Ideally, we try to limit our posts to the subject of Iberian wine. That said, our small consulting company has gained traction over the past year, giving us hope that it will continue to develop and excel well into the future. With growth, however, comes welcomed attention from both Spanish and Portuguese wineries alike. And with their keen focus upon us, we feel it is our duty to provide them with a bit of extra marketing knowledge that we’ve accumulated over the past three years of writing for Catavino. And to be honest, some of you Iberian wine nuts may find these blogging tips interesting and we hope that you as readers will feel the need/desire to add in a few of your own! So without further ado, please read on with booming voice and dramatic pauses!
- I. Thou shall not use Flash. Flash is pretty. Flash is for games, movies and art projects. Flash is not for wine blogs, nor is it for wine sites. Flash takes a long time to load, contains no information for Google and is annoying to watch/look at when trying to read text. Plus if I have to wait more than 10secs for it load, I’m gone and off to your neighbors site!
- II. Thou shall enable comments. A blog without comments is not a blog. Don’t be afraid of them they are positive tools, and even when you get a bad comment, which is rare, you’ll be able to troubleshoot and respond to it in an honest dialog; whereby, putting out any fire before it spreads.
- III. Thou shall not talk about your &$#!!?! awards all day! Please tell me about your awards once in awhile. I think 4 or 5 times a year should be more than enough. But let’s be frank. Although, we appreciate that you received a purple clover and blue diamond for your magnificent organic, single varietal, vineyard select wine from a random committee, in the end, I’m reading your blog because I want to better know you, because I love your wines, not the awards committee that charged you too much to enter your wines in their great taste off!
- IV. Thou shall talk about others wines. This may be shocker to you, but wine drinkers actually drink more than just one wine. Really, we do! And ironically, we know you do too. With this mutual understanding, we promise that if you mention that you enjoy another producers product, we won’t run away in horror and disgust, refusing to drink your wine again. In all likelihood, we’ll probably thank you and reward you with more loyalty. Why? Well, because you showed to us that you’re human and are willing to help us expand our wine world, if only a bit.
- V. Thou shall comment on other blogs. Blogging is about conversations, and bloggers like to hear from you. If you read something interesting, leave a note. Say “hello” or drop a smiley face 😉 It means a lot to us, and in doing so you’ll be spreading your URL around the web like a dandelion’s seeds in the wind.
- VI. Thou shall link to others, again and again and again. This is basic SEO, but it is also friendly and useful. They say the best sites are the ones that send you away the most often. In the end, the more useful the information you point me to, the more I’ll come back to your site to look for more information.
- VII.Thou shall talk about things that have nothing to do with wine. Please tell us about your rose garden, favorite restaurant, philosophical thought of the day or travel plans. Blogging is a human endevour and very few humans only talk about wine everyday in their real lives.
- VIII. Thou shall include many photos and videos. We don’t care if they are taken with a cell phone, reel to reel film projector, lomo, or otherwise. We want imagery. You don’t need professional photos, and in fact, we don’t want to see tailored videos and photos. We want to see photos of your everyday life taken with your camera. If they are a bit rough, it’s not a big deal, since ours are most likely too. Just please post them regularly and get a flickr account to share them with us. I’ll even make you a friend and leave you comments if you do!
- IX.Thou shall not be a perfectionist. Please use a spell checker, but we’ll forgive you if things slip. Sometimes the best editors are your readers. Enjoy the fact that spontaneity is a virtue and a signal that you are enjoying yourself. If you fret about what your going to say, you lose the moment. Remember, blogging is not a press release, it’s a conversation.
- X. Blog Readers Please Contribute Community and community building are important…what is your number 10?
So there you have it. Can’t wait to see what everyone has to add!