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Tips and Tools for Becoming a Blogger

In a previous article, we wrote about how a blog can improve your website’s standing, as well as the misconceptions about how blogs actually work.  But that piece was focused on people who already had blogs. Now, we’d like to give some tips and tools for those who are still thinking of starting one.

Define your purpose
The key point of the previous article on blogging was to steer readers away from  starting  a blog for the wrong reasons. Avoid making it a place for one-sided topics that no one could relate to “shameless plugs” or a press centre for updates on your business.

Think of blog articles as the start of conversations with others. That way, you won’t write anything too solemn or stuffy, and the objective is not only to impart your opinion on a subject, but to solicit the thoughts and opinions of others.

So before starting a blog, think of either things that interest you or things you want to know about. Once you’ve decided what the theme of your blog and the entries will be,  you’ll get more focus when you begin to write.

Find a Place to Park It

The second thing you’ll need to figure out is whether you’re starting a stand-alone blog or one that is part of your website.  If your blog is going to be part of a website, then it can be as easy as setting-up www.yourcompanyname.com/blog. But if you plan on  starting a stand-alone blog, then you’ll have to think of a really cool domain name and buy it (or you can opt for a free domain name such as www.yourname.blogname.com). In any case, you’ll need to come up with a name that is clever and may include your topic or have a keyword that is related somewhat to your topic.

Find a Platform that Suits You

While there are many blog services available, WordPress is by far the most popular and for good reason. Best to start with the industry-standard. It is easy to use and understand has flexibility so you can customize it to suit your needs and  it enjoys widespread support throughout the open-source community so you have a lot of sources for tips and advice.

Don’t Forget to Socialize
Lastly, don’t forget to interconnect, not only with your existing website, but to your Facebook and Twitter as well.  On Facebook, set up a Page specific to your blog. That way, you can install the free WordPress Facebook App, that enables you to synchronize your blog with your Facebook. Then, install the Twitter App on your Facebook, so that it syncs with your Facebook status messages.  What this will do is that every time you publish something on your blog, it immediately updates on both your Facebook and Twitter.

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