Whenever I hear that, I think of the old Fox 5 news commercial in Atlanta: “blog, blog, blog….blog, blog, blog”…blah, blah, blah….blah, blah, blah. They were advertising their new blog and encouraging interaction between viewers and the newscast.
You’ve read about the importance of blogging for your company and the importance of commenting on other blogs, but how do you organize it? How do you know who to follow? What is following?
Well, let’s start with Google Alerts. This is a great way to enter a few keywords and get notifications via email when blogs are posted with those keywords. You set these up by going to http://www.google.com/alerts. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up. You don’t have to have a Google email, you can use any address.
Once you set up your Google account, then decide what keywords you want to search. You can also do this to keep an eye on who might be discussing you! I’m alerted if Gulf Coast Office Support or Jama St. John are mentioned. If you publish articles via any of the article marketing sites, it’s a great way to know if one of your articles is published on another site, which is something you want — as long as you’re given credit for it!
You can also find blogs by watching your Facebook feeds or checking some of the Facebook pages you’ve become a fan of. If you’re on Twitter, you can also find blogs from tweets.
So let’s say you’ve found a couple of blogs you really like…now do you have to go visit them every day and see if there’s any new content? Absolutely not! There are several ways to be notified when there’s a new post. One way is subscribing via email. Most blogs have this option, but I already get so much content in my inbox that I’d rather not clutter it more by getting blog post notifications in this manner. Of course, you can set up a free email account with Google or Yahoo, for instance, and have new posts go to this email account, and then you would just sign in to those accounts to check for new posts from all the blogs you’ve subscribed.
You can also subscribe to a blog’s posts via RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. In addition to blog sites, news sites also have RSS feeds available. It’s a great way to keep track of breaking news!
Software called an RSS reader, feed reader or aggregator are used to receive the RSS feeds. The software can be web-based, desktop-based or mobile-device-based. The readers periodically check the subscribed blogs for new posts and download those posts into the reader’s feed. This icon has become a universal symbol of RSS feeds.
I personally use the web-based aggregator Google Reader to receive most of my blog updates. I currently have some going to email, but I like the Google Reader and will be switching those over to Google Reader also. It is a convenient way to organize and scan blog posts, as well as sharing either through social media sites or email.
Whichever option you choose, just make sure to check them at least once every couple of days, and then comment and share! Here is a good, short blog post on reciprocity: http://socialmediatoday.com/SMC/177346. And if you have your own way of organizing blogs, let me know! Or if you are having problems getting into the blogging world, let me help you!