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Blogging Basics


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Presented at the New Westminster Public Library on March 24, 2009

Published in: Technology
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Blogging Basics

  1. 1. Blogging Basics Briana Tomkinson
  2. 2. About me
  3. 3. Focus Introduction to blogging Blog planning workshop How to launch a blog How to grow your audience using Twitter and Facebook Overcoming common roadblocks Finding your niche in the media ecosystem
  4. 4. What is a blog? A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules. In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not. -
  5. 5. Why blog? You have something to say Meet people who share your interests Learn something new, and chronicle your progress People want to know what you're up to Establish yourself (or your business) as an expert or thought leader
  6. 6. Source:
  7. 7. Who blogs? ambitious and achievement-oriented interested in community reader-oriented visual self-reflective interested in learning 'a bit obsessed' playful desire to be focused and effective - Vancouver psychotherapist Isabella Mori
  8. 8. Blog genres & examples Hyperlocal: Personal: Political: Gossip: Technology: Personal Finance: Humour: Photography: Video log (vlog): Ask A Wheelchair Girl - http://www. Advocacy: Business:
  9. 9. Workshop: Plan your blog Why do you want to blog? What could you write about? Who would you like to read your blog? Brainstorm your first 10 posts
  10. 10. Put your audience first Who is your audience? What are their goals? How can you help them? What do they get from the relationship?
  11. 11. Find your voice Give yourself time Allow room to evolve Write as though you're talking to a friend Revise Practice
  12. 12. Launch Name your blog Check domain availability ( Choose a free, hosted blog to start Create an account, and follow the instructions Start writing
  13. 13. Extras Choose a theme Add links to other blogs Add widgets Buy a domain name Customize your template Add web analytics Google and/or Sitemeter
  14. 14. Grow your audience Comment and guest post on other blogs Use built-in tagging and categorization Add 'subscribe by email' option (i.e. Feedblitz) Network at offline events (Tweetups, related events, etc.)
  15. 15. Boost your blog with Twitter Create a related Twitter account with URL Use Twitterfeed to update Twitter automatically when you have new blog posts Search for related keywords & follow people who use them 'Tweet' on topic
  16. 16. Publicize your blog via Facebook Import blog feed in 'Notes' Update your status to announce blog launch If blogging about a niche subject, create a FB page
  17. 17. Track your progress Web analytics Unique visitors, # pageviews, referring links Technorati ranking Google PageRank Incoming links (via Google Blog Search) Frequency of comments Number of RSS/email subscribers Offline feedback
  18. 18. Monetizing your blog Involves serious effort Best if primary motivation is not money Requires dedication, focus, passion, and compelling unique content Google AdWords are easiest, but selling your own ads is more lucrative More:
  19. 19. Overcoming writer’s block Create an editorial plan Keep an idea file Solicit guest posts Ask and/or answer questions Add your thoughts to what someone else has said Compile a list Aggregate a 'best of the web' or a 'link roundup' Collaborate Ask your readers what they'd like you to write
  20. 20. Legal pitfalls Libel and slander Avoid name-calling Remember that all are innocent until proven guilty Be careful in how you word criticism Copyright Seek out creative commons images Excerpt text, don't copy & paste the whole thing Always credit sources * Note: I'm no lawyer - contact one if you need advice!
  21. 21. Finding time Integrate blogging with usual activities Schedule time Write or dictate notes during your commute Blog during lunch breaks, if your work allows Set aside time first thing in the morning or after dinner Blog about your passions
  22. 22. ‘People’ problems Be courteous Allow disagreement Respect boundaries Don’t feed the trolls Stand by your words
  23. 23. Finding your niche within the media ecosystem Befriend other bloggers and media Add value to the conversation Reveal opinions and perspectives that are missed in mainstream coverage Geek out – go deep
  24. 24. Conclusion Blog about your passions Focus your efforts by creating a plan Blogging is as much about connecting with others as expressing yourself Learn as you go - it may take a few tries before you settle on an idea and find your voice When in doubt – Google!
  25. 25. That’s it! Thanks for listening You can find me: