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!
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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.
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.**
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
Q3. What plug-ins do you consider essential?
DavidSpinks: Google Analytics/woopra are both great for tracking analytics
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.
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
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: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.
jonhearty: Make sure to include internal and external links and link RELEVANT words; don’t link “click here”
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!