Thursday, April 16, 2015

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Takeaways from CBC's Basic Blogging Meetup

I haven't been to a CBC event in so long, I can't even remember the last time I went (seriously, I don't) so, as timely as it was, they were having an event during my free weekend so I thought: why not?

For a little bit of background, the Cebu Blogging Community is a dynamic group of bloggers who are based in Cebu and provide an avenue for upcoming and new bloggers to hone their skill. Not that the entirety of the group is full of noobs, far from it! Many professional bloggers commit to the community and even host events on occasion for fellow members; even the team leads themselves are established members of the blogging community. So! That goes without saying that the CBC is reputable group of both professional and non-professional (but equally as passionate) bloggers that aim for dynamism into becoming social good advocates of their communities.

cebu blogging community
Awesome people in the Cebu Blogging Community (don't mind Ace's sexy back as my wallpaper)

This event is part one of a series of blogging seminars the group is planning to make regular. Mary Narvasa, the speaker of this class, is not only one of CBC's team leads but she has also worked in both digital and traditional journalism for years building up her portfolio and experience as a writer. She was really fun and interesting to listed to. Supplemented by the members' friendly banter, it made the half-day event just as meaningful.

From that, here are a few takeaways I can share:

1) Pop-up Marketing doesn't gain traction in the Philippines

Remember those stylishly annoying "Enjoy what you're reading? Subscribe to our newsletter!" floating windows that pop-up in a few blogs after you've scrolled through most of their page? I never click them. Maybe once or twice in I site I really like but generally I don't. And apparently I'm not alone in this revolution.

Pop-up marketing, as proven by our professional bloggers, doesn't work in the Philippine market. Unless you're target audience are people in places other than the Philippines, then you won't get very far in collecting e-mails. Why's that so important? We'll get into that in a bit.

2) Bounce Rate

The higher your bounce rate, the worse it is for your site. Personally, I haven't heard of this term up until it was mentioned when we talked about metrics at the meetup. Basically, bounce rate is the measure of how often a user visits your site but doesn't do anything, which is defined by them not clicking anything. There are various tools that can be used to measure this such as Google Analytics.

3) Use Flickr to host images for your blog

Storing your images in a separate image hosting site, flickr or photobucket are some examples, and retrieving them through direct links to your blog makes the images in your blog posts load faster and clears up some valuable space for more content from you, which is great!

4) Follow the 80/20 rule in publishing content

Obviously your blog can't live without some social media pages that'll make your content shareable and reputable, especially for those bloggers that are just starting out. On that note, nobody would even want to keep following you, despite how good they think your last post was, if you just post links of your latest blog posts or your latest product discount. Plugging yourself into every post just doesn't work.

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of what you post should be for your customers while 20% is for you. "For customers" could mean links to articles that aren't yours but you found interesting enough that you thought it might benefit your readers, product codes for various shops you were offered, giveaways even simple quotes! Engaging with your audience pays. Both figuratively and literally.

5) Collecting e-mails is important

The root cause of all these efforts, the optimizing, content planning and all that, is to establish a blogging network whose significance is measured through the number of e-mails you have in that network. With those e-mails, you can use tools to collect data from them, collect users like them to get their data, send out surveys, offers, discounts, announcement and, most importantly, build and audience and regular following for your blog and brand.

And that's it! The meetup was more extensive and talked about way more so I encourage all budding bloggers out there that are based in Cebu, or who are planning to visit Cebu, to meetup with CBC members. Share experiences, make friends and enjoy blogging! 

cebu blogging community
Check it. Look at it. Work it, powerpoint.


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