By UCLA X425 Student Rachel Park
Mommy blogger Jessica Gottlieb and public relations/social media consultant Jeremy Pepper stopped by for a frank discussion on blogging and personal brand development best practices on Tuesday, November 5th.
Here is a brief overview of their dos and don’ts of blogging and engagement:
- If you’re just getting started, DO cast a very focused net. There is always a niche community in your line of interest. Find a blog in that niche and research their blogroll for more inspiration. Alltop.com is also a great resource for blog-discovery.
- DO the rule-of-thirds for social media. One-third of the time post original content, one-third of the time share or repost other people’s content and one-third of the time engage your audience and relevant influencers in your field of expertise or interest.
- Be transparent. The FTC may be regulating bloggers with vague guidelines about paid sponsorships, but you should be more afraid of Google de-indexing your site for lack of transparency. Find clever ways to inform your readers that you got compensated to promote another brand.
- DO collaborate. If you want to gain recognition as an expert or obtain a larger audience, find a community channel to contribute useful content, such as the Cisco Newsroom for technology.
- DO provide your contact information and be accessible. Make it easy for the stalkers. Flood your search results with your own openly supplied information through as many channels as possible. The info is already out there, so you might as well be in as much control of it as possible.
- DO address negative comments. Consumers are more empowered than ever to affect how your brand is perceived. Maintaining brand integrity and managing your online reputation are key to gaining earned media.
- DON’T post anything that you aren’t comfortable with. You can’t hide anything online. Whatever information you put out there is permanent, so be tactful in what you post and what you share.
- DON’T just produce paid content. To keep the integrity of your own brand, also cover what you are passionate about.
Try to keep in mind that social media is like a cocktail party, only larger scale. No one wants to continue to talk or engage with the narcissist. Think outside of your own needs, listen to those around you and focus on what makes this world a better place. And remember that no one is an island. You need a network of people to find inspiration, to refine your ideas and to hold yourself accountable.