Aps Eblogging


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Slideshow from blogging seminar I gave at 2010 APSE convention

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Aps Eblogging

  1. 1. APSE CONVENTION 2010 • SALT LAKE CITY<br />BLOG!<br />WHAT THE<br />EFFECTIVE BLOGGING TECHNIQUES(and other ways to get noticed on the crowded Information superhighway)<br />Lee Nessel<br />Florida Today<br />Tim Stephens<br />Orlando Sentinel<br />Matt Humphrey<br />Orlando Sentinel<br />
  2. 2. Effective bloggers are …<br />Consistent<br />A dead blog is an unread blog. Plan for daily content – even when you are off.<br />Plan for the clock, not the calendar. Understand reader patterns. Know when they read.<br />Deliver what your audience expects, but be unpredictably predictable.<br />Build reader habits, then feed the beast. Deliver what you promise.<br />Don’t take shortcuts on the fundamentals.<br />
  3. 3. Effective bloggers are …<br />Observant<br />Go beyond the game. Take the reader places he can’t go and show him things he can’t see.<br />Cover the entire circus, not just the center ring.<br />If it’s interesting to you, it’ll probably be interesting to your readers.<br />Monitor social media.<br />Listen to the feedback but don’t be discouraged by negative feedback.<br />
  4. 4. 1. There are stories all around you<br />Wake up, man!<br />A sleepy little Orlando Magic fan spotted next to press row summed up the Magic’s performance in Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.<br />
  5. 5. 2. Share what’s interesting to you<br />The reaction<br />During a news conference following Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, an Orlando radio commentator made a comment about Magic star Dwight Howard’s clothing choice. The question and Howard’s reaction drew national attention and major national aggregators linked to the post.<br />
  6. 6. 3. They said what?!?!<br />Quotes = posts!<br />Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is a font of unfiltered quotes. Quotes from your beat – quotes that may otherwise be buried 10 inches deep in your game story or column – gives you an endless supply of blog content.<br />
  7. 7. Effective bloggers are …<br />Opportunistic<br />Be in the RIGHT NOW.<br />Hit hot topics and trends relative to your beat.<br />What’s old is new again. Strategic reposting of archive content is a big edge we have.<br />Know birthdays, anniversaries of key players and events.<br />Localize the big national story.<br />Look for hooks into popular culture. <br />
  8. 8. Opportunistic = jump on the non-traditional story<br />The most-viewed blog post of any kind on OrlandoSentinel.com in 2009 is a story that:<br />Probably wouldn’t have been a story at all if we’d been thinking like a traditional newspaper.<br />Probably would’ve been overlooked entirely if not for Twitter.<br />Never would have become a continuing storyline without the Web.<br />Was best told in a digital form.<br />Generated residual traffic for months.<br />
  9. 9. Effective bloggers are …<br />Thorough<br />SEO matters.<br />Aim for the front porch, not the roof.<br />Use Google Insight and Google Trends to indentify hot topics and key words.<br />Write the headline last. And write for a Web site, not a newspaper. Cute doesn’t cut it.<br />Always include a photograph … with a caption.<br />It’s better to do it right than do it first.<br />Learn ALT-TEXT and how to use it.<br />
  10. 10. Details make all the difference<br />
  11. 11. Effective bloggers are …<br />Social<br />Social media is an important tool for:<br />Connecting with your audience<br />Identifying hot topics<br />Finding aggregation material<br />Promoting your brand<br />Networking with other bloggers<br />Social media shortcuts<br />Some important social-media tools to have in any blogging toolbag:<br />Hootsuite<br />Web-based tool helps make the most of your time.<br />What the Trend<br />See what topics are trending on Twitter, and why.<br />Twitter Stream<br />Learn what your followers are tweeting right now.<br />Twitter Grader<br />Analyzes, grades your Twitter-use effectiveness.<br />
  12. 12. 10 ways the Orlando Sentinel has used social media<br />1. We discovered story ideas – including the most viewed blog post on our Website in 2009.<br />2. We took reader suggestions for headlines during the NBA Finals – and even used some of them.<br />3. We live-blogged important games via Twitter, then directed conversation to our site.<br />4. We marketed and sold advertising to sponsors for an NBA Finals “tweet up” watch party.<br />5. We recruited fan bloggers.<br />6. We gathered news and developed sources through new contacts found via social media.<br />7. We identify topics people are discussing RIGHT NOW and target content to the conversation.<br />8. We get instant feedback from readers.<br />9. We promote our content, and build our brand as a source of specific kinds of content.<br />10. We have fun.<br />TWEET STUFF: Orlando Sentinel sports staffers have amassed more than 42,000 followers and produced more than 50,000 updates on Twitter through June 1, 2010.<br />
  13. 13. Effective bloggers are …<br />Engaging<br />Be the one-stop source, even if you aren’t the original source. AGGREGATION IS YOUR FRIEND.<br />It’s OK to credit the competition.<br />It’s OK to reach out to them, too.<br />Always answer questions.<br />Talk WITH, not at, your audience.<br />One of our top blog posts each day on OrlandoSentinel.com’s award-winning Magic Basketblog is a daily collection of links from around the NBA. This includes links to content produced by competitors and local bloggers. It’s all the things you need to know, viewing the NBA through a Magic prism.<br />
  14. 14. Come down off the pedestal … it’s OK to have fun!<br />You don’t have to pull a 7,000-pound truck to pull in an audience like Lee Nessel does here, but be real to your readers.<br />Your audience wants to see you as a real person.<br />They want to have a real conversation.<br />They want this to be a two-way transaction.<br />With or without the truck.<br />
  15. 15. Effective bloggers are …<br />Storytellers<br />From the time a man first carved a drawing of a mammoth onto a cave wall, we’ve had storytellers. The means in which the stories are told – and the ways in which they are received – are continually evolving.<br />Newspapers and journalism aren’t dying. We’re actually becoming something more immediate, more intimate and more essential to people’s lives.<br />Yesterday’s cave scribbles are today’s 140-character Tweets.<br />But there will always be stories, and storytellers to tell them.<br />
  16. 16. Stories come in many forms … even social media forms<br />In Orlando, we decided to have a little fun with social media in print.<br />Tied to the Urban Meyer “burnout” saga, we created an interactive quiz modeled after the ubiquitous Facebook quizzes that were the rage online.<br />Using personality profiles, we created a “Which Coach are You” quiz that readers could take on our blog. We also published it in the newspaper.<br />
  17. 17. Effective bloggers are …<br />Interactive<br />Live chats, live video, polls and user-generated content add depth and personality to your blog.<br />Invite bloggers and beat reporters from other services to participate.<br />Get to know your readers.<br />Respond to as many comments as possible.<br />
  18. 18. Interactive tools<br />Orlando Sentinel bloggers host live chats, imbed videos, create polls and more:<br />Polldaddy<br />Create polls to imbed within your blog. These can be reverse-published to print.<br />YouTube<br />Quick-and-easy to upload and/or imbed videos produced by you or others.<br />Qik<br />Livestream video from your cellular phone<br />Cover It Live<br />Imbed live chats to your blog that can include polls, video and more.<br />
  19. 19. Effective bloggers are …<br />Accountable<br />Know your metrics. Know not only how many visits you’re getting, but who is visiting and where they are coming from.<br />Know your audience. No, really, know your audience. Love them, and they’ll love you back.<br />Thank those who send traffic your way.<br />Give credit where it’s due.<br />
  20. 20.                                <br />                                           <br />                                        <br />Website growth, year-over-year<br />Orlando Sentinel Sports in Feb. 2010 launched an aggressive plan for digital growth that included staff restructuring, a change in work flow and improved attention to detail. Some metrics, year-over-year, comparing Feb-May 2009 and Feb-May 2010: <br />
  21. 21. Effective bloggers are …<br />Persistent<br />Never stop learning about Web trends and tools. You can be ahead of the curve in January and soooo 2005 by June.<br />Audience development takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.<br />Don’t expect instant gratification from social media (but don’t be surprised by good results that come from consistent use).<br />“Love your audience until your face bleeds.” – Daniel Honigman<br />
  22. 22. Putting it all together<br />The success of Orlando’s Sentinel Sports Now blog is an case study in how we use these basic principles as part of blogging strategy.<br />The Sentinel Sports Now blog launched in mid-March 2010. During that time:<br />The blog received no promotion online. It was not placed in the collection with our other prominent sports blogs.<br />Virtually no promotion in print. We reverse-published a few news items and placed a tag about the blog at the end. That’s it.<br />Instead, we built an audience with:<br />Aggressive SEO.<br />Strong attention to detail on SEO, photos, captions and headlines.<br />Use of social media and search engines to identify topic selections and promote the content.<br />For the period of February-May, Sentinel Sports Now ranked as the No. 11 overall blog on OrlandoSentinel.com, No. 6 among Sports blogs. It did so despite NOT EXISTING for six weeks of the period.<br />Even more important, Sentinel Sports Now found a local audience despite its distinct non-local content. The blog ranked<br />No. 7 in local visits and local page views for May.<br />TAKEAWAYS?<br />Where you are on the home page isn’t as important as topic selection and SEO.<br />Write what they’re talking about, and they’ll find you.<br />Remember to hit the front porch, not the roof. <br />
  23. 23. About the bloggers<br />Lee Nessel spent four years as a multimedia producer and videographer before becoming sports editor at FLORIDA TODAY. In addition to traditional sports editor duties, she stays in touch with her community by participating in different activities for first-person perspective. She writes a weekly column, keeps up a fitness blog (floridatoday.com/fitnessblog) and produces, scripts and co-hosts a weekly sports TV show. Getting to the gym, swimming and staying fit keep her happy.<br />CONTACTS<br />lnessel@floridatoday.com<br />Facebook.com/LeeNessel<br />321-242-3640<br />Tim Stephens is in his second year as Associate Managing Editor/Sports Topics Manager at the Orlando Sentinel after previously serving the Sentinel as senior copy editor, assistant sports editor and deputy sports editor since 2003. Stephens came to Orlando from the Birmingham Post-Herald, where he rose from intern to co-managing editor between 1995 and 2002.  Stephens, 40, has been part of several APSE section awards and in 2002 took first place in column writing in the under-40,000 category. <br />CONTACTS<br />tstephens@orlandosentinel.com<br />Facebook.com/TimWStephens<br />Twitter.com/twstephens<br />407-420-5698<br />Matt Humphrey is the assistant sports editor/online at the Orlando Sentinel. He has been a journalist since 1996 when he took his first job as a part-time agate clerk at the Mount Vernon (Ohio) News. Since then, Matt has been a beat writer, columnist, humorist, page designer, blogger and assistant sports editor at papers like the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. He joined the Sentinel in 2005. <br />CONTACTS<br />mhumphrey@orlandosentinel.com<br />Facebook.com/MattHumphrey<br />Twitter.com/MagicMattOS<br />407-420-5078<br />