Consider Blogging

A @ChrisBrogan Nudge

In Chris Brogan's weekly newsletter February 12th , I was reminded of the wonderful early days of exploring social media in 2007. It prompted me to suggest that you consider blogging. 2007 was a time when blogs were exploding. If you couldn't get traditional media to tell your story; you could develop your own media and shout your story out as loud as you wanted. Well, that said; you could create and post it - the level of sound and noise was up to you. In fact you had to follow through with your integrated and well-defined communications plan.

You Are In Control

They were the best of times. Brands were "early adopting" and exploring social channels. Marketing practices and long-standing media planning was put to the challenge. A community was unfolding and growing as people sought out social networks as channels for communication.

Chris' Sunday newsletter wasn't so much about challenging readers to write blogs, but it was a nudge to embrace what we have in our command. I see his nudge as a challenge to stand in a place of action, rather than contemplation. How many times have you seen a post and let it pass? Have you ever read a blog and considered commenting, but didn't? Now more than ever, it is time to engage.

Channels are Open - Start Communicating

We have more social networks and media channels at our fingertips today than ever before. Many traditional media outlets have opened up their journalists and reporters to comment and debate. Unfortunately, some members of the public have been hiding behind trollish profiles and crass comments, compromising this dialogue in some areas. Respect is key, in creating meaningful dialogue. Mutual respect and appreciating and valuing that there are differing opinions, is critical to meaningful engagement.

Tell Your Story

What opportunity are you missing by letting others tell stories about you, your brand, your cause, your business or your community? Why let someone else lead that conversation?  You can embrace the opportunity to jump into the dialogue and bring your voice to the discussion, or sit in the stands and watch the play go back and forth. There's more fun in the heat of the action, isn't there?

Choose a Channel

For me, I like to be in the conversation. You need not be a techno expert to get into social media and generate a conversation. There are so many platforms options to consider blogging. Platforms today are built for any and all levels of comfort with technology. Gosh, if you can type or use a key board - you can create media for yourself, your brand, your cause, your business or enterprise. If you've got a solid idea or concept then write, click, drag and drop - you're ready to roll. Personally, I'm active across many different social channels - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Obviously, this "blog" is also part of my footprint. I use a few tools to keep it all singing together. These include but are not limited to EClincher, Promo Republic, Commun.it, Buffer and Co-Schedule. I utilize CisionPoint, for media outreach, and Constant Contact for CRM. Canva is wonderful for developing photo assets. Filmora is terrific for video editing and pulling together quick video clips. Lots of resources to discover once you start exploring.

Naturally, it is not just about posting the story and they will come. It will take some planning and targeting of an audience. These channels are also wide open and easy to access and use.

Happy to Assist

If I've sparked something here for you let's chat further. If you've got a story but don't know where to start, connect with me and I'd be glad to talk about your business or peronal brand or cause purpose and where you might begin.

Truly, the first step is really up to you. If you don't consider blogging, at least consider what network might help you get in a conversation with your community.

Let's get that story out there now. @FergDevins 

PS - If you'd like some terrific ongoing coaching from a couple of guys that "get it", check out @ChrisBrogan and @RobHatch and all that they've got going on at Owner Media Group.


Love My Blog

Tips for the New Blogger

A Blog ?

The Holidays offer a time to relax, consider new pursuits, adjust your plan for the new year or perhaps just try something you've never thought of attempting before. In that regard one might consider writing a blog.

Blog Support

Sarah Smith had reached out to me about this great article and infographic that she has produced for the "new blogger". I thought that is was certainly a great infographic capturing terrific tips for the blogger just starting out in the wonderful world of the blogosphere. Thanks to Sarah. I hope that bloggers find it useful. Cheers to the season.

Do you want to become a blogger? You might think that blogging is easy, just like what other people may have told you.  You just have to go to the Internet the entire day and write about ideas that you have in your mind. Well, the truth is, starting a blog is not as simple as it seems.

When you start writing your first blog, you will certainly realize that it is harder than what you thought it would be. You will encounter different issues that you must learn to overcome. Even the ones who have been blogging for a long time also experience some challenges or difficulties along their way.

Do not feel bad if you make some mistakes. Mistakes will not end your world. It is fine as long as you take them as a chance to learn and step up. You can also learn from other bloggers' mistakes in the past to avoid committing such similar mistakes.

Blogging is fun and convenient for some people, so we want to help you make it a bit easier to start with. We have prepared this amazing infographic that contains a list of generally known mistakes a beginner blogger usually makes.

See the image below and gain information from the list. You can also follow the team on Twitter at Start Blog.

 Be aware of these common mistakes in blogging so you can avoid them when you start to create your own blog. Our website http://www.startbloggingonline.com can provide you with more helpful and simple blogging tips that you can also share with your friends.

beginning blogger mistakes to avoid

 


Corporate Blogging...to blog or not to blog ?

I must say that I have enjoyed the journey of blogging, since our first blog days at Molson Coors in Canada. That blog for Molson Coors was established as one way of getting our story out to the public through our own owned media channel. That was its initial strategic purpose. They were early days but those first posts delivered on our strategy to get more connected with community stakeholders and thought leaders. Relevant too that the early posts related to "Raising the Roof". They can still use our support as we hear their campaign ads today. I reflected back on those early blog days as I worked with @StaceyHood on this site and the new frontier that this represents for me. On the topic of corporate blogging I'm still a fan. I still believe that for large companies, that may sometimes feel distant from their "consumers", that blogging can bring forth the real human touch of a corporation's people and human element. The blog can and will show the human side of your business, if in fact there is one worth exposing and people internally are willing to support it.

Taking a quick peek around at some of my favourite brands the blogosphere is well populated. Air Canada has a very personal approach to blogging at "Go Far - Stories that Fly". When I personally think back to the chatter about customer service at Air Canada over many years, I'm truly impressed with how they have turned it around and are so responsive to the flyer. They are also very quick on the tweets and retweets @AirCanada.

WestJet has a really cool interactive blog site with tips and clips from destinations and a wide range of posts from "meet the veeps" to technical questions. Nicely done ! What's really great is that it's personal, engaging, relevant not too "selly". It's a connection with the flying public. They are also terrific in responding to tweets @WestJet.

The Home Depot corporate blog has a fascinating approach. It's a home design, renovation, design (my words now remember) context with great tips and tricks for home decor. I was particularly taken by the blog on painting a "lattice design" on a wall. These blog posts could stimulate some interesting options for home or cottage. For the college crowd out there you might check out the cool laundry basket design featured recently. What's really impressive here is the constant feed of fresh content. Would love to know their calendar plan on content.

Always a fan of everything Disney. Too many fond memories of growing up with the movies and a few visits to DisneyWorld. Disney Parks Blog content seem to lean on the "behind the scenes" context. Who wouldn't like to get a glimpse of a bit of how the magic is created and maintained ! It's also very basic and obviously straight from the author's pen, rather than spun with all the glitz that one might expect from a Disney production. Humble, basic, human...

My last example (and not for lack of there being many more to look through) is Petro Canada's "Pump Talk". It is a truly friendly conversational blog that speaks to matters that are relevant to the consuming public. It is a nice balance between petrol policy and tips to keep the family and community comfortable and safe.

So what's my take on the "blog or not" question ? In a word...blog !

I state five key factors to consider when diving into the blogosphere.

1. Know the purpose of your blog. Entertain, inform, feed facts, dispel, rumour, advocacy, voice of employee. Have a strategic purpose.

2. Be authentic. The best advocates are the people from within your organization. Let them tell their stories from the heart.

3. Build advocates in the community. It's totally fine and wise to build advocates and bloggers that shout out your message and their opinion of you.

4. Reach out to other corporates and their bloggers. It's a community that needs to share and engage to spread good news and good will.

5. Plan. Whether by special occasion, industry event, theme of your business your content needs an overall plan that ties back to purpose.

If you haven't yet read Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel...it is basic training required reading for new bloggers. Like a favourite novel you might return to on occasion, the lessons learned through this work are timeless.

Be sure to let me know when you've got your blog up and running so that I can comment, share and tweet about it. Cheers @FergDevins  @DevinsNetwork.