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And Now You Want Us To Blog Too?

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Blogging for associations - benefits, strategy, content and making it work.

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And Now You Want Us To Blog Too?

  1. 1. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evilerin/3796279865/ 1
  2. 2. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebruce0/2266376897 2
  3. 3. Strategy first: identify the problems/challenges this blog will solve, aspirations it willmeet and objectives it will help you and your members achieve.Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy/5524349584/ 3
  4. 4. SEO – fresh content (dynamic), many pages (URL addresses), keywords/tags, incoming links 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. Showcase and promote ideasRaise awareness of issuesCorrect misperceptions/mythsHumanization of organization – friendly trusted helpful voice 6
  7. 7. Provide stories that illustrate impact of legislation/regulationMotivate members and stakeholders to actionShow how to take action 7
  8. 8. Preview upcoming speakers/sessions/reportsBuild buzz for events (before, during and after) – ASAE is a good example (AnnualMeeting, Great Ideas)Success stories about members using association services/products, or being involved asvolunteers 8
  9. 9. Comment function interaction, conversation with association and among readersSpotlight membersShow lighter side of association 9
  10. 10. If Board asks you to start a blog, ask them why.Solution to not only problems but answer to aspirationsImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trufflepig/4234602521/ 10
  11. 11. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy/5524349584/ 11
  12. 12. Members•Who’s most likely to read blog? Do you know? Have you asked?•Who’s on the periphery now that might benefit?Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/integerpoet/183145153 12
  13. 13. What keeps your audience up at night?What will help them get to where they want to be?What will they enjoy reading or learning about?What will amuse them? 13
  14. 14. Subscribe to other association blogs, related associations, ones with similar types ofmembers, and industry/competitor blogs.Who else is playing in your sandbox?What type of content do they deliver?How can you differentiate your brand?How can you differentiate your content?How might you collaborate? Blog carnivals. 14
  15. 15. How blogs are different, different kind of writingBlog is a social tool - building rapport and creating connections, telling storiesBlog personality or voice –•human, personable•authentic, conversationalNot an institutional or departmental voice•No spinImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklinparklibrary/4728689184/ 15
  16. 16. Team content sourcing•No silos – cross-departmental effort – content is everyone’s job•All ears attuned to ideasInventory magazine, enewsletters, website, reports, editorials, conferencepresentations, file folders, binders, desk drawers, email templates – repurposeImage: Dept of Defense 16
  17. 17. Departments (like a magazine) •Tips on certification, leadership, social media, other needs •Young professionals (member or staff) •Member spotlight •Professional niches •Commonly asked questions – ask your ‘call center’ •CEO column – your perspectiveWeekly roundup of interesting stories/news/postsConference buzz Before – speaker previews (Q&A, videos, links to articles/posts), crowdsource a member panel During – session reporters, daily tweets, photos, videos, get vendors involved; blog party for contributors and for readers After – continue the conversation, takeaway points, video, audioReports from trade shows, conferences, educational sessionsImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy/5524349584/ 17
  18. 18. Steal from your ‘family’ – national assn, other state assns – find their SMEs, interviewthem if they can’t write – network with state EDs, shareWhat’s timely, newsy – how can you use that?Idea collection – biggest hurdle•Team collection – meetings, shareable doc (idea dump) – Google doc, wiki, intranet•Get close to the member – who answers the phone, replies to emails, talks to members– capture needs/ideas immediatelyImage: American Pickers 18
  19. 19. Curated posts – you decide, you filter content, bring the best forward – memberserviceSummarize discussions, add your perspectiveMore: http://www.socialfish.org/2011/04/five-models-of-content-curation.html 19
  20. 20. Single or multiple authors?Staff •Those at the member level are the best, know programs, know members •Incentivize •Skill development •Affiliated staff (foundation, others in federation)Members – what about vendors?Guests – Q&A or video, if too much work for themSupplement with freelancers – put it in the budgetImage: Mike Licht, Notionscapital (Flickr) 20
  21. 21. Free Google spreadsheet or calendar to capture, manage, and share yourcalendar as well as your to-be-scheduled post ideas.Can combine with Google doc as your idea collector.Consistency counts – more frequent, more traffic, but don’t overdo it, start 1-2/week, build up 21
  22. 22. Always collect ideas – organization-wide effort Twitter lists - RSS Google Alerts – RSS Twitter hashtags on industry keywords or conferencesAlways look for contributors or people to interviewRepurpose everything across platforms/channelsFinding time to write •Turn off phone/email – give same quality time to others – cultural acknowledgment of writing needs •Set timer - never more than 30/mins at once •Flow - start with rough idea, outline, messages; first narrative - no editing, flow •Post length – keep it under 700 words (series)Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/4379144635/ 22
  23. 23. Are you interested in creating a dialog - a two-way conversation via comments -with your readers?Encourage conversation. Call to action, questions, controversial, ask for opinion, call out a nicheModeration Reply to comments Dealing with negativity – criticism vs. trolls, perils of censorship (ASAE incident) Have guidelines somewhere.Jamie Notter: “Err on the side of conversation.” 23
  24. 24. Exercise analogy – if you value something, you’ll make achieving it a priority, give yourself the tools tomake it a habit External/social pressure mention blog posts/conversation elsewhere, leadership set an example, other influencers Regular schedule/appointment RSS feeds or emails Reliable schedule - weekly appointment Repeat exposure in a short time period Intrinsic pressure or desire – inner motivationImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrs_logic/3140123406/ 24
  25. 25. Make it easy to share your posts.Comment on industry blogs – no spam or linksFacebook/LinkedIn/Twitter - Tease with conversation bits, questionsWhich other blogs complement yours?How can you enter the dialog on these other blogs in a way that will eventuallydrive traffic to your own blog?Which LinkedIn groups might be interested in the content on your blog?Which twitter search terms (hashtags especially) are relevant to your blog?How will you track those search terms to find relevant conversations to join? 25
  26. 26. How can you use your existing Web site to promote the new blog – one clickaway on home page (obvious link, button), news section announcement, pressrelease?Where does it make sense to include the blog URL on existing marketingmaterials?Where does it make sense to include the blog URL on trade show materials?Are there instances where it would be appropriate to add the blog URL to certainemail signatures - either personal or company-authored and mass-distributed?Could you send a mailing (email or snail mail) to your existing database toannounce the launch of the blog?Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foolstopzanet/5361319682/ 26
  27. 27. Keep this simple, encourage only a few measures, hard to measure sentiment and returnon attitude, anecdotal evidenceWhat’s objective? How would you define success? How can you measure blog impact onthat?Match metrics to your goalsHow: Google Analytics, member surveys/polls, feedbackWhat: Awareness – traffic, mentions, incoming links, subscriptions, search ranking Marketing – clicks, outgoing traffic, ‘source’ field on forms, promo codes Member engagement – comments, traffic, mentions, time spent on blog, subscriptions Member service – views for posts related to common questions, referral to blog, comments addressing member issues Return on AttitudeImage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/2493066577/ 27
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