The Blog is Alive and Well

Can Facebook, Twitter and blogs play nicely together? Can they co-exist without one sending the other to their Internet grave? Continue reading

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Article first published as The Blog is Alive and Well on Technorati.

If you ask me, the last two lines of “An empire gives way” an article in the June 24th issue of The Economist, about the state of the blogosphere, sounds ominous. The piece cites research from media-research firm, Nielsen, on how traffic to blog-hosting sites, Blogger and WordPress, are stagnating and how by contrast, Facebook’s traffic grew by 66% last year and Twitter’s by 47%.  Okay, I get it–but to be honest– I was alarmed by the article’s projection: “Where will that end? Perhaps in a single, hugely long blog posting about the death of blogs.”

Can Facebook, Twitter and blogs play nicely together? Can they co-exist without one sending the other to their Internet grave? I think so. I think the forms compliment one another and feed off of each other very well.

Blogger, Cory Doctorow, writes, “I still blog 10-15 items a day, just as I’ve done for 10 years now on Boing Boing. But I also tweet and retweet 30-50 times a day. Almost all of that material is stuff that wouldn’t be a good fit for the blog – material I just wouldn’t have published at all before Twitter came along. But a few of those tweets might have been stretched into a blogpost in years gone by, and now they can live as a short thought.”

I share links to material I find valuable on Facebook and use the comment field to make a brief point or to ask a question and initiate a discussion. On Twitter, I often re-tweet when I’m reading an article on a blog or online newspaper. It’s a quick way to say to Twitter followers, here’s something I think you’ll like. But when it comes to covering a topic in more detail, there’s still nothing in my opinion that beats the blog post.

Continue reading “The Blog is Alive and Well”

Advice for Bloggers: Write for the World

In the new book, The Yahoo! Style Guide, bloggers are advised to “write for the world.” We’re reminded that the web is a worldwide medium and “site visitors probably come from more than one country and more than one culture. Collectively, they probably speak several languages.”

So what’s a blogger to do?

In the new book, The Yahoo! Style Guide, bloggers are advised to “write for the world.” We’re reminded that the web is a worldwide medium and “site visitors probably come from more than one country and more than one culture. Collectively, they probably speak several languages.”

So what’s a blogger to do? Read the full post on Impressions through Media.

10 Steps for Writing a New Blog Post

Recently I was at a get together with a group of writers. Since it was a beautiful June day the conversation turned somewhat unexpectedly (for me) to the topic of gardens. It seemed that everyone was an experienced gardener and not only that, they all had a great love for gardening. When it became apparent that I wasn’t joining in the conversation, a friend suggested that I tended to my blog and writing the same way others tended to their garden. Hmm, I thought. Interesting. What is the connection between planting a garden and writing a blog post?

Article first published as 10 Steps for Writing a New Blog Post on Technorati.

Recently I was at a get-together with a group of writers. It was a beautiful June day and the conversation took a sudden, unexpected turned to the topic of gardens. It seemed that everyone except me was an experienced gardener and not only that, they all had a great love for gardening. When it became apparent that I wasn’t joining in the conversation, a friend suggested that I tended to my blog and writing the same way others tended to their garden. Hmm, I thought. Interesting. What is the connection between planting a garden and writing a blog post?

I did what I often do in situations like this and turned to Google where I discovered this post by Marie Iannotti,with ten steps for how to start a new garden— and discovered much to my surprise—there are great similarities. So, with that in mind, I offer you gardening as an analogy for how to write a new blog post:

1. Start Small: Like the backyard gardener your post doesn’t have to be that big (or long, in this case). A blog post isn’t a white paper, a research report or a treatise. It can be a  few lines and possibly a few paragraphs. Some suggest keeping the word count from 250-500. If you decide to write a longer post you can always format so the post will be more readable e.g. chunked content in lists, shorter sentences, utilizing “read more” to move the content to a second page.

2. Evaluate and Choose a Site: This step is akin to choosing your topic. This can be influenced by questions your customers have asked you, conversations you’ve heard discussed in the blogosphere, something you’ve been thinking about writing, a response to another post which inspired your thinking.

3. Check the Soil: I think of this step as being similar to searching the internet to see what else has been written about the topic and coming to the topic with knowledge and your fresh perspective.

4. Prepare the Bed: Not too dissimilar from taking the time to read the posts and giving yourself ample time to incorporate and synthesize what you’ve read.

5. Choosing What You’d Like to Grow: After reading posts on the topic now comes time to narrow down what you’d like to write on the subject, what points you’d like to make.

6. Planting: This step is really a lot like the actual act of writing. It’s the time you spend composing the post, tending to the words, asking yourself if the words are optimized for search engines. Paying attention to grammar, punctuation and how well the sentences read.

7. Mulching: Ah, this sounds a lot like editing to me. What can you pull? What’s not necessary to be there in the post. Even though it started out as a healthy line it may ultimately crowd the post. When it doubt, take it out. This step also includes checking your links and spell checking.

8. Label your Plants and Keep Garden Records: This gardening step makes sense to the writer in me since blog posts require tags and assigning categories. It’s also similar to keep records or in mind what posts did better than others. That’s where looking over your analytics on a regular basis will pay off.

9. Garden Maintenance: A blog post does require some work after it has been written and published. The maintenance assures that people will find the post which requires tweeting it out, updating your facebook page, submitting to directories. In other words helping to promote your piece as best you can.

10. Enjoy: My gardener friends like to think of this as “stopping to smell the roses.” Hopefully bloggers take the time to kick back and enjoy reading and responding to comments, and seeing the viral nature of their posts.

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How To: Get the Most Value from Your Blog Posts

In a new post by Denise Wakeman she suggests repurposing your blog posts into different formats to “get more exposure and more value from the time you’ve initially invested in creating the content. Not to mention that you can drive more traffic back to your home base.” continue reading

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

Article first published on Impressions through Media.

In a new post by Denise Wakeman she suggests repurposing your blog posts into different formats to “get more exposure and more value from the time you’ve initially invested in creating the content. Not to mention that you can drive more traffic back to your home base.”

What can you do with the post once its been published on your site? Denise suggests turning the content into different formats such as “reports, white papers, articles, slide shows, videos, podcasts, teleseminars, ebooks, etc.”

One place where you can repurpose your content is in your email newsletter by including a few lines in a short piece and linking back to your blog. That way you’ve not only repurposed the content but possibly have taken your non-blog reading client to your posts and demonstrated to them what they’ve been missing. Include too, a call to action to to sign-up to receive updates about your posts via rss feed or by email subscription.

Continue reading “How To: Get the Most Value from Your Blog Posts”

Feeding the Blogger’s Muse

Most writers I know tend to be passionate about writing. They write often, read a lot and even read about writing. There are some excellent how-to books about blogging out there but I don’t think you need to stop there. >Read more

In Dave Clarke’s recent post, “So You Think You Can Blog?”, he says that as “social media marketing proliferates and permeates consumers’ consciousness that entrepreneurs wrestle with the content thing.”

Clark states “some folks can write stuff people want to read, and some can’t.” Which is it for you? Do people want to read what you write? And, is there room for improvement in your writing?

Most writers I know tend to be passionate about writing. They write often, read a lot and even read about writing. There are some excellent how-to books about blogging out there but I don’t think you need to stop there. In fact, I don’t think you should. Blogging is a form of writing and good suggestions about writing can be applicable to the blog post.

There are four writing periodicals which I read on an on-going basis: The Writer, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest and The Writer’s Chronicle. Each of the magazines has a slightly different feel and slant. Generally you’ll find a wide selection of articles on craft, revision, inspiration, how-to’s, author interviews, books about writing, promotion, and networking.

The summer is a great time to feed the muse and if yours is like mine, she’ll appreciate the nourishment.

Which periodicals or books will you be reading about writing this summer?

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