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How to become a blogging partner with Digital First Media, Michigan Group

SETTING UP YOUR BLOG
There are numerous Internet sites that can host your blog: Tumblr.com, Blogger.com and WordPress, to name a few. Check them out and determine which one you’re most comfortable with. I prefer WordPress, where you'll get stats of how many people are reading your blog daily and you can set up slide shows, add videos and photos.
ONCE YOUR BLOG IS SET UP
Once you have figured out where to host your site, start posting. A good initial first post is a simple introduction of yourself, your topic and what your readers can expect by reading your blog. The post will stay around forever, so it’s a good primer for someone who finds your blog on its first day of operation or two months from now.
Don’t set your expectations too high. New blogs often have a slow start. If you log on and see you have no comments posted, don’t feel as if you’re a bad blogger or that you did something wrong. Give it time and things should pick up.
Once your initial post is up and you’re ready for the world to see what you have to offer, email us with some basic information: your name, your blog name, the link to your blog and the best way of contacting you (cellphone, email, etc). Please send the info to mrogers@heritage.com
21st CENTURY MEDIA AND YOU
Once we receive word that your blog is live, we will begin working on getting your site linked to our sites.
In exchange for us linking to your blog, we ask that you post our news widget on your site which will provide your audience with the latest headlines from our newspaper. Once you're linked on our site, please add one of our headline widgets (or RSS feed if you're on WordPress) to your blog.
To keep your readers engaged, we ask that you please post at least three new messages a week on your blog, while checking in daily for comments and reader feedback. This could be one post a week, a photo each week and some curated content your readers would be interested in, such as a YouTube video or article from another publication that you link to. The worst thing for a reader is to come across a blog that hasn’t been updated in months. You’re almost guaranteed to have lost that person’s interest for good.
To keep with our standards, we ask that your blog be informational and not promotional. If you are blogging about the profession you have, please do not turn your blog into a customer recruitment tool where you are posting the latest offerings you have. Feel free to create a separate blog for your customers, but please share with us only the one that is informational.
SHARE YOUR BLOG WITH THE WORLD
If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, etc., be sure to spread the word that you’ve started a blog. If you don’t have social networking pages, consider creating them to help get your message out. Also, if you belong to social clubs, nonprofit organizations, houses of worship, etc., check to see if they have bulletins where you can announce your blog. The more people visiting your site, the more fun it will be for everyone.
As your blog develops, please share with us any hot topics that develop. If one of your posts gets a large amount of comments, please email us and let us know about it. We will be highlighting our bloggers both in print and online and may want to reproduce one of your blogs that has gotten a lot of feedback.
Thanks again for taking the time to get involved and for joining our online platform. We look forward to a great working relationship that is beneficial to all of us. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.


8 basic points for beginning bloggers

If you’re starting a blog, keep these eight points in mind:

  1. Understand your community. No blog appeals to everyone. Identify the community for your blog and keep those people in mind when you gather content and develop new posts. (I deliberately used the word community rather than audiencebecause the best blogs invite participation, rather than just reading and watching.)
  2. Think in terms of blog posts, not other types of writing. A news story or a newspaper column could be a blog post, but you don’t need to be limited by such formats. A blog post can be (and often should be) short. An interesting link that you wanted to share can be a blog post. Anything that might interest your community is a potential blog post.
  3. Writing structures can and should vary. Sometimes you might want to follow the classic “inverted pyramid” news format, placing your most important and interesting content at the top and following with information of diminishing importance. A brief of just a few paragraphs. You may want to make a list of related items into a blog post. You may curate a few related items from the web into a post. You write an introduction that ties them together, then a bullet summarizing each link, then possibly a wrapup. A blog post might be a simple introduction to a video embed, possibly followed by a question for discussion.
From The Buttry Diary: Bloggers share lots of advice

The blogger’s voice

One of the points I heard most often from my blogging contributors – and want to make myself – is that blogging has a more conversational voice than news stories or even newspaper columns, feature stories or TV news reports. Blogging is, in fact, a conversation and if you’re just posting news stories in a blog, many of the bloggers I heard from might say that you’re not really blogging (a staff member demurred from offering much advice, noting that he was pretty much posting news stories to the blog).

Blogging 101, Part I
Have you wanted to start a blog, but weren’t sure where to begin? Or, maybe you already have a blog but you’d like to know how to take it to the next level? Rick Kessler, managing editor of Heritage Media and an avid blogger, answers those questions and more during a two-part “Blogging 101” seminar. Part I was held Oct. 3, 2013, and covered everything from how to start a blog to how to find content for your blog. Part II  Oct. 10 shows bloggers how to grow their audience and discover advance blogging techniques. Kessler is the author of the Gr8LakesCamper blog, which “celebrates the world of RVing, camping and travel destinations in the Great Lakes region.” He started the blog in June 2007 and since then has had more than 1,400 posts and 360,000 page views. Visit his blog at gr8lakescamper.blogspot.com.
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