November 23, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

Secrets to a Faux Blogger’s Success: Fake Steve Jobs

Usually faux blogs get lambasted on the blogosphere for violating the unwritten business blogging rules of transparency, openness, and authenticity. (Remember Raging Cow?) Not so with “Fake Steve Jobs,” aka Forbes columnist Daniel Lyons, who gave a hilarious speech at the Web 2.0 Expo last Friday. The 25-minute video is embedded below:

Lyons’ main points about his successful blog are:

  • It’s material he’s excited about
  • He has fun writing on FSJ
  • He embraces audience participation
  • The mystique behind FSJ’s identity helped build the blog’s readership

Lyons covers three “Whys” behind the Fake Steve Jobs blog: why he got into blogging (fear and boredom), why he chose Steve Jobs (he’s narcissistic, Apple has bad PR, and Apple fans tend to be so, well, fanatic), and why it works (it’s the audience!). When he first learned of successful business blogs like Jonathan Schwartz’ at Sun Microsystems, Lyons thought it was a great idea. But what if one of those blogging CEOs went crazy and posted all kinds of un-photogenic, not-approved-by-PR material? Thus Fake Steve was born, and readers found it interesting. He had 90,000 monthly readers within 6 months of launch.

“I think what’s happening in media is profound and interesting. This thing [Fake Steve Jobs] is all very wrong, obviously very stupid and primitive, right? But it’s a great way to learn about how new media might work. I think the biggest change we’re going to have is the involvement of the audience. Where Internet media is going to get interesting is when we start really exploiting the uniqueness in it rather than paving a cowpath. First generation Forbes.com was, take the print magazine and put it online. Hulu was take TV shows and put them online. But when we start involving the audience, and having people form a group to entertain themselves, I think that’s going to get really interesting.”

Blogging For CIOs A Cautionary Tale

Posted by: of One By One Media on 09/13/06

Niall Cook yesterday posted about CIOs and their thoughts about corporate blogs in an article by Andy McCue at Silicon.com.  He and I both agree that perhaps CIOs are a little paranoid when referring to blogs, but in their defense, it is scary for companies to try something new.  Many businesses don’t want to be the leader in new and different ways of corporate communication.  They like to be copycat for the things that work.  Until companies begin to embrace blogs as an online marketing tool and a way to communicate with clients and customers, they will tread lightly, making sure that the water is warm before jumping in the pool.  The best example of the fear is exemplified in the comment by Rob Wharton, CIO of Colt Telecoms:

“Blogs are popular because they tend to represent personal opinions and personality rather than corporate messages. Therefore we need to take a great deal of care to ensure appropriate use so we don’t devalue the blog concept, whilst avoiding mayhem in what essentially needs to be a controlled message.”

The first part of the comment is spot on, that blogging is a personality of your company and what it represents, and that can be a frightful thought.  What Mr. Wharton needs to realize is consumers and customers want to see that personality and they don’t want the corporate speak of the controlled message.  The “mayhem” he discusses can be controlled if the personality is proper.  Until they see it in action blogs are still the boogey man of corporate communication.

Hespos Knows Math And Offers Solution

Posted by: of One By One Media on 08/23/06

We have been posting a recent theme here about monetizing blogs and how to make money with blogs and blogging.  We have ourselves jumped into marketing and advertising on this blog with ads.  For the average blogger off the street, it is difficult to understand the math associated with the various models of payments, be it “pay per click” or “cost per page views” or the many other models available.

Tom Hespos takes a look today at the math behind the direct response model of advertising and earnings and he had me hooked with his opening line:

“Take it from a media buyer. The blogosphere will not be able to sustain itself on the direct response “buy my crap” model that large sites use to cover their costs. Let’s do the math, shall we?”

Being a professional blogger and a person that derives income from my blogs I was immediately interested in why Tom felt my business model was headed for the drawing board.  As he runs through the numbers, I find myself nodding in agreement with the formula and his reasoning.  Then he hits me with the reality of my situation:

“AdSense and other pay-per-click programs that cater to direct response advertisers tend to pay for beer money to all but the biggest bloggers.”

Actually I don’t drink that much beer, and although I am not what he considers a big blogger, I think I get the gist of his statement.  Unless you are one of the A-list bloggers, you are merely wasting your time if you want to have any return on your blogging investment. The investment of time, effort, and perhaps a little money. What Tom does offer is a solution:

“If you do the math, it becomes obvious that in order to support itself, the blogosphere needs to sell itself not on response-generating ability, but on something else.”

“To me, that “something else” is audience engagement. And not the audience engagement the advertising community has been struggling to define.”

Thanks for the wake up call and your shot at a solution Tom. 

When I speak to client’s, they always want to learn about “Return On Investment” or ROI.  They want to know how many eyeballs they get and how much it will cost to get their campaign noticed using the blogosphere.  They don’t seem to understand the conversation that takes place in a blog model.  Hespos is discussing exactly that model.  The PPC model will soon run its effectiveness and with everyone on the planet with a blog, real estate will be easy to acquire. 

What companies need to focus on in their campaigns are the “egagement” of their potential customer’s attention.  Once you have the attention of the customer, the ROI takes care of itself.  If everyone in the room is engaged in a discussion about your product, chances are you will have an easy sell and hence your return.  Now as a company how do I get them to talk about my product?  My obvious answer is to bring the conversation to them and allow them to engage and discuss your product or service.

I agree with Tom that their will need to be some changes in the way companies are using online marketing in their advertising campaigns.  The person that comes up with the best and most inspring model that can show some ROI will be the person out front.  For now, blogging is nothing but math to the companies writing those online marketing checks. They want the hard numbers and a bottom line.  Perhaps, as Tom suggests, we can influence the way they do business.

I’m not quite ready to give up my beer money just yet Tom, but you are on to something.

 

The fate of the Fourth Estate?

An interesting video from the Museum of Media History forecasting a potential fate for the Fourth Estate, culminating in the New York Times going offline in the year 2014. I’m all for citizen journalism, Google, Amazon, affiliate revenue sharing, social networking and Moore’s Law; but mix them all together and it could turn out rather icky.

I think they got it wrong about Googlezon though. I think the merged company will be named Amazoogle. ;-)

Is BlogBurst a solution for new journalists?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 02/20/06

The question this weekend wasn’t if the Americans would win in hockey (the women just earned the bronze), but how BlogBurst (just in beta from Pluck) would compensate bloggers who sign up for their program to re-publish blog posts in MSM newspapers. A comment left on Techcrunch indicates that there will be a revenue share once BlogBurst leaves beta, so that is good news (sorta).

The larger question is, then, what will this mean for the MSM? Can newspapers re-build or reinvigorate their online readership with blog content? Blogs are certainly getting a lot of attention, and blogs, IMHO, are building and enhancing the ideas sparked in the MSM, seems to me that it would be a nice compliment to have blog posts related to a topic supplement online content.

It will remain to be seen, though, what the revenue model will be and how it pans out for bloggers.

More on my blog here

Tags: , , ,

ABC’s ‘Invasion’ Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/8/06

I happen to have a different POV on faux blogs than a lot of folks. I think that in theory they’re not a bad idea, just the execution sucks most of the time. The wost of faux blogs are those that purport to the be real, dupe readers into thinking that some fan of the product is writing the blog. But I’ve always contended that a blog by a marketing character might not be a bad thing if done well, e.g. (my staple example), the M&M characters writing a truly funny Fark.com (PG) blog.

Anyway, tonight I was watching the ABC show Invasion (which I’ve only done 2-3 times before), and I heard one character reference another’s “stupid blog.” So I Googled Invasion+blog and found didyouseethelights.com

To be honest, I’m tired and have had a couple of drinks and just can’t be bothered to do thorough due diligence on this, but I’m sure you’ll do so for me. Anyway, I like the idea: a TV character blogging on the Net with comments open.

I await your informed ass-kicking on why this sucks and is evil.

Washington Post Partners With Technorati to Deliver Blog Links for Readers

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 09/1/05

From the press release: "washingtonpost.com today announced that it has partnered with blog search company Technorati to offer its readers the opportunity to view comments and opinions about washingtonpost.com articles and editorials from around the blogosphere." Very cool. More on MarketingVox.

Podcasts Go Mainstream and Media Giants Step In

Bizweek081505The August 15, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek has an article on podcasts going mainstream and the impact Apple’s iTunes is having on indie shows and media giants in Podcast: David vs. Goliath.

As podcasts become a more common tool in small businesses’ Web
marketing toolbox, (as business blogs already have,) how will they
compete against media giants who can just reuse or re-purpose existing
content?

The article suggests a few things such as joining more informal networks (away from iTunes) such as Techpodcasts, the Association of Music Podcasting or Podcastoutlaws.

Small businesses may need to focus on their niche rather than a broad audience to begin. If Seth Godin is right in All Marketers Are Liars, finding an untapped niche that shares your world view might lead to something bigger…like a top 100 ranking on iTunes.

Officer Dubina’s Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/22/04
Jan
Officer Dubina, aka Jan

Oxygen Network’s show Women & The Badge, about female law enforcement officers, features this blog by one of the real-life police officers featured in the show.

Link

Poynter: LeMonde Lets Users Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/15/04

Poynter reports on a bold new initiative by the French newspaper LeMonde which has opted to let its readers create blogs on the newspaper’s site. In order to blog, readers must subscribe to LeMonde’s premium online service, which costs ‚Ǩ6 ($8) a month, according to Poynter.

Poynter: LeMonde Lets Users Blog

MediaDrop: Newspapers with RSS: A List

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/15/04

A handy list of newspapers that syndicate their content in XML.

MediaDrop: Newspapers with RSS: A List

NYT Blog: Pogue’s Posts

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 11/29/04

I could be wrong about this (and I’m sure I’ll hear from you about it if I am), but as far as I’m aware, this in the first blog out of the Gray Lady. Sure took her time about it, no?

NYT Blog: Pogue’s Posts

AdFreak

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 11/17/04
Adfreak

AdWeek has gotten into the blog game, with something cheeky and Adrants-esque. Seems to be experiencing launch technical hiccups (domain AfFreak.com takes forever to resolve actual ULR adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/ and the page comes up with code garbage like this


  document.write(markup)
–>

but we imagine that too shall pass).

Steve Hall at Adrants provides more perspective.

Link

Garrison Keillor’s Travel Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 10/14/04
Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor

For better or worse, I’m a major National Public Radio nerd, to the extent that most Saturday evenings you can find me (if you’re a stalker) at home listening to A Prairie Home Companion, the folksie, olde-timey radio show hosted by the inimitable national treasure Garrison Keillor. What can I say — although I grew up in New Jersey (God’s country), my folks are originally from Minnesota, so it’s my long-time ritual way of keeping in touch with my ancestral homeland.

On the subway ride to work today, I was browsing my new PHC catalog (the print edition), and because multi-channel marketing really does work, I called up the catalog and show’s web site, where I discovered Keillor’s “blog.” Granted, on the blog homepage itself, it calls itself a “travel diary,” but on the Stuff page, the link that caught my eye says “GK’s Travel Blog.” True, it hasn’t been updated since March, but judging by the archives, he did update it frequently in spurts; maybe he just hasn’t been on the road much since then. Worth keeping an eye on.

The site also blog-like musings from Russ Ringsak the show’s “resident writer and truck driver.”

Link

Gawker Media’s New Commissioned Business Blog, A Dirty Shame, for New Line

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 09/13/04
Dirtyshame

I’ve said before (here and here) that movies and business blogs are a great mix. Gawker Media is now introducing its second specially commissioned business blog. Nick Denton writes:

Hey, Rick — We’ve launched our second custom blog. The client this time is New Line. We’re doing a site around A Dirty Shame, the new movie by John Waters. Remy, who wrote the Nike blog, is helming this one too.

Gawker Media’s New Commissioned Business Blog, A Dirty Shame, for New Line

Greg Brooks: The Media Don’t Get It, Part MCMXXXII

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/31/04

Tom Humphrey, Nashville bureau chief for the Knoxville News Sentinel, is fumbling to get the hang of blogging at the Republican convention. Greg Brooks offers him some pointers, namely about the power of “decentralized editing” (my term). Amusing.

UPDATE:
James Lileks rips into this to hilarious effect (scroll past the stuff about Rudy G till after the pic of John McCain and Don Rickles).

It’s interesting for several reasons: 1. the site is described as a “web-only blog,” which of course makes it distinctive from blogs disseminated by carrier pigeon or smoke signals. 2. we learn that the bureau chief for a major newspaper has trouble writing clearly.

He goes on to mock the post sentence by sentence.

Greg Brooks: The Media Don’t Get It, Part MCMXXXII

Zach Braff’s Garden State Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/19/04
zach-braff
Zach Braff

I noted the other day that I thought blogs and movies were a great match. Here’s another example: the arty looking film from Fox Search Lights, Garden State, has a blog written by the movie’s star, writer and director, Zach Braff (best known for his role on NBC’s hospital comedy Scrubs). Nice to see that the official movie site links to the blog. I haven’t seen the film yet (though I plan to, set as it is set in my native homeland of suburban New Jersey), but it appears to be popular with both critics and movie goers.

Link

WeatherBug Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/15/04
Ryan Towell
Ryan Towell

WeatherBug Meteorologist Ryan Towell, whose bio informs us “is a former TV meteorologist who earned the American Meteorological Society (AMS) TV Seal of Approval in 2000,” started blogging aptly in the midst of covering Hurrican Charley. He’s been cranking it out in the last few days.

Link

Reuters: Blogs Build Buzz, Raise Copyright Questions

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/15/04

Interesting piece Reuters apparently wrote for Billboard about the impact that blogs are having on the music industry. On the one hand, hip new indie bands such as the Killers, Scissor Sisters, Fiery Furnaces and Franz Ferdinand have all benefited from blog-fueled buzz. On the other hand, record companies predictably don’t know what to make of the copyright implications of MP3 blogs such as Fluxblog, Scenestars and TofuHut, the likes of which have scooped the record companies recently with previously unreleased material from new works by Fiona Apple, Interpol and Bjork.

My favorite quote is Chiore Sicha, editorial director of Gawker Media, calling 18-35 year old “this shocking demographic.” Egad!

Reuters: Blogs Build Buzz, Raise Copyright Questions

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Movie Official Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/11/04
squarebike

Don’t Panic: the greatest book ever now has a movie under production: The Hitchhiker’s Guid to the Galaxy is currently in production and is due out in theaters next summer. I am literally all atwitter with anticipation. Meanwhile, there is a blog to tide us over, including production photos, QuickTime clips, cast/crew interviews and references to towels.

Why every movie in and after production doesn’t have a blog is a mystery to me.

Link

 

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