Guest lecture given to Daniel Nester's ENG315 "First-Person Journalism and Blogging" Course at the College of Saint Rose, Albany, N.Y. Includes overview of types of blogs, ideas for blog posts, list of blog management software and tips for beginning bloggers.
Text of Tips for Beginning Bloggers
1. Tips for Beginning Bloggers Guest Lecture Amy Mengel ENG315 Blogging and First Person Narrative College of Saint Rose
2. Blog Management Software
Self-hosted vs. free software
Factors to consider:
Level of comfort with coding
Available plug-ins and features
Ease of use
Storage space, ad capacity
Questions to Ask
3. Blog Management Software
4. Blog Management Software
Write some sample posts first and dont publish them. Familiarize yourself with:
Embedding photo and/or video
Tagging and categorizing posts
Playing with styles and headings
Critique blogs that you like from a design and content perspective. What can you incorporate into your blog?
5. Types of blogs
News and commentary
Most similar to traditional media. Many attempt to either break the news or offer deeper editorial commentary about current news
NY Times TheLede
6. Types of blogs
Review and Critique
Product reviews, company or industry critique
Developing a position as a knowledge authority in a particular industry or area of expertise
7. Types of blogs
How-to blogs, detailedinformation on a narrow topic
Digital Photography School
Get Rich Slowly
Follow a particular person or group through an experience
John is Fit(weight loss blog)
8. Types of blogs
Blogging about happenings in a specific geographic region
Blog about a specifickind of lifestyle(vegan, urban,cowboy, etc)
Married to the National Guard
9. Types of blogs
Similar, recurring posts around a theme or gimmick
Tiny Art Director
Stuff White People Like
10. Beginner Blogging tips
Find a niche. How are you different?
Be regular with post frequency. Develop aneditorial calendar .
Comment on otherblogs . Respond to comments on yours.
Find your voice. (Youre not writing essays!)
Links are the currency of the Web. Link back to anyone you cite or mention.
11. Types of blog posts
Dont stick to just narratives!
BattlingBloggersBlock: 20 types of posts
12. What to write about?
What are your passionate about?
What makes you an interesting person?
How are you unique?
Why is your viewpoint different?
Be specific, but nottoospecific
The focus of your blog can change gradually over time.
13. Be Interesting
Take source material (news, other blogs) and write about it from a new direction or perspective that fits your blogs niche
Draw in readers with humor, criticism, honesty or drama
Think Reality TV: Why is it so addicting?
Dont make your posts generic make sure that each post is something only YOU could write
Add a guest post every now and then to provide a different view/voice
14. Be Personal
Show your personality in your writing
Share personal stories that connect with readers
Respond to reader comments
Decide how much is appropriate to share
Make sure what you share is within the context of your blog
Be cognizant of other peoples privacy (friends, family members)
15. Your blogwillbe
Your online professional profile
Content is indexed by Google For-EVAH!
Future employers will read it and assess your writing skills, thought development
About Amy Mengel Im a communications professional and consultant based in Albany, N.Y. Ive worked in corporate communications roles for companies like Lockheed Martin and General Electric. I now work with clients on a variety of PR, marketing and communications projects, including how to incorporate social media practices into existing marketing strategies. Im the founder of Social Media Breakfast Tech Valley, the regions first community-focused social media event. I blog about PR, marketing and social media atwww. amymengel .comwhen Im not cycling, hiking, traveling, skiing or watching college football. On Twitter:@ amymengel