#Blogchat Open Mike Night

Blogchat featured open mic nite this past Sunday which sparked 23 pages of discussion on various topics. The following is a recap of the most popular topics discussed. Looking for the full transcript to follow the conversation along- complete transcript.

The discussion was of course on blogs but the main focus revolved around 5 main areas: blog topics/editorial calendars and frequency of blogging; platform for blogging and comments; promotion of the blog, namely on Twitter and SEO/SM.

First, we were fortunate to have many bloggers taking part in the conversation and also were introduced to some new people. When asked what is #blogchat there were some remarkable answers that are worth noting:

Blogchat is a virtual party bar where the libations are flowing, the music is great and the geeks happily hang out (via @JDEbberly)

It’s a nice group of people laid back … chit-chat. refreshing (via @miamibeach).

1. Blog Topics.

Determining your niche, where you fit in, what to write about and how do you really know what to write about are questions that get asked numerous times every day. While each industry is unique as are the readers there are some pointers that can be shared and utilized across the board.

a. Editorial Calendars.  Editorial calendars help to place importance and focus to keep the blog on track and are a sense of commitment to the blog and the readers.

… on setting your ideas out you let non-writers hav along term due date and you can rest easier (via @FPWellman).

no straight jackets.  Blogging should be fluid, editorial calendar is a guide and not chiseled in stone (via @AtlantaPR).

… allow your calendar to “flex” when topics “strike” (via @goldasich).

Blog objectives also key – leading thought, reporting, general commentary, niche development (via @glodasich).

on aggregators find out their editorial interests … like a journalist they bounce or post certain topics more than others (via @FPWellman)

Takeaway: Editorial calendars are a guide and need to be flexible for when creative juices are flowing they need to be heard. The importance is to develop your niche and be provide value to your readers. They will let you know what they like and expect from you.

2. Passion & Commitment to the Blog. A blog is your forum to share knowledge, thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc with readers. There is no right or wrong topic to post, just what you feel best expresses the theme & style of your blog.

I think passion behind a blog is more important than the consistency (via @MackCollier).

I’m not sure that passion is going to trump being consistent in your posting. a reader needs to find your regularly and know you (via @barbaramagana).
The purpose of the blog will control the form to some degree, regardless of the theme (via @GLHancock).

quality comes from managing expectations based on where they’re coming from & what you’re promising (via @adwrighty).

Takeaway: Passion has to be present to create and maintain a successful blog. If it is a chore then you will abandon ship.

Said best: “A blog goal is your content-building and communication strategy. What’s your expertise?” (via @Goldasich). This tweet incorporates the writing of the blog and also the promoting by engaging followers and subscribers. These two go hand and hand and one cannot live without the other.

3. Blog Promotion. Promoting your blog is the a big part of being a blogger. Where is best to promote and how often to promote the post? This sparked a fabulous discussion with very useful information shared.

Twitter

90% of my blog traffic comes through Twitter. 100K visitors in first 6 wks shows how Twitter can work (via @unmarketing).

Each blog post gets following support – 6-12 tweets spread over 3 days, plus FB, P, LI etc (via @GetResults).

Determine who your audience is. Then post and tweet according to their needs (via @GLHancock).

Posting a blog 2 or 3 times on Twitter is okay,. More than that seems excessive to me (via @Sue_Anne).

Have no fear promoting the samek posts with different tweets. Be creative. Don’t be a twitterfeed (via @barbaramagana).

… what happens when/if Twitter goes away? (via @AmberCadabra) GASP!

Others:

reached out to others in her niche one in each state, positioned herself as a leader (via @BeckyMcCary).

Shared items on Google Reader is also a great way to figure out which topics are resonating with others (via @MackCollier).

Google Blog Directories … Start with Techorati and Blog Catalog (via @AtlantaPR).

Best Posting Times. Determine when is best to post a blog yielded a bunch of different posting times for various reasons. To determine which time works best for your blog, change it around and evaluate how the readers react. This exposed the blog to new sets of eyes at different times that may have been missed.

… usually 8-10am works best for publishing blog poswts from my experience (via @MackCollier)

I schedule for early morning for Europe, early est for America and early afternoon pst (via @matthixson)

… Blogging is like a restaurant, many dayparts (SeanMoffitt).

I post when I am happy with the blog content. I do not post at any specific hour (via @goldasich).

Takeaway: It is ok to tweet the same post various times of the but with a different subject line. Change it up a bit and DO NOT use twitterfeed to schedule the same post. Also, be sure you are not putting your promotion eggs only in Twitter’s basket. Post your blog when your target audience is available to read. 4. Blog & Comment Platforms. Which one is best to use, best to incorporate tracking and best for comments.

Blogger is pretty user friendly,but technically limiting in some ways (via @MackCollier).Blogger is ok if you are just a hobbyist.

But I love WordPress (via @JDEbberly).

Goggle Analytics works like a charm on self-hosted WP blogs (via @LindaSlocum).

Two great WP plugins for encouraging comments to your blog. Add your Comment Link and Twitoaster – Twitter Conversations (via @goldasich).

Disqus comments has taken it to an other level. Threaded comments, email notification, etc. (via @anniesorensen).

5. SEO/SM. The question was posed by @DanGordon: Do you prefer community driven traffic or SEO traffic or are both equally essential. This on the surface seemed like an easy question to answer however as participants started commenting it was quickly realized this is a question that is not a simple answer.

I prefer to focus on the person rather than how they found you (via @MSchechter).

… the ability to focus on the the person comes from how they found you (via @DanGordon).

The more you focus on SM, the more traffic it brings, the same for SEO. it is all about what you offer when they arrive (via @MSchechter).

The absolute thing you can do for SEO is inbound links. Hello SM (via @patrickallmond).

I see SEO as an interruption no matter how you slice it. SM =infancy and it’s all about caring now! … (via @DanGordon).

… we are headed toward a blended version of SEO and SM, Social Search (via @MSchechter).

How long do you think it will take for people to figure out, they are being targeted just like radio and TV? (via @DanGordon).

… people are not getting that SM is SEO! You are getting links back to your site (via @patrickallmond).

Takeaway: SM does work well with SEO as indeed while engaging in social media efforts (ie commenting on blog or driving traffic to your site) you are creating links and traffic to the site which ultimately helps with page rank. It is not that simple however it is a valid point. Will we overdo it and over target or over saturate the market with social media? Will we lose our customers online and wind up with industry folks?

#Blogchat open mic was a huge success with so many chiming in and sharing their thought and expertise. I encourage you to read the transcript. Note, the recap does not follow the order of the discussion for logistical purposes.