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Blogging 101

2010/05/18

NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics I taught an Intro to Social Media class last month and followed it up with an example post, We Made Decisions Regarding Your Health Today, that demonstrated some key social media concepts.

I then followed up that workshop and post with an email to the workshop participants explaining what I’d done in the example post and why.

And now, I’m sharing that info with you:

  • Remember what I suggested regarding titles for blog posts? This title hits most of the buttons I was suggesting. It could be considered a bit much and that’s fine because my audiences know I’m not an health care professional and I explain my purpose for the post.That offered, that title will cause people to read the post. If anything, I could have targeted the title more with “We Made Decisions Regarding Your Health Today, NH” or “New Hampshire, We Made Decisions Regarding Your Health Today”. Either way a simple change both decreases your audience size (the post will now only appeal to NH citizens) and increases your penetration (everyone in NH will pick up their ears a bit).You may remember that I offered “Today We Talked About Your Health” in class. The change in the title is intended to cause greater emotional engagement. As I said, ideas aren’t contagious, emotional responses to ideas are contagious.You may also remember that our analysis of several blog posts by class members indicated they were “neutral” in tone, meaning that their appeal would be less. The slight rewrite of the title moves away from any form of neutrality.
  • Images are on the right of the page. The ideal image size for a blog is based on the “on screen” width of the blog content. Images on the right are kind of a standard and like any standard there are times when you want to throw it out the window. The simple reason for images on the right is that they’re more easily formatted.One reason to place an image on the left is shown here in the Ned Helms photo. The picture I took of Ned was from his right. Whenever you have a person’s photo in your post — and especially if you have a headshot — you want them facing or looking towards your content, not away from it. If I had placed his photo on the right his face, posture and hands would have been directing readers away from the content and — believe it or not — people would non-consciously respond by either not paying attention or leaving the post before they finished it. We go over this in more detail in the aforementioned workshops and until then you’ll have to take my word for it (understanding how people respond non-consciously is NextStage’s specialty).You could “rotate” a photo so that a person originally facing away from the content is facing it instead. Be careful if you do this with full body shots. Notice that Ned is slightly leaning in the shot? Rotating the image causes that lean to exaggerate just enough to give the feeling he’s going to topple over. Not good.
  • I have links to other blogs and other organizations in the post. This is good because search engines mindlessly assume my post is related to everything I link to, meaning my pages get higher ratings, meaning they’re more easily found.That offered, be careful what you link to. Remember that linking goes both ways.
  • Also, search engines love images in blog posts. Add images when you can, yes, and always remember to add titles and “alt text”. Titles and “alt text” are what search engines use to categorize image content and taking just a little extra time adding this information pays off big time when people search for you.
  • I have links to previous posts in this post. Also a good thing because it encourages new readers to investigate this blog further while making existing readers and increased sense of camaraderie, of being “in-the-know”, of Me casa es tu casa.
  • I included a video at the bottom of the post. This video is housed in a NextStage channel on YouTube. Remember the little camera I was using? It’s good to include videos and you don’t need to be a pro. Including an occasional video simply causes your material to have additional search and indexing capabilities.
  • The bottom of the post, like my signature, is a head’s up to people on how to find me, what I offer, what I’m up to, so on and so forth.

How long did that post take to put together? That post probably took about 10 minutes front to back. That ten minutes was literally this one post. You can get your word out in front of people that quickly.

And you need to know that being able to put together a post and publish it in ten minutes takes about four years to learn how to do that quickly.

  • I created that YouTube channel years ago. That took a chunk of a morning.
  • I have templates for all my blogs. I literally cut&paste content into the templates and publish them. Each template developed over time and each one probably took another chunk of a morning to get right.
  • I learned how to use video editing software. Again, another morning and because I don’t use it often there’s a relearning curve each time I use it.

So although that one post only took a few minutes, there was a lot of background knowledge and time that went into being able to do it in just a few minutes. What I’m describing here is the “cost” of social media. I mentioned in class that

  • You can spend a lot of money and be forgotten quickly unless you’re prepared to spend big money constantly or
  • You can spend a little money and take about four years to get everything down to a science or
  • You can hire a company (you’ll be surprised that I’ll suggest NextStage Evolution, I know) to help you do it for low money and middle time, which is the route I suggest for most small to midsize organizations.

In any case, these are examples of things we’ll be going over in the 8 June and Sept workshops

Upcoming Trainings:

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgYou can follow me and my research on Twitter. I don’t twit often but when I do, it’s with gusto!

Have you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It’s a whoppin’ good read and An Economy of Meaning readers get a 25% off the list price of all NextStage research by entering ECOMEAN1 when they purchase.

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