An episode explaining how to use a blog to its maximum potential in a method to allow you to converse about your New Year's Resolution, thoughts, opinions, experiences and more.
Episode #4-16 released on January 5, 2014
Every coming of the year we make new years resolutions. Every year we fight to follow through with our new years resolutions, but most of us can hardly make it work, or have difficulty. Is there a solution? Yes, it is called a blog. Blogs allow us to express ourselves, our beliefs, our identities, and so much more, but more importantly, it allows us to create a community around a singular ideal, yours, and those with like minded ideals. Having a blog may allow you to keep track of your progress, and allow others with similar issues a place to help you out, and for you to help them out.
Now, some of you may wonder what a blog is, and I am there to help. A blog is anything where you express your own experiences, ideas, comments, ask questions, etc... It can be all text, it can be audio, it can be video, it can also be through photos, or a combination of all of these I just named. You should express yourself in a medium that you feel most comfortable, and don't be afraid to appear amateurish, many people are just starting their own blogs and, also, have no idea how to proceed. I am, however, going to help you with the very basics of what you need to know to get started, and the potential future of your blog, as well.
First, how are you going to start this blog?
We need to understand a few things about blogs, it should be customizable, portable, and user friendly, at the very least. You may want the option to generate revenue from your blog, too. For most users, it should, also, be free.
Where should you start?
Let's figure out what you are most comfortable with. Do you want to write out text, take self photos of your day, record audio blogs, or do you want to do a video blog?
If you are interested in writing out your thoughts, I'd suggest that you start with Blogger and Wordpress. These two services offer free accounts that allow anyone to easily have their own blog on the internet. Easy to use, and very little to modify, open account, select a theme, and start writing out your thoughts.
If you are interested in taking a photo blog, you have access to Instagram, and Tumblr. Both services are easy to use, have mobile applications for virtually all important mobile platforms, and are free.
If you are interested in recording your own thoughts, we will be talking about a possible podcast. I suggest you use Wordpress with the podcast widget. You can use audacity, which is free, to record your thoughts, and edit out mistakes, if you wish.
If you are interested in a video blog, Youtube is the best response you will hear, but nothing is stopping you from, also, using Blip.tv, or Wordpress with a podcast plugin and adding yourself to iTunes. For those wondering, you can use Youtube to record via webcam, or use your mobile phone to record yourself using the Youtube application.
All of these solutions have the benefit of being free, or almost free.
Now, where should you setup your blog?
Are you ready to spend a little cash on your blog? If no, then use the services I just named. You can always change your mind later. If you are willing to spend a little cash now, you can get yourself some hosting solutions to allow you to host your own blog, and link to other places you post to online in the future. Hosting your own blog means you can, also, enable the possibility to monetize your blog in the future.
Why would you want to monetize your blog?
You start off your blog talking about yourself, and this is great. You allow yourself to attain your goals, and your growing community is interested, and willing to help you. Hosting your own web-site doesn't have to be expensive, but you can make a little pocket change from it, too. A well placed banner is both profitable, and less annoying. You may not be rich from your blog, but then again, maybe this is your future shot at journalism.
Now, one last detail, syndication. What is syndication, and should you care?
We normally use RSS for syndication, and that is a cool, and easy way of allowing your content to be viewed remotely by your followers. Built correctly, you can allow your audience an easy way of finding out you have new articles, photos, audio, and video. You can provide a small sample or short story, and for those interested, they can go to your web-site for your blog. This means, yes, it allows for you to publish your content all over the internet, and act as a beacon, for which the interested followers will come to your web-site to interact with you. If you monetize your web-site, it also means that you can benefit from the traffic in a positive way.
And, my last suggestion for your future blogging experience, be truthful, and forthcoming. The more honest you are with your blog, and therefore, your audience, the more you will get out of your blog.
Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions