Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

A Blog About Blogging: Companies and Org’s Doin’ It Right

As users and lovers of social media, we often get caught up in all of the tools out there–Twitter, Facebook, or as of this week, Google+. But this month’s SMC-DC event was all about the often complex art of blogging. We were honored to be joined by Maggie McGary, Online Community and Social Media Manager at ASHAAmy Ganderson, Associate Director, Digital Marketing at The Nature ConservancySimon Owens, Director of PR at JESS3 and Alejandra Owens, Social Communications/Blog Managing Editor at AARP.
So here I go, attempting to implement some of their great tips…
  1. Create dynamic content. Blogs need to keep people’s attention and serve as a resource for lots of information in not a lot of space. The best way to do this is by including links, pictures, videos, whatever–whenever possible. Along with this, create dynamic content that’s the right fit for each of the outlets you share the blog post through. Or in other (Alejandra’s) words, “auto-feeds are just bad.” Don’t put on your Facebook the same blog teaser you put in a tweet–different audiences connect with different styled language, and when/if those audiences overlap, they’ll think it’s annoying that all your content is cookie-cutter.
  2. Lay some ground rules. Developed a  social media and blogging guidelines for your company. It will not only help later on down the line in terms of logistics, avoiding people saying things they shouldn’t, etc.–but will also help you to figure out what your goal is exactly with the blog and keep you in line with achieving it. If you need inspiration, check out AARP’s social media guidelines.
  3. Keep people coming back by offering them ‘themed’ content. So for example, at Cool Green Science at The Nature Conservancy, they have one post that goes out each morning with the top five must-read articles in environmentalism. They also have a Nature Photo of the Week. These kinds of themes not only make it easier to focus on putting out enough content, they also give people something to look forward to next time if they found that post valuable.
  4. Learn from some of the great’s–but also maintain your own unique voice. Along with the blogs by the panelists themselves, some others mentioned include: Ebay Ink , the OKCupid blog OKTrends, and Treehugger.
  5. Prepare for disappointment by keeping expectations low. Sometimes you can plan and plan, but the end product just isn’t what you were expecting. Expect that it may happen and never expect lots of views to your blog in its infancy. Even if your company possesses enough of a reputation to bring more eyes to your blog doesn’t mean they will stay to hang around and read it if it’s not very good…yet.
Like most things in life, the panelists seemed to always come back to the idea that blogging is about finding a balance. For instance, you’ve got to balance SEO-friendliness with unique, original content. Having blog posts that include the words people would use to find it is important–but you can’t always live on Google Insights, constantly making sure your blog post is SEO-friendly. You have to make sure it’s people-friendly too, and that it’s reflective of the author and interesting enough for the reader. As Simon points out, well-written content is the best SEO you can have, because the better it is, the more it will be shared and the more views it will get, making it rise higher in the search ranking jungle out there. And it is a jungle out there.
What company, nonprofit or agency blogs out there do you think are doin’ it right?
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March Social Media Breakfast-DC: Blogging The City

If you have registered for the March Social Media Breakfast-DC, here is what we have in store for you! If you haven’t yet, there is a very convenient button at the end of this post 🙂 After you meet our speakers, we are sure you’ll want to come!

Join us at Busboys and Poets (14th and V — U Street Metro) on Monday, March 1 at 8am. You are invited to have breakfast with the DC/VA/MD social media community and to share your thoughts about this month’s topic: Blogging The City. Our speakers will talk about popular sites and social media channels dedicated to aggregating the best (and warning us about worst) that DC has to offer. Come hear more about how our speakers are using the Web to help us make the most of what the district has to offer offline.

Meet our speakers (the bloggers!)

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Tom and Tiffany Bridge are 2 of the several co-founders of WeLoveDC.com. He runs his own Mac IT consulting business, Technolutionary LLC, and she’s the Web Content Manager at the American Pharmacists Association. Both lifelong computer nerds, they’ve each been blogging since 2001 and joining every flavor-of-the-month social network ever since. Believing strongly that the couple who geeks together stays together, they can often be found IMing each other links on matching Apple laptops from either end of the same couch.

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Amy Melrose is the creator of Free in DC, a local Arts and Events blog where shares her inside view of DC as a rich, vibrant and creative community filled with fabulous things to do every day that don’t cost a lot! She began blogging in the fall of 2007 and works as a freelance business coach helping local businesses with messaging and new media. You can visit her site at freeindc.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter @FreeinDCBlog.

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Borderstan is a neighborhood news blog that covers Dupont-Logan-U Street. As it says on the landing page, “Borderstan is the crossroads of the Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods.” The blog covers general neighborhood news, local businesses, arts, crime and dog-related issues. There is a particular emphasis on the 17th Street, 14th Street, P Street and U Street corridors. Borderstan has evolved from a purely public safety and crime blog that started in 2008 and was devoted to a tiny strip of the neighborhood around 15th Street. The co-editors are spouses Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez. Rhoades works in corporate communications and Gomez is a self-employed photographer and photojournalist. Gomez has own photo blog, One Photograph A Day and their dog, Lupe is featured in If She Only Had Thumbs. As befits the name of the blog, they live on the cusp of the Dupont and Logan neighborhoods.

Want to get involved?

Please leave a comment or send a tweet using the #SMBDC hashtag or contact @smcdc via tweet, DM, email (socialmediaclubdc [at] gmail [dot] com) or pidgeon if you wish to be a “Head of Table” at our March event. Essentially, you are volunteering to ignite conversation at your table and let others pick your brain during the Breakfast.

Click below to register and feel free to leave your comments or reach out to us if you have questions, suggestions, if you would like to help with the event, and, if you would like to serve as a Head of Table.

There are only 42 spots left! We look forward to seeing you!

A special thanks to our event partner:

Tungle.me:

Tungle.me makes scheduling meetings easy–across organizations, calendar systems, and time zones.  Tungle.me is a free personal scheduling application that eliminates costly double bookings, time zone mishaps, and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet.  Tungle.me synchronizes with leading online calendar systems and does not require registration.