Posted by on Nov 28, 2009 in Blogging, Business, Community, content, Newsletter | 0 comments

Anniversaries catch up quickly. Yesterday was my my birthday but not just my own birthday it’s my blog’s birthday as well. I escaped the normal flow of things and disconnected to gain a little insight. A year ago i started my community building blog with the intent to share my knowledge, discoveries and experiences with other like minded individuals. A year has past and its time for some house cleaning and a bit of refreshing.

1. Find your foundation.

My blog is designed based on the algorithm that online communities are constructed of a diversify of individuals all requesting varying types of content in order to feel that connection. Communities need to compliment pre-established brands. They need to offer insight and education to build trusted relationships with the consumer. You need a strong background in traditional marketing fundamentals and hands-on knowledge of how to implement social media. Finally, you need time and the option of a social dashboard combined with SEO in which to measure your results against your goals. If you couldn’t tell I “heart” social strategy and connecting the consumer’s voice actively and efficiently with large brands and corporations.

So, my blog needs a little love inside and out to adapt in 2010. Plus, who doesn’t like a little change.So these are my steps to keep Jive From The Hive growing.

2. Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Very similar to fresh produce at the grocery store keeping the content fresh and post regularly is important. No one goes to the grocery to to buy the wilted and smelly produce. I myself am guilty of not putting my thoughts and experiences to paper often enough.

3. Step it up a notch. Does it still offer objective opinions and insight into you industry and or focus?

When creating content I am developing my own editorial calendar to keep up and on track with regularity. Breaking the content into seven types of topics that I feel will offer my readers a well rounded and objective information. Here are some ideas for content news, innovation, tools, case studies, how to’s, reevaluating previous posts, brand evaluations and opinions.

4. Content Types – Expand to meet you diversified audience’s desires
Be creative and experiment with varying types of content. We are not all readers, some of us take a lot more away from a diagram that four pages of text in less time. Your community will thank you.

5. Embrace where you came from. See the steps in front of you.

The last year has included lots of little steps to get up and running. But, slow and steady wins the race. I’ve found a new venue for conveying my passion of delivering information and a more hands on approach via speaking and presenting. Some of the mediums I’ve been sharing content through for years I can finally implement through my new company Blue Blazing Media. (site under development) Two new communities are also under development under the Blue Blazing Media umbrella. Sneak peak at Retailsherpa.org, Women of Web 3.0..

6. Call to Action. Where is your business model around your thoughts?

Jive From The Hive was developed as an outlet to demonstrate how lead generation through community building was a new way of fulfilling social business communications and building function ecosystems around brand awareness. Over the last year I have been able to define the products that I sell around my blog. I professionally speak to organizations and educate companies how to build, implement, and measure realistic social objectives around communities. I supply a call to action to the “next step”. What do you offer to your readers.

7. What is in the future?

Define your goals and your algorithm to get there. I have mine and it is top secret. Sorry, you will have to define your own. It is important so do it. Jive From The Hive now has a news letter where more specific on point information is revealed. We will have more free educations products such as ebooks, videos and webinars in conjunction with Blue Blazing Media. The Jive From The Hive community will continue to grow and offer social community building objective advice.

8. Test Everything

Test all your links. I am personally guilty of breaking links regularly.

9. Design elements.

Argh! Why don’t you have a search bar?

We are all guilty of this whether it is a website or it is a blog the design elements are critical to your success. Mike Smith offers a great deal of insight into required design processes over at DesignBump.

Here are some highlights:
-No search bar
-Too many advertisements (no one will click on anything on your page if you are pestered except the “X”)
-Hard to find navigation bar
-No author information
-Poor content
-Contact page
-Blatant disregard for SEO – (former SEO girl here – this is my pet peeve)
-No way to share content to any other site
-No way for visitors to subscribe if they want more content. (BTW – totally lame)

I hope this offers insight into your own challenges if not just insight into creating blogging goals for 2010.

 

About 

Elizabeth Hannan is a seasoned Digital Business Strategist recognized by Inc. Magazine, CBS, Business Journals and others. At Blue Blazing Media she serves as Chief Digital Strategy and User Experience Designer consultant. In 2013, her first book Naked Experience will publish. When not creating content you can find her speaking.

Elizabeth is also the founder of WhenToZen, a community of traveling women entrepreneurs and executives finding healthy life balance and adventure offline.

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