Oh, blog. How do I explain this?
Your boss is a kind, benevolent, dragon-slaying genius. But he/she doesn’t understand blogging. Send ’em here for blogging 101.
Hellooooo, bosses! You’ve been sent here for training/enlightenment. Welcome!
Over here. Your availability is short. We get it. This will be quick, painless and more than a little fun. And the best part is you get to decide how it goes.
There are two options for you, the decider: 1) Click and swoop on through the Prezi presentation, or 2) just read the copy below. It’s up to you.
You didn’t ask, but I recommend the Prezi option. It’s fun, it’s easy (just click on the action arrows to move on to each new section) and you’ll get more out of it. Plus, someone went to a lot of effort to put it all together for you.
Or, if you’re a Luddite, or just don’t generally trust anything new for your own really good gosh darn reasons, well just read it, then.
And let’s be honest. Blogging is not really that new at this point. You’re already late to the party. So, this will stay just between the two of us. No one has to be the wiser that you saw this, capiche?
Just the words. Mostly.
Blogs. We got ’em. If you’re a blogger, thinking about becoming a blogger or thinking about tapping someone on the shoulder and making them a blogger, here are a few tips to help get you started.
You said “blog”
What’s a blog? A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs. It is this interactivity that distinguishes blogs from other static websites.
Categorize it and tag it
Your blog content should be read and utilized, right? That means it needs to be searchable.
Searchability is the number one method for making your content locatable and useful to your readers. You make your content searchable by embedding tags and categories.
Take the time to put every post in (preferably) one category. Next, be sure to add tags to every blog post. It’s easy to create new tags and/or select tags when you post to your blog.
Didn’t categorize it or tag it and now you fear it’s too late? It’s not. As the editor or administrator you can go back and categorize, re-categorize and tag your posts.
You get one chance to make a first impression
It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Nothing says “lame” more than an empty web destination. It’s hard to get an audience to come back if they’ve been duped into going nowhere. In order to not be that guy, don’t make the mistake of promoting your blog before it’s ready to be seen.
Give it a handful of content nuggets before you blast out that email far and wide telling people you have a blog. Spend enough time to consider the structure, theme and ongoing intent your blog warrants …
… then sing it from the mountaintops.
It’s a livin’ thing
As a corollary to making a first impression, don’t make the corresponding mistake of waiting for your blog to be perfect or complete before you start using it. It is a living document. Every blog post is but a single snapshot in time.
Over time, with your steady hand guiding it, your blog will be a repository of vital information.
If the allusion to ELO in this section’s title escaped you, then you’re likely too young to work here. Please report to HR and bring your ID for verification and testing.
If, on the other hand, you got the reference and now have earworm, you’re welcome.
Square peg, round hole
Are you compliant? Not you, personally, but your blog’s theme/design and posts. Not important and you don’t care? Yes it is and yes you do.
Blogs are by nature frequently more informal than other forms of business writing. However, business style and policies still apply. I get that you’re a rebel. Really, I do. You just don’t need to show it here.
You will gain brownie points by demonstrating that you can play nicely with others, so please take note of company style, logo usage, language, confidentiality and other policies and apply them to your blogging. Someone entrusted you with a blog.
Please do them proud.
Who are you writing for?
Where am I? How did I get here? Is that you, Santa? Important questions, all, but too many to cover here, so I’ll just go with the big slanted one. [This would make sense if you watched the Prezi. But you didn’t.]
Please give full consideration to your audience. Engineers, IT gurus and uber geeks should make an effort to dial down the jargon when communicating to us civilians. You can go all techno-speak if your blog is narrowly scoped to be a conversation among like-minded readers. However, if civilian eyeballs will be reading your blog posts, please take pity on us and provide some context (so we don’t feel like we just dropped into the middle of a conversation) and offer some plain-spoken explanation of your technical exploits and endeavors.
Keep in mind that your content may be re-purposed later when your boss wants to brag about all the great things you are doing or just wants to sound smart.
Help them help you help them.
Branding, you’re a fine girl
What a good blog you would be. What’s on the line every time you blog? Your credibility. Your blog shines a light through a looking glass that reveals your personal brand.
Does your blog reveal a writer that pays close attention to detail, organizes their thoughts, cuts to the heart of the matter, doesn’t ask the reader to indulge them and delivers valuable, timely content … or does it reveal the opposite? Your readers get an impression of you every time you post. Please reward them for coming to your party by putting your best foot forward.
And yes, you got an earworm two-fer. No need to thank me.
Questions and comments are welcome. If you resent the double dose of earworm just be grateful you didn’t get the nuclear option.
© Julian Rogers | Juju Eye Communications
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