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Lessons Learned In Blogging for LA2M Feb 2010
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Lessons Learned In Blogging for LA2M Feb 2010

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Whether you already have a blog or are looking to start one, Chris' talk will provide you with his most helpful lessons learned and some practical tips to take your blog to the next level.

Whether you already have a blog or are looking to start one, Chris' talk will provide you with his most helpful lessons learned and some practical tips to take your blog to the next level.


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  • 1. L e sso n s L e ar ne d I n B u ild w To Blog Blogging Ho AB etter By: Christo pher Rizzo
  • 2. Background • Recent graduate from U of M. • B.A. in Economics and Organizational Studies • Passion for music, writing, and websites. • Started blogging as a hobby. • Hobby turned into a job at Online Tech.
  • 3. The Rizzo Music Experiment • Started blog in Nov. 2006 on Blogger. • Question: Could I get people to visit. • Control: Online marketing only. • Learned as I went.
  • 4. The Result Visitors in 2009
  • 5. How Did I Do It? I mean besides hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck.
  • 6. Blogging 101 A blog (a contraction of the term "web log") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. -Wikipedia
  • 7. Blogging 201 A successful blog is a website the serves a specific purpose, focused on a specific topic, providing either: • clear and useful information • entertainment • a combination of both That is updated with new content on a regular interval.
  • 8. Where Is Your Blog?
  • 9. Content Traps Personal Business Use as a journal. Use as a commercial for  business Content is hard to relate to.  Content is only about that  company’s news. Can be uninteresting. No value added. Small  audience interested. Before you post: Ask why my audience would want to read this?
  • 10. Lesson #1: Avoid the Confusing and Boring. How I Started: Wrote about my favorite songs. Who cares? Boring! Problem: No focus.
  • 11. Lesson #1: Avoid the Confusing and Boring. My Solution: Topic: 90s Music. Purpose: To teach people about all the great songs of the 90s.
  • 12. Lesson #1: Avoid the Confusing and Boring. Why was this a good solution? •Topic not too broad, not too specific. •Know a lot about it. •Love writing about it.
  • 13. How To Avoid the Confusing and Boring. • Clearly define your subject. • Mission should be to inform or entertain or both. • Make sure your source has the knowledge to inform or the charisma to entertain.
  • 14. Examples • Mashable.com – Social Media • SEOMoz.org – Search Engine Optimization • Problogger.net – Blogging • TechCrunch.com - Technology • Textsfromlastnight.com – Funny Texts • FML.com – Funny Stories
  • 15. Lesson #2: Give Them What They Want. How I Started: Wrote a paragraph on this random song, wrote a paragraph on this random album. Problem: No plan.
  • 16. Lesson #2: Give Them What They Want. My Solution: • Establish a weekly playlist and article series. • Began work on “Pillar Posts” • Make Information Easy To Find
  • 17. Lesson #2: Give Them What They Want. What are Pillar Posts? Pillar posts are the articles that hold up your blog. The always relevant/helpful/highly entertaining posts that any new visitor would enjoy.
  • 18. Lesson #2: Give Them What They Want. 1. Identify your Audience content delivery preference. 0 Is that lists, countdowns, short news pieces, in-depth cover stories, podcasts, videos, tutorials, guides, how tos, long or short stories? 2. Write a mix of pillar type posts and posts that keep them coming back for more. 3. Highlight your best content in a place where all visitors can see (sidebar, under post, nav bar).
  • 19. Lesson #2: Give Them What They Want. How do I figure out what my audience wants? 1. Ask. 2. Use visitor data (pageviews, comments). 3. Test, Test, Test.
  • 20. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend.
  • 21. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. from
  • 22. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. How I Started: I knew nothing about how Google ranked webpages. I wrote titles and content without any regard for how Google interpreted my content. Problem: Didn’t know HTML nor SEO.
  • 23. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. What is SEO? In a nutshell it is providing a search engine with the information about a webpage so that it can reference it accurately and appropriately in web search.
  • 24. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Why is knowing HTML important for SEO? Google “crawls” the HTML code. If you don’t have the right search terms in the right places, Google cannot tell what your webpage is about.
  • 25. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Single Most Important Place to Put Keywords: The Title: <title>Keywords</title>
  • 26. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. This is why it is so important to write descriptive titles. Make sure the title of your post is the title of your webpage. Do some keyword research (Use Google Keyword Tool for Ideas)
  • 27. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Other Onsite Places to Put Keywords: 0www.website.com/keyword 0<h1>keyword</h1> - Heading tags 0Image Alt Tags. Alt=“keyword” Remember: 0In the post itself. Don’t Over do It! 0<a href=“”>keyword</a> Onsite Optimization
  • 28. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Example: 94,000/ 190,000 From this page
  • 29. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Besides onsite optimization, Link Building is Key
  • 30. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. 1 link from highly “trusted” site (ex. CNN.com) = 1,000s of links from small websites/directory sites.
  • 31. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend.
  • 32. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. Ways to get links: • Guest Blog • Exchange Links • Promote Content • Give Testimonials • Content Licensing (images, data, news) • Speak at a la2m event.
  • 33. Lesson #3: Google is Your Friend. For more info on SEO Visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com http://www.mattcutts.com/ http://www.seomoz.com/ Or message me @ www.linkedin.com/in/csrizzo
  • 34. Lesson #4: Social Media is a Puzzle. But it is Solvable. How I Started: Use social media sites because they’re free and popular. Problem: Using for wrong reasons.
  • 35. Lesson #4: Social Media is a Puzzle. But it is Solvable. 0 “Cool” Brand/Blog/B2C = Facebook Fan Page 0 Social Company/Blog/Person = Twitter 0 Likeable or Useful Content = Stumbleupon and Digg. 0 Anything Video (Entertainment and Tutorials) = Youtube Find which one is right for your blog.
  • 36. Lesson #4: Social Media is a Puzzle. But it is Solvable. Successful with: 0 Stumbleupon Not so successful with: 0 Twitter 0 Facebook
  • 37. Lesson #4: Social Media is a Puzzle. But it is Solvable. How StumpleUpon Works: 0 Toolbar for rating webpages. 0 Uses thumbs up/thumbs down to rate content. 0 More thumbs ups the more heavily rotated the piece of  content is in their toolbar.
  • 38. Lesson #4: Social Media is a Puzzle. But it is Solvable. 50,000 / 275,000 from Stumbleupon Why Stumpleupon? 0 Some of my posts have wide appeal. 0 Users found them useful. 0 Little time required.
  • 39. Lesson #5: Keep at It and Enjoy the Ride. A blog doesn’t become successful over night.
  • 40. Thank You
  • 41. Christopher Rizzo http://www.linkedin.com/in/csrizzo christophersrizzo@gmail.com

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