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Blogging Live in 3 … 2 … 1

Do you take advantage of all the benefits that live blogging has to offer? If not, maybe it’s time you figured out how to get on the bandwagon. According to a recent report by City University London’s Journalism School, live blogs get 300% more views that plain old news articles that cover the same event (journalist.co.uk). They even get more views (nearly 220% more views) than image galleries – and who doesn’t like looking at pictures?

Dr. Neil Thurman, who worked on the study with Anna Walters, says that even though live bloggers don’t necessarily have the time check, cross-check and re-check their facts, live blogs are given more credibility than traditional news articles. Readers are also more likely to engage with live blogs than other online articles.

That’s all well and good but what does it mean for business?

Good question.

Live blogging has several benefits for business, just one of which is a reputation for producing fresh and engaging content.

Basically, if you live blog an industry event you show that you not only have an interest in things other than your business but also that you want to share your newfound knowledge with others – which is very generous and altruistic.

As people get drawn into your blogging and engage with it, they are likely to share it with friends. This spreads your brand and, if you create a favourable impression, may even get you new fans, maybe even new brand evangelists.

You’ll also get more website traffic, which is always a good thing.

What do to (and what not to do)

You can also live blog one of your own events. You will have to be wary of too much self-promotion. Don’t make it all, “look how cool we are … if not for our awesomeness none of this would have happened … you can also be this amazing if you contact us now”.

Rather be more outwardly focused; comment on the interesting opinions expressed, upload pictures of your guests and take as objective a view as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a bit of a punt, it just means you need to keep it low-key.

Live blogging vs. microblogging

Realise that there is a difference between live blogging and microblogging. Microblogging is something that you would do on Twitter. It involves hashtags and short, punchy updates. Well, they have to be short to fit in the character limit.

Live blogging is something that can be done directly on your blog site using plugins (WordPress has one) and they can be slightly longer and slightly more in-depth so you can raise more important points and covey more information.

Microblogging doesn’t necessarily invite comments and feedback, whereas live blogging does.

Live blogging can be a great tool to build brand awareness, extend your reach, bump up your traffic and increase your presence online. Just remember that, as with almost all online marketing tactics, you need to make it worth your audience’s while and not all about you.


Image credit: Alfred Hermida, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr

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