Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unpacking 15 resources and reasons to blog

Blogging's well past 10 years as a trend in social media, yet I meet writers, executives and communicators every month who are just beginning to figure out how, when and whether to put this versatile tool to use.  The good news: Blogs offer more features, tools and opportunities than ever before. Here's a sampling of the latest trends and choices I'm reading about for bloggers of all kinds:
  • Wondering whether to stay strictly professional on a blog?  Read this great post, "This time, it's personal," from Problogger.com (a blog you should read if you're attempting a blog).  And here's a great blog on higher education marketing by Andrew Careaga that occasionally throws in music, a personal interest.  Readers actually want to know more about you. Try it.
  • Looking for bloggers as part of your PR plan?  This Mashable guest post provides lots of links, case studies and perspective. If nothing else, do as it suggests and check out Alltop.com, where you can see all the blogs on one topic aggregated together--a great timesaver.
  • Think your audience can't handle social media?  This sweet, smart post from Dave's Whiteboard describes how he created a private blog--yes, that's possible--for his elderly parents as a workaround because they found email difficult (attachments, files, etc.).  They've shared photos, notes, updates--and have racked up 1,000 posts in this way. The ease of use in blogging is what you should focus on here. If you've got an audience that isn't eager to dip its toes into Facebook or Twitter, perhaps this approach to a private, closed blog will do the trick for collaborations, community sharing and more.  It's a great option for committees, management teams, boards and others who need closed conversations and information sharing.
  • Wondering how to make money from your blog?  Here's one post with 10 tips for monetizing your blog, another on turning a blog into a book.  Remember that while you may not be paid directly, blogs can stand as rich source material about you, and help potential clients understand why they should hire you.
  • Want to blog, but are better at email? Posterous.com is your tool--a site where all you need to do is email your post (including video, pictures, etc.) and they'll do the rest.  Posterous has been on fire, adding new features left and right, of late. Some of them include polls, an upgraded post editor when you want to post from the web, page breaks for posts, a domain registration service so you can get your custom URL right there, the new Facebook "like" buttons for your blog, and a mobile version so your blog looks and works better on mobile devices.

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