Posted by Laura Wolf (farmoutloud)
My PR in Ag class was visited last week by Judi Graff, a farm blogger who has dedicated a blog to helping new bloggers set up their sites and tell their stories consistently. Our assignment for the week? A top 10 list based on what we learned.
My top 10 is divided up into a few categories.
- Blogging is for everybody – Judi offers many suggestions on her FARMnWIFE blog for new bloggers to help with post ideas, design tips, and other advice.
- Telling your story is free – Many of the ways people gather information are online – and it’s free to add to the internet’s wealth of knowledge in many ways (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-mail, etc.)
- Your story online is important – When you take time to write or videotape a part of how you make your living, you give a face to agriculture that customers can identify with.
- A blog gives a website life – Since it’s updated regularly, search engines like Google will move your site closer to the top of search results in your field because its algorithms prefer recently updated material
- Blogs build customer confidence – Consumers feel more invested in your business when you open up and allow them to see your day to day operations.
- You can be more responsive to customer concerns – If your business has an active presence online, customers will know that they can ask questions of you and get good answers.
- Know your answers to a few questions – Why do you want to blog? Who is your target audience? How are you going to encourage your readers to connect with you?
- Keep it simple – When you choose a design, make it clean and easy to navigate without distraction
- Make it obvious – Make sure it’s easy to find the information that people look for on a website, like information about the author, contact info, and what to do next. The phrase Judi uses is “above the fold,” meaning on the website as it loads when you type it into the address bar and before you start scrolling. Everything a site visitor needs should be above the fold.
- Repeat – Give site guests multiple opportunities to respond to you, like contact pages, badges, an about page, a mini about on a sidebar, and share buttons connected to each post.
I have learned a lot about blogging and social media in my PR in Ag class so far this semester. I don’t have everything perfect yet, but I’m working on it as I go. I encourage you to check out Judi Graff’s blog, and allow her to encourage you as I have to take the next step in telling your farm story.