New Media Interchange

New Media Prescription: Your blog’s editorial calendar starts with your personal calendar

In my New Media Consulting business, I am often asked, “How do I get started? What should I blog about? When should I do it?” With most clients, the first place to start in developing some sort of editorial calendar for a blog begins with their very own personal calendar. The milestones in your calendar — those important events — are the beginning of any great blog.

While most people see their calendar as a reminder of upcoming events, each item on your calendar can and should drive various new media activities, as well. There are blog posts to be written and published weeks or even months ahead of the event itself. With such a ready supply of “content” for your blog, why not start here?

Both readers and search engines love a regular flow of content from blogs, podcasts and YouTube Channels. It will make them return again and again. It will lead them to subscribe to your mailing lists, RSS Feeds and Channels. When they do this, they are giving you permission to enter into their lives whenever you have something interesting to say. Do not abuse this permission, but also do not ignore their desire for new information, new content, new videos, etc.

Calendar

The Calendar Blog Process

If you want to get started with your blog — or add more content to an existing blog — here is a process I use. It all begins with my calendar.

Find the next immediate event on your calendar that you want to share with others. For this event, and subsequent events, do most or all of these steps.

  • Look back 1 month, 1 week and 1 day before the event and place calendar reminders to post event information to your blog on these days.
  • Create blog posts noting these events. Included further information as it becomes available closer to the event
    • If possible, pre-write your blog posts and schedule them to automatically post on the appropriate day.
    • If the event is a ticketed/RSVP event, note when ticket sales and registration begin
      • It is as important to post this information, at this time, as the information/date of the actual event, as people may need to purchase tickets/RSVP quickly.
      • Create a blog post describing the event and linking to the Ticket/RSVP page
      • Post (or schedule the post) to appear on your blog 1 day before tickets go on sale or the RSVP list opens. (Watch this blog for an upcoming video on how to schedule posts for WordPress and Blogger blogs)
    • If your event is not ticketed, publish your first post about the event at least 1 month ahead or sooner if possible.
      • Typically this post is in the form of a “Save the Date” post with as many details as you can provide ahead of time.
  • Share photos, video and links from previous similar events, if you attended in the past
    • Remember to collect as much content as possible during each event, so that you have plenty of content to include for subsequent occurrences
  • Repeat this for every event in your calendar, creating a constant schedule of calendar items to drive regular posts on your blog and promote your activities.
    • Make a point of including these blog posting dates (1 month, 1 week, 1 day before) for each event as you add it to your calendar.
    • “Working in Reverse” will insure that you do not “forget” to promote your events in the future.
  • Schedule Followup Posts
    • Add an event to your calendar NO MORE THAN 1 WEEK, after. Post photos, videos and a recap of the event for those that could not attend.
      • General Rule: The longer photos and video stay in your camera, the LESS LIKELY you will be to post them
      • Followup recaps are, in some ways, even more important than the pre-event announcements, as they contain information and content for those who could not attend the actual event, as well as reminders of the information for those that did.
      • Recaps allow attendees to easily share your content with their audience. This allows you to effect an even wider audience.

Further Notes:

  • A badly promoted event is a waste of time for you and everyone involved
    • This is especially true if you are not being paid for the event. In these cases, promotion of yourself and your work may be the only payment you receive. Don’t squander this opportunity by failing to promote well.
    • Sometimes you may need to do the majority of the promotion if the event organizers do not promote it fully. It is in your own best interest to do so, even though it is extra work. Don’t rely on organizers.
  • Promote your events and activities — even if the public cannot attend — so that your blog readers can at least see and hear about your work
    • Post photos, video and notes about these events/share as much as you can
    • Give your readers a look “behind the scenes” whenever you can. This is very popular content for most readers.
  • Promote your colleagues and friends events using these methods and ask them to do the same with yours
    • When someone shares your content, they are willingly providing you access to their entire network. This often includes people who are unfamiliar with your work.
    • Everyone involved with an event should make a point to promote everyone else involved in that event. It greatly expands the audience exposed to your promotion.
    • Create pre-written blog posts, social media messages that people can cut and paste, ReTweet or Share. Reducing the work/friction involved in sharing makes it more likely that people will share your message.

It should be obvious that events are time sensitive. Do not miss the opportunity to fully promote your events. Put your promotion milestones in your calendar with as much importance as the event itself. Otherwise you may find yourself putting out great effort for very little reward.

Use this link for more posts in the New Media Prescription series


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Filed under: Blogging, New Media, New Media Prescription, Social

New Media Prescription: Don’t “Complain to the Choir” when producing New Media

We need to talk…

One of the great strengths of New Media — be it blogging, videos, photos, social media — is the ability to connect directly to your audience. You don’t have any middlemen distorting your message or otherwise getting in the way. Unfortunately, this also means you don’t have someone watching over your shoulder to gently nudge you and say, “Perhaps you might want to re-think that.”

One common trap I see for New Media producers is, what I all, “Complaining to the Choir.” Like the age old adage against “preaching to the choir”, it is to be avoided for a number of reasons. First of all, though, what does it mean when you are “Complaining to the Choir?” It means to complain to those people who are actually the opposite of those you want to address.

When things aren’t going well for a new media producers — videos are getting liked, viewed or shared — blog posts are being ignored — revenue isn’t coming in — producers can spend entire posts, videos or podcasts complaining about the issue. They’ll cajole, they’ll berate, they will express their sadness and their fear that they might have to go back to their old way of work. As a fellow producer, I can empathize with them. Being a producer means facing criticism, nasty feedback, Internet trolls and other burdens on a daily basis. That said, I also understand that bringing this negativity into a show or blog can have exactly the opposite effect they wish to have. Focusing on the negative can actually reduce views, downloads and readers ben further , if you do it too often.

As a producer, your best approach is to ignore the negativity and simply move on to your next production. Focusing on the negative will only depress you further.

Here is why “Complaining to the Choir” is such a bad idea:

  • You annoy your biggest supporters

It is a simple fact that those a producer would most like to reach with their message probably aren’t watching, listening or reading anyway. Instead you are complaining to your biggest supporters — and perhaps driving them away, too. Your supporters come to your blog, your video, your podcasts because they love the content you produce. If you produce a show full of complaints and low on content, you are actively disrespecting their support. It is like a preacher complaining to the choir that no one comes to church anymore, even those these people do come to church AND also participate in other ways.

  • You produce yet another show with low viewership, low likes and low shares

When you produce a complaining show, you are expanding the effect you are complaining about and driving your ratings even lower. It is fair to say that a show filled with complaints, directed at the wrong people, is sure to garner less views and popularity than one of your traditional, content rich show. I had that very experience today. I watched the complaining show, but I could not bring myself to click the Like button, as I couldn’t honestly recommend it my followers as a show they should watch. They wouldn’t find it enjoyable and I would feel that I had offered a bad recommendation.

  • Complaints don’t drive success, great content does

While I can understand producers feeling worried and upset over various issues, it is always important to remember that content, not complaints drives your success. Viewers don’t really care if you are struggling. They come for the great content and many will support you by clicking Like or subscribing. If you want to truly have an effect on your issues, produce more great content. It is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that will attract the support you need and desire.

  • Share your personal life, but perhaps not your producer life

Producing new media can be a lonely world, but beware of sharing your feelings about your show with your audience. They probably don’t care. Sure, you can share your thoughts about other personal issues, life changes, struggles, etc, but when you bring your producer complains to the conversation a subtle line is crossed. People lose sight of you as a person and start to think of you as just another faceless media drone. Viewers love to know more about your personal life, but they don’t really care about the nitty-gritty of being a producer. Most viewers don’t want to know “how the sausage is made” as long as it results in great content.

The next time you are feeling worried or depressed about your New Media productions and their success, seek out a close personal friend or a New Media user group to air your complaints and worries. Don’t take them to your audience. Your complains do nothing to benefit the audience and can only harm your standing with them.

Now, get back to work and produce something GREAT!

Filed under: Blogging, New Media, New Media Prescription, Opinion, YouTube

Elsewhere Online: Vimeo Video School Offers Free Tutorials to Help Improve Your Video Skills [How To]

Just to type of thing I like to share here on New Media Interchange — something to help everyone take advantage of New Media tools. Check it out!

If you’re looking to get started with your new video camera or just refine your skills, Vimeo’s just launched their Video School with some excellent tutorials from Vimeo users and pros alike.

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Vimeo. They offer a nice, simple video service with a cool community and some amazing content. Last night I received an email from Vimeo about their new effort to help you make some of that amazing content: Vimeo Video School.

Vimeo Video School Offers Free Tutorials to Help Improve Your Video Skills [How To] via Lifehacker .

Filed under: Elsewhere, New Media Prescription

New Media Prescription 004 – Interview others

For other entries in this series, See New Media Prescription

If you want to enhance the impact of your new media efforts, and expose yourself to an entirely new set of listeners and viewers, you can’t do better than recording a series of interviews.

Why are interviews so powerful? It is a simple fact of ego. When you interview someone for your show what is the first thing they do? That’s right, they tell all their friends, family and business contacts to listen.

“Hey, you’ve got to listen to this interview I did for the XYZ show!”

This is exactly what you want them to do and you want to facilitate it as much as possible. In this relatively simple way you gain exposure to each person’s network of contacts so provide them with audio or video from the interview, send them links they can share and embed in thier own blogs and web sites and post the interview to public audio and video sharing sites.

While you might hesitate to ask someone for their entire mailing list so you could send out a  press release, interviewing someone, and asking that they share it with their friends and contacts is very natural. An interview provides valuable content and yet still achieves the goal of raising your profile and that of your interview subject.

Who do you interview? Start with the people you would most like to speak with.  Who are your influences? Who are your heroes? Whose opinions do you respect most? There is no need to shoot low, either. My fellow Friends in Tech members, Chuck Tomasi and Kreg Steppe of Technorama always make a point of reaching out to bigger names for their interviews. Their guests have included Mythbusters Adam Savage and Grant Imahara, author Stephen Covey,  explorer and discoverer of the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard and many others.

You should also seek to be interviewed by others. You gain content that can be shared on our own blog or podcast and your ideas get exposed to a new group of people. It also allows you to get your ideas out if you are having difficulty writing them down. This was the genesis of my New Media Answers series for New Media Interchange. Members would often be peppering me with questions during our meetings and I quickly realized that my answers would be beneficial to many more people if I captured them for the web site and podcast.

So I asked NMI member, Tracy Pattin, who does her own show, Sizzle in the Middle, to act as the interviewer and duplicate in the studio what happened so frequently at our meetings. She comes in with questions on a particular topic and I answer them to the best of my ability. This results in an engaging discussion and allows me to talk about new media issues and work through ideas that I can later present as more fully-formed articles here and on the New Media Interchange blog. This allows me to answer questions that a large majority of the members might have even when I am unable to talk with each of them individually.

Start interviewing today to spread your name and your message to an entirely new group of people.

Filed under: New Media, New Media Prescription

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