Alkaline Lifestyle Bloggers

What does it mean to be a moderator?

1. Blog Moderators will receive an email any time someone comments on your blog. This email message will have links to approve or deny the comment. If you click on the approve link the comment will be published and will appear on your blog. If you click deny the comment will not be published but will be stored in the blog for future reference.

2. If a Blog Moderator feels a comment is not constructive you may simply deny it or perhaps edit the comment before publishing. (I.e., removing an expletive, where the remainder of the post may be relevant)

3. Moderators are also the only ones that have the access to edit and update existing pages (Agendas & Minutes, Members, Resources and Working Documents.)

4. Moderators have the rights to set and change the password on the protected Working Documents page.

General Blog Application Use:
It has come to my attention that a little direction blog authoring may be helpful to improve the overall quality of Alkaline Lifestyle BLOGS. The list (below) is not meant to be comprehensive, but should help begin improving our existing blogs and those created moving forward.

  • When authoring a blog in another program such as MS Word. Before copying the content and posting it into the blog editor ALWAYS open and paste the document into notepad FIRST, then copy from Notepad into the Blog editor. This removes all the formatting and special characters created by document authoring programs.
  • Use the default CSS typography styles built into the Blog templates (i.e., base font "Tahoma", Normal, H1, H2, H3 tags, etc.)
  • Categorize and Tag everything! Blogs, Articles, Recipes, Videos, etc. Select all appropriate Categories and Tag lists from the sidebar area of the editor and add new items as required (but be very selective).
  • Add images using the Blog Post Content Editor Image Manager (CTRL+G). Add border space "Margin" around image so the text does not wrap so closely around the image.

    • Editing Images:
      1. Log in to AL and go to Blogs > Your Blog > list Blog Posts, as usual.
      2. Select <Edit with new UI>
      3. <Right Mouse-Click> on the image and select <Properties>
      4. In the Properties Dialog select <Image Alignment> (Right or Left) this will cause the text to wrap.
      5. Provide a margin around the image [best practice] use either <12px Left> if “Right Aligned” or <12px Right> if “Left Aligned,” generally <0 Top> and <6 Bottom>. These rules can be broke to suite your desired look and feel.
      6. Select <OK> then <Save and Publish>

Overall Blog Writing Best Practices

1. Establish a Strategy

A business blog needs to begin with a strategy, which does not happen in isolation. Every company should have a marketing plan, or at least a targeted list of customers and prospects. Your blog needs to be part of that strategy with a specific target audience, whether it is for brand building, increasing sales, or communicating with employees, customers, prospects or vendors. A blog without a strategy will not survive. Do not create a blog just to create content for search engine optimization purposes. It will wither and die, as many have.

2. Define an Editorial Policy

Once you know what you are trying to accomplish through your company blog, you need to determine what kinds of articles you will post. If you have regular press releases (and quarterly statements for public companies) posted in a news section on your web site, and you should, there is no reason to re-post them on your blog, unless you are commenting or adding more information to the release. You need to decide whether to blog about employee activities, client projects, internal processes and other things that reveal the human side of your company. This is generally a good thing, but the information on your blog must be relevant to your target audience.

3. Find a Voice

You blog should have some personality and not sound like it was written by committee. This can be conveyed through the voice of a blog, which is the way you speak to your target audience. There is a tendency to write blog posts in a more informal, breezy style that can be skimmed easily. This definitely is driven by your content and readers. If your blog is about complex technical solutions and you are writing for engineers, snarky copy written with broad strokes is not the way to communicate with them.

4. Create Compelling Content

A blog is not just an exercise in creating content and tossing it over the wall at your readers. The content must be compelling, informative and relevant to your audience. Think about your blog from the point of view of your target and decide if your latest article provides any value. If you are using your blog to find prospective customers, you can blog about industry topics, or conduct interviews with industry leaders. After your readers find your blog, you want them to return.

5. Use Keywords

One of the jobs a blog can do is help improve the search results. You do this by making sure your post titles and posts contain the keywords that your customers and prospects search. Search engine dynamics and algorithms are constantly changing, so you can think of this as relevance to your readers. If you will be writing for an audience outside of your company and customer lists, your blog and site must be found. Writing about topics relevant to this audience will naturally contain appropriate keywords, but you should make sure your titles are keyword rich. Search for the term “keyword density” to gain a better understanding of this topic.

6. Post on a Regular Schedule

Something that many bloggers struggle with is publishing content on a regular schedule. No matter what role you play in your company, whether CEO, PR/marketing person, or copywriter, blogging is not your full-time job. Consistent publishing takes discipline and time. The first can be learned, but the second has to be found. One way to address time is to remain at least one post ahead.

7. Show Author Pictures

One reason to create a blog is to create a human face within the company. The best way to show a human face is to show a human’s face. If the blog is written by one person, a photo in the header or about section is fine. Multi-author blogs should have author photos with each post. This allows readers to easily scan posts for authors writing about topics they follow. We do this in other areas, but It might not be a bad idea to include them here as well.

8. Link from Home Page

Since a blog is a very different kind of content on most corporate web sites, unless your site visitors can find, you cannot achieve your goals. All the strategy in the world goes out the window if no one reads your blog. In the NEXT build of the AL site along with having the most recent (5) blogs listed in the various topical sections and My Account page, we may also want to add a list to the home page.

9. Engage with Readers (Interaction)

Since one of the goals of any blog is to engage with your readers, you need to make sure you do that. You write compelling content that brings your audience back for more. They leave comments. They link to your blog from their blog or social networking sites. And you need to continue these conversations in the comments. Every real comment should get a real response. And it really makes a difference to readers to see the post authors responding in the comments. And when you find your content shared by your readers elsewhere, thank them and continue the discussion over there. Being appreciative of comments goes a long way.

10. Spread your Content (Make it easy to share)

Encourage sharing your content to your target audience... I have added to the facebook "Comments" and "Like" function to the bottom of the detailed blog pages (full page display). This should help to make sharing easier, but we also have to encourage interaction and that will come overtime and with the marketing of this site once we are fully open. You can also enable syndication of your blog by selecting the "Syndicate this Blog (RSS)" check box.


Alkaline Lifestyle Blogs