(Note: This blog posting is an abbreviated written transcript form of the audio podcast)
WHAT IS A BLOG
- Blog is a Web Log; discussion or information published on the world wide web
- The entries are called post and are usually displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent
Who post blogs?
- Small Groups
- Larger groups; Multi- Author blogs
Blogs can combine any number of the following:
- Links to other social media and websites
- The ability to leave comments
- Commentaries on a subject (people can comment on your post)
- Can be used like a personal online diary
- Online brand advertising of an individual or a company
- To persuade, influence and made a difference (non-profits; politicians etc)
- To position yourself as a authority or expert on a particular subject matter
- Monetize; this can also go hand in hand with online brand advertising or an individual or a company
- Up to the minute connectivity with family, friends and associates on platforms such as the micro blogging site Twitter
- To have fun, fun, fun. I can’t think of any better way to have fun then to blog about the things that you love to do especially if it ties in with your gifts, talents, skills and abilities. Sites like Pinterest. You might not think that Pinterest is a blogging site but it is. When you see a pin or a picture of..let’s say a cake and then click on it, the pin will be expanded to give you a brief description of the cake and the recipe, my friends that’s creative blogging at its best.
- Can boost your social media following
If you have goods and services that you believe can benefit others then you really should have a blog. Even if you’re not selling anything and you are heralding a good cause in a not for profit venture then you should be talking about it on line and a blog is a great way to start.
Having a blog on your own website can boost your FaceBook and Twitter following. And if for some reason those sites take your profile off their site and ban your use, then where would your 20 million followers go? To your website blog that’s where.
What type of blog should you have
There are a lot of blog types and platforms to put them in. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). Micro blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts such as the post in Twitter. In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs.
In many cases for people who blog they either blog on a blogging website; their own webpage, Tumblr and/or twitter. Blogger; WordPress; Tumblr and Technorati are some of the main blogging platform with Twitter being the largest micro blogging platform to date.
If you are just getting started I would recommend Blogger because it is free and pretty easy to use. There are some people who believe that Blogger, which is owned by Google is on its way out but I think that it is still pretty viable and again it is free and easy to use. WordPress.org is the host that I use to post my blogs and at least in my opinion the very best. However it is important to note that I am using the WordPress.org open source platform and if you are just staring out you might want to start with WordPress.com because it is a little easier to use. More about this later.
What will you put on your blog?
This podcast is dedicated to assisting people with their online business and/or ministry and I believe that the only way for me to get the bulk of my information out to the public and my target audience I have to have some type of online presence; and blogging; at least in my opinion is one the primary platform that you should have in order to promote what you are about. The key is to communicate and engage with your readers. Offer information and help by supplying your readers with advice, news and any and everything that will help them get what they need. Listen to their feed back and try to accommodate them the best that you can.
Who do you want to read your blog?
Ideally you would want just about anyone who you thought would benefit from your service and products to read your blog. You really want to target those individuals who would benefit as it pertains to the specific niche and/or industry you are showcasing. For example; if you write books then you might want to try and feature post that would draw the people who would be interested in the books subject matter and also book reviewers. If yours is an instructional blog where you are teaching and giving great value then perhaps you can solicit students and other educators to read your blog. And of course you would definitely want all of your friends, relatives and neighbors to read your blog.
Should you monetize on your blog: advertise; affiliates; sponsors etc
There are a lot of people who monetize and make some decent money with their blogs. They allow for Ads to be placed on their pages and/or they attach affiliate links. Some people also have sponsors and offer great products of their own. So long as you don’t get to enamored with the idea of selling and making money on your blog and loose the true meaning as to why the blog exist; then I think that it is great idea to monetize your blog.
Just be sure to follow any rules that may coincide with the ads or affiliate links that you place.
How long should your blog be?
Years ago when blogs first began they were; on the average a lot longer than the blogs that you read today. My personal opinion is that you should write the length that you feel comfortable writing. There are some people who really like to write and they are especially good at it. However even though you might be good at writing you should only cover the topic at hand. You don’t want to lose the attention of the reader. I personally don’t like to write blogs because I don’t believe that my editing skills are all that they should be. I think that I have a lot to say however I would much rather say by way of podcasting which is why I have my podcast in conjunction with my blog.
I have several books by Seth Godin and love his style. The following is his bio in part as taken off his website
“Seth Godin is the author of 17 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo”. End Quote.
Now again this description of him is taken in part because there is more said about him but what I want you to see is at as amazing as his bio is and especially considering the fact that his is considered a great blogger…….guess what……… his blogs are usually only a few lines of text and he gets lots of traffic. That’s right, his blog post aren’t long at all. I was so relieved to see this because there was a time that I thought that the only way you could be considered a successful blogger is to have a lengthy blog post.
Remember that Twitter is also considered a micro blog and while this would and should not be considered your primary blog you can still tweet, sending out and receiving information in order to stay connected with your readers. Remember the idea here is not to spam but you want to genuinely offer and receive good information and comments. Another really nice micro-blogging platform is Tumblr and is worth checking out.
How often should you post
Some people blog once a week; some bi-weekly; some once a month. There are even those individuals that I call “super bloggers” who will post once or even more a day. Again I think that it largely depends upon your own personal style and whether or not you think your readers are more apt to read a daily; weekly or monthly post. Because I am doing a blog that runs in conjunction with my podcast I will post at least once a week or whenever I post a podcast because my blog will include show notes and other information discussed in the podcast. However; I also have the option to post a blog without having to upload a podcast, the choice is mine as it will also be up to you when you get started.
Thank God for automation. Nowadays there are apps such as buffer that you can setup to automatically release a post to your social media sites. If you are using WordPress.org; Squarespace and there are others; then you can set your post up be released on any given day or time.
DID YOU KNOW?
Here are some interesting stats courtesy of Wikipedia:
- On 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence
- On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide.
- According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today, however Blogger does not offer public statistics.
- Technorati has 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014