It seems a bit weird to blog about blogging, and to be honest there are loads of resources out there to help you improve your blog, and to get it "out there". I am so excited that at the moment there seem to be more blogs springing up than ever, and so many of these are showcasing the life of a premature baby, and I think that's exciting.
So, a blog post about blogging. I started my blog on Blogger for one simple reason. That is what my sister used, and as a regular reader I felt comfortable with Blogger. One of the main other options is Wordpress, which has enhanced functionality, and I think, a slightly better look to it. Some really clever people go self hosted, using either Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org which gives higher functionality again. I have considered it, but I like to spend my time blogging and supporting my blog through social networking, and haven't got the brainspace or technical expertise to do it myself. So I am quite happy plugging away as is, for now. I did look into hiring someone to help me set up, but the cost was prohibitive.
A lot of people ask, how do you promote your blog? Initially I didn't promote it much I just typed away, and put the odd post on Facebook. I also put the link on a couple of forums that I visit regularly. Eventually I joined Twitter, and started tweeting my posts. However just tweeting posts isn't enough, and I will talk a bit more about Twitter. I also joined Networked Blogs, which I think is very nifty, every time you post it publishes it to Facebook and Twitter without you having to lift a finger, which I find really useful. The bulk of my readers come to be from Networked Blogs.
I have learned, the exceedingly hard way, that it is important to label your posts, for two important reasons. Firstly readers can click on topics they are interested in and find related posts. Secondly, it enhances Google's ability to find you. I am quite proud that my Google hits have gone up since I painstakingly labelled posts I had neglected to do. So if your new to blogging, label. Don't put it off!
Twitter is a great blogging tool, but it is time consuming. Just putting your posts on there can help a bit but the best thing to do is to support that by reaching out and making friends, starting conversation and joining in. I've found a huge community of people on Twitter, and its a great way to get your message out there, and to keep it relevant to what people are talking about.
There are increasing ways to measure your online influence such as Peerindex and Klout. In addition regular readers will notice I have joined the Tots 100 and Wikio indexes. I did this for one reason, to track my own performance. I don't see blogging as a competition sport. I love to blog, but to be honest, one thing I miss about working, is being measured. It takes me by suprise as I hated being listened to and scored on calls at work, and appraisals leave me cold, but I wanted a way of measuring how I was doing as a blogger.
And, that's one of the reasons I use a few tools rather than one, they all have their limitations, and to be honest, at the end of the day, if my blog has helped one person to come to terms with the premature birth of their baby, then I am happy, and my job is done. The measures are just a bit of fun, and also to keep me accountable.
If your blogging already, what are your top tips? If you haven't blogged I hope I have inspired you to give it ago!