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I met David Talamelli from Oracle (Principal Recruiter, Asia Pacific Region) back in Dec 2008 and we had quite an in-depth discussion about online recruitment, in-house recruitment as well as blogging and social networking. David runs the Oracle Corporation Recruitment Blog here http://oraclerecruiter.blogspot.com/
and has asked me to critique the blog and provide advice taking it to the next level.
Currently he manages the blog using Blogger and wants to take it to the next level. The site focuses mostly on David and his work, but he is trying to slowly evolve it so others in the organisation can blog and manage the site. The blog has a strong readership, and generates a lot of traffic. Oracle is a very strong brand, and David's main role is as a Recruiter - not a blogger. If David moves role or leaves the company, he would need to be able to pass on the blog's responsibilities to another person - so he needs to be able to manage the site with ease, keeping in line with corporate policies.
1. Blog URL
- How original and unique is it?
- How descriptive is it?
- What image does it convey?
- Would you remember it after seeing it once?
- Could you spell it after hearing it once?
How easy is it to remember http://oraclerecruiter.blogspot.com
? David should look at purchasing a new domain name (keeping it on the same lines - but just getting rid of "blogspot")
I would suggest keeping it as "oraclerecruiter" or "oraclerecruiters" (as there is more than one) on the .com. oraclerecruiter.com is currently registered (and for sale) by someone else. David/Oracle would be able to acquire this name and may also consider purchasing other domain names, but really you are just parking the domain name on top of the main site.
There are many different names they could try creating relying on these main keywords - Oracle, recruitment, recruiter, careers, employment, jobs, IT
Changing a domain name is a big decision, but if you get it right the first time these problems would not have occurred. Who would have known that this small venture by Oracle would grow so large? You are able to redirect users from the existing blog at Blogspot to your new site without too much hassle. Yes - back links and permalinks will take time to update, but the change will be good in the long run.
2. Blog software
The blog is hosted online by http://www.blogger.com/
(Saas). I would suggest migrating to Wordpress http://www.wordpress.org/
blog which has more features and functions. I am not going to bore readers with the details, but if you are interested to know why read some of these articles.Blogger Sucks. Wanna Move to WordPress? http://www.blogherald.com/2007/12/14/blogger-sucks-wanna-move-to-wordpress/ Choosing a Blog Platform http://zonemoney.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/choosing-a-blog-platform/ 3. Design
- The current design is blah - large header image then text...THEN you have to scroll down to read the first blog article or see the menu.
- The site is very narrow - need to increase the size of the main column.
- Lots of white (dead) space at the top/sides.
- Animated tags cloud - move to side bar.
SEO is quite poor. There are not that many back links and pages indexed in the search engines. Google page rank is 2, which is quite sad for the amount of content and visitors the site generates. There will be many benefits gained from changing to Wordpress as it has very strong SEO and automatic sitemap generation and submission. 4. Engaging with Users
Currently the site has over 700 subscribed users to the RSS feed. David should set a number of goals to increase the subscriber rate, by promoting the benefits of subscribing and increasing the "social" aspect of the website. David has recently added various social networking functions for users to share blog articles.
- Write Well and Write Often
- Answer questions with blog posts
- Invite guest blog posts
- Highlight your success
- Conduct feedback surveys
- Encourage comments
- Build a community of clients, prospects, partners, etc
- Submit Your Blog to Search Engines
- Submit Your Posts to Social Bookmarking Sites
- Promote your blog via social media and network sites
- Promote your blog via email
- Be a resource - link to other relevant articles
- Blogging creates a discussion - you are the host.
- Tag Your Posts
- Don't Forget Images
- Search Engine Optimization
- Promote Outside Your Blog
So, how can David go about engaging with the readers of his blog to create "community collaboration" in the makeover of Oracle Recruiter
If you are stuck for blog posting ideas, check out "101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle"http://www.ihelpyoublog.com/20070316-101-great-posting-ideas-that-will-make-your-blog-sizzle
- Invite feedback via surveys, emails or blog comments
- Prioritize changes and take small steps
- Create a competition for a redesigned Wordpress theme via community sites like 99designs http://www.99designs.com by offering a $cash reward or prize
- Continually inform readers of the changes, invite feedback and comments
- Measure ROI
One of my favorite sites for tips and tricks on blogging is http://www.chrisg.com/
below is the extract from his blog on "41 Blog Success Tips from 10 Years of Blogging You Can Learn Today" http://www.chrisg.com/41-blogging-tips/
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- Read - The more you read the better writer you will be. Being a blog reader helps you understand the mind of the blog reader. What they want, how they like information to be presented, what turns you off. Read good blogs and note your thoughts.
- Take one step - Chunk it down. Donít be overwhelmed, take one step at a time and keep going.
- Be interesting - Readers want to find fresh, valuable, entertaining remarkable information. Make an effort to deliver more than just facts. Make it about them, not you.
- Get your point across - Style, grammar, spelling all count for nothing if your audience doesnít get your meaning. Make sure you are understood.
- Deliver the goods - Being valuable is more important than following any rules
- Be consistent - You are only as good as your last post
- Prioritize quality over quantity - Fewer kick-ass articles are better than many so-so posts
- Develop expertise - You might not be an expert now but you can be. Dive into your subject and hoover it up.
- Hold on to passion - Keep the fires burning, donít let your subject turn into a chore.
- Communicate fascination - If you love your subject then let your readers know, share your enthusiasm, make it contagious
- Write better - All of us can improve our writing but it takes effort and motivation
- Grow your experience - Do new things, broaden your horizons, stretch yourself
- Share your experience - When you learn something new, tell your readers about it
- Explore and experiment - Keep trying new things, never stagnate
- Be unique - If you are the same as everyone else, why would anyone visit your blog?
- Look good - Appearances count, both in terms of your blog design and your posts. Make your content zing!
- Make a great first impression - Do new visitors know what your blog is about in under 10 seconds? Can they navigate easily? Where is your best content?
- Build momentum - Keep pushing every day, do not be content, it takes less effort to keep going than to stop and start over.
- Optimize - Keep tweaking, continuously improve
- Write with focus - Donít squander your readers attention, give them what they came for
- Build your reputation - Know what you stand for and deliver it consistently
- Go for keywords - Find out what your readers are looking for and write about it
- Write compelling headlines - Get attention, promise a benefit, provoke interest
- Offer full feeds - Attention is more important than page views
- Interview - Supplement your knowledge by interviewing experts
- Break news - Be first to a story, let everyone know and see the links flood in
- Run contests - Contests are fun and build awareness
- Research, survey and poll - Research results are newsworthy and differentiate
- Toot your horn - Celebrate successes, send out press releases
- Monitor your stats - Stats tell you the health of your blog. Where is traffic coming from? Can you do more of what works? Is your blog growing or sliding? There are many free services.
- Comment and answer comments - Nurture your audience, make them know they are valued. Comment on other blogs.
- Link generously - If you want links then you have to first give them
- Join forums - Break out of your bubble, meet people where they are
- Give stuff away - You get what you give. Free downloads get rewarded with links and traffic.
- Make friends - One of the pleasures of blogging and also a route to success
- Guest blog - Write brilliant content for other bloggers and see your brand grow
- Ask questions - Curiosity is a virtue
- Twitter - Constantly communicate and get to know people. Anything too short for a blog post can be delivered in 140 characters
- Stumble - Train yourself to discover, recognize and share brilliant content. What you can identify you can imagine, what you can imagine you can create.
- Rebel - Break the rules, go against the flow, zig when others tell you to zag, do your own thing your own way
- Enjoy - Keep doing what you do until it stops being fun. When it is no longer fun, bring the fun back.