Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tips for promoting PR student blogs

So you've created a blog, probably for class, and you've started posting content. Now you're hoping someone will read it. How do you get people to notice your blog? That's one of the most common questions I get from my students. Here are the suggestions I give them to get them started (note: you should have 3-5 posts up before you start promotion).

1. At least some of the time, create original content, not just links to news stories or "I agree with so-and-so" posts. Examples:

2. Start to build a community.

3. Remember that a blog is a conversation.

I (and my students) welcome any other suggestions or additions to this list!

Cross-posted to WOM Class.

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Great post! It was very informative, and will really help out new bloggers! I wish I'd read it back when I started! At least it's never too late...

I do have a question, though. While my blog gets relatively steady traffic, I'm having a hard time getting new readers and subscribers! Do you have any suggestions for me and others having this problem?

Thanks and take care!
I would make sure your blog is RSS-enabled. A lot of times I'll discover a blog via a link and if I like what I read, I'll sign-up for the feed to be delivered to my Google reader. But without RSS, I am unlikely to remember to keep going back to the blog on my own. RSS means less work for the reader!
Hi Karen,

I have just started a blog for our Online PR course with Gary Schlee, and I agree with your points completely. I've already built a small community of readers and have found all of your suggestions do drive traffic to my site.

I'm still trying to get more engaged in the 'blogging world', and learn about the various tools that are available. It's a wonderful platform we have, I think it's a great way to not only relate relevant information, but inspire others to write!

Hi Karen,

A great post and really relevant for me as a PR blogger just starting out (though I'm not a student...).

As per Amy Mengel's comments, an RSS feed is indespensible, especially for tracking conversations in the blogospehere that you are writing about on your own blog.

I tried to find your RSS feed, but couldn't find it on your page - do you have one and could you point me in the right direction?

Thanks for the comments everyone. I tried to reply over the weekend but evidently Blogger didn't approve as I see it's not here today (see below for my feelings on this blog's technical capabilities). So, here we go again:

Amy, thanks for that -- I discussed RSS feeds in my lecture as part of registering on Feedburner, but forgot to include it in the post.

Meg, I agree with Amy; but in addition I would add that it really boils down to content -- providing content that people want to see again and again. But, you're in a tough spot in that many of your one-time-only readers are probably students/newbies who don't know about RSS, aggregators, and subscriptions. Your next post?!

Ben, you're asking a fine question. Once upon a time, my blog had a lovely RSS feed. Then one day it disappeared and no one has been able to bring it back. People who used to subscribe lost the feed. Others are still getting it. (My blog has always been weird about not accepting chicklets etc. but this one takes the cake.) I was supposed to be migrating to Wordpress over the holidays but didn't get it done. So bear with me and I'll fix it eventually. REALLY!

Steffy, I'm glad you checked in and I hope the tips help! I'll be checking out all the blogs from you and your classmates later this week. :)
I would add : ask help to your friends. Everyone has his or her own community (school, family...) even a virtual one (myspace, facebook...) and these people can help you by reading your blog and leaving comments if they want. As they already know you, it's easier to catch their attention. And once there are some comments on a blog, it makes the blog more attractive for new readers, I think.
Hi Karen,

Thanks for all the blogging tips... It was especially helpful for me since I'm just starting out myself.

I was wondering if you had any suggestions about what to write for original posts... What topics do you think other PR students would find interesting?
Kristin, just think about what YOU want to know -- how to get an internship, resume writing tips, finding out about new PR tools and techniques -- then do some research such as interviewing professionals or reading posts and stories that are already available on the Web. Putting it all together in one place will be helpful to other students.
This post is full of good information and ideas. Lately, I've been struggling somewhat with getting readers to my blog, and this definitely helps. Do you have any tips for podcasting as well? Thanks for writing this, and thanks to Kelli for recommending it.
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