Blogging for Business by Reference Librarian Amanda Holling 12 pm at the Charleston County Library’s Small Business & Nonprofit Networking Lunch
Blogs are an inexpensive, relatively simple way to give your small business or nonprofit an active web presence. Learn basic blog setup and best practices for promoting your organization in this session led by the library’s own business librarian blogger.
12:00 pm Let get started! Amanda is talking about blogging based on her experience from managing the Business Center blog
12:05 pm Problem that blogs can solve:
-replace an older chunky website
-Flexible to connect with your clients or users.
12:08 pm Blogging Platforms
-Traditional- Live Journal, Blogger, WordPress
-Microblogs – Tumblr, Posterious, Twitter
Example of a traditional Blog www.theresawagner.com
-You can also use it to create a website with blogging software
Topeka Shawnee Public Library uses WordPress software to maintain their entire website.
12:13 pm Why blog?
-Can have a two-way conversation with you customers
-Blogs are more SEO friendly
-Easy to update without knowing a bunch of code.
12:20 pm Things to consider
-How often whill you post?
-What are you going to write about?
-Do you want to allow comments
-Know your audience and cater to that.
12:30 pm Setting up a blog
-Decide whether you use a hosted or a self-hosted blog. Consider whether you get get a domain name.
-Because each platform is different, we will discuss WordPress today as it is gaining popularity.
-A hosted blog is using a free account on site like Blogger or WordPress. This is tempting because it is free. However, you do not have control of your content. You cannot backup your content. However, this can be a solution if you do not have a budget for a a website or a blog.
If you choose the self-hosted option, you can purchase hosting space from different companies. For more on webhosting see Web Histing on the Cheap Part of this includes purchasing a domain name. This can be a viable option as it gives your organization legitimacy and makes it easier for your ussers to find you.
12:40 pm You Blog setup using WordPress
Choose a theme from WordPress. There are several predetermined themes from WordPress or elsewhere. There are also several option for theme customization.
– Add some content. This is where you add the information that you want on your site.
– Pages- these are static pages that display content that does not change. Some examples of these are an About Us page or a description of your business.
-Posts- These are the most common entries on blogs. This can be a good place to add news about your organization or post about things that are important to you.
-Categories- these are broad terms that describe what you talk about. Think of these like a Table of Contents. This can give a new visitor an idea of what your site is about.
-Tags- These are more specific keywords that describe individual posts.
12:50 pm Test you blog and maintain your blog
-Test your blog on different computers and internet browsers. The most common are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Also check it on both PC and Mac.
– Make your blog accessible on mobile devices.
-Backup you blog. This is really only an issue with self-hosted blogs. If you have a hosted blog, the company should do this for you. Backup your files and text your backup.
1:00 pm How do I make it a success?
-Join the blog community. Find local people who have blog and participate in their blogs. Find others who write about topics that interest you. Comment thoughtfully on others posts. Do not SPAM.
-Post frequently. Posting one a day is not too much. Some very successful blogs post more than that. A good practice to get in the habit of is to write several posts and then space them out. Work ahead of schedule. This can be helpful especially if you want to plan for vacations.
-Think about sharing the responsibility of writing posts. Especially if their are several individuals in your organizations who can add to your blog.
-Post on topics your clients care about.
Success stories, industry news, conference experiences, how to’s, new products and services, human interest stories. These are just a few examples of things that you can post about
-Keep a friendly, authentic tone in your writing style. Write clearly. Also, embed media like Youtube videos when appropriate. Videos, presentations, TV spots, etc.
1:05 pm Commenting
-Reply as soon as possible. Comments are a way to make unhappy people happy. Nuke spam.
-Do not feed the trolls. This is an expression that refers to people who are just trying to make trouble. Do not respond to these and delete their comments. Your readers will thank you for this.
-Encourage real and genuine interaction from your users. Add a Share This button to your site. This supports most common platforms for sharing your content.
1:15 pm Help and Resources
-User groups like CHSWordPress http://chswordpress.org
-Social Media CLub Charleston www.smccharleston.org
-Are you a nonprofit? palmettotechnologyhub.org
-TLC Technology Learning Center at the Library presents blogging tech talks
-Hire a local geek.
Stay tuned for the slides from the presentations.