Does your 30 man company needs to look like it’s 150? Do you work for a large behemoth of a company, yet you want to give your customers a personal feel? Does your product seem like it’s better than most, yet nobody pays attention? Do you have great stories, buzzing in the hallways, taking off virally in e-mails, video clips on YouTube… and don’t know how to get them organized and promoted? There are many great examples of how to promote, organize, communicate, and YES, SELL your ideas. That’s what I do. Mostly with technology and business managers.
I started blogging in 2006 when the technology sector declined and most day jobs in good companies disappeared. This change pushed by decline in business turned on new ways to communicate, especially in high-tech. The “new popular format” was the blog. With a suggestion of a friend, I found a few cl;ients. The writing did not come fast and I did not plan or researched enough. It started with reading, many blogs, and advice from bloggers. It quickly became clear how individuals write up ideas, open up discussion, and convey something useful. Reading enough blogs makes you realize how the blogging revolution can be broken to a few pieces. One piece is the small number of good writers who are influencing complete market segments. Another piece is the technical barrier. Although sites like WordPress.COM, Blogger and Type Pad have made blogging as easy as editing documents, there are still many who can’t configure a blog with all the details involved. Another piece is blog promotion. This last piece is probably the most difficult to deal with for the average blogger.
The Bigger Picture: Creating and Publishing:
In a big picture sense, blogs are just a format. Creating from configuring a blog program like Word Press or Drupal is a delicate technical process with design elements. Technically a “server” has to be installed or configured. Page design and structure of a blog are an emotional element to some. Here the internet world made use of themes, style sheets, and standardized designs. Design formats like style sheets have been used by book publishers for decades. There are simple classic designs and more complex ones that imitate magazine layout. With enough effort you can be a magazine publisher on your own (an individual or a company). ~._
Another new development in the world of internet publishing writing and editing. This is a creative process different than design. Writing a focused and readable article is not easy. It depends on the topic and what you want to say. In blogging, you will quickly realize the importance of picking topics and developing them into articles. Most people can identify what they want to say. Yet translating abstract ideas into simple words, sentences, paragraphs, is not easy. Ask any reporter. Once you write good articles and publish them on your blog you realize how hard it is to do it on a regular basis. Then you realize the importance of writing interesting stories and keeping up with outside events, trends in your field, and what is happening with your product. If you stick with it long enough, as a blog owner (in a company), you will be able to direct a writer and editor. In the long run elements like style, writing direction and topic selection are easier to negotiate. Just keep at it, that’s my simple advice.
More Details: Refining Design, Style, Direction, Message and more…
Pay attention to details when looking at blogs. As a reader you may miss page elements. This is natural, since are readers we like the content of blogs: well written and focused articles. If you pay attention to all the components around the text, a whole world of connection, information and navigation is revealed. Then pay attention to the articles. How frequently are they published? How long are they? How much continuity from article to the next? Are the articles written in a series? Does the blog focus on a theme or a subject? How clearly are all these attributes of the writing and the design? These are all subjective questions if you are an outsider to the subject matter. If you are an expert in some area, a well designed and written blog will be a joy to read. You will get the information the author wanted to deliver quickly. This will make you want to come back and read more. Eventually you will like the blog so much you will tell your friends. This is just a small peek at what I think good blog design and writing can offer.
Getting The Message Out: Promotion, Search Engine Optimization, Indexing and more…
Once you put in the effort of design and writing, comes the promotion of your blog. We are just at the beginning of what seems to be a whole new era in Internet use: social media. Social media is the use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, What’sUp, and Linked-In to deliver messages. The social side comes from connections people make on their own. Social groups on the Internet are not new, Yahoo Groups have been around for more then 15 years. New social media sites are easier to use making them more popular. Delivering messages on social media sites reaches many people at once, this makes publicizing your blog articles easier and more effective. This new area of connecting social sites to blogs is exciting – keep your eyes open.
My approach is to start with the end. Define what your image is going to be and write to build that image. Image could be subtle or bold. It can be shaped sharply or left unkept. It can reflect reality or tell a different story. Technology companies tend to take care of their image as a secondary issue, after their develop a technology. This is usually an indication of a highly technical management style, or a company in the technical phase before becoming more business savvy. Media companies worry more about their image than their content, they design first then build content later. Social media reflect a wide range of image use. I started blogging about Tel Aviv as a side project (in 2006.) Messages and comments about mistakes, likes and dislikes and mostly where and how to find things came in. In computer security, satellite communication and software testing I wrote for product managers about uses and benefits. I wrote about the use of social tagging (Digg, Technorati and Stumble Upon) around 2008/2009. This covers a wide range of topics.
My background is in technology marketing. With over 20 years in product development and marketing, telling a technical story to a non-technical audience is simple for me. I also write about lifestyle, the last 4 years blogging about Tel Aviv life. Now my work is in motivating and coaching traditional marketers in the use of social media. Senior managers and executives currently going through changes in media use will benefit greatly from coaching, training and set-up (first blog and social network.) Whatever it will take to get you as an individual or as a manager in a company (see services section.)
Please feel free to contact me directly. Ami