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Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections

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Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections

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  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-4758-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-4758-7

Use Blogging to Supercharge Sales, Customer Loyalty, Innovation, and Profits

“To connect with today’s buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. And there is no better tool for this than the blog! Blogging to Drive Business is an essential guide for any business wishing to use a blog to attract a steady stream of inbound opportunities.”

–Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.

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, Wal-Mart, Google, HP, and BusinessWeek. 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

• Staff your blogging initiative

• Integrate blogs with other offline and online marketing programs

• 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)

• 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

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction    1

How This Book Is Organized    2

Conventions Used in This Book    3

Web Pages    3

Special Elements    3

There’s More Online    4

1  Why Are Blogs So Important?    5

Media Growth Is in One Area: Online    6

Get the Message Out    6

Blog Popularity    8

Hello,World!    8

Promote Products and Services    10

Reach People    12

Keep Pushing Content    13

Drive People to the Blog    13

Crowdsourcing    13

Case Studies: Intel and Adidas    15

Intel Inside Scoop Blog    15

Adidas Soccer MySpace Blog    17

Summary    21

2  Leveraging Your Blog with Marketing Tools    23

Online Marketing    24

Web Site    24

E-Mail Marketing    24

More Work… and Potential Solutions    25

Offline Marketing    29

Pushing Information via RSS    31

Getting Customers to Subscribe    33

Taking Care of Your Readers    33

Case Studies    34

City of Arvada    34

The Sacramento Bee    36

Summary    38

3  Creating a Blogging Strategy    39

Blogging Platforms    40

WordPress.com    40

TypePad    42

Vox    44

Blogger    44

LiveJournal    45

Blog Software    46

Finding the Blog Best for Your Business    49

Vlogs    49

Photoblogs    50

Podcast Blogs    51

Tumblelogs    52

Microblogs    53

Moblogs    55

Combining Blogs with Other Networking Sites    56

MySpace    56

Facebook    57

LinkedIn    58

Twitter    59

Case Studies    60

BusinessWeek    60

KCBS Radio, San Francisco    62

Summary    64

4  Blogging Responsibly    65

Listen to Your Audience    66

Two-Way Discussions    66

Listening by Sharing    67

Tools to Help You Listen    69

Comments and Responding to Them    74

Comment Forms    74

When to Moderate Comments    74

Negative Feedback Can Help You Grow    76

Dealing with Negative Feedback    77

Case Study: Molson Coors Brewing Company    78

Summary    81

5  Finding Topics to Write About    83

Writing Blogs for the Wider World    84

Creating an Industry Resource Blog    84

Create an Online Community    86

Case Study: Canucks Fan Zone    88

Creating an Internal Blog (or Blogs) for Your Company    90

Keep People Informed    90

Internal Blogs for Project Management    91

Product Blog (External)    92

Summary    94

6  Who Will Write the Blog?    95

Writing from Within a Company    96

Identifying Authors    96

Client Services and Tech Support    99

Authentic Content    101

Hiring a Blogger    102

Tips for Hiring a Blogger    102

Hiring a Blogger from Your Industry    103

Create a Blogging Position    104

Case Study: Linda Bustos: An Elastic Blog from Elastic Path    107

Summary    110

7  Getting Eyeballs to Your Blog    111

Writing Effectively    112

Editing for Word Count and Brevity    112

Be Human    114

Be Readable    115

Design    116

Reading Blogs Helps You Write Blogs    117

Commenting: More than Leaving a Calling Card    117

Blogger Outreach    118

Linking Out to Get Incoming Links    119

Search Engine Optimization    120

Blogrolls    120

Linking to Other Blog Posts    121

Write Interesting Content    122

Highlight Industry Players    122

Company Profiles    124

Case Study: Vancouver Opera    125

Being Searchable    126

Check Your Current Rank    127

Clean URLs    128

Keywords and Tags    128

Promotion    129

Social Media Networks    129

Announcing Your Blog Launch to Other

Communities    129

Target Your Newsletter Members    130

Press Releases    130

Summary    131

8  Getting Interactive with Multimedia Blogging    133

Offering Multiple Forms of Content    134

Content for All    134

Private or Members-Only Content    141

Podcasting    142

Screencasts    146

Case Study: Blendtec    147

Summary    150

9  Taking Advantage of Web    3.0 Blogs    151

An Overview of Web    3.0 Technologies    153

Wikipedia    154

APIs and Widgets    155

Mash It Up!    156

Integrating Semantic Technologies    158

Make Agents Work for Your Blog    159

Case Study: UrbanSpoon.com    160

Summary    162

A  Important Blogging Sites    163

Technorati    164

News Aggregators    164

Podcatchers    166

Ping Search Engines    167

Want to Advertise on Blogs?    167

Getting More Blog Traffic    169

Software as a Service Product    171

Index    175


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