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Blogging class (1)
 

Blogging class (1)

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TCC blogging class Oct. 31-Nov. 2

TCC blogging class Oct. 31-Nov. 2

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    Blogging class (1) Blogging class (1) Presentation Transcript

    • have a ball blogging { welcome to blogging bootcamp }
    • what you'll learn in this class:
      • day one:
        • blogging basics
        • the blogging niche
        • blog writing 101
        • blog setup and design
      • day two:
        • blog marketing
        • earn money blogging
        • how not to quit 
        • measuring success
    • wait. what's a blog, exactly?
      • blog, noun.
        • a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
        • short for web log. 
      • -merriam webster dictionary, 2011
    • well, not quite.
      • blog, noun (or verb).
      • any online content organized so that the newest content appears first, usually at the top of the screen. 
    • first: the personal blog
      • 2011 nominees in the personal blog/website category of the webby awards:
        • whatimade.com
        • clouds365.com
        • cmiscm.com
        • the3six5.posterous.com
      • Older examples include: 
        • distro lists-turned-blogs
        • lists of links
    • next: the mommy blog
      • from the top 50 mom blogs of 2010 list at babble.com: 
        • motherlode
        • finslippy
        • free range kids
        • dooce.com
        • a little pregnant
        • the pioneer woman
    • other popular types of blogs
      • tech
        • techcrunch
        • boingboing
      • topical
        • art of manliness
        • young and rentless
      • political
        • batesline.com
      • humor
        • hyperbole and a half
      • news
        • huffington post
      • hyperlocal
        • tasha does tulsa
    • ok, so we think we know what a blog is. but why blog in the first place?
      • blogging is a (sort of) new way for everyone from professional writers to junior high school kids - basically, anyone with an internet connection - to: 
        • share news
        • promote their businesses
        • call attention to an important cause
        • journal
        • earn extra (or a really plush) income
        • to gain access to a large audience without having to go through the gatekeepers of the traditional media world.
    • shop talk: blog parts
        • posts
          • titles
          • body
          • tags
        • rss (really simple syndication) feed
          • aggregates new content in a uniform way
        • sidebars
          • navigation menus
          • categories
          • link rolls
          • advertising
        • pages
          • contact
    • shop talk: blog parts
        • artofmanliness.com
        • thepioneerwoman.com
        • dooce.com
    • exercise
        • point your web browsers to: 
      •  
      • reader.google.com
      •  
        • if you don't already have a google account, set one up. (don't worry. it's easy.)
        • choose three (3) of the blogs about which we've talked this morning and subscribe to their feeds in your (new) google reader.
        • why: 
          • because we learn best by good example.
          • because good writers read lots. and it's tough to blog if you can't write. (same with photos, audio, video or whichever media suits your fancy)
      • Time: 15 minutes
    • finding your niche as a blogger
      • how can i tell if the topic i have in mind would work well as a blog? 
      •  
        • is there continually news happening in the realm of your focus topic? 
        • does your topic fall naturally into your own interests?
        • is there competition within your prospective niche? if so, what's it like? 
        • do you have something new and unique to offer the blogosphere?
    • one in one hundred fifty million (that's 150,000,000)
      • there are an estimated 150 million blogs on the internet today. 
      • most of them fold within an average of a mere three months, but still - that's a lot of blogs.
      •  
      • tiny niches = huge potential for traffic, community and profitability.
      •  
        • cake wrecks
        • this is why you're fat (tumblr-powered blog)
        • stuff white people like
    • exercise
      • determine:
        • three focus topics/niches to explore via blogging. pause: we'll discuss some of these in class.
        • come up with three possible titles for each of these blog concepts.
          • finding the sweet spot between stickiness and searchability
          • which keywords reflect your target topic? who is your audience?
          • avoid general terms
          • think like a search engine. think like a marketer. think like a reader.
      •  
      • time: 25 minutes
    • exercise, part ii
      • for each of your blog concepts, write the first line of the about page.
      •  
      • About page examples:
      •  
        • how about orange
        • tashadoestulsa.com
        • this land press
        • tumbler.com/about
      •  
      • time: 10 minutes
    • exercise, part iii
      • identify at least one blog that would compete with the one you'd like to start.
      •  
      • now, subscribe to it (or them) with your google reader.
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      • time: 10 minutes
    • blog writing 101
        • invest in a copy of the latest edition of the associated press stylebook. take some time to get re-acquainted with what you learned in grammar 101.
        • think about your reader: what does s/he get by reading your blog? information? advice? storytelling? whatever it is, it has to be valuable to your target audience.
      •  
      • the bottom line: write content that you'd like to read.
      •  
      • you'll hear this a lot in blogging and writing for online media, but that's because it's true:
      •  
      • content is king.
    • post ideas for beginning bloggers
        • lists. plain and simple. build them and they will come.
        • polls. especially if the question at hand is controversial.
        • rants. a.k.a. editorials. be sure to ask your readers to weigh in on the issue.
        • interviews. there are a few ways to go about this.
        • guest blogs. don't share your blog with just anybody.
        • how-to. the more basic and the more illiustrative, the better.
        • reviews. tell readers about your experiences with restaurants, new gadgets and more.
    • post ideas for beginning bloggers
        • links round-ups. show your readers what you've been reading on the web.
        • guides. if you've ever wanted a guide to your favorite hobby, recipe or city, odds are that someone else has, too.
        • local coverage. local readers love news, weather, local event and traffic information.
        • media on a theme. think photos, videos, audio and links.
    • exercise
      • pick one of the post types we just discussed.
        • first, brainstorm about how you could create a post that would suit your favorite type.
        • next, do some quick research.
        • after that, write a first draft. see how far you can take it in 20 minutes.
      •  
      • you must include:
        • three keywords
        • at least one link
    • blog set-up and design
      • hosted vs. non-hosted: what's the difference?
        • hosted: a blog that's stored on the server via the following platforms:
          • blogger
          • tumblr
          • typepad
          • wordpress.com
        • cost: usually free
      •  
        • non-hosted: a blog that's stored on a server you provide, usually via a third party
        • cost: starting at about $10/month 
    • search engine-friendly blog writing
      • what's seo?
        • search engine optimization: the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines like google, bing and yahoo! in the un-paid search results portioins of search engine results pages (serps).
      •  
      • in other words: the process of connecting your readers' searches with the information you provide.
    • bite-sized seo
        • page titles
        • post titles
        • headings
        • bullet points
        • keywords
        • alt tags on images
      •  
      • examples: tashadoestulsa.com
    • blog set-up and design
      • Hosted vs. Non-Hosted: What's the difference? 
      • Hosted
        • What it means: A hosted blog is one that's stored on a server with a platform like Blogger, Tumblr or Wordpress.com. 
        • Cost: Usually free
      • Non-hosted
        • What it means: A non-hosted blog is one that's stored on a server you provide, usually via a third party. 
        • Cost: Starting at about $10/month
    • hosted vs. non-hosted
        • hosted, pros: 
          • cost is zero or negligent
          • set-up and design are easy and user-friendly
          • server is very rarely down or unavailable
        • hosted, cons: 
          • less control over seo
          • archive organization and design often not up to the user
          • design can look canned
          • some hosted blogs don't allow advertising
    • hosted vs. non-hosted
        • non-hosted, pros: 
          • more control over seo, design and archives organization
          • design is limited only by your budget and your imagination
          • custom design conveys professionalism
        • non-hosted, cons: 
          • cost (even if it's not much)
          • servers are sometimes unavailable 
          • intermediate command of code and web experience a plus 
    • blogging platforms
      • Wordpress
        • Example: TechCrunch
        • Type: hosted/non-hosted
        • Control panel example
      • Blogger
        • Example: Cakewrecks.com
        • Type: hosted
        • Control panel example
      • Tumblr
        • Example: whatiwore.tumblr.com
        • type: hosted
        • Control panel example  
    • blogging platforms
      • Drupal
        • Example:  Dooce.com
        • type: non-hosted
        • Control panel example  
      • TypePad
        • Example:  http://dailydish.typepad.com/
        • type: non-hosted
        • Control panel example:  here
      • Moveable Type
        • type: non-hosted
        • Example:  The Huffington Post
    • blog design basics
        • there is no need for fancy, Flash-animated splash pages or the like. in fact, they're annoying. 
        • there is no reason why your blog has to look like an online scrapbook
        • choose color combinations that are inviting and appealing. reference the blogs we've discussed in class for some examples. (read: black background with lime green text) 
        • there is no reason to use decorative fonts in the content section of your blog. your header, maybe. but in your content? please, no. 
        • the background should be lighter than the text and graphics.
    • blog design basics
        • make sure your header clean, classy and sized appropriately
        • a reader should be able to tell a clear difference between editorial content and an advertisement
        • keep gadgets, gizmos and plug-ins to an absolutely minimum. be tasteful in all social media optimization (smo). 
        • make sure the design is user-friendly. this means making search, navigation, contact information and relevant links readily available. 
        • make sure the design is clutter-free
      • An example of the worst of the worst
      • An award-winning blog design
    • marketing your blog
        • word of mouth
        • your blog itself
        • social media
        • traditional media
    • marketing your blog: word of mouth
      • first step: 
        • develop an elevator speech that will allow you to tell your friends, family and those you meet out and about all they'd want to know about your blog
          • remember last weekend when we wrote the first line of our about pages? that'd be a great place to start. 
        • attend a blogging or social media event in your area. introduce yourself. 
    • marketing your blog: your blog itself
        • seo
        • social media: sharing (don't worry, we'll talk more about this)
        • linking to prior posts on your blog (called deep linking)
        • offering to guest post, or invite a guest poster to post on your blog
          • builds authority in both the blogging community as well as in search results
          • pick your guest blogging opportunities strategically
        • rss feed
          • sign up for a free feedburner account. plug in your feed address to have your feed "burned." make sure your settings list your feed address correctly and watch the subscribers roll in (this will be an important number when advertisers come calling)
          • example: feedburner
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • wait. what's social media? 
        • the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. 
      • the major players:
        • facebook
        • twitter
        • google+
        • youtube
        • linkedin
        • myspace
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • facebook by the numbers
        • more than 800 million active users
        • average user has 130 friends
        • users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on facebook
        • facebook's goal: to become the social layer of the world wide web.
      • why the blogger should care: 
        • the average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
        • average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
        • more than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month
        • in short: it's more than an elaborate procrastination machine
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • creating a facebook page for your blog
        • a page, not a profile: why? 
        • upload a profile photo
        • fill out all information fields. especially the url field. 
        • adjust privacy settings to optimize visibility
        • once you find 20 users to like your page, be sure to sign up for a vanity url (facebook.com/username)
        • your goal: to make your facebook page look like a dynamic, happenin', inviting place to share and interact. 
        • can be used for customer service, market research, competitor research, networking, driving the bottom line and branding, or creating that emotion connection to your product/company. 
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • twitter: it's not just for the really, really bored
        • 190 million users and counting, generating 65 million tweets daily, it's one of the largest social networks online today, enabling users to microblog and follow their interests in 140 characters or less
        • twitter users interact by tweeting and retweeting updates and by posting links to other media, whether that's other websites, photos, video or audio
        • most interaction on twitter happens through third-party apps and SMS (text) messaging on smart phones
        • most twitter users are under the age of 45
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • twitter: why it matters for bloggers
        • 51 percent of active users follow companies, brands or products on social networks
        • 8 percent of tweets involve advertising, product recommendations or complaints. 
        • 50 percent of marketers use twitter; the same amount report an increase in exposure for their businesses, thanks to a presence on this social network
      • twitter lingo, explained: @username, RT, #, trending topics
      • followers, listening vs. contributing (search.twitter.com), on being yourself
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • facebook vs. twitter
        • facebook says: stick around, hang out! we have everything you need to interact with your friends, family and favorite brands, all within this uniform social network. 
        • twitter says: interact instantaneously, get feedback instantaneously, listen instantaneously, find resources and search instantaneously
      • takeaway: these social networks are singular and particular. it's important that they're treated as such. meaning, facebook is not a feed for twitter, and vice versa. 
    • marketing your blog: social media
      • your official social media policy:
        • how often you intent to create new content
        • who is allowed to post and when, and for what reasons
        • what is your plan in case of a PR emergency?
        • goals: think about what size of audience, what type of influence you'd like to have with your users. do lots of testing and measuring (facebook analytics helps with this)
        • write your goals and social media policy down on paper. share it with your fellow decision makers. 
    • marketing your blog: traditional media
        • what kind of content could you create on your blog that might attract media attention? 
        • how could you form relationships with members of the media so that when they're working on a story, they think of you as a source? 
        • the art of the press release (blogging 4 jobs)
        • pitch columns based on your blog or a related topic to newspapers, magazines and radio shows
    • welcome to day two! let's review.
        • blogging basics: what a blog is, some good and bad examples of what a blog can be, how to subscribe to blogs
        • finding your blogging niche: how to define your interests and your audience as a blogger
        • blog writing: how creating online content is different from writing a romance novel or a TPS report
        • blog setup and design: the difference between hosted and non-hosted sites, the names of some of the larger blogging platforms available to bloggers today, what constitutes a good or a bad blog design
        • blog marketing and PR: how to tell people about your blog and why they should care enough to visit and visit often using various social and traditional media tools (all of which are free)
    • welcome to day two!  exercise
        • sign in to your google reader. 
        • you probably have some updates to read. let's spend 15 minutes checking them out. click through to read the posts on their respective sites and look for things like information organization and design. 
    • exercise
        • open a new word document. 
        • spend 45 minutes creating a draft of a new blog post. 
      • some ideas: 
        • comparisons of blogging platforms
        • post using one of the posts you read this morning/this week as a reference
        • a list of tips for beginning bloggers
      • As you work on this exercise, I will spend 5-10 minutes with each of you to address any of your questions or walk you through any problems you might be having with anything we discussed in class on Monday. 
    • ready? set? money.
      • there are several ways your blog can become a moneymaker. 
        • direct advertising 
        • pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising
        • affiliate advertising
        • paid/review posts
        • consulting/blogger for hire/e-books
    • ready? set? money.
      • no. 1 rule in advertising on your blog (or any other media): 
      • always, always, always disclose when an ad is an ad and when you're being paid to write about or review something. 
      • always. 
      • always. 
      • always. 
    • ready? set? money.
      • direct advertising
      • pros: 
        • more control over which advertisements appear on your site
        • you set the price, which equals more control over profit margins
      • cons: 
        • you have to manage the advertising side of your business
    • ready? set? money.
      • pay-per-click / pay-per-impression advertising (google adsense and blogher publishing network)
      • pay-per-click: when an advertising network pays you a fee when one of your readers clicks on an ad served on your site
      • remember: 
        • don't need a high amount of traffic to make this work, but you do need readers who are willing to click on ads
        • depending on your topic, the ads served on your site can be highly relevant (and thus highly profitable)
      • pay-per-impression: when an advertising network pays you a fee according to how many times their ad is shown on your site
      • remember: 
        • you're going to need a ton of traffic to make this profitable
    • ready? set? money.
      • affiliate advertising (amazon affiliates)
      • an advertiser pays a blogger to promote the advertiser's products or services on the blogger's site, most often via an affiliate link
        • pay-per-click
        • pay-per-lead
        • pay-per-sale
          • all are performance-based, meaning you don't earn money until your readers take some sort of action toward buying the advertiser's product
    • ready? set? money.
      • paid reviews/posts: when a company sends or invites you to try a product with the expectation that a blogger will review it on his/her website
      • must disclose when this happens, especially when you get to keep the product (especially to the IRS)
    • ready? set? money.
      • consulting/blogger for hire: after you gain a following and/or prove yourself as a successful blogger, some might approach you about teaching/helping them to do the same thing
      • blogger for hire: not everyone wants to blog. they'd rather pay you to do it for them. 
        • or perhaps a magazine, newspaper, tv or radio station decides to farm out some content creation to you in the form of a column
    • ready? set? money. 
      • e-books
      • seems like every blogger wants a book deal these days. Sometimes the easiest way to get started down that road is to publish your idea as an e-book. 
        • offer for a cost
        • offer for free
        • offer as a download to readers of a guest post
        • another option: self-publish a book. not as costly as it once was, and there are free and low-cost tools available to help your product to look professional
    • ready? set? money.
      • want to know how i make money blogging? 
        • journalism projects: 25 percent
        • adsense: 10 percent
        • direct advertising: 50 percent
        • blogging for hire: 10 percent
        • teaching : 5 percent
      • the bottom line: 
        • diversify. build a variety of income streams. 
        • don't be afraid to be creative. (just don't break any laws or FCC regulations, and don't be sleazy.)
    • any questions?
    • how not to quit
      • how to keep those ideas coming: 
        • brainstorming
        • create a list of prospective post ideas
        • group what posts you can together into possible series ideas
        • create an editorial calendar
    • how not to quit
      • brainstorming for blog post ideas:
        • the best way to start: read often, read widely
          • like stephen king says: read for at least as much time as you spend writing
        • talk to your readers on social media (facebook, twitter, etc.)
          • what do they want to hear from you?
    • how not to quit
        • remember: there are no stupid or dumb ideas. 
          • if the lightbulb goes off, you owe it to yourself to write it down.
          • keep notebooks in the places where you are your most creative
          • write down an idea, even if it seems silly at the time. the worst that could happen is that it stays on your list. odds are, though, it will at least serve as a building block to a better idea.
    • how not to quit
      • creating a list of post ideas
        • again: always keep something to write on and something to write with at hand. 
        • once a week, compile ideas written in your various notebooks
        • reserve the duds
        • group the rest into categories
          • i use multi-subject notebooks and highlighters for this
          • be sure to start planning for what types of photos and other media you'd like to use for your post ideas
          • also make notes about how you plan to promote those posts
    • how not to quit
      • grouping posts together for series
        • blog post series work well to grow your new blog for several reasons: 
        • they're easier to sell to potential advertisers or sponsors than individual, stand-alone posts
        • as long as the posts are connected via links between the posts and in relevant areas of your site, they drive traffic
        • they build what are called deep links, or links you give yourself on your own website to older or related content
          • this also helps with SEO and traffic building, and for building a more loyal readership base
        • plus, they're good for branding, for establishing you, the blogger, as an expert in your field
    • how not to quit
      • deciding on a positing schedule:
        • the key: it doesn't matter how often so much as that you're consistent with whatever schedule you establish at the get-go
          • daily is best for building traffic, but it's not necessary to build a loyal following
    • how not to quit
      • the editorial calendar
        • not only will an editorial calendar keep you, the blogger, organized, but it will also make you more marketable to potential sponsors and advertisers. 
        • plus, you'll never want for a blog post idea again. you've already done the creative thinking; the calendar tells you what to write about each day. 
        • an editorial calendar will also improve your coverage, since anything that crosses your path that could add to a blog post or series you know is approaching on your calendar can be saved and utilized rather than lost in a pile of links on your Google Reader
    • how not to quit
      • Free/low-cost/high-tech, low-tech tools for building your editorial calendar: 
        • Google calendar
        • The calendar plug-in on Wordpress
        • multi-subject notebooks
        • desk calendars
    • how not to quit
      • bottom line: do what feels right for you.
      • as long as what feels right for you isn't sitting on your haunches not posting all day long. 
    • any questions?
    • measuring your success
      • reasons why your blog statistics are more than just how many hits you got yesterday: 
        • free web-based analytics software can help you determine how many hits your got yesterday, yeah, but it can also tell you when, where and how they came to your site
        • analytics can be used to learn what your audience likes, when it likes it, where it likes it, and how
        • ultimately, once you learn to read and understand them, analytics and web stats give you the clues that point toward how to grow your  blog in a way that means community, not just traffic
        • plus, it's all free information to you and, depending on your platform, it's already hardwired into your blog
    • measuring your success
      • my fave free web-based analytics software resources: 
        • google analytics (detailed statistics)
        • statcounter (real-time statistics)
      • for your social media community
        • crowdbooster (which tweets were most effective, and when) 
        • klout (allows you to compare your influence on social media to those of others)
    • measuring your success
      • top parameters you'd like to meet: 
        • a high percentage of returning visitors: 50 percent or more
        • high-quality inbound links from well-regarded sites, especially if they're related to yours by topic
        • a bounce rate below 70 percent
        • three or more pages per visit
        • the time readers spend on your site = two minutes or longer
    • measuring your success
      • case study: how to use web analytics information to build returning visitors and increase profitability for a site
        • holiday content on tashadoestulsa.com, do what at this land press
        • track record of statistical success on halloween-related posts, as shown by free analytics software
        • created series of posts on both sites, all of which were optimized for search-engine friendliness
        • coordinated those efforts with social media and traditional media outreach, including local radio and tv appearances relevant to halloween events and conversational posts about halloween on social networks that included a link to halloween-related posts
    • measuring your success
      • things to watch for: 
        • do your readers seem to flock to your site when you post about a certain topic? what can you do to continue to cover that topic in new and interesting ways, that add to the conversation? 
        • do your readers show up at your site at a certain time of day, week, month, year? figure out why and what it is your audience is looking for; then, make it available, front and center, and again the next time
        • does your social network go crazy when you start conversations on a certain topic? why should your facebook page or twitter stream be the end of the conversation? drive those interested in learning more to the discussion you create on your blog or website
        • make sure all successful posts are linked to more relevant information on your site
    • any questions?
    • thank you!
      • don't forget to: 
        • fill out instructor/class evaluation
        • sign form necessary for class certification, if desired
        • visit slideshare.net/tashadoestulsa before Monday morning to downtown the slideshow used in this class. 
          • (if you'd like to use the slideshow for purposes beyond your own personal use, feel free to contact me)
      • Find me: 
        • tashadoestulsa.com
        • dowhat.thislandpress.com
        • [email_address]