By Michele Feria, 

Michele FeriaThis really is my first blog.  I struggled with what my first AustinAMA blog topic should be but then, two glasses of wine later, it hit me!  My first blog should be about blogging!

First, let me quickly introduce myself and briefly explain how I came to be here writing this blog.  My name is Michele Feria and I moved to Austin from New Jersey almost two years ago.  And let’s get this out of the way now – no, I am not from the Jersey Shore;  yes, I do pronounce Water as War-der;  and no, I am not related to a Soprano.   But, I’ve digressed.

So, in an effort to expand my Marketing network in the great city of Austin, I reached out to the AustinAMA Board members to inquire about volunteer opportunities.  When they mentioned the AMA blog I immediately knew that’s where I wanted to contribute.  I had never blogged before but I had always had a desire to blog.  And I thought to myself, how hard could it be?  It’s just like writing in my Hello Kitty journal when I was 10, right?  I quickly found out – not quite.   People don’t want to hear about my childhood crush they want to learn something new or perhaps discover how to do something better, different or just keep up to date with the latest trends.

After conducting online research, reading other blogs, and putting together my own thoughts and opinions given my first experience – the following are some recommendations and tips I hope will assist you in your first or next blog:

1) Start blogging.  A great place to start is with a local organization…like the Austin-AMA!  If you’re interested in blogging, please contact Yuliya Velmushkyna . She would love to have a guest blogger contribute to the AustinAMA blog.

2) Write about what you know.   You may find, initially, that it is difficult nailing down a topic you feel confident writing about and posting online for the world to see.  Start by writing down the themes or titles of projects you have worked on and I guarantee you the ideas will start flowing and your confidence will increase.   After jotting these ideas down (each idea should only be a few words), look at everything you wrote down as a whole – which idea really jumps out at you?  Pick that one! 

3) Write about what you don’t know (yes, I contradict myself all the time).   I didn’t know anything about blogging before I put this blog together.  If you want to learn more about a topic – blog about it!  It’s a great opportunity to educate yourself on something new and offer up a different and fresh perspective.

4) Develop your idea.   Create an outline if that helps.  Just avoid rushing to write a blog and posting something that has not been thoughtfully developed or researched.

5) Keep it short.

6) Decide on a tone.  The tone should be whatever you feel most comfortable with (clearly, I took the casual, I think I’m funnier than I actually am, approach) – blogs should come across as open, honest, real and comfortable.

7) Funny, awkward, provoking, catchy titles work.  Be sure your blog has a title that will peek interest.  You have less than a second to grab someone’s attention – be creative, grab it!

8) Be Consistent.  If you want to develop a following then try and blog at least 1-2 times per week and post on the same day each week.

9) Tweet it.  Integrate your blog with social media channels for greater engagement. 

10) Re-read tips 1-10.   I’m not trying to be sarcastic or funny (ok, maybe a little).  Point is, use these tips as a checklist to make sure you’re setting your blog up for success. 

I encourage each and every one of you reading this to volunteer to blog for the AustinAMA, at least one time!  It’s a great way to be heard, get your voice and opinion out there, and share ideas with your fellow marketing peers.

I hope this will be my first of many blog contributions to the AustinAMA.  Future blog topics I’m brainstorming include – the client experience/journey, increased focus on the CMO, marketing automation, and some personal experiences around event strategy.  Do any of these topics interest you?  I would love to know what is top of mind for you or your organization – feel free to leave a comment below or connect with me via LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/micheleferia

Additional resources on blogging:

http://www.bloggingtips.com/

http://blog.bufferapp.com/blogging-advice-for-beginners-from-16-experts

 

Marketing blogs to bookmark:

http://www.toprankblog.com/

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/

http://www.copyblogger.com/

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