By mickisuzanne©

I can think of four big reasons to blog:

#1 – a good blog will enhance – or replace – a website.

#2 – blogs are an awesome venue for people who want to express their opinions and get them read.  When you write a blog, the software will ask you for key words; that’s how people of like mind find you.

#3 – blogs can help you sell products and services.  You have to think like a customer, what do they want to know? What do they ask about?

#4 – blogging is FREE through wordpress.com and blogger.com – I blog on both.  They’re easy to use, with lovely templates.

I like wordpress.com best right now – blogger.com screwed up domain-associated URLs last spring; domains purchased through THEM. I lost some readers because they couldn’t find my blogs.

So sign up for an account on wordpress.com.

Think up a great name, something that encompasses the whole of your general theme. Try to boil your common theme down to about two or three words. You’ll see why shortly.

Right now I’m blogging in relation to a book I’m writing on family ancestry – it’s for American descendants of Sir Thomas Wyatt. I named my blog “American Wyatts”. Remember, a short, memorable name is best.

Pick your template.

WordPress has beautiful templates. Choose “Appearance” to select yours and remember you can tweak the photos, swapping the photo in your chosen template with a photo from your own files.

When browsing templates, make it easy by choosing “Most Popular” rather than trying to wade through ALL the designs.

Don’t just write to write – have something to say.

If you’re a business professional, of course, we expect good grammar and punctuation. If you’re more of an artist or free thinker, just go for it. I have one friend whose blogs are all the more interesting and authentic WITH typos.

Now that you’ve actually gone to the effort and you like what you have goin’ on, pull out your wallet. It’s time to buy a domain name for your blog.  Why? Because the URLs on blogs are clunky,

BUY A DOMAIN NAME!

You want to do this because the search engines GLOM ONTO domain names. THIS IS HOW PEOPLE FIND YOU.

They only cost about $10 on Godaddy.com.

So – here we go again – define yourself in a few words. If you’ve already boiled your blog name into something short and tight, you may be able to purchase that domain name. If not, make a list of your favorites, then visit Godaddy.com to see what’s available. Be prepared to buy and always go for “.com” or “.org” – all other extensions seem cheesy.

Example: I’m writing a book for American descendants of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet. I chose “Americanwyatts.com”. That domain helps my audience find me. It gets me “out there” before my book goes to the publisher.

$WARNING$!

If you do a search for a certain domain and hesitate to buy – rest assured the price will be higher (usually double or more) if/when you go back later.  I don’t know how they do that, but they do.

If you snooze you truly do lose.

Forward the domain.

Within a few minutes you can “manage” your newly purchased domain. Simply “forward” it to your blog’s URL.

Here’s another example.  My “American Wyatts” blog url is:  http://mickisuzanne.wordpress.com/

Instead of pointing people to that, I simply send them to:  www.americanwyatts.com

Keep up the good work.

Keep it live, keep it fresh. Post photos, either those related to you and your life or those directly applicable to your content.

Don’t forget to use the key words.

Remember me …

If you know someone who needs marketing services (see mickisuzanne.com) and/or a website (see painlesswebsites.com)

If you have questions, let me know. I’ll make your question my next blog.