Business Blogging Basics

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  • 1. Business Blogging Basics Lindsay Patross
  • 2. Lindsay Patross
    • I Heart PGH
      • http://www.IheartPGH.com
    • Spreadshirt
      • http://Blog.Spreadshirt.com
  • 3. Questions About Blogs
    • I already have a website, do I need a blog too?
    • Why should I read blogs?
    • How can blogging help my marketing efforts?
    • How do I set up a blog?
  • 4. Agenda
    • What is a Blog?
    • Blog Structure
      • Feeds & Syndication
    • Why Read Blogs?
    • Why Should My Business Have A Blog?
      • Communicate & Interact
      • Marketing Tool
      • Tell Your Story
    • Opportunities & Challenges
    • Basic Blogging Tools
    • Best Blogging Tips
  • 5. What is a Blog?
    • Blog vs. Website
      • A blog is a type of website
    • Definition of Blog:
      • Blog is short for weblog
      • A webpage that is updated frequently with most recent content on top
  • 6. Content
    • Content = The Stuff On Your Site
    • Types of content
      • Static Content - things that stay the same, about page, contact page
      • Dynamic Content - things that get updated frequently, news, events 
        • Each chunk of info is usually called the post
  • 7. Blog Structure
    • Header
    • Side Bar(s)
      • Categories
    • Body
      • Posts
    • Blog Roll - links
    SIDE BAR BLOG POST CATEGORY/ TAGS HEADER
  • 8.  
  • 9. Post Structure
    • Each post usually includes…
      • Categories
      • Tags
      • Author (If Blog has multiple authors)
      • Date
      • Comments
  • 10. Feed Me
    • Definition of “Web Feed” from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed)
      • A web feed is a data format used for serving users frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation , which is performed by an Internet aggregator .
  • 11. More on Feeds
    • Blog publishes a feed, readers subscribe to feed using a feed reader or aggreator
      • Common Feed Readers
        • Googe Reader
        • Outlook
        • Blog Lines
        • NetVibes
        • Many Others
    • Feed reader checks for new content and allows reader to see what is new
  • 12. Feed Basics
    • Types of Feeds
      • RSS
      • XML
      • Atom
  • 13. Read the Feed
    • Before Feed Reader
      • Visit Multiple Websites
    • After Feed Reader
      • One stop shop for what's new
  • 14. Google Feed Reader
  • 15. RSS in Plain English
  • 16. More on Google Reader
    • Google.com/reader
    • Chris Brogan has a blog post on setting up Google Reader
      • http://grasshopperfactory.com/cbc/use-google-reader-to-blaze-news/
  • 17. More Feeds
    • General Blog Feed
    • Comments Feed
    • Search Feeds
      • News
      • Blogs
    • Google Alerts
      • Will email you when search term shows up in news
  • 18. Why Read Blogs?
    • See what people are saying about you/your organization
    • See what your competitors are saying
    • Learn more about your industry
    • Get feedback from individuals
      • Find a first person perspective on a topic
        • Ex: looking for restaurant reviews, see what people are saying about their experiences at a particular establishment
  • 19. Why Should My Business Have A Blog?
    • To Share information with others Customers, Potential Customers, Press
      • Industry Info
      • Promotions
      • Fun Facts
      • Ideas for using your products/services
    • Establish your business/brand as an expert in your field
    • Blogs are easy ways to put info on the web
      • Blogging tools are easy to use, no code experience necessary
    • Collaboration - people can leave comments and ideas, and others can see those comments
  • 20. The Blog As A Marketing Tool
    • Active vs. Passive Content
      • Emailing - active
      • Updating Blog (and feed) - passive
        • People that want to know about whats new from your blog will follow along - each time you update the blog you are reminding them of your organization/business
    • Promotion:
      • Blogs give the press and others a way to see what’s new at your organization
      • Google ranks blogs high in search engines
  • 21. Use The Blog To Tell Your Story
    • Tell Your Business’s Story
      • Put a face with a name
    • What is unique about your company?
    • The blog is an ongoing “about us” page
  • 22. Blogging Examples
    • Personal Commentary
      • 2PoliticalJunkies.com - popular Pittsburgh poltical blog
    • Organizations/Businesses
      • Real Estate Agents
        • use a blog rather than a newsletter to remind current and past clients about your expertise and services
      • PUMP
        • create a blog to share articles, events, info with members & community
      • Spreadshirt.com - http://blog.spreadshirt.com –
        • update customers and potential customers on news, sales, ideas. 
        • Share general info about the industry to establish Spreadshirt as the expert in custom on demand printing.
      • IheartPGH.com
        • a resource for positive events and places in Pittsburgh
  • 23. The Blog As A Newsletter
    • A Clickable newsletter
      • includes a history of information that is a click away
      • Readers can find similar info/content - posts can be stored in multiple categories
      • Example:
        • IheartPGH.com - posts are put in topic categories and neighborhood categories
  • 24. Opportunities & Challenges
    • Most blogs are about honesty, the trend is to be open and honest about what you or your organization is doing
    • Challenge: when comments are on and people can leave their honest thought right below your info. Opponents/Critics can openly post their ideas on your site.
      • Be ready for criticism
      • Managing negative comments takes time
  • 25. Cost Effective Marketing
    • Blogs are free or cheap
      • Does not have to be elaborate technology
        • Ex: NutsAboutSouthwest.com
    • Multiple Benefits
      • Increased Search Engine Ranking
      • Increased Exposure for your business
  • 26. How Do I Set-Up A Blog?
    • Popular Blogging Tools
      • Blogger
      • Moveable Type
      • Wordpress
        • definitely the easiest to use
        • Wordpress.com - free and you can use it right away
    • Making feeds easier
      • Feedburner.com
        • lets you see statistics on who is using your feed
  • 27. Best Blogging Tips
    • Focus
    • Shorter posts, more often
    • Link, Link, Link
    • Photos, Video
    • ReBlog
      • Add your perspective
  • 28. Driving Traffic To Your Blog
    • Include Link
      • On website
      • Email signatures
    • Link to other posts
    • Blog Roll – link to like minded blogs
    • Social Networking
      • MySpace
      • Flickr
      • You Tube
      • LinkedIn
  • 29. More Info
    • Blogs On Blogging
    • Blogs on Wordpress
      • http://lorelle.wordpress.com/
    • Wordpress.com & Wordpress.org support and forums
    • Lindsay Patross
      • [email_address]
      • 412-908-2015