Tag Archives: talk

Want blogging tips? Don’t go to Google

26 Nov

Punch into Google ‘blogging tips’ and it throws back oodles of articles. So, where’s a budding blogger meant to start? By talking to one.

There’s some great ideas out there, courtesy of PR Daily and The Wall. But, the truth is that half of these articles won’t make sense without practical examples. And, that comes from experience.

So, with my blog now in its ‘terrible twos’, I’m putting thumb to iPhone to share my golden nuggets. Tongue twister alert:

Prime Time‘s top 10 tips for taking your blog to the next level

1) Are you talking to me?
Know your audience. Assume a level of knowledge and don’t patronise.

2) Develop a style and stick to it
The only reason you’d need to be corporate is if you were ghostwriting for your CEO. In all other circumstances, lighten up! It’s likely your blog will be read in people’s spare time, so cut them some slack and deliver informal, light-hearted and punchy content.

3) Write to be read
If you’re finding a post hard to write, then it’s probably going to be hard for your readers to digest. Before writing I identify an interesting news hook. But, if I can’t think of at least three things to add value to the conversation, I scrap it.

It’s also important to have an opinion. However niche your blog sets out to be, you will have competition. So, keep in mind why people should be reading yours instead of the blog next door.

4) Be on time
It doesn’t matter if it’s once a month or once a week, find a pattern and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than finding a blog and realising it’s not been updated for six months or shut up shop. What a waste of cyberspace!

5) Create a content calendar
To avoid hunting for stories every week, why not jot down key dates in advance? Whether it’s conferences and events or film launches and X Factor results, it’ll come in handy.

6) Tag!
Tag each post not only with key words you’ve included, but also those that link to the subject. It’ll help direct more people to your blog.

7) You don’t have to be in PR to promote your blog
Make the most of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You don’t have to do them all, but do the ones you can, well.

Why not set a reminder on your phone to promote each post you write, in a variety of ways, for the next 30 days to ensure it’s being read?

In addition to this, make sure you’re capitalising on #TBT and #FBF (for going through the archive and bringing early posts up to par) and #FF (for connecting with influencers) – they’re quick wins for getting noticed.

8) Maximising channels
Did you know you can publish direct from LinkedIn? It looks hot, so take advantage and stand out among your network.

Also consider using Twitter to feed into relevant conversations and plug your content e.g:

 

Looking forward to the @PaddingtonMovie? Then you’ll probably hate my blog on the Peruvian bear! Check it out > http://wp.me/p2sMct-2dE

This could help your content to snowball outside of your network – which is the key to success.

9) You may have the penmanship of Shakespeare, but that’s no excuse for shoddy images
Headers and images will be scanned before people start reading your blog in detail. Make sure they stand out and are engaging.

10) Have an ‘About You’ page
I’ve never been overly keen on blogs that use the first few posts as introductions. I’m going to say it like it is: it looks a little very amateur. Put your background on a separate page and use your first post to get straight to the point.

What do you think? Feeling inspired?

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Macmillan strikes it lucky with tube tweet

30 Apr

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Relax. The tube strikes are over…for now. But, in the few days they caused chaos in the capital, they had a great publicist: front page of the Evening Standard, infographics and a hashtag! It’s a hat-trick that PRs like me can only dream of.

But, while you were complaining/celebrating/not caring (delete as appropriate) about how industrial action brought London to a standstill, some charities were planning a clever social media campaign.

Macmillan Cancer Support piggybacked off Twitter’s ‘tubestrikes’ hashtag to promote its services, accompanied with a simple graphic using the iconic London Underground key. Meanwhile, Save the Children put the disruptions into perspective by comparing the ‘madness’ in London to Syria.

Macmillan’s tweet may only have been retweeted 140 times, but it had wit, talkability and relevance on its side adding to its pulling power (despite it repeatedly tweeting the image to different media outlets in quick succession – a no no for me as mentioned in this blog.)

In the same fashion, Save the Children’s infographic scores highly on the shareability scale because it summarises an issue in an instant. So, it’s no surprise it’s caught the attention of BBC, The Independent and the Daily Mirror to name a few.

But, these tweets aren’t successful because they’ve been seen thousands of times in the last day. They’re successful because they’ve raised awareness of the charity at zero cost – a ‘quick win’ result that a PR, marketing or social media agency just can’t contend with.

With tube strikes set to land in London again next week, expect other organisations to jump on the bandwagon (remember all those #nomakeupselfie variations?) But one thing’s for sure – it won’t be as innovative the second time round.

What do you think of these mini campaigns?

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The Barbour shop spruces up with a lick of paint

5 Apr

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Despite the smog, I rocked up to work yesterday morning in my SLB (Summer Liddesdale Barbour) which is something that I bought just before every high street store decided to introduce them. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But now fans are being given the chance to up their game by adding a spark of colour to their wardrobes, thanks to Barbour’s partnership with Pantone.

To celebrate its S/S 2014 collection, Barbour has created a film, with the help of four bloggers, to showcase the British brand’s love affair with colour.

And it’s giving fans a chance to win items from the colourful collection by taking part in a photo competition.

For a company that sticks out in our minds for (probably) using old men on wearing flat caps and wellington boots with a Labrador by their side promote its range, this approach is youthful, fashionable and fun without trying too hard.

The fashion and lifestyle bloggers – who have more than 158,000 followers combined – share what inspires them on an easy-to-use microsite – which gives users the option to browse the collection; enter a competition; and view the latest entries.

To open up a 120 year-old brand like Barbour to a new generation naturally – peer to peer marketing was key. The sophisticated bloggers are aspirational without being show-offs. These are ‘everyday’ creative people who can appreciate the quality of the brand and they’re encouraging others to do the same – and I believe them:

· Niran & AdamYing & Yang
· Steve Booker Steve Booker
· CatTake Courage
· Carin OlssonParis In Four Months

I know I’m biased. I’ve already bought into the Barbour club. But, this campaign works on both levels. It validates my previous decision and prompts me to buy again.

The video launches on the site on Monday and it’ll be interesting to see how the competition takes off and how it transforms potential consumers into future customers.

But, it already has subtly on its side. The #BarbourPantone concept is shareable without being showy – down to the fact that Barbour’s felt secure enough to create a digital campaign around its brand without over-talking about its brand (Barbour appears just seven times on the microsite homepage and one of those is the hashtag).

Jolly good!

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