Blogging 201


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You've started a blog and now what. This slide show offers tips on how to get the most out of your blog to support and make money for your business. Tips are applicable to business bloggers or anyone who wants to reach people through blogging.

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Blogging 201

  1. 1. How to engage your customers – and get your blog noticed
  2. 2. <ul><li>Way to reach your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Way to find out what your customers want </li></ul><ul><li>Way to connect with your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Way to “sell” without seeming like you’re selling </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Blogging grew from Weblogs </li></ul><ul><li>Weblogs were way to share links </li></ul><ul><li>Computer programmers used them with their friends </li></ul><ul><li>This was late 1990s </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Blogs started as a way to “share information” </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not really a diary </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not meant for the solitary voice </li></ul><ul><li>It’s meant for conversation </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Famous New Yorker cartoon from 1993 gives mistaken impression of the web: </li></ul><ul><li>That was then </li></ul><ul><li>Didn’t get web </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Works best when your readers don’t realize you’re doing it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your blog should not feel like advertising or a news release </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your blog should not talk only about your product/service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your blog should be fun to read </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>People are super busy </li></ul><ul><li>People don’t really care about your product/service </li></ul><ul><li>People want information/entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>People have lots of choices on the web </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Vifredo Pareto (19 th century Italian sociologist) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The law of the vital few </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% of the blogs get 80% of the traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most blogs won’t be in that 20% </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>You can still make money even if you’re not in the 20% </li></ul><ul><li>Web is a niche market (not a mass market) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mass of Niches” (Jeff Jarvis at CUNY) </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Goal isn’t to reach everyone with your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is to reach the narrow group of people who really, really want what you have to sell/provide </li></ul><ul><li>Hyper-interest </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Emphasize your niche or niches </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to be everything to everyone </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll be nothing to no one </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be something to a select few of highly interested readers </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Read </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read other blogs in your niche </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read news stories related to the product you’re are selling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read your competition’s blog </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Say something </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s the content, stupid.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t just link </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add value </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Link: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to blogs about the same topic as your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to news stories about the same topic as your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to your competition </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Web interactions are based on “generalized reciprocation.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea from Harvard University sociologist Robert Putnam, who wrote “Bowling Alone.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It means: I’ll help you out on the Web because I have a sense that someone else – maybe not you – will help me, too. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>When you link to another blog, others might link to yours </li></ul><ul><li>You’re showing your readers that you’re plugged in </li></ul><ul><li>You’re making it easier for your readers to find out what interests them </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>The more blogs that link to your blog, the better it is for you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google’s search algorithm sees your blog as more important if a lot of people link to you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That means your blog will come up higher in a search result </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More people will see your blog </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Idea from Chris Anderson, editor of “Wired” </li></ul><ul><li>When you link to other blogs, you give them some of your reputation </li></ul><ul><li>When other blogs link to you, you get some of their reputation </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>If people see you as having a good reputation, they are more likely to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment on your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweet your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote your blog on other social media, such as Facebook, Digg, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better reputation means more blogs readers=more customers </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Add a blogroll to your blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog roll is a list of blogs your like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You confer reputation currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You gain reputational currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You increase chance that blog will link to you, comment on your blog </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Get personal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People care about a person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your real name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a real picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be human </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Studies have found: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People judge online credibility of companies based on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether company reflects who they are </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether people they know like company </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether company seems lasting (not fly-by-night) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And whether they would feel comfortable interacting with the company’s blogger </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Source: Study by S. Yang & M. Kang) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Web has evolved from authority model to a reliability model </li></ul><ul><li>People used to go to a Web site because they thought it was authoritative (WebMD) </li></ul><ul><li>Now they gather input from several sites, blogs and see if advice jibes </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: Lankes, 2008) </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>If your potential customers like your blogger, they are more likely to like your company and your product </li></ul><ul><li>And if they don’t like you’re blogger, they are less likely to buy from you </li></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>Make it easy for readers to reach you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide “About Me” page and FILL IT OUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide e-mail address on main blog and on About Me page (Don’t make people hunt) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep profile short and to the point </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>Rule of thumb: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% of your company blog should be about your company, your product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% should be about other things of interest to your potential customers </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Don’t fall into the Me, Me, Me trap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody really cares about your product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody really cares what you have to say </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless you’re relevant and interesting </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>The best company blogs don’t seem like company blogs </li></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>Talk back </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember: Blogs started as a way to share information with friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs should be conversations with your readers/customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a welcoming place </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. <ul><li>Studies have shown that people like blogs where they feel more similar to the other commenters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer comments quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderate comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal with trolls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Source: Kalyanaram, S., & Sundar, S., 2006) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>Go to other blogs related to your product/service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Join the conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds your reputational currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Borrow from other’s reputation currency </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><li>Make life easier for your readers/customers (not you) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short text (250- 750 words) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subheads to break up text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to background information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed video right on the blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword load </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>Stickiness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Darren Rowse at ProBlogger : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ A sticky web site is one where a first time reader arrives and finds it difficult to leave.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You get little benefit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>from people who </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ bounce” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 35. <ul><li>From Rowse: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create invitation to subscribe to your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a subscribe to comments feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog regularly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight most popular posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantify how many people read your blog </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. <ul><li>Millions of blogs out there </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why should readers pick yours? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer science theory called the Technology Acceptance Model says: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People use technology that’s useful, convenient, and that they have a positive attitude toward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duh, right? </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. <ul><li>Is my blog useful to its target readers? </li></ul><ul><li>Is my blog easy to find? </li></ul><ul><li>Is my blog easy to read? </li></ul><ul><li>Would I read my blog if I didn’t write it? </li></ul>
  37. 38. <ul><li>Aggregate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer readers context not just content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do the searching for them </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. <ul><li>Aggregation is your friend </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide links to other blogs, web sites, news stories of interest to your readers/customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They come to you – not to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You gain from their reputational currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You gain traffic from their content </li></ul></ul>
  39. 40. <ul><li>Brainchild of Guy Kawasaki </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t make content </li></ul><ul><li>Just aggregates it to make things easier for readers </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine shelf of the web </li></ul>
  40. 41. <ul><li>Get connected </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Join blogging circles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>List your blog on services, such as Technorati </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweet your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put your blog address on your business cards </li></ul></ul>
  41. 42. <ul><li>Millions of blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Need to let people know what’s unique about you </li></ul><ul><li>Remind people (in a nice way) </li></ul><ul><li>People are busy </li></ul>
  42. 43. <ul><li>Be consistent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make blogging part of your routine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set aside specific time each day (week) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To blog yourself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To read other blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To comment on other blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To promote your blog </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider it a priority </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. <ul><li>Readership don’t grow themselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll get out of it what you put in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Garbage in; garbage out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More posting leads to more potential for traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily posting is a good goal at first </li></ul></ul>
  44. 45. <ul><li>Step 1: Read </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Say Something </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Link </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Add blogroll </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Get personal </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: Talk back </li></ul><ul><li>Step 7: Make life easy </li></ul><ul><li>Step 8: Aggregate </li></ul><ul><li>Step 9: Connect </li></ul><ul><li>Step 10: Be consistent </li></ul>