When prioritizing what is necessary for a blog, the logo is probably the last item on your agenda. However, that does not mean it should be overlooked. Here at Blog Trackr, you will probably notice that our logo has been recently changed. The reason why was that first it was bland. A boring logo is not something that is particularly memorable. Second, the logo did not say much about who we are or what we do. Read more “Creating a Unique and Memorable Logo”
When you write a new blog post, your first objective should be how to make sure your readership knows about it. The obvious channel is to post an update to your social media pages, but there are other strategies to let your audience know about your most recent article. One of those ways is to tap into the power of email communication. This article will outline the basics of email marketing so that you can better tap into an ever-growing audience. Read more “The Power of Email Communication”
Here at Blog Trackr, we are devoted to blogs because we simply enjoy writing blog articles on issues we are passionate about. For example, I used to write for the blog Monstah Mash, a blog devoted completely to the Red Sox. While blogging, our goal was not to be just another Red Sox blog out there because there are plenty. We wanted to provide our own unique spin on current Red Sox news. Read more “Top Three Lessons Learned at Monstah-Mash”
In this final segment of our blogging history series, we will look at recent blogging developments and examine blogging’s promising future as 2017 continues. Read more “A Blogging History: Blogging’s Promising Future”
In this third installment of our blogging history series, we will be looking at the growth of blogging from a typically short article to other forms of media. Blogging was about to differentiate into novel types of displaying content and sharing your opinion on an issue. Read more “A Blogging History: Blogging Differentiates”
Last week, Blog Trackr began a mini-series of blogging articles dedicated to exploring the history of blogging. In this segment, we will discussion how blogs started to expand in the early 2000s as they increased in number. Read more “A Blogging History: Expansion in the early 2000s”
At Blog Trackr, we have devoted blog posts to covering basic and more advanced blogging tips and tricks. However, have you ever wondered where blogging began?
For the next few blog posts, I will spend time introducing you to blogging’s history from its humble origins to its rising popularity in the last five years.
Join me on this little history of blogging and continue to research how your own blog can contribute to the larger, blogging story.
Beginning of Blogging 1994-1997
A random piece of information that you can use to stump your friends is who created the first blog? People trace blogging’s history to the Swarthmore College dorm room of Justin Hall, whose blog, links.net, reviewed different examples of HTML examples he found.
The New York Times ran with this idea and called Hall “the founding father of personal bloggers.” What is interesting about this origin of blogging history is that Hall’s website was simply called a “personal homepage.”
Three years after Hall introduced the idea of blogs, people started calling blogs by the name we know them now today.
Jorn Barger, a blogger for the early blog Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog” to describe the process of logging the web while he searched the internet for quality content.
Period of Growth into Mainstream Media
In 1998, Jonathan Dube blogged about Hurricane Bonnie for the Charlotte Observer which marked the first time someone started a blog for a traditional news site.
Gradually, the term “weblog” got shortened to blog and five years later the Merriam-Webster dictionary declared the term their “word of the year.”
What Did Early Blogs Look Like?
Obviously, over time blogs have become even easier to create and manage on your own without much technical expertise.
However, in its early days the original blogs were clunkier and had to be updated manually, often from a central home page.
That was often inefficient. Programmers were the only ones who had the technical knowledge to manage a blog and make them successful.
However, that was soon about to change. LiveJournal was one of the most recognizable early blogging platforms, but it was soon replaced by the platform Blogger.
Blogging was ready to take a huge leap forward and enter a new era of sharing ideas easily and to a wide audience.
At the beginning of the year, Blog Trackr ran a post related to New Years’ Resolutions and called it “5 Blogging Resolutions for 2017.” In our own way, we participated in what David Meerman Scott has termed “newsjacking.” Newsjacking is the process of finding a way to relate your blog or business to what occurs in cultural or national news.
When breaking news happens or a piece of news starts trending on Facebook or Twitter, the time could come to halt your next scheduled blog post and think of innovative ways your blog could relate to that news story both on your blog and on social media.
How to Newsjack
Some may argue that a potential flaw in newsjacking is the fact that numerous voices will appear simultaneously in Google News or other search engines. However, if you ignore what is happening around you and disregard its relevance to your blog, you could be missing out on a source of new readers and new traffic to your blog.
Once breaking news happens, the first step is to consider how you can inject your blog or business into this topic. Think about what reporters or curious readers would input into search engines so that your blog appears near the top of search results
On social media, start following recent tweets or Facebook posts to see what has been said already. Once you do that, it is time to strategize and think about what unique spin you can put on the story that has not been said already.
After you decide on a potential topic, you can blog, tweet or even create an infographic or a video related to the piece of breaking news.
Examples of Newsjacking
There are so many examples of newsjacking out there. With Super Bowl LI over, there are always blog posts, videos, tweets and social media posts related to the big game which happen both before and after the game. There could be posts related to football, the halftime show, the commercials or even how to plan a perfect Super Bowl Party.
For other examples of newsjacking, check out the Boston Beat section of Monstah-Mash where the author, Tyler Scionti, thinks about Boston-related news stories even though he writes primarily about the Red Sox.
Bottom Line and Further Reading
The bottom line about this whole topic is that you do not need to be a political blog to offer insights into politics or a sports blog to write about the Super Bowl. Newsjacking can be the key to differentiating your content while remaining timely and relevant to today’s evolving news cycle.
For further reading about newsjacking, David Meerman Scott offers great insights into this topic. Check out more information on this vital topic here.
Here at Blog Trackr, we have talked about the importance of differentiating your content to appeal to your audience. One must vary their content so that your writing does not grow stale and lose its impact among your readership. How do you increase the flair and variety of your content? That is where guest blogging comes in.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is exactly what it sounds like. It entails recruiting and convincing another expert in your field to write an article for your blog. You may be a political blog that focuses on one policy, but need an expert in another field to explain how it relates to another policy area.
You may be a sports blog who suddenly must examine the results of a long-term injury and may recruit a medical expert to fill your readers in on an injury to one of your team’s stars.
How can you find guest bloggers?
Guest blogging seems like an excellent idea in theory, but the challenge is how to find a quality blogger willing to write for you. The best place to start would be to start building an online community where you comment on other blogs, share interesting articles on your site and interact with others on social media.
Another tactic you can use to find guest bloggers is going to websites such as bloggerlinkup.com or myblogquest.com where you will find databases of sites that accept posts from guest bloggers.
The most important consideration for guest blogging is to examine a writer’s previous body of work. Your goal should be quality rather than quantity of another writer’s blog posts.
How can guest blogging help you?
First, guest blogging builds relationships. As you employ more guest bloggers or contribute as a guest blogger on other blogs, you start to increase your audience and become more influential on social media.
Another reason guest blogging can help you is that it can help you show up more frequently on search engines. The host blogger must include a link to your blog on their website. If you guest post for someone else, include a link to their website somewhere in your story. In this way, your content (and theirs) is easier to find on popular search engines.
Where to Go from Here
Now that you have some tactics to recruit guest bloggers, it is time to go out there and look at anyone connected to your blog or business in some way. You must be committed to contributing to your community to make guest blogging work for you. Commenting or sharing others’ content relevant to your industry is just the first step.
With 2017 upon us, the time may appropriate for your blog or business to consider other means of sharing insightful content. This is where the power of electronic books becomes evident.
Even though an e-book has nothing to do with blogging at first glance, it is nevertheless a way to expand upon your thoughts on an issue. More than that, writing an e-book is more thrilling than simply writing a business-tailored white paper which is usually more technical and harder for the reader to follow.
What is an E-Book and How Is It Useful?
Simply put, an e-book is an electronic book usually made available in a PDF format. Anyone can write an e-book and it is quite an accomplishment to say that you dedicated so much time to writing one!
Usually, bloggers decide to write an e-book to solve an issue facing their target audience. For example, one e-book we are currently working on is titled Crafting the Perfect Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide.
At Blog Trackr, we recognize that many people interested in blogging are unsure where to start. While we have run posts about blogging, it is always helpful to investigate an issue in more depth. We are hoping that this E-book can fulfill the desires of one of our target audiences: beginners interested in blogging.
Similarly, as a writer for your blog or business, you too can propose writing an informative E-book that provides much more information than a simple blog post.
How to Write an E-Book
The first step to writing an e-book is obviously to come up with a topic that will interest your readers and satisfy their desires. If you are a travel blog, for example, you could write in-depth accounts of places with cultural significance and why it is essential for tourists to visit these places.
If you are a political blog focused on human rights, you could write an e-book devoted to one area under that huge umbrella such as access to water or education in developing countries.
Well-written e-books typically have places for interesting graphics and images and are written in a much-lighter style than a white paper.
Where to Publish an E-Book
After spending all that time writing an e-book, you may wonder how you can get that e-book out to your readers?
The first answer is, obviously, having it available for download on your site. Ideally, the e-book should be free to download and should not have a requirement such as entering your email address to download the book. These requirements could turn prospective readers away from your book!
Another reason why your e-book should be free to download is the fact that, with a well-crafted title, your e-book remains a permanent fixture leading people to your site. Like a blog post, an e-book will come up in search results if it has a unique title.
Places like these are ideal if you write a much longer e-book that you may want to sell online.
In most cases, making your e-book readily available for free will lead to better results, particularly if it resonates with your target audience.
Now that you have some ideas about an e-book, be on the lookout for our e-book and think about using these tips to write your own!