So you want a career in social media and need help becoming a blogging pro? Solution: Attend the UGA Career Center sponsored “Careers In Social Media” panel of social media marketers on the discussion of the power of social media-spotlight on blogging. This panel consisted of:
- Candace Williams-Brown, Interactive Marketing Specialist, InterfaceFLOR
- Andrew Robert Moon, Social Media & Marketing Student Worker, UGA Career Center
- Jake Berton, Owner & CEO, Athens Social Media
- Billy Grogan, Chief of Police, City of Dunwoody
Blogging has become very popular and seems to be all the new rage for creating “overnight celebrities.” From people like Perez Hilton who became famous from an online gossip blog, Soulja Boy and Justin Bieber whose MySpace and YouTube pages launched their successful music careers, or Issa Rae whose “Awkward Black Girl” web series on Youtube has caught the attention of major TV producers, blogging has become the perfect platform for contemporary entrepreneurs to skyrocket their own careers.
Blogging takes time though. Blogging is a long-term goal that can reach perks after persistent hardwork and unique content. When I say perks, I also mean money. Bloggers can generate income by selling ad space to companies that publicize their products on page banners. Many bloggers receive free products from companies who simply want them to try their products and post honest reviews for their readers. Bloggers are often invited to speak at conferences, host events, or contribute their expert opinions/advice for mainstream media outlets. Lets get blogging:
Define Your Niche: Establish a specific niche/subject/purpose and stick with it. Choose a subject matter that you’re passionate about. Successful bloggers are those who have established a large and loyal group of readers and subscribers. You will attract more consistent readers if you specialize in a certain topic.
Make Your Blog Page Visually Appealing and Easy to Navigate: You can create a free blog with WordPress or Blogger. Your page should be very user friendly and easy on the eyes. Keep your archived posts organized and categorized by subject (rather than just chronological). You may be limited in the types of themes and backgrounds you can use with free sites, but many bloggers invest in a graphic designer who can create a nice logo for the main title page.
Be Engaging and Consistent: The most successful blogs are those that connect with their audience. Show personality in your writing style so that your readers feel like they are having a conversation with a friend. Allow readers to comment on your blog and respond to their comments. Be sure to post new content consistently and stick to a posting schedule so that your loyal readers know what to expect.
Remember What You Learned in Your English Class: Just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean it can be poorly written. Misspelled words and bad grammar are a sure way to lose an audience. Furthermore, keep your writing concise and easy to read. Break long postings up into smaller paragraphs in order to keep your readers’ attention span. If you are posting a weblog (video web log), be sure to speak clearly and articulately. Eliminate background distractions and don’t be afraid of the camera.
Get Involved in the Blogging Community: Be sure to support other similar blogs by becoming a regular, engaged visitor. Comment on discussions and sign-up for RSS feeds. Make your blog postings easy to “syndicate” by enabling features where readers can post content to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
“Everything is now in the form of Media.”-Jake Berton, CEO of Athens Social Media
What’s next? Well social media of course silly. The panelists collectively defined social media as interconnectivity-sharing, communicating, connecting, interacting, and permeating through media. Social media has been very effective with interacting with the local community. Even the Chief of Police, Billy Grogan, has made leaps and bounds by finding criminals and reaching out to the local community for help. Tools and tactics change, but your story element to get your message out shouldn’t. Candace Williams, Interactive Marketing Specialist, has been successful in social media by generating different types of content through the use of graphics, writing, platforms, and events. Going to social media conferences is a really the best teacher. “You should be aware of all types of social media-everything really. However, focus your time on certain social media networks and choose the platforms you are successful at,” says Andrew Moon. Be a resource; understand the field, landscape, and case studies. Finally, utilize social media monitoring tools to prove results. Math is involved in social media for gathering insights and putting those insights into action.
Social media is shaping human history. KONY 2012 proves that. The social presence you build creates relationships, allows you to connect with people, and shares ideas. Use specific campaigns, analytics, fans, the process, and taking the time to learn and talk about your campaigns. Engage with humor, images, and the right audience. Have a cause and bring together people. That’s what social media is all about.