Worthwhile Reading – Week Ending 04/06/2008

Here are some topics of interest I’ve read in the past week. Definitely worth your time to read. Read more

Worthwhile Reading – Week Ending 02/24/2008

Here are some topics of interest I’ve read in the past week. Definitely worth your time to read. Read more

Give Brand Evangelists Access to Your Assets

Here’s something extremely smart. A clever PR / marketer arranged for mommy bloggers and podcasters to come for a special day on the set at the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They got to hang out on the set, mingle and have a Q&A session with the cast.


Because the protagonist, Christine, is a working mother. In fact, of the shows currently on air, it’s extremely rare to have a show centered around the character of a working mother where you actually see her also dealing with family and personal issues. Most of the time, you see the “working mom” doing her lawyer or doctor duties — no family in site.

Think about the after effect. Those mommy bloggers head back home, tell their respective audiences about the experience, more and more may tune in to watch. Get the picture?

So, embrace your audience or fan base. Throw them some swag. Create an event or special offer for them and their listeners.

It’s a great grass roots approach to spreading your message.

Check out this behind the scenes video by the Manic Mommies podcast.



Iconoclast posted this interesting quote:

“Since I’ve been blogging, morning shows feel like they’re staged, whereas the mommy blogs are pretty authentic — to the point of being almost too honest sometimes. It’s a way to get fresh information from other moms, like a virtual moms group. I don’t see a need to watch the morning shows.
Beth Blecherman, a former Today viewer and mother of three, Los Angeles Times | 2.9.07”

Tips how to write a professional blog

In my last article, I wrote about Reasons why you should write a professional blog.

Before setting out to write a professional blog, there are many things you should plan first. Here are some blog writing tips to consider.

Decide why you want to write a professional blog?

Is it for personal satisfaction? To share your professional experience? To demonstrate that you are a subject matter expert?

Pick the subject you want to blog about.

Personal experiences? Observations? Criticizms of your industry? Would you read it?

The best advice always seems to be to write about what you know or what you are most passionate about.

Define the audience you are writing for.

A specific niche? An industry? Your clients? Your colleagues?

Decide what you are willing to invest.

How much time a week will you commit? Do you want to own a domain name? Do you want to host yourself?

Commit to publishing your blog for at least 12 weeks. If you get that far, it should become a matter of routine for you and you’ll know whether you’ll stick it out for longer.

Owning your own domain name and hosting yourself provide more control, but come at a nominal annual cost.

Evaluate publishing tools.

There are plenty of free services to get you started: WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal. Compare features and decide what is appropriate for you.

Define a publishing plan.

Publishing quality content, at minimum once or twice a week, is important to keep your content fresh. That will encourage readers to treat you seriously and search engines to come back regularly.

Create your personal publishing rules.

To appear professional you need to act professional. I’ve decided that my two Web sites each have a specific subject matter and focus. Therefore, every time I write, I try to make sure the article topic fits appropriately. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get published.

Get to the point. I try to write with a problem/solution mindset. If I’m writing about someone else’s article, I try to add solutions in addition to what the original author provided. That way I’m truly providing value.

Give credit where credit is due. The Internet is supposed to be a community to share and spark ideas. So cite your sources. Link to the originating article that gave you an idea. Give credit to where ever you got your artwork or tools from.

Keep it clean. While it may be easy to use profanity, step up to the challenge of getting your point across without profanity. That will make you appear more professional.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Use the pluggins that your publishing tools comes with. There are an amazing variety of free and open source tools available for you to add functionality and manage your blog. Check out Google Analytics for rhobust site statistics. Learn how to generate a feed and submit to Feedburner, Google Site Maps and Yahoo Site Explorer.

Stay objective. Avoid politics.

Keep politics out of the conversation. There’s no reason to polarize your audience. It’s a cheezy way to stir up controversy.

Don’t be cheezy.

The blog/Web site is an extension of you. Think of it as your personal brand. Don’t include amateur things like site counters, animated email icons, or bad usability and design — all of which discredit you as a subject matter expert. There are plenty of elegant and functional blog themes to choose from and modify with care.

Define how you want to monetize the Web site.

I’d suggest to write to define your credibility as a subject matter expert. Don’t worry about adding AdSense or other advertising. Instead, focus on publishing quality content and developing a subscriber base. Then you can evaluate different methods to run sponsor advertising in the future.

So please let me know your thoughts. It’s been quite a liberating experience. You should consider doing the same. Good luck!