PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Why You Should Know About SEO

One of the buzzwords for 2009 already is SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. In general, SEO is all about increasing a Web site’s page rank. In terms of Google, the higher the page rank, the higher the site will appear in a search. That’s the simple definition of something that really isn’t that simple.

Everything you would ever need to know about becoming more optimized you can find on the Google Blog. You can also download their SEO guide on that page. Although your site or blog might only be for personal use, it’s good practice to make sure what you are creating is optimized. It’s been my on-going project with this site.

Here are some of the top tips I’ve pulled out from my research this afternoon, and a lot of it relates to basic public relations principles.

  • Key Messages. Think like a PR practitioner and prepare key messages. That is, make sure your content is relevant to your topic. Also, in naming your blog and preparing the subhead, think about who will be reading your blog. Is your content interesting? Does your content connect with your audiences?
  • Brevity. The shorter and more concise the name and headlines of your page, the more likely it is to show up in a search. Again, relate it back to key messaging and make sure everything ties together. With that said, try to keep it unique and differentiate it from other pages with similar purposes.
  • Network. Get to know bloggers online and share their content before you expect them to share yours. Sure, good content will always be appreciated, but building your network ensures that you will have an audience.
  • Know how to write. A huge turnoff is bad grammar, spelling errors, and more. Make sure you proof your content before you embarrass yourself. Yes, I have embarrassed myself. I read through my stuff before I post it now.
  • Consistency. More than just with your blog or Web site be consistent with all of the social networking sites you’re on. I’m “nicklucido” on pretty much everything, and because of that, my profiles for these sites will be up on a google search of my name. You don’t have to have your name if you’d like to stay anonymous, but whatever you choose, keep it consistent. And avoid names like hotlips69, especially if you plan to connect with professionals.

Honestly, the best way to increase the Google PageRank of your site takes more than just your own desire. But overall, if you create good content and have a strong enough network that will share your content, your rank will increase. Here are some tips on how to increase this number. Below are some ways to monitor and increase how SEO friendly your page in.

  • Is your blog registered on Technorati? It should be. You can also check the authority, which is the number of blogs linking to a Web site. Some think this is a good measuring system, and others don’t. Find out for yourself.
  • Digg it. The more diggs you get, the more popular your Web site or blog is.
  • Stumble upon it. This allows users to rate Web pages, and the most dugg stories appear on the front page of the site.
  • Yeah, it’s del.icious. Make sure you bookmark your blog, and if you create content that’s worthwhile, you’ll be lucky to find people think it’s worth sharing.
  • When you do all of this to your own blog, find other bloggers and do the same to them. They will usually return the favor. Even better, you can start building the relationship with them.

For students, recent grads and professionals, making yourself findable is key on the Web. I’ve been working on making myself findable, and if you google “nick lucido,” you’ll see that 8 of the first 10 pages are me. Cool! I’m even ahead of the Nick Lucido that grabbed nicklucido.com before I could. Ha!

Last thing to remember: if content is king, make sure your good content is findable.

Some other SEO resrouces:

  • A Knol on SEO
  • Shannon Paul shares her thoughts on SEO and lists resources here
  • Some useful SEO tools
  • Use Google Webmaster tools for tips and advice

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Public Relations, Social Media, , , , , , , , , , ,

My Experience with AdWords

I saw something today I never thought I would ever see. Check this out:

picture-2

Yes, I bought some words. AdWords, that is. This is how Google makes a lot of money. Because I work in sales at The State News, I recognize the huge value in this product. AdWords isn’t intrusive – it simply shows up on the right side of the screen when you search for something on Google.

This is great for those people who love stats, but AdWords doesn’t allow for traditional branding. To me, it skips that whole creative branding process that I believe is essential for a company to connect with an audience. However, revenue for AdWords continues to increase while the rest of the advertising industry continues to suffer. Where will things be in a year? Five years? It’s a tough questions but nonetheless important for those getting into advertising, marketing and PR.

Anyway, I found the product useful. I did see some traffic increases, but not any comments from new bloggers. Although I would love to see a million people reading my blog every day, I would rather the blog be useful to those looking for advice. I think I have some work to do on targeting and it will take some more exploration on my part. There are many ways to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Google does a really good job explaining everything here.

Here are my search terms:

picture-4I thought about using “super fly” as a search term just to see what would happen, but I realized that there are probably many more ads that are willing to pay more per click than my offer of $0.15. Hey, I’m a broke college kid, don’t make fun of me.

In case you can’t see, here’s my ad. Now I know how my clients feel when they place their first ad in our paper.

picture-5

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Social Media, , , , , ,

Why and How to Blog

To blog or not to blog. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers discuss why they blog, and I want to chip in my own two cents.

I blog simply because I want to help other students like me. While I try to provide my own perspective on things, I like sharing what I learn. I also like learning from other people – students, professionals and everyone in between.

If you’re looking to start a blog, here are some basic tips:

  • Use wordpress.com. It’s free, easy and all around awesome. You can see how many people are looking at your blog, where your blog is being passed around, and a couple other useful pieces of information. Honestly, it’s cool to see how many people look at your blog, but also can be depressing. Don’t let it consume you!
  • Name your blog. What’s your personal brand? It should apply to your blog. Make sure it’s SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
  • Think about what you want to blog about. It doesn’t need to advance yourself or your career, but find that niche that you can write about. Here is a post talking about finding a successful niche.
  • Get involved with social media. Haven’t you heard me say this enough? Read other blogs, like a lot of other blogs, and start commenting on their blogs. Then get yours going. Start on Alltop.com and work your way around to find blogs that will actually help you out.
  • Once you start blogging, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a copy editor. I hate when something slips through my young and inexperienced eyes, so I have a couple “lucky” people that get to check over my posts. Go Becky and Christina! They rock, but they don’t have their own blog (yet).
  • Proof your work.
  • Find communities to interact with. I found homes with PR Open Mic, Brazen Careerist and 20 Something Bloggers. Just remember that it takes a lot of time to build relationships in each community.
  • Did I mention to proof your work?
  • Are your ideas new and fresh? Keep on top of new trends and ideas in order to separate your blog from the rest. Hopefully mine doesn’t poop out too much – that’s what you’re reading it, right?
  • Keep the party going. Try and post at least once per week. At the very least, keep on Tweeting and sharing to build credibility.

If you don’t like my ideas, here are some great posts on how to start a blog. They’re pros.

  • One of my favorite posts from Penelope Trunk shows how to start a blog.. on her blog.
  • Guest post on Chris Brogan’s site pointing out what bloggers are doing poorly and how they can learn from professional journalists.
  • Scratch that. CB has a whole section on how to blog here.
  • Here is what you don’t want to do as a new blogger from Jason Falls.
  • For more tips on writing in a niche, check out Coppyblogger’s post here.
  • A great guide on making your blog successful in 90 days from the Influential Marketing Blog.

So, whether you are an public relations student, a seasoned PR professional, an engineer, a mom or even a regular Joe, think about starting a blog. Clearly define what the blog is for, and start interacting. But don’t start a blog just to start a blog.

I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learned since entering the blogosphere. You can do it too. Honestly.

So what have you learned to be best practices since starting a blog? How do you find your nitch? If you have a new blog, post a comment – I would love to check it out.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Add to Technorati Favorites

Delicious

View Nick Lucido's profile on LinkedIn

Twitter

Friendfeed

View my FriendFeed

Flickr Photos