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 - most effective but the most difficult to implement
  2. Join a blogging community, e.g. or - 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!

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Larry Brauner

The decisions you make and the actions you take before you set up your marketing blog are at least as important as the steps you take once your blog is up and running.

Proper planning can help you avoid many false starts and much backtracking.

Start by asking yourself basic marketing questions such as these:

  • How will you monetize your blog? For ideas refer to Blogs and Blogging for Fun and Profit.
  • What will you sell?
  • Which are your target markets?
  • Can you reach them through advertising? Offline business networking?
  • Can you connect with them at social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Direct Matches, Yuwie or Ryze? While you’re building credibility with the search engines, you can use online social networking and forums to enlist subscribers and readers for your blog.
  • What can you write about in your blog or what other content can you offer that will attract them?
  • Which keywords are they searching for that are relevant to your project?
  • Which keyword searches can you realistically compete for?
  • How will you position your products and brand yourself?

Asking these questions up front will make it possible to develop a coherent plan of action, and we will consider them in coming weeks.

You will need to choose a home for your blog, and that raises another key question.

Will you join a blogging community such as or — or will you host your blog independently? I explain in Creating a Home for Your Blog why serious bloggers usually prefer to host their sites independently, and later we’ll look at what that entails.

And you will also need to evaluate your marketing and technical skills. Where are you on the learning curve? What will it take to get up to speed? Will you require some amount of personal guidance to get off to the right start?

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