Breaking the Blogging Block

Posted in: Blog, Blogging, Content Writing by SpiderWriters on September 2, 2010 | No Comments

Stuck on time to blog? We’ll do it for you! Call 757-499-1990, ext. 104 to learn more.

You’re stuck for new blogging ideas. Don’t fret; writer’s block happens to the best of us. If you’ve spent the better part of a year or more blogging on your topic of expertise, you’ve probably wondered how soon the wall would come into view. As a professional SEO writer, I accept every day as a challenge, and ask myself if I have exhausted every single angle of my clients’ businesses before I realize there is nothing left to write. Usually then, I manage to think of one more thing that hasn’t been covered, or else write a new twist on something that has.

Whether you’re writing for yourself or for somebody else, it’s good to have on hand a brainstorm list of potential blog jump-starts to stimulate your creative mind whenever you see those solid bricks looming in the distance. Rather than hit a wall, you can veer sharply to the left and continue building your content, and consequently your traffic.

End This Phrase…

When you compose a new blog post or article for syndication, it’s important for said work to feature the main keyphrase with the title. Already your job is half done, good for you! Writing about travel? You know your destination will figure in there. Other topics like home improvement, affiliate marketing, weight loss, and the like can be encapsulated in a number of templates for blog work. Next time you’re at a loss for words, try some of these ideas to get the keyword some much needed use:

The Tips: A good primer for articles on how-to subjects that cover most do-it-yourself projects or research to hire somebody to do it for you. Try out Five Tips for a Cleaner Kitchen or Five Tips for Creating a Facebook Page and soon you may find you have more to say.

The Caveats: For every article that sings the praises of a particular topic, there should follow eventually the occasional caveat. If you’re writing about pet care, for example, after you’ve convinced readers why bringing a puppy into the family is a good idea, write up something like Five Things to Consider When Boarding Your Dog as a good vacation topic. For health blogs, people are always looking the downside of too good to be true diet programs, so there’s Should You Go on a Detox Program? for starters.

The Directions: Never assume everybody on the Internet is a seasoned professional at anything. Every day somebody joins Facebook, or buys a complicated kitchen appliance, and just wants to dive in headfirst. The tips you can provide in a step by step article provide timely reading for years to come, depending on the topic. Of course, if you write about social media and SEO, you’ll always find fodder for this category as you learn how to deal with new paradigms.

The Best: No matter the topic, you can find the best qualities, destinations, or other features to use in a blog. Everything from the best barbecue joints in Nashville to the best brands of chocolate to give Mom on her birthday can be written easily.

The Whys: For promotional articles designed to convince readers to hire somebody or purchase something to make life easier, you need to offer sound reasoning that leads to click-throughs to your contact form or shopping cart. Why should somebody call on a Realtor as opposed to acting on their own? Why do you need a custom background on your Twitter profile? Make the argument.

Feeling stimulated yet? Hopefully these ideas will help you to build your blog or article archive. If ever you run out of ideas, think back to what you’ve already written and ask yourself what more can be drawn there. Look at your words from every angle to create new directions for your writing.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and blog writing services. Recent clients include retailers of pet supplies and cloth diapersGainesville bed and breakfasts and European hotel bookingagents, and Virginia Beach web design firms.

When Inspiration Strikes, There's an App To Help

Posted in: Blog, Blogging, Content Writing, Mobile Marketing by SpiderWriters on March 24, 2010 | No Comments

Need assistance with article marketing? Spider Writers is a full-service social media marketing company ready to assist with building your social media presence. Call us today at 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for your free estimate.

It’s not unusual for a writer to keep a notebook near at all times, even in the age of technology and nifty handheld gadgets. For the prolific blogger who relies on the frequent production of content to build high search relevancy and a strong social media following, the temptation to remain glued to the computer is strong. Especially if you’re always brimming with ideas and topics to write, you want to get everything down and scheduled so interest in your business remains solid. Eventually, though, you’ll be called upon to go out to dinner, board a plane, or perhaps go to church.

While your pastor may frown upon your tweeting during his sermons, that nifty handheld gadget can be a godsend (pardon the pun) in the downtime away from your desk. Knowing which apps to use to enhance your marketing on the go can help you keep a creative focus and foster ideas when you’re unable to fully apply them at work.

The advantage to composing notes and ideas on your BlackBerry, Android, or iPhone is that – unlike the tried and true pad and pen – each has the ability to upload content to some kind of blog client or social network. Facebook and Tumblr allow users to update with ease, and there are several Twitter clients for reading and posting quick missives. For longer pieces, however, and news that must meet a schedule, there are specialized apps available to increase your productivity as you travel. Some are free, others are not, and not all are yet available across all phone platforms. Yet, if you have the means to try them all, you just may find you can go outside once in a while and seek deeper inspiration for your business interests.

Think Now, Tweet Later – You remember that Seinfeld episode where George is driving away from a meeting after being zinged by a co-worker, and only when he’s far removed from the situation does he think of a good comeback? How often does that moment define us? The ideas pop into our heads at the most inopportune times – if George had Twitter access he might be okay, the rest of us can take advantage of the Birdhouse App. Working on a similar premise as the IPhone’s Notes Application, Birdhouse is set up to store tweets for later use. You may have business news that can’t be released until a certain time – Birdhouse stores your information and helps you fit the 140 character limit. Once your tweets are ready to move beyond the draft stage, you can publish from multiple accounts and email yourself a backup copy. For the business that relies on Twitter to impart information, this is a handy tool that eliminates other apps that don’t publish directly. (iPhone, $1.99 – website)

Blog On – While WordPress and Tumblr have proprietary apps for users to update as they please, those who remain faithful to Blogger, Movable Type, and other platforms may find it more of a challenge to blog on the road. If you’re the hardcore type with multiple blogs over different platforms, you’ll want an app that accesses more than one to make your life easier. BlogPress supports multiple brands and allows you to publish with ease – whether you use Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, or even LiveJournal, this app provides a one-stop forum for your updates. (iPhone, $2.99 – website)

Sho- Your Social Side – Where BlogPress provides multi-blog platform capabilities, Sho-Zu can turn you into a social media machine wherever you are. This handy application lets you update Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and a host of other social sites. You can even FTP material to any server! With support for multiple phone platforms, this app is worth the investment if you find you travel often and still need to stay online. (multiple, free to $4.99 depending on phone – website)

You never know when inspiration for a good article or marketing campaign will strike. Before you reach for that cocktail napkin to jot down notes, however, try an app that connects you to where your message needs to go. The Internet is 24/7, and these applications can keep your brand visible at all times.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

It Only Takes One: Creating the Social Spark

Posted in: Blog, Blogging, Industry News, Social Media by SpiderWriters on March 11, 2010 | No Comments

Need assistance with article marketing? Spider Writers is a full-service social media marketing company ready to assist with building your social media presence. Call us today at 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for your free estimate.

Consider these recent events in social media:

1) Former Tonight Show host, in an attempt to kill time during his forced exile from television, starts a Twitter account which quickly amasses more than half a million followers. For reasons not entirely clear, he chooses to follow one person at random, turning a 19-year-old Michigan woman into an instant celebrity.

2) A fan of actress Betty White, determined to see the TV legend host Saturday Night Live, sets up a Facebook fan page to generate support. About three months and nearly half a million fans later, it’s reported Betty will host the show in May.

3) Film critic and prolific tweeter Roger Ebert points followers to a blog article on The Feminista Files about dressing Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe for the ceremony, resulting in a significant increase of readers for author Erica Kennedy, whose blog received a further boost with mentions on high-profile sites and The Frisky.

You as a social media marketer may think: what are the chances some celebrity is going to follow your Facebook or Twitter, or else share your content and spark a viral spike in unique views. It would be nice to be singled out in this manner, thereby allowing you to take advantage of growing interest in your blog or social profile – while in time the mass numbers may drop off as the Warholian fifteen minutes tick away, there remains the opportunity to maintain a higher readership than you had before you were discovered.

Of course, nobody will discover you, famous or otherwise, unless you give people something to find. The one advantage to building an archive of blog articles and commentary, Twitter data, and even Facebook status updates is that once they are set free, they remain cached in search. It’s very possible a blog you may consider old news will pop up on somebody’s radar, prompting them to share via Digg, Delicious or a host of other services. The more information is shared daily via social media, the longer it retains relevance. You may think a topic is expired, but it’s always new to somebody.

How do you ignite the spark to get that one retweet or dig? It’s a challenge to pinpoint the magic formula, but ultimately it boils down to A) writing what people want to read, and B) writing it often. You may find it will take many strikes of the match to set one aflame, but if you refuse to lift the flap first and get started, know it will never happen.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

Writing for Your Website When You've Run Out of Things to Write

Posted in: Article Marketing, Blog, Blogging, Content Writing by SpiderWriters on March 8, 2010 | No Comments

Need assistance with article marketing? Spider Writers is a full-service social media marketing company ready to assist with building your social media presence. Call us today at 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for your free estimate.

As a writer, you may fear the inevitable wall, that moment when you feel you have exhausted your idea repository and aren’t sure what to write for your website or blog. You know it’s important to keep your online presence relevant and fresh in order to maintain high readership – with certain fields, there is always something new to explore. If your business is slow to offer innovations and new events, however, it’s possible to spend more time staring at the monitor screen than filling it.

Whether writing non-fiction or a story, everything begins with an idea, a question that needs to be answered, or a “what if” scenario burning to be played out. If ever you find it a challenge to crank out a minimum of 300 words designed to promote your products and services you may wish to employ a few writing exercises designed to stimulate your brain and turn one uncertain sentence into a flowing narrative rich in key phrases to help readers find you via search. Here are a few I recommend, which have worked in different situations and may be applied to any topic:

Top Five: This is a good topic especially for retailers or those in the mechanical or technical trade. Ultimately, no matter what you do for a living, you will be asked about the top products or devices in your field. Contractors swear by specific brands of windows and plumbing, and boutique owners may recommend certain designers for formal events. Think about a topic related to your business where at least five brands compete for your and your clientele’s attention, then compare and contrast.

How To: The simple how-to article works to establish you as an authority in your field. If you sell goods, draft step by step instructions on how to use them, and if you offer services – labor or clerical – you can offer tips on handling certain issues without necessarily giving away the store.

I Remember…: Do certain products or services you offer tie in to a specific memory? Does what you do know require more advanced work and equipment than in years past? Take readers on a trip down memory lane and provide a history for your company in the process.

Anti-Top  Five: For every top five products and paradigms, there is advice on what not to buy and how not to do things. Offers readers the consequences of the wrong decisions and products for the work you provide, and you may find this strengthens your authority.

Worst Case Scenario: If troubleshooting constitutes a good part of your business, nip those frequent calls for assistance with a series of articles designed to help readers face different challenges.

Once you’ve exhausted these ideas, keep brainstorming. Check the daily news wires and set up keyword alerts for your e-mail to lead you to related blogs and sites. Sometimes it takes only word to spark an idea, be sure you search well for it.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

Engaging Readers to Comment on Blogs and Social Networks

Posted in: Blog, Blogging, Content Writing by SpiderWriters on March 3, 2010 | 3 Comments

Do all these funny-sounding social media sites cross your eyes? You need help sorting the tweets from the buzzes! Spider Writers can develop a sound social media marketing plan that brings followers to your profiles, and your business. Contact us today at 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for a free consultation.

You can write for miles, you can post links to funny videos on your Facebook page, and you can tweet until your online voice gives out…it’s great to have the ability to easily produce content, but none it means much unless you know for certain people are processing it. What good does it do to have 500+ Twitter followers or a thousand fans on Facebook if none of them are regularly checking your content?

Where success in social media is concerned, we tend to gauge the effectiveness of updates by how often posts are “retweeted” or shared across over platforms. How often people “Digg” your articles or link to your YouTube depends on overall interest – did you produce something thought-provoking or funny? You may be encouraged to see numbers increase every time you check your social profiles, but when it comes to your blog you have analytics and, more importantly, comments. When you post, do people have to something to say about it? Does what you write move people to want to share their opinions? If not, there’s a chance you aren’t blogging correctly.

Are there rules to proper blogging? Not really. The beauty of blogging comes in the freedom allowed the writer – you can share as much or as little information as you wish, enhance your entries with photos or video embeds, and even creative hypertext that guides readers to relevant spots on the Internet. As a blogger, you can also monetize your material with affiliate or point of sale links to products and services. The more you blog, the greater the opportunity to reach people interested in your topic, though the one thing that will keep readers returning to your blog is active engagement. Don’t just blog at visitors, but to them.

Ask Questions: If the purpose of your weblog is to establish yourself as an authority in your field, you might at first be reluctant to entertain opposing views. While some may find debates daunting, encouraging readers to answer to questions you pose can make for good interaction, which in turn may lead readers to share these only discussions via social media.

Accept Criticism: In a perfect world, everybody agrees with what we have to say, and everything we say is correct. Not so online – it seems the Internet was made to create controversy, and nobody is immune to negative feedback. Rather than take a curt remark on your comment wall personally and ignite a flame war, take a deep breath and examine why a reader would disagree with you, or criticize your company, product, or service. The temptation to erase bad history is tempting, but you’ll be the bigger person if you let these comments remain and accept them with grace.

Remain Topical: Part of maintaining online popularity involves looking for content that is…well, popular. It’s a challenge to raise your voice and talk about your business when people are more interested in sharing viral videos and pictures of funny-looking cats. You might wish to experiment with levity in your blogs and social profiles – join ‘em instead of beat ‘em by sharing popular content, and test reader response. If you can find a way to integrate what is popular and maintain relevance to your topics, all the better.

Above All Else, Ask! Never fear that asking questions of others will diminish your authority. The only way to grow is to learn, and engaging people online can snowball into full-fledged conversations that keep people visiting your profiles. What have you done recently to help blog comments skyrocket? How do you engage social friends and fans to keep talking? Feel free to share your ideas here.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

Top Blog Enhancements for Maximizing Your Presence

Posted in: Blog, Blogging by SpiderWriters on February 24, 2010 | No Comments

Do all these funny-sounding social media sites cross your eyes? You need help sorting the tweets from the buzzes! Spider Writers can develop a sound social media marketing plan that brings followers to your profiles, and your business. Contact us today at 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for a free consultation.

It’s not enough anymore to simply pen an amazing blog post, then kick back and wait for the traffic to roll in. With social media at the forefront of general consciousness, the mindset now is that people don’t search for news…it finds you. While you might think it a daunting task not only to create your brand’s news and updates but to actively seek out willing readers, know you don’t necessarily have to do all the work. If you write compelling copy, those who follow you will spread your gospel. It is up to you, however, to make that task easier.

Visit any blog you enjoy frequenting, particularly the heavy hitters, and what do you see? The sidebar may be stuffed with feed widgets and social media badges meant to entice new fans and followers, but above all else you should notice the body of each post. Let’s presume for a moment the casual Internet user isn’t geeked up with browser share buttons and tool bars…how do you think they intend to share an article with friends?

The idea of having to cut and paste long URLs strings can be a turn-off, though it’s a simple thing to do. Pasted  URLs may break in transit via Twitter or e-mail. Click-throughs to dead links inspire frustration, and ultimately a reluctance to share more. A few quick fixes to your blog, however, provide a streamlined sharing experience that can expose your brand to a new audience.

Buttons and Buzzing: We should all know by heart now which 32×32 chicklet goes with which social network. Programs like AddThis, Sociable, and Add to Any allow you to implement widgets that encourage readers to retweet posts, share links on Digg and Facebook and promote via other networks. With the advent of Google Buzz, you won’t see that option on these free for all sets just yet, but if you are into Buzzing, pick up the additional Google Buzz Button for WordPress.

Monetize and Advertise: Depending on the purpose of your blog, you may be interested in having it work for you to the point that you are compensated for your efforts. Blogger and WordPress, for two, offer widgets that allow you to integrate Google AdSense, between posts or on the sidebar. Authors listed with have the added bonus on Blogger of setting up Amazon Associates ads for their products – even if you have nothing to sell on the mega-retail site, Blogger users can take advantage of the feature to promote items similar to the blog topic and receive commissions on click-through purchases.

Global Commenting: While it’s true blog platforms featuring their own commenting systems, you might wonder if there is a more enhanced method that allows readers to share their comments through social media. When you sign on to DISQUS, an advanced commenting system that integrates easily into most blog platforms, you allow readers not only to remark on your updates but share their opinions via Twitter and Facebook automatically. In turn, this could provide added exposure to your site and perhaps more traffic.

Blogging is terrific marketing. Blogging to an attentive audience is even better. With a few simple enhancements to your blog you can increase readership and foster a following willing to share what you have to say.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

Blogger's New Pages Feature: Turning Your Blog Into a Mini-Site

Posted in: Blog, Blogging by SpiderWriters on February 12, 2010 | 1 Comment

Looking for help maintaining your blog and keeping it updated with relevant articles about your business? Do you want a blog that attracts new visitors through timely search and keeps them coming back with thoughtful articles on your field of expertise? SpiderWriters’ team of professional writers has assisted clients on the East Coast with quality blogging that gets noticed. We can help you today! Call 757-499-1990, ext. 104 for your free consultation.
As far as blogging platforms go, Blogger has always presented itself as user-friendly and quite adaptable…to an extent. If one had to compare Blogger to other instant publishing platforms available, one might have considered them a good start-up or practice publisher for the novice, with the hopes one might graduate to the likes of WordPress, etc. Indeed, for the longest time it seemed Blogger’s devotion to simplicity – a broadsheet style layout of posts, drag and drop options on the sidebar – might remain for those uninterested in bells and whistles. Recently, though, Blogger has finally introduced page publishing functionality, moving one step closer to equality in the blogging world.

Among the professional bloggers I know, many tend to lean toward WordPress for the options offered in the back end. One can create a WordPress site to resemble a high-tech, Flashy and widget-built wonder, and the even the prospect of learning enough PHP to get by with minimal customization didn’t seem to scare them away. Others, however, have liked Blogger for it simple dashboard, which allows a user to access all accounts from one port – even if the blogs aren’t hosted at Blogspot. Template design, while not as sophisticated as other platforms, does permit for customization if you have the knack for it, and now with the Pages function increases the ability to turn a Blogger blog into a full website.

Now when one logs into his/her Blogger account, each blog dashboard features a new selection under the Posting tab. Up to ten pages may be created, and use the same text box as the New Post selection. Once a page is created, you have the choice of creating a widget for your sidebar or having the page links appear horizontally below your header. Or, if you prefer to use an alternate method for linking to the pages, you can click the manual option. As you create and make pages live, advanced options include hiding certain pages from a menu, arranging their link order, and creating tabs. Blogger offers a detailed tutorial on pages at their website.

Depending on how your Blogger blog is accessible – perhaps as a tab on your main site directing visitors to updated news – you might wonder if pages are useful at all. If you have used the Blogger CMS as your main website – perhaps hosted on a third party server and connected to a unique URL, you’ll definitely find this addition handy for showcasing specific products, services, or other vital information on a static page. If your blog is only part of your online marketing strategy, you may find pages can prove beneficial in highlighting the more important aspects of your business. With specific code from a photo sharing site like Flickr or Picasa, you can create a photo album on your blog, or else adapt code from Paypal or Google Checkout to create a shopping cart. Whatever ideas you’ve had for pages on a traditional website can now be transferred to Blogger and implemented within your template.

That search engines favor weblogs in terms of relevant results makes the idea of Blogger pages all the more exciting for the novice/intermediate blogger or the site owner looking for methods of supplementing web presence. If you use Blogger for your promotion, take advantage of the Pages function to build your brand.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.

What's on Your Blog? Widgetize That Sidebar for Fun and (Maybe) Profit

Posted in: Blog, Blogging by SpiderWriters on February 9, 2010 | No Comments

Regardless of the number of social media fads destined to launch and fold in the next decade, one thing remains clear: the blog will likely never go away. Once a popular platform for angst-filled personal journal entries and detailed political commentary not accessible in the traditional media, blogs are fast becoming the traditional media – they are cited as sources by television news networks, have been known to break stories, and provide readers with the ability to easily share information. It’s amazing to think twenty years ago one had to read a newspaper or watch for a special bulletin to be informed – these days it seems we hear about news before it happens, and blog are instrumental in bringing information to us in a timely manner.

That said, if blogging  factors into your online marketing strategy, you want readers to get the most of the experience. While a percentage of your following may aggregate your posts through an RSS reader on their Google or Yahoo start-up pages, some likely prefer to read on-site. Looking at some of the more popular news and entertainment blogs, you’re certain to find advertising, supporting links, and widgets displaying related social profiles – these are helpful in that they present a well-rounded profile of the blog, and encourage readers to subscribe via alternative outlets. Visitors to blogs may come and go, but one who clicks to follow the blogger via Twitter or Facebook becomes an opt-in capture, one who may be interested in contact for future products and services.

So if you’re blog sidebar is naked – doesn’t matter if you use Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, or another CMS – it’s seriously time to consider dressing it up. If somebody is aware of your blog and reading it, they should know where else they can find you. Here are just a few widgetized goodies to use to brighten up one of your Internet homes.

AddThis Button: You blog needs to go viral in order for it to improve your business and income. A reader enjoys an article, and needs encouragement to share it with friends. The AddThis button is the one-stop shop for data sharing.  Hover over the button to share an article with as many as 225 social media profiles, everything from AIM to YouMob. Even if you don’t have 200+ separate accounts for all these sites, somebody else might. Give them the opportunity to advertise for you.

FriendFeed Widget: If you don’t have a FriendFeed account, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to collect your blogs and social profiles together in one place. One person may not be interested in visiting your blog, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube channel in the same day, but with FriendFeed they can. Adding a join box on your sidebar lets people know about this great catchall service.

Twitter Widget: I hear two schools of thought on adding a Twitter widget, particularly if your blog feeds into your Twitter account. On one hand, why display a widget that basically repeats information there? On the other, a blog reader will catch from this widget other posts you make, and in turn can catch up on blog links he/she may have missed. Even if you do integrate your RSS into Twitter, it’s handy to have this widget up, and perhaps an additional one that tracks the tweets of like-minded accounts.

Facebook Badge: Facebook allows you to create different styles of badges for widgets. A “Join Us” badge may offer rudimentary information on your fan page, or a scrolling widget may preview posts and information featured there. Determine which would work best (if you don’t have many fans to start with, try a style that doesn’t highlight that fact) and get it up there.

Digg Widget: Perhaps one of the best known of the data sharing social sites, Digg allows users to determine a story’s popularity by having them “dig” URLs toward the top of the search heap, or else “bury” links so they are not found. If you have a Digg account, more than likely you intend to submit your own blog posts to the site, but as a prolific Digg user you to need to share the wealth. This Digg widget lets readers know what articles and videos interest you the most.

Flickr Widget: Keep your photos in one place, particularly where they can integrate into other social networks and sites. Yahoo’s Flickr photo sharing site gives you the advantage of placing slideshows and photo grids on your sidebar, so visitors can peripherally glance at your albums while reading.

AdSense: If you enjoy a large enough fanbase, why not take advantage of it and try to make a bit of money to support hosting, and perhaps pizza? Save some room on the sidebar for Adsense ads and earn some cash for every click-through. Bloggers users have the advantage of a built-in Adsense option, provided the content of your blog permits it.

The more information you provide in one place, the more likely you are to have visitors follow you wherever you go.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and tourism social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels and European hotels.

Lessons Learned at Internet Summit – Blogging is NOT Dead

Posted in: Blog, Blogging, Industry News by SpiderWriters on November 6, 2009 | No Comments

With this year’s Internet Summit 2009 and the promising list of guest speakers and panelists, we couldn’t say no to attending. With Raleigh, NC just under four hours away, we decided a quick overnight trip might just be the ticket to get the scoop on the state of the Internet and the proper directions in which we should steer our clients.
Ciniva team at internetsummit 09. on Twitpic
We do have to offer our kudos to the organizers for a well-planned event. Good food, interesting topics to cover, and the whole day moved so well. The Raleigh Convention Center was a hotbed of activity and networking among people who own/operate Web firms, or work for companies with online marketing departments. We met people from as far as New York and Pittsburgh come to hear what the next Twitter will be in a few years, and what the best methods are for monetizing sites and social media. Indeed, the subtext theme of the day appeared to be “Blogging is not dead.”

Technorati CEO jalichandra says blogs are the new long tail a... on Twitpic

Richard Jalichandra, head of Technorati, stressed as much in his keynote. Blogs are the new longtail, and microblogging has exploded. This doesn’t mean, he believes, that one should abandon blogging altogether to tweet full-time. There is value in operating a blog that allows for great growth potential. When you consider the Huffington Post once started as a simple blog for Ariana Huffington to voice her political views in a forum she controlled…and now it’s one of the top news blogs out there, it’s amazing!

Later on in the day, Rick Klau of Blogger stepped up to emphasize similar sentiment. Content is still king, and blogs are the driving force of content. Other lessons learned this day:

  • Social media isn’t necessarily a “blog killer” – more interactions with Facebook and Twitter may help blog readership
  • Feeds are going to be a big traffic driver for the Web, but not once did we hear RSS mentioned. Social media feeds, status updates, etc.
  • Video and images are among the top shared data over the Internet
  • More time is spent on social media than e-mail
  • Don’t discount social bookmarking when planning your SMO strategy

We met a number of the top movers and shakers in social media at this seminar, among them Matt Van Horn of Digg.

Meeting with Matt van horn of digg. Use these guys in seo. 40... on Twitpic

We came away from Internet Summit with a better understanding of how social media will impact the way people use the Internet, and with many helpful tips to assist our clients. If you are new to the social scene online, just you wait!

Blog Writing Proves Necessary For Any Business

Posted in: Article Marketing, Blog, Blogging, Industry News by SpiderWriters on August 7, 2009 | 3 Comments

There seems to be many rules about Web site maintenance these days. Twitter this, SEO that — sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Of all of the rules of thumb to obey, one rule stands out above the others: your company needs a blog.

Blog writing is important for many reasons. For starters, generating new content keeps people coming back. For your current customers, think of blogging as a way to write press releases in a way that will engage them and keep them updated on your products and services in a more personable way. Also, continuously writing articles about your business and industry can make your customers (both current and future) feel confident that you are well-researched in your field.

Blog writing also allows your site to be noticed by search engines. By constantly providing new content with specific keywords, it is more likely to move up the results list on Google.

Finally, blogs give you an opportunity to bookmark each entry on a social networking site like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon or Reddit. By reposting each entry on different sites, you increase the chance of being discovered by different audiences, all of which will be directed back to your company’s home page. Providing the opportunity for site visitors to bookmark each page on each entry also expands your potential audience.

If you need help getting started in content writing or article marketing, look no further. Spider Writers has specialized SEO content writers to provide relevant content for your site, as well as manage social media accounts across the Web. For more information,  contact us today.

Jessica Swink is a freelance writer specializing in articles about Social Media Optimization and SEO for travel Web sites.