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article writing Reunion – Revisiting Old Ground Posted By: Gen Wright One of the more fruitful and fulfilling practices in blogging is revisiting older material and taking a new look at it. While this is sometimes given the derogatory-intending title of "recycling," it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. Older posts can still be interesting, and can provide important context for newer material. Similarly, your current work can readily update older content with new perspectives and fresh insights. That said, there is some merit in the argument that this is simply intellectual laziness and avoiding producing good, new content. Avoiding this trap is something of an art form. So let’s discuss some of the do and don’t mechanics of resurrecting old posts and breathing new life into them. The simplest means of revisiting an old post is to simply put it up once again. The problem here should be obvious: People come to a blog for updated content and new thoughts. The older posts are still there, ready for an audience to come to and read. But sometimes you genuinely do want to have someone read an older post. How do you make this work without it looking lazy?

online brand specialist Me-too Branding And The Dearth Of Creativity Posted By: Gen Wright Nothing new under the sun, good writers simply steal well, homage, pastiche, parody, satire… the assorted excuses that come up for shamelessly ripping off other advertising ideas may as well be named Legion, for they are certainly many. Emblematic of this phenomenon is the Mac/PC ad format. The initial idea was clever enough – personalizing the PC vs. Mac experience with actual actors standing in for the machines ties into storytelling techniques that have gone back to the Greeks and the Babylonians, if not further. We as a people have personified lightning, war and other concepts into gods and heroes for time immemorial, so there’s no reason the trend should stop now. Inevitably, of course, the copycats came up. For example, consider Sprint’s recent G4 smartphone commercials. There is an element of delicious reversal in these; after all, Sprint is making fun of Apple’s iPhone the same way that Macs were trashing on PCs not too long ago. Still, the entire thing has an air of "we’ve seen this already." The format is identical, with the white background, the two personalities bickering in passive aggressive wordplay… what’s new here?

online brand specialist Some Thoughts On Specialty Blogging Posted By: Gen Wright Blogging is held up in many circles as the epitome of the personal project. Blogs are praised for their focus on the personality of the blogger, the flexibility of the medium (text only, vlog, podcast) and the relatively limitless topics that can be blogged on. Given that the division of labor allows for the formation of specialized approaches, it shouldn’t be a surprise that niche and specialty blogs have become part of this great journalistic movement. There are blogs covering all manner of specialties, from arts and craft-focused publications to hard-hitting diatribes on the political situation in foreign hotspots. The powers of SEO and keyword writing allow these blogs to stand out to their intended audiences during searches, so clearly all that remains is for the next blogging genius to unleash his specialized knowledge upon the world, yes? Well, as ever, the situation is perhaps slightly more complex than that, and for good reason. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons alike of dedicating a blog to a particular topic.

online brand specialist Some Thoughts On Specialty Blogging Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Blogging is held up in many circles as the epitome of the personal project. Blogs are praised for their focus on the personality of the blogger, the flexibility of the medium (text only, vlog, podcast) and the relatively limitless topics that can be blogged on. Given that the division of labor allows for the formation of specialized approaches, it shouldn’t be a surprise that niche and specialty blogs have become part of this great journalistic movement. There are blogs covering all manner of specialties, from arts and craft-focused publications to hard-hitting diatribes on the political situation in foreign hotspots. The powers of SEO and keyword writing allow these blogs to stand out to their intended audiences during searches, so clearly all that remains is for the next blogging genius to unleash his specialized knowledge upon the world, yes? Well, as ever, the situation is perhaps slightly more complex than that, and for good reason. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons alike of dedicating a blog to a particular topic.






Blogging Blog Management – Go Blog Wild Posted By: Gen Wright Maintaining a blog is about much more than simply presenting the latest news in the life of a person or a brand. A good blog is about conveying the writer’s personality and interests to his audience. To that end, the comments section should be one of the liveliest parts of a blog. In addition, there should be an array of links available to promote similar or interesting sites for the readers, and the content should be on-topic and creative. One of the most interesting things about the web is the ease with which people can organize events. Flash mobs are a great example of this: A quick handful of tweets or SMS messages, and kids show up at a public school to perform an elaborate dance routine in protest against bullying. Blogging can take advantage of this same phenomenon, using the web to advocate causes or interests that appeal to their readers, increasing readership by making waves in the online pool. Blog-a-Thon The original signature blogging event, and likely the one that did the most work in bringing blogging to the mainstream that it now enjoys, Blog-a-Thon is an annual, 24-hour event.

online brand specialist Blog Management – Go Blog Wild Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Maintaining a blog is about much more than simply presenting the latest news in the life of a person or a brand. A good blog is about conveying the writer’s personality and interests to his audience. To that end, the comments section should be one of the liveliest parts of a blog. In addition, there should be an array of links available to promote similar or interesting sites for the readers, and the content should be on-topic and creative. One of the most interesting things about the web is the ease with which people can organize events. Flash mobs are a great example of this: A quick handful of tweets or SMS messages, and kids show up at a public school to perform an elaborate dance routine in protest against bullying. Blogging can take advantage of this same phenomenon, using the web to advocate causes or interests that appeal to their readers, increasing readership by making waves in the online pool. Blog-a-Thon The original signature blogging event, and likely the one that did the most work in bringing blogging to the mainstream that it now enjoys, Blog-a-Thon is an annual, 24-hour event.





Blog maintenance Blog Management – Know When To Let Go Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Sometimes a topic just isn’t working – you can tell when you’re writing it, and you can tell when you’re reading it. Maybe the humor is forced, tired, or rote. Maybe the blogger didn’t go into the same level of interesting side detail that he usually does, or perhaps her topic looks like she fell back on a safe and reliable piece, rather than going somewhere new like her last eight. Whatever the reason, not every topic is created equal, and sometimes a post just isn’t up to anything like your usual standards. There are a lot of reasons, most of them hard to pin down, for why a post might not be making the cut. Perhaps the details are just too sparse to get ahold of, or the interview that the post is based on just went poorly and the subject has almost no personality to do a piece on, or maybe it’s just mind-numbingly dull to the writer and he can’t work up any enthusiasm for it. These things happen, not necessarily to every writer, but they are likely to happen to most. So the question becomes, how do you deal with a bad topic?



Blog Management Blog Management – How To Work Interviews Into Your Blog Posted By: Gen Wright Being a subset of journalism, it is no surprise that blogging shares many traits with its parent. In particular, blogging strongly resembles the feature or editorials pages of many newspapers. Not beholden to quite the same rules of timeliness or AP style guidelines as the news sections, these sections focus on matters of personal interest to the writer, or on a specific topic of particular relevance or human interest. So, given that blogging tends to be derived from these sections, it is reasonable to look into the tactics that bring traditional journalists such success in their writing and to borrow the best ideas from them. In particular, many bloggers have discovered the value of including interviews in their publications. An interview is fairly straightforward: a conversation between the blogger and another party, generally about a topic of mutual interest to the blogger, the subject and the readers. Some interviews are scripted, some are more extemporaneous, but at their heart they all have the mission of illuminating the thoughts of the interviewee to the audience of the publication in order to shed some extra light on the subject being discussed.

online brand specialist Brand Management – Press Release Fundamentals Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Certain concepts just carry over well from print journalism. The press release, the tried and true method of updating the public on an organization’s affairs, is an example of just how well such a concept can survive. While there have been a few adjustments to the specifics, such as the use of keywords and SEO-oriented writing, the core structure of the press release remains the same. Of course, as with all well-established writing conventions, the press release has seen its share of abuses. Press releases are such a routine part of any organization’s operations that they often see quality sacrificed in the name of quantity. They’re viewed as a source of easy SEO rankings if they’re given any thought at all, and naturally the quality of these publications suffers in line with the degree of neglect. Of course, no one has to follow this trend. There are a number of things one can do to create a solid press release. Here are a few of the simpler but oft-overlooked steps that can redeem this marketing tool into a primary force. Hook with the Lede The lede is that first sentence in a journalism story, a press release included.







Press release Trans-tangental: The Value Of Off-topic Blogging Posts Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Brand-oriented blogs by necessity have to focus on a particular topic. People are coming to the blog because of the brand, and they want content related to the brand in most cases. Readers are creatures of habit, and routine is comfortable to them. A blog should put out on-topic content for the same reason it should update on a consistent schedule. A blog that doesn’t maintain a consistent voice or message is probably not going to maintain its target audience’s long-term interest, by and large for the same reason that a book that can’t decide if it’s an adventure story or a romance won’t hold a reader’s attention. That said, there are many very good reasons to go into off-topic posting as well. Habit and routine are important, but so is variety. Creativity and a smart change of pace can make a blog more lively and keep the readers guessing. The trick is to balance the needs of on-topic commentary with the occasional bit of off-the-wall entertainment that brings some lively discussion with it. As an example, consider a blog dedicated to political journalism. The author has a modest audience of several thousand people interested in his posts.






Blogging Dynamic Content: Using Analytics To Write Your Blog Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario The role of web analytics in setting useful metrics for a site has been discussed in-depth in any number of places, but this is far from the only useful function that web analytic practices can offer. As in any field, a little thinking outside the box can offer extensive rewards to the creative researcher. Perhaps most usefully, creative cultivation of web analytics can help conquer blogger’s block and help a good writer come up with some unique angles for content they thought they had peaked out on. First, of course, there are keywords. Analyzing keyword trends is an important part of any attempt to create an optimized site. There are some people who can get away with ignoring this because they write gripping enough topics, but by and large a good site will make at least a few genuflections in the direction of keyword-oriented content. If stuck without a good topic idea, a blogger can easily hop over to Google’s AdWords or any other publicly accessible keyword-evaluating site and put in words relating to the topic the blog tends to cover.




Writing Yes You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover: Blog Design Considerations Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Many of us have an almost childlike desire to have ideas judged on their own merits rather than on their presentation. We imagine it would be nice if every idea could be heard out for the validity of its claims instead of judged by the merits or flaws of the messenger. But in practice, none of us actually believes this. When is the last time you actually appreciated the look of a spinning .gif? Has Comic Sans font actually ever made you stop and look more closely at an article? Can you honestly say that a mingled mash of very bright colors doesn’t put you off of a website? All right, so these are perhaps extreme examples, but they do illustrate the point that appearance is still considered important. And not all examples are so cut and dried; sometimes the text is just too small and poorly-spaced to read properly, the lack of pictures makes a site too text-dense, the color tone is just subtly off in a way that looks unpleasant and drives off potential readers or all the images and videos are on the front page, making it take excessively long to load.





Blog Design Social Media Marketing Tools – Putting Your Finger On The Pulse Of The Web Posted By: Enzo F. Cesario Time makes a mockery of most predictions. Once derided as the tools and hobbies of hopeless shut-ins and intellectual ivory tower sorts, social media sites such as PayPal, Facebook and LinkedIn have become the home of an entirely new, powerhouse economy. Where hundreds of years of war and diplomacy have failed, social media marketing has succeeded in bringing people around the globe together in the pursuit of common interests and open markets. Social media marketing is the home of successful brand promotion, and finding the right mix of tools to take advantage of it has become the defining issue of the modern brand. When people refer to SMM tools, they are discussing a host of applications and programs that allow real-time and long-term feedback on the performance of their social networks. This kind of information goes beyond the purely mechanistic approach of SEO and website performance, moving into the realm of genuine social engineering. Social media tools can track the number of times a brand is being mentioned across each network, compare traffic between networks, determine where the buzz is starting and which path it took to get from, say, Digg to Facebook.


Social Media Marketing Brand Management – Press Release Fundamentals Posted By: Gen Wright Certain concepts just carry over well from print journalism. The press release, the tried and true method of updating the public on an organization’s affairs, is an example of just how well such a concept can survive. While there have been a few adjustments to the specifics, such as the use of keywords and SEO-oriented writing, the core structure of the press release remains the same. Of course, as with all well-established writing conventions, the press release has seen its share of abuses. Press releases are such a routine part of any organization’s operations that they often see quality sacrificed in the name of quantity. They’re viewed as a source of easy SEO rankings if they’re given any thought at all, and naturally the quality of these publications suffers in line with the degree of neglect. Of course, no one has to follow this trend. There are a number of things one can do to create a solid press release. Here are a few of the simpler but oft-overlooked steps that can redeem this marketing tool into a primary force. Hook with the Lede The lede is that first sentence in a journalism story, a press release included.

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