So, you’ve decided to write a blog that doesn’t stink? Let me know how that works out for you. Kidding. That’s great! Congratulations on your exciting new venture!
Now, you just need to get your message out to your audience through one of the many vehicles waiting at your disposal. But wait! If the mere thought of how to do that makes you feel like a plucky, action hero running through dangerous streets with talking trucks trying to save the world from imminent destruction…(DEEP BREATH)…you are not alone. I feel that way too sometimes and I help build blogs for other people. Just relax, it’s really not as hard as it sounds. Blogging is fun and it can become a way of life that is rewarding and profitable.
You really don’t have to be an expert writer. So, if there’s nobody around that you can dump it on and you still feel insecure, just dig in and get to work. You’ll get better by osmosis! Building and managing your brand online through blogging and other social media tools can be a daunting task, but like riding a bike, once you learn how, it’s a snap. The key is to keep pedaling!
Creating your Blogsite
Whether you use WordPress, Blogger or a custom-built blog integrated on your site, think of these programs as your own personal car or truck. It’s not about what everyone else is driving as much as what suits your needs most appropriately. Open several free accounts and find an interface on which you feel you can work comfortably. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do so, have one built.
Like many folks, my first real job in my twenties came along with a new car purchase. Instead of following conventional wisdom, I picked out an overpriced model that carried a payment rivaling my rent. Why? It made me feel good. Consumerism at work! Looking back, and hopefully not so wet-behind-the-ears, my choice was poor and I paid the price. The car was just a way to get where I was going. Your blogsite will be the same. Bottom line…choose function over glamour. Just pick one and get started. Upgrade later when you are a rockstar.
Whether you are maintaining a well-oiled machine or launching your first SMO (Social Media Optimization) campaign now, there is a ton of good information out there to help you get started. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and RSS syndication work for you on a daily basis, with just a little effort on your part. We recommend setting up a reader to help you on your blogging adventures.
But be warned! Don’t just regurgitate the same things you’ve read on other pages. The sharing of ideas is important and the foundation of blogging in the first place, but you should be prepared to absorb your research and produce something new and fresh.
Blogging experts agree that your unique perspective, a way the information can be used for YOUR audience or how you have managed to use best practices to your advantage should be your focus. The point is to BE INSPIRED and not to snatch someone else’s work. Scott Allen, co-author of The Virtual Handshake and avid blogger puts this pretty eloquently.
Good networking means learning about other people’s business. For those of us who write professionally, our content is our product. Learning about our business means learning how to properly refer people to us, just as it would for anyone else. The simplest solution is to always use an excerpt and a link, never content in its entirety. That will pretty much always constitute fair use, and will always be appreciated by the content creator.
How to Blog
“Given a choice between dull and compelling, people gravitate toward compelling. This is why more people watch American Idol that C-SPAN”.
- Everyone will tell you to make it personal, add a photo, use your name. Don’t grab a duck-face shot from your cell phone, but, DO find a picture that shows some personality.I suggest taking a personal inventory of how you want to present yourself and get ready to fall in love with sharing your thoughts and communicating on a regular basis.
- Make some notes of what you want to talk about, keeping in mind who is going to read your words.
- Be real, pick a schedule and be consistent. You drink your coffee every morning, brush your teeth and check your email… you get the picture. Habits take about three weeks to sink in. So, experiment with times that realistically fit into your schedule and get ready to produce creative and effective content.
WHO? and WHAT?
It’s important to know who you are trying to reach and what you have to say. No one can do a better job of that than YOU! Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media does an amazing job at this. Her posts are human, funny, real and always feel like a conversation. If you don’t follow her on Twitter already, do so! Reading her blog is easy to read for first timers and veterans and her perspective makes the experience light and enjoyable. Concerning how to communicate your ideas, she recommends,
“Whatever the goal is, keep it in the back of your head while writing. Ideally, you should know approximately how you are going to start the post and how it will eventually sum up. You don’t have to know the actual words or lines you are going to use, just a sense of where it’s going based on the goal you selected.”
What advice would you give to a brand-new baby blogger? What’s the best thing you ever did for your blog? The worst? Let us know in the comments below and give us a chance to check you out!
This article was originally written and posted: 18 Dec 2010 02:13 PM PST by PollySentrick for Pandora Project Marketing.