Quite often, a blog is the cornerstone of any social media endeavor. Our tweets, our links, and our Facebook status usually leads right to the blog. With that said, your house better be in order when you invite people over. Here are 5 things that should be considered when developing your blog.
1. Define Your Blog
What is your blog about? Who is your target audience? Focus is key when you begin writing your blog. You can have a blog about sports. You can have a blog about geometry. But if you follow a post on Michael Jordan with one on the pythagorean theorem, you might lose your audience. Here at MichaelBertoldi.Net, you may find a post on copywriting as well as a motivational type of post like What Do You Do? However, they’ll always have a corp theme of marketing and achievement.
Pick a genre, if you will, and develop an identity for your blog.
2. Pick a Platform
Typepad, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger… There are many options when it comes to a blog platform. I started with blogger, moved to wordpress.com, and now host my own blog and use wordpress.org. While I’m grateful that I’ve had experience with various platforms, I’d advise learning from my experience and jump straight to WordPress.org. Get someone who can teach you how to obtain hosting space, install wordpress, and begin blogging under your own domain.
3. Select a Theme
Regardless of what platform you choose (wordpress.org) you’ll find theme upon theme ready to give your blog a worthy design. A suggestion from experience – be willing to pay. You can change your theme time and time again, but chances are you’ll get what you pay for. That’s not to say you can’t find a good theme for free. One of my favorite free themes is Jenny.
The best framework I’ve seen comes from Thesis (used here) and Genesis. You can also find nice themes at Woothemes and ThemeForest. In conclusion, just make sure your blog is presentable and professional.
4. Get Ahead, Write Now!
Start writing now! Even if your blog isn’t up yet, start writing. One of the most challenging principals to blogging is providing good content on a regular basis. Remember, content is king. Go ahead and use this opportunity to get in the habit of writing and writing often. It may be a good idea to have five or so posts ready to go when you launch your blog. Then, keep feeding it on a regular basis.
Once you’re ready to get going with your blog, you need to make sure it’s optimized. That means showing readers an obvious way to subscribe and contact you. It also means having SEO and social sharing tools in place. Plugins are a huge benefit to using wordpress and many of them will take care of these things for you. While I could write an entire post on which wordpress plugins you should use, that’s already been done. Check out this great post from Nicholas Cardot on the Best Plugins for WordPress as well as this post from Ricardo Bueno on 13 Must Have WordPress Plugins. Make sure you read the comments from both of those posts as they too contain some excellent ideas.
What about your experience in blogging? What blogging platforms have you tried? What did you end up sticking with? What are some other steps that I may have overlooked?
Photo by Annie Mole