TypePad

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

TypePad is one of many blogging platforms that are available to you.

TypePad offers two distinct blogging platforms.  TypePad Pro is their flagship platform, and the first thing you’ll notice when trying to use it is that TypePad will cost you a monthly subscrption.  Other than the fact that you have to pay for TypePad, the only remarkable difference between this product and similar platforms is that TypePad promotes itself based on their built-in SEO features.  TypePad will also host the blog for you (however the url will still include .typepad)

TypePad Micro is TypePad’s micro-blogging platform (which is thankfully free!) and the registration process only requires your facebook account.  I view this kind of integration (across social media platforms) as a huge bonus for any blogging platform.  Go here to to sign up and learn more!

Unfortunately TypePad doesn’t really offer anything different from other blogging platforms (even considering that TypePad charges for use, unlike the majority of other platforms) so I cannot recommend it over their competitors (WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger)

Categories: Blogging Tags: , ,

Permalinks

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

According to WordPress.org’s codex permalinks are “the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts”.  What makes Permalinks interesting is that you can create “pretty” permalinks (instead of having a series of numbers or symbols, the link is shorter and aesthetically pleasing).  To create pretty permalinks use mod _rewrite fuction (visit here for a more detailed explanation than I can possibly give).

Permalinks are essential because they provide a permanent way to access the material you are trying to link to.  If the links were not permanent then they would change over time and your content would be negatively affected.

 

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

Blogger

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogger is a Google product (so right off the bat it integrates with both your Gmail and Google+ accounts) that allows users to set-up and manage their blogging presence.  What makes Blogger unique is that Google has allowed users to use AdSense with their blog to generate revenue.  Blogger allows users to not only control how their blog appears to viewers using a computer but also independently modify the template for mobile devices.

Like all other major blogging services Blogger allows users to post using mobile devices or email.  Blogger allows for generic security settings (users can make the blog invisible to search engines) however it does not allow for the same control that Posterous does (or at least as easily).

I think that Blogger would appeal more to businesses for two reasons.  Blogger’s integration of the AdSense service will allow companies to justify their blog expenditures by using real revenue data (and not just brand benefits). Secondly Blogger allows easy integration with Google+ and Google Analytics (which will allow a company to consolidate a lot of their online presence onto one service).

Sign up for Blogger here!

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

Posterous

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Posterous prides itself on being a blog targeted towards media sharing (whether it be picture, video, audio or word).  Posterous feels a lot more simplistic and refined than the more complicated WordPress.  All of Posterous’ blog modification options are streamlined and easy to figure out.

Posterous does not seem aimed a businesses (even though they themselves promote it towards businesses).  Posterous provides free hosting (which is good for individuals) however there is no easy way to independently host a blog created using Posterous.  Posterous acts as a traditional social media community in some sense.  Unlike WordPress where your blog creation screen is independent from the WordPress community, Posterous has a built-in dashboard which allows the user to directly seek out blogs that they like and interact with the general community.

Posterous uses the term “Spaces” to describe their blogs.  A Space is a location where a user can post various types of media.  Spaces can fall under four categories (Blog, Group, Media or Business).  The great thing about Posterous is that the user can easily control whether the space is public or private, and can easily create a list of users who have permission to see the blog (for example a family can create a blog to share photos between family members).  Posterous allows users to easily create multiple blogs for various purposes (Travel to Europe or Family photos) which will help users manage and control where their content is posted.

Posterous allows users to link their social media accounts and other blogs to their Posterous service.  By using Posterous users can post updates to Facebook or Twitter, and add posts to other blogs.

Unlike WordPress (who provides their own analytic tools for WordPress.com) Posterous allows users to embed Google Analytics into their blogs.

Click here to sign up for Posterous!

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

B2C vs. B2B Blogging

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogging takes many different forms depending on what your company’s target market is.  There is a vast difference between what you should aim to accomplish depending on if you are in a B2C or a B2B market.

B2C Blogging

In my view B2C blogging is all about developing the community.  A B2C blog should be focused on developing a platform that the company and consumers can use to communicate. Instead of focusing your blog around your company, make the blog about the consumer (post interesting product stories or creations – like the Coca-Cola guitar).  By focusing on developing the community you can use your blog to build a positive brand image and develop a positive and lasting community.

B2B Blogging

B2B companies need to focus on using their blog as a way to generate leads.  Using the comments section to develop your company’s leads is a way to guarantee that the companies you sell to will be interested in your product or service.  B2B blogs need to appeal to how the selling process is different for a B2C product and a B2B product. B2B clients tend to want to be more informed about the product before the actual sale (B2B buyers do more research) so B2B companies need to use their blog as a platform to distribute information to the client.

Categories: Blogging Tags: , ,

What is a Blogroll?

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogroll’s were a huge area of confusion for me.  Blogrolls serve as a community development tool for bloggers.  Essentially a blogroll is used to provide links to other similar blogs (a car blog would link to other car blogs for instance).  There is also a form of blogging etiquette involved with blogrolls.  If a blogger puts your blog on his blogroll you are generally expected to reciprocate.  Blogrolls benefit both parties and help promote each other to a larger audience.  Essentially blogrolls serve as a reference tool, guiding readers to other good sources of information.  A Blogroll can refer to a list of links on a blog’s sidebar (different from the traditional meaning outlined earlier).  This new definition of the term blogroll means a blogger can use their blogroll to link to news sites or interesting articles instead only linking to other blogs.

Click here for more information.

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

For-Profit vs. Not-For-Profit Blogging

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogs take radically different forms depending on what you want them to do.

Not-For-Profit Blogs

A blog should be the primary driver for communication between the community and the not-for-profit organization.  A good blog should also be a “donation driver” for the organization.  Blogs like ” The Salvation Army” (http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/) also pride themselves as being a site people can visit after a disaster for information or help.  What makes a good not-for-profit blog (in my opinion) is the relative simplicity of the layout (to keep with corporate image standards), the prominence of a donation tool and the attractiveness of the colour scheme and image layout.  WorldVision’s blog (http://blog.worldvision.org/) features all of these attributes.

Click here for more examples of good not-for-profit blogs.

For-Profit Blogs

For-Profit blogs are typically hard to pull off.  There are countless examples of bad for-profit blogs available.  For-Profit corporations typically look at blogs as a way to introduce new products or inform customers about the company (Just look at Speedo‘s Blog for a good example!).  While blogs are good at this function what they truly excel at is serving as a communication channel.  My example of a good for-profit blog follows this theme.  Coca-Cola recently launched a blog focused on the theme of conversation.  On the front-page of the blog all the posts are either about a coll coca-cola related event or a unique promotional activity.  By launching this blog Coca-Cola hopes to create an active community focused around the Coca-Cola lifestyle, not the corporation.  This blog is focused around simplicity (few menu links), organization and visual aesthetics.  More than anything else for-profit blogs should maintain and reinforce the corporation’s image and not deviate from it.

A few tips for a would-be company blog:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Focus the blog around the community, not the company
  3. Clearly lay-out how the blog will maintain
  4. Remember that your blog is a reflection of you, don’t make sill mistakes!
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