Blogging Basics 101


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JCI blogger Lisa Battles shares her tips for starting and maintaining a successful blog.

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Blogging Basics 101

  2. 2. blog noun ˈblȯg, ˈbläga website that contains an onlinepersonal journal with reflections,comments, and often hyperlinksprovided by the writer; also: thecontents of such a site; short forWeblog; First Known Use: 1999- Merriam Webster
  3. 3. why adv ˈhwī, ˈwīfor what cause, reason or purpose<why did you do it?>- Merriam Webster
  4. 4. w eblog to:e share knowledge and insights show passion for what we produceb connect with like-minded people create our personal brandsl allow others get to know us bettero OKAY, but ...g
  5. 5. why adv ˈhwī, ˈwīfor what cause, reason or purpose<why did you do it?>- Merriam Webster ?
  6. 6. w e (al$o) blog to: e drive traffic to our primary websites control and elevate our brands b generateourselves as experts position sales leads l potentially sell advertising on the blog o gThe key? If we get the first set of reasons right, we donthave to try too hard at these last five. They just happen.
  7. 7. 80% of social media users said they read blogs once or more daily 71% said blogs affect their purchasing decisions- Survey information collected from 1,400 respondents and presented in"The Science of Blogging" webinar by HubSpots Dan Zarrella, socialmedia scientist and author.
  8. 8. start verb ˈstärta: to cause to move, act, or operate<start the motor>b: to cause to enter a game or contest;especially : to put in the starting lineupc: to care for or train during the earlystages of growth and development<started plants>- Merriam Webster
  9. 9. Step #1: CHOOSE A TOPIC YOU LOVE Not an expert? You dont have to be. You just need to love your topic. Or at least like it ... a lot. Examples: Learning how to cook Being a tech newbie Discovering music The topic can be as general or specific as you want(or as your depth of love allows).
  10. 10. So, whats love got to do with it? It helps prevent boredom. If you get bored with your topic: Your readers may not come back. Bored writer = boring writing YOU may not come back. Boredom kills momentum.Ask yourself: Could I write at least 52 different thingsabout this topic?
  11. 11. Step #2: TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE audience noun ˈȯ-dē-ən(t)s, ˈä- a : a group of listeners or spectators b : a reading, viewing, or listening public c : a group of ardent admirers or devotees; following (More on THIS later!) - Merriam Webster
  12. 12. Step #3: PICK YOUR PLATFORM There are several blogging platforms out there. For beginners, FREE and WEB- BASED are great to get your feet wet. Currently, the most popular are:
  13. 13. Step #4: DIVE IN When all else fails ... read the instructions! Each of the platforms is different, from the design options available to the process for entering posts. The best way to learn about the capabilities of your platform is simply to thoroughly explore the help section.
  14. 14. The Good News?Its still comparing apples to apples when it comes to: Themes: All platforms offer several choices among free, pre-designed themes to create the look of your blog. Subscription options: You can - and should - offer RSS and e-mail subscriptions for your readers on all platforms. Share tools: All platforms have a way for you to include social media sharing tools for at least Facebook and Twitter.
  15. 15. Step #5: BUDGET YOUR TIME Decide how much time you want to devote to the blog, short term and long term. Set your initial goals conservatively. Try one or two posts per week, and plan to do that for six months. Thats about 50 posts, maximum.TIMING TIP: Most people read blogs in the morning, so posting by10 a.m. is recommended.
  16. 16. Step #6: HOARD IDEAS ONLINEHoarding is okay when it comes to blog ideas. Go ahead,stockpile them. Its much better than, say, cats. Just beprepared to let them loose. Some tips: Read other blogs, relevant to your topic and otherwise Use Twitter. Use Twitter Lists. Check out Listorious. You dont even have to have a Twitter account to peep in on lists theyve already created.
  17. 17. Step #7: KEEP A NOTEBOOKNot "plugged in" at all times? AWESOME IDEASThats okay: Despite popular belief,not all ideas will come to you online. Go low-tech and keep a small notebook and pen handy. Jot down your ideas when they come to you. In the interest of promoting technology, consider that most smart phones have "notes" apps. Those work, too!
  18. 18. Step #8: CREATE A POST CALENDAR Paper calendars are fine, but Google Calendar works great, too. You can create a calendar just for your blog. Devote a block of time for each post - an hour or so. Create the event and use the description field to record any notes about the post idea. Keep holidays and seasonal themes in mind when plotting posts on your calendar. Not only will a calendar remind you about ideas later, but thinking seasonally can help you with ideas - and search rankings.
  19. 19. Step #9: CREATE GOOD CONTENT KISS: Keep It Short and Simple Use spell-check. Proofread for grammar. Embed hyperlinks. Use videos and images. Use bold text and subheads in copy. And just as important ... - Albert Einstein
  20. 20. When you blog, YOU ARE THE STAR ...well, your voice is. A major difference between blog content and contenton traditional websites is the style of writing. Readers expect: Casual tone Your personality
  21. 21. So, you are the star, BUT if you want others to share your message, try not to be a DIVA ... Notice the big "I" there? Tweets that have self-references are shared less. People who do that often have fewer followers. - Study by social media scientist and author Dan ZarrellaYoure Not Ralphie.Go ahead and shoot your "I"s out!Think of your posts as thesis statements.Simply assert your arguments. People DOwant to hear opinions FROM you, if they careabout your topic in the first place.
  22. 22. Step #10: OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENTSEO, in a nutshell:Considering how search engines (Google,Bing) work, and doing things to your sitestructure and content to push your contentup the list of organic search results.Google uses approximately 200 factors to determinesearch ranking. Two of the most important are: Effective identification and use of keywords in your copy. Heres a great article for doing just that. Quality links to your site (PageRank). Go after links from sites relevant to your content, especially ones recognized as "authorities."
  23. 23. REMEMBER THIS? LETS LOOK AT DEFINITION "C" audience noun ˈȯ-dē-ən(t)s, ˈä- a : a group of listeners or spectators b : a reading, viewing, or listening public c : a group of ardent admirers or devotees; following - Merriam Webster
  24. 24. Step #11: RUN AND TELL IT Share it on Facebook List the url in your Info Share links to your posts Share it on Foursquare Share it on Twitter Share your post in a List the url in your profile "tip" about a place, if youve Tweet links to your post actually shared tips about the place in your post. Share it on LinkedIn Share your post in an update Add the BlogLink application Hmm ... Thats a whole lotta sharin going on ...
  25. 25. Helpful resources to streamline your promotion:
  26. 26. Step #12: TRACK YOUR TRAFFIC Some of the blogging platforms, url shorteners and Hootsuite have built-in tracking mechanisms, but the simplest way to get a clear picture of your blogs popularity is: MAKE FRIENDS WITH Link to: Google Analytics
  27. 27. JCIs BLOGSBest Places to Live BlogEconomic Development Trend TalkThrough the Lens Photography BlogThe Journal Journal