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#CmgrChat 10/27 – Blogging & Community (Part II)

This discussion was so good that we actually had to break it up into two parts.  The second installment on Wednesday’s chat about Blogging & Community saw 703 Tweets and 82 participants!

Make sure to follow the @CmgrChat Twitter Account and join the Linked In group as well!

** Do you want your personal blog added to the #CmgrChat Blogroll?   Put it in the comment section below!

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Q1: Who handles your blog design and/or back end maintenance?

DavidSpinks: We have designers and developers that create our blog for us.

DavidSpinks: If you don’t have a designers/developer, just get a premium theme and do it yourself.

DavidSpinks: If you want to customize your design but don’t know code/css…try out @headwaythemes.

digitalmention:Corporate. We handle back-end maintenance.

pushingvision: I do both, but then again, I’m a designer with coding skills.

heather_watkins: We have an in house designer

mhandy1: Its a team effort, designers and comm managers we work with on the comment moderation end

JennaLanger:I think EVERY social media/web pro should learn some CSS/HTML. Makes you much more useful and can make easy changes

** As a side note here:  Many people are using WordPress for their blogs.   There are differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.   Both are free, but wordpress.com is very limited.  WordPress.org allows you to have plugins, put in analytics codes, change the code, have premium themes, but what you have to pay for is the hosting.  Many have suggested Bluehost.com, and if you’d like to suggest more, please use the comment section below.**

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Q2: Do you have an editorial calendar and how does that help?

swonderlin: We have to have an editorial cal for our clients – keeps everyone on the same page

AskTim: I don’t have an editorial calendar but I’m thinking it would help. My blogging is disorganized.

JennaLanger: Making our editorial calendar this week, starting for real on Monday. Beginning of the month seems like the perfect time!

JPedde: I post a “quick tip” 5 days a week. Write them all on Monday. Then I write meaty posts 3x per week.

kaleighsimmons: We meet monthly, brainstorm topics and draft our calendar as a group. Good to feed off one another.

digitalmention: I create & implement our ed cal. Excel rocks. Several tabs. 2 weeks out.

digitalmention: Ed Cal = Preparation. Preparation = success.

toddysm: I don’t have an editorial calendar but am certain that I need one. I miss soo many opportunities just because I have no time

JPedde: I use Basecamp for my @EatYourSerial startup. Definitely useful

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Q3. What plug-ins do you consider essential?

DavidSpinks: Google Analytics/woopra are both great for tracking analytics

DavidSpinks: Oh and try out @commentluv. It’s really cool. Links to your commenter’s last blog posts for them.

DavidSpinks: Have you guys tried using @skimlinks? You can make money as it automatically links keywords for you.

DavidSpinks: If you’re looking to improve SEO, you should try the Scribe plugin from @copyblogger.

AskTim: I like a Twitter plug-in so my tweets automatically show up on my blog. Anti-spam plug-ins are essential, too.

AskTim: Podpress or equivalent is necessary if ur podcasting.

JennaLanger: Well of course I recommend @Livefyre for comments – real-time, social integration, simple install. We’re in private beta now

JennaLanger: You should check out @Metricly – it aggregates analytics from Facebook pages, Twitter, Google, and many others that you can plugin

muruganpandian: Wibiya is starting to show up in a lot of places which is a free web toolbar | Wibiya http://t.co/5MaHlVm

muruganpandian: Seems like a comprehensive list at WordPress Plugins http://t.co/BC8M6va

JPedde: I have very few (want more) but we use FlashPoll++ to put a simple poll up on our blog

JPedde: Every Blog should have an Email Subscription option. Hook it up with Feedburner

digitalmention: For #WordPress: Contact form 7, FB Open graph, Sexy Bookmarks, Social Media Page, Widget Logic. (www.digitalmention.com)

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Q4. How do you handle SEO? What are your tips/strategies?

tmonhollon:SEO: Have a target keyword list. Also, look at analytics to see what search volume is sending in traffic already.

Mitch_M: I handle SEO two ways. One, lots of content. Two, try to write on consistent themes as often as possible.

blaisegv: Coming from editorial background, I think one can focus too much on SEO. Leverage socmed and be engaging to be discovered!

JPedde: Use Alexa.com to search out keywords that are searched a lot

DavidSpinks: Really if you want to learn about SEO, go read @leeodden ‘s top rank blog. Really easy to digest SEO advice.

DavidSpinks:Your urls shouldn’t be your entire title. Cut it down to the important keywords.

DavidSpinks: Link to other blog posts in your blog whenever it makes sense. Use keywords as the text.

muruganpandian: Check this out. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Webmaster Tools http://t.co/GvLFlJM

jonhearty: Make sure to include internal and external links and link RELEVANT words; don’t link “click here”

pushingvision: A good tool for visual analysis is http://feng-gui.com/. Helps you see what’s being looked at first on your site.

syracusecs: One thing that is overlooked for seo is a cleanly coded website, the more clutter you have impacts search engines and speed

kaleighsimmons: tools.seobook.com – shows keyword density on whatever site you choose. Free, so very limited, but good to peruse!

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Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, pleaseclick here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.