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Blogging Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: Tools To Improve Your Online Marketing Campaign

Tools To Improve Your Online Marketing Campaign
Find out what tools web developer, Joost de Valk uses everyday in his web campaigns and site analyses.
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: Why I Design and Develop on the Thesis Theme Framework

Why I Design and Develop on the Thesis Theme Framework
The benefits of using the Thesis Theme Framework to build better websites.
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: Trends in Landing Page Design for Search Marketers

Trends in Landing Page Design for Search Marketers
The trend in landing page design is shifting from “less is more” to a more in-depth approach.  Which trends do you apply to your own site?
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: How To Install and Run WordPress on AWS EC2

How To Install and Run WordPress on AWS EC2
Fifteen minutes and you can be up and running. An illustrated step-by-step guide for installing and running WordPress on Amazon’s Cloud platform.
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: Are You Minivan Racing?

Are You Minivan Racing?
Is your website team in the race driving a minivan, or a sleek, high powered car designed for racing?  It may be time to climb out of the minivan in into the race car driver’s seat.
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: How to Create Eye-Catching Images With Microsoft PowerPoint

How to Create Eye-Catching Images With Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint, not just for boring presentations anymore!  Learn how to create great graphics for your blog using PowerPoint.
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Articles Web Intelligence

5 Tips for Writing a Business Blog Post

This is the second entry by guest blogger, Emily Sidley from Three Girls, a PR firm that specializes in Media Relations. Too often people slap together a few random items and flood the media channels in hopes that someone will pick up the news. Follow these steps and you’ll have a much better chance of being noticed.

As we often say, maintaining a blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, help visitors to your site get to “know you” a bit before potentially working with you, and increase your website’s SEO.

Blogs have come a long way in the past few years. With most major companies and news organizations hosting a blog on their site – not to mention experts and practitioners in a wide variety of fields – blogs are starting to lose the stereotype of a 13-year-old’s online journal. Writing a personal blog is extremely different than writing for a business blog, though. So how do you get started?

Here are 5 tips for writing a business blog post:

  1. Pick a Topic. What do you want to write about? You can include a list of tips, provide your commentary on industry news, answer frequently asked questions about your company, share client case studies, etc. The sky is the limit when it comes to coming up with topics for blog posts.
  2. Brainstorm Content. What do you want to include in your blog post? Although you want it to be promotional, remember that the purpose is to provide something of value. What helpful information can you share for your readers?
  3. Write the post. Once you have your topic and know what you’re going to write about, start typing out the actual post. It’s always a good idea to write as if it’s a note to a friend. In addition to keeping the tone pleasant and casual (as blogs tend to be less formal), this will help you avoid the industry jargon. How would you explain it if you were talking to a friend that doesn’t work in your field? Use the same language for your readers as well.
  4. Edit. This is a step a LOT of bloggers miss, but it’s extremely important! Read over the post you’ve written and check for words spell check mis-corrected, sentences with extra words, and typos. Since your blog is a way of introducing yourself to potential customers, you want it to be as accurate as possible. Even if you aren’t a trained writer, your credibility is established through correct grammar and spelling. For editing tips, read this blog post.
  5. Publish. Once your post is ready to go, upload it to your blog and publish away! I always recommend previewing the post before hitting “publish” as you can often catch last-minute typos and formatting errors. Feel free to include an image within the post, too, as it can make the article even more appealing to readers.

We want to hear from you! How do you approach writing a blog post for your business? Do you have any tips to share?

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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: Tracking down my online haters

Tracking down my online haters
The anonymity readers feel behind their keyboard often makes it easy for them to lash out at an easy target – the online journalist.  Track the readers down and you often find they regain their manners.
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Chatter Web Intelligence

Twitter Chatter: More Money for No Work?

More Money for No Work – From Your Blog Archives?
Everyone wants more money for no work, but just how do you get that gig?  It’s all about optimizing your popular archives to give your readers what they want.
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Articles Web Intelligence

Before You Pitch

Today I want to welcome guest blogger, Emily Sidley from Three Girls, a PR firm that specializes in Media Relations. Too often people slap together a few random items and flood the media channels in hopes that someone will pick up the news. Follow these steps and you’ll have a much better chance of being noticed.

Securing media coverage takes time. A lot of consumers think getting coverage is just a matter of calling up a reporter, but in reality it takes a lot more work behind-the-scenes to be ready to contact the media.

Reporters are busy people. They have constant deadlines, and don’t have the time to wait for you to compile info or take photos, so make sure you’re ready before you approach them. Anticipate what they’re going to ask for so you can send it right away when they ask.

For each campaign we put together at Three Girls, we have a checklist of items to prepare prior to press pitching:

  • A Virtual Press Kit: This document includes contact information, information about the company in who-what-where format and high-res images. We always recommend posting it online so anyone you’re talking to has 24/7 access to it (see our client page for an example). If you don’t have a place to post a press kit on your site, you should at least have it ready to go in case information or images are requested.
  • 3-5 High-Res Images: Although these are included in the Virtual Press Kit, I wanted to go into more detail. It’s important to have several images for the media to choose from. For print publications, they need to be at least 300-dpi and 3×5 in size, although larger is okay too. We also recommend a plain white background so the media outlet’s art department has more options (they can drop it into a collage of products, make the background whatever color/design they want, etc).
  • A Sample Letter: This document is most of the same information in the Virtual Press Kit, but limited to one page. We have clients send this one-page information sheet in every single package they send out to provide the journalist with vital information they can reference quickly.
  • A Sample Package: Prior to press-pitching, we make sure all our clients have Sample Packages that will really “Wow!” the press. They don’t need to have a lot of bells and whistles, but they do need to be clean, sharp and look professional. Before you contact the media, make sure you have everything you need to ship a few samples, including boxes, tissue paper, packing tape, etc.
  • A Fact Sheet: For clients that offer a service as opposed to a product, we create a Fact Sheet to send interested journalists in lieu of a Sample Letter. This is the same information that’s in the Virtual Press Kit as well, but formatted more like a bulleted list that is easy to skim and pull specifics from quickly.

Did I miss anything? What else would you make sure you have ready to go prior to pitching?