How to Blog
First thing you need to do is have an idea, this is crucial and will matter a whole lot in the success of your blog. If you are a client of ours you already have an idea on what your blog should be about – your business. Once you have your idea you’ll need a Blogging service. There are a few options available to you at various price points. Lets work from the ground up
Free Blogging Tools
Warning: The ease of creating a new blog on WordPress can be addictive.
WordPress has made it so easy to create a blog that you may find yourself creating one with every great idea you have, that is why I have close to 1 million blogs. Just kidding, but it really is that easy. Click on the big ‘Sign Up’ link and then choose a blog name and like that you have a blog! They offer upgrades for a fee so if you want to change your blogs CSS you can at minor charge.
WordPress just announced that they are now giving their free users 3 gigs of space – woohoo!
Blogger is a Google service that is also easy to create a blog and easy to use. One big negative about the Blogger platform is the ‘Next Blog’ link at the top. This link seems innocent enough and I’m sure the powers that be had good intentions in mind when they added it. The problem with that link could send you to a porn site.
I can’t say enough good things about this stand alone blog tool. I find it a pain in the neck to log in to all of the blogs I use. Having to log in to various sites constantly is a pain in the neck. Windows Live Writer allows you to set up all the blogs you write to in one little package. Setting your blogs up in Live Writer is as simple as logging in, except you only do it once. If you have multiple blogs on different services you simply click on the ‘weblog’ tab and choose which blog you want to post on. There’s no logging out and logging in.
Adding content is as simple as Word and most of the shortcuts are the same. You can add photos, video, and embed YouTube or SlideShare type code. Even inserting a map is a snap. Yes that is GooglePlex brought to you by Microsoft Virtual Earth 😉
This is currently a PC only program at this time
Non-Free Blogging Tools
This site is published using TypePad. Its a great tool that offers a variety of functions such as being able to tweak the design. The above ones will let you do that but you have to pay them for that. TypePad has a lot of built in functions to help you maximize your exposure.
Build as a ‘Professional Publishing Platform’ Moveable Type is a pay for use service as well.
TypePad and Moveable Type do offer free services for non-profits
Blog with Passion
There’s that word again ‘passion.’ In order to be successful in anything in life you need to be passionate about it. If you take your company seriously and want to succeed blogging about it should just be an extension of your day. You already tell your clients and everyone who will listen how great your company is and how good you are at doing what you do. Blogging shouldn’t be a hassle and as I’ve laid it out above it is very easy to do.
Of course there will be a learning curve and this post is not an exhaustive list of how things are done.
Comments. Share and Share A-Like
You need to be vocal in the blogging and social media communities. One way to generate interest in your blog is to comment on other blogs that share a same interest. Give a little, get a little. Its just like networking, people need to know you exist before they know who you are. The tips I laid out in the previous post will help people searching for what you are talking about but some people don’t know how to find you.
What if You Get Bad Comments?
Its up to you if you want to allow bad comments to be shown on your blog. One true thing about business is that you can’t please everyone. Some people can be malicious when they are angry and some can actually give you some constructive criticism. You need to make the call on what you deem acceptable but I think any open dialog is a good thing. What’s the old saying? Any PR is good PR
So to sum it up – Blog and Ye Shall Receive