Lets Start Blogging for Business - by Rob Marchant


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Presentation from the Let's Start Blogging, Business Workshop

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Lets Start Blogging for Business - by Rob Marchant

  1. 1. Rob Marchant presents…. Here is a title that is in a box Let’s Start Blogging A beginners guide to business blogging Presented: 2007 & 2008 At: The eBusiness Programme
  2. 2. Let’s Start Blogging Action Planning Workshop: A Beginners Guide to Business Blogging Dr Rob Marchant
  3. 3. Aim of today... <ul><li>Get you ready to start blogging </li></ul><ul><li>See how your business can use blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Planning & development </li></ul><ul><li>Think about action plan for you to follow </li></ul><ul><li>To demonstrate setting up a quick blog </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is a Blog? <ul><li>Web + Log = Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Often thought of as an online diary or journal…… </li></ul>
  5. 5. But …. <ul><li>We should see it as an instant publishing tool anyone can use to add new content onto the web. </li></ul><ul><li>… .. “No expertise required” </li></ul>
  6. 6. RSS – Really Simple Syndication
  7. 7. Some RSS Readers/Aggregators sometimes known as ‘newsreaders’ <ul><li>FeedDemon (Windows) – www.newsgator.com </li></ul><ul><li>NewsFire (Mac OS X) – www.newsfirerss.com </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based: </li></ul><ul><li>Bloglines – www.bloglines.com </li></ul><ul><li>Newsgator – www.newsgator.com </li></ul><ul><li>Many others available! </li></ul>
  8. 8. www.feedreader.com
  9. 9. RSS – Really Simple Syndication IE7 and Firefox both have built-in feed readers
  10. 10. RSS – Really Simple Syndication iGoogle & myYahoo also have built-in feed readers www.google.com/ig
  11. 11. Why Blog? <ul><li>Positions you as a thought leader </li></ul><ul><li>Cost effective & quick way of communicating </li></ul><ul><li>It’s personal…gives you/your business a human face – exploit this </li></ul><ul><li>Builds partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>A good way to engage </li></ul>
  12. 12. Plus.. <ul><li>Changing content increases your visibility to search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: BLOG = B etter L isting O n G oogle </li></ul>
  13. 13. Business are using blogs for… <ul><li>More personal communication </li></ul><ul><li>A way to engage with feedback </li></ul><ul><li>To easily show they’re listening </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations & Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Internal communications – project/knowledge management </li></ul>
  14. 14. Three ‘Killer’ Features of Blogs for Business
  15. 15. 1 Blogs aren’t email! Readers subscribe using RSS. No mailbox clutter. No spam filters! Your message will get through. No need for favourites!
  16. 16. 2 Blogs publish instantly. No formatting. No templates. No fancy coding. No need for designers or techies. No need to even be at your desk.
  17. 17. 3 Search engines love blogs! Each entry on your blog is it’s own webpage & search engines are drawn to fresh, updated pages. No need for expensive search engine optimisation.
  18. 18. Types of Blog
  19. 19. The Standalone Blog <ul><li>Not part of another page </li></ul><ul><li>No corporate ID </li></ul><ul><li>One person showing their expertise, opinion etc </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Standalone But Linked Blog <ul><li>Links from another (main) page </li></ul><ul><li>Flowing corporate ID </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights business/products etc </li></ul>
  21. 21. The ‘Integrated’ Blog <ul><li>Looks like part of the webpage </li></ul><ul><li>Exactly fits corporate ID – because it’s part of the page </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Blog-Led Webpage <ul><li>The entire homepage is a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Great for fast moving organisations with lots of news </li></ul><ul><li>Can still have other pages added </li></ul>
  23. 23. Hosted v Non-Hosted
  24. 24. Hosted <ul><li>On their server </li></ul><ul><li>Reliable with Off-site back-up </li></ul><ul><li>Web (and mobile) access from anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Easy for new starters & gives professional results (can use templates) </li></ul><ul><li>www.typepad.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.blogger.com </li></ul>
  25. 25. Non-Hosted <ul><li>On your own server </li></ul><ul><li>Download software to your site </li></ul><ul><li>Need some server expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to make into your page </li></ul><ul><li>www.WordPress.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.MovableType.com </li></ul>
  26. 26. Choosing a hoster; check out.. <ul><li>Cost & upgrade options </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible layouts, templates? </li></ul><ul><li>Customisable? </li></ul><ul><li>Good help options? </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of useful ‘widgets’? </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics/user stats available? </li></ul>www.TypePad.com is good
  27. 27. Anatomy of a Blog Things that you might see on a typical business blog…
  28. 28. Dynamic content Static content
  29. 29. Title Bar/Logo Posts – Reverse chronological RSS Subscription Columns Columns Post heading Lots of links You need a strong identity
  30. 30. Links to topics categories Archive Links to popular posts Comment on each post Quick bookmarking Columns… Older posts further down
  31. 31. Polls & Other Widgets Photos, videos, images and audio (podcasts) Click to see comments on this post
  32. 32. Business Blogging Etiquette <ul><li>Keep it fresh (and short) </li></ul><ul><li>Make it personal, passionate & authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>Post regularly (or frequently) </li></ul><ul><li>Link, Link and Link Again </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to a niche topic </li></ul><ul><li>and…Have fun! </li></ul>
  33. 33. Things to include <ul><li>Your opinions, ideas & comments </li></ul><ul><li>News </li></ul><ul><li>Resources – stuff that people (your readers, clients, customers) will find useful </li></ul><ul><li>Stuff that demonstrates your enthusiasm and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Links, links and more links </li></ul><ul><li>Add colour with pictures and video </li></ul>
  34. 34. A Good Blog Post Is… … are your posts like this? short opinionated interesting full of links relevant personal colourful incisive one with pics & vids motivating decisive timely Not full of ‘corporate speak’ Authentic
  35. 35. Planning Your Blog <ul><li>Decide style and type – embedded, hosted etc </li></ul><ul><li>Decide overall subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Decide content – dynamic & static (widgets, links, archives) </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to keep it going </li></ul><ul><li>Design blog and test </li></ul><ul><li>Start posting </li></ul><ul><li>Promote </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate </li></ul>
  36. 36. Ask Yourself… <ul><li>What is the overall aim? </li></ul><ul><li>Will this achieve the aim? </li></ul><ul><li>What does success look like? </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s the target audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the BIG message? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I want readers to do? </li></ul>
  37. 37. Promoting Your Blog <ul><li>Tell people about it – email, biz cards, moo cards, leaflets etc </li></ul><ul><li>Link from your webpage </li></ul><ul><li>Use targeted keywords in your entry titles </li></ul><ul><li>Post about it on other (related) blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Get listed in others blog rolls (and list them in yours) </li></ul><ul><li>Register with blog search engines (technorati.com, blogsearchengine.com etc) </li></ul>
  38. 38. Let’s Start Blogging…
  39. 39. TypePad Blog Hosting <ul><li>Easy to use – with good help </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible – easily customised & lots of templates </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap – c. £50/year for this package </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile access </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted service – can add your own URL </li></ul><ul><li>Matches Industry Standard </li></ul>www.TypePad.com
  40. 41. Best Practice Reminder
  41. 42. 1 Be clear on what you’re trying to achieve
  42. 43. 2 Have a clear overall message… “ When it comes to X, Y or Z we’re the experts”
  43. 44. 3 Plan to maintain a steady stream of content – what are you going to post about
  44. 45. 4 Stay visible to search engines - post on a regular basis
  45. 46. 5 Keep posts short, snappy, informative and relevant
  46. 47. 6 Link, Link and Link some more
  47. 48. 7 Encourage feedback….and act on it…and be seen to be acting on it
  48. 49. 8 Remember: Good Blogging = Good Writing
  49. 50. Find out more…
  50. 51. Here is a title that is in a box For more information …. visit my blog: www.robmarchant.typepad.com my website: www.cinnamontraining.com or email: [email_address]