Why you should blog outside of work (and tips on how to do it)

Why you should blog outside of work (and tips on how to do it)

I spend a lot of my time at work writing. I write blog posts, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn updates, and just like everyone else, I write a lot of emails. I also edit other people’s work.

And if I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.

Despite the fact that I write a lot at work, I still blog on my free time. And I do it often: I write for my personal blog and I publish on LinkedIn.

People often ask me why I blog outside of work. But more importantly, people wonder how I manage to to find the time to blog. Blogging outside of work takes some time but it is definitely worth the effort. If you’re thinking of blogging on your free time as well, here’s what you need to know to get started.

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Winning at content marketing: How long-form content can help

the rise of long-form content
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes (Flickr)

“This blog post is too long.”

“We need to cut this down to 500 words.”

“Make this shorter. Maybe split the blog post into two?”

As a social media manager, I’ve heard these comments numerous times before. Many marketers are biased against long-form content. “Less is more,” they claim. “People have short attention spans.”

It is true that being concise is often a good thing. That’s why Twitter is such a hit: It forces us to distill our thoughts and communicate only what’s truly important.

But having short content for the sake of having short content is not valuable…and it’s not a good content strategy. Brevity shouldn’t come at the price of completeness.

The rise of Big Content

In the past year, several well-respected SEO and marketing folks have been advocating for “big content.” And when people say “big content,” they often mean long-form content. But it’s worth noting that marketers and analysts are using the term “big content” differently:

  • Craig Roth from Gartner says big content is “a term that helps highlight the subset of Big Data related to the less-structured side of it.  Big Content isn’t new or different than Big Data; rather it helps focus on uses of Big Data for unstructured information for the kind of folks that think the Library of Congress is filled with ‘content’, not ‘data.’”
  • Contrast this with this definition from Moz’s Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ definition. He says big content is the type of content that takes time and effort, that breaks the mold and that talks about big concepts. In other words, he’s talking about pieces of content—either a blog post, an interactive infographic, an ebook, etc.—that is well-researched and that is often (but not always) lengthy.

Big content should serve a higher purpose in your company than just to increase pageviews. In this post, my focus is more aligned with Moz’s definition. I’ll cover why long-form content should be part of your content marketing mix. (To be clear, I am not advocating that you stop creating shorter blog posts. The point of this post is to highlight why creating long-form content in addition to shorter pieces is a great idea.)

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10 tips from Upworthy on creating content that goes viral

upworthy - content creation
Photo: Steve Rhodes (Creative Commons)

Love Upworthy’s headlines? Here’s the secret to their success.

Actually, scratch that. Recently, Upworthy—the left-leaning viral content website and the fastest growing media site of all time—provided some helpful tips on how to create viral content.

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How to use Hootsuite to monitor who’s tweeting pages from your website [QUICK TIP]

DC Week #140conf

One of the coolest things about blogging is that people from all over the world can see your content and possibly share it with their networks. But tracking down who’s tweeting your content isn’t always easy. People don’t always @ mention authors on Twitter. (I’m guilty of this, too.) And while you can use Topsy to see who tweeted a specific page, you have to remember to visit the website to do so.

That’s why I’m a fan of tracking shares on Hootsuite. And the good news is that it’s super easy to set this up. Here’s how to do it:

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4 Subtle Lessons from 9 Amazing Blogs

Last week, I “attended” my first webinar. The event, titled “9 Companies Doing Blogging Right and What You Need to Know“, featured Rick Calvert (co-founder, BlogWorld), Dave Cynkin (co-founder, BlogWorld) and Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner)

The purpose of the webinar, as its title suggests, is to highlight some basic best practices around blogging using the very best examples that the blogosphere has to offer. Some of the blogs featured during the webinar includes:

Blogging - Subtle lessons from 9 amazing blogs! Pic by Kelvin KC Claveria [Read more...]