10 Ways to Get Bloggers to Embrace (and enjoy!) Blogging

blogging

Inevitably if you hold a corporate marketing or comms position, you’ll be asked to ramp up or supervise the company blogs. These tips are what I’ve actually used and ended up being pretty effective when I was put in charge of ramping up and maintaining a team of 10+ technology related bloggers and their respective blogs.

1. If they’re apprehensive about the commitment, suggest a blogging buddy to split the duties.

2. Before you decide on a topic and title, research it on Google Adwords and tweak it so it falls into a highly searchable term. Sometimes a slight keyword tweak makes the difference between one hundred and one hundred thousand searches. The best combination is words that are highly searched, and have low competition.

3.Highlight the fact that your blogger has been chosen to blog for their value to the company, as an elite team member and that it elevates their professional status.

4.Ensure them that they don’t always have to come up with original content. They can comment on industry happenings, or reference expert stories and comment on them, interview customers or even invite guest co-bloggers.

5.Start a blog yourself, so that you understand the finer points of blogging and can coach more effectively.

6.Provide feedback to your bloggers on blog success in the form of metrics: how many hits in one week, syndication, comments.

7.Incent with contests and prizes: who gets the most comments, who gets the most reads, etc.

8.Provide best practice training with concrete examples of good blogs.

9.Coach them to give valuable insight that is unique. For example if they write a post about the benefits of  desktop virtualization, make sure they talk about a specific instance where they experienced these benefits.

10.Design an editorial calendar to plan not only what’s to come, but also provide timing and cadence, in order to keep the bloggers on task and on time.

And here’s a little bonus for you to send to your bloggers when they are starting out…

🙂 Tips on Topic Selection for Bloggers

Select a topic…

1.you know very well and with which you are very comfortable

2.into which you can show insight, experience and have anecdotal references

3.in which you are passionate about learning more

4.that you think your prospects and customers would find valuable

5.framework that will supply multiple blog opportunities

6.that someone else has written about that you can spin a slightly different way or add additional practical insight

7.in Google Adwords that is low on competition and high on search

8.for which there is no struggle for material to write

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Sneaking selling into your blog

 

The blog is at the core of your social media efforts. It’s a wonderful tool that when done well satisfies the need for content to backup your social media strategy, showcases your expertise and allows you to become industry relevant by being part of the big conversation. You can also use it for a very soft sell.

I’ve compiled a list of five ways that you can use your blog like a good p.r. campaign to help influence potential buyers as they work their way through the buying cycle.

1.Link to company offerings from within blog posts. Sometimes when you are offering insight on a particular observation or challenge, it’s appropriate to include a link to or mention of your own offering. You can even use links to your website such as when you are describing an offering like Software Integration, the reader can click to your site with Software Integration hotlinked to it. It will also maximize your SEO exposure as well.

2.Use the sidebar on your blog to advertise your content assets: video, white papers, studies, etc. When a new piece of content is published, you can summarize it in a blog post then link to it as well. Or you can create a link in the body of your post when the post applies.

3.Don’t forget to use the power of networking. Your blog should have links to your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter channels and vice versa. Also include share buttons for your readers to easily send your content to others. And make a subscription box on your blog sidebar so readers can easily subscribe to the feed. It gives you more face time to network with your audience.

4.Have a new product or service? You can’t link to your press release from your actual blog unless it relates directly to your story, but you can post a link to it in your blog sidebar.

5.Syndicate when possible. There are many sites you can syndicate your blog to that aggregate blogs in your space and make them available to tens of thousands of potential readers. Some of them are Ezine, ITToolbox, BlogNotions and Technorati.

So you see that if you use your blog not only to showcase your expertise, but also to promote it; in turn you’ll maximize your efforts and help along your marketing ROI. Have a great summer and enjoy blogging!

 

 

TMI or 5 Social Media Articles that Matter

This week I brought my daughter to have her wisdom teeth removed. Before leaving she looked up all of the information on the procedure posted on the Internet. By the time she was done, she might have gotten a few credits for dental school. And by the time we got in the car to leave for the surgeon, she was in pieces because she knew exactly how and what type of instrument was going to remove the teeth and that she would possibly vomit because 30% of the patients do. Shall I just say that thanks to TMI, we had to practice deep, cleansing breaths on the way.

It’s nearly the same story when my friend gets an ailment; from a dizzy spell to a bump on the skin, she visits WEBMD to look up her symptoms and has herself diagnosed with some form of terminal illness two out of the three times she looks. Their tagline is “Better Information. Better Health.”It should be “Too much information (TMI) is unhealthy.”

So I ask you, when is all this information just TMI? Online communities are abuzz with discussions, polls, blogs, etc. At no time in history has marketing ever had this much expert knowledge at their fingertips. Particularly social media marketing How-To articles.

I skim through the daily treasures from Ragan Communications, Social Media Examiner, PR 2.0, and Social Media B2B and I’ve decided to compile five of the best articles that have actually given me useful information:

1.How LinkedIn is Helping Businesses Grow
LinkedIn is becoming a strong tool for event marketing in that it obtains invites from people through networking and uses their networks to further the reach of the invites. Here’s a great video–you have to watch Lewis Howes, author of Linked Working, who explains the how-to at the beginning.

2.10 Best Facebook Apps You’ll Actually Find Useful

Good for business users. My favorite is Feedburner, which you can use to feed your blog to your Facebook site.

3. Why Facebook Should Not Replace Your Website
I get asked once a week why someone needs their website when they have Facebook. Jason Matthew Murphy so eloquently puts it in this article–a short read, but valuable to show any proponents of ditching the website for this ever evolving platform.

4. 10 Quick and Easy B2B Blog Post Ideas for a Thursday Afternoon
What can I say, these 10 ideas will jumpstart any writer’s block when writing your blog. I especially like #8, “List Your Favorite Industry Publications and Websites,” you can see I’m doing that here!

5. PR Pros: Ban These Terms From Your Writing
Words that make your writing sound cliche–another favorite of mine from Ragan Communications. I have to confess that I use 1, 5, 8 and 9 too much–how about you? Post a comment and let me know your top used word from the list.