Kelly Duffort is not a blogger, but here is my blog post about a blogging conference

If I’m not a blogger, why did I go to a blogging conference? Well…actually, I went to the WordCamp Conference, which was held this past weekend (May 22nd and 23rd) at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. (Many thanks to the conference organizers, volunteers, sponsors and speakers for a great event, by the way!)

WordCamp is a conference that covers the WordPress open source software, which was originally used to build blogs, but can now also be used to build websites. I was hoping to learn more about WordPress as a website content management system (CMS). I didn’t walk away with the information I had hoped to learn, but I did indeed learn a lot from speakers who know a great deal about blogs, websites, online marketing, traditional marketing, etc. So much, in fact, that I decided it was time for me to sit down and write one of my quarterly blog posts.

Blogging is a great marketing tool. It’s an easy way to communicate with current and prospective clients. You can say what you want to say any way you like. You publish it yourself and it’s out there for all to see … or find (assuming you’ve got that search engine optimization stuff working). Of course, if you want to do it the right way, blogging does require some hard work.

Reviewing my notes from several different conference sessions, I pulled the following recommendations.

Ten Blogging Tips from WordCamp Raleigh Speakers

  1. Don’t start with just a topic and content ideas. Devise a content strategy. @jeffreylcohen. Think about not just what you will write, but how the content will be presented. Will you be the only one to write posts? Will you have guest posts and if so, how often? Will you include pictures? Where will you get those pictures? Will you include video? How about podcasts? Most importantly…decide…”What do you want people to do with the content?”
  2. Prepare and follow an editorial calendar. @jeffreylcohen. Be strategic about when and how often you publish posts. One week you can write about xyz, the following week you’ll be at a conference and that should be a topic, then you’re off on vacation and you realize now would be a good time to seek a guest blogger for that period. Jeff also recommends publishing posts on a regular schedule (e.g., every Tuesday morning at 9:30am) so that your followers know when to expect something new and so that you can become the “go-to” resource.
  3. Make your “calls to action” super clear and include them at the end of each post. @waynesutton, @jeffreylcohen. At the end of each blog post, tell your readers what you want them to do. Ask them a direct question, invite them to take a survey, encourage them to download your white paper, remind them to print and use your monthly special coupon. If you want them to pick up the phone and call you, don’t expect them to go hunt down your “contact” page. List your toll free number at the end of that post. Wayne suggested checking out HubSpot’s Blog to see how they have a call to action at the end of every single blog post.
  4. Don’t call yourself a “guru,” “maven,” or “expert.” @davemoyer. If you do, you’re probably compensating for something. Instead, just BE an expert and show that you are via your blog.
  5. Immerse yourself in your field and stay “ahead of the pulse.” @davemoyer. Familiarize yourself with tools that are out there to help you do this: Twitter, Feedreader, Google Alerts, social media aggregators (e.g, Yahoo! Pipes) and social media tracking services. (Argyle Social and SAS Social Media Analytics are two locally-based social media analytics resources.)
  6. Involve your audience. @davemoyer. When you get comments, respond to them. Join the conversation. Use e-mail, instant messaging services, polls, Facebook, Twitter, and hey…even the phone.
  7. Keep your blog titles short so they can be re-tweeted and briefly commented on in Twitter. @lawpower (Lawrence Ingraham).
  8. Include your brand name in your blog titles so that your name appears in search results. (Thus, my third person title on this post.) @lawpower (Lawrence Ingraham).
  9. Invite others to be guest bloggers for general cross-promotion of your two blogs and “link juice,” which is important for better search rankings. @lawpower (Lawrence Ingraham).
  10. Don’t have too many “traffic leaks” with outgoing links. @beley (Brandon Eley). If a visitor is on your blog and clicks on a link to another blog, a social media site, an ad, etc., what are the chances they’ll make it back to your blog anytime soon?

How to wrap up a blog post that doesn’t even skim the surface of all that was covered at WordCamp Raleigh 2010? How about I borrow Dave Moyer’s closing thought?
“Blogs take persistence and time and a whole lot of effort.”

*Attribution for each tip is made by including the conference speaker’s Twitter name. This setup makes my blog post a lot less cluttered than including links to each of their websites … and it cuts down tremendously on my traffic leaks. In case you are not on Twitter, I’ve included given names (when not already obvious) so that you can google that person and find out more.

Question: What is your best blogging tip?

2 people have commented
  1. eric says:

    Thanks for sharing your very thorough notes! I do agree that blogging takes a lot of work- I give writers a lot more credit now! great list *bookmarked*

  2. Very helpful Kelly. Thank you for this useful information!

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