Jan 30, 2008

Getting Started With Blogs

Thinking about starting up a blog for your business?

P.J. Fusco, over at the Clickz network, offers up Five Getting-Started Blog Questions.

I’ve always felt blogs and email newsletters go hand in hand. I post full articles on our blog, then write snippets in my newsletters that point back to those articles. It’s easy, and it’s great for search engines.

It took me a while to figure this blogging stuff out, so I thought I’d post a few tips of my own to any small business owner thinking about entering the exciting, fast-paced world of blogging…

Back in 2004, I didn’t want to bug our programmers to setup a blog for me. Besides, I had no idea if a blog would even help us. So I started up a TypePad account. It was external from our website (which didn’t help me in the SEO department) but it was cheap, easy, and it worked. It took me 2 years to "get into the groove" of blogging, and build up a significant amount of traffic. The traffic got some good attention for our company. More importantly, it built up great connections with other people in the email industry. Anyway, we just recently moved our blog from TypePad over to our own website, using WordPress. I absolutely love WordPress, and highly recommend it. My tips for people thinking about starting up a blog:

  1. Throw your hat over the fence, and just get started with TypePad. Do it now. Later, you may want to migrate your content to your own website. It’s not that hard, so don’t let that slow you down.
  2. Set expectations really low. Takes a long time to get into the groove of blogging.
  3. Keep posts fairly quick and "lite." Writing 5 page essays will lead to burnout fast. You can do a few of those later, when you actually have readers.
  4. If all else fails, just write stuff with bulletpoints. Like I’m doing right now.
  5. Be opinionated (which can be funny, or serious, or technical). Just show us your personality.
  6. Make friends with other bloggers.
  7. Use it in conjunction with email marketing (hey, I had to throw that in) because it makes you blog and send newsletters together. Like peanut butter and chocolate!

Hope that’s helpful.