Guest post by Shana Glickfield, regular guest contributor to Women Grow Business and Founder of DC Concierge. Effective just recently, Shana’s company directs the online community for NextGenWeb, the blog of USTelecom (a broadband association). And she guides both locals and tourists around Washington, DC through her blog, DCConcierge.com. Shana can be reached at www.twitter.com/dcconcierge.
Blogging has become an integral part of entrepreneurship in so many ways.
So it was not surprising to find so much blogger and entrepreneur crossover at WordCamp MidAtlantic. Not only is blogging vital for sharing and gathering information online, but for positioning yourself as an expert, improving search engine optimization, and for building relationships with customers, potential customers, and journalists.
The name WordCamp stems from WordPress, a very popular blogging platform, but the conference offered a lot of valuable information that is applicable to any platform. The first speaker of the day was the conference organizer Aaron Brazell, founder/chief blogger at Technosailor and WordPress consultant extraordinaire.
Brazell finds that challenges facing bloggers often fall into three categories – Marketing, Message, and Brand.
Here are the takeaways he believes bloggers really need to know:
- Market your message through various social media channels. And conversely, convert engagements on social media sites to your message and blog.
- Pay attention to your statistics as they offer very valuable information. Chances are 10% of your traffic is “loyal” and 90% is “driveby”.
So how do you convert “driveby’s” to “loyals”?
- Blog information that is relevant for longer than a newscycle.
- Offer links to related content after the posting.
- Make it easy for readers to find other relevant content on your site.
- Give readers what they want. Remember, they don’t care about you, they care about what you give them.
- When it comes to frequency, just stay consistent. If you’re not going to post every day, that’s okay, just find a pattern.
- Your brand is determined by fans, not you, so make sure they trust you.
Take more breaks (and more tips from Jared Goralnick)
DC’s very own productivity evangelist (and AwayFind founder) Jared Goralnick offered his wisdom to help WordCamp attendees be more efficient when blogging (or really doing any kind of project). Some of Goralnick’s best tips:
- Purge your mind by making a list. Once things are on paper (or on whatever gadget you use for task maintenance), your mind will be free to concentrate.
- Make sure you are looking at website analytics that count and not just analytics that make you feel good.
- Spend some time to evaluate if there is any correlation between post frequency and conversions/traffic OR post length and conversions/traffic. If not, you might be able to get just as much out of doing less!
- Take more breaks! After every 50 minutes of work, take 10 off.
- Social media content is moving constantly and it’s impossible to keep up. Try to just dip in and dip out. Get your value, and then get AWAY.
- Schedule tasks around your body’s cycle. -Wide awake? then do thought intensive and creative work vs when you’re dead tired, when doing bite size tasks makes more sense.
If you missed WordCamp MidAtlantic, don’t worry because these conferences are taking place around the country. Check out WordCamp Central to find a WordCamp near you!