Larry Brauner

It’s simpler to start a blog than most people think. You do not need to pay for a fancy course nor buy some hyped-up e-book, so put away that credit card.

If I were to say that getting to the top of Technorati or Alexa is difficult, that would possibly be the understatement of 2009. However, believe-it-or-not, jumping in and getting your feet wet blogging will be easier than you imagine once you’ve completed this little article.

A new blogger faces two main types of challenges:

  1. Technical - how to start a blog
  2. Content - what to put on a blog

How to Start a Blog

There are three basic ways to start a blog:

  1. Start a customized stand-alone blog on web hosting that you lease from a provider such as Go Daddy or 1&1 Internet using software from Wordpress.org - most effective but the most difficult to implement
  2. Join a blogging community, e.g. Blogger.com or Wordpress.com - most popular and moderately easy to implement
  3. Join an online social networking community on Ning such as these two of mine, Beyond Business Coaching and Let’s Follow Each Other, and begin blogging immediately - least effective but adequate for beginners and very easy to implement

There are clearly trade-offs, but choose an option that enables you to start your blog right away. Remember what I learned from Mike Litman, “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.

If you strongly desire a customized stand-alone blog but don’t have the technical skills to set it up and maintain it yourself, help is always available.

Content Development

Developing good content isn’t easy. I suggested in Social Marketing for Non-Gurus that you could create videos instead of writing text, but perhaps creating a video isn’t a viable solution for you.

Here’s an idea: Why not use somebody else’s video?

Not only is it totally legit, it helps the video’s creator to promote it — a win for both of you.

Find a video in YouTube that interests you and copy and paste the cryptic piece of code that YouTube provides directly into your blog. Give your blog post a title. Write a very short explanation. Add a few tags to classify your post and publish it.

You’re finished! Wasn’t that easy?

Here’s another idea.

One of my favorite blogs is Who’s Blogging What, “a newsletter that keeps thousands of web marketing professionals informed, connected and productive.”

What do they do?

They digest and summarize other people’s posts.

What if you find one article at a time and critique that article on your blog? It’s done all the time, and you’ve probably seen it done more than once.

You Are a Blogger

I’ve removed the obstacles. You’re ready. You now have choices how to start a blog, so one way or another you’re going to start a blog. Right?

Learn and improve as you go, just as I have. And please… Have a blast!

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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Short Version of My Story

Today I tell some of my own story and share some of my own social media strategy.

This article is about an idea that was planted in my head and how I nurtured that idea. The article is slightly longer than usual, so please hang in there with me.

Creative problem solving has been a forte of mine since my teen years as a math whiz and chess champion. Once I began employment, I applied my problem solving capabilities to helping companies improve their business processes and getting a better handle on many different types of business and scientific data.

Thirty years into my career I learned about the social media and Web 2.0 revolution from Time Magazine’s BIG December 2006 cover story, Time’s Person of the Year: You. I saw that, while I could no longer be one of the earliest adopters of social media, it wasn’t at all too late to position myself near the forefront of this enormous trend.

I had previously experienced and benefited to a small degree from online social networking and social networking sites such as Ryze and Direct Matches, but the Time article opened my eyes to possibilities greater than I’d previously imagined. I decided in January 2007, after reading the Time article, to master social media and to watch and see where that mastery would lead me.

Online Social Networking

Rather than try to master all social media at one time, I instead focused only on online networking and developed a first version of my online social networking strategy. These early conclusions, I based on my observations at MySpace, Direct Matches and Yuwie, social websites I have since rejected.

By September 2007, I was contemplating my next step.

Blogging and SEO

At MySpace and Yuwie I experimented with blogging. The next step was to start an independent blog, and I chose Wordpress.org as my platform in connection with web hosting at Go Daddy.

Before launching my Online Social Networking blog I spent months reading about blogging and search engine optimization, as well as conducting keyword research. The time invested paid off. I got started right, and keyword research become an important skill for me, as well.

I began blogging in November 2007 and devoted a year to learning how to write, promote and optimize my online publication. By October 2008 I no longer viewed myself as a novice blogger.

At present Online Social Networking has more than 350 Feedburner subscribers, receives 2,000+ search visits per month, and is ranked by Alexa in the top 100,000 websites.

Ning Social Networks and Twitter

First Ning networks and then Twitter captured my attention. These two social media platforms are powerful and growing rapidly in popularity.

Just as I’d done with my online social networking strategy, search engine optimization and blogging, I set out to master Ning and Twitter, writing articles on each that have since been read many times and featured by top news sites.

@larrybrauner on Twitter has 20,000+ followers, and thousands of users have already visited my blog.

“One Bite at a Time” Works

The key to my progress is internal motivation coupled with focus.

Rather than go off in too many directions and spread myself thin, I’ve applied the 80/20 Rule, taking one bite at a time out of the social media giant. This strategy has worked well for me and will work well for others too.

It’s March 2009. What will my next bite be?

FacebookStay tuned, but Facebook is at the top of my social marketing list, and along the way, I’m building my social media brand, helping clients, and looking for new ones.

We’ve now reached the point in the article where you subscribe to my blog and join my Facebook business page. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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Larry BraunerThanks to my friends Tom Long and Tim Draayer and to my hosting company Go Daddy for the support and advice that led to the creation of this, my first WordPress blog.

Tom Long and I have known each other since 2001. We marketed Excel Communications together for three years.

And thanks in advance to all of you who will come to share this endeavor with me.

Don’t miss any posts. Subscribe to my RSS feed! You can even subscribe by e-mail.

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