The world of blogging

31 Jan

As I am working, living and breathing social media, writing a blog/blogs is inevitable. Whenever I’m asked about what I actually do, I can’t help but go on about the various different technologies, advantages of using certain channels, how important it is to build a ‘cyber-self’, twitter, facebook etc. Let’s just say, it’s not a short conversation as the list is endless. So I thought from now on, I won’t go into too much detail about everything and just get people to refer to my blog. I know – it’s obvious, why didn’t I think of that before?!

Every fortnight I will be discussing different social media related developments, news and updates.  I will try my best to make this ‘cyber world’ easy and accessible for all.

If you are new to this, then I will be helping with some important and basic steps.  Some people find this to be a daunting and difficult task to start with, but there is no need to worry.  Hopefully, these quick tips will help and actually make blogging enjoyable and something to look forward to.

Step 1: Pick a topic
It’s an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to pick one thing to blog about. It’s so important that you get this right so when people come to read your blog, they will be able to see at a quick glimpse what your blog is about. So…

a. To blog or not to blog… Find something enjoyable to blog about, and make sure this is something that other people will find enjoyable to read whether you’re trying to entertain, inform, discuss.

b. Will you be able to update this content easily? If you will struggle to talk about your chosen subject, then it’s probably not best to blog about it. Simple.

c. The great thing about your blog is that – you don’t have to always write! You can be creative and use other methods to update your blog.  So don’t think that you’re limited – take photos, copy extracts and comment on them, make bullet point lists – anything that you want.

So now that we know what to blog about, the next step is chosing which platform to use.

Step 2: What platform to blog on
There are many diffferent types of platforms which offer you different advantages.  Have a look and research into which one would be most suitable for you.  Here are some of the options you can pick from:

Blogger: http://www.blogger.com/home
This is probably the easiest platform to use by Google.  This is recommended if you would like to just test out the waters without anything too fancy.  The clear step-by-step guide breaks things down into digestible chunks to understand.  Here’s a quick YouTube video on how to use Blogger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnploFsS_tY

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/about
If you use Twitter then the best way to describe Tumblr is a blogger version for Twitter.  So instead of writing long blogs, you can easily just take pics, post quick quotes, one-liners etc. without having to write an essay.  It’s quick, convenient and less hassle (in the sense that you only need a smidgen of content).  Here’s an example of a Tumblr blog: http://www.davidslog.com/

WordPress: http://wordpress.com/
This is obviously the platform that I am using.  Probably one of the well known blogging platforms which allows you to have multiple blogs connected to one dashboard.  It’s easy to navigate and you can easily add pictures, links etc. bringing more to your blog.

Posterous: https://posterous.com/
This is one way of blogging which doesn’t require you to open a new account.  Everything is quite straight forward and uses email to post your blogs. This YouTube video tells us all about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6iYxbcGqNo&feature=related

Step 3: How often do you blog?
This is a common question and the great thing about this is that there is no limit to how often you blog.  If you like, you can upload content on a daily or even hourly basis, but realistically if you’re as busy as I am, it’s probably more realistic to update your blog on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Now how often you blog, does depend heavily on what  you blog about.  If you need to be seen to have an active input, then you need to blog at least once every two weeks.  Remember, the content that you update your blog with should be interesting and not boring, so in that sense, sometimes less is more.

Step 4: What are your objectives?
This goes hand-in-hand with step 3.  If you know what your objectives are, then you will know how little or often you need to update your posts.  You need to have a clear outline of what you are trying to achieve for which you can use the mnemonic SMART.  Therefore, your objectives will be:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

Step 5: How can you let people know about your blog?
After all the hard work, time and effort you have put into your blog, I’m assuming you would want someone to know and read about it?  So how can you let people know?  Easy – twitter, facebook, email, text, word of mouth – any and every way you can think of, let them know!

I think this covers all the areas that a newbie to blogging needs, but if there is anything else that I can add to this, please do let me know 🙂

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