Blogs of Interest

Blogging Site: Ask A Manager

Ask A Manager Logo

Type of Blog

This is a semi-professional blog. There are multiple posts throughout the day and a favorably sized engagement base. The site is not directly linked to any brand or company in particular, but is promoted by Alison Green, who is a private business consultant.

Purpose

The sites’ purpose is to create an open forum where employees of various companies can discuss questions about their career growth, development, and struggles with a business consultant and other users who engage in the blog.

What makes it unique

The site is spearheaded by a former manager and business consultant, Alison Green. She offers a safe-haven where users can post anonymously about concerns they are having in the workforce. She offers honest non-bias advice and even allows open-forums where followers can openly engage in conversation with one another. No topic is off limits as matters range from work related issues concerning family life, sexual harassment, inappropriate work behavior, references, etc.

How it reflects the brand

Ms. Green does not directly reveal the companies for which she has managed or consulted for. In turn, she is branding herself and her philosophies. She describes this as “I believe in being brutally honest with yourself – about what matters to you and how much, about what you can and can’t change, about how you’re going to respond to the things that you can’t or won’t change, and about reality in general. this is the recipe for a happy career and happy life.” Through building a community that follows her advice, she is simultaneously promoting her own expertise and reputation. This is detailed in her “About Me” section.

What drives traffic to the blog? 

The “Ask A Manager” blog drives traffic to the site through sharing techniques. There are direct links to follow her through Twitter and Facebook. On these sites, she cross references her blog topics and also offers other opinions and posts throughout the day. This only increases her exposure and adds validity to her advice.

ask a manager facebookask a manager twitter

Users who follow the blog have created a user-organized Linkedin page. The community is compromised of 2,178 members, who have no direct affiliation with Ms. Green, but are a fan of her columns and advice. This is a private group and users must be admitted to join.

ask a manager linkedin

There are options to subscribe with an RSS feed, email, to posts or to comments. She also includes easy to use links on how to ask a question, comment, or book mark a favorite post. She also includes a wide selection of options for users to share posts to their own media channels.

ask a manager shareAsk A Manager Sharing Options

Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

This is a successful blog. The content is original and users are proactive in engagement. Her open thread conversations generated upwards of 1,000 comments and her individual blog posts consistently create feedback and follow up questions.

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There are ample opportunities to follow Alison on multiple social media sites and for users to share content that is useful through their own media channels. Blogs are subdivided into categories that make content easier to find. Articles are followed by sharing options and suggestions on similar reading. This blog is ample for longevity as content will continuously be refreshed. New issues will continue to arise especially with the advent of new technology.

Ask a manager 1000 shares

The site could benefit from tags. There are no tags attached to any of the posts, this would further amplify her SEO strategy. The site could also benefit from outside references. Ms. Green could incorporate colleagues that she has consulted for that may offer outside and differing perspectives.

To incorporate integrated marketing, Alison Green could promote giveaways of her books through her social media channels that direct viewers to the blogging site to subscribe.

Are there advertisers? 

On the top and towards the side of the website there are paid advertisements. Currently, my screen is showcasing local jeep dealerships in the Carolina area. The advertisement is outside paid advertisement that is directly linked through the blogging platform that she utilizes. Outside recruiting companies would benefit from linking with this blog, as many users are seeking opportunities.

She also utilizes self publication, where books that she has authored and co-authored are promoted.

Ask A Manager Self Advertisement

Blogging Site: Oh My Veggies!

Type of Blog

This is a recreational blogging site that focuses on the vegetarian lifestyle. It is not directly linked to a brand or company and posts are on a daily basis.

Purpose

The purpose is to offer a platform where vegetarians can learn about meal recipes, meal preparation, and tips that contribute to their lifestyle.

What makes it unique

Oh My Veggies focuses on vegetarian meals that contain real ingredients. They do not publish recipes that are made from artificial or processed material.

How it reflects the brand

Their “About Me” page contains that, “Oh My Veggies is a vegetarian food blog with a focus on easy recipes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. We don’t do fussy, we don’t do complicated – our goal is to share delicious meal ideas that anyone can make, from novice cooks to experienced foodies.” This blog posts are a direction reflection of this philosophy as the recipes are natural, easy to follow, and easily prepared.

What drives traffic to the blog? 

Oh My Veggies is successful in linking their social media to the blogging and main website. There is a Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest page that all incorporate recipes that are featured through the blog. All of their social media sites are actively engaged with daily posts and a significant following. Twitter ranks at 4,662 followers and Facebook carries 387,327 likes. Their Pinterest account is the most successful with over 163,ooo followers. This makes sense, as Pinterest is used as a platform to share recipes.

oh my facebook oh my twitter oh my pinterest

Oh My Veggies also offers a “Potluck Community” where users can join and submit their own recipes. This in turn creates a loyalty to the site and establishes itself as a community for vegetarians to share ideas. They are shifting and allowing users to be the curators of content.

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Oh My Veggies also utilizes RSS feeds, subscription services, and sharing options after each article. Users are easily able to share recipes with their social media followers, which would increase the curiosity of those who are not familiar with the site.

oh my sharing options

Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

This is a successful blogging site. Between the Potluck community and the active blogging page, there is an ample amount of material. The recipes are subdivided by seasons, holidays, allergies, time of recipe, and other options that allow users to easily navigate through an abundance of material.

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There is clearly a high level of engagement and interest in the community. Each recipe has comments and opinions regarding the recipes that are published. It would be interesting to gather how many subscribers the blog carries, as it is not readily accessible.

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Tags are missing from all of the blog posts. The site would greatly benefit from adding tags that relate to the meal concepts and vegetarian options. This would assist with those who are searching for specific recipes through search engines.

Their marketplace promotes giveaways with sponsored companies. It would be ideal to cross promote these giveaways through social media platforms or through subscription services.

Are there advertisers? 

There is a lot of advertisement incorporated into this blog! It is almost overwhelming. First of all, there is a great deal of push advertisement from companies like the Home Depot, Disney, and the Marines that runs down the side bar. This is obviously paid advertisement that is linked to the blogging platform.

There is also targeted advertisement that is intended to appeal to consumers of this blogging site. Companies like Amazon and Zoku offer product placement that would assist in meal preparation for many of the recipes. If one does not have a crock pot, no fear, Amazon does, and if you upgrade to Amazon prime you can get it the next day!

oh my targeted zoku oh my targeted amazon

Furthermore, there is also a marketplace incorporated into the website. In the marketplace, there are opportunities to purchase products from brands that Oh My Veggies promotes. Pop up coupons also appear throughout blog posts to further drive these companies. You can also purchase their cookbook through the marketplace and website, which features ready to eat meals from the freezer.

Oh My marketplace giveawayoh my pop up coupons

oh my cookbook

Blogging Site: Rutgers Student Blogs

Type of Blog
This is a recreational blog. Multiple authors (who are students) publish on different subjects, on an almost daily basis. All blog posts are related to student life at Rutgers University.

Purpose

The purpose is to assist new freshman and current students at Rutgers University with issues concerning academics, student activities, recreation, sports, and other common topics that plague students around campus.

Multiple Blog Example

What makes it unique

This blog is unique, as it is told from the perspective of students at Rutgers. It is comprised of alumni, upperclassman, and freshman.

How it reflects the brand

Students are the heartbeat of any college campus. This blog is directly allowing students to speak out about issues concerning university policy and student life. The quality of student life directly reflects the appeal of the university. In theory, prospective students should utilize this blog to shape their opinions and influence admissions decisions.

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What drives traffic to the blog? 

In a search for “Rutgers Student Blogs,” this site is generated first. This is largely due to the fact that it is incorporated into the admissions site, which drives a great deal of traffic to the university. Second, the title of the blog is also “Rutgers Student Blogs,” so it is aptly named for students who may be searching for this type of content. All posts do a great job at incorporating a tag cloud of significant length, this in turn amplifies the SEO results. Furthermore, the site also offers an option to incorporate an RSS feed.

Rutgers Blog Tag Cloud

Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

Overall, this is not a successful blog. As Rutgers alumna, I would agree that the content is accurate and actually helpful. Many of the blogs also include external links to websites that share products or information that are useful to the subject matter. Being a freshman on a larger student campus can be overwhelming, so it is beneficial to have an advice column from students that have been through or are currently adjusting to problems. Having alumni advice offers solutions to age-old problems that we at Rutgers call the “RU-screw” that plagues all students. Incoming freshman may encounter different problems, as things change from year to year, so it is nice to have different perspectives.

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 Rutgers Post With Links

Generating a university-controlled blog has advantages and disadvantages. The content is naturally going to favor the university, as it is directly linked to the admissions site. However, those seeking more raw information, are more likely to read an off-campus blog, like Reddit.

This blog is lacking in user engagement. Most posts have no comments and there are only limited ways to share content. One option is through email, which is not synonymous with how students share information. There are also options for “kick-it!” and “DZone it!” Both are sites that I am unfamiliar with and furthermore, neither of those links are in service. The site would benefit from incorporating a widget with social media tools. Students would then share content that is useful, which would generate more traffic to the site.

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This site would also benefit from partnering with The Daily Targum. The Daily Targum is a university run newspaper that is heavily read by students at Rutgers. Blog posts could be incorporated into the student newspaper, which is published on a daily basis. Links to the blog site could also be incorporated into The Daily Targum’s website.

The primary social media handles of Rutgers University would also be able to share blog posts through the sites, as it is a university-sponsored blog.

Are there advertisers? 

The blog features no outside advertisement. Rutgers should partner with local businesses to offer advertisement or coupons for new and current students. This could include university bookstores, restaurants, and merchandise shops.

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