Friday, June 24, 2011

Let's Talk Blogs

Let’s talk blogs today………

Years ago the idea of individuals publishing regular articles on the internet was crazy.  Today, the number of personal blogs is estimated to have exceeded 100 million.  WordPress alone has more than 47 million blogs and counting.  There are more than 300,000 new posts written per day and more than 250,000 comments generated.
There are some simple tips to starting and maintaining a successful blog.  First step is to select a hosting platform for your efforts.  Wordpress.com is a popular choice but there are many others to choose from.  Spend some time “Google-ing” free blogs hosts and you’ll find a vast selection to choose from.
Next, you need to decide on a topic niche.  You’ll want to stay pretty focused on a particular topic so you can engage your readers and develop a following.  It’s ok to stray once in a while if you have an issue of great interest.  I wrote one about Derek Jeter joining the Red Sox when the Yankees were have contract trouble with him last winter.
Here’s a tip I highly recommend you follow.  The blog host you choose will have an option for you to compose your post directly within their software.  Don’t even think about doing it this way. After learning the hard way, I now write my posts in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste into the blogging software.  You’ll understand why if you ever have lost your internet connection.  You lose all of your previous work and have to start all over.

Next, you have to be sure to keep your information relative and accurate.  Use links where possible to support your statements and try to use hyperlinks rather than shortened url’s.  It gives your posts a cleaner look.  You can find it under the insert menu in Microsoft Word. (another free tip……hyperlinks work great in emails too!)
Start distributing your blog posts to your close friends via email.  If they like your writings, ask them to share with their friends.  You’ll start building a distribution list which will grow as you become more active.
It is essential you use social media to advertise and promote your writings or it will be nearly impossible to grow your following and get the visibility you’re looking for. Post new entries on Facebook and Twitter.  There are also lots of free publishing sites you can use like Slashdot.com and yousaytoo.com
Follow these simple steps to get started on your blog and remember to have fun with it.  It can be an enjoyable pastime once you get started.  If you’re doing it for business purposes, remember to stay focused on your readers interests and don’t make your blog a constant sales pitch.  Delivering useful information is the key to developing a successful blog.
Let’s hear about your tips for a successful blog program and see if we can get some great ideas going forward…..

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