Blog Your Brand Trisha Okubo Disruptive Innovator, eBay [email_address] 10 Steps to Building Your Brand by Blogging
Hi, I’m  Trisha Okubo . By day, I’m a Disruptive Innovator at eBay, where my work focuses on  social commerce . (If anyone...
By night, I’m the founder and editor of a  Top 3 Fashion Blog:  Omiru: Style for All
I started Omiru in March of 2005, armed with:  a desire to learn,  a passion for fashion,  and persistence.
And since Omiru’s founding,
We’ve written well over a thousand posts, What to Wear for Girls Night Out at the Club How to Wear Fishnet Stockings witho...
Helped hundreds of readers  who write in with style questions, “  What should I wear and where can I find clothes for a su...
<ul><ul><li>and built a loyal community of readers  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who trade fashion tips. </li></ul></ul>“ I ...
I’ve done style expert videos  for Yahoo! Health/Capessa and SheZoom, Talking about things like…
Fashion for Figure Flattery (Great for Petites!)
How to Accessorize
What to Wear to Work
Through Omiru,  I’ve also been recognized by mainstream media.
 
 
(who gave us our Top 3 Fashion Blog distinction)
We’ve also done radio segments for a prominent radio station in Richmond, VA.  Random!
<ul><ul><li>Now, three years after founding Omiru, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m a sought-after style expert, specializin...
<ul><ul><li>Today, using Omiru as a case study, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m going to share with you:  </li></ul></ul><u...
I’m going to share the story of Omiru: from picking a topic,  to creating and enhancing content, to relationship building ...
But first, I’d like to address the somewhat negative connotation surrounding  personal branding (aka self promotion).
Self promotion gets a bad reputation because it’s often practiced at the expense of others.
We call someone “self promotional” when their message helps them— but doesn’t help others.
But self promotion doesn’t have to be bad.
In fact, it can be used for Good.
And you can use self promotion for Good when you  provide value  to your audience.
So let’s do just that. Provide value  and spread the word. How do you do this?
No. 1 Pick a Topic that’s  Uniquely You
Back in the day, Microsoft asked: Where do you want to go today?
If you’re blogging to build your reputation, the first step is to focus in on an area of expertise.
Think about where you’ve been in life. (aka your experience) Now { Experience }
Think about where you want to go in life. (aka your future) Now { Future }
Think about your passion.
For me, it made sense to focus on fashion.
I’ve always harbored a love of style,
I went to fashion school  in the evenings during college,
And I’ve done a lot of fashion consulting. (so if you want some style tips, find me after the session)
But fashion as a topic was way too broad.
How broad— or how narrow to go?
This is the Goldilocks Question.
You don’t want a topic that’s too broad… (e.g. technology companies)
Or too narrow… (e.g. technology companies in Mountain View that heart dogs at work)
You want a topic that’s  Just Right . (e.g. technology companies that are likely to ride out the bust)
If you’re building reputation, the ideal topic  is  broad enough to be interesting
But also focused enough  so that you’re the  Best at Something .
Maybe it’s being the keeper of the  Cutest Pet Photos Online.
Maybe it’s being the most distinguished chocolate connoisseur.
Maybe it’s being the sharpest LOST commentator.
Whatever your topic is, you should aim to…
No. 2 Stand for Something Real
A blog is easy to start,  but it’s hard to maintain.
Somewhere between  60 and 80 percent   of blogs are abandoned within  one month .
Why is blogging so hard?
In between all of your other commitments,
Job
Family
Friends
… and Life
You’re going to have to find the  time and energy to maintain the blog.
Plus, you’re going to have to find  new stuff to write about every day.
Long story short— If you don’t love it, don’t blog about it.
{ Sidebar }
Where possible and where appropriate,  create a new category .
But isn’t it hard to create a new category?
Sure it is.
If it weren’t hard, everyone would be doing it.
(But on the flip side, it’s easier to stand out if you’re in a category of one.) 1
Tim Ferriss did this brilliantly.
He wasn’t quite in the career category…
Or in the work-life category.
So he created a whole new category: Lifestyle Design .
Not only was this a more accurate description, But it also made him a  creator
Instead of an imitator.
But back to the main point of  standing for something real .
There are  tons of blogs  out there,  with  tons of voices .
So do your research  to explore the other blogs in your space.
And then focus your topic  so that you’re the: best (or the only)  blog in your area .
At this point, you should be able to distill your blog topic into a single short sentence.
An elevator pitch, if you will.
As for Omiru,  I needed to narrow down the fashion topic.
At the time, I was a recent college grad,  and I didn’t have a whole lot of cash. $
And regardless,  I didn’t want to spend my  entire paycheck on fashion.
My other fashion challenge?
I’m short! (I  really  wanted to be 5’9”)
And to add insult to injury, I have no waist.
But my financial situation and my figure flattery issues  gave me my blog topic.
Real Style for Real People Great fashion for everybody, regardless of financial situation,  or personal architecture.
Once you have your topic,  it’s time to start writing great content.
How do you do this?
No. 3 Be Newsworthy
I currently work at in ecommerce,  but my background is in media.
Traditional media has its challenges ahead,
But it knows something really important.
They know  what will get your attention   and what won’t make you turn your head.
In other words,  what’s  newsworthy  and what’s not.
What makes something newsworthy?
#1: Timing
People don’t want old news. They want new news! (probably why its called “news”)
They want the latest update in a story,  a meme that’s particularly on-trend.
Rogan Gregory for Target (May 18)
#2: Significance
How many people does the story affect?
Tons of people?
Or just a few?
(there’s no shortage of guys who need to dress to go out) Fashion for short ppl SS
#3: Proximity
The closer people are to a story,  the more interesting it is.
San Francisco Fashion >> Boston Fashion
But it’s not all about geography.
It’s about how much  you can relate to the story.
For me, petite fashion  is more interesting than regular fashion.
#4: Prominence
When possible, and where appropriate,  write about well known personalities.
It’s more interesting for readers to  hear about the fashion from
 
 
Than it is to hear about  what I wore to work yesterday.
#5: Human Interest
Here, the key is to appeal to  emotion .
Think of things that are  off the beaten path,  personal stories ,  and profiles.
Omiru Example: We published photos of a reader’s casual wedding (v. trendy now).
Timing,  Significance,  Proximity,  Prominence,  and Human Interest  are the standard criteria for newsworthiness.
But since you guys are so awesome,  you get an extra one.
(#6:) News You Can Use
This is where most of Omiru’s stories fall.
We share How to Mix and Match Patterns, +
What to Wear to an Engagement Pool Party,
Everyday Casual Chic for Men
But there are tons of other  newsworthy media sources out there,  both mainstream media and blogs.
Newsworthiness  is part of the  price of entrance   to building a personal brand via blogging.
It’s necessary, but not sufficient.
You need to be more than newsworthy.  You need to…
No. 4 Be Awesome!
But how do you be Awesome?
After all, we can’t all be Barney. Photo Credit: CBS
Ask yourself: What Would Aretha Do? (WWAD)
Give your audience  R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
Respect their intelligence by  discussing what’s important to them.
Respect their time by being concise.
Respect their views by  engaging them in dialogue.
Respect them by going  above and beyond  the call of duty.
A few simple ways we try  to be  Awesome  at Omiru:
Giveaways
Only Relevant Ads
Readers Help Drive the Editorial Calendar
In order to find the awesome things that work, you’ll also find a lot of things that don’t work…
What to do?
No. 5 Create a Stoplist
It’s no secret that we live in a time starved society.
We all have stuff to do.
Jobs to go to.
Friends and Family to see.
No matter how passionate you are,  you only have a limited amount of time.
So what do you do?
Prioritize the stuff you’re doing,  and create a  stoplist .
The stoplist is just what it sounds like.  A list of things you  stop doing .
(Not stuff you’re doing  less .  It’s stuff that you  cut out completely .)
Stop doing the things  that suck your time away from  meaningful, effective things .
Easier said than done.
But you can do it.
Write down all the things you’re doing for your blog  on a piece of paper. 1. 2. 3. …
ID the things that are actively helping you, +
And the things that aren’t. _
And then stop doing the things  that aren’t helping you. _
For Omiru, one of those things was actually Social Bookmarking buttons.
Bloggers (and other publishers) often add buttons for social bookmarking sites like:
They provide an easy way for readers to bookmark/share your posts— so your content spreads more easily online.
I added these buttons to posts,  but Omiru readers didn’t use them.
This doesn’t mean that  social bookmarking doesn’t work.
But it depends on your audience.
(And if your audience doesn’t like it,  don’t force it.)
Once you’ve created your  stoplist   (and stopped doing things that don’t matter), it’s time to look outside your blog to…
No. 6 Build Real Relationships
As bloggers, we don’t exist in a vacuum.
We can be competitive and closed off,  or we can choose to be open and friendly.
I’d advocate for  open and friendly  :)
If you did your homework  and chose a topic that’s focused (and one that you’re uniquely suited to write about)
Chances are, you and your fellow bloggers  are writing about different enough things.
And even if you aren’t,  I still think it’s beneficial to be friendly.
You have more to  gain   than you have to lose.
Links from  Blogrolls and  Link Posts
Someone to bounce ideas off of.
Advice from other bloggers
Introductions to people in your field. I’d like to you to meet….
Then again, what you get is a  function of what you give. f(give) = get
So how do you build relationships?  (i.e. how do you start giving?)
A couple of best practices:
Actively participate on other blogs. Especially before asking for a link or any favors. (Oh, and down with form letters.)
Do other bloggers favors.
If you know another blogger is looking to borrow a set of Pantone swatches,  let her borrow your set.
Once you’ve built those relationships,  you can share opportunities.
If there’s a paid gig I don’t have the time for,  I’ll refer one of my blog friends.
And if I’m doing press interviews,  where appropriate, I’ll refer reporters to them.
And they do the same.
That’s how I got the WSJ interview.  Elisa Camahort (BlogHer) referred the reporter to me.
But in order to build  Real Relationships ,   you need to do more  than email and chat with them online… OMG! I  did not  ...
No. 7 Meet People in Person
Why is it important to  meet people in person?
Well, who are you closer to?
People you hang out  with online…
Or people you see in real life.
So whenever I get the chance,  I meet up with my blogger friends.
During New York Fashion Week,  we meet up…
Have drinks
Dish about fashion What do you think about Marc’s Spring line?
And blog together as the models  come down the runway. (Look, florals are back!)
Shared experiences lead  to closer relationships.
So when it comes time to refer another blogger, who am I going to call?
That’s right.  The people I hang out with in person.
But by meeting people in person, you’re building relationships 1:1, which isn’t so scalable.
How do you scale?
No. 8 Make it Easy to  Spread the Word
As a personal branding blogger,  you’re always looking to  grow your audience.
You can do this in two main ways:
(1) Spreading the word yourself, or
(2) Having your fans help you spread the word.
For your fans to help spread the word,  you need
Something worth sharing,  (but you’re already creating awesome, newsworthy content, right?) Awesomeness!
And an easy way for fans to share.
What are some things that  make content easy to share?
RSS
RSS helps readers get your content  wherever is most convenient for them.
And while we’re on the subject, there’s a debate between full text and partial text.
Full text is more satisfying for the reader,
But partial text encourages  readers to come back to your site.
We chose full text so that readers can get Omiru articles however is most convenient.
Why?  Our philosophy is that we’re looking to  build an  audience , not just traffic for Omiru.
Email Newsletter
Again, we like to empower readers  to read Omiru however they like to.
Email newsletters still work well,  especially among communities  that aren’t big on RSS (e.g. fashion).
I have to admit— Omiru doesn’t have an email newsletter yet,  but it’s the next thing we’re adding.
We get requests for email newsletters all the time.  It’s the second most requested feature. Hey, I love Omiru!  Do you gu...
A couple of Email Newsletter Best Practices:
SAMPLE (1) Let people know what they’re signing up for.  Show an example newsletter up front.
(2) Encourage signups by giving something away free upon signup (e.g. an informational PDF).
P.S.   Social Bookmarking also falls  underneath this category of tools  to make content easy to share.
It didn’t really work  for Omiru’s audience.
But the idea of social bookmarking  is extremely powerful for the right audience.
Speaking of sharing content off of your site,  part of a sound blog strategy is to….
No. 9 Create Community  Wherever You Go
Some bloggers are tweaked that community is happening around their content on other sites.
But IMHO, that’s an  old-school way of thinking.
Sure, you don’t want your content stolen.
Or reposted without attribution.
But if conversation is happening  around your attributed content  on another site, It’s better than no conversation   (or ...
Think about it this way.  Where’s your potential audience?
They’re a lot of different places.
They’re on your site.
But they’re also on similar sites.
And related sites.
And really, all over the Internet.
So, why force them to  come to you ?
Why not help them out? By  going to   where they are .
How might you do this?
(1) Guest write for other sites
I do this on BlogHer, where I serve as a  Fashion & Shopping Contributing Editor
(And in fact, some of Omiru’s writers  are guest blogging to create  more awareness for their own sites.)
(2) Build Your Social Network Presence
Create a profile on the appropriate  major social networks.
On Facebook, you can import  your blog posts via Facebook Notes.
And while you can’t edit your posts,
You can share them easily with friends.
And even tag people in your posts. (Don’t spam!)
As for your profile page, populate it with extra content that’s not on your site.
After all, if there were no goodies there, why would someone come visit your page?
It’s even more important  for a personal branding blogger  to add this extra content.
It gives you the opportunity  to talk about yourself— and  why you’re passionate  about your topic.
It’s an opportunity to share stories.
Like your quest to find the Perfect Pair of Jeans.
Or the crazy backstage interview  you had at Fashion Week  where you witnessed a model meltdown.
But traditional social networks  aren’t the only places  to build your presence.
(3) Participate on other Social Sites
A couple that I use personally  are FriendFeed and Polyvore. (who, incidentally, share a workspace in Mountain View)
On FriendFeed, you can automatically import your blog posts to be shared with your friends.
And the beauty of it is that conversations  can happen around this content.
Added bonus?   They’re pretty high-quality conversations (at least right now).
Plus, you can  gain new readers …. not only friends,  but friends of friends,  and friends of those friends..
Polyvore is another cool site that I use  to build community around Omiru.
It’s a web application that allows you to  mashup images from around the web.
I use it for creating outfits, mixing and matching clothes from different online stores.
It’s great—I get feedback on the outfits I create.
And I can dish about fashion with the community, sharing fashion advice and outfit ideas.
You might be thinking,  these tips are all well and good  (common sense, even) but  will they work for me right now ?
Chances are, yes. But you have to…
No. 10 Be Patient
Overnight successes are very rare,
And overnight success stories are  often not overnight at all.
I’ve been working  on Omiru for three years.
And for Omiru, community is  still a work in progress.
We have a community of regulars who are really passionate  about affordable, feel-great fashion.
Readers help each other out: they dish about  fashion dilemmas, they share style tips, and they talk about their experienc...
How did this happen?
Shared Passion
This goes way back to the beginning: Choosing a blog topic. If you’re  passionate   about something, it shows.
And other people, especially those who share your views, are drawn to it.
And passion breeds interaction—and community.
My main point about community?
Community isn’t something you do.  It’s  something that happens .
There’s no secret recipe for community.
And you don’t go out and  “ build” a community  like you build a product.
It just doesn’t work like that.
What you can do, though, is to  lay the foundations   for community to grow.
And you lay these foundations by…
No. 1 Pick a Topic that’s  Uniquely You
No. 2 Stand for Something Real
No. 3 Be Newsworthy
No. 4 Be Awesome!
No. 5 Create a Stoplist
No. 6 Build Real Relationships
No. 7 Meet People in Person
No. 8 Make it Easy to  Spread the Word
No. 9 Create Community  Wherever You Go
No. 10 Be Patient
What now?
Do you have something  you’re  passionate  about?
Something meaningful?
Something worthwhile?
(I bet you do!)
So go on, start your own blog. Or take your existing blog to the next level.
And then, if you care to,  tell me about it.
Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Trisha_Okubo/201756
FriendFeed: http://www.friendfeed.com/trisha
Polyvore: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=101223
Omiru: http://www.omiru.com
Questions?
I’d love to hear from you: Trisha Okubo Disruptive Innovator, eBay [email_address]  /  [email_address]   Liked this presen...
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Blogging for Personal Branding

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10 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand via blogging, using nationally-recognized fashion blog Omiru: Style for All (www.omiru.com) as a case study. Omiru has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Lucky Magazine, and Real Simple Magazine.

These slides are for Web 2.0 Expo, for a workshop on Blogging and Social Media Marketing.

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Blogging for Personal Branding

  1. 1. Blog Your Brand Trisha Okubo Disruptive Innovator, eBay [email_address] 10 Steps to Building Your Brand by Blogging
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Trisha Okubo . By day, I’m a Disruptive Innovator at eBay, where my work focuses on social commerce . (If anyone wants to chat about social networking and eCommerce, let’s dish after this session!)
  3. 3. By night, I’m the founder and editor of a Top 3 Fashion Blog: Omiru: Style for All
  4. 4. I started Omiru in March of 2005, armed with: a desire to learn, a passion for fashion, and persistence.
  5. 5. And since Omiru’s founding,
  6. 6. We’ve written well over a thousand posts, What to Wear for Girls Night Out at the Club How to Wear Fishnet Stockings without Looking Trashy How to Fit Jeans into Knee-High Boots How to Fly in Style How to Wear a Short Sleeved Blazer Professional Style 101 5 Questions with Constance White, eBay Style Director Street Style: Boston Ready Made Outfit: Trenchcoats for Every Occasion Men's Trend Alert: Summer Plaids Fashion over Fifty: Five Style Tips What to Wear to a Casual No-Tie Wedding Q&A: What’s the Ideal Shirt Length for a Man? Q&A: What to Wear to the Company Holiday Party How to Stop Static From Ruining Your Outfit …
  7. 7. Helped hundreds of readers who write in with style questions, “ What should I wear and where can I find clothes for a summer, European Honeymoon?”
  8. 8. <ul><ul><li>and built a loyal community of readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who trade fashion tips. </li></ul></ul>“ I just found out I’m pregnant, and I’m excited about buying clothes to fit my growing belly. Can you give me some inspiration?” - Vickie “ Target has a fabulous line of clothing from designer Liz Lange. In fact, I’m jealous - I wish they made some of her designs for us non-pregnant women!” - Kate
  9. 9. I’ve done style expert videos for Yahoo! Health/Capessa and SheZoom, Talking about things like…
  10. 10. Fashion for Figure Flattery (Great for Petites!)
  11. 11. How to Accessorize
  12. 12. What to Wear to Work
  13. 13. Through Omiru, I’ve also been recognized by mainstream media.
  14. 16. (who gave us our Top 3 Fashion Blog distinction)
  15. 17. We’ve also done radio segments for a prominent radio station in Richmond, VA. Random!
  16. 18. <ul><ul><li>Now, three years after founding Omiru, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m a sought-after style expert, specializing in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>real style for real people . </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><ul><li>Today, using Omiru as a case study, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m going to share with you: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 Steps to Building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Brand through Blogging </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. I’m going to share the story of Omiru: from picking a topic, to creating and enhancing content, to relationship building and distribution, and finally to fostering community .
  19. 21. But first, I’d like to address the somewhat negative connotation surrounding personal branding (aka self promotion).
  20. 22. Self promotion gets a bad reputation because it’s often practiced at the expense of others.
  21. 23. We call someone “self promotional” when their message helps them— but doesn’t help others.
  22. 24. But self promotion doesn’t have to be bad.
  23. 25. In fact, it can be used for Good.
  24. 26. And you can use self promotion for Good when you provide value to your audience.
  25. 27. So let’s do just that. Provide value and spread the word. How do you do this?
  26. 28. No. 1 Pick a Topic that’s Uniquely You
  27. 29. Back in the day, Microsoft asked: Where do you want to go today?
  28. 30. If you’re blogging to build your reputation, the first step is to focus in on an area of expertise.
  29. 31. Think about where you’ve been in life. (aka your experience) Now { Experience }
  30. 32. Think about where you want to go in life. (aka your future) Now { Future }
  31. 33. Think about your passion.
  32. 34. For me, it made sense to focus on fashion.
  33. 35. I’ve always harbored a love of style,
  34. 36. I went to fashion school in the evenings during college,
  35. 37. And I’ve done a lot of fashion consulting. (so if you want some style tips, find me after the session)
  36. 38. But fashion as a topic was way too broad.
  37. 39. How broad— or how narrow to go?
  38. 40. This is the Goldilocks Question.
  39. 41. You don’t want a topic that’s too broad… (e.g. technology companies)
  40. 42. Or too narrow… (e.g. technology companies in Mountain View that heart dogs at work)
  41. 43. You want a topic that’s Just Right . (e.g. technology companies that are likely to ride out the bust)
  42. 44. If you’re building reputation, the ideal topic is broad enough to be interesting
  43. 45. But also focused enough so that you’re the Best at Something .
  44. 46. Maybe it’s being the keeper of the Cutest Pet Photos Online.
  45. 47. Maybe it’s being the most distinguished chocolate connoisseur.
  46. 48. Maybe it’s being the sharpest LOST commentator.
  47. 49. Whatever your topic is, you should aim to…
  48. 50. No. 2 Stand for Something Real
  49. 51. A blog is easy to start, but it’s hard to maintain.
  50. 52. Somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of blogs are abandoned within one month .
  51. 53. Why is blogging so hard?
  52. 54. In between all of your other commitments,
  53. 55. Job
  54. 56. Family
  55. 57. Friends
  56. 58. … and Life
  57. 59. You’re going to have to find the time and energy to maintain the blog.
  58. 60. Plus, you’re going to have to find new stuff to write about every day.
  59. 61. Long story short— If you don’t love it, don’t blog about it.
  60. 62. { Sidebar }
  61. 63. Where possible and where appropriate, create a new category .
  62. 64. But isn’t it hard to create a new category?
  63. 65. Sure it is.
  64. 66. If it weren’t hard, everyone would be doing it.
  65. 67. (But on the flip side, it’s easier to stand out if you’re in a category of one.) 1
  66. 68. Tim Ferriss did this brilliantly.
  67. 69. He wasn’t quite in the career category…
  68. 70. Or in the work-life category.
  69. 71. So he created a whole new category: Lifestyle Design .
  70. 72. Not only was this a more accurate description, But it also made him a creator
  71. 73. Instead of an imitator.
  72. 74. But back to the main point of standing for something real .
  73. 75. There are tons of blogs out there, with tons of voices .
  74. 76. So do your research to explore the other blogs in your space.
  75. 77. And then focus your topic so that you’re the: best (or the only) blog in your area .
  76. 78. At this point, you should be able to distill your blog topic into a single short sentence.
  77. 79. An elevator pitch, if you will.
  78. 80. As for Omiru, I needed to narrow down the fashion topic.
  79. 81. At the time, I was a recent college grad, and I didn’t have a whole lot of cash. $
  80. 82. And regardless, I didn’t want to spend my entire paycheck on fashion.
  81. 83. My other fashion challenge?
  82. 84. I’m short! (I really wanted to be 5’9”)
  83. 85. And to add insult to injury, I have no waist.
  84. 86. But my financial situation and my figure flattery issues gave me my blog topic.
  85. 87. Real Style for Real People Great fashion for everybody, regardless of financial situation, or personal architecture.
  86. 88. Once you have your topic, it’s time to start writing great content.
  87. 89. How do you do this?
  88. 90. No. 3 Be Newsworthy
  89. 91. I currently work at in ecommerce, but my background is in media.
  90. 92. Traditional media has its challenges ahead,
  91. 93. But it knows something really important.
  92. 94. They know what will get your attention and what won’t make you turn your head.
  93. 95. In other words, what’s newsworthy and what’s not.
  94. 96. What makes something newsworthy?
  95. 97. #1: Timing
  96. 98. People don’t want old news. They want new news! (probably why its called “news”)
  97. 99. They want the latest update in a story, a meme that’s particularly on-trend.
  98. 100. Rogan Gregory for Target (May 18)
  99. 101. #2: Significance
  100. 102. How many people does the story affect?
  101. 103. Tons of people?
  102. 104. Or just a few?
  103. 105. (there’s no shortage of guys who need to dress to go out) Fashion for short ppl SS
  104. 106. #3: Proximity
  105. 107. The closer people are to a story, the more interesting it is.
  106. 108. San Francisco Fashion >> Boston Fashion
  107. 109. But it’s not all about geography.
  108. 110. It’s about how much you can relate to the story.
  109. 111. For me, petite fashion is more interesting than regular fashion.
  110. 112. #4: Prominence
  111. 113. When possible, and where appropriate, write about well known personalities.
  112. 114. It’s more interesting for readers to hear about the fashion from
  113. 117. Than it is to hear about what I wore to work yesterday.
  114. 118. #5: Human Interest
  115. 119. Here, the key is to appeal to emotion .
  116. 120. Think of things that are off the beaten path, personal stories , and profiles.
  117. 121. Omiru Example: We published photos of a reader’s casual wedding (v. trendy now).
  118. 122. Timing, Significance, Proximity, Prominence, and Human Interest are the standard criteria for newsworthiness.
  119. 123. But since you guys are so awesome, you get an extra one.
  120. 124. (#6:) News You Can Use
  121. 125. This is where most of Omiru’s stories fall.
  122. 126. We share How to Mix and Match Patterns, +
  123. 127. What to Wear to an Engagement Pool Party,
  124. 128. Everyday Casual Chic for Men
  125. 129. But there are tons of other newsworthy media sources out there, both mainstream media and blogs.
  126. 130. Newsworthiness is part of the price of entrance to building a personal brand via blogging.
  127. 131. It’s necessary, but not sufficient.
  128. 132. You need to be more than newsworthy. You need to…
  129. 133. No. 4 Be Awesome!
  130. 134. But how do you be Awesome?
  131. 135. After all, we can’t all be Barney. Photo Credit: CBS
  132. 136. Ask yourself: What Would Aretha Do? (WWAD)
  133. 137. Give your audience R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
  134. 138. Respect their intelligence by discussing what’s important to them.
  135. 139. Respect their time by being concise.
  136. 140. Respect their views by engaging them in dialogue.
  137. 141. Respect them by going above and beyond the call of duty.
  138. 142. A few simple ways we try to be Awesome at Omiru:
  139. 143. Giveaways
  140. 144. Only Relevant Ads
  141. 145. Readers Help Drive the Editorial Calendar
  142. 146. In order to find the awesome things that work, you’ll also find a lot of things that don’t work…
  143. 147. What to do?
  144. 148. No. 5 Create a Stoplist
  145. 149. It’s no secret that we live in a time starved society.
  146. 150. We all have stuff to do.
  147. 151. Jobs to go to.
  148. 152. Friends and Family to see.
  149. 153. No matter how passionate you are, you only have a limited amount of time.
  150. 154. So what do you do?
  151. 155. Prioritize the stuff you’re doing, and create a stoplist .
  152. 156. The stoplist is just what it sounds like. A list of things you stop doing .
  153. 157. (Not stuff you’re doing less . It’s stuff that you cut out completely .)
  154. 158. Stop doing the things that suck your time away from meaningful, effective things .
  155. 159. Easier said than done.
  156. 160. But you can do it.
  157. 161. Write down all the things you’re doing for your blog on a piece of paper. 1. 2. 3. …
  158. 162. ID the things that are actively helping you, +
  159. 163. And the things that aren’t. _
  160. 164. And then stop doing the things that aren’t helping you. _
  161. 165. For Omiru, one of those things was actually Social Bookmarking buttons.
  162. 166. Bloggers (and other publishers) often add buttons for social bookmarking sites like:
  163. 167. They provide an easy way for readers to bookmark/share your posts— so your content spreads more easily online.
  164. 168. I added these buttons to posts, but Omiru readers didn’t use them.
  165. 169. This doesn’t mean that social bookmarking doesn’t work.
  166. 170. But it depends on your audience.
  167. 171. (And if your audience doesn’t like it, don’t force it.)
  168. 172. Once you’ve created your stoplist (and stopped doing things that don’t matter), it’s time to look outside your blog to…
  169. 173. No. 6 Build Real Relationships
  170. 174. As bloggers, we don’t exist in a vacuum.
  171. 175. We can be competitive and closed off, or we can choose to be open and friendly.
  172. 176. I’d advocate for open and friendly :)
  173. 177. If you did your homework and chose a topic that’s focused (and one that you’re uniquely suited to write about)
  174. 178. Chances are, you and your fellow bloggers are writing about different enough things.
  175. 179. And even if you aren’t, I still think it’s beneficial to be friendly.
  176. 180. You have more to gain than you have to lose.
  177. 181. Links from Blogrolls and Link Posts
  178. 182. Someone to bounce ideas off of.
  179. 183. Advice from other bloggers
  180. 184. Introductions to people in your field. I’d like to you to meet….
  181. 185. Then again, what you get is a function of what you give. f(give) = get
  182. 186. So how do you build relationships? (i.e. how do you start giving?)
  183. 187. A couple of best practices:
  184. 188. Actively participate on other blogs. Especially before asking for a link or any favors. (Oh, and down with form letters.)
  185. 189. Do other bloggers favors.
  186. 190. If you know another blogger is looking to borrow a set of Pantone swatches, let her borrow your set.
  187. 191. Once you’ve built those relationships, you can share opportunities.
  188. 192. If there’s a paid gig I don’t have the time for, I’ll refer one of my blog friends.
  189. 193. And if I’m doing press interviews, where appropriate, I’ll refer reporters to them.
  190. 194. And they do the same.
  191. 195. That’s how I got the WSJ interview. Elisa Camahort (BlogHer) referred the reporter to me.
  192. 196. But in order to build Real Relationships , you need to do more than email and chat with them online… OMG! I did not just see that...
  193. 197. No. 7 Meet People in Person
  194. 198. Why is it important to meet people in person?
  195. 199. Well, who are you closer to?
  196. 200. People you hang out with online…
  197. 201. Or people you see in real life.
  198. 202. So whenever I get the chance, I meet up with my blogger friends.
  199. 203. During New York Fashion Week, we meet up…
  200. 204. Have drinks
  201. 205. Dish about fashion What do you think about Marc’s Spring line?
  202. 206. And blog together as the models come down the runway. (Look, florals are back!)
  203. 207. Shared experiences lead to closer relationships.
  204. 208. So when it comes time to refer another blogger, who am I going to call?
  205. 209. That’s right. The people I hang out with in person.
  206. 210. But by meeting people in person, you’re building relationships 1:1, which isn’t so scalable.
  207. 211. How do you scale?
  208. 212. No. 8 Make it Easy to Spread the Word
  209. 213. As a personal branding blogger, you’re always looking to grow your audience.
  210. 214. You can do this in two main ways:
  211. 215. (1) Spreading the word yourself, or
  212. 216. (2) Having your fans help you spread the word.
  213. 217. For your fans to help spread the word, you need
  214. 218. Something worth sharing, (but you’re already creating awesome, newsworthy content, right?) Awesomeness!
  215. 219. And an easy way for fans to share.
  216. 220. What are some things that make content easy to share?
  217. 221. RSS
  218. 222. RSS helps readers get your content wherever is most convenient for them.
  219. 223. And while we’re on the subject, there’s a debate between full text and partial text.
  220. 224. Full text is more satisfying for the reader,
  221. 225. But partial text encourages readers to come back to your site.
  222. 226. We chose full text so that readers can get Omiru articles however is most convenient.
  223. 227. Why? Our philosophy is that we’re looking to build an audience , not just traffic for Omiru.
  224. 228. Email Newsletter
  225. 229. Again, we like to empower readers to read Omiru however they like to.
  226. 230. Email newsletters still work well, especially among communities that aren’t big on RSS (e.g. fashion).
  227. 231. I have to admit— Omiru doesn’t have an email newsletter yet, but it’s the next thing we’re adding.
  228. 232. We get requests for email newsletters all the time. It’s the second most requested feature. Hey, I love Omiru! Do you guys have an email newsletter?
  229. 233. A couple of Email Newsletter Best Practices:
  230. 234. SAMPLE (1) Let people know what they’re signing up for. Show an example newsletter up front.
  231. 235. (2) Encourage signups by giving something away free upon signup (e.g. an informational PDF).
  232. 236. P.S. Social Bookmarking also falls underneath this category of tools to make content easy to share.
  233. 237. It didn’t really work for Omiru’s audience.
  234. 238. But the idea of social bookmarking is extremely powerful for the right audience.
  235. 239. Speaking of sharing content off of your site, part of a sound blog strategy is to….
  236. 240. No. 9 Create Community Wherever You Go
  237. 241. Some bloggers are tweaked that community is happening around their content on other sites.
  238. 242. But IMHO, that’s an old-school way of thinking.
  239. 243. Sure, you don’t want your content stolen.
  240. 244. Or reposted without attribution.
  241. 245. But if conversation is happening around your attributed content on another site, It’s better than no conversation (or less) happening at all.
  242. 246. Think about it this way. Where’s your potential audience?
  243. 247. They’re a lot of different places.
  244. 248. They’re on your site.
  245. 249. But they’re also on similar sites.
  246. 250. And related sites.
  247. 251. And really, all over the Internet.
  248. 252. So, why force them to come to you ?
  249. 253. Why not help them out? By going to where they are .
  250. 254. How might you do this?
  251. 255. (1) Guest write for other sites
  252. 256. I do this on BlogHer, where I serve as a Fashion & Shopping Contributing Editor
  253. 257. (And in fact, some of Omiru’s writers are guest blogging to create more awareness for their own sites.)
  254. 258. (2) Build Your Social Network Presence
  255. 259. Create a profile on the appropriate major social networks.
  256. 260. On Facebook, you can import your blog posts via Facebook Notes.
  257. 261. And while you can’t edit your posts,
  258. 262. You can share them easily with friends.
  259. 263. And even tag people in your posts. (Don’t spam!)
  260. 264. As for your profile page, populate it with extra content that’s not on your site.
  261. 265. After all, if there were no goodies there, why would someone come visit your page?
  262. 266. It’s even more important for a personal branding blogger to add this extra content.
  263. 267. It gives you the opportunity to talk about yourself— and why you’re passionate about your topic.
  264. 268. It’s an opportunity to share stories.
  265. 269. Like your quest to find the Perfect Pair of Jeans.
  266. 270. Or the crazy backstage interview you had at Fashion Week where you witnessed a model meltdown.
  267. 271. But traditional social networks aren’t the only places to build your presence.
  268. 272. (3) Participate on other Social Sites
  269. 273. A couple that I use personally are FriendFeed and Polyvore. (who, incidentally, share a workspace in Mountain View)
  270. 274. On FriendFeed, you can automatically import your blog posts to be shared with your friends.
  271. 275. And the beauty of it is that conversations can happen around this content.
  272. 276. Added bonus? They’re pretty high-quality conversations (at least right now).
  273. 277. Plus, you can gain new readers …. not only friends, but friends of friends, and friends of those friends..
  274. 278. Polyvore is another cool site that I use to build community around Omiru.
  275. 279. It’s a web application that allows you to mashup images from around the web.
  276. 280. I use it for creating outfits, mixing and matching clothes from different online stores.
  277. 281. It’s great—I get feedback on the outfits I create.
  278. 282. And I can dish about fashion with the community, sharing fashion advice and outfit ideas.
  279. 283. You might be thinking, these tips are all well and good (common sense, even) but will they work for me right now ?
  280. 284. Chances are, yes. But you have to…
  281. 285. No. 10 Be Patient
  282. 286. Overnight successes are very rare,
  283. 287. And overnight success stories are often not overnight at all.
  284. 288. I’ve been working on Omiru for three years.
  285. 289. And for Omiru, community is still a work in progress.
  286. 290. We have a community of regulars who are really passionate about affordable, feel-great fashion.
  287. 291. Readers help each other out: they dish about fashion dilemmas, they share style tips, and they talk about their experiences.
  288. 292. How did this happen?
  289. 293. Shared Passion
  290. 294. This goes way back to the beginning: Choosing a blog topic. If you’re passionate about something, it shows.
  291. 295. And other people, especially those who share your views, are drawn to it.
  292. 296. And passion breeds interaction—and community.
  293. 297. My main point about community?
  294. 298. Community isn’t something you do. It’s something that happens .
  295. 299. There’s no secret recipe for community.
  296. 300. And you don’t go out and “ build” a community like you build a product.
  297. 301. It just doesn’t work like that.
  298. 302. What you can do, though, is to lay the foundations for community to grow.
  299. 303. And you lay these foundations by…
  300. 304. No. 1 Pick a Topic that’s Uniquely You
  301. 305. No. 2 Stand for Something Real
  302. 306. No. 3 Be Newsworthy
  303. 307. No. 4 Be Awesome!
  304. 308. No. 5 Create a Stoplist
  305. 309. No. 6 Build Real Relationships
  306. 310. No. 7 Meet People in Person
  307. 311. No. 8 Make it Easy to Spread the Word
  308. 312. No. 9 Create Community Wherever You Go
  309. 313. No. 10 Be Patient
  310. 314. What now?
  311. 315. Do you have something you’re passionate about?
  312. 316. Something meaningful?
  313. 317. Something worthwhile?
  314. 318. (I bet you do!)
  315. 319. So go on, start your own blog. Or take your existing blog to the next level.
  316. 320. And then, if you care to, tell me about it.
  317. 321. Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Trisha_Okubo/201756
  318. 322. FriendFeed: http://www.friendfeed.com/trisha
  319. 323. Polyvore: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=101223
  320. 324. Omiru: http://www.omiru.com
  321. 325. Questions?
  322. 326. I’d love to hear from you: Trisha Okubo Disruptive Innovator, eBay [email_address] / [email_address] Liked this presentation? Find me next at eBay Developers Conference June 16-18 in Chicago www.ebay.com/devcon
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