Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections (Que Biz-Tech Series)

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Overview

Use Blogging to Supercharge Sales, Customer Loyalty, Innovation, and Profits

“To connect with today’s buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. And there is no better tool for this than the blog! Blogging to Drive Business is an essential guide for any business wishing to use a blog to attract a steady stream of inbound opportunities.”

—Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.

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, Wal-Mart, Google, HP, and BusinessWeek. 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

• Staff your blogging initiative

• Integrate blogs with other offline and online marketing programs

• 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)

• 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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A great read! If you’re looking to start a blog for your business, this is the book for you. It’s well-written and comprehensive, including case studies and examples of real companies to make the concepts easy to understand.”

Dee Barizo, performancing.com

Blogging to Drive Business does an excellent job at educating the market on the critical elements required for success in the digital economy. After all, businesses only gain market share when they communicate in a way that enhances relationships. Blogging to Drive Business provides the roadmap for success!”

Jay Deragon, Social Media Strategist

“To connect with today’s buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. And there is no better tool for this than the blog! Blogging to Drive Business is an essential guide for any business wishing to use a blog to attract a steady stream of inbound opportunities.”

–Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.

“This book provides business owners and entrepreneurs hands-on advice on starting a blog–why planning is important, who should be contributing, what tools are available, and where to find additional resources and content ideas. The authors make good use of case studies to address many of the commonly asked questions about blogging. If you’ve been on the fence about starting a blog, this book will help you draw an action plan.”

Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent

“Butow and Bollwitt have assembled a practical guide for any company to follow as they develop a blogging strategy. Their approach is firmly planted in driving business success without overburdening executives with impractical advice or ideological mantras. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take advantage of a blogging strategy to promote their business and connect with prospective and current customers.”

Jeff Nolan, Venture Chronicles

“If you are looking for a practical guide to show you exactly how to use a blog to drive business, look no further, you’ve found it. As a practioner myself, I know there are some skills that can only be learned by doing. These authors know what they’re talking about because they’ve done it. Save yourself some time and invest in this book.”

Michelle Price, CEO, A Third Mind Digital Media

“If you get blogging right, it can be a major benefit for you business. This book helps you get the strategy and planning right upfront, and then talks you through the steps you need to make your blog a success and to grow and develop it.”

Matt Rhodes, FreshNetworks

Blogging to Drive Business is a no-nonsense and practical guide for those who have yet to embark on the road to enhanced corporate communications. It explains why, who, what, and how to start and maintain a valuable connection with your customers via this engaging medium.”

Hayden Sutherland, Ideal Interface (UK)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789742568
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 1/25/2010
  • Series: Que Biz-Tech Series
  • Pages: 179
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Butow is CEO of Butow Communications Group (BCG), a Web design and online marketing firm in Jackson, California. Eric has written a wide variety of computing books since 2000, and his latest titles include User Interface Design for Mere Mortals, How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn, as well as custom For Dummies titles for F5 Networks and Hewlett-Packard. When Eric isn’t writing or running his business, you’ll catch him reading and enjoying the weather of the Sierra foothills.

Rebecca Bollwitt is the co-founder of sixty4media, which specializes in WordPress design and development as well as social media consulting in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rebecca has been blogging since 2004 on Miss604.com, and podcasting about music and hockey since 2005.Miss604.com was voted “Best Vancouver Blog” of 2009 in The Georgia Straight and in 2008, she was listed within the top ten “Most Influential in Canadian Social Media” by Profectio.com. She has organized social media conferences and charity fundraisers, including Blogathon Vancouver, Twestival Local, and the Best of 604 Awards.

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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 3

There’s More Online 4

1 Why Are Blogs So Important? 5

Media Growth Is in One Area: Online 6

Get the Message Out 6

Blog Popularity 8

Hello,World! 8

Promote Products and Services 10

Reach People 12

Keep Pushing Content 13

Drive People to the Blog 13

Crowdsourcing 13

Case Studies: Intel and Adidas 15

Intel Inside Scoop Blog 15

Adidas Soccer MySpace Blog 17

Summary 21

2 Leveraging Your Blog with Marketing Tools 23

Online Marketing 24

Web Site 24

E-Mail Marketing 24

More Work… and Potential Solutions 25

Offline Marketing 29

Pushing Information via RSS 31

Getting Customers to Subscribe 33

Taking Care of Your Readers 33

Case Studies 34

City of Arvada 34

The Sacramento Bee 36

Summary 38

3 Creating a Blogging Strategy 39

Blogging Platforms 40

WordPress.com 40

TypePad 42

Vox 44

Blogger 44

LiveJournal 45

Blog Software 46

Finding the Blog Best for Your Business 49

Vlogs 49

Photoblogs 50

Podcast Blogs 51

Tumblelogs 52

Microblogs 53

Moblogs 55

Combining Blogs with Other Networking Sites 56

MySpace 56

Facebook 57

LinkedIn 58

Twitter 59

Case Studies 60

BusinessWeek 60

KCBS Radio, San Francisco 62

Summary 64

4 Blogging Responsibly 65

Listen to Your Audience 66

Two-Way Discussions 66

Listening by Sharing 67

Tools to Help You Listen 69

Comments and Responding to Them 74

Comment Forms 74

When to Moderate Comments 74

Negative Feedback Can Help You Grow 76

Dealing with Negative Feedback 77

Case Study: Molson Coors Brewing Company 78

Summary 81

5 Finding Topics to Write About 83

Writing Blogs for the Wider World 84

Creating an Industry Resource Blog 84

Create an Online Community 86

Case Study: Canucks Fan Zone 88

Creating an Internal Blog (or Blogs) for Your Company 90

Keep People Informed 90

Internal Blogs for Project Management 91

Product Blog (External) 92

Summary 94

6 Who Will Write the Blog? 95

Writing from Within a Company 96

Identifying Authors 96

Client Services and Tech Support 99

Authentic Content 101

Hiring a Blogger 102

Tips for Hiring a Blogger 102

Hiring a Blogger from Your Industry 103

Create a Blogging Position 104

Case Study: Linda Bustos: An Elastic Blog from Elastic Path 107

Summary 110

7 Getting Eyeballs to Your Blog 111

Writing Effectively 112

Editing for Word Count and Brevity 112

Be Human 114

Be Readable 115

Design 116

Reading Blogs Helps You Write Blogs 117

Commenting: More than Leaving a Calling Card 117

Blogger Outreach 118

Linking Out to Get Incoming Links 119

Search Engine Optimization 120

Blogrolls 120

Linking to Other Blog Posts 121

Write Interesting Content 122

Highlight Industry Players 122

Company Profiles 124

Case Study: Vancouver Opera 125

Being Searchable 126

Check Your Current Rank 127

Clean URLs 128

Keywords and Tags 128

Promotion 129

Social Media Networks 129

Announcing Your Blog Launch to Other

Communities 129

Target Your Newsletter Members 130

Press Releases 130

Summary 131

8 Getting Interactive with Multimedia Blogging 133

Offering Multiple Forms of Content 134

Content for All 134

Private or Members-Only Content 141

Podcasting 142

Screencasts 146

Case Study: Blendtec 147

Summary 150

9 Taking Advantage of Web 3.0 Blogs 151

An Overview of Web 3.0 Technologies 153

Wikipedia 154

APIs and Widgets 155

Mash It Up! 156

Integrating Semantic Technologies 158

Make Agents Work for Your Blog 159

Case Study: UrbanSpoon.com 160

Summary 162

A Important Blogging Sites 163

Technorati 164

News Aggregators 164

Podcatchers 166

Ping Search Engines 167

Want to Advertise on Blogs? 167

Getting More Blog Traffic 169

Software as a Service Product 171

Index 175

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Well-written and Comprehensive!

    "Blogging to Drive Business" covers everything you need to know about Blogs: from importance, marketing tools, strategy and content of blogs to the blogs writer selection, tricks to drive traffic, interacting with your customers, Web 3.0 blogs, important blogging site, etc.

    The book is well-organized. It has a general Table of Content, followed by a detailed one. Each chapter has discussions, a case study, and a summary.

    "Blogging to Drive Business" is a very comprehensive little book. It definitely will be very helpful for you to enter the blogs world.

    Gang Chen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Author of "LEED GA Exam Guide," "Architectural Practice Simplified," "Planting Design Illustrated," and other books on various LEED exams, architecture, and landscape architecture

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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