Best Practices for Beginning Blogging


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This presentations a beginner's view on blogging - why to do it, and a step by step view of how to jump right in.

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Best Practices for Beginning Blogging

  1. 1. Bastille Marketing Jenni Brand Founder & CEO January 26, 2010 Storming the Marketing Establishment…Through Smart Social Media
  2. 2. Who is Jenni Brand? <ul><li>Founder & CEO of Bastille Marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Digital Strategy Consultancy www. bastillemarketing .com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Media Consultant for five years with New Media Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped brands establish, manage and maintain a positive presence within the online landscape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked with numerous Fortune 10, 50, 100, 500 companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-profit/Gov’t, CPG, Fashion/Retail, Travel/Tourism, Financial, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>10+ years in traditional marketing & sales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fields of grocery retail marketing, radio sales, non-profits, energy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extra-curricular activities include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaking/Training seminars on Digital Strategy/Social Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two blogs; contributor to others (Blondes I-View, Bastille Marketing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event planner (DC’s 1st Annual Cupcake Contest, Wedding, Charity Events) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What We’ll Cover Today <ul><li>Blogs: Why The Hype? </li></ul><ul><li>What the Average Blogger Looks Like </li></ul><ul><li>Who Reads Blogs? </li></ul><ul><li>What Makes Blogs Special? </li></ul><ul><li>Which Blog Platform To Choose? </li></ul><ul><li>The Anatomy of a Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Setting Up & Owning Your Blog - The Bells & Whistles </li></ul><ul><li>You’ve Got a Blog - Now What? 8 Key Steps to Success </li></ul><ul><li>Examples & Resources </li></ul>
  4. 4. Blogs: Why the Hype? <ul><li>There are more than 133 million blogs with 1.5 million created weekly. </li></ul><ul><li>94 million US blog readers and 23 million American bloggers. Nearly 1 million blog posts every 24 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs in 81 languages and 66 countries. </li></ul>Resource : Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
  5. 5. Blogs: Why the Hype? (cont ’ d) Resource : Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 <ul><li>20% of bloggers think newspapers will be obsolete by 2018 </li></ul><ul><li>50% think blogs will be primary news source by 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>37% have had a blog post quoted in the traditional press </li></ul><ul><li>61% learn about products & services from other blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Only 1/3 turn to TV/Print as a source of info </li></ul>
  6. 6. What the Average Blogger Looks Like (cont’d) Resource : Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 Educated, financially stable, 25-49 y.o.
  7. 7. Who Reads Blogs? <ul><li>42% of internet users have read a blog(s) </li></ul><ul><li>33% read blogs regularly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource : Pew Internet & American Life Project July 2008 (Aaron Smith) http://www. pewinternet .org/Commentary/2008/July/New-numbers-for-blogging-and-blog-readership. aspx </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8% of Americans have a blog </li></ul><ul><li>46% of blog readers say they visit the same blogs </li></ul><ul><li>54% surf for new and different ones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource : Synovate 2007 http://www. synovate .com/news/article/2007/08/new-study-shows-americans-blogging-behaviour.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>28% of US blog readers have taken an action based on a blog post </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource : Edelman, Corporate Guide to Global Blogosphere http://www. micropersuasion .com/2007/01/edelman_study_b.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www. nxtbook .com/nxtbooks/edelman/whitepaper010907/index.php </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Which Blog Platform to Choose?
  9. 9. The Anatomy of a Blog Resource : -
  10. 10. The Anatomy of a Blog (cont’d) Topic Tabs Subscribe Feature Follow Me Buttons Clean design; easy navigation About Tab Advertising Tab - easily could be a Donate Tab Date & Author - linked to bio
  11. 11. The Anatomy of a Blog (cont’d) Easy to Share via Twitter Picture insert; yet not cluttered (pls credit all photos!) Interactivity - recent comments; frequent commenters; encourages time spent on the page Clean design of blog post
  12. 12. The Anatomy of a Blog (cont’d) <ul><li>Hyperlink to Author’s Bio and Post Archive </li></ul><ul><li>Comments visible - link to full list </li></ul><ul><li>Blog community badges </li></ul><ul><li>Blogroll </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Anatomy of a Blog (cont’d) Social Sharing Features & Find Me Functions on Mashable’s Summer of Social Good blog
  14. 14. Setting Up & Owning Your Blog <ul><li>How to Select a Blog Name </li></ul><ul><li>DO: Make it easy to remember & spell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As close to your name or acronym as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant to your core business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use letters only; no numbers, punctuation, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the name the same as the URL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DON’T: use “blog” in the name - it’s redundant </li></ul><ul><li>Secure the Domain Name </li></ul><ul><li>Use a free blog service, but buy the domain name </li></ul><ul><ul><li> www. bastillemarketing .com , not www. bastillemarketing . blogspot .com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google or - very simple instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy the .org, .com, .net, etc - its worth the $10/year for people to find you easily! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resource : </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Step One – Before You Start </li></ul><ul><li>Learn The Rules Of The Game Before You Start Playing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read up on similar blogs, or blogs written about blogging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listen & Learn From Your Competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Do Your Homework – Find Out Who Your True Audience Is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your key customer might not be your ‘marketing’ target </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine Your Content Niche </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate blogs should not be general in nature </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decide Your Comment Policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you allow comments (YES!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you moderate them (YES!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you require a name or allow anonymity? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What behavior would necessitate a ban on a commenter? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to publish your comment policy </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps
  16. 16. <ul><li>Step Two – Develop a Strategy AHEAD OF TIME </li></ul><ul><li>The Old Rules Still Apply: </li></ul><ul><li>Who – Who is going to write and who is the <true> audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What – What are we writing about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is interesting to our audience and relevant to our business? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where – Where should the content be posted? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it really blog-worthy or just Corporate News? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When – When will we post? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the posting frequency (every Tuesday? Every day at 3pm?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why – Why are we doing this? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and then stick to the goal/mission of the blog. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How – How is this going to run smoothly? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to develop a process/procedure with accountability. The blog can’t go silent because someone goes on vacation or leaves the organization. </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d)
  17. 17. <ul><li>Step Three – What is Success? </li></ul><ul><li>Define Success For The Blog – Whatever That Might Be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic, comments, post frequency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop Reasonable Parameters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100K UMVs in the first month is NOT reasonable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure Regularly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly, Monthly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benchmark Against Similar Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This may not mean benchmark against your competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step Four – Work in Tandem with Marketing/PR Depts. </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate/Integrate With Traditional PR/Marketing Efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful blogs work WITH the overall marketing strategies, not OUTSIDE of them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incorporate Your Blog URL Into ALL Communication Pieces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wherever your website is printed, your blog should be as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add it to your email signature (Read our blog: </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d)
  18. 18. <ul><li>Step Five – Getting Ready to Launch </li></ul><ul><li>Develop An Editorial/Content Calendar - STICK TO IT! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to incorporate flexibility for breaking news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create and stockpile ‘canned’ content for when life throws a curveball (a 2-hour fire drill; snow or sick days, etc) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canned content can be interviews with staff, members/consumers, company factoids (not history; anecdotes) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruit Internal Bloggers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The blogging staff should be limited – 2-4 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solicit people from within the organization to be bloggers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loyal members, fans make excellent guest bloggers (serve as terrific testimonials) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine The Blog’s Voice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual; Professional, etc – Just be sure it has a HUMAN element </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Authors CAN still have ONE voice </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d)
  19. 19. <ul><li>Step Six – The Big Debut! </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare An Introductory Post </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce the bloggers (include pictures/hobbies, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the Voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set the tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain the ‘rules’ (frequency of posting, the comment policy, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spend Time Introducing Yourself Online & Creating Loyal Followers </li></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d)
  20. 20. <ul><li>Step Seven – Write For Your Audience, Not To Impress The Execs </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate Often & On Topic – Even If It’s In An Informal Tone </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Not All About YOU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember Your Readers Are People And Consumers Before Members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remind Them Often Of The WIIFM - What’s In It For Them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share Useful Content From Media, Industry, Other Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be Authentic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Blog is Written by Humans - Let Your Human Nature Show! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NOTE: Press Releases Are Rarely Good Blog Posts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company news can be a blog post if it’s compelling info and offers original content (interviews, etc) beyond the press release info </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let Your Readers Know You Are Listening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If your readers are calling for action; acknowledge them! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let them know the outcome – where change is the result or not </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d)
  21. 21. <ul><li>Step Eight – Behind the Scenes, Start Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Connect With Key Influencers/Blogs In The Social Mediasphere; Your Industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e., Social Media Influencers =, Mashable, & Techcrunch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link To Them </li></ul><ul><li>Share News From Their Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Leave Comments On Their Posts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember To Sign Your Name & URL </li></ul></ul>You’ve Got A Blog! Now What? 8 Key Steps (cont’d) Resource :
  22. 22. Examples of Non-Profit & Gov ’ t Agency Blogs
  23. 23. Additional Resources <ul><li>Blogging Terms - http://en. wikipedia . org/wiki/List_of_blogging_terms </li></ul><ul><li>What Not to Do on a Blog (Tips) - </li></ul><ul><li>Coding Horror - http://www. codinghorror .com/blog/archives/000834.html </li></ul><ul><li>Use It - http://www. useit . com/alertbox/weblogs .html </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs about Non-Profits & NP Blogging - </li></ul><ul><li>Frogloop - http://www. frogloop .com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Beth’s Blog - http: //beth . typepad . com/beths_blog/ </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Profit Tech Blog - http://www. nonprofittechblog .org/ </li></ul><ul><li>How-to Tips on Good Blog Design - http://www. blogdesignblog .com/blog-design/how-to-blog-design-style-guide/ </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere (Education & Stats) - http: //technorati .com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/ </li></ul><ul><li>Mashable - The Social Media Guide - http: //mashable .com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Tools 101 - http://www. interactiveinsightsgroup .com/blog1/socialmediabeginnersguide/social-media-tools-101/ </li></ul><ul><li>Social News for NonProfits - http://www. idealistnews .com/ </li></ul>
  24. 24. Questions? <ul><li>Thank you. </li></ul>Jenni Brand [email_address]