Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications
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Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications

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Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications Presentation Transcript

  • Social media: A Guide Positif Politics November 2011
  • Blogs
  • What is a blog?
    • The word ‘blog’ comes from ‘web log’ – literally, an online log of activities
    • Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is a blog, and which is a website. There are some characteristics common to most blogs
    • Reverse chronological order – the latest entry appears at the top
    • Frequency – blogs are updated more often than websites, sometimes every day, especially if they are written by a team
    • Tone – is more ‘human’, less corporate
    • Interactive – they often allow comments
    • Tagging – they characterise the contents of a blog through words (‘tags’) that make it easier for people to find them online
    • RSS feed – they deliver their content to subscribers. We will cover RSS in more detail later
  • Blog types
    • People set up blogs for different reasons and in different ways
    • Personal
    • Set up by individuals who take great pride in their work.
    • They are passionate enough about a subject to take time to maintain their blog.
    • Their individuality often comes across in the tone used.
    • They may not all be experts in what they write about – but in some cases, they are, and they become highly influential and credible.
    • Corporate
    • Set up by corporations for research, marketing, sales, support or development, or to enhance their internal communications and culture
  • Blog platforms Name Characteristics Wordpress Good if you want to use at a basic level online, or download and customise Posterous Good if you want to customise to a high degree online or offline, but is less user-friendly at a basic level than Wordpress Blogger.com Good for mobile blogging when customisability is not important
  • Tips for successful blogging
    • Regular posts – at least once a week
    • Identify your keywords
    • Incorporate keywords into your posts. Keywords are what make your posts attractive to search engines. Tone: Be authoritative, compelling, intelligent and direct
    • Use direct, plain, simple language
    • Be genuine. Assert your personal authority through an honest, lively voice. This is what makes blogging unique and enables you to engage with audiences
    • Always try to respond to comments, whether positive or negative
  • Content creation
    • Think about what effects you want to create with your blog. Different types of post can have different effects. Here are some examples:
    • Instructional posts tell people how to do something. They can be good for establishing you as an expert, or building up a body of knowledge that you can also refer to in future.
    • Reviews give your take on a product or service. They can help you to sell your own product or service by comparison.
    • Lists are simply lists of anything – products, services, tips etc – that often have the title “10 Top Ways To...” or “7 Best Examples of...”. They can be good for getting search engine traffic and becoming part of a blogging community.
  • Finding bloggers to target
    • The steps to identifying bloggers are:
    • 1. Identify your keywords
    • 2. Use searches to find them
    • 3. Figure out who’s influential
    • 4. Figure out who’s approachable
    • 5. Figure out your pre-pitch
    • 6. Pitch
  • Determining influence
    • To determine a blog’s Authority yourself:
    • Copy the blog’s address eg mashable.com
    • Go to technorati.com
    • Click the ‘Blogs’ button
    • Paste the address
    • Press Return
    • In this example you can see that Mashable has an Authority of around 1,000. This means that around 1,000 people link to Mashable.
    • Repeat for other blogs. The higher the Authority, the bigger the audience, and therefore the greater the influence.
  • Pitching a blogger
    • When you pitch a blogger you need to put across why it could be interesting for the blogger very quickly. Here are some tips:
    • Make sure what you have is suitable for the blogger.
    • Be open and honest. If you’re pitching on behalf of a client, say so.
    • Personalise your approach. Make sure you mention to the blogger why you think it is suitable for the blogger, even if it’s just one sentence at the beginning.
    • Tell a story. Show how what you’re pitching is part of a bigger story and that it continues an important narrative.
    • Be human. Don’t be too corporate but also don’t be over-familiar
    • Be honest about the relationships. If you’re representing someone else, say so.
    • Don’t offer money to a blogger, this hardly ever works and may even get you bad exposure
    • Don’t pester a blogger. If the blogger doesn’t respond, leave it
  • Case study: NACCPO
    • National Alliance of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations (NACCPO) to partner with the UKs leading family and parenting bloggers
    • Parenting bloggers across the UK to gain free admittance to pantomimes
    • Bloggers to make donation to the National Alliance of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations in place of paying for entry
    • Bloggers to then draft posts and reviews of the shows
    • Creative and seasonal way to generate awareness for NACCPO, with direct call to action to donate
  • Understanding RSS
    • Analogy #1: Think of it like traders have financial feeds delivered to their screens. You have content feeds delivered to yours.
    • Analogy #2: You subscribe to a feed very much like subscribing to a channel on your TV.
    • Analogy #3: In the same way you receive emails with your email application, you can receive updates from blogs with your RSS reader application
    • Wherever you see the RSS icon, or the word ‘RSS’, this tells you that a site has a feed, and you can subscribe to it. You can build and organise your own monitoring system across hundreds of blogs or sites:
    • RSS makes it easy to:
    • Monitor many blogs at a time
    • Monitor blogs in a consistent way
  • Blog monitoring platforms
    • Google Reader is a powerful, versatile, easy-to-use, free online RSS Reader
    • To use Google Reader, go to google.com/reader. If you already have a Google account you can start to use Google Reader immediately.
    • Google Reader has powerful archive and analysis features and can integrate with iGoogle so you can read feeds whenever you go to Google’s home page
    • Netvibes is also free and online
    • To use Netvibes, go to netvibes.com and create an account
    • Netvibes doesn’t have the RSS versatility of Google Reader but does have far superior display capabilities, enabling you to create powerful monitoring dashboards through RSS