mahd

Advise for a physician

Dear Doctor,

We realize that you wish to promote your novel weight loss program and you had trouble marketing your service. As an independence physician with her own private practice, you definitely have the network to kick start this project. The weight loss program you are trying to promote is The Bean Plan, and its principles are centered on balance, nutrition and exercise. However, you do need to establish a blog for the project and have a stronger social media presence. Here is what we advise:

  • Establish your own blog
  1. Own domain name (preferable .com)
  2. Images, text, and videos.
  3. Regular posts (1/2 per week)
  4. Categorize your subjects
  5. Have a regular and specific posting schedule
  6. Check google analytics
  7. Consider opening an account with SEM rush for keyword optimization
  8. Category for guest post
  9. Page for testimonials (progress page)
  10. With a larger audience, consider monetizing
  11. Partnership with supplement/ diet companies
  • Social Media presence
  1. Use instagram, twitter, and facebook
  2. Pinterest
  3. YouTube
  4. Occasional give away
  5. Hire someone to handle all comments/ feedback

 

 

Monetize blog

There are many ways to monetize a blog. These methods include sponsored social media posts, corporate sponsorship, donations, affiliate ads, selling a product, offering a service, display ads, and Google Adsense. As a blogger, my prime motivation to blog does not come from a desire to earn money. I blog for other reasons. My goals are to improve my writing, connect with readers, express my views, learn more, and maintain a new habit. Thus, earning money is very low on the priority list.

Thus, since I am not quite motivated by money in maintaining my blog, I feel the best way to monetize my blog would be through donations. There are many ways to link a blog to a donation service. The most reliable link I have found from experience is PayPal. Not only is this method of donation safe and secure, but it is also relatively easy to navigate. I’m a big proponent of using PayPal for all online transactions and would therefore feel more comfortable if donors used the same method.

As my blog is about science and practical advice, I feel that most of my readers would be those interested in learning more about science and its applications. Thus, I feel I may have a fighting chance in obtaining some donations from readers who really found some of my posts helpful and useful. They may donate as a means to encourage me to continue writing. After all, maintaining a quality blog can be quite intensive and often requires hours of work each week.

Another reason why I would choose to monetize my blog through donations and not any other methods is that donations are the fastest, most direct way to obtain money from readers. Other methods require a partnership of some sort and therefore require a middle man. While it is true that using other methods to monetize my blog may enable me to reach a larger audience, I don’t wish to distract my current readers with additional distractions and nonsense on my blog page.

Anonymous Bloggers

When a blogger remains anonymous, how, if at all, might the anonymity affect your reading of the blog? If it wouldn’t affect your reading, why?

Whenever I come across anonymous bloggers, I always read their posts with a grain of salt. In other words, I am cautious and wary of what the anonymous bloggers might say before I even start reading the blog. The reason for this is that anonymous bloggers tend to opt for anonymity usually because they have something unique, unusual, or uncomfortable they want to share. For example, some individuals are totally different people as bloggers. A very masculine man might not want to be seen blogging about kittens or the latest fashion trends. Another example that comes to mind are websites dedicated to bashing certain groups of people. If a blog post is talking about how the blogger despises homosexuals and feels they are good for nothing, another blogger might go anonymous when trying to educate the hateful blogger. Thus, anonymity gives bloggers an extra tool to voice their opinions without facing repercussions directed to them personally.

Of course, bloggers might opt for anonymity when criticizing certain groups as well. On a liberal website dedicated to anti-gun laws, a blogger may go anonymous in protesting the views held by the majority. In other words, anonymous blogging is especially helpful for minority groups who wish to challenge the views held by the majority. In one sense, the whole idea of anonymous blogging aligns itself with the principles of democracy. Everyone and every group is given a voice, and their opinions are safeguarded by the law. In blogging, this safeguard extends to protecting the identities of the anonymous bloggers.

Live Blogs

I’m interested in learning more about science. In fact, my whole career is based on gaining knowledge of science and I’ve even created a personal blog that relates to the subject. The existence of live blogging for science would definitely have an overall positive impact. Live blogging is the development of traditional media to convey important news and information in a concise format appealing to a reader who wishes to quickly cover topics. There are both positives and negatives to live blogging.

I think one of the most positive features of live blogging includes the fact that live blogs break away from traditional news coverage and include commentary and analysis along the news. While the news itself is covered very concisely and conveys the main message or theme of the topic, the commentary and feedback is what really makes this form of media appealing. As a reader, I would find it far more engaging if a journalist were to giver her own feedback or thoughts on a subject rather than simply deliver impersonal, and detached news. In addition, live blogs tend to be more objective and conversational, rather than rehearsed. I would much rather hear genuine, impromptu analysis or news rather than news read from a script. I believe the delivery of “conversational” news makes the information more appealing because it feels more genuine. Live blogs are also very convenient. They tend to cover news topics on a single page and the story and accompanying analysis is often all in one place. In addition, live updates are relatively quick, and breaking news is often updated ever twenty minutes for sometimes six hours straight. Lastly, live blogs are likely to contain reader’s tweets rather than comments. This is important because the combination of social media with news makes the news quite popular. The popularity, in turn, invites more readers to give their feedback on the subject.

However, there are also some negatives to live blogging. People are often tuned in on live blogs at work. They believe that because the news coverage is brief and does not take too much time, they can quickly peruse news before getting back to work. This can get frustrating for employers because employees are taking time off from a period of time during which they should be working. In addition, the rapid updates are often cursory and not detailed enough to do justice to the news.

In short there are far more positives to live blogging than negatives. Thus, I would find live blogging to be very effective and appealing in delivering news about science. In my eyes, the benefits of live blogging outweigh the negatives.

Blog Network

Would you consider joining a blogging network? If you could imagine a network of blogs where your blog/voice might fit in, what would it be like? And how would the bloggers within that network support one another?

After reading, “Introduction to Blog Networks,” I learned that blog networks are basically clusters of blogs that are “linked together under a common name or a banner.” I would seriously consider joining a blogging network simply due to the many positive aspects of joining such a network. A banner blog or blog network can allow an individual to establish relationships, obtain traffic for their own blog, and simply write because the parent blog would handle all the administrative aspects of running a blog network. For example, Popsugar is a blog network that covers topics such as celebrity news, fashion, beauty, and fitness and the parent blog handles advertisements, and administrative duties so all that the blogger must do is write. In addition, the blog links to personal blogs, which would help to direct traffic to an individual’s blog. Other blogs may not do this. For instance, Nowmanifest is another fashion blog which simply includes posts from different authors. Thus, many join blog networks for the revenue, prestige, and SEO aspects of blogging within a larger network. Some simply join to learn to blog at a professional level so that they can learn the skills they would need to maintain their own venture. All in all, bloggers gain vital exposure when they join blogging networks. Although many prestigious blog networks have a selection process that requires writers to apply and produce high quality, consistent content some blogs are open to everyone. For all these reasons, I would definitely consider joining a blog network.

I would likely consider joining a science blog network because my personal blog deals with a lot of topics on science. Moreover, when trying to come up with ideas for new posts for my own personal blogs I often frequent larger blog networks that cover relevant topics in science. The Scientific American Blog Network is one such example of a blog that I often visit. Bloggers within the network would best support one another by providing examples of professionally written blogs that produce high quality content. This serves as a learning experience for some of the newer bloggers who would gradually learn to produce similar works of quality. In addition, bloggers within a network could support one another by visiting each other’s blogs and providing feed back on personal blogs. This will direct traffic to an individual’s personal blog and allow bloggers to interact with readers. In short, it is an excellent idea to join a blog network.

6th Annotated Bib

Olenski, Steve. “Three Hidden Benefits of Blogging for Marketers.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/03/13/three-hidden-benefits-of-blogging-for-marketers>

Steve Olenski mentions the myriad benefits of blogging for marketing. He mentions that there are three hidden benefits of blogging for marketers including content strategy, demographic marketing, and authority building. For content strategy, he suggests that users will often search for products and services based on reviews on blogs covering such content. For demographic targeting, the author suggests that blogging helps marketers to fine-tune their target audience by publishing articles relevant to the interests of their audience. For authority building, Olenski suggests that blogs helps individuals to establish authority among their peers and consumers. In short, Olenski does a fine job of emphasizing the benefits of blogging for marketing. For marketers, the blog is essentially web-based sales man access to anyone connected to the web.

The author also says “Last year via a study conducted by the Charlton College of Business Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth revealed that 34 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now actively blogging, which represented the largest increase in the number of Fortune 500 companies currently blogging since 2008.” Thus, blogging has seen a recent surge among the most successful companies in the U.S.

Social Media

Social media is a means of interacting with others by creating, sharing or exchanging information with others in virtual web-based communities. There are many forms of social media in today’s society, and all sources serve to connect individuals around the globe. In fact, it is almost expected that individuals must be participating in at least one form of social media. For example, when two people meet for the first time, one of the first things they do in order to get to know one another better is to add each other on Facebook. Thus, it is assumed that almost everyone has a Facebook account, which is a widely-used source of social media.

However, there are many other forms of social media besides social networking sites. There exist collaborative projects such as Wikipedia, a web-site that allows anyone to edit and publish information on an online encyclopedia. Blogs and microblogs such as Twitter exist to share information with the public on a relatively large scale. Social news networking sites such as Digg and Leakernet contain user-generated information that connects readers and writers via similar interests in news. Content communities such as YouTube and Daily allow users to share and publish videos online. Social networking sites such as Facebook allow individuals to chat and get to know one another online. Virtual game-worlds such as World of Warcraft allow gamers to come together on an online gaming community. Lastly, virtual social worlds such as Sims allow individuals to recreate a fantasy world where they can interact with others as virtual individuals.

In short, social media has certainly taken a hold in today’s society, and continues to gain momentum as more and more individuals participate in one form of social media or another. Even if individuals refrain from actively participating in any social media, they have most likely inadvertently come across the various form of media. In the modern world, it is likely that nearly everyone has been exposed to Facebook, YouTube or Wikipedia at some point in their lives. Thus, the reach of social media is far and it is only a matter of time before the entire world begins to participate in this global network of communication. The internet has truly paved the way for globalization.

5th Annotated Bib

Crowther, Don. “The Benefits of Blogging – Hard Number Evidence.” WordPress. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://doncrowther.com/social-media-strategy/bloggingbenefits>.

This article mentions some of the major benefits of blogging. Don Crowther writes that blogging is a very useful marketing tool and is one of the top three most effective ways to build a business. He mentions that factors essential to generating sales, such as trust, credibility, and referrals, are elements that come from blogging. He find three main reasons for the benefits of blogging by obtaining data from analytics SEO tracking programs.

Blogging gives search engines more content to index and consequently, more opportunities for you to be found. The data to back this up suggests that over the last 90 days, only 5.6% of people who came to one of my key sites from the search engines landed first on the homepage. Everyone else went first to another page. I’ve seen many sites where that number has been less than 1%!

The more blog posts you have, the more likely you are to have other people link to you, building your traffic through that link and your overall search engine rankings. The hard data supports this claim. When I look at the fresh (last 21 days) incoming links to my sites, the majority of those links go to pages other than the home page. In one case the percentage of links going to pages in my blog is 59.8%, 51% on a second, 63.7% on a third, and a whopping 85.2% on a third.

Blog posts help increase conversation. He refers to two sources in order to support this claim. Optins: Only 33.8% of my optins even saw a non-blog page before opting in. Sales: Only 67.4% of my sales included a non-blog page (other than cart pages) in their purchase path.

Crowdsourcing: an innovative solution

Image by DesignContest

Image by DesignContest

Jeff Howe writes a very interesting article about the rise of crowdsourcing with the advent of the internet. From the very beginning, Howe contrasts crowdsourcing with outsourcing, to remove any confusion regarding the two terms. Although both terms refer to employment of an alternate source of people at reduced cost, crowdsourcing is the evolved form of outsourcing. Advances in transportation allowed for access to resources across the nations. Jobs that were once performed in America could be performed by workers in India or China, where wages are lesser and restriction to businesses fewer. Businesses flourished as profit margins increased as a result of outsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is the modern day evolution of outsourcing. Howe defines the term as the employment of a crowd to perform work that could instead be performed by employees. Moreover, businesses need not actively shift work designated for employees to the crowd. They can assign tasks directly to the crowd at lower costs, while presenting alternative forms of work for current employees, such as data management. Labor for the crowd may be performed collectively or individually. The crucial requirement for crowdsourcing is that businesses must delegate tasks via an open call format, such that a large network of laborers may perform tasks for companies in exchange for monetary compensation. Such a method of work performance is extremely effective and indicates that hobbyists may be as capable as traditional employees. In fact, Howe presents various examples of tasks completed by the crowd, which company employees could not achieve.

This notion of crowdsourcing has only come to existence as a result of the internet. The author notes that the internet has made it possible for businesses to hire laborers regardless of location, as long as they have access to the web. For years, companies sought cheap labor overseas. With advances in technology, laborers may be hired for work practically anywhere because jobs are increasingly reliant on the internet (i.e. software development, drug formulas, etc.). For example, research and development sectors of corporations (R &D) are increasingly relying on the external intelligence of the crowd to solve problems that have stumped corporate employees. InnoCentive is a pharmaceutical company that pays solvers $10,000 to $100,000 to find new solutions for drug development.

iStockphoto is another specialized company that relies on crowdsourcing to offer affordable images to the public. These photos are often taken by amateur hobbyists who demand far lower prices for their products than professional photographers. Other companies offer crowdsourcing for the masses. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk helps companies to search for individuals who can perform tasks computers are less effective at. These human intelligence tasks (HITs) offer small compensation for tasks requiring little time, such as transcribing podcasts or writing product descriptions.

The blogosphere represents an effective element of crowdsourcing. Bloggers are essentially the “crowd” companies often seek to complete tasks. For instance, a journalism company may be seeking writers for an editorial piece on a specific topic. After consulting a writer’s blog, the company might decide to hire the individual based on his/ her work on the blog. Thus, blogs often supplement a candidate’s resume, especially when that individual is considered for employment. In short, the rise of crowdsourcing is evident in today’s society, and bloggers stand at the forefront of this movement.

4th Annotated Bib

Wapner, Jessica. “Blogging–It’s Good for You.” Scientific American. Scientific American, Inc., 19 May 2008. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-healthy-type/>.

Science has shown that writing may actually have therapeutic effects. These benefits are especially prominent when writers write about their personal experiences, thoughts, and emotions. In addition to serving as a stress-coping mechanism, writing also many physiological benefits. Research has shown that writing improves sleep, memory, immune system activity, as well recovery after injury. One study has shown that cancer patients who engage in expressive writing reported to have felt better physically and mentally after treatment, in comparison to patients who did not engage in such activity. Perhaps this is why the blogosphere has seen such remarkable growth in recent years. New evidence has indicated that blogging may trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music or running. Dopamine is the pleasure hormone associated with physical and mental activities perceived to be rewarding. Blogging about stressful experiences may also provide relief, primarily due to the placebo effect.