanks for having me and here’s Bill.
BC BMPR Pres: Maintain Blog
Maintaining a Successful Blog<br />
Maintenance: Important Factors<br />Appearance<br />Content<br />Promotion<br />Audience Connection/Engagement<br />
Maintaining a Successful Blog:<br />C.U.P.<br />
C.U.P. <br />Change: It’s Good. Do it carefully. Test. <br />Understanding Your Audience: Know who they are. Give them what they want.<br />Post Regularly: People want new interesting content and expect it.<br />
P.I.N.E.<br />Plan: What do I want to accomplish? How do I do it?<br />Interest: Provide valuable content. Promote your site creatively.<br />Niche: Find your niche. Provide rich, focused content<br />Expert: Become an expert on your topic. Gain Credibility...Gain Links…Gain Readers.<br />