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Blogging Training: Girls Not Brides

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A bespoke blogging course, delivered on behalf of the Media Trust.

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Blogging Training: Girls Not Brides

  1. 1. Blogging Masterclass: Girls Not Brides Basic writing The purpose of blogging and its benefits Learn what is distinctive about a blog Best practice How to create engaging content
  2. 2. Write three paragraphs about……
  3. 3. •Simple •Clear •Concise •Direct
  4. 4. George Orwell's writing tips in his essay "Politics and the English Language” • 1) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. • 2) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  5. 5. • 3) It it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. • 4) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  6. 6. • 5) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. • 6) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
  7. 7. Write five paragraphs about a recent project - Who? - What? - Why? - Where? - When?
  8. 8. Why have a blog? A) Communicate a message B) Engage with a community C) Reach new people
  9. 9. Who is your audience? Who are you appealing to? What are your organisation’s core values? Why are you writing to them? Where are they? (e.g. social media, geographically) When? (specific events on certain dates?)
  10. 10. The story so far… • Clear and concise • Audience • Writing is re-writing • Orwell's tips • Editing • Web formats
  11. 11. Quiz • 1. Has traffic to the New York Times homepage risen or fallen over the last two years? What was the rise or fall as a percentage? • 2. What percentage access BBC News via mobile and tablets? • 3. What percentage of Brits have a smartphone by end of 2014? • 4. What proportion of active Twitter and Facebook users access these platforms via mobile? • 5. What is the iPhone 5S screen size? iPhone 6? iPhone 6 Plus?
  12. 12. Web Formats • Website: Information resource • Social media: Short bursts of information (Twitter), engagement tool (foster sharing and conversation; Twitter, Google+), informal tone (Facebook) • Blog: Informal tone, generate dialogue between organisation and community • e-newsletter: Targeted message aimed at a specific part of your audience • Email: As above, but more targeted
  13. 13. What's different about writing for the web? • Part of multimedia package • Non-linear • Reading from a screen/different devices • Competition • Social media • Digital dementia • Skimmers and Diggers
  14. 14. Web Weapons Aim: Cater for Skimmers and Diggers • For Skimmers: • Short sentences • Minimal punctuation • Avoid sub-clauses • Lists/bullet points • Crossheads – few words to break up large chunks of text • Info boxes For Diggers: • Links • Clear social media marketing • Text promoting audiovisual content complements content • Search Engine Optimisation • For both: Clear contact details
  15. 15. Remember…. ……the purpose of a blog is to: A) Communicate a message B) Engage with a community C) Reach new people …therefore….
  16. 16. Improve these Girls Not Brides posts • Funding droughts and online solutions: How we crowdfunded our project to end child marriage • Girls Not Brides members co-sign letter to Ban Ki-moon stressing that child marriage target must be included in Sustainable Development Goals • South Asian governments commit to end child marriage • High stakes for young lives: Examining strategies to stop child marriage
  17. 17. What makes a good post? .....a good blog post: a) Makes a clear point b) Is a journey (i.e. Beginning, middle, end) c) Is multimedia (i.e. Images, video, social media)
  18. 18. Steps 1) Ask why – What message? Which audience 2) Write 3) Re-write 4) Social media integration (‘After care’) 5) Email list (‘After care’)
  19. 19. Blog post creation 1) Concise writing: Around 500 words (1000 max) 2) Multimedia (i.e. images, videos, links) - Photos: Copyright-free available 3) SEO 4) Moderation 5) Social media promotion
  20. 20. Blog creation exercise 1) Outline your blog strategy - i.e. Purpose, target audience, tone, moderation approach 2) Write a blog post 3) Ideas for three other posts - A sentence on each, outlining proposed content
  21. 21. Recap: Blog post creation 1) Concise writing: Around 500 words (1000 max) 2) Multimedia (i.e. images, videos, links) 3) SEO 4) Moderation 5) Social media promotion (‘after care’)
  22. 22. Further Reading • Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers, by Harold Evans • George Orwell - Politics and the English Language • Slate article - You Won't Finish This Article • Daily Telegraph article - Digital Dementia • Read widely, particularly blogs - What are they doing well and badly? Learn from their successes and failures. • A dictionary • Media Trust • Contact: alexisak@me.com; Twitter - @alexisak

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