Blogging Basics for Beginners

I started blogging for OpenMindWorks a little over a year ago, so I don’t consider myself an expert – a word I shy away from to begin with.  With that said, however, I have learned some tips and tricks along the way.  Earlier this week, I delivered a presentation on personal branding and more specifically – on marketing your brand using social media – with Dawn Penfold of MeetingJobs during PCMA’s Convening Leaders convention in Orlando.  Many folks read blogs, but haven’t authored a blog themselves.

Here are some tips from the presentation to help you get started:

1)             Why Blog?
Bloggers are motivated by a variety of factors.  I like to write, so blogging became an easy and enjoyable extension of my business.  Blogs are frequently used to position the author as an expert in a particular field or to convey information – as I do here on social media.  Bloggers also publish via the Internet to increase their search engine rankings.  Blogging is a great way to network and to share ideas with people who are interested in your topic.

2)             Anatomy of a Blog
One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “How often should I blog?”  The answer depends on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve with your blog.  I blog at least once a week and often twice a week.  Blogs should be rich in keywords so that people who are interested in your topic can find you.  Aim for 400 words or less:  you’re not writing War and Peace here.  Titles should be on the shorter side as well.

3)             Tools To Help You Blog
WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous, among others, all offer free blogging microsites.  Follow blogs from other writers and take note of which platform they’re using.

4)             And If You Don’t Want To Blog…..
If you choose not to launch a blog for whatever reason, you can still get on the blogging bus by responding to blogs authored by others or even write a guest entry on someone else’s blog.  If you’re interested in writing a guest blog here, please contact Lesley Kyle to pitch your topic!

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