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Blog so you can be taken completely out of context

I am in the middle of guiding some new bloggers over at Marketing Conversation on how to blog most effectively. It is pretty exciting and instructive because there are many things I take for granted. One of the biggest trends I see is internal shorthand. What I mean is that my bloggers tend to write based on a lot of assumed context. When they write my company name, they might choose AH instead of Gerris digital; and, since that AH is on a corporate blog, they might forget to link it to the best page in the corporate Web site.
Miscommunication

Image by quinn.anya via Flickr

They simply assume that people who are reading content from Marketing Conversation or Because the Medium is the Message–or even an article on the corporate Website–are in on the joke. That they grok the context.

Not only is that not true but it is dangerous, because I am guilty of it myself. I would say north of 80% of the people I engage with on a daily basis online don’t know that I am president of a digital agency with over fifty staff and dozens of clients. I assume, too. I assume that I shouldn’t be so self-referential because “they” surely know who I am by now, I have been branding for years.

Not so.

And I have not even gotten to the most important part: even if people know who you are, what you do, the company you own, and its products and services intimately, their brand perception hasn’t evolved with your business. What I did in 2006 is quite a bit different than what Gerris digital does now, as a company.

Even worse, after we spend all of this time, resources, hours, money, and brain trust on creating insightful analysis and share it for free on our blogs and via Twitter and Facebook, we’re living in a Derridian world: “there’s nothing outside the text.”

In a world of excerpting, RSS–reading, sharing, retweeting, and sharing shares, simply all of the breadcrumbs required to bring a reader down the road back to you, your brand, and your sales channel needs to be contained not only in that blog post but also in that tweet, if possible.

You need everything that you could possibly need to have your post make sense on the same page, within the same post–for three reasons:

  1. If you’re quoting another post, excerpt as much of that content to make your point and make it unnecessary to need to link out to read that other article–they won’t make it back
  2. If you don’t have everything sorted out, completely contextually-inclusive both with references as well as with your branding, your products and services, all on your article’s back, then something might get left behind
  3. If everything’s not completely clear and tidy and tied with a bow–fully sorted–then you’ll lose them anyway because you need to grab them in short-order, every time.

Do not use acronyms unless you’re brand is that acronym. Gerris digital, LLC, is not yet AH or even AHLLC–we’re no IBM. Gerris digital should always be linked. Every name of every employee should be linked to their bio on the corporate website at best case or to a LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook profile at the very least. Every product or service should be linked to its exact corresponding sub-page on the corporate website if at all possible.

In blogging, we often do a much better job of linking to other people, companies, and blogs in the form of attribution than we do ourselves.

Even more essential to these constantly conceptualizing linking strategies is that the keywords should be hyperlinked and not some worthless link or a pithy here or there or my information or any of that, if at all possible.

Search abhors a common noun.

Finally, any and all posts should be wrapped in analysis, if at all possible. Don’t just excerpt a social media news article onto your blog or site, make it your own! While collecting news and propagating it through your blog with attribution links and excerpts and all that can result in your colleagues and neighbors and even prospects to learn of your existence, you’re not really adding value when you just propagate–it is essential to interpret, analyze, and synthesize, allowing all the marrow of your experience to be extracted in answer to, “well, that’s great content, but it is content from your competitor so maybe we should be using them instead of you if they’re so insightful.”

In a perfect world, with a corporate blog, people should be subscribing to and reading posts on Marketing Conversation in order to learn more about the products and services and quality of mind of Gerris digital and not just to get an aggregation of the latest social media marketing news.

Sometimes I forget that and it is something I would like to share with you in addition to sharing it with my new bloggers.  Feel free to email me at chris@gerr.is or call me at +1 202-351-1235

Learn more about Chris Abraham at Gerris digital.

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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Discussion

  1. Avatar Carmen @HomeBusinessIdeas

    After reading this post I am again reminded of just how much we take
    for granted.

    Blogging in itself does not come naturally to everyone that blogs and
    it already takes a good chunk of time for some to create new, fresh and
    interesting content without having to think about all the other nitty
    gritty details.

    I however do agree with you that assumptions are often made as I do so
    myself and it is only fair to create relevant links back to other sites
    when we are using their content. This in itself is a sign of respect
    and gratitude.

    I also like the idea that one should analyse and ‘add value’ or insight
    to any content which you have obtained elsewhere instead of mindlessly
    copying and pasting. Who knows, this process might just give you a few
    great ideas about what to post on your blog next!

    Thank-you for providing some excellent guidelines to get it right!

    1. Chris Abraham Chris Abraham

      Thanks. And sorry for the delay.

      I must add that everything doesn’t need to be perfect when you hit “submit” — this is digital publishing. You can post and then revise and then reorganize and then add links… everyone does this. Most mainstream blog outlets post and then do rigorous copy editing a couple days into the post, which is weird but I get it. It is better to get it out there while it is still hot instead of waiting for everything to be perfect but not be relevant anymore.

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