Beth Graddon-Hodgson Tag

The topic of plagiarism has crossed my path on a few different occasions recently, and it’s come to my attention that people just seem to think there are different rules when it comes to the Internet. While we all learned how to appropriately source references in public school (in the days before the internet), some have thrown those guidelines out the window. That may be because there’s LOTS of plagiarism on the internet already that makes it appear that content theft is normal; it’s not at all uncommon to see the same content posted in 8 different places without a link or credit to the original writer. I know we covered protecting yourself from how to Stick to the Facts to Avoid Content Plagiarism, but with so much discussion and confusion on the subject, let’s go back to the basics. You want to protect yourself from a lawsuit, and you don’t want to hurt your SEO rankings with too much duplication after all. Guidelines to Avoid Online Plagiarism

As our regular readers likely know by now, my strategies in blogging typically find a happy medium between having a technical-minded SEO focus and a customer-oriented approach.  I’m all about balance and a big believer that regardless of what your SEO stats tell you, if you’re not connecting with your clients, you’re not accomplishing enough. I bring this up only because there is one area where it’s just dawned on me that my views differ, and it relates to inserting hyperlinks on your blog. Should Hyperlinks On Your Blog Be About Customers or SEO?

Photo from fOTOGLIF
By Beth Graddon- Hodgson Any journalist will tell you that a headline; a simple few words, holds as much importance as the body of an article. When writing a blog, the headline or title is of equal importance. However, the approach needs to be different, because you’re not just looking to grab the attention of readers; you need to do that while grabbing the attention of search engines!

By Beth Graddon- Hodgson You might think that it’s only your actual blog content that is going to get people to stop by and read, but images play a big role, too. They can help make your blog posts appear more professional and attractive, but that’s really only a small portion of their benefits.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
For one thing, the images can drive traffic to your blog. People search for usable photos just about as often as they search for information online. When you post a photo and use your blogging tool to upload it with a title, relevant keywords and a caption, you’re creating another way for people to find you on search engines. This can encourage them to either read your blog content while they’re already found themselves on your site, or give you a link back if they decide to use your image on their own blog or site. (Quick note - I thought this was a great time to try out the Wordpress free photo plugin from Crestock. Works GREAT just search "free photo" in your directory or download it here.  Of course, photo usage needs to be done carefully, or you might find yourself at the losing end of a lawsuit. Not all of the pictures you upload on your blog need to be yours, but these are the guidelines to follow before you put a picture on your post:

By Beth Graddon- Hodgson All bloggers, whether business or casual use a statistics measuring tool with their blog, after all, it’s pretty cool to see just how many people are interested in what you’ve got to say, no? The complexity of the tools varies, with the most basic allowing you to simply see the number of page views for each blog post. The more complex ones can tell you everything from how readers came across your blog, to the countries that your readers live in.

By Beth Graddon- Hodgson Once you have a focal point for your blog and have decided whether you’re going to focus on writing your blogs in a topical or personal style (or combination of the two, it’s time to actually sit down and start blogging. If you think making those decisions was a challenge, then you’re in for what’s the hardest and most essential part of creating an effective business blog. After all, some of those elements are decisions you only need to think about once; choosing a specific blog topic has to be on your mind whenever you sit down to write on a weekly or daily basis. This is one topic that’s a bit harder for me to write about, because there are endless examples, so it’s hard to put a specific guide in place. What works for one company also won’t necessarily work for another even in the same industry either.  Since I can’t tell you WHAT you’ve got to write about, I will provide you the process I go through with my clients  determine which direction I should go with each of the posts.

By Beth Graddon-Hodgson Once you’ve chosen a focal point for your blog – your vague subject area on what you’ll focus upon, the next step is to start making more specific decisions about the writing style. When writing each blog post you can make them personal or topical – or any combination of the two. In order to get a feel for what might work best for your blog, I’m going to provide you with some basic guidelines about what each of those categories mean. With this post, the focus will be upon personal business blogs. A second related article next week will discuss topical blog posts.