Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blogging 101 and more

My first week at the newspaper went great! So great in fact, that my boss signed me up for the AWNA newspaper symposium in Calgary last weekend. I took Blogging 101 on Friday night, and then 3 classes on Saturday for the new software programs I'm learning; Adobe Photoshop - Colour correction, In Design - Tips and Tricks and Adobe Illustrator - 50 tips and tricks. Of course, to make things really interesting, I'm learning all this on the Mac!
I've been working on pc's since the late 80's, and although at one time I knew the Mac OS, that was long, long ago! Needless to say, I've got a huge learning curve to become good at my new job. Everyone in the office has been great though, they're very patient and although I'm a quick learner, it's still taking a bit. There's just so much to learn all at once!
On top of interesting, new and challenging work, the people I work for and with are awesome! Everyone seems to genuinely like each other, and they work well together. The boss is highly spoken of, and although I haven't had much interaction with him, he seems nice. And, there is none of that 'hierarchical' attitude I've been struggling with in my past two jobs. What a relief! It's a true 'team environment', and a functional one at that!
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I hate being broke! I know everyone goes through a lean period after Christmas, but that doesn't make it any easier! I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel though! Less than two weeks to go and I'll get paid again, and be back 'on top'!
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So, what did I learn in my Blogging 101 class? Not much really. The instructor, (Keith Gilbert), talked about what makes a blog different from a web page, the gist of which is that a blog is frequently updated on an hourly, daily or weekly schedule, the posts are in linear format, (chronologically ordered), and are generally permanent entries, (unless you delete the blog, and even then they may live on in linked web pages or other's blogs), and usually readers are able to leave comments on the blog content.
Keith spoke about how to foster community and build readership. He suggested encouraging readers to ask questions and recommended that bloggers should answer those questions promptly. He also suggested signing up with pinging services such as Technorati, Newsgator, and Feedburner and to have RSS feeds.
Finally, Keith talked about how to get paid through your blog. The two ways he mentioned were affiliated advertising - where ads are associated with blog content - and ad networks. The amount one earns isn't really huge money, unless one has a huge readership I suppose. Different ad networks that you can sign up with are; TextLink Ads, Adbrite, Google Adsense and Yahoo.
Affiliated advertising is where a blogger may have a post that recommends a certain product in their blog and has a link to the site that sells that product. They have an affiliate agreement with the product company where every time a reader clicks on the link to the product, (from the blog), and purchases that product, (from the linked website), the blogger gets paid a fee. An ethical blogger will tell their readers that they are paid advertisers of said product, but not all bloggers feel that obligation.
Well, on second thought, I guess I did learn a fair bit from Keith and my blogging class. Hmm.. isn't it funny how one's perception can be skewed until you review your notes.
And, on that note I'll wrap up this post. Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. It sounds pretty exciting if i may say so myself. Glad to hear the new job is going great. Keep up the good blogging. I love your blog!! And you too!!