If you're a new blogger or a do-it-yourselfer, I have a couple of recommendations for you. Part of my job, as I see it, is to stay on top of blogging resources and tools to make things easier for you.
As you probably know, this blog is built on the TypePad platform and I've been using TypePad since 2004. At the time I started blogging I didn't know what options I had and TypePad was recommended to me. I love the platform. Its evolution has been tremendous and in late 2009 the entire system was upgraded.
In 2005, Patsi Krakoff and I wrote Build a Better Blog (no longer available), a manual to help people set up a business blog on TypePad. We revised it two times. Let me tell you, creating a manual for software that is constantly being improved gets to be a tedious process. It's usually out of date before it's published.
Now, however, the platform seems stable and while TypePad and it's parent company Six Apart will undoubtedly continue to add features, I think it's probably not going to change significantly for awhile.
This week, I received my copy of the just-published "TypePad for Dummies" (I don't like the word Dummies, but it's a successful series so who am I to criticize!). I'm proud to say that this blog is a featured resource and gets a full page recommendation (pg. 324)!
TypePad for Dummies is a comprehensive, A to Z guide for newbie bloggers and intermediate alike. I haven't gone through every page yet, but what I have read is detailed, easy to understand, and covers everything you could possibly want to know about set up, writing content, making money, design and customization.
If you have a blog on TypePad and are looking for more tips, or if you are planning to set up your blog on TypePad, this is a great book to get you on the right track.
For you folks who prefer Wordpress, I recently discovered a program called Beginner to Blogger in 4 Weeks. I met Traci Knoppe, who created this program, at the Niche Affiliate Marketing System Workshop. She told me about her simple, step-by-step program and I was curious. Traci was kind enough to give me a review copy.
A couple weeks ago I worked through the video and written tutorials. I had a new wordpress blog set up in 10 minutes. Seriously. With 10 more minutes of time invested, I had all the standard recommended plug-ins installed.
Where I got slowed down is with the customization and choosing a theme (design) for the blog. There are thousands of themes, free and fee, for Wordpress and I ended up getting lost in trying to decide what I wanted. Ultimately I went with a free, recommended theme because I was only creating a test blog. The last thing I need is another blog to publish!
The bottom line is that the program, which is only $39.95, was so simple to follow and complete. Literally, in about an hour I had a blog set up on Wordpress and was ready to roll.
Whichever way you decide to go, just do it. And if you're not a do-it-yourselfer, contact me to discuss how we can work together to get you a custom business blog set up and then coach you on how to leverage it for your business.