Blogging is a great way to enhance your web presence: if you’re an aspiring PR professional or you don’t have an established online presence yet, blogging can definitely help you build your brand online. Since I started posting regularly this school term, I’m gaining followers – Yaay! I don’t advertise anywhere and these followers just started following me on their own, usually the same day or just day(s) after I post something new here. Who are they? These followers are bloggers who like my posts, people who are in the same industry I’m in (journalism, PR and communications students/professionals) and those who are interested in what I have to say to subscribe to my email updates. How did this happen? I have spiders to thank for this! Web spiders do a good job of tracking my content/keywords and backlinking me on web searches or keyword alerts like Google Alerts for those who are looking for “Public Relations” and “Communications” as their search terms.
I believe having a blog is useful for everyone. You could be a Graphic Designer interested in posting your art online. You could also be a photographer who just wants to share your work in an online portfolio. Why not host your images in a blog? Your blog doesn’t have to be like this blog (which is heavily writing-based): You can choose to post what content format you think works best! Let’s say you’re only interested in posting pictures and you only have a minute or two to post about it. I urge you to consider using Twitter which is essentially a microblogging service. Microblog is a shorter-form blog: on Twitter, you can post a photo (or short video clip) and are limited to 140 characters. It is simple to do once you have a registered (free) account and you can blog using your mobile device. You can checkout my twitter account by clicking the link previous.
Some blogs, like Tumblr, are better suited for posting pictures. I use Tumblr to post food-related photos only which is linked to my Twitter account. This means every time I publish something on Tumblr, it publishes automatically to my Twitter account. I setup this option intentionally (you don’t have to, unless you want that)! You may notice my Instagram account automatically posts to Tumblr (I also intentionally set it up this way) to make my life easier! Lack of time is no excuse to not blog because you have Tumblr.
Having a Regular Blogging Schedule
Weekly, scheduled blogging lets you (especially you PR students and/or Communications professionals) hone your writing skills by allowing you a space/platform to send a message. This message can be broadcast on the web at a pre-determined time (e.g. you deliver new content EVERY Tuesday). Your content can then be shared with others by the people who subscribe to your updates or those who follow you. Providing Social Media sharing tools as plugins embedded at the end of a blog post makes sharing easier. For all blog posts here on Styx Communications, I’ve allowed for many options for readers to share my permalinked blogs online such as through Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etcetera.
Who Blogs Anyway?
Richard Edelman does: Richard, son of Daniel Edelman (founder of the PR firm Edelman), is the guy predominantly appearing in the selfies above. He frequently posts on 6 A.M. Edelman is “now the world’s largest public relations firm” with “67 offices and more than 4,800 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities.” In 2012, it was reported that Edelman had revenues of $644.7 million. You can read more about Edelman (the firm) here.
How to Rock Blogging
I’d also like to share with you, an informative and valuable slideshare by marketing genius Kelvin (KC) Claveria who talks about choosing the right blogging platform, SEO basics and gives tips on how to begin a blog. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to start (or improve their blog).
How to Effectively Harness the Power of Blogging
I have 3 specific recommendations for you to implement in your blog:
1. Provide useful content
Write about topics that help your target audience go about their daily lives, either by solving an issue, avoiding a problem, or warning them about a potential disaster, is valuable. Ideally, the content you provide them is informative, entertaining (or exciting) and useful. How do you know something is valuable? It must answer the question: “Why Should I Care?” or “What’s in it for Me?” (WIIFM).
2. Share resources
Be a curator for resources (links online or recommendations for books, articles or reference material available offline). This would be a value-added service you can provide to your audience. People would visit your blog, stick around to read it when you post engaging material but they won’t share it unless you provide them something they deem useful enough to share with their friends, family or colleagues. Using scoop.it can help you with this. Scoop.it! lets you curate articles of interest and lets you share it with your network (e.g. Twitter and LinkedIn). I have a Communications Scoop.it! you can check out.
3. Keep your posts attractive
Have a clean layout with nice formatting (no more than 2 types of fonts/colours to keep your blog readable) – this is important because it keeps the look and feel of your blog consistent. Also, try limit your posts to no longer than 1,500 words as recommended by Orbit Media Studios. This blog entry has a word count of 1111.
Keep your blog short to minimize clutter. I once asked my BCIT Social Media Marketing Instructor Clayton Mitchell for his advice on the perfect blog post length and he recommended that instead of having one long blog post, that I break it down into 500 word posts and then write 2 or 3 different blog entries if I have a longer topic to write about! Genius, eh? I can have a blog topic, keep my posts short and interesting AND have the extra benefit of additional future posts that my followers can look forward to!
Please like, share, or comment if you’ve found this post useful!
I’d love to hear from you. Tell me how you got started blogging (for you current bloggers). If you’re a new blogger, please feel free to contact me so I can point you to more blogging resources. You can also just write to me or leave me a comment here about what you like about blogging, what your blogging methodology/process is AND if you have other tips or tricks for blogging you can share with me and my readers! Thank you for reading this post. Namaste!