So You Want to Start a Blog

Bloggers do it for the clicks

People start blogs for a variety reasons. Some start a blog to generate an income, some do it out of passion and many businesses create blogs to engage their existing customers. Blogging, which is an integral part of  any social media marketing strategy, can do wonders for a business, whether it be brick and mortar or virtual. The first question a potential blogger should ask is what are their motivations and expectations. Determining this will make choosing the correct blogging platform much easier.

Do you plan on creating an income generating website, or do you simply want to share your life, talents, expertise and opinions with the world? If the latter sounds more to your liking, then I would suggest checking out Tumblr or Posterous (a great mobile blogging platform). Simply sign up for an account and you will be blogging in less than two minutes. Seriously! However, these types of platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. See below:

  • Strengths: Simplicity, ease of use, ease of cross-platform integration (facebook, twitter, etc.) and a built in audience. These platforms are built more for “lifecasters,” which many predict to be the future of social networking.
  • Weaknesses: A lack of flexibility, they are very difficult to monetize, they don’t optimize well with search engines, they don’t have very much design potential and they lack features and add-on applications. These platforms operate in giant, semi-closed networks of  fellow bloggers that interact with one another, but have minimal contact with “non-bloggers” that are just surfing the net.

Now for everyone else out there that wishes to venture into the wild (the wild web that is), I would suggest checking out WordPress. WordPress is a blogging platform that requires more work and effort, but offers a lot more flexibility and potential. Here’s a simple breakdown of what you need to do to create your own self hosted blog:

  1. Choose a hosting service. I use Godaddy, but there are a lot of these types of services out there. I like Godaddy because they’re a one stop shop for everything, they offer WordPress specific hosting plans and they have good customer service.
  2. Choose a domain name. I think people over emphasize choosing a name for their website sometimes. Create good content and people will find it no matter what. Food for thought: Myspace was actually a furniture website before becoming a social network and Google was supposed to be spelled “Googol.” They messed up the spelling when registering the domain. Oops!
  3. Install WordPress. If you don’t use Godaddy, you’ll have to install WordPress. Go here for simple installation instructions.
  4. Choose a theme. This is the fun part. WordPress is incredibly flexible. Check out Themeforest, Rockettheme or WordPress Themes. You can choose any theme you want for your blog and it requires no programming and little design work on your part.
  5. Get some plug-ins. WordPress has thousands of free plug-ins / add-ons that range from creating a chatroom on your blog to adding a shopping cart to automatically optimizing your site’s SEO.
  6. Start writing! – And that’s it. Check out Mary’s post, Blogging 101, for great tips on how to successfully engage your readers.

For a great comparison of different blogging platforms, check out this article as well. It’s clear and concise.

Now get out there and start sharing. And if you need any help, don’t forget I’m always just a click away.

(You can also find this article at MoreThanMary.com as well as more very helpful articles on life, fashion, fitness and travel.)

Send Me An Angel

Do you have a great business idea but can’t find the funds to start it? An angel may be looking for you. Angel investors are individuals looking to invest their own funds into new businesses. Generally, they look for high risk, high reward startups that are in need of $50,000 to $750,000 of seed capital. Don’t confuse them with venture capitalists. VC’s usually manage pools of other investor’s money in a fund.

Financially, the capital an angel investor can provide upfront can allow an entrepreneur to start operations and scale quickly. However, the knowledge and experience an angel can bring to the table may prove to be even more valuable.

Most angels are successful entrepreneurs, meaning they have the contacts and insight to make your idea a success. They’ve already made the mistakes and learned from them. An angel can serve as a mentor for you and your business, and that can be priceless.

Because of the difficulty of acquiring loans in the more conventional manner, angel investing is becoming a popular option. How do you find your own private angel? Here are a few tips:

  1. Check out your local trade organizations – Networking is crucial to finding investors.
  2. Visit your Chamber of Commerce – Chamber meetings and mixers are great networking opportunities. It’s also a great way to gain local business contacts.
  3. Check out PartnerUp.com
  4. Google search – Do a quick search on angels in your industry. Your search is bound to turn up some related forums and discussion sites. These can be good tools in finding your angel.

I Love This Movie


please install flash

I watched this movie again last night and I forgot how good of a flick it was. Definitely worth the rent. I’m not sure if this one is on the Netflix instant queue yet.

It’s called Layer Cake.

“The art of good business is being a good middle man.” – This movie really drove that point home. For me, this was an incredibly powerful statement. And that is why this principle has become the driving force behind several of my newest business ideas.

Crowdkindle.com – Let's Start a Fire

I’m developing a new website that I just decided to name Crowdkindle.com. It’s one of the more basic websites I have in development, but it has me excited! It’s very much me!

I plan on merging the match.com concept with my own ideas. I hope to turn Crowdkindle into a place where those garage tinkering dreamers can share their thoughts and connect with like minded individuals.

The concept is creativity and innovation, my hope is collaboration and my goal is to free everyone’s minds. I think it will be a lot of fun and this is only the beta version.

Follow me as I take you through the steps of creating your own fully functioning website! I’ll be posting articles as I develop the site and show you the little tricks I’ve learned.

What do you think of the logo?? I greatly appreciate any feedback and ideas for the site!