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Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections, 2nd Edition

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Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections, 2nd Edition

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Description

  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Edition: 2nd
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-310360-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-310360-1

BLOGGING TO DRIVE BUSINESS

USE BLOGGING TO SUPERCHARGE SALES, CUSTOMER  LOYALTY, INNOVATION, AND PROFITS

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, Starbucks, ING Direct, Procter & Gamble, and Tumblr.

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 to maximize
    the return on investment (ROI) from your blog
  • Staff your blogging initiative
  • Integrate blogs with other offline and online marketing programs,
    including social networking websites
  • 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)
  • Operate successful contests and sweepstakes campaigns on your blog
  • 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
  • Track your blog performance, spot and respond to trends, and translate and
    report data you receive from your blog

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction ......................................................................1

How This Book Is Organized ........................................................2

Conventions Used in This Book ...................................................3

    Web Pages ..................................................................................3

    Special Elements ........................................................................4

There’s More Online .......................................................................4

1 Why Are Blogs So Important?

Media Growth Is in One Area: Online ........................................6

Get the Message Out .......................................................................7

    Blog Popularity ..........................................................................8

    Hello, World! .............................................................................9

Promote Products and Services ..................................................11

Reach People ..................................................................................12

    Keep Pushing Content ............................................................13

    Drive People to the Blog .........................................................14

Crowdsourcing ..............................................................................14

Case Studies....................................................................................15

    Intel Inside Scoop Blog ...........................................................15

    My Starbucks Idea Blog ..........................................................17

2 Making the Most of Your Blog with Marketing Tools

Online Marketing ..........................................................................22

    Website .....................................................................................22

    Email Marketing ......................................................................22

    Social Networks .......................................................................23

    Search Engine Optimization and Marketing ......................25

    More Work... and Potential Solutions .................................27

Offline Marketing ..........................................................................31

Pushing Information via RSS ......................................................33

    Getting Customers to Subscribe............................................34

    Taking Care of Your Readers ................................................35

Case Studies....................................................................................36

    Katrina Sawa, JumpStart Your Marketing ...........................36

    Northern Voice Conference ..................................................38

3 Creating a Blogging Strategy

Blogging Platforms ........................................................................42

    WordPress.com........................................................................42

    TypePad ....................................................................................45

    Blogger ......................................................................................46

    LiveJournal ...............................................................................46

    Posterous Spaces ......................................................................47

    Blog Software ...........................................................................48

Finding the Best Blog for Your Business ...................................51

    Vlogs ..........................................................................................51

    Photoblogs ................................................................................52

    Podcast Blogs ...........................................................................52

    Tumblelogs ...............................................................................53

    Microblogs and Sideblogs ......................................................54

    Moblogs ....................................................................................56

Combining Blogs with Other Networking Sites .......................57

    Facebook ...................................................................................57

    LinkedIn ....................................................................................58

    Twitter .......................................................................................59

    Google+ .....................................................................................60

    YouTube ...................................................................................61

    Vimeo ........................................................................................62

    Instagram ..................................................................................62

    Pinterest ....................................................................................63

Case Studies....................................................................................64

    InsuranceMommy.com ..........................................................64

    Vancouver Film School (VFS) ...............................................67

4 Blogging Responsibly

Listen to Your Audience ..............................................................70

    Two-Way Discussions ............................................................70

    Listen by Sharing .....................................................................72

    Tools to Help You Listen .......................................................74

Comments and Responses ...........................................................79

    Comment Forms .....................................................................79

    When to Moderate Comments .............................................80

    Negative Feedback Can Help You Grow .............................82

    Deal with Negative Feedback ................................................82

Avoid Slip-Ups ..............................................................................83

    Form a Game Plan ..................................................................84

    Think About Fixes Before Slip-Ups Happen ......................86

    Implement Fixes Quickly .......................................................87

Case Studies....................................................................................87

    Molson Coors Brewing Company ........................................88

    ING Direct’s Direct Talk Blog ...............................................90

5 Choosing a Blog Topic

Build Blog Posts .............................................................................94

    Themed Topics ........................................................................94

    Include Photos .........................................................................95

Write Blogs for the Wider World ...............................................97

    Create an Industry Resource Blog ........................................97

    Create an Online Community .............................................100

Create an Internal Blog (or Blogs) for Your Company .........102

    Keep People Informed ..........................................................102

    Internal Blogs for Project Management .............................103

    Product Blog (External) ........................................................104

Case Study: Procter & Gamble’s Man of the House ..............106

Case Study: CafePress .................................................................107

6 Designing Your Blog

Understanding the Function of Your Blog .............................110

    Readability Is Functionality .................................................110

    The Functions of Color and Text .......................................110

Designing for Your Blog Audience ..........................................112

Finding Themes and Templates ................................................113

    WordPress ..............................................................................113

    Tumblr ....................................................................................114

    Blogger ....................................................................................115

    Other Blog Platforms ............................................................116

    Tips for Editing Your Theme to Drive Business ..............116

Case Studies..................................................................................117

    Tumblr Staff Blog ..................................................................118

Case Study: Ree Hammond, Pioneer Woman ........................119

7 Who Will Write the Blog?

Writing from Within a Company.............................................122

    Identifying Authors ...............................................................122

    Client Services and Tech Support .......................................126

    Authentic Content .................................................................127

Hiring a Blogger ..........................................................................128

    Tips for Hiring a Blogger .....................................................129

    Hiring a Blogger from Your Industry ................................130

    Create a Blogging Position ...................................................131

Case Studies..................................................................................134

    Linda Bustos: An Elastic Blog from Elastic Path ..............134

    Rob Jones: BuildDirect Blog ................................................137

8 Getting Eyeballs to Your Blog

Writing Effectively ......................................................................142

    Editing for Word Count and Brevity .................................142

    Sound Human ........................................................................144

Reading Blogs Helps You Write Blogs .....................................145

    Commenting—More than Leaving a Calling Card ..........145

    Blogger Outreach ...................................................................146

    Linking Out to Get Incoming Links ...................................148

    Search Engine Optimization ................................................148

    Blogrolls ..................................................................................149

    Linking to Other Blog Posts ................................................150

Write Interesting Content ..........................................................150

    Highlight Industry Players ...................................................150

    Company Profiles ..................................................................152

Being Searchable ..........................................................................153

    Check Your Current Rank ...................................................154

    Clean URLs .............................................................................154

    Keywords and Tags ...............................................................154

Promotion ....................................................................................155

    Social Media Networks .........................................................156

    Announcing Your Blog Launch to Other Communities .156

    Target Your Newsletter Members ......................................156

    Press Releases .........................................................................157

Case Study: Vancouver Opera .............................................157

Case Study: Translink’s Buzzer Blog ........................................159

9 Getting Interactive with Multimedia Blogging

Content for All .............................................................................164

    Images .....................................................................................164

    Videos......................................................................................168

    Audio .......................................................................................169

    Slideshows ..............................................................................171

Private or Members-Only Content...........................................172

Podcasting ....................................................................................172

    Creating and Promoting Podcasts ......................................173

    Show Notes .............................................................................174

    Music .......................................................................................174

    Editing and Publishing .........................................................174

Screencasts ....................................................................................176

    Create and Promote Screencasts .........................................177

Contests on Blogs ........................................................................177

    Prizing .....................................................................................178

    Blog Contest Services ............................................................178

    Legal Items for Consideration .............................................179

    Select Winners .......................................................................180

    How to Measure Success ......................................................181

    Run a Contest with a Blogger ..............................................181

Case Study: Blendtec ...................................................................181

10 Taking Advantage of Web 3.0 Blogs

An Overview of Web 3.0 Technologies ...................................186

    Wikipedia ...............................................................................188

    APIs and Widgets ..................................................................189

Mash It Up! ..................................................................................190

    Integrate Semantic Technologies ........................................192

    Make Agents Work for Your Blog ......................................193

Go Mobile .....................................................................................194

    Understand Smartphone and Tablet Differences .............195

    Smartphone Moblogs ............................................................197

    Tablet Moblogs ......................................................................199

Case Studies..................................................................................202

    UrbanSpoon.com ..................................................................202

    HootSuite for the iPad ..........................................................205

11 Maximizing Your Blog’s ROI

What’s Your Online Influence? ................................................210

Put Together Your Strategy .......................................................212

    The Tools You Need .............................................................213

    Tie Your Blog and Other Marketing

        Strategies Together ..........................................................215

    Present Your Recommendations ........................................218

Track Your Blog Performance ..................................................220

    Set Up Tracking Tools ..........................................................220

    Getting the Right Data ..........................................................225

    Translate and Report Data ...................................................228

Trend Watching ..........................................................................229

    Spotting One or More Trends .............................................229

    What Does It Mean? .............................................................230

Case Studies..................................................................................231

    6S Marketing ..........................................................................231

    Autonomy ROI Blog Tracking ............................................235

A Important Blogging Sites

Technorati ....................................................................................239

Icerocket .......................................................................................240

Google Blog Search .....................................................................240

News Aggregators .......................................................................241

Podcatchers ..................................................................................242

Ping Search Engines ....................................................................243

Want to Advertise on Blogs? .....................................................244

Getting More Blog Traffic ..........................................................245

Software as a Service Product ....................................................247

B Moblogging Apps

Smartphones ................................................................................251

    iPhone Apps ...........................................................................251

    Android Apps ........................................................................254

Tablets ...........................................................................................257

    iPad Apps ................................................................................257

    Android Apps ........................................................................259

Index

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