Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections / Edition 2

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Overview

BLOGGING TO DRIVE BUSINESS

USE BLOGGING TO SUPERCHARGE SALES, CUSTOMER LOYALTY, INNOVATION, AND PROFITS

Blogging can help you deepen customer loyalty, reach new customers, gain indispensable feedback, and drive more sales. This no-nonsense guide shows how to craft a business blog that does all that, and more—building your business and increasing your profits. Top e-marketers and business bloggers Eric Butow and Rebecca Bollwitt help you define clear goals, generate the right content with the right tools, attract visitors, build communities, and avoid costly mistakes. They draw on their own extensive experience, as well as the work of innovators from companies such as Intel, Starbucks, ING Direct, Procter & Gamble, and Tumblr.

WHATEVER YOUR ROLE IN THE BUSINESS, YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO:

  • Launch a blog that truly represents the best of your business
  • Create a comprehensive, long-term blogging strategy to maximize
    the return on investment (ROI) from your blog
  • Staff your blogging initiative
  • Integrate blogs with other offline and online marketing programs,
    including social networking websites
  • Use your blog to drive customers and prospects to the business
  • Push up-to-the-minute information to customers via RSS
  • Build a thriving online community—and learn from what it tells you
  • Manage comments (and decide whether to have them)
  • Operate successful contests and sweepstakes campaigns on your blog
  • Utilize podcasts, vlogs, microblogging, and other new techniques
  • Gain business value from hot new Web 3.0 technologies, including widgets,
    mashups, personal agents, and the Semantic Web
  • Track your blog performance, spot and respond to trends, and translate and
    report data you receive from your blog
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789749949
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Series: Que Biz-Tech Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 930,828
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Butow is CEO of Butow Communications Group (BCG), web design and online marketing ROI firm in Jackson, California. Eric has written a wide variety of computing books since 2000, and his latest titles include How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn , Droid Companion , and My Samsung Galaxy Tab . When he’s not working in (and on) his business or writing books, you can find Eric enjoying time with friends, walking around the historic Gold Rush town of Jackson, and helping his parents manage their infant and toddler daycare business.

Rebecca Bollwitt is the cofounder of sixty4media in Vancouver, British Columbia, which specializes in WordPress development, and she has been blogging on Miss604.com about West Coast life since 2004. Miss604 is Vancouver’s most award-winning blog and was voted “Best Local Blog” in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Rebecca was also named one of the Vancouver Sun’s Top 100 Women of Influence in British Columbia. She is the local Twestival organizer and a member of the Canadian Red Cross Twitter Team, and spends her spare time at baseball and hockey games with her husband, or researching local history.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ......................................................................1

How This Book Is Organized ........................................................2

Conventions Used in This Book ...................................................3

Web Pages ..................................................................................3

Special Elements ........................................................................4

There’s More Online .......................................................................4

1 Why Are Blogs So Important?

Media Growth Is in One Area: Online ........................................6

Get the Message Out .......................................................................7

Blog Popularity ..........................................................................8

Hello, World! .............................................................................9

Promote Products and Services ..................................................11

Reach People ..................................................................................12

Keep Pushing Content ............................................................13

Drive People to the Blog .........................................................14

Crowdsourcing ..............................................................................14

Case Studies....................................................................................15

Intel Inside Scoop Blog ...........................................................15

My Starbucks Idea Blog ..........................................................17

2 Making the Most of Your Blog with Marketing Tools

Online Marketing ..........................................................................22

Website .....................................................................................22

Email Marketing ......................................................................22

Social Networks .......................................................................23

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing ......................25

More Work... and Potential Solutions .................................27

Offline Marketing ..........................................................................31

Pushing Information via RSS ......................................................33

Getting Customers to Subscribe............................................34

Taking Care of Your Readers ................................................35

Case Studies....................................................................................36

Katrina Sawa, JumpStart Your Marketing ...........................36

Northern Voice Conference ..................................................38

3 Creating a Blogging Strategy

Blogging Platforms ........................................................................42

WordPress.com........................................................................42

TypePad ....................................................................................45

Blogger ......................................................................................46

LiveJournal ...............................................................................46

Posterous Spaces ......................................................................47

Blog Software ...........................................................................48

Finding the Best Blog for Your Business ...................................51

Vlogs ..........................................................................................51

Photoblogs ................................................................................52

Podcast Blogs ...........................................................................52

Tumblelogs ...............................................................................53

Microblogs and Sideblogs ......................................................54

Moblogs ....................................................................................56

Combining Blogs with Other Networking Sites .......................57

Facebook ...................................................................................57

LinkedIn ....................................................................................58

Twitter .......................................................................................59

Google+ .....................................................................................60

YouTube ...................................................................................61

Vimeo ........................................................................................62

Instagram ..................................................................................62

Pinterest ....................................................................................63

Case Studies....................................................................................64

InsuranceMommy.com ..........................................................64

Vancouver Film School (VFS) ...............................................67

4 Blogging Responsibly

Listen to Your Audience ..............................................................70

Two-Way Discussions ............................................................70

Listen by Sharing .....................................................................72

Tools to Help You Listen .......................................................74

Comments and Responses ...........................................................79

Comment Forms .....................................................................79

When to Moderate Comments .............................................80

Negative Feedback Can Help You Grow .............................82

Deal with Negative Feedback ................................................82

Avoid Slip-Ups ..............................................................................83

Form a Game Plan ..................................................................84

Think About Fixes Before Slip-Ups Happen ......................86

Implement Fixes Quickly .......................................................87

Case Studies....................................................................................87

Molson Coors Brewing Company ........................................88

ING Direct’s Direct Talk Blog ...............................................90

5 Choosing a Blog Topic

Build Blog Posts .............................................................................94

Themed Topics ........................................................................94

Include Photos .........................................................................95

Write Blogs for the Wider World ...............................................97

Create an Industry Resource Blog ........................................97

Create an Online Community .............................................100

Create an Internal Blog (or Blogs) for Your Company .........102

Keep People Informed ..........................................................102

Internal Blogs for Project Management .............................103

Product Blog (External) ........................................................104

Case Study: Procter & Gamble’s Man of the House ..............106

Case Study: CafePress .................................................................107

6 Designing Your Blog

Understanding the Function of Your Blog .............................110

Readability Is Functionality .................................................110

The Functions of Color and Text .......................................110

Designing for Your Blog Audience ..........................................112

Finding Themes and Templates ................................................113

WordPress ..............................................................................113

Tumblr ....................................................................................114

Blogger ....................................................................................115

Other Blog Platforms ............................................................116

Tips for Editing Your Theme to Drive Business ..............116

Case Studies..................................................................................117

Tumblr Staff Blog ..................................................................118

Case Study: Ree Hammond, Pioneer Woman ........................119

7 Who Will Write the Blog?

Writing from Within a Company.............................................122

Identifying Authors ...............................................................122

Client Services and Tech Support .......................................126

Authentic Content .................................................................127

Hiring a Blogger ..........................................................................128

Tips for Hiring a Blogger .....................................................129

Hiring a Blogger from Your Industry ................................130

Create a Blogging Position ...................................................131

Case Studies..................................................................................134

Linda Bustos: An Elastic Blog from Elastic Path ..............134

Rob Jones: BuildDirect Blog ................................................137

8 Getting Eyeballs to Your Blog

Writing Effectively ......................................................................142

Editing for Word Count and Brevity .................................142

Sound Human ........................................................................144

Reading Blogs Helps You Write Blogs .....................................145

Commenting—More than Leaving a Calling Card ..........145

Blogger Outreach ...................................................................146

Linking Out to Get Incoming Links ...................................148

Search Engine Optimization ................................................148

Blogrolls ..................................................................................149

Linking to Other Blog Posts ................................................150

Write Interesting Content ..........................................................150

Highlight Industry Players ...................................................150

Company Profiles ..................................................................152

Being Searchable ..........................................................................153

Check Your Current Rank ...................................................154

Clean URLs .............................................................................154

Keywords and Tags ...............................................................154

Promotion ....................................................................................155

Social Media Networks .........................................................156

Announcing Your Blog Launch to Other Communities .156

Target Your Newsletter Members ......................................156

Press Releases .........................................................................157

Case Study: Vancouver Opera .............................................157

Case Study: Translink’s Buzzer Blog ........................................159

9 Getting Interactive with Multimedia Blogging

Content for All .............................................................................164

Images .....................................................................................164

Videos......................................................................................168

Audio .......................................................................................169

Slideshows ..............................................................................171

Private or Members-Only Content...........................................172

Podcasting ....................................................................................172

Creating and Promoting Podcasts ......................................173

Show Notes .............................................................................174

Music .......................................................................................174

Editing and Publishing .........................................................174

Screencasts ....................................................................................176

Create and Promote Screencasts .........................................177

Contests on Blogs ........................................................................177

Prizing .....................................................................................178

Blog Contest Services ............................................................178

Legal Items for Consideration .............................................179

Select Winners .......................................................................180

How to Measure Success ......................................................181

Run a Contest with a Blogger ..............................................181

Case Study: Blendtec ...................................................................181

10 Taking Advantage of Web 3.0 Blogs

An Overview of Web 3.0 Technologies ...................................186

Wikipedia ...............................................................................188

APIs and Widgets ..................................................................189

Mash It Up! ..................................................................................190

Integrate Semantic Technologies ........................................192

Make Agents Work for Your Blog ......................................193

Go Mobile .....................................................................................194

Understand Smartphone and Tablet Differences .............195

Smartphone Moblogs ............................................................197

Tablet Moblogs ......................................................................199

Case Studies..................................................................................202

UrbanSpoon.com ..................................................................202

HootSuite for the iPad ..........................................................205

11 Maximizing Your Blog’s ROI

What’s Your Online Influence? ................................................210

Put Together Your Strategy .......................................................212

The Tools You Need .............................................................213

Tie Your Blog and Other Marketing

Strategies Together ..........................................................215

Present Your Recommendations ........................................218

Track Your Blog Performance ..................................................220

Set Up Tracking Tools ..........................................................220

Getting the Right Data ..........................................................225

Translate and Report Data ...................................................228

Trend Watching ..........................................................................229

Spotting One or More Trends .............................................229

What Does It Mean? .............................................................230

Case Studies..................................................................................231

6S Marketing ..........................................................................231

Autonomy ROI Blog Tracking ............................................235

A Important Blogging Sites

Technorati ....................................................................................239

Icerocket .......................................................................................240

Google Blog Search .....................................................................240

News Aggregators .......................................................................241

Podcatchers ..................................................................................242

Ping Search Engines ....................................................................243

Want to Advertise on Blogs? .....................................................244

Getting More Blog Traffic ..........................................................245

Software as a Service Product ....................................................247

B Moblogging Apps

Smartphones ................................................................................251

iPhone Apps ...........................................................................251

Android Apps ........................................................................254

Tablets ...........................................................................................257

iPad Apps ................................................................................257

Android Apps ........................................................................259

Index

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