Published on March 8, 2014
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT: BLOGGING 101 Danielle Mirliss, Ed.D. March 8, 2014 Social Media Certificate Seton Hall University
BLOGS A web site that can be individually edited using just a web browser
Web 2.0 and new social media has opened up many new sources for communication and collaboration.
The Influencer Network Is Changing Traditional Media Trusted Bloggers / Twitters / Social Connections Industry Analysts Editors Journalists / Reporters Media Bloggers Customers / Consumers Publishers Advertisers “Consumers turning to each other online is not a fad anymore. Companies opening up to customers isn’t that different from the risks associated with doing business every day,” -- Forrester Research
Why Blog? • Establish your personal brand • Enhance your career • Establish/Strengthen your SME credibility • Expand your personal network • Improve your communication skills
Why Blog? • Attract an audience • Inform and interact, learn from your audience • Share news stories and detailed information • Influence and educate others • Retain your audience • Understand the needs of customers and constituents • Energize your audience and motivate action • Refine key messages and selling points • Sell more product • Recruit help, contacts, employees • Respond to stories and customers • Clear up misconceptions in the market
Blog vs… • Website – static pages of information or sales letters • Newsletter – Information sent to inbox, drive action • Forum – Conversation and interaction Blogs combine elements of all of the above
Getting Started: Research • Search for other bloggers • Google blog advanced search options lets you fine tune your search for the blogs that are specific to your topic area • Technorati search is another tool to help you find relevant blogs • IceRocket is a popular blog and social search tool • Twithority can also help you identify influencers for your topic area • Search.twitter • Social Bookmarking sites
Understand that being a blogger is similar to being a journalist who writes a daily/weekly/monthly column in a newspaper or magazine Activities include: Researching topics to write about Writing & posting updates to your blog Reading blog posts by others and commenting there Respond to comments posted on your blog A good blog is one where posts are fresh and new posts are frequent. 10
What to Blog About • Talk about topics you are: • Comfortable with • Happy to discuss with a wider audience • Have knowledge of (unless asking for information) Be prepared for responses
What to Blog About • That conference you recently attended • Product announcements • Product feature previews • A press release that was just issued • An analyst report that ranks your company highly (or low) • Your thoughts on an interesting blog post or article you just • • • • read The customer visit you’re flying back from A debate the product team is having on whether to include feature A or feature B What are you thinking about right now? What will be important in your professional area 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
Be a thought leader • Share personal reflections, perspectives and ideas on issues and current events (be smart, but be yourself). • Have deep discussions on important emerging trends. • Connect with thought leaders - engage in their blogs and communities. • Link to other thoughtful blogs in your posts. Talk back and forth. • Be provocative. Take a stand. 14
Stickiness • Images = Great Idea! • Google Image Search and Flickr (http://flickr.com) – but pay attention to reuse rights • Videos = Yes!! • Tags = Lots of tags help others find your blog entry • Links = Lots of them, too • The more you link to others, the more others will link to you • Promote your company • Use Surveys and Polls • Formstack • Polldaddy • Contact
What should you not write about? • Anything that can only be shared under a non- disclosure agreement (NDA) • Revenue or sales figures • Other than what is officially reported by your company • Disclosing customer information • If they have not agreed to be a reference • Making commitments about product futures • Anything that goes against your company’s social computing guidelines or business conduct guidelines • Anything that you would not want to see reprinted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Some Additional Don’ts • Don’t Me-Me-Me – It’s not all about you • Don’t force it if it isn’t working • Don’t over-sell – give first • Don’t use business talk – and don’t assume • Don’t try to control the conversation • Don’t ignore your audience
Single Author vs. Multi-Author Single Author Blog •Personal connection •Readers know what to expect Multi Author Blog •Random reading - variety of topics and writing styles •Quality may vary between blog authors, but this approach typically produces much more volume of posts than a single author blog •Readers may not connect with the writer A better approach to setting up a Multi Author Blog is to setup a Single Author Blog and to invite guest writers.
Additional Blogging Tips • Write about what you know and what you truly care about • Know your audience, talk about things they want to learn about, • • • • • • • • discuss and find valuable Link when appropriate to other relevant blogs and materials If you quote another blogger be sure to credit the creator When commenting, always be transparent about your identity and affiliation Don’t be corporate or overly formal; strive for communication in a natural and authentic tone Take the time to know people you want to connect with by reading their blogs Start, build upon, contribute to discussions on topics of interest amongst the other bloggers There is no "off the record"; any communication with bloggers may end up on their blogs Follow your company’s Social Computing and Blogging Guidelines
BUILDING A BLOG Planning is a key step to building an effective blog
Blogging Platforms Blogger WordPress Tumblr Free Free Free Casual Blogging Professional Blogging Microblogger Easy to Use Complex Easy to Use Less Customizable Customizable with Coding Many Stunning Themes Free Domain Mapping Domain Mapping with Fee Free Domain Mapping Uses Google AdSense for Monetization Many plugins and gadgets Mobile Friendly Interface
Wordpress.com vs. Wordpress.org • Wordpress.com • Hosting platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online • Do not have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server • Has hundreds of themes and includes the functionality of many plug ins, but you cannot upload your own plugins or themes • Wordpress.org • free software that you can install on a web server • Can install on a web server • Can upload and install themes and plugins, run ads, and edit the database. One in every six web sites runs on WordPress, the most popular blogging platform in the world
Anatomy of a Blog http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5295/5504198659_5e75c4dcba.jpg
Posts vs Pages Posts Pages • Entries listed in reverse • Static and are not listed by chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page • Sticky posts will appear before the other posts. • Can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. • Displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. date. • Do not use tags or categories • Can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog.
Categories vs Tags
Creating a Post http://blog.dakno.com/files/uploads/Anatomy_of_a_Real_Estate_Blog_Post.png
Adding Pictures and Media • Can upload to the Media Library (3GB space) • Add images using a URL • Upload video directly to Wordpress using the VideoPress upgrade ($60 per year per blog) • Embed YouTube or Vimeo • Copy and paste link directly into post • Slideshare • Special code for wordpress.com blogs http://en.support.wordpress.com/slideshows/slideshare/ • Flickr • http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/flickr-photos/ • Instagram • http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/instagram/ http://en.support.wordpress.com/videos/
Social Network Integration: Publicize Publicize makes it easy to share your WordPress.com posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, and Yahoo!. • To set up publicize on your WordPress.com blog please go to Settings -> Sharing in your site Dashboard. • Once you’ve approved a connection to any of the below services, you’ll see a Publicize section in the Publish box on your post writing screen each time you write a new post. • If you want to opt out from any of the Publicize services for a specific post, just click the Publicize Edit link. You can then uncheck whichever services you want. You can also customize the message that gets sent by typing it in to the Custom Message box. http://en.support.wordpress.com/publicize/
Social Network Integration: Sharing Sharing - At the bottom of each post and page you can now include sharing buttons for your readers to share your content across a range of social networks/services. • Go to Settings -> Sharing page in your dashboard • Buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pocket, and Digg may also be displayed in “Official” mode. Which will display the number of shares in real-time on your blog, as reported by the specific service. • To configure which services you are using, simply drag and drop them from the Available Services to the Enabled Services section. http://en.support.wordpress.com/sharing/
Links (Blog Roll)
Create a Page • Used to present timeless information • Organize and manage any content • Examples include: • About • Contact • Copyright • Disclosure • Company Information • Accessibility Statement • Cannot be associated with Categories and cannot be assigned Tags http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages
Setting Up a Menu • If you have a theme that supports the Custom Menus feature, you can create and arrange a group of navigation links for your visitors to find the important parts of your site faster. • Creating a custom menu allows you to do the following things: • Change the order of pages in your menu, or delete them! • Create nested sub-menus of links, sometimes referred to as “drop- down” menus • Create links to category pages allowing you to collect together posts based on that category • Add custom links to other sites, such as a link to your Twitter or Instagram profile
Widgets Widget is a fancy word for tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your sidebar(s). You can access your widgets from the Appearance → Widgets screen in your Dashboard.
Facebook Badge • Visit the Facebook Profile Badges page, and select the information you would like to display on your badge by clicking Edit this badge and Save. • http://www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets/profilebadges.php • Next, click Other to get your badge HTML code • Add a badge to your blog sidebar • Copy the HTML code and paste it into a text widget on your blog.
Design Considerations • Choose from over 200 themes • http://theme.wordpress.com/ • To change your theme, head to Appearance → Themes in your site’s Dashboard • Custom Header Image • Go to Appearance -> Header in your blog’s dashboard. If you do not see the option, this means that your current theme does not support the use of a custom image header. Only .jpeg, .gif, and .png files can be used. • Flexible Headers • If theme supports a flexible header, go to Appearance → Header → upload an image and click the “Skip Cropping, Publish Image as Is” button. The header image will be added without any cropping.
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