Help me learn more about social media (prefer interactive contests/blogathons) and how I can learn more about the potential for small businesses that blog.
May 25, 2011 5:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I learn more about social media (prefer interactive contests/blogathons) and how I can learn more about the potential for small businesses that blog?

Background if this helps: I’m a medical writer/freelancer and have thought that I should learn about blogging at least or social media. Recently, I randomly came across a “contest,” or not even a contest but everyone agrees to blog daily for a month (the word for this event is a “Blogathon,” but I did a google search and the term is not being consistently).

Just because I know a bunch of strangers all have the same goals, it really has motivated me to post daily and learn about blogging tools. Also, even though everyone is a stranger, there is a social component to learning this (people check in and comment on other blogs, or pose questions on a google email list.

I know that at this point I’m a baby, tiny blog (disabled on my profile momentarily because I don’t want to be self promotional or spammy) that may go nowhere, but I already am seeing numbers increase a lot (started with no one and now I see ~ 50 hits daily and I see more and more people googling my specific niche and entering the blog. ..within weeks, maybe it is normal, though, but now I’m addicted and want to learn more although this may take years.

My questions related to this:

• Are there contests/competitions/everyone agree to tweet, blog or whatever for X days like this? I think that I like learning via the social aspect and that there a goal. I googled Blogathon but keep seeing a reference to the same event so I’m not sure if I should be searching for another word. I’d also like to see if there are similar things for twitter, too (which I absolutely do not get or understand) or other forms of social media. Are carnivals still done? I googled this but find things from years ago or disorganized messes.

• Have you seen examples of how small business, freelancers, or even someone (individual or group) does something …whether it be promote a business or create something very effectively through the use of social media? I’d love to see examples. This previous post was very useful, but maybe someone has seen other things. I’d love to see the creation of a story/art work/etc.

• (Consider ignoring this question, this may not be realistic). I really want to really invest in learning this as a tool to see what it can do for small business. Not myself necessarily, but to also work with/help others and at the moment I know a lot of small business owners (1 person type businesses) or people who will start soon. Right now I obviously can’t reach enough people and probably don’t know very much. But if this was a goal to eventually try/do, where do I look or is there a way to do this?

Any "previous" post references would be great, too. I tried plodding through the 400 tagged “blog” ask metafilter, but it is overwhelming. I've tried a combination of search terms in ask metafilter and then get nothing or only a few hits, often unrelated.
posted by Wolfster to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The main advantages of blogging, in no particular order:

1. It allows you to position yourself or your client in your niche and raises your profile.

2. It builds community and opens communication with your audience/market, as you've already seen.

3. It is search engine gold, which you've already seen.

If you're experiencing the Google content results and social sharing benefits of blogging through your own experiences right now, I'm unclear how you don't see how this works for small businesses. If the business delivers products or services online, it's a no-brainer; if the business is a local gig, there are some niches for which there is little benefit but for the 20 small business sites I put out a year, I say "No, blogging is not a good fit for you" maybe... twice.

If you wanted to put your blog link back in your profile (which is totally not spam), people would perhaps be able to give you some more concrete examples of how that blog could best work for you as a small business owner. Which, functionally, you are.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:55 PM on May 25, 2011

This thread was a lot of help to me when I started blogging.
posted by entropyiswinning at 6:40 PM on May 25, 2011

I'm in charge of the website at work (small business) and we recently started working w/ a company called hubspot to get our content creation up and running. I'm not advocating you use their services, but they have a very solid blog.

Couple of other good blogs to follow: SEOmoz and Write to Done.
posted by pyro979 at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just a little feedback if this helps give a more tailored response, but there may not an answer to my question really.

Actually another reason I did not want to self link is that I am experimenting with blogging as a medium by posting a bit outside my area (the blog may help people who were in my shoes several years ago, but if I were writing a blog for a client, it would be an entirely different type of blog (I really don’t think a potential client would even read the type of material I can generate).The link is now active again, but I actually putting it up in response to another ask meta that I just answered. Even though I’ve only done it a few weeks, I do understand the fundamentals of “how to” blog.

However, what I was looking for was ….other type of activities to do, such as the blogathon that I am doing now. I thought maybe it is done more frequently and with other types of social media, but perhaps not. (I don’t even have the search terms to look for it).

I do get how it can help a business, but I was looking for the best of the best and even something beyond that. So anyone can blog or tweet. But could they really tell a story or produce a play or something? I don’t follow twitter or really understand but surely someone has thought of that and done it before, so I was hoping to find a suggestion(s) – check this out great play or whatever that was put up and produced on a blog,twitter, whatever.

I wasn’t actually looking for blogs, but wow, pyro979s are packed with the type of info and questions that I have. I’m definitely subscribing to those and will be looking into those archives.

If anyone else has ideas, please share, but there may not be an answer to my question or I may not have articulated it very well.
posted by Wolfster at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2011

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