Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Blogging 100

Blogging 100 is the first of a series expanding logically upon notes I have used to present at prior unconferences, most recently at PodCamp WesternMass 2.

I adapt the delivery of this depending upon the audience needs and questions that they have as we begin the session together.

If you have questions on any of the details (or lack thereof, please let me know).

Step 1
Let's start with the first question you must answer before you begin to blog. That is: Why blog?
Think about how you would answer that. You don't have to have a complete answer immediately. Start writing your thoughts down.

Sometimes it helps to expand upon the question, a la "twenty questions" continually asking Why?
Sometime the question focus needs to change just a little bit.

What is your message?
What are you trying to say?

What is your goal?
What do you want to accomplish by blogging?

Who is your audience?
Who do you want to talk with?

Think about these questions before you create your blog
The answers could help set your direction on which way to proceed

Step 2
Assuming you do have some idea to answer these questions, then the next step would be to start building your network.
How would you do this? Find blogs that interest you

You can find blogs by searching for your key word or topic
Find one, and read. See what they have to say, how often they post, be very observant!

Set up an RSS Reader for yourself.
Subscribe to this blog via RSS

Follow links from the one blog to others
who do they link to, who do they reference
If you like what you see and read, subscribe to them also

Over time you want to take the next step and join the conversation by leaving a comment
If you are reluctant to start that way, begin with an email to the author
This begins the conversation

By now you should have a better idea on how to answer the question: Why blog?
You should have more exposure to blogs within your target area and some outside that area
You should be reading blogs or at least have read some blogs that interest you
You should have begun to comment on those blogs, or at least send an email to the blogger
This generates the conversation

Your observation should also have brought to light good and bad "blogger behavior" and possible led to your concept of "netiquette"
You can find many entries on this topic. Here is one -> http://www.albion.com/netiquette/

How long will this take?
How much time do you have to spend on it?
To begin, I would recommend setting aside at least an hour several days a week.
After a couple of weeks, you may feel ready. For some others, it may take longer.
At some point further research and analysis won't bring added value. You just need to do it.
It is time to get started.

You have completed Blogging 100, we'll pick up the next steps in Blogging 101

Additional resources for Blogging 100