Archive for September, 2010

4 Reasons to Start Your Own Blog

September 21, 2010

This post is focused on why an individual may want to start a blog. I will follow with another post on why a company may want to start a blog. The comparison is pretty interesting.

Reason 1: Learn a new skill

The first reason to start a new blog is that you will learn a ton in the process of doing it. Today those learnings are quite valuable. The world of online communities and opinion sharing have become a new way of life. A way to make connections, become educated and make decisions. Blogging has become a valued skill in the professional world and building your skills with a personal blog is a good place to start.

Reason 2: It’s easy to get started

There are many popular blog platforms. Two that I recommend are WordPress and Blogger (now owned by Google.) Both are free and both can be up and running within an hour or so. For some valuable advice on blog platforms check this post by Problogger.

Reason 3: It focuses your thoughts

The third reason to start a blog is that it forces you to take time to bring your thoughts together in a cohesive manner. In today’s frenzied world, having some disciplined time for focusing our thoughts is a win-win, and another reason to start blogging.

Reason 4: Shares your personality with the world

The fourth reason to start a blog is that your blog becomes a centerpiece for sharing your personality and point of view with the world. Sure, you can do this on Twitter in small bites of 140 characters, or you can do it on Facebook, but this is often only shared with people who you personally know. By comparison, a blog enables you to to share your point of view with the world as robustly or succinctly as you would like, and you will be exposed to people you otherwise don’t know and may never meet.

Extra/Bonus Reason: It’s not hard to decide what to write about

Don’t overthink what your blog should focus on. You can write about work or a professional topic or you can write about a personal topic – your family, a hobby, etc. A friend of mine is living through a medical emergency right now and her blog is one that I visit most frequently. It’s personal, it’s filled with her personality and it comes from her heart. Perfect ingredients for a compelling blog.

In conclusion my advice is don’t overthink it. Get with the program and join the blogosphere!

A Little Social Media Help

September 3, 2010

I have been so woefully absent from blogging. My apologies. For those of you who keep coming back for more, here is a quick but helpful post relating to social media.

The nice people at Constant Contact just published two new resources on social media. These resources are designed for small businesses and small non-profits, but honestly, the info contained in here is helpful for businesses of all sizes.

Social Media Marketing Glossary: Includes definitions for about 80 different social media terms, in many cases grouped by the site they are tied to (i.e., you’ll find “Mayor” under “Foursquare,” “Hashtag” under “Twitter,” and “Like” under “Facebook”)

Get Started Building Your Social Media Presence: This guide offfers actionable advice for businesses using 14 popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, etc.) It is organized by type of site and explains what each one is, why it’s useful, and has tips for using it effectively.

Happy reading. And I promise to be back soon. Or at least sooner than 10 months…..