By Suzette Martinez Standring
NSNC Past President
Recently, I attended the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton, both as a presenter (Hypnotic Recall Fills the Creative Well), and as a seeker of information on social media. The world forges ahead and I often feel like Old Bess bringing up the rear. Fortunately, EBWW blog presenters offered advice that even the Techno-Amish could understand. Here is a roundup of ideas:
From Nettie Reynolds (www.nettiereynolds.com), Austin, Texas, a publishing and on-line brand and social media consultant, she offered advice from her workshop, If You Blog It, They Will Come: How to Blog Your Own Field of Dreams.
Create a blog mission statement. Think of your blog as a brand and what lies beyond, for example, authorship, speaking, consultancy, media personality, workshops, etc.
Curate your blogging subjects, that is, organize your content into category blocks. Be specific. Don’t label everything, for example, under “inspiration” or “leadership.” Categorization makes it easier for readers to find areas of interest. Also, if there is potential publication interest, topic organization will make it easier to round up related materials for a book project or an essays collection.
Tags are important, as they optimize search engines and the ability to find you. Include terms that are unique to you.
A “blog roll” is a featured list of other bloggers, websites and links. One third should be news sites. A blog roll gives visitors a snapshot of “the neighborhood you hang out in.”
Link to magazines in which you want to appear, it creates relationship and opens the door. Link to other writers and journalists as well.
Attention, wordsmiths: Create new words that you define, and other publications may pick them up.
Presenter Jim Higley gave another work,shop, Lights! Camera! Video! He offered ways to incorporate video clips into blogging. Higley is a radio host, a family columnist for Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal, and the award-winning author of Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew (www.bobbleheaddad.com).
“Vlogging” integrates video into blogging as a way to enhance stories. Engaging clips are memorable branding and marketing tools as well.
A video trailer is more effective in getting people to click through to “read more,” than compared to a text-only link. Jim reported a “20% more click through rate” from his Facebook page whenever he used a video clip to introduce a new column.
On Facebook, what’s the difference between a profile page and a business page? The business page is visible to anyone. (Please tell me this is news to someone else besides me).
Keep video clips short (60 seconds).
Jim uses his iPhone camera and an iMovie app, which enable on-the-spot video clip creation.
Think of Youtube or vimeo.com as a library, and store all your clips there. The name of your Youtube channel should correspond to your brand name.
Perhaps you are already adept at the intricacies of blogs and vlogging. You embraced such ideas a long time ago. I tend to be resistant. Vlogging is the choking noise I make at the idea of learning new technology. Yet even I was encouraged and inspired. I will see if I can conjure up some social media magic soon.
Email Suzette Standring: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit (www.readsuzette.com) She is syndicated with GateHouse News Service, and through them, she has just launched a national blog, Suzette’s Spiritual Café: