Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications


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Blogging: A guide by Cake Communications

  1. 1. Social media: A Guide Positif Politics November 2011
  2. 2. Blogs
  3. 3. What is a blog? <ul><li>The word ‘blog’ comes from ‘web log’ – literally, an online log of activities </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is a blog, and which is a website. There are some characteristics common to most blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse chronological order – the latest entry appears at the top </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency – blogs are updated more often than websites, sometimes every day, especially if they are written by a team </li></ul><ul><li>Tone – is more ‘human’, less corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive – they often allow comments </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging – they characterise the contents of a blog through words (‘tags’) that make it easier for people to find them online </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feed – they deliver their content to subscribers. We will cover RSS in more detail later </li></ul>
  4. 4. Blog types <ul><li>People set up blogs for different reasons and in different ways </li></ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Set up by individuals who take great pride in their work. </li></ul><ul><li>They are passionate enough about a subject to take time to maintain their blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Their individuality often comes across in the tone used. </li></ul><ul><li>They may not all be experts in what they write about – but in some cases, they are, and they become highly influential and credible. </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Set up by corporations for research, marketing, sales, support or development, or to enhance their internal communications and culture </li></ul>
  5. 5. Blog platforms Name Characteristics Wordpress Good if you want to use at a basic level online, or download and customise Posterous Good if you want to customise to a high degree online or offline, but is less user-friendly at a basic level than Wordpress Good for mobile blogging when customisability is not important
  6. 6. Tips for successful blogging <ul><li>Regular posts – at least once a week </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate keywords into your posts. Keywords are what make your posts attractive to search engines. Tone: Be authoritative, compelling, intelligent and direct </li></ul><ul><li>Use direct, plain, simple language </li></ul><ul><li>Be genuine. Assert your personal authority through an honest, lively voice. This is what makes blogging unique and enables you to engage with audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Always try to respond to comments, whether positive or negative </li></ul>
  7. 7. Content creation <ul><li>Think about what effects you want to create with your blog. Different types of post can have different effects. Here are some examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional posts tell people how to do something. They can be good for establishing you as an expert, or building up a body of knowledge that you can also refer to in future. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews give your take on a product or service. They can help you to sell your own product or service by comparison. </li></ul><ul><li>Lists are simply lists of anything – products, services, tips etc – that often have the title “10 Top Ways To...” or “7 Best Examples of...”. They can be good for getting search engine traffic and becoming part of a blogging community. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Finding bloggers to target <ul><li>The steps to identifying bloggers are: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Identify your keywords </li></ul><ul><li>2. Use searches to find them </li></ul><ul><li>3. Figure out who’s influential </li></ul><ul><li>4. Figure out who’s approachable </li></ul><ul><li>5. Figure out your pre-pitch </li></ul><ul><li>6. Pitch </li></ul>
  9. 9. Determining influence <ul><li>To determine a blog’s Authority yourself: </li></ul><ul><li>Copy the blog’s address eg </li></ul><ul><li>Go to </li></ul><ul><li>Click the ‘Blogs’ button </li></ul><ul><li>Paste the address </li></ul><ul><li>Press Return </li></ul><ul><li>In this example you can see that Mashable has an Authority of around 1,000. This means that around 1,000 people link to Mashable. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat for other blogs. The higher the Authority, the bigger the audience, and therefore the greater the influence. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Pitching a blogger <ul><li>When you pitch a blogger you need to put across why it could be interesting for the blogger very quickly. Here are some tips: </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure what you have is suitable for the blogger. </li></ul><ul><li>Be open and honest. If you’re pitching on behalf of a client, say so. </li></ul><ul><li>Personalise your approach. Make sure you mention to the blogger why you think it is suitable for the blogger, even if it’s just one sentence at the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story. Show how what you’re pitching is part of a bigger story and that it continues an important narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>Be human. Don’t be too corporate but also don’t be over-familiar </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest about the relationships. If you’re representing someone else, say so. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t offer money to a blogger, this hardly ever works and may even get you bad exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t pester a blogger. If the blogger doesn’t respond, leave it </li></ul>
  11. 11. Case study: NACCPO <ul><li>National Alliance of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations (NACCPO) to partner with the UKs leading family and parenting bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting bloggers across the UK to gain free admittance to pantomimes </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers to make donation to the National Alliance of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations in place of paying for entry </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers to then draft posts and reviews of the shows </li></ul><ul><li>Creative and seasonal way to generate awareness for NACCPO, with direct call to action to donate </li></ul>
  12. 12. Understanding RSS <ul><li>Analogy #1: Think of it like traders have financial feeds delivered to their screens. You have content feeds delivered to yours. </li></ul><ul><li>Analogy #2: You subscribe to a feed very much like subscribing to a channel on your TV. </li></ul><ul><li>Analogy #3: In the same way you receive emails with your email application, you can receive updates from blogs with your RSS reader application </li></ul><ul><li>Wherever you see the RSS icon, or the word ‘RSS’, this tells you that a site has a feed, and you can subscribe to it. You can build and organise your own monitoring system across hundreds of blogs or sites: </li></ul><ul><li>RSS makes it easy to: </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor many blogs at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor blogs in a consistent way </li></ul>
  13. 13. Blog monitoring platforms <ul><li>Google Reader is a powerful, versatile, easy-to-use, free online RSS Reader </li></ul><ul><li>To use Google Reader, go to If you already have a Google account you can start to use Google Reader immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Reader has powerful archive and analysis features and can integrate with iGoogle so you can read feeds whenever you go to Google’s home page </li></ul><ul><li>Netvibes is also free and online </li></ul><ul><li>To use Netvibes, go to and create an account </li></ul><ul><li>Netvibes doesn’t have the RSS versatility of Google Reader but does have far superior display capabilities, enabling you to create powerful monitoring dashboards through RSS </li></ul>