The Evolution of Blogs

I recently reviewed our text book The Social Media Bible, and came across the chapter “The Ubiquitous Blog.” In this chapter it basically goes over how blogs came to be, and how they have evolved. Here is what I learned:

Blogs began simply, as online journals or diaries, and although they still serve as journals they are much more. The word Blog came from the words “Web Log” and in December of 1997 Jorn Barger, a famous blogger and author coined the phrase. Blogs were used by a much smaller amount of people during this time, and were used as places for people to post information 0n any subject, and also for other people to access information. Today, we see that blogging serves as that, as well as a place for companies to market, and research their market. People can post blogs about a companies products and make complaints, and the companies can see this and either apologize, or change their products to better please customers. And with today’s technology it is easy to find out when someone posts a blog about your company because they have programs that will search the website for any sort of post with your name in it.

The Chapter went on to discuss several people who have become famous for their blogs, and even people who have published books based of their blog posts. These books are called “Blooks.” The coolest thing I learned from this chapter is the fact that Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Sell Beer In Hell, got his book published his book based of his blog posts, and got his book on the New York Times bestsellers list, where it remained for over two weeks. For anyone who has read this book, they know why I think this is awesome. Tucker Max’s book was about all the crazy drunken adventures and messes he got into during his younger years, and when you here some of these stories you cant help but either be shocked, or helplessly peeing your pants with laughter.

I just think that it is amazing how far the internet is come and how useful blogs have become for businesses and individuals. I never knew so many people have become famous just by writing blogs.

Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan online is just like creating any other marketing plan. It is important to find out who you are targeting and how you are going to target them. To do so you have to get to know your different target groups so that you can drive these people to want to buy your products.

Two very important steps in creating a marketing plan are a psychographic analysis and a demographic analysis. A psychographic analysis is and investigation of consumer behavior, and is often times called AIO because it studies the Activities, Interests, and Opinions of consumers. A Demographic analysis is a study of the physical characteristics of your audience, including things such as age, religion, location, education level etc. This type of analysis is important because it can help to identify and make sense of changes in a population over time.

A¬† good way to investigate these characteristics of a target audience is to survey them. Another way as Jon Rognerud pointed out in his book, Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization is to visit The American Marketing Association’s website http://www.marketingpower.com, where once you subscribe you can use free and low-cost marketing tools. Also available on the site are case studies, and resources for research.

Update, Update, Update

It seems as though a recurring theme in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is updating. One of the most important things in running a website when trying to increase traffic Рespecially on new websites Рis to constantly update content, and test new things. It is important to continue testing new keywords and trying new things until you find which ones bring in the most traffic or views. Therefore, it is also very important to have something like Google Analytics  which collects data on how many views your web page gets, and several other things. As we continue our Google Adword project, it is important that we experiment with these ideas and tools.

From Blogger to Millionaire

I just finished reading chapter six of The Social Media Bible written by Lon Safko and David K. Brake. In it they talk about what it means to be an online publisher, and how it can make you money. The one story that stood out most to me was about a man named Arnold Kim. Arnold was a doctor and in the year 200o began a new hobby: Blogging. He called his blog site MacRumors.com, and on his site he offer all sorts of information on Apple Computers including user tips, rumors, new products and much more.

What is amazing about this story is that what started as a hobby, turned into a website that more than 4.4 million people each month. With that sort of attention, companies began wanting to advertise on his site. With the money he was making through advertisements and other incomes, he was able to leave his practice. And rely on just the sight for his income. In fact they state in the book that he was making six figures from the website alone and that now the website could sell for more than $25 million.

This story made me believe that if I could come up with some sort of website that doesn’t already exist, I could easily make a living just by running that website (with the right marketing plan of course). But could it really be that easy? This story and those alike make it seem so simple.

Innovation in Social Media

After reading the first couple chapters in “The Social Media Bible” by Lon Safko and David K. Brake, I feel as though one of the most important aspects of creating a social media strategy is being innovative. In order to engage people you must have something that is new or different from other social media websites.

I found it interesting that most companies who took the risk to set out a new and different plan ended up with very positive results. And even some companies who’s plans some backfired, somehow they still managed to expand their brand name and/or fan base.

For instance the makers of both Heinz Ketchup and Pepto-Bismol sponsored a video contest to see where fans of their products could make their own commercials for the products and send them in. Representatives of the companies said that along with some good entries, there were also insulting ones that of course ended up on YouTube where tons of people saw them. Although these viral videos may have insulted the company, in the end I don’t feel they really hurt the company very much but perhaps did the opposite. Hundreds of people could have seen these videos and they will probably remember them as the funny Heinz ketchup or Pepto-Bismol movies. Therefore, these videos actually make people remember and think about their brand.