Blogging is no doubt an essential part of a PR practitioners job. Sometimes PR folks maintain one blog or many depending where they work or what they do.
Conduct a little research and tell me important aspects good blogs must have. Be sure to cite your sources. I also want you to include a link to blog post you think is exemplar and explain why. The post doesn’t necessarily have to do with the field of PR. I want to see and read why you think the writer of the blog is so good at what they do.
I liked the topic we discussed in class on really great blogs such as Southwest. Southwest not only has a great blog but also great customer service. I noticed Dunkin Donuts had a very fun blog and lots of great trivia on donuts. It was colorful and definitely had a lot of spunk. I really enjoyed that the blog was easy to locate and laid out well. What I liked about the Dunkin Donuts blogs is that they have everything up to date, new products they are advertising and/or selling. They also have letters both from the CEO and customers. They also show the “something of the day” like “National Cup of Coffee Day” or “on this day, you get a free donut.” It is cool because then I am aware of when I get a free muffin or drink and I like that. It seems to me that some of the elements that are needed for good blogs are passion, consistency, dedication, good quality and interesting material. Blogging can be both influential and helpful and it is great when people have a voice out there they can be. I also believe that it depends on what kind of blog you are writing; is it poppy, professional, more serious in tone, for work or play or is it just plain silly? It all can depend on the tone! I enjoy reading and understanding the elements of blogging. I think they are an essential asset to growing companies.
I agree with you on why you liked Southwest’s blog. It is so much more effective when blogs are visually pleasing and have interactive items such as trivia or videos. Color and the overall appearance of blogs is also very important. Customer service is key when you have a business, word travels fast and if you aren’t doing something correctly, the public will find out…and fast! Simple accessibility is key as well, no one wants to mess around on a site that takes over 2 minutes to log onto or where it is difficult to navigate around. Simplicity is key. People are so busy and have so many other things to worry about that when they go to your site whether it’s to check out a blog or just find out what your company is all about, they need to be able to do it quickly or they will simply just go somewhere else. Today’s society is so competitive in the business world and there are a ton of companies out there that sell the same product, have the same goals and even promote the same ideas. Therefore, you need to set yourself above the rest as a business and be the best. You need to “WOW” people. Tutorials are always a great way to show people what type of service you provide and also giving away prizes always wins people over. People love free stuff, no matter what it is. It makes them feel special and important. Tone is absolutely important and that is all up to how you use your own voice. You set the mood of your blogs and readers can tell what you’re feeling by the words you chose.
There are a lot of components that go into making a blog truely great. Structure, voice, conversation and sharing tool are just a few.
Structure I think is number one. Maybe not number one based on content, but by what people see when they first visit the site. People are more likely to be drawn to a blog site that is visually appealing. The colors, images, videos, layout etc. The structure could be what keeps a reader interested to find more.
Behind every well put together blog there needs to be a voice that comes forth to the reader. Before a reader is done they should have an image in their head of who you are based on how sentences are formed, the attitude and style. This can also be easily done by leaving a name or picture at the top of the blog.
Conversation is key to keeping a reader and gaining more. Engaging with your audience first hand by allowing comments to be made and replying is a huge way to make a blog successful.
Sharing tools, allow readers to post your blog that they just loved onto other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This is an easy and free way of advertising for your blog to gain more readers.
Now this blog definitely has nothing to do with PR but I find it amusing and interesting.
Just as most of us have had a slight obsesstion with the explosion of Pinterest, this woman who actually does not give her name, definitely has a voice behind each and every post. She tests out a Pinterest idea, takes pictures, posts about her results and compares it to the original creation. About 8 out of 10 times they turn out completely wrong or non effective which makes it funny and intreging. She has options to share at the bottom to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Stumbleupon. As well on the sidebar she has options for readers to subscribe to her networking accounts as well. I think this is a well put together, modern blog that can appeal to lots of people.
Structure #1? Definitely so! I don’t know about you but if I click onto a site and am met with a barrage of color wheel vomit and sparkling icons, I’m out! Simply put, if I’m not interested at first glance… I’m not reading. End of story. Now, I know that probably sounds harsh but isn’t that really what the public is like? We have a matter of seconds to grab the reader’s attention and the bulk of achieving that special spark doesn’t come from blog writing at all, it comes from all things visual. So let’s say we’ve got the reader’s attention (bonus!), now what? I think you hit the nail on the head when you brought up conversation. I’ve posted on those webmd blogs before in search of an answer for questions like, “I stubbed my toe…am I going to die?” and never got a response from the writer. Talk about rejection! And if I eventually did get a response, by the time I caught wind of any word I would have already been dead. (FYI: if you think you’re going to die, don’t post on a blog…go to the ER.)
I like that picked a blog who’s blogger is anonymous. It’s proof that a personal blog can be successful without giving any personal information. However, I don’t reccomend any company employing this tactic. We’ve talked a lot about credibility in class and I think there’s much to be said about giving one’s name and title. On a professional blog, people want to know who they are getting their advice from and what makes them so special. Oh, and yes. I’ve definitely had a slight obsession with pinterest. Slight being a complete and total understatement.
I’m glad that you said that Kristen. I think the anonymity works for this blog, but companies should not employ this tactic.
Kristen I agree, for a company blog giving a name to the face and voice is necessary. Readers want to see who works for that company and who exactly is writing, it gives the audience the notion that, yes, we are all real everyday people just like you who happen to work for this awesome big company, and we’d like to share our thoughts with you!
While I have yet to check out pinterest…I don’t know why, I just have not seen the draw yet; I love your example. I checked out the link and even I thought it was funny! I have never been on pinterest to this point in my life, but I checked out pintester and thought it was entertaining.
I ended up reading the “Man Pleasing Chicken” http://pintester.com/2012/09/man-pleasing-chicken/ and the post about homemade dry shampoo…oh my.
Anyway, it’s clean, the sidebar options are great, it teaches at best and entertains at a minimum. It is exactly what a blog should be! Thanks for sharing!
I think that it is so important to have vision or purpose with your blog, like the one you shared. I wanted to keep up my blog after the semester was over last year, but I stopped. I felt like I ran out of topics, but it’s really just that I stopped looking.
I found your point about making your blog site visually appealing very interesting. One of the sites that I looked into while researching my post was all about how to properly design your blog page. It is so important to draw the reader initially to your page.
I brought up in class that I work in the Admissions Office where we do a lot of work with the BlogEMU page. I actually just had a talk with one of my supervisors the other day about the fact that the blog page is plain, uninteresting and unattractive. While the content written about Eastern Michigan on this page may be great, the page itself does not compel the reader to continue down that path.
After getting design down, then you have to start worrying about the content of the post which the harder portion because after using colors, images and catchy headlines to get your readers attention, you have to keep it.
Paul – I’m glad you liked the pintester blog! This woman’s blog brought a comedic twist to the Pinterest craze. So many people are “pinning” all these crafts, recipes and tricks and I’m sure never seem to follow through and actually do them.
Alex – I’m glad you talked to your supervisors! As sad as it is, people today have a very short attention span. A visually attractive webpage entices people to scroll further and read on.
Although I am new to the world of blogging and still trying to get involved with it, I agree with you on the components needed to go into a blog. Structure is definitely most important because it keeps things organized and helps make information concise and understandable to readers. Colors, photos and videos are definitely important in drawing and keeping the reader’s attention. People tend to be very visual and want to see for themselves things to hold their attention. Conversation is definitely a big part of blogging because the way you communicate, the terminology you use and the accurate facts you present are key to keep the reader’s attention and proving your credibility. Social media is so important in today’s society and that is why sharing tools is so important. Readers absolutely need to have a simple and accessible way to re-post your blog onto their social media sites such as facebook and twitter.
I also wanted to add that I am just now starting to use pinterest. I had no idea what it was about until about a week ago. There are so many social media sites to keep up on and with how busy everyone’s lives tend to be in today’s society, it can make it very difficult to keep up on all of these things. A good PR practitioner should be able to keep up on all of these things and I am trying my best! I am looking forward to starting a career in the PR field, I know it will be a lot of work but I think it sounds like a great career field!
Amanda, exactly! There’s so much that goes into making a blog successful. It’s a good thing we are all able to learn from each other different techniques and what works best for us.
You’re right on, Katie! Structure and voice are the top two things I look for in a blog as well. If it looks good and the writer knows what they’re talking about, I’m interested in what the blog has to offer. I think it’s big on whether the writer just writes to write or if the writer actually has an idea of what they’re writing about.
To many people, the idea of blogging is writing about topics and adding their own personal opinion to it. That’s not really what blogging is about. Southwest is a prime example of what a real blog should be.
In my favorites I have an article entitled So You’re On The Internet, Huh? written by Alexis Lamster explaining how to have a successful blog and be a successful blogger. She also goes on to explain why she feels CarrotBlog.com has been successful at both a successful blog with successful bloggers.
“The ability to know the ins and outs of each platform helps establish Carrot as an expert in the industry. But there’s a delicate balance you have to strike with your online presence. So forget what everyone says, being on social media can be good for you career. However, I think the real question is what sort of things can you post that will help you get a job, rather than hurt your chances. Become a pseudo “expert” at something.”- Alexis Lamster blogger for my FAVE BLOG CarrotBlog.com
http://carrotblog.com/ check it out it’s an amazing blog!!
I agree if you want to be a successful blogger you have to be an expert at something. I also think we should treat blogging like we treat picking a career. That’s being willing to blog simply for the love of it and the interaction with people.
Brian Solis, echo’s that point by saying:
“Social Objects become the hubs for specialized engagement and discourse at the point of introduction and also at time, relevance, and debut and discovery of related objects continue to support interaction.” Brian Solis, Engage! p. 105
Blogs should be a specialized engagement filled with your expert subject (s) your blog should be the first place someone thinks to go to for a specific topic. With all of that you as an expert should be trustworthy your readers should be able to trust that you know everything you blog about. You’re just not a blogger that steals from our blogs and pays them off as your thoughts or research.
“Blogs ranked lower in trustworthiness than every other form of content in Forrester’s list of corporate marketing and media tools, even below broadcast and print media, direct media, and email. ” Brain Solis Engage! p. 41
I also agree with Solis idea that “Blogs are completely ineffective and only contribute to consumers’ leeriness when used as a corporate platform for marketing, schilling, pitching, or broadcasting promotional messages.” Solis p. 41
“My Good Friend Brian” wink wink…. Sums up what makes a blog successful with these statements:
“With every link outward, every tweet back, every e-mail, and every comment in other forums, we point people back to our work, not simply because we published something, but in view of the fact that we mindfully contributed value and insight and were prepared to respond.” Solis p.44
I checked out the carrot blog and I agree, I think it’s great! Alexis offers some great tips about utilizing social media. I found her advice very helpful and informative. I couldn’t help but ponder your statement, “your blog should be the first place someone thinks to go for a specific topic.” Wow! I think it would be quite an amazing feat if someone were to go to a blog first before google searching something. Search engines have become quite a powerful force in today’s society. I know that I do a handful of google searches each day, ranging everywhere from “why is my cat throwing up” to “how to not start a fire boiling water.” I really appreciate your statement though. With that kind of sentiment, I think bloggers would definitely implement SEO into their posts, making the most bang for their buck…er…words.
I also think it is very true that blogs are completely ineffective when used only for marketing purposes. It makes the reader wonder if any of the content is actually true or if the company is merely trying to generate sales. This is why I think it’s so important to first identify with your readers before doing any form of writing. I’ll have to have a chat with your “good friend Brian” and get some more tips in the future!
Yeah go have a chit chat with my “good friend Brian.” Lol So glad you enjoyed the carrotblog.com it is hands down one of my fave places to go for public relation/ social media related things. I even go there before I go to Brian Solis and he is thee expert.
The way things are written on the site anyone can understand and it is simple and to the point. It’s a very welcoming blog you finish reading one blog post then you read another. I like the fact there are more than one blogger which gives the website such a well round personality. Not all the bloggers agree on a subject so then the each writes their views respectfully.
I too think blogging is not a marketing platform, I see it as a place to receive additional information if needed for marketing. Blogging is tricky because just because it is important to you is it important to the audience you wish to influence.
Hmmm “lower in trustworthiness than every other form of content in Forrester’s list of corporate marketing and media tools, even below broadcast and print media, direct media, and email. ” Brain Solis Engage! p. 41
That’s no good. I think that may be conceived in the notion that people from company’s are doing the blogging. And just like a PR rep speaking during a time of crises, the public will think that the blogger has to say nice things.
I found two sites that I think provide good info on how to beat this:
The second one talks about “Trust Triggers” like logos, comments, and subscribers. I think that having clout on the internet can be measured by likes or follows. With every share or subscribe you get, you gain that much more credibility when a person peruses your blog. All that personal connected-ness is like individual personal endorsements. So blog quality, and blog often…I guess that is the key.
I loved the Pintester website, even though I myself am not a Pinterest user, I thought it was cute! The Carrotblog website was super clean, and laid out well which is a great aspect of blogs. Too much clutter can be distracting and take away from the main point of the blog.
For the most part, I am not sure if you need to be an expert to be a blogger-tons of people blog every day about all kinds of topics (not always well, I might add). But for the most part, those people are able to do research, post links, include quotes or facts and make a great stance for the topic they are writing about. Having some form of background information about the topic is certainly helpful when coming up with new ideas on what to write about.
When writing a blog, one of the most important things to keep in mind is who your audience is. Once you’ve figured this out and keep it in mind when you blog, it will help direct your articles and discussions, and help people follow them. It also helps to keep your ideas clear and concise when writing for your audience.
Presenting that information in the most straightforward way helps to keep not only your focus, but your audiences focus. Going off on tangents or including information that is not relevant to your audience will cause them to lose that connection you worked to build with them, our class reminds us that PR is about what you can do for them. Make sure to update frequently to keep your blog interactive, and respond to comments that they leave to get involved in that two-way interaction. These are a few things that help to make a blogger more successful, and can be seen through a wide variety of blogs that are out there today.
Love to see Brian Solis AND Carrot Creative mentioned in your post (I follow Carrot on Instagram, hehe). Way to bring this class back to what we learned in the Social Media class… I bet that makes Gina proud ;P
I think the Carrot blog is awesome. The posts have a lot of personality and are well-written. I think that it is well suited to the type of company that Carrot Creative is. They are very successful and innovative but at the same time they are down-to-earth and fun. It’s important that company blogs are consistent with their company’s image and attitude. It makes the blog more reputable and gives the readers an idea of what to expect when they visit the blog, which ultimately make the blog more successful! Knowing what we know about Carrot Creative, it would be very off-putting if they had a stuffy, formal-sounding blog.
Dee, I really enjoyed the Carrot Blog. It’s a great social media tool and I too thought the content was well written. It seems to me there are so many blogs out there that are just thrown together and yet there are some that are really great!
Blogs can provide insight, culture, clever or witty messages. That is probably what I look for the most in a blog. I guess a lot of people find and like different things but definitely the aspect of a good blogger as stated before by Katy are structure and organization. I also think you need consistency as well as something people desire to read about.
I am glad you too enjoyed the Carrotblog.com . I agree with you it is an amazing social media tool. In my opinion it is even better than Brian Solis AH! The content is always updated some many kool ideas and thoughts from kool and thoughtful bloggers.
Just reading one post on the blog you can tell that he or she took the time out and thought their subject out. then produce an amazing product of writting.
I agree with idea that “Blogs can provide insight, culture, clever or witty messages. That is probably what I look for the most in a blog” I feel should have a personality it should be your alter ego lol. it should reflect who you are as a person you beliefs, your values and it should always feel welcoming. It should be a blog that people feel comfortable recommending to other. Like how I feel about the Carrot Blog.
Our book has a lot to say about blogging in chapter 11. For this post though, I’m not going to talk about everything we’ve already read in our book. Instead, I’m going to focus on my personal experiences with blogs and what I’ve researched as far as good blogging goes. I dub this post: BLOGGING 101.
Meet Darren Rowse, http://www.problogger.net/ , a seasoned blogger with over 165,000 subscribers. According to http://www.alistbloggingbootcamps.com he began his blog in 2004 and has since then opened his blogosphere to guest bloggers. Conveniently enough, his blog is all about “blogging how-to.” He discusses at length how to generate funds from your own blog and actually produce a sizeable income. In response to a blog post “Blog like You’re in the Closet,” Darren replied with a subsequent post offering personal tips describing how he overcame a fear of what readers might think. His advice? Blog in a way that connects you to the readers. Convey emotion, be honest, and eliminate fear. I’d say that’s pretty good advice!
Meet the Bowers, http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/ , Jeremy and Katie. This is by no means a professional blog. When reading through their posts it’s obvious that grammatical concern brings no err to this blogging duo. What I love about their blog is that quite simply, it’s funny! Here we have a real-life couple who experiences the mundane tendencies of day-to-day life but have the guts to cut to the chase and blog about it. Sometimes, people don’t want to read a blog about how to elevate sales in a trimester company merge, they want to read for pure enjoyment—and that’s what the Bower’s blog does: it entertains the reader.
And finally, meet Wholefoods, http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/ , an Ann Arbor staple and beloved market (albeit expensive) that has become a lifestyle more than a grocery store. So what do I love about their blog? Well, for starters, I thought I should include at least one professional blog in this post. Beyond their professional demeanor, the Wholefoods blog is both astehtically pleasing and super informative. It creates the perfect balance between lifestyle tips and product highlights. Its writing style conveys an air of professionalism but isn’t overbearing. Its jam-packed with sizzle words and somebody must be doing their SEO right because its loaded with keywords and phrases to create quite a demanding presence on any Google search.
Well there you have it! These are some of my newfound favorite blogs– I hope you enjoy and appreciate them as much as I do. Moral of the story? I love to laugh. Whether it’s a personal journal or a professional marketing tool, I think blog writers ought never to take themselves too seriously.
I like how the A-list Blogging opened up to guest bloggers. This site is already successful and has expanded to readers to become involved, that’s awesome. So they get to learn the how-to from what advice he has to say, then they can apply it.
I thought the Bower Power Blog was very unique! I have never come across a blog that both a man and woman share the contributions talking about anything and everything of a young married couple. This is fun for readers to learn from people first hand about the in’s and out’s of starting a life with someone else.
I also really liked the Whole Foods blog! It was visually appealing with the set up and layout of the site. I agree it had the best of both sides as it was informative and casual. I liked that there are links to Meet the Blogger and to see More Posts from that blogger.
Oh Blogging. I started blogging last year in the intro to PR class, and whew! I was nervous about blogging. I was afraid that coming up with new info all the time would be pretty rough, but after all was said and done, I was thankful for the experience.
So what do really great blogs do? Well there is a ton of information on the web on how to create a good blog, but I found this layout on Problogger..net to be pretty awesome.
Check it out here: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/02/17/blog-design-for-beginners/
So the auther, Darren Rowse says that we need to first decide what our goal in writing is, after that we can get started. Next It is critical to locate and choose our audience, if we do not know who we are writing to, than our message cannot be as pointed. According to Rowse, after we have decided our goal and who we are writing it for, we can then figure out what our audience needs. If we can meet those needs in an interesting way then we are on the way to writing a great blog.
The author of our text, Thomas Bivins, also has some good stuff to say about great blogging, “…lists with lots of bullet points. They are quickly scanned by readers, get your point across succinctly, and are easy to link to.”
He also encourages us to use short, informational sentences, and pictures as tools to capture and then retain audience attention (pg. 284 if you wanted to look).
I do not follow many blogs, but when I do, I love the http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
They (almost) always have good content, and they link out to original articles, and relevant videos all the time. They provide an interesting avenue to stay informed.
p.s. blog on.
Paul, I was looking over the article and it is a very useful article. The first thing I seen that I liked is where he said “design is not about making things pretty. It’s about making things work to their best ability” I like this statement because I think some blogs are worried about adding pictures and graphics, or adding colors to make it look pretty, and completely forget about the mechanics of the blog. I also like how he breaks down the essentials of blogging into really easy to follow steps. Each step has a lot of good information in it.
I love Huffington Post! I to am a person who doesn’t follow many blogs but this is one I check daily. I really like the writes. They write with a unique quality of corky-ness, while still being serious.
Many bloggers create editorial calendars to keep them on track. It can be daunting to decide what to blog about each week, but by having a schedule it helps so much!
I totally understand. When I started blogging (your class), having the direction that was supplied made life MUCH easier. We had to blog about the reading and just knowing what data pool to draw my ideas from was very helpful.
Paul – It was in the Intro class that I too had blogged for the first time. It was a good experience to dive right into it. Blogging can seem intimidating because you want what you say to be clear, concise all while sounding professional, but not too professional, then casual at the same without being too casual, geez! Perhaps everyone’s blogging voice comes with time and practice.
I have come across Darren Rowse’s blog site in the past. He gives great tips and insight on how to properly put together a blog and how to execute it. This is a good for bloggers starting out to ensure the right audience is reading and able to become engaged.
You weren’t the only one nervous about blogging Paul. Remember, I had the first blog post in our intro class last year… so I naturally felt quite a bit of pressure to set the bar. I had a topic in mind right away, but it was the writing part – in terms of trying to write like a PR practictioner and not my natural journalist perspective – that I had the most trouble with.
Blogs are definitely a big part of a company in today’s modern, Internet-ruled world. Rowse has a lot of great points on starting a blog, some of which I think average bloggers ought to use.
One website that I found recently was http://thegreatfitnessexperiment.com. Like Dee pointed out, it is awesome when the person not only knows what they are talking about, but can be considered experts on the topic. This blog is backed up by the fact that Charlotte (the blogger) has written a book based on what she blogs about (trying out the hundreds of fitness studies out there to see how they work), and is in the process of her second book. She frequently includes links, facts, interviews and other outside resources to keep her information relevant and bring in outside sources to back up what she is saying.
One of the great things about this website is the interaction that happens. For every post there are tons of comments and responses, often times with outside information to help bring in yet another view. She cites where she gets her information, and the ads that she has on the website are relevant to exercise, one of her other pastimes-motherhood, and promoting her books. All of these relate to the blogger and connect with readers.
Another nice thing about her blog is all the sites that you can share this information on are listed right at the top of the page-no scrolling required. This allows for easy sharing for readers, giving Charlotte a wider span for her audience and getting her name out to other potential customers.
So this is interesting Rachel – she promotes her book by blogging. This is a great tactic and if done well the writer can be seen as an “authority” in their field.
I’ve always wondered about these fitness blog people, in my opinion i don’t understand how one person can make a living trying every exercise plan and diet out there, furthermore i also don’t understand how we are supposed to know which plan the results are coming from if you do them all. But thats just my own personnel opinion because i agree that someone should be a authority on the topic, especially if someone is offering tips on diet and exercise. I feel like someone, myself included, is much more likely to listen to someone if they have creditability.
I went to ProBlogger.net to find out about what makes a good blog and found this page: http://www.problogger.net/how-to-write-great-blog-content/
It provides a ton of information on creating good content for your blog posts. Though blog design is important, people read blogs for their content. This page contains TONS of tips to make your content more valuable to readers. One of the first things the page mentions about blog technique is to make your writing scannable… most people don’t read blog posts word-for-word and instead scan the page for what they are looking for. ProBlogger recommends using visual effects such as font formatting, lists, and headings to help readers find your most important information. They provide a lot of information about how to create successful blog content. It’s definitely worth checking out.
To be honest, I don’t really read many blogs. The blog that I follow the most is not your average blog– it’s a writer’s blog which she uses to recap (read: dissects and critiques very harshly… and hilariously!) the book series “Fifty Shades of Grey” chapter by chapter. Aside from thinking the content is hilarious, I think she does a good job of constructing her blog posts. They are very long but as they are recapping a chapter of a book, that makes sense. But she always starts off each blog post with relevant links to what’s going on with the book and what various people think about it, including some pretty serious essays. They make for great discussion. She also supplements her blog posts with images and videos to back up what she’s saying and add humor to her posts. They’re so funny! Her voice and personality show through every word in every post. Her 50 Shades recap blog posts have gotten so much traffic and praise and you can tell this when you look at how many comments her posts get.
As a blogger what was the tip you thought was most useful?
There was a part on the site about “eliminating the echo chamber” that I thought was a really good point that I think a lot of people forget about. When you get all your news from the same sources and use those topics and ideas for your blog posts, you sort of end up repeating the same stories and views as everyone else. It’s important to keep your blog fresh and original and their suggestions for this are by getting your ideas OUTSIDE of your typical news aggregator or feed, using a larger repertoire of sources, and waiting a couple weeks before commenting on “hot topics”.
I think the blog you read is very interesting and I also think it is something I might want to read. I’m always looking for something fun to read and pass the time, well whatever minimal free time i may have. I like how you mention that blog posts should be scannable, I think the most important factor in a good blog is readability. If a blog is not easily read then what is the point? I also think the women you follow has a niche, her blog is relevant but different, therefore she has a audience that will not go elsewhere for the content she provides, which i also think is very important in the blog world.
Krystal, Pro blogger.net is an amazing site. Last semester I had a class that required us to blog once a week, and a final project that incorporated a blog. During that class is when I stumbled across this little Internet gem. This site is so helpful, it is easy to navigate and best of all I think it is helpful to beginner blogger and even expert bloggers. One of the areas that was super helpful to me was the techniques, particularly the how to make your writing more scan-able. I also liked the motivation and where to start links. A very helpful and useful website I think everyone should check it out.
When it comes to writing a blog I believe there are a ton of aspects needed to make a really good, efficient blog. Some of those aspects I believe to be very important are speaking directly to your target audience and making a blog quick and easy to read, just to name a few.
Speaking directly to your audience is key. I have gone through many blogs where it just seems like someone’s Facebook feed. Where I cant even tell what the company is trying to do with the blog. I believe if the company you work for is selling something, figure out who is buying your product and write to them. This may seem like a simple step, but I think many blogs over look it.
Another important aspect of blogging is making sure your blog is short, easy to read but still having useful and important content. There have been many blogs I have come across that are almost a page long, which is pretty hard to read especially when you have to sift through the jumble just to figure out the message. But I believe this is beginning to change with the help of Twitter. I believe Twitter is helping blogging by making people write what they want to say with a limit. Its allowing people more practice of getting to the point and cutting out the garbage.
Now the blog I believe is above all other blogs is the southwest airlines. I know we talked about them in class, and it may seem like I am taking the easy way out, but I just think they are perfect. I have seen many blogs and none of them really come close to Southwest. They hit the nail on the head when it comes to blogging.
It’s true that it’s important to make your blog short and sweet. It’s interesting, though, that we’ll sit and read full length news stories and novels for hours on end but we don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes on a blog post. But that’s the way of the internet… There are way too many things distracting us so in order for a writer to get their message across, they really need to get it out quickly… and interestingly!
The Southwest blog does this perfectly. I am glad we discussed the blog in class because I never would have thought that an airline could be interesting and fun, but it’s definitely a blog that I see myself coming back to every once in a while. And definitely something I would take some ideas from! They do a really good job of making their content interesting and supplementing it with videos and photos. They write some really cool stories!
In class we talk a lot about blogs and how they are a great way to maintain communication between the public and the company, they also are a great way for people to find news on specific events.
Some aspects I think a great blog should have are first a good authority writing them. If the person writing the blog is not a creditable source on the subject then I feel the quality of the blog suffers. Another thing a blog must have is a audience that has not been or is seldom reached. I think before you start a blog you need to see what is out there and make sure you are not copying anything or starting to blog on a subject matter that is very popular in the blog world, a successful blog needs its niche. Something else a good blog needs is a voice, and not a professional voice that might be filled with jargon that “normal” people do not understand but a voice that the target audience will understand. A blog needs to be easy to read and not long, and finally a blog needs to pose a question, one that people will respond to and conversation will start from.
A good blog that I think does all these things is http://target-addict.blogspot.com/ this is a women who is in no way affiliated with Target however she posts about all the things happening with the company. Her blog posts are short, informative, easy to read and people comment on them. I think this is a great example of a personnel blog.
I completely agree with you. One of the most essential pieces of a good informative blog is the credibility of the source and the sources used throughout the article. I was reading some information for one of my classes about how important fact checking is and this is a perfect example of why. Not only do your outside sources have to be credible but you also have to maintain a credible personal yourself. I think that can built by relaying good, correct information throughout your posts. However, the issue is that if you make one mistake with a fact or a story your credibility could be lost. Often when an audience loses faith in the credibility of a blogger, it is difficult to every draw their attention again. I am so glad you hit on the element of credibility.
I really like what you said on blogs as a way of communication as well as a series of events or current events, rather. I too find myself doing this at times, I look at a blog and see what I can get out of it as well as looking for information. Sometimes I will go on a website then try to see where it originated. I also checked out the Target blog and thought it was really informative and I feel that in the next few years there will be many more blogs such as this one. Blogging is so universal now, other countries seem to be catching on as well. I think in the future we will see many more blogs like the Target and Whole Foods blogs!
The first place that I looked when researching the essential elements for a blog post was obviously our book, given that it addresses blogging for PR directly. However, as I looked into the book in Chapter 11 on page 284, I realized that the book focuses on mostly HOW to write a blog. This is relevant as it explains that the writing must be clear and concise. It discusses the importance of using bolding, italics, underlining, boxes and block quotations to draw attention to the key points throughout your post. It also touches on using pictures to allow the audience a form of visual appeal. However, everything comes back to the idea of clear, concise writing.
After looking in this source, I reverted to the internet to find more information. The interesting thing that I found was that the best information I found about writing blogs, came from other blogs. One post I found particularly interesting focused on the concept of blog design. In a post that I found on problogdesign.com by Angie Bowen entitled “7 Essential elements of Blog Design”, she focuses on the essential elements of a good blog site.
She claims that the two most important elements of a good blog site are the Header and the Post Headlines. She explains that these two elements are the initial draw for any reader who is entering your blog site. She also moved on to mention the importance of easy navigation, archives and comment style. Bowen emphasized these points as the essentials to creating a successful blog.
In a blog post written by Darren Rowse on Problogger.net, he talks about 10 different times when the author of a blog should pause and think about what they are writing.
This article serves two purposes, it first gives excellent information about the blogging process that provides essential insight but also serves as my example for an excellent blog. Along with this, he provides links to his blog posts about each of the 10 points. He turned this into a series that is interconnected and very easy to navigate. He addresses essential elements like “Call to Action”, which addresses the need to push your readers toward actually engaging in some kind of action. He also has an excellent section entitled, “Your ‘point/s’ (making your posts matter) which addresses the “so what?” question that we have constantly talked about in class. This blog is extremely informative and Rowse writes in a very concise manner. He draws attention at the beginning of his blog with a strong attention getting device and continues to keep your attention through his writing style.
Some important aspects of writing blogs are to be able to keep your mind around different types of mediums while also being able to write engaging content and be consistent with it over time (www.problogger.net). As a blogger, you need to be original with your content and always keep things interesting because the world of blogging is very common and competitive in today’s society. A quote I really like and think is very useful advice that I also found on http://www.problogger.net is, “Great bloggers don’t settle for great content. Great bloggers understand that how you deliver your message is just as important as the message itself. Your voice has to resonate through a sea of white noise before its message will reach the market. You have to be memorable.” I like this message because it is very true, you have to have a great voice to back up your blogs, your points and all of your content. One other really good point I found on the site says, “You may think that what you have to say is special. So special that the world should stand and marvel, but it won’t. it never will. Your voice-the charisma and authenticity that oozes from your words- is the difference between a reader that is engaged in your brand and a reader that nods at your post before disappearing never to be seen again.” This quote follows the question, ‘so what who cares?’, that we speak a lot about in class.
I found a blog at http://www.thechangeblog.com/a-goodbye, that I think is well written. I like how this woman wrote all about her life changes and the different things she has went through. I really enjoy reading inspirational stories and quotes. I try to stay positive and even though it is tough sometimes, it is very important to maintain a healthy life. Stress can affect a person’s body in mysterious ways. It’s nice to hear about other people’s struggles so that you know you are not alone and you can have others to relate to and talk to about things. It is so important to get things off your chest and talk to people about what’s going on in your life!
If a blog is run right, it will be good for the people interested in that certain field. Take Southwest and aviation for example. For its employees and those interested in aviation, it is a great tool. A great look is also nice – something that catches the eye is a lot easier than something bland (sorry to throw EMU under the bus here, but it’s necessary).
The only downside with blogging is that a lot of people seem to think that blogging is basically writing about certain issues with a personal twist. Take a personal opinion on politics, for example.
A great example of blogging is SB Nation (or Sports Blog Nation). SBN has blogs for different pro and college sports (MLB, NBA, etc) and teams for those sports. Some of the blogs are run better than others. Viva El Birdos, a St. Louis Cardinals blog, is full of diehard Cardinals fans who have a passion for their team.
VEB (as they call it) has many contributors who are modern-day stat nerds (using more stats than your parents grew up with). They have a handful of writers who do an excellent job, and many bloggers who bring up great conversation, baseball or otherwise. What sets out VEB from the rest is that they bring a personal sense to the blog, making fun of each other and making conversations as if they personally know the person (even though many don’t).