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Becoming a Better Blogger

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These are blogging tips for a workshop for Everyday Health.

These are blogging tips for a workshop for Everyday Health.

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  • 1. Becoming abetter blogger Steve Buttry Everyday Health June 8, 2012
  • 2. Read more about it• stevebuttry.wordpress.com• slideshare.net/stevebuttry• @stevebuttry• stephenbuttry@gmail.com
  • 3. Plan for the dayMorning:•Blogging•Reporting with social mediaAfternoon:•Digital storytelling•Work w/ the tools (bring a story idea ortwo)
  • 4. IntroductionsWhat’s your blog about? (6 words or so)Who’s your community? (6 words or so)
  • 5. Factors in blogging success• Idea • Voice• Format • Authority• Headline/SEO • Conversation• Writing • Frequency• Links • Trust• Visuals
  • 6. Where do you get ideas?
  • 7. Possible formats• Brief • Chart/graph/map• Video (w/ intro) • Q&A• Photo gallery • Narrative• List • Poll• News story • Curation• Data viz • Quiz
  • 8. Relevance rulesKeep SEO in mind as you write, but …•Relevance matters; popular but irrelevantkeywords can hurt you•Quality matters•Social matters, too, and people sharegood reads•Relevance matters in links
  • 9. Keywords in headline• What words would you use to search for this post?• Use those words in headline• If possible, start headline w/ key phrase• Check Google trends• Use full names• (VIDEO) in headline
  • 10. Keywords in lead• Most important: good lead• Sharing drives traffic, too, so don’t write for search engine• Edit for search engine; would search terms help or hurt original lead?• If keywords don’t work in lead, be sure head is strong & use them high
  • 11. Writing for a blog• Writing must be clear, engaging• Take responsibility for the quality of your work• Read your work aloud• Take a polishing read through before publishing (or right after)• Short is OK, but so is long
  • 12. Links help people find you• Relevant outbound links boost Googlejuice• Pingbacks bring you inbound links & boost Googlejuice• Add links as you do research• Consider expanded linksConsider whether context implies endorsement of linked views/content
  • 13. Links help users & you• Links provide context (& don’t provide unnecessary background)• Links boost authority, credibility• Sending users away works for Google; it will work for you, too.
  • 14. Think beyond writing• Videos • Audio• Photos • Tweets• Slides • Source documents• Graphics • Maps• Curation
  • 15. Blogger’s voice• Discuss w/ editor whether any type of opinion is appropriate (advocacy, commentary, analysis)• Personality engages audience, w/ or w/o opinion (humor, perspective)• 1st-person & 2nd-person are engaging• Be genuine
  • 16. Blog with authority• Authority is rooted in accuracy• Transparency builds authority• Attribution & link appropriately, for credit but not for cover• Say what you don’t know
  • 17. The blogging conversation• Crowdsource (specific questions: “Do you know anyone who …?” “Did you see …?” “Has this ever happened to you?”)• Consider ending post w/ question• Stimulate/continue conversation in social media• Engage with comments
  • 18. Extend the conversation• Effective use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc.)• Relevant comments (w/ links) on related blogs (no spamming!)• Emails/tweets/#hashtags call to attention of influencers
  • 19. When should you blog?• When you have something to say• Frequent, regular posts build loyalty• Weak posts hurt credibility• Frequent updates on unfolding stories keep people coming back• Short posts are good
  • 20. Standards• Verify information• Completeness & fairness come over time• Say what you don’t know• Attribute & link• Acknowledge changes & updates• Correct quickly & transparently• Trust builds slowly, vanishes quickly
  • 21. Read more about it• stevebuttry.wordpress.com• slideshare.net/stevebuttry• @stevebuttry• https://www.newsu.org/introduction-to- reporting• stephenbuttry@gmail.com