Serious, Silly and Snapshots — Three Blogs Worth A Look!
Posted by darleenr
The American Red Cross Blog
The American Red Cross blog is a professional blog with an objective to inspire people (Red Cross Volunteers) to talk about issues they care about. The Red Cross blog does not disappoint, as most readers will find the content compelling, interesting and something to talk about. The Red Cross Blog (RCB) aims to offer solutions and a roadmap to immediate actions one can take online or offline to help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The RCB even attempts to have a little fun with its readers by staying relevant and finding areas of collaboration with those reading the blog.
My visit to the RCB transported me to a location I did not expect, a very pleasant surprise indeed. The first post on the blog was dated June 13th, authored by Sarah Layton entitled “What Goes through a Red Crosser’s Mind While Watching Game of Thrones.” The post, oh so cleverly seizes on the popularity of the HBO series the Game-of-Thrones as a platform to discuss several types of emergency situations. If you are familiar with the series the show is filled with sword fights, fire-breathing dragons, wild animals, intrigue, lies, deception and death. A medieval tale set against the harsh weather elements while all the characters quest for the “Iron Throne.”
The June 13th post connects the popular theme of the HBO series to subject matter that would interest many readers of the RCB. For example a sword yielding villain is associated with how to apply pressure to a wound, fire-breathing dragons set the stage for fire safety tips, and a ferocious wolf introduces pet first-aide. In my opinion, a very ingenious way to tie pop culture into an organization not usually associated with being current or hip.
The content in this first post includes a bonus; a way for RCB blog readers to become even more involved by inviting viewers of the “Game of Thrones Season Finale” to live Tweet their personal commentary from a “Red Cross perspective.” Using the hashtag #RedCrossGoT viewers might see their comments printed on the Red Cross’s blog the following week.
The RCB posts fresh content every few days, sometime every day. All the content is current, interesting and engaging. The titles of the posts are relevant, thought-provoking and appealing, such as “Is-there-a-shark-in-your-pool?” and Grampa’s-house posted on Memorial Day. What makes the Red Cross blog unique is the surprisingly relevant and interesting subject matter that would not be normally associated with an organization such as the American Red Cross.
Making it Easy to Share
Social sharing buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube coupled with other Red Cross chapter blogs drives traffic to the blog. The Red Cross blog also features easy ways for readers to subscribe by email, donate and get involved. All important elements of any Integrated Marketing Campaign, and a testimony that The American Red Cross is pursuing a well-rounded IMC campaign.
Teamlab is the only advertiser on the RCB; to clarify it is more of an endorsement from the Red Cross rather than advertisement. A Google search for the American Red Cross “Blog” the blog site shows up first in SEO, as opposed to just searching The American Red Cross which results in American Red Cross website.
Suggestions for Improvement are only this: Include a multi-lingual language option. I was pleasantly surprised by the American Red Cross Blog site and I would recommend it to anyone interested in wanting to be prepared for any emergency or to be educated and entertained.
The RCB is not just about disasters! It’s worth a nice long look.
Catfoodbreath: Furry, Feline, Fabulous………everything is better with cats.
Catfoodbreath, (CFB) is a recreational blog with sporadic posts that targets a niche audience who are seeking Kitty Kat fun! It’s all about the love of cats, cat fanciers and the opportunity to view or read about whimsical interactions between cat parents and their furry children. Cat lovers can read directly from the blogs ruler, I mean, the royal highness, the king, Mr. Catfoodbreath himself.
The main character or star of Catfoodbreath is of course, a cat. Writing the blog, one assumes is a seven pound domestic feline (big bones, dense fur) with one heck of a sushi habit. He is adorable….what more does anyone need to know? He is a Siamese, which means he is talkative, intelligent, extroverted, brave, funny, clever, and good at math. The cat is also polydactyl, giving him exceptional keyboard skills. If you are a cat lover or owner this is very funny! If it is not funny to you, consider getting a cat.
From time to time cat fanciers write in and ask the Catfoodbreath, (CFB)’s advice columnist, aka the cat, concerning issues related to cat behavior problems or concerns. The reader gets a response back written in the voice of the cat.
Problems with the Blog?
The CFB blog is not updated nearly enough as subscribers would desire. I noted many older posts on the CFB blog, but since this is a recreational blog, it’s not something that would drive away the audience. As a cat lover myself, I can confidently say that most cat lovers would easily overlook the fact that the content was older. As long as it’s enjoyable, it can be timeless. That being said, additional up to date content would truly add value for subscribers and visitors alike.
What is current on the CFB blog is content covering its “2014 Petties Awards” page explaining where pet lovers can vote for their favorite “Best Cat blog,” “Best Cat video and a variety of similar categories to choose and vote for.
The CFB blog also includes social sharing buttons that a can easily and obviously be utilized to share kitty cat content on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, repost to WordPress or simply “Like” the page. The CFB blog provides plenty of opportunities to comment, at the same time the interactions in this section prove to be some of the most enjoyable.
The Catfoodbreath blog is the 3rd result in a SEO search on Google. Currently there are no advertisers on the site however there are plenty of opportunities for cat products, toys, leases, beds, cat food and snacks. Considering Americans spent a record 55.7 billion dollars on pets in 2013, there is plenty of interest and reasons to advertise on a pet related blog.
Suggestions for Catfoodbreath blog?
One issue noted is that the CFB home page appears a little stark. I would love to see more images and poses from the CFB lead cat. As an interested party, I want to know even more about the cat. For instance what are his hobbies? What does the kitty do all day? etc. Give readers more opportunities to interact with the kitty. We can’t get enough.
Spilled Milk is a group blog. The blog itself has a very simple black and white clean design. The main focal point and purpose of the blog is to entice visitors to become subscribers and then Flickr group members in order to participate by posting their own images.
Spilled Milk is a collaborative photography blog featuring a collection of photographs from fourteen talented mothers from around world. Readers are invited to post photographic images that embody a “weekly” theme that reflects some aspect of parenthood and the complexity and beauty that comes with raising children.
Some of the themes include:
Holiday, Routine, Myself, Cuddle, Lesson, Feeling, Tabletop, Good Night and Imagine
The parameters to participate in the blog are straightforward; first, one must join Flickr and become part of the Spilled Milk blog Flickr group. On Mondays of each week, members can submit photos that coordinate with the weekly theme. Photo must be horizontal 900 x 600 pixels wide, with a resolution of at least 240.
The Spilled Milk blog invites participants to check back with the blog on Wednesdays to see if their photo was published. If a subscriber’s image gets posted to Spilled Milk they are encouraged to share the image on their own blog or other social media platforms.
Social Media Sharing
All social media buttons are easily accessible making it simple for bloggers to repost and share their published images. There is a “Like” button and a super easy format to post comments in. At the time I viewed the Spilled Milk blog there were six very positive comments posted that reflected the love of the blog.
Oddly, in a Google search for “mom-blogs” and “mom-photography blogs” the Spilled Milk blog did not show at all in SEO. I am presuming that is because it’s not a professional blog and has a very unique audience.
Opportunities for advertising on the site are endless, yet there is no advertising on the site. Baby products and photography equipment are the obvious two.
Suggestions for the Spilled Milk blog?
Both from a laptop computer and a Blackberry device I was taken to older content first. I suggest that the newer content be on the first page so when the blog is opened on any platform, desktop, laptop or mobile device viewers see the most recent content.
Other than that, Spilled Milk may want to include multilingual functionality to make it easier for their subscribers from around the word to participate in this interactive, interesting and heartwarming blog site.
It's Nice to Share
Posted on June 18, 2014, in In Your Own Words MMC-5006 and tagged American Red Cross Blog, Social media, The American Red Cross, The American Red Cross Blog, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.