Blogging Boot Camp Workshop


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Blogging Boot Camp: How to Create and Develop a Successful Blog - 4-hour workshop presented on November 16, 2008 at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

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  • Higher Ed Experts
  • Blogging Boot Camp Workshop

    1. 1. Blogging Boot Camp: How to Start and Develop a Successful Blog Karine Joly ~
    2. 2. <ul><li>First, let me show you my “boots”... </li></ul>
    3. 4. Feb. 2005
    4. 5. Nov. 2008 8,000 visitors / month 2,000 subscribers (RSS/email) Launched in April 2007 ~ 1600 members + 1,100 webinars taken Since February 2006 ~ 20 published articles
    5. 6. After this workshop, you will… © 2007 Higher Ed Experts <ul><li>Know if blogs are so… 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Have viewed many (too many?) blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Know the difference between a good blog and a great blog </li></ul><ul><li>Have a detailed plan to start a personal, professional or institutional blog </li></ul><ul><li>Have set up a blog and started to post </li></ul>
    6. 7. <ul><li>Is this a blog??? </li></ul>
    7. 14. <ul><li>So, What is exactly </li></ul><ul><li>a blog? </li></ul>
    8. 15. Blogs in Plain English - Video
    9. 16. Wikipedia definition <ul><li>“ A blog (a contraction of the term &quot; Web log &quot;) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video... </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    10. 17. Wikipedia definition <ul><li>...A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.” </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    11. 18. <ul><li>Word on the street is... </li></ul>
    12. 20. <ul><li>“ Thinking about launching your own blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pierre Boutin (Wired) </li></ul>
    13. 21. <ul><li>“ Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — </li></ul><ul><li>is to 2008 what </li></ul><ul><li>the blogosphere was to 2004.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pierre Boutin (Wired) </li></ul>
    14. 22. <ul><li>Not so fast! Blogs are not dead... </li></ul>
    15. 23. <ul><li>+Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>= </li></ul>
    16. 26. 1 6
    17. 27. <ul><li>How can you provide context in 140 characters? </li></ul>
    18. 28. The Challenge
    19. 29. <ul><li>Introduce yourself or your institution in 140 characters </li></ul>
    20. 30. The Challenge
    21. 31. Got Stats? <ul><li>Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: 41.0 million </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace: 75.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total internet audience: 188.9 million </li></ul><ul><li>comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008) </li></ul>
    22. 32. The State of the Blogosphere <ul><li>Technorati - 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>3 years of blogging on average </li></ul><ul><li>1 million posts per day </li></ul>
    23. 33. How much time do you spend on blogging per week?
    24. 34. How do you measure success?
    25. 35. <ul><li>What about blogs in higher ed? </li></ul>
    26. 36. A wide variety of blogs <ul><li>Admissions blogs (students or officers) </li></ul><ul><li>Alum blogs (alumni or associations) </li></ul><ul><li>News blogs </li></ul><ul><li>President / VP blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency / Crisis blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty / Research blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Project blogs (web redesign, name change) </li></ul>
    27. 53. <ul><li>What makes a good blog? </li></ul>
    28. 54. What Makes a Good Blog? <ul><li>Many things… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Original and updated content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decent design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feed </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    29. 55. <ul><li>What makes a great blog? </li></ul>
    30. 56. <ul><li>Who makes a great blog? </li></ul>
    31. 57. <ul><li>READERS </li></ul>
    32. 58. Make your blog reader-friendly in… 12 steps!
    33. 59. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Get Strategic: Topic, Audience & Goals 1
    34. 60. Don’t start to blog without a plan! <ul><li>What do you want to blog about? (Topic) </li></ul><ul><li>Who is going to read your blog? What’s your target audience? (Audience) </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want to blog? What are your goals for this blog? (Goals) </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    35. 61. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts “ Work is underway for the relaunch of Ball State University Web site. To help you follow the process, University Marketing and Communications has created this blog to discuss developments.”
    36. 62. <ul><li>Define your topic, audience & </li></ul><ul><li>goals </li></ul>
    37. 63. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Get Tactical: Tone, Frequency & Length 2
    38. 64. Define YOUR rules of engagement <ul><li>What is going to be the tone, the voice of your blog? </li></ul><ul><li>How often will you post? </li></ul><ul><li>How long will your posts be? </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    39. 65. Topic, Audience & Goals <ul><li>MIT Admissions Blog </li></ul><ul><li>College Web Editor </li></ul>“ Hi folks! My name is Ben, and my official title is Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Communications for the MIT Office of Admissions. (No, it doesn't fit on a business card.) Mostly I'm just known as the &quot;Communications Guy&quot; around here. My job (other than reading applications and selecting the class with my colleagues) is simply to make sure that we're communicating with you as fluently and as transparently as possible.”
    40. 66. <ul><li>Choose the tone, </li></ul><ul><li>frequency & </li></ul><ul><li>style </li></ul>
    41. 67. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Select Your Blogging Platform Wisely 3
    42. 68. Blogger beware! <ul><li>Hosted vs. Installed? – Talk to your Server Gal/Guy </li></ul><ul><li>Domain Name? </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting Comment Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Template Customization? </li></ul><ul><li>OJR Comparison Matrix: </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    43. 69. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Blogger
    44. 70. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts TypePad/Movable Type
    45. 71. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts WordPress
    46. 72. How to set up a blog on © 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    47. 73. How to set up a blog on © 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    48. 74. <ul><li>Set up </li></ul><ul><li>your blog! </li></ul>
    49. 75. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Help Your Readers Find Your Posts Easily 4
    50. 76. Put your blog on automatic pilot: Blog SEO 101 <ul><li>Domain Name ( or ) </li></ul><ul><li>Permalink Structure (speaking urls) </li></ul><ul><li>Tags/Categories </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Search / Categories listings </li></ul><ul><li>Post Titles: Smart vs. Keyword-Rich </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    51. 77. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Make Sure Your Readers Can Engage With Your Blog Content 5
    52. 78. Comment-Friendly Blog <ul><li>Let your blogging platform help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments: control, spam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment moderation, comment queue, CAPTCHA, Akismet, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribe-to-comment plugin (email/RSS) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comment Policy /Reply to their comments </li></ul><ul><li>Use their comments as starting points for your blog posts </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    53. 79. “ A few days ago, &quot;Musical_Alum&quot; (more about pseudonyms in a later post) asked: Could you include a blog entry explaining why this must be done so quickly? And: Have any marketing consultants provided their services? I'll try to address both questions with this post. It's a bit long-winded. I hope you'll bear with me.”
    54. 80. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Help Your Readers Come Back Often 6
    55. 81. Help them become “regulars” <ul><li>Update frequently </li></ul><ul><li>Subscription on their terms (RSS or email) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t hide your subscription options </li></ul><ul><li>Meet your best friend: Feedburner </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    56. 83. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    57. 84. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Start Conversations, Not Monologues 7
    58. 85. Get the protection you need from the “dear diary” syndrome <ul><li>Bring other points of view to your blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment on articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile/interview other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include videos, audio files & photos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite guest bloggers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bring interesting stories to your readers </li></ul><ul><li>Start a group blog </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    59. 86. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Plan Carefully The Online Coming-Out Party of Your Blog 8
    60. 87. Link Love & Blogger Relations 101 <ul><li>Get some content up first! </li></ul><ul><li>Blog roll </li></ul><ul><li>Write about posts from other bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Post relevant comments </li></ul><ul><li>Email bloggers </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    61. 88. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Promotion? Think Outside The… Blog 9
    62. 89. Spread the word… outside the blogosphere! <ul><li>Online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email signature (Feedburner chicklet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter (, Facebook (twitter application) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Offline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flyers, post cards, publications, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press releases, articles </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    63. 90. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Check Your Blog’s Vitals… Often 10
    64. 91. Intelligence is power <ul><li>Check your blog/feed stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits, Subscribers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referring websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use this info to plan your next posts (editorial calendar) </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    65. 92. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Listen To And Take Part In Conversations 11
    66. 93. Don’t blog in your little corner! <ul><li>Read blogs about the same topics </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor what others write about the topic, your blog, yourself… (Technorati, Google Alert) </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in conversations with other bloggers (comment, posts) </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    67. 94. © 2007 Higher Ed Experts Keep (It) Up 12
    68. 95. Blog Missing in Action <ul><li>Avoid Blogger Burnout </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pace yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take breaks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And, don’t quit! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Respect your readers! </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    69. 96. 12-Step Program – The Checklist <ul><li>Get Strategic: Topic, Audience & Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Get Tactical: Tone, Frequency & Length </li></ul><ul><li>Select Your Blogging Platform Wisely </li></ul><ul><li>Help Your Readers Find Your Posts Easily </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sure Your Readers Can Engage With Your Blog Content </li></ul><ul><li>Help Your Readers Come Back Often </li></ul><ul><li>Start Conversations, Not Monologues </li></ul><ul><li>Plan Carefully The Online Coming-Out Party of Your Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion? Think Outside The… Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Check Your Blog’s Vitals… Often </li></ul><ul><li>Listen To And Take Part In Conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Keep (It) Up </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts
    70. 97. <ul><li>Got questions? </li></ul>
    71. 98. Thank You! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation Slides, Links & Resources </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>© 2007 Higher Ed Experts