Someone once commented that it is blogs that are causing the internet to grow. This is probably true with well over 200 million blogs in the world and growing all the time.
Blogging is one of the best ways to build a personal or business brand. There are many reasons to blog. The evolution of business and technology is making writers of us all.
Everyone has something to say and everyone has something to contribute. You will be amazed to find that there are people in the world who share interests with you and would love to read what you have to say. Even if you don’t intend having a large audience writing and posting a blog is a way to get stories out of your head and into the world.
So you’re all fired up, how to do it?
This post of mine is not intended to be an exhaustive “how-to” but rather a gentle point in the direction to get you going.
The worlds two biggest and free blog sites are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. There are hundreds more but these are the most well known. Blogger is owned by Google and WordPress has a wonderful community which is a very good resource for help. So it pretty much comes down to preference.
Don’t get lost in technicalities or worrying that you might be doing it wrong. You’ll learn as you go. The good news is that even if you mess up, right now very few people are watching. Blogging builds on it’s own momentum. As Nike said in the 80s, Just Do It!
It’s a piece of cake to get started. For Blogger, go to www.blogger.com you will need a Google account if you don’t already have one. If not just follow the instructions to set one up. From there is couldn’t be easier. You’ll be presented with a detail or two to fill in and then click ‘next’. You’re on your way. The page you are now on is your “dashboard” and it from here that you will customise the look and feel of your blog. Keep it simple and start writing.
For wordpress go to wordpress.com and click the big orange button that says “Get Started”. Follow the instructions and you’ll be blogging in no time.
I’d be happy to help you with any specific concerns or questions so feel free to leave a question in the comments or email me at Ryan@Hogarth.co.za.
It’s been talked about for sometime and it’s here. Not dissimilar to “The Grid” (think Tron) but unfortunately far less 3D stimulating (for now).
When I first read of the concept somewhere around 2008 I thought it was a ridiculous premise given the cost and state of broadband in South Africa and I gave it little thought after that.
But like all grand concepts its takes over through a gradual erosion of fixed ideas. Just like online purchasing; just like social media.
This all came home to me in the last week. I will soon be purchasing the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 inch tablet. Its a beautiful device but I was more than a little miffed that it does not include an SD slot to extend the on board storage of 32 gigs. Will that be enough?
And then came the epiphany: Local (i.e. on your device) storage is becoming less important because we’re already in the cloud: Just about every picture I take goes to Facebook, Twitter and now Google+; every email I send and receive goes through and lives in the cloud; every blog I write is written and resident on the cloud; my notes, calendars, contacts and even documents are synchronized on every device through the cloud.
Why have it stored locally? It just doesn’t make sense anymore. Although still not to standard our broadband speeds are rising and costs falling so even that last cloud barrier of video and music will soon disappear. Within 36 months our lives will be firmly stored in the cloud and the majority of us will be none the wiser. Even today, most don’t consciously realise that their use of Facebook and Gmail means they’re firmly up in the clouds.
So 32 gigs will be plenty, thank you.
Now, if only Telkom will get back to me about installing my free broadband.
How much of your life is already clouded?
Content is the lifeblood of social media. That’s what makes it turn, makes it dynamic. We all know the feeling when we arrive at a blog site, or a Facebook page and see that there is nothing new. Even if we are a keen on the brand, it’s an immediate turn off.
Conversely, we all know what it’s like when we decide to follow a brand and are bombarded by too much of their info that doesn’t add value.
Or it’s a sad combination of both. A flurry of useless activity followed by…. nothing.
How to strike the balance?
There are two points that are critical to having success with your content:
1. Observe what kind of content is consumed in your industry. Use available tools like Social Mention. You’ll soon learn what your customers want to see.
2. Have a roll out plan and strategy for your social media content. Don’t just throw up a page or open a Twitter account and then stress every day about what you’re going to put up.
You will find that you have a lot of content that could be valuable. Do you have training videos? What about articles you may have written for trade publications in the past? Are there incentive programmes that can be put out for your customers? All of these and much more is content that you can put out on various social media channels. Here are some ideas:
- Put up videos on Youtube, whether these are videos of campaigns you’ve run or training videos. Use Facebook and Twitter to let your follows know they are there.
- Dig out your old press releases and turn these into longer articles on your blog site. Obviously only such that are still relevant
- Photographs of your team in action or from past events or current events. Get these up on your Facebook page or Flickr account. Again promote these through Twitter, Facebook and other channels.
- Get your customers involved – if you’re planning a new product or a launch or something similar, run a competition that will elicit their ideas for the new name, or where you should have your launch. Nothing gets consumer participation like an incentive!
- And, of course, produce fresh content relevant to your industry – plan what you can do to generate this content.
These are just some ideas – once you’ve observed your industry you’ll come up with great ideas. Work out what you will do for content over the coming months. In this way you won’t find yourself frantically sitting in your office wandering what you can get out there.
What other ideas for content are there? Let me know.