Five Ways To Get Your Blog Up And Running!

blogging-tipsIf you are like me, writing may not be your first love. I am a storyteller, but I’m much more comfortable with the spoken word than the written. Like me, you may have a lot to say but organizing your thoughts and putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards may not come naturally. You may be worried that no one will be interested in your point of view. I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. We all have a voice and a story to tell. It’s not always easy to make time to blog, but the effort pays by growing your online community, setting yourself up as an expert in your field and sharing your vision and brand in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and can take clients or customers from prospects to actual business revenue generators.

I blogged for twenty-one days straight as part of my 21 Day Dream Big Challenge. I started blogging on April 4 and posted every single day, without missing a beat for twenty-one days. The goal of the challenge was to encourage readers to dream BIG and to get into the habit of focusing on their greatest desires and aspirations. Scientists say it takes twenty-one days to build a habit. We were on a journey to build a habit of dreaming big and living out loud. Little did I know that not only was I building a habit of dreaming big, I was also building a habit of blogging. After blogging every day for twenty-one days, I discovered a few things.

Here are five tips that will take the fear and anxiety out of blogging to get you on your way to telling your story and sharing your point of view.

  1. Blog Post Platforms: I use WordPress as my blogging platform of choice. I think WP is easy to use and very intuitive. For many people, WP is a bit intimidating. If you’re not worried about analytics or SEO (if you have to ask what SEO is then you probably aren’t worried one bit) there are plenty of user-friendly blogging platforms from Tumblr to Blogger that are an easy 1-2 process. If you are worried about analytics and SEO, I suggest you blog from your website and push the content out from there to your other social networking sites. This will help drive traffic to your website and, in addition, your blog will help establish you as an authority in your industry. It can also help you build your network with potential clients. Plus, I think it is a good idea to curate your content in a hub that you own. I have two blogs. One blog that lives on my website that is strictly business related and one blog that caters to my geeky, techie, lifestyle connoisseur interests. I often cross promote posts across both blog platforms when appropriate.
  2. Blog Post Length: People often think they have to write the next great American novel when they are blogging. Some people may tell you this is necessary. I would beg to differ. When you are doing a blog post, you don’t have to write a long novel. You have to write an interesting post. In fact, if the information resonates with the reader, shorter is often better. Regardless of the length, I alway cross promote my blog post across my various social networking sites. I may also share a blog several times throughout the month or share an archived article when I haven’t had time to write an original post. When I do this, I change-up the title in an effort to attract new interest. Speaking of blog titles…
  3. What To Name Your Post: The catcher the blog title, the more likely someone will click on your post. But, be mindful of how that title will translate if you have your blog set up to post to across multiple platforms. “Get Your Sexy On In Five Easy Steps” may work for Facebook or Twitter. You’ve told the reader what the subject is and what they will be learning. However, that may not be what you want to post to LinkedIn or Google Plus. A title on those sites may read, “From The Office To Evening in Five Easy Steps.” Get it?
  4. Double-check Spelling: If you are like me, grammar isn’t your strongest attribute. Look, I do many things well. I cook, I teach aerobics, I cycle all over the city and I’m one heck of a producer and storyteller. But spelling and grammar? Yeah, I think I was absent the entire time they taught that in elementary school. If you can’t afford an editor (I use one for professional documents and presentations) then use a service like Grammarly to help you edit your copy. I’m using it now. That said, don’t send me your editorial notes on all the things that need correction in this blog post. Send your notes directly to Grammarly. They are the ones acting as my editor at the moment. On a serious note, remember, these sites that have been set up to help us write mistake-free will check for grammar and misspellings. They often cannot determine context.
  5. Writers Block – Write about what you love and you’ll never get stuck on what to write about. OK, that’s not entirely true. But, as a rule, if you are blogging about things that interest you, what you are writing about should come naturally.

Once the twenty-one-day challenge ended, I was both relieved and saddened. The pressure was off to not have to write every day. But, I soon missed my morning blogging ritual. Currently, I have committed myself to blogging at least once a week or twice when I have time. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

Need help getting started with your blog? I can help you develop a strategic content management strategy that will be the most effective way to use your blog to generate leads that turn into revenue. Together we can start telling your story in a way that will elevate your brand and generate revenue. Fill out the contact form below and let’s get started.

Your End of Week Social and Digital Media News

InsertITWorld: How Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google compare on user privacy – Nearly three-quarters of people with access to the Internet use social networking sites, a number that has skyrocketed since early 2005, according to the Pew Research Center. As social networks continue to permeate our everyday lives, so do the privacy and security risks associated with our accounts. Here’s a look at how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ stack up on user privacy and security settings, plus instructions for finding and updating these options to maintain control over your account. [ED NOTE: If you haven’t done a Facebook Privacy Checkup, click here to get started TODAY!]

Re/code: Periscope Added a Million Users in Its First 10 Days – Buried amidst the chaos that was Twitter earnings this afternoon was a small nugget on the popularity of the company’s new live streaming app, Periscope. CEO Dick Costolo said on the earnings call that Periscope added a million new users in the app’s first 10 days on the market. It’s a relatively impressive number considering competitor Meerkat was at 120,000 users three weeks after it launched. (Periscope, of course, benefitted from the buzz Meerkat generated and also the fact that it had a well-known owner to help push the news.) It’s unclear if Periscope was able to sustain that growth — when pressed for more metrics on the app and its user base, Costolo declined to share anything. Periscope launched in late March after Twitter acquired it back in January. The app is still not yet available to Android users.

NewsCred: How Brands Marketers Can Grow Their YouTube Audience – In the brand space, the leaders are Disney and Samsung, which have nearly three billion and one billion views on their channels, respectively. Not surprisingly, one of the top B2B channels is Google Analytics; it has over 11 million views and 113,000 subscribers. Once you hit your stride like these creators and channels, you can foster brand loyalty, close leads, and provide content to the people who matter the most to your company: your customers. NewsCred spoke with two huge YouTube channels, Rooster Teeth and WatchMojo, about what they did to achieve a high subscriber count, billions of views, and a dedicated audience.

MarketingProfs: Bye-Bye to These 10 Web Design Trends – When technology is ever evolving, change is the only constant. Take, for instance, the realm of Web design. Design trends come and go. Some may only breeze by while others last longer. Either way, design trends come into being and fade because of changes in technology and user demands and expectations. As long as human beings desire improvement and expect more, design trends will continually evolve. And we need to learn to adapt accordingly. Often, that means saying goodbye to design trends that are no longer working. So here are 10 Web design trends that are among the fading; you should ditch them if you want to keep with the competition and increasingly demanding audiences. [ED NOTE: Must read]

The Biggest Brands on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter)

If I had to pick only three social media tools that I could use it would be Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare… in that order… at the moment. Now read how corporations are positioning their brand with the there social networking powerhouses.

Amplify’d from www.readwriteweb.com

foursquare_logo_mar09.pngThe social media brand tracking site Fan Page List today expanded its directory of official corporate social media pages to include brand profiles on Foursquare, the leading location-based social network.

There are 132 “brands” with at least one Foursquare follower in the directory. Number one is Zagat, which publishes restaurant guides for major cities based on a large customer survey, with more than 51,000 friends.

Location-based social networking is a prime space for brands, who can grab advertise to users more immediately than ever before. Last month, we explained how Foursquare partnerships with brands are like layers of data that brand fans can opt-in to seeing as they navigate around their towns.

Television is dominating the top ten on Fan Page List’s leaderboard, with the History Channel, MTV, VH1, and TLC occupying the number three, number four, number six, and number nine spots.

Zagat’s popularity makes sense because people use Foursquare to get tips on where to eat and what to order. Television, despite being location-agnostic, is still fun to talk about – just check Twitter’s trending topics when American Idol is on.

Location-based social networks also hold a lot of possibilities for media like the Wall Street Journal, which has experimented with pushing hard news tips based on users’ locations. The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, CNN and New York Magazine all made it into the top 20.

Just because we know you want to know, the number one brand on Facebook is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Games. Number two? Michael Jackson. On Twitter, Britney Spears is number one, surpassing Ashton Kutcher at number two.

Foursquare is still much smaller than Facebook and Twitter – the top brands on those sites have 440 times and 100 times as many followers as the top brands on Foursquare.

Foursquare had 1.8 million users at the end of June, and the company says it is adding 100,000 users a day. Between its growing popularity and the advertising possibilities for brands that know where there customers are, we expect to see more brands jumping into the pool.

Top Five Brands on Foursquare:

    1. Zagat Survey – 51,056 friends
    Posts restaurant reviews and specials.

    2. Bravo – 48,659 friends
    Posts venue reviews from cast and crew of the network’s TV shows like Top Chef and Millionaire Matchmaker.

    3. History Channel – 45,261 friends
    Posts cool historical information about locations around the U.S.

    4. MTV 39,489 friends
    Posts tips on where to go in order to act like a dignified, intelligent adult like the stars of Real World and Jersey Shore.

    5. Bastard Jeans 33,608 friends
    Bastard Jeans has a standard User account, not a formal brand account, so its Tips can’t be viewed outside of L.A.

    Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

    Brand Marketing Firm Involver Launches ‘AMP’ Social Media Dashboard

    1K a month is a little steep for my client but hey… if it works for some folks…

    Amplify’d from techcrunch.com

    Involver, a company that helps both brands and smaller businesses manage their presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other online portals, has launched a new dashboard they’re calling AMP. The dashboard allows brands to aggregate all of their inbound tweets, Facebook comments, and other messages on a single site, and it isn’t just for monitoring incoming content — you can also respond to messages directly from the page.

    Involver was founded in 2007 and boasts some big brands as clients, including Warner Brothers, American Apparel, Facebook, and Alicia Keys. They’re also touting some big stats: in terms of clients, they have 80,000 brands/agencies and 200 million ‘Like’ relationships on Facebook (at least, their clients do). That includes plenty of dupes (people who have Liked more than one brand that uses Involver), and some of these brands are probably only using an app or two, but it’s definitely impressive. Involver has spent the last year and a half building out its suite of applications, like Signup Forms and a music player for Facebook, and the AMP dashboard is being offered in addition to those.

    Read more at techcrunch.com