By Caitlyn Donchak
At the PPRA “Benefits of Blogging for Business” held in late January, the fast growing trend of blogging was discussed. Moderated by Jeffrey J. Belonger, the founder and president of www.MyPhillyAlive.com, the panel discussion gave firsthand information on the field of blogging from varying viewpoints. From aspiring PR students like myself, to beginner bloggers, and even the most seasoned blog writers, there was useful information to be learned at all levels. Throughout the course of the night, several key themes emerged as necessary fundamentals for the success of any blog. These are some of the best tips that were discussed at the panel event and that I believe are crucial to keep in mind when starting or maintaining any blog.
1. “Content is King”: As stated by panelist Allison Stadd of uwishunu Philadelphia tourism blog, the content of a blog is what initially brings in the readers and then keeps them coming back. As re-stated by panelist Amanda Walsh of Furia Rubel Communications, it is important to have interesting and relevant the content to ensure you keep your readership engaged.
2. Know your followers: Panelist Stefan Frank of Constitution Daily blog pushed the importance of knowing who your followers are; therefore you can provide information that is appropriate and interesting to them. There is a lot of preparation that goes into making a blog, stated panelist Jessica Sharp of Maven Communications, so you need to ensure that you will at least have the initial support of your pre-established followers.
3. Keep an open mind: When it comes to the content of your blog, there will always be people who disagree or challenge your stance. Use any negative comments or disagreements as a way to build and grow as a voice and brand. Work with all the commentary of the public – don’t just ignore it. As Stefan Frank explained, use the commentary as a chance to show that you listen to the people and work to fix any issues.
Each panelist agreed that blogging is a creative and effective way to get in touch with the public. Using this knowledge can help people create and maintain successful blogs themselves.
Caitlyn Donchak is a freshman at Drexel University studying Public Relations. She is originally from East Windsor, New Jersey, but currently resides in Philadelphia.