Blogging 101


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Blogging 101

  1. 1. Blogging Expanding and nurturing your sphere of influence by building virtual relationships
  2. 2. Presenters <ul><li>Mathias Bergendahl, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pinellas Realtor® Organization Mathias has been with PRO for over a year and has been a key player in developing the organization’s media relations strategy as well as reenergizing its marketing and communication programs.  His expertise in online communication and marketing has contributed to the development of a new member website for PRO and he is currently heading up a project to develop a new community website that features real estate blogging. </li></ul><ul><li>Dan Cote, Webmaster, Pinellas Realtor® Organization Dan has been PRO’s Webmaster for over 3 years and is the web developer of the iSmart solutions.  When not working for PRO, he devotes his time to his web startup company that will launch in August.  His company focuses on bringing blogs into the real world by enabling people, businesses and organizations to connect with their local communities.  </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew Simmons, Director of Information Technology, Pinellas Realtor® Organization Matt has been with PRO for over seven years and is a familiar face and voice to many of our members.  He heads up the information technology function for the organization and is instrumental in the protection and maintenance of all of PRO’s systems.  Matt is also the “go to guy” when it comes to the solutions such as IDX and data feeds.  His role is a critical component in PRO’s use of innovative and cutting edge technology. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a blog? <ul><li>A blog (an abridgment of the term web log ) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. &quot;Blog&quot; can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Source: </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why a Blog? <ul><li>A blog is a simple, cost-effective way to create a professional online presence. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog allows you to quickly and easily create a place on the web where people can find you, learn about you, and interact with you. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog creates a conversation between you and the people who matter to you. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog allows you to have an ongoing conversation about topics that are important to you. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog is a tremendous way to boost your search engine rankings. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog is a great way to be discovered. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog delivers a huge impact for very little money. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog allows you to take control of what you publish. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog allows you to take your brand online, and build credibility for your knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog is a valuable business tool for collecting customer feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>
  5. 5. Step One: Define your audience/s <ul><li>Consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Industry professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Niche market </li></ul>
  6. 6. Step Two: Select blogging software <ul><li>Find blogging software that works for you </li></ul><ul><li>Select something simple and easy to work with – the value is in the content, not the software </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how you want to use the software – if you don’t need lots of “bells and whistles” don’t get ‘em. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Step Three: Incorporate your brand <ul><li>Define the value you will bring to your readers. </li></ul><ul><li>Without sounding like advertising, state your background and specialty. </li></ul><ul><li>See your blog as an extension of your brand. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Free Blogging Platforms <ul><li> widely used blog service. Currently offering over 3.2 million blogs. Easy to use. Be up and running in minutes. </li></ul><ul><li> – Google’s blogging platform. One of the older platforms that has less features than wordpress, still a reliable solution. </li></ul><ul><li> – primarily a peer-to-peer network, activerain will allow you to network with other REALTORS ®, brokers as well as consumers. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Premium blogging platforms <ul><li> – free 14-day trial and then $4.95 a month for a basic blog. Pricing ranges from $4.95 up to $89.95 depending on features and file storage needed. Popular with advanced users. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended for users that need to customize the look and feel and branding of their blog. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Premium blogging platforms <ul><li> – similar in features available as Typepad. Site can be used as a platform to create a website or as a blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing ranges from $7 to $17 a month depending on features needed </li></ul><ul><li>Example site created using Squarespace: </li></ul>
  11. 11. Step Four: Select subject areas <ul><li>Talk about things that you know about – it makes blogging easy and fun </li></ul><ul><li>Mix your real estate and market knowledge with fun and interesting information </li></ul>
  12. 12. Step Five: Add interactive elements <ul><li>Give people a reason to contact you either for more information or to share comments </li></ul><ul><li>Do something new and different each week – give your audience a reason to come back for more </li></ul>
  13. 13. Step Six: Pictures, pictures, pictures <ul><li>Help your audience visualize the experience </li></ul><ul><li>A picture is truly worth a “thousand words” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Step Seven: Start writing <ul><li>Keep articles short and to the point </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rant </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the tone conversational – you’re talking to 10,000 new Internet friends </li></ul><ul><li>Update often – if your site goes stale people will find a newer, fresher one to visit </li></ul>
  15. 15. Examples of Realtor Blogs <ul><li> – Site has featured Realtor bloggers from throughout the country. </li></ul><ul><li>Helpful Blogging Tips </li></ul>
  16. 16. Searching for blogs <ul><li> search for blogs by keyword </li></ul>
  17. 17. Examples of a Realtor Blog
  18. 18. Examples of a Realtor Blog
  19. 19. Examples of a Realtor Blog
  20. 20. Examples of a Realtor Blog
  21. 21. Promotion and monetization Tools <ul><li> – this website allows you to measure the traffic to your blog. Statistics on blog visitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedburner Ads – ads are delivered into your blogs feed. This allows you to make money on advertising that is related to your content. Ads are generated automatically. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Feedburner Subscribe by Email <ul><li>Provides an easy way for users to keep updated. Blog visitors signup by subscribing through a form on your blog and then everytime your blog is updated they are notified by email. For more info: then click on “Publicize” under “Feed Services” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Getting the word out <ul><li>Google adwords – advertise on specific keywords on Your ad will appear when keyword is searched on Google. Your ad will appear on Google’s sponsored results as well as website’s that contain Google Adsense ads (also used by blog publishers to make ad revenue). </li></ul>
  24. 24. Blog Bookmarking and Sharing <ul><li> – allows you to add a bookmarking/sharing widget (button) to your site. </li></ul><ul><li>Blog visitors are provided easy way to bookmark your content for later viewing through their social network site of choice (Examples: MySpace,, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Yahoo Bookmarks) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Getting the word out <ul><li>Constant Contact – A very easy to use newsletter solution that allows you to send out eblasts to your clients. Promote your website and blog in a newsletter. </li></ul>
  26. 26. The Bloggers Toolbox <ul><li>Host your images for free (or cheap, anyway) </li></ul>
  27. 27. The Bloggers Toolbox <ul><li>Learn SOME html </li></ul>
  28. 28. The Bloggers Toolbox <ul><li>Get paid </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Bloggers Toolbox <ul><li>Sitemeter – </li></ul><ul><li>Haloscan – free commenting service url: </li></ul>
  30. 30. The Bloggers Toolbox <ul><li>Some kind of image editing software </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop </li></ul><ul><li>GIMP (free open source) - </li></ul><ul><li>MS Paint </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop Express (online service) </li></ul><ul><li>Find the one you LIKE, and use that one </li></ul><ul><li>Easy Thumbnails – allows you to resize large batches of your photos to specific dimensions. Url to download: </li></ul>
  31. 31. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Do host your blog on your own domain </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spend hundreds of dollars hosting your blog when you are first starting out. </li></ul><ul><li>Do make sure your blog can handle traffic from social media sites </li></ul><ul><li>Do brainstorm 30-40 topics for your blog before you start </li></ul><ul><li>Do have 10 posts written and posted before you launch the blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t create filler posts to have 10 posts for launch </li></ul><ul><li>Do comment on other blogs in your field before starting out </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spam other blogs just to get your name out there </li></ul><ul><li>Do define success metric for your blog before you start blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t set unreasonable success goals that are too difficult or too easy to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>Do understand why you are blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that blogging will solve your business problems </li></ul><ul><li>Do understand the time commitment it takes to blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that blogging will take less than couple of hours a week </li></ul><ul><li>Do use an SEO friendly platform. By the way: Word press is the best for blogging! </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 32. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Do commit to a regular posting schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Do understand that traffic and comments will take time to come </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get too frustrated if takes months before you see any comments on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Do spend a reasonable amount of time every day reading other blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spend hours every day reading other blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Do optimize your blog for SEO or hire someone to help you do that </li></ul><ul><li>Do get a feedburner account for your RSS management </li></ul><ul><li>Do Install Google analytics to track your daily visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get stuck on daily fluctuation in traffic or unusual traffic hikes </li></ul><ul><li>Do Analyze keywords people are searching on to get to your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t stuff your posts with keywords to get search engine traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Do invest the time to add pictures to most of your blog posts. Use a site such as to purchase images for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t steal images from other websites! </li></ul><ul><li>Do keep your blog conversational </li></ul><ul><li>Do create a series of blogs about topics you are an expert in </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t pretend to be an expert on everything </li></ul><ul><li>Do create a meaningful about us page </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 33. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Don’t make your about us page too corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Do get to know other bloggers personally </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t calculate every blogging relationship in dollars and cents </li></ul><ul><li>Do allow users to subscribe to your blog via RSS or via email </li></ul><ul><li>Do use a full RSS feed </li></ul><ul><li>Focus your blog on specific niche </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that 100% of your posts have to be on one topic </li></ul><ul><li>Do keep a running list of topics that you can write about </li></ul><ul><li>Do share case studies and client success stories on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t share client success stories without their written consent </li></ul><ul><li>Do be authentic </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t do something you are not comfortable with </li></ul><ul><li>Do be honest </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t share too much information </li></ul><ul><li>Do share your knowledge with your readers </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think you cannot sell your services through a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Do write a post each day </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t post a blog each day. Writing a blog and posting it are two different things. 3 strong posts a week can do wonders </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  34. 34. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Do interview leaders in your industry </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume that just because you are just starting out, industry leaders will turn </li></ul><ul><li>your interview requests down. </li></ul><ul><li>Write “how to” articles </li></ul><ul><li>Write a “secret to” post </li></ul><ul><li>Write a tutorial post </li></ul><ul><li>Do write a post about the top 10 blogs in your niche </li></ul><ul><li>Do write a post that reviews books in your niche </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t write a review about a book you never read. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep most of your posts to less than 700 words </li></ul><ul><li>Do plan on investing time and money to market your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that marketing your blog means posting regularly! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that you have to respond to every comment </li></ul><ul><li>Do reword your commentators by linking to them </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t link to commentators on your blog for the sake of linking. Remember, only link to good content </li></ul><ul><li>Do visit commentators’ blog and leave a comment </li></ul><ul><li>Do email commentators to thank them and start a relationship with them </li></ul><ul><li>Do monitor incoming links to your site </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  35. 35. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Do visit blogs that link to your site and leave a meaningful comment </li></ul><ul><li>Do create link worthy content and links will come in </li></ul><ul><li>Do email other bloggers telling them about good content posted on your site </li></ul><ul><li>Do not spam other bloggers with every topic you post </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get frustrated if it takes a while for links to start coming in </li></ul><ul><li>Do select your links in your posts carefully. You are telling your readers that you vouche for the quality of each link </li></ul><ul><li>Do link to other blogs in each post: we usually try to link to at least 3 other blogs in each of our posts </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t link for the sake of linking </li></ul><ul><li>Do use your picture next to each blog post </li></ul><ul><li>Do use a tag line next to the name of the blog to inform new users the topic/niche of your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t require visitors to login to view your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t require visitors to login to leave a comment </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t quit too fast </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t dig deep into your personal life, try to keep the blog’s focus business related </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t post anything you don’t want Google to pick up </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t quit blogging if you cannot keep up with your schedule. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t over post. 3 posts per week are plenty. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think you will make a lot of money directly from blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think that content is enough to get people interested </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t badmouth your competition </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t allow others to high jack your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Do consider hiring a ghost blogger! </li></ul><ul><li>Do be patient </li></ul><ul><li>Do have fun </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  36. 36. Blogging Dos and Don'ts <ul><li>Do use your blog as a way to increase your brand online </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rely on your blog as the only way to increase your brand online </li></ul><ul><li>Do allocate sometime in your weekly schedule for blogging activities </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t stretch yourself thin to keep up with blogging activities </li></ul><ul><li>Do spend at least 50% of your blogging time off your blog (commenting, emailing, reading other blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t conduct networking blogging opportunities without a plan: planned comments and emails can help promote your blog if done correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Do use your blog to market your business tactfully </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t make your blog a sales brochure for your business </li></ul><ul><li>Do use social media sites such as Digg, Stumble upon, Reddit to promote your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Establish relations with other bloggers in your niche </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spam other bloggers in your niche </li></ul><ul><li>Do invite guest bloggers to post on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t let your guest bloggers write without any guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Do write guest blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t write a guest blog in a topic that does not relate to your niche at all </li></ul><ul><li>Do use contests to promote your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Do Ask people in your company to blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t force people to blog if they don’t like to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Do review the posts of your colleagues before posting them </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fix more than grammar or spelling mistakes in a colleague’s post </li></ul><ul><li>Do create and enforce a comment policy for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t hide your comment policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Do encourage comments on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t allow abuse to the comment on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Do respond to comments on your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Source: 152 Dos & Don’ts of Business Blogging By khalid, March 13, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>