There's nothing like blogging about something to get it clearer in your mind.
Now that we've convinced ourselves (and hopefully you too!) of the merits of writing a blog series, branding posts and creating a product that's going to have a long shelf-life Claire and I couldn't wait to launch our new mega-series.
It's called Practical Tips For Business Bloggers... and yes, it'll do just what it says on the tin :-)
UPDATE: 06/06/08 - Episodes to date include:
Intro: Showing off Your Content
Part 1: Should I Have A Welcome Post On My Blog?
Part 2: Use Bold And Bullets To Break Up Your Posts
Part 3: Break Up Your Posts With Quotes
Part 4: One Simple Programme That Can Save You Blogging Time
Part 5: "Continue Reading" With Style
Part 6: How Do I Format Links?
Part 7: How A Footer Helps You Blog for Business
The series is aimed at business bloggers who:
- are just getting started
- have been blogging for a while, but always wondered how to (x, y or z...)
- are always looking for ways to improve their blog
And if that sounds like you, read on.
The aim of the series is to help you to:
- pick up tips
- get new ideas
- pass on your own tips and suggestions
- ask questions
- improve your blog
- refresh your skills
- build your confidence as a business blogger
We're pretty sure there'll be something here for everyone, because one of the things Claire and I have learned from blogging is that you can always learn something new, pick up a tip, change the way that you do things, ditch stuff that isn't working any more, copy what's worked for someone else.
We're also working from the starting point that there's no one right way to do things. We've got different approaches (and points of difference!) on quite a lot of the topics we'll be covering, and only one or two that we'd categorise as definite "no-nos" or absolute "must haves".
So we won't be telling you things that you 'should' do (we are coaches after all...) but showing you how you can do things that you might have seen working elsewhere, that will help you show off your work, make your blogging life easier, and, of course, support your business goals.
The posts will be short and simple. We're not talking long explanations or detailed tutorials here, though we will show you the way to resources that will help you if you need it. As you'd expect there'll be a Typepad focus (it's such a popular platform for business bloggers after all) but there'll be general lessons, tips and strategies that you can apply whatever platform you use. Each post will cover why the topic's worth getting to grips with, some things to think about (pros and cons), a short explanation of 'how to do it' and then some links to other resources.
There's a lot of tips that we want to share with you so we're bundling the posts into 7 "mini-series". Over the next few months we'll be looking at how to:
1 Show Off Your Content: how to format your posts for best effect, including topics on how to format links, use a footer, break up text with bullet points and block quotes
2 Engage Your Readers With Your Words: the writing skills you need for blogging, with topics on how to soften your writing style, shorten your posts, signpost your work and invite your readers in
3 Make Your Blogging Life Easier: tips and techniques that will save you time and effort, like using software that suits your style, post-dating a post, inserting text you use over and again
4 Network From Your Blog: we've more coming up on social media, but don't forget that your blog's a social medium too. This mini-series will look at how to encourage and deal with comments, comment elsewhere, spot and respond to links, and more
5 Create A Multi-Media Experience: how to brighten up your blog for you and your readers, with practical tips on how to insert images, video clips, audio files and podcasts
6 Streamline Your Sidebar: this one might be controversial... but we'll be covering how to add widgets, how to take them away again, edit your typelists, manage your blogroll and keep your sidebar under control!
7 Manage Your Blogging Resource: your blog's a valuable part of your business and there are things you can do to manage it, and make the most of it. We'll look at ways to look after your feed, learn from your stats, link to your own work and last but not least... write a blog series.
This is going to be an unmissable series for business bloggers. To make sure you don't miss an episode you'll want to subscribe to the feed. It's free, simple and easy to use. (If you're not familiar with feeds you can find out more here.)
Now I know that the list of topics already looks quite long, but don't worry, we're going to whizz through them by keeping the posts short and snappy. Which means we're more than happy to add topics, deal with questions and queries, share your experience of what works.
So keep the comments coming - ideas, questions, suggestions, possible topics, hot tips - they're all welcome, and will be picked up and covered in the weeks and months ahead.
To get the ball rolling let me ask you this. If there was one practical tip you'd like to see us cover here: what would it be?