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!

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Larry Brauner

On a My Private Classroom private member conference call last week Diane Hochman reported a major downturn in the effectiveness of social media sites.

Diane pointed to social networking sites such as Facebook, micro-blogging sites such as Twitter and video sharing sites such as YouTube, but she inferred that all online social media were losing their edge.

Diane expressed concern that while top Web 2.0 and Internet marketing players like Mike Dillard and Frank Kern had successfully carved out huge niches and were earning millions, lower echelon marketers are hard pressed to compete with them, with the technical automate-everything gurus, and with the ever increasing online clutter of spammers and hackers.

Diane even went as far as to recommend that we focus on offline marketing.

I agree to some extent with Diane’s assessment. Certainly with most of the “low hanging fruit” gone and with the global recession in full force, a social marketing approach based on

  • free information and training
  • funded proposals
  • back end upsell
  • strong prospecting posture
  • amassing and leveraging a large quantity of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and YouTube videos

might not work as well as it did in the past and is probably not the best way to go. People are ultra-careful today about parting with money.

However, I do not believe than social media marketing is losing its edge.

Going forward social marketing will depend more upon investing long term in our relationships with the people we meet through online social networking and creative use of websites and a variety of social media.

We’ll adopt a go-giver posture, thinking about solving problems and giving more than we take, as much as we think about prospecting and the bottom line.

We’ll also rely on written content and SEO as much as we rely on social media and online social networking strategy.

And, just as Diane Hochman recommends, we’ll network and market offline too. We’ll get more personal with people.

We’ll be all around networkers and marketers… and fine compassionate human beings.

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Larry BraunerBusiness Week in their June 2, 2008 cover story, Beyond Blogs, confessed that three years earlier when they wrote, Blogs Will Change Your Business, they completely missed the larger Web 2.0 social media trend that was emerging.

Business Networking Sites

While blogs have indeed transformed business, politics and publishing, online social networking at social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Linked In have impacted an even greater cross-section of businesses and people.

Many businesses have created their own in-house social networking sites to encourage and support staff collaboration.

Social Media Sites

YouTube, a site where regular people post their videos, has challenged the dominance of television in the entertainment and news industries.

Wikipedia, an encyclopedia developed and maintained by users, and wikis in general, have revolutionized the way people work together and share information.

Twitter, a micro-blogging site, lets people and businesses communicate in 140-character chunks called “tweets”.

Read the full article to better understand social media’s impact on marketing, management and collaboration in business today.

Time’s 2006 Person of the Year

One footnote: Time Magazine in their December 2006 cover story, Time’s Person of the Year: You, communicates the full impact and significance of our collective online collaboration called Web 2.0.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about me and my social media and web marketing services.

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Larry Brauner

My Private Classroom for Marketers

For the past two years I have been showing people how to use social networking sites to make new friends and build their permission based marketing lists. Some of my conference calls are recorded and archived on my social media marketing training site.

I have helped many marketers to get started in online social networking and have received positive feedback from them.

In November I started blogging.

As I was optimizing my blog for the search engines, not only did I become interested in seo, I developed equal interest in social bookmarking and social media marketing. There are many hundreds of social media sites. Some of my favorites that include Digg, Qassia, StumbleUpon and Twitter are listed on my blog’s sidebar.

My Private ClassroomI mentioned one morning to my friend Tom Long that I was looking to learn more about social media sites. He suggested that I look into My Private Classroom for Marketers. I followed his advice and became part of My Private Classroom that very day.

My Private Classroom has scores of webinars every month on many different aspects of social media marketing. While most training is for members only, they also offer free social media training which you can read about in My Private Classroom Opens to Public.

What attracted me most to MPC however was their expertise and classes in video marketing. They teach members how to create and edit videos, as well as how to distribute and promote them through YouTube and other video sites.

I made my first video a couple of weeks ago which you can find in my post, Social Networking vs. Advertising. It’s a “quickie” video. There’s no actual video in the video.

In order to become a member of My Private Classroom’s advanced training and leadership program, I needed to join Leaders Club which sells leads, but I personally don’t use leads. I only wanted access to the classes that are free to My Private Classroom’s Leaders Club Team. I joined Leaders Club as a “Training Only” member, and that was my entrée into MPC’s leadership.

I attended about ten webinars since joining and enjoyed them all. The best ones for me were the ones about video. Another favorite was a live demonstration of MySpace networking.

I look forward to conducting webinars for My Private Classroom, perhaps as soon as May. I would like to teach about keywords and keyword research. Perhaps I will also teach about blogging and how to network online with other bloggers.

Several people have joined My Private Classroom through me, and I am personally mentoring them to help accelerate their learning.

New technology is changing the way we market every day, and I believe that leaders at My Private Classroom are acutely aware of this. They are doing an excellent job keeping abreast of the latest developments in the Web 2.0 social media platform and in mobile technology.

Don’t miss any posts. Register, it’s easy, or subscribe to my RSS feed!

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