April 17, 2014

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging‘ is a practical eBook jam packed full of activities for bloggers wanting to start a new blog, get back into blogging or to just get some ideas on how to revamp your current blog.

The eBook is broken down into 7 chapters/days and has 32 tasks/exercises for bloggers to do. Think of it as 31 Days to Build a Better Blog (see previous post) but for those just in their first week.

Blog topics covered include:

  • Learn foundational brainstorming techniques.
  • Create a content plan—and content, of course!
  • Build a social media presence.
  • Create practical quality assurance tools.
  • Set up a publishing process.
  • Master the components of a blog post.
  • Develop your blog’s ongoing strategy.

We’ve already picked up a copy of ‘ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging‘, so if you have any questions about it, or just want to discuss the eBook, contact us.

Dot.column: What’s your favorite blog and why?

The March 10, 2011 Dot.column question in Metromix Indianapolis was:

Dot.column: What’s your favorite blog and why?

Mashable. It’s the geek entrepreneur’s dream come true.

What’s your favorite blog?

Ten Social Media Reads, Vol 5

Here at Watershed Studio we’re always scouring our RSS and Twitter feeds to see what’s going on in the world of technology and social media. Here’s Volume 5 in nice, easy to digest, posts. Enjoy.

If you have any social media reads that you’d like to suggest, please contact us or Tweet us @watershedstudio.

Dot.column: Gosh, the Internet sure is big. How can it be more local for me?

The March 3, 2011 Dot.column question in Metromix Indianapolis was:

Dot.column: Gosh, the Internet sure is big. How can it be more local for me?

Social media and local blogs are great ways to bring the Internet into real life right where you live. My starting point would be searching Twitter for users in your region to follow and see what they’re up to and what they’re reading. And I’m sure the Foursquare Indy fellows will suggest Foursquare as well.

How do you make the Internet more local?

Balancing Your Tweets on Twitter

So you’re on Twitter and are wondering what the best approach to tweeting is to keep your followers engaged and to attract new followers at the same time. Where should the balance lie between sending @ replies, sharing links and posting normal tweets.

Normal Tweets

Let’s start with normal tweets. These should make up a good portion of your tweets and can be anything that comes to mind.  Besides, I assume this was part of why you signed up for Twitter in the first place, right?

If it’s a personal Twitter account, feel free to fire away.  “I’m sitting in my office watching the snow fall.” or “Why does tap water taste different in the bathroom? Or does it?” are perfectly acceptable tweets. It’s your account, have fun with it.

If it’s a business Twitter account, the rules are slightly different because you will be throwing business related tweets into the mix. “Come in tonight for 50% off all appetizers from 5-10pm.”  But a huge issue with many business accounts is that they never get personal in their tweets. They are constantly in “Sell, sell, sell” mode. Yes, some people are following your account because they want to know what specials you have going on, but they also want interaction with the business.

Of those that do understand this, Scott Wise (@brewhouse), owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse, is my favorite example.  Earlier today he tweeted, “Gym Rule #786: guys, no short-shorts. Length test: If it looks like u got some chewed Hubba-Bubba stuck to your thigh, they are too short.”, all in the midst of replying to his followers and throwing in an occasional sales tweet.  And did I mention that his restaurants (plural) are flourishing in a tough industry, in a tough economy by the effective use of social media and email mail marketing?

The @ Reply

The @ reply feature of Twitter is what makes the platform social. Without it there’s no public interaction and you might as well get yourself an old fashioned static website & an email contact form instead.  But what should the balance be between replies, normal tweets and sharing links?  At what point will your followers tire of seeing you talk with other people?  That’s a tough call and depends on the circumstances.

Personally, my stance is that if someone replies to me, I reply back to them. It’s just common courtesy.  And if I spot a tweet that I like or a conversation that I like, I pop in and reply. That’s what this social interaction is all about.

Do I reply too much sometimes? Maybe. Do I lose followers over it? Quite possibly. But whenever I do it, it’s always something legitimate and anyone can see that I am listening & am actively engaged with my followers, two qualities that should be cherished with any Twitter followers you have.  As harsh as it may sound, if people don’t like that, maybe they should unfollow because it’s unlikely that they desire to interact with you.

Sharing Links

Let’s face it, there’s only so much that can be communicated in 140 characters and sometimes you need to send a link.  This can be breaking news, blog posts, podcasts, photos, videos, you name it.  I highly encourage you to share links on a regular basis, but unless sharing links is all that your Twitter account is used for, I would space them out a bit because most people don’t want to see a bunch of links right in a row. Again, it goes back to interaction and starting conversations.

Chime In

Now that you know my thoughts regarding balancing your tweets on Twitter, please chime in and share your thoughts with the world, because I know that my opinions don’t speak for everyone.

Also, thanks to Steve Hill (@epiclysteve) for suggesting the topic.