Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Setting up a Blog

This is a sequel to yesterday's post about creating blogs. We are going to take a more detailed look at the setup and configuration of a blog and the various decisions involved.

First task, picking a host for the blog - free or paid. A lot of newbie bloggers tend to start free (I did, eons ago), gauge interest, get addicted and move on to their own domain and web space as the content increases. Corporate bloggers of course, are better off starting on their own domain in the first place.

Advantages to having your own domain are numerous - you have complete control over the content-generation, presentation, access and authorization for the content. You can use an enterprise-level infrastructure to ensure availability and an effective user experience. The biggest implicit advantage of social media and blogging in specific, is brand-messaging through the content being published and exposed to a user community. This brand-messaging can be conveyed in the most effective manner when the corporate domain is used for the blog, creating a seamlessly integrated user interface to the corporate website visitors.

Freebie blog options: Blogger, Wordpress
Paid blogging options: Typepad
Domain/Web space options: GoDaddy

Second task, pick a name for your blog. Easy enough? Not really, since this is essentially your identity - how you will come to be viewed by the online community and your readers. Too formal a name will put off readers, while something too informal might sound like you are not serious about what you want to say - well, maybe you really don't want to be too serious, in which case, go ahead and have fun (my first blog's name had "two mad Asian girls" in it, so I am not one to preach). An ideal name will reflect your brand identity to the world or yours and will come off friendly and inviting (hopefully) and not offensive or off-puttingly staid. For good or for bad, once your online identity is established, it is here to stay - so put a lot of thought in what you want to be known as and known for.

Now that the tough part is out of the way, what is left is to make your content search engine friendly so your blog can be indexed and viewed freely or setup stringent access controls so only authorized users can access it.

More in the next post about generating content that is relevant to the audience you want.

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